Sunday, December 14, 2014

Candy Cane Peppermint Foot Scrub

It's that time again!! The HOLIDAYS!! I try to make as many gifts as possible each year, not just to be cost-effective, but because there is something way more awesome about the thought and love put into hand made goodness. Last year Logan and I made THESE Mocha Mix jars with ornaments he painted, this year he made the bauble ornaments (post below) and I whipped up this delicious foot scrub.

I got the "frappyccino" bottles at Michael's- reg price $9.99 for 6 but used a 50% off coupon. WORD!
This fills 3 bottles and leaves some for you to keep and use yourself, I had the little jars in the top photo on hand so filled those for little last-minute gifties- or double it and fill all 6 bottles.

4 cups sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
4-6 drops peppermint oil
a few drops red food coloring (or if you think you have this then get all the way to that step and realize you DON'T, like sugar sprinkles work just fine too! lol!)

Mix the first three ingredients in a large bowl with a hand mixer, add the oil a bit at a time until fluffy and not too oily. Then divide in half and make one half red, leave the other white.
Use a piece of 8 x 10 paper like a cone/funnel- I did 2 spoonfuls white, then red, then white -alternating till each bottle was full.

I still have to print the labels and wrap em up, so I will update the post with a finished product pic later this week XO

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kid Craft- Holiday Ornaments

I am becoming more of a craft-a-holic, now that we are more settled into our house and I have the space to hoard ribbon, googly-eyes and glitter by the case. This is an AWESOME activity with your kiddo. We do it every year, started when Logan was 15mo (his second Christmas).
(note bits of "snow" that have migrated into his hair)

Here is what you will need, plus ANYTHING else you can think of to make it your own!!

I got everything at Michael's - every year they have a killer sale the Saturday after Thanksgiving and then again right after Christmas and I stock up on this stuff.

Clear, PLASTIC ornaments...I've made the mistake of doing this with glass before, ROOKIE, don't do it.

Filling for the ornaments.
We use pom-poms, confetti, "snow" (which is like shredded white kitchen trash bag from what I can tell), even glitter if you're feeling super brave.

Ribbon for the "hook" to the ornament.
(pants? who needs pants? I'm painting my hand here!)

Optional- paint to put a hand print on the outside after they are filled.

That's it.

You take the tops off and hand em over- they have a BALL filling them however they want. We got a HUGE sack of the multi colored different size pom poms- and started the activity with those and a muffin tin- we sorted em by color, then dumped it out and sorted them by size. Great for motor skills, colors, sizes, sorting, counting, all that jazz. Awesomeness.

Every year we make one (this year 3) for our own tree, one for each grandparent house and one for his school teachers. We started adding the teachers to the ornament list last year- he was SO PROUD to give them something he made himself.

Have fun!!! Visit Our HOME Page on Facebook for more fun craft ideas (in Photo Albums)

Addictive Orzo Salad

I discovered this at Wholefoods in the ready-made service section and I'm completely addicted to it. BUT a "large" container (which I can eat in a day easily) is like $15 or something insane like that....I think the small container is like $8. yikes. So I started making it at home and it's just as good the WF version uses spinach, which I use sometimes too, but we grow kale, so it's free here, which means I use that more often. This is epic for a party, because it makes a ton.

1 pkg of orzo pasta prepared according to directions, cooled
1 container feta cheese
about 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped (in 1/2 or 1/4 depends on how much patience you have)
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1-2 handfuls chopped spinach or kale
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil, several generous drizzles
salt to taste

Toss it all in a bowl, refrigerate at least an hour, overnight is best.
Enjoy cold and by the barrel full.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Welp, you know full well it's "sick season" again. As mentioned in THIS POST I am a big fan of elderberry syrup, but can be EXPENSIVE!!!!
So I ordered some elderberries HERE, and everything else I almost always have on hand, so this has become my go-to way to keep it in our fridge at all times and be ready for a spoonful of immune system boosting power whenever we need it.

Here's what you will need
2/3 cup dried black elderberries
3 1/2 cups water
a 2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1 cup raw, local honey (local helps it work as an allergy remedy- so hit up your farmers market!)

Put everything EXCEPT THE HONEY in a medium sauce pot- bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer for about an hour, or a little longer- you want the liquid to reduce by half.
Remove from heat, let cool a bit-then pour through a strainer into a glass bowl.
Let the liquid stand and cool till it is a little warmer than room temp and add honey.
That's it!
I use a mason jar to store it.
For my son (he's 3) we give 1/2 a tsp 1x a day a few days on a few days off for general immunity. When he's sick or we sense somethin' creepin we do 2-3x a day.
Same for us but with 1tsp.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sweet Holiday Gift Guide

Ohmahgosh, the year is almost over....and my last post was in JANUARY!!!!! (insert wide-eyed-blushing-embarrassed face emoji). Very shortly after that last post about eating clean, I found out I was pregnant with our daughter, Finely, and so began the adventure of growing one while chasing after the other. We had just got our annual passes to Disneyland for cryin' out loud- so nothing could stop our adventures!! Well, she arrived, perfect as can be on September 25th and now, 2 months later, I'm coming up for air. She is our last baby. Which is happy and sad in about a million ways.

While I was pregnant, I really got to doing some mommy-business-networking. I realized how many of my super talented friends have amazing companies they are running, WHILE being awesome mamas at the same time!!! What a perfect opportunity to return to posting all things "Sweet Life" here on my nearly-8-year-old blog (seriously, EIGHT, wowza).
This week Thanksgiving will be here, with a reminder of all the amazing blessings we are SO thankful for, with FAMILY & FRIENDS always topping the list.

I bring you my first-ever Holiday gift guide featuring all mama-run businesses.

Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a perfect day to click ANY of these links- buy a seriously fabulous gift and support a mom, a family, a small business.

Huge thanks to everyone who's still reading this blog!! Next year will be 8 years since I first posted here, and I appreciate every one of you who's been along for the ride, or just arrived to join the next chapter of adventures.

With out further adieu I bring you the best of the best for this seasons gift-giving:


I'm completely obsessed with this company, it is original, amazing and I just stare at their Instagram and Facebook updates wanting to BUY EVERYTHING. You can order directly from the Etsy store or create something custom with your family name or for your nursery!! Don't miss the awesome deals they have going on Instagram this week, Hemp & Wood is a must-follow!!!

Etsy Shop for Hemp and Wood
Instagram @hempandwood
Facebook Page for Hemp & Wood


We all know a child with style, they usually have parents with style. I'm wearing snowflake flannel pajama pants and a tank top from Old Navy as I type this...but, wow, there are some seriously amazing pieces in the Moderene Child collection!!! Logan has the avaiator sunglasses and ADORES them and Finley is already rockin' her flower headband. With all those holiday parties moments away, this site will help you make a gorgeous impression. Make sure you "like" their Facebook page, BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING...

Instagram @modernechild
Facebook for ModerneChild Shoppe


Awesome t-shirts for the little ones!! I can't even tell you how many compliments we get on Logan's KALE! T-shirt. "Nap-Schmap" is another favorite of mine. This is a perfect gift for the person in your life with kids and and a great sense of humor- which you NEED when you have kids anyhow. I'm hoping they start making grown-up sizes soon....Detention Tees has deals on their FB page and Instagram, so make sure you Like and Follow so you don't miss out!

Shop Detention Tees
Instagram @detentiontees
Facebook for Detention Tees


This is a whole new thing for me...I am a long-time fan of a mani/pedi for many, many, many reasons, but reality bites and there just isn't always time & money for stuff like that. Enter "nail wraps"! Super economical price wise and they don't chip!! Plus you can apply them then right away do really glamorous stuff like change a diaper or help someone onto a big-boy potty. WIN!!! These make an excellent stocking stuffer or gift for your kiddo's teacher!

Shop Goody Girl Nails
Facebook for Goodygirl Nails


SO much to celebrate this holiday season, why not support a great cause while you do it! Confetti grams can be personalized, and let me tell you first hand- your kids are gonna LOVE these, they are an excellent stocking stuffer too! One of my favorite things is that you can customize them, how cute would these be for a proposal?!?! ooooohhhh....  Order some and make your New Year's Eve or any day worth a POP of confetti! Logan welcomed his new baby sister home with a few of these and it was a blast!!

Order & Send Confetti Grams
Instagram @confettigram
Facebook for Confetti Gram

It's Time For doTerra By Mama's Little Oil Biz

Give the gift of natural wellness this season and check out DoTerra. I've blogged about this company before- but my dream team is OnGuard and Breathe- they also have a blend called Holiday Joy that makes your house smell amazing!! This is a perfect gift for any parent, teacher, or person who doesn't want to catch whatever's goin' round. I used their peppermint oil to tackle Finley's first fever just last night!! They have a deal going EVERY SINGLE DAY this week, make sure to like their facebook page so you don't miss out! 

Learn more about doTerra Oils
Instagram @mommas_little_oil_biz
Facebook for Mommas Little Oil Biz


It's not too late to get those holiday cards ordered, or get a fabulous, personal print that makes a PERFECT gift for the grandparents!! She also has amazing party packages, birthdays, holiday parties- I can't tell you what a huge difference it makes when all the details from invite to table are cohesive. Check out Allison's talent and create a lasting memory to share with someone you love this holiday season!

Shop Madison Design Studio
Instagram @madisondesign
Facebook for Madison Design Studio


You knew I had to include the "magic mascara"! My friend Megan got me hooked on the stuff back in August and I am officially obsessed. With all the effort I put into organic and non-gmo foodstuffs around here, it was a little ridiculous that I hadn't applied that thoughtfulness to my beauty products yet. That's what hooked me- the natural green tea fibers and absolute lack of parabens, carcinogens, formaldehyde and other funk. Big deals coming this week for Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday AND Cyber Monday!

Shop One Fabulash Mama
Instagram @onefabulashmama
Facebook for One Fabulash Mama


I was so excited Tupperware still makes the Popsicle molds my mom used when I was a kid, it was awesome to order them so I could do the same! (Kale pops anyone?! lol) I am also obsessed with their wine opener and the kid's baking set (which I hear Santa may be bringing for Logan this year). Tupperware is a timeless classic and there are tons of great items you can gift yourself to organize your life or get for a friend to show your appreciation for all they do!! You can also contact Bettie kick the new year off in style and have a party at your place, how fun is that?!

Shop Tupperware at
Instagram @bettiebakesalot


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Clean 2014

We ended 2013 with gusto, and GUTS, tis the season to stuff your face and we sure did! The past is past and there is no future like the present, so we decided to embark upon a clean eating challenge to kick the new year of right and truly embrace a #Clean2014 in as many ways as possible. I am not much of a "resolutions" gal, but I do feel that there's something about the start of a fresh year that's special, different than any other time- and it makes for some great reflecting, goal setting and getting motivated.

A friend of mine posted an interesting article about three words (you can find it HERE) - and I like the concept.
I decided to pick three words of my own for 2014 and here they are: Family, Prosperity, Courage.

On the courage front, we decided to try something new that we've never done before and embark upon a "cleanse" to get this party started RIGHT. We'd toyed with the idea for ages, but when my dad texted me these two photos-

...and noted that he was juicing and eating vegan for January, that was my call to action. I've seen this man complete a very well executed conference call with a cigarette in one hand, beer in the other, laptop, smart phone and tv with the game on all at once. I'm pretty sure sharp cheddar and a good ole log of anything from Hickory Farms are among his favorite regular snack items. I'm not arguing with him on that either.

For some fitspo to keep me moving, my beloved Bar Method rang in the new year with a fitness challenge to take 18 classes in January. Challenge accepted. The stars aligned, this is the way we're doing a #Clean2014 January!

After doing a bit of research, dusting off our juicer and gearing up by indulging in some thyme and Parmesan popcorn last night- it was time to dive in.

I will post the 7 day road map of our cleanse as soon as we complete it, with notes, recipes and all the info.

Today is day 1- all juice. (see image above....)

The lovelies over at Pressed Juicery are hosting a sale on all cleanses till this Friday (1/10/14) so we opted for a 1 day to really start this crazy endeavor off in a truly clean way.

It's almost 4pm as I write this, and so far so good. I'm most looking forward to the epsom salt bath that's coming at the end of this day, and the early bedtime. Stay tuned, all the fun details of this clean, green adventure are coming soon!

In the meantime, for some inspiration- check out some of my favorite green smoothies to start your day HERE

Or check out my CLEAN, GREEN, VEGGIE, VEGAN pinterest board

HAPPY NEW YEAR & a #Clean2014 to you all!!

Happy 2014! Amazing (easy) Crab Cakes

Well. Here we are, in 2014. How did this happen? Last year was amazing, full of love, loss, triumph, stress, family, laughter and everything that makes us real and makes life worth living. As usual, we celebrate & survive all of the above with great food. This year went out as it arrived- on a bullet train- a blur of toddler, house, fun and, we decided to celebrate the blessing of our new home by having our dear friends and their son over for a quiet dinner, some Cards Against Humanity and a toast at 9pm (East Coast New Year style).
Of course the boy decided that naps are overrated on the 31st seriously cutting into my dinner making prep time- but because I'm a mom who knows to always expect the unexpected, I had planned a super easy menu that really only took a short time to throw together some major deliciousness.
We had a variety of cheeses, crackers, quince paste & fig jam to start- along with Trader Joe's goat cheese & caramelized onion puffs. Then after the bedtime routine commenced and my little angel was tucked in and dreaming, the grown-ups dined on arugula salad with almonds, goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes & avocado, Crab/Corn Bisque, artichokes,and these scrumptious crab cakes.

Because I've made the soup many, many, many times I knew I'd have some leftover crab- so when I went to Trader Joe's I bought 1 of the large (16oz) crab claws and 1 of the 8oz lump meat containers (in the refrigerator section between the meat and cheese).

Here is what you need for these show-stopper crab cakes & garlic dippin sauce:

Crab (16oz total- I used a mix of claw and lump)
2 sleeves of Butter round crackers (like TJ's version of a Ritz)- CRUSHED to smithereens
4 green onions, minced
Juice from 2 lemons (I used home grown lemons from our tree- they are petite so it took more than 2, but if you are using store-bought 2 regular size lemons will do the trick- buy 3 though- I used some for steaming the artichokes and the juice of 1/2 a lemon for the dippin sauce)
Mayo- about 4-5 spoon fulls for the crab cakes, and then about a cup for the dippin sauce (see below)
1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
pinch of salt
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
(THEN, for cooking):
bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese
butter & olive oil

Dippin Sauce
Mayo (about a cup)
garlic (2-3 cloves, super finely minced)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
a few dots of Siracha hot sauce, you can always add more right before serving- go easy, it's powerful!

In a large bowl combine the crab, crushed butter crackers, minced green onion, lemon juice, mayo, Old Bay, lemon pepper, salt, & pepper flakes- mix well till all ingredients are completely intergrated.
Form crab cakes- we made about 8 cakes about 3 inches in diameter- for cocktail sized cakes this recipe will make 16-20.
Lay on a baking sheet covered in wax paper, cover and refrigerate at least a hour, or till ready to cook.

Make dippin sauce:
in a small bowl combine mayo, minced garlic, lemon juice and siracha- stir, cover & refrigerate 1 hour to overnight for flavors to get really well married.

When ready to cook- in a large skillet, heat 2 table spoons butter, 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat, coat each cake in a 50/50 mix of bread crumbs and Parmesan and pan-fry about 5 minutes per side/ till golden brown. Serve with fresh avocado & yummy dippin sauce!

Wishing you all the best for this New Year~ Happy 2014~