Archives for July 2016

07/29/16

ThredUp: Lily Pulitzer Dress

If you have not read or heard by now, online consignment boutiques are the new thing. I recently discovered thredUP, an online clothing boutique that sells high-quality secondhand clothing for women and children for extremely low prices. I’ve always been a huge fan of consignment shops, but thredUP makes it simple enough that I don’t even have to leave my couch to snag these amazing deals. They carry all of the top designers, including Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, Express, Forever21, Free People, H&M, Lilly Pulitzer, Ted Baker, Steve Madden, Zara, and more!

I snagged this Lilly Pulitzer dress recently for under $60, regular $140. That’s over half off!! It is perfect for the office or Sundays at church. I am hesitant to order clothing online because of sizing but there is a measurement section for each item. It also explains if there is any wear or tear on the item. Thrifting made easy!

image

image

image

image

Lilly Pulitzer Dress (ThredUp)

Shop similar dresses:

dress 2  dress

If you are in need of cleaning out your closet, ThredUp can send you a “clean out bag.”  You fill up the clean up bag ( prepaid shipping envelope) with some of your unwanted clothes and send it off to ThredUp.  Soon thereafter you get an offer to purchase…which (if accepted) results in cash deposited right in your Paypal account! Items that are still in great shape but don’t meet the ThredUP standards are sold to third party sellers. Items that are no longer in wearable condition are passed onto recycling partners and upcycled. If you have questions about selling, check out this page.

Once I placed my order, my dress was shipped the next day and I received it within two days. Your entire order comes neatly packaged and cleaned within a few days of ordering.  I’m about to get all infomercial on you….  “And wait…there’s more!”

ThredUp is currently having a HUGE summer sale!  Tons of items have been put on clearance, with items starting at $3! Right now take off an additional 40% off your order with code SUMMER. There is also a tab titled Basement with reduced items that have definite wear and tear but are still wearable.
thredup
They offer a refer program that benefits both parties. If you refer a friend, you receive $10 and they receive $10. Its like a WIN/WIN for everyone 🙂
invite
Have you tried ThredUp before? What are some of your go-to online consignment boutiques?
Brittany 🙂
Brittany
07/27/16

Mommy Moment: Let Them Be Little

So this post is a little different than what I normally share…

I recently had one of “those” mommy moments. Yes, this moment….

Here is the story….

I just finished yelling at my son for the eighth time when it was finally time for bed. After spending five minutes putting his pull-up on, grabbing books to read and making sure he brushed his teeth, I crawled into bed with him and started reading. Being a boy, my son is constantly “wound up” from the day and trying to get him to relax and settle down is always a challenge. Toddlers are just little adults with a lot of energy and anxiety. They thrive on attention and are always up for a challenge. While I am reading, he is humming, kicking, and won’t stop moving. I explain to him that he is being disrespectful to mommy and I am going to leave if he doesn’t stop. Of course this is a challenge to him so what does he do… Keeps going! Out of frustration I yell at him, put the books away, shut his light off and leave the room. Now he is doing the same actions but with loud yelling, screaming, and shouting  “mommy come back” at the top of his lungs.

{ Unfortunately, this has been our routine several nights out of the week for a couple months now. }

 It is 10 p.m. and I’m exhausted. But I am done fighting with him tonight. So what do I do… Go back in there and lay with him. He lays his head on my shoulder and curls up next to me. I just hold him tight and scratch his back. His sweet, little hand starts rubbing my face and whispering “Mommy… I love you!

I totally lose it…

I start having flashbacks of him being an infant as the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star plays from his sound machine. I am realizing how fast he is growing up and the tears just keep building up. Is this the moment? Is this that moment every parent realizes their child is growing up? Every flashback of when he was little is just popping up in my head. I am starting to break down and I don’t want him to see me upset. I slowly climb off the bed and tell him goodnight. As I am walking down the hallway I the water works are just spilling out on my face and now I am just a mess. I am trying to make my way to the back patio and my husband stops me. He asks me why I am crying but I am at that “crying stage” where I am gasping for air. Get it together Brittany!

I tell him I’m fine….. Of course he doesn’t believe me since I am a sobbing mess so he follows me outside. As I gather my thoughts and catch my breathe, I ask myself why exactly am I crying?!?!

Ridge is growing up so fast.

I am a bad parent.

Why do I yell at him?

Why does he drive me crazy?

He is the sweetest little boy.

Why doesn’t he listen?

I love him so much!

Trying to wipe the tears and get myself together, I chug the rest of my glass of wine and go back inside.

So, I have a message for all parents and myself. Do not rush each milestone. Savor every painstaking moment. We’re always constantly going that we forget how fast they are GROWING. So, take a deep breath and just smile. Some day we will miss the chaos when things begin to get simple. Our babies are only going to be little once. Even though they will always be your “baby,” they won’t always be solely yours. One day they will want to be their own.

beachy

Let them run around the living room, let them ask a bajillion questions, let them test you, let them hang on to your leg, let them tell you about their day, let them tell silly stories, let them know you’re listening, and let them teach you how to color outside the lines…

Tonight, I can’t take my child for granted. Tonight, I can’t focus on my tired body or my to-do list. Tonight, I am grateful for every precious moment I have with my him.

 It’s too easy to get distracted, but twenty years from now, will I remember that I finished the last load of laundry or that I read books to my child? Slow down and embrace their childhood.

A little smile that will make it worth it, a little more kisses, a little more hugs, a little more of a lot of unconditional love.

 

Brittany
07/25/16

Cut the Carbs – Eggplant/Zucchini Lasagna

Looking for a relatively healthy alternative to traditional lasagna? I am sharing a new recipe I made last week and my husband has already requested this again!

I am sure you have all seen them; the zucchini lasagnas around Pinterest with no pasta noodles in them. They always look so delicious and inviting and lasagna is one of my favorite meals of all-time… So why did it take me so long to create one of my own?! I shared another Zucchini-Zoodle inspired recipe here.

I really love this eggplant and zucchini lasagna as the concept is so genius! No pasta noodles, only vegetables! I assume you could make this lasagna vegan as well, but I do love cheese a little too much…

image

These are the ingredients you will need for your healthy lasagna:

1 large eggplant

2 large zucchini’s

1 pound ground turkey

1 jar marinara sauce (homemade is an option)

1 bag shredded cheese

Olive Oil

(garlic salt)

Preheat oven to 375*

Slice your zucchini and eggplant about ⅛th inch thick. Lay on top of wire racks or strainers and sprinkle each side with salt. Allow the eggplant and zucchini to sit for at least 30 minutes or until much of the water has sweat out. Pat dry with paper towel.

image

While the veggies are sitting, brown your turkey. I use olive oil and dash garlic salt when stirring.

image

Mix in about 1/4 of the marinara sauce in with the ground turkey. Add a little salt and set aside.

image

Before the veggies are ready to be put in the pan, you need to pat dry. *This is the most important step so there is not access water in the dish. I used a paper towel and pressed both sides of each slice on the paper towel.

*If you have the excess moisture issue, just drain out the liquid the best you can. Others have mentioned pre-roasting your veggies helps reduce liquid.

image

 

In a 9×13 baking dish, assemble your lasagna. Put a ladle full of sauce on the bottom of the pan and smooth out. Place a layer of eggplant, followed by a layer of zucchini. Top with half the sauce and then sprinkle cheese. Add in the ground turkey and smooth. Add another row of eggplant, then zucchini, and then the rest of the sauce. Add ground turkey and sprinkle cheese. Top with the last of the eggplant and zucchini and smother in cheddar and mozzarella cheese!

Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. You may need more time depending on how thick you cut the veggies. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and then serve.

Capture

Sprinkle the garlic salt and add any extra cheese to the top while it cools.

l

ENJOY!!!!

Brittany 🙂

Brittany
07/20/16

Insta-Roundup June

Soooooo anyone want to explain to me how it’s almost the end of July? It was the beginning of summer like last week…. crazy, guys!

Summer has been super busy with lots going on. Still trying to unpack boxes from moving and figure out decor for every room. I plan to do a big house reveal next month so stay tuned for that. I thought I would go into the weekend with a little Insta-Roundup from June. I have linked pieces where you can shop below:

 

 

casual

Shop the look:

jeans  top cardi  necklace

makeupo

Shop the look:

s1724350-main-Lhero   mac art  benefit      yvs

color

Shop this look:

top  shorts

white

Shop the look:

jeans  top

dress

Shop this look:

dress    tory pearl

kimono

Shop the look:

sandalskim  kimonotankshorts

suit

Shop this look:

suit  hat

What are some of your favorites for summer?

Brittany 🙂

Brittany
07/18/16

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar


the-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar-by-green-blender

 You will not believe how many uses there are for this remarkable liquid. Apple cider vinegar has been reported to heal many conditions – from weight loss to health concerns. Some people swear by it. For example, apple cider vinegar is used across the world as a natural/alternative treatment for allergies, and is thought to reduce the risk of cancer. Apple cider vinegar is made via fermentation, which is very beneficial for digestion and has in some cases worked as a cure for acne. Apple cider vinegar is also commonly used as a treatment for other skin disorders such as warts. In fact, studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can clear up blemishes and breakouts – avoiding the need for potentially harmful prescription medications such as Retin A or Acutane.

But why exactly does ACV contain so many healing properties?

The secret may lie in its alkalizing effect! Even though ACV is acidic (like a lemon or lime), it creates a perfect alkaline environment in your body that is the exact opposite of what most diseases require to thrive.

And then there’s the incredible concentration of naturally occurring vital nutrients…

Raw, organic ACV is made from organic apples and undergoes a double fermentation process, which produces enzymes and preserves its health-promoting characteristics. Some of the most beneficial nutrients in raw, organic ACV include:

apple

Potassium: essential for normal heart, kidney and other organ and cellular function

Iron: important for blood health

Magnesium: vital to heart health

Enzymes: boost chemical reactions in the body

Malic acid: protects vinegar from viruses, bacteria and fungus

Acetic acid: slows the digestion of starch and inhibits bacterial growth

Calcium: builds strong bones and teeth

Pectin: helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol

Ash: maintains a healthy alkaline state in the body

Now that you have the facts, I am sharing some things that ACV has helped me with personally. I would recommend this product for several reasons but here are just a few:

(Disclaimer – consult a doctor first if you are taking other medications)

 

Weight Loss

weightloss

ACV has been used in weight loss by helping the body flush out more fats and it helps speed up the body’s metabolism to promote weight loss. Acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar can help you shed those extra kilos if taken on a daily basis. ACV prevents uncontrollable sugar spikes and crashes that make you want to nibble between meals. When your blood sugar is stable, it’s much easier to stick to your diet and eat only when your body needs it. ACV will not provide you with a quick weight loss. The changes will be gradual, but permanent. Don’t be impatient and allow it some time. Sometimes losing just one pound a month and not re-gaining it afterwards, can be the real success.

What to do:

The quickest way to drink for weight loss is to mix apple cider vinegar with warm water every morning. You can also sip it throughout the day to shed excess fat.

Relieves Migraines

migraine

Those people who often suffer from migraines (ME) know how intolerable that pain is…The migraine is ready to make your life so difficult and sometimes the migraine is very resistant even to the painkillers. Now you don’t have to spend money on expensive pills and painkillers when you can make this natural drink with salt and lemon at your home in only 5 minutes. You will create this wonderful cure against a migraine.

What to do:

Mix a little bit of high quality salt (Himalayan is great), squeeze 2 lemons and add 2 tablespoons of ACV to some warm water. You will feel the pressure start decreasing and shortly your migraine will be gone.

Conditions & Strengthens Hair

hiar

Your grandmother can probably attest to this old-time favorite beauty use for ACV… If you wash your hair with conventional shampoo, a residue builds up over time. This can cause your hair to become dull and lifeless. The shine that ACV leaves behind is absolutely gorgeous! And think about how little it will cost you compared to the expensive “clarifiers” found at the salon. And this DIY treatment can be done on your time in your own home!

What to do:

Mix 1/2 teaspoon of ACV with 1 cup of water

Pour onto your hair

Rinse with water

 

Helps Prevent/Reduce Acne

face

 

Not many people realize that our skin comes equipped with a protective acid mantle, which can be maintained by using a pH-balancing toner after washing your face. ACV has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which unblocks pores and keeps acne in check. The malic and lactic acids in ACV also act to exfoliate and soften skin and reduce the red spots known as rosacea. I have suffered with acne my entire life and I use ACV every day. I always use my daily moisturizer but this has replaced my toner!

Here’s how to do it:

• Mix 1 tsp. vinegar to a half-cup of water
• Store at room temperature
• Apply to skin with a cotton ball

 

Lowers Blood Pressure/Cholesterol

7736c246396f08bba64ffe88978b669f

ACV does work in lowering high blood pressure in many people and is worth adding it to your own healthy diet to see what it can do for you. First, it is a great component in helping to lower bad cholesterol, which in turn has a positive effect on blood pressure. AVC is also a detoxifier, and can help your body fight off diseases and release free radicals that wreak havoc on your body on a daily basis, which also indirectly can help to reduce blood pressure. When you use ACV for high blood pressure remedy, you are most likely giving your entire body a boost, not just treating your blood pressure issues.

How to use:

Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to warm water. Add honey if the taste is too tart.

Boost Energy

Woman celebrating sport success

There are times during the busy day that your energy level dips a little bit.  I can’t tell you how many cups of coffee I have consumed to give me an energy boost.  Then I realized a healthier way to give myself a energy boost that is long term. Both exercise and stress can cause a build-up of lactic acid, which causes fatigue. ACV counters the condition with amino acids. When taken, ACV has an alkaline effect on our bodies, ensuring pH levels are balanced while also boosting energy with a hefty dose of potassium and enzymes. You can use the energy drink to jump start your day, give you a mid morning or afternoon boost, or give you a night-time boost.  This healthy drink will recharge your batteries without the health concerns of many cups of coffee.  Simply make this energy drink in the morning and bring enough to work so that you can take it several times per day.

How to use:

8 oz purified water

1 – 2 tablespoons ACV

1/2 teaspoon Honey

Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Helps With Digestion

stop-bad-digestion-200x200

Do you ever feel like you have a rock/small baby hippopotamus in your belly hours after eating a meal? If yes, you may not be digesting your food properly.

These uncomfortable feelings were so well-known to me that I used to just let them slide as “normal”. But there is no such thing as “normal” pain or discomfort: it is an indication from our body that something is not right. So without adequate stomach acid, food is incompletely digested and nutrients are not properly assimilated. This is a BIG. DEAL. Drinking a glass of water mixed with a few tablespoons of ACV 15-20 minutes before a meal can improve digestion and nutrient assimilation by increasing HCl production.

How to use:

Add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before you each meal.

How to take ACV?

As I mentioned at the beginning….as GOOD as ACV is for you….that’s how BAD it tastes! Which begs the question….how on earth are you supposed to get past that??? Well, for the hard core ACV enthusiasts it’s just added to some water and then “bottoms up!” But for more sensitive folks, like myself, there’s still hope! Just add some raw honey, stevia or agave to give it a little sweetness. Or you can chase it with a little sweetened grapefruit juice. Whatever works for you! I will be honest that it may take you a little while to get used to the taste. You can start with less ACV and work up to adding more as you get used to the flavor. But I’m willing to bet that you will start to crave this drink especially when you start seeing results.

My go-to ACV concoction:

image

1 cup of grapefruit juice

 2 tablespoons of ACV

Stir and enjoy!!

(If it is a little too tart, add a tablespoon of honey and mix… This helps make it a little sweeter.)

 

 

Do you use apple cider vinegar in your health and/or beauty regimens? I would love to hear your feedback and how you take ACV!

Brittany 🙂

Brittany