blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: 2017

December 15, 2017

Baking with the Girls

Thank you to the Martha Stewart Collection created for Macy’s for sponsoring this post and providing these products for us to step up our kitchen game! As with all of my sponsored posts, I only work with brands and products I would spend my own money on, and all thoughts are my own.

Happy Friday!! Today I’m coming in to share a few photos of the girls in the kitchen helping me make cookies! For one - I love these photos and I think I have to frame a couple! And secondly - I’ve figured out a few tricks to make baking a little easier (especially with little helpers - cough, cough - mess-makers)! All of the kitchenware we use is from the Martha Stewart Collection created for Macy’s

For starters - these Non-Skid Mixing Bowls with Measurements are game-changers. The kids can help mix our ingredients (they have multiple sizes too) - so in our house, one girl mixes the dry ingredients and the other mixes the wet ingredients, and the bowl doesn’t slip on the table thanks to the grip at the bottom. The measurements are also helpful for pouring dry ingredients. And speaking of pouring, the lip is perfect for pouring the wet ingredients! The hard part is prying the whisk out of their hands so that I can actually appropriately mix everything (particularly beating the butter and eggs lol)! It’s always easier to start the mixing yourself and then hand it over to them to finish off (then you won’t have a screaming toddler, not photographed here, but it certainly happened)!!


Another tool I love using in the kitchen is this Martha Stewart Collection cookie scoop! We have it in two sizes - small and large - and we repurpose the large for our ice cream scoops. But the small we LOVE using for cookies. Not only does it make sure all the cookies are the same size for even cooking - but more importantly for a house with kids - no fighting over who gets the bigger cookie! They’re all the same size! We forgot to do it this time - but it helps to flatten them a bit with your hand or the back of a spoon ;)


We scoop them out onto our nonstick baking tray (truly nonstick - no cookie residue left after) and pop in the oven (with light on of course so the girls can watch them bake)! We’re also learning our numbers now, so Liv loves counting the timer and figuring out how much time is left. When time is up, I pop them all onto our Nonstick Cooling Racks and the girls patiently let them cool off (and call dibs on who’s getting which cookie) - which thankfully doesn’t come down to size thanks to our ice cream scoop (but they still find something - today it was the number of observable chocolate chips lol)! 


What are some of your little tricks for making time in the kitchen easier? Especially if you have littles!

Included products, all from the Martha Stewart Collection:

December 1, 2017

Wrapping Up Cyber Week!

Hi all!

Wrapping up cyber week with a few last minute deals (i.e. - end today)!

But I had to share a few of these!

***
This luggage set that I have been eyeing for the longest (I am so in love with the rose gold) is on sale for 68% off - from $330 to $104!! It also comes in a ton more colors (including plain old black if your partner doesn't want to roll around with pink luggage lol)

This bluetooth speaker is splash-proof and works from afar - and today 65% off - from $99 to $34! It has amazing reviews. Nathan takes ours on runs with the girls and keeps it in the jogger blaring Disney music lol, and then to the beach - we could use a new one!

Wireless electrical outlet switches. Since I've now nearly broken my neck trying to plug in our Christmas tree every evening hahaha! These things are amazing - whatever you plug in can then be controlled with a remote! From lights to appliances and more. They're not on huge sale, but they are 10% which takes them down to only $26 for 5. 
              ***I also really really love these - though not highlighting them today since they're not on sale - but their original price is only $35 so still an amazing deal. These wireless outlet switches allow you to control devices plugged into them via voice with Alexa or Google Home, and via an app on your phone - no separate remote required. 

This body scrub would make such a sweet gift - pair it with a charcoal mask or some other pampering treat and gift it to someone who could use it! It's on sale today from the normal $31 to $12.50.

This Moscow Mule set would be another adorable gift - particularly for a host/hostess! It's on sale from $40 to $19 - but this is one of the lightning deals that only lasts a few hours today so hop on it!

This dress (available in multiple colors) is on sale for 50% off taking it down to about $20 for most sizes/colors. Bonus because per reviews the wrap style makes for easy nursing/pumping! 

Detachable wallet iPhone case! What a great idea! It's another flash sale that only lasts for a few hours today - from $49.99 to $8!!! That's over 80% off!

November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday with Amazon!

Happy Monday all! I hope you've enjoyed the Cyber Week deals I've rounded up thus far! Today for Cyber Monday I'm highlighting some Amazon specific fashion deals!!


Beautiful rose gold stacking watch and bracelet set. This would make such a lovely gift. On sale for $100. Also comes in yellow gold. 
Gorgeous cashmere turtleneck for under $60 (oh how I wish I could wear a turtleneck in Miami)!
Skinny black pants for $14! (these are so comfy and perfect for work)! 
Precious bow-detail pointed-toe flats for $50 (they come in black, tan, and grey too)!
Gorgeous black leather crossbody for $34! (seriously goes with everything)!
Kick-ass tassel heels. Holy cow these are gorgeous. And $60.
My crocs sandals that go with everything and are so comfortable for walking - most sizes 30% off!

Check out the Amazon page for more Cyber Monday deals! They've got everything from kitchen appliances to baby monitors and everything in between!


November 26, 2017

Cyber Week Deals

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend! I'm finishing mine doing some laid back online shopping - most of the cyber Monday deals start today! I wanted to start with something fun and show you guys the range of deals - from luxury deals on things that are usually prohibitively expensive, to true steals on pieces that are already budget-friendly. Let's just say I bought everything from the "real steal" category! 

Below this I also have a huge list of all of the sales from my favorite stores and my picks from those spots! It's arranged alphabetically!

And, for those who have been interested in my E-Course - it's currently 60% off! That's our biggest sale EVER! Use code GIVETHANKS17 and join us!
Flat over-the-knee boots 

Scalloped flats

Leggings with mesh panel
Real steal ($19 from the original $33) (I own these in the wine color and love them)!


These baby and toddler clothing deals are impossible to beat - I bought this adorable dress for Ro (although Old Navy's sale definitely comes close! This 2-pack jersey dress set is $12!)

And random - but if anyone has a girl obsessed with Disney Princesses - this complete 9 piece doll set is marked down from $100 to $49.99!

Below I've compiled a list of many other sales going on - most of these sales go through Monday!


(to say I'm obsessed with this cardigan is an understatement)

(this off-the-shoulder top is perfect for date night)!

(including the blue dress I wore for a Cape wedding - only $20! The black would be perfect for a holiday party)


(so many great work picks - these trousers are perfection, as is this sweater)!

(I always get asked about good maternity lines - I LOVE Asos Maternity - so many cute items)

(so many fun, trendy pieces + the yellow maxi dress I wore to a few weddings - dirt cheap!)

(including my favorite face serum that keeps my skin glowing - and is safe while pregnant/nursing)


(if you can't tell from my choices at the top of this post, I love JCP)

(I need these PJ shorts now)!

(I think they win for prettiest Gift Guide - they made me want it all)!

(shop here if you're spending a lot - you can get up to $750 back)! I'd never spend this much, but I know some of you may roll like that lol!

(love this dress and this one for holiday parties!)

You guys saw my picks above!

HOW HAVE I NOT BEEN ON THIS SITE BEFORE! I'M ORDERING FAMILY PJ'S NOW
(they also have pretty much the cutest Mommy & Me matching outfits ever)


Hope some of you found this post useful! Make sure to scroll to my last post with time-saving products - these are where the money really is!!

November 23, 2017

Time Saving Products

I'm starting my roundup of Black Friday deals with what I truly believe are life changing products! As I try to become more of a minimalist, the list of things we actually buy gets lower and lower - but let's face it, with a busy work life, husband, and 3 kids at home, we still buy a lot of stuff! But these products are more than just "stuff" - these are products that actually give me back more of what I need most - TIME! 

So if you're also short on time (and let's face it, who isn't?) check out these products, and hop on these deals now - we all know Black Friday is the time for the best sales!!
Alright - I'll admit I was a super late convert to the Apple Watch gang. I'm just not a big fitness person and don't really care to track my steps or my heart rate or all the other stuff people were telling me they use it for (no offense at all to those people, I think that's amazing - it's just not something I care to do)! So with all that said - Nathan wanted to buy me one for my birthday, I didn't really want it, but I didn't really have anything else to ask for either - so he got me one. And it has been life-changing. I still don't do any of the fitness things (but for many, this alone is worth the purchase) - but for me it is key for a few things. First (and personally most importantly) - it actually limits the time I spend on my phone. I felt like I was always attached to my phone making sure I didn't miss any calls from the girls' daycare or the babysitter or my husband - or an important email from my boss. But in checking my phone for those things, it then easily led to "let me check Instagram really quickly" and then Facebook, and then twitter, and then I've wasted 20 minutes on absolutely nothing. With my watch, I am get my phone calls and text messages to my wrist - and can easily glance quickly and see if I need to answer or respond immediately or not. When I do have to respond to a text - I easily just dictate it and hit one button to send - the dictation feature is amazing! I've also set up a VIP list for my email - only emails from a handful of important people pop up via notifications to my watch - then all the other emails I just check once or twice a day. I also have started using my calendar all the time for meetings, events, and due dates, and I've set it up to give me a reminder a half hour before and that at the time of the event - incredible when I have way too many things going on to possibly remember everything. I also love that I can easily ping my phone to find out where it is (I lose it at least 3 times daily - so I save time not having to search the house for it lol). These things alone have seriously been life changing. Love my watch. And I don't have anything fancy - I have the series 1, 38mm - it's on sale for $179 from the original $249 for Black Friday


Y'all. This product!!! Let's just first say - obviously the "fastest" dinner is takeout or reheating a frozen bag of something from Trader Joe's (and I do this way more often than I'd like to admit). BUT. When I do cook - this thing is amazing - not only can you chop everything in it (saving tons of time) - you can also cook in it (I'm all about using less dishes) - and then you can even throw some soap and water in it and have it basically clean itself. All completely unsupervised - so I can basically just play with the girls while this thing cooks our dinner. It's on sale for Black Friday from the original $599 to $299 (50% off)! Make sure to watch the video on the page - you're going to be sold just like I was!


(The above link takes you to Amazon which is having a huge sale - the ones in the text below take you to Target which is also having a huge sale - sale prices are the same)!
I have the Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot and it has seriously been INCREDIBLE. I set it to vacuum pretty much every other day - and I usually turn it on in the morning before the girls are up or during nap time on the weekends (since Elli is terrified of it lol)! I do have to make sure there's nothing on the floor that it can get stuck on (curtains, throws, etc.), and then let it go to work while I spend my time doing something better. With so many people at home it's impossible for our floors to stay clean, but this baby has my back and is my little helper around the house. My exact model is on sale for Black Friday ($100 off), but honestly it's not a huge discount for how much the original price is. I personally think if you're considering buying a Roomba - going with a model like the 690 (orig $375) that is also $100 off is a great entry point! You seriously won't regret it. 


I bought one of these as a stocking stuffer for Nathan last Christmas and let's just say I'm buying one for myself this year! If you're the type to misplace your keys (or have lots of little wandering hands in the house who steal your keys) - this little tracker let's you easily find whatever it's attached to! If you're on top of things and never lose anything then this won't be saving you much time - but if you're like me and spend the last 10 minutes before leaving the house looking for your misplaced keys - this will give you that time back (and your sanity)! You can even buy them in 4 packs!


Alright this one seems a little less life-changing than the others on this list, but if you love cold drinks but don't have 12 hours to keep it in the fridge (and don't want watered down iced coffee) - this gadget is for you! This is the only one on the list I don't personally own but it looks amazing - reviews mention brewing directly into this from a Keurig and in a minute or 2 have ice cold coffee! Also perfect for quickly chilling wine (anyone else always have a hard time finding your favorite wine in the refrigerated section of the store and have to toss it in the freezer - only to forget it in there - face palm). This is usually pretty cost-friendly ($37) but is on sale for Black Friday for $29.99 + free shipping. 

November 12, 2017

DIY Round Photo Display


Happy Sunday all! Last week I shared a sneek peak of a really fun and simple project I made to help personalize our home. I love how it came out, and you guys gave some really great feedback, so I wanted to share a quick DIY with how I made it here!



Here's what you'll need:
~hula hoop 
~gold spray paint
~hot glue gun
~faux florals
~fishing line
~mini clothespins
~photographs



It was so easy to put together, and I love how it came out! A few of you brought up the idea of using this to display holiday cards and I think that's such a great idea too!! 



Directions:
1. Spray paint hula hoop. Do one side, let it dry, then do the other side. 
2. Start gluing the flowers! Just keep adding them on to make a look you like - make sure to add a few leaves and greenery as well!
3. Tie the fishing line to the hula hoop - tie one end, then tie it to the other side - make sure it's taut! I did three lines for mine, but do however many fit the photos you plan on displaying!
4. Attach photos to the line with the clothes pins.




A lot of you asked where to print the pics - you can use any of the fancier companies big on social media, I just printed them at my local Walgreens. I'm sure most local drugstores offer photo printing!



Thanks so much to Esurance for inspiring this post to create a thrifty but oh-so-special project to make our house more of a home!  

October 30, 2017

Race Together

“Nobody likes you.” It’s a sentence so hurtful I’d never imagine even thinking about saying it to somebody. But when it comes to CANCER!?!? I think we are all in agreement when I say that indeed, nobody likes you. 

I’m partnering up with JCPenney this month to highlight their Race Together Collection by Xersion. From now through 10/31, $1 from every item sold of the collection will be contributed to the American Cancer Society, up to $100,000. On top of that, The Salon by InStyle inside JCPenney will be accepting donations (with a chance to win a basket of Salon and Sephora products), and Sephora inside JCPenney will be offering a “Find Your Perfect Pink” lip service to help you find your perfect shade of pink!
                                       

I love products that are beautiful and functional, but add in serving a greater good and I’m sold! I fell in love with this top (the message, the cut, and the mesh sleeves), and the Xersion capri leggings are so comfortable and perfect for working out! Love the herringbone pattern (and they are on sale for literally $10). Such an easy athleisure look!! Head to your local JCPenney or online to shop the Xersion Race Together Collection today!


In partnership with JCPenney.

October 12, 2017

Fall Style Vol 3

Hi all! Today I'm coming in with a new round of fall fashion for the entire family! One of the most fun things about having girls is that they love (at least for the moment), dressing in the same outfits as mama!




Livi was so excited when I showed her her dress, and was nearly floored when I showed her mine that was just like it. She immediately wanted to try it on and spun around in it until she got herself dizzy! Elli took right after her doing the same. Ro clearly has no idea what's going on yet but giggled at her sisters and she was forced to also wear this outfit hahaha! I'm sure she'll love it one day. But I know these days are numbered, so I will soak them up while they last.




We wore these outfits on our way to a casual family dinner, but not before a little photo shoot on the way. Of course during the walk, Elli passed out in her comfortable stroller and was down for the count. So unfortunately she wasn't a part of this shoot ha ha.




But Ro sure was, as was Liv, *and* the tree she decided to climb. A little dress isn't stopping this girl from getting messy and finding something to climb on!




I especially love my dress because it's nursing/pumping friendly. I get asked a lot about nursing and pumping clothes, and usually the most simple thing is a relatively loose fitting/flowy top with bottoms that make for easy access to nurse. Dresses are usually a tougher option, but dresses like this that have buttons down the top are a winner every time!



Add in a comfy denim jacket and you have an extra layer should you need it. And loving this floral/bohemian trend for fall, especially in a pretty color like this deep purple - wine color.



All of our looks are from Old Navy, where we were able to really find something for the whole family (including the not photographed hubby who wear jeans and Old Navy's soft-washed heathered V neck shirt - I have these for him in so many colors and they are the comfiest!! I know because I steal them all the time lol)!



October 5, 2017

Current Skincare + Everyday Makeup

Hi all! Today I wanted to share a bit about my everyday skincare and makeup routine! Those who know me know I am NOT a makeup person at all, it's fun to play with now and then, but for me it's really just about making my skin look as even as possible and keeping me from looking like a zombie when I haven't gotten enough sleep! So don't expect any expert makeup tips here hehe, this is just what works for me!

I will say, though, that as a dermatologist, good skincare and healthy skin is the MOST important part of any makeup routine, and I've shared and updated my skincare routine many times here on the blog, but I'm always tweaking things, so here is my current routine:


AM:
Wash with this cleanser
Apply this light moisturizer (also my nighttime moisturizer)
Makeup (see what I use below))

PM:
Wash with same cleanser
Apply this serum (LOVE this so much and feel this has made a huge change in my breakouts and dark spots - although remember, sunscreen is critical for keeping dark spots away!)
Apply same light moisturizer once serum dry

I should be using an eye cream but I'll be honest and say I still don't love any one.

As far as makeup - check out my IG stories today where I'll be sharing a video of my routine!
I apply this mineral powder foundation (I bought it because I ran out of my normal mineral makeup and this one is SO much cheaper, available at drugstores, and provides higher SPF) all over face blending well with this brush (my holy grail brush). I love that it lasts all day and provides extra sun protection, and the finish gives a glow even if I skip my bronzer step (which I do often lol)!
Then I apply this bronzer over my cheeks, bridge of my nose, and a bit on my forehead and chin as well (using this brush if I have the time, otherwise I'll just use the same palm brush).
Then I brush my eyebrows and fill in with this pomade using this brush.
If I'm feeling fancy I'll swipe on this mascara ;)

That's it! Like I said, nothing crazy, but I get questions all the time about my skin so I wanted to share!

Shop any of this post by clinking the in text links throughout the post, or by clicking any of the products below (use the arrows to scroll through)!



PS: the brushes mentioned above are the Palm Brush, the Oval 6, and the Linear 1 by Artis

September 26, 2017

Fall Style Vol 2


Hi all! Hope you all are having a good week! We (or more like I) have been pretty stressed lately to be honest with all of the natural disasters that have been going on plus some personal things. It felt SO nice to get out of the house and take a family walk and grab dinner together!



While the weather here is still humid, the evenings have had a nicer ocean breeze that I am so thankful for! I wore a stretchy long sleeve shift dress in a neutral dark green color (perfect for fall)! I love dresses like this because the length still makes them appropriate for work, but they are still cute/comfy enough to wear on the weekend too! You can dress it up or down depending on the shoes you choose and the rest of your accessories!



Liv loved that she could put on a little sweater (albeit a light, short-sleeve one), but she was so cute walking around in her little mustard cardigan. And don't get me started on Elli in her little striped shirt, jeans, and boots! She's just adorable and too sassy!! Nathan tried only staying behind the camera but I even got a shot of him (and Ro since he was wearing her)! It was a perfect evening out enjoying the weather with my family and giggling away.



All of our outfits are from Old Navy believe it or not! Love all the options they have (and most importantly how budget-friendly they are while staying on trend)! This post was in partnership with Old Navy. Thoughts and opinions are all my own.

September 6, 2017

Fall Style Vol 1



Hope you all have been well! Today I'm sharing a few shots of the girls on our walk home from school. As we get into September I really start to miss New England and fall, but just because we don't have the cool temps here in Miami doesn't mean we can't start dressing like the temps are cooling down (and they thankfully are a bit)!


Denim is a staple any time of year, but I love darker washes for fall - and Liv loves how soft and stretchy her jeggings are! Perfect for her posing (can you believe her poses in these photos lol!? She was teaching me how to pose!)


Of course, regular leggings are always a safe bet (especially for toddlers like Elli who are always doing things in weird positions lol) and pair perfectly with a longer top like her adorable peplum top. This fall is all about shape when it comes to tops, so El is on trend with her peplum, as is Liv with her bell sleeves that have made a huge come back!

 
This day I still wore sandals (like we can do year-round here in Miami lol) but the girls already have their booties and LOVE them! Now mommy needs a pair!!
 

What are your favorite fall trends? Stay tuned for more looks for the whole family - thanks to Old Navy which really is a one-stop-shop for all things fashion (and you know important to me - so many good deals)!!
 

This post was in partnership with Old Navy. Thoughts and opinions are all my own.

August 6, 2017

One Pretty TV - The Frame

Hi all! Today I'm so excited to be sharing a quick post in collaboration with Samsung to highlight their incredible new TV - The Frame

I remember being at a conference not too long ago and barely noticing the television monitor in the hotel lobby - it was displaying artwork, but then switched to display the conference schedule, and then again switch to start playing video. I remember thinking to myself - how cool would that be in your house!?! Let's face it - most TV's are an eyesore and when it’s not in use, you’re left with a large black rectangle to stare at. While I'm happy to take on the challenge of designing around a TV set up on a nice (stand?), I was so excited when Samsung reached out to me with this incredible design! What makes it so amazing? Well thanks to it’s customizable options, it can fit in with anyone’s design style! I never thought I'd use "pretty" and "TV" in the same sentence, but this is one pretty TV!


We currently have The Frame set up in our guest bedroom, and love how it blends in effortlessly with the decor. We have it angled down to make watching TV a little easier, but it has a no-gap wall mount which let’s it be hang nearly flush with the wall and really blend in with artwork even more! I also really love that when not in use as a TV you can switch to Art Mode to display art (with an incredible free selection of 100 pieces of artwork) and an awesome selection of matte frames. It seriously looks like a framed piece of art!


On top of that, you can upload your own images from your phone using their simple to use app - I love seeing my girls up on the big screen!


And of course - for watching TV or movies (what it's actually for) it has an incredibly crisp 4K UHD display and was so easy to set up! It has an Invisible Connection transparent cable which means it makes the typical mess of tangled cables a thing of the past. We have it connected to our wifi and use our Amazon Video, Netflix and Hulu subscriptions without an issue! I don't know about your house, but over here Moana is still on replay weekly!!


We're so happy to have this new addition in our home and can't wait to style it properly in our new family room/playroom/guest bedroom (yah, we're moving this week! Crazy)! It really is the perfect TV especially for a multi-purpose room. Will certainly share when we have that set up - stay tuned!!

So how about you? How would The Frame fit in with your d├ęcor?

This post was sponsored by Samsung, but as always all opinions are my own!

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