All posts by allysonb

Book Rave: The Five Love Languages

My husband and I have known each other for 22 years and married 12 years. Last year we, along with four other couples decided to read the book, “Five love languages” by Gary Chapman.

5lovebook

The Five love languages are:

  1. Acts of Service
  2. Physical Touch
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Words of Affirmation
  5. Quality Time

Prior to starting the read, you must take a test to identify your love language. Usually individuals are surprised at the test result. The book quickly draws you in by highlighting stories of couples that spent years in relationships not loving their partner the way they received love. My personal example, I never understood the need for my husband to tell me he cleaned the garage and washed dishes, clearly acts of service.

The five love languages is an easy, enjoyable read and the consensus amongst the couples was learning the love language of our spouse allowed us to enhance our relationships.

Product Rave: Concealer

Dark circles be gone! I must share with you my favorite cover-up for dark circles. The studio Conceal & Correct Duo by M.A.C using conceal & correct duo is now a part of my daily routine. Looking back at years of using powder, on top of foundation, on top of concealer and still seeing darkness is now over. Priced at $26.

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/mac-studio-conceal-correct-duo/3941985?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort

 

Got Picky Eaters? Try This Orange Chicken Recipe

When my kids were younger and going through the picky eater phase, finding a dish they would eat was one of my biggest stressors. Today, I am still that mom that makes 2-3 different meals for dinner crossing my fingers and toes that I will get the thumbs up to add another dish to our limited meal rotation. My kids always flocked to chicken nuggets and foods with sauces, so I decided give orange chicken a try. Recipe steps:

  1. Cut Organic or All natural chicken breast into cubes
  2. Soak chicken in egg
  3. Flour chicken
  4. Place chicken in oil and fry until golden
  5. Transfer golden brown chicken into another pan
  6. Coat chicken with honey and Panda express orange sauce

This meal is a winner! I make orange chicken every 1 to 2 weeks with jasmine rice and broccoli.

Budget Savvy Luxury Vacation for Four

There’s nothing like making family memories during a great vacation, but traveling with a family of 4 can get very expensive between the airfare, hotel, rental car, and food. To save on vacation cost, my husband and I decided to try the Starwood’s American Express. How does this work? With every dollar you spend on the Starwood’s American Express earns points toward free nights at Starwood properties

starwoods-guest

In late winter, after earning enough Starwood points, I reserved a studio with a full kitchenette for four nights at the St. John, Virgin Island Westin resort. Reserving the studio room months before the vacation, provided enough time to set a flight price alert, landing plane tickets from Atlanta to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands at $240 each. The Island of St. John and the Westin resort was absolutely breathtaking! It was the mountains that surround the clear water left us captivated. Using the Starwood’s American Express during the year earns us enough points for a nice summer vacation. Starwood has more than 1,300 properties worldwide in 100 countries which provide more than enough options when selecting our next vacation.

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The Deal Diva on the Hunt

When I shopped in department stores and boutiques with my mom as a child, I loved to find a good deal, and into my adult years I try to never pay full price.  These are a couple great deals I want to share:

Deal #1

Last summer I purchased the amazing Nappa Leather gladiator by Stuart Weitzman. This summer I began the hunt for another gladiator just as versatile. I stopped in my tracks when I saw an image of the Stuart Weitzman Aphrodite gladiator.  As I search the Aphrodite gladiator, it appeared to have sold out everywhere.

unnamed-2The Aphrodite gladiator has an extraordinary lattice detail which is so eye-catching and comes with a price tag of $510.  I could not give up on finding the Aphrodite gladiator, as I closely examined the links the google search, I saw an image on the far right of my screen from Neiman Marcus. There it was, the Stuart Weitzman snake-embossed Aphrodite  gladiator on clearance at Neiman Marcus for a total of $148 including tax, free shipping to the store, and the additional 20% off coupon code found on retail me not.  This summer you will see me wearing the Stuart Weitzman Aphrodite gladiators with a romper, dress, skirt, and jean shorts, so clever and well designed. Love at first sight!

Deal #2

unnamed-3Wedges are my go to with jeans and being overdue for a new pair was perfect timing for the mid-July sale at nordstromrack.com. My deal of the day was finding the Nine West Lara Platform Wedge for $11. These wedges are extremely comfortable and a shoe I always pack in my travel bag.

 

Results from a Personal Trainer

Over the years, I’ve done my share of different exercises: Crossfit, pole dancing, step aerobics, going to the gym at work with a print out of exercises, walking, yoga, kick boxing, TRX, hip hop dance, and the list goes on…

Though these classes did yield some results; however, at age 38, my weight started to become a roller coaster. As my pants got tighter, and I has to start leaving restaurants with my pants unbuttoned, I realized I needed a consistent, fitness routine. I could no longer do my own thing, what I needed was a professional intervention, someone to hold me accountable.

In March, a friend invited me to try a group session with her personal trainer Al Claiborne. I was sore for weeks, but the transformation has been quite rewarding. I work out with Al five days a week. After having two kids, for the first time in a long time, I totally like the way I look.