Nov 5, 2015

Jamberry: Do-It-Yourself Manicure

Ever get your little girl a manicure and then she smudges them 15 minutes later? This used to happen to me all the time and occasionally still does. I recently, tried out Jamberry nail wraps which requires no polish at all not even clear! This was perfect for my super fidgety 8 year old (like a worm in hot ashes my grandmother used to say).

The Jamberry nail wraps are made with durable materials, so smudges and streaks are never an issue, and can last for up to two weeks on fingernails and four weeks on toes (hers lasted a little less than 2 weeks). For reference the wraps can be removed with coconut/olive oil or nail polish remover.

There are over 300 nail wraps designs, you can customize, pair, and layer Jamberry nail wraps to create a look that’s all your own. All you need is a heat source like a blow dryer to activate the wraps, scissors, a nail file to finish the edges and your fingers or a cuticle pusher to smooth out bubbles.

The wraps are vinyl, non-chipping, vegan, gluten-free and made in the U.S.A. The price point is $15 for regular sheets and if you buy 3 you get 1 free (except for premium collegiate wraps & sorority). A full line of nail wraps can be found here.

Oct 31, 2015

Host a Party like a Boss

The holidays are coming and so are the parties. If you love hosting gaggles-o-folks like me then here are a few tips to get your through the upcoming holiday season while channeling your inner home chef. Follow the #CookLikeAPro  hashtag to see how using new suite of Kenmore Pro kitchen products will have you hosting like a Boss in no time. Below I share a few of my tried and true tips.

1. Prepare - Nothing saves a headache like planning in advance. Lay out your menu and ingredients or call the caterer. Figure out your theme or color scheme and necessary decor. You get the picture. Do not let your event sneak up on you.

2. Budget - Set a budget and stick to it. Back all your remaining needs into that number. This way you don’t have to eat Ramen for the two weeks following your party.

3. Menu - A no fuss menu is key. After you take into any dietary considerations make sure you create a well rounded menu that is complimentary to each other. For example, pigs in a blanket are great but not when you are having a mainly Thai menu. That's just weird and all the different flavors will make for a stomach ache.

 I also find that individual/self serve situations are great like these mini apple crisps or the brussel sprout and pancetta flatbread above both of which you can whip up super fast with Accela Heat technology from the Kenmore Elite ovens. This feature can save you an extra 40% in time cutting out all that pre-heat time. If you are feeling fancy you can put one of each in the Kenmore Pro Double Wall Ovens and watch that True Dual Convection brown not burn your foods evenly.

4. Drinks - Consider having a signature cocktail that you pre-batch a few days in advance like this Mother's Milk (pictured) or Harvest Margarita.  Both of them can be made using the new Kenmore Elite Blender. To round out your bar you can
couple these with one red and one white wine. Tip: Not everyone is wine savvy. Check your local store and ask for recommendations and don’t forget to ask about delivery. It will save you time in the end.

5. Set up - Ask friends/family to help you lay out  the service areas. It will be important to put the food and drink in opposite areas of the room for a good flow.

6. Childcare - if your event is adult only then make sure you arrange a sitter that evening for you little ones. This way you don’t have to worry about them being bored or running around your party trying to blow out your candles.

7. Capture the moment- assign a friend who takes great photos or hire someone but you will want to have this moment captured for memories.

8. Outfit - any good host rocks out her outfit. Plan your attire in advance and make it grand. When you open the door you must remember you are also on display.

9. Splurge on hiring a cleaning service to come in after the party. It will be the best money you have ever spent. After everything is all done you will be so tired and will be glad you spent the extra dollars here. If budget is an issue you can also enlist friends and family who didn’t help with setup to help with the cleanup.

10. Most parties you end up with lots of leftovers. To avoid waste have guests bring containers with them to take to-go.

You don't have to be Kerry Latch (Kenmore Executive Chef) to have a kick ass spread. You can get this all done with a sleek and chic Kenmore Pro kitchen of your own. Just follow the quick links above and get started today.  #AD

Sep 30, 2015

My new favorite beauty emporium!

A LIFE filled with wonder is a WONDERFUL life
Sometimes you luck up and meet your social media friends in person and they turn out to be really cool individuals (and then of course there are times you are thankful for the 'block' button). This is the lead in to my introduction to my now friend Carmen Blakely of LipstickFashionMascara who I met at an event a few months ago. That chance meeting led to a joint day off from our jobs and a full day of hanging out doing what we called #AlloftheThings. I had so much fun that day and owe it mostly to her.

The day culminated with a visit to the Rituals Cosmetic and Beauty store or Europe's #1 beauty emporium as it says in their window. I'm not going to go on and on here but if there is one luxe beauty shop you want to add to your repertoire, this is it. From the packaging and scents, to the customer service and the gift with purchase bonuses I promise you, you won't be disappointmented.

Since this visit, I have already been back again to refill (what can I say, I'm a loyalist). It seems my 8 year old also loves the products and luxuriates in the shower with my body scrub more than I would prefer. I should make her buy the next round.

In case your are wondering the price points vary with the full size scrubs and creams around $29 and the smaller sizes from about $6-$15. Below are my favorites from the TAO line (clean fresh scent with White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren extract), and if you go now you can get the free candle that is being offered (I got one yesterday).  with a purchase of $60 or more. Trust me you will want this all over your body.



Sep 28, 2015

Washing Dishes by hand really sucks.

I.Hate.Washing dishes.Period.

Oh were you waiting for something else? No that's it. 

For a long time, my mother in law and I were the only ones doing dishes. To top it off, the folks I live with try my patience by leaving dishes in the sink especially after I've washed everything (daddy). We don't have a dishwasher (yet) so recently, I implemented a chore policy so at least the kids would wash dishes 1-2 times a week. This way everyone could avoid my complaining.

I just couldn't fathom working all day then coming home and then washing a whole bunch of dishes. Like who the hell has that time for that? Just think of how many dishes you use in a day or after a cooked meal then multiply it by six people. Of course the major offenders are the children. It looks a little something like this...

That's why I got super excited when I found out about the new Kenmore line of Elite Dishwashers.
If you have a house full like me the new dishwashers are packed with a host of new features like microfiltration, top rack wash, and automated smart dry selection. Your dish washing headaches just got a lot easier.

Even having the kids do them, while less stress for me, I often have to go back over the bowls and glasses because they don't really deep clean them. With the Kenmore Elite® Hidden Control Dishwasher with TurboZone Reach TM for example you get corner-to-corner cleaning with the 24 nail jets in the upper rack to reach deep inside the bottoms of bowls, bottles and glasses, and get every last dish cleaned right the first time. The kids would be so amped to not do dishes and I would be happy not to go in behind them to re-do them.

For you eco-friendly families you can also save water with the New! MicroClean TM innovative filtration system that helps deliver peak cleaning performance with less water and shortened cycle time.  

Some other DISHTASTIC features to die for include: 
  • The Quietest Elite, is rated at 39 dBA, and is so quiet you may not even know its on
  • SmartDryTM selects the best drying cycle automatically that matches the selected wash cycle, to deliver the right drying for every load, while New! SmartDryTM Plus dries 25% better than Smart
  • Exclusive 360 PowerWash TM Plus Spray Arm reaches deep into every corner. Industry’s only motorized driven arm that senses blockages and still moves, making sure cleaning isn’t compromised.
  • New! LED Lighting illuminates the dishwasher’s interior so consumers can easily find items
    they need. You know when you are unloading the dishwasher late at night or looking for that last clean glass.
I wish I had one of these fab new dishwashers in my house. My favorite features would be the Quietest Elite, Smart Dry, and the TurboZone Reach. They totally fit the needs of my so called life of messy ones. 

For more information about and how you can snag one of the new Kenmore Elite Dishwashers click here.
#ArtofHome #AD

Aug 14, 2015

Mud Obliteration: the Ultimate Detergent Test

This post is a continuation from The Dirty Girl Mud Run post. When we left off, my two friends Brianna and Cassandre had just finished the Mud Run.

As a favor to them and a thank you for doing the DGMR for me I offered to wash their clothes. A full bag of muddy, soiled clothing met me at my doorstep this past Tuesday and as soon as I opened it I quickly thought to myself what the hell did I agree too????

I opened up my fresh box of Kenmore High Efficiency Laundry Detergent and got to work. I learned about this new detergent, formulated to work with top and front loading machines at the Kenmore press launch a few weeks ago. It smells just like you would expect detergent to smell and comes with a scooper. You used one scoop full and that should do it.

I'm a sucker for a tricked out laundry room so I spent a bunch of time talking to the guy in this area. As you see in the picture they have a new line of washer and dryers as well with all kinds of cool settings like Steam Refresh which you can just drop your clothes in to quickly take the wrinkles out while you do something else. Its similar to a home dry cleaning system. It also removes odors all in a 20 min cycle.  Think about how much money you could save on dry cleaning! The 5.3 cu ft washing machine has amazing capacity as well, holding up to 26 towels in one load. I don't have 26 towels at one time but I do have tons of football, soccer and just stuff with six people in the house.

Nevertheless, I'm going to be honest I'm a liquid detergent girl but I tried the powder and I did have to wash it twice but that's because the clothes were literally drenched in mud as was my machine. The clothes came out sparking clean.

Tip: After super muddy washes like this I like to let my washing machine go a cycle to just cleanse itself with no clothes in it. It will prevent any remaining residue from getting into your next load.


I wanted to cry!
Box as big as your face-lasts 4evah!!

Tutu before
Tutu after

This towel was so dirty that I told Cassandre I couldn't save it. I actually wiped the floor with it after because it thought it was done. I happen to just throw it in the washing machine anyway and I can not even believe how it came out. Look at it for your yourself. Incredible and done with the Kenmore High Efficiency Detergent.

How I did the Dirty Girl Mud Run and Stayed Clean

I know that sounds crazy but it did happen--sort of. It went a little something like this.
  1. Girl who places it safe-you know the one who doesn't ride roller coasters or eat overly exotic foods gets an email from her friends at Kenmore.
  2. Email asks her if she'd like to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run and bring a friend
  3. Safe girl is pumped, asks her husband what he thinks, finds a friend and replies 'YES'.
  4. Something happens when you hit 40- you kind of want to say F-it, I can do this!
That's the short version of this got started. Fast forward and I was prepped and ready to go for the NYC Dirty Girl Mud Run on August 8th. I had read all the FAQs, decided to pick my packet up early from Sports Authority, gone on the DGMR Facebook page, charged my battery on my Activeon  DX Action camcorder and I was all set. I even picked out my outfit of throw-away clothes.

 Sidebar, this wearable camcorder is the truth. As you can see I road-tested it while I was in Turks & Caicos so I wouldn't blow it for the run. Its great for getting right to the action of whatever adventure you are on. You can buy it at Sears for $299. Click here to see features and purchase. I'm also wearing the headstrap (yes, not the most flattering) that allows you to be hands-free and just experience all the fun. I was ready!

Then the worst happened, I got a text message from my best friend, my sister telling me her father passed away. My heart was broken for her and I knew I had to be there for my family. What was I going to do?! I had made a commitment and needed a solution that would allow me to cover the Dirty Mudrun and be in North Carolina for my friend.

My friend who was going to run with me (Cassandre of and my staff writer, Brianna Arps of Mouthing Off Blog agreed to help me out and be my eyes and ears in the 'mud' for the Dirty Girl MudRun. I can't thank them enough for all their help. They had lots of fun and got really dirty.

My dirty ballerina


Two very dirty girls

 So of course we had to make a video about it, wanna see it? Here it go:


Stay tuned to my next post where I offered to wash their clothes (WTH was I thinking??). You'll see how I got all these stains out and and returned them to them fresh smelling clothes while using the new High Efficiency Powder Detergent from Kenmore. Trust me, this was no easy task!

Aug 11, 2015

Turks & Caicos: Having Fun as a Family & You can too

Turks & Caicos is a great place for a family vacation.  We went recently and had the time of our lives. It starts with where you decide to stay. Depending on the age of your kids you may want to look for a hotel that has a kid's club or childcare services so you can break away for some me time. A friend of mine had told me she and her family always stay at Beaches--that they have a great kids camp and child drop program. I just remember it being super crowded and my husband and I had decided we already just wanted to CHILL.

The other thing that is key is budget. I found our hotel on and flights on We stayed at The Somerset on Grace Bay which is yes a resort but the location is made up of a series of villas and suite-like residences.

 When I booked the 3 bedroom unit for our family of five I had no idea what I was in for. We walked in our unit and our mouths literally just dropped as we ran from room to room. I definitely recommend this hotel for your stay if you are with a group with an extended stay. If you stay for at least 5 days I recommend you going to the IGA grocery store and save a few dollars by cooking your own breakfast and or lunch. Our villa had a full kitchen, stove and dishwasher included.

The beach in T&C is spectacular and by far my most favorite beach in the entire Caribbean. Before I launch you into our trip in pictures here a few places to add to your must-see and do list:

  • The Conch Shack or Bugaloos both are on the beach and at The Conch Shack (we went here) you can watch them take the conch right out the shell or buy the shells on the spot. Our friends we met on the catamaran went to Bugaloos and said it was the best food during their entire trip. 
  • Carve out 1/2 day to book the Island Vibes Tour - this catamaran will take you out to the middle of the ocean where you can snorkel, you also make a stop at Iguana Island, have your fair share of rum punches and can enjoy the great stories from your ship captain and then slide from the top of the boat right into the ocean. My kids had a ball!
  • Island Fish Fry - happens every Thursday from 5:30-9pm at Bight Children's Park
  • Mango Reef Restaurant - you can dine on the beach here (reservation required). I recommend the Watermelon Carpaccio (sooooo good)
  • Provo Ponies - we didn't go here but I have heard its great. You can go for a horseback ride on the water
I so wish I was back there...

If you ever have any questions about your upcoming trip to the island, feel free to email me at Happy summering...