Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Perfect Sentimental Mother's Day Gift

Hey Gals! With Mother's Day right around the corner, I'm gearing up for another special holiday with Little M, and of course with my own Mother and Mother-in-law! While I'm super excited for any goodies that I may receive, I also want to make sure I'm honoring my special gals with something thoughtful, that I know they'll love.  After wracking my brain, I was so excited when I was contacted by Kidz Can Design to check out their offerings and pick out a personalized piece from their collection. 

Kidz Can Design specializes in converting your child’s artwork, photos, hand prints, and foot prints into custom sterling silver jewelry and key chains that display their precious keepsakes with pride. I love this concept so much, because even at only a year and a half, Little M comes home from his daycare with tons and tons of artwork, but I'm only able to display so much of it on my fridge and at my desk at work.
Just a small snippet of Little M's masterpieces
After pouring through their website, I decided to create a sterling silver key chain with some of his hand print artwork. 

I knew it would be the perfect gift for Little M to give to his grandmothers on Mother's Day. The Kidz Can Design website was super easy to navigate, and after snapping a picture of his artwork on my phone, I was able to upload for creation on my selected key chain. 
After about 2 weeks, I received the key chain, and I couldn't be more in love with it! 

I was *almost* tempted to keep it for myself, but I know how much this will mean to my Mom and MIL, and besides, with all of the artwork I have to chose from, I know I can just create my own keepsake!

The front side is the engraved artwork

 And on the back, I was able to include a sweet message
 Custom pieces start at $49.99 and you can be ordered directly on the Kidz Can Design website here.

What are you planning to gift all of the special Moms in your life?

*Disclosure: One Kidz Can Design keychain was sent to me for review, but all opinions are 100% my own. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Party Planner: Cinco de Mayo

We love any festive occasion that's ripe for a theme party, so with Cinco de Mayo quickly approaching next week, we're dreaming up the ultimate fiesta for our amigos. Bring on the bright colors, fun DIY details, and of course, the delicious Mexican food!

Thanks to our pals at Evite and Food Should Taste Good, we're overflowing with an abundance of party ideas to make this year's Cinco de Mayo celebration the best one ever. To set the tone for the party right from the start, we're loving Evite's assortment of Cinco de Mayo e-invitations.

One of our favorite ways to put a personal touch on our parties is to create some handcrafted decorations. For this party, try painting some 3D letters and adhering them to the wall with painter's tape. Of course, no Cinco de Mayo party would be complete without some pinatas - how cute are these little guys?

Flowers are always a welcome addition to any soiree, and we really love how the ones below add to the party's cheerful color palette. They totally pop!

Now for everyone's favorite part of any special event...the menu! Evite has a bunch of yummy recipes that would be perfect for this fiesta - we really love these cool, refreshing lime popsicles, served on ice.

For an easy dish that's sure to be a crowd pleaser, set up a DIY nacho bar filled with different toppings and Food Should Taste Good chips so that all of the guests can customize their meals. Not only is this sure to be delicious, but the simple preparation allows you, the host, to get out of the kitchen and actually enjoy your own party!

To commemorate this event, your guests will love posing in front of a photo wall! After all, who doesn't love a festive Instagram photo? Grab some props and embrace your inner paparazzi. Once you've finished posing with the pinatas, relive your childhood by breaking them open and watching everyone dive for their favorite candy!

If you want some more awesome tips on how to plan the ultimate Cinco de Mayo party, head over to Evite for more of their expert advice. They make party planning simple and fun, which are our two key ingredients to any successful event!

Have fun celebrating next week - Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

This post is sponsored by Evite and Food Should Taste Good. All opinions are our own.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Skinnygirl Savvy Snacker: Meet the New "Girls" + GIVEAWAY!

I am always on the lookout for yummy, healthy snacks that I can have on the go, which is why I was so excited to discover Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bars a few months ago. Between long hours at the office, running to catch the subway, spending time with friends and family, and squeezing in some exercise, my days are meticulously scheduled so it's important for me to plan ahead when it comes to meals and snacking to ensure that I'm making smart choices.

Enter Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bars! They pack tons of protein, fiber, and other health benefits - each bar is less than 200 calories, gluten free, Kosher, and does not contain any artificial sweeteners or flavors, so there is room for a Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bar in every diet. Best of all, they totally taste like decadent treats and are nothing like your average "diet food" - because let's face it, if it doesn't taste yummy, there is no way I'll be reaching for it during snack time!

When I tried the original line-up of Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bar flavors, I was impressed with how they kept me feeling full and satisfied my cravings between meals. Recently, Skinnygirl released three new flavors - let's meet these "new girls," shall we?

 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein

Right off the bat, this was the flavor I was most excited to try since I'm basically a cookie dough addict. I snacked on this bar during a mid-afternoon slump at the office at around 3:00 - not only did it carry me through the rest of my workday, but I felt energized enough to put in a really good workout at the gym that night. The cookie dough flavor felt really indulgent, and knowing I was getting an extra boost of protein made the treat even sweeter!

Dark Chocolate Almond with Coconut

The combination of flavors in this bar is right up my alley - in fact, I think it may be my new favorite of the entire Skinnygirl line-up! During a recent mid-morning meeting, I reached into my work bag and pulled out this yummy bar, which immediately left me feeling satisfied and ready to tackle some additional projects before lunch. This bar is a new staple of my snack arsenal!

 Lemon Swirl

To be completely honest, this is the flavor that I was least excited to try, simply because I generally tend to not care for lemon-flavored food (but give me chocolate any day!). I was pleasantly surprised that the lemon flavor was not overpowering, and it tasted a bit lighter than I had been expecting. I had a Lemon Swirl bar during a recent shopping trip that ran longer than I had anticipated, and it was the perfect way to tide me over until dinner. Another win for Skinnygirl!

You can find these new flavors at Target, or shop online at SkinnygirlDaily with code SEQUIN1 to take 10% off your order! Plus, one lucky reader will receive a 4-pack of each new flavor - enter below for your chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am a Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bar Ambassador (#SGSavvySnacker) and received compensation in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Five on Friday: {April 24, 2015}

Happy Friday Gals! As always, I am welcoming the weekend with big, excited open arms! This week I was lucky enough to have a short work week thanks to a couple of personal days I took on Monday and Tuesday, but it only made the week feel longer once I was back at work on Wednesday (why does that always happen?!).  So now I’m counting down the hours until it’s acceptable to have a cocktail (meaning the second I get home from work), but until then, I’m kicking things off with today’s Five on Friday!

Red Bank Food Festival
Little M and I last year when we ran into Mama B!

This weekend I’m planning to check another item off of my Spring Bucket List by attending a fun international food festival a couple of towns over from me in Red Bank.  We attended last year (and even ran into B’s parents!) and had such a great time strolling around the festival, enjoying plenty of delicious food (and wine) from the local restaurants that I knew we had to go again this year.

Closet Overhaul/Capsule Wardrobe?

While the concept of a capsule wardrobe certainly isn’t a new one, I’ve recently started to give it a lot of thought after reading this article. I feel like I’m in a total clothing rut, where I have a big closet (and dresser!) full of clothes that I never wear, and frustrated that I never seem to leave the house in anything other than leggings and tees. I’ve decided to take the first step in exploring a capsule wardrobe by properly cleaning out my closet. I’ve done a few futile attempts in the past, but this time I’m planning to literally remove everything before I start sorting (rather than comb through it while it’s all still in there).  I can’t say that I’m completely ready to purge and start fresh, but I am hoping that this closet cleanse will be a step in the right direction.  Has anyone else committed to a capsule wardrobe? I’d love to hear your thoughts/advice/feedback!!

Sandal Lust

And speaking of slimming down my closet.. of course I’m currently lusting after a new pair of shoes! But these Kate Spade sandals are just too perfect – they have the comfort of a flip flop, but with a little bit more polish and pizzazz, which is basically my style motto!

Married at First Sight
Am I the only crazy person watching this ridiculous show?! For those not familiar, the title really says it all – it’s a reality show in which a group of “love experts” match a couple, and then agree to not meet each other until they walk down the aisle and get married! It’s really as crazy as it sounds, but I can’t get enough of it! It’s trashy reality tv at its finest and I’m totally hooked.  After their weddings, the couples live together and then after 6 weeks decide if they want to stay married or not.  If anyone is looking for some totally mindless tv, I definitely recommend checking this show out on A&E.

Lululemon $200 Giveaway!

And last but not least, don’t forget about the fabulous giveaway we’re co-hosting with a bunch of our very favorite bloggers! Enter to win a $200 giftcard to Lululemon!

A Little Glitter | On the Daily Express | Deborah Yanni | My Borrowed Heaven | As the Wine Cork Turns | The Sequin Notebook | Medicine & Manicures | Cheshire Kat | The Kay Times | Martinis & Bikinis | Green Fashionista | Coffee & Glitter | Make Me Up Mia | Pink and Fabulous Kids and Cabernet | Dream Big and Buy the Shoes |

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great weekend Gals!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Top 10 Tips for Bridesmaids: At the Wedding

While I'm not quite at Katherine Heigl/"27 Dresses" numbers, it's safe to say that I have plenty of experience as a bridesmaid. I know that many ladies may roll their eyes at the seemingly old-fashioned concept of wearing the same shiny dress as five other women, and perhaps we've all vented a bit about the drama and politics that can surround bridal parties, but when all is said and done, it's a really wonderful feeling (and yes, an honor) to stand by your friend's side on one of the most important days of her life. I have loved doing it every time I've been asked, and can't wait to be a bridesmaid again in December!

After the meticulous planning of the bridal shower and bachelorette party, it can be tempting on the wedding day to act like your job is already done, but a superstar bridesmaid is always ready to go the extra mile on the big day! Here are my favorite tips for making sure that your role as the best bridesmaid ever extends to the main event itself. (And bonus: this post is chock full of gorgeous wedding photos, including some from my BFF and co-blogger M's beautiful day!)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekending: Lilly Haul Edition + Lululemon Giveaway!

Hey Gals! I know we all say this every Monday, but this weekend seriously flew by in the blink of an eye. It was jam packed with lots of sun, some serious shopping, good food, and quality family time, so all-in-all, a big win in my book!

Friday after work, I headed down to the Jersey shore with GG and his family. We went out to dinner at a great brick oven pizzeria and I indulged in a little wine and an amazing arugula BLT pizza.
Saturday morning GG's family participated in a fun relay marathon race, as Little M and I cheered them on from each of the hand-off spots.

When GG finished his leg of the face, Little M was so excited to see him, and immediately joined in when he did his post-run stretching!

Afterwards, GG's family hosted a fun BBQ at their shore house, and we all soaked up the beautiful weather and some more delicious food, including this amazing cake that one of the racers baked in honor of the event!

We headed home Saturday night, just in time to wake up early and brave the Lilly debut at Target!
clearly Little M was pumped for the debut!
Once I woke up and saw everything already gone from the website, I raced over to my local Target and hoped for the best! Luckily the line wasn't too crazy (compared to what I saw from some of the other Targets on Instagram!), and my 7:45am arrival was early enough to ensure I snagged a couple of great items!
The line was just starting to wrap around the building when I got there
I knew that the clothes section would be insane and I really had my eye on a couple of the home items, so I decided to prioritize and head to that section first. Luckily my plan paid off, and I landed some great glassware, the mug and dish set I was lusting over, some fun bar accessories, and the pineapple serving dish!
Not a bad haul!
Next I headed to the beauty section, but it was slim pickings by the time I got there, but I was still happy to grab a travel case and some fun Essie polishes. As for the clothes section - forget about it! It was completely cleared out when I got to that section - not a single shift dress or scarf to be had! Since I cleaned up with the home goods, I'm not too sad about missing out on the clothes and accessories, though I'm slightly sad I couldn't pickup those cute gold sandals!
My Sale Haul
I still can't believe how much mayhem this designer collab caused! I mean, the line was seriously amazing, but it is pretty ridiculous to see people go so crazy over it, and clean out whole shelves, only to turn around and sell on eBay. Luckily I didn't have to go to battle with anyone in-store and I am excited for all of the amazing Lilly inspired Summer Soirees I have planned for all of my new pretties! And I maaayyy have snagged a couple extra items that we're tucking away for a future giveaway or two, so... stay tuned!
post-shopping celebratory guac and fruity cocktails with my new goodies
 With the shopping craziness behind me, I was able to bask in my post-shopping high, and enjoy a fun day with GG and Little M.
Miss Fred was all too happy to be carted around by Little M
We did a little gardening, some errands, and capped off the night with an amazing dinner of grilled lamp chops and asparagus with mashed "potato" cauliflower.
The perfect ending to a great weekend!
And lastly, we're super excited to be a part of an amazing giveaway with an even more amazing group of ladies! After all of this post-Lilly for Target nonsense, we could all stand to win a $200 gift card to Lululemon, so be sure to enter below - good luck!!

How was everyone elses weekend? Who was crazy enough to hit-up Target like me - any good hauls or crazy stories?!

Linking up with Biana and Meghan!

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