A little taste of Mexico

I can’t believe it took me 35 years to step foot into Mexico for the first time! Somehow I missed out on the Cancun spring breaks in college and focused my travels elsewhere.

I recently took a week long vacation in Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific Coast.

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I’m always hesitant to pull the trigger on a vacation, there’s a nagging feeling that I’m not getting the best deal.  As a result, the boyfriend and I only booked the trip in February through a family timeshare exchange.  We ended up paying $350 to book a room for the week at Villa del Palmar and an additional $400 each per round trip flight.

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An older resort, not the biggest or fanciest, but it had what we were looking for.  We could opt out of the all inclusive meal plan, walk to nearby restaurants and grocery stores, and direct access to the beach.

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One of the couples we chatted with booked their stay through a Facebook ad for the resort, they paid $800 for the week including the all inclusive meal plan and drinks.

I packed up all my summer Posh supplies, with the addition of super bug spray (zika virus!) and took the 6 hour flight to Mexico.

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The weather was great, during mid March you can find weather in the mid-80’s and low humidity.  It was the tail end of their busy season, so all the tourist businesses were open but with smaller crowds.

Each morning would start with some clouds and by the afternoon you had clear skies.

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Tried out two different excursion trips while we were there.  The first one was a boat trip with snorkeling and beach front dining. The boat took us to Los Arcos where we dived into the water to view the fish.

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I’d never been snorkeling with a crowd, so I found myself keeping an eye out for kicking feet as much as aquatic life. I’m sure they disinfect the snorkeling equipment after each outing……..

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After snorkeling you could pick from a couple options, we chose to enjoy a lunch beachfront at Las Animas beach. Even the bathrooms had oceanfront views!!

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The best part of the trip was just seeing the area from the deck and taking in the amazing mountains.  If I make a second trip I want to see more of the countryside.

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The other excursion trip was a tour of the city by bus. We stopped at the local cathedral, tequila factory, and a restaurant tucked into a local neighborhood.

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I didn’t get pictures of all the food places we ate, but rest assured plenty of taco stands were sampled.  We probably spent $30-$40 USD a day on food and beverages. The boyfriend’s top pick was Pepe’s tacos in the downtown area.

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He would have eaten there every day, fresh tacos for $2-3 a piece.

My favorite stop was when we found a local candy store full of fresh candied nuts and treats.

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So that was my introduction to Mexico, got a great taste of the local foods and hope to visit again soon.

If you have been thinking about a trip, don’t wait. just go!!

Sarah

 

Oh Hey Blog, what’s up?

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I never intend to take a break from blogging, life just gets in the way and before you know it, it’s March!!

So what have I been up to lately? Working my Posh business of course! Checkout my latest newsletter, exploring the miracle that is Argan Oil.

Watching all the Profit episodes I can get my hand on…

I’ve become obsessed with the idea of becoming a “homesteader” and found this adorable tv show from Tazmania (I know, so random):

And working on my own youtube videos, scary and fun at the same time:

I’m excited to re-focus on the blog and spend the next couple months exploring more of the Homesteading lifestyle, some easy condo updates, and lessons learned from my new small business.  Please stick around, I’ll be back!!

 

 

 

Win that Cookie Swap! Ginger Cookie Recipe

This past weekend was a whirlwind of to-do lists and fun events.  I started off Friday by posting my first ever youtube video!

Then it was off to Virginia Beach to celebrate a friends birthday.  It was 78 degrees at the beach on Saturday.

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The only hint that it was December was the Santa surfer.

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Finished off with a sold out show in downtown Norfolk.  If you haven’t heard this song, it is so much fun to sing at the top of your lungs!

By Sunday it was time to drive back home and bake up a storm for my cousin’s 13th annual cookie swap.  If you have never attended a cookie swap, everyone brings 6-7 dozen of their favorite homemade holiday cookie. Then you swap your cookies with everyone there so you get a huge variety of cookies without all the headache.

For the swap we had 21 different types of cookies!

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It was a tableful of calories, and a full time job to keep the kids in attendance from pigging out.

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Once the swap begins, everyone works their way around the table grabbing 6 of each type of cookie.  After the first round you can go back and get 4 cookies. Everyone keeps going around until the cookies are done!

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At this cookie swap we also vote on best Rookie cookie, most festive, most difficult to make, and best overall cookie.  And guess who won best overall cookie? This girl!! Shared with my favorite cookie tester.

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So here is the award winning recipe:

Ginger Cookie Sandwiches with Caramel Buttercream
Soft and chewy molasses ginger cookies are sandwiched together with caramel buttercream frosting!

Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 18 sandwich cookies
Ingredients

For Ginger Cookies:
1 c. sugar
¾ c. shortening (Crisco)
1 egg
¼ c. molasses
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
1/4 c. chopped crystallized ginger
⅓ c. sugar, for rolling

For Caramel Buttercream:
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. prepared caramel sauce
1½ tsp. caramel extract (I find this easily at Walmart with the other
extracts)
3 ­ 4 c. powdered sugar

Directions
For cookies:
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and shortening.
2. Add in egg and molasses. Mix until well­ combined.
3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, and spices until well blended.
4. Add flour mixture to mixing bowl, beating until well­ combined.
5. Roll dough into 1­inch balls and roll the balls in granulated sugar.
6. Place them 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-­10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

For frosting:
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and caramel sauce til blended.
2. Add caramel extract.
3. Add enough powdered sugar that the frosting is thick and fluffy, but spreadable. Beat until fluffy.
4. Form cookie sandwiches by spreading the bottom of one ginger cookie with buttercream, and topping it with another cookie.

Enjoy

Notes
You must measure the molasses accurately. Too much, and the cookies will get sticky and goopy.

 

Life and Living Naturally

Fall has arrived in DC, my sister and her boyfriend visited from Florida and had the perfect weather for playing tourist.

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We made a trip downtown for a food truck lunch and stopped by the National Zoo.

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Hopped over to Georgetown for some serious shopping. Katie is a master at finding deals, we both bought markdowns at 60-70% off. Fall wardrobe complete!

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Of course I also shared my stockpile of Perfectly Posh products, Katie has been trying some of their skin line so I introduced her to some of the other body products (bee’s knees body scrub, witchy body wash).

I try not to be too pushy with sharing Posh, I know I tend to shutdown when someone is overwhelming in their sales approach.  I want to share some of the reasons I started moving my personal products towards more natural and high quality ingredients.

  1.  Too many chemicalstoxins

Women on average apply an average of 168 products per day. (article) Every day you hear of another mysterious chemical or common ingredient that is linked to illness and even death. I’ve been trying to simplify the products I’m using both on myself and around the house.  I don’t just go with the cheapest option on the shelf.  Same with my pets, the horror stories of animals that have died due to contaminated and dangerous products from China have made me much more aware.

2.  Know the source

It’s common knowledge that there are many factories and companies abroad that do not care for the health of their workers or their consumers.

I’ve found clothing companies (Everlane) that are committed to treating their employees well. Educating myself on the local farm to table movement and how large volume food production impacts our health. (Thanks PBS!) I haven’t fully embraced organic foods when I shop at the grocery store, but I’m working on it and making better choices for my body in the long term.

3.  Environmental Impactliquid-soap                                                                                 (image source)

We are learning that even the smallest ingredient can impact the ecological environment in big ways.  From plastic micro beads clogging up fresh water lakes (800 Trillion Plastic Micro Beads go down the drain every day) to bleaching of natural coral reefs via sunscreen. It’s impossible not to see the impact our daily routine has on the world around us.

My answer: Perfectly Posh

Posh prides themselves on using high quality ingredients, locally sourced, and made in the U.S.A.

Everything is $25 and under, keeping high quality pampering available to everyone.

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I don’t expect Posh to work for everyone, it’s one of many companies that are now focusing on more simple ingredient lists and environmentally friendly business practices.  But if you haven’t considered them, check out my site.  I wouldn’t have signed up to represent their products if I wasn’t genuinely excited about what they offer.

Sarah

National coffee day 

Cutting back on the caffeine? Posh has some amazing coffee treats that are good for your skin! 

 
You can easily get 20-25 uses from this body scrub, that’s a $1 a shower!

 Posh tip: this Snarky bar can be sliced into three smaller bars and will last 2-3 months.

Get some coffee without the caffeine crash!

Sarah

https://www.perfectlyposh.com/sarahdiylifestyle/ 

Why Posh

Two posts in one week! Crazy talk

I want to introduce you guys to a little business endeavor I’m trying out. I figured instead of just throwing out some marketing materials randomly, I’d explain why I decided to get involved with Perfectly Posh  with the business and what factors impacted my decision.

Posh Summary

For a long time I’ve been thinking about how/when I could start exploring having my own business.  I try to stay open to ideas and possibilities, there seem to be so many exciting small businesses out there.  Do I want to start a bakery? coffee shop? etsy shop? furniture restoration? start flipping houses? It’s been difficult for me to pinpoint where my strongest skills are and what I could do full time and still enjoy.

I was first introduce to Perfectly Posh back in July by my friend Sharon.  She had just signed up as a consultant and peaked my interest.  I had never heard of the business and their packaging is really appealing to me.  Finally got ahold of some samples and liked what I tried.  Talked with Sharon about the buy-in for starting my own business, $99 for a starter kit. What appeals to me? The packaging, natural ingredients, and cruelty free product.

11924771_970891519820_375984976079277419_nSome background, I witnessed my own mom get into a sales pyramid arrangement and it ended badly.  It was for a nutritional supplement program in the late 90’s.  They required their consultants to purchase high amounts of product and by the time my mom got out she was in debt $4,000.  I saw first hand the stress and pressure to sell to every person you knew and all the leftover unsold product once my mom got out.  So I’m already uneasy of these types of businesses.  I also have more then a couple Mary Kay ladies blocked on my phone, way too aggressive.

So why get involved with Perfectly Posh?  Here are my reasons in a nutshell:

  • Market saturation – Mary Kay has 3 million consultants, Avon has 5.8 million, Perfectly Posh just hit 30,000.  I hadn’t seen any Perfectly Posh info floating around my area and circle of friends, I feel like this is a good time to get ahead of the curve.
  • Tailored business model – There are plenty of options for growing your business in Perfectly Posh – they support more then the traditional house party. Social media tools and website sales are supported and encouraged.  I don’t know personally what I’ll be comfortable doing from a sales perspective, so I’ll test the waters and see how it goes.
  • Marketing/Branding tools- I’m using this experience as a trial run of starting my own business down the road.  I can work on where I know some of my shortcomings are – talking to strangers, public events – and the product is already created, packaged, and ready to go.
  • Most importantly – I actually like the products and get excited about trying them!

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I’ll occasionally post some information on the blog about products I like, but will also post what I learn from the business side. Part of being dedicated to a Do It Yourself lifestyle is being your own boss 🙂

Wish me luck!

Sarah