Holiday Project Day For Your Teen

School was out last week for the Christmas break and as usual {to keep up with tradition}, we hosted another holiday get together for miss Faith and her gal friends.  Since this requires getting everyone together before travel plans start, it means planning and prepping weeks ahead.  This isn’t our first rodeo, we know how to pull it together with plenty of time … DATE/TIME *Check calendar and choose a few different dates. *Send out email invite with details and specified dates and include the time.  This gives everyone a chance to chime in on what works for them. *Confirm final date and respond. *Come up with food {menu}. *Are you wanting to do easy?  Are you on a budget?  Do you want to have anyone bring something? *Plan food for specific time of the day. Plan a holiday project day #kids #familytime #holiday #craft #teens Click To Tweet PROJECT/CRAFT…  Read More…

Winter Hydrating With HINT Water

Just because the weather outside is cold does not mean we can’t get dehydrated.  Are you up to speed on Winter Dehydration? SOME CAUSES OF WINTER DEHYDRATION Cold weather can make the bodies thirst response diminish {this can be up to 40% even when we are hydrating}.  Why?  The blood vessels constrict when our bodies are cold, preventing blood flowing freely to extremities.  {When our fingers and toes start to tingle or feel numb}.  By drawing more blood to the core, this will enable the body to conserve heat.  When this happens, our body thinks it is okay and properly hydrated {we don’t feel as thirsty, the body is fooled}. Think about it, are you less likely to drink water during winter?  Snowboarding, skiing, sledding, running, ice skating, working out.  Whatever you activities are during the winter months, you still need to hydrate {in fact even more so}.  Read about…  Read More…

Thanksgiving Shopping

When the 5:00 a.m. news came on {I am up that early making coffee for husband} and it said we were expecting “storm like weather to hit around 9:00 a.m., my head started going into game plan mode.  It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving {early morning} and I knew I had some shopping to finish up at the market.  I didn’t really put any stress on myself this year since we already had the “big bird” resting safely in my mother’s refrigerator.  The rest of the list would be pretty easy and most of it consisted of fresh food and produce {packages and boxes don’t really work at my Thanksgiving meals}.  That being said, I wanted to wait as late as possible to pick everything up.  My mind had changed with this latest forecast update.  No waiting and putting it off, I would head out this morning and beat the…  Read More…

Holiday Shopping Gift Giving Guide

*Disclaimer this post contains affiliate links.  I love being organized and even more so this time of year.  I start shopping early for the holidays and I have a list of ideas for each person I shop for, that way if I can’t find what I want, I have options.  The problem about shopping too early, I tend to hide things and forget where I have put them when it comes time to wrap.   I have many years found gifts that I have purchased months after Christmas in their hiding places.  Nostalgia sets in when heading to some of our favorite shopping areas.  Some of my fondest memories of holiday shopping are when we would head to the large Nordstrom mall area {outdoors} here in California and bring the kids.  They were younger then, so if we were shopping for them, they really didn’t pay much attention, they were too…  Read More…

Christmas Memories and Believing

I have my favorite seasons and time of year, however December  is just … well it’s just something extra special.  December  is magical.  No matter how old I get, I can’t help but feel my inner child come out this time of year.  The lights, the decorations, the music, the hustle and bustle of this season, it all takes me back to being a kid.  Christmas always reminds me of my grandparents.  The trips to downtown San Francisco {Union Square} to see the window displays.  They don’t do windows like they used to. They were amazing, beautiful and just mesmerizing. The holiday parties my grandparents hosted were something out of a movie.  The friends, the music, the food, the hors devours, the cocktails, the men and their cigars, the nice suits, the women and their mink coats, nice dresses and beautiful jewels.  The baby grand piano, the drum set, the…  Read More…

Christmas Dinner Wine Country Style

The new year is already here and I am pretty behind on my posts.  I have literally taken time over the holiday break to play with the kids, make food, enjoy family, take many pictures, enjoy some “bubbles”, remove the tree, pack up the holiday “stuff”, watch movies, take naps, snuggle up with my hubby and fit in my Pure Barre classes.  But here we are, January 1st and I am re-capping our Christmas Dinner. This year we kept it very mellow and small.  Christmas Eve was a just the four of us, our oldest was not coming home this year {our first year without him} as he made a grown up decision to stay in Santa Barbara and work for that extra “holiday” money.  So that left my hubby and Noah and Faith to cozy up with our annual movie watching {A Charlie Brown Christmas} and they were kind…  Read More…

Our Perfect Kind of Tree

Every year at the same time, we get our tree.  My hubby’s birthday falls after the first week of December and we have our family ritual.  This is our scheduled time each year that we calendar and keep {sort of like an appointment} only this is much more fun, this is more like a family date night. As usual we head out on a weekend and we love going to the tree lot in the evening {we started a bit earlier this year}.  The day is planned out, we make the space, move furniture out of the way and clear the path around and near the door {in hopes to make a smooth entrance once we arrive home}.  We bake some slice and bakes {cookies} they can’t be homemade, that would be an epic fail and we make sure the hot cocoa and marsh mellows are stocked and ready to…  Read More…

Family Weekend, College Football and Hugh Grant Dancing

We had such a nice Thanksgiving and by Saturday, I found myself just sort of wiped out.  We still had our son visiting from Santa Barbara and while I was catching up on laundry and cleaning, my hubby and the three kids were able to go out and throw the football around and shoot some hoops.  It wasn’t until they returned home to watch some college football games {wow way to end a game Auburn} that I decided to go through the DVD drawer and pick some faves and head upstairs to snuggle in watch some movies. Nothing like a hot cup of tea for me and hot chocolate for Miss Faith, a big bowl of popcorn {we make ours on the stove, the old school way in a large pot} and some cozy blankets.  Time to start the movies…which one, which one? In no particular order, I have listed…  Read More…

Wine Country Thanksgiving

Oh my goodness what a long week it has been.  The kids were out of school since last Monday and our oldest headed home for a long {x-tra long} weekend.  Doesn’t it seem that we need a day or two for us to rest after a holiday weekend?  As usual, this was my holiday to cook for family.  I do Thanksgiving every year and it is always a different menu.  This year I must give kudos to Holiday Entertaining magazine from Bon Appetit and Gourmet for the amazing recipes I used. It was business as usual for my preparation.  About two weeks before Thanksgiving, I research magazine after magazine and pull from each and every one.  I look for something new and unique or something that I can add my own twist to {depending on how creative I want to get, OR how tired I am}.  No fancy twists this…  Read More…

Chocolate Chai Latte

Fall and winter means time for lattes, coffee and tea.  I am not one to go to Starbucks everyday and get my “fix”, I actually make enjoy making my coffee drinks at home.  The only problem is, I seem to be missing out on the ever so popular Red Starbucks Cups. Today is an easy Chocolate Chai Latte made with zero sugar Almond Milk. INGREDIENTS Tazo Chocolate Chai Latte Concentrate Zero Sugar Almond Milk {plain or vanilla} Cinnamon This is seriously too easy… Heat 1 cup of almond milk {measuring depends on how much you want to make, this was for a large cup}, bring the almond milk to somewhat of a boil, but whisk until frothy.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the chocolate chai latte mix and continue to whisk together.  You want to continue whisking until both ingredients are “frothed” together. Pour into you favorite holiday mug…  Read More…

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