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starting clean in the new year

January 27, 2017

Happy New Year!  Many of my friends have said they like January for the reset option it gives us. I agree! I also like to clear out my closet, my pantry, my freezer, etc! In my quest for all things organized again, here are some of my recent clean favorites.


Clean skin- (and no, this isn’t me! I would never have the guts to share pictures of me like this! But good for this girl Laura who I found when I researched “Before and After with Rodan + Fields”)

Rodan + Fields Reverse – I’m not sure about you all, but Proactiv was my life saver in high school and college. I just saw it at Target the other day and bought my oldest a set of it. It WORKED for me! The creators of Proactiv are now Rodan + Fields and my friend, Christine,  started posting before and after pictures from their products which peaked my interest. I decided to try it this fall and really like some things about it—

1. It tells you exactly what to do every night- this is meaningful to me because I truly have no clue what products I should be using and in what sequence. I have bought all the good stuff but always wonder- Is this right to put on if I already put on — ??? Or, even more- I have like 15 bottles of things and no idea what is good or not. So, I like just sticking to MY regimen.

2. It smells good. This is legit as some of the stuff I have been willing to put on my face… did not.

3. My skin is really clear.  I am not having breakouts and feel like it’s gentle and moisturizing which is key when I live out west!

4. This product lasted a long time! I just had to reorder this month- for the first time since October.

If you want to check out Rodan + Fields, click here. You can take a questionnaire to see what’s the best regimen for your skin. I also am using LASHBOOST– and it’s no joke! My lashes are long! I keep it by my toothbrush so I never forget! (I am not making any money off any orders- I am just passing it along so you all know what I like!)

Clean home-

Dyson v8 cord -free vacuum

Okay- legitimately could sing from my roof about this vacuum. I have never had a Dyson and always felt like I’d be paying up for the name. BUT, I visited my sister in Louisville this month and she had one for her hardwoods and I offered to clean them for her- to which I was introduced to the DYSON. I have hardwoods on my entire first floor and have tried the (totally useless) Dustbuster to the broom and pan, to my huge vacuum and this cord less was a game changer. First off- I now believe cords are so 2016. Second, this vacuum is 6 pounds which means my 5 year old can do the whole first floor on her own! Hallelujah. Personally a V6 would have done the job too, but the V8 has a longer charge and I decided it’s not something I will be buying soon so I paid up. I was encouraged to buy at Costco since they have such a flexible return policy if I needed a replacement so I did. As evidence how much I like this vacuum, I happily allowed two of my kids to play with kinetic sand on our kitchen table as I knew I had the Dyson to suck all of it up! (If you allow your kids to play with kinetic sand, you know what I mean.)

Clean Sink-

Scrigit Scraper– I saw this in Real Simple mag and ordered online. It’s one of those tools everyone needs as we all get gunk around faucets, sinks, etc. This tool addresses that stuff! And it’s cheap, so there’s that.

That’s all for today-  I love hearing from you all about your favorites so please share by email or leave a comment! thanks.


i can’t help but add more to the 2016 gift list

December 14, 2016

barefootA couple more gift ideas-

Boon Pipes– I think we are just aging out of these but love these for little kids and bath time!

Pool-Pets– Reading the reviews of these and I think they sound incredible! No more looking for a compressor for me! The first kid who brings one of these to our neighborhood pool may start a domino affect.

Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardigan– A friend wore this which prompted me to buy one, and then I ordered another as a gift for my mother-in-law! SOOOO soft and many good colors to choose.

FitBit Blaze– I wear mine everyday and I love it. Many people assume it’s a Apple Watch but it’s not- although you do receive text messages and a vibration when your phone rings. I love it!! Plus it makes me very aware of my step count everyday. There really isn’t a downside.

Finally- a gift for any age! And extra charge cord- love how this is longer and stronger (and frankly, cuter) than the ones Apple provides. Charge Cords.

Merry Merry!



2016 gift time

November 29, 2016

legoadventHey friends- throwing together some of my favorite gifts to give AND some of my favorite bloggers lists- so this could be a big one.

Stocking stuffers-

Popsockets– maybe I was the last to know about these, but both my boys just spent their own money on these as they didn’t want to wait for Christmas. At $10, these are a great gift for tweens and adults! NPW Sound Machine, Starbucks gift cards , Misting fansAloha Orchid Soap (I am crazy for this smell), Rocket Balloon and pump (this is crazy fun for kids), goggles, and more googles.

For your inlaws and parents- Chatbooks– this is can be done on your phone or computer- so fast for me- I loved it and I think the price is right. Here is a free book if you want to try one.

As for my boys this year, it is all tech. Playstation, Go Pro and anything Apple. The upside of this is I buy fewer things and know that I have nailed it.

My daughter is so easy. She likes it all. I did nab a Hatchimal before the scarcity hit and I feel lucky about it as she wants one VERY much. Other gifts include her first small dollhouse, the  Lego Friends Advent calendar and some sweet things from American Girl. Also, a friend gave her a Mermaid Blankie Tail for her birthday and she is crazy for it. I still keep great things in the car for her like the boogie board, and water wow.

Books for kids- The Book with No Pictures (our 5 year old loves loves this) , The Little Red Toolbox (this book is so fantastic for littles, has survived my three playing in it over the years), I Survived Series– I love reading these with my middle son and learning more about historical moments, any Hank Zipzer or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book has been magic for my boys.

Gifts for anyone- Farmgirl Flowers– was totally impressed with their beautiful flowers and presentation when these arrived. Really unique.

Cookbooks- Of course, Ina has Cooking for Jeffrey. Also, 100 Days of Real Food – a wonderful friend and cook sent me this and I marked about 50 of the 100 pages to make- yum.  Cravings – I keep seeing this and the reviews are SO positive- on my list!

Living with Landyn- now it does appear she has a larger budget for Christmas than I do- but I got some great ideas from her lists! For tween girls, for boys, for us! , and for men.

Sunny Side Up- If I built a house, I would build it similar to Erin’s. Her gift list is fun and practical in my eyes. This list and this list have some great ideas.

My friend Tracy introduced me to The Every Girl- so so many good ones here.

Sequins and Stripes- a blogger from Chicago! Whoop. Here are some fun ones- for kids, for the traveler, for guys (really liked some here) and for the homebody.

And Andrew Harper put out a great list for 10 Smart Travel Gifts– and I think they are great. Especially for in laws or friends who frequently travel- some cool ideas.

I hope you find something here that excites you to give to a friend or family member. Happy holidays to you all!

it’s november…

November 2, 2016

hatchimalsHola, friends! We have been busy watching the Cubs lately!!

This is the time of year that I start being asked- “Are you putting out a gift list?” My answer is – possibly! We will see how much time I have this year and how many of you send me good ideas!

In the meantime, I will share a few- my daughter saw a Hatchimal at Barnes and Noble and begged and begged for this. I told her they were way too expensive for her December bday… (because I am thinking Santa may be delivering it for her Christmas)! Looks cute. Am buying early as they are already $175 at Amazon! WHAT??!!  Just looked up this CNN article and I am off to Target to buy as it’s 20% off if I can find them still.

My son Will just got this longboard for his bday and LOVES it. The bamboo one is beautiful!

The new Diary of A Wimpy Kid was released yesterday- so that’s on its way as both my boys love that series!

And for kids who love a Rubiks cube- here is something with good reviews for a stocking stuffer! The DreamPark Pyraminx Pyramid.

That’s all for today! I will work on my list, and you work on yours. Let’s talk!



back to the kitchen

September 10, 2016

applebreadLately, when I ask friends about what meals they are cooking, everyone is getting Green Chef, Blue Apron, and other food deliveries to their door. We all seem to be in need of new ideas.  Here are some of mine- please share yours!

Panko Crusted Tilapia – I am trying to add more fish into my menus and this seemed like a no brainer. I didn’t have panko in my pantry so I used bread crumbs but I wouldn’t do that again. Stocking up on panko! This was easy and fast.

Thai Cashew Coconut Rice with Ginger Peanut Sauce– my friend Kristy sent this link to me and I am excited about it. It has all the things I like!

Easy Cake Mix Apple Bread– YUM. YUM. YUM.

We made a cake for a friend and I needed a quick recipe for the frosting. You may have all made this before but it was sooooooooo good. I am keeping this Chocolate Buttercream Frosting printed in my recipe box as a go to.

Beef with Peppers– this is an oldie- but back on my list for next week. I don’t add red peppers as no one loves them over here- but everything else runs the same.

Chicken, Bacon, Date and Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Power Salad– read the rave reviews and am buying pre-shredded Brussels Sprouts at my grocery. I think my husband and I are going to love it and all my kids like bacon so it could work!

Talk to me, friends! I want your easy weeknight recipes.

school time

September 2, 2016


All 3 kids of mine are in school. It’s a strange reality as I have been home for the last 12 with at least one by my side! The realness hasn’t set in quite yet- I am just happy to be in the grocery by myself or to have our house remain clean during the day. Plus, I have some new found time- which allowed me to blog today!

gizmo gadget– this phone watch (above) has changed our lives for the better! Our 8 year old son wears this (and now, half his friends as well!) and it’s been so great. With just 10 numbers that he can call or text, and a gps locator- it’s awesome. The silver lining is we convinced our son to work for this watch all summer by reading and completing math goals- and the bonus is we wanted him to have one! Sneaky.

Kat Von D tattoo liner– this liquid eyeliner goes on so easily and isn’t tough to remove at night.

Barefoot Dreams Blanket– I found this blanket in Breckenridge and it is the most in demand, softest blanket in our house. It makes a great gift and they have different colors and styles on their site. Great for fall!

Has anyone made a chatbook? Seems so easy. It’s on my list. Already thinking of presents for the holidays!

Stance Super Invisibles– I buy these at our local store- Solemates. I like them SO much I am on a 3 pair rotation this week. You can’t see them in my favorite Nike Tennis Classics. Another favorite!  I am a size 8 in the socks and prefer a size S.

An oldie but goodie hopped back in my meal planning this week. Nice to have a no-meat meal in the mix. My husband and my oldest like this as do I. I still had to make a separate meal for the younger two. But, with the ingredients, they could eat them separated and add in other extras. Thai Fried Quinoa.

I am reading At the Water’s Edge– by Sara Gruen –  and I am halway through and excited to get back to it tonight.  She also wrote Water For Elephants which was so good.

Hope all of you are enjoying this time of year as much as I am!


cooking and reading in july

July 23, 2016

nobake energy

hi there! Happy mid- summer. I have been on a cooking high lately. Here are some of my favorites:

No-Bake Energy Bites – so easy- my 4 year old and I made these and they were so good, I may have eaten half.  My sister makes these and freezes them for a quick breakfast for her girls.

Garlic Expressions-this stuff is AMAZING. It smells so good. My friend Heather had this on a Broccoli slaw salad when we were camping and it was love at first smell for me.

Ina’s Blueberry Muffins– Ina always has to be included in my mix of recipes. She just deserves the spot!

Basil Butter Chicken– I remembered this chicken for the archives and it’s coming back! Wonderful with fresh basil.

Sauteed Corn– It’s almost time for CORN! This recipe is so easy and fast- it’s our favorite way to eat it.

Creamy Avocado Dip– for a change up from the usual guacamole!

Books I’ve been reading:

Circling the Sun– I loved this book. The whole imagery of Kenya in the early 1900’s and Beryl’s amazing independent spirit- it was definitely an interesting read.

In a Dark, Dark Wood– I can see why this book is being made into a movie. You know something is coming but not sure how it will play out.

The Luckiest Girl Alive– currently reading. I can see she has a real dark side- which is always interesting!

The Guest Room– this is certainly not a must-read but my mom and I both read it this summer and it was entertaining.

Would love your book and recipe suggestions! Here’s to August!