Chocolate is my go to but honestly, it is hard for me to not like something.
Cupcakes perhaps top the list of indulgences.
That makes this giveaway fun.
It is Spring and Summer is right around the corner so it only made sense to do a giveaway that indulges the sweet tooth and provides that perfect treat after a day spent at the beach. Casey's Cupcakes has generously offered a Red Velvet Cupcake Mix and the new Casey doll, modeled after the founder, Casey Reinhardt for two lucky readers.
The Red Velvet Cupcake mix includes Tahitian vanilla and Callebaut Belgium chocolate, bringing one of Casey's most popular cupcake right to your home. The mix makes 12 cupcakes. And how fun to get a little doll for your little one. Doll for her, cupcakes for you.
Because it is always fun to have more entries, there are 2 entries provided for every step you take so you have up to 12 entries available! This giveaway will run until April 29th at 12pm. This giveaway is available to US Residents only. Good luck!
Casey's Cupcakes has five locations in Southern California in Fashion Island, Woodbury Town Center, Irvine Spectrum Center and the Historic Mission Inn. Visit the website here for additional information and for placing orders for both the dolls and cupcakes mixes.
This Easter the hubby and I were hosting a portion of my family at our home. We have consistently taken either Christmas Eve or Christmas but this was our first time entertaining for Easter. When it came to what to make, my initial thought was of course brunch. It is something I love to serve and love to eat so it usually makes perfect sense. There was just something that told us to try something different. Our final decision? A Wine Country Lunch. The menu was inspired by a recent cookbook I picked up, The New Wine Country Cookbook. I had my eyes set on trying the Israeli Couscous Salad with Almonds, Blood Oranges and Greek Olives and this lunch made for the perfect setting to give it a whirl. Paired with ribs, grilled pineapple, grilled vegetables and white wine, this salad was the perfect way to bring it all together and feel as if we really were in Wine Country. It was so good in fact that I had another bowl and another glass of white wine with it for dinner. Ingredients: 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 3/4 cup sliced almonds 1 medium red onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous 2 cups vegetable broth sea salt and fresh ground pepper 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint 2 blood oranges, chopped 3/4 cup Kalamata olives 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley 1. Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast until crisp and golden (5-7 minutes). Set aside 2. Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. 3. Add the couscous and cook until the couscous begins to brown, about 6 minutes. 4. Add the vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. 5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. 6. Scoop into a large bowl and fold in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and mint. 7. Add the toasted almonds, diced oranges, olives, lemon juice and half of the parsley to the bowl of couscous. 8. Toss gently, season to taste, add the parsley and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
This is only one of many amazing recipes in this book and if you are as much of a fan of wine country as I am, I highly suggest you picking it up. You can order The New Wine Country Cookbookhere. Beyond simply the food, Easter is such a special day for my family and it also re-centers me and my focus in life. I loved all the family time and always leave wanting more. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well.
* This recipe was taken from The New Wine Country Cookbook, page 51.
Yes I know it is only Thursday but with today being Holy Thursday and a half day at school, tomorrow being Good Friday and the first day of Spring Break, and Sunday being Easter, I have decided that these were enough reasons to sign out early for the week and enjoy some family time. For me, this is the end of the week and the weekend (and Spring Break) is here!! Though you can see my daily posts here on the blog, I also love to share great sales, pictures, videos and other fun things I come across on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you aren't following, come join!
A few months ago, I became obsessed with hot yoga. After years of having and carrying children, wearing heels, running, working on my feet, working at a desk and so many other stresses I have put on my body, hot yoga offered a feeling of reversing all the damage. The added bonus is that it has also done wonders for my anxiety. I really should have started this a long time ago.
Because this practice had made such a difference in how my body feels, I reached out to the Kelly Sandrock, the owner of Melt Ladera Hot Yoga (my little haven), to share some poses that can easily be done at home and focuses on areas that are traditionally tight for most women such as hips, lower back and hamstrings. Kristi Wilson, one of the instructors at Melt, was generous enough to be our model in hopes of sharing with each of you a little piece of calm in your own home.
Supta Baddha Konasana
This pose is a strong groin and hip-opener and will help relieve sciatic pain, menstrual pains and digestion issues.
For individuals with knee problems, it is recommended that you do this pose on your back like this...
Frog Pose (Ardha Bhekasana) This pose focuses on opening up the hips and helps with menstrual pains, anxiety and depression.
Flying Frog Pose
This is an advanced pose of the one above.
This pose will add additional bicep strength and balancing. I am no where close to this one...
What I have loved most about yoga is the ability to let everything go when I am in class. It is amazing how quickly I stop thinking about the "to do" list and instantly fall into a zone that is both challenging and relaxing. Hot Yoga has an incredible way of clearing your mind along with giving you an incredible workout. If you have ever been scared of giving this a try, believe me, I was too. But step outside your comfort zone and begin with these poses. I think you will be surprised how un-assuming it is and how much you will enjoy it.
If you are interested in attending a class at Melt Ladera Hot Yoga, they are located at 27742 Antonio Parkway, Suite K3-4, Ladera Ranch, Ca. and you can view their class list and prices here. If you are not in the Orange County area, I challenge you to find a local hot yoga studio. Give it a try! Okay, I will stop raving about it now...
And if you need some yoga gear, here are some items I love...
Thank you Kelly and Kristi!
* I have included links to all the above poses to allow you to read in detail how to get yourself into the pose to ensure you do not hurt yourself. I am not a trained yoga instructor but was provided these instructions and benefits from individuals who are certified.
A few weeks back, my friend, Savvy in San Francisco, posted on a new shop that was created by her friend, Style Smaller (don't you love the blogging world? We all seem to meet virtually at some point). The images she shared had me intrigued and I popped over to take a look.
I was suddenly viewing some of the cutest accessories, home decor and toys that I have ever seen for the littles.
Kate has pulled together an incredible collection of items that make it hard not to order. I couldn't resist. With Easter right around the corner I was able to pick up a number of items for Baby Girl's basket that are unique with prices that do not break the bank. After all the responses on Instagram, asking where I picked up the above necklace and below tattoos, I figured I had to share more.
Here is just a glimpse at her shop and what you can pick up for your littles.