Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Top 5 Lake Tahoe Hikes

My year round playground is Lake Tahoe -- don't be jealous. Whether Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall Lake Tahoe offers visitors and residents an endless supply of adventure. As we head into what local's call the 'shoulder' season the trails and beaches are wide open and calling our name.

While Fall is my husband's favorite time to hike I don't necessarily have a favorite hiking season, but I do have some favorite hikes!

ONE | Echo Lakes
I'm not kidding, but I hike Echo Lakes EVERY year -- Just ask the hubby. Since you're starting at higher elevation it's mostly flat, but offers hiker some mileage and great views. It's a great hike to take visitors on. You're basically hiking along Echo Lakes the entire time, but you don't have to stop there. Make you hike longer or a little harder and continue on to Aloha Lake or summit Flagpole Peak.

TWO | Mount Tallac
This hike gets the award for best views. Don't you agree?! However, it's not meant for beginners. What starts out as a slow and steady climb turns into super exposed steep switchbacks with a rock scramble at the top. Make sure to pack: lots of water, extra layers, lunch/snacks and sunscreen. I suggest hiking Mount Tallac in the Fall and starting early. Don't let the 9.5 mile roundtrip hike fool you -- it's worth it in the end.

THREE | Maggies Peak
Maybe it made the list because I just hiked it or maybe it's the amazing views. At only 3 miles roundtrip it's a short and steep hiking offers amazing views. For an even better experience try hiking at SUNRISE! Yup, the early bird gets the worm.

FOUR | Big Meadow
Another hike we do annually, but with a different destination in mind. Big Meadow isn't necessarily the stopping point, but a way to reach Dardanelles Lake, Round Lake or a number of other Alpine Lakes. It's mostly flat with short climbs here and there. It's a fun quick day hike.

FIVE | Tahoe Rim Trail
Technically, I haven't hiked the entire Tahoe Rim Tahoe which is a 165 mile loop around Lake Tahoe. Their are a number of trailheads to start from and most hikers break it up into numerous day hikes verse hiking, camping and hiking some more. The TRT is great when you're looking to get some milage in because you can hike portions of the trail that are relatively flat. The TRT can offer some killer views too. This was along the TRT leaving from the Spooner Summit trailhead.

Do you consider Lake Tahoe your playground? What's you next adventure?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Halloween // My Little Superhero

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

As long as I can remember I've loved Halloween. There's just something about getting dressed up, carving pumpkins and hanging out with friends. Let's face it though, as kids we lived in our Halloween costumes. Plus, as a girl I didn't wait for Halloween to play dress up.

Fast forward 20 years -- Halloween might be a little different, but it's still fun to get together with friends, watch Halloween movies and dress up. Now that we have a little one, Halloween will be even more fun! I can't wait to start some traditions like carving pumpkins, trick or treating and dressing up! The hardest part is always deciding on what to be for Halloween.

My husband circa 1980's 
With out fail, our nephew dresses up as a superhero every year. Although, he doesn't know what he's going to be this year he knows he'll be some type of  Marvel Avenger character. He's only three so picking one costume and sticking with it isn't easy. You could say he's excited for MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron to be released on DVD, October 2! I'm sure it will be on repeat.

With MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron upcoming DVD releasebeing a superhero for Halloween is all the rage and Walmart has the best prices! Originally, I headed to Walmart thinking I would pick up the Black Widow costume for Emerson, but she's just a tad too young right now. Keeping in mine all things superheros I searched high and low for something in her size. 

After browsing through the various Marvel costumes [Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America, Ultron, Vision, Iron Man, and Hawk Eye] I settled on Spiderman [c/o]. Yeah -- I know Emerson is a girl, but what's the big deal throw a tutu on this costume and she can be spider-woman. Plus, you have to admit she makes one cute Spiderman [baby].

Emerson is 8 months and is wearing a size infant/2T. We rolled the sleeves and pants under for a better fit.
Emerson's ready for Halloween and MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron Blu-Ray/DVD release on 10/2. Anyone want to come over for a viewing/superhero party?! 

Oh, while you're at Walmart check out the grocery section. They have some MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron branded snacks [grapes, string cheese and granola bars] that will make your superhero's day!

If you could have any super power what would it be?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Emerson Quinn // Eight Months

Height + Weight | At this point we really have no clue, but she's definitely over 20 lbs!

Health | Healthy as an ox. She's hitting all of her millstones and the physical therapist is extremely happy with her progression. High five Emerson!

Sleep | Overall we have a great little sleeper. She typically sleeps 10-12 hours straight. Every few nights we'll have a 2 or 3 a.m. wake up call, but after a diaper change and small bottle she's right back to sleep. Typically we put her down for the night at 7:30 p.m. and she's up for the day about 7 a.m. give or take.

Eat | Anything and everything! She's on 100% formula now (no judgement, thank you). We use Honest formula and she seems to love it. Emerson also continues to love solid foods. We make 95% of her food. When we're out and about she'll have food pouches or teething biscuits.

New foods this month: Plums, blueberries, eggplant, parsnips, kale, nectarines and apricot

Wear | My little chunky monkey is in size 9-12 months depending on the brand.

Social | Lots of time with family and friends in San Diego, concert in the park, beach days, and stroller workouts/hikes with friends.

Baby Gear | Well, I think she's officially over the jumper. We're loving our Bob Stroller, Ergo carrier, Pottery Barn Kids | My First Anywhere Chair and Baby Breeza among a handful of toys and teethers.

Milestones | 

+ We have a CRAWLER!! She started crawling right after she hit seven months.

+  We also have a baby that would prefer to stand. Although, we always knew this. Miss thing has been pulling herself up on everything and standing more and more.

+ First road trip to San Diego.

+ Dipped her toes in the Pacific Ocean.

+ A little babbling machine -- not that she didn't talk before.

+ She's trying her hardest to blow.

+ Started clapping. This took awhile but we got there.

+ Started eating baby cereal.

+ Lots of time with family and friends in San Diego.

+ Tooth number 7!

+ Acts like she wants to walk. Trying to cruz a long the coffee table.

Postpartum | I'm going to say it -- I feel awesome! I'm getting stronger everyday. I'm working out 6 days a week and some are double days. I was always a morning workout person, but now I work out when I can whether it's 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. Workouts consist of PiYo, Spin, Crossfit and walking (running when I can). It's time to really start focusing on my core though.

I started seeing a chiropractor back in August and it's helped out 10 fold.

In other news if you didn't know -- I'm a "fitness coach." My third challenge starts Monday, November 2. If you want in email me at tiarawasner {at} gmail {dot} com or purchase either the piyo or 21 day fix HERE. It's not about losing weight, it's about making a lifestyle change and I'm ready to inspire and help you along the way. Let me be your "cheerleader."

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

Baby Gear: 0-3 Months | 3-6 Months

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Game Day // One Team, One Tee, Three Ways

Who's ready for some football?! I am. Today my bolts are playing my hubby's team, the Minnesota Vikings! I love pulling out my game day tee every week, kicking back with a cold beer and watching some football with my little family. Emerson doesn't have a clue, but she'll learn. Anyway, you don't have to wear a jersey to show spirit, but it doesn't mean you can only rock your game day tee with jeans.

Win or lose I rock my Charger gear all year. With a new football season upon us it was time for some new tops. With a little help from my friends over at I was able to update #MyNFLFanStyle.

Wondering how I rock my San Diego Chargers gear? Check it out -- one shirt three ways.

ONE | Casual Friday
Depending on your office show some team pride all day. Team t-shirt + Boyfriend jeans + Blazer

TWO | Running Errands
You can take the girl away from the beach, but you can't take the beach out of the girl. In true San Diego nature -- Team t-shirt + palazzo shorts + flip flops

THREE | Brunch with the Girls
Because who said you have to watch football to rock your team shirt! Team t-shirt + maxi skirt  + cute sandals.

How are you showing your team spirit this season?

For more game day styling tips don't forget to follow Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

...and a bonus look. Rep your team while you break a sweat whether it's at the gym or on a mountain top.

Buy my Chargers tank HERE.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Top 5 Day Hike Essentials

It's no secret that I chose to live a healthy lifestyle from crossfit, beachbody workouts to spin -- but it doesn't stop there. I live in place where adventure is endless -- hiking, skiing, paddle boarding, etc.

Before moving to Tahoe I had never really "hiked" in my life. I remember my first hike in Tahoe with my now husband. I'm surprised he stayed with me after that. As a true novice I only brought myself -- yup, no food or snacks. Good thing he expected it and brought enough for two!

Although today I wouldn't consider myself a hiking expert I'm definitely more experienced. A day hike can range from a few miles to 15ish. What you wear and bring can make or break a great day. When getting ready for a hike you always want to consider a few things: weather, difficulty and length. Hopefully my essentials will inspire you get outside and explore.

My Top 5 Day Hike Essentials

ONE | Daypack
Personally I like to carry my Camelbak on all day hikes -- whether I'm going 2 or 10 miles. Carrying a hydration pack is way easier than water bottles. I typically carry 2L of water with me. Daypacks come in a variety of sizes -- visit REI to find one that's right for you.

TWO | Water + Snacks/Lunch
If we know we're hiking a good distance we always pack sandwiches. For good measure I'll also pack a piece of fruit and a few bars, but they usually make it back to the house. Like food/snacks I always carry more water than I need. You don't want to run out of water on the trail. Not sure how much water you bring? Check out CamelBak's hydration calculator.

THREE | Moisture Wicking Gear
What you wear can make or break your hike. When in doubt dress in layers. In the middle of summer I prefer shorts, but spring or fall I prefer capris or pants. Tank / Pants

FOUR | Good Shoes
When I first started hiking I just wore regular running shoes and it wasn't until after a summer of hiking I invested in a pair of hiking shoes. Game changer! Happy feet, happy hiker.  I personally like a low/mid hiking shoe instead of a hiking boot. My suggestion is trying on a few styles/brands and  find something that works for you and your adventures. Shoes / Socks

FIVE | Sunscreen / Hat
You don't want to end a great day exploring the great doors with a sunburn. Try applying sunscreen before you leave the house and again after lunch. For extra protection on your face try rocking a hat. I'm loving THIS one.

These are just my top essentials I do also always carry a map and first aid kit. What you need will typically be determined by the hike, but you should check out REI's 10 hiking essentials list.

What's your top hiking essentials?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fit Pregnancy, Postpartum and Beyond

[The below post originally appeared on Fit Mama 4 life. Just incase you didn't catch it... FYI - many of these tips can be applied even if you're not pregnant or don't have kids.]

I'm a endorphin junkie and a new mom. Staying fit while pregnant wasn't only important to me, but it prepared me for labor and made for a quick postpartum recovery. Each pregnancy is different, but after consulting with my doctor I was cleared to workout throughout my entire pregnancy and workout I did. I'm going to throw it out there I'm 5'4" and only gained 18 pounds. You could say I worked my little butt off.  39 weeks vs. 2 weeks postpartum.

So how did I do it? Simple -- with good old fashion exercise and clean eating (90% of the time).

Five tips to staying fit throughout pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.

Don't let pregnancy be an excuse. Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you have to stop XYZ (always consult a doctor first).

At 16 weeks pregnant I competed in my third Tough Mudder mountain course! I even made it across the funky monkey. That shit was hard! The course was 75% uphill, but I still managed to finish it in under 3 hours.

This is a great time to maintain and focus on form. I don't recommend starting a new fitness regimen, but stick to your schedule. I was able to keep up at crossfit until about 32 weeks then it was time to cut back as my belly was getting in the way and I had to modify way too much. Although I wasn't at crossfit I still worked out at my local gym. Workouts included spin, HIIT, circuit training and weights. I even worked out the day before I went into labor! It's my claim to fame at the gym.

Mix it up. While I was on vacation I didn't skip a workout, I just changed it up taking daily walks while exploring the area.

Diet -- you can't out exercise a bad diet. Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you should or can eat whatever you want. Did you know you only need an extra 300 calories a day!? I'm not perfect and I had my fair share of treats, but I still didn't over indulge. Keep healthy snacks in the house.

Here's what I eat in a typical day: Steel cut oats with almond milk, walnuts, honey and fruit, Lara Bar, Salad with grilled chicken and turkey lasagna with kale salad.  Throughout the week I'll throw a green smoothie into the mix 3-4 times or have eggs and sweet potatoes in the morning. Oh and lots and lots of water.

Postpartum. Labor isn't pretty and you're probably extremely sore. I know I was, but you need to get out of the house. Move... stretch your legs... go for a walk. Even if it's just for 10 minutes at first. Trust me you will thank yourself later. I know you're thinking I'm crazy, but it will do you and your family good. Don't go crazy the first few days.

When you're ready start wearing your baby on walks, it will help you burn a some extra calories :)

I was only cleared to walk until I hit five weeks postpartum due to stitches. In the begining, I walked a mile or so 5-6 days and over time worked my way up to four miles! Slow and steady wins the race and prevents postpartum injuries.

About to head out on a walk one week postpartum.

Today I might not be as defined as I was pre pregnancy, but I've lost all the pregnancy weight and a little extra! I'm currently eight months postpartum and am getting stronger everyday. I'm creating life long habits for me and my family. Today is a new day with new goals.

Need a little help reaching your fitness goals? I have a challenge group starting Oct 5. Email me at tiarawasner [at] gmail [dot] com!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Stuffed French Toast with Berry Compote

Happy day -- I'm talking about food, again! Big surprise right?!

On a side note, it seems as though I always write about food after working out...

If you're just tuning in...

A delicious breakfast full of protein and nutrients will help you power through your day. For Better Breakfast Month I teamed up with BistroMD. Over the Last few weeks, with the help of MD, Dr. Cederquist and her husband, Ed Cederquist, I featured various healthy breakfast options created for BistroMD [crepes - pancakes - omelet]. 

Don't delay, now is the time to learn how to put a healthier spin on your favorite breakfast options, live a healthier lifestyle and make better breakfast choices.

I'm wrapping up Better Breakfast Month with the godfather of tasty breakfasts -- if there is a thing -- FRENCH TOAST. I'm not just talking about any french toast -- I'm talking about stuffed french toast with berry compote. Are you still with me or are you running to the store for ingredients?

What if I told you one serving plus two turkey sausage patties is only 400 calories?!  Invite the girls over this weekend pop some bubbly and gossip over Stuffed French Toast with Berry Compote 


French Toast
4 Slices Whole Wheat Bread
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Honey
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Milk of Choice
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ cup Ricotta, fat free
½ Neufchatel Cream Cheese

Berry Compote
1 ½ cups Mixed Berries, fresh or frozen

Turkey Sausage
2 natural turkey sausage patties (or any lean sausage to equal about 15 grams of protein)


French Toast
1. In a bowl, add ricotta, Neufchatel cream cheese, honey, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Mix well to combine and set aside.
2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. In a separate small bowl, add egg, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and milk. Wisk to thoroughly combine.
3. Dip bread into the egg mixture to coat and immediately place on hot skillet. Cook on each side 1-2 minutes and set aside. Repeat with remaining 3 slices.
4. When all 4 slices are cooked, cut each slice in half, diagonally. Add ¼ cup of Ricotta mixture to one half and add an unfilled half on top, to create a sandwich.
5. Garnish with additional cinnamon if desired and Berry Compote.

Berry Compote
1. Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the berries and allow to cook until they become a jam-like consistency.

Turkey Sausage
Serve with 2 natural turkey sausage patties or any lean sausage to equal about 15 grams of protein.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fitness, Food & A Giveaway!

It feels like fall in Tahoe! Not sure how you feel, but I'm so not ready for summer to end. I guess it's time for me to embrace all things pumpkin, but I'll stick to soy lattes ;)

Anyway, today's post is a bit random. Enjoy.

ONE | Sports Bras
Did you know if you workout regularly you're suppose to switch out your sports bras annually? Well I didn't. The last few months I've been working on building up my workout wardrobe and new sports bras are at the top of my list. Moving Comfort is still a favorite these days. I just ordered the fineform and love it!

TWO | FEAST Portland
It's FeastPDX weekend and I'm so sad I couldn't make it this year. Between the baby, kitchen remodel and leaving my job I just couldn't swing it. Next year! If you're in Portland the next few days you'll definitely want to check out an event or two. Click HERE for my recap's from FeastPDX 2014. This event is a foodie's dream!

THREE | October Fitness Challenge
Hey friends my second challenge group starts October 5th. This time around there will be two groups, PiYo & 21day Fix. This is the prefect opportunity to set a good foundation for a healthy holiday season. Did you know the average american gains 10 pounds between Thanksgiving & New Years?! It's all those sweet treats. Click HERE to purchase your challenge pack or email me at tiarawasner [at] yahoo [dot] com for more information.

FOUR | Blueberry + Raspberry Tart
Sooo.... I know that I totally just posted about this tart earlier this week, but I'm still dreaming about it. You seriously need to make it stat! Warning there may be some baking this weekend.

FIVE | Safe Sleeping tips + HALO SleepSack Giveaway!
HALO Innovations (the maker of the HALO SleepSack and HALO Bassinest) is running a “Then & Now” campaign during Baby Safety Month (September) to generate awareness about children's safety today. I teamed up with HALO to bring you an awesome giveaway. Click HERE to enter.

Linking up with September Farm

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Calorie Accounting + Watermelon Faux-Jito

I don't know where to start....

It's wednesday night I just got home from crossfit [yup, I drink the kool-aid at least 4 times a week]. I'm tired and starving. After staring at my basically empty fridge, I turned to my breakfast for dinner staple -- sweet potato hash, fried egg and avocado. I can't help but think how I really need to start meal planning, again. This would also make my husband happy.

Before I know it I'm pulling out various cookbooks and making a plan for next week. Then it dawned on me -- I need to tell my peeps [you] about a funny, creative, and no apologies in your face weight-loss book, Calorie Accounting: The Foolproof Diet-By-Numbers Plan For a Skinner New You [c/o]. 

I've been sitting on this post for a few weeks now, because I wasn't sure how to sum up this book, I hate counting calories and I don't believe in "diets." Although, I do follow a Paleo diet 90% of the time. Hey it's what works for me.

Mandy's book isn't a fade diet. It's about learning how to eat the foods you love while maintaining or achieving a weight you love too. Oh and there's a whole chapter about poop -- if you're into poop jokes. 

About Calorie Accounting: Calorie Accounting is a tried-and-true diet plan, developed, followed, and documented by Mandy Levy, your author and sarcastic best friend. Her been-there-done-that words and pictures will inspire, mentor, and guide you through your own weight-loss success story with step-by-step instructions and extended metaphors for: Checks and balances, Shopping, Shakin’ that moneymaker, Recipes (for disaster) and more!

My takeaway
+ Mandy put herself out there. Yup, there's a before and after photo in the book and you know how much I love before and after photos. Fist bump, Mandy.
+ There really isn't a science to losing weight. It's easy -- calories in vs. calories out. People if you didn't know losing and maintaining weight starts in the kitchen. You CAN'T out exercise a bad diet. 
+ It isn't about the latest fade diet. 
+ Not great at math? Don't sweat it. Mandy breaks it down in Calorieconomics 101. (i.e., 3,500 calories = 1 pound) Basically, if you want to lose 1 pound a week you need to cut your weekly intake down by 3,500 calories. Simple right?
+ Being fat sucks and Mandy doesn't sugar coat anything...unless it's blueberries covered in Stevia (aka, Blueberry Soup). 
+ The book has all the tools you need to lose weight. It just comes down to you following her guidelines.
+ Although, I tend to disagree pre-packaged foods are your friend. 

Calorie Accounting is perfect for the gal (or guy) with a witty sense of humor looking to lose a few lbs. If you're overweight and overly sensitive then this isn't the book for you, sorry. For the average american looking to make a lifestyle change Mandy's book will help you achieve it. She's not telling you to  deprive yourself of anything. She's teaching you how to give your body the right amount of fuel. 

For a sneak peak of the book click HERE. Bite the bullet and click HERE to buy the book. 

Of course, I can't part without sharing one of Mandy's recipes...

Watermelon Faux-Jito 
Serves 2

2 cups watermelon, pureed
1 can Fresco
1/4 cup fresh mint

Take 2 cups cubed watermelon and throw into blender. Puree until smooth. Fill 2 tall, summery glasses with ice. Distribute watermelon juice equally into glasses. Top off with delicious Fresca. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf. Enjoy! 51 Calories (per glass)

About the Author: Mandy Levy is an Emmy-winning writer, comedian, and karaoke enthusiast. She’s gotten occasionally fat due to her love of cheese and parties, so she developed Calorie Accounting as an attempt to achieve and maintain a bangin’ bod once and for all.
Using the best practices from countless dieting efforts over the last fifteen years, something finally clicked, and she’s here to share her riches with the world.

Better Breakfast Month // Black Bean Omelet

I'm back today with another tasty breakfast. If you're just tuning in -- I teamed up with BistroMD for better breakfast month and have been sharing various recipes from Dr. Cederquist and her husband, Ed Cederquist, created for BistroMD.

Why delay -- now is the time to learn how to put a healthier spin on your favorite breakfast options, live a healthier lifestyle and make better breakfast choices.

Aside from waffles, pancakes and crepes my favorite breakfast food is eggs. Eggs are actually a breakfast staple for me -- hard boiled, fried, scrambled, quiche or omelet. I'll take it however I can get it.

Drumroll please..... today's breakfast is a black been omelet because why not?! If you've been reading my blog for awhile then you know I hail from San diego and LOVE Mexican food. Although, I wouldn't change the recipe below I would enhance it with some fresh pico de gallo and a few slices of avocado.

Not your cup of tea? Check out the better breakfast month sweet potato pancakes or mixed berry crepes.

What's your go-to breakfast?

via bistroMD

This delicious breakfast staple gets kicked up a notch with a black bean filling and fresh salsa on top.
Yield’s one serving
What you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup of cage free 100% egg white liquid
1/8 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of sea salt and black pepper

In a nonstick 8-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Pour the egg whites into a small bowl and sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Whisk for 10 seconds, add in the egg mixture to the skillet to cover the bottom and cook the eggs for two minutes. Using a rubber spatula, flip the egg over and cook for another two minutes. Transfer to a plate and leave the omelet open.

More ingredients that you’ll need:
1/4 cup of canned organic black beans from Whole Foods
1/8 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of diced green pepper (1/4" x 1/4 ")
1 tablespoon of diced red pepper (1/4" x 1/4")
1 teaspoon of dice onions (1/4" x1/4”)
1/8 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon of fresh chopped cilantro
A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup of Mexican shredded cheese

Drain black beans and rinse with cold water. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add in the onions. Cook until the onions are clear, add in the peppers and cook for another two minutes. Add in the black beans. Continue to cook for another minute and add in the cumin, cilantro and salt and pepper. (The cheese is for the stuffing).

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Safe Sleeping Tips + HALO SleepSack Giveaway!

HALO Innovations (the maker of the HALO SleepSack and HALO Bassinest) is running a “Then & Now” campaign during Baby Safety Month (September) to generate awareness about children's safety today. 

Since having Emerson I can't tell you how many times I've heard "when you were a baby." Well times have changed in the last 30 years from parenting techniques to safe sleeping habits. Check out this 

infographic showing the differences between then and now. So how do we go about educating our parents? 

HALO has partnered with First Candle to promote a brand new website targeting grandparents. The site shares safety information and advice aimed specifically at grandparents caring for their grandchildren. The site also offers a free e-book for download: "A Grandparent's Guide to a Safe Sleep Over".  This guide focuses specifically on sleep safety, an area that is of particular concern for HALO. 

Enter HALO SleepSacks -- we love them and have from the very beginning. Check out our full review HERE

There's nothing better than peace of mind.  We can sleep soundly knowing Emerson is sleeping safe and sound in her HALO SleepSack wearable blanket. When Emerson goes to a nanny we send a sleepsack with her. By providing the nanny with a sleepsack we're ensuring she isn't covered with a blanket during nap time.

Emerson is wearing a size medium sleepsack. [similar]

Safe Sleep Tips

Share these tips with caregivers to ensure safe sleep for your baby:


+ Place baby to sleep on his or her back at naptime and at night time.

+ Use a crib that meets current safety standards with a firm mattress that fits snugly and is covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
+ Remove all blankets, comforters and toys from your baby’s sleep area (this includes loose blankets, bumpers, pillows and positioners). The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using a wearable blanket instead of loose blankets to keep your baby warm.
+ Offer a pacifier when putting baby to sleep. If breastfeeding, introduce pacifier after one month or after breastfeeding has been established.
+ Breastfeed, if possible, but when finished, put your baby back to sleep in his or her separate safe sleep area alongside your bed.
+ Room share, but don’t bed share. Bed sharing can put a child at risk of suffocation.


+ Never put your baby to sleep on any soft surface (adult beds, sofas, chairs, water beds, quilts, sheep skins etc.)

+ Never dress your baby too warmly for sleep; keep room temperature 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
+ Never allow anyone to smoke around your baby or take your baby into a room or car where someone has recently smoked.

As part of Baby Safety MonthHALO is kindly offering one lucky reader a HALO® SleepSack Swaddle or HALO SleepSack valued at $25-30!
Prize: (1) HALO SleepSack Swaddle or SleepSack

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 & Canada residents. Please note, only entries via Rafflecopter will be eligible to win. Thank you and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bonjour Y'ALL // Blueberry & Raspberry Tart

Hello, my name is Tiara and I love food...

Yes, I'm a picky eater and try to eat as clean as possible. However, there's always room for treats and wine.

When I do splurge on a sweet treat I prefer homemade cake, ice cream, cookies, etc. Homemade might take a little more effort, but it always tastes better.

Sunday was the hubby's birthday which is the prefect excuse to make something yummy. He's not the biggest fan of chocolate so I had to think outside the box. Recently I've been cooking my way through Bonjour Y'ALL and turned to it for some dessert inspiration. Hello, yum! Heidi hit the dessert section out of the park. You know you have a great cookbook when the dessert section is off the charts. Think Coconut Custard Cake, Triple Chocolate Mousse and Black Forest Torte among others. I decided to test out the Blueberry & Raspberry Tart and it was a crowd pleaser.

Before digging further into Nick's birthday treat...

It's not often that I'll rave about an entire cookbook, but the southern fusion cookbook Bonjour Y'ALL [c/o] is high on my list. I'm not kidding when I say it's on current rotation. Favorites so far include Watermelon Freeze, Bacon Tomato Jam, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Gruyere Puffs, Peach Pork Tenderloin and Bananas Foster French Toast. Plus, I love Heidi's story -- she  followed her heart, took a chance, and made her dream happen.

With Bonjour Y'ALL, Heidi's Fusion Cooking on the South Carolina Coast, you're able to bring a little piece of Croissants Bistro & Bakery home with you. Heidi's easy to follow instructions make it easy for any self proclaimed home cook to master French Bread, Shrimp & Grits or French Macarons.

About Bonjour Y'ALL
“Bonjour, Y’All,” the slogan for Heidi Vukov’s Croissants Bistro and Bakery in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, perfectly encapsulates the popular restaurant’s elegant and delicious pairing of two distinct culinary traditions—European cuisine and Southern home cooking. This book celebrates Croissants’ diversity, featuring dozens of menu delights such as Crab Cakes, Angry Bulls Bay Clams, and Peach Pork Tenderloin, recipes that successfully combine the elegance and finesse of the French palate with the hospitality and warmth of the Southern kitchen. Also included among the more than fifty recipes are German and Italian-inspired dishes, summer cocktails, and sumptuous confections such as Black Forest Torte from Croissants’ award-winning European bakery.

Ok, ok -- lets talk about this Blueberry & Raspberry Tart... Can you say AMAZING!

Cooked to perfection.

Of course, we shared it with some friends. I was quickly told it the tart needed to be on repeat. Thanks Heidi!

Just in case you want to try it out for yourself...

Blueberry & Raspberry Tart
1 (9-inch)Tart


For the Pastry:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
6 ounces butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
5 cups fresh blueberries, divided

For the Assembly:
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
Confectioners' sugar
Real whipped Cream


For the Pastry:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix flour, sugar, and butter with pastry blender. when mixture is coarse, sprinkle with lemon juice. mold with hands until it forms dough.
3. Press into a 9-inch springform pan.

For the Topping:
Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, and 4 1/2 cups of blueberries together in a separate bowl.

For the Assembly:
1. Spread topping evenly over the pastry bottom.
2. Bake approximately 50 minutes, until bubbly.
3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup blueberries and raspberries. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar when cool, and serve with a dollop of real whipped cream.


Blogger notes: Although I wouldn't change a thing the tart could easily be made gluten free. Just sub out the flour for either almond or coconut flour.

Friday, September 11, 2015

How to Build a Workout Wardrobe

Lately I've found myself living in yoga pants -- well workout clothes in general. Not kidding. I wake up, workout, shower and just put workout clothes back on for the day. I spend my days working from home, playing with the baby, walking the dog and running errands -- and it's just easier.

However, now that I live in workout apparel I've realized I need more. You can never have enough -- although my husband would disagree. Anyway, without going out and dropping some serious cash on new gear I've been slowly building a "workout" closet without breaking the bank. So how did I do it? Below are five ways I've built a workout wardrobe I love. It just takes a little time.

ONE | Make a list & know your size
This is key. How do you know what to buy if you don't know what you need. Living in Tahoe I'm forced to do a lot of online shopping so knowing what size I wear in various brands comes in handy. I always put workout gear on birthday and christmas lists too!

TWO | Shop often and shop sales
I refuse to pay full price for anything. Shopping often whether online or in store helps you snag a good deal. Also if you try on items in the store you can always purchase online when it goes on sale. With that said, don't buy something just because it's a good deal -- you want to make sure you'll love wearing it.

THREE | Buy one to two pieces a month
Slow and steady wins the race. You don't want to buy everything at once because guess what -- you'll have to replace everything at once. Unless you are getting each item for $5-10 space out the purchases.

FOUR | Shop at stores like TJMaxx, Target or Old Navy 
I've found some great deals -- like a $50 Moving Comfort sports bra for $12.99! Personally I'm not bias when it comes to brands. Yesterday I wore North Face capris, a Rebook tank and sports bra from Target. Today it's Zella Leggings (BTW -- you need these today!) and a tank from Fabletics. I'm all about mixing high and low items.

FIVE | Try a subscription service like Fabletics or Wantable
Fabletics is nice because you can get a whole outfit for on $49 -- that's $25 a piece. It's a monthly service, but you can opt out whenever you want. Each month they add new outfits making shopping fun.

Wantable is a bit like Stitch Fix, but you can get workout clothes! #winning. Their Edit service includes Style and Fitness. It’s a personal shopping service for apparel. For a $20 per month styling fee, one of their Style Editors will handpick 5 items for you to try on at home. Take 5 days to try on the items to decide what you love and what you’d like to return. You’re only billed for what you keep, and they include a return label to make it easy and convenient. Style and Fitness Edits are currently only available for U.S. customers.

Some of my favorite workout gear includes The North Face, Under Armor, Rebook, Moving Comfort, GapFit, and Nike.

Shop my recent purchases and short wish list below.

What's your favorite piece of workout apparel?