Tuesday, May 8, 2018

10 Ways to Get Ready for Summer Hosting Season

They say the kitchen is the heart of your home. That's never more true than during the busy summer months!
Before summer gets into full swing, it's nice to take a minute and create an inviting space you'll feel proud to entertain in.
It all starts with products you're proud to display, which is why you should grab this free kit of Mrs. Meyer's dish soap, hand soap, and lotion + replaceable head dish brush with your first order of $20 from Grove Collaborative. 
With these products and the tips below, you'll be ready to open your kitchen — and the rest of your home — to guests this summer:
  1. Hand wash summer accessories that have been in the cabinet all winter. Grove's replaceable head dish brush has curved bristles and a sturdy bamboo handle that's perfect for washing pitchers, platters, and prep boards.
  2. Wipe down the counters to create a clean and tidy space for food prep and serving impromptu snacks. All you need is some warm soapy water and a microfiber. I love the ones from Grove because they have a hanging corner for easy drying and storage. 
  3. Your sink gets a workout during the summer, from washing grilling utensils to cutting flowers. Make sure it's up to the task by giving it a good scrub with a paste of baking soda and Mrs. Meyer's dish soap. 
  4. Set up a beautiful sink side experience that makes everyone happy. Mrs. Meyer's soaps and lotions come in a variety of cheerful scents like honeysuckle, lavender, and lemon verbena that guests of all ages will love.
  5. Everyone's always hungry from summer hiking or spending time outside with friends. Now is a great time to stock up on supplies like Bees Wrap and Grove reusable snack bags for storing cut-up fruit, cheese, and pretzels!
  6. Make sure your blender is ready for fresh fruit smoothies or frozen cocktails. Simply add a drop or two of dish soap and two cups of water and blend on high for 30 seconds. Then pour out the suds, rinse, and dry with a microfiber cloth. 
  7. Punch up your home decor with a pop of happy color, from new throw pillows to a fresh kitchen towel. I'm feeling inspired by lush greens like Grove's garden tea towel. 
  8. Create an inviting entryway with plenty of space for guests to stash sandals, hats and pool gear. I like to stash my Full Circle dust pan and brush from Grove near the front door for quick cleanup of dirt and grass clippings. 
  9. The powder room is a small space, which means a little bit of effort goes a long way. Freshen it up for summer by laundering and fluffing up the rug, putting out a fresh hand towel, and switching out the hand soap and lotion for a summery scent. 
  10. Once you've submitted your Grove order, you'll be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. The VIP program is a great way to keep your home streamlined all summer, with perks like free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. Now, it's time to light a rose candle and enjoy the quiet while it lasts!

    • New Customer Offer:
      • Mrs. Meyer's hand soap 
      • Mrs. Meyer's hand lotion
      • Mrs. Meyer's dish soap
      • Grove replaceable head dish brush
      • Free shipping and VIP trial 
    • Existing Customer Offer:
      • Grove walnut scrubber sponges
Hurry, this offer ends Sunday, May 13th!

This post is in partnership with Grove Collaborative. I earn credits to their store for purchases made through my referral link. This helps support my blog. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

My Everyday Life [Weeks 8-10]

The character in the book below reminded me so much of myself sometimes. I was texting Craig quotes and he agreed. 
I tried these Vega one packets to see if I should invest in larger tubs. I liked the coconut almond one best and I really didn't care for the french vanilla.
 A flex Friday lunch and my buddy joined me.
 Then he proceeded to be naughty by sitting on the table, of course.
I was happy to see our Costco getting more vegan products in stock (well besides the obvious ones like fruits and veggies). Both of these snacks below are delicious!
 How weird to see the Sears store at our local mall all cleared out and ready to close for good.
 When it's warm out in Wisconsin, you take three walks a day to enjoy the sun and 50 degree temps.
 Love this new cookbook from Chloe!
 A recent 100% Pure purchase.
 My adorable boys.
 Sunday morning shadows.
 Started this book a week ago and I really like it so far. I know it has been getting great reviews.
New bowls from Crate and Barrel with the Kind peanut butter granola I can't seem to get enough of lately.
Still taking elderberry every day. This time, I tried gummy samples I got a health fair and I really loved them.
Salad club lunch at work. I added the dehydrated beets from Trader Joe's and they were a delicious addtion.
 A pretty icicle tree outside of the lunch room at work.
I told Craig this reminded me of the Hobby Lobby fake flower photo trend that's happening right now. So weird.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Vegan and Cruelty Free Nighttime Skincare Routine

I have been slowly switching over to vegan and cruelty free beauty products. I thought I would share my nighttime skincare routine with you!

I did a bit of research and read a lot of Facebook group conversations, like the Organic Bunnies Facebook page. Then I decided to e-mail the lovely Alexandra at Organic Bunny who helped me pick out the FitGlow Calm Cleansing Milk and the Kypris Clearing Serum.

My skin issues include: wrinkles, cystic acne (especially while PMSing), dryness in the winter, and some pigmentation from acne scars.
Pictured from left to right:
  • Derma-E Makeup remover - I purchased this at Whole Foods and I love it. I would totally repurchase. The price is right and the formula is great. It also removes waterproof mascara. 
  • Fitglow Calm Cleansing Milk - Alexandra from Organic Bunny recommended this for my adult acne. This is the second bottle I have purchased. I don't mind the scent, but I know some have said they don't like how powerful it is.
  • Kypris Clearing Serum - This is the other item I purchased from Organic Bunny. It also works really well when I use it consistently. It is quite drying in the winter, so I have eased up on the frequency of use. My chin has broken out pretty badly since I stopped using it as consistently. It is quite pricey too. 
  • MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Night Cream - I apply this on my deeper wrinkles, mainly on my forehead. I started using this cream in winter since retinal can increase sun sensitivity. 
  • Acure Rosehip Oil - I recently purchased this at Whole Foods because I was in desperate need of a face oil. My skin was feeling quite dry! I kept hearing good things about rosehip oil in general and this Acure brand one was under $10. It seems to be leaving my skin moisturized so far. Rosehip is also good for fading dark spots and hydrating dry, itchy skin. It can reduce scars and fine lines. 
  • evenhealy Wild Carrot Nourishing Eye Balm - I have been trying to use this product up lately. It is great for my dry eyelids in particular. It was included in a Whole Foods beauty bag I purchased last spring and I honestly forgot I had it until recently! I am in need of a new eye cream, so if you have a vegan and cruelty free one you love, please leave a comment below. 
After listening to a few podcasts about skin chemistry and skincare, I am a little concerned about mixing products by different brands. I may get a facial and see what an esthetician recommends. Skincare can be so mystifying to me sometimes!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

My Everyday Life [Week 7]

Here's what week 7 of 2018 looked like!

It was Valentine's week. I spent the whole day and evening working. Boo!

I did purchase these adorable v-day themed coasters for 70% off at Target.
Pema continued to be challenging for us. He's been bullying the other cats, but especially Tanzi.
 Winter is beautiful, but I miss warmer temperatures.
We were big fans of the Netflix show "Making a Murderer" so it was no surprise that we went to see local lawyer who was on the show. He did a great job talking about law and being a lawyer.
I am more and more disappointed by Lily Lolo mascara. It sucks when you try a cruelty free product that is well loved, but doesn't quite do it for you. It clumps and flakes! Yuck. If you have recommendations, send them my way.
 Always watching these gorgeous hawks in our backyard.
I had to coordinate salad club at work at the last minute, but I pulled it off! I love being a member of the wellness committee. Having salad for two days was wonderful! 
I played heart bingo at work this week and the proceeds benefited a non-profit. I was not lucky though. :(
 Craig bought this on Amazon with the hope that it will calm our bully cats down.
 Here's what it looks like.
 Dinner with my buddy.
 Loved this episode of Freakonomics radio!
 Before my haircut!
 My valentine. :)
The naughtiest little kitty and me. I look tired in the photo below. We got up early for a pancake breakfast and I was sleepy.
Reminds me of my dad. We always tease him about napping, but that's because he does it every single day after lunch.
I finally did something I have been wanting to do for ages--I saw a personal stylist at Nordstrom. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything I liked or that fit me well. I'll do a review of the service with more photos like the one below soon. This is my French girl outfit!
Girl scout cookies finally arrived! My favs are the PB patties. I tried the s'mores because they're vegan, but I did not love them.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

I'm back--my everyday life lately

I didn't mean to take a break from the blog. I have had the flu twice since the holidays, plus I've been working two jobs and studying commercial insurance information. Basically, life got in the way but I miss the blog and I'll try to get back on here when I can. Here's what life has looked like for the last month and a half. 

New years day. I was still sick with the flu, so it was just a relaxing day at home with books, kitties and tea. I am still reading the book below and it's a slow one to get through.
I passed two insurance exams in December and now I am onto studying for another. 
Finally upgraded my phone! I had to get the huge one for the better camera.
 My boys. :)
Took some time around the new year to clean the fridge out and wipe down everything. It has stayed fairly clean since then. I am trying to buy less on my shopping trips, but it's hard.
 Tried this plant based yogurt finally and it was really good!
My dad unexpectedly ended up in the hospital in January. This was the view from his hospital room. He's ok now, but it was pretty frightening to not know what was going on for a while. 
This was my book club's January pick and while it was a pretty strange book, we had an amazing discussion. I left there thinking "these women are smart and so inspiring to be around." Sadly, I have to work during the February club so I'll be missing it.
Craig's co-worker brought back some tea and a lovely bird gift from her trip to Iran. The bird says "life is great" on it. It sure can be pretty great!
Finally finished this book and it was a fun read!
Yummy homemade vegan pizza. Wasn't keen on the vegan cheese though.
The third book I finished in 2018 was Beartown. Such a good read! It took a while to get into, but once the story got more complex, it had so many important and timely messages.
I had Friday afternoon off because my work offers a flex program. I read Ikigai, shoveled, and relaxed with the cats. It will be so nice to have every other Friday afternoon off to look forward to.