5 At-Home Spa Treatments to Prepare for Date Night

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I bet a lot of you have date nights planned. It’s on a weekend this year, after all, so there is plenty of opportunity to do something special with your special someone.

“Do something special” will mean different things to different people, but there’s one thing we all have in common:  whether you’re planning a fun night on the town, dinner and a movie, or a quiet, romantic dinner at home with your sweetie, I know you want to look your best.  Unfortunately, winter can really wreak havoc on our hair and skin, so you’ll want to have the right products in your arsenal to make getting ready for date night easy and fun!

 1. Do a Lip Scrub for Soft, Smooth, Kissable Lips

Whether your lips are chapped from the dry, winter weather or they just aren’t as soft as you’d like them to be, there’s an easy remedy.

What you’ll need:

  • A spoon
  • Honey
  • Sugar

I don’t use any specific measurements when I do this.  I just take a regular spoon, scoop up some sugar, squeeze in some honey, and mix it all up with my finger.  With that same finger, I apply it to my lips and rub in a firm, circular motion.  Wipe your lips clean with a soft cloth, and you’re on your way to kissable lips.  If your lips are in rough shape, you can do this 2 or 3 times a week.  Once they’re in better condition, you should only need a once a week maintenance scrub.

 2. Try Cucumber Eye Pads to Relieve Tired, Puffy Eyes

 

DIY Cucumber Eye Pads

It’s all in the eyes, and no ones wants them to be tired and puffy looking.  The water and antioxidants in cucumbers will help moisturize and soothe your eyes and even reduce undereye circles.  Try the DIY Ice Cucumber Eye Pads from SarahandSpice.com for an easy and inexpensive eye refresher.  (And please throw away the hemorrhoid cream. That stuff is full of chemicals that you don’t want near your eyes.)

3. Get Glowing Skin with Microdermabrasion

 

Silk'n Revit

Microdermabrasion is one way to get smoother, healthier skin, and it’s something you can do at home.  If you think it sounds a little scary, I know what you mean. I was afraid too, but the Silk’n ReVit is one microdermabrasion tool that will ease your fears and smooth your skin without breaking the bank.  The Silk’n ReVit combines gentle microdermabrasion exfoliation with vacuum stimulation to reduce the appearance of age spots, fine lines, and acne scars.  It’s gentle, 100% crystal-free, and you can see visible results in as little as a week.

Despite being a little intimidated by the process, ReVit is not nearly as daunting as I thought, and I’m a big fan of it.  It’s been absolutely wonderful when it comes to smoothing my skin after winter has made it a bit flaky, which means my foundation looks a thousand times better and more natural.  As I get older, I find it harder to get that “natural” makeup look, so I’m really happy to find something that does the job.

4. Deep Condition for Salon-Beautiful Locks

Silky hair can be achieved at home with the help of a good conditioner done 2-4 times a month.  Deep conditioners generally contain a combination of moisturizers to soften your hair and proteins to strengthen it, and they can do wonders for hair that’s suffered the effects of chemical processing, heat styling, or the weather.  This is where I’d love to give you a recipe for an all-natural hair conditioner, but to be quite honest, I’ve never found one that I like.  I’ve tried a huge variety of diy recipes along with conditioners from natural brands, and they just don’t do the trick.  (Plus, some of the diy recipes tend to spoil quickly.)  So, this is one area where I forego being natural in favor of what my hair likes best.  Personally, I lean toward conditioners that are designed to smooth and soften over the type that emphasize strengthening, and my favorites are the L’Oréal Feria Color Moisturizing Treatment (I’ve only ever seen this at Sally’s, and if they stop selling it, I will cry) and the Aveda Smooth Infusion Smoothing Masque, but there are lots of options out there.  Just make sure you don’t overdo it by applying too frequently, or it will just end up weighing your hair down.

5. Moisturize Your Cuticles for Beautiful Hands

 

DIY Cuticle Butter

You put your hands through a lot, and while a nice coat of nail polish can certainly brighten things up, you don’t want dry, ugly cuticles ruining your look.  I love this recipe for DIY Cuticle Butter from Suburbia Unwrapped because it’s inexpensive and fairly simple to put together.  Remember, your cuticles are skin; care for them the way you do the rest of your body, and they’ll stay healthy and beautiful.

This is your own little spa day, so go ahead and light some candles or fire up that aromatherapy diffuser.  Just relax and take some time out of your hectic schedule to take care of yourself, and you’ll definitely look your best for date night, no matter what the occasion.  I’d suggest a glass of wine, but I don’t want you to undo the work of those cucumbers.  :)

 


Can’t Find the Right Words? Try Teleflora’s FREE Love Note Concierge

It’s almost Valentine’s Day!  I’ve known people who roll their eyes at this particular holiday, but I think it’s a lot of fun.  While I try to show my love and appreciation for people every day, I enjoy having a day where I can really go all-in and have a little celebration in what is an otherwise dreary time of year.

When it comes to Valentine’s gifts, I love flowers.  I don’t need anything fancy, and flowers have a lot of lovely symbolism on their side.  Besides, who doesn’t love opening up that little envelope that comes with flowers, and reading that special note from their loved one?  It’s my favorite part!

Unfortunately, I think those notes sometimes seem difficult or overwhelming, whether you’ve known the recipient for one month or 20 years.  I’m no poet, so I totally understand.  You want to say the right thing in the right way and still sound like yourself; no one wants to get flowers with a note that reads like it was copied from a generic greeting card.

Fear not!  If you want to send some flowers and need a little help on that note, Teleflora is your solution!

TF14689-TF-VDay-Love-Note-Logo_HS-v4

I bet you’ve heard of Teleflora, and maybe you’ve even received or sent flowers from them.  They’ve been around for over 80 years, and they are the world’s leading flower delivery service, so they know a thing or two about doing flowers right.  This year they have a new service that I’m really excited to tell you about:  Love Note Concierge.

This free service provides you with a love note “coach” who can help you say exactly what you want to say on those little notes of love for Valentine’s Day.  How cool is that?  There’s no generic phrasing here:  your coach will make sure that your note is as one-of-a-kind as your love.  This service is totally free – no purchase required, no strings attached, and just a toll-free phone call away at 1-844-IT-IS-LOVE.

Now that you’ve got the note situation under control, let’s have a look at some of Teleflora’s special 2016 Valentine’s Day bouquets!

telefloraflowers05

Aren’t they gorgeous?

Wrapped with Passion Bouquet (top left):

Dramatic long-stemmed roses and fragrant pink stargazer lilies in a hand-blown Italian vase with a sparking ribbon.

Pair of Hearts Bouquet (top right):

Red roses, red carnations, and white alstroemeria in a hand-glazed ceramic vase featuring two perfectly connecting hearts.

Lovely Hearts Bouquet (bottom left):

Peach, pink, and red spray roses in a hand-painted watercolor hearts mug.

Best Friends Forever Bouquet (bottom right):

Red and white roses, miniature carnations, and cushion spray chrysanthemums in a glazed ceramic vase with heart detail.

Like I said: gorgeous.

I love all of these bouquets, but I am particularly fond of the Lovely Hearts Bouquet.  Just look at this beauty sitting on my dining room table:

telefloraflowers01

It makes me smile every time I look at it, because it’s such a happy bouquet!  I love the bright, warm mix of colors, and the variety of flowers used.  The hearts mug is also adorable, and since it’s food-safe, it will be a perfect addition to my tea mugs!

telefloraflowers02

I couldn’t be happier with these flowers.  If you’re looking for a nice floral gift, Teleflora is a great place to get the perfect arrangement (and if you’re hoping for some “surprise” flowers of your own, you can always leave this post open on your computer for that special someone to see! hint hint!).  Ordering from Teleflora is incredibly easy, and you can even get flowers delivered the same day.

To take a look at all the beautiful flower arrangements for Valentine’s Day or any occasion, visit Teleflora.com.  And don’t forget, through February 12th you can use their free Love Note Concierge service to craft a perfect, one-of-a-kind note for your loved one!


Fé Fit: A Fun, Effective Exercise Program for Busy Women


There was a time when fitness was a top priority for me–then I became a mother.  Gone are the days when I could head to the gym before work in the morning or when I was able to exercise for 60 or more consecutive minutes.  These days, I feel pretty lucky when I can squeeze in 20 or 30.  I still own the DVDs I used to work out to, but they mostly sit on the shelf collecting dust.  They’ve been replaced by DVDs with shorter, more flexible workouts.  Since I’m cutting down my exercise time by a large percentage, it’s especially important that the routines I follow make the most of the precious minutes I’m dedicating to them.

Fe Fit Essentials Kit

If you can relate, then I found something I think you will really appreciate:  the Fé Fit Women’s Workout Program.  Created by moms for moms, this program will give your whole body a workout while helping you target those trouble areas–even when you’re short on time.  With their 13-week/90-day program, you get 8 discs that contain 28 videos (each 30 or fewer minutes) featuring seven fitness genres, including Cardio Circuit, Core, Lower Body, Upper Body, Total Body Toning, Barre, and Stretch Flow.  Commit to doing 3 of their workouts a week, and you’ll be on your way to a sexier, more toned body.

Fé Fit VideosSo, are the videos as great as they sound?  Let me tell you why my answer is yes.  First, I love the instructor.   She’s got that balance where she’s positive and upbeat but not so much that she’s annoying.  She clearly guides you through moves that are challenging without being complicated.  In recent years, I’ve found that a lot of DVDs are combining multiple moves at a fast pace in an effort to get more done in less time.  In theory, that sounds perfect, but let’s be honest; I’m not getting more coordinated as I get older.  Fé Fit videos make my muscles work hard, but they don’t make me trip over my own feet.  That’s a pretty big plus.  A workout is far less effective when you aren’t fully and properly executing the moves.

The program is good both for beginners and for those with more experience working out at home.  Really advanced users might find this to be a good supplement to their DVD rotation, but not necessarily as the main feature.  Fé Fit favors high reps over heavy weights, so you can expect to get stronger without getting too bulky.  And who wants to be more bulky, right?

Workout Equipment

To take full advantage of all the included videos, you’ll want some equipment that doesn’t come with the set, like a mat, fitness band, pilates ring, a chair or barre, and weights (obviously).  This isn’t required, but it’s helpful.  If you don’t already own these items, Fé Fit does offer kits that include some equipment, so you might want to check that out.

As I mentioned, Fé Fit does an excellent job of making it easy to fit exercise into your busy schedule, whether you’re a mom or not.  The main program is 13 weeks, but they also provide you with 3-week and 6-week options.  Included in the package are detailed calendars for you to follow, along with stickers that you can use to mark the workouts you’ve completed.  They know the challenges we’re facing, and they’ve really thought of everything to make this experience as convenient as possible.

There’s one more thing I should mention, as it seems to bother some people.  They do refer to moms fairly frequently during the workouts.  I’m not sure why certain people don’t like that, and I don’t even notice it anymore, but I thought I’d give you a warning in case you think it’s a turn off.  Again, it doesn’t bother me at all; it’s still a good workout.

Why join an expensive gym that you know you don’t have time to go to when you can get the perfect workout right at home?  Fun Fé Fit workouts will help you lose weight, tone up, and will have you feeling more feminine and attractive than ever before.  Oh, and did I mention how affordable it is?  This is a value that just can’t be beat.  Check out Fé Fit on Amazon and see for yourself!


Recipes for the Big Game from Boulder Organic Foods + Giveaway!

Boulder Organics is brand new to me, but it’s exactly the kind of brand I like to support.  They create small batches of fresh, organic soup that are certified organic, certified gluten-free, and non-GMO project verified.  They support organic farmers across the nation, and they donate 2% of their soup to the Community Food Share and other non-profits in the Boulder, CO area.  See?  My kind of company.

Boulder Organic

Their soups are fantastic on their own, but you can also use them to create some seriously yummy meals. Today, we have two easy-t0-make recipes, featuring Boulder Organic Soups, to share with you.

Green Chile Pulled Pork:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. pork shoulder roast
  • 1 tub Boulder Organic! Green Chile Corn Chowder

Place a 2 lb. pork shoulder roast in a slow cooker, add one tub of the Green Chile Corn Chowder on top (add a dash of salt if desired). Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Pull apart and enjoy!

AvocadoandCilantro

Chicken Vegetable Chili Nachos:
Ingredients:

  • 1 tub Boulder Organic! Chicken Vegetable Chili
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  •  1 avocado, diced
  • 1 jar pickled jalapenos, drained (if you like the spice!)
  • 1-2 cups finely shredded Mexican blend cheese
  •  ½ cup fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler, place top rack about 6 inches from top. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread tortilla chips over baking sheet. Heat Chicken Vegetable Chili in saucepan until slightly reduced and thickened. Pour chili over the top of tortilla chips. Add cheese to the top of chili (as much as you like!). Place baking sheet on top rack and broil 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top nachos with salsa, sour cream, avocado, jalapenos, and cilantro as desired.

These are simple and delicious recipes that anyone can whip up without much trouble.  Whether you try them out for the Big Game or serve them up at another event, they’re sure to be crowd pleasers!

To recreate these recipes or just to try one of their soup varieties, head to the grab-and-go and deli refrigerator sections of your local natural and conventional grocers, like Whole Foods and Target.  Check their soup locator to find a retailer close to you.  Visit BoulderOrganicFoods.com to learn more about the brand and its products, and make sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest Boulder Organic news!

Enter to win free product coupons good for Boulder Organic Soups!  Giveaway is open to US residents who are 18 and older.  Ends 2/22/16.  Good luck!

Boulder Organic Giveaway [Read more…]


Play Along with the Big Game with Pirate’s Booty Bingo!

Are you all set for the Big Game?  Got your food?  Beverages?  Games?  Yep.  I said games.  Hold on a minute, and I’ll explain.

If you have kids and, like me, you’re heading out to the store to pick up some last minute essentials, do what I’m doing and grab some Pirate’s Booty.  Why?  For Pirate’s Booty Bingo!

Pirate's Booty

Download their FREE bingo cards, and use Pirate’s Booty as the bingo markers.  We are going with the Aged White Cheddar Puffs because they’re my son’s absolute favorite.  (I approve of this choice because I know they don’t contain any artificial color or flavors or preservatives.)  The spaces on the cards are football-themed (touchdown, field goal, and first down, etc.), so you can play along with the game.  It’s a great way to get the kids to enjoy watching the game with you, and you get to eat yummy snacks, so it’s a big win for everyone!

Pirate's Booty Bingo

Of course, you can do this with their other snacks, like Fruity Booty and Crunchy Treasures, and it will be just as much fun.  Click the image above to download the bingo cards, and get ready for an extra fun time with your family!