Top Tips for Staying Healthy this Winter

When Winter rolls around so do the germs!  Most of my life I have been plagued with a weak immune system and it only got worse once I had little ones to share all of their germs.  Over the past couple of years I have been on a quest to find ways to stay healthy and prevent the cold and flu.  I am a whole new person and can honestly say these few things have changed my life.  These are not things that I found on Pinterest and am sharing with you but things I've tried and honestly can say I'm much healthier than I used to be.  If there was a cold in a two mile radius I used to get it but now I rarely have a cold.  I'm not completely immune of course but sickness is few and far between and when I do get sick it doesn't kick my booty and take me out of commission like illnesses did in the past.

Give these things a try and let me know how they work for you.
1. Air Purifier
2. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
3. Detox Bath
4. Gargling with Salt Water and/or Netty Pot
5. Lots of Water and Sleep

Our Blessed Christmas - 2017

I've already shared all of our magic during the Christmas season but I can't help but share all of the cuteness and love of a family captured in our pictures during Christmas.  The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is the true reason for the season and reflecting on that gift and the presence of loved ones can not compare to the presents.  We were extra blessed this Christmas with the presence of our Papa who has been in a group home for a couple of months.  He was able to come home to spend Christmas Eve with the family and watch the excitement of all the kids.  It's a Christmas I'm sure we will always cherish.  

Merry & Bright- Christmas Season 2017

The Christmas Season is such a magical time of year that is second to none.  The season was jam packed for us but full of fun, laughter, family, friends and a whole lot of Christmas spirit.  We celebrated Christmas with Kevin's dad, sisters and our families early in December at our home.  We enjoyed the day together eating lunch, opening gifts and playing silly games.

My mom and I have a tradition of sneaking away to the city in December for a girls trip.  We did a bit of damage shopping but spent most of our time eating our way through the city.  The highlights included the views from The Top of the Mark, the dinner at Nob Hill Cafe and again the lunch view at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus.

One of our Christmas traditions is Pajama Polar Express night where we load up in the car with our pj's on, hot chocolate and popcorn while looking at Christmas lights and singing carols.  The dolls joined us this year:)

A Holiday Wish List to Improve Yourself

With gifts heaving on the brain I'm sharing a guest post today about gifts for self improvement from life coach Julie Morris.  These are some great ideas that might be perfect for the hard to buy for person on your list.

Want to improve yourself in 2018? Here’s your holiday wish list

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz at Unsplash

Next year is going to be your year. 2018 will be the year you get your act together. You’re going to get in shape, manage your finances, get a better job, learn to meditate, take a yoga class, travel more and start keeping a journal.

We hope you do all those things. We believe in you, and you should believe in you, too! When you’re crafting your holiday wish list, here are some things to add so that you can make 2018 the year that all your dreams come true.

A journal -- Sure, it’s a little cliche, but journaling is a very good meditative practice. It can challenge your mind, help you achieve your goals, help you become more emotionally intelligent and helps keep the focus on you. If nothing else, it helps you document your life. There are now so many different types of journals, you should do some research into the type you’d like.

Gift card for a class -- Is there a class you’ve always wanted to take? Art, yoga, self-defense, photography, money management? Whatever you’re considering, there’s probably a class for it. Figure out what kind of class you’d like to take and ask for it as a gift. Maybe it can be the start of a new hobby. Remember, having a hobby is a great way to let go of the stresses of daily life. It gives you something to look forward to while you’re suffering at work.

Money management 101 -- If you’re the type who likes to read, look into books on money management -- there’s no shortage of them. There are also online and phone apps that can help you budget your money and start working toward your financial goals. Having financial peace of mind is the greatest gift.

Gym membership -- When you’re trying to better your health, a gym membership can make all the difference. Having somewhere to go to work out can help you commit to your goals. If you already go to a gym, consider asking for some personal training sessions. A personal trainer can help you reach your goals while ensuring you use proper form and technique so that you don’t get injured. Plus, a trainer will encourage you and challenge you to do things you never thought you could.

Meal delivery service -- Meal kits are a great way to save time and stress -- you get all the ingredients prepared for you and delivered to your doorstep so that all you have to do is follow the instructions to make a fresh, gourmet meal. You get to choose which kits you want, so there’s no chance of receiving something you don’t like.

Coloring books -- If stress or anxiety is an issue, consider asking for a coloring book and pencils. Adult coloring books allow you to focus on one thing for a while, which helps your mind meditate. Coloring books have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and you don’t have to worry about not being able to draw. The options for coloring books are practically limitless, so start shopping around for best one for you.

Calorie counter -- There are plenty of great calorie and nutrition counting apps on the market to help you meet your goals, whether it’s for weight loss, weight gain or just eating healthier. Most of them have a free version, but paying for the pro version of the app will help motivate you to stick with it.

The goal of self-improvement is one we all share. But we’re counting on you to show us how it’s done. Whatever your goals are, never stop reaching for them. Let 2018 be your best year yet.

Ms. Morris is a life and career coach who strives to help others live the best lives that they can. She believes she can relate to clients who feel run over by life because of her own experiences. She spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways. You may check out her website:

Stocking Stuffers Under $30

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Stocking Stuffers are usually my favorite of all the Christmas gifts.  I'm not sure why but there is just something so fun about digging through your stocking and seeing what surprises you will find.  The first set of items are for the ladies and I have a thing for hand soap.  I love new soaps and changing them for the seasons.  I am completely OBSESSED with Jo Malone and have been for years.  Their scents are to die for but my favorite thing about the line is how you can layer them.  So you use one scent for bathing, another lotion and another perfume.  Certain scents work well together; may I suggest Wood Sage & Sea Salt, Tuberose Angelica and Peony and Blush Suede.  You can thank me later.  For a stocking stuffer I recommend the bath oil which is just heavenly.  For your makeup beauty I love this set from MAC of Prep, Prime + Fix, and Scents.  These facial sprays feel fabulous and give your look an added glow.  Lastly, for the ladies a pom pom beanie is sure to make anyone smile.

For your little ones Hatchimals and Fingerlings are huge this season and I'm recommending these smaller versions for stocking stuffers.  We love Rudolph around here and his plush girlfriend Clarice is just going to be perfect for my little girls.

Is it just me or are men the hardest to buy for?!?!  Here are some ideas that I hope will help you.  A can cooler is the perfect stocking stuffer.  These attachments keep your can cool because who likes a hot drink anyway?!?!  My husband loves his card clip wallet because it's not as bulky as a wallet but a money clip just isn't enough for him.  This is the best of both worlds holding cash and a few cards.  As soon as my hubby gets home his boots come off and slippers go on; he lives in them at home.  So a new pair each year is in order.  These slippers make the perfect stocking stuffer for any man.  The Google Home Mini would be great for anyone of your list because it's like having a hands free assistant.  You can ask it questions, have it play music, set reminders, turn off lights and more.

You can see all my gift ideas under the Holiday Shopping tab up at the top of each page.  If there are any categories you'd like to see send me a quick note.  I hope to make your shopping easy, painless and stress free.  The holidays should be about family, friends and fellowship not freaking out over a to-do list.

Personalized Christmas Gifts from Shutterfly

Tis the season of giving.  It's such a special time of year with a different spirit in the air.  It's always fun to get a gift but I take an extra special joy in giving a gift from the heart.  For that reason I love giving personalized gifts that have extra meaning.  As much as I love picking out gifts I also am a very busy lady so one stop shopping is like the holy grail.  I've used Shutterfly for years for finding the perfect gifts for nearly everyone on my list.  I've rounded up some ideas to share with you to give you some inspiration and make your shopping that much easier.

For starters I make an Excel list of everyone I need to buy for.  As I come up with ideas I put it in their row and I bold the item once I've bought it.  This is how I keep track of all my gift buying and giving.  Once I have everything organized I start coming up with ideas.  Hopefully this list helps you with your shopping. 

Magnet- Stocking Stuffer
Desktop Plaque- Husband, Dad, Godfather
Desk Calendar- Mother, Grandmother, Godmother
Coasters- Stocking Stuffer
Puzzle- Grandmother
Travel Mug- Grandfather
Santa Plate- Kids, Niece/Nephew, Goddaughter/son
Necklace- Aunt, Sister, Sister in Law, Godmother, Friend

Pizza Making Birthday Party with CPK

I've always hosted our kids birthday parties at my house which I've always enjoyed but let's be real they are a lot of work.  You have to clean, prep, set up, cook or bring all the food in.  Then your house becomes a zoo and then you have to clean it ALL up.  For Emily's 6th birthday party I wanted to look for a place that would still keep all the fun and cuteness but alleviate all the prep work for me.  We decided on a pizza making party at California Pizza Kitchen.  We had never attended a party there but after speaking with Kelly the local GM I knew this would be great. But boy were my expectations exceeded; it was amazing!

Beauty Holiday Gift Guide

I wanted to share my top beauty picks for the season with you any of which would make fabulous holiday gifts.  I, like most girls love anything that makes me feel beautiful.  As I'm getting older I'm also having to work harder on looking my best:(  So several of these products counteract the aging process and help us ladies with the youthful look we want.

Do you want an eye-popping look this holiday season?  Who doesn't?!?!  You've got to try Rodan +Fields' Bright Eye Gift set to do just that.  The first product, Lash Boost grants you lush, longer lashes in as little as four weeks.  A nightly application of the serum is super easy just like applying eyeliner.  The Bright Eye Complex is the second product which brightens and revitalizes your eyes.  It reduces dark circles, puffiness and dullness.  The last item is the studded eye lash curler that you're totally going to need once your lashes lengthen.  You can get this amazing set HERE from the sweetest and most knowledgeable R+F consultant, Hannah Janz.

Anyone else terrified from the fine lines and wrinkles creeping up?!?!  I am all about prevention and tackling the lines that are already there.  The Obagi Professional C Serum 10% does just that with a concentrated formula with 10% L-absorbic acid (Vitamin C).  It's a daily serum you apply after cleansing in the morning.

I feel like my look is only complete with lipstick but I was always to lazy to reapply throughout the day.  LipSense was life changing for me in the makeup department.  The colors are so vibrant and amazing and they actually do last ALL DAY!  You apply 2-3 coats in the morning and top with a gloss.  Usually I have to reapply the clear gloss a few times a day but the color lasts from morning to night.  My favorite holiday color is Fly Girl!

What's the most important beauty tool?  SLEEP!  Beauty sleep is the best product you can get, am I right?  I have the hardest time with sleep because I can never turn my brain off.  However, I found an essential oil from Sis & Oil that I rub on my wrists and in very little time it relaxes me and soothes me to sleep.  The aroma is heavenly as well.

LipSense opened the door for me to the parent company Senegence and I started trying some of their other products.  There are two others that I'm obsessed with and wanted to include on my beauty guide.  The ShadowSense is an eyeshadow that you apply with a wand (almost like LipSense) that stays in place all day long; no smudging or creasing.  I love the colors and the way it wears.  My absolute fave color is Mocha Java Shimmer!  I also recommend the LashSense with UnderSense.  The first step is applying UnderSense which is like a primer to coat and lengthen your lashes.  You finish up with the mascara.  Between this and the Lash Boost you will be using you will have the most gorgeous lashes!

For all my Fresno peeps several of these items are sold by local consultants and when I can I love supporting local.

This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are honest and my own.

Cyber Monday

Although I braved the stores for Black Friday I'm trying to do the rest of my Christmas shopping online.  It saves me so much time avoiding driving from store to store.  I've updated all the codes for Cyber Monday below so that you have a one stop resource for all the best deals.  Most of these deals are the best of the year so stock up now.  Happy Saving!


Extra 15% off. No code needed.

50% off Everything plus free cozy socks! Code: COZY

20%-35% Off.  No code needed.


Free $20 Holiday Reward Card when you spend $40 until 11/27. Free Shipping on $30+. 20% Off over $125

Extra 20% and Free Shipping at $25 with code CYBER

Up to 90% Off, free gift with any purchase.
Codes: LIS10, LIS15, LIS30

Holiday Cards with Minted

Is it just me or do Holiday Cards make you giddy?!?!  I love checking the mail during the holidays and seeing what cards we receive each day.  I equally enjoy planning out our Christmas cards each year.  It can seem like a lot of work but I have some tips for you to make the whole process simple.

Don't wait until the last minute to start planning or you will stress yourself out.  Book a photographer several months in advance and start thinking about a theme.  In the past we've done The Polar Express and No Place Like Home but this year I didn't do an overall theme just holiday colors and outdoor scenery.  Once you have the idea or theme in mind start shopping for your looks.  In the interest of saving money I always start in our closets and see what I can use that we already have then I buy to fill in.  I suggest using a variety of colors that coordinate; I stray away from matchy-matchy clothing.  You can see more of my suggestions on styling family photos here.

If you're looking for a new photographer look at their past body of work and ask for referrals.  Don't forget to discuss ahead of time what you are looking for: theme, style, poses, etc.  For example, do you want everyone looking at the camera and smiling or do you want action shots?  If you have young kids you should ask if the photographer has experience with children and getting them to engage.  We used the beautiful and extremely sweet Melissa Gotelli to take our family photos this year.  She's so patient and great with little ones!  

Next you need to pick a location.  If you have a theme pick something that compliments it.  If not, find a spot that you love.  Feel free to ask your photographer for a suggestion.  The night before picture day lay everything out pressed and ready.  Take a tide pen with you to the shoot and bring hairspray and a comb if you have little girls.  I may or may not bring some bribing candy!

The suspense of waiting for the photos just about kills me.  Once you receive them make your selections and decide which ones will make the cut for your Holiday Cards.  I used Minted to print our cards and I am so happy with the process and the final product.  There are countless options and great search options so you don't get overwhelmed.  The customization options will delight you. My favorite are printed envelopes including return address and/or mailing address.  The worst part of sending out cards is addressing them so this benefit is huge!  It makes the process so easy; they arrive in the mail and you just add postage and send.  However, Minted even gives you the option of buying postage so you literally have nothing to do once you hit order.  If you want you can receive a proof or even get guidance from a designer.  Minted has something for everyone and you'll be sure to find exactly what you can dream up.

Don't miss out on Minted's amazing sale going on right now (this is the best sale I've seen).  Click the banner to start looking for the perfect card:

Update: Don't fret if you missed Cyber Monday.  Click on banner to still get a discount.

Here are my favorite photos from our shoot with Melissa Gotelli:

Cards received in exchange for this review.  As always all opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

Making a List, Checking Twice...Christmas Bucket List

Is it the decorations, the music, the parties, the chill in the air???  I don't know what it is but the Christmas season is the most magical time of the year.  I try to slow down at work this time of year so that I can soak in all the fun with my girls.  I'm sharing our Christmas Bucket List and would love to hear what you look forward to this time of year:

Black Friday Deals & Steals

It's the best shopping of the year!!! Happy Black Friday (and Black Friday Eve otherwise known as Thanksgiving)!  I'm all set and ready to go!  I know I can avoid the chaos and do most of my shopping online which I will do but I actually get a thrill from the real deal.  It's also a tradition for my mom and I.  A crossbody bag is an essential for some serious shopping so I always have both hands free.  I have some SERIOUS good news.... Gigi New York is giving one of you this exact bag!  See below for details to enter.

I'm sharing my favorite sales items from my favorite places.  These items are already in my shopping cart or on my wish list (family feel free to grab any of these for me, lol).  I've also included coupon codes so you can get the best deals.

Friday only if you spend $50 or more you get 20% off one shopping trip between 11/28 and 12/10.
Save 40% on Home with code TURKEY

50% off Everything! No code needed.

Spend $150+ Receive a striped wristlet, Spend $250+ Received a striped pouch, Spend $350+ Receive both.


Free $20 Holiday Reward Card when you spend $40 until 11/27

Extra 20% and Free Shipping at $49 with code HURRY

Codes: CBT15, CBT5, LIS30, SNOW20