My Favorite Podcasts of 2018

If you haven’t discovered the world of Podcasts, you are missing out!  Since I rarely have time for TV anymore, Podcasts are probably my favorite form of entertainment.  I love that I can listen while doing the dishes, driving, or at work.

I’ve been into Podcasts since the Serial days, but lately the Podcast world has blown up and some of the content and journalism is just too good not to share!

Podcasts 2018

Currently, I just discovered and am binging on “Broken Hart“, which researches the heartbreaking case of the Hart family, whom had six adopted children and were killed after one Mom drove off a California cliff.  This case was obviously so troubling to me and I am listening with baited breath.

Bear Brook chronicles a troubling case of an entire family found murdered in a New Hampshire park.  To this day, nobody knows their identities, but much progress has been made on the case.

Red All Over has to be my favorite Podcast of all time.  If you watch the Handmaids Tale, it is a must. That is all!

Someone Knows Something is another excellent investigative podcast.  Season 4 is the most compelling, in my opinion.

Up & Vanished Season 2 has been unfolding in real time; its’ so interesting.

The Dream takes on multi level marketing or “pyramid” schemes – Enjoyable listening for all, from those that are wrapped up in one of these or just a person that has seen friends and family get involved.

Forever 35 is hosted by two friends who talk about serums, and a lot more.  A fun listen.

This is Love is a beautiful podcast masterpiece, covering stories on all different types of love.

Any great ones out there I’m missing?

 

 

 

 

Last minute Gifts

Are you guys still Christmas shopping? I’m still looking for some gifts but mostly am waiting for all my packages to arrive 🤣

Here are some of what I’m using as stocking stuffers; should be available to buy with time for Christmas!

From Top Left:

  • 1. A fun necklace for my sweet girls
  • 2. This chic pen for a coworker; found at Target but can’t find online.
  • 3. Little Feminists matching game
  • 4. Unicorn bath bombs! 🦄
  • 5. The cutest little “latte” for our furry friends
  • 6. A killer makeup bag for all the mamas!
  • 7. The ultimate lip mask
  • 8. For those that have everything… (this would be my parents)… I make a donation to their favorite charity.
  • 9. For my husband… Nintendo socks!
  • 10. Running gear.
  • So I’m pretty much set on presents. Now I have to find the time to wrap! 🤯
  • Dressing for the Holidays

    I wear workout attire most days, all day, everyday. So now I embrace the Christmas season as time to glam it up!  It is fun to mix up everyday pieces with lots of sequins, velvet, fur, and lace!

    Here is some of what I’ll be wearing this season.

     

    Holiday shoes and clothes ideas
    Holiday sparkle fashion
    1. This top hides problem areas but is still sexy. 
    2. I have these Kate Spade earrings, less than $20!
    3. How fun is this faux fur scarf?  Also less than $20!
    4. I never thought any leggings would be worth $98, but I have to say, I’m a convert. If you try them, you will be too. 
    5. This dress is only $25 (plus 20% off this weekend!) and has great reviews!  Love the color. 
    6. I love to wear sparkly costume jewelry for the holidays… This is definitely on my list. 
    7. I have some similar flats and I receive so many compliments on them! 
    8. Is there such thing as too much polka dot?  I think not
    9. Faux Fur trim for the win! I wore a piece like this for years and people still talk about it. 

    As always, my style is evolving.  Right now it’s a lot more girly and “fancy” probably because I spend a lot of time at home in sweats.  What about you? 

    Saving Winter Skin

    Today we had snow flurries here! Which brings me to Winter. This will be my first real winter since living in Cali and I’m kind of scared to be honest… ❄️ So here’s my game plan for getting through the winter:

     

    Skin Care:

    My skin tends to be dry plus I pick at my skin (so gross) so to keep it moisturized is especially important for me or it goes very very badly. Here is what I’m going to rely on to get me through the winter.

    1. Bite lip mask… this is amazing stuff. Slather it on before bed and your lips are good.

    2. Shower Cream Gel– I’m treating myself to some indulgent shower gels. Whatever it takes!

    3. This Trader Joe’s argon oil is my Holy Grail. I slather the stuff on everywhere.

    4. Trader Joe’s hand cream I use this relentlessly as well.

    The winter is a good time to mix it up with your skin care and do some more aggressive treatments since you’re not going to be in the sun as much. I think I’m going to treat myself to microneedling for the first time 😵

    I’m also going to try to do all the masks, all the time… Including feet and hands.

     

    Home:

    This year I asked for this light box for Christmas. I am hoping to not hibernate all winter like I used to. Seasonal depression is definitely real!

    I’m also using this diffuser to try to keep some moisture in the air.

    Life:

    We always go somewhere warm every February. This year it’s really not in the budget so we’re going to use some airline miles to visit friends in Florida. I’m sure we will be so ready for it by then!

    Also, I’m gonna keep waking up even though it’s dark and cold twice a week and going to work out with a personal trainer. It makes a huge difference in my day.

    Anyone else got some tips on surviving the cold? I sound like such a baby and the truth is I am one!

    How I save money online: 1- price adjustments

    Anthropologie, Athleta, Target, Costco, Home Depot, Nordstrom and more will all do price adjustments for online purchases. That is, if the price drops within a certain time window after purchasing, you can contact them for a price adjustment.

    For example, my mom just bought me two stand up paddleboards from Costco for my birthday.

    I noticed they were running the same boards for $50 off on Black Friday. It takes a quick email and the price adjustment showed up on my credit card!

    I started doing this a few years with the paribus app, which accesses your email and automatically contacts the vendors for you. However I can’t get paribus to work for the past few months… if anyone else knows of another service that does this let me know!

    Trader Joe’s Holiday Finds

    Like every other working mom, I love me some TJ’s.  I sadly now live over an hour from the nearest one 🙁 , but I make a trip about once a month.  There are so many staples there, as well as great finds for gifts, home, and beauty items…

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    But seriously guys, get theeee to a Trader Joe’s.  They have olive wood cheeseboards for $11.99 and bowls for $5.99! These are normally over twice the price.  These would be amazing hostess gifts.  I also picked up the paperwhites, they were $9.99.  I love these as a living centerpiece. They had other bulbs that were a bit cheaper, which would also be a thoughtful gift.

    They had lots of holiday greenery, including Rosemary trees for $9.99, “grinch” trees, and boxwood wreaths.

     

    I was so excited to see the bath and body gifts.  I LOVE the triple hand cream set (this is equal or better to any more expensive brand, for $7.99! Usually I get a sugar scrub set, which I didn’t find this year, but I did find the bath bombs set.  I am going to save these for my girl’s stockings… and the chocolate I will use for my coworkers.

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    Do you have a Trader Joe’s addiction as well?  What are your favorites?

     

    A “Trolls” inspired birthday party💕

    My big girl turned 6 this year!

    Last year we didn’t have a big party so I knew I had to step up my game for this year. My daughter informed me Poppy the troll was going to come to her birthday party a few months ago so I knew I had to deliver.

    Honestly, I’m not wild about kids characters and themed birthday parties… but I decided to just have fun with the trolls theme and it was a blast!

    I started out by planning my daughter’s perfect outfit. It was still around Halloween time when I begin the planning so I was able to snag two troll wigs from target. Aren’t these “Sunshine” shirts I ordered from Etsy so fun?   We also got troll hair for everyone to wear.

    Activities:

    I knew Poppy the troll would be coming and doing face painting, but I wanted to plan lots of stuff to keep the kids busy. My daughter had lots of trolls coloring books so we set up a coloring station.

    We had to bring some California traditions back with us to the East Coast and give her a unicorn piñata! My sweet girl cried when the piñata opened because she didn’t want to hurt the unicorn 🦄. The piñata was a big hit!

    Food:

    We did a snack station for the kids where they could make their own trolls inspired snack mix. I Just put out some popcorn, marshmallows, pretzels, along with all different kinds of sprinkles in pink, purple, and blue as well as little m&m type candies.

    This was followed by, of course, cupcakes! These rainbow toppers are the stuff of my dreams… Purchased from Etsy… Which I put on store-bought cupcakes from the grocery store. We got so many compliments on these!

    I kept the decor simple with balloons and a few banners I purchased at target.

    Of course, we like the adults to enjoy themselves 😉 at our kids birthday parties so I set out a bar for the adults and a charcuterie plate for them.

    Overall, this party was tons of fun and pretty inexpensive. Our absolute favorite thing was the face painting 😍

    Thanksgiving Ideas

    Hard to believe we are just one week away from Thanksgiving!  I have always loved Thanksgiving because I love to cook and we make it one big party.  While traditionally Thanksgiving may get overshadowed by Christmas, I make an effort to keep Thanksgiving fun.

    When we lived in California, we always had a friendsgiving which was also wonderful.  This year, I’m happy to be celebrating at my parents house.  However you celebrate, here are some ideas to make it special.

    1. Signature Cocktail – We always make a cocktail for the adults, even if it’s just champagne and cranberry juice. It feels so festive! Below is one we made and added a sprig of rosemary for garnish; so easy!img_6107
    2. Decorating – Keep it simple.  I like to bring natural elements inside, of course, such as pumpkins and fall flowers.  Here is our dining room’s current state:

    img_7954

    I had made this wreath with a friend at a mom’s night out; I added a “gather” sign from Target’s dollar spot and voila!  My house was done.  Or, as done as it was going to get…

    Gather fall thanksgiving door

    3. Keep the kids busy. I always try to get some kind of simple craft for my girls to complete while I’m in the kitchen. I really love the crafts from PaperSource – they are elegant and still easy enough for young kids.  Here is their turkey centerpiece kit which I have ordered for our celebration.turkey craft

    4.  As for the food, again, I believe in keeping it simple.  Last year, I admit that I bought most of the food from Costco and things turned out just fine, nobody noticed or cared!  As long as we are together…

    Hope everyone’s Thanksgiving planning is going strong!

    This Weeks Steals and Deals

    Hope everyone had a great day off yesterday, thanks to our veterans. If you missed it on Insta, Check out my sweet daughter’s picture for all the veterans… Including my brother stationed in Japan.

    So… Among other things… I’m a shopaholic.  I am always shopping but there are some deals right now I can’t help but share!

    20% off Anthro Home Items.  This is a great time to pick up gifts and holiday items! Here are some of the items I’m getting.  Sale ends today!

     

     

    FriYAY! Happy weekend !

    I started the weekend by grabbing coffee at my favorite place 💕 and I totally scored at the sweet little free library.

    Anyone read these? I usually get and give the kids books here but I was so excited to find two books I was interested in! (You had me at lululemons!)

    My girls and I are dealing with a rainy Friday afternoon by making hot cocoa and cookies… and binging on Christmas movies. Too soon? Don’t tell me! 🙉

    Mama’s had Baileys in it ☺️

    Enjoy your weekend everyone!