Mother's Day Gift Ideas under $50


Mother's Day is just a few weeks away and it's time to start planning your gift! In my opinion, Hallmark Holidays are always the hardest to prep for but I've made it a little easier for you this year:)  I've pulled together a few adorable Mother's Day gifts that Mom is sure to love.  Don't worry if you don't have a lot to spend, all of these gifts are under $50 (she'll never know)!


Top Row
Clairebella Monogram Mug, $24  Perfect if your Mom is a coffee or tea drinker. All monograms are available

C Wonder Monogram Stationary Card Set, $10 Super cute for only $10! All monograms available
C Wonder Monogram Wine Stopper, $22 Elegant and personalized, but most importantly practical:) 
Clairebella Personalized Notepads, $24 Fact: Moms make lists. At least now her list will be stylish.


Middle Row
Anthropologie Crystalline Hair Ties, $24 One of my favorites! A special twist to an everyday essential.
C Wonder Heart Shaped Cheese Board, $28 Your mom will know you love her if you give her this heart shaped cheese board!
Anthropologie Spring Garden Infinity Scarf, $48 This floral print is perfect for spring. The infinity style makes it fool proof so every Mom can enjoy!
Scentsy We all know how much I adore Scentsy's! I promise your mom will too:) Give it to her with a few of her favorite scents.

Bottom Row
J. Crew Bubble Necklace Look Alike $15 Personalize this necklace by picking her favorite color.
Cartier Love Bracelet Look Alike, $20  A classic. This bracelet is one of the most sought after pieces of jewelry- give Mom hers for only $20!
C Wonder Teardrop Earrings, $48 I'm crazy about the easy elegance of these earrings. The style is perfect for all ages.
J. Crew Venus Flytrap Necklace, $20 Another classic jewelry piece your mom should own. If she likes a sparkle, this one is for her!

J Crew Crystal Venus Flytrap necklace look alike


Statement jewelry is one of the easiest ways to perfect any outfit.  I love this knock off J. Crew Crystal Venus flytrap necklace not only because its adorable but most importantly because it's only $18.99! The real J. Crew version is $98 so consider this a bargain.  This necklace goes well with printed floral tops or dresses because the simplicity of the necklace grounds the prints.  Or you can wear this with all black for a standout moment. You can purchase the necklace here: J Crew Crystal Venus flytrap necklace look alike . Happy Styling!

Fitbit

Do you work at a desk job?  Find yourself disgusted by your lack of movement throughout the day? I've worked at a desk job for almost two years and it’s starting to take a toll on my body. I’m an active person and make exercise a top priority, but it’s near impossible to keep the muscle tone I like when I sit on my butt all day long! I decided it’s time to stop making excuses so I ordered a Fitbit and made daily step goals for myself to insure I keep moving throughout the day. I first heard of Fitbit from my boyfriend’s father. He owns one and raves about how beneficial and user friendly the device is. For those of you who don’t know, a Fitbit is a pedometer. Not only does it track steps, but the Fitbit also tracks flights of stairs climbed, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep patterns.  Without hesitation I ordered my Fitbit and set a daily step goal of 10,000 steps, the equivalent to about 5 miles.

Since I've had my Fitbit I  haven’t gone to bed without meeting my goal but it hasn't always been easy! What I've learned is that if I do cardio exercise then I’m okay meeting my 10,000 step goal. BUT if I don’t make it to the gym I’m in big trouble! On an average day without exercising I was only getting about 5,500-6,000 steps per day, that’s about half of what I need! Needless to say there have been several nights where I look down at my Fitbit at 9:00 pm and realize I need to walk 2 miles before bed…talk about an eye opener.

I definitely recommend purchasing a Fitbit  even if you don’t work a desk job.  Since having mine I've made bigger efforts to keep moving throughout the day and feel much better about my daily activity.  No more excuses! Buy your Fitbit today.

Hummus Recipe


If you're a hummus lover this recipe is for you! I always feel better about what I'm eating when it's homemade vs. store bought.  This hummus recipe is a great recipe to try at home.  Making hummus is easy and affordable so give it a try. Depending on what type of hummus you like, feel free to personalize this recipe by adding roasted pine nuts, extra garlic or sun dried tomato paste after the hummus is blended. 

Ingredients:
1 19oz can garbanzo beans
1 garlic clove
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
paprika for garnish

Directions:
In a blender or food processor blend tahini, garlic and lemon juice for about 30 seconds.  Add all remaining ingredients except the paprika to the blender.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Sprinkle a little paprika on top. 




iPhone Cases You'll LOVE


Most people have an iPhone these days and just like your clothes your phone case needs to represent your personal style! I love switching out my phone cases because it’s an easy and affordable way to add something new into your life.  With seasons changing, what better time than now to update your cell phone case?  I did some digging and pulled together a few of my absolute favorites. With 15 different options I’m sure there will be one that’s made just for you! All cases are under $40 and are great gift ideas. Now it’s time for me to decide which one I want..!

Clairebella iPhone Case, Tribal Berry, $35
DVF Mantra iPhone 5 Case, $40
Rebecca Minkoff Runway Print Case, $35
DVF Leaf-Print iPhone 5 Case, $40
Free People Printed iPhone Case, Delhi Tile, $28


Marc by Marc Jacobs Anemone Stripe iPhone Case, $38
Jonathan Adler Stepped Diamond iPhone Case, $38
BODHI Striped Case, $34
Urban Outfitters Blanket iPhone case, $16 
Zulily Margarita Casablanca Case for iPhone 5, $20


Black/white Chevron iPhone case, $29.99
C Wonder Heritage Ikat iPhone Case $35
Zulily Ikat Haze Audio Chic Case for iPhone 5, $17
Jonathan Adler iPhone 4 Case, $26
Zulily Neon Giraffe Case for iPhone, $40

AG Adriano Goldschmied Goldie High Rise Trouser


If you've seen me lately I've most likely been rocking my new favorite pair of jeans.  The AG Adriano Goldschmied Goldie High Rise Trouser in Entice is everything I've been looking for in a pant,… for years!  Tight throughout the hips and legs but with a flare wide enough to go over your shoe, even for a girl who is 5’9 and always wearing heels.  I absolutely love the length of these pants because they cover your shoe and instantly add inches to your legs, making them look longer than ever! I know this pant is well made because it doesn't stretch out when I wear them and it lasts through multiple wears before needing to wash.  These are seriously my new obsession and I highly recommend them for the tall girl looking for a pant long enough to wear with heels. They pair well with a loose fitting woven tucked in, or with a flowy tank and a blazer. The denim fits true to size. I ordered 2 sizes and ended up going with the smaller size.  Now if only they offered them in black my life would be complete..  PLUS right now they are 50% off…that’s only $99 for a pair of designer denim! Can’t get much better than that.  You can buy them at the link below
AG Adriano Goldschmied Goldie High Rise Trouser in Entice

Cauliflower Pizza Crust


If you’re in the mood for pizza but want to cut back on calories and carbs, try swapping traditional pizza crust for cauliflower pizza crust. Yes, you read that right. Cauliflower is the main ingredient in this pizza crust! This recipe is perfect for pizza night because unlike traditional pizza recipes,  it avoids loading up on carbs before bed. Top with whatever pizza ingredients you like. I made this with my neighbor and we made two pizzas, one with red sauce and one with white sauce, both were delicious:)  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredients for crust:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning blend
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450. Rice cauliflower in a food processor or blender. This should yield about 3 cups of riced cauliflower.  Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 8 minutes. Squeeze out any excess moisture. Mix all of the remaining crust ingredients with the cauliflower in a large dish until combined.  Line pizza tray with parchment paper and flatten crust onto tray.  Cook the crust for about 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Remove crust from the oven and top with pizza ingredients of choice! 

Body Pump



Ladies, listen up! Trying to lose weight or tone up but not getting results? Try lifting weights. I see so many girls at the gym waste hours of their time on cardio machines. Not that cardio isn't important, but if you don’t incorporate strength training into your routine you’ll eventually hit a plateau. Strength training is essential to getting and staying in shape.

For some reason women are afraid of weight lifting. I agree that a weight room filled with beefy sweaty men is intimidating, and that’s why I encourage you to try Body Pump.  Body Pump is a class offered at most gyms that consists of an hour long weight lifting session.  Pump is perfect for a woman’s body because it emphasizes low weight and high repetitions. Each track is about 5 minutes long and focuses on different parts of your body. Dedicating songs to almost every muscle group including back, legs, biceps, triceps, shoulders, abs, butt and chest, Body Pump is definitely a full body workout! 

I've attended Body Pump classes for over a year now and find it’s the best way to keep my muscles toned and strong. Pump won’t make you bulky because as mentioned before it focuses on low weight and high repetitions.  If your gym offers Body Pump or similar strength training classes, sign up now! After a few weeks you should begin to see a change in your body and fell stronger overall. Now who wouldn't want that?! 

Odd Duck


Okay, so I'd been waiting to try Odd Duck for months and when my girlfriend announced she was coming into town I knew it was the perfect time to make the reservation.  If you live in the Milwaukee area you've got to try Odd Duck!  It's known for it's tapas style dining and ever changing menu.  I think the best part about Odd Duck is that when I left there were still about 10 things on the menu that I wanted to try. I'll definitely be going back soon.

I dinned with two of my girlfriends and this is what we tried:
-Feta and herb stuffed baby bell peppers, a perfect dish to start with. Creamy and satisfying these made everyone excited for the food ahead.
-Hook's 5 year aged cheddar plate, Self explanatory, aged cheddar=delicious. Not to mention the apricot spread that completed the dish...
-Maple and mustard dressed Kale salad, this was my personal favorite! I am a big fan of kale not only for it's nutritional benefits but because I love discovering new ways to serve it.  The salad was warmed and served over a whipped cheese spread. I never would have thought of that pairing, but like everything else it was delightful.
-Beef tenderloin this was served in a dark sauce and cooked to perfection. A nice dish to get if you are eating with men. 
-Mahi Mahi, served over warm Brussels sprouts. I really enjoyed this one but make sure to request the fish cooked to your liking.
-Tamales: these were on the house which leads me to my next point, be sure to make a reservation!! We were seated 30 minutes after our reservation so make sure to call ahead of time!

Definitely go to Odd Duck if you're looking for good eats in Milwaukee:)

Tropical Green Juice




Green juices are an amazing way to incorporate vegetables and fruit into your diet. Who wouldn't like disguising 2 cups of spinach in a breakfast smoothie? This juice is packed with fiber and nutrients to get you through the morning and delivers almost half of your daily fruit and vegetable needs.  No need to be scared of the “green” here, the spinach and kale is totally disguised by all of the tropical fruits used in this juice.  If you prefer a smoothie over a juice, add a few ice cubes.  If you have a long morning ahead of you, don’t be afraid to add a scoop of vanilla protein powder to the juice.  The recipe makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:
2 cups spinach or kale
6 oz pineapple juice
1 small green apple
1 orange
1 ripe banana
¼ cup pineapple chunks
½ cup water
Juice from ¼ lemon
Juice from ½ lime

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute.  If using a Vitamix (recommended), turn on and quickly increase speed to 10, flip on high and let blend for 1 minute.  Decrease speed to 3 for about 30 seconds. Serve over ice.

Salmon Salad Recipe



Whenever I go out to eat I usually order some type of salmon. I find that perfecting fish isn't always easy to do at home, but this salmon salad recipe is so good I prefer it over restaurant style salads.  With no fried croutons or calorie-loaded creamy dressings my recipe is guilt free.  Loads of Omega-3's, protein, and fiber make this salad recipe perfect for lunch or dinner.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 salmon filet
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice from 1/3 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 asparagus spears
¼ cup diced tomatoes
¼ cup sliced avocado
2.5 cups romaine lettuce
Balsamic vinegar salad dressing


Directions:
Cook salmon with 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat until cooked to your liking.  When the salmon is ¾ of the way done, pour 1 tablespoon soy sauce and lemon juice over the salmon filet so it absorbs into the fish while cooking.  In another skillet, cook the asparagus over medium heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil until browned.  Add the remaining soy sauce to the asparagus and let sit for 1 minute. Wash and chop the romaine lettuce and place it in a salad bowl.  Place the salmon filet atop the salad greens.  Sprinkle avocado and tomato slices around the salmon.  Add Asparagus spears to bowl. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar dressing over and top with a pinch of feta cheese if desired.

Hurricane Drink Recipe


Last weekend I discovered my new summer drink, a hurricane!  Most versions of a hurricane are loaded with syrups and mixed with every type of liquor imaginable. My version is a lot friendlier to your waistline and your head! This light and fruity drink takes you right to a tropical paradise so when you're feeling anxious for palm trees and a cabana, mix away:)

Ingredients:
2 oz spiced or dark rum
4 oz pineapple juice
3 oz orange juice
splash grenadine
squeeze of lemon and lime
lime wedge for garnish

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and serve over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.  If the drink is too strong for you, mix in a small amount of club soda. Cheers!

colorful clutches

Spring is here! It's time to start brightening up our looks and transitioning into sunnier days. Try adding a pop of color with these trendy clutches.  All are under $38! Happy shopping.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


No, this is not P.F. Chang's but it's pretty darn close! These are REALLY good and good for you.

Ingredients:
1 head butter lettuce or lettuce cups
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 large carrots
5 mushrooms
1/3 cucumber or 1 8 oz. can water chestnuts
1/3 red onion
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Trader Joe's Soyaki sauce OR low sodium Teriyaki sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:
Slice chicken into small pieces and cook with peanut oil over medium heat until cooked through.  In a blender or food processor chop mushrooms, onion, and cucumber/ water chestnuts.  Add chopped vegetables to skillet with chicken. Shred carrots and add to pan. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes.  In a separate dish, combine rice vinegar, Soyaki, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and garlic powder.  Stir or blend until combined. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetable mixture, stir and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for a few minutes.  Wash and separate lettuce cups.  Spoon chicken mixture into individual lettuce cups and enjoy!

Spring Nail Polish Trends

Time to toss out the dark winter nail polish and add some spring style to your hands.  Nail trends this spring scream pastel. A sea foam green or light blue will do the trick. Most of you probably have a pastel nail polish of some sort at home, feel free to bust it out of hiding and apply away:)
Feeling daring? Something new we are seeing is adding touches of metallic to your nails. Don't be scared by the heavy metal, there are plenty of ways you can dip into this trend slowly.
Below are a few images safe enough for you to try!
 
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