Grandma's Rum Balls

My Great Grandmother Mary was an amazing cook and baker. Every Christmas she would make the most delicious cookie spread. One of my favorite cookies that she used to make were rum balls. They were so good. A decadent chocolatie taste, sweet with a nice hint of rum. We were only allowed two as kids because Great Grandma put a lot of rum in her cookies and I swear you could get drunk off them if you ate enough. After she passed away, rum balls kind of became forgotten but a couple weeks ago I asked my Auntie and Grandma Dee if they still remembered the recipe. Thank goodness they did, because I really wanted to make them this year.



Ingredients:
 
2 cups Vanilla Wafers 
2 cups Powdered Sugar
4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder 
4 tablespoons Corn Syrup or Honey 
1 cup chopped Walnuts 

Directions:

1. Use a food processor on low to grind vanilla wafers and walnuts to crumbs. Add to large mixing bowl.
 
2. Add powdered sugar to crumbs and walnuts. *If you have a flour shifters, use it. It prevents clumps that are usually found in powdered sugar and cocoa powder.* Add cocoa powder to strainer as well.
 
3. Pour honey into mixing bowl and add rum. Use spatula to mix together all ingredients. While you mix, through in some love; Grandma says it makes it taste better. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
 
4. Use cookie scooper or spoon to scoop out mix. Roll into a ball and roll the ball into powdered sugar, cocoa, shredded coconut, nuts, or even sprinkles. I usually stick to powdered sugar though. Repeat until all the mix is used. Store in an air tight container and keep it in the refrigerator. 

These delicious rum balls would make a great last minute gift for family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. You could even serve them on Christmas or at a New Years party. I plan on whipping up a batch for tomorrow's New Years Eve festivities!

What are your plans for the holiday? I would love to hear them. And remember, be safe and have a wonderful new year.



Peanut Butter Blossoms

This post contains affiliate links. I was not financially compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Christmas is just around the corner and I am sharing one of my favorite cookies that I love to bake during this time of year. Peanut Butter Blossoms! There is just something splendid about the taste of peanut butter and chocolate. Normally I would bake these from scratch but I ended up using a mix this time around. They turned out delicious and were super easy to make.

Ingredients:

1 package Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
1 bag Hershey Kisses
1/2 cup Bliss Nut Butters Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Follow the directions on the mix to prepare dough.
2. Add 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. I used the last of my Bliss Nut Butters. Its hands down, the best peanut butter ever! Roll into 1 inch balls. I skipped the sugar, but feel free to roll the balls in sugar before baking them.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Let cool 3-5 minutes before adding Kisses.

Enjoy! These Peanut Butter Blossoms would make a great gift for your neighbors, coworkers, or even friends.




Right now,  get 20% off on all Bliss Nut Butters or 25% off on Bliss Cashew Butters here.
Expires December 31st.

Mom's Favorites of the Month: October & November

This post contains affiliate links. I was not financially compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions on products are my own.

I've tried a lot of new products the past two months for my face now that the weather here in the great northeast is getting cooler. I tend to get dry skin during the fall and winter months and have more frequent breakouts, which sucks! I feel like I am thirteen again, its annoying. Here are the new products that I have been using and like:

1. Formula 10.0.6 

I tend to use the same face wash over and over, which may be why I have been breaking out a lot lately. I decided to try something new one day when I was at Ulta. I ended up picking up Formula 10.0.06 and decided to give it a try. I purchased the Best Face Forward deep foaming cleanser,  the Keep Your Cool Gel Mask, and the So Totally Clean anti-blemish pads.

I love the anti-blemish pads. I makes my face feel super clean deep down in my pores. The gel mask really is cool and my skin feels so soft and refreshed after I use it.

2. Maybelline Master Contour Duo Stick 

If you like to contour, this stick is super easy to use. Its creamy, doesn't look oily after a few hours on my skin, and is easy to blend. I set it with my powder and it lasts all day long.

3. Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced

Hands down, Better Than Sex Mascara is my favorite mascara that I have ever used. I have sad eyelashes and often have to put at least ten coats on each lid to make it even look like I have long and thick lashes. I decided to try Too Faced after a I read a few posts by other beauty bloggers. A couple of coats makes my lashes look longer and thicker and I don't get raccoon eyes anymore. I switched it up and used the waterproof mascara over the summer and am now currently using the original product. If you have not tried this mascara, you need it. I wont be trying any other product after discovering this one. Prices very depending upon where you buy it. I purchased mine at Ulta and it cost me $20.00.

4. Ponds Correcting Cream 

I have tried a lot of moisturizers over the past few years and decided to try Pond's correcting cream due to the fact that my skin lately has been a hot mess. I use it twice a day and have noticed that some of my blemishes and dark spots are starting to go away.
 
5. Melted Chiuaua Lipstick by Too Faced 

Hands down, the best lipstick ever! Its one of my favorites and its such a pretty shade. I think it would be suitable for all complexions. Its a pretty pink mauve shade. I wear it almost every day.

6. Hard Candy Primer

I only just started wearing primer. I was too cheap to buy an expense primer and thought that I would try Hard Candy one day when I was at Wal-Mart. It does the job and makes my foundation and contour last all day. For only $8 it does the job.


My Christmas Wish List

This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The kids Christmas wish lists are done and have been sent out to or loved ones. My wish list tends to be the last thing I think about it. I swear its the same every year. The number one thing I want each Christmas is a gorgeous red Kitchen Aid. I just think about all the yummy baked goods that I plan on making with it. Hopefully Santa will take the hint this year and leave it for me underneath the Christmas tree, otherwise he and I are going to have to have a long conversation. Its the only thing that's been on my list for going on six years now.
 
What's on your wish list this year? I would love to hear it. I hope this gives you some ideas for Christmas.




Beauty:



Ariana Grande perfume



Fashion:


Cream Knit Hat (similar) & Gloves
 

Michael Kors bag (similar)


Home:


 

 


Holiday Gift Guide: Toys Ages 4 and Up

This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Seasons Greetings! The Christmas tree is up. The house smells like cinnamon and it finally feels like the holidays are upon us. This time of year is my absolute favorite. There is just something magical about the Christmas season.

I hoped to get this post up days ago but due to work, traveling for Thanksgiving, and decorating the house for Christmas it got put on the back burner. I enlisted the help of my two sons with this gift guide and hope that it aids you with your holiday shopping. There are some good deals going on right now for Cyber Monday so check them out while you can.
 
Happy shopping my friends!



 1. Lego Star Wars game - This is a hot ticket item for my boys. Its number one on their list. Currently $49.99 + 15% in cart offer.
 
2. Hot Wheels - What little boy doesn't love Hot Wheels? We have hundreds and they entertain my boys for hours.
$3.88 at Wal-Mart.
 
3. Kidizoom Watch - My oldest son Amari thinks these watches are the coolest. I combed the net for the cheapest price and Target wins.
Right now its $44.99 + an additional 15% off in cart offer.
 
4. Hatchimals - Seriously, these things are hot, hot, hot! I doubt we will find one in time for Christmas, but if you do, shoot me a tweet or a snap.
They are the cheapest at Target (when they are in stock) at $49.99 a pop.
Good luck trying to locate one of these babies.
 
5. Legos - My boys love Legos! Its a must every year.
Right now Legos are 20% off at Target.
 
6. Chewbacca Electronic Mask - My boys think this mask is hilarious and who doesn't love Chewie?
Right now its $27.99 + an additional 15% off in cart offer at Target.
 
7. Marvel Super Hero Mashers Action Figures - These toys are the coolest. My boys have Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, and a few others. They love to mix and match the pieces.
$10.39 + an additional 15% off in cart offer at Target.
 
8. Pokémon Throw 'N' Pop Poke Ball - My oldest son is really into Pokémon. He loves the idea of having his own Pokémon and ball.
$12.99 + an additional 15% off in cart offer at Target.
 
9. Star Wars Walkie Talkies - $13.39 + an additional 15% off in cart offer at Target.
 
10. Cat Mini Worker 3pk Trucks - $4.99 at Toys R' Us
 
11. Gas Out game - I don't know what it is about little boys and farts, but they think its hilarious. They get a hoot out of this game every time they see it at the store.
$9.99 at Walmart.
 
12. Dinosaurs - What little boy doesn't love dinosaurs? My youngest son is obsessed with these foam dinosaurs from Animal Planet.
$19.99 + free shipping.
 
$29.99 + an additional 15% off in cart at Target.
 
14. Pie in the Face game - I don't know why, but my boys really want this game.
Right now its on sale for $14.89 + an additional 15% off in cart offer at Target.

Holiday Gift Guide: Toddler Girls

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links below and make a purchase, I will receive a small compensation from the following companies: The Land of Nod, Project Nursery, Gymboree, Crazy 8, Primary, and Bazzle Baby. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
 
I wanted to get this post up a couple of  weeks ago but sadly I procrastinated. I  put together a holiday gift guide for toddler girls. Most of the items listed below, my daughter Aurora found and I quote, "Sooo cuteeee!" I hope you can image her little voice in your head as you read this. She loves  the color pink and all things super girly. I tried my best to find most of the product images on the list but it was a challenge. I hope this gift guide is helpful  to you and helps with ideas for the toddler girl(s) in your life.
 
Happy shopping! 34 more days until Christmas.
 
 
 
1. My Pet Unicorn Ride On, $149.00 -
The Land of Nod
 
2. Pull Toys (Zebra, Hippo, Elephant), $24.95
The Land of Nod
 
3. Lace Teepee with Garlands, on sale for $159.97
The Land of Nod
 
4. Confetti the Unicorn (Harmony the Mermaid), $56.00
Project Nursery
 
Project Nursery
 
The Land of Nod
 
7. Personalized Nod Chair, $88.00
The Land of Nod
 
8. The Peasant Top, $20.00
Primary
 
9. The Tunic Tee, $16.00
Primary
 
Primary
 
11. Unicorn Knit Hat, $28.00
Project Nursery
 
Bazzel Baby
 
13. Convertible Mittens (coral, sweet mint, lavender), $19.95 originally but on sale for $8.00 now
Gymboree
 

14. Bow Pocket Jacket (coral and sweet mint), $64.95 originally but on sale for $32.48 now
Gymboree
 
15. Shimmer Boots, $39.95 but on sale for $18.50
Gymboree
 
16. Slip On Sneaks (metallic gold, plum, and navy), originally $29.95 but on sale for $11.90 now
Gymboree
 
Crazy 8
 
18. Pajamas, $19.88 on sale now for $10.00
Crazy 8


"Happy Band - Kids Music & Nursery Rhymes" App Review

This post is brought to you by AppelsInApp. I was not financially compensated for this post; however, received app for free. Photos belong to AppelsInApp. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
 

I love education apps for kids, especially now that we finally caved a purchased a new tablet. I am glad that we did because it has come in handy lately. The boys no longer argue over who gets to play the learning app on my phone when we head up north to visit family. Now both boys can educate their minds on our two hour road trips and mom and dad don't have to listen to them bicker back-and-forth anymore. Its wonderful!  
 
AppelsIn Apps reached out to me again to test out their latest app Happy Band with my toddler and preschooler. To read my other review on Bobo's Garage, click here. If your kids are like mine and love anything that has to do with music than this app may be for you.

Happy Band is designed for children five and younger. My two-year-old and preschooler both love to play with this app and it focuses on the following skills for young children:

- Recognize musical sounds
- Recognize instruments
- Recognize animals
- Improves memory skills
- Improve motor skills

The cool thing about Happy Band is that there are original kids songs and nursery rhymes and the kids can choose the band members to play along with each song. Each animal character plays their own instrument. My daughter Aurora loves the Tiger because it plays the tambourine and sings. She's obsessed with cats and meows along with the Tiger as she performs. My son Talan loves the Elephant because it plays the drums and is his favorite animal. 

In total, there are nine animal characters and what I love about Happy Band is that it's geared towards both girls and boys and focuses entirely on music. It's easy for young children to figure out how to navigate without the help of mom and dad and it also keeps them entertained for a good amount time.

 
I highly recommend this app to all parents. Its so cute and its perfect for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and even kindergarteners! To purchase your own Happy Band app from the iTunes store, click here. Its both compatible with IOS and Android.

 

Autumn Nails

Now that it's October I find myself vibing Autumn hues for my nails. I finally painted my nails a gorgeous deep brown the other day while waiting to meet one of my new youth that I will be working with. I found the shade at the Dollar Tree. It was OPI, so naturally I snagged every color that was available in the store even though it was from the 2014 holiday collection. The shades I brought home will be a great addition to my nail polish collection and will work perfect for the fall and winter months. Here are the hues that I am vibing right now:

- GOLD -

I absolutely adore gold nail polish. I have many different shades but I am loving this lighter shade by Wet N' Wild. It's so pretty and I love the fact that it only costs $2.

- NAVY - 

I have never really been a fan of blue nail polish but I am loving this gorgeous navy hue that O.P.I. has. Its dark but such a pretty color and I am excited to try this color out.

- OLIVE -

This season I am all about olive. I just find the color to be so pretty and I can't wait to try this color on my nails.

- RED -

Red nails are a classic. I always paint my nails this color. It's a color that will never go out of style. I have about ten different red polishes and I just feel extra classy when I have red on my nails.

- BURGUNDY/WINE -

Y'all, burgundy and wine are my two favorite colors. I can not buy anything in these two colors. Hands down, one of my go to nail colors for Autumn. It's a deep hue that compliments my complexion and I just love this color. Sinful has a variety of beautiful shades for $2. 


- BRONZE -

Another one of my favorite colors. I wear a similar shade like this one year round and I like that it has a golden tint to it. It's a beautiful shade.

- BROWN -

I bought my first brown nail polish in September and I am a big fan. I don't know why I never used this color before but I am feeling it. 

- BLACK -

I have one black polish in my collection. I'm kind of excited to try a new hue, especially if it has glitter in it. I will be hitting up my local Target and Wal-Mart to find this pretty shade by Maybelline.



 
Wet N Wild |  Similar O.P. I | O.P.I | Similar O.P.I | Sinful Colors | Essie | O.P.I | Similar here

Mom's Favorites of the Month: September

Happy 1st of October! October is my favorite month and  I'm back with some of my favorite beauty and home products that I used for the month of September. I hoped to get this posted yesterday but there was just a lot going on. It also doesn't help that I have been sick the past couple of days. Anywho, these are the items that I am loving the most right now and I wanted to share them with you.

1. WET BRUSHES

By far, this is the best brush that I have ever used. I have naturally curly hair and have tried my fair share of combs and brushes over the past thirty years of my life. Finding that perfect brush and/or comb is a struggle. I have no idea how much money I have dropped over the years. I ended up finding the Wet Brush at Ross and originally bought them for my daughter whom is very tender headed. A friend recommended that I try them on her so I did. One morning I couldn't find my brush so I used my daughter's brush and it was a game changer. I haven't used my brush since that day. No more pulling or tugging when I run the Wet Brush through my hair. If you haven't tried it, you should. I love it and it costs less than $10.

2. JEFREE STAR LIQUID LIPSTICK

Okay, this lipstick is pretty pricey but totally worth it! I love the two shades that I bought from Jeffree Star Cosmetics. My favorite shades are Androgyny and Unicorn Blood. Androgyny is a gorgeous plum mauve and Unicorn Blood is beautiful dark rusty-red. Both shades are perfect for the fall. If you are looking for a new lipstick you should try Jeffree Star Liquid Lipsticks. They cost $18 a pop but its worth it.

3. LORAC BLUSH

Last spring I tried out Lorac's Color Source Buildable Blush in Chroma and I absolutely loved it. This month I decided that I needed a deeper hue for the fall and winter months. I ended up buying the same product in the shade Infrared. It's a beautiful burgundy and I love that I can add color to my cheeks. It costs $22 online at lorac.com and in stores like Sephora and Ulta. Its my favorite blush and I have tried many blushes.

4. O.P.I NAIL POLISH

I am all about dark colors on my nails in the fall. I am loving OPI's Washington D.C. Collection right now. My favorite shade is, "Shh It's Top Secret!" Its a beautiful deep brown and it lasts a long time on my nails. It costs $10 at Ulta.


5. CANDY CORN

Once September hits and candy corn can be found at every super market I buy it by the bag every week. I absolutely love to eat candy corn. Its one of my favorite candies.


6. RIHANNA REB'L FLEUR EAU DE PARFUME

I have a couple of different perfumes but lately I have been reaching for my bottle of Rihanna that I got last Christmas as a gift. It has an intense fruity scent and it little something extra. It smells amazing and I feel a little marvelous whenever I wear it. It costs $59 and you can find it at Macy's.


Autumn Causal Wear for the Fashion Savvy: Men's Wear

This post is brought to you by Tommy John. I was not financially compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I am excited to share my second style post with you thanks to my new friends over at Tommy John. If you have never heard about Tommy John than I am glad that I can help you out and introduce you to their company. Tommy John is changing the game when it comes to men's undergarments. They guarantee that shirts stay tucked, underwear keeps everything in place, and that socks don't fall down as you move! How does Tommy John do this you ask? By understanding how the male body moves and with their innovative fabric technologies. They offer five different fabric materials to choose from: Cool, Soft, Light, Move, and Warm. There philosophy is simple. They focus on fabric, fit, and function. They want to make sure that their customers are comfortable as they go about their day.
 
I decided to do this post specifically on men's wear. These are a few casual outfits for the fall season that I have come up with. I based all of these looks off what my colleagues wear to work and added my own personal style.       

 Outfit #1 - Modern Day Newsboy

I am a fan of that late 1800's and early 1900's newsboy style. There is something about that time period and era that screams timeless style to me. Growing up my favorite movie was the musical the Newsies! [yes, one of Christian Bale's first movies] There is just something about the simplicity of slacks, a plain shirt, and a newsboy hat. I paired a simple V-neck with gray slacks and added a burgundy colored sweater to add a rich pop of color. A brown belt, shoes, and plaid newsboy hat complete the look for effortless style.

Cardigan | Shirt | Tommy John Shirt, Underwear, Similar Socks | Belt | Pants | Shoes SOLD OUT | Hat



Outfit #2 - Noir et Olive

One can ever go wrong with an almost, "all black everything" inspired look. Black is an elegant hue in my eyes and it complements everyone in my opinion. I paired a plan V-neck with an olive button-up and dark wash denim for a laid back but cool look for work. An outfit like this would work great for a man who is a teacher or works in an office type setting where one does not have to dress to the nines. A lot of my colleagues wear similar outfits like this for work only I added dress shoes and a fedora for a more hipster-type look.

Button-Up | Shirt | Tommy John Undershirt and Underwear | Belt | WatchShoes | Jeans | Hat | Glasses  


Outfit #3 - Navy and Browns

This entire outfit is based around the shoes... I wish they made a similar pair for women. I just love them. I paired khaki's with a plaid button-up and added a light colored cardigan in a similar color for some depth. Brown accessories complete the look. If my male colleague's were visiting a school or meeting with DSH caseworkers they would wear an outfit like this one.

Similar Button-Up | Cardigan | Pants | Tommy John Undershirt, Similar Socks, Underwear, | Belt | Watch | Glasses | Shoes


Right now Tommy John is offering 15% off your first order with code FIRST15. So go, go now and buy your boyfriends or spouses some new undergarments. They will thank you later!

"Don't let your shirt be your undoing."
- As quoted by Tommy John

Autumn Causal Wear for the Fashion Savvy: Women's Wear

This post has been brought to you by Tommy John. I was not financially compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It has been a while since I last had to wear professional attire for work. I used to work in higher education and had to wear suits and heels everyday. When I left my job and started my new career working as a professional mentor my style changed drastically. I don't have to dress to the nines anymore. No more suits, dresses, or high heels for me five days a week. In fact, if I come  into the office wearing a blazer and heels I am pretty sure my colleagues would ask me if I was doing a mission moment or meeting with a donor. My style may have changed over the past five years but I do love fashion and being taken seriously by my colleagues and other working professionals that I have contact with throughout the work week. I am in and out of schools every day and sometimes have to attend court hearings to support my youth and their families. In my line of work I want to look professional in a causal sense but still be comfortable when I am with my youth. I would say that my style is casual but still fashion savvy and affordable.

I was asked by Tommy John to create a post with a few casual outfits for the autumn season. I decided to do this post in two parts. All the styles I created are outfits that I would actually  wear for work. This post focuses specifically on women's wear.

Outfit #1 - Neutrals with Pops of Wine




I have always been a fan of layering since my college days. I am obsessed with oversized cardigans and sweaters. I am in love with this cardigan and it comes in two colors and is currently on sale for $23. It pairs nicely with a plain tee. Every woman should have a basic white and black tee in their closet. I consider olive pants to be a neutral and I like the overall look of the slim trousers with a black tee and grey cardi. Wine is one of my go to colors for autumn. The open toed booties and cross body purse add a nice pop of color to the neutrals. I keep my accessories simple most of the time and gold just compliments my complexion. This outfit is super easy to put together and perfect for that summer to fall transition. 

 Cardigan | Shirt similar here | Pants similar here | Booties | Necklace similar here | Earrings similar here| Bracelets similar here| Bag
Outfit #2 - Sweater Dress and Boots

Camel and olive have been two of my it colors for this fall. I used to shy away from camel cause I thought it blended in with my Carmel complexion. I was totally wrong. I love the simplicity of this sweater dress and it comes in four colors. It's perfect for work and weekend wear. I added a belt to define the waist and add some color. Pair it with knee-high boots or booties. When it gets cooler here in October I would added colored leggings or wool tights to keep my legs warm. I also added color with a floppy olive hat and handbag. My favorite matte lipstick in Chihuahua by Too Faced is flattering for all skin types. 

Dress | Belt sold old but a cute one here | Hat similar here | Bag | Boots | Lipstick | Earrings | Necklace similar here
Outfit # 3 - Classic B&W


If you don't have black trousers for your work wear, get them. They go good with everything and on days when you feel like you have nothing to wear they will come in handy. Pair it with a white blouse for a chic and clean look and a burgundy cardigan to complete the look. I consider animal print to be a neutral and leopard print flats dress up this look and allow the utmost comfort for busy work days when you are on the go. I finished off the look with simple jewelry in silver and black and an oversized handbag. 

Cardigan | Shirt | Pants similar here | Flats | Bag | Earrings sold out but cute ones here | Bangle

My Fall Must Haves

This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Autumn is just around the corner and I already have fall on the brain. I've been looking through my closet for outfit ideas as well as combing through Pinterest and fashion blogs I follow and have found a few key items that I need in my fall wardrobe. Fall is my favorite season. I love everything about it. Honestly, I personally think that fall fashion is better than all the other seasons. I love boots, sweaters, and jeans. To me, its all about comfort and staying cozy. These are my six fall must haves that every woman needs in her wardrobe.

1. FLARES

Yes, flares. I haven't had a pair since '09 but find myself really wanting them. I have checked a few stores but haven't had any luck. I feel that flares are a classic style and can be dressed up with a pair of heels or dressed down with boots or wedges. Old Navy is my favorite place to buy jeans and they have a lot of flares right now.

2. MILITARY VEST OR JACKET

I have both of these in my closet. Pair it with a basic white tee, skinny jeans, and boots and your good to go. Toss it over a dress with knee-high boots for work. I found my military vest at Ross for less than $20 and I absolutely love it.

3. FLOOPY HAT

Yup, I need one. It rains a lot her in Portland so it makes sense. I'm still deciding between black, wine, or cognac but I will rock a floppy hat this season.

4. BLACK SHOULDER BAG

I just donated all my old black purses and have been on a hunt to find a replacement. I feel in love with Coach's fall collection. The shape is perfect and it comes in a bunch of different colors. A girl can never go wrong with a classic black bag.

5. BOOTIES

I have yet to have a pair of cognac boots in my closet. They are perfect for work and the weekends. They can be worn with jeans, leggings, skirts, and dresses. I have silver, black, and tan in my closet but cognac will be joining them soon.

6. OVERSIZED CARDIGANS

I love sweater weather! Recently I have purchased pumpkin and burgundy cardigans. A girl can never have too many sweaters right? They are fall staples and spruce up every outfit. Throw it over a dress with tights and leggings or wear it with an oversized tunic and boots. I have a lot of sweaters. I suggest that every woman needs neutrals like black, gray, and cream in their wardrobe as well as a few autumn hues like burgundy, olive, or camel.



Jeans | Similar Vest | Floppy Hat | Purse | Similar Booties | Somewhat Similar Sweater

Mom's Favorite's of the Month: August

I decided to start sharing some of my favorite home and beauty products once a month. I know I love reading about products that other bloggers share and recommend. Here are a few of my favorite things that I have been using over the past few weeks.

1. Glade Candles 

I'm not going to lie, I'm dreaming of cooler temperatures. I'm so over summer and ready for the fall. For the past couple weeks I've been burning Glade's Rich Pumpkin Dreams candle around the house. It smells amazing. Pumpkin scented anything is my go to for autumn and I obviously couldn't wait any longer. It smells like fall in my house and I love it!

2. Covergirl Queen Collection Lipstick 

Hands down, one of the best drugstore lipsticks that I have bought ever. It's smooth, creamy, and there are so many pretty shades. I wear this lipstick pretty much every day and it is one of my favorites in my collection. I have a few different colors but my favorite one is Coffee Break. It is the perfect neutral for my complexion.

3. Batiste 

This month was my first time trying dry shampoo. Other bloggers were raving about it, so I thought I would try it. I don't wash my hair every day but wanted my hair to feel clean. I didn't like it at first but after a couple of days I loved it. It's easy to use, makes my hair and scalp feel like I just washed it, and my naturally curly hair looks great. I highly recommend it.

4. Freeman's Mask

I love this product and have used it for years. This time I tried the Anti-Stress mask and it's amazing! My face feels great and it really helps with stress relief. I use it twice a week.

5. Kat Von D Ink Liner

I don't know about you, but I have watery eyes and I often get raccoon eyes by mid-afternoon. For years I have been on a hunt to find a good eyeliner. I went to Sephora two weeks ago and one of the beauty experts recommend this Kat Von D eyeliner to me after I told her what I was looking for. I have used it every day and I love it. It's easy to apply, the tip is sturdy, and it is waterproof. I won't try any other eyeliner after using this product and its only $20.  

6. Suave Lavender Vanilla Lotion

I have tried a lot of lotion in my lifetime. Suave happens to be one of my favorite lotions to use. This scent in particular smells wonderful. It's a dope of Bath and Body Works Vanilla Lavender line and smells very similar to it. It leaves your skin moisturized for 24 hours and the smell lasts all day on your skin. I use it every morning after I have showered and every night before going to bed. It's a soothing smell and I love it. It also cost less than $4.


Back to School Style: Little Boy Style Ideas

 
This post contains affiliate posts.
 
I cant believe that summer is almost over. My oldest son goes back to school on Wednesday. This summer just flew bye!

I love back to school shopping and honestly I have been slowly doing it since the beginning of July. Like I have mentioned before, I am a planner and I like to stay on budget. 

I thought it would be fun to do another kid's style post.  I let my oldest son Amari pick out a few of his favorite outfits and he had a fun time being my little model.
 


 
Outfit #1: GAME ONE
 
Amari loves graphic tees. This summer we discovered that he is quite the little gamer and when we were at Wal-Mart buying his school supplies he saw this shirt and had to have it. It think it suits him well. He paired it with a pair of Dickie's pants and his black sneakers for a cool but laid back look.
 
 



 
Outfit #2: CHAMBRAY AND RUST

Okay, this was a total mom pick but it was just too cute to not share. What I love about the chambray button-up is that it's light and airy and a perfect summer to fall transition piece. It pairs nicely with the rust straight leg jeans and charcoal V-neck tee. The button-up can be dressed up or down and is a very versatile piece for any school aged kid.
 
 
I hope this gives you some style ideas for your little boy for Back-to-School shopping and style ideas. Have a great school year!  

Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Bites

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Who doesn't like to eat cookie dough? Sometimes I will whip up dough just to eat it without baking cookies. A couple years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter I craved it. I looked all over Pinterest until I found a recipe and seriously ate a batch every night. It was so good and eggless. I found the original recipe for edible cookie dough here. I add my own little twist by making the dough into bites and covering them with chocolate and adding sprinkles. They were a hit in my house and I make them often with the kids.


Ingredients: 

Cookie Dough:
 
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 tablespoons soften butter 
1/8 teaspoon vanilla 
5 tablespoons whole wheat flour 
1 teaspoon coconut milk 
1/2 chocolate chips

Chocolate Outside:

1 cup chocolate chips
Sprinkles

Directions:

1. Mix together brown sugar, butter, and vanilla until blended. Add teaspoon of coconut milk (or milk) and mix together.

2. Add flour one teaspoon at a time and mix together with wet ingredients until blended. Pour in chocolate chips and combine.

3. Use a spoon and scoop out dough, roll into 1 inch balls and set aside on cookie sheet or plate. Repeat until dough is gone.

4. In microwave safe bowl, melt 1 cup chocolate chips for 1 minute. Stir until melted completely. Dip cookie dough balls into melted chocolate and set aside to harden. Repeat until all cookie dough bites are covered with chocolate. Add sprinkles. Let sit until chocolate is hardened or put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes if you are impatient like me.

Enjoy! These chocolate covered cookie dough bites are delicious!

Have you Heard About Snuggin?

This post has been brought to you by Snuggin and contains affiliate links. I was not financially compensated for this post; however, received a Snuggin to review for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
 
 
When my daughter was a baby she would often wake during the night and scream her pretty little head off all because her binkie fell out of her mouth and she couldn't find it. This happened a lot and I was so exhausted waking up just to give her back her binkie. She's almost two now and finally is sleeping through the night thanks to Snuggin!

Have you ever heard about Snuggin? Its genius and the cutest thing ever! It's perfect for babies and toddlers. It comes in two colors, blue and gray; it would make a great gift for a mom-to-be or new baby. The wonderful thing about Snuggin is that its super soft and snugly. Toys but most importantly binkies attach to it which means no more lost binkies during the night or accidental drops in the car on trips around town. It also has a velcro compartment to store your baby or toddlers favorite toys. My daughter likes to put her mini bunny and hair bows inside her Snuggin for safe keeping from her two big brothers. 

Snuggin is perfect and helps with better night sleeps. My daughter is finally sleeping through the night and it's because of her Snuggin. She loves it and never goes to bed or anywhere without it! I highly recommend it to all parents, in fact, I plan on giving it as a gift to one of my closest friends at her baby shower this month.

 
"Snuggin is a baby's best friend and a
parents dream come true."
- As quoted by Snuggin

My new friends at Snuggin were kind enough to give away one Snuggin to my readers. You can enter the giveaway below. The Snuggin Giveaway starts today, August 1st and ends August 15th. Good luck!
 

Make a Difference with Caffe Dali

This post has been brought to you by Caffe Dali and contains affiliate links. I was not financially compensated for this post; however, received products to review for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Since becoming a mom, I can't function without a warm cup coffee every morning. My day just doesn't feel the same without it. I love coffee and appreciate its deliciousness throughout the day. I am a big fan of medium roast and enjoy a good coffee at least three times a day.

Caffe Dali uses only the highest quality of Arabic beans from Central and South America, East Africa, and Asia. The beans are purchased directly from family farms and are part of Direct Trade which is way better than Certified Fair Trade. With Direct Trade it ensures that farm workers are being paid equitably for their labor. You can feel good knowing that you are drinking the highest quality coffee. I have teamed up with Caffe Dali not only to endorse their delicious coffee but to also bring awareness to their cause. 

Every year tens of thousands of young girls and boys are sold into the sex trafficking industry. Caffe Dali has partnered with Destiny Rescue to save these children from being sexually exploited and abused. 20% of their profits goes to help rescue these youth and over the last five years, over a thousand children have been freed from the horrors of slavery around the world. This issue hits very close to home for me. In the Portland Metro Area alone, child sex trafficking has become a major issue and has become entwined with gang affiliations. Will join Caffe Dali, Destiny Rescue, and myself in the fight to bring an end to child slavery? 

 
By purchasing Caffe Dali coffee you are making a difference not only in our society but worldwide. Use code SIMPLYDURANT to get a discount off your purchase and know that you are helping to  save the lives of children.