Getting healthy is my mission. Based on my health history, I’ve recently made some major changes to my lifestyle. I exercise more, cut sugar, eat very little dairy, bread and meat and read the labels on everything that I buy. After all, what you put in your body is key for good health! Smoothies have become an important part of my healthy eating plan as they’re nutritious, filling and taste great. So, when Life Extensionasked me to try their WellnessCode®™ Plant Protein Complete and Amino Acid Complex (Vanilla), I was excited to whip up a yummy smoothie!
It’s gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly and made with sustainably sourced pea protein, which has 18 grams of high-quality protein and no soy or dairy. It fills me up and has only 100 calories per serving, 4 grams of carbohydrates and ZERO sugar! The vanilla flavor mixes so well with most vegetables and fruit-so you can get creative with your smoothies!
Summer is the perfect time to make healthy smoothies with in-season fresh fruit and veggies. Smoothies make a great snack and a delicious replacement to sugar filled desserts like ice cream. Wellness Code®™ Plant Protein Complete and Amino Acid Complex (Vanilla)supercharges a smoothie since it’s packed with essential pea protein (which I need since I don’t generally eat meat), and the branched chain amino acids L-valine, L-leucine, and L-isoleucine which support lean muscle mass and liver function. And if that’s not enough, it also contains oat bran and blue agave to promote digestive health and immune support. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious!
It smells so good!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
I thought I'd share my favorite smoothie recipe with you. It tastes great and is packed with protein and nutrients. It makes a simple and filling breakfast, or use less liquid to make a frosty snack that you can eat with a spoon! Top with walnuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, and sliced strawberries and voila...you have a decadent dessert!
Strawberry Vanilla Shake
3/4 cup water or almond milk (I love unsweetened organic almond milk)
4 frozen strawberries (you can substitute blueberries or use both!)
Blend together in a smoothie maker
To switch things up, you can substitute blueberries for the strawberries or mix both for a berry smoothie! Throw in a handful of spinach or kale for a serving of deep green veggies, or if you're a chocolate lover like me, add a teaspoon of raw cacao powder (it's delish!).
Happy summer smoothies! Here's to healthy eating!
Life Extension sponsored this blog, but all opinions expressed are my own. I only promote companies I love--promise!
When Susan G. Komen reached out to me to help them spread the word about breast cancer, I wanted to be involved. It's personal.
Did you know that women in the U.S. have a 1 in 8lifetimerisk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but men can also get breast cancer?
In 2019, 2,670 new cases of male invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and 500 men will die from the disease.
Unfortunately, my dad (Jason) was one of those men.
He is my "one."
On this Father's Day, I want to share my dad with you. Jason was a brilliant Harvard graduate who started out as a pre-med major and later switched to education. He taught middle school English for over 40 years. He was funny and fun--crazy and silly and loved the outdoors. He walked for miles every single night. Even in the worst of weather, he walked. He walked in the middle of blinding snowstorms, oblivious to the conditions. He walked until he could no longer.
In 2010 my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 male breast cancer. It came out of the blue and was a huge shock to my family. He had complained of having various aches and pains, but refused to go to the doctor. As a matter of fact, he NEVER went to the doctor--he didn't even have a primary care physician! So when he finally asked me to take him to the emergency room, I knew it was serious. But when the doctor told us that he had stage 4 breast cancer, it was like a bad dream. Where did this come from? How did we miss it?
Turned out my father had been hiding the cancer from us for years. He discovered a lump, but never mentioned it to anyone. Not even my mom. In the beginning, he thought the lump would go away. But as it got larger he realized it was cancer. He always believed that the body healed itself. He never took medications and successfully conquered colds, flus and even pneumonia with fresh air, good food and lots of vitamin C. But unfortunately, his cancer needed medical treatment and it was too late by the time he went to the doctor. The cancer had metastasized.
Dad used to put his eyeglass holder in his shirt pocket so we wouldn't notice the lump in his breast.
For three years, he was kept alive with radiation and chemotherapy. He actually had quite a good quality of life doing the things he loved.
We were blessed that he was able to be at my daughter Alyssa's wedding . He even boogied on the dance-floor!
But in April 1, 2014 the cancer won out and he died peacefully at a hospice center.
There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think of him. Father's Day is especially hard.
It is so important that cancer research is a top priority and that we come up with new and more effective treatments to combat the disease.
Breast cancer doesn't discriminate. It affects the young, the old, men, and women. That's why Susan G. Komen is on the frontlines of the fight against breast cancer. I hope you'll visit Susan G. Komen to learn more about their work in advocacy, research, education, and treatment assistance.
We all have our "one". The person we want to protect from breast cancer. Who is yours?
Happy Father's Day Dad.
Thank you to Susan G. Komen. for kindly sponsoring this blog. All opinions are 100% honest and completely my own.
#sponsored If you love old inns but want a luxury experience with modern conveniences, then you MUST check out The Pickering House Inn located in scenic Wolfboro, NH (just a few hour drive from Boston!).
From the moment I arrived, I felt welcome.
Michael (Concierge), made sure our bags were taken care of and that we had everything we needed for our stay
After check-in and a great chat, it's time to explore the inn!
The Pickering House opened just 9 months' ago after a 2 year extensive renovation. Owners Patty and Peter Cook poured their heart and soul into this project and it shows. Every inch of the inn is meticulously decorated with attention to detail.
There are multiple rooms to relax, read a book, play a board game, or take a NAP!
Patty is an extremely talented architect and interior designer. She did all of the design and decor.
There are 10 rooms at The Pickering House Inn and each floor has it's own drink station complete with coffee, tea, and lemon water. They also serve yummy cookies in the afternoon.
This adorable Lacoste terry zip up hoodie (size small) and Who What Wear bag were from Shop to Give, where your purchases support Uncommon Threads and our mission to empower women. Slides from Secret Celebrity Shoes--super comfy! This amazing shoe company also supports Uncommon Threads!
Each beautifully decorate room comes with complimentary bottled water, a candy treat (we got caramels!). remote blinds, heated bathroom floor, plush robes, and the most comfy bed ever!
After a cup of tea and a quick nap, we're off to take some fashion photos.
I'm going to show you two fabulous maxi dresses that are perfect for travel since they don't wrinkle, are light as a feather and can take you from day to night.
The inn offers cooking demonstrations in the gorgeous kitchen.
There is also a magnificent barn, perfect for weddings or events.
Breakfast was INCREDIBLE. This egg roulade was the best I've ever had and the chef was nice enough to give me the recipe! YUM!
I was sad to leave this beautiful inn, but I know I'll be back! XO Susan Hair by Robert Jason Salon Photos by Hubby The Chico's clothes and Secret Celebrity Shoes were gifted but all opinions are my own...promise! I only post what I love.
I've been SO busy these days. Between work, doctors' appointments and now bi-weekly Vitamin C infusions (to boost my immune system), I'm running around like crazy. Although I love to get dressed up, easy comfy (yet stylish) outfits are what I've been living in.
This entire outfit (minus the sneakers) are from my friends at Chico's. The track jacket is so soft and I love the white stripe!
It's hard to find a tee that is long enough for leggings, but this one is perfect--so of course I got it in black too. And these leggings are incredibly comfortable with a high rise and perfect fit.
I wore this outfit on a walk the other day, ran errands and then headed to my friend's house for a casual dinner. It fit the bill for everything on my agenda!
Laurie and I go way back. As a matter of fact, we've been friends since our college days at U-Mass Amherst where we affectionally nick-named each other Laurannadanna and Zannadanna (I was Zanna). We were CRAZY in those days. We partied hard (sorry Mom) and yet we both graduated Magna Cum Laude. I have no idea how we pulled it off!
Life took us in some of the same, yet different directions. We both studied to be social workers. We married, divorced and remarried again. And in mid-life our careers did a 360 . I started a side gig as a wardrobe stylist and blogger (and then a non-profit director) and Lauranna started a winery.
Whippletree Winery in Tamworth, NH is the brainchild of Laurie and her business partner Yvonne. A few weeks ago, Richard and I were in the area visiting friends, so we all took a trip over to see Laurie and to do some wine-tasting.
Whippletree wants you to feel at at home. They actually call themselves the "at home winery"! Filled with cool antiques and quaint nooks and crannies, it's a warm and cozy place to hang out. Its like the old tv show Cheers where "everyone knows your name". Meet Yvonne, co-owner of Whippletree Winery
How cozy is this bar? Pretty darn cozy!
I loved chatting with the "regulars".
Meet the "wines"....
Who doesn't want to drink a wine called "Bossy".
Richard says it's perfect for me!
Here are some of my favorites.
You have NEVER tasted wine like this!
From the dry red wine Fierce ("she creeps, she pounces, she bites!") to Sweet Treat Rose, which tastes like cotton candy (YUM!) there is something for everyone--even non-wine drinkers.
Could it be that after all these years we are still dressing alike?
And there's Lauranna making the wine!
As you can see, the wine is very reasonably priced. I haven't tasted this one yet, but I need to!
That's my friend Laurie (yep another Laurie) on the left.
We had so much fun wine-tasting with Laurie in the middle.
We had to leave a bit early because it started snowing. But of course I had to buy a few bottles--ok maybe more than a few.
If you're up in New Hampshire, a stop at Whippletree Winery is a MUST. You'll love hanging with Laurie and Yvonne tasting some of the best wine around.
We may be almost 40 years older (gulp) but we're still a little crazy. Love you Lauranna!
Sorry for the radio silence. I've been SO busy with work and medical appointments! It seems all I do is run around like a crazy person! And on top of all everything, I broke my toe last week making it very difficult to wear my cute winter boots (not to mention walk!). My husband jokes that I need to live in a padded room.
So when Chico's invited me to choose an outfit from their Zenergy collection, it was perfect timing. Because of my limited footwear, I've been living in comfy casual clothes and sneakers.
Richard and I took these photos in our yard over the weekend "just" before a big winter storm hit. Now the ground is covered with snow.
I LOVE this outfit SO much! It's amazingly comfy and everything about it just "works".
The leggings come up super high but don't roll down--and they're the perfect length to wear with heels, flats or tucked inside boots. Find them HERE.
And then there's the bag! This tote is extremely light and adds some fun to a simple outfit. It's large enough to use as a gym or overnight bag too. Actually, this whole outfit would be great for traveling! Find the blue floral tote HERE.
I love the adorable lining too!
And last but not least (and because I'm a "hoop girl"), I'm wearing a simple gold hoop with a drop pearl. Find these HERE.
These sneakers "just barely" work for my broken toe. I've actually been living in All Birds and they're amazingly comfortable! Now that the snow is here, I had to buy some extra wide boots so my feet don't freeze. By the way, in case you're wondering how I broke my toe, here's the very boring story. I was going to the bathroom in the middle of the night and banged my foot into the door. I could tell you that I was skiing down the Alps, but that would be lying.
From now until 1/27/19 take 30% off your purchase at Chico's with code 25751
Thanks for stopping by!
Chico's gifted the leggings, tops, bag and earrings but all opinions and selections are my own.--promise!
I dreamed of a gorgeous space where my clothes, bags and shoes were all beautifully organized and displayed.
I dreamed of a "girl-cave" where I could escape to play dress-ups and be inspired to get dressed each morning.
Our kids are grown and on their own, so last June Richard and I moved into an over 55 community. I had my eye on an extra room on the second floor of our new home that was "supposed" to be for storage. "What if"... just what if" I turned it into the custom closet I've always dreamed of?
Without the right closet system, the room quickly became one big mess. Getting dressed in the morning was difficult and stressful. Sound familiar?
It also didn't look very pretty.
I wanted to create something spectacular. I envisioned a place that made me feel happy and where getting dressed was a breeze. I wanted it to be beautiful, functional and yes inspiring.
Enter Inspired Closets Boston. They took my vision and ran with it, creating an amazing space where getting dressed in the morning is pure joy.
It's my happy place.
You might think that this type of project is too difficult or expensive to take on, but Inspired Closets Boston made it easy and fun! Plus they offer all types of options for every price range and budget.
I contacted Inspired Closets Boston because of their reputation for being a leader in the industry and for providing personalized service and high-quality products. There are so many closet companies out there, but I wanted the very best!
My experience with Inspired Closets Boston was A+. Their "step by step" approach breaks the process down to make for an enjoyable and stress-free project. They literally think of everything!
Step 1 Consultation: My local Inspired Closet dealer is Inspired Closets Boston. I've known the owner Nick Ardagna for years. He is extremely easy to work with, knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated to providing his clients with excellent customer service.
We met at my house and evaluated my mess. I have to admit I was a little embarrassed at my extensive wardrobe, but Nick made me feel totally at ease. We talked about my vision for the room, how I want to use the space, and what look inspires ME. Nick LISTENED to my ideas and gave me some of his own recommendations.
Nick took some measurements of the space. He even measured some of my maxi dresses to accommodate the length and counted my shoes and bags (uh oh...) to ensure that there would be a place for everything.
We also took some time to go over the Inspired Closet "tool-kit". The literature gave me an idea of what to expect and lots of visuals to get me super excited!
The number of finishes and options is incredible!
Step 2 Design: This was the fun part! Nick and I met once at his showroom and then again in my home to discuss the plans he created.
He came up with some fabulous designs based on my needs and wants--he really "got it"! We talked about finishes, hardware and additional storage options such as an island in the middle of the room and a storage cabinet under the window. I LOVED his ideas! Because I wanted to keep the room bright and airy, I selected a bright white finish.
Inspired Closets has 3-D software that makes the design process a visual experience--perfect for me since I'm one of those people who needs to see what I'm getting!
OK now I'm really getting excited!
Step 3 Prepare: This is the time when you realize how much "stuff" you've accumulated. It can be very overwhelming! But Inspired Closets can help with everything to make this part of the process a breeze! The even offer garment racks, storage boxes and assistance with packing if needed. They can also prep and paint walls!
A closet overhaul is a GREAT time to do some serious purging!
Step 4 Install: OK now it's really starting to get exciting!
At 9:00 a.m. on the button (as promised), the Inspired Closets Boston van pulled into my driveway. These guys are punctual--what a concept!
Ed, Dylan and Josh are a class act--super polite, extremely nice and very NEAT! They treated my house like it was their own...shoes off and floors covered! The stress of having workers in my home instantly melted. I knew right away I was working with professionals who took their job seriously.
This is definitely getting real!!
I think I drove the guys crazy with"are you almost done?"500 times! I just couldn't wait to start hanging my clothes up! Notice how they creatively worked around the access panel that goes to our attic crawl space (to the right of the shoe shelves).
Here is the final product--it's beyond my wildest expectations!
I'm so excited to start organizing my clothes!
Step 5: Love my closet!
Can I just live here? Let me tell you about some of my favorite things about this space.
Adding an island was Nick's idea and I'm so glad he thought of it! I love the extra storage for jeans and sweaters--plus the jewelry drawers make it so easy to actually SEE everything!
Shelves make a huge difference in keeping my shoes neat and organized. Nick did a great job at determining how many pairs I own (yes too many) and calculating the number of shelves needed. He even added a shoe closet to hide boots and sneakers! As you can see, the attic access panel I mentioned is barely noticeable (but still accessible) and all of my outlets were also left open. Inspired Closets Boston really thinks of everything!
Yes I have a bit of a handbag addiction, but what good are they if you can't see them? Another favorite feature of my custom closet is the handbag wall that Nick created. Lucite dividers keep the bags standing straight so I can look at my babies every day!
Every night I coordinate my outfit for the next day so Nick suggested adding a valet rod. Brilliant!
Now to decorate---I envision a blingy chandelier, a velvet pad for the window seat, and a shaggy rug. Any ideas? I'd love to hear what you think! BIG BIG thank you to Inspired Closets Boston for partnering with me on this project. I can't recommend them enough. Give them a call if you have a space that needs an organization system. They can handle just about any room...garage, office, closet, or even laundry room! Organization is the key to happiness!
This blog was sponsored by Inspired Closets. You know I only post what I love--and that's promise!
I've had bangs forever....since high school actually! I've always hated my forehead, so bangs were a way to cover-up.
But fast forward over 40 years and I'm ready to try a new look. Dreaded forehead, it's time to show yourself!
With the encouragement of the uber talented Robert Caggiano, owner of Robert Jason Salon, for the past four months I've been growing out my fringe. For those of you who have tried it, you know this process is not for the faint of heart. My bangs are in my eyes, blocking my vision, and totally driving me CRAZY. I've come close to snipping them short again, but I'm sticking this one out...hopefully until the end!
Instead of grabbing the scissors, I asked Robert to come up with some tips for helping me keep my sanity while in transition.
Chances are if you have had bangs you know how frustrating it is to grow them out. You may have just pinned them back, not knowing what to do with them until you finally got so annoyed you cut them again.
The first thing to do when growing out bangs is to talk with your stylist to create a game-pan. Having a few different style options as your bangs grow out is a fun way to go through the process.
If your bangs are below your eyebrows, round brush your bangs forward and then let them cool. This will pop them up.
Trim bangs at an angle to make them blend and create a new side-swept look.
Schedule regular trims to keep your hair healthy and looking great.
Last but not least, DON'T cut them! It will be worth it in the long run!
Are you growing out your bangs? I'd love to hear your tips.
If you're in my neck of the woods (Merrimack Valley) and looking for an amazing salon, I can't recommend Robert Jason Salon enough--they're magicians. Mention my name and get $25 off your first service (first-time customers only).
I often say "kindness makes the world go round". It's become my mantra. When I started Uncommon Threads two years ago, I vowed "no mean girls allowed". I wanted to create a special place for women where kindness and compassion live.
So when Messages in Metal asked me to choose a necklace to feature on my blog, I knew I wanted a piece inscribed with the word "kindness".
Messages in Metal believes in celebrating the words and messages that weave the story of our lives.
I chose a simple silver bar necklace, but the sky is the limit--the possibilities are endless! You can create a personalized piece with a name (or names!) or a special word---you can even add birthstones! But if you don't find what you're looking for, Messages in Metal will also do custom work too. I can already think of several pieces that will make perfect holiday gifts for my family and friends! Messages in Metal also carries necklaces for men and children and their pieces come in gold or silver. They have everyone on your shopping list covered!
Messages in Metal is an amazing company that makes their jewelry in-house in the United States (Montana)--hurray for supporting U.S. workers! Each piece is beautifully packaged and carefully inspected. Quality and integrity is very important to them. Their jewelry is crafted from .925 sterling silver which is 1mm thick (exceeding the industry standard) and includes a gorgeous chain. Plus most pieces can be shipped out within a few days! Their packaging is beautiful too.
I love my "kindness" necklace so much. It's perfect worn on its own, but it also makes a fabulous layering piece.
This necklace has become my "go-to"--I wear it with just about everything.
I'm not a huge fan of winter, but I do love boot shopping! And this season, the styles are anything but plain--there are some amazing boots out there! From animal print to metallic, if you're looking to give your boot collection a little pizzazz (combined with COMFORT), take a peek at these beauties. One of each please! xo Susan
Links in this post may generate a small commission, but rest assured I only post what I love!