5 Eyeliners and a Gloss

Making Icy Coca-Cola Magic

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #MakeIcyMagic #CollectiveBias

I like to consider myself to be a bit of an expert on icy beverages. I live in California where icy and slushie type drinks are a year-round thing and I was pretty sure that I knew all of the best places to score one. Turns out that I was wrong and I have been seriously missing out one of the coolest ways to enjoy a delicious Coca-Cola™ or Sprite®. 

My icy drink cravings tend to come at various hours in the day including in the middle of the night or maybe on the drive home from a long day of work. And nothing is worse than getting to your favorite slushie place only to find it closed. That's why my new must-stop place for an icy drink is Chevron Station, home of the Arctic Coke machine. Voila!

I don't even know if I had seen the Arctic Coke machine before last week. Gas station stores tend to be so busy that I don't know if I had never seen this machine, or maybe I saw it and thought it was a simple fridge. That's what it looks like right? Well, check out how cool this machine actually is. 

Start by picking out your favorite Coca-Cola drink. 

Now you slowly tilt the beverage upside down, then right side up.

Place your cold beverage on the platform.

Press the red button.

Now, watch the icy magic happen!

My bottle of Sprite literally turned into the perfect icy beverage right in front of my eyes.

How amazing is this? If you're like me, you have attempted to create this kind of magic at home by putting your soft drink in the freezer. But getting the perfect amount of ice is not easy and I usually end up freezing mine into a hard rock. 

All the Arctic Coke machine needs is a press of the button and you have the PERFECT slushie in mere seconds. 

I think it's safe to say that I will now be taking a different route home from work, specifically the one that brings me past this Chevron Station. Unfortuntately, not all stations have the amazing Arctic Coke machine so you will have to find an Arctic Coke near you

I'm hoping that as the word gets out and more people find out about Arctic Coke, more machines will be available because this is such an awesome way to enjoy a Coca-Cola product. Seriously, I have found my favorite new way to enjoy a cold drink and I hope that soon there will be an Arctic Coke machine closer to my place so I can make some midnight soda runs. 

Check out this video to see exactly how the Arctic Coke magic came to be and let me know if you have spotted this delicious icy beverage machine in your area. 

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.