5 Eyeliners and a Gloss

Queso Stuffed Zucchini & smartwater sparkling

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #LetYourHolidaySparkle #CollectiveBias

December is just a few days away, which means it's officially the holiday season!! I don't know about you but I am ready for a month full of holiday festivities, family get togethers and Christmas dinner parties. 

And whether you're going to be doing the holiday entertaining or will be a guest (of honor) like me, today I am going to share how to add extra sparkle to all of your holiday events.

I'm really good about drinking water, you can always find me with a bottle of water in-hand and smartwater is my bottled water of choice. Each day I take a bottle of smartwater with me to work and enjoy knowing that one bottle will  take me through the end of my shift.

I was excited to learn that there is a smartwater sparkling, for those times in life that regular water won't cut it - like holiday entertaining. smartwater sparkling is not your average sparkling water: smartwater sparkling is vapor distilled with electrolytes for taste. It is innovative and modern and the perfect beverage for your table when you are entertaining.

You can find smartwater sparkling at Albertsons in singles and packs, which were sold out when I went in. We'll have to head back for some when they restock because we will definitely need more than a few bottles.

The crisp, clean taste of smartwater sparkling is the perfect pairing with holiday meals. I will not be hosting any holiday events because I am loaded up with work, but I am attending quite a few dinners and will be bringing some sides, and smartwater sparkling. Today I am going to share one of the side dishes that I will be bringing to my family's holiday dinner. This is a simple Stuffed Zucchini dish that is quick and easy to prepare, but really delicious.

You can go in some many different directions when making stuffed zucchini. You can stuff them in some many ways, or you can keep it simple like I do. I am not the biggest meat eater, but I do love vegetables and cheese and am always looking for ways to pair them together.

Queso Stuffed Zucchini

4 medium zucchini cut in half lengthwise
1 cup of queso fresco and queso cotija mix
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 chile serrano finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
dash of pepper

1: Start by washing and cutting zucchini in half lengthwise and scooping out the middle of each with a spoon. I like to save what I scoop out for a soup that I will be making later. 

2: In a bowl, mix queso blend, diced serrano chile, tomatoes and a dash of pepper. 

3: Place zucchini into a baking dish and fill each zucchini with an even amount of mixture and put in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

4: Remove from oven and garnish with more queso blend and chopped parsley. 

Easy right? I really love this dish because it really is quite flavorful while still being light and not overly filling. That way I can have enough room for the really rich and heavy foods that the rest of the family will be making, like loads and loads of tamales. 

Whether you're doing the holiday entertaining or attending some events, bring the sparkle with you by making sure to stock up on smartwater sparkling at Albertsons. 

5 Steps to a More Restful Night

I have received information and materials from ©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017.The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. #ForBetterTomorrows #BetterTomorrows #FallBack #CollectiveBias

As I have shared before, I work as a school photographer and the fall season is the busiest season for us. There are days that I am up before 3:30 in the morning and will work up to 14 hours. 

These long work days coupled with a lot of loading and unloading of heavy equipment can definitely work a number on my lower back. Also, I work with children, lots and lots of screaming children, which can lead to a few pretty bad headaches a week. 

This is a great time for me to score some OT,  especially with the holidays right around the corner, but by the end of the day my entire body is filled with aches and pains. As it is with most moms, there is no downtime the next day, which means that I need to get a restful night's sleep, and combat the aches and pains too. 

With daylight savings on November 5, the days are shorter but I still want to take advantage of every single hour, without being in pain. That's why my night's are so important, each night's sleep has to get me ready for the next day. My weapon of choice at the moment for getting a good night's sleep is TYLENOL® PM, a two-hitter pill that not only helps me get some extra zzz's, it helps relieve all the aches and pains of the day. Along with TYLENOL® PM, there are a few steps that I take to ensure a more restful night. 

5 Steps to a More Restful Night

Two caplets of TYLENOL® PM at bedtimea good night’s sleep positively impacts our mental and physical well-being, getting a restful night's sleep when you suffer with aches and pains is not always easy. On those really tough days, two caplets of TYLENOL® PM at bedtime allow me to get my rest. *Use TYLENOL® PM only as directed on the product packaging.

Shop for TYLENOL® PM  at Walgreens directly from the photo above!

TYLENOL® is collaborating with Walgreens to help treat consumers that are experiencing sleepless nights. Sleeplessness is the primary issue these consumers face. Pain is an added layer of complexity to their sleepless nights and TYLENOL® PM relieves those minor aches and pains while helping you fall asleep.

Lavender Sleeping Spray: making your own DIY lavender pillow spray is easy. All you need is some lavender essential oil, a spray bottle and water. Spraying a bit of this on your pillow and wrists at bedtime, every night, can help your senses rest. If lavender is not your favorite scent, there are many other essential oils you can pick from in order to concoct YOUR perfect sleeping spray.

Read a book versus surf the web: these days we never without a phone or tablet at our fingertips, especially when we wake and are getting ready for bed. But I find that the longer I spend on an electronic, the less I want to go to sleep. Instead of putting on YT, Netflix or going through your IG feed, pull out an old fashioned book 30 minutes before bed. I find that the act of reading gets my mind ready to rest and doesn't hype me up the way my cell phone tends to do.

Prepare a soothing cup of caffeine-free tea or warm milk: a lot of people say that the warm milk trick is not actually effective for helping you get to sleep, but I find that it works for me. It's not about the milk actually putting you to sleep, it's about the warming and comforting sensation that a warm cup of milk gives us, especially if it's something that your mom did for you as a child.

Sleep sounds app: for years I was one of the people that leaves the tv on in order to sleep, I've just never been able to sleep in a really silent room. But I learned that the sounds from the television can actually disrupt and stress us out, not allowing our brains to get that deep sleep we need. I have now discovered sleep sound apps and they've been a lifesaver. I can now listen to the sound of rain, the rumble of the city or any other sound that will soothe me to sleep.

Everyday life mean dealing with aches and pains, but don't let that stop you from getting the much needed rest your body needs. I hope a few of my tips can help you sleep better and more pain-free night's sleep so you can be ready to face the next day, and the one after that. What are some of your nigh time tricks to aid sleeping?

TYLENOL® PM contains a pain reliever and nighttime sleep aid. ©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017 The third party trademarks used herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

5 Tips for Maintaining Overall Family Wellness

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NatureMadeFamily #CollectiveBias

We are smack in the middle of the busiest season of the year. Julius has been in school for a good month now, and while I think we've finally found our rhythm for getting up and out of the house on time each morning, it's so crazy busy with all of Julius's activities. This kid is only 4 and already his schedule is packed, I can only imagine how busy he's going to keep me as he gets older.  

Honestly, there are days that I feel like someone has run me over with a garbage truck, and not sure how I am going to face the next day. But like most moms, I manage each day one at a time and by the end of the week, I've actually ticked off most of my to-do-list. 

Something that makes a big difference in my everyday life is my overall wellness. How much I can get done for me and my family depends on how good I feel and today I am sharing five tips for maintaining overall wellness, as a family.

5 Tips for Maintaining Overall Family Wellness

Take a daily vitamin: I'm a big proponent of a daily vitamin, especially after the birth of my son. I breast fed him for over two years, which made for a very healthy little boy. But by the time I stopped, I was in major need of extra vitamins and minerals. Since then, a multivitamin has always been part of my morning regimen. 

Now that my son is 4 he is taking his own vitamin and because he can be a bit picky I made sure to pick out a gummy vitamin that I wouldn't struggle to get him to take. 

I make sure to pick up Nature Made® vitamins at Target for both of us. Right now is a great time to pick up Nature Made® products using this Cartwheel offer. Get get 30% off all Nature Made® products, while supplies last.

Nature Made® Kids First® Vitamin C gummies are only recommend for children 4 years old and up. Because they are in gummy form, and have great tasting natural flavor, they are an easy way for kids to take supplements without complaints.

Julius actually looks forward to taking his vitamin everyday. The new great price point of $9.99, along with the great flavor, makes it easy to start the family on a healthy, tasty routine. Nature Made® Kids First® Vitamin C gummies are gluten free too!

‡My current daily vitamin is Nature Made® Hair Skin and Nails Adult Gummies, which give my hair, nails and skin that extra support they currently need‡. ‡May help support healthy hair, skin and nails for those that are deficient in biotin.†

Two Nature Made® Hair Skin and Nails Adult Gummies each morning and my vitamin regimen is done.

Make healthier snacking choices for the entire family: when packing our snacks each morning, I make sure to include healthier picks like: water and fruit. We enjoy sugary drinks and sweets, just like everyone else, but in moderation. While I will still pack Julius a pouch of his favorite juice, he also gets a bottle of water. It's all about maintaining a good balance.

Having a healthy snack during the day, also allows us to indulge at dinner, which is the one meal we all get to enjoy as a family. 

Stay active as a family: this is easy to do when you have kids, they have so much energy that you'll have to find an outlet for that energy each afternoon. We love going to the park, on a nature hike, or simply taking a walk at the end of the day. 

I'm so not that mom who goes to the gym on a daily basis. I've tried that before but with our busy lives, there is no time for that anymore. But I find that getting out with the kids each day helps me keep my body active without having to take time away from my son, and we get to have some fun together. 

Take time as a family to enjoy the season: nobody can keep going at full speed without taking a break, and even though this is the busiest season for me at work, I make time to spend with the family doing all the fall events. We've been to the pumpkin patch, Knotts Spooky Farm and have the school fall festival to attend later this week. 

Nature Made® vitamins play a big part in mine and my family's everyday life. Taking a daily vitamin really is an easy way to support overall health, so we can keep moving right along with our busy schedules.

† 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.