8 Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipes

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My new office gives us unlimited hot drinks. Most days, I stick with my favorite earl gray, but the past couple afternoons, I’ve indulged by sipping a couple pre-packaged hot chocolates. Those little packets bring back memories of building snow forts and giant snowmen in my front yard. I loved playing in the snow as… [Read More]

New York Fashion Week F/W 2015

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New York Fashion Week F/W 2015 wraps up on Thursday. I love fashion week. Even though I haven’t attended yet, it’s on my bucket list. It almost felt like I was there, just by scanning my Instagram feed. There were so many runway images and short video clips to watch. A lot of the fall/winter… [Read More]

Funfetti Cake Pops From Scratch

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For my daughter’s first birthday, I made her a funfetti cake from scratch. I made way too much cake though, so I had almost an entire cake and enough frosting left to make funfetti cake pops. I’d never made cake pops before, so I wasn’t sure where to start. I created my recipe based on… [Read More]

Stacey’s Oscars Red Carpet Ensemble

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I’m going to attend the Oscars someday. I don’t have grand plans to take up acting, I just want to hang out on the red carpet in a really fabulous gown. Since I’m not going this year, I thought it would be fun to put together a look I’d wear on the Oscars red carpet… [Read More]

Practical or Posh: Red Lace Dress with Sleeves

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So I’m a little late on the national wear red day, but it’s never too late to wear a red dress. Wearing red shows you are confident and bold. Red is actually one of my favorite colors to wear when I need a little pick me up or I have an important meeting. I immediately… [Read More]

Baby First Birthday + DIY Rag Tie Banner

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My baby girl turned one recently. Happy Birthday Gigi! To celebrate, I wanted to decorate a bit, but didn’t want to do anything too time-consuming (like Rocco’s fire truck party). My time is really pressed with work and juggling the kids, so I only had one weekend to do her decorations, the cake, and her outfit…. [Read More]

Homemade Funfetti Birthday Cake

homemade funfetti birthday cake

For my daughter’s first birthday, I decided to make a homemade funfetti birthday cake for a couple reason. First, it’s cute and looks pretty. Second, I made a low-sugar healthy smash cake for my son’s first birthday, and he didn’t dig into it like I had hoped. I figured the lure of the sweet buttery… [Read More]

Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials 2015

best and worst super bowl commercials 2015

Like a lot of girls I know, we watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and the half-time show. Katy Perry killed it, although her mic didn’t sound quite right. I paid a little more attention to the actual game this year. I was cheering for the Seahawks, only because Russel Wilson is a fellow… [Read More]

Heart Fashion Accessories

heart fashion accessories

Heart fashion accessories aren’t just for Valentine’s day. Heart shapes are a fashion staple. I love heart prints, as much on clothes as I do on accessories. Remember those popular J.Crew sweaters with the giant hearts on the chest from a couple years back (Kate Spade makes a cute one now)? If you like hearts, but don’t want to… [Read More]

10 Winter Soup Recipes

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I’ve been on a soup kick lately. Maybe it’s because it’s winter (but it’s like 80 in Phoenix today, so cold weather isn’t the motivator). Really, I think it’s because soup is so comforting. The last month has been kind of stressful. My kids have been sick almost non-stop since New Years and on top… [Read More]

Why You Should Use Oil Face Cleansers

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I was as skeptical as you. I definitely thought oil face cleansers would make my combination skin oilier, shinier, and make me break out. I had no real basis for my beliefs, other than I just thought it seemed wrong to add oil when I’m trying to remove oil. You know what I mean? But I’ve… [Read More]

One Look, Three Pays: Cobalt Blue Coat

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One of the ways I relax after a long day of work and parenting is to browse internet retailers to see what’s new. When I saw this look that Nordstrom put together, the striking cobalt blue coat immediately caught my eye. I am also impressed with their expert layering. Even with a sweater, tunic and coat,… [Read More]

9 Adorable Baby Girl Birthday Themes

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My daughter turns one next month. So, I’ve been digging around on Pinterest, looking for cute first birthday ideas. I found so many cute baby girl birthday themes, it was hard to narrow them down. What I did find—a lot of pink. Don’t get me wrong, I love pink, but it was refreshing to find… [Read More]

The Best Healthy Crock Pot Turkey Chili

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I love cooking in our crock pot, especially on the weekends. You throw everything in first thing in the morning, and by dinner time, you have a hot and hearty dish. Crock pots dishes are just so easy to make and not at all fussy. I recently discovered a highly rated turkey chili recipe, but it was… [Read More]

Practical or Posh: Diamond Ear Crawler

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Lately, I’ve been in an accessories funk. I have tons of fun statement necklaces, but hardly any cool earrings. I admit I get really lazy with changing out my classic diamond studs. The ear crawlers and earring jackets I’ve seen lately have sparked my interest enough that I think I’m ready to retire my studs, for now…. [Read More]

9 Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert Recipes

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Over the holidays, along with sugar cookies, I made some of my childhood favorites — puppy chow and special k bars. If you haven’t tried these no-oven-required recipes before, you should. They are ridiculously easy to make and really yummy. The perfect chocolate and peanut butter desserts recipes ring in the new year and a new… [Read More]

Model Mom Style: Wearing Prints

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For our third Model Mom Style, Andrea agreed to share her style tips and let us use her house as our backdrop. When I first met Andrea (and went through her closet), I was impressed with her choice and use of prints in her wardrobe. She owns her own business as an event planner, so… [Read More]

Unique Winter Accessories

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As I write this, I’m wrapped in an old North Face fleece, because my office is freezing. Yes, I live in the valley of the sun. But lately, it’s been really cold here (ok, in the 30’s at night and 50’s during the day, but still very cold for the dessert!). When I moved to… [Read More]

Top 10 Family and Food Blog Posts of 2014

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A lot has changed this year. Two biggies—my daughter Giada was born and we left California and moved back ‘home’. My favorite part about New Years Eve is reflecting on the year that’s gone by and making plans for the future. With reflection in mind, I looked back at all the blog posts from the year… [Read More]

Top 10 Fashion and Beauty Posts of 2014

top ten fashion and beauty posts 2014

Readers, today’s post is for, and because of, you. Thank you for your support and for participating in our rating system at the bottom of each post. Your feedback is important because it tells me which posts you like or don’t like. 2014 was my first full year blogging and I am constantly looking for ways to be better. That’s… [Read More]

What To Do With Unwanted Christmas Gifts

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Did you get an ugly Christmas sweater? Another pair of flannel pajamas? A really ugly set of dishes? Despite your family and friends’ thoughtfulness and spirit of giving, I’m sure you got something you don’t like, don’t have space for, or can’t use. Those unwanted items don’t have to go to waste or take up… [Read More]

McCormick Railroad Park Christmas Lights

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Merry Christmas! Tomorrow, we’re planning a low-key day with our little family. Our kids are still so young to really ‘get’ Christmas, but Rocco is starting to catch on. He recently found our Santa hat, and likes to wear that around the house, chanting ‘Santa hat, Santa hat’. He’s also really into Christmas lights. On… [Read More]

New Years Eve Looks

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New Years Eve is one of those special occasions where I think it’s totally acceptable to splurge a little bit on your look. You should buy something that makes you feel incredibly special, at least every now and then. If budget is your worry, there are tons of great party dresses out there at reasonable… [Read More]

How to Wear Bold Eyeliner

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When it comes to makeup, I shy away from lipstick, but I’ve always been into playing up my eyes. I’m terrible at accepting compliments, but there is one that’s stuck with me for years. A friend in high school told me she loved my eye makeup, the way my lashes fanned out and how they… [Read More]

Model Mom Style: Layering Accessories

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A couple weeks ago, I started a new series called model mom style, to show you how working moms can look stylish and cool. This week, my friend Erin is our model mom. I met Erin about ten years ago while we were in graduate school. I noticed her right away because she always looked fashionable… [Read More]

Florentine Lace Cookies

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I’m always looking for new ways to connect with my Italian heritage—most of the time, that involves trying a new recipe. I first heard of Florentine lace cookies, while watching America’s Test Kitchen. I wasn’t sure I had the patience to make these because they seemed complicated—in reality, they are super easy to make, if you… [Read More]

When to Stop Whole Milk for Toddlers

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I’m a rule follower by nature. When Rocco turned one, I immediately switched him to whole milk, per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and others’ suggestion. But when he turned two in October, I broke the rules. For once, their advice just didn’t make sense to me. Is there a right time when to… [Read More]

Stacey’s Christmas Wish List

Stacey's Christmas Wish List

My Christmas wish list almost wrote itself this year. I’ve been eyeing most of these items for awhile now. One of my favorite things about being a blogger is discovering brands and sharing what I love with my readers. It makes me feel like all my internet window shopping serves a purpose. Of all the things I’ve loved this year, here… [Read More]

Peppermint Frosted Gingerbread Cookies

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For me to choose a favorite Christmas cookie is nearly impossible, but one of my absolute favorite Christmas flavors is ginger. Gingerbread men and ginger snaps would rank up there near the top of my Christmas cookie list. I love those classics, but for a change, I wanted to try a new ginger cookie recipe… [Read More]

Python Leather Handbags

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If you asked me to wear snakeskin or animal print clothing, I’d scoff at you. I just don’t like it (my reasons why are for another post). I don’t like it in clothing, but I do like it in accessories. I am absolutely smitten with snakeskin shoes and handbags. I love snakeskin because it generally looks really lux,… [Read More]

Holiday Party Dresses Under $200

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I love holiday parties because they gave me an excuse to wear a glittery, shimmery, ultra feminine dress. I hardly ever suggest buying clothes that aren’t versatile, but holiday party dresses do not apply. This is the one time of year where I think it’s totally OK to buy a dress you might only wear once or… [Read More]

Italian Wedding Christmas Cookies

italian wedding christmas cookies; snowball cookies; mexican christmas cookies; italian wedding cookies

Whatever you call them, snowballs, Russian tea cakes, Italian wedding cookies or even Italian Wedding Christmas cookies, these powdery nutty cookies are a mainstay on most Christmas cookie platters. Despite their popularity, I had never made them before. My mom didn’t make these at Christmas, and I only had them a few times when we… [Read More]

Model Mom Style

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Photography by Dane Wallace I’m so excited about our new series: Model Mom Style. I wanted to feature real women to show you how they dress for their busy, everyday lives and still manage to look stylish. I think a lot of women don’t take enough time to look their best. They think they are… [Read More]

Etsy Christmas Decorations

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For me, the day after Thanksgiving isn’t just about scoring deals at the mall, it’s about getting out the Christmas decorations. I tend to put up the tree first because it just makes me happy. There’s just something about staring at the white lights and back-lit ornaments that gives me pure joy. So much joy in… [Read More]

Red and Gold Half Moon Manicure Tutorial

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I don’t do my nails that often, but the holidays always entice me to try something a little shiny or sparkly. Last year, I wore this winter sparkle french manicure during the holidays. When I saw this half moon manicure tutorial, I thought it would be fun to try for the holidays this year. What I didn’t like… [Read More]

Phoenix Zoo Lights Sneak Peek

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Last week, our friends at Toyota invited us to the Phoenix Zoo to get a preview of ZooLights, and also check out a few of their new cars for 2015. During the day, Jade put a ton of miles on a sporty 2015 Camry. The kids and I joined him later to see ZooLights, pretty much… [Read More]

Sourdough Stuffing with Leeks and Mushrooms

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As a kid, my Thanksgiving plate was basically white — turkey breast, mashed potatoes, and a dinner roll. It’s not that my family didn’t have more choices on the table, it’s that my midwestern palate just never got very developed. I never ate the cranberries, the gravy or the stuffing. Being the baby of the… [Read More]

3 Stylish Outfits for Thanksgiving Dinner

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With Thanksgiving only a little over a week away, most of us are planning what dish we’re going to bring or who’s going to host this year. I’m sure the last thing on your mind is what you’re going to wear to your Thanksgiving dinner. Rightly, you are thinking about the food and the people…. [Read More]

The Best Pumpkin Pancakes

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Every November, I bust out a couple of recipes that I only make once a year—my pumpkin cookies, and my pumpkin pancakes. Jade loves them both so much that he looks forward to me making them all month long. My pumpkin pancakes have evolved over the years though. I used to make them with whole… [Read More]

8 Tips: How to Be a Good House Guest

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Thanksgiving and Christmas are only weeks away and I’m sure many of you will be traveling to visit family and friends. When we are with our loved-ones we often get comfortable (or not) and sometimes may abuse our host’s kindness. To avoid that pitfall, I wanted to share with you my 8 tips for how… [Read More]

Menswear Inspired Oxfords

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To be honest, I wasn’t sure I liked the menswear inspired oxford trend for women. At first, I thought they were just too masculine, too clunky. The majority of the oxfords I’d seen in my Pinterest and Instagram fashion feeds were more traditional. They looked like a shoe my husband would actually wear. That just isn’t… [Read More]

Rocco’s DIY Fire Truck Birthday Party

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Rocco is obsessed with two things right now—trucks and basketball. He especially loves fire trucks. So for his second birthday, we decided to throw him a DIY fire truck birthday party. I found these free printables to make him a birthday banner. To make the banner, I used red and yellow construction paper, rubber cement… [Read More]

Low Sugar Strawberry Cake

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My baby boy, Rocco, turned two last month. For Rocco’s first birthday, I made him a low sugar smash cake decorated with cheerios. The cheerios were the dangling carrot to get him to try the cake. It worked, sort of. I’ve mentioned before that Rocco is a super picky eater. He doesn’t like overly sweet things…. [Read More]

Honey Sage Cornbread

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On Halloween night, our friend invited us over for crockpot chili before we wrangled our toddlers into a wagon to go trick-or-treating. I asked my friend Amy what I should bring, and she said whatever I’d be baking for the blog next week. I didn’t have an idea in mind, so I decided to make the perfect… [Read More]

One Look, Three Pays: Sequin Track Pants

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Probably my current favorite trend is track pants. You can find them in all sorts of prints, patterns and textures, like those used in this sequin track pants look. I’m so in love with this trend because the track pants I’ve been wearing look lux, are dressy enough for work, but are super comfortable without… [Read More]

Rocky the Flying Squirrel DIY Aviator Hat

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It’s Rocco’s first Halloween where he will go out trick-or-treating. He doesn’t understand what Halloween is, but we are excited to bring him to our friends’ house to go out for the first time with their two kids who are a bit older than Rocco. When we first started thinking about what Rocco should be… [Read More]

In Praise of Mancation

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Recently, my work became a mancation of sorts, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Picture me rollin’. The dull pain in my head throbbed in time with my vibrating rear view mirror. Lil’ Wayne blurred the asphalt behind me in syncopated rhythm. It was afternoon and I was still burping up the… [Read More]

Practical or Posh: Evil Eye Ring

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In many cultures, an evil eye ring is an amulet, a symbol meant to protect it’s wearer. Whether you believe in the curse of the evil eye or not, these eyes have become a staple fashion trend popping up on all sorts of accessories. Just last week, I showed you a wallet with eyes on it…. [Read More]

Fun Halloween Desserts

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Halloween is just a week away. I searched Pinterest to find totally fun Halloween desserts that I think both kids and adults would love. There are so many cute desserts out there. I’m always so impressed with other bloggers’ creativity and craftsmanship when it comes to fun desserts. Some of the recipes I chose are… [Read More]

My Perfect Lipstick Color

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Last week, I tried out 15 different lipstick shades attempting to find my perfect lipstick color. I asked for reader feedback and many of you left me comments on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and here in the comments section. First, thank you for all of your comments and feedback. Reading your comments and seeing which colors you liked… [Read More]

Halloween Inspired Fashion

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Halloween symbols like spider webs, bats, and black cats are not just for October 31st anymore. Halloween inspires fashion works year round. Last year, I showed some of my favorite Halloween-inspired items, like this baby vamp ring I still want. With this story idea in mind, I set out to find Halloween-inspired fashion that I would… [Read More]