Home

Life Lately...

IMG_2220.JPG

Aaron and I made a quick trip to Vegas for a conference he had last week and I decided to tag along. It's hard to say no to a free hotel room and alone time with my favorite person. We made a quick stop on our drive to the art installation Seven Magic Mountains, it's there I think for one more year. Go see it if you're passing by along the 15. 

A few articles I've written recently:

And some fun things that I have discovered recently that I would love to share with all of you...

I have been looking for some kind of app or software that would let me slowly save money without really noticing it's saving me money. And save it to a place that isn't super convenient for me to dip into whenever I wanted. I am not good with the regular transferring to a savings account and don't want to set up an automatic deposit, so the search was on. I wasn't quite sure exactly what I wanted, but I knew when I came across it I would realize it. You know when you get in a rabbit hole of internet browsing and next thing you know you're looking at the home sales in Memphis, Tennessee for the year 2012? That happens to me sometimes. Well, one rabbit hole turned into my success story (by the way, not sponsored, this is just exciting to share). Enter Qapital. It's an app that basically did exactly what I wanted. And it was free. Because who wants to pay money to save money?  

So here's the gist of it. Whenever I use my debit card or my credit card, it rounds my purchase up to the nearest dollar and transfers that change into my Qapital account. I can leave it there, which is what I've been doing thus far, or I can easily transfer it back into my checking or into my savings, wherever. Some days it'll add up to $0.83 and some days it's $4.02, but it's never this huge chunk of change that I will feel missing from our checking account. You can set a goal that you're saving for, like a trip or vacation, or a new pair of shoes. I am not saving for anything that specific, but I can see how motivating it would be to have an end goal in sight that you're working toward. So that's the deal. And I think it's cool and I think you should try it. I've linked to it above and you will type in your phone number and then you get a link to download the app on your phone. It took me like 2.5 minutes to completely set up and link my two accounts. Oh, and you get a bonus $5 deposited into your account after your first Qapital deposit is made. I'm basically giving you a free coffee right now because I like you. Wow, this is sure sounding like a pitch but I promise it's not, I just was extremely happy to find that someone made the app that I wish I would've made first. Now go save some money. 

If you follow me on Instagram, I often show this diffuser when I share what I am diffusing, and it's on sale for $23. 99. It's our favorite diffuser at the moment, and has been for the past year. It lasts 6 hours and I love that the wood veneer blends right in with our counters. 

Completely random, but I have a love hate relationship with thermometers. I have tried and bought them all, the forehead one, the ear one, the under the tongue one, you name it. And would you believe I have used them all and gotten three completely different readings at the same time. It's really frustrating. Well after Greta spent a lot of time in the hospital (you can read all about that here and here) a few years ago I discovered myself always asking for the spare thermometers they use with the little dots on them whenever we found ourselves in a doctors office. Problem was sometimes they would give me celsius thermometers, which was fine but it did add one more step to me translating it to fahrenheit. I would stash those babies and bring them out when I needed to know for sure if one of my kids was running a fever. It took me way to long to discover I could just buy a box of them on Amazon, and they could all be the fahrenheit ones. So that's what I did, and I will only use them from now on. They're the most accurate and I never have a doubt of what their temperature is. Fortunately I haven't had to use any in a long while, but even when one of the kids is particularly tired, I just whip one out and make sure that it's not something more than their late night. Toss it in the trash when we're done. I thought it might help some of you mamas out there who have the same thermometer issues as I have had in the past. 

Ok, those are my random thoughts and tips to share for the day. All thanks to my facial client who canceled haha. 

xo

In My Cart

IMG_0181.JPG

A little snap from a bike ride/skateboard sesh with the kids Monday night. I haven't done a sharing post in a while, so that's exactly what you're gonna get. 

It's hot hot hot here in Los Angeles, even hotter inland. We are staying cool with lots of smoothies, water, and not exercising, ha!

A few items that have found there way into our home and I completely 100% recommend:

We started taking colloidal silver at the beginning of summer, and 8 million thumbs up. We haven't had a single cold, fever, sore throat, nada since we started. I give the kids a half teaspoon each day, they hold it under their tongue for about 20 seconds for absorption and then swallow. Aaron and I take one teaspoon, doing the same. 

I have reordered these multivitamins twice now for the kids, safe to say we love them and I highly recommend them. 

I recently ditched my eyelash extensions after TWO years of wearing them and loving them. I am slightly sad, but I really really missed wearing mascara and eye makeup. Ha I know the irony! I got them originally to save time putting on makeup and for two years have rarely if ever worn eye makeup. I debated for a few weeks or months not getting a fill and just couldn't quit those lashes, I loved them. But I am also happy to save the money I was spending on them, and invest it in some fun mascara and shadow. I have been using this mascara for a few weeks, and love it. It is designed for those baby lashes, especially bottom lashes, but I also use it on top as well. Not clumpy, perfect consistency. But be warned the brush is super thin, like you can barely make out it's a brush until you start to apply and then you're like, ahhh, this is amazing. I have very sensitive eyes to mascara and this one hasn't irritated me at all. 

Speaking of makeup, these wash cloths are the softest I have ever encountered and work beautifully when I take my makeup off. 

If you follow me on Instagram I shared in my stories a few products I recently purchased and would be reviewing. The top of the yes list is this sea buckthorn oil. It is extremely lightweight and I would recommend it for most skin types. It's easily absorbed, reasonably priced, and very hydrating without clogging. I've used it for a few months now and it's become a staple in my routine. I use it at night time after cleansing. I also have incorporated these super cheap Lil Scrubbies into my routine, I use them about twice a week in place of a scrub. While cleansing my face I just rub them gently all over my face, they are extremely soft and gentle on the skin. 

Those are a few of the items that have made it into my shopping carts multiple times, or are in my cart just waiting for a reorder. 

Costa Rica - Dreams Las Mareas

IMG_1149.jpg

Finally sharing some photos from where we stayed in Costa Rica and answering some questions about the hotel that I've been asked. Since my whole family was traveling, we were 11 in total and the ages ranged from 4-65! We decided to stay in an all-inclusive hotel in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica just south of the Nicaraguan border. We chose this because we were traveling in the rainy season and this province is the driest of the country. We enjoyed sporadic rain while we were there. Never lasting more than 30 or so minutes, and probably 3-4 times over 10 days total. So not rainy at all if you asked us. Not sure how it was in different parts of the country. All of the photos in this post were taken at the hotel or at the beach/bay of the hotel. 

We decided to stay put for the entire trip and just schedule day trips off the resort and it was a great call. And it is motivation for us to return and explore different areas we never saw! We stayed at the Dreams Las Mareas Resort. I have heard this is the nicest of the Dreams resorts, so I am not too helpful on how it compares to their other locations, but I can say it was a lovely stay and a beautiful resort. 

The resort had gorgeous pools, 6 restaurants, kids club, trampoline, on the beach, beautiful rooms, fabulous food, excellent spa. It was a definite win. The only suggestion I have if you are traveling with a large group like we did, be sure to communicate clearly with the concierge if you are planning to eat together. It seemed the restaurants were not used to catering to large families so it took a few days for them to figure out we were going to be eating, all 11 of us, together every dinner. And we expected them to put tables together or allow us to wait until they could seat us together. Once they figured that out, it was smooth sailing. It still is crazy to us that the mini bar and all you could want to eat and drink is included. And you can bet my kids eat their weight in food. 

The spa was beautiful and we took the kids on our final afternoon to enjoy all the mineral pools. The gym was decent, not huge but it was air conditioned and had the equipment we needed to do a quick run and some free weights. The food was really really good. I don't think we had a bad meal once. And with all the choices of restaurants, you never got tired of any menu. 

With the beach right there, we would check out boogie boards, snorkeling gear, kayaks and paddle boards almost daily. Greta was stung once by a jelly fish but it was not too eventful, her brothers did offer to pee on it for her. No thanks.

IMG_1261.jpg

I often compare the lushness of Costa Rica to Kauai. Although we were told in the winter months it is not green at all, which was hard to imagine. 

The few times the sky opened up and it rained, it didn't affect what we were doing too much. Can you see just how much it was raining in this photo?!

IMG_1209.jpg
IMG_1509.jpg

Technically we were there during the off season, so I can't say how crowded it is during peak times, but we didn't have much issue finding umbrellas and pool lounge chairs. Some of us would eat pool side and some would head to a restaurant on the days we stayed put at the resort. 

IMG_1544.jpg
IMG_1557.jpg
IMG_1574.jpg
IMG_9233.jpg
IMG_8353.jpg
IMG_9310.jpg
IMG_7831.jpg

Outside our hotel rooms you just walked a handful of steps, and there was a pool. The kids would be in that pool until the very last second where they had to hop in the shower before dinner. And the pool connected to their cousins and grandparents pool.

IMG_1212.jpg
IMG_9314.jpg

And the slide you guys, the slide! Needless to say they could be found here most of the afternoon. 

If I didn't answer your question feel free to email me or ask in the comments, happy to answer and help. Costa Rica, we will return! And hopefully I can get my act together now that the kids are in school, and blog some of our fun adventures while we were there.