12.17.2015

{Gift Guide for Him}

Can you believe that Christmas is only 8 days away?? I sure can't, and if you're anything like me, you still have a lot of shopping to do before the big day! Ladies…If you need some awesome gifts for your men, I have the perfect solution. GuysIf you want to shower yourselves with some Christmas love, you need to check this out!

Their products are amazing, and you still have time to take advantage of their great deals:
  • Order by Saturday, 12/19 at 11:59 pm PT for Guaranteed Standard Delivery by Christmas!
  • Free 3-Day Shipping on $50+!
  • Use FIRST15 to get 15% off your first purchase 
Give the gift of comfort this year, and be sure to check out this special guide designed to fit any man on your list!

So hop on over to Tommy John, meet these awesome men, and be sure to snag some gifts for all your guys. I know what my hubby is getting in his stocking!! :) Merry Christmas to all!!

xoxo,
Katherine

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12.11.2015

{Personalized Video Messages from Santa}

I pulled this from the archives because it's a true treasure…Y'all HAVE to do this for your kids. :)

Kate was just a baby when I made her first video, but I showed it to her the other night, and she couldn't contain her excitement. She was giggling, grinning from ear to ear, and her eyes had the prettiest twinkle in them. Now THAT is the greatest gift I could ever receive!

Visit the Portable North Pole, create a personalized video for your sweet kids, and you can also download the app on your phone.
{PNP}
I immediately made a video for Kate as soon as I discovered the site from one of my favorite bloggers, and the process was so quick and simple.  I actually got a little teary when I watched her special video, and I can only imagine what the experience is like for older kiddos. You can watch Kate's video below, and if you have young kids, drop what you're doing and make a video of your own.  I bet they will find it as magical as I did! :)

xoxo,
Katherine
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12.02.2015

{Spinach Tortellini Soup}

My mom's recipes are the best, and on days that I'm homesick and would give anything to live in the same town as my family, I find comfort in cooking their food.

Mom's Spinach Tortellini with Spicy Italian Sausage is delicious, and y'all will love it. See recipe below: 

Ingredients:
1 T olive oil
1 lb Italian Sausage
½ cup diced onion
1 T minced garlic
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 32-oz box vegetable or chicken broth
2 T chopped fresh basil
½ t salt
1 t pepper
1 package 3-cheese tortellini
1 cup packed fresh spinach
** I used low sodium chicken broth, dried basil spice, and a bag of fresh organic spinach. 
Preparation:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add diced onion and sauté until onions are soft.
  3. Add Italian Sausage and garlic to pan.  Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
  4. Stir in crushed tomatoes, broth, basil, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover.  Let soup simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
  5. Add tortellini and spinach and simmer for about ten minutes, until pasta is tender.
  6. Serve with shredded Parmesan Cheese. Enjoy!!
xoxo,
Katherine

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11.30.2015

{Beautycounter Blessing}

Happy Monday, sweet friends!! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I'm looking forward to all of the Christmas festivities that are upon us! I have so very much to be thankful for, and one surprising blessing that has entered my life is my involvement with Beautycounter. I fell in love with their products, decided to join their team, and I am having an absolute blast sharing such an awesome mission. When you're sharing a passion that you know is making a difference in people's lives, it becomes so much fun. I'm growing my team so we can spread the Beautycounter love, and today only I'm offering a special deal:

Join today as a consultant on my team with the middle or large package, and I'll waive the $85 sign-on fee. It's so awesome, and you will be happy that you did. Click here to join now!
I have one more fabulous deal happening today, and if you've ever wanted to try Beautycounter, this is definitely the time! If you spend $150, you'll get a FREE Shampoo and Conditioner. I'm obsessed with them, and my hair is the healthiest it's been because of these products. If you're not sure what to order, start with our Face Collection. It's for all skin types, and it is AMAZING!!
If you have kids, you will LOVE our Kidscounter Bath Collection. You'll never use anything else again! :)
Have a wonderful day, and don't hesitate to contact me with questions!

xoxo,
Katherine





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11.10.2015

{Playing it Safe with Skincare}

I've turned a corner, and it is SO refreshing. For years now, all I cared about as far as skincare goes were products that would fill wrinkles, tighten skin, and take years off, no matter what the ingredients. The sad thing is, I still used the products even if I KNEW they were bad for my skin and filled with harmful toxins. 

During both of my pregnancies and when I was nursing, I really omitted a lot of my skincare products because I knew they weren't safe for my growing babies. I was constantly scouring the Internet to make sure everything I used was safe...Well, guess what? Most of it wasn't.

Then my baby boy changed everything. Every time I gave him a bath, his precious skin would break out, and he would be red all over. I switched the soaps, tried all the baby bath wash I could find, and it finally took me reading an article about all the harmful ingredients found in some baby bath products that forced me to have a wake-up call. Enough was enough. It was time for me to make a change for my babies and for myself, and that's exactly what I have done.

Enter Beautycounter. What an absolute blessing it is to have found this wonderful company whose mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone.

My journey with Beautycounter began when I fell in love with their Kidscounter line. It has worked wonders on both of my kids, and I'm so happy to have found it. As I began trying the products for myself, I fell even more in love with the products, the mission, and the company. The rest is history...I have joined the Beautycounter team so I can help share this wonderful mission, and it's one of the happiest decisions I've ever made.

This past weekend, I filled a trash bag full of all the skincare products I used to use, and boy did it feel good!! I'm playing it safe, and it is so refreshing to know that I have made an awesomely positive change for my sweet family. You can too, and you can start by taking baby steps. Try our products...You won't be disappointed!! After all, we only get one body...This skin is ours forever, and we need to take the best care of it. 

***Everyone always asks me what my favorite products are, and that's tough for me because, I kid you not, I love everything!! Here are some of the things I use every day, and you can click the links below the pictures to purchase them for yourself and your families
{Kidscounter Bath Collection}
{The Body Collection}

{Enrich Body Butter}

{Lustro Face Oil 2 in Jasmine}

{Rosewater Uplifting Spray}

{Glow Sugar Scrub}
{The Essentials Face Collection}

{Tint Skin Foundation}
If you would like to chat more about these wonderful Beautycounter products and all of my other favorites, feel free to email me at katelevico@gmail.com.

xoxo,
Katherine

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10.31.2015

{Chocolate Spiders}

Happy Halloween!! I hope you and your families have the best day, and if you need an easy treat to throw together, these chocolate spiders are for you!!

My mom has always made these (another awesome childhood memory), and I remember she would give them as Halloween gifts to everyone...Our teachers, our neighbors, our mailman, etc. So sweet, and everyone loved them!!
I decided to make a big batch for Kate's teachers, and they were so easy to prepare. I bet your family would love it if you whipped some up for Halloween night. :) Here's how to do it:

Ingredients:
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels (I used 2 bags)
  • Pretzel Sticks 
  • Peanuts
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, melt chocolate. I used the microwave, but you can use a double boiler as well.
  2. Add in pretzels sticks (I broke mine in half and folded them in gradually to determine how many I needed).
  3. Sprinkle in peanuts for some added texture.
  4. Stir all ingredients together really well.
  5. Spoon onto baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  6. Let cool and then refrigerate.
I hope y'all love these as much as we do!!

xoxo,
Katherine

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10.28.2015

{Roasted Pumpkin Seeds}

I love family traditions, and all of my holiday memories from my childhood are so special and perfect.  Our parents made everything so magical in our house, and I smile every time I think about what Halloween was like.

Mom and Dad would go all out with our costumes, home decor, spooky treats, etc., and my sister and I would get so excited when it was time to carve the pumpkins.  Dad would set up a pumpkin-carving palette on our dining table, and I just remember loving every second of digging in those pumpkins, getting messy, and spending family time together cleaning them out and then giving them their spooky expressions.  The fun didn't stop there for us though...Once our pumpkins were finished, we got to enjoy their insides by roasting the seeds in Mom's special spices.

Even though I'm {cough, cough} in my thirties now, I still love being elbow-deep in a pumpkin and squeezing those squishy insides in my hands...It's so much fun, and I can't wait for Kate and Reeves to enjoy it with us.  The pumpkin-carving experience isn't complete until we roast our pumpkin seeds, and whenever I do, I feel like I'm back in my childhood kitchen with my family.  My husband loves this {new to him} tradition that I have carried over, and I hope you will too!


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of cleaned pumpkin seeds 
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. Gather your pumpkin seeds.

  2. Rinse and pat dry.

  3. Place cleaned seeds in bowl.

  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well-coated.

  5. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.

  6. Spread seeds evenly on cookie sheet.

  7. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes (Time and temps may vary).

  8. Stir frequently until they are crispy and dry.

  9. Allow to cool...Enjoy...Then store them in an airtight container for future snacking.
Wanna experiment with some other tastes for your seeds?  Toss in some Worcestershire Sauce and cayenne pepper, or sweeten them up a bit by adding a little cinnamon and powdered sugar.  Enjoy!!

xoxo,
Katherine
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10.22.2015

{Beautycounter and Breast Cancer Awareness}

** This post was originally scheduled for the beginning of October, but we delayed in order to focus on the devastating floods in SC. **

Just a few weeks ago, I was relaxing on my couch at the end of the day, scrolling through my Facebook feed to see what was going on with all of my friends, and all of the sudden, a post popped up that immediately had me in tears.  A sweet friend of mine from college had just lost her beautiful mother to breast cancer. My heart hurt, my tears wouldn’t stop, and I just kept looking at the pictures of my friend with her baby boy and her loving mother.  As I sit here and type this, I’m crying again at the thought of my dear friend having to say goodbye to her mother, her best friend, and the grandmother to her precious one year-old son. Heaven gained a beautiful angel, and I pray for comfort and healing for my friend and her family.

Fast forward to last week…In one of our many text convos, another amazing friend of mine asks if I’d be interested in partnering with her on a blog series dedicated to highlighting different issues and statistics surrounding Breast Cancer, as well as other safety issues. My response…Yes, yes, YES!!!!

Here’s where the story takes an awesome turn…I head over to meet with my dear friend Christi Hucks, Founding Member of Beautycounter. to chat about our blog series…Only it turned into much more than that. The more I learned about Beautycounter, the more I was intrigued by and impressed with the company and the mission. I was already hooked on the Beautycounter Kids Line because it had helped my sweet Reeves’ sensitive skin tremendously, and that very day at Christi’s house, I started falling even more in love as I read through the literature. That night before bed as I reflected upon my day, something just felt right. I’m so excited to be a part of this great company, and I bet if you read this, you will want to be, too.
It is my absolute honor and pleasure to join Beautycounter and be a part of something so wonderful, and throughout the month of October - Breast Cancer Awareness month - I’ll be doing a series of posts all about Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention.

Here are a few FAQs:

Where can we find out a little about Beautycounter?

One story that tugged at my heart and caused me to want to join this movement is the story of Beautycounter’s Founder, Gregg Renfrew. Click here to check it out.

What steps have you taken to lead a healthier lifestyle as far as beauty products go?

I have started using everything Beautycounter, and I love it!! I get excited to shower, wash my face, bathe my kids, etc. because the products are so refreshing and luxurious. Knowing that I’m using safe and healthy products on myself and my family is icing on the cake!

Beautycounter’s mission is amazing, and I love that they have partnered with the Breast Cancer Fund.  Can you tell us a little about BCF?

BCF works to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.

WHY WE LOVE THEM: The Breast Cancer Fund is a founding member and national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a broad-based coalition working to eliminate dangerous chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products.

How can I get involved?

Let’s chat! You can email me at katelevico@gmail.com.

I would love for you to try our products. Once you do, you’ll be hooked. Click here to learn more and to check out our website.

xoxo,
Katherine

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10.20.2015

{No-Carve Pumpkins}

The kiddos have their costumes (Spoiler alert: Elsa and Olaf) :), and our pumpkins have adorned the front porch. Now, it's time to decorate them, and these no-carve designs are still some of my favorites. {See more pumpkin carving tips here}.

Have fun decorating your pumpkins...I'd love to hear which designs you choose! :)

Here are some of my favorites:
{Melted Crayon Pumpkins via The Swell Designer}

{Jack-O'-Totem via HGTV}
{Metallic Herringbone Pumpkin via Lacquer & Linen}




{Color Block Pumpkins via illi style}




{Washi Tape Pumpkins via Real Simple}




{Glittered Pumpkins via Martha Stewart}
{Swarm of Bats Pumpkin via Spoonful}




{Metallic Pumpkins via Real Simple}




{Candy Corn Painted Pumpkins via BHG}




{Chalkboard Paint Pumpkins via Real Simple}




{String Pumpkins via P.S. I Made This}



xoxo,
Katherine

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10.14.2015

{Nutter Butter Ghost Cookies}

These cookies turned out to be the cutest Halloween treats for my daughter's little class at school, and I have to admit, I whipped them up at the very last minute. I'm proof that these are totally doable…I made these last year for the first time, I had a 2 week-old at home, it was 10:30 at night, and I had just remembered that I should probably send treats to school with Kate for Halloween. That explains the picture quality…Sorry!

Here's the scoop…These are super simple, even if you're like me and don't have the mini chocolate chips in your pantry. I just melted some large milk chocolate chips, poured the melted chocolate in a Ziploc bag, snipped off the end of the bag, and voila! Perfect little eyes!
Ingredients:

  • 24 Nutter Butter sandwich cookies (peanut shaped, peanut butter cookies)
  • 8 ounces white chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Melt your white chocolate in microwave safe bowl or in double boiler.
  2. Dip cookies in white chocolate and place on parchment paper.
  3. Place two mini chocolate chips for eyes.
  4. Let cool. There you have your little ghosts!
xoxo,
Katherine

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10.13.2015

{Safe Bath Products for Kids}

I haven't been this excited about something in a long time!! My sweet Reeves has always had such sensitive skin, and it was the worst after bath time. I couldn't find a perfect solution, and then came Beautycounter. Clear and healthy skin...Happy baby and mama!!


I'm so thrilled to partner with Beautycounter and get these safe products into the hands of everyone. Click here to learn more.
xoxo,
Katherine 

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10.12.2015

{My Best Friend's Birthday}

What a special day it is!! Today we celebrate my beautiful Mom's birthday, and I can't even put into words how blessed, lucky, and thankful I am to have her. True happiness is when your mother is your very best friend, and what makes it even more special is that she's Kate's and Reeves' Yia Yia! We love her with all our hearts!!!
xoxo,
Katherine


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10.10.2015

{Reeves Turns One!}

The day has arrived...My beautiful baby boy turns one, and reflecting on our journey to get to him fills my eyes with tears.


At 10:39 AM on 10/10/14, my life was forever changed. There is no greater joy in the world than that of a healthy baby's cry, and holding my son in my arms for the first time is a moment I will never forget. It is still so fresh in my mind, and this morning, my sweet Reeves' first year of life keeps flashing before my eyes.


Every minute with him has been amazing, and I can't wait to see what this next year brings. We love you, sweet angel...Thank you for bringing us the most heartwarming and overwhelming feelings of joy and love.

xoxo,
Katherine


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10.09.2015

{Halloween Candy Bark}

Since it's finally Fall, I figured I'd keep with my theme of fun, festive recipes for the season.  Last week I shared this super simple, 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Bread, and today I wanted to share another delicious treat.  I'm all about easy when it comes to cooking and baking, and when I saw this simple recipe, I knew it was right up my alley. :)

This candy bark is so easy to prepare, and everyone in my family absolutely loves it! Stick it in a cute Halloween container, and you've got yourself a perfect little Halloween gift for friends and loved ones.

Ingredients:
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- peanuts
- candy corn
- Reese’s Pieces

Instructions:

1. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave in 30-second intervals until completely melted. If needed, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the chocolate chips to make the mixture smoother.

2. Pour melted chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Spread to an even thickness.

3. Sprinkle peanuts, candy corn, and Reese’s Pieces onto the chocolate. Set the bark aside to firm at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

4. Once the bark is completely set, break into chunks.
I hope you all enjoy this yummy treat! :)
xoxo,
Katherine

** All photos courtesy of Brit + Co.

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