Tips/How To

Girlfriends Day In, Healthy Living Party

This month’s Girlfriends Day In was a Healthy Living Party and we had a blast! This was an interactive party that led to laughs, eating, good conversations, green/healthy living tips and oh yeah… laughs.

We started the party with a Pampered Chef Consultant walking us through a healthy pizza recipe and a CHOCOLATE fondue with only 80 calories per serving.

I guess by this point everyone knows chocolate is a must for my get-togethers, :-).

Then we made our own cleaning supplies using vinegar, baking soda, castile soap, water and essential oils.

This was A LOT of fun! It also reminded me of why I was usually an observer, not doer, during science lab in high school.

Note to anyone trying this – add the water last, LOL!

We talked about recipes for disinfectant sprays, all-purpose cleaners and more. Plus, I made a cheat sheet for everyone to take with them to try other combinations, too.

With the healthy eating and cleaning covered, we moved on to sample Soul Purpose body products. These use all-natural ingredients and they smell AMAZING! I think I am hooked on the pomegranate mango scent.

We also talked about some of our other favorite products, from Yum Yum Candle (I swear by their candles!) to Seventh Generation and more.

If you’re looking for a fun, interactive day in with your girls, this is a great one. The laid-back atmosphere and fun activities ensured everyone had a fabulous time and was inspired to try something new.

Girls Night In: Comfort Food Party

The cold weather, short days of winter and my hectic schedule had me craving comfort food and a Girls Night In. So I invited a few girlfriends over for a night of girl talk, movies and great food. It was soooo much fun!

The only rule was that no one could feel guilty about their food choices.

This was my first plate. Comfort food may not always make the prettiest picture, but it is definitely tasty (and comforting)!

This was my second. And yes, that is chicken pot pie and a slider on my chocolate plate. But since there is no judging I have absolutely no guilt about this, :-).

Plus, we snacked throughout the night. After all, good conversation warrants grazing.

For inspiration, here’s our Comfort Party Food Menu: fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, green beans, rolls, potato soup, chicken pot pie, mexican dip w/crackers, slider cheeseburgers, french fries, chocolate fondue, brownies, cupcakes and chips.

If you’re looking for a low-key, fabulous way to spend time with your girlfriends you should absolutely try this Girls Night In idea. You can make the meal, make it potluck or do a hybrid (my choice).

This is one of the easiest parties I have done. All you need is good food, good friends and a couple of good movie choices. Be sure to pick up your paper and plastic ware, set up a table for the food and have a few extra throws for your friends to use as they relax on the sofa for girl talk. Then relax, because everything else takes care of itself.

Three Small Ways to Relax during the Holidays

Here are three small things you can do to relax while Christmas shopping and doing all of the many things the holiday season brings:

Listen to music that makes you feel good. With all of the entertaining, planning, shopping and extra “stuff” that happens during the holidays it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

I have found that listening to happy music gets me through it a lot easier. In the car I pick upbeat, catchy songs that make me smile and sing out loud. I also make sure the last song I hear before I get out of the car is one I want to hum. That way if I run into a disgruntled shopper, unhappy colleague or a situation that makes me want to pull out my hair, I have a happy song stuck in my head and ready to go.

Wear something that makes you feel fabulous. This doesn’t have to be an evening gown or designer outfit. It can be anything that brings you a little joy. I usually wear something fun on my right hand and I focus on that when I feel myself getting a little stressed.

Spike your water bottle. Okay, not really, especially if you’re driving. But, add something fun to your water to make it feel like a treat. I add a few sprigs of mint and a little lemon juice to mine. It’s like a spa retreat in a bottle.

Here’s a bonus: Remember why you’re doing all of this and that priceless joy can be found in little things.

Getting Started on Twitter? Want Suggestions for People To Follow?

One of the things that new Twitter users find difficult is figuring out who they should follow. So, here are two lists that I have created to help out my fellow Queens…

The first is the Queen List. I refer to this list as a base list. It includes about 100 of my favorite people on Twitter. It’s a nice mix of lifestyle tips, fashion, travel, Tweeps with interesting opinions, Marketing and PR advice as well as Mom Bloggers. You can easily follow all of these people by going to this page and clicking the “Follow List” button.

The next list, Charlotte Top 60, is for my Charlotte residents. It is a great list of news outlets, discount sites and area businesses.

Enjoy!

p.s. Next week I’ll post tips for getting the most out of Twitter.

The Reward Bin

One of the ways I stay Fabulous Mommy is my reward bin. This bin has won me many “Mommy, you’re the greatest ever” squeals, and it doesn’t cost a lot.

Princess Tiana Jewelry Box from Toys ‘R Us

I hide the bin in my closet and it is full of cutesy things I buy for the girls to reward them for a job well done, for being nice to each other, and just for being themselves. I make sure to use it randomly, so they don’t always think they are going to get a gift because they gave their sister a hug or they picked up all of their toys.

I fill the bin with things I buy extremely cheap, but that will make them smile. Right now the bin has a couple of pom poms, bracelets, sunglasses, necklaces, rings, and a few travel toys.

If you would like to start your own bin, here are a few of my favorite places for shopping:

  • Claire’s—The 10 for $10 section is perfect for sparkly and shiny, exactly what they love.
  • Target – The $1 section is good, but if you wait until they mark it down 30% or 50% you can really stock up.
  • Wal-Mart – The DVD section is great here. I have gotten great kid DVDs for $2 and $5.
  • Also, look in children stores like The Children’s Place and Justice for Girls.

Happy Shopping! And if you see other places I should add to my list, please share.

Three Decorating Rules to Break Now!

Don’t mix prints. One of the best ways to add interest to a room is to mix prints, geometric designs and styles. Here are some great pointers and examples.

 

All rooms need color. Some of the most beautiful rooms I have seen are all-white rooms. Here’s a few that are divine!

 

The living room looks like this because we have kids. There is no reason you can’t have a fabulous living room that is kid-friendly. Don’t believe me, look at these. They are sure to get you thinking.

Organizing Jewelry When A Box Won’t Do

Cuffs, bangles and fabulous beaded necklaces are so hot right now, but how’s a girl to organize them all? Especially when a regular jewelry box doesn’t work for the huge pieces and a jewelry armoire doesn’t work with the bedroom décor.

My answer came while I was perusing the $1 and $2.50 section at Target (yes, I realize I’m in there A LOT…) and saw hot pink, satin-like letter trays. I bought six of these beauties, layered them in a drawer, and voila! Now my jewelry is organized and I can actually see all of my chunky pieces in one place.

Problem solved.