Spring Cleaning! Fri, May 3, 2013

The time is here…. It crept up so fast I am scrambling to start this season… I’m talking about spring cleaning! It feels so refreshing to clear out the old, clean and organize to get ready for the second half of the year.

I needed to get some supplies to start the process so I headed over to Del Amo Mall in Torrance because I knew that the mall had all of the stores I needed,  especially Crate and Barrel, Sears and Joanne’s Fabrics.

I went first to Crate and Barrel to see what I could do about organizing our pantry. The best invention was there;  beautiful ceramic clamp jars with an attached chalk label! Perfect for storing coffee, flour, sugar, etc., while making the kitchen look warm, welcoming and useful (there is nothing worse than trying to figure out what is in what container, or to find semi-opened packages of dry goods that have gone bad). They also had separate chalk labels (with chalk) that I could use on other things around the house.  Finally, I picked up some eco-friendly cleaning supplies, including the Better Life™ What-Ever Natural All Purpose Cleaner. We are trying to use less chemical cleaners today and it is great to find options that actually work.

Next, I knew I needed an extra set of hands to clean the house… so I went to Sears and got the Mint Evolution Robotics Automatic Floor Cleaner. I wasn’t sure how it would work at first but I absolutely love it. While I am writing this post, the Mint robot is sweeping the floor!  My kids have named it “Rover”.

Finally, I needed to get my desk organized and still wanted something chic, so I went over to Z Gallerie and found  great desk organizers; a set of crystal desk accessories (tape dispenser, large calculator, pens and letter openers) along with some beautiful storage boxes,( the Perspective Boxes in Aquamarine) that will look pretty on my desk and not industrial.

So I am still working on the spring cleaning… but thrilled to have a head start and getting it all done (hopefully).






Disclaimer: I received a gift card from Simon Malls in exchange for this post.


Xtreme Customz by Ridemakerz Fri, April 26, 2013

Since my two boys are age 5 and 7, anything to do with cars is of extreme interest in our household. And while I usually focus my blogging efforts on beauty and lifestyle for moms, I could not resist the opportunity to invite 10 (which soon became 15 boys and a wait list) to test drive the new Xtreme Customz by Ridemakerz.

Devan with his SpiderMan car!

With that said, we had 15 boys arrive (luckily not all at once) to check out the new car toys. The concept was a big hit! We had five boys age 5 and ten boys that ranged from 6 to 7 years old. The 5 year olds definitely needed more help building the toy, but the 6 to 7 year set built them in no time. In my opinion, building  and designing the cars is great for their mind power; they had to figure out what part when where and then decide how to decorate the cars with their stickers. They also got to discover that the cars did cool things; from raising suspension to shooting web rockets (Spiderman Car!).   To keep their creative minds flowing, we also had a “Customiz your Cookie” station, complete with the coolest sparkling gel icing colors!  The boys also left with kaleidoscope key chains and cool racing glasses.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Quick note- once the cars were built and the boys presented them to the group; it turned into a Lord of the Flies free-for-all with the cars. It was fascinating to watch the boys use their imaginations to play with their Xtreme Customz by Ridemakerz cars. It was so refreshing and fun to watch these little boys just be… well BOYS! They had good, healthy fun racing and chasing their cars.  This is a great idea for a birthday party as well!

P.S. The moms had fun too being able to catch up and have a glass of wine while watching our race car drivers!

For more information on Xtreme Customz by Ridemakerz by visiting http://www.xtremecustomz.com.



*By publishing this post, I received free products as part of a promotional program with MomSelect. All opinions are my own.


The Benefits Of Beauty Are More Than Skin Deep Thu, April 25, 2013

It is so amazing to see how the beauty industry can help women. A premiere multimedia beauty event will prove that a little makeup can make a big difference. The two-hour live broadcast “QVC and CEW Present Beauty with Benefits” will feature more than 15 prestige beauty brands across categories and price points, with net proceeds benefiting Cancer and Careers, a program of the CEW Foundation that supports men and women balancing work and cancer. The broadcast, a collaboration between QVC and Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), is scheduled to air on QVC Thursday, April 25 at 9 PM (ET) .

The unprecedented event will highlight the philanthropic efforts of the beauty industry while providing viewers a special opportunity to support a great cause through a multiplatform shopping experience. From color cosmetics and fragrance to skin and hair care products, various products from select brands such as bareMinerals , tarte , StriVectin and Mally Beauty will be offered. As added incentives, QVC is offering a gift with purchase that consists of beauty samples from participating brands, and shipping and handling will be offered at no charge.

“Beauty with Benefits reflects QVC’s ongoing commitment to support the success and wellness of women through the power of relationships,” said Claire Watts, CEO, QVC U.S. “We’re thrilled to bring the beauty industry together to give consumers the opportunity to shop for a cause on April 25, while increasing awareness of the resources provided by Cancer and Careers.”

Throughout the evening, viewers will be informed of the impact each purchase can make in the lives of men and women affected by cancer. Unique content created for the show is scheduled to include inspiring segments featuring those who benefitted from Cancer and Careers along with an intimate interview with CEW President Carlotta Jacobson. Plus, industry experts and QVC regulars, including Laura Geller, founder of Laura Geller Beauty and Chaz Dean, creator of WEN Hair and Body Care, will share beauty tips guaranteed to make everyone look and feel good.

“I am so pleased to see CEW and QVC coming together for the first ever Beauty with Benefits show,” said Geller. “As a longtime supporter of Cancer and Careers, I have always believed that if beauty companies could join efforts to give back, we could make a significant impact. It not only feels good to educate women on how they can look better, but it feels even more empowering when you know you are personally helping to make a difference.”

To build further awareness for Cancer and Careers and the broadcast, QVC will optimize its social media efforts through an Instagram campaign. For the first 500 photos tagged with the hashtag #beautywithbenefits, QVC will make a donation to Cancer and Careers. The multimedia retailer plans to promote the event through additional platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Additionally, actress Regina King is supporting the initiative as the “QVC and CEW Present Beauty with Benefits” PSA spokesperson.

For additional information on “QVC and CEW Present Beauty with Benefits” visit http://qvc.co/-Beauty-With-Benefits.



The Fast Metabolism Diet Mon, April 22, 2013

As a busy mom and beauty/wellness blogger, I am always searching for shortcuts that actually work. For example,  we can speed up doing our makeup by using a BB cream, we know we can get dressed fast (and chic) in the morning by wearing a maxi or wrap dress, but how do we create short-cuts to health? How do we improve our fitness and weight-loss goals without spending hours in the gym or preparing “healthy food”? Well celebrity nutritionist Haylie Pomroy  has an answer for us and she gives it to us in her new book “The Fast Metabolism Diet.”

Crock-Pot to the rescue

I had the opportunity to review the book and try out the recipes with 10 of my good mommy friends. For someone who has admits cooking is not her forte,  the recipes proved easy and super delicious (and ubër healthy!).  First of all, one of the recipes called for using a slow-cooker (thank you to Crock-Pot for helping me make these simple, healthy meals!), which has become my favorite cooking tool ever! You throw in all of the ingredients, turn it on and by the end of the day- voilà- a delicious, healthy meal!  I could not believe that by the end of the party, ALL of and I mean ALL of the Turkey Chili was devoured and it truly felt like fuel for our bodies. I also love that in a meal like the chili, you get your proteins, grains and vegetables in a one-stop-shop.

So back to the plan. The Fast Metabolism Diet comes in 3 phases: Phase One (Monday-Tuesday)- lots of fruits and carbs, Phase Two (Wednesday-Thursday)- lots of vegetables and proteins and Phase Three (Friday-Saturday-Sunday)- all of the above plus healthy fats and oils. For my “Fast Metabolism” party, I tried the Watermelon Smoothie and Turkey Chili from Phase One and the Sweet Potato Hummus from Phase Two.  According to Haylie, each Phase focuses on different whole, healthy foods to calm your adrenal glands, reduce stress on your liver, and feed your thyroid so it can produce the hormones T3 and T4, the superstars of a fast metabolism. You’ll reduce stress, too—and as a result, put the damper on the belly-fat hormone, cortisol. By keeping your metabolism guessing, you’ll get it working faster.

Moms discussing the diet

Another benefit to the recipes are that they are simple and delicious; meaning hubby and kids will like the meals too! This is a way of eating that can get the whole family on track to being fit and health-conscious.

Sweet-potato hummus- yum!

The Fast Metabolism Diet also calls for 3 phases of exercise that includes cardio (Phase One), strength (Phase Two) and stretching/relaxation (Phase Three). Luckily, my friend Lisa Newman  is a fitness expert and she was able to guide some of the other moms  through a quick workout that included all of the phases.

Starting the workout





Even the baby approves!

I love the concept of Haylie’s program because it is designed to turn your body into a fat-fighting machine and explains each Phase with science. Any mom that wants the extra edge to super-charge their diet and fitness goals should check out the program to maximize  their bodies’ potential.

For more information, visit www.TheFastMetabolismDiet.com.



Spring essentials on a budget Fri, March 15, 2013

Do you ever wake in the morning and try to find something to wear and nothing stands out in your closet? Or you feel like you have worn something a million times? However, if you are like me, the urge to wear something new is usually overtaken by needing to budget and “wearability” (how much you will really wear the item). These days, I like to find clothes that I can wear on the mommy circuit of sports and volunteering at school that still can be worn for work-related events. My other red-hot imperative these days are fitness clothing to inspire me to get to the gym! I also knew I wanted to get more than one spring essential- I needed to spruce up my day and night time wardrobes. I gave myself a budget of $50 (sales tax included!) to accomplish my goal.
So I headed over to Del Amo Mall in Torrance. While they have so many stores, like Macy’s, Splendid, Express, Coach, etc. they also have plenty of budget-friendly stores like H&M, Forever 21, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. I thought I should be able to find a couple of key pieces to help me launch the spring season.

As usual, I put on my best walking shoes because Del Amo is such a big mall (always love the workout I get when I shop there!). I started at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, the meccas of discount designer fashion. While I loved everything there, I still wanted to check out the other stores. H&M had tons of fun, fashion essentials, but I kept looking. At the mega Forever 21, I met my match. I found a fabulous floral sweater, that was satin on the front and sweater on the back. I can wear it during the day or night (I even paired it with black leggings and boots to take the kids to all of their sports practices). The sweater was only $22.80; and I love it!

 The cute floral sweater!

Next, I looked at the sales rack was a cream and silver peplum top with a jacquard floral pattern. It is the perfect top to wear on a night out with black skinny pants or I can pair it with a suit and for $10, it was a steal! I knew I had a little bit left on my budget, so I headed to Old Navy, where I found the perfect running shorts on sale for $12.

I am so thrilled with how far I made my $50 go; now I feel like I have created so many new outfits for spring!


Disclaimer: I received a gift card from Simon Malls in exchange for this post.