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Links & Things: The Power of a Gift Edition


This year our family is participating in Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan’s Purse. I have been awed by watching my children through this process.   It really is amazing what you can pack into a shoebox but it’s even more amazing how easy it is to teach your children about the true meaning of Christmas.  By simply involving them in a hands-on project, like Operation Christmas Child, you can open their eyes to what it means to consider others and experience the  joy of giving in a very tangible way.


Highlights from the blog:

My full post about the Spa Party Luncheon I threw to celebrate the official launch of  the blog, Trophy Mom Diaries, is now up. I included a download of the printable recipe cards I made so that you can make your own treatments at home, or throw a DIY Spa Party of your own.

10 Days of Family Time Traditions will encourage you this holiday season with different ways you can celebrate your family (and increase your time together in a meaningful ways).

I shared 3 collar statement necklaces that I fell in love with at various price points.  Can you guess which one I purchased? Which is your favorite?

Interesting Reads:

After reading,  What to watch out for at Whole Foods,  I’m starting to realize how hard it is to buy/eat healthy whole foods.  There is no easy way to do this, and it makes me sad.             {100 Days of Real Food}

A memoir and 3 novels  because I enjoy her book reviews so much. {Hollywood Housewife}

I now want to create a Family Mission Statement and have it framed on our wall. What would yours say? {Simple Mom}

Fall nesting around the table has me inspired for the weekend.{The Inspired Room}


What are your weekend plans?


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Spa Party

I decided to celebrate the Official Launch of Trophy Mom Diaries with a Spa Party & Luncheon with 30 friends.  For some it would be my “coming out” party as I had never before shared that I had been writing a blog for the past 4 1/2 years, much-less launching a new one.

I wanted to design a  day that would allow guests to interact with each other in a relaxed atmosphere and promote bonding and meaningful conversation. This was important because I wanted guests to share their unique stories and connect on a deeper level.

While it would have been easy to book a day at a spa, I decided that my home would offer a more personal, relaxed and intimate setting for my special guests.

As guests arrived they were greeted and escorted out to the outdoor lanai area.  The tablesettings could only be described as Tropical meets Zen Spa.


 A gift (Trophy Mom T-shirts) was placed on the chair of each guest along with a menu card detailing their spa treatment schedule for the day. 

Although a variety of drinks were offered, including Sweet Tea, the Blueberry Mojito was voted the Official Drink of the party.

The luncheon was artfully catered by Nobu Miami Beach.  Arguably my favorite restaurant chain in the world.  You’ve never had sushi until you’ve had Nobu’s sushi.

We finally got Summer to try something other than Mac N Cheese!

Dessert Buffet

It takes a village

How many people does it take to pull off a spa event like this?  Well for this party it took: 2 estheticians, 4 manicurists, 2 massage therapists, and 1 make-up artist!  Together these professionals made up the 6 stations for the party: Beauty Bar, Pedicure, Manicure , Facial, Hot Stone Massage, and Make-up Station.

Beauty Bar

The Beauty Bar station was an interactive station where guests could choose to make 2 organic beauty products (scrubs or bath soaks) using any of the six recipe cards provided. It really is a lot of fun to mix and package your own beauty products.  Many guests said they went home and immediately used the products they had made.

Make-Up Bar

One of the highlights of the day was having Celebrity Make-Up Artist (and personal friend) Tamara Ogden on hand to help provide quick touch-ups and impromptu personal make-up classes to the guests.  The false eyelashes didn’t hurt either!


All in all it was a day of pampering—-from head to toe! 

Nicole, ever the social butterfly, skipped most of her spa treatments but did indulge in a manicure.

  It really was a special gift to have Rachel (Dr.’s Remedy), Rebecca (Sodashi Australia), and Melanie (Spa Care Group) with us for this special day.  Not only were we spoiled by the luxurious products, but we learned more about the importance of using chemical free products on your skin.  You don’t have to sacrifice beauty for health.

Take Aways

No party would be complete without a grown up “Goody Bag”.  In addition to the personalized treatments they made at the Beauty Bar, each guest also took home a Gift Box from Sodashi Skincare, a Nail care kit from Dr’s Home Remedy, and a 1 year access to Suzanne Bowen’s streaming fitness workouts.  Together these gifts totaled over $600 (retail value).

But the biggest takeaway was that no matter the the method, it’s important to share your stories with other women and take time to invest in those relationships.  While the pampering we each received was good for our appearance, the conversations we had were good for the soul.

…and a blog was Officially launched!


Beauty Bar Recipe Cards



Styling: Karin Katherine

Hair/Make-up: Tamara Ogden

Photography: Bee Photographie, Lemusings of Moi,

Catering: Nobu Miami


Dr.’s Remedy Nails



This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Fall Accessories: The Statement Necklace

Fashion is for everyone, no matter the size of your budget.  So never let your budget discourage you from trying new trends or punching up your wardrobe.  You’ll be surprised how much better you will feel when you take the time to pull yourself together, instead of throwing on the nearest pile of sweatpants or yoga pants.

Accessories are the easiest way to update your existing wardrobe.  Right now statement necklaces are the hot “must have” accessory. After evaluating my wardrobe last year I decided that the area that I was most lacking in was accessories. They are the finishing touches on your wardrobe, like icing on a cake…and I was leaving them off.  So this season, instead of loading up on new clothes, I’m focusing on accessories.

 Bib Necklaces: The ultimate Statement Necklace

I recently found this necklace from Kate Spade on the Neiman Marcus website

Kate Spade Athenee Bib Necklace $298

As well as this one from Arden B (via Stylish Housewife)

Faceted Stone Collar Necklace $38

…and this variation, the Ebony Mesh Collar,  from Baubble Bar

Ebony Mesh Collar $28


Which do you prefer?  Have you tried out a statement necklace for the fall?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Friday Links: Photos & Memories Edition

I’m a firm believer in doing something with those instagram photos and other camera photos you take. I think it’s important to preserve memories beyond the digital form. This week I did two things to preserve my instagram and Camera phone pics:

  1. I ordered mini books and prints from which I really loved.  I’m working on something special with these to share in a later post.
  2. I tried out a new app this week called FreePrints by Photo Affections.  Using this app you can order prints (4×6, 5×5, 5×7, 8×10) directly from your iPhone and it also works with Facebook, Instagram, Flickr,and  Picassa.  How it works is you pay shipping only (for 4×6 prints) and you receive up to 1,000 (4×6)  free prints per year.  Shipping starts at $1.99 and is never more than $9.99. Other print sizes are an additional fee.

My Becky Higgins Project Life photo album kits arrived last week.  I’m so behind on my scrapbooking it’s not even funny. My last three children don’t have complete baby books. I am seriously considering making up dates for first walked and first crawled (shhhh).   I’m not ready to give up traditional scrapbooking, but this seems like a great way to catch up. Is Anyone else using the Project Life Albums?

On the Trophy Mom Diaries Facebook page I’m sharing pics from the Spa Party which I will blog about next Wednesday.

Other interesting reads:

I’m sort of over the whole political discussion right now. Its not that I don’t think it’s important, I do, I just think there is a place for it and it’s not on my blog or Facebook page.  That said, if you are a little over all the “predictions” you may enjoy reading this.

My no is broken (Elizabeth Esther) I love that she is learning to say no and isn’t afraid to outsource some housekeeping duties.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Family Time Traditions: Creating Intentional Family Meal Times


When I was growing up we always ate dinner together as a family, every night.  We didn’t call it Family Dinner Night. It just was.  Times have changed now and families rarely are on the same schedule.    Since the Road Warrior travels frequently for business, eating together as a complete family is not a nightly occurrence.  Even for families who are blessed to dine together nightly, the time is often wasted due to  the hustle and bustle of busy schedules.  Little time is spent savoring the meal, much-less the company.  It’s human nature to take our time together for-granted.  To allow life to distract us from living.  it doesn’t have to be this way of course. Not if we are intentional about our time together as a family.


Ideas for creating intentional moments during Family Meals:

Make it your own.  If your schedule doesn’t allow for a nightly family dinner, what about breakfast? If eating together nightly isn’t a possibility what about weekends?

Make it a Family Affair.  Involve your children in setting the table or preparing  the meal.  If you have more than one child consider having a different child help you in preparation each day/night.  This will allow some special one-on-one time before the meal.

Make it an occasion.  Instead of just going through the motions of dishing out the next meal, make it special.  Set the table.  Eat in the dining room.  Use cloth napkins.  Play relaxing music in the background (and turn off the TV).

Practice the art of Conversation.  Conversation starters could include: a discussion of highs and lows.  What was the high point of your day and what was the low?  Encourage everyone (even the smallest child) to share something that they learned, did or thought about that day.  Ask questions:  If you could have any super power what would it be?  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?  Don’t ask the usual questions.

Create Meal Traditions. By marking a special day with a favorite family meal you not only create a tradition, but something to look forward to throughout the week.  Consider having Taco Tuesday, Pot Luck Sunday, Pizza on Friday, Sunday Brunch,  etc.

Be present.  Take it all in.   Don’t answer the phone or door.   Don’t think about what you have to do next.  Look at what you have now. You will never regret the time you spent with your family enjoying a meal together.


Would you like to be more intentional with your family meal time?  This week I challenge you to make a change.  Start with one meal and incorporate the ideas above.  Then make a commitment to keep it up for 1 month.  You can do it. I know you can.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.