Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Natural Beauty ♥

Hello Friends! 

How are you all doing?  I'm hanging in there. I've had a day or two recently where I've felt "ehh".... you know the feeling.  My hair is beyond the point of no return and we've had so much rain lately I haven't been doing much walking.  My skin however, is looking and feeling better than ever.  Mostly because I haven't been wearing as much make up at home. I do still put makeup on daily, but with a much lighter hand than normal.  I need to be ready for last minute zoom work meetings!

I've also started incorporating homemade sugar scrubs back into my weekly beauty routines.  They are super fun to make and feel so good on the skin. 

I decided to repost 2 of my favorite at home beauty treatments in case you are looking for a little pick me up also.  This will have to do until the beauty salons open!

Olive Oil & Honey Sugar Scrub 

Sugar scrubs are great because they are natural and chemical free.  They remove dead skin and leave your skin brighter and healthier.  I've incorporated a sugar scrub into my weekly routine and it's working wonders. 

Here's the secret...

 Olive oil.  You may think of olive oil as just a staple for your pantry but it's also a staple for your makeup bag as well.  Olive oil is an antioxidant, won't clog pores, and is an exfoliating enhancer.  It's effects will leave your skin looking renewed and glowing. Go figure!
This recipe also contains honey.  Honey can do wonders for you skin, which is why you find it in so many beauty products.  Honey acts as an anti-aging agent and moisturizer.  It also has the ability to absorb and retain moisture and this helps to keep the skin well hydrated. 

Here is the formula I use:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of olive oil

Mix all the ingredients together until you get a gritty wet sand consistency.  (Add a little more olive oil if needed) 

Store in an airtight container.  I put mine in a glass jar ♥

Use your scrub 2 - 3 times a week.  I take it in the shower with me so I can use it on my face, neck, elbows, and feet. 

It's amazing!


 ...if you need something to bring a radiance back into your complexion I suggest this quick exfoliating treatment.  

It's like a 5 minute spa treatment at home! ♥ 

Coconut Oil & Baking Soda Facial Exfoliator 

All you need is 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and one tablespoon of baking soda. 

I've spoken about my love for coconut oil before when I posted my favorite skin care products for winter, last December.  I've been applying it to my skin daily for the last several months. And naturally, I'm by no means and expert on this, I only speak from my own experience ♥ 

Coconut oil is healing and nurturing to the skin.  It's naturally antibacterial and antifungal.  
Coconut oil is used as an ingredient in many moisturizers because of its anti aging properties.  It's rich in proteins that will keep your skin healthy and rejuvenated! 

Baking soda is a very gentle exfoliator that works wonders and won't harm your skin. It's also .69 a box and how can you go wrong with that! 

Mix them together in a bowl and apply to your face and neck. 

I also like to rub some on my lips for a little lip treatment 

Leave it on for 5 minutes and then wash it off with warm water. 

I suggest applying the mask over your bathroom sink because you will want to wash the excess off your hands.  

Lately, what I have been doing is applying it right before I get into the shower.  Let the water run and once I'm in there wash it off.  Your face will feel incredibly smooth and hydrated.

Pat dry and apply your moisturizer ♥ 

One last tip I want to leave you with is this.  The other day I had been feeling sluggish.  It suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't drank any water the entire day.  Coffee yes.  Water no.  When I'm at work I am constantly drinking water, but at home not so much.  Since that realization I have been making a conscious effort to drink more water.  

Drinking water promotes healthy skin, reduces fatigue, helps elevates mood, and has countless overall health benefits. 

So drink up! 

Do you have any at home beauty treatments that you've been doing? I'd love to hear about them. 

Also, if anyone has suggestions for exercise or yoga apps (or YouTube channels) that you've tried, please let me know : ) 

Be well everyone!  ♥

Friday, April 24, 2020

Currently ♥

Hello friends.  How are you all doing?  Here are just a few snaps of what daily life has been for me lately.  Every morning, if it's not snowing or raining, I take my coffee outside for a few breaths of air before logging on to work.  I've been enjoying frozen fruit in the morning (sometimes with yogurt) while I tap away on my laptop.  Wildflowers from the front yard cheer up living room. 
 Thank goodness for tiny miracles. 

We got the news that John will not be returning to school until September.  We aren't surprised by this decision but now that it's official we are coming to terms with what the end of the year will look like. It's still surreal to me.  This week is spring break so he's had a break from the remote learning, which has been nice.  Next week will surly be a busy one.  His teachers are doing an amazing job under the circumstances. 

We try to get out every few days for either a walk or drive.  It's nice to see what life looks like outside these four walls.  Spring is in bloom and we are reminded that the world is still beautiful. 

Meals have been sporadic.  I'm trying to make healthy, hearty dinners, but sometimes all that goes out the window and I make pizza.  The other night we got take out from our favorite local place and I got a chicken cobb salad.  It was delicious and so enjoyable to have something different!  Tea & toast with a book on rainy afternoons is very comforting these is the parade of chocolate chip cookies that's been on repeat around here.  I mixed it up the other day and made chocolate pudding.  It was the highlight of the evening. 

And that's pretty much it : ) 

Have a nice weekend everyone!  Stay safe and healthy!  ♥

Monday, April 20, 2020

Crock Pot Sweet & Sour Chicken (video) ♥

Good Morning Friends! 

I hope you all had a restful weekend.  It's the start of a new week already. 
Yesterday I made us another little video.  I pulled out my crock pot and made sweet & sour chicken.  I am trying to be mindful of what I'm cooking these days and using what I have, so this dish was perfect.  It gave us a hearty meal last night with plenty left over for tonight! 

I also give myself a little pep talk.  Give it a watch if you need one too! :)

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Sending good vibes for a good week ahead! 


Link to the recipe (here)

Thanks for visiting (and watching! :) 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Perspective ( Susan Branch ♥)

Hello Friends! 

If you read Susan Branch's blog regularly you've probably already seen this, but it made such an impact on me this morning I had to share it.  Susan never ceases to bring joy to my heart when I need it most.  


"Something amazing is happening: Ask people stay home to protect one another  and here’s what happens: they unselfishly do it! And suddenly, everything changes.💝 No school shootings this March for the first time since 2002 🙏, our air has gotten cleaner, our National Parks and all the critters are breathing easier, families are having dinner together, people are nice to each other and reach out to help, the earth gets a rest, we’re becoming more spiritual, angels are popping up everywhere, people are singing and clapping for each other from balconies, and kindness abounds: healthcare workers at a Boston hospital are gifted with lifetime Red Sox tickets as a thank you, a patriotic 99-year-old army veteran in England spends the lead-up to his hundredth birthday walking to raise money for the National Healthcare Service, my single-mom sister gets to stay home with her twins because she works for Starbucks who continues to send paychecks to their employees just as if they were working, and Andrea Bocelli sings Ave Maria to the entire world. And we all cried at the same time. It’s beautiful to see that we are part of a larger plan, a world cause, we are in it together. Turns out the gift is proof-positive and something we’ve always known: that the true heroes are the regular people, the unsung heroes of the world."

Don't you just love her?  ♥

To read this post in it's entirety please visit her blog at
She's also updated the cooking section with some yummy spring & summer recipes that I'm looking forward to making.  

Have a wonderful Wednesday my friends.  Be well!  ♥

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

10 Things I Love Tuesday ♥

Hello Friends! 

 Some days it's easier to find joy in the little things than it is on other days.  Lately it's been tough, but I find making these lists gives me something to smile about and reminds me of all the good things in life that are still out there. 

So without further adieu here's another addition of 10 (very random) Things I love Tuesday!

Yankee Candles (french vanilla is my favorite scent :)
Magnolia trees
gingham print
strawberry shortcake (the dessert and the cartoon)
tea pots
Kate Middleton
collecting sea glass
watching Rick Steves travel the world on PBS
eating lobster on my birthday
Fred & Ginger (they just don't make'm like that anymore, do they? ♥)

What are some of your favorite things?  Please share and make me us smile!

I hope you are all having a lovely day.  Stay safe.  I'm thinking of you!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Happy Easter! ♥

Good morning friends! 

As I write this post I am sitting at my kitchen table, drinking coffee, listening to the rain pouring down.  It's a stormy and dark day, which is OK by me because I have no plans to go anywhere anyway : )  Stormy days make staying inside more cozy.  No walk today.  That's OK.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a sunny day.

Yesterday we celebrated Easter.  It was definitely one of the most relaxed holidays we ever had.  But since my family celebrated Christmas in February nothing surprises me anymore. We spent it just us of course, dressed in our comfiest clothes, eating on our own schedule, and snacking and napping at our leisure : ) 

 I made a ham dinner for us and my mother in law was kind enough to pack us a goodie basket filled with all our traditional Easter foods that we would have had if we were able to be together.  Having that food made it feel more like Easter, which has always been a very big celebration in our family (certainly the biggest food wise!).  We watched the Cardinal say mass from Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston.  It was surreal seeing an empty church on Easter, but I was thankful we were able to watch it on tv. 

It's not a holiday without cinnamon rolls 

The church looks so beautiful.  I've never been to this church and now I really want to see it in person.  I'll always remember watching this mass on TV. 

I planned a later dinner so we could take our time (lounging) all day.  I'm glad I planned it that way.  I made myself an egg salad sandwich for lunch around 2:00 and it was delicious.  

Followed by tea time and a nap 

 Here is the basket from my mother in law.  We had lasagna and all our traditional favorites like ricotta pie and pinga bread.  It was all so delicious! 

The Easter bunny came for John and brought him candy and an Amazon gift card.  He's happy picking out his out treats these days, which will probably be blue rays, posters, or Funko pops.  

For the first time in forever we didn't color eggs!  I guess I waited too long and could not get the egg coloring kit.  John didn't seem phased. (I was definitely more disappointed than him :)  To make up for it I decided to try my hand at this bunny cake.  My friends inspired me to give it a try and just like that a new tradition was born!!  

After dinner John and I went for a walk around the neighborhood.  All spring flowers are blooming which made us smile. 

We had a nice day and are so very grateful to be together during this scary time in our world.  I'm grateful to have my parents with me when I know so many are missing their loved ones.  Thank goodness for technology so people can communicate.  

I hope you all had a blessed day, my friends!  

Sending good vibes this week!  Hang in there!  

Danielle xo 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pinterest for the win! ♥

Hello Friends! 

Today I wanted to share with you two Pinterest recipes I tried last week.  As a person whose had my share of Pinterest fails it's always exciting when I try a new recipe and it actually works.  

Since I'm home I'm trying to add new recipes to our rotation.  Unfortunately ingredients are hard to come by lately, so I'm trying to pick ones that use few ingredients that I have on hand.  

These 2 were too good not to share! 

Honey Garlic Pork Chops 
This was an easy recipe that came out delicious.  It only used a few ingredients and came together very quickly.  You make a marinade with honey, garlic, & apple cider vinegar.  The chops cook in a skillet for just a few minutes on each side and then you spoon the sauce over the top and garnish with parsley.  I served with sweet potatoes and broccoli.

 "Depression" Chocolate Cake
It's called a "depression" cake because it uses no eggs, milk, or butter. These ingredients were hard to find during the depression so mom's had to make due with what they had.  Sounds familiar to current situations, doesn't it? I was definitely skeptical about this recipe, but since I wasn't wasting many ingredients (in case this was a big fail) I decided to give it a try. 

I was pleasantly surprised!  The only liquids in here are oil (5 tbsp), vanilla, vinegar, and water.  It was so moist and chocolaty!  I guess the moms of our past really did know best!  

Frost the cake with your favorite frosting.  I made a quick 5 minute frosting...also found on Pinterest! (click here for recipe)

It uses chocolate chips and evaporated milk.  I knew I was saving that can in my pantry for something! You spread it on the cake while it's still warm and if you wait for it to cool completely before cutting (I actually put mine in the fridge) the frosting will be like fudge 


Be well everyone! xx

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

10 Things I Love Tuesday! ♥

Hello Friends!

I hope you all are well! 

I'm back today to share with you 10 random things I love 

Spring flowers
tea & toast on rainy days
polka dots
when Frank Sinatra sings Come Fly With Me
the smell of libraries
cheesecake with strawberries
town squares 
Lady Mary (and her entire wardrobe!) on Downton Abbey
browsing in kitchen stores 
egg salad sandwiches on fluffy white bread

Please share with me 10 random things you love.  I love to read them!  

Stay positive my friends! It's a beautiful spring day today.  John had two school zoom meetings this morning and I've been busy working at my kitchen table, but it's almost time to clock out and we are going for a (socially distanced) walk in the sunshine.

Have a good day everyone!  

Hang in there! XO

Monday, April 6, 2020

For all you coffee lovers out there...♥

Hello Friends!  

I hope this new week finds you well and you are adjusting to life as we know it.  I think it's so important right now to cling to the little things that bring us the most comfort. For me is soft pajamas, cozy slippers, and a nice HOT cup of coffee.  

Yesterday morning I recorded a quick video to share a little tip for all you coffee lovers out there.  I debated posting it because I was in my pajamas ( I don't know what I was thinking?).  I have quarantine brain : )  But this is life right now, so I'm going for it.  


Now that I've gotten adjusted (somewhat) to life in quarantine I'm hoping to be making more videos and posting on here more regularly.  

If you haven't already please visit my youtube channel (here). 

Thank you for stopping by and keeping in touch! 

It's a beautiful day today and Spring is happening.  There is still good in the world.  

Let's be safe and stay positive 

Friday, April 3, 2020

Staying Strong.

Hello Friends.  I hope you all are well.  Not much going one here this week.  I've been keeping busy working from home, schooling John, and trying to make our home cozy and avoiding the outside world as much as possible.  By that I mean staying inside unless completely necessary, not watching too much news, copious amounts of I Love Lucy, having afternoon tea time, and movies every night...mostly John's choice.  It's not so bad.  When I think of others who are putting themselves and their families on the line, taking care of others, I feel extremely grateful. 

The most I can do is take care of my little family at home.  This is not the April any of us had envisioned.  I miss my work, my friends, my freedom.  But I know this too shall pass.  So make your plans and dream your dreams. We are nothing without hope.

If you are feeling sad I suggest visiting Susan Branch's lovely blog.  Her posts are so positive and uplifting.  She never lets me down when I need a little sunshine on a rainy day (and today is pouring!).

So I'll keep puttering. Cooking. Baking. Cleaning. Praying. I'll text friends, send videos, and stay in touch over Instagram.  I really love that.  

I've tried a couple of new Pinterest recipes this week.  Some actually came out good!!  I'll share those links this weekend.  I even dusted off my bread machine this morning.  I think fresh baked bread will make things a little better : ) 

Try to have a happy Friday my friends.  Stay strong and keep the faith! 

Love you all! XO