My Skincare Allstars

Thursday, February 19, 2015


One of the most common questions I get asked is, "what products am I using now?" I've tried a ton of products throughout the years and with trial and error these 7 skincare products have won their way into my bathroom cabinet. My skin is normal to dry and my main concern's are dryness and anti-aging. That being said, I am drawn to products with ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Rosehip Oil, She Butter, Jojoba Oil and Honey etc.

I am currently on the hunt for a new daily SPF and plan on ordering this one from the Beauty Counter next.

One Love Organics Brand New Day: I use this exfoliator 2-3 times a week. It is the most gentle yet effective scrub I have ever used. My skin is silky soft for days.

Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream: My go-to moisturizer for every day. Nothing hydrates my skin the way this does. I layer it over a serum day and night for extra hydration. Best part is you can pick it up at your local Whole Foods.

Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask: I discovered this mask about 4 years ago and have never gone back. Basically it is a peel in a bottle. My skin has a radiant glow instantly after I use it.  I use it a few times a month when my skin needs a little TLC.

One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum: I just purchased this serum for the 3rd time. It's incredible! It evens out my complexion while hydrating my skin. My skin drinks it up and loves it.

Erin's Faces Organic Peppermint Lip Balm: This time of year my lips need extra hydration. Truth be told I bought a few for Christmas and ended up keeping them because I loved it so much.

Origins GinZing Eye Cream: I have always had dark circles, but this year they are especially dark with the lack of sleep that comes with having a baby. This eye cream instantly brightens my under eye's so you can ALOMST tell I only slept half the night.

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist: I starting using this rose water spray when I was pregnant for an extra pick me up throughout the day. I love how it smells and cools my dry skin. Especially great if you travel a lot!








Restaurant Guide: West Side, Los Angeles

Thursday, February 12, 2015


After living in LA for 7 years it is safe to say that the hubby and I turned into foodies. Come Sunday morning the big question was, "do we want quinoa pancakes, eggs with kale and sweet potato hash or an acai bowl for brunch?"

In less than two weeks we are headed back to LA for our first visit since we moved up North in May. We can't wait to see our friends and take Declan to the beach and we are REALLY excited to EAT. The other night Pat started making a list of all of the restaurants he wanted to eat at while we were in town (can you tell we haven't gotten out much in the last year?). I am hoping to get a few spin classes in at Soul Cycle in order to balance out all the amazing meals we are going to devour.

I can't believe I haven't made a list in the past, so here is our Top 10 Favorite Restaurants for Every Occasion. Many of them have sister restaurants in the Hollywood area too.




Favorite Spot:
Cafe Habana: I dream about Cafe Habana. It's located in the Malibu Country Mart which is a great place to shop and sight see. The ambiance makes it feel like you are eating dinner in a tropical place. We always get the fish tacos, but everything is fabulous. The corn on the cob and the margaritas are another must! My mouth is already watering.

Lunch, Dinner and Juice Bar:
Kreation Cafe: This was our neighborhood spot. The first 3 months of Declan's life I would take daily walks to the beach and grab a smoothie on the walk back. The food is so fresh and healthy. We love sharing the cold tapas platter with a side of chicken skewers.

Brunch:
Milo and Olive: Another neighborhood favorite. It's tiny and there can be a long wait, but it is well worth it. I always have a hard time deciding what to order here so we usually order a couple specials (and a baked good because they are FANTASTIC) and share everything.

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner:
True Food Kitchen: I love TFK because you can get just about anything here. From stir fry, quinoa bowls to fresh salmon. They have a little bit of everything. The menu changes depending on what is in season and available at the farmers markets. I know I am always getting the freshest ingredients.

Healthy Fast Food: (obsessed with the veggie burger)
M Cafe: MCafe was always my go-to spot when I was performing in Hollywood or after auditions. Then they opened one up on the west side the year before we moved. Parking is terrible, but I always manage to find a spot just so I can indulge in my favorite veggie burger The Big Macro or The M Chop Salad.  The sweet potato fries are also delicious.

Date Night:
Gjelina: One of the most romantic, fabulous and "scenie" restaurants in LA. I love how dark and cozy the restaurant is. The soft candlelit atmosphere mixed with the industrial decor makes for the perfect setting . They also have an adorable back patio if you are lucky enough to get a table out back. A reservation is a must unless you go at off hours. It's well worth the wait. I have never had a bad item off the seasonal menu. It's incredible.

Pizza:
Stella Barra: I would say we would go here at least twice a month if not more. We go for the paper thin wood oven pizza and share a bottle of wine. I still crave this pizza and can't find anything that compares. You can't leave until you try one of their famous cookies for dessert. It's as big as your face and comes in unique combinations (rice crispy white chocolate,  banana chocolate chip, bacon chocolate chip with sea salt etc...)

Wine Bar:
Sonoma Wine Garden: My favorite place for an impromptu gathering. With rooftop views of the ocean and the sea breeze you can't beat the ambiance here. I had my birthday party here a few years ago and it was one of my favorite parties to date.

Beach Side:
Venice Ale House: If you are west side you most likely want to eat at the beach and this is the only place to do it. On a beautiful day (which is just about every day) it's packed, but you can enjoy the beach while you wait, so it's not the end of the world. The food is surprisingly wonderful for what you think you would get at the beach. Don't miss out on the mimosas for brunch!

Happy Hour:
Oscar's: This place is an adorable hole in the wall and the battered fish tacos, ceviche and corn on the cob are our favorite items on the happy hour menu. Just a few blocks up form the beach you can still feel the ocean breeze.


*Photo Credit Kreation Cafe


Valentines Day Tradition

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


One of my favorite holiday traditions happens on Valentines Day. My girlfriends and our significant others gather for an evening of wine, dinner and game night. Rather than slaving away in the kitchen we order a beautiful spread of food from Joan's on Third ( a favorite of many hollywood residents ) and just enjoy each others company. My girlfriend Kristen cuts hearts out of felt to use as name tags and there is always a wonderful display of desserts (minus the year I tried to make my first vegan gluten free cupcakes).  Last year Declan was only two weeks old so we skipped the party, but Kristen dropped off our name tags with a special mini heart for Declan. This year we are obviously not in LA for this special tradition, so we will deeply miss our friends. However, it has inspired me to create new traditions like this one in hopes to have many more special memories like these.

Do you have any favorite Valentines Day Traditions?

Love and miss you my girls!
xoxo

My Target Must Haves

Monday, February 9, 2015


Since moving to suburbia I find myself frequenting Target several times a week. I have always LOVED Target and now with Declan it's my favorite (and easiest) one stop shop for everything from diapers, cleaning supplies, food, the latest in fashion and home decor. I am secretly dying to know what everyone else shops for at Target. I have to control myself from picking up too many unnecessary things (like 4 shades of nail polish, two swimsuits and a new baby outfit every time). And they have Starbucks, so I can sip my tea and shop...Genius I tell ya!

These are a few of my MUST HAVE Target favorites:

Fieldcrest Luxury Solid Bath Towels: An easy way to update your bathroom is to add a new set of plush towels. These towels wash up beautifully every week and they feel amazing.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Erase Dark Circles Concealer: My go to drugstore concealer for dark circles...even though I looked in the mirror today and was like, "woah...did you sleep last night?"

Threshold Antique Basket: Because everything needs a place in our house. I love these baskets for organizing everything from the linen closet to the kitchen.

Sam and Libby Flats: These just came out and I can't wait to get my hands on them because YES, I need another pair of cute flat shoes.

Threshold Teardrop Table Lamp: Threshold is my go to homegoods brand at Target and this lamp is adorable for pretty much any room in the house.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish: I have been meaning to try this nail polish for months now and I finally gave myslef a manicure with it this week. More to come soon, but let's just say it was love at first try.

Champion Sports Bra: If you are looking for an affordable light to medium support sports bra this is my favorite. It comes in adorable colors and it is extremely comfortable.

Threshold Decretive Pillow: I like to spice up the decor in our home up each season and an easy way to do it is with decretive pillows. You can play within your color palette or branch out to something new.

Women's Sneakers: Perfect for our daily park play dates. These would look adorable with skinny jeans, leggings or even a dress. These are also on my shopping list for spring.

Modern House Wines: I LOVE this packaging which makes it the perfect hostess gift and it happens to taste amazing too.

Babyganics Wipes: We stock up on these wipes for around the house, the car and the diaper bag. They are a daily staple. Enough said.

Magic Eraser:  Target is the best place to stock up on cleaning supplies and the magic eraser works on everything from walls, bathrooms, kitchens, chalkboards and appliances. Everyone should own several boxes of these.

What's your Target Must Haves?




Birthday Boy: Declan Turns One

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Everyone told me that this first year would fly by, but you don't realize how fast it really goes until it has come and gone. I can honestly say that we soaked in every single day, even when we were so tired that we couldn't see straight. This year was all about change and selflessness. It was all about the three of us. I've learned to survive on little to no sleep, ask for help when I need it, multi-task like a pro and just let go. There was no way that I could do it all this last year so I chose to focus on the most important thing, "Declan" and our little family.

Despite the long nights and lack of one-on-one time, Pat and I are closer than ever. Even if we haven't had a night away or more than two date nights. We take the time to appreciate each other and acknowledge the little things like getting dinner on the table or waking up with D so the other can sleep in for an extra hour.  We talked about a family for a long time and Declan couldn't of come into this world at a better time. This year will be hard to top, but somehow each day just keeps getting better. Happy Birthday to the little love of our lives. We love you.

P.S Make sure you check out the smash cake photos at the bottom. Declan went to town and literally smashed his cute little cake to pieces.










Thank you to Amy Greene Photography

Best Year EVER...Declan Turns One!

Monday, February 2, 2015


This weekend we celebrated Declan turning one. His birthday isn't actually until tuesday (more to come then), but we had a little party at home with our immediate family to celebrate what an incredible first year of his life it has been. My eyes filled up with tears as we all sang happy birthday and his face lit up with joy. He thinks we should celebrate him everyday. It was a perfect day and we couldn't of imagined Declan's first year without our families constant love and support.

We served a chili bar for lunch with all the fixings. Yummy cornbread and coleslaw on the side (thanks Mom) and delicious homemade carrot cake cupcakes (my favorite recipe from here thanks to my Mother-in-law). We played a slideshow of our favorite pictures over this past year and the kids enjoyed splashing on our deck in a toy water table (it was exceptionally hot for January).

Special thank you to my sister Amy Greene Photography for capturing all of these great moments.

I kept the decorations simple, but listed my favorite items below:

Highchair Tassel Garland: Target (can't find online, but they carry it in stores)
Happy Birthday Sign: Glam Fete
Prints: Artifact Uprising 
Gold Paper clips: Target
ONE Letters: Hobby Lobby (borrowed from my sister)
Cake Plate: Homegoods
I also filled the house with balloons which the kids (all 3 of them) loved










 







9 Ikea Pieces For an Affordable and Modern Home Makeover

Monday, January 26, 2015


I'll always remember my first trip to Ikea. My husband (then boyfriend) and I were living in New York City and an Ikea opened up in New Jersey. They have a free shuttle that goes from Port Authority in Time Square to the Ikea Store in Jersey on the weekends. We would line up like cattle to get on the bus and line back up with all of our shopping bags to get back on the bus. This was clearly before I was brave enough to rent a car in the city, which in hindsight would of been a much better idea.

A few years ago I vowed to only purchase "adult" furniture. No more miss matched particle board pieces. Over the last two years we have done a pretty great job at buying a few key pieces that should last us a while, but there are certain things that I just can't fathom spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on. I mean, we have a soon to be toddler for goodness sake!

That leads me back to Ikea. I'm not going to lie. They have done a fantastic job at knocking off some of today's trendiest pieces and if you wan't to give your home a quick and affordable makeover it's the best place to do it.

We have a few Ikea pieces that we are loving in our home right now. They gave our home a modern update and crisp, clean look (which I love). I also won't have a heart attack if our son accidentally destructs anything, since none of it cost a fortune.

Vittsjo Shelving Unit - This shelving unit is awesome. We spray painted it gold which gave it a quick modern update. You can't beat the $79 price tag.

Stockholm Mirror - We discovered this mirror over the weekend and plan to have it in our dining room next month. $99

Docksta Table and Chairs - We purchased this set for our kitchen nook last year and it's one of my favorite pieces. The chairs keep the room light and open which is ideal for small spaces. The tulip table is a great knock off of some really pricey ones out there. $515 for the table and chairs

Raskog Utility Cart - This is currently being used as our diaper caddy in the nursery, but could be used for a dozen different things. When we are done with diapers it would be a great homework/art station. $49.99

Antilop Highchair - I looked at a about 10 highchairs and this one kept coming up in reviews as a top favorite.  I love that it isn't obnoxious looking or bulky. It's so easy to clean which is a must with our messy eater. You can literally hose it down. The best part is...it's $20!!! I'm not kidding! Get one for the grandparents house while you're at it!

Ranarp Work Lamp - It's amazing how expensive lighting can be. For $39.99 this lamp is the perfect light for our little work station.

Stockholm Flatwoven Rug - We don't own this rug yet, but I can picture it in my future playroom or Declan's room. I love the design and the simple black and white that can we paired with pops of color for fun. $199

Roberget Desk Chair - I saw this chair in our visit over the weekend and I think it would be adorable at a desk, especially with this faux sheepskin rug laid over the seat as a cushion. $89.99

Strandmon Wing Chair - I love that a wingback chair is both masculine yet a little feminine with it's curves and modern legs. This is a fantastic price at $279. I've also seen several hacks on pinterest to make this into a rocker for a nursery. Love that!

What are your favorite Ikea finds?

xoxo


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