Review: Come Clean

Come Clean Pop Culture Soap create natural, paraben-free, sulfate free soap for your pup and is scented with essential oils leaving them not only clean but smelling fresh as well.

You can get the soaps in three different scents
Lemon Eucalyptus (Anti Flea and Anti Tick) 
Lavender Coconut (Moisturizing)
Bergamot Sage (Calming)
Since Jack tends to get on the drier side when the weather changes I decided to give the Lavender Coconut soap a try. Jack gets a bath every Sunday and I have been using the same liquid shampoo and conditioner with him since I got him. I thought that switching to a bar just to try it out might be “torture” to him but actually it wasn’t and he wanted to eat it because it smelled so good.   The soap lathered up beautifully and smelled AMAZING. I wanted to use it on myself.  The soap rinsed out of his fur quickly and the despite him running in and out of the gardens chasing bunny rabbits the smell lingered on him for a good five days.  

Definitely check out Come Clean if you’re interested in trying a new product on your pup.

Labor Day Cocktail Hour

What’s a holiday without a festive cocktail? Below is my favorite spa water recipe that you can either leave virgin or amp it up with some vodka.

What you'll need:
Sparkling Mineral Water 
Ice Mint 

For the kids and I (virgin recipe):
Squeeze some lemon into your mineral water. Next add blueberries and strawberries. Allow to marry for at least two hours. Serve over ice and garnish with a mint leave.  

For the Adults: Follow the recipe above but add a couple ounces of your favorite vodka and mix well.

A Healthy Detour

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Detour Bar. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I always like to keep a snack of some sort in my purse. You never know when you’ll get hungry and a bag of nuts or a bar is a lot less calories than a quick stop at the local mini mart or fast food joint.  

Since I recently found out that I have a gluten allergy I jumped at the opportunity to try out Detour Bars. The bars truly are a “snack” bar with 130 calories, 10 g of protein, low in sugar and a good source of fiber. They’re soft, chewy and have a Greek Yogurt drizzle – yum! They’re the perfect on the go snack and are now a staple in my purse (along with almonds). Not to mention if you need a sweet fix I highly recommend the Apple Cinnamon bar!
Blueberry has a slight blueberry taste as well as blueberry pieces in it. The bar is on the sweeter side and definitely makes for a great snack especially after a workout or if you are craving something sweet.

The Apple Cinnamon is delicious and by far my favorite. With chunks of apples through the bar paired with the perfect amount of sweet. I have been eating these when I have a serious craving for ice cream or chocolate and what I love is that it actually fills me up instead of leaving me wanting more.

Celebrate: Jack Turned 2

 Jack turned two yesterday, and in honor of his birthday here is a look back at the past 8 months.

Grill It Up

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Beef Checkoff. I received products to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

When asked to host a dinner party that included a beef dish I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. The first thing that came to mind was steak. Then it hit me – I never make beef at home! I think it’s my inability to grill (I have no idea how to even turn it on!) combined with the fact that I can’t even copy my mum’s simple beef stew recipe in the fall. It was then I knew my beef deficiency was about to end thanks to the Beef Checkoff.

What’s the Beef Checkoff? It’s a national marketing and research program that was established in 1985 as part of the Farm Bill, Funded by America’s cattle farmers/ranchers. The program is directed by cattle farmers, ranchers and importers direct the national checkoff program, which uses funds toward research and promotion efforts designed to increase domestic and/or  international demand for beef. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board and USDA oversee the collection and spending of these beef checkoff funds. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor for the Beef Checkoff and manages research and promotion programs on behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers with oversight from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and USDA. One of the checkoff programs NCBA manages is the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Brand.

Have you visited the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” website yet? It’s amazing, not only does it give you a ton of recipes, but there is information on the different beef cuts (I knew NONE of this information before), grilling tips (thank you!) and even talks about the health benefits ofbeef (who knew!). You definitely should check out the website and see how you can incorporate beef into your next meal!
I decided on hosting my dinner party on Sunday. After spending an hour on the website reading recipes and learning all about grilling and beef cuts I decided to keep it simple and went with a steak. A Ribeye Steak to be exact.
 I used this chart found here to help me get through grilling flawlessly.
 I simply used this rub from Williams-Sonoma on the steak, grilled it up and served it with a tossed salad and grilled corn on the cob. My dinner guests were very impressed (they usually get a chicken meal) and can’t wait for the next dinner party which I think is going to be a taco bar.

DIY: Blanket Scarf

Last year blanket scarves were the accessory to have all fall and winter. I posted this DIY last winter after I made some for Christmas gifts and decided I would post it again in an effort to keep you looking fab this fall on the cheap.

Material List: 
2 yards of your chosen fabric. I used cotton flannel from Joann Fabrics (7.99 /per yard)
Measuring Tape

Step 1: Cut down the width of the fabric to 25” wide (x72” long).  Use the fabric’s plaid grid as a guide when cutting your fabric to help you create straight, clean cuts. 

Step 2: To create on the ends of the scarf, simply remove the fabric’s weft yarns (the yarns that run left to right) along the short side of the fabric. I used a needle to release the yarns. Continue removing yarns until you reach your desired fringe length. I decided on 1 ½” fringe. 

Step 3:
Repeat step 2 on the opposite end of the fabric. You should now have fringe on both of the short sides of the scarf.

 {I cut on the white line}

 {How I pulled up the yarns}

Copycat: Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade

Ever since college I have been a huge fan of Starbucks (Howard Schultz Starbucks CEO went to my
Alma mater), despite the fact that I don't drink coffee. One of my favorite summer drinks is the Passion Tea Lemonade. At $4.00 a pop for a Grande (easily spending $20 a week) I decided that I was going to attempt to recreate the drink at home and the results are everything I could of hoped for.

Copycat Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade
1 tea bag TAZO passion
12 oz. lemonade

1. Boil 8 oz. of water and then steep 1 bag of tea for 15 minutes. * For a stronger taste use two tea bags.
2. Optional stir in a spoon of sugar or sweetener if you desire.
3. Allow tea to cool to room temperature or place in the refrigerator.
4. Wen you are ready for a glass.. fill your cup with ice and pour in the tea and lemonade. * Starbucks does 1 part tea to 2 parts lemonade.
5. Enjoy.

Zoya Naturel | Deux 2014 Transitional

Zoya recently released Naturel Deux, which is a neutral collection bridging the transitional gap between late summer and early autumn consisting of six gorgeous shades. The formula is on the thicker side, but easy to control and each color only needed two coats. The collection is stunning and definitely perfect to wear when you don’t want to polish your nails in neon and it’s too soon for vampy hues.
Spencer is a light camel cream and is a gorgeous neutral color – perfect for lighter skin tones.
 Chanelle is a caramel latte neutral – perfect for medium skin tones.
 Emilia is a dark chocolate coffee cream – perfect for dark skin tones.
 Marnie is a deep plum bordeaux.
 Aubrey is a medium mauve bordeaux.
Madeline is a muted rose mauve.

Are You Choosing Leashes Over Strollers?

Once you get to be a certain age, it happens. An inner clock starts ticking, you see them everywhere, your heart starts to melt and you want one of your own to love, cuddle, spoil and take care of. You wonder will I ever be a pet parent?
Yes, that’s right I’m talking about puppies, not babies.

Evidently, unmarried women in their late 20s and 30s make up the demographic that buys the most small dogs (that’s me), and some even speculate that these women tend to have fewer children later in life.
I am sure if you are a dog-lover you can agree that dogs bring just as much joy as a baby would with a whole lot less work.

Has puppy fever become the new baby fever?
What’s your position? Team Puppy? Team Baby? Team Puppy and Baby? Team I can only take care of myself (hi roomie ;))

Summer Cheese Ball

One of my friends recently hosted a beach party, and everyone was required to bring an appetizer to share. There was a diverse gathering of foods to try, but the stand out piece was a summer cheese ball someone made. She graciously gave me the recipe for it and now I’m sharing it with you.

Summer Cheese Ball
8 oz. package cream cheese
4 oz. finely shredded cheddar cheese
½ small can crushed pineapple, drained
2 tablespoons chive
¼ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup walnuts finely chopped

1. Using a slap chop (blender, ninja..etc also will work) finely chop up the cheese, pineapple and pepper.
2. Blend your finely chopped cheese, pineapple and green pepper mixture by hand into cream cheese.
3. Form into a ball or log.
4. Roll in nuts.
5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
6. Serve with Fritos (gluten free option) or crackers.  

Review: PRO Compression Socks

I was provided a pair of PRO Compression socks in exchange for an honest review as part of my partnership with Fit Approach. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 
Saturday started off with a solid bootcamp workout: Burpees, girl push-ups, superman, kettlebell swings, swishers, “rainbow squat steps” and finished off with a 5k HIIT run – hello sweat sesh! One of the girls that I go to bootcamp classes with recently told me how she couldn’t get through the class without her compression socks. Personally I had never tried them before, but when Fit Approach and PROCompression wanted to send me a pair I jumped at the opportunity.

So what’s the deal with compression socks? I tried out the marathon socks in my bootcamp class I mentioned above, and I couldn’t believe how much stronger my legs felt during the workout. Usually during the bootcamps my calves get really tight almost to the point of cramping up and with the marathon socks on I didn’t have this issue at all – which was kind of a miracle. I also don’t know why I waited so long to try them!

Visit the PRO Compression website and use promo code "Pink" to receive 40% off your purchase!
Why PRO Compression is the best choice:
1. Made in the USA (HUGE PLUS!!)
2. They offer a Sock of The Month – hello discount! Don’t forget to join their mailing list.
3. One of the few compression sock companies that makes a true graduated compression sock. (You know the kind that actually works)
4. They sell direct – meaning bigger discounts and better customer focus!

Key Features:
1. True Graduated Compression.
2. Arch support with just the right amount of compression.
3. Stabilization zone thru the sides to mid foot. Helps provide bed comfort.
4. Open toe box so it will not keeps your toes to tight.
5. Wide cuff for added comfort.
6. Moisture wicking materials.
7. No blisters!

PRO Compression socks deliver maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood.  The moment you put these socks on your feet, you will feel the difference. This design requires more effort to put on than standard socks. But it’s that extra effort and much-needed compression that make all the difference. Be patient and your feet will thank you. True graduated compression promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflammation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons.

Tweet: I #KeepItTight w/ @PROCompression! Use the code PINK for 40% OFF your entire purchase! @fitapproach #sweatpink