We had a really fun time getting together the girls’s picks this year. Dance has become a big hobby so we focused on dance gear a lot. They chose new hip hop shoes, tops for jazz, water bottles, caboodle for show makeup and personalized gold dance bags. Capri has shown some major interest in drawing and is actually a pretty good little artist so we added in some cartooning books and fancy colored pencils. We couldn’t pass up some serious Disney swag like sparkly gold Mickey earrings for Peyton and sparkly Minnie ears for our Disneyland trips. We thought this pink electric scooter was the coolest along with sparkly cozy things like this metallic moto jacket and faire aisle sweater.
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You will be the belle of your Thanksgiving ball with this fall inspired Spinach Artichoke Pizza! I whipped up this bad boy for our Friendsgiving lunch and it was our number one hit with close second being this Spicy Butternut Squash and bacon option. I love the ease of a flatbread style pizza and I tweaked my main recipe a handful to keep my time and mess as low key as possible. I literally got all my ingredients from Trader Joe’s! Make sure to check out my doctored up, easy peasy stuffing from last year! You won’t be sad about it!
Fall Inspired Spinach Artichoke Pizza
You will need for sauce:
1 T unsalted butter
2 cloves minced garlic
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 T all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk ( I use 2%)
1/4 c half and half
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 t ground pepper
1 heaping spoonful cream cheese
2 T grated parmesan cheese
Trader Joes Pizza Crust ( can be found in the bread aisle- it’s in a two pack and rectangle)
8 oz grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 package of precooked Trader Joe’s Just Chicken ( found in refrigerator aisle)
1 bunch baby spinach
1 6 oz jar marinaded artichoke hearts
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1 T grated parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
In a medium saucepain on medium low heat, add in your butter to melt. Once melted toss in your garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir frequently for about 1 minute. Whisk in flour for 1 minute.
Slowly add the milk and half and half constantly whisking. Add in salt, pepper, and paprika. As sauce gets thicker, turn up the heat a bit and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the cream cheese and parmesan until all melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to keep clean up a cinch. Lay your pizza crust on the parchment paper.
Spread the warm sauce over the top, then half of the mozzarella cheese. Add the chicken, spinach and artichoke. Finish her off with the last of the mozzarella.
Slide the pizza into the over for about 12 minutes or until all cheese is melted and golden. Sprinkle with shaved parmesan and grated parmesan. Let cool slightly before topping your favorite cheese board with this beauty. Slice and enjoy!
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
I gathered up all the prettiest dresses, accessories, outerwear and shoes for your little ladies. Nothing cuter than a little girl who feels fancy! These picks are great for a fancy Nutcracker evening, Christmas day or a holiday party.
Time to spoil those mamas in our lives wether it be our own mom or our mother in law. These ladies are such MVPs! Help make them feel pampered with cozy slippers or personalized scarf, loved with a personalized calendar filled with your family pictures, and pampered with a pretty bauble or luxurious fragrance.
Teachers can be tricky to shop for! I always want to give them something special but not to personal. Tough!! This year a lot of you were requesting a guide for teachers gifts and I was up to the challenge. I’ve gathered up all the best gifts at super reasonable prices to spoil your kiddlets teacher. From classroom treats to yummy sweets to beauty indulgences, I’ve got you covered!
We are Disney Cruise bound tomorrow sailing to the Bahamas for our annual girl’s trip. My mom, the girls and I are cruising for our 5th time and can’t wait! We are packing our last minute essentials and wanted to share our must haves to take full advantage of all the Disney fun on the ship!
2. A cute coordinated family outfit for boarding the ship. There is a handful of cute photo ops as you board the ship. We always go with a nautical look of stripes. The characters are roaming around all in their nautical gear too.
3. Door magnets are a fun kid’s activity. We got personalized door magnets a couple years back and the kids get such a kick out of labeling our board room ours for the week with their cute mini ears and nautical outfit magnets. A big percentage of the staterooms have decorated doors from other guests so it’s fun to add your own flair to your door.
5. Princess dresses for a night you want to be fancy or for a princess activity. We always have our dresses ready for a fancy night. It’s so cute to see the girls in all their glory.
6. Warm layers are something we have found the most helpful. The ships can be chilly so having a pair of pants or a sweater is really helpful. We always make sure to pack cozy sweats for the girls for when they come in from the pool with wet hair and are chilly for their afternoon activities.
7. Comfy cruise clothes that you can relax in. We have learned that Disney is so relaxed and so easy breezy with it’s dress code. We love that we can wear sundresses and a sweater for most any of the dinners or shows and feel comfy. Having loose comfy clothing let’s you make belly room for all the yummy treats.
8. Trading pins have become a must have. We started our lanyards on our second cruise and it’s become a great evening activity. We gather up some good pins we are willing to part with ( aka buy a handful fo to trade with the best collector pins on the ship. They even host a Captain’s pin trading night where all the officers of the ship gather with their pins to trade. The girl’s were honored with special Officer Pin awards last year. It was a huge highlight!
9. You want to be ready for Mickey’s Pirate Party. It’s a total blast! The ship provides themed bandanas but it’s fun to go the extra mile for the party with some easy costumes.
10. We find that we don’t get off the ship much outside of exploring Castaway Cay. There are lots of fun picture ops on this special island. The characters venture off the ship in their island gear and are so fun to mingle with. We plan for our cute swimsuits and cover ups this day. We have our annual picture of the girls over the years next to the big Cay anchor and it’s such a fun memory.
We are off to sail on the Disney Dream this year and couldn’t be more excited! We have had the best time each year and it just never disappoints. Between gormet food, Broadway worthy shows, character meetings and a million other activities it’s virtually impossible to not have the greatest time.
We all have that one lady on our shopping list that is tricky. The friend who seems to have everything, the mother in law you want to make a good impression on, the little ladies that you don’t want to have any more toys or the bridal party that you want to spoil. I have you covered this year with the most luxurious gift for any and all of those ladies. Plum Pretty Sugar is the ultimate gift for anyone looking to give something special.
Plum Pretty Sugar has created the most gorgeous feminine loungewear with the softest materials. I feel like a princess padding around my house in these stunning pieces. Having something pretty to slip into for the day really sets the tone. From robes to pajama short sets to bridesmaid dresses, Plum Pretty Sugar has a little treasure for everyone on your shopping list.
We are getting to the age with the girls where they are wanting to be big girls and be like mommy. When I saw these sweet mini versions of this lavender lace robe, I just about died. They felt so fancy in their special peices. These luxurious robes are perfect for matching sister sets or bridesmaid robes.
As I’ve gotten older I have grown to value my friedships so much! I have gathered quite a group of different ladies as my inner circle but man are they all crazy special to me in their own ways. I wanted to celebrate these girls with a Friendsgiving lunch.
After visiting Napa a couple months back, I’ve been in love with the easy breezy entertaining style of that area. I envisioned a menu full of Thanksgiving flavor but all family style. I wanted this lunch to be no fuss but still fall inspired. I chose a variety of flat breads and yummy mixed salads.
For our setting, I made soft blues and rustic tans my main pallet. I added foliage from my yard to give settle pops of color. A coastal feel always is my go to favorite so of course we added some of that ambiance with crisp white china and stripped napkins. My favorite fall accent was the sweet custom made maple leaf place cards from Delovely Designs. I think any custom element makes guests feel like you put in some extra love for them and it works as a great little party favor.
The holiday season has fully commenced and I am in major hostess with the hostess mood! To kick off November, I am hosting some of my favorite girls to a luncheon for Friendsgiving. I love setting beautiful tables. I feel like the effort really sets the tone for the party and let’s your guests feel how important they are to you by making it pretty. Over the years I have gathered some tried and true staples to make any table theme gorgeous. Here is my round up of home entertaining holiday essentials that work with any season and feel.
Gold flatware goes with everything for every season. I grabbed 6 settings of this gorgeous flatware last year and find they are all I use now for entertaining. They elevate any place setting and give it a little shine with a modern design.
Neutral chargers are my staple. I use these ratan chargers for literally every gathering. You have seen them in both Fall , Spring and Christmas gatherings. They go with everything and give a nice texture to a tables cape
Candle sticks add a little height and drama to your table. I like level changes through my settings. Simple candle sicks allow guests to still see each other but get some ambiance.
Serving bowls and platters are the most basic essential in setting any table for a gathering. No matter if it’s a potluck or a full spread it is lovely to have a cohesive feel to your serveware. I like to mix strong white peices with airy glass bowls for salads.
Versatile drink ware can both serve for everyday use or for any gathering. I keep a nicer set of plastic cups both big and small on our exposed shelves. They look pretty and are super handy to grab when entertaining.
Basic white china can be mixed and mingled any way you like. I registered for this beaded white china for our wedding and still use it for every gathering 11 years later. It’s simple yet the beaded rims add a little sweetness to my tables without being to distracting.
Lots of seating is a must! We just updated our dining room and have capacity for 8-10 seats at our new dining table. I keep a handful of extra chairs that match tucked away for occasions with more guests. That way you don’t always need to keep the leafs out on your dining table but are able to accommodate extra guests if needed.
Cheese boards are the chicest appetizer display in my book. If you have been following my Insta stories you know I am having a complete obsession with charterturie boards. They are perfect in any setting.
Speaking of snacks, make sure to have plenty of cute snack bowls available to add to your cheese boards, scatter around the house or add to your tables for smaller condiments.
Hello awkward tween age!!!! We aren’t quite in it yet with Capri but it’s coming and it’s going to be glorious. We have a friend who’s daughter Lilah is 12. For her birthday she asked for a makeup session with me. How cool am I????!!! Lilah’s mama Kristi suggested we hit 100%Pure to keep her products as clean as possible, which I thought was an amazing idea. The whole line is gluten free, cruelty free, vegan, natural and fruit pigmented. I hear all the time that so many women have no clue how to make themselves feel beautiful with makeup. Either it intimidates them or their mom never taught them. I feel like it’s such a skill to teach our girls. To not only educate them on how to take care of their skin with basic hygiene but also teach them how to highlight their own beauty in a natural way. It can only help them in so many occasions to know how to put their look together and put their best foot forward.
Now a little background on why this mama trusted me with her babelet. I have been in the beauty industry for 11 years with my hair and makeup biz KG Hair and Makeup. My whole philosophy when it comes to beauty is to accentuate and highlight each person’s individual beauty. Kristi knew I would have a light touch when it came to keeping my recommendations and lesson very age appropriate.
I wasn’t super familiar with the 100%Pure line so it was really fun to get my hands on the products and educate myself on the goodies. I also find it really important to learn about our own features and learn how to properly. Lilah is starting into puberty with a little acne but nothing big. We wanted to address that to give her tools to feel confident through that fun phase. I really wanted to focus on ease also. I chose products that didn’t need a lot of fuss or finesse.
Here is what we chose and why…
Luminous Primer - “Silicone-free, vitamin and antioxidant-infused, luminous primer makes cosmetic application last longer and flawless; fills in lines for smoothness while light-reflective pigments diffuse flaws and illuminate for a healthy, glowing complexion.”
Why? a. makeup goes on so much smoother when skin is prepped with a primer. It also helps create a barrier between skin and makeup. I asked Lilah if she liked a dewier look or something more matte. She liked mine (personal high five) which is on the dewy end. Tween skin can be on the oilier end so we are going to watch that and see how the Luminous formula looks on her.
Powder Foundation- “Talc-free, fruit pigmented® powder foundation absorbs oil and reduces shine with medium coverage, mattifying rice powder. Made with nourishing fruit oils.”
Why? a. I was between the Powder foundation and Tinted Moisturizer . I loved both but figured the powder would be more user friendly for Lilah and less likely to get over done. I wanted to get something that would even out any redness and blur any of the new little pimples that may come up.
Cheek and Lip Tint- “Designed for double duty as both a cream blush and lip tint. Made with vibrant fruit pigments, plus shea and cocoa butters for intense skin and lip-softening.”
Why? a. I loved the simplicity of a double duty product. We chose the color Pink Grapefruit Glow which was the perfect light pink for her fair skin. I showed her how to apply it lightly on the apple of her cheek. When using tints like this you want to build the color slowly. Pat your ring finger on the product and tap the color on to get a good read on how color is building. You want to mimic a natural flush.
Why? a. I love a cream eye shadow for ease of application. You can apply a swipe of a creme eyeshadow with your finger and you are good to go. Simple and pretty! I didn’t want to jump into blending lesson with Lilah yet. I explained to her how her eyes are almond shaped with a monolid so she knew how to describe her eyes and work with their unique shape. I explained the goal with her eyes would be to open them up and keep them bright. We chose the color Bahamas for it’s soft flesh color shimmer.
Ultra Lengthening Mascara- “Lengthens and separates lashes without clumping, smudging, or flaking. Coats each lash with conditioners and natural pigment from black tea, berries, and cocoa.”
Why? a. We definitely didn’t need the lengthening aspect of this mascara but wanted to give Lilah some darkness on her light blonde eyelashes. She has the prettiest blue eyes and I opted for the Blackberry color for her. It’s a really gorgeous deep plum color to pop her baby blues. I explained to her that plums and warm brown colors are best for her blue eyes. Another great option would be a brown mascara but I thought the plum was something a little fun and different for her.
It's my birthday! Year 33 has been a good. There has been a lot of building, reworking, learning and refocusing this year all wrapped up in a lot of joy! Mid 30s I think bring lots of self development and lots of juggling. I learned a couple key things this year.
1. It's okay to be exactly who you are, all the time. Thank you Enneagram test for leveraging that real self talk!
2. It's totally okay to not be crushing it at everything all at one time. I finally eased into the reality of not needing to be achieving my highest levels of success at every moment. Each life category has it's shining moment at it's own time.
3. Girlfriends are like gold. No one replaces my mama but man have I found lifelong bonds this year! Trusting these girls with my victories and defeats has been incredibly good for my soul.
4. It's okay to cry and just not be okay for a little while. Then we put on our big girl panties and get on with it.
5. To flip that coin, it's really okay to celebrate the crap out of victories big and small!
6. Personal growth sets you free. If I'm not growing how am I getting closer to super woman status?
7. Forgiving doesn't mean they won. It just means that YOU are no longer mad. So much power in that. God handles everything always how it should be.
8. God really shows up! All the time!
9. Fine lines are just a real thing. They are coming in hot and who the heck cares.
10. It's okay to be a little fat and happy now and then! This 34 year old body is pretty okay.
11. Saving money sucks all the time. But having that extra $$ when you need it or want to splurge is heaven!
12. Standing up for yourself and for others matters. If you don't who does?
13. God has a specific plan for me. He knows exactly the woman I am now and who I am to become. He knows the wife and mother I will be and He's got it worked out. Man is that reassuring to not have to worry about that.
14. I cackle when I laugh and it's a lot but it's okay
15. 34 looks good!
Look one is so comfy cozy and perfect for chilly weather while site seeing on vacay or boating! Let's be honest it's pretty cute for grocery shopping too! Love this easy, casual look that reads so classic and nautical. The bright yellow hooded raincoat is such a fun departure for winter neutrals but can be toned down with a classic striped top, black skinny jeans and topped with a grey beanie for cooler days.
Look one is highlighting the trench coat as a layering piece over leather leggings, a simple white tee and a chunky geometric scarf or luxe poncho. This look paired with tan heels is sexy but still uber chic. You could also skip the heels and throw on some comfy tennis shoes (or these and these) to keep the look more casual.
Look two is one of my favorites and just exudes effortless chic! This is a look that Meagan Markle sports a lot! Pair your classic trench with a chambray button up blouse, tucked into stone washed skinny jeans. Top the look off with black booties, black oversized sunglasses and sleek black clutch for cocktails with friends or date night.
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access is here! I've been scooping up great staple peices! I'm always inspired by simple, timeless fashion. I like to find a piece and work a look around that special piece to create multiple looks. I've created this series to help you put together looks all from pieces on major sale right now at Nordstrom!
I love a moto style jacket and find them so versatile. Blush has quickly become a neutral shade and can be paired well with light or darker tones. The feminine color mixed with the edgier style of a moto jacket is the perfect mix of sweet and sassy. I love these two takes on styling a blush pink moto jacket.
We love Fourth of July and always make a point to explore new resorts and experiences each year. This year we tried Monarch Beach Resort having heard such fun things about their Fourth of July festivities.
We checked in on the 3rd and bee lined it for the beach. Beach access is by jumping on a cute little trolley that winds you through the resort to the beach. They have the sweetest set up including loungers, anoraks and The Monarch Bay Club with yummy cocktails and local menu. I had big plans of parking my booty under an umbrella with a glass of rose, but the girls were ready to party.
After getting properly sandy, I snuck away to the spa for a facial. To say I was giddy was a massive understatement!!!! I was welcomed with a Detoxifying Ginger Elixir shot made with lemon and ginger juice, black pepper and raw honey. To follow the ginger shot, I sipped a Soothing Green Elixir made from celery, cucumber, pineapple, apple and kale juice. So refreshing! The Miraval Spa is pretty legit! With full service treatments including Diamond facials and Hydrafacials, massages , yoga and endless fitness classes. It even has a DryBar to keep your tresses looking perfect!
I had a Hydrafacial and it was the dreamiest! I would say one of the most luxurious facial experiences I have ever had! My skin was left decongested and glowing and the scalp massage was beyond divine!
The next day was the fourth and we hit the ground running with pool time! What I loved about the resort is how easy access everything is from morning coffee and healthy snacks at the Part & Parcel market to super attentive pool staff. This mama was so happy! The girls right away made some new friends. We split our time with festive waterslides, snow cones, the pool and endless fun in the kids club. They got crafty with USA Sand art and Patriotic glitter tattoos. That evening we got ourselves cleaned up for a magic show. The kids were mesmerized! After our minds were blown with the magic, we headed up to enjoy a massive, delicious Fourth of July BBQ buffet and fireworks show! There is nothing like sitting under the stars with your people watching fireworks. My heart is so full watching the girl's faces as the fireworks explode.
The next morning, my mom and I tired Aerial Yoga. We were both a little intimidated but have always wanted to try it. How bad could we be right?! We had the best time! The funny thing was that we surprised ourselves with what we could do. Everything is very mind over matter and once we got over the little fear that came we were able to conquer a couple really cool poses and stretches. There was even a handstand involved. So to say we are submitting our applications to Cirque de Solei....game on!
Overall, we had the best trip! The hotel is beautifully styled, has impeccable service, yummy food and a million activities to keep all ages busy and excited! We will definitely be back!