About

Welcome to my Blog

  • What do you get when you take a southern gal out of Texas and move her to California? A whole new beginning.
  • What happens when you mix a southern gal with the big city? You get Lemonade to Lace…
  • What is Lemonade? Well….It’s southern. It’s simple. It’s refreshing. It’s happiness. It’s a throwback in time to the basics in life. It’s a great big smile.
  • What is Lace? It is feminine. It is sophisticated. It is elegant. It is design. It is a bunch of woven threads leading to all things beautiful.
  • I hope you enjoy reading my blog filled with ideas, inspirations and tidbits of information relevant to style and your lifestyle.

           xx Barbara

           

 

Let’s Celebrate International Women’s Day!

As Spring of 2019 approaches, it feels more important than ever to celebrate the power of women. So, mark your ...
Read More

HOW (AND WHY) TO LOOK RAVISHING IN RED

February is all about Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, so let’s say hello to all things red and heart ...
Read More

LOVE YOURSELF THIS AMERICAN HEART MONTH 

February is not only a great time to don red - it’s the perfect time to bring awareness to the ...
Read More

Boxed Gifts for Your Galentines and Go-To Guys!

Looking for Valentine’s Day gifts to treat someone special in your life? Consider this a one-stop sweet shop. In fact, ...
Read More

A Healthy New You For The New Year

As January kickstarts 2019, many of us are looking towards our new year’s resolutions. It’s always empowering to begin the ...
Read More

Personalized Holiday Gifts

Let’s Get Personal I’ve lived most of my holiday seasons in Texas, where personalized, monogrammed and customized gifts were the ...
Read More
Beauty, Pretty Things, Random Things

Let’s Celebrate International Women’s Day!

As Spring of 2019 approaches, it feels more important than ever to celebrate the power of women. So, mark your calendars: Friday, March 8th is International Women’s Day all over the world! This year, celebrants are encouraged to reflect on a theme of #BalanceforBetter. That means we’ll strive for balance in the workplace, balance at home, balance in education and balance in pop culture. After all, balance is a beautiful thing!

Of course, we’ve come a long way over the years, and there are many people and moments to honor. For over a hundred years, March 8th has been a day designated for women. Its purpose differs from country to country, city to city and place to place. In most countries, it’s a way to celebrate women’s accomplishments and gender equality, launch new initiatives and raise awareness. The day is supported and celebrated globally by governments, industries, educational institutions, community groups, charities and nonprofits, as well as the media. Together, every person and all demographics can make a difference within their group by taking concrete action to help build a more gender-balanced world. Gender balance will take teamwork, but I know our communities are up for the challenge.

When I began researching this topic, I stumbled upon some historical trivia and tidbits that I thought you’d enjoy, too.

  1. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY BEGAN MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO. Hard to believe, but when the first International Women’s Day was held, more than 1 million people in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark took part.
  2. THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICIALLY ADOPTED INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY IN 1975. Since March 8, 1975, the UN has been the primary sponsor the of the annual event. They have encouraged other countries to embrace the holiday and its goal of celebrating “acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.”
  3. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY IS AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY IN DOZENS OF COUNTRIES. March 8th is a celebration around the world and an official holiday in dozens of countries. Afghanistan, Armenia, Cambodia, Cuba, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam are just some of the places where International Women’s Day is recognized as an official holiday.
  4. EACH YEAR’S FESTIVITIES HAVE AN OFFICIAL THEME. Remember how this year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter? The theme for 2017 was #BeBoldforChange and the 2016 theme was #PledgeforParity. Talk about hashtags that celebrate HER!

So, how to celebrate in style? A t-shirt says a thousand words. The slogan tee has been back on top ever since Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri sent a t-shirt down the runway which read, “We should all be feminists.” To ensure you look the part in the international celebration of women this year, here are some slogan tees that are perfect to pair with your most comfortable, confidence-driving denim.

2019 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY #BALANCEFORBETTER T-SHIRT

THIS GIRL CAN T-SHIRT

FOREVER FIERCE T-SHIRT

THE FUTURE IS FEMALE T-SHIRT

GO GET IT GIRL T-SHIRT

PRIORITY FEMALE T-SHIRT

FEMME AND FIERCE T-SHIRT

GIRL POWER T-SHIRT

SELF LOVE IS THE BEST LOVE T-SHIRT

NEW APP TO CHECK OUT:

FINDSISTERHOOD

FindSisterhood is a completely anonymous app for everyone that identifies as women to share about all the issues and questions they might be having on motherhood, infertility, relationships, miscarriage and all topics that are common to women. It is untraceable, safe and judgement free. Their mission statement? Empowered women empower women. It is a place for women to come together to support and help each other. Being able to talk to other women without revealing your identity has played a big part in the app’s success. The thought of knowing that someone out there is going through the same thing or something similar is sometimes enough to get you through the day and give you the strength to move forward.

8 FIERCE US FEMALE CHEFS TO WATCH IN THE CULINARY INDUSTRY

  • Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco (first woman in the United States to receive Michelin’s highest distinction of three stars)
  • Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter in New York City
  • Christina Tosi of Milk Bar in Los Angeles and New York City
  • Dominica Rice of Cosecha Cafe in Oakland
  • Deborah VanTrece, Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours, Atlanta
  • Leah Cohen of Pig and Khao in New York City
  • Susannah Gebhart and Maia Surdam of OWL Bakery in Asheville
  • Mashama Bailey of The Grey in Savannah

In a perfect Lemonade To Lace world, my goal with each blog post is to give you one new thing to think about and add to your repertoire of tidbits that you already know. If you learn something from reading each of my posts, then I know I’ve done my job. This blogging experience and the sharing of information helps me learn along the way, too! This time around, I didn’t have much knowledge about International Women’s Day until my friend Jenna brought it to my attention. What I’ve learned has reinforced what I did know: I know that everyone has a part to play in the future of our world, everywhere and all the time. I also know that balance drives a better working world. Ask any leader or business executive. Let’s all build a gender-balanced world together and help create a #BalanceforBetter. Girlfriends, let’s do this!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

If you’re currently following me on INSTAGRAM, I want to send you a big thank you! Hearing from you makes my world go round. If not, please check out @lemonadetolace on your INSTAGRAM app and tap FOLLOW. Check me out on PINTEREST too and follow along @lemonadetolace.

Random Things

HOW (AND WHY) TO LOOK RAVISHING IN RED

February is all about Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, so let’s say hello to all things red and heart healthy!

First things first: Red is definitely out of most comfort zones, but it’s worth taking the plunge! Red is a truly bold color, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a wardrobe staple. Every shade of red, from crimson to maroon, is universally flattering – and surprisingly versatile. Not to mention, this is the color to wear when you want to feel energetic and in control of a situation. Red symbolizes power and position. This highly visible color works perfectly for business attire because it highlights leadership, confidence and determination. Ever think about what we roll out for celebrities and VIPs? A bright RED carpet! Plus, this regal color gets bonus points for representing love and passion.

One more thing that red represents? The good health of people we all love. In case you’re wondering why we wear red in February, The American Heart Association is bringing awareness to women’s heart health. Red is bold and it’s beautiful – just like the women who wear it. As Audrey Hepburn once said, “There’s a shade of red for every woman”, and it’s guaranteed that any touch of red will be a classic in your wardrobe. Some of my favorite red pieces to consider this season are:

NIKE CLASSIC CORTEZ

TED BAKER RED PUFFER JACKET

CINQ A SEPT LIVE AND LET LOVE GRAPHIC TEE

DEREK LAM 10 CROSBY BELTED RED TRENCH DRESS

GUCCI DIONYSUS LEATHER MINI CHAIN SHOULDER BAG

VERONICA BEARD DOUBLE BREASTED RED JACKET

AG DENIM THE FARRAH SKINNY ANKLE JEAN

MOON LEATHER 1” RED GUCCI BELT WITH TEXTURED BUCKLE

ROUGE DIOR LIPSTICK – 999 RED

SUZANNA DAI TEARDROP EARRINGS

GUCCI PRINCETOWN LOAFER MULE

HALOGEN TRENCH COAT

Smooch!

xx Barbara

If you’re currently following me on INSTAGRAM, I want to send you a big thank you! Hearing from you makes my world go round. If not, please check out @lemonadetolace on your INSTAGRAM app and tap FOLLOW. Check me out on PINTEREST too and follow along @lemonadetolace.

Random Things

LOVE YOURSELF THIS AMERICAN HEART MONTH 

February is not only a great time to don red – it’s the perfect time to bring awareness to the importance of your cardiovascular health. The number one killer of women is heart disease, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease and stroke claim the lives of one in three women. We need to be heart smart and change this statistic.This month is the perfect time to stress the importance of cardiovascular health.The importance of getting your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars checked regularly cannot be stressed enough. You already know that a good diet and exercise can keep your heart healthy, but there are some other habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle to ensure your heart health is the best it can be.

It’s never too early or too late to make adjustments to your lifestyle so you can live a longer, healthier life. Whether it’s twinking your diet or exercise routine, managing your stress differently, or adjusting your sleep habits, changing lifestyle habits takes time and effort. Your heart works for you and never takes a day off, so show it some TLC! Making the decision to take on a heart healthy challenge takes time and effort. Be sure to reward yourself for every positive step you take, because your heart’s health will be better for it. Making small changes in your habits can make a real difference to your heart health. I’ve included some tips below that we can all incorporate, one beat at a time.

Four Weeks of Heart-Healthy Tips

Try one tip a day for four weeks to improve your heart health.

Week 1

Get Organized To Lessen The Stress.
Focus on your most important tasks by creating to-do lists. Take one step at a time when taking on big tasks. For example, start by organizing just one part of your life – your desk, closet, kitchen, car or drawer.

Take The Stairs.
The elevator may go up – but it doesn’t make your heart rate climb. Take the stairs instead. Over time, your body will thank you.

Add At Least 3 Healthy Fats To Your Diet
Healthy fats consist of avocados, salmon, tuna, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, ground flaxseed, olives, extra virgin olive oil, whole eggs, full-fat milk, full-fat yogurt, edamame, dark chocolate, coconuts and coconut oil, chia seeds, lean grass-fed beef. Whew! Now that’s a list!

Warm Up Before You Work Out
If you plan to run, start by walking. Then walk fast and slowly increase your pace to a quick jog which will increase your heart rate. Your muscles are tighter and cooler when you’re inactive so go easy on them and gradually get loose and warm.

Week 2

Hydrate! Water is your friend.
The harder and longer you work out, the more water you need. Our body is made up of 70% water. Make sure to replace whatever water you sweat out. Your body needs it.

Get Enough Sleep
Go to sleep an hour earlier. Try to get 6 – 8 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep increases the risk of high blood pressure and belly fat through the release of stress hormones. Sweet  Dreams!

Tune Into Fitness During TV Time
Say goodbye to your inner couch potato. Jog, walk in place or use the treadmill at the gym while you watch your favorite 30-minute show.

Skip The Dessert
Take a family walk after dinner and say goodbye to the cake. You’ll get a reward that’s better than dessert: more time together with the family.

Week 3

Park And Walk
How many times have you driven around the parking lot to find “the perfect spot”? No need to ever worry about this again! You’ll stress less and gain more energy by parking farther away and walking to your destination.

Clean Up
Your heart works best on a clean diet. This means adding more whole, plant-based foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. It also means cutting out refined, processed foods like pasta, bread, crackers and cookies. Also, cut down on sodas and fruit juices, which don’t contain fruit’s natural fiber.

Stress Less
We can all agree that our lives are more stressful than ever. For most women, it’s important to understand the necessity of increasing me time. Take care of number one. Meditate. Take a yoga class. Your health matters!

Move More. Don’t Sit
I don’t know if you’ve heard this new saying “Sitting is the new smoking.” Ouch! OMG! Yikes! In recent years, studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time is just bad for your health, no matter how much you exercise. If you’re doing nothing, do something. And if you’re doing something, do more. Break up periods of sitting with getting up and stretching or moving around while seated at your desk in your office or at home watching TV.

Week 4

Wear A Pedometer
To increase your physical activity, wear a fitbit or use your iPhone app to track the amount of steps you take on average each day. Every few weeks, increase the steps you take by 500. In no time you will hit 10,000 steps.

Join A Fitness Center Near You
Workout before or after work which will enable you to miss rush-hour traffic. Sign up for a yoga or spin class. If you have no lunch plans, drop in for a lunchtime workout. Physical activity just does a body good.

Stretch After Every Workout
Stretching will help prevent injury or muscle strain. Choose two or three of your favorite songs to listen to while you stretch. Don’t stop stretching until they’re over. The minutes will fly by and you’ll get all the stretching in that you need.

Prepare A Heart Healthy Meal
Getting to the heart of the matter, wellness begins with you from the inside out. Make a heart healthy delicious meal for your family. Cut the salt and use more herbs to season. There are many cookbooks out there to help you. Whether you prefer sticking to a mediterranean diet or one that’s entirely low-sodium and low in cholesterol, either of these cookbooks will be full of information.

Give Up Bad Habits
You are what you eat. If you want to lower your risk of heart disease, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. If you have a sweet tooth and crave sugar, eat fruit instead. Too much alcohol, caffeine or cigarettes can increase stress. Just say no.

The most important thing to remember is this: in addition to doing all of the things that you have to do, do more of what you love to do. Make it a point to spend time with people you’re close to. Talk, laugh, confide and truly enjoy your time with each other. It’s good for your emotional health and your heart’s future will be better for it!

Please share the diet, exercise, wellness and healthy living tips that you swear by. My readers and I would love to hear from you in the comments below or on @lemonadetolace social media pages! Thanks, sweethearts!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

If you’re currently following me on INSTAGRAM, I want to send you a big thank you! Hearing from you makes my world go round. If not, please check out @lemonadetolaceon your INSTAGRAM app and tap FOLLOW. Check me out on PINTEREST too and follow along @lemonadetolace.

Random Things

Boxed Gifts for Your Galentines and Go-To Guys!

Looking for Valentine’s Day gifts to treat someone special in your life? Consider this a one-stop sweet shop. In fact, it’s a two-stop shop: This lovely list of boxed gifts will put a smile on your sweetheart’s face, but it’s also sure to brighten up Galentine’s Day for your girlfriends. The February 13th holiday is all about ladies celebrating ladies. So, whether your girlfriends are near or far, get ready to fill their mailboxes with major doses of TLC.

Keep scrolling and enjoy this selection of my favorite boxed gifts for every Valentine and Galentine on your list. Clever, unique and special, these 12 fun boxes are sure to surprise and delight, in true Cupid fashion.

FOR YOUR GALENTINE 

GREETABL

BAKED IN

BOXFOX

FAB FIT FUN

LOVE GOODLY

SIMONE LEBLANC

FOR YOUR GO-TO GUY

DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB

FANCHEST

BIRCHBOX MAN

GENTLEMAN’S BOX

Use code L2L20 for 20% off at:  https://gbx.es/LemonadeToLace

BREO BOX

MAN CRATES

I hope this list leaves you ready to spread the love this Valentine’s Day season. Have a box you swear by? Be sure to share it with our readers in the comments below, or on @lemonadetolace social media pages!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

If you’re currently following me on INSTAGRAM, I want to send you a big thank you! Hearing from you makes my world go round. If not, please check out @lemonadetolace on your INSTAGRAM app and tap FOLLOW. Check me out on PINTEREST too and follow along @lemonadetolace.

Beauty, Random Things

A Healthy New You For The New Year

As January kickstarts 2019, many of us are looking towards our new year’s resolutions. It’s always empowering to begin the year with positive vibes and a fresh perspective. One of the most common resolutions every year is getting fit, healthy and into shape. I think that’s wonderful! What could be better than trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle and putting HEALTHY at the top of your ‘to do’ list for 2019?

In this day and age, there are many workout classes and fitness trends to explore. Low impact exercise and a focus on recovery are sure to play critical roles in 2019’s top workout trends.

Of course, let’s be honest: Fitting in time to exercise can be tricky for many of us! Ultimately, it’s important to get into a routine. Prioritize and be realistic with your goals. Life gets busy, so come up with a workout plan that works for you and your individual lifestyle. Be realistic with your goals. Don’t go overboard and commit to something that you won’t stick to. Well, there is one thing you should commit to when exercising…FUN! Gone are the days when getting fit meant you had to stare at a wall while jogging solo on a treadmill. Get outside! Take a walk with friends or sign up for a different kind of workout class that you’ve never done before. There’s a workout class to suit everyone’s taste and style. That’s where this year’s Lemonade to Lace lineup comes in: From prior dancers to competitive hearts, there’s a class for every fitness fanatic to-be.

VIRTUAL CLASSES (AT HOME!)
With the growing popularity of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube, it’s no surprise that streaming services are also taking over the fitness industry. Doing a barre workout or yoga class in your very own home via YouTube or other fitness apps is very appealing. After all, it comes right to you with just the tap of a finger, and there’s no rush to sign-up or worry about overcrowded classes! If you love prioritizing convenience over cost, there are two home-based immersive fitness products that you need to know about right now. Neither are cheap, but they are a good alternative to joining a high priced gym or workout facility. You will have a multisensory workout experience tapping into your sense of sight and sound in your own home. And, if you do the math, they eventually pay for themselves since you’ll be able to axe existing class programs. This is immersive fitness at its best!

MIRROR – https://www.mirror.co/showroom
Meet the world’s first nearly invisible home gym. This full-length mirror  transforms into a sleek, interactive display, allowing you to participate in 50+ cardio, strength, yoga and boxing classes from their studio in New York. Complete with an embedded camera and speakers, it truly creates an immersive, in-person group environment right in your living room!

PELOTON – https://www.onepeloton.com/bike?
These at-home, high-tech spinning bikes are equipped with 22-inch HD screens that let you tune-in and experience the adrenaline and action of 14 daily LIVE and 8000+ ON DEMAND classes straight from your home.

APP WORKOUTS THAT DON’T PHONE IT IN
Dread group classes and the stress of early sign-up? No worries! You can download these apps from the App store and workout on your own time in your own space and at your own pace.

HITFIT

  • Workout Summary: Get personalized bodyweight training plan.
  • Prices: 3 day free trial, then $9.99/month

SWEAT

  • Workout Summary: Resistance, strength and circuit training workouts plus an added perk, the BBG (bikini body guide) workout which has transformed the bodies of many and shocked the fitness world.
  • Prices: 7 days FREE week trial, $19.99 monthly subscription ($5 per week), $119.94 Yearly. One payment fee.

CLASS IS IN SESSION
Many people prefer fitness classes to exercising solo. It makes sense! Group settings are super-motivating and great for socializing before and after workouts. Depending on your workout preference, most fitness studios provide all workout equipment, such as weights, bands, and machines. That just leaves the workout wear up to you – more on that another day!

ORANGE THEORY https://www.orangetheoryfitness.com/

  • Workout summary: 60 minutes, involves rotating on stations between treadmill, rowing machine, lifting room. Cardio + strength training in fast paced class. Motivational. Music included. Regular members encouraged to have watches to monitor heart rate, which gives feedback during class on the screen.
  • Prices: Basic (four classes a month) costs $59; Elite (eight a month) $99; and Premier (unlimited) $159

I’ve taken an OrangeTheory class. It’s efficient, fast-paced and intense. If you love that competitive edge, this is a great workout for you. I know people who enjoy Orangetheory because they thrive in a competitive and challenging environment.

CORE POWER YOGA https://www.corepoweryoga.com/

  • First free week trial + free mat/towel on first day.
  • Workout summary: 60 minutes, three primary classes of C1, C2, Yoga Sculpt, Hot Yoga, Hot Yoga Fusion @ temperatures of of 94 degrees or above; either more yoga meditation (C1 + C2) or more of a sculpting, cardio, strength workout with CorePower Yoga 3.
  • Prices: black tag membership – $189 with first month discount of $109; each individual class is $26.

PURE BARRE  http://purebarre.com/

  • Workout:  45-50 minute total body workouts. At the core of the Pure Barre technique is a thoughtful series of low impact, isometric movements that are designed to produce results.
  • Prices: Single Class $28. Series and Class Packs available.
  • Deals: Featured on GROUPON and FIRST WEEK FREE deals depending on location.

BAR METHOD  https://barmethod.com/

  • Workout: 45 minute class starts with a warm-up, upper-body exercises and push-ups followed by sequences of leg work at the barre and core exercises on matts on the floor. The workout uses few props like free weights, balls and mats but mainly uses your own bodyweight for resistance.
  • Prices: New Client Introductory Special: 30 days Unlimited $99. Single Class $29. Series and Class Packs available. Check website for additional promotions.

SOULCYCLE https://www.soul-cycle.com

  • Workout Summary: 45 minutes, features high-intensity cardio, muscle-sculpting strength training, and rhythm-based choreography
  • Prices: First Time Ride: $20, Single Class price $30, Series and Class Packs available. Check website for more information.

YOGAWORKS

  • Workout Summary:  A variety of classes offered at all different levels focusing on fine-tuning alignment and developing awareness of body and breath.
  • Prices: Single Class price $25. Series and Class Packs available.

Note: I’m touching on details of these companies that I deem important for customers. However, every class is different and has its own personality, depending on the city, studio location and the specific instructor. Music can vary and the atmosphere can vary. Ultimately, it’s about trial and error and discovering what is best for you and your health. Pricing and promotions can be different depending on location or city.

POST-WORKOUT RITUALS
As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better than a really good stretch after an invigorating workout. Incorporating recovery training into your schedule is just as important as your actual workout; we’re hearing more about how this assisted stretching helps to build your flexibility and range of motion while providing relaxation. It is the best way to get a deep stretch safely and effectively. I’ve noticed more and more stretching studios opening up. Stretch Lab is just down the street from me. I’ve been there several times for a post-workout stretch and I love it!  I actually gave each of our kids a Stretch Lab gift card as one of their holiday gifts. It feels that good!

STRETCH LAB https://stretchlab.com

One-On-One assisted full body stretching that focuses on all muscle groups.

Prices: Introductory Special for new clients only: 25 minute stretch $29 (only good Mon. – Fri.)

25 minute stretch $39

50 minute stretch $75

STRETCH*D https://www.stretchdspace.com/why-stretchd

Assisted full body stretch

Prices: 25 minute stretch $45

55 minute stretch $100

Other forms of recovery training that I’ve been hearing more about are cryotherapy, infrared saunas, float tanks and lymphatic drainage. These places are popping up in and around Los Angeles, so I’m sure they’re in your city, too.

As I’m reflecting on what I’d like to accomplish this new year, I believe workout classes, fitness trends and recovery methods are simply add-ons to an overall wonderful lifestyle. If you take it all away, however, it all comes down to you. It comes down to you making the decision to live your best life, commit to a routine, discovering your rhythm, and taking that first step into a new chapter for 2019. Whether you’re 20 years old or 60, we’re all in this together, trying to be the best version of ourselves. Hopefully, this post helps you on your journey to feeling comfortable and confident. After all, it’s all about achieving: a healthy new you for the new year!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

PS – if you’re looking for a few new exercise accessories, check out my favorite Nike Leggings, Alo Yoga Tank, and S’well Water Bottle!

If you’re currently following me on INSTAGRAM, I want to send you a big Thank you! Hearing from you makes my world go ‘round. If not, please check out @lemonadetolace on your INSTAGRAM app and tap FOLLOW.

Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things, Travel Things

Personalized Holiday Gifts

Let’s Get Personal

I’ve lived most of my holiday seasons in Texas, where personalized, monogrammed and customized gifts were the “be all, end all” of surprises. In fact, this was so much more than a trend in Texas – more like a tradition! It all started for me when my kids were babies. A good friend of mine in Houston used to hand paint and personalize all sorts of baby gifts, like personalized photo albums, picture frames, rocking chairs, step stools, t-shirts and more. She also made children’s items, so there was a little something special for every phase of life!

When my kids and younger relatives became teens, monogramming really jumped out as a must-have with duffels, camp travel kits, toiletry bags, thank you notes and totes.

This was especially so with the girls – monogramming meant EVERYTHING to them! I think there’s something about the simple, sophisticated sense of self that comes with personalized items; it just feels very grown up. That’s when we discovered The Monogram Shop, a gift store in Houston, which is the perfect spot to buy anything with a monogram or personalized effect. They literally have anything and everything you could ever want for a gift, and monograms are the cherry on top.

I actually ran into a dear family friend at The Monogram Shop when I was visiting Houston a few weeks ago – she happens to be the queen of gifting, which should tell you something! She let me in on another expert gifting secret that’s all about personalization. ISlides are customized slides that you design yourself. They can be worn by the pool, at the beach or on your way to your yoga class. They are absolutely the cutest, most thoughtful gift that I’ve seen in a long time – and they’re great for any age!

In addition to ISlides, I’ve rounded up a few of my other favorite personalized gift ideas at tons of price points – say hello to little details with BIG impact.

ISlide Custom Slides

https://www.islideusa.com

Personalized Baby And Kids Hats

https://www.butterscotchblankees.com/knit-hats/

Iphone Case

https://www.etsy.ecom/Iphone Case

Monogrammed PJ’s

https://www.etsy.com/Monogrammed PJ’s

Personalized Gift From Grandkids

https://www.etsy.com/Personalized Gift From Grandkids

Personalized Cups And Tumblers

https://www.etsy.com/Personalized Cups And Tumblers

Monogrammed Baseball Caps

https://www.etsy.com/Monogrammed Baseball Caps

Personalized Phone Grips

https://www.etsy.com/Personalized Phone Grips

Monogrammed Sherpa Jacket

https://www.etsy.com/Monogrammed Sherpa Jacket

Design Your Own M&M’s

https://www.mymms.com/Design Your Own M&M’s

Personalized Lucite Coaster Set

http://www.partycat.com/Personalized Lucite Coaster Set

Monogrammed Knit Gloves

https://www.etsy.com/Monogrammed Knit Gloves

Personalized Custom Namesake Book For Kids

https://www.etsy.com/Personalized Custom Namesake Book For Kids

Personalized Wraps And Ponchos

https://www.butterscotchblankees.comPersonalized Wraps And Ponchos

Monogrammed Blankets

https://www.butterscotchblankees.com/Monogrammed Blankets

All of these gifts are simple reminders that a monogram or name is an extra-thoughtful touch. And you know what the best thing is? All of these gifts come right to your door. No need to fight the holiday traffic and crowds at the malls. They can all be ordered online. Just click the links below the photos and shop away!

Wishing y’all Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

If you’re currently following me on INSTAGRAM, I want to send you a big Thank you! Hearing from you makes my world go ‘round. If not, please check out @lemonadetolace on your INSTAGRAM app and tap FOLLOW.

Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

Hello, Sweater Weather

Fall has officially arrived here in Southern California – just in time for the holidays! Living in Santa Monica, I love summertime with new people and warm sea breezes in our neighborhood, but there is something about having a hot pumpkin spice latte in my hands and cozy fall sweaters that makes me look forward to this darker, cooler time of year.

Every fashion season brings a new twist on some old favorites, and this fall is no exception. All of us have stacks of classic sweaters, yet this season has knitted up several cute new styles. I’ve rounded up a variety of cozy-chic sweaters at every price point that would be great additions to your chilly weather wardrobe. Cozy up to some of my favorites below:

Tularosa Jungle Sweater

https://www.revolve.com/Tularosa Jungle Sweater

Veronica Beard Gemma Sweater
https://www.veronicabeard.com/Veronica Beard Gemma Sweater

Equipment Sid Sweater

https://www.bloomingdales.com/Equipment Sid Sweater

RtA Langley Sweater

https://www.revolve.com/RtA Langley Sweater

Madewell Starry Night Pullover Sweater

https://www.madewell.com/Madewell Starry Night Pullover Sweater

Rag & Bone Leopard Sweater

https://www.shopbop.com/Rag & Bone Leopard Sweater

Barefoot Dreams Longline Hooded Sweater
https://shop.nordstrom.com/Barefoot Dreams Longline Hooded Sweater

Lovers + Friends Moon Crop Sweater
https://www.revolve.com/Lovers + Friends Moon Crop Sweater

Crew Neck Sweater $198 (Black with silver stars)
https://www.revolve.com/Crew Neck Sweater $198

Treasure & Bond Turtleneck Sweater

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Treasure and Bond Turtleneck Sweater

360 Cashmere Nichola Half Zip Sweater

https://www.revolve.com/360 Cashmere Nichola Half Zip Sweater

John & Jenn by Line Erik Sweater

https://www.revolve.com/John & Jenn by Line Erik Sweater

C By Bloomingdale’s Cashmere Sweater

https://www.bloomingdales.com/C By Bloomingdale’s Cashmere Sweater

Generation Love Olly Eyelets Pullover

https://www.shopbop.com/Generation Love Olly Eyelets Pullover

So, to my Lemonade To Lace babes…. stay cozy and snuggle up in a roomy, comfy sweater made for that long-awaited post-Thanksgiving nap.
Smooch!
xx Barbara

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Random Things, Yummy Things

BEST PUMPKIN RECIPES AND MORE……

It’s fall, and you know what that means! So many sights and flavors of autumn come out to play…The most iconic of the bunch? Pumpkin spice, of course! It seems like we wait all year long for the arrival of Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes and other festive pumpkin flavored foods – so I figured I’d write a post on how to create these spiced scents in your own kitchen.

Pumpkin pie is a MUST throughout the fall season, so what could be better than making your own homemade pumpkin pie spice, especially during the holiday season. This seasoning can be used in your everyday cooking as well as your favorite seasonal recipes. Although there is no actual pumpkin in this spice, it has the same flavor of pumpkin pie that makes everything this time of year feel cozy and comforting, just like a new pair of Uggs.

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE

One thing I love to do is sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice in a small pot of boiling water to make our home smell like a freshly baked treat. You can also sprinkle it in your morning smoothie or cup of coffee for that ‘pumpkin and spice and everything nice’ kind of feeling

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ – ½ teaspoon ground cloves

Method:
Whisk together the cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl. Transfer it to a small glass jar.

PUMPKIN MAPLE PECAN GRANOLA

This nutty, crunchy, pumpkin-y and not too sweet 9 ingredient granola recipe is like sheer bliss on a spoon. It’s perfect for fall and is filled with fiber, protein and healthy fats, making the perfect breakfast or snack. It also makes a lovely little gift for fall birthdays and holidays. “Give a friend granola, you’ll have a friend for life.”

Yield: 4-½ cups granola
Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for GF eaters)
1-¼ cups raw pecans
⅓ cup raw pepitas
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice + extra dash of cinnamon
¼ cup coconut or olive oil
⅓ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup pumpkin puree

Method:
Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, spices, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, war the coconut oil, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree and whisk. Pour over the dry ingredients and quickly mix with a wooden spoon. Spread the mixture evenly onto two baking sheets and bake for 23 – 33 minutes, stirring a bit near the halfway point. If you prefer chunkier granola, don’t stir as it breaks up the clusters. Instead, just rotate the pans at the halfway point to ensure even cooking. Once the granola is golden brown (usually about 25 minutes) remove from oven and let cool completely. It will crisp up as it cools. Transfer to an airtight container. Should keep for a couple of weeks. Enjoy with almond milk, yogurt or on top of oatmeal. Yum!

Recipe from: The Minimalist Baker

SWEET CHILI PUMPKIN SEED CLUSTERS

Pumpkin seeds require a long time in the oven, unlike other nuts and seeds. But it is so worth it! They are loaded with fiber, zinc, copper and plant protein so you can feel great about eating them by the handful. Pumpkin seeds are perfect to use as a garnish on top of a salad to add that simple touch of flavor or to simply snack on throughout the day.

Yield: 1 cup
Ingredients:
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt.

Method:
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and toss to coat evenly. Add pumpkin seeds to a baking sheet in an even layer, but try to keep as many touching as possible – this is what will allow them to form clusters.

Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until seeds are puffed and crunchy with a slightly darker green color. Allow to cool completely, at least 20 minutes, before gently breaking into small clusters.

Recipe from : Balanced Cookbook by Laura Lea

PUMPKIN SPICE PECAN BREAD

A healthier take on traditional pumpkin bread, this recipe uses almond and coconut flour instead of bleached white flour.

Yield: 10 slices
Ingredients:
¾ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup canned full-fat coconut milk
½ cup maple syrup
4 large eggs
1-½ cups blanched almond flour
½ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg½ teaspoon sea salt
⅔ cup pecans

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a standard (8-1/2 x 4-½ x 2-¾ inch) loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing 1 inch of parchment to hang over the sides.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, coconut milk, maple syrup and eggs.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt.

Add wet ingredients into dry and stir until blended. Stir in pecans. Empty batter into loaf pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing. Bread will keep in a sealed container on the counter for 24 hours, or refrigerated for 5 days.

Recipe from: Balanced Cookbook by Laura Lea

CRUSTED PUMPKIN WEDGES WITH SOUR CREAM

You can use most varieties of pumpkin for these delicious pumpkin wedges. They will also make a perfect veggie main course for the holidays since the crust is a bit like stuffing.

Yield: Serves 4
Ingredients:
1-½ lbs. Pumpkin (skin on)
½ cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons dried white breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2-½ teaspoons finely chopped thyme
Grated zest of 2 large lemons
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and white pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped dill

Method:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the pumpkin into ⅜-inch-thick slices and lay them flat, cut-side down, on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Mix together in a small bowl the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, half the lemon zest, the garlic, a tiny amount of salt (remember, the Parmesan is salty) and some pepper.

Brush the pumpkin generously with olive oil and sprinkle with the crust mix, making sure the slices are covered with a nice, thick coating. Gently pat the mix down a little.

Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender: stick a little knife in one wedge to make sure it has softened and is cooked through. If the topping starts to darken too much during cooking, cover loosely with foil.

Mix the sour cream with the dill and some salt and pepper. Serve the wedges warm, sprinkled with the remaining lemon zest, with the sour cream on the side.

Recipe from: Yotam Ottolenghi

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If you’re a Trader Joe’s fan like me, one thing I look forward to every fall is the variety of pumpkin goodies lining their grocery shelves. It seems like every week there’s another new product or two that I didn’t see the week before, and if you’re someone who doesn’t really enjoy cooking, here are some of their more popular pumpkin items that are so perfect for the sweater weather time of year.

Pumpkin Ginger Ice Cream Cones
Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream is added to this pumpkin ginger ice cream cone for an amazing seasonal dessert.

Pumpkin-Flavored Greek Yogurt
This yogurt is so flavorful and creamy, it’s basically like eating pumpkin pie – but healthier.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin and cheesecake are a win-win combination. This cake is made with real pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, so every bite tastes like fall.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee
This coffee is what pumpkin spice latte dreams are made of. The beans are actually soaked in pumpkin spice oil.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark
A mix of granola and pumpkin season spices pressed flat and covered with dark chocolate. Yum!

Pumpkin Spice Bagels
What could be better than starting your day off with a toasted pumpkin bagel, especially this time of year. Festive and so tasty, they’re great to have on hand for out of town guests.

There’s no doubt that all of the items and recipes in this post will have you “falling” in love. If you enjoy cooking, you now have some new ‘must try’  pumpkin recipes, and if you’d rather have it all done, you have a great list of pumpkin treats to buy at your neighborhood Trader Joe’s. What more can I say about pumpkins other than…..enjoy every delicious bite of these perfectly spiced fall favorites. Happy Fall Y’all!!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

If you’re currently following me on Instagram, I want to send you a big thank you! Hearing from you makes my world go round. If not, please check out @lemonadetolace on your Instagram app and tap FOLLOW.

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

MY FAVORITE FALL NAIL COLORS

Fall is here, and you can feel it all the way from your fingers to your toes. Speaking of fingers, this may mean it’s time to switch up your salon choices – just another fun reminder of the sweater weather ahead. Whether you’re sticking to tried and true neutrals or interested in a moodier statement polish, consider this your guide to holiday season manicures.

To be honest, I’m that girl who picks the same polish, week after week and year after year. I have a ‘thing’ with my nails and just feel better when they’re always put together. It’s been a comfort to me ever since college. I’m consistent with my choices almost every time I get a manicure and pedicure. It might sound boring, but for me, it’s nice to know I can count on this little detail of my life remaining constant! I will say, even though I love neutral shades, I think it’s fabulous that there’s such a wide variety of colors offered at my nail salon. Like I always say, a girl’s gotta have choices!

In case you’re in search of the perfect neutral, my favorite ‘go to’ colors are Marshmallow and Ballet Slippers by Essie. I absolutely love these shades. I can thank Carrie Bradshaw and “Sex And The City” for that, because they were Carrie’s favorite colors, too. These are truly the ultimate neutrals – they go with everything, all year long. It’s great to know that if an unexpected meeting or event comes up, my nails are sure to be set. I also love the OPI gel polish called ‘Mod About You’ (pastel) for my gel manicures. If I dare switch to a deep fall color, my favorite shade is OPI’s Malaga Wine. It’s a beautiful deep red, and works well with every skin tone.

There are so many different brands out there to choose from that it becomes mind-boggling. My nail salon, like many, only carries OPI and Essie polishes. After checking out the wide variety of colors, here are my nail polish picks for fall.

OPI Malaga Wine

https://www.opi.com/OPI Malaga Wine

OPI Somewhere Over The Rainbow Mountains

https://www.opi.com/OPI Somewhere Over The Rainbow Mountains

OPI You Don’t Know Jacques!

https://www.opi.com/OPI You Don’t Know Jacques!

Essie Booties On Broadway

https://www.essie.com/Essie Booties On Broadway

Essie Wild Nude

https://www.essie.com/Essie Wild Nude

OPI I Love You Just Be-Cusco

https://www.opi.com/OPI I Love You Just Be-Cusco

Essie Chinchilly

https://www.ulta.com/Essie Chinchilly

OPI Reykjavik Has All The Hot Spots

https://www.opi.com/OPI Reykjavik Has All The Hot Spots

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

https://www.opi.com/OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

Essie Sand Tropez

https://www.ulta.com/Essie Sand Tropez

There are some beautiful shades in here that remind me how much I love fall fashion – bring on the cooler weather, LA!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

If you’re currently following me on Instagram, I want to send you a big thank you! Hearing from you makes my world go round. If not, please check out @lemonadetolace on your Instagram app and tap FOLLOW.

Random Things

Kindness And Confidence Are Key Ingredients

The intention of my blog is to pass on worthwhile content to my readers, all in a positive light.

With this being said, I have to share an interaction I had last week. When life handed me lemons, a lightbulb went off: I remembered those times I lacked the confidence and knowledge I have now, and I realized there may be other women or young girls out there who could use this reassuring message.

Last week, a dear friend of mine called and invited me to join her and a few of her friends at lunch the following day. Small lunch. Happened to be one of the girl’s birthdays. She told me it was no biggie, and that they’d love to have me, so I agreed to attend.

That same afternoon, I ran into the birthday girl, who had learned I’d been invited to lunch. She greeted me with:

“ I know ‘so and so’ called you and invited you to join us.”
“I don’t want you to go.”
“You’re not included in this group.”
“This is our thing.”
“You can’t come.”

I replied to her in a casual, very nonchalant way. “Oh gosh. No worries at all. I totally get it that you want to keep the lunch small. All good.”

Ultimately, I didn’t mind skipping the lunch, but what stuck with me was the way this woman phrased the un-invitation. It felt like junior high school had come back just in time for Halloween, and her rude words struck a chord like none I remember in recent years.

I was debating whether to share this or to keep it close, but I decided to open up. I’m sharing this story for several reasons. If this sort of behavior is still going on at my age, no telling how bad this mean girl behavior is among school-aged girls. I have the wisdom and wherewithal to deal with this sort of situation, but I know, and I can promise you that our young girls need to be prepared with the tools to deal with this.

Certain people will try to beat you down and make you feel powerless.  Their intention is to make you feel bad and feel small. It should be no surprise to any of us that there has been an increase in social anxiety, depression and eating disorders among young girls.

I know that all of you have heard the phrase, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” If only life were as easy as adding water and sugar to some freshly squeezed lemon juice. It’s much harder to look for ways to make something good come out of something bad than it is to get angry or depressed.

My friends always say that I try to find the good in people or the good in any given situation, but in this one, there is no part of this that resembles good. It was mean. It was rude, and this woman could have said this same thing in a hundred other different ways that would have been much nicer.

Never pretend that it’s lemonade when it’s lemon juice, but know that you can always turn lemon juice into lemonade. It just takes strength. You can emerge stronger, more confident, and with a kinder outlook.

Even so, no matter what happens, you’re never in it alone. My family, my friends, the pretty things, the yummy things, the random things and The Lemonade to Lace all make my world go ‘round. And when life gives you lemons…..well, you make yourself a Lemon Drop Martini.

Smooch!

xx Barbara

LEMON DROP MARTINI

INGREDIENTS:

1-½ oz vodka
½ oz orange liqueur
¾ oz lemon juice (fresh lemons are best)
1 tsp. superfine sugar

Optional: coarse sugar for rim

METHOD:

    1. Rim a martini glass with lemon juice and then sugar.
    1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes.
    1. Pour in all the ingredients.
    1. Shake only until the sugar is dissolved.
    1. Strain the mixture into a sugar rimmed martini glass
  1. Garnish with a lemon slice or twist.

TO MAKE A LEMON TWIST:

    1. Make a slice through one side of the lemon peel and the pulp, all the way up to the rind on the other side.
    1. Use a knife to cut out all of the pulp and insides so that you have one long strip of lemon peel.
    1. Twist the strip of peel into one curly-q shape.
  1. Use the lemon twist to place on the rim of the martini glass.

Enjoy every sip of it!!

If you’re currently following me on Instagram, I want to send you a big thank you! Hearing from you makes my world go round. If not, please check out @lemonadetolace on your Instagram app and tap FOLLOW.