Friday, July 31, 2015

Neposmart - Securing Your Home Before Travel ...

I am so excited to start sharing some of our family travel photos with you!  We had an amazing two weeks of adventure, and I keep thinking about how much I want to go back!
I mean, how gorgeous is Maine?!  My new favorite place! 

But, first I wanted to share with you a few tips on securing your home before travel.

Being away from home is always an exciting time, but you do have to think ahead when it comes to family travel.  Not only all the packing, keeping the kids happy with activities, but also be smart about protecting your home while you are away.

Here are a few of the things we check off of our list before leaving town:

1) Let your close neighbors know the dates you will be away- That way they can keep an eye on your home for you, and report and suspicious behavior.  Sometimes a package or two will arrive while you are away.  Keeping your porch clear of any packages or flyers will help with theft of packages, or a dead giveaway that you are out of town. We also have family members check in on the house everyday to make sure all is well, and keep up the yard work. 

2) Stop mail.  You may have a large mailbox, but sometimes the postal workers will leave packages on your door step.  To keep your mail safe and sound, just place a Hold Mail service online with the post office, and they will hold your mail until you are back in town.

3) Pay your bills.  Sometimes if you leave town for a few weeks, you are thrown off your bill paying schedule.  Make sure you go through your bills and look at the due dates so they all are paid until you return.  You don't want any electricity or things shut off while you are away.

4) Lower your heat or A/C while your away.  It doesn't need to run constantly while your away, and you will save on your bill.

5) Shut off interior water.  We always shut off our interior water to avoid any floods or leaks while we are away.

6)  Set up automatic timers on exterior lights, and lights throughout the house. 

7) Lock up the home, and set your alarm system.  Double check all windows, and doors.  I know my kids are prone to unlock windows. So, we make sure to check them often.
8) Security Cameras.  Being able to monitor your home in real time while you are away is priceless!
I was so excited when Neposmart contacted me about their new product they wanted to send over for me to try!

Neposmart is a home monitoring system that doesn't require a monthly subscription or payment.  You can connect your camera devices to your smartphone with their app, and monitor, record, and snap photos while you are away from home!  It can also be set to record when it senses motion.  You can control your garage door with the push of a button on those days you may have forgotten to close it.  One if the biggest forms of burglary happen when your garage door is open, and thieves can easily come in an grab things and go.
You can mount or set several cameras throughout your house, and the best part is that they fit in seamlessly.  They work in the dark, and you can also set camera angles or move the camera around to check everything since you can control the camera from your phone.  It also receives audio and you can speak through the camera as well, which I have found to be convenient when my kids are raiding the pantry and I'm in the room next door, I can just tell them to knock it off from the speaker. Wink.
I think that they would also make an amazing baby monitor if you have little ones as well.
It was so nice to have peace of mind while away traveling that all was well at home, and all was safe and sound.
Even when exploring lighthouses, or hanging out at the beach in Maine, we were able to keep a close eye on our home in real time from the convenience of our phones.  And, it was nice to know that we would be alerted and the cameras would record if it sensed any movement in the house.
Pretty cool, right?!
It's always nice to be able to check in on things at home while you are away.  Knowing your home is safe and sound allows you to enjoy your vacation so much more!

To learn more about Neposmart, and their amazing home monitoring cameras, be sure to head over to their site!  We have really enjoyed ours!

Outfit Details:
Sandals: Yosi Samra (most comfortable sandals ever!)
Bag: Baggallini Bags- Nassau Crossbody in Aquamarine
Sweater: H&M
Denim Dress: H&M
Earrings: Wrenn Jewelry

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Workout Routine and Intel 2-in-1

Intel 2 in 1
#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.
My exercise routine has changed a lot over the years.
Back when I was in high school, and got my first gym membership, it was all about the kickboxing and step aerobic classes.  Remember Tae Bo Classes?!  I'm getting old.

Then, In college I got into Yoga, and my main form of working out consisted of Yoga, Pilates, and running.  I loved the mix.  After college and pre-kids, I still practiced yoga, it helped that my office offered yoga classes right on site, so I could sneak away mid-work day and get my Yoga in.  I also still ran for exercise, and did a little weights on the side.
Post kids.  Now that is where it all changed, the convenience of gym workouts, and working out at studios wasn't as easy with  dragging around three small children.  Plus, I was also pregnant or nursing all the time for several years, or at least it felt like it.  I continued to run a lot mainly to help lose the baby weight, and get some alone time in if my husband was home to stay with the kids.  We also got a treadmill at home, which helped to get some exercise in while the kids were napping or playing. I also enjoyed running to the park, and working out at the park while my kids played.  Triceps dips, push ups, lunges, whatever I could fit in.  But, I kind of forgot about Yoga, and other options of exercise.

Lately, my kids are starting to get a little older, and with my two older ones in school it helps that I can have a little more time to myself.  After I trained and ran a half marathon a few years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate some more forms of exercise into my workout routines. And, I'd still like to get toned up, it seems to get harder and harder the older I get!
I came across some great, and free workouts on YouTube.  I loved Jillian Michaels workouts, and my latest favorite is the Tone it Up girls Bikini series.  They have many amazing workouts on their YouTube channel that I've been loving.  Especially their Bikini Yoga series which has been nice to get back into the practice of Yoga.
I enjoy the at home workouts, because I can do them whenever, even if my kids are home.  And, I just have to lookup my favorite routine on my Intel 2 in 1 Laptop/Tablet Lenovo Yoga 3 (affiliate link), and get to work.  I like to change it up so I don't get bored, and that has helped.  I also like to hit my treadmill with my tablet to watch my TV shows that I save up for the treadmill, since somehow it feels less guilty or lazy to watch trashy TV if I'm also working out.  Wink. (anyone watching The Whispers? So creepy!?)
I also recently discovered HIGH FITNESS and Grit classes, loved all the HIGH energy!  I had no idea that some Lululemon stores have free workout classes every Saturday.  It's been pretty fun to get to know what the latest workout crazes are since I haven't had a gym membership in over 8 years!  

So, what are you favorite workouts?  Any I should know about?!

Yoga Outfit:
Albion Fit Racer Tank
Albion Fit Floral Cropped Leggings

Friday, July 17, 2015

Panda Birthday Party ...

My youngest Thomas is a huge Panda fan, so when we were thinking of ideas for his birthday party, Panda quickly became the front runner.  Thomas has a special connection with Panda's.  Ever since he was a little boy he's always worn and loved this panda hat he has, so it kind of has become a thing.
I found these adorable cups, forks, and straws at Orson Gygi, and the napkins from Home Goods.  (I'll post all party sources at the end!)
We served little "Panda" Jelly sandwiches using a fun Panda mold I found on Amazon.
We got these adorable cookies for Eleni's Cookies New York.  They come with food coloring markers so that the kids can draw whatever they want on them.  It was a fun activity for the kids at the party.
I also ordered the most adorable Panda cookies from Eleni's Cookies New York.  All I did was give them a picture of the panda face that I liked, and they came up with the most adorable cookies I've ever seen!  I nearly died of cuteness when I opened the box!  Aren't they the cutest!
We played a fun little game of pin the tail on the panda. 
Cute little Panda friends!
Tommy had the time of his life, which always makes it all worth it!  This party was actually one if the easier ones I've put together, which always makes it nice to not be too stressed!

I'm just so glad he had a good time!  As much as I don't want him to grow up, it's so fun to see him do amazing things!  I just love this kid!

Party Sources:
Happy Birthday Sign: Oriental Trading
Leaf Bunting: Oriental Trading
Paper Bunting: Zurchers Party Store
Happy Birthday Wooden Forks: Orson Gygi
Birthday Cups: Orson Gygi
Treat Cups:  Orson Gygi
Panda Plates: Dollar Tree
Panda Party Hats: Amazon (affiliate)
Panda Cupcake Toppers/Erasers: Amazon
Panda Sandwich Mold: Amazon
Panda Figurine Toys: Amazon
Panda Cookies: Elenis Cookies
Cookies with Food Coloring Pens: Elenis Cookies
Panda Mask: Hobby Lobby
Napkins: Home Goods
Large Plastic Leaves: Hobby Lobby
Bamboo Flutes: Oriental Trading
Drawstring Backpacks: Oriental Trading- More on how to paint them in an upcoming post!

See more of the Panda Party here!

All Photos by Me.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Recipe: Crème Brûlée ...

My last recipe I shared on my Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Dinner Party article for Wayfair's Emagazine is Crème Brûlée.

Crème Brûlée is one of my absolute favorite desserts, any chance I get to order it from a good restaurant, it's always at the top of my list!  But, I don't think that people realize, it is also simple to make at home!  
Be sure to check out the full recipe over on!


All Photos by Me.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Recipe: Strawberry and Honey Ricotta Crostini ...

While working with Wayfair on their Emagazine last month on the Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Dinner Party, I came up with this flavorful appetizer.  A Strawberry and Honey Ricotta Crostini!

I loved the idea of using strawberries on a crostini, and paired with some balsamic, basil along with honey and ricotta cheese, it is an explosion of flavors!  
My favorite part is that they looks super fancy, but they are so easy to make!
Be sure to head over to for the full recipe and tips!  P.S.  This would also make a festive appetizer to share on the Fourth of July!

All Photos by Me.