Simple Indulgence: No. 12

Have a Glass of Red Wine

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I drink socially and love it. I love having a glass of red wine (Malbec is my all time fav!) with my meal, especially for dinner. Not only do I love that buzz feeling but also the antioxidant benefits that come with it.  According to a study conducted by Yale-New Have Hospital, enjoying a glass of red wine with dinner each evening is beneficial to your health. The scientists believe the antioxidants called flavonoids can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The antioxidants may even inhibit tumor development in some cancers as well as helpful in the treatment of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  And also according to this study conducted by Live Science, drinking 1 glass of wine improves your looks.

So why wouldn’t I enjoy this simple indulgence at least 4 times a week when a glass of red wine can give me the boost of rosy cheeks!  I hope you too can drink and try this simple indulgence this weekend.  Until next week, have a great weekend and I will see you on the blog!

Amazingly Chic & Affordable: All Under $100

To get shopping details click on the images

P.S.  I’ve got some SALE ALERTS!!!

ANN TAYLOR is having 50% OFF Full-Price Dresses!
BLOOMINGDALE’S is having Friends & Family 25% OFF!  Use code FRIENDS at checkout!
MANGO is having Mid Season Sale with up to 30% OFF!

Master Bathroom After: A Luxurious Look for Less

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Our home renovation was surprisingly painless and stress-free.  Although we’ve done over a dozen home renovations this is the first time where we had to live through the entire process with our kids.  I will share my tips on how to renovate your home in a quick and efficient manner without putting stress on the family (stay tuned for an upcoming post).  Until then, I’d like to share what we have done with our master bathroom and the choices we made with the upgrades.

We did a complete gut job with the exception of the vanity cabinet.  They are 100% oak and slapping on a few layers of paint is more cost effective than replacing with a new one.  With that said, we kept one of the sink faucets, a couple towel holders and the toilet and moved them to the smaller bathroom to match the existing metal fixtures.  That prevented us from spending money for the smaller bathroom.  We bought 2 new sinks, fixtures, mirrors, and lighting (all from Moen for a lifetime warranty) for the master bathroom.  We got rid of the jetted tub (really, who uses that nowadays?  It’s a great place to harbor bacteria, germs, and unwanted guests) and put in a freestanding tub instead.  The motivation behind getting rid of this tub had to do with a high possibility of damaging the frame and the tub during the tile removal process, which might cost us more money to fix and replace in the long run.  So removing the tub made economical sense.  It also freed up an entire space for the new toilet location.  We removed the track lighting from the ceiling and replaced with a small chandelier for a romantic feel.  All the floor tiles were removed from the floor and replaced with polished marble tiles.  The porcelain tiles were removed from the shower stall as well and replaced with Carrera marble tiles.  Actually, there was a small drama to this shower tile installation madness.

When my contractor was installing the subway tiles on the shower wall he noticed something was very off.  The subway tiles did not look aligned.  He spent almost an entire day trying to fix the imperfections.  We found out later that the tiles on the mosaic plastic sheet were off.  Some tiles were measured at 2 x 3.875, 2 x 4.015, 2 x 3.97 (they should all be 2 x 4!) and they were mixed within the 1 sq.ft diameter.  Being a problem solver myself (professionally and personally) I thought we could solve this minor issue by taking the tiles off the plastic sheet.  First of all, these tiles were incorrectly placed (it should be on a mesh not on a plastic film).  Anyhow, after peeling 16 to 20 of these tiles we knew it was not worth our time because we still had to peel 1,000 pieces!!!  Luckily, I found a local stone tiles carrier and was able to purchase different types of tiles the next day.  My contractor had to take off all the tiles and prep the area for another installation.  This little incident set us back 2 days of work.

I was able to stay within the budget and most of these items were purchased through Amazon, eBay and other online discount retailers.  The biggest investment would have to be the frameless shower door, but we love it so it was all worth it.  I hope you do enjoy this makeover as much as we have.  I will share our dining room remodel very soon so stay tuned!

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5 Easy Ways to Give Your Outdoor Space a Fresh, New Look This Spring

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As the days lengthen and the weather grows warmer, we feel energised and inspired to make a new start in our lives. The garden is wakening from its winter sleep and is an excellent place to begin sprucing up for Spring. It’s exhilarating being out of doors in spring; the whole family will enjoy working together in the fresh air and you can involve the kids by teaching them how to sow seeds and grow their own plants.

Patio and Decking

Sweep your patio to remove dead leaves and debris from the winter storms. Use a moss removal treatment if necessary. Decking often gets stained and slippery during the winter; in spring it should be cleaned and then protected with a coat of decking preservative or wood stain. For a quick way to refresh your patio, add a splash of colour with outdoor rugs or carpeting. As well as defining and highlighting different areas, outdoor rugs provide a comfortable place for kids to play or just to sit and read.

Fences and Sheds

Choosing a simple colour scheme for your boundary fences and sheds pulls the whole area together and is an affordable way to achieve a designer look for your outdoor space. Revitalise garden structures with soft, vintage shades or bright colours for a Mediterranean look; old garden furniture will gain a new lease of life after a lick of paint in a coordinating colour. Try painting a collection of old oil drums, buckets and baskets in complementary hues to act as unusual containers for your plantings.

Garden Furniture

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Furniture that has been left outside over the winter will need cleaning and perhaps painting. Wrought iron can be refreshed with a coat of rust-resistant paint while wooden furniture should be sanded down if necessary and then treated with oil suitable for teak or other hardwood. Rattan is an environmentally-friendly and highly resilient material for furniture that can be left outside all year round; the latest designs are as comfortable and stylish as the furniture you have inside your home. Bamboo furniture is another sustainable option; it is very light and can be moved quickly and easily from conservatories to outside seating areas.

Grow Your Own

Even children who may not be very keen on eating vegetables will enjoy trying varieties they have grown and harvested themselves, so encourage the kids to help. If you do not have room for a vegetable plot, grow courgettes, carrots and tomatoes in containers set in a sunny spot. First-time gardeners should try Gardener’s Delight tomatoes as they are easy to grow and yield a harvest of delicious, small fruits. Blueberries do well in pots and strawberries may be cultivated in hanging baskets. A raised bed near the house is the perfect place for growing lettuces, radishes and herbs. Sow small amounts regularly to ensure you have a supply of fresh salad all summer long.

This is a feature post.

Spring Capsule Collection: Outfit Remix #6 + A Sweet & Spark Giveaway

Happy Monday everyone! Hope your weekend was treating you well.

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Welcome to my spring capsule collection outfit remix series.  As mentioned here I will remix and match the spring capsule collection with what I already have in my closet to create a wide variety of outfits for the next few months.  I will reveal one outfit at a time once a week over the next few months.  The spring capsule collection items for week #6 are calf hair clutch, suede skirt, and nude sandals.  I mixed these pieces with my black turtleneck that’s been hibernating in my closet for a couple years as well as this gorgeous vintage necklace from Sweet & Spark.

Sweet & Spark is for the girl who is obsessed with fashion and appreciates vintage but doesn’t have time to sift through overwhelming sites like Etsy and eBay or spend the early hours of her weekends digging through old jewelry boxes.  Started by Jillian, a former apparel buyer, as a lifestyle blog, she re-launched as a vintage jewelry brand late 2012 promoting her dad as head buyer.  He’s doing the dirty work scouring estate sales, flea markets & antique shops along the East coast while she’s out West, curating classic, trend and wedding collections with a focus on American Designers from the 40’s – 90’s.  Part of owning something vintage is embracing its individual characteristics and adding your unique story to its journey.

When I was first introduced to Sweet and Spark I couldn’t stop browsing through their website…so many beautiful vintage pieces (check out a few of my favorite pieces below) to add to my wardrobe.  When I saw this 50s chunky tube necklace I knew I had to share it with you.  I kept thinking about it all night and how I would style it not just for one outfit but for many more to come.

So let’s make vintage cool again and get your Spark on at SweetandSpark.com.  To help you get started, Sweet & Spark is generously giving away $100 Gift Card to you to shop!  Entry will end Thursday, March 26th and an email notification will be sent to the winner.  Please scroll down to enter the giveaway!  Good luck everyone!!!

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50s Chunky Tube Necklace c/o Sweet & Spark| Mango Turtleneck (old, similar style)| ASOS Suede Skirt| OASIS.AndOtherBrands.com Clutch| Stuart Weitzman Sandals (also love these from Steve Madden)| Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Gladiolus and Revlon Nail Enamel in Knockout c/o Revlon

My Favorite Spark Pieces


This week I’m linking with these lovely ladies: Style to Inspire, Monday Mingle, Shoe and Tell Fashion Linkup, A Touch of Tartan, ReasonstoDressStylish Saturday, All About You, Dallas StyleThe Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So, Katherine’s Corner, MixMatchFashion and Mid Week Muse Link-Up.

Simple Indulgence: No. 11

Take a Sniff

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Yup, you heard me. Spring is officially here so go ahead and take a sniff the next time you walk past the flowers, plants or trees. One of my favorite indulgences is sniffling Jasmine. I love the smell of Jasmine. It has this intoxicating, sweet, and exotic scent that can lift the darkest of moods. Smelling Jasmine can also increase alertness and performance on cognitive tests, at least that’s what the study by the Wheeling Jesuit University has shown.

We don’t have any Jasmine planted in our yard (note to self…need to go back to OSH and pick up that gallon of Jasmine and plant it in our yard!) but our neighbor does.  So from today and through September I will be sniffing my neighbor’s Jasmine at least once a week…let’s hope they clean up their doggie poops in their backyard regularly!!!  I hope you too will carve out some time to sniff any fragrant flowers to enjoy such indulgence.

Have a great weekend, everyone.   Until next week, I will see you on the blog!

Amazingly Chic & Affordable: All Under $100

To get shopping details click on the images

Another fringe beauty that is tempting me to do some impulse buying!  This staple closet item will last forever and the color is right on trend for spring and summer.  I think this is a great buy and will stretch your dollar because it is reversible and versatile.  It will look chic with a white or denim skinny, flared jeans, romper or shorts!

P.S.  I’ve got some SALE ALERTS!!!

BAUBLEBAR is having 30% OFF Full Priced Items now through 3/22 with code SPRING30!
MANGO is having Mid Season Sale with up to 30% OFF!
Lord & Taylor is having 30% OFF Almost All Dresses & Suite Separates.  No Code Needed!
GAP is having 35% OFF Dresses & Khakis + 25% Off the rest of your pu!  No code needed!
OLD NAVY is having EXTRA 20% OFF regular-priced merchandise + 30% OFF on sale merchandise with code ENJOY!
Happy Shopping!!!

Meet The ARC Beauty Anti-Aging System

I have some exciting beauty news to share with you!  An anti-aging skin care is recently launched and it is called ARC Beauty Skin Care, created and inspired by internationally-trained esthetician and renowned beauty expert, Ilona Moldavon.  Educated in Hungary, she dedicated over 50 years of her life to the expertise of skin care, but was never satisfied with the existing anti-aging products available in stores.  Going back to her roots, she combined the purest ingredients from nature with the newest peptides, anti-oxidants, and wrinkle-relaxers available today to formulate this revolutionary new line.

The Goods:

ARC Beauty Cell Rejuvenation Kit ($279.99), which includes Cell Plumbing Serum, Cell Rejuvenating Eye Cream, Cell Renewing Moisturizer, and Cell Resurfacing Cleanser.

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The Claim:

CELL PLUMPING SERUM:  DIMINISH AGE LINES AND INCREASE FIRMNESS

This high-intensity formula with IBR Dormin and micro-peptides slows the cell maturation process to visibly reduce wrinkles and increase skin elasticity for a more youthful glow and smoother skin.

Why you’ll love it: Coconut Oil derivative helps remove impurities and dead cell fragments. This keeps the skin healthy looking and new each day

CELL REJUVENATING EYE CREAM:  DIMINISH PUFFINESS, CROW’S FEET AND DARK CIRCLES

This multi-active, anti-aging treatment for the eye area firms, brightens and hydrates to diminish puffiness and minimize the appearance of crow’s feet and wrinkles. Natural chestnut seed extract reduces dark circles and discoloration under and around the eyes for a more vibrant appearance. Immediate, visible results!

Why you’ll love it: Almond Oil softens the skin and promotes a clean, healthy-looking glow that increases with continued use.

CELL RENEWING MOISTURIZER:  LONG LASTING, ALL-DAY HYDRATION WITHOUT CLOGGING PORES

Instantly hydrates dehydrated skin with natural marine extracts Codiavelane and Thalassine. The anti-oxidant benefits from Magnolia extract deliver a natural dewy glow minimizing lines and wrinkles while protecting against free-radicals.

Why you’ll love it: Thalassine, from green algae, eliminates wrinkles and also plumps & hydrates the skin.

CELL RESURFACING CLEANSER:  INVIGORATES, TIGHTENS AND RESTORES

Anti-oxidant packed cleanser deep cleans to remove dirt and oil as it tightens pores without over-drying, leaving skin feeling refreshed and balanced for ultra-clean, flawless skin.

Why you’ll love it: Siberian Ginseng tightens, firms, and physically lifts sagging skin. Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Mama’s Take:

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I’ve been asked to review the ARC Beauty system and share my reviews with you.  I purposely waited for at least 2 weeks so that I can candidly share my results.  I love discovering new beauty products, products that target aging, in particular.  I have reviewed a lot of products prior and after starting this blog.  So far, I have found a few that are making themselves home in my beauty cabinet.

I have used the ARC Beauty system for almost 3 weeks and am happy to have been introduced to them, thank you, Ilona!  Let’s start with their cleanser.  I love how it cleans my skin without drying it after.  My eye area felt tightened after using the Cell Rejuvenating Eye Cream.  So far, I have not seen any milia popping up around my eyes so that’s a major plus for me.  My face felt plumped and dewy after applying their Cell Renewing Moisturizer.  The most unexpected product out of this kit was the Cell Plump Serum face mask.  Unlike other face masks, the cream looked oily but felt creamy.  However, after leaving it on for over 30 minutes my skin came alive and gave me that youthful glow.  Overall, I really enjoyed using the ARC Beauty system.  I know the price is a bit steep, but if you want the ARC Beauty experience, Advent Brands is offering a huge discount for Mama in Heels readers here for $99.99 for the entire ARC Beauty kit.

ARC Beauty Skin Care is the culmination of Ilona life’s dream.  “Individually these products are effective, when combined they are anti-aging magic!” – Ilona

Disclosure:  ARC Beauty provided me with a sample of the ARC Beauty system in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

Love Is On with Revlon

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Date Night is something that both G & I celebrate at least once a month. It’s our tradition because we believe in having our couple time to maintain our relationship and to rediscover each other. Lately, this tradition was overlooked due to our home renovation project. It wasn’t the best environment to get all dolled up in. When Revlon contacted me to collaborate on their Love Is On campaign launching at Walgreens I jumped on it without hesitation. Our home reno was recently done and it was about time that both G & I go out as a couple again in style with no distractions. Our last date night was very casual because we needed to get out of that chaotic environment but this time I was all up for getting dressed and get wne and dine.

I have to thank Revlon for helping me get ready for this special night because Revlon Ultra HD is the perfect starting point for creating date-night worthy looks that can “turn love on.” I’m especially excited in using their Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick because its wax-free gel technology provides true color clarity in one smooth swipe, allowing for a smooth, skip-free application and a more weightless feel texture on the lips versus traditional lipsticks. For this special night here are the products that I relied on which I recently purchased from Walgreens:

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Face: Revlon PhotoReady Prime + Anti Shine Balm, Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup in Vanilla| Eyes: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner in Blackest Black, Revlon Colorstay Brow Fantasy in Light Brown, Revlon Highlighting Palette in Peach Glow| Blush: Revlon Powder Blush in Naughty Nude| LipsRevlon UltraHD Lipstick in Gladiolus, Revlon UltraHD Lip Lacquer in Fire Opal|Toes: Revlon Nail Enamel in Knockout

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Don’t forget to load up on Revlon HD and all of Revlon’s newest 2015 Must Have at your local Walgreens. From March 15th until the 21st, get all of these great products at hot prices, only at Walgreens.

Shop The Look

Disclosure:  I was asked to participate in the #RevlonMustHaves, sponsored by Revlon at Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

Meet The Professional

I love wearing white and my Spring Capsule Collection can attest to that.  As a working mom with twin boys I often find it hard to not only keep up with my laundry but maintain our white/color stained clothes while to get through the chore.  You see, all my 3 boys (yes, hon you are included) have this gift to somehow stain their clothes without trying.  With G, he has gotten better but most often than not his underarm shirt area tend to stain easily.  No matter how often I wash, the stain never seems to go away.  Which is why Persil® ProClean™ , recently launched at Walmart, is now my must-have for my busy life.  I’m boldly saying that because I tested their products and I was really impressed.

The Persil® ProClean™ detergent is available in 3 different forms:

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Power-Liquid™:  Contains a powerful combination of stain-fighters that help break down stains for an exceptional clean.

Power-Pearls: An innovative new kind of detergent this is loaded with Pro-White technology for dazzling whites.  Also for colors.

Power-Caps™: Pre-measured Power-Caps detergent capsule combines Pro-Lift Stain Removers plus a Brightness Formula for a premium clean.

First of all, I’ve never heard of Persil® ProClean™ so it was a complete surprise to me when I learned about them.  When I received all of these products mentioned above for review I did not expect to see a bowtie around the bottle neck…nice touch!  The bowtie refers to The Professional who holds the highest standards for cleanliness. From red wine to chocolate frosting, the Persil® ProClean™ products are there to lighten the load where stains occur.  That was certainly true for me.  For this review, I deliberately chose an underarm stained shirt from G’s closet, which I had washed previously, and some dirty pillow cases and bed sheets and threw 1 packet of the Power-Caps™ in the washer drum.  After drying the load in the dryer I couldn’t locate any stains on this shirt.  The underarm stain was not visible to the naked eye!  I tried to capture the before and after photos of this shirt but it didn’t show well.  You can see the photos here:

Before and After Persil ProClean

If you are looking for a no-nonsense, down-to-business, and intent on one thing – getting out stains then Persil® ProClean™ is for you.  They are now available in store only at Walmart!

Persil® ProClean™ is currently running their sweepstakes (runs from Friday, March 13 through Sunday, April 12) where you will have the opportunity to win a year supply of Persil® ProClean™ and a premium night out on the town.  Premium night on the town to include: (1) $300 USD Nordstrom.com gift card, (1) $200 USD OpenTable.com gift card, and (1) $150 Uber.com card credit.  A second place winner will also receive a year supply of Persil ProClean.  To enter, you will need to go here and fill out the sweepstakes entry form.  Sitewire (“Contest Administrator”) will select a winner at random on or around the morning of Monday, April 13th.  Winner(s) will be notified via email!!!

 

Disclosure: The Persil brand provided me with a sample of Persil® ProClean™ laundry detergent in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.