Cyber Monday

November 25, 2018

Shop / Uncategorized

Hi, Friends! Hope you all had a great weekend! We celebrated with family at our home and it was awesome. I have been starting to get some gifts checked off and I’m excited to buy some great home items I’ve been waiting to go on sale today! 

I often get sale FOMO because I am such a purchasing planner and if I haven’t been thinking about something for months, when sales come around I have no idea what to buy. Ha!

So this year, I’m ready! Here are some things I’m going to be shopping for this weekend and some favorite, value items I have that I highly recommend. I will be sharing more on IG stories as well! 

Black Friday/Cyber Monday is a time for me to get some expensive items at a discount. I am very selective when I purchase ANYTHING. Like to a debilitating fault sometimes but I’m going to share with you my top sale value brands and items. 

Some of these links are affiliate links which means I receive a commission from your purchases. I appreciate your support! Thank you!

Kitchen Dining Light

One of the most popular items and most asked about is our kitchen dining light fixture. It is has beautiful proportions and the quality is awesome for the price! We have the rubbed bronze wihich looks black but does have bronze showing through on the edges and corners.

Some friends have spray painted it for a full matte black look but I love it how it is! It looks just like the picture here. You can’t beat this price for a designer look. 

Cabinet Hardware

If you are going through a remodel this is a great time to stock up on your hardware. Here are our favorites. I got most of ours on Cyber Monday too!

Serena & Lily 

A high end, gorgeous design house with timeless pieces. 

Our light dining room light fixture is a showstopper in our home. We have it on a dimmer and it is so dreamy. It has such a huge impact on that space. We have the small size and purchased it when they had a sale (but this sale is even better). 

Our master bedroom is decked out in layers and layers of gorgeous Serena & Lily bedding. My top pic would be this white linen quilt I have not seen one like it anywhere. It’s luxurious alone in the summer or layered in the winter. 

As for functional decor, this step stool is so unique and useful! It works great in the kitchen or bathroom, adding warmth and character. 

The best value and most versatile decor items are their iconic dip dyed stools! These also move around the house and are used for displaying seasonal decor, drink holders, by the tub or just pretty accents. 

McGee & Co. 

Shea and her team have unmatched style! They purvee the most beautiful goods that blend with any decor. Their holiday decor is so on point as well! I just got the olive wreath front door mat and LOVE IT! Here are my picks:

Pottery Barn

I bought so many of our house fixtures from here. Bathroom mirror and lights etc. The powder room has the vintage rounded edge mirror and the sharp cornered ones are in our Master. 

I’ve loved the light fixtures here as well.  We have these:

Our Bed! It is timeless. We have had it for over 5 years.

Our new sofa. We LOVE it so much! slip covers make it easy to wash and it is so supportive and comfortable! 

I’m going to be checking out the linen curtains. I have bought the Cameron Cotton ones for multiple homes we’ve lived in. I’ve been very happy with the quality and the price is great. 

Kitchen Dishes

We use these every day and I am so happy with them! So nice to have a matching set. Great quality and price!

Pillows!!

The Ivory Gull: Her prices, quality and selections are so good! She is a sweetheart!

Susan Conner New York-This small maker has the most beautiful and exotic textiles! I am praying she has a sale because her handmade items are pricey but SO unique and worth it!

Greige Design/ Greige Textiles: love their pillows! Many other unique and beautiful home items.

Target

Here are some holiday items and home items that I hope will be on sale!

Wayfair

Nordstrom

They have some great sales! Remember, they price match. I see my black diff aviators are sold out on the DIFF sight but still in stock here. SO cool and love them. I don’ think my Chloe bag is on sale but I added it for those who have been asking. The strip top is a perfect shirt.

Anthropologie

I’ve always admired that primrose mirror and this sale is so good! 

Amazon Favorites 

Clothing

Athleta

I have a pair of these and LOVE them. I’m wearing them as I type. I wear them to exercise, the park, drop off or the cafe. You can roll up the cuff to the length you need.

J. Crew

The classics!

Free People Shoes

These are THE SHOES! They go with everything. I have them in Taupe. They are true to size and will stretch once you get them for a great fit. This site has the best price. 

Small Shops

Chalk Full of Design: Handcrafted Chalkboards for littles

Tubby Todd Natural body care product for kids (best bubble bath and all over ointment)

Cuddle and Kind  Heirloom quality dolls. dolls= meals for kids. right now each doll = 20 meals!

Wild BIrd– Most beautiful Baby slings

Solly Baby Best Baby wraps.

 

Thanksgiving Prep

November 17, 2018

Lifestyle / Recipes / Uncategorized


Hosting Thanksgiving has changed so much since having kids! Now I order the Turkey and Ham, buy some desserts and make a few sides. The idea of a “purchased” meal used to appal me and I love it now!!

Cooking and prepping used to be what made it feel like the holidays for me but now it’s spending time with the family and resting that makes it feel special. I wonder if ‘ll return to all the details one day when the kids are grown. Ha!

I’m happy to let someone else make a delicious and juicy turkey for us (We have been using Whole Foods) and that Honey Baked Ham is unmatched. 

Just like a wedding, I think of what makes events most memorable

(food-wise):

  1. A signature drink upon arrival

  2. An Appetizer Spread with lots of contrasting options

  3. Great dessert

  4. “Party Favor” leftovers for tomorrow and a coffee for the road

Spend your time HERE!

Here is our menu:

Turkey 

Ham & champagne mustard

Appetizers (bacon wrapped dates, cheeses-goat, manchego, brie, Rosemary Marcona almonds, rolled prosciutto, variety of crackers/crips breads, nuts, olives, goat cheese, fig spread, grapes) Trader Joes is the easiest place to pick up all kinds of exciting apps. Check out the frozen section to add a hot one you can do quickly in the toaster oven.

Alcoholic drinks (old fashioned: Makers Mark, amarena cherries from TJs, bitters, oranges for rind garnish)

Non alcoholic drinks (coke, apple juice)

Stuffing 

Mashed Potatoes 

Gravy

Swiss Green Beans

Cranberry Sauce Natural

Canned Cranberry Sauce

Rolls/butter

Pumpkin pie 

Pecan pie 

Ice cream

Whipped cream

Coffee/Cream

So basic and it hits all the marks for us!

Here are the guidelines I use for portions

1-1.5 lbs Turkey per person

5 lbs potatoes for 10-12 people 

1.5 lbs green beans makes 6-8 servings //I buy 2 bags of frozen French green beans/2 cups sour cream/onion/cornflake crumbs/ shredded Swiss

Stuffing 16 cups 14 oz=11 serv

 

Ok, so now I’m going to share the most incredible green bean casserole you have ever eaten. You really must add this to your repertoire. Its a great winter side all around. 

Green Beans Swiss Style
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp. butter
  2. 2 tbsp. flour
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. 1/4 tsp. pepper
  5. 1 tsp. sugar
  6. 1 tsp. grated onion
  7. 1 C. sour cream
  8. 4 C. cooked French style Green Beans
  9. 1/2 lb. grated Swiss
  10. 1/2 C. corn flake crumbs
  11. 2 tbsp. butter
Instructions
  1. Melt 2 tbsp. butter; stir in flour, salt, pepper, sugar and onion Add sour cream gradually, stirring constantly. Cook until mixture thickens; fold in beans. Pour into buttered 1-1/2 qt. casserole. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top, then the crumbs mixed with butter. Bake at 400º for 1/2 hour. Serves 6.
Notes
  1. I grate the onion on a hand held cheese grater.
  2. French style green beans can be the ones that are long and sliced in half lenghthwise. This makes them soak up the flavors more but you can use any kind of green bean. I get frozen long ones and just let them thaw and drain before adding them to the mixture.
  3. I get the grated "gruyere" at Trader Joes. It's basically Swiss.
  4. Some big grocery stores sell cornflake crumbs in a small box but I just get the organic corn flakes from Trader Joes and pulse them in the food processor. SO integral to this recipe! The crunch is so so good.
  5. I make this a day ahead, pull it out in the late morning to get to room temp and bake it before serving the meal.
Christina J Warren http://happyorelse.com/
Grocery List:

Ham

Turkey

Stuffing

Potatoes 

Green beans

Sour cream

Onion 

Cornflake crumbs

Shredded Swiss 

Bitters 

Whiskey

Cherries

Ice

Wine Beer

Soda 

Capers / lemon / smoked salmon / cream cheese

Bacon

Dates

Grapes 

Butter

Crackers/ Cheese/ Proscutto

Cranberry Sauce Natural

Canned Cranberry Sauce

Rolls/butter

Pumpkin pie X2

Pecan pie x 1

Ice cream

Whipped cream

Coffee

Cream

To Go Coffee Cups

Tupperware to send leftovers home

 

Checklist:

Crock pot to keep potatoes warm

Drink labels

Cups 

Toothpicks

Chairs 

Tables

Linens

Napkins

Plates

Silverware

Turkey Gravy Boat

Prep Timeline:

Up to a week before do the grocery shopping

Wednesday:

Pick up the ham

Pick up any pies and rolls

prep the green bean casserole

set the table

pull out all the plates, cutlery, serving dishes etc. 

Thursday:

Pick up the turkey

cook the green bean casserole, potatoes, stuffing, gravy

Buy ICE

Appetizers

Pull out a huge Chartucerrie board and spread everything out with cute, small spreaders. Have some festive cocktail napkins, good glassware for drinks and ways to identify each person’s drink. 

As with all entertaining, its most fun when you’re having fun! If that means you make it a potluck or buy premade stuff then do it and enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! XO

The Most Delicious Gluten Free Pecan Pancakes You’ll Ever Make

June 6, 2018

Recipes

I got to be a part of a wonderful girls trip while I was pregnant with our youngest (who is now almost 2) and one of the women took charge of the menu. We rented a beautiful home in Palm Springs and this woman, Heather, prepared a gluten free menu to suit many of the ladies on the trip and it was sensational!! She shared this recipe with us and told me I was welcome to share it with you. Our whole family has been enjoying them for years and LOVE them! Thank you, Heather!

Anyone can enjoy this recipe. They are grain free and packed with portein! You can make these ahead and they are even good cold as a quick protein snack or breakfast on the go! Serve them warm with butter and syrup or agave nectar.

The most important thing about making these is the technique and I will walk you through. Its all done in a blender. I use a Vitamin we bought at Costco years ago. 

Heather’s GF Pecan Pancakes

Start with the Pecans

Flour 1.5 cups pecan pieces (This means blend them so that they are all finely chopped but be sure not to “cream” them into pecan butter. You might need to blend half, pull them out, blend the other half and then put them all back. Especially if you make a double batch!

Add 3 eggs, 1 ripe banana (you can defrost a ripe peeled and frozen one in a pinch), 1 (ish) tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tbsp honey, 1⁄2 baking soda, 1⁄4 salt and blend until just incorporated. 

A griddle is best so you can cook many at once. These cook slowly!

Heat the pan or griddle to medium/low heat. You’ll have to do a test pancake to get your temperature right.

Greace your pan or griddle. I like to use spray Coconut oil from Trader Joes. Coconut oil has a high boiling point. 

spoon out the pancake batter. You can see the texture from the images above. Give them some time to firm up. 

Flipping these is the most delicate part. You will get so much satisfaction after mastering it! These are not like regular pancakes. Because they have no flour, they are jiggly and lack form so you have to quickly swipe the spatula under the pancake to keep the circular shape and do a quick flip. 

The pancakes can burn quite easily so check on them and keep the heat on the lower side. 

Now you’ve got the hang of it and you are ready to make tons. Enjoy!!

 

A Perfect and Easy Father’s Day Gift from Artifact Uprising

June 4, 2018

LIFESTYLE

This post is sponsored by Artifact Uprising

Choosing gifts for my husband is very challenging for me! I usually wait until the last minute to look for one and end up either getting something that doesn’t feel heartfelt or nothing at all. So when my favorite photo printing company asked to join them in their Father’s Day campaign, I was excited to find a meaningful gift my hubsband will love! P.S. He does not do social media so he won’t see this LOL. 

When I saw the brass and wood display box I thought it was perfect! Its a frame he can put on his desk at work and he can change out the photos periodically. It can hold up to 50, 5X5 square prints. I love that it is free of glass. The display box comes in two options: Walnut and Birch (shown here). The minimal style fits beautifully with many decor styles. The brass has a lovely sheen and is the perfect hue, being just cool and warm enough. 

Now that I have it in person, I want to give it as a gift to many people in our lives! I’m such a set it and forget it person so it’s really satisfying to find a perfect gift that works for so many people! Plus I can send a new set of prints for subsequent holidays or just because. Ok I also want one for our home. Ha!

Use CODE: CW15 for 15% off your purchase from now until Friday, June 8!

This discount applies to ALL Artifact Uprising items/photo books/prints etc. across the entire site! 

Years ago, we ordered our wedding album from Artifact Uprising because we wanted the best and its perfect! Their quality is unmatched! I also love their company culture. They use recycled and sustainable materials and provide jobs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

You can order prints right from your Instagram account! It took me minutes.

You can visit Artifact Uprising to see all their beautiful prints styles, frames, photobooks, gifts and more. You can see our exact brass and wood display box HERE. 

How My Family Saves Money On Our Grocery Bill

May 9, 2018

HEALTH / Lifestyle

This Post is in Partnership with Thrive Market One thing that makes our house run smoothly is keeping the pantries stocked with items from food to toiletries. Its important to me to have the highest quality ingredients at the ready. Shopping for all our favorite items in one place really helps to cut down on shopping trips and keeps us prepared for things like cookie baking. We also love getting the best prices and knowing that all the items are non GMO.

Many of you asked for a list of some of our favorite products at Thrive Market and here  are some of them and each one is linked:

Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk
Late July Organic Mini Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Late July Organic Mini Cheese Sandwiches
Peace Cereal Clusters and Flakes Cereal – Vanilla
Larabar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars
Kodiak Cakes Protein Packed Buttermilk Flapjack & Waffle Mix
Wholesome Organic Blue Agave
Woodstock Organic Prunes
Coombs Organic Maple Syrup Grade A Dark Color
Wholesome Organic Dark Brown Sugar
Marukan Oraganic Rice Vinegar
San J International Organic Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
Frontera Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
Simply Organic Vanilla Extract
Pirates Booty Aged Wite Cheddar Lunch Snacks
Bobo’s Oat Bars Original Oat Bars
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Baby Mild Castile Soap
Annie’s Organic Ketchup
Smarty Pants Kids Complete Gummies with Mulitviatim …Vit D

Thrive Market is offering this discount and 30 day free trial to my readers: 

Get 25% off your first order + Free 30 day trial!

So, Thrive Market’s prices are already up to 50% off.  And now they’re giving you an EXTRA 25% off your first order + free 30 day trial!” Try it  HERE.

If you normally spend $100 at the grocery store, it would be around $50 – $75 on Thrive Market because of their already low prices.  And now they’re giving you an extra 25% off!

No code is necessary. Shop around and the discount will be applied at checkout.

For more details on Thrive Market, scroll down to the end of this post!

I have been hearing about Thrive Market for years and so happy we decided to try it out! Recently I have been working to streamline our grocery shopping and this online store makes it easy. We tried out our first order with some of our favorite on-the-go kid snacks we know and love.

Thrive Market offers organic foods, nontoxic home and personal care products for 25-50% off what you would normally pay. You can shop from the app or your computer and even search by special diet like, “Paleo,” “Vegan” or “Gluten Free” and it comes right to your door. Thrive Market is on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.

With your membership you have

-Access to 4,000+ organic and non-GMO products. Food, snacks, vitamins, supplements, personal care products, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, safe and nontoxic beauty products, kitchen staples, homegoods, organic baby food, kids products and much, much more and it’s all shipped straight to your door.  

-25-50% savings on every purchase

-Free shipping on every order over $49!

-An opportunity to make a difference: For every membership purchased, Thrive Market gives a free membership to a low-income family to help make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.

-Exclusive access to special deals, new product launches, weekly free gifts, blogs, video recipes, and more!

NEW Thrive Market now offers Fresh Meat and Seafood!  These are the highest quality meats at the most affordable prices.  Their beef is 100% grass-fed, free range and antibiotic free. Their chicken is certified free range and organic from small family farms. Their seafood has earned The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program’s stamp of approval, which states that our business is choosing seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean!  

What Makes Thrive Market Stand Out

  1. More than 70% of the Thrive Market catalog CANNOT be found on Amazon!  
  2. Largest retailer in the country that sells exclusively non-gmo groceries
  3. All packaging, boxes, and inserts are made from recycled paper and are recyclable. Thrive Market is 100% carbon-neutral and certified through carbonfund.org. Our certification covers national shipping, packaging materials, warehouse utilities, and even the commutes of our team.

Get 25% off your first order + Free 30 day trial!

So, Thrive Market’s prices are already up to 50% off.  And now they’re giving you an EXTRA 25% off your first order + free 30 day trial!” Try it  HERE.

If you normally spend $100 at the grocery store, it would be around $50 – $75 on Thrive Market because of their already low prices.  And now they’re giving you an extra 25% off!

No code is necessary. Shop around and the discount will be applied at checkout.

Let me know what favorites you find on the site!

Partnership with American Express: The Amex EveryDay Credit Card

April 11, 2018

LIFESTYLE

This post is sponsored by American Express

This has been such a wonderful summer! Since Grant has been in his first year of preschool this year, this summer feels like our first real summer vacation, and we have been loving it — but somehow it’s already coming to a close.

We’ve made the most of our summer with a road trip to Las Vegas with family, visits to Great Grandma and the grandparents. Swim lessons, Ninja class and playdates have kept us busy too! In addition to our travel and classes, Chris and I have been working on some finishing touches to our home. I finally tackled a fireplace refresh, we planted white iceberg roses in front and added a couple potted plants by the front door.

We love using our Amex EveryDay Cardfor our purchases. My favorite benefit has been applying Membership Rewards points to eligible purchases I make on my card *.  I’ve really enjoyed sharing our experience with this card as an American Express Ambassador.

Our final projects for summer will be furnishing the dining room and adding some more plants outside in between lots of trips to the beach! I am sad to see it come to an end, but have a lot of excitement for the holidays! Hope you are loving your summer!

We continue to enjoy our American Express EveryDay Card! Not only is American Express a great credit card company, but it’s also a great financial partner who is always adding new features and tools to help us stay on top of our financial life.

American Express MyCredit Guideis a new, free credit score tool, available whether or not you are an American Express Card Member.

MyCredit Guide shares the VantageScore®credit score by TransUnion®and your TransUnion credit report– and accessing it doesn’t hurt your credit score!

Personally, I like to keep an eye on my credit report to ensure there haven’t been any fraud issues, and I try to check it every few months!

Visit www.AmericanExpress.com/MyCreditGuide for terms and to learn more about your own score!

We’re excited to be getting ready for summer around here! Living by the beach, we’re sure to stock up on sunscreen, fun beach towels, swimsuits, cover ups, sand toys and hats – and I like to have extras for taking our guests to the beach as well. Shopping for all of it is so fun! By using our Amex EveryDay Cardfor all these purchases we also get to enjoy the Membership Rewards points!

A really great feature is that once you make 20 or more purchases on the Card in a billing period, you’ll earn 20% extra points on those purchases*! So, instead of just 2X points on US supermarket purchases (on up to $6000 in purchases per year), you could get 2.4x…so your points can add up even faster.

I’m excited to finally put these points to work! We personally LOVE applying points to eligible charges on our statement*, but here are other ways to use them:

– Use Pay with Points at select merchants*

– Redeem for retail, restaurant, entertainment or American Express Gift Cards*

– Use points for some or all of your eligible travel at amextravel.com*

– Transfer points to a participating loyalty program*

– Shop for experiences and products*

We love to freshen up the house, our wardrobes and our finances every spring! It’s a great time to tidy and donate things we no longer love or use. Organizing revitalizes me not only while I’m doing it, but also when I can enjoy the benefits of the work I’ve done.

Springtime is also a great time to take a look at our finances. We look for ways we can save money/cut expenses and ways to gain benefits from our spending. The more we’ve been using our Amex EveryDay Card, the more we’re accruing points, which we hope to use this summer (more on that next time).

In addition to the welcome offers I’ve talked about below, here are a few benefits that our family really loves:

  • Earn 2x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases*
  • Earn 1x points for every eligible dollar you spend*
  • Make 20 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases*

Just about every day, you can find me in workout clothes playing, straightening up and running errands with the kids until the nap time shower. We go grocery shopping, get car washes, gas and make an occasional stop for home decor!

I try to make most of our purchases on and I’ve partnered with American Express to share our experiences with the Amex EveryDay Card I just opened. I’ll be updating this post with more information on how this credit card works for and rewards us in the coming months!

To kick things off, I’m talking about the new $0 balance transfer fees** offer of this Card. We use our credit cards for both convenience and benefits. We pay off our card balances every month and have been able to enjoy airline miles, cash back and more over the years. But if you are currently carrying a balance on another credit card and want to switch to American Express, you can transfer the balance to this Amex EveryDay Card without paying a balance transfer fee on transfers made in the first 60 days of account opening…and a 0% into APR** on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then it varies between14.49-25.,49%) might make it easier to pay off faster.

*Read about the offer and benefit terms

**Note that rates and fees may apply

Check back for more ways we’re using our Amex EveryDay Credit Card and reaping the benefits!