Romantic Table Settings For Two

Romantic Table Settings For Two-Vivanco Wines & Teleflora Valentines 2018 Bouquet

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

Who says you have to go out to a fancy (i.e. expensive) restaurant to have a nice, cosy romantic dinner? While it is nice on occasion to get dressed up and go out on the town, sometimes it’s equally as nice to have a quiet night in with your significant other. And it can be easier on the pocket book, too.

Two things I think that make a dinner for two just a little bit more of an occasion are flowers and a nice bottle of wine. Since it’s the “season of love” I’ve come up with two in-home settings to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my husband of 25 years. Teleflora and Vivanco Wines are helping me set the mood. [read more]

Books That You Will Love

Books That You Will Love-House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick-Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz

Beauty Brite Disclosure

I love to read. I have since I was a kid. I remember the highlight of one evening was waiting in line for the last Harry Potter book to come out. We waited for three hours and were first in line. I had that sucker read in about two days. (Yes I’m well aware how much that dates me) As a parent reading is my time that I set aside for myself and gives me a chance to breathe and recover from the day.

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If My Dog Could Talk

If My Dog Could Talk - The Perfect Give for Pet Lovers & Owners

Beauty Brite Disclosure 

Let me tell you a story about my beloved rescue puppy, Morgan Rayne. She wasn’t the first dog I ever had, but she was the first dog that was all mine. You see, I had grown up with dogs. Since I was very little, there was always a dog, or two, in my family. They even made appearances in our family pictures. As a grown-up, I knew I wanted my own dog, but the time never seemed right.

Then one day, I finally decided it was time. I didn’t know what kind of dog I wanted, I just knew it would be a rescue. There are way too many dogs in shelters and I wanted to help save one. So, I went to shelters and looked online and one day I found her. This sweet, goofy boxer face I couldn’t resist.

Morgan Rayne

I still remember meeting Morgan, or Rayne as was called at the time, for the first time in a big field in Atlanta. I really hoped we would connect. You never know what a rescue has been through so it isn’t always a guarantee they will like you or warm up to you. This was not the case with Morgie. As I bent down to get a good look at her and to pet her, she crawled into my lap and gave me kisses. That was it, I was a goner.

On December 1st, 2009, Morgan Rayne became mine. She was sweet, full of energy, goofy, a total bed hog, and followed me where I went. I think she may have been left by her previous owners because she had some issues with separation anxiety.

We had many adventures together. She loved the snow, well eating it, and going to the beach. Although she didn’t really love going in the water. She also loved to ride shotgun in the car wherever we went so she could look out the window. She had a pension for wine, apples, bread, and Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing. She would sneak on my mom’s couch, even though she wasn’t allowed up there.

Morgan Collage

 

I had her for six years before she unexpectedly passed away from bloat. I still miss her to this day. Although I keep my favorite picture of us by my bed, I always wanted a way to honor or celebrate her. Now, thanks to my personalized book, If My Dog Could Talk, from I See Me! I can. The book, written by Maia Haag and illustrated by Susan Batori, tells the story of you and your dog. (Or the pet lover and their dog if you are giving the book as a gift.)

If my dog could talk set

 

If you’re not familiar with I See Me!, they are known for their personalized children’s books. They have a wide variety of books and gifts for babies, kids, adults, and pets. I was thrilled when they offered me the chance to customize their pet book, which also came with a personalized placemat & bandana.

I See Me! makes customizing your book so easy. I love that they offer the option to choose from your current pet or to honor a pet that has passed away. First, I choose a dog, from their illustrated examples, that closely matched Morgie.

Next, I answered a few questions to help personalize the book even further, such as my name, my dog’s name and gender, and anyone else that loved Morgan. I also chose a dedication from their extensive list and included a couple of my favorite photos of Morgan. Then I waited for my goodie box to arrive.

If my dog could talk inner pages

As you can see, my book turned out amazing. I love the story and seeing mine and Morgie’s name throughout the book. There are so many great little extra touches, like seeing her name on the dog bed, or our hand/paw prints in the background. It’s little things like this that make If My Dog Could Talk such a treasure. It also makes for a great gift for kids and adults alike. It’s a nice way to celebrate your current pet or honor one that has passed away.

Intro to If My Dogs Could Talk

I shared Morgie’s book with Coda, my parent’s dog. He had the privilege of knowing Morgan and using her as a pillow on occasion. I think he might have been annoyed that I didn’t make the book about him, but he still enjoyed reading it. Plus, I assured him I would be getting him one of his own, as well as one for my dophew, Cooper.  I also promised him a few extra treats which sealed the deal.

Coda reading Morgan's book

If you are looking for the perfect personalized gift, now is the perfect time to shop I Seem Me!. During the month of October, they are partnering with the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago. Use code DOGS to receive 10% off your purchase and a percent of the proceeds will be donated to the organization. They will be partnering with The Humane Society of Missouri in November.

In November and December, they will also be partnering with the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. A percent of every purchase during those months will be donated to the national nonprofit.

Connect with I See Me!: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

What’s your favorite pet memory? Which I See Me! book would you like as a gift?

 

 

 

 

Between Lost and Found: A Novel of Love in South Dakota

Beauty Brite Disclosure

The story of a far-gone city girl traveling to a new place–and discovering redemption, and herself, along the way–is by no means an original one. However, such a plot-line deserves some repetition. It’s satisfying, sweet, and serves as a more tangible example of the search for self that we all strive towards. So, knowing that the book Between Lost and Found (whose heroine, Janelle Marshall, finds love and closure while searching for her missing grandfather in a little South Dakota town called Mammoth Falls) would involve said plot-line, I was excited and pleased to read the story. Shelly Stratton’s book, Between Lost and Found, has all the pleasurable cliches of a typical find-yourself-novel–but none of the typical brattiness that also comes along with it.

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My Current Summer Routine

Main Photo for Current Summer Routine
Beauty Brite Disclosure

It’s summer and this is the time when less is more for me. I try to log off the internet a lot earlier, exercise a little more, less makeup, and more going out and spending time with family and friends. We all like to change things up for the summer, and this is what I’ve been doing and so far it’s been amazing.
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Are You An Over Packer?

Are you an Over Packer?

Beauty Brite Disclosure

I used to travel once a year to Los Angeles to attend the International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS), and each year I always managed to pack more than what I actually needed. I always tell myself, “I may need this.” Spoiler alert, I never do. Because of overweight luggage fees, I’ve always made it a conscious effort to always travel light. I’m talking just my carry on and handbag. Nothing more. Here’s how I do it.
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Mermaid Madness

EnchanTailsBeauty Brite Disclosure

If your kids are anything like mine, they are being swept up by the mermaid craze. Who doesn’t love the thought of being free to run and swim in the ocean all day and not have a care in the world? Growing up we had The Little Mermaid, and now your little ones can have EnchanTails.

What are EnchanTails? They are an adorable five piece mermaid tail slumber bag set that comes with your choice of sleeping bag (size 26″ x 83″). The set also includes an easy carry tote, decorative pillow, wall decals, and a great starter chapter book. The age recommendation for this product is three and up, and it is not for outdoor use.

We chose the beautiful Kelani Mermaid Deluxe 5-Piece Slumber Bag Set. Did you know the threads glow in the dark? The Greens and Oranges set each other off in such a lovely way. My daughter especially loves this set because her name starts with an E and she loves the fact that the pillow “is just for her” as she says…. [read more]

Must Have Items When Commuting For An Interview

 

Must Have Items When Commuting For An Interview-Kushyfoot Flats-PreHeels Spray-Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer-Boscia Blotting Sheets-100% Pure Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick

Beauty Brite Disclosure

When I finished college years ago it was time to head out on interviews. While I was hoping to get interviews for companies in the suburbs, that didn’t always happen. 90 percent of my interviews were in the city about 50 miles away, which was an hour by train. When doing long commutes it’s important to bring only the essentials — meaning pack light!

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Relax and Clear Your Mind With Adult Coloring Books

 

Relax and Clear Your Mind With Adult Coloring Books - MindWare Wild Wonders Color by Number Books and Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Beauty Brite Disclosure

Are you looking for ways to take your mind off of a bad day or to de-stress from a long work week? A great way to relax is by coloring in an adult coloring book. Before you start snickering or rolling your eyes, it’s true! Not only is coloring fun, think back to your days as a kid, it’s a perfect way to relieve stress. Mindware® offers a truly unique adult coloring book that I am currently enjoying along with a wide array of colored pencils.

I started using adult coloring books two years ago when I found out my dad had lung cancer. I needed something to help take my mind off of things, and working on a jigsaw puzzle wasn’t working. I went to Barnes & Noble to walk around and I saw a stand of adult coloring books. I browsed through them and found a few that I really liked. Within a week or two I was obsessed, and it was a great distraction…. [read more]

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife

Beauty Brite DisclosureBelieve it or not, movies have the power to change our lives. A great, thought-provoking film can awaken our souls and stir something deep within us. To me, The Zookeeper’s Wife is one of those life altering movies. The story played through my mind for days after I saw it and the message left an imprint on my heart. Act courageously when faced with the evils of life. We can be the change we wish to see in the world…. [read more]