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Second Ave Photography is having a huge 1000 fans group giveaway! Some of the prizes are local to Northern Virginia, but I will ship my Cocoa Lavender Bath Bombs anywhere in the US. Eco Bathhouse opens its doors for business starting August 1st. The giveaway at Second Ave Photography starts tonight at midnight. Enter down below and then hope on over to Second Ave Photography's Blog to see what else you could win! Good Luck to one and all! Enjoy the rest of your relaxing Sunday <3

The Rafflecopter goes live at Midnight, July 28th, 2015. *Multiple Winners* Please note, at this time the giveaway prizes from Second Ave Photography, Fit4Mom Ashburn, and Ciste Gras Cakes are open to anyone who is local to, or willing to travel to, Loudoun County, Virginia; Beryl Ayn Young and Eco Bathhouse prizes are open to all US Residents. Winners will be announced online and notified via email and will have 30 days to respond to claim their prize. Sponsored and endorsed only by those included in the giveaway. No cash value to any prizes. Second Ave Photography offers valid only on future sessions and expire on 8/31/15 and are nontransferable. The 10-class pass is only valid for classes offered by FIT4MOM Ashburn and the participant must enroll for their first class prior to September 1, 2014. Giveaway ends August 6th, 2015.

NOVA Residents ONLY
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US Residents ONLY
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Visit Second Ave

Colonial Williamsburg is perhaps one my favorite weekend getaway locations. You have the history and old tyme feel, but inside you will find a luxurious core. The historic area has delicious eats and shops that will appeal to every foodie and fashionista known to the US of A. Something worth mentioning is Colonial Williamsburg also has a fancy-pants European style spa{you are allowed to dip into their very large hot tub in the buff <3}. I make it a point to stop in every time we visit.
My favorite fashion stop by far is Closet Envy! I buy something practically every time we visit Williamsburg and now they have my favorite designer Michael Stars! Top level Eco fashion. Michael Stars includes gorgeous draping and works with natural fabrics. You must check out his line ladies! PS. Michael Stars is having an end of the season sale now through August 6th! A fabulous excuse to update my wardrobe for my upcoming trip to Miami;)

While at Closet Envy, one of the fine sales personnel instructed me on how to make a scarf vest! I know this is probably old news, but I have never seen this done before. It was like in Star Wars when Yoda is instructing young Luke Skywalker on the ways of the force...she had my full attention. AND, it is incredibly easy. Watch the YouTube video below for full visual instructions. Have a great weekend lovelies!

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Who says you have to wait until your 60 to start working on your bucket list?! A road trip is a great way to strengthen the bond with your spouse as well as seeing some areas of the country you have never seen! You and your spouse can create two separate lists with 5 to 10 "must see" places within the United States. Then you can compare your lists and plot your trip to hit as many of those locations as possible. My husband and I love to travel, especially taking road trips! Driving with the windows down, listening to loud music{of my choice;-}, and stopping wherever the wind takes you.
There is so much freedom in exploring the open road. Waiting in line for the TSA can be a total buzz kill....I know you feel me on this! Before any journey can begin, however, it must begin with coffee! Must. Hopefully, you made the smart move in putting a Keurig Home Brewing System on your Target Wedding Registry List. Now, you have quick and easy access to coffee for any early rising occasion. Perhaps a road trip journey.....OR down the road children. This is the voice of experience talking here. Coffee is mandatory before any and all activities no matter how dire.

"Life is a journey, not a destination." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Who is ready for the Journey of a lifetime with a $25 Target eGC Giveaway!!!!??? 
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The little concentrated squirt bottles of dye are officially leaving my life:) Over the 4th of July weekend, I thought to make some sugar cookies for my boys using natural colorants with my "Organic" sugar cane sanding sugar{Fancy, right?}. I was almost compelled to use it in the dough, but got nervous about a dramatic taste difference. It has to be a really intense natural colorant to cover up that buttery-sugar goodness, but this time I decided to ere on the side of caution and just experiment with natural sanding sugars. But next time, I am going to get crazy and color the dough naturally!

I used unsweetened cocoa powder, beet powder, and carrot juice powder. The latter carrot juice powder was a bit sticky and you could taste the "carrot" a bit. The other two worked like a charm. I took a few small bowls of my Organic sugar cane crystals and mixed in my natural colorants dry. Then, I took a few drops of water and mixed each bowl to ensure the color got saturated well. Warning: Only add a few drops of water or you could be dealing with a sticky & clumpy mess!!

That is really that. Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe with these bad boys and you will have the prettiest and most sophisticated sugar cookies in town! Not to mention you are ingesting natural ingredients and calories...lots of delicious calories! Enjoy XO.

Fresh lip balm recipe {vanilla bean and lemon balm}
Have you claimed a fresh summer lip balm yet? I have concocted a recipe with the inspiration of Julie Diers of Bumble and Company that will have you dancing for joy through the salty ocean waves!! This lip balm recipe is very flexible too. I will give you ingredient swap suggestions if you per-say do not have fresh lemon balm or vanilla bean on hand.
Eco Bathhouse Fresh. Natural. Seasonal. Bath & Beauty
Not keen on making your own fresh lip balms? Keep your beady eyes peeled for the launch of Eco Bathhouse in August! I will be selling these luxurious "after-bath" preservative-free lip balms just like this one!

You will need:
*Organic Coconut Oil{Wegman's or your local nature's market}
*Beeswax{Find this at your local nature's market}
*1 whole Vanilla Bean{Wegman's or you can use vanilla extract, but make sure you use the good stuff without alcohol}
*Optional: 6 to 10 fresh lemon balm leaves {you can also substitute peppermint or mint julep}
*Optional: 1 to 2 drops of essential oil {rose or tangerine would be nice}
*1 large clean mason jar
*3 or more small clean pots

Fresh lip balm recipe {vanilla bean and lemon balm}
Gather your supplies above. First, Take a small pot and put your coconut oil in to melt on low heat. Note: I did not tell you how much to use. The amount of coconut oil you use is your preference. I keep a clean ball jar on hand to pour the final product into and then I can keep this in the refrigerator for gifts or for later use. Next, grate your beeswax or add your pastilles. Note: again, I did not say how much to use. This is also a personal preference of texture. I would start with one ounce at a time and then do a dip test.

How to do a dip test: Take a clean spoon and let your balm dry{2 to 3 minutes}. Then take your finger and test the texture. If you would like the balm to be firmer add another ounce of beeswax and then do another dip test. Repeat as necessary.

Fresh lip balm recipe {vanilla bean and lemon balm}
After you have the consistency you desire, remove your melted mixture of beeswax and coconut oil from the burner. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. After your mixture has cooled, add your vanilla bean and lemon balm. Let your mixture sit for 3 hours or longer. The longer the mixture permeates the more intense the lemon balm and vanilla bean scent will be.

Once your balm is done percolating, place back on low heat to retrieve and discard the loose vanilla bean and lemon balm leaves. At this time, you can take a clean knife to open the vanilla bean if you would like the beans floating throughout your balm.  Remove from low heat and add your 1 to 2 drops of essential oil{optional}. Then pour into your clean lip balm containers! Wa-lah, fresh preservative-free lip balm. Store up to a year in a cool, dry location. Not in your boiling hot summer vehicle:) Enjoy, kiddos! Xo

Warning: This recipe is property of Eco Bathhouse and is not to be replicated for profit. Only personal enjoyment. Many thanks!

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