How to shed pounds now for the summer


The best things about summer is going to BBQ’s, birthday parties, and always going to the beach. The only downfall is that going to so many parties can make you gain a little summer weight. It’s like junk food galore everywhere, from potato chips, cakes, hot dogs, and everything that tastes so yummy. Recently, I saw one of my friends Kristy and she was looking more fabulous than ever! I had to ask how she lost weight in the mist of all the chaos. She said she is detoxifying through NUTRITIONAL CLEANSING.
NUTRITIONAL CLEANSING is a jump start to your health and you will be happy you signed up.
For Memorial weekend she said that she over indulged and felt bad, bloated and tired! She decided to regain control of her life and health by starting a 30 day program on Monday, Memorial Day! 30 days later- She looks and feels amazing! No more digestive issues, the bloating is gone and her energy level is up!
So, my friend shared with me some details about the program and what’s included in the 30 Day program.
It includes all the shakes, snacks, and some energy powder you put in your water. As far as food is concerned, you can eat unlimited veggies all day. To drink, stay away from coffee and replace it with green tea instead. She told me she wished she would have heard about this program sooner. You also get a nutritional coach to help you through your first 30 days and have access to a great Facebook support page.
And I have to tell you, she looks great, Check out her results!
In fact, the 30 day program offers a 100 percent Satisfaction Guarantee. If after you try it, you are not satisfied, simply return the products for a full refund.
There’s no better time to start your own success story than now. Get started right away and start enjoying the benefits you receive with this detoxifying Program.
For more information about this program please contact: Kristy Martino

Please like her page:

Rock&Rawhide Help New Jersey Animals in need!! Get involved!


Is fostering the answer? We think it is. 

Millie at shelter
NEW JERSEY - Animal shelters are full, they have no space, they often have no money, and they have a small amount of dedicated volunteers. Animals in the tri-state area are euthanized daily, rescue groups are unable to save as many lives as they wish, and animals spend years in boarding kennels while awaiting adopters to fall in love with them. Many of these boarding animals are forgotten. There is an estimated 3-4million pets euthanized each year in US animal shelters. That’s 10,000 per day on average. There must be a way to curb at least some of this. There is. Fostering.
There is a strong lack of homes willing to open their doors to fostering a shelter pet. Maybe it’s because they assume that a shelter animal is “broken”, or that they think they would never be able to give the animal up to an adopter, it would break their heart. The former could not be further from the truth. And the latter is selfish. Imagine the heart exploding with happiness that the beautiful pet you have supported and loved, has found forever love with a great family. Look at tail wag.
Many shelter animals are down on their luck, and need a second chance. They have lived in homes before, they have lived with children, other pets, and life was great! But perhaps their human passed away, or maybe they fell on hard times and just couldn’t afford pet care any longer. And now Muffy or Fluffy or Spike or Spot is sitting in a cage wondering what on earth happened. Sure, there are some shelter pets who sadly have never felt love, or the affection of a human before. Some were abused or neglected. But all of them still have hope, they wag their tails, they purr. One thing they all have in common is the dangerous waiting game. Will they get sick in the shelter? Will they go crazy if they are there too long? Will they gain bad behaviors because they are not receiving the natural love, attention and comforts that a home should provide? Will they make it out alive at all?
How the animals end up in the shelter in the first place is a societal problem that we alone cannot fix. But if people opened their homes to shelter pets we could save a bunch of lives and help animals transition into forever homes much more easily. That at least would be a start till our society puts a higher value on the lives and existence of our furry friends, till the law stands up for our 4-legged buddies, till shelters are no longer overflowing with the unwanted.
Fostering is a wonderful experience. As a foster parent, you can set certain guidelines with the rescue group as to what type of animal you prefer. A certain breed, age, sex, temperament, that you think will fit into your home. If you work full time and already have a dog, you can always request a dog-friendly foster pet who is house-trained. You will have the full support of the rescue group. But you must also give them full support in return. You must make a minimum time commitment (some rescues require 3 months, some 6 months). Your job as a foster is to guide the pet into being the best it can be, to get it ready for a forever home. That could involve teaching a dog to stay off the couch or walk better on leash, or teaching a cat to welcome other pets or to play, or simply to teach trust and love.
For an adopter, it makes the process a little easier. There is less guessing. We are certainly not suggesting that potential adopters should shy away from shelters when making adoption decisions. We LOVE shelters and wish more people would consider adopting a pet direct from a shelter, instead of using it only as a dumping ground. But for some, they need to know more specifics that a shelter often times cannot provide. When a pet lives in a foster home, it has a better chance of showing it’s personality, of displaying more natural behaviors. An adoptee can be told if that pet likes children, what commands it knows, how it acts in a dog park, what it’s favorite game or past time is, how it is with car travel, what it acts like when strangers enter the home, whether it needs a home with adults only, etc. Some of these traits can be noted by a shelter, but to many the transition from shelter directly to home is one that results in many adopters returning pets.
A pet needs time to decompress, to learn trust, to “get over” the shelter experience. This may be easy for some pets, and not so easy for others. A patient and loving foster home can help them through this process. Each rescue group is different with the type of support it offers it fosters. Some pay for all medical bills, some even pay for food. But all are ready with any help and advice they can provide. The rescue will promote the pet on social media and it’s website, as well as on sites such as If appropriate, the pet would also be part of adoption events where the general public can visit the pet. It is always helpful if the foster also promotes the pet to their contacts. They are the best ambassador for that pet.
One example of a wonderful dog that would flourish in a foster home is Millie. She was on the kill list in NYC and was pulled by A Pathway to Hope Rescue, after Rock & Rawhide advocated for her life. A great dog with so much potential, she is currently staying at A Hotel for Dogs in Middletown NJ, a doggie day care facility. She spent 2.5 months in the shelter, and now almost 1 month at the Hotel, where she is doing great. But it is time for Millie to find a home! 2 years old, sweet, affectionate, listens to commands, obedient, healthy, loves to play, walks great on leash, and loves the car. Yet she’s just one of hundreds, actually one of thousands of dogs in boarding today. Lucky enough to have their lives saved. Unlucky enough that they are still in limbo….waiting.
Consider fostering. Consider adopting. Consider volunteering at your local animal shelter or rescue group. And always, hug your pets a little tighter, knowing they are the very lucky ones.
There are so many ways to get involved in helping animals finding a home.  It’s just a matter of taking the time to actually get out of your comfort zone and getting the job done.  Don’t worry if you don’t have the time to volunteer because I am positive that there are other ways that you can help.  If you want to learn more about how you can help, check out their website and learn more about what they do to help animals.
Check out the below video:

If you would like to connect with them through social media, here is the link:

About Rock & Rawhide

Rock & Rawhide aims to increase adoptions and quality of life for dogs and cats in shelters, by providing distraction therapy and noise/stress reduction through the donations of toys, tough chew items, Kongs, Nylabones, bones, rawhides, blankets and more. If a dog is chewing, it’s not barking! If a cat is playing, it’s not meowing! Less noise = less stress. In turn, dogs and cats can pass their evaluations at shelters, and show more of their personality, making them more adoptable. We collect items through regular donations, music gigs, visual art shows, culinary events, DJ events, drop box programs, and more.


About A Pathway to Hope Rescue

A Pathway to Hope is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of abandoned dogs and cats, with a special focus on south to north rescue of northern breed dogs, the rescue of stray cats, and community outreach to further the cause of rescue.


About Hotel For Dogs

Dedicated to providing your dog with only the very best in lodging, play, and love. An owner-operated facility, staffed by hard-working, energetic dog lovers. It’s not enough for us to simply provide your dog with a little space while you’re away. We want them wagging their tails, making new friends, and singing doggy farewells when you come to pick them up – because we’re dog owners too and we know how hard it is to leave them.


Disclosure: Charis by Design did not receive any compensation for running this post.





Charis finds at H&M


This week’s fashion finds is from H&M.  Whether you are looking for a great night out or looking for comfortable flats to walk around the city, H&M has great styles at an affordable price.  In my opinion, it’s important to have a dress handy because you never know when you’ll get invited to a last minute event and not have time to shop for a dress.  Why does any girl love a summer dress? Because it’s flattering and you could be dressed up quickly.  This is exactly why I love summer! You could just throw any dress on and wear it with some cute sandals or flats and look like you are ready for a night out.  Don’t forget to accessorize and have fun!

H&M find 7-2





How would you wear this look?

Enter to win Little Tikes Slam ‘n Curve Slide Giveaway!

Little Tike Slam n Curve

Welcome to the Little Tikes Slam ‘n’ Curve Water Slide Giveaway!!!
Hosted by Everything Mommyhood, and sponsored by Little Tikes! Special thanks to our co-hosts MOMentarily Distracted, Fused Life, Mama Pure, and Raising 3 Savvy Ladies.

Which of us parents don’t just wish to get one of these for our kids? In hot weather, this will keep your kids cooled and entertained for hours.  It’s like having their very own water park in your own backyard.  This is the perfect entertainment for those full summer days and especially if you have energetic kids.  Actually, I think I want one of these for me to jump in with the kids! lol.

Summer is upon us which means we will be spending a lot of time outdoors having fun and trying to stay cool, what better way to do so than with the Little Tikes Slam ‘n’ Curve Slide! Your children are sure to love this generously sized, easy to setup, water slide with wading pool, climbing wall, and basketball hoop! Make sure you stop by and check out Everything Mommyhood’s Little Tikes Slam ‘n’ Curve Water Slide Review.

Some of the great features of the Slam ‘n’ Curve Water Slide:

Challenging inflatable rock wall leads to a slippery slide with a gentle curve at the end for a fun ride into the refreshing pool
Roomy splash wading pool includes an inflatable basketball hoop and ball
Step-down in side wall for easy entrance and exit
After inflation, blower must run continuously while children are playing
Inflatable must be anchored firmly in place
Maximum number of kids: 3
Maximum combined weight limit: 350 lbs.
Great for children ages 5-10.

Your children are sure to love this water slide as well as all of their friends! Beat the heat this Summer with Little Tikes!

Buy it: You can purchase the Little Tikes Slam ‘n’ Curve Water Slide on their website for $399.99.

Now for the giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a Little Tikes Slam ‘n’ Curve Slide, retail of $399.99.
Open to US and Canadian Residents Only, 18 and up (Excludes Quebec).
One entry per household/IP Address.
Void where prohibited.
Winner will be chosen randomly via the Giveaway Tools entry form and will be emailed.
Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize before a new winner is chosen.
Giveaway ends 7/20 at 11:59pm EDT.


Disclosure: Everything Mommyhood received the item mentioned above in exchange for her honest review & giveaway. This blog was not compensated for this posting. All thoughts and opinions are those of our own and were not influenced in any way. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and any other social media are not affiliated with this posting or giveaway. Everything Mommyhood and this blog are not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment. Little Tikes is responsible for fulfillment of prize. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. If you have any questions about this event or would like to see your event hosted by Everything Mommyhood, please email

What to Due? Preparing for Baby #2 Giveaway! Enter to win!

Welcome to the What to Due? Preparing for Baby #2 Giveaway!
Hosted by Spit Up is the New Black

I’ve teamed up with Ashley over at Spit Up is the New Black to celebrate the welcoming of baby #2! She’s hand selected products for, and in preparation of, a second child, and has partnered with over a dozen amazing companies to offer one lucky reader over $1,700 worth of baby essentials!
What to Due? Preparing for Baby #2 Prize Suite #Giveaway

When baby #2 is on their way, you are never prepared because you thought you were done with baby #1.  Sometimes it is planned but most of the time it is not planned.  For those of you expecting or know someone that is expecting then this is the perfect giveaway to get you prepared for baby #2.

#DueWithBaby2 Prize Suite:

ONE lucky winner will win ALL of the items listed above! To enter to win this suite of prizes, please use the entry form below. Open to residents of the contiguous US states, ages 18+. Giveaway closes 7/31/14 at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter. Prizes to be fulfilled by Britax, Sarah Wells, Gymboree, Naturepedic, guzzie+Guss, Philips AVENT, Boppy, Tiny Love, California Baby, aden + anais, Tommee Tippee, Freshly Picked, Little Treetops, Undercover Mama, Pink Lining, NuRoo, Bebe PODPants, and I See Me. Color and/or style of prizes may vary. Prizes will be shipped separately. Neither Spit Up is the New Black nor any blog in which this giveaway is posted is held liable for lack of prize fulfillment. Open to residents of the 48 contiguous United States, ages 18+.

Charis by Design is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Get your beach beauty essentials!


Now that Summer is finally here, it is time to get your beach beauty essentials! It’s important to have all your beauty products for when your girlfriends call you to go to the beach.  The number one mistake that I always did was that I always got a tanning lotion without any sunscreen.  I don’t think I ever remember using sunscreen lotion.  When your young, you are just thinking of getting that perfect tan and I even used baby lotion to get really burnt.

As time goes on you realize that your skin is not the same as it used to because after all we age so now all I ever look for is for spf 30 or higher! With that said, I wanted to put together a list of beach beauty essentials that would help you get ready for the beach.  I found this great video by Michelle Phan that has a few items that I must admit I actually need for this summer.

I hope you enjoy this video!

Summer makeup ideas 2014


As Summer is in full throttle, you have to take the time to look your best and look the trendiest. Summer only comes once a year so take full advantage of it while you can.  Because I did not want to miss out, I asked a friend of mine, Angelica a Beauty Consultant, about the hottest trends right now for this Summer.

Here are the top looks to look out for when shopping for new makeup:

1.  Graphic eyeliner: If you really want to make a gorgeous effect, then you need to try the graphic eyeliner.  Back in the Pre-fall 2012, Chanel introduced this look in the Dubai fashion show and it really wowed the audience.  Two years later and this look is getting stronger and better.







2.  Orange lips: I am totally hooked on the orange lips! Usually, I am not big on this color but I am completely captivated with this color now because it can really uplift your outfit when you have a fantastic lipstick.  The trick with wearing orange lipstick is to pair it with a subtle eye shadow.  My advice is not to wear a strong eye shadow color along with this color.  It can totally clash but that’s just my personal opinion








3.  White eye shadow: Another favorite look of mine because it can really look great in the morning and night.  It’s a transitional look that can look subtle and elegant at the same time.  The beauty of wearing eye shadow is that you can pair it with almost any lipstick.









If you have tricks up your sleeve, please go ahead and share them here because I always like to hear new ideas.

Makeup was done by Angelica Andujar, Beauty Consultant.  If you need makeup done, questions, and tips about the latest trends, please feel free to contact Angelica Andujar at her instagram page:

Introducing the Self-Publishing Sensation, Rachel Van Dyken!


Recently I had the honor to interview New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary romance books, Rachel Van Dyken.  She started out with an indie publisher but then ventured out into self-publishing.  After much success, she was picked up by a traditional publisher and now she does both.  It’s inspiring to see new authors taking risks in the publishing world that can be a bit scary sometimes.  Rachel Van Dyken wrote The Bet.  It sold 85,000 ebook copies in just the U.S. and UK in ten days that it was on sale.

She is one of the few authors that has been gracious enough to take the time to interview with me and I am extremely grateful for her time.  It amazes me how she has been able to write so many books in three years.  And she is non-stop! I will like to congratulate her for her great efforts and to keep inspiring new writers that are trying really hard to make in the publishing industry.









Q: Where you from and what is your favorite spot?

I’m from Sunnyside, WA which is a super small town about 3 hours east of Seattle. My favorite spot or place to be is anywhere my husband is I LOVE love LOVE the mountains and beach.

Q: What is your best childhood memory?

Being with family. I’m so thankful that I grew up in such a loving environment, I just remember lots of laughing and bbq during summer. I think my favorite childhood memory is playing dress up with my sister.

Q: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing back in 2011, I was a school counselor and needed a way to diffuse all the stress so I wrote stories

Q: What motivated you to write your first book?

My stressful job and all the wonderful kids I worked with, they inspired my first book, the ugly duckling debutante and it kind of exploded from there.

Q: How did you get started?

I signed with an indie publisher then ventured into self publishing and was picked up by a traditional publisher, now I do both!

Q: Did you ask anyone to mentor you on your first book or did you just publish the book?

I’m pretty sure I stalked author Julie Lessman for weeks maybe months asking her questions on what to do and how to do it, she was so sweet in answering all my questions.

Q: Did you publish your first book or was it self-published?

It was published by an indie publisher.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I’d like to think so! My writing style is really heavy on the dialogue and I like to make the secondary characters just as important.

Q:  Who is your favorite author and are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Oh wow, I can’t even say I have so many favorite authors!!! A few new authors Im addicted to, Heather Lyons, Amy Bartol.

Q:  If you had to do it all over again, would you still be a writer?

OH MY GOSH YES! I love it!

Q:  What is your latest project?

Im finishing up the fourth book in the Eagle Elite series and the third and final book in the bet series releases in less than a month.

Q:  Is there anything that you find challenging when writing a book?

Everything lol but I love every part.

Q:  Do you design your own covers or who designs it for you?

I have an amazing cover artist that designs everything for me and my publisher does my covers as well.

Q: Do you have a love for fashion as well?

I do!! I’ve always been obsessed with fashion which is weird b/c I always forget to dress my characters.

Q:  What pieces would be found in your wardrobe?

Scarves, I have tons and tons of scarves, I think I have a problem.

Q: Which celebrity closet would you want to raid?

Ooooh good question! Rachel Bilson or Lauren Conrad.

Q:  What kind of music is in your ipod or iPhone?

I have every type of music on the planet from rap to gospel.

Q:  What is your best advice you have for other writers? Keep writing! Don’t just write one book and wait….write and write and write.

Q:  On a more personal level, would you like to tell your fans something that they don’t already know?

I used to be really shy as a kid and would often cover my face with my hands b/c I thought it made me disappear.

Q:  What is your next move? Publishing a book a month until the new year

If you will like to follow Rachel, here are the links:


Recipe for Dominican Sancocho (aka Stew)


At my fans request, I have been asked to start adding recipes.  I never thought that so many people were looking for new recipes to cook.  Let me just say that I am not the best cook.  With that in mind, all my recipes will be modified to be made the easiest way because who has the time to cook a meal for hours; I surely don’t! lol.

Sancocho is one of my favorite dominican meals.  It is hearty and it’s one of those comfort foods.  It’s a great meal for a rainy day, cold winter night, or if you just want a meal to bring you comfort after a hard days work.

Here is what you need:


4lbs Beef with Bones (Pecho de Res)

2lb Boneless Pork Chunks (Masita de Cerdo)

2lb Goat Meat (Chivo)

2lb Longanize (Dominican Sausage)

2lb Smoked Pork Chops (Chuleta ahumada)

1 whole chicken (if you prefer drumsticks or things then just 3-4lbs of it)

2-3lb Yucca

2-3lb Malanga (Yautia)

5 potatoes

2lbs Acorn Squash (Auyama)

4-5 Green Bananas (Guineitos verdes)

5 sweet corn

4 plantains

4 tsp salt (add as needed)

2tsp black pepper

4 tsp Ground Oregano

Before we begin with the recipe, it is my suggestion that you season the meat the day before or a few hours before you begin the stew.  This way the meat has already absorbed the flavor.  For seasoning the meat, you may use what you prefer.  I always like to use Goya Adobo, Oregano, Salt and pepper but everyone likes to season their meat differently.  If you really want the meat to have good flavor, then take the time to prepare what we like to call sofrito.

Basically, that is taking bell peppers, onion, cilantro, garlic, celery and putting them in the blender until it looks chunky.  If you make enough, it can last you for a few weeks and you can use this seasoning for all kinds of meats.

After you have seasoned the meat, you can proceed with making the stew.  I like to start with the toughest meat first and that would be beef with bones (carne de pecho) because it takes the longest to cook.  Take a large pot (one that can take 16qts or even bigger) add vegetable oil and put on high heat.  Wait a few minutes and let the oil get very hot then add the beef to the pot.  Be careful with the oil splattering everywhere.  Cover and simmer the meat until all of the meat has taken a brownish burnt color.  Leave it there to cook for about 15 minutes.  Stir the meat then continue stirring it for every 5-8 minutes to avoid sticking.  Let the beef cook until the juices are gone and you hear it sizzling again.  This should take in total 30-40 minutes.

Add the pork and simmer for 15 minutes, adjust if necessary, and adjust water as necessary.  Add the rest of the meat to the pot, except for the chicken and simmer for another 15 minutes adding in a tablespoon of water at a time to prevent the meat from burning.  In a separate pot, I like to cook the chicken so that it can take a brownish color as well.  After it you let it simmer for 15 minutes and all the pieces are brown then you can add this to the stew.

Add 2 quarts of water to the pot and bring to a boil.  Add the Name, auyama, yautia and plantains that you have already cut.  Simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Simmer until the last ingredients you added are cooked through and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

You may serve this dish with white rice, avocado slices, and hot sauce.

Shortcut: Instead of cutting all the vegetables and peeling them.  In the freezer aisles, Goya (that’s the brand) has a bag named sancocho stew and it has mostly all the ingredients needed to make the stew and it will save you time.  If you want to save at least 20 minutes on prep time then I highly suggest you get the bag but I have to warn you that it tastes better when you buy it fresh than the frozen aisle.

Hope you enjoy this recipe.  Let me know if you have tried it before and if you have…is there anything that you have added to make it different?

Summertime Adventures with Charis!


Finally Summer is here! It could not have arrived any sooner! I sometimes think that I was not meant to live through winter because I just don’t like snow very much.  The only exemption for snow is Christmas time.  Now that summer has arrived, I decided why not start a series of my journey through summer.  I will be talking about my little adventures through this summer and share my ideas so that perhaps you can also be encouraged to take advantage of the summer time.


My first idea was to bring the kids to a lake that was nearby.  I thought the lake would be a good idea because it hardly has any waves and if you go during the week, there are not a lot of people at the lake.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love the beach and will always love it but it’s good to change it up once in a while.

On top of it,  depends which lake you go to but some lakes include swimming, BBQ, playground, volleyball, paddle boats, and fishing area.  It was wonderful! Honestly, I would still want to visit even if there are many people there because there are many other activities that we could do at the lake.  Perhaps next time we’ll go fishing!

Here are a few shots that I took of the lake.  Let me know your thoughts of going to a lake vs the beach!  Which one do you prefer?











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