In Praise of Mancation

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Recently, my work became a mancation of sorts, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Picture me rollin’. The dull pain in my head throbbed in time with my vibrating rear view mirror. Lil’ Wayne blurred the asphalt behind me in syncopated rhythm. It was afternoon and I was still burping up the… [Read More]

Practical or Posh: Evil Eye Ring

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In many cultures, an evil eye ring is an amulet, a symbol meant to protect it’s wearer. Whether you believe in the curse of the evil eye or not, these eyes have become a staple fashion trend popping up on all sorts of accessories. Just last week, I showed you a wallet with eyes on it…. [Read More]

Fun Halloween Desserts

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Halloween is just a week away. I searched Pinterest to find totally fun Halloween desserts that I think both kids and adults would love. There are so many cute desserts out there. I’m always so impressed with other bloggers’ creativity and craftsmanship when it comes to fun desserts. Some of the recipes I chose are… [Read More]

My Perfect Lipstick Color

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Last week, I tried out 15 different lipstick shades attempting to find my perfect lipstick color. I asked for reader feedback and many of you left me comments on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and here in the comments section. First, thank you for all of your comments and feedback. Reading your comments and seeing which colors you liked… [Read More]

Halloween Inspired Fashion

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Halloween symbols like spider webs, bats, and black cats are not just for October 31st anymore. Halloween inspires fashion works year round. Last year, I showed some of my favorite Halloween-inspired items, like this baby vamp ring I still want. With this story idea in mind, I set out to find Halloween-inspired fashion that I would… [Read More]

Trend Sight: Long Vest Trend

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One of my favorite fall trends is the long vests I’ve seen from Dior, Givenchy and others. I love the long vest trend because it can be worn so many ways. Buttoned up and worn alone as a pseudo-dress, belted tightly at the waist with long flowing pants, paired with shorts for a fun going-out… [Read More]

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars (Gluten Free, Low Fat)

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I’m a busy mom of two under two and a lot of times it’s a challenge fitting in a proper meal. My husband was out of town recently, and the only time I ate a full meal was when the kids were both napping, which I think happened, like once. During busy times, I sometimes grab… [Read More]

Help Me Find My Perfect Lipstick Color

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Will you please help me find my perfect lipstick color? I recently read this article talking about how women should know which lipsticks work for them by the age 30. Oops. I guess I missed that ‘something you’re supposed to do in your 20’s’ memo. I’m going to be 35 this January and I still… [Read More]

Do Parents of High Needs Babies Harbor Resentment?

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Do parents treat their high needs babies differently when they are older? Do the early years with a difficult baby affect how you see or treat them moving forward? Do parents grow to resent their high needs child? We recently returned from a trip where my parents graciously agreed to watch our two young kids… [Read More]

12 Yummy Nutella Recipes

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I didn’t try Nutella for the first time until about a year ago. Gasp. This is even more shocking because I’m a true peanut butter and chocolate lover. There is no better food flavor combination, in my humble, baked-good-obsessed opinion. The first time I tried Nutella was on a whim, after my husband brought home a jar. He… [Read More]

Trendy Fall Coats Under $300

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With so many trendy fall coats under $300, it’s hard to decided on which style to buy. Whether you’re into capes, military-inspired, mixed media, or robe coats, almost any style goes. If you’re searching for the hottest trend, then you’ll get a robe style coat, which is extra popular this fall. If you like classic, you might… [Read More]

Eye on Etsy Baby Halloween Costumes

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Besides a ripped seam or a missing button, I haven’t sewn anything since I was a teenager. Despite my hesitation, I’ve decided to make Rocco’s Halloween costume this year. I turned to Etsy and DIY blogs for inspiration. Per usual, I was impressed with what I found on Etsy. The selection of Etsy Baby Halloween… [Read More]

Pumpkin Pecan Praline Ice Cream

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The minute October (actually September) hits, it’s pumpkin everything. My Pinterest feed is flooded with pumpkin recipes and pumpkin decorating ideas. I’ve also posted my fair share of pumpkin recipes—pumpkin scones with pumpkin butter, and cranberry pecan pumpkin cookies. I love the flavor of pumpkin foods, especially how the spiciness of the cinnamon, nutmeg and… [Read More]

Three Pays: Pink Pleated Midi Skirt Look

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It’s no secret that I’m a midi skirt fan. Midi skirts are feminine and flirty. Their longer length is more conservative, but midi skirts can easily be made sexy with a crop top or fitted sleeveless blouse and sky-high heels. I love this pink pleated midi skirt look because it is so versatile and shows… [Read More]

Our Free Bahamas Vacation: Part Two

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Yesterday, I posted part 1 of our free Bahamas vacation. I shared my favorite pictures we captured on our journey to Nassau and a few we took while at the resort. The resort was nice, but we wanted to explore the real Nassau—outside of the gated confines of a lux resort. Prior to arriving in Nassau,… [Read More]

Our Free Bahamas Vacation: Part One

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Ya mon! After six sun-filled days on our free Bahamas vacation, we’re home. I already miss the crystal clear turquoise water. My husband won us an all-inclusive trip to the Bahamas last year on the Price is Right. In case you missed my post about it, here’s the video link. Watch closely and you’ll see… [Read More]

Practical or Posh: Wool Military Coats

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Military inspired clothing is a mainstay in the fashion world. Nearly every season, you can find touches of military inspiration. Military styles were all over the spring 2015 runways, but you can get this style now. I love a wool military coats for fall for several reasons. The style is classic, structured, and figure flattering…. [Read More]

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies

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One of my favorite bakeries in Phoenix makes the most delicious apple oatmeal cookies. I love that they use dried apples, so the texture is even chewier than your standard oatmeal cookies. With this cookie in mind, I set out to make my own version. After searching various recipes, I settled on the idea of… [Read More]

New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 Favorites

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New York fashion week spring 2015 ended last week. Although I didn’t attend, I love spending time scrolling through the runway shows and picking out my favorite looks. There are so many different designers and looks that I loved, but these four designers really stood out to me. It also became apparent I have a… [Read More]

Trend Sight: Chunky Knit Sweaters

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You’re thinking, “wow, so original, knits for fall”. But I’m not talking about your favorite go-to cashmere sweater, I’m talking about every kind of knit you can imagine—oversized, with extreme turtle necks, chunky, and with prints. No knit is forgotten this fall, but chunky knit sweaters are definitely a must-have fashion trend. This fall, it’s… [Read More]

Toddler Boy Birthday Party Ideas

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Rocco’s second birthday is next month, so I’ve been tossing around toddler boy birthday party ideas. For his first birthday, we kept it very basic—with the healthy smash cake as the main event. Now that he’s more aware of his surroundings and even says a few words, I want to throw him a party he’ll enjoy. He… [Read More]

No Ice Cream Maker Homemade Ice Cream

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Awhile back, my husband showed me the instructions for no ice cream maker homemade ice cream using ice cube trays and a food processor. It all seemed simple (and ingenious!), so I bought the ingredients to try it for myself. But before I could try the original recipe, we heard about Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Her… [Read More]

Sibling Relationships with a New Baby

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My sweet natured son constantly amazes me. Of course there are many toddler tantrums, when he flings himself to the ground with his crocodile tears streaming down his full cheeks. But what has surprised me the most about his growth and development is his goodness, his sweetness, and how he radiates love, especially the love… [Read More]

Fall Short Boots Under $100

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The thing I look forward to most about fall is getting to break out my boots and light coats. Now that we are back in Phoenix, it may be a few more months before I get to wear my fall short boots. But that’s besides the point. School is back in session, so fall (and… [Read More]

10 Kid Friendly Healthy Afterschool Snacks

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My kids aren’t in school yet, but my toddler son already loves snacks. He especially loves those animal-shaped crackery snacks. Even the the whole grain organic versions I buy are still more processed than I’d like and his snack selection is seriously lacking at this point. He will eat most fruits, an occasional string cheese,… [Read More]

Practical or Posh: Caged Booties

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With two kids under two, I don’t have many opportunities to wear sexy heels, like these black crystal caged booties. When I saw the Sergio Rossi pair, I was drawn to the striking scalloped cutouts encrusted with strass crystals.  The high thin black heel and gold back zip add sexiness to these heels. I think they… [Read More]

Our New Home

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After five years away, we are making our new home in Phoenix (again). I recently realized it is also the only city, (besides my hometown of Green Bay, WI), that feels like home. I’ve lived in 5 states and 9 different cities, most since graduating college 12 years ago. With all that moving, it surprises… [Read More]

Goodbye California

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With sadness and excitement, I say, goodbye California (at least for now). Three years ago, we arrived in Irvine, California, knowing nothing about Orange County, other than what I’d seen on that Housewives show. I expected to find droves of women with pronounced plastic surgery, caked on makeup, fake lashes and expensive (slightly tacky) clothing. I… [Read More]

6 Powder Blush Reviews

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Besides mascara, blush is my other beauty must-have. Even if I don’t have time to do my 5 minute face, I always find time to throw on some mascara and a quick swipe of blush. Blush is a must because it instantly brightens your face. For many years, I’ve been using the same Estée Lauder… [Read More]

Blueberry Pie Bars

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Last week, I found my freezer chock-full of frozen blueberries. The only problem was, we were moving in a few days (more on that later) and I didn’t want them to go to waste. I looked up numerous dessert recipes trying to find one that would use the most berries–since I had four pounds to… [Read More]

Etsy Back to School Finds

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As a kid, I always dreaded the end of summer break, but there was one thing I looked forward to—back to school shopping. School shopping was an event. I loved picking out a brand new trapper keeper, backpack and lunch box for the year. I even loved choosing pencils and markers and all the other little… [Read More]

Crystal Statement Necklace Trend

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By far, my favorite fashion accessory is a crystal statement necklace. Awhile back, I talked about statement necklaces and why they are so versatile. A chunky or shiny or truly eye-catching necklace is still my go-to accessory because it instantly changes the whole vibe of my outfit. I might wear the same black dress every couple… [Read More]

Eight Fancy Lemonade Recipes

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I’ve mentioned my obsession with all things lemon before. During both of my pregnancies, I craved lemonade, which is odd since it’s not a drink I usually choose. Sure, it’s yummy, but I would almost always order an ice tea or diet coke over a lemonade. But while I was pregnant, I drooled over that… [Read More]

Metallic Handbags Under $300

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Metallics were everywhere on the spring/summer 2014 runways, such as Saint Laurent. Earlier this spring, I shared a gorgeous Saint Laurent gold metallic futuristic dresses in my Oscars fashion post that I would love to own. But if all-over metallic is too much for you, don’t lose hope. If you don’t want to wear the metallic trend in your… [Read More]

Cauliflower Cheddar Cakes

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I don’t like giving up my bread and baked goods, but I’ve found a low-carb diet is the most effective way for me to lose my baby weight. When you think low-carb, what comes to mind? Eating triple cheese burgers with piles of bacon in a lettuce cup. No, I’m not eating that. I’m usually eating… [Read More]

Three Pays: Black and White Floral Print Dress

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When I saw this look, I fell for the classic black and white floral print dress. Black and white is timeless, and as long as the floral print is fairly simple, this dress style could last for years. Both black and white and floral prints are very popular this year, but I like that both… [Read More]

Dealing with Toddler Tantrums

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Rocco is at an age where he is constantly trying to assert his independence. Jade and I nurture his independence through free-play and letting him explore as much as we can. Despite our best attempts, there is at least one daily battle, usually more, because we won’t let him get his way. The primary tantrum-inducing… [Read More]

Extend the Life of a Haircut and Hair Color

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About four months ago, I got my hair cut and colored by the best stylist I’ve found in Orange County so far. And as the adage goes, you get what you pay for. It was a great haircut and hair color job that I really loved. But here’s the thing – I just can’t stomach the cost… [Read More]

9 Must-Try Milk Chocolate Recipes

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In honor of today, National Milk Chocolate Day, I started searching Pinterest for interesting milk chocolate recipes. Surprisingly, a lot of recipes don’t specify milk chocolate in their titles. It seems a lot more recipes use bittersweet or baker’s chocolate. I did find a lot of s’mores recipes that use milk chocolate. But for this… [Read More]

Flower Inspired Fashion

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For one of my first fashion posts, I used flowers as inspiration to create a fashion collage (part 1, part 2). Even after a year of posting, we liked the idea so much, we wanted to repeat it again this summer. Yesterday, I featured some of my favorite Southern California flowers. With these flowers in mind, I created three… [Read More]

Southern California Flowers

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There are a lot of things I love about Southern California — access to gorgeous beaches, great shopping, the most amazing farmer’s markets and fresh produce. But the thing I’m reminded of most often is how gorgeous the flora is here. I officially love Southern California flowers. If you follow me on Instagram, you know… [Read More]

Three Melon Salad with Basil

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My favorite summer fruit is watermelon, no contest. I remember being a kid and getting so excited when my mom would cut up slices of watermelon for a snack on those hot and humid Wisconsin summer days. While perusing Yummly the other day, I happened upon a cantaloupe salad served in it’s own rind bowl. “What a cute idea,… [Read More]

Dainty and Delicate Jewelry

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I’m sure you’ve seen the ring stacking trend that’s been popular since last spring. I think stacked rings might be a little overdone at this point, but what I love about the trend is taking those delicate rings and wearing them alone. Delicate jewelry is definitely on trend this summer. Refinery 29 says this trend promises the… [Read More]

Trend Sight: Stripes and Florals Together

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I think I might have found my new favorite 2014 trend, stripes and florals together. I was chatting with my sister on the phone while she waited for her airplane to arrive at SFO. She said, “you should talk about stripes on the blog, they are everywhere. It’s like every woman at the airport is wearing stripes.”  It’s… [Read More]

Rocco’s Day at the Petting Zoo

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Last weekend, our local Orange County Wisconsin Alumni Chapter hosted a day at Zoomar’s petting zoo in San Juan Capistrano. Jade and I haven’t attended any alumni events since Rocco was born. We also haven’t ventured out of the house with both kids, other than a quick trip to the farmer’s market or a walk… [Read More]

Caprese Tart with Heirloom Tomatoes

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We visit the farmer’s market nearly every Saturday. This past weekend, what stood out the most were brightly colored heirloom tomatoes. Jade always gives me a hard time because I’m Italian, but not really a tomato person. More accurately, I don’t like raw tomatoes that much—except for cherry tomatoes. Many of the farmers’ tables were overflowing with… [Read More]

How We Dealt with Infant Colic

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Colic is Satan incarnate. “She won’t stop crying. I seriously can’t take this anymore. Will this ever stop? Is something wrong with her? Is she ever going to be a normal baby?” I repeated to myself, tears rolling down my cheeks, every day for two months straight. This is life with a baby who has… [Read More]

Practical or Posh: Black and White Heels

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Probably my current favorite fashion trend is the black and white trend (seriously, here, here). I love it because it really is timeless and classic. Black and white clothing, even with patterns or prints, can be worn for many seasons. The combination of black and white is also a neutral, so it works well with almost anything… [Read More]

12 Delicious S’mores Dessert Recipes

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One of my favorite parts of summers as a kid were trips to my friends’ cottages in northern Wisconsin and vacations at my grandparent’s lake house in upper Michigan. I loved everything about it (well, except the mosquitoes). Trips to the lake meant boating, swimming, walks on the beach, sandcastles, bonfires, and grilling out. And… [Read More]

5 Summer Sunglasses Styles for Women

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Summer sunglasses are a must. I lived in Arizona for six years and I learned first-hand just how important it is to wear quality sunglasses. If you’ve been to Arizona, you know that sunglasses are a non-negotiable with that blindingly bright sun most of the year. Now that it’s summer for the rest of the… [Read More]

Happy 4th of July!

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This Fourth of July weekend, I’ll be chasing this little guy around, spending some time at the pool with friends, grilling out, and playing with sparklers. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend. Happy 4th of July!