Between the end of the school year room mom chaos and our crazy busy summer travel schedule, I have been pretty MIA lately. Starting at the beginning of May we are constantly on the go. I’m talking like, I don’t even unpack my bag until at least mid-September. I just keep a few core items, do laundry when we get home, and occasionally change out a few outfit selections depending on where we are headed.
Here is a little update on how the summer has been going for me and the fam!
The craziness started at the beginning of May. Eric had been on a job in Houston, Texas and knew he was going to have the weekend off so I flew down to meet him. The job ended up getting pushed back to July (his work can always be pretty unpredictable). So, we had two choices; we could fly home early or we could hop in the rental car and drive 6 hours to Springfield, Louisiana where a group of our friends were participating in the Tickfaw 200. Tickfaw is a large boating event where people participate in a “poker run” boating to different marinas to collect cards and at the end of the day the best hand wins. It is a great time and at most events the proceeds go to charity organizations. We had an amazing time with some of our best friends and I even got to try crawfish for the first time!!
Once we got home, after an excruciatingly long 13-hour drive, my days were filled with end of school year activities. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Jace, 10 years ago, I always said I wanted to be the room mom for his class. I did NOT know how much work that actually entailed! Its always worth it at the end of the year when all of the kids are having a great time and stuffing themselves full of sugar and junk food during field day on the last day of school.
Third grade was finally behind us and we were headed to Florida!! Of course, we just happened to plan our trip at the same time that sub-tropical storm Alberto was headed right for the Gulf of Mexico. Luckily, we still ended up with decent weather, but the high winds ruined a lot of the plans we had to do some fishing and other water activities. We did spend plenty of time at the pool and everyone came home tired and a little tanner!
Since then we’ve spent a few weekends at Lake Cumberland, taken a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and, had a few fun outings locally. This has also been my first time working from home during the summer which has given me the opportunity to spend more time doing fun stuff with Jace in the afternoons. So far, we have gone kayaking on the Little Miami River, visited the new Aquapark at Land of Illusions, gone on plenty of bike rides and we’ve been swimming almost every day! We still have tons of things to check off of our Summer bucket list! Here are a few pictures of all of the fun we’ve been having. What has been the highlight of your summer so far? Do you and your family have a list of things you want to do before school starts?
I met Emerald at our March Ladies Night out. From talking to her for a short time I could tell she was the true definition of a "Boss Babe"! She started her own business for herself, but you can tell that her true passion is helping others. I love the advice she gives for other women who may be interested in starting a business of their own! You can check out more about Emerald's financial consulting business by visiting her website: www.emeraldsparks.com.
Tell us about your business. How did you became the successful business woman you are today?
Emerald Sparks LTD is a personal and business finances consulting company designed to help women, men, millennials, and business owners solve their misconceptions about money, as it relates to sustainable budgeting, savings, credit and debt repayment, bookkeeping, and tax strategies.
Describe yourself in three words.
Tenacious, Diligent, and Funny
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
I saved $40,000 over 3 years, paid off $16,000 of personal debt, and helped clients collectively save $20,000, pay off $100,000 in debt, purchase real estate property and a dream car.
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To become a millionaire. I am not playing or exaggerated this in any way shape or form.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Fashion Boutique Owner.
How do you maintain a work life balance?
I say No. I never want to be a slave to my business because I was a slave to my corporate job when I had one. There's ALWAYS something to do in my business so my work is never done. Therefore, not getting any sleep doesn't do anything good. I make sure I get in the bed around 11 because I need rest for my creativity to flow and to be well the next day. I don’t function well on #teamnosleep.
What websites do you visit everyday?
Business Insider, LinkedIn, Entrepreneur.com
What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in your city?
I love eating at Krueger's Tavern in OTR, I love happy hour anywhere with a good Pomegranate Martini, I love Bonefish Grill's Bang Bang Shrimp.
What is your goal for retirement?
To flying around to different countries in my private jet with my family.
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own business?
Invest in yourself. It takes more dedication then it does money. Never let money stop you from living out your dreams.
As a mother who has always struggled with my own weight, I try to be super aware of what I let me son eat. I try to avoid tons of extra sugar and my shopping trips can sometimes take longer than average, because I make sure to read ingredient labels on just about everything. So, when I heard about these JUNKLESS chewy granola bars I jumped at the chance to give them a try!
A little backstory on the company. JUNKLESS foods is a small start up company based in Portage, Michigan. The founder formerly worked in marketing for large packaged food companies. It was there that he learned of a lot of less than desirable ways these companies processed their foods and cut costs with different techniques to maintain flavor while using less expensive ingredients. After realizing how much JUNK was in a lot of the packaged foods he and his family were consuming, he set out to create better options for everyone.
There are currently four flavors available in the JUNKLESS chewy granola bars: Chocolate Chip, 100% Real Strawberry, Cinnamon roll, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. When I received the samples the first thing I noticed was the simple packaging, which I like. A lot of chewy granola bar brands are geared towards kids and I personally don’t want to run around eating snack with cartoon characters on them! The next thing I checked was the ingredient label. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to pronounce all of the ingredients! I also compared their nutrition information to a similar big name brand of granola bar and I have to say, they were pretty much the same.
Next came the real test. Would my 9 year old son eat them?
He was super excited when I told him that these were a new product and that he might be one of the first few people to try them. He chose the 100% Real Strawberry flavor and I picked the Chocolate Chip. He LOVED it! Visually, the look very similar to another very popular kid’s chewy bar, but the JUNKLESS bars aren’t as dry. We both really liked how soft they were. Almost like a medium rare chocolate chip cookie. That’s a thing, right? You know what I mean. Like when you take them out of the over a minute or two before they are actually done! Haha, ANYWAY!
They aren’t very sweet, which for me is fine since I’m not a huge fan of sweets to begin with. I was worried that a candy loving kid would be turned off by this but he wasn’t! I personally felt like there could have been just a few more chocolate chips in my JUNKLESS bar, but Jace thought his 100% Real Strawberry flavor was perfect. In fact he almost ate an entire box in a week!
Jace’s final review, that he made me write down so I wouldn’t forget exactly what he said, was that he is really glad he has found a delicious snack that is actually healthy! He cracks me up, but I have to agree I am glad that I now have something in my pantry that I don’t have to feel bad about giving him for breakfast when we are inevitably running late for school!
If you would like to try any of the JUNKLESS chewy granola bars yourself, you can visit their website to order them online or search for local stores that already have them on the shelf! If you're local to the Cincinnati area you can pick them up at your nearest Kroger. http://junklessfoods.com/
Hopefully you were more on top of things than me this year and didn't wait until today to send in your taxes! You still have a few hours to e-file, but if for any reason you can't get them done you can still file an extension. If you were stuck writing a check to Uncle Sam your wallet might need a little relief. Check out this list of businesses offering up some tax day deals to help save you a little dough!
Applebee’s: The last time we saw the Dollarita was in October. But it’s back for April, just in time for tax day. As its name would suggest, the Dollarita costs $1 — and it’s available until the end of April.
Bruegger’s: Tax Relief week is April 9 through April 17. During that time, get 20% off catering orders by entering TWENTYOFF at checkout. Plus, get the Big Bagel Bundle (which includes 13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese) for $10.40 by filling out a quick form.
Chili’s: – Take a Break from Taxes with the new $5 Cherry Blossom Margarita. No coupon required, simply ask your server for this special offer. Valid every day during the month of April in the bar & dining room.
Chuck E. Cheese’s: To help families counter Tax-Day stress, Chuck E. Cheese’s will offer one free large cheese pizza for every large pizza purchased between April 17 and April 19. See details.
Firehouse Subs: Use this printable coupon (valid at participating locations April 17 through April 19) to get a free medium sub with the purchase of a full-price medium or large sub, chips and drink. Online, use promo code TAXDAY2018. Full details here.
Great American Cookies: Get a free Cookies & Cream cookie when you stop by a participating store on April 17. No purchase necessary, but there’s a limit of one free cookie per customer. See full promo details.
Hardee’s: On Tax Day April 17, you can get a free Sausage Biscuit between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. (local time) by saying the passphrase “Made from Scratch.” The promo is part of Hardee’s “Tastes Like America” campaign.
Hooters: Kids eat free (with purchase of $10 or more) during Tax Day weekend at participating locations. From April 14 through April 17, kids under 12 will receive one free Hooters Kids Meal with a purchase of at least $10 from an adult. See details and locations.
Kona Ice: The shaved-ice truck chain celebrates Tax Day (which it has dubbed National Chill Out Day) every year with a free shaved ice for each customer.
Mrs. Fields: Until midnight on April 16, use code SAVETEN to get 10% off any order.
Noodles & Company: Get $4 off a $10 purchase (online only) April 11 through 18. You must be signed into your online loyalty account to redeem deal. Use coupon code TAXDAY18.
Omaha Steaks: Place an online order for more than $59 and get a free 2-lb. ham. The promo runs through April 17, or until supplies run out.
P.F. Chang’s: Use code TAXDAY and get 15% off takeout orders placed online on April 16 and 17.
Ashley Furniture: Use code REFUND10 to get 10% off any order from April 15 through 17.
ASOS: Get up to 50% off select men’s and women’s clothing, including shoes, jackets, swimwear, bags and more.
Best Buy: Best Buy has two sales that overlap with tax day. The April Savings Event gets you between 5% and 35% off appliances and runs through April 25. Plus, shop the Clearance & Open-Box sale and get up to 40% off.
Crate & Barrel: Until April 17, get up to 30% off rugs and 20% off curtains.
Express: Through April 17, Express is running a massive sale that includes: Buy One Get One 50% off for women’s jeans; Buy One Get One for $29.90 for men’s jeans and an extra 30% off clearance items.
L’Occitane: Need some pampering after tax season? Place an order over $65 and get a free eight-piece body and skincare gift for free. Use promo code ALMOND18.
Lowe’s: Lowe’s is extending its Spring Black Friday sale through April 18. When shopping the sale, note that some product deals may expire earlier.
Macy’s: Macy’s is offering a slew of fitness-tracker discounts through April 17. These include 25% off the Samsung Gear Fit1 Pro, and $50 off Samsung Gear S3 watches.
Mattress Firm: Between April 13 and 15, Mattress Firm is running a couple sales. The weekend before Tax Day, get 20% off the Friends & Family + Sale. In addition, get the sales tax waived the entire weekend. These sales are stackable with other current sales (see a list of current offers here).
Samsonite: Through midnight PST, get up to 50% off most items with code SAVE. Also get free standard shipping on orders over $99.
Shoe Carnival: Get 20% off when you buy two or more pairs of shoes, through April 17. Use promo code APRIL20.
West Elm: Shop the Awesome April Sale to get 25% off in-stock items. The sale is running in stores and online.
These offers may vary by location so be sure to check with your local business first.
Huge shout out to Offers.com for putting together this list of awesome deals! For a list of additional deals outside of the Cincinnati area be sure to visit: https://bit.ly/2pY3qWb
I want to thank everyone that came out for our ladies night March 28th at Shooters Sports Grill in Liberty Twp. I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces as well as meeting some new ladies that decided to check it out! The staff at Shooters was wonderful and I really appreciate how well they took care of all of the guests and vendors. I hope to see everyone again April 24th at Cozy’s Café and Pub!
Below you will find a list of the amazing businesses that were featured at our March 28th Ladies Night Out; including their websites and/or contact information. This is a great opportunity to connect with those vendors that you might have missed networking with at the event. I also encourage you all to like each other's pages to keep the love going; as we all grow together! Oh, and don't forget to keep them in mind for your shopping and event needs.
Advocare - Abigail and Sabrina Nametz
Are you looking to slim down in time for swimsuit season this year? Join Abigail and Sabrina Nametz for their Advocare One80 challenge! It is a 3 part 80 day system designed to help fuel your transformation and develop life long healthy habits. Contact them before April 17th to take advantage of some special deals. You can check out their website at Fittwinmoms.com.
Carpet land Cincinnati
Carpetland Carpet One Cincinnati is the area’s premier flooring retailer. They offer everything from carpet to exotic wood flooring and much more. You can visit any of their three showrooms in the Tri-state. Find a location nearest you on carpetlandcarpetonecincinnati.com
Color Street - Renee Bolden
Why waste precious time sitting around waiting for your nail polish to dry when you can get the latest color and design trends almost instantly?! Color Street offers 100% real nail polish strips that are applied to your nails with no heat or chemicals and last up to 12-14 days. The new spring line is currently available at mycolorstreet.com/reneebolden. Renee will also be joining us for a second time at Cozy’s on April 24th. Be sure to stop by her table and she can even let you try the polish strips for free!
Scout and Cellar - Brittany Troescher
Love wine but hate the headache you will inevitably wake up with the next morning? Brittany has the solution! Scout & Cellar is a new line of “clean” wines. When you remove the sulfates and all of the other chemicals you lessen the chance for that dreaded wine hangover that so many other brands give you. You can set up a tasting for you and your friends or you can order directly from Brittany’s website scoutandcellar.com/brittanytroescher
Orange Theory Fitness - West Chester
Orange Theory Fitness is interval training at it’s best! These workouts are structured so that you continue to burn calories long after your one hour class is over. The coaches are helpful, fun, and energetic and really encourage you to push yourself to give it your all! If you are ready to get into the best shape of your life, stop by the Orange Theory Fitness in the Voice of America shopping center in West Chester. Your first class is free, but I can bet after that, you’ll be hooked!
Photography Partner - Rachel Lee Photgraphy
Rachel Spitznagle from Rachel Lee Photography was our featured photography partner for this event. Rachel has always had a love for capturing special moments, but after the birth of her second child she decided to turn her dream into a reality and start her own business. Rachel specializes in everything from engagement shoots to senior photos. If you are looking for a photographer for your event or just need a new family portrait for the mantel, check out Rachel’s portfolio at www.facebook.com/RachelLeePhotography1/
To check out all of the photos from the evening Click Here!
Last week the kid was on Spring Break. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I rarely ever look at a calendar, I had scheduled my monthly ladies night event smack dab in the middle of the week. This meant no warm Florida vacay for us this year!
Instead last Thursday, we loaded up for a quick trip over to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Despite some major headaches including, driving in a torrential downpour, the hotel pool being temporarily closed, and ending the trip with a flat tire in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Indiana I think we still managed to have a little bit of fun!
We got to spend some much needed one-on-one time together, Jace made a friend at the pool, and we finally got to experience the amazingness that is Giordano’s Deep Dish Stuffed Pizza!!! I am still dreaming about that “cheese pull”!
I think I will start planning our trip now for Spring Break 2019. That way we won’t be stuck in Ohio when it decides to snow in April!
I so badly need to get better about taking pictures when we are out and about, but here are a few from our trip to Indy!
Five years ago, if someone had told me I was going to get to go to Costa Rica, I would have laughed in their face. But here I am, about to tell you about the 10 days that I got to spend there!!
My birthday is in February, which usually means crappy weather and leads to a fairly crappy celebration. I’ve been lucky enough since Eric and I met to get to spend my birthdays far away from the rain, ice, and snow that usually hits Ohio in late February.
This year for the BIG 3-0, I suggested Costa Rica! Lucky for me my best friend whose birthday is 2 weeks before mine, and lived in Costa Rica for a year, had the same idea. It was so great having her to help me plan!
We decided to start our adventure on the Caribbean side of the country in Puerto Viejo. This small town is known for its laid back, almost Jamaican vibe. Driving into town there were women selling fruit at roadside stands, men chopping the tops off of coconuts to sell to tourists, and everyone riding around on bicycles. Which we later found out was the main source of transportation around the city. We stayed at a hostel. This was a first for me. I had no idea what to expect, but the Selina Hostel in Puerto Viejo was so nice. We had a private room and bathroom and if I hadn’t known better, I would have assumed we were in an everyday 4 star hotel!
We arrived early and our room wasn’t ready so we went to hang out at the pool bar. Within the first hour of being there my number 1 birthday wish came true!!!
We were sitting at a table, I was facing Eric and the bar sipping on a delicious fresh cocktail. Eric looked up and said “you’re not going to believe this, but there is a sloth right behind you.” My immediate response was “Shut up. You’re full of shit!” But naturally I still had to turn around to check. Sure enough, there was a big 3-toed sloth crawling across the gravel walk way less that 20 feet from where we were sitting!!!! I was able to walk right up to him to snag a quick picture. This will easily go down in my top 10 coolest moments ever.
We visited the Jaguar Rescue during our time in PV as well. Surprisingly there were no jaguars, but there were tons of 2-toed sloths and monkeys. All of these animals are here because they were found in the wild and were either separated from their mothers or injured in some way. Their ultimate goal is to rehabilitate these animals and release them back into the wild. We learned a lot of really interesting things about the animals.
After a couple of days of bike riding, shopping, and drinking one too many Imperials, we realized that we had pretty much done everything that Puerto Viejo offered. Originally, we were scheduled to stay there for 3 nights. After the second, we decided to bump our whitewater rafting trip up a day and continue on to La Fortuna.
We woke up early, threw on our swim suits and packed our bags. Exploradores Outdoors picked us up right outside of our hostel. We stopped at a few different places to pick up other rafters and then we were on our way to their Exploration Center where we were able to store our bags in a secure area and they provided us with a light breakfast as well.
Once everyone had arrived, we hopped back on the buses and made our way to the part of the river where we would start our trip. On the way there they were telling us a little about the area and the river. The Pacuare river is ranked the 5th best river in the world for rafting. Let me tell ya, it did not disappoint!!! We have both rafted before once in the states (him - Colorado, me – West Virginia) and together we went in Chile a couple of years ago. Those experiences couldn’t hold a candle to the Pacuare! The trip was 18 miles long and we went through around 38 rapids. If you are ever in Costa Rica, you need to take a day for this. Exploradores Outdoors is amazing. They do pick ups in La Fortuna, San Jose, and Puerto Viejo. Then once you are finished they were take you to one of those three places even if it isn’t where you were picked up. This is the perfect way to get from city to city since a shared shuttle typically costs about $100/person alone. For $200 total, we received transportation to the Exploration Center, breakfast, the rafting, lunch, and then transportation to La Fortuna where we planned to spend the next few days!
The second part of our Costa Rica extravaganza was in La Fortuna, the adventure capital! I on the other hand am a slight chicken so there wasn’t a ton of adventuring being done. I really wanted to zipline but when it came down to it, just the thought made me nauseous! Instead, we opted to hike to the La Fortuna Waterfall. This is a pretty big tourist attraction so it ended up not being much of a hike. They have man made stairs all the way down to the base of the waterfall. Once you reach the bottom there are two sections. To the left, is calm, shallow, clear water where you can find people swimming and snapping Instagram worth photos. To the right, is the waterfall. I don’t think I have ever seen something like it in my life. It was beautiful yet intimidating. You are permitted to swim in the pool below the fall, but it can be very dangerous. The currents can drag you under and if that happens there isn’t much anyone can do. After a few minutes of admiring its beauty and watching people try to scale the rock to get the perfect picture we decided to make our way back up. This proved to be the challenging part. There are over 500 stairs to climb to get back to the top. We already knew we were out of shape, but DAMN!! Thank God there is a bar at the top!
From the waterfall we hopped in a cab and made our way to The Baldi Resort and Hot Springs. This place was unbelievable!! We had visited some natural hot springs in Chile but it was nothing like this. Our tickets included lunch at the buffet so we started there. Afterwards we made our way to the locker rooms to store our shoes and bag. The hot spring pools start in the lobby area and there are 28 total. They gradually get warmer as you continue to the top. A few of the pools included swim up bars so we started there and grabbed a couple drinks. We gradually made our way up stopping at each pool along the way until we finally got to the very top where there was a massive fountain made to look like a volcano with the naturally heated water pouring into the pool below. Eventually, after a few more Cuba Libres, we made our way back down to the pool with the water slides. Against my will, I was forced to climb the stairs and risk my bikini top and my life to make my friends happy!!! When did I become such a wimp?!
After Fortuna, we made our way south to the Pacific Coast town of Manuel Antonio. We stayed at La Mariposa Resort which is the oldest hotel in town. The website boasted that La Mariposa sat at the highest point in town and offered the best views of the ocean and the sunset. They could not have described it any better! When we checked into our room we looked out the window and saw our neighbor. An adorable little monkey jumping around on the tree outside!
With our love for boating and water we knew we had to schedule a catamaran tour while we were there. Searching around online I found a sunset cruise on a boat called the Ocean King. The boat is 100 feet long and can hold up to 250 guests! There are two jacuzzi tubs on board and a waterslide off the back that you can use once the boat stops for the snorkeling part of the day. The cruise lasts 4 hours, includes 8 alcoholic beverages and a surprisingly delicious dinner. I felt like we got slightly cheated during our tour though. There was a broken down jet ski stranded out in the middle of the ocean. We had to stop and help them and ended up waiting almost an hour for another smaller boat to come and tow the jet ski to shore. But, it wasn’t the end of the world and we still met some great people and really enjoyed our day. Until we got back to the hotel and I realized how incredibly sunburned I had gotten!
Years ago during a trip to Cancun, I was told that regular sunscreen is terrible for the coral reef because it rinses off of your body, sinks to the bottom, and suffocates the coral. So for this trip, since we were starting out on the Caribbean coast, I purchased some environmentally friendly SPF 30. Let me add here that it was February in Ohio, so I had zero base tan, and Costa Rica is only 9 degrees away from the Equator. One hour in the Costa Rican sun was no match for my hippy dippy sunscreen!!! The next day we hung around the pool where I was able to stay mostly in the shade. Ironically enough, we started talking to another couple at the pool. Come to find out, together they patented the formula for Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic’s SPF 100 and SPF 110. I was slightly embarrassed but my awful sunburn after hearing that. Pro Tip* the SPF 100 is the best stuff you can get. You can put it on one time at the beginning of the day and it will not come off even with sweating and swimming. I got that info straight from the horse’s mouth folks!
On day 9 we knew our time was quickly coming to an end. Eric and I had so much fun together on a trip of a lifetime! I don’t think I could have found a better way to finish out the last few days in my 20’s. We had an early flight our of San Jose the next morning, so we took a shuttle back to the capital city. It was dark by the time we got there, and we were exhausted, so we didn’t take any time to explore. I guess that just means we’ll have to go back one day!
I’ve officially been 30 for one week now. I know a lot of people have a tough time dealing with getting older. It wasn’t so bad for me, but that probably has to do with the fact that I have been telling people I was 30 for the past three years. I mean, anything after 25 is close enough, right?!
I have been reflecting a bit on the last decade of my life. As fast as it seems that time has flown by, it feels like 20 was so long ago. There was so much that happened, it has me anxious and excited to see how life will change over the next ten years.
At 20 years old, I gave birth to an amazing little boy who was so excited to see me that he came 9 weeks early.
I married a man that I thought I was going to raise a family with.
I struggled with figuring out who I was.
I gained an excessive amount of weight.
I left that man that I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with.
I learned how to drive a stick shift.
I lost 60 pounds and really began to love myself again.
I started a job that could have turned into a life-long career.
I lost my father, my mother, and my grandfather.
I lost touch with friends that I love.
I made new friends.
I met an amazing man who has changed my life for the better.
I quit that “great” job when I realized that I was being underpaid and under-appreciated.
I’ve traveled to places and experienced things that I would have never even dreamed possible.
I’ve taken chances and fallen on my face.
I’ve taken chances and soared!
I’ve learned to appreciate good wine.
Most importantly, I’ve learned that life is what you make of it.
You can sit on the couch scrolling through Instagram unhappy with life, or you can go out there and do it your way. You can’t wait for someone to hand you what you want, you have to take it!
I experienced a lot of bad shit in my 20’s and I’ve had people tell me, “you’ve gone through a lot at such a young age.” But I refuse to let any of that hold me back. There are people out there that have probably had it way worse. With all the negative, it makes me even more thankful for the positive. I am going into my 30’s stronger than ever before but I can’t wait to see what lessons I learn along the way!
Can you believe it is already March 1st?!! The last two months have been a complete whirlwind and I have so much to update everyone on, but I want to get the most important thing done first!
This past Tuesday, February 27th, the Back Porch Saloon in West Chester was host to our ladies’ night networking and happy hour. We could not have asked for a better evening. We don’t get too many sunny 65 degree days here in Ohio so I was super thankful we were able to enjoy it with some cold beverages, delicious food, and even better company.
Emily Martone Ferrer was there with some adorable wooden signs that you can design yourself from Charlee Jack Designs. You can visit Emily’s website at; http://www.mycharleejack.com/EMILY to customize your own sign kit. You can do them yourself at home, but a more fun option is to have a group of friends get together for a party and Emily can come show you how it’s done! The best part is, everyone at the party can pick their own designs.
Randie Stone is a consultant with Beautycounter. Beautycounter’s mission is to get safer personal care products into the hands of everyone. The line of products ranges from makeup and skin care to diaper rash ointment for babies. There is something for everyone. If you are interested in learning more about how Beautycounter is trying to make personal care products safer, you can visit Randie’s website at; www.beautycounter.com/RandieStone.
I was happy to welcome back a couple of familiar faces to our featured business line up!
Lisa Harris was back with her line of anti-aging skin care from Nerium. You have got to check out the firming lotion that Lisa was telling me about. The results that she showed me were out of this world! I’m fairly certain that whatever ingredients are in this stuff, they had to have come from the fountain of youth!! Visit lisadharris.nerium.com to learn more about the firming lotion and the rest of the product line.
Jeanne DeBord was also one of our repeat vendors with Senegence! Jeanne is so much fun and loves sharing her love of Lipsense with people. But lipstick isn’t all that she has to offer! There is an entire line of cosmetics with Shadowsense, Lash Extend, and ever anti-aging Makesense foundation. Jeanne also told me that she had started using the cleansers and moisturizers from the skincare line and I have to say, her skin looks flawless!! You can search for Jeanne’s group on Facebook under; Lips on Point! Jeanne DeBord Senegence Consultant
I also had the pleasure of meeting Rosemary Olgesby from the non-profit organization, Rosemary’s Babies. Rosemary and her team are working hard to bring awareness and support to teen parents and their families. They are caring out their mission by providing virtual and face to face mentoring to help and encourage these teen parents to make the best out of the situation. The support these young mothers and fathers are given increases likelihood of graduation, increase in potential income, and an overall better life for themselves and their babies. To find out how you can help, check out; www.rosemarysbabies.co.
I can not thank everyone who came out enough. Your support at these events means the world to me and I hope to continue to build and grow a community of strong women in the area. I look forward to seeing everyone next month!!
I usually don’t like to brag, but I just received one of the greatest honors of my entire life…
BEST WING MAKER…EVER!!!
The judge, my 9-year-old son, may have been a little biased but he definitely knows a good wing when he eats one!!
With the Super Bowl tomorrow, I’m sure you are curious about how you can make these award-winning wings yourself. While I would love to keep this secret to myself, that would just be selfish. So here it is, in all it’s glory!!
The best part about this recipe is you still get that crispy browned skin with out having to fill your house with the smell and mess of a deep fryer!
This time around, I made 13 wings. There was still some left-over seasoning, so if you needed a few more it would be fine. Also, the original recipe called for all purpose flour. My grandma mentioned that rice flour would offer a crispier breading, and who am I to argue?!
Start by rinsing your wings and cutting off that extra little phalange! Then use paper towels to pat the wings dry. Set your oven to 450 degrees while you prep the rest of your ingredients!
For the breading I used:
¼ cup of rice flour
1 tablespoon of baking power
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of chili powder
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon of black pepper
Mix all your dry ingredients, then coat your chicken wings thoroughly. Place them on a baking sheet with a rack to allow them to bake evenly. Set your timer to 30 minutes. It may be totally unnecessary, but I still flipped mine half way through.
While the wings were baking I mixed Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce, Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Wing Sauce, and some minced garlic. I’ll be honest, I didn’t measure any of it. I started with half and half then just added a little more of whatever until I reached the flavor I was after!
Once my wings were finished baking I dished them out to my “non-biased” judges. Eric couldn’t believe that they had been baked. The wings turned out so crispy and juicy the texture was just like restaurant wings. Personally, I felt like I could have added a little extra seasoning to the flour mixture. The wing sauce concoction was definitely the star of the show! I poured a little onto the finished wings and everyone gobbled them up in minutes.
Next time, I think will toss the finished wings in the sauce and then put them under the broiler for a few minutes to make them extra crispy!
If you are looking for the perfect snack for your Super Bowl party I would totally recommend trying these crispy baked wings.
I am the mother to one wild child and 2 fur babies. I have lived in the Cincinnati area my entire life. It is unbelievable the amount of things there are to do and see in this city and I can't wait to share them with you! Stay tuned for announcements about our monthly Girls' Night Out events and opportunities to showcase local businesses.