Thursday, March 31, 2011

Must Haves: TRAVEL GEAR FOR KIDS (and tips too!)

With Spring break and summer travel soon approaching, it's time to talk travel. I like to think I'm a seasoned veteran on the subject being that we've traveled for months on end with my 'lil guy since 3 weeks old. Only time will tell if I'm as ambitious with two in tow. In addition to mentally preparing for any trip, it's important to have appropriate gear to make the trip as headache free as possible. Who am I kidding - is there such a thing??

1) CARES If you're not into bringing the carseat on the plane (me!), then the CARES Safety Restraint ($69) is a genius alternative to give your little ones that extra protection. The Cares Restraint is the only FAA-approved and adjustable child restrain harness other than a car seat, and can be used for toddlers over 22 pounds.

2) GoGo Kidz Travelmate
Back in December I blogged about this already but if you prefer to take your carseat on the plane but don't want to lug around both the carseat AND your stroller, this is the perfect solution from GoGo Kidz ($80).
3) Tag*A*Long or some type of Backpack Leash

For those with multiple children to keep in check, use the Tag*A*Long for long and often-hectic airport walks. Or keep a tight grip on an adventurous toddler with a backpack leash. Tip: Play a game with your kids as you are walking to keep them holding on. One to try - Explain to them that every time they let go of the Tag*A*Long, it is one less minute they get to watch their movie.

4) Trunki
The Trunki ($39.99) is another option for long airport walks. The kids will love the Trunki — which is a carry-on-size suitcase that they can ride on too!

5) Nook Color If you don't have an iPad, you might want to consider the Nook Color ($299.99) to upload all your children's favorite books. The Nook Color is a hybrid between an e-reader and a multi-functioning tablet like the iPad and will keep them entertained for hours.

6) Portable DVD Player
A portable DVD player (like this 7-inch Philips for $69) and fun headphones ($17) are a lifesaver assuming you allow your children to watch videos. Tip: Target has some great DVD's for $5.00. Before the trip, go buy one and wrap it in gift paper so they extra excited to watch their new/special movie!

7) iPhone/iPad Apps Ask your other mommy friends and get your iPhone loaded up on kid-friendly apps before you take off. A favorite: Where's Waldo. If you’re taking along your iPad, make sure to download the ColorStudio HD app. The magic color book won't have you searching for lost color crayons under the seat and will keep the little ones busy.

8) Non-electronic distractions - aka toys

Yes, in 2011, there are still non-electronic travel toy options that will entertain your children — such as the FeltTales storyboards ($19.95) and airplane/car travel trays ($24.99). Tip: Go to the Dollar Store and pick up five small toys (matchbox cars, books, dolls, animals, etc) and wrap them in gift paper. Throughout the flight, randomly take out a new "present" they get to open. Make sure to tape them well so it eats up time on the flight. Let them play with them for a bit. When they get bored of that toy, pull out another.
9) Munchies Lots of them!! Who cares if your child already had breakfast or just had lunch, food is a distraction and it will buy you TIME. There are so many portable food options - puffs, yogurt bites, fruit and veggie pouches - that it makes packing the diaper bag super easy. Tip: Once you are asked to shut down your electronics for your descent, give the kids a Tootsie Roll Pop. They are big enough to entertain them for the entire 20-30 minutes left in the flight. Happy Travels!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Super Simple Meal in Minutes: TORTILLA PIZZAS

Piggybacking on yesterday's Splurge vs. Steal post on tortillas, I thought this recipe was fitting. I get asked all the time for easy, quick, kid-friendly dinner ideas. Sadly I'm not a good resource since I don't steer too far from our signature re-occurring meals; tacos, stir-fry, enchiladas, chicken and broccoli, spaghetti, sloppy joes, turkey meat loaf. Nothing fancy. I'm all about - if it works, why mess up a good thing. As much as I like routine though, I find myself bored even of our favorites. Thanks to my girlfriend Lori, these tasty personal tortilla pizzas have become a staple in our weekly dinner line-up. In addition to being super easy, they are low fat, inexpensive and take 15 minutes from start to table top.

Flour tortillas
Pizza sauce
8 oz. bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Toppings of choice

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Spread spoonful of pizza sauce on top of tortilla
3) Layer desired amount of cheese on top
4) Decorate with desired toppings
5) If desired, sprinkle additional layer of cheese
6) Heat for 8-10 minutes

The Dawsons are Hawaiian pizza lovers so my shopping list consists of: (Prices from Target)

"Romero's" Flour Tortillas ($2.14)
Jar of "Ragu" Pizza Sauce ($.92)
"Market Pantry" (Target Generic) Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese ($1.80)
"Del Monte" Pineapple Tidbits ($1.62)
Cooked Ham slice ($1.59)

Total for all ingredients=$8.07. With one 8 oz. packet of shredded cheese, I estimate you could make 4 pizzas (assuming you only do one layer of cheese). Total for one pizza=$2.02. Gotta love that!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Splurge vs. Steal: TORTILLAS

I've become a pretty religious Target grocery shopper as of late. The convenience of a one stop shop is pretty flippin' nice. I'm so stoked about this super steal I happen to fall upon this week, that I thought I would share with y'all.

A staple item on my grocery list is flour tortillas. Yes, flour. Not wheat. Shame on us, I know. Chase loves quesadillas for lunch, we eat tacos on a weekly basis and my husband eats them plain, straight out of the bag for a snack. We go through a lot of tortillas. And every time I reach for the "Mission" brand bag, I cringe. For a 10 pack of the Mission 'Carb Balance' Soft Taco tortillas at our local Vons/Safeway they are expensive at $6.19. Target's Mission price is a little better at $4.99 but it still doesn't sit well with me.

Bummed that Target was out of our Mission 'Carb Balance' favorites and knowing I couldn't go home empty-handed, I searched through the shelf of options. Dissecting the nutritional facts on the back of each, I stumbled upon "Romero's" Soft Taco flour tortillas.

Shockingly they were only $2.14 for a value pack of 16 tortillas. What a STEAL!!!

Initially hesitant that they wouldn't taste as good as the Mission brand, I was quickly proven wrong. No difference in taste or texture. AND 23 calories and 1.5 grams of fat less!

The moral of the story if you want some super steals: 1) grocery shop at Target and 2) buy Romero's tortillas!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Alright confession time.

I'm obsessed with scraping my tongue. Wait. What you ask???

You know, the step that takes place after you get done brushing your teeth to scrap off the filthy, furry layer of left over bacteria on the back of your tongue?

I know you were hoping for more but that's me. I'm not obsessed with nice cars. I'm not obsessed with fancy jewelry. I'm obsessed with good hygiene. It comes with being OCD and the fact that my family growing up had very sensitive noses to foul odors. Getting out the door past my mom or dad with bad breath was near impossible. Hence the obsession (or complex -whatever you want to call it) with my tongue scraper.

For those of you that don't see the benefit of a tongue scraper, let's talk Dentistry 101: According to Wikipedia, "the most common location for mouth-related halitosis is the tongue. Tongue bacteria produce malodorous compounds and fatty acids, and account for 80-90% of all cases of mouth-related bad breath. Large quantities of naturally-occurring bacteria are often found on the posterior dorsum of the tongue, where they are relatively undisturbed by normal activity. This part of the tongue is relatively dry and poorly cleansed, and bacterial populations can thrive on remnants of food deposits, dead epithelial cells, and postnasal drip. When left on the tongue, the anaerobic respiration of such bacteria can yield the "rotten egg" smell of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) such as hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, Allyl methyl sulfide, and dimethyl sulfide.

According to Wikipedia, Dr. Oz and numerous other clinical studies, religiously cleaning the tongue is the best way to obtain the freshest breath possible. Methods used against bad breath, such as mints, mouth sprays, mouthwash or gum, may only temporarily mask the odors created by the bacteria on the tongue, but cannot cure bad breath because they do not remove the source of the bad breath. In order to prevent the production of the sulfur-containing compounds mentioned above, the bacteria on the tongue must be removed, as must the decaying food debris present on the rear areas of the tongue. Doesn't all that make you want to rush out and buy yourself a tongue cleaner? Thought so. Most all drugstores carry them. I personally like the $3.00 DenTek's Tongue Cleaner. It only takes 30 seconds, 2 times a day to do the job.

Instructions: Extend your tongue. Place the Tongue Cleaner on the back of your tongue and pull forward, skimming the surface of your tongue. Rinse the Tongue Cleaner with warm water and repeat as necessary. If bad breath persists, consult your dentist. For Best Results: Like your toothbrush, you should replace your tongue cleaner every 3 months.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Calling all coffee lovers!! Unfortunately I've never tried this recipe before but after reading Sally from My Homemade Life rave about it, I figured it was worthy enough to share. Besides, who doesn't love coffee AND chocolate combined!?!

~Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins~

Makes 24 mini muffins
2 individual packages of Starbucks Via Instant Coffee Italian Roast Extra Bold
1/2 c. warm milk
1/4 c. melted margarine ( 1/2 stick )
1 whole egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
1 Mini Muffin Tin (She prefers to use the mini muffin tin instead of the regular cupcake tin but it's whatever your heart desires)

IMPORTANT:She is all about using the Starbucks Via Instant Coffee (Italian Roast Extra Bold) flavor. It's super easy to find being that there's a Starbucks on every corner! Even check your local grocery store. I know most of them are now carrying Starbuck's roasts.


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Either in Kitchen Aid mixer or large bowl, combine and mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together.

3) Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients (this is where we are going to dump all the wet ingredients when we're ready).

4) In small microwaveable bowl, pour 1/2 c. milk and heat in micro for 50 seconds.

5) In another small microwaveable bow, place your 1/2 stick butter and melt for 30 seconds.

6) Take your two packets of Via Instant Coffee, cut off the tops and pour into the heated milk.

7) Mix the milk and the coffee really well with a spoon, mashing all the little particles on the side of the bowl to ensure its incorporated really well into the milk.

8) Crack open the egg, and put into the "well" of the dry goods followed by the melted butter and coffee/milk mixture. Blend everything together really well.

9) Gently fold in the chocolate chips into the batter.

10) Spray muffin tins with Non-stick spray.

11) Fill tins 3/4 full and bake in 35o degree oven for 8 minutes.

I hope this ends your weekend on a sweet note! xo

Friday, March 25, 2011


Hands down I'm a cocktail girl. First choice would be a mojito but I do also love me a killer margarita. Thanks to my aging metabolism however, I can't justify those tasty 800 calories that high five my liver on their way to my bootah. {Tear}. Dave and I always wonder if, or when, we'll hit that sophisticated milestone and make the switch from cocktails to wine. Prior to last Saturday night, I wasn't too optimistic BUT thanks to some great friends, we were introduced to Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages 2009. This particular bottle has me second guessing the whole wine thing. It's light, yet flavorful with enticing aromas of raspberry, cherry pie, strawberries and smoky herbs. In my opinion (along with the rest of the table) this Beaujolais is very drinkable. It was the first time in a very long time that I wasn't forcing the wine down my throat and puckering at a bitter aftertaste. Cheers to Tracy for tickling my fancy!
You may have to hunt a little for this wine but I know you can find it at BevMo for $12-14. Or check If you don't want to break the bank but want to impress people that you like or "know" French wine, have a bottle of Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages on hand.

For all you wine connoisseurs; here's a little more background of the wine -- Maison Louis Jadot is one of the oldest and most respected producers of Burgundy (Pinot Noir) wine in France. Founded by Louis Henry Denis Jadot in 1859, the Louis Jadot name has become synonymous with fine quality (and expensive French Burgundies), but also with inexpensive, lighter varietals for us working-class folk.

The Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages is not technically a Burgundy (and so not Pinot Noir). While Jadot is know mostly for their Burgundies, this wine comes from the Beaujolais region in France. Wines from this area are made mostly from the Gamay grape, a hearty varietal with thick skin, yet low tannins causing very little bitter aftertaste.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

ORGANIZE IT: Week in advance

This doesn't work for me just yet but you better believe I am going to implement this when my kid's are in school. I got this genius idea from a one of my mommy-mentors (thanks Krista!) that struggled with getting two boys out the door in the morning on time.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Trying to get the boys, who more often than not woke up on the wrong side of the bed, outfitted in proper attire without a raging outbreak. Trying to rationalize with a four year old who doesn't understand why he can't wear his bathing suit, rain boots and Batman t-shirt is a sure-fire stress builder. What should be a 30 second conversation turns into a 30 minute battle for control. And I'm sure it's even worse with little girls. Eek.

Due to all the lost time of calming them down, getting them dressed, teeth brushed, and hair combed, they were constantly in a rush against the clock. Which always resulted in forgetting something; library book, cleats for practice. Eating breakfast in the car. Not remembering to grab their lunch off the counter.

SOLUTION: A WEEKLY CLOTHES/ACTIVITY ORGANIZER. On Sunday night, they first look at the weather report for the upcoming week and together decide on an outfit for each day of the week. This includes underwear, socks, shoes - the entire outfit from head to toe - so Krista could rest assured knowing they could get ready without her help. They fold the outfit and place in each day's cube; Monday at top, Friday at the bottom right. Then they go through the week's activities. If on Monday, library books are due, they will place the library book in the top Monday left cube. If Tues is soccer practice, they pick out a practice outfit and cleats and place in the Tues left cube.

This takes some serious organization on Sunday night on the mom's part but I can guarantee it will eliminate the morning madness, saving you time and frustration. You can find this handy contraption at Target for $17.99. Another option is the single row organizer with labels. I personally like the idea of keeping activities separate from the school clothes - seems to be more organized that just stuffing everything into one.

What are some sanity/time savers that work wonders for you?? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Question: How do I remove stubborn spots on my shower door?

In a conversation with a girlfriend the other day, she expressed her frustration and inability to remove the stubborn soap scum on her glass shower door. She asked if I had any helpful hints that might put an end to the battle. The answer? But of course.

Over my years of cleaning, I've spend oodles of money testing out a million and one products; CLR, Scrubbing Bubbles, Kaboom, Tilex, Clorox, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. You name it, I've tried it. Because the shower area is constantly subjected to heat, humidity, and shower residue, it unfortunately forms a tricky build-up of soap residue, body oils, dirt, and calcified mineral residue from bath water. If the buildup is caught early and you are religiously using a squeegee, then most any product will work to cut through the film. But for those more serious build-ups like Jen was referring to, I have three products that are sure to help dislodge and remove even the hardest soap scum deposits:

1) Soft Scrub: Listen to me carefully - ONLY BUY THE LEMON SCENTED, NON-BLEACH Soft Scrub. I've tried the others. They do not work like the Lemon Scent does. Weird I know but trust me. It works best if you rub on with non-abrasive hard-bristled brush (one that’s plastic, not metal, so that the glass is not damaged) and let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing off. 2) Fabric Softener Sheets: Yes you heard me. Fabric Soften Sheets like you put in your clothes dryer. These are a secret weapon when it comes to cleaning the shower. Supposedly the sheets contain ingredients in them that are formulated to soften water deposits. To try it out -- get the door wet, scrub the glass with a brush to loosen deposits and then wipe with a sheet. Rinse immediately after.
3) Mixture of white vinegar and baking soda: If you want a natural, DIY home remedy, white vinegar has immense cleaning power, and it’s especially useful when it comes to soap scum. Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the entire shower door. (Opening the windows first and turning on the fan!) Allow the vinegar to sit on the shower door for 15 minutes. Then pour baking soda on a non-abrasive scrubber and rub over stains in a circular motion on the shower door. The vinegar loosens hardened soap scum, allowing the baking soda to remove the stains entirely. Rinse the vinegar and baking soda from the shower doors with a sponge and cold water. Wipe the shower doors dry with a towel to reduce the chance of water scale stains.

Some suggestions in preventing future hard water and soap deposits from building up:

◦Use a squeegee after EVERY shower.
◦Wipe shower doors dry of all water after each use.
◦Use liquid soap or shower gel instead of bar soap.
◦Use glycerin based soap if a bar soap is preferred.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Splurge vs. Steal: EYE MAKEUP REMOVER

A few months back I was getting ready with a girlfriend in Mexico who after a long day of lounging by the swimming pool, looked like a raccoon. She busted out a tissue paper and some Vaseline (yes, straight ol' Petroleum jelly) and wiped away her eye makeup within minutes. It was definitely a "you learn something new everyday" moment. She inspired me to do a follow up post on the best eye makeup remover.

I have never personally used the Vaseline trick but I witnessed first hand just how effective it was and for CHEAP. What I love about her is she loves frugal favorites - ie; inexpensive miracle workers - just as much as I do. If you want to go the uber inexpensive route, you can get a large 13 oz. generic "Up & Up" container of petroleum jelly at Target for a few bucks that will last you months. Anything with an oil-base will work really.

If the oily gig isn't for you, you must try my all-time favorite - Almays Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads. Hands down a STEAL. I've been using them for years and they work wonders. They do make a liquid remover but I'm a big fan of the pads. I found this study done by Good Housekeeping magazine's research team which makes me believe I might know a little more about beauty than I give myself credit for --

The Good Housekeeping Research Institute tested both waterproof mascaras and eye makeup removers and found a winning duo that will keep your beauty routine short and smudge free.

After testing 12 waterproof mascaras in their labs, and found the winner to be none other than my favorite MAYBELLINE'S GREAT LASH WATERPROOF MASCARA. Ahem, told ya so. By the way, if you didn't read the mascara post and aren't using the primer by now, shame on you.

But what's the best way to get it off??

After using the Maybelline Great Lash, Good Housekeeping tested nine eye makeup remover pads and wipes. In the lab, analysts measured how much mascara came off one eye in 30 seconds of wiping. Testers were then timed as they removed mascara from the other eye. The number of pads they used were tallied.

And the WINNER? Almay's Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover Pads ($6.50; Drugstores). Panelists averaged 31 seconds for removal (the fastest time) at the second lowest cost - 15 cents per eye. Whether it's the 'moisturizing' pads or the 'oil-free' pads, the point is - Almay is the brand you should be using.

After the validation of this survey, I would hope that you wouldn't waste your money splurging on a 4.2 oz bottle of Christian Dior's Duo-Phase Eye Makeup Remover for $25.00. Might as well toss dollar bills down the toilet. Even Sephora's pads are a bit pricey. $9.00 doesn't seem like a lot at first grab but make sure to check the quantity. Sephora contains 30 pads compared to Almay's 120 pads.

And if you run out and are in a pinch, you can always mix 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil with 1 tablespoon of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil to remove eyeshadow or if you need to get stubborn mascara off, mix 2 tablespoons Olive Oil with 1 tablespoon of Baby Oil.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I received a forward last week from none other than my father, the King of forwards. Knowing how I feel about forwards, he's very selective on which ones he sends me. The ones he does send however are usually ones with "life lessons" or something profound that he wants his children to hear. So I read them hoping to be inspired. The one I received last week outlined 11 "common sense" rules that kids will not learn in school that were supposedly voiced to high school students during a commencement speech given by Microsoft's CEO, Bill Gates.

After doing a little research on and, I quickly learned however that the rules were neither written nor spoken by Bill Gates and they did not originate as a high school speech. As happens with alarming frequency online, a text written by one person came to be falsely attributed to another, and thanks to ceaseless repetition the attribution stuck and became accepted as fact.

The current incarnation of these rules in fact is a somewhat abridged version of an original piece that was penned by author Charles J. Sykes. The full version was printed in the San Diego Union Tribune on September 19, 1996 and in a number of other publications since then. Sykes is the author of "Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good about Themselves, but Can't Read, Write, or Add.", "50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School", and several other books.
Regardless of who said/wrote them, there's no denying that the truths in this email are pretty spot on. Bottom line according to Charles J. Sykes - the feel good, politically correct teachings in schools has created generations of kids with no concept of reality and this concept sets them up for failure in the real world. To anyone with kids of any age, here's a much needed dose of realism for our youth:

RULE 1: Life is not fair - get used to it.

RULE 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with car phone, until you earn both.

RULE 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

RULE 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping -- they called it Opportunity.

RULE 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

RULE 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

RULE 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

RULE 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

RULE 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Hoping you have a productive week ahead!

DEAL ALERT: Wahoo's Fish Tacos

Attention all my peeps in ORANGE COUNTY, CA!!! Today - MONDAY 3/21 - Plum District's awesome PLUM STEAL is $5 for a $10 Wahoo's Fish Taco Gift Card! There are limited quantities available so make sure you scarf up the deal pronto!! The deal is good at any OC Wahoo's location.

To redeem, click on the link -

I know I'll be getting mine. Don't miss out!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Smoothies are big hit in our house - especially when the after-dinner sweet tooth arrives mid-way through American Idol. I usually will improvise with whatever I have on hand but the basics of the smoothie is always pretty consistent; ice, milk, fruit and a packet of Splenda. My evening smoothies aren't intended to do much more than satisfy my sweet tooth without packing a ton of calories although they do offer a healthy amount of vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber to my diet.

One night my husband wanted to get creative so we looked up the Orange Julius smoothie recipe. Although a little more caloric because of the orange juice concentrate over my usual fresh fruit alternative, this smoothie was a refreshing change up.


6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup milk - your choice
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute equivalent) – less or more depending on sweetness preference
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
10-20 ice cubes - depending on the consistency you prefer

*Optional: 2 tablespoons of vanilla yogurt, 1 tablespoon protein powder, flax seed, other greens

Blend everything in a blender for 30-45 seconds until frothy. Pour into a glass.

I hope this ends your weekend on a sweet note! xo

Friday, March 18, 2011


With the blooming flowers and newly cut grass, I love the fresh, fragrant and floral feel of Springtime. With this new season upon us, I figured it was time to purchase a new lotion scent to mimic the happy-go-lucky days ahead. In my teenage years, I would have bee-lined straight to Bath and Body Works to stock up on their Buy 2, Get 1 free deal of their signature scent "Plumeria." Didn't every young girl!?! Fast forward 18 years and the thought of that smell makes me want to barf. No offense to anyone who still rocks the "I can smell you from a mile away" Plumeria scent.

During my weekly Target run I swung by the lotion aisle, tested out a few but walked out empty handed. My next stop - Planet Beauty. As I stood in line waiting to purchase some hair product, I pumped the tester bottle of Hempz Herbal Moisturizing Lotion's newest scent - POMEGRANATE. O-K. Done deal. The smell is delicious. I've been using the Original Hempz lotion scent for years but this was a step above and the Spring scent I was on the hunt for. And that is what tickled my fancy this week!!

If you are unfamiliar with Hempz's products, I highly encourage you to try them out. They are super hydrating without leaving your skin feeling greasy. The 17 oz bottle will run you about $20 but a little goes a long way. You will stay soft and smelling yummy for over 12 hours. Hempz carries a complete line of products that utilize the natural benefits of Pure Organic Hemp Seed Oil to nourish, moisturize, protect and condition the skin. Each formula contains Antioxidants, Key Amino Acids, several Vitamins, Minerals and Botanical Extracts to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps heal and renew skin. Hemp Seed Oil is nature’s best source of Essential Fatty Acids perfectly balanced for optimum human absorption. All Hempz products are Paraben Free, Gluten Free, THC-Drug Free and 100% Vegan.

Curious where to find Hempz products? Click here to find a salon nearest you that carries it or pop into your local Planet Beauty store. Make sure you sign up for the free Plant Beauty preferred customer discount so you get your continual 20% off every time you make a purchase.

Anything tickle your fancy this week? I'd love to hear!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ORGANIZE IT: Knick-knacks

There's nothing that sings to my soul more than a multi-functional organizational item that provides instant storage and is uber adorable to boot. Insert: the ASKER CONTAINERS from Ikea. This inexpensive, practical godsend was originally intended to save space on the kitchen counter by storing kitchen utensils. As a modern alternative to the utensil jar, I am a fan. But I'm even more of a fan because of their endless possibilities.

Although I see these most used to organize an office or craft room, I could see them working just about anywhere, for anything, from holding nuts and bolts in the garage to corralling beauty supplies in a bathroom. Below are a few inspirational photos to get your juices flowing on how and where you can use these as an organizational tool or design piece in your home.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring's IT colors

Now that we've set our clocks forward, it's time to talk SPRING. Despite your dreary skies and frigid temperatures, warmer weather is on it's way. Promise. If you just simply can't wait and have an itch to start buying now, here's a sneak peek at the top five Spring 2011's juiciest must-have hues that are sure to cure the gloomiest of winter blues.

Hands down the "it" color for Spring!! This citrus-y hue is sure to make a bright and bold impact. Unfortunately orange can be hard to wear but there's a way for every woman to wear it, no matter how scary it sounds...

The key is to find the one shade that really flatters you. Like yellow (also a hot color trend right now), orange looks the best on warm skin tones with peach or pink undertones. If you've got olive skin you should find a hue that's either muted, like a rusty orange, or has some pink in it, like a salmon or coral.

If you've got a very cool complexion that rejects orange's appeal, you'll want to avoid wearing it close to your face and choose accessories, like a belt or a pair of shoes instead. And if you've got the right skin tone but you're still a little afraid, start by wearing a print that has some orange in it or a tangerine-colored camisole under something. If all other attempts fail, take it to the beach. A pair of bright flip flops, a straw tote, or a bikini top can't possibly look out of place there.

One more word of warning: If you're going to do the orange dress thing, accessorizing can be tricky. Nude looks too similar and hence like you're trying to get it to match, and neither black or brown is at all an appropriate match. Your best bet - go for the GOLD!

If you keep up with color trends, you’ll know that honeysuckle is 2011′s “it” color (a bright, almost reddish hue) was voted the color of the year by Pantone. The rich pink shade is both girly and sweet and works as a great base for many different looks. For example, you can pair the color with orange or yellow and wear multiple brights together or keep your look classic by pairing a pink top with denim or khakis. The possibilities are endless, so invest in a new pink item (or two!) for spring.
Is there any color out there cheerier than yellow? This spring, stores will be carrying a range of yellow-colored clothing and accessories, in shades ranging from deep marigolds to soft, buttery hues. Yellow is often a tough shade for many women to pull off, but given the extremes it went to for spring, we're willing to go there, despite the risks.
4) TROPICAL BLUE Truth be told, nothing gets more classic than blue. Think vibrant aqua, dusty sky blue and even rich navy (my latest obsession!!!) If you just can’t wait for spring break, you can get the feeling of a tropical island by wearing an item in this gorgeous blue shade. Just like pink, blue is another versatile color that will translate into many different looks. Be sure to pair it with white to give off that ultimate springtime-y feel.

If you want a change from all the bright springtime hues, muted lavender will also be a popular springtime shade worth trying. This dreamy and soft shade is a cross between purple and gray and adds a sophisticated vibe to any wardrobe. You could even use some lavender eyeshadow to spice up your basic smokey eye.
And if you're wondering...Yes, white is pretty much always a big color for spring and summer. Going well beyond your go-to white trousers and bundle of white tank-tops, crisp, head-to-toe white is a designer favorite.