Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 A Year In Review

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Where did the year go? As I type my sweet baby is napping, work is wrapped up for the day and my house oh-vey needs a serious cleaning. Let's procrastinate cleaning the house and take a look at 2015 and all its glory.

Best month the entire year because, duh, Emerson was born! It was a rocky start, but she's a fighter.

We spent the month focusing on our sweet baby girl! I shared my postpartum essentials and her two week & one month update.

My mother-in-law came to visit and we made the most delicious PB cookies!

We were finally getting into the swing of things as a family of three. In March I shared our newborn photos, my new mom style and our love for Lulujo Baby [swaddle pictured above].

We also made it a point to get outside daily.

We traveled to South Dakota, I finally shared Emerson's birth story and Emerson turned three months!

Aside from January, May was a big month for us. We started our long awaited kitchen remodel! My dad and step-mom visited mother's day weekend and helped with the baby and demo.

I would like to say I started blogging about things other then Emerson, but I didn't. We reviewed a Halo SleepSack and shared her five month update.

My mom visited and watched Emerson for a week so I could work an Event. I made some deliciousness in July too - Breakfast Quesadillas and  Watermelon Juice. Emerson celebrated her first Fourth of July.

Another big month personally for me. In August I left my job to work as a consultant and stay home with Emerson and Nick and I celebrated our third anniversary! In the blogging world I chatted about a sunrise hike with 100+ friends.

Working for myself allowed my to really amp up my blogging game. I joined a few new networks [IZEA and SoFab] and affiliate programs [EBATES] and saw my readership grow slow and steadily [I won't have it any other way].

I blogged about my Top Five Tahoe Hikes and Fit Pregnancy, Postpartum and Beyond!

Emerson experienced first beach day in Southern California.

Aside from a number of sponsored posts, we celebrated Halloween and went Apple Picking. On the baby front I shared my Body After Baby and Emerson turned Nine Months.

My sister and brother-in-law visited and we traveled to Colorado for Thanksgiving.

All this Christmas! Having Emerson made the Holidays so much more fun! I shared our Christmas Cards and recap.

2015 was a great year, but I'm ready for 2016!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas 2015

The Holiday season just seemed to fly by this year! Maybe it's all the traveling, parties or chasing a now eleven month old around. Either way it seems like December 1 was yesterday. While I decided to take a short blogging break over the Holiday I wanted to share a quick Christmas recap. The short of the long -- Emerson was spoiled.

While we were in Sunny Southern California it was snowing non-stop in Tahoe. But come on, if we can't ski this view isn't too bad.

Nor is sharing it with my favorite people.

I fulfilled my foodie needs, too. First stop was cold pressed juice from krEATion. It's a bit pricey at $10.95, but damn it's tasty. Plus, my juice supports breast cancer research! Yup, 50% of the the cost to be exact.

I even managed to squeeze in a little holiday sweat at Velocity Sports Performance - South Bay. After our workout we splurge on a breakfast burrito/bowl from Brothers' Burritos. According to Eater LA, Brother's Burritos is the sixth best place in LA for breakfast burritos! Verdict: Delicious! 

tank [currently sold out, but I love THIS one too.]

We even made some healthy dinners at home like Rosemary Pork Chops with garlic lemon asparagus and brussels sprouts.

Christmas with a little one is just so much fun. I mean look at that face and those pjs. [Enter double heart smiley emoji]

On Christmas morning Emerson quickly found her presents from Santa [aka auntie Brittnay and uncle Adam]. We actually opened our gifts before heading to So Cal. 

We really didn't buy Emerson much because we knew she was going to be spoiled by family. Plus, there are so many thing that she needs -- hello new carseat [taking suggestions now].

After breakfast and opening gifts at my sister's house we headed over to my mom's house for festive drinks, lunch and more presents! I think Emerson's favorite toys were the iPhone and bongos.

Of course, we couldn't pass up a family photo!

Emerson's Dress / Nick's Shirt / My top is old [similar]

Hope you had a fantastic Christmas! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Emerson Quinn // Eleven Months

Jumper [similar] / Shoes

Height + Weight | I really have no idea, but maybe 22 lbs and 30 ish inches!

Health | Healthy as an ox. She still only at 8 teeth, but I think a few more are starting to come in.

Sleep | We still have a sleeper. There were was a week where she was waking up between 2-5 a.m. We would give her a bottle and she would go right back down.

Eat | Loves EVERYTHING! This month she tried olives, yogurt, muffins, pancakes and pork [from what i can remember].

Wear | 12 -18 months . I think she's starting to lean out.

Social | We spent Christmas in Southern California so there were lots of snuggles from family.

Milestones | 

+ First Christmas!
+ Traveled to Southern California for a third time!
+ Really started walking and would prefer to walk vs. crawl.
+ Says Hi-ya and Da-da. I swear I heard her say daddy today.
+ Bloody noise from a fall -- let's just say she's had some really good/bad falls this month

Postpartum | I still have mom thumb, ugh. Eating clean and working out hard. I actually dropped below 130 last week.

Other Emerson Updates: Birth Announcement | Birth Story | Two weeks | One Month | Two Months Three Months | Four Months | Five Months | Six Months | Seven Months | Eight Months | Nine Months | Ten Months

The Ultimate Beginner's Photography Giveaway

Have you had an interest in getting into Photography? Or maybe you want to up your photography game to help your blog or small business grow.  Either way, this beginner photography giveaway is just the ticket for you, and I have luckily teamed up with some awesome ladies to be able to offer it to you-this package has roughly a value of  $550 (or more, since I found some killer steals on what is included) so you definitely don't want to miss it.
  The Ultimate Beginners Photography Giveaway

Since this giveaway is all about helping you grow your photo-taking skills, Angie of My So-Called Chaos also asked each of the fantastic people participating in this giveaway to tell us what their favorite kind of photos to look at are.  This should help you also hone in on what you want to take photos of while you are working on building your skill and technique. Angie prefers photos that are clear (not blurry or too dark), bright, and have some good color and crispness to them. Here's what everyone else had to say:

What are your favorite photos to look at?

"I enjoy real pictures - the kind that make you think 'Cool... they are totally weird like I am'." - Kimi from Kimi Who "Oh gosh, that's a really difficult question! I have no idea. Pretty ones?" - Anna from Anna in Wonderland (Note: Anna has quite a bit to say about what makes a good photo in her Grow Your Instagram course, which you should totally check out if you're looking to grow interaction and followers on that social media platform.) "Pictures are worth a million words. I enjoy seeing peoples lives in a photos. It is fun to think about what they were doing, what life was like for them, and to just see them grow." - Ashley from Simply Ashley Nicole "I love photos that show personality! I'm a college student and it's nice seeing artsy photos (for your blog) but I love seeing photos with family, friends, etc!" - Kaci from Earth to Kace "Environmental Portraits / Photojournalism. I love photos that tell stories of how people interact with their environment." - Esther from Local Adventurer "I love travel photos because they inspire me to visit new places!" - Olya from The Siberian American "Nature photos are my favorite simply because they are something gorgeous to look at." - Stella Kenton Body Shop "Old analogue pictures, especially black and white portraits." - Caterina from Kate/idoscope "I'm a bit of an Instagram junky and a fashion blogger, so I love looking at others' well-composed fashion photos!" - Nicole from Violet and Vine "I love to see bright clean photos of peoples everyday lives. Getting to see a peak into someone everyday is always interesting to me." - Amanda of Life with Grace "Fashion photos are my favorite photos to see because it inspires me to put my closet to use" - Jennifer of the Insta Boss eCourse "I love travel photos! It's fun to see new places, as well as connect with others that are visiting locations I've been to." - Leeann of Join the Gossip "I have to admit my first answer is animals - I adore cute animal pictures, but I also love seeing a glimpse into peoples lives and seeing what they are up to." - Sarah from Life in a Breakdown

The Ultimate Beginner Photography Giveaway is Brought to You By These Lovely Bloggers

"Cool food and drink shots, as well as vineyard and travel images." - Mary from Vindulge
"Projects/recipes to do with kids." - Sarah from Twins and a Toddler "I love seeing travel photos. I am such a huge travel fan, and I've been to many countries but I always get inspired to continue traveling when I see others' adventures!" - Casey from Lucy Loo Littles "Children related photos and fashion." - Brittany from The Ashmore's Blog "I like photos that are vivid and full of color." - Tish from The Veganista Foodie "I love photos of cool items layed out on a desk or on a nice background creatively, especially with planners and such." - Lindsay of  Paperclips and Pacis "I love any kind of photos as long as they are BRIGHT. I LOVE photos full of bright and happy colors!" - Kristen from The Road to Domestication "I love seeing photos of everyday life. Because everyday life is so beautiful!" - LaShawn from Everyday Eyecandy "I love candid photos of my family. It is very special to be able to capture a sweet moment between my children." - Amanda from The Mint Design Company "I love travel photos! In the winter time, photos of tropical destinations help me keep the winter blues at bay." - Mar from T.O. & Fro "We love all sorts of photos, but Disney photos are our favorites. :)" - Angela and Libby from Disney BFFs Blog "Pictures of kids, because they are hilarious and fun, and pictures of flowers because they make me happy!" - Candace from Luxe... With Kids "As a self-proclaimed foodie and maker, I love photos that inspire me to create. I also really love landscape and scenery. Nature is awesome!" - Jessica from Living La Vida Holoka  "I love outdoor photos, mainly either animals to the beach. Those are my favorite things, so that's what I love to see the most." - Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mamas "Candid pictures of people living their day to day lives. I get to see a glimpse of a stranger's life or at least guess it." - Nana from Foreign Geek "My favorite kinds of photos are the ones taken in the middle of an adventure, and the photographer catches that moment of awe. Whether it's an unbelievable sunset while hiking or someone's reaction after they've tried something they've never done before. Photos like that inspire me to get outside and live a little; to escape technology and remember there's a huge world out there waiting for me to experience." - Julie from Mom Fabulous "Travel because I've been bitten by the travel bug for over 25 years now." - Melody from Wherever I May Roam "I love photos of family dinners and coffee runs. It reminds of all the little things that happen before and after those near 'perfect' moments." - Zobia from The Eternity Journal "My favorite photos to see are beautiful vacation and travel photos because I love to travel or photos of people running that show their passion for running and health." - Jill from RunEatSnap "Awesome ones! lol" - Melissa and Deynece from Deux Bella "I love flatlays, especially beauty ones! I'm a beauty blogger and I love seeing what others have in their collections whether it's something I also use, or something new that gives me ides for future purchases!" - Megan from The Megan Chronicles "I love food+drink photography, but especially photos of people with friends and family, laughing and enjoying each other's company with food & drink. I love how food can bring people together!" - Marlynn from Urban Bliss Life "Adventure Photos." - Tiara from Ice Cream and French Fries "I'm such a visual person that any kind of photo can draw me in. My favorites are the ones that imply there's more going on than we'll ever know—a secret glance, a watering eye, a mischievous grin, a desolate road, a steaming plate of food—it's like getting a glimpse at someone's soul." - Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen "I adore candid pictures of kids, especially with their moms. Motherhood is hard, but my favorite photos are the ones that remind us of why being a mom is worth it. The photos of our kids that show them laughing with us and loving each other? Perfect." - Meg from Snap Happy Mom "Food pictures! I love to see how people cook." - Gaila from Petit Gourmet "I love pics that show a story, that are artful, sweet, thought provoking and show the beauty of nature, love, friendship, kindness." - Rocio from Your Sassy Self "I love to see family photos. Family is so important and even if you don't think the pictures are great, they tell a story and I love to see those!" - Amanda from Green Tea and Cotton "I love natural photos that show a person's real personality. Nothing overly staged or forced looking." - Krystal from The Krystal Diaries "Something fun, colorful & inspiring." - Linda from Brunch with Joy

Enter the Giveaway

This giveaway includes the following*:
  • Canon Rebel T5 DSLR Camera w/Lens
  • Canon Rebel T5 Supplies**
  • The Beginner's Photography Guide
  • 2 Soft Box Lights
  • Enrollment into the Grow Your Instagram Mini Course
*Prize is subject to change based on availability. **Supplies may/may not be what is pictured in the giveaway image due to availability. This Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 1/12/15 at 12AM. Entering below confirms that you agree to all terms and conditions within the rafflecopter widget.  Entries will be verified. Prizes sent via Amazon Prime for domestic winners (USA) or substitution of $500 cash & the Instagram Course given for international winners.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Our 2015 Christmas Card

Happy Holidays!

This year is special because it's our first year as a family of three! We opted to take our own photos and while Emerson decided to give the camera a blank stare they still turned out pretty darn cute.

Emerson's Fox Dress and Headband | My dress [similar, similar] and Necklace [similar, similar]

On the back we included a few candid photos and a simple note. Emerson's personality really shines in the photo.

Similar to our 2013 and 2014 Christmas Cards we used Minted. They're seriously the best. You can't beat their pre-addressed option.

Anyway, It's crazy that Christmas is Friday! I'm looking forward to spending Christmas as a family of three.

Merry Christmas from us to you.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

French Toast Casserole #HolidayMoments

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayMoments #CollectiveBias

Ah. I can't believe Christmas is Friday! Where did the year go?! With miss Emerson it's been a year of firsts for her and us as parents. It's crazy how different the holidays are when you have a little one. Making lifelong memories and starting new family traditions seem to be the name of the game.

With Christmas just days away we've been busy prepping from wrapping gifts and decorating, to finishing our kitchen remodel or daily chores on overdrive like laundry and dishes. We're trying to get it done now so we can spend more time making memories.

Life is busy and as much as I enjoy shopping I'm also not a fan. Hence why we shop at Costco. We're able to stock up on basic staples. It's perfect during the holidays because we don't have to worry about running out of toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc. You name it we probably buy it at Costco!

Our last trip was a big haul which included Tide Advanced Power [$21.99] and Cascade Action Pacs, Complete [$15.99].

Having a baby I feel like I'm always doing laundry! However, Tide Advanced Power gives me peace of mind. I know I can throw Emerson's clothes in the wash without any stain remover and they'll come out nice and clean. #winning

More time for cooking and making memories with my best gal pal.

Aside from getting our house holiday ready, this weekend I tested out a tasty breakfast I think you should make for Christmas morning, French Toast Casserole.

The French Toast Casserole is perfect for Christmas morning because you can prep it the night before then pop it it the oven in the morning. It's also 'light but right.' Not to mention a crowd pleaser. 

French Toast Casserole
Serves 6


1 can of refrigerated cinnamon rolls
1/4 cup Almond Milk [I prefer unsweetened, but if you want a sweeter casserole use vanilla]
2 eggs
1/2 stick of butter
1 tsp Almond extract
1/4 cup chopped nuts [pecans, walnuts or almonds]
1 tsp ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter and pour it into the bottom of a baking dish. The dish pictured is 7x10.

Separate cinnamon rolls and cut into four pieces. Add to the baking dish with melted butter [save frosting for later]

In medium sized mixing bowl, beat eggs until blended. Add almond milk, almond and cinnamon. Once eggs and milk mix are blended, pour over the cinnamon rolls. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Once cooled, top with frosting and serve. Enjoy!

There you have it -- P&G products I can't live without from Costco and a quick and easy Christmas breakfast.

Are you a Costco shopper? What are your go-to P&G household products?

How are you making memories this holiday season?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Stocking Stuffers under $25

Just in case you missed it, yesterday I came in hot with a gift guide for couples. Today it's all about stockings. Hopefully you're set and they're hanging from the mantel, but if you're still on the hunt make sure to checkout my shopping guide HERE.

Even as a kid I always loved opening up my stocking. It was usually filled with sweet treats, practical items  [like a toothbrush or socks] and fun toys/gadgets. Last year, I finally got the hubby to fill my stocking. It filled my heart when I found wool socks. It's the simple things in life that get me! Plus, I have super cold feet and he hates it :)

Either way I love stocking stuffers and think I complied a decent list of items that you'll love and won't break the bank!

Stocking Stuffers

Burt's Bees [$10.30] - I love all things Burt's Bees. Don't you? They ofter a variety of items  to choose from. Living in a cooler dryer climate I'm currently loving the Burt's Bees Tips N Toes Hands & Feet Kit. Check out all there holiday options HERE.

Antler Bottle Opener [on sale $9.99] - This bottler opener not only makes a great stocker stuffer, but it would be a nice hostess gift.

iPhone Case [on sale $13.99] - For the blogger, tween or iPhone loving person. I'm loving the two tone rose and gold cover. If only I had a iPhone 6.

Kate Spade Earrings [on sale $25] - If you only buy one thing from this list, buy these! Hello, $25 for Kate Spade Earrings. Available in 11 colors!

Woven Pear Socks [$11.99-$14.99] - Yup, socks. I love fun socks too. Woven Pear has a number the cute socks, but the gnome print is very fitting for the holiday season.

Lara Bar [$2] -  Instead of candy fill stockings with healthy options like protein bars.

Monogrammed Garland Ring Dish [$6.95] - A cute little dish to hold your rings/jewelry.

Ombré Hair Ties [$18/10pk] - Hands down my favorite hair ties!!

Snow Joke Coin Pouch [$6] - Just a cute little pouch for coins. However, I would probably use it for earrings/rings while traveling.

Essie Nail polish [$8] - I love a good red! This is just a fun item.

Gift Cards -  Maybe you're filling a small stocking. Throw a $10-20 gift card in it with a few small items, like the Kate Spade Earrings, Snow Joke Pouch, nail polish and call it a day.

Do you have an stocking stuffer traditions?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Gift Guide for Couples

Hello, hello. I'm still here!

The last few days have been crazy and I just didn't have the energy or creative juices to write. Cliff notes: our kitchen is being finished, the hubby and I had the stomach flu or food poisoning, and work. But I'm here and alive. I'm keeping it short and sweet today with my favorite couple's gifts.

Over the last year the hubby and I keep gifting each other "the kitchen." Yeah, some may not be into that, but HELLO a brand new kitchen is an amazing gift. And yes, I'm over 30 and just dated myself. Anyway, over the last few years we've also gifted ourselves a new camera, trip to Mexico, and other things we needed. Basically, I love it because I get new stuff for the house and who doesn't love vacation!?

Without further adieu, here are a few of my favorite 'couples' gifts.

A Gift Guide For Couples

New Couch - I keep insisting our couch has run it's course. It is nine years old. Plus, with a shiny new kitchen it looks drab. I'm loving the above sectional from West Elm.

New Rug  - If you have hardwood floors then you probably own a few area rugs. Like carpet, rugs should be upgraded every so often.

Apple TV - We cancelled cable nearly TWO years ago! We use Hulu to watch our favorite shows, etc. We have the old Apple TV so it would be nice to up grade to the newer version.

Camera - A few years ago we bought a Canon T4i. It's great for vacations, family photos and blogging ;) Now I just need to up my photo taking game.

Viviosmart - The couple that gets fit together, stays together. Enough said. [SUPER SALE: it's currently marked down to $79 from $149 on amazon, click HERE]

Vitamix - One of our favorite purchases! We use it almost daily. It's the only blender you should buy. Trust me I've burnt out a lot of blenders in my life.

New pillows - Pillows are another thing you should be replacing every couple of years. I love a nice fluffy/semi firm down pillow. [SUPER SALE: These pillows are marked down to $80 + an extra 15% off  with code: MERRY, BOGO and Macy's Money. Basically pay $68 for 2 now and get $$ to spend later! Offer ends 12/21]

Wine Glasses - Because you'll want a few bottles of wine after all the christmas activities and why not have new glasses to drink from.

There you have it, a few of my 2015 picks for the couple.

Happy shopping.

What's on your list this season?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Forever a Mountain Dog with #BRIGHTMIND

This post is sponsored by Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network. I am being compensated for helping enrich the lives of senior dogs, but I only share information relevant to my life and think my readers would enjoy. Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND is not responsible for the content of this article.

Nick and I always joke about Roxy never being able to live in the city because she's a mountain dog, always and forever.

Did you know, around age seven, the glucose metabolism in a dog’s brain begins to change, which can affect memory, learning, awareness or decision making. Truth be told girlfriend is going to be 7 years old [49 in dog years] in June. Over the last year we've started noticing small changes and started taking the steps to ensure Roxy girl can charge up mountain peaks for many more years.

First things first, food. Not only did we switch brands we switched to Adult 7+ food. When researching brands to fit Roxy's nutrition and senior dog needs we came across Purina Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND Adult. We wanted a food containing enhanced botanical oils to promote memory, attention and trainability. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Roxy is very active 70 lb german shorthaired pointer who loves swimming, hiking and hanging out with the family. With the resent addition of baby Emerson we wanted to make sure we're caring for our first baby's health as she begins to age.

Adding a baby into the mix was a big adjustment for Roxy, since switching to Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ we've noticed her warming up to the change, aside from when Emerson has food.

Purina Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+® is available at PetSmart and can help your senior dog!

Since eating Purina Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND Adult we've noticed Roxy is more on point around her younger dog friends. She still dominates, but she's more likely to chase the ball. I mean look at that focus.

Roxy girl didn't mind the food switch up and actually eats right after being fed. Over the last 6 [ish] months I noticed she wouldn't eat her morning feeding until around noon or would sit next to a full bowl and look at us, then the bowl. Apparently it was her way of saying she was ready for a change.

Please note... Although I'm pouring the food directly into Roxy's bowl make sure when transitioning your dog to Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ from his/her current food to follow the instructions on the back of the package.

Like many families our dog Roxy is an important part of the family . We have to remember to take care of aging pet needs so they can continue to live healthy and active lifes. Alright, she's giving me the look I'm off to walk the dog.

Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ formulas contain enhanced botanical oils shown to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs seven and older with visible results within 30 days.

For information, visit Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Buy

This post is sponsored by Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network. I am being compensated for helping enrich the lives of senior dogs, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND is not responsible for the content of this article.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Breakfast Essentials + Stonewall Kitchen Giveaway!

Pancake Breakfast

Life is better with breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day. With the Holidays upon us it means there's even more reasons for breakfast/brunch at home! To make breakfast at home easy there are a few essentials you'll need.

1. Breville Juicer - I love a glass of fresh squeezed OJ with pancakes plus it will take your mimosa game to the next level.

2. Pancake Molds - Although Emerson isn't old enough to realize her pancakes are in fun shapes I can't wait! These are perfect for christmas morning.

3. Spatula - The key to perfect pancakes is a great flip. Well you can't have a great flip without the perfect spatula. I personally like OXO kitchen utensils

4. Non-stick griddle - From grilled cheese to pancakes this griddle is a kitchen staple.

5. Stonewall Kitchen Holiday Blueberry Breakfast [c/o] - Of course you can't have killer pancakes without a delicious batter and syrupy! I've always been a berry person, I'm loving Stonewall Kitchen's  blueberry syrup.

Stonewall Kitchen recently sent yours truly the Holiday Blueberry Breakfast box to test out. The set includes blueberry syrup, jam, pancake/waffle mix and a festive hand towel.

It was stormy on Sunday which made a perfect excuse to make pancakes, decorate our christmas tree and snuggle on the couch with my baby girl and a cozy fire.

The pancakes turned out light and fluffy! I topped my pancakes with a little butter and blueberry  syrup! Oh, the syrup!

In partnership with Stonewall Kitchen they are giving one lucky reader a Seasonal Gift Basket! You'll be able to pick one of the following Seasonal Gift Baskets -- Cocktail PartyGrilling CollectionBlueberry Breakfast or Italian dinner.

Good luck!

Maine based, Stonewall Kitchen is known for its delicious speciality foods that are perfect for all your entertaining needs. Additionally they have a variety of famous jams, dips and New England flavors that make great gifts for everyone on your shopping list. For the holidays they offer seasonal gift baskets​ ranging in price from under $10 to $100+ filled with everything from holiday jams and indulgent confections to seasonal spices and flavors to festive meals and party essentials.

Prize: (1) Stonewall Kitchen Seasonal Gift Basket, valued at $39.99 [Winner will be able to pick one of the following holiday collections: Cocktail Party, Grilling Collection, Blueberry Breakfast or Italian dinner]

To Enter: Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up below this paragraph). This giveaway is available for USA residents. Please note, only entries via Rafflecopter will be eligible to win. Thank you and good luck!

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Thanksgiving Recap, Cranberry Chutney + A Giveaway!

Last week I ended up playing catch up with life and work -- so today I'm sharing our Thanksgiving recap.

This year it was our turn to spend Thanksgiving with Nick's family so we packed our bags and headed to Colorado for the week. Although, Emerson is an avid flyer there were still a few firsts -- like Emerson's first time to Colorado, first Holiday spent in Nick's parents new house and the first time my sister-in-law and nephew met Emerson.

My sweet little family. Apparently Emerson wasn't having any of it!

We actually caught a few days of sunshine while we where there. Of course we spend it outside!
Girlfriend trekked 9 miles in the Ergo to Horsetooth!

Before the snow rolled in we made are way to Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park where we saw Elk, mountain sheep and deer! More on this later.

Of course, we spent the Wednesday before Thanksgiving prepping. Nick's mom made a fantastic spread for Thanksgiving!

I even made a few dishes, spicy green beans and cranberry chutney! It was my first time making cranberry chutney and I loved it! If you like a tart cranberry sauce for your turkey then you will love it too!

Cranberry Chutney
[via the experts at bistroMD]


1 lb Cranberries, fresh
½ cup Raspberries, frozen
¼ cup Water
½ cup Celery, finely chopped
Juice and Zest of 1 Orange
1 tablespoon Honey
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon


Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add water, orange juice, orange zest, honey and cinnamon and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add cranberries. Continue to cook until they become soft and burst, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add raspberries and celery, cook an additional 10 minutes, until raspberries begin to burst.

Reduce heat to low and cover until ready to serve.

For the chutney I replaced regular honey with Nektar Honey Crystals [c/o]! It was my first time using the Nectar Honey Crystals and I was super impressed. They taste just like honey without the mess! Plus, the bottle traveled well to Colorado. #BeeSweet

Aside from the cranberry chutney I've added the honey crystals to my morning coffee and smoothies for a little extra something, something. The 100% natural Nektar Honey Crystals are naturally gluten free, GMO free, and made in the USA. They provide the taste of real honey with the convenience of cane sugar.

As a Sweat Pink Ambassador Nectar Honey is giving one lucky a reader a bottle of Nektar Honey Crystals.

Prize: (1) Bottle of Nektar Honey Crystals, valued at $4.99

To Enter: Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up below this paragraph). This giveaway is available for USA residents. Please note, only entries via Rafflecopter will be eligible to win. Thank you and good luck!

One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Nektar Naturals through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.

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