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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

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, 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

*************************************************************************************************************

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.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes.
  3. Pour in all the ingredients.
  4. Shake only until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Strain the mixture into a sugar rimmed martini glass
  6. 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.
  2. Use a knife to cut out all of the pulp and insides so that you have one long strip of lemon peel.
  3. Twist the strip of peel into one curly-q shape.
  4. 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.

 

Random Things

Hello September! Time to……

The summer of ‘18 was full of highs and lows, and I’m absolutely feeling ready to hit the “refresh” button. Whether you had the summer of a lifetime or a so-so season, September is always a great time for new possibilities and fresh beginnings. For me, this September is the new January.

With school back in full swing and a new fashion season, I’m planning on taking a ‘back to school’ mentality starting September off with a clean slate. After all, we’re programmed at young ages to think about September as the beginning of a new year. When we were in school,  it was always about what needed to be accomplished by the end of the year. Now, it’s time to focus, set new goals and get prepped to take on new challenges. On my to-do list for September? Declutter, re-organize and refresh my pantry and closets.

Declutter
When I was getting my recipes together last week for the holidays, making lists of what I needed to replenish and seeing what I already had, I figured it would be the perfect time to check the expiration dates on my spices, seasonings, oils, and condiments and get rid of those that had already expired. Time intensive as it may be, this tasty project prepares me for all the holiday cooking that comes after fall rolls into town.

Elsewhere in the Eskowitz home, I’m changing things up in my closet. I plan on putting away the summer pieces that I won’t wear at all this fall. Of course, that’s easier said than done in LA. It tends to be kind of hard getting into that fall fashion mode living among palm trees and ocean breezes. I think that’s why I haven’t given up my white jeans yet, but I am definitely incorporating darker colors into my transitional wardrobe. Last night marked the return of black denim!

Speaking of seasonal closet clean-outs: Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? When it comes to clothing, we typically only wear 20 percent of the clothes we own 80 percent of the time. Your mission should be to get rid of the things you don’t use 80 percent of the time. A few decluttering tips:

  1. Put a large shopping bag in your closet. When you come across a piece of clothing that you’re ready to get rid of, you can toss that item in the bag to donate. You may want to put another bag in your closet for potential consignment items.
  2. Try the Oprah Winfrey closet hanger experiment. Hang all of your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction facing the wrong way. After you wear an item, then return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After 6 months, you’ll have a clear  idea of which items you don’t wear – and it’ll be easier to say, “Adios!”
  3. Buy Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, or her latest read called Spark Joy. She is an organizing expert with a cult following and has sold millions of books for a reason.

Organize
I find it much easier to organize after the decluttering process has been done. We all have our different organizing methods, but whether you organize your spices alphabetically or organize your clothes by color and style, I’m certain that we’re all happier when our life is put together. Believe it or not,  Psychology Today and Web MD share that people are more likely to feel out of control when they surround themselves with more things than they can manage. In other words, mess causes stress. The best cure? Store like items together and close to where you will use them as this will reduce little stresses in your everyday life. Cleaning and organizing your closets, pantry, rooms or office is guaranteed to improve your life. No more wasting time looking for things you can’t find.

Refresh
After the decluttering and organizing process is complete, it’s a lot easier to see everything you actually have and assess what you need more of. It’s the perfect time to restock your pantry shelves with fresh items and treat yourself to a few pieces of clothing to freshen up your fall wardrobe. I don’t know if you feel the same way, but for me, there’s no better feeling than starting off September with a clean slate, just like those olden school days…

Some Things I’m looking forward to this September………

• Buying a darker shade of lipstick

• Putting on a cozy sweater

• Baked apples

• Wearing boots

• Pumpkin lattes

• Leather jackets

• Chilly nights

• Binge-watching a new TV series

Let me know what you’re looking forward to this September in the comments section below.

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

My Summer Travel Essentials

It’s hard to believe that summer 2018 is almost over. I feel like I blinked and it was already August. Then again, that’s not so bad, because Labor Day is now around the corner!

If you’re anything like me, you use Labor Day to take a load off and go exploring. While packing well is always important for travel, it is especially make or break on holiday weekends. No one wants a quick getaway interrupted by inconvenience or a forgotten essential. Whether it’s a long weekend trip with your significant other, an excursion with your family or even a girls-only getaway, I like to stock up on essentials and gadgets that help make exploration more efficient. Preparation is key!

Below you’ll find some items that never leave my suitcase. They’ve come in handy for everything from beach vacays to walking tours and destination weddings. I know some of the essentials on my list will keep you organized and ensure that your travels are stress-free and more enjoyable. Never worry about a dead battery again!

PurseN Travel Beauty Organizer

https://www.amazon.com/PurseN Travel Beauty Organizer

 

Packable Visor

https://www.amazon.com/Packable Visor

 

Women 2 Way Ribbed Laced Tank Top

https://www.uniqlo.com/Women 2 Way Ribbed Laced Tank Top

 

Portable Charger Power Bank – External Battery Pack

https://www.amazon.com/Portable Charger Power Bank – External Battery Pack

 

Lightweight Packable Hooded Jacket

https://www.uniqlo.com/Lightweight Packable Hooded Jacket

 

PurseN Vacationer Jewelry Case

https://shoppursen.com/PurseN Vacationer Jewelry Cased

 

Janessa Leone’ Packable Straw Hat

https://janessaleone.com/Janessa Leone’ Packable Straw Hat

 

Packable Reusable Shopping Tote With Carrying Pouch

https://www.amazon.com/Packable Reusable Shopping Tote With Carrying Pouch

Ready for a bonus trip tip? Keep a travel size umbrella in your carry-on and store it, so you’ll already have it packed for your next trip. No more forgetting!

What are your travel essentials? Comment below letting me know what you just can’t jet without.

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

SALUTE AMERICA WITH RED, WHITE AND BLUE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

I love summertime – and Fourth of July is my absolute favorite day all summer long. Whether you’re spending the weeks before America’s birthday planning a pool party, scoping out firework displays or packing a giant picnic, there’s no better time to stock up on patriotic goodies that showcase your affection for red, white and blue. Whether you plan on celebrating at a parade, at a picnic or at a backyard party, check out my list of patriotic clothing and home items that are sure to spark celebration in everyone’s hearts and homes.

Patriotic Jack Sandal

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Patriotic Jack Sandal

 

Red Or White Baublebar Drop Earrings

https://www.baublebar.com/Red Or White Baublebar Drop Earrings

 

Tie Sleeve Tee
https://shop.nordstrom.com/Tie Sleeve Tee

 

Stripe Baseball Tee
https://shop.nordstrom.com/Stripe Baseball Tee

 

CHAPPY USA Flag Swim Trunks
https://shop.nordstrom.com/CHAPPY USA Flag Swim Trunks

 

UNTUCKit Navy And Red Men’s Shirt
https://www.untuckit.com/UNTUCKit Navy And Red Men’s Shirt

 

Red, White & Blue 4-pack Sock Gift Set
https://shop.nordstrom.com/Red, White & Blue 4-Pack Sock Gift Set

 

Red Patriotic Stripe Baby, Toddler & Girl’s Dress
https://www.etsy.com/Red Patriotic Stripe Baby, Toddler & Girl’s Dress

 

Matching 4th Of July Baby Outfits
https://www.etsy.com/Matching 4th Of July Baby Outfits

 

Girls Americana Star Print Romper

https://www.target.com/Girls Americana Star Print Romper

 

2-Pack Patriotic Jersey Dresses

http://www.hm.com/2-Pack Patriotic Jersey Dresses

 

Girls Or Boys Havaiana Stars And Stripes Flip Flops

https://www.zappos.com/Girls Or Boys Havaiana Stars And Stripes Flip Flops

 

Boys 8” Stars And Stripes Swim Trunks

https://www.gap.com/Boys 8” Stars And Stripes Swim Trunks

 

Boys Rockin’ The Red, White & Blue Personalized T-Shirt

https://www.etsy.com/Boys Rockin’ The Red, White & Blue Personalized T-Shirt

 

Red And Blue Terry Puma Sneakers

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Red And Blue Terry Puma Sneakers

 

Plaid Throw Pillow

https://www.target.com/Plaid Throw Pillow

 

Forever Free Floral Melamine Dinner Plates

https://www.pier1.com/Forever Free Floral Melamine Dinner Plates

 

Stripe Up Throw Pillow

https://www.target.com/Stripe Up Throw Pillow

 

American Flag Table Runner

https://www.potterybarn.com/American Flag Table Runner

 

Red, White & Blue Pinwheels

https://www.potterybarnkids.com/Red, White & Blue Pinwheels

 

Tin Serving Caddy
https://shop.nordstrom.com/Tin Serving Caddy

 

Hopefully these stars and stripes leave you inspired to host a banner Fourth of July party, or simply spend a beautiful summer evening gazing at the sky with loved ones. Stay safe, and have a blast!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Random Things, Yummy Things

YOUR HEALTHIEST SUMMER YET, FROM SUNSCREEN TO SMOOTHIES

I’ve decided to give my sunscreen ritual a bit of a shake-up now that summer is here. You and I both know that not all sunscreens are created equal. As with all products in the beauty world, it’s sometimes difficult to tell what’s truly made with clean, thoughtful ingredients. The truth is, there are a multitude of chemicals in today’s conventional sunscreens – even the labels give it away. This summer, I decided to make a change and focus on supporting companies that are putting health and integrity first. It’s a surprising amount of work identifying which products are truly a cut above the rest, but it is worth it!

To be honest, I was shocked to find that some conventional sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays rather than block them. Mineral sunscreens that use zinc or titanium dioxide, however, sit on top of the skin and physically block UVA and UVB rays. Here’s an important thing to take note of: Mineral sunscreens will ONLY list zinc and/or titanium dioxide as ingredients. If you see a sunscreen that says “mineral-based” this typically means that zinc and/or titanium dioxide have been mixed with other chemical sunscreens.

Switching over to clean products takes a lot of research, so I’ll be switching over in baby steps. This summer, I’m planning on trying a couple of different sunscreens to see how I like them and to test if they actually do protect me from the sun’s damaging rays. Trying to find a “clean” non-toxic sunscreen is no different than eating healthy organic fruits and vegetables. I know that it’s not only important what you put IN your body; It’s also important what you put ON your body.

Here are a few of the non-toxic sunscreens that I’m planning to try out:

Suntegrity
Body Sunscreen SPF 30

https://www.thedetoxmarket.com/Suntegrity Body Sunscreen SPF 30

Babo Botanicals
SPF 30 Clear Zinc Fragrance Free Sunscreen Lotion

https://www.babobotanicals.com/Babo BotanicalsSPF 30 Clear Zinc Fragrance Free Sunscreen Lotion

Coola
Eco-Lux Body SPF 30 Organic Sunscreen Spray

https://coolasuncare.com/Coola Eco-Lux Body SPF 30 Organic Sunscreen Spray

If you decide to try a different “clean” sunscreen other than those listed above, please take note:

*Broad Spectrum is important
*You want mineral, not chemical
*Be wary of the term “mineral-based”
* Make sure all active ingredients are non-toxic. No parabens!

If you choose to switch over and start using a non-toxic sunscreen, let me know what you think of the product and how it works for you! Stay safe and have fun in the sun this summer!

————————————————————————

SMOOTHIES

Summer is finally here. It’s time to chill out – while you lay out with your new sunscreen, why not enjoy a refreshing smoothie? Below are a couple of smoothie recipes from Beaming, a healthy superfoods store right down the street in Santa Monica. (www.livebeaming.com)

Lisa’s Daily Lean + Green
¾ cup almond milk
¾ cup coconut water
2-3 Tbsp organic plant-based protein powder
¼ avocado
¼ cup frozen banana
1 large handful of spinach
1 tsp maca
1 Tbsp hemp seeds for garnish

Method:
Blend all ingredients on high speed in blender for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of hemp seeds on top.

Beaming Basic Smoothie
1-½ cup sprouted almond milk
½ frozen banana
1 medjol date (Prefer low-glycemic? Substitute the date and banana for ¼ avocado and a low-glycemic superfood sweetener such as yacon, mesquite, honey, coconut sugar or agave)
2 Tbsp Beaming Organic Superfood Plant Based Protein Powder
Your favorite fruits (banana, mango, strawberry, blueberry, etc) and greens (spinach is great)
¼ cup ice

Method:
Blend all ingredients in mixture until smooth.

I got the smoothie recipe below from Pamela Salzman. Check out her cookbook called
Kitchen Matters. I went to several of her cooking classes here in LA and learned so much about getting back to the basics and cooking “real” food. 

Strawberry-Cucumber Smoothie
1 cup cold coconut water or unsweetened almond milk
1-½ cups frozen strawberries (freeze your own organic strawberries)
1 Persian cucumber, unpeeled, cut into large chunks or ½ an English (hothouse)
Cucumber, seeds removed, cut into large chunks
1 Tbsp raw honey or sweetener of choice (optional)
1 tsp minced, peeled ginger (optional)

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add more almond milk as necessary, depending on your desired consistency.

Note:
You can substitute frozen blueberries or blackberries and add ground flax meal, hemp seeds or protein powder.

Enjoy these cool treats – and their amazing health benefits!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

Follow me on Instagram @lemonadetolace

 

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

Obsessed With White Sneakers

From high fashion to high street, the white sneaker is popping up everywhere. When it comes to versatility, white sneakers are the “be all, end all” and those who are in-the-know have completely embraced the style, comfort and practicality of this fashion trend. They’ve won me over, too: White sneakers have become one of my all-time favorite wardrobe staples. They have had such a style comeback over the past year, and it’s now acceptable to wear them pretty much everywhere and with every type of clothing. From maxi dresses to mini dresses and from skirts to culottes, they literally work with everything.

As a matter of fact, I was talking tennis shoe lingo with a darling sales associate who was helping me at a boutique in Santa Monica. She’s getting married this summer and was telling me all about her Carolina Herrera wedding dress. She even showed me a photo of her at her dress fitting. Guess what kind of shoes she bought to wear under her gown to dance in? A pair of white rhinestone Golden Goose sneakers! OMG! She won me over with that comment. The right white pair of sneakers can truly be the perfect fit for any occasion, and even a breath of fresh air.

This season we have many stylish options, from minimalist styles to playful embellishment. I’ve seen everything from metallic details, pearls, embroidery and appliques adorning white sneakers. I’ve also seen many pairs of solid white sneakers with just a simple, subtle logo. There are plenty of price points and styles available right now, from budget-friendly to those that break-the-bank. One thing I know for sure is that if you haven’t purchased an “on trend” pair of white sneaks yet, you should take the plunge. I can guarantee you’ll be glad you did!

 

Adidas Originals – Superstar Metallic-Trimmed Leather Sneakers

https://www.net-a-porter.com/Adidas Originals – Superstar Metallic-Trimmed Leather Snea

 

MOA Master Of Arts – Bow Embellished Sneakers

https://www.farfetch.com/MOA Master Of Arts – Bow Embellished Sneakers

 

Golden Goose – White And Gold Glitter Superstar

https://www.ssense.com/Golden Goose – White And Gold Glitter Superstar

 

Veja – V-10 Nautico Sneakers

https://www.farfetch.com/Veja – V-10 Nautico Sneakers

 

GUCCI – New Ace Floral – Embroidered Leather Low-Top Sneakers

https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/GUCCI – New Ace Floral – Embroidered Leather Low-Top Sneakers

 

PUMA – Basket Heart Oceanaire Ribbon-Laced Sneaker

https://www.neimanmarcus.com/PUMA – Basket Heart Oceanaire Ribbon-Laced Sneaker

 

Acne Studios – Adriana Turnup White

https://www.acnestudios.com/Acne Studios – Adriana Turnup White

 

Zara – Die-Cut Sneakers

https://www.zara.com/Zara – Die-Cut Sneakers

 

Ash – Dazed Sneaker

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Ash – Dazed Sneaker

 

Valentino – Two Tone Metallic Leather Sneaker

https://www.net-a-porter.com/Valentino – Two Tone Metallic Leather Sneaker

 

MOA – Elasticated Band Lace-Up Sneakers

https://www.farfetch.com/MOA – Elasticated Band Lace-Up Sneakers


Adidas – Stan Smith Sneaker

https://www.adidas.com/Adidas – Stan Smith Sneaker

 

Paul Green – Serena Floral Embellished Sneaker

https://shop.nordstrom.com/Paul Green – Serena Floral Embellished Sneaker

 

Zara Graffiti Sneakers

https://www.zara.com/Zara Graffiti Sneakers

 

GUCCI – New Ace Sneaker

https://shop.nordstrom.com/GUCCI – New Ace Sneaker


Smooch!

xx Barbara