Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day Roundup

If you are looking to treat yourself, your mom, or another special mom in your life, here are some great ideas. I would like to thank the brands for sending me out these samples to be featured. There are a few new launches, and some classics. Happy Mother's Day!!

Dr. Hauschka

Dr. Hauschka Revitalizing Day Cream ($39.95)
Help pale dry skin become enlivened with this light moisturizer. Extracts of anthyllis. witch hazel and calendula combine with nurturing oils to balance oil production and replenish the skin. The brand gets wonderful reviews online and it comes highly recommended.

Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light ($42.95)
Rose Day Cream's protective lightweight formulation is ideal for dry or sensitive skin.

Dr. Hauschka has been a natural skin care expert since 1967, and they offer a complete line of holistic skin care that supports balanced skin health to achieve lasting, radiant beauty.

These can be purchased at:
Some CVS &Whole Foods locations in Connecticut also carry this brand.

Ellis Brooklyn

Myth Excellent Body Milk ($55 for 8oz.)
Certified organic, made in NYC. The airy beauty of jasmine petals and tiger orchid meets the sexy, undeniable warmth of liquid musks and white cedarwood.

Rives Eau de Parfum ($100 for 50ml)
1920's French Riviera - The stuff of lazy days on the shore....need to say more? It's a true unisex scent, neroli, petitgrain and lavender form the backbone of this fragrance, which lingers with an elegant base of cashmere woods and white suede for an incredibly clean, almost soapy finish.

Ellis Brooklyn was created by Bee Shapiro, a chic Williamsburg mom who happens to be a style columnist for The New York Times. The eco and sustainability-minded fragrance and bodycare line features sophisticated, multilayered scents created by the perfumer behind Byredo. Phthalates-free, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and utterly luxurious.

Ellis Brooklyn is available at Sephora,, and Credo. They also have a website here:

Pür Cosmetics

Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick ($18 each) and Chrome Glaze ($18 each)
The Velvet Matte Liquid Lipsticks provides lavish lip color in an innovative mousse texture and coasts lips with a smooth flawless finish.

The Chrome Glaze is a high-shine lip gloss that offers vivid colors that won't fade out quickly.

Pür Cosmetics provides high-performance makeup and skincare products that empower women around the world to live an active, authentic, and healthy life.

To find out more about Pür Cosmetics, or to order, please go to:
Ulta and Kohl's also carry the brand in Connecticut.

Reverie Farms 

Natural Soap made with organic oils ($6 a bar)
Reverie Farms is a farm in Texas that sells organic soaps and products including foaming hand soaps, bar soap, sugar scrub, and homemade laundry detergent. Tempting soap scents like Walk in the Forest Soap, Peppermint Soap, Cleansing Lemon Twist Soap, and Citrus Fusion to name a few.

They sent me some delicious smelling soaps that are kind to the skin - any mom would be happy to get these and it's a great way to support a small local town farm..made in the USA! Even better it's natural, organic, biodegradable, & vegan friendly.

To find out more about Reverie farm and what products they offer, please go to:

Histoires de Parfums 

Sephora now carries this European line called Histoires de Parfums created by Geráld Ghislain. The perfumes are strong and they each have a story to tell. These perfumes perpetuate the French perfumery know-how, which feature are luxury, nobility, and creativity. 4oz bottles go for $185, 2oz bottles go for $105, and 0.5oz travel sizes go for $35. They also have a sample set for $20 if you don't know where to start like me. He seems to name his perfumes after years, and then the scent tells the rest of the story.

To find out more about the company, please visit:
To order from Sephora, please go to:

Gumbo Love by Lucy Buffett ($30 US Hardcover)

I am so excited to have this book and I am looking forward to checking out some of the yummy recipes like: Summer Seafood Gumbo, Coastal Crab and Corn Bisque, Easy-Breezy Island Shrimp Curry, and Bronzed Yellowtail Snapper with Citrus Beurre Blanc Sauce. The booked just launched on May 9th, Lucy combines over 100 new recipes with old favorites. She lives by her mother's philosophy: "Life is short-eat dessert first." Gumbo Love is a labor of love and includes recipes from all over the Gulf Coast.

Lucy "LuLu" Buffett started with a bayside gumbo and burger joint that doubled as a bait shop. Now she is a successful restaurateur, owner of two LuLu's locations (one in Alabama and one in Florida), and brother to famous Margaritaville crooner Jimmy Buffett.

You can order the book now on Amazon here:

ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Heroes Collection ($146)

In Support of Women For Women International, this anti-aging set includes Elemis' best seller Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm and Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment packaged in a sophisticated case.

Elemis is the number 1British anti-aging skincare brand. They offer a curated range of products, so you can enjoy a spa experience from the comfort of your very own home. Blending together the power of nature with the knowledge of science, each formula is complete with a unique scent, supported by aromatics.

Some Nordstrom locations carry this brand, and it's also available at the Elemis Spa at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

To order directly or find out more about the brand, please go to:

Cartier La Panthére ($110 50ml)

"The Traditional Mom" would like Cartier La Panthére which is a floral fragrance with feline notes, illuminated with gardenia, a lively flower peppered with chypre and velvety nuances and comprised of an accord in three parts chypre, floral, and musk.

Cartier La Panthére is available at Neiman Marcus:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

By Lisa VanWilliams
This is a healthy super tasty dish and it can be made with ground turkey or chicken. I have been making this for a client lately and the last time I made it for them, I wanted to keep it for myself. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta. One cup of cooked white pasta has around 220 calories, 42 grams of carbs, and very few nutrients. Spaghetti squash has about 42 calories, 10 grams of carbs plus it has nutrients like vitamin A and potassium.

Coconut flour and almond flour are wonderful gluten free, grain free, low carb and great for cooking paleo meals, they are also high in fiber and protein. Taste and flavor are not sacrificed in this recipe, and you won't even miss the breadcrumbs. 


1 Spaghetti Squash cut in half, seeds removed 

1 egg
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small onion diced or grated
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 pound ground turkey or chicken


Cut the squash in half and place flat side down in about 1/2 inch of water. Cook in preheated oven at 375 for about 1/2 hr to 45 mins. Remove from oven and cool. Take a fork and run it across the squash horizontally to break apart the squash into will look like small pieces of spaghetti. Season it with salt and pepper if you prefer. 

While the squash is baking, making the chicken mix. Combine the egg, tomato paste, onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, almond flour, and coconut flour and mix it well. It's a stickier mix than using beef, that's for sure.

Preheat a pan with some olive oil and make meatballs by hand or with a small ice cream scooper and drop them into the hot oil. I usually use two forks to turn these until they are nicely browned on all sides.

Then transfer them to a baking sheet to finish cooking in the oven. Cook them around 15-20 mins depending on the size of the meatballs. The juice will come out an caramelize them nicely.

Serve over sauce or they are fabulous plain. Enjoy!

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Ritual of Sakura Body Scrub

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
In Japan, they call cherry blossoms Sakura and it symbolizes fragility and beauty of life. The blossoms are almost over here in New England after a week of rain has pulled them off and blanketed the grounds with a calming pinkish white cover. Spring Break has come to and end and the tan is fading but, I am trying to keep that beach soft skin. Rituals was kind enough to send me this awesome body scrub that I have been using to get rid of the dry skin. It's a sugar based scrub and I have been using the organic rice and cherry blossom scent. I actually spilled it in my purse because I was carrying it around to photograph it and I have been catching whiffs of the oil fragrance. It smells great, even after dayyyys!

It's a high quality scrub and I would recommend trying out the brand. My chef hands feel great and leaves my skin feeling renewed, soft, and supple. The smell is not overpowering once rinsed away and it rinses off easily (some brands I feel like I have Cisco shortening on my hands after rinsing and you have to use really hot water to get it off). Plus, I'm a sucker for sweet almond oil in anything.

They recommend using the scrub 1-2x a week for soft fresh skin. The scrubs goes for $29 and you can find it at Barney's or a Ritual boutique (New York City has a few locations).

Rituals is a European brand that started out of Amsterdam in 2000. They offer over 400 home and body care products and they are all inspired by ancient Eastern tradition or philosophy.

You can find out more about the company and order here:

Barney's also carries the line:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Getting Lost

By Lisa VanWilliams

Karen Blixen said, "I know of a cure for everything: salt one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea."

We took a spontaneous Spring Break trip just to get away from it all. My husband, the two kids, and myself. The kids were wiped out after day 1 of swimming and beach, so we rented a car and drove. We drove aimlessly and ended up on the best beach side road we've been on in a long time and it felt great. Tropical forests on the right, and beach shanties & blue water on the left. Both the kids slept peacefully exhausted in the back seat.

We drove to the top of the rain forest and back down to the beach to look for a place to explore and have lunch. We missed the main turn off for the beach and ended up on some side road that was obviously not the main attraction we were looking for. We ended up parking and walking on a little side beach only to go around the bend and see the most beautiful lava rock and beach oasis. My son hurriedly grabbed as many coconuts as he could carry and my daughter searched for tiny fish in the pools of water accumulated on the lava rocks. It's not where we intended to be, but it's where we ended up. We had the beach to ourselves and it was perfect. Sometimes, your not lost, but where you are suppose to be. We stayed and for an hour or so we pretended to be Moana on the island beach.

My husband always says life is made up of moments. Not the big picture, but tiny moments. Tiny moments that take your breath away, balance you, and reinspire you when you lose sight of what's important or get lost along the way.  It ended up being the perfect day and the prefect cure, and a moment in time I will always remember.

Hold onto your precious moments.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Honest Beauty Truly Kissable Lip Kit

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Move over Kylie, and check out these all natural high-quality lip kits from Honest Beauty. Spring arrives on Monday and the changing of the seasons is a great time to switch up your beauty regime. Honest Beauty was kind enough to send me over this new launch to check out for myself.This is a new limited edition that features a 1 all-purpose balm and two anti-oxidant rich lip crayons. It was also voted Best of Beauty Award Winner for Allure 2016 Editor picks.

The first lip crayon color is a demi-matte called Honey Kiss and it's a perfect soft nude, the second color is a sheer called Raspberry Kiss and it's a pop of fuchsia pink. The Honey Kiss is a little light in color for me (I am fair skinned right now and it makes me look washed out), but the Raspberry kiss is perfect. It's got a great sexy shimmer to it and it's not overly bright. The perfect hint of color. The lip crayons look like mock pencils but they have a twist colored end to that you turn like a regular lipstick to push up more color. No sharpening needed. 

The Magic Balm can be used anywhere, just avoid eye contact. The balm is a mix of organic fruit and botanical oils created to soften and soothe. There's not much of a smell to it and it's great to apply to your lips and just rub the rest into your hands. It absorbs fast and leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized. This is a really nice kit and worth check out!

The Honest Beauty lip kit is selling for $28 ($54 dollars in value) and it's available at:

Monday, February 27, 2017

February Beauty Picks

Here are a couple new launches to check out. These items should hold me over til Spring happens in three more weeks!

Tweezerman Holographic Tweezer ($26) - These jazzed up iridescent precision tweezers are so sharp they almost scare me. They are sharp, they are pointy, and they are precise. Get yourself a Conair 10X magnifying mirror (around $48 at Bed, Bath & Beyond with 20% off coupon), and these tweezers, and you will never be bored again. You can give yourself the best facials and remove every hair you didn't know you had with that mirror and these tweezers. Available at:

Le Couvent Des Minimes Botanical Cologne of Love (8.4 fl. oz $49) is mix of orange blossom, bergamont, mandarin, wild rose, nasturtium, and petitgrain. It's a unisex floral and fruity body spray for anytime of the day. Smaller sizes are available at Ulta 1.0oz for $16 or 3.4oz for $38. It smells fresh and clean and it's not overpowering. Great cologne to try out if you like soft scents and orange blossom. Items available at:

Lauren B. ($18 each) sent me a few chemical free colors to check out. Hollywood Royalty is a inky purple with a hint of gray and it creates a velvety shimmering shade. Ocean Ave is a cool peri winkle blue inspired by a bike ride along the boardwalk from Santa Monica into Venice Beach. I wore this for a week and a couple people commented how they liked the color. It's a nice pop of dreamy tropical smurf blue.
To order online, please go to:

Friday, February 24, 2017

Benecos - Natural and Organic Makeup

Benecos offers affordable natural beauty products and they are launching a few new items. This pure plant and mineral-based brand is creating a buzz and they were kind enough to send me some items to check out for myself.

Natural Light Fluid Foundation ($17.99) is a light and effective foundation that provides subtle and delicate coverage. Available in three colors: dune, sahara, mocca. A little goes a long way and it sets fast. I tried the Dune and I have a fine color skin but on the tan side and it was a good match.

Natural Lipsticks ($13.99) I tried the "First Love" which is a coral pink shade just waiting for Summer to come along. It has avocado oil and babassu oil so it will leave your lips feeling moisturized, soft, and seductive. I little too pinky for me (I like neutrals).

Natural Eyeshadows ($12.99) I tried the Mono Eyeshadow in Choco Cookie which is a milk chocolate brown shimmer that's perfect for night time wear all over your lid.

Benecos uses certified and organic ingredients whenever possible and they are cruelty-free. To find about more about Benecos and to order online, please go to: