Fresh Watermelon Salsa Salad

I’m calling this one a salsa salad because it really could be both. The recipe itself is an amazing side dish for a light grilled meal: chicken or fish. But if you diced the ingredients instead of chopped them, you could pair it with some homemade chips for a really fresh salsa! I am so in love with this recipe!

Fresh Watermelon Salsa Salad

INGREDIENTS
1/4 of a seedless watermelon, cubed (roughly 3 cups)
1 whole cucumber, cubed (some skin removed)
1 orange bell pepper, diced
½ purple onion, diced
3 ripe avocados, cubed
¼ cup olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 pinch dried or fresh mint
1 pinch dried or fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine watermelon, cucumber, pepper onion and avocados in a large bowl.
2. Add oil, juices, spices and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Toss together gently to mix. The ripe avocados will mash up a bit as you mix, lending an air of guacamole to this salad that I really like, it comes together nicely as one dish!
4. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. If it’s very hot, refrigerate the salad. It can be served cooled or room temperature.

*SnapTip:
To turn the salad into a salsa, simply dice the watermelon, cucumber and avocado to the same size as the pepper and onion. Bake up some homemade chips or grab your favorites from the store and scoop it up!

(Recipe adapted from this one. We are mega into avocados in our house and can’t stand cilantro, I know, I know!)

The Best Travel Planning App

If you’re anything like me, you like to get yourself organized before a trip. Whether it’s packing your carry-on or making an itinerary, keeping everything together really helps for a relaxing vacation. When a friend recommended I try a new app called Trip-o-Matic, I was excited. But once I started using it, I was ecstatic! It makes planning a vacation, especially one with multiple destinations, a cinch! And it’s fun to use, with the interactive map and the app, it’s super user friendly!

Take a trip with me through Trip-o-Matic!

You start by creating an account and setting up a new trip! Here I’m using my recent California trip as an example.

You select the place(s) you’re going to be visiting and the dates of your trip, and then get planning the itinerary!

Trip-o-Matic has a list of suggestions loaded for a huge number of cities, all you need to do is scroll through, and add the item to your itinerary. You can also add in some “off the beaten path” places that you discover online and add them in by address.

You can set an amount of time you think you’ll spend at each place, which is then tallied up to give you an idea of how long your day will take you. You can also add in notes, for example, the recommended dish at the restaurant your co-worker suggested!

Each day expands to show you a map of how to get to each place, and walking and driving times. Pre-populated notes on each item are also included, so you can decide on the fly what you’re getting into!

Lastly, you can add in your hotel info, and each day the itinerary will start from your hotel and get you back there at night! You can set up the entire trip from your PC and download a pdf, print it out and bring it with you to bring on the plane. You can also edit on the fly by using the Trip-o-Matic app. 

Trip-o-Matic makes travel planning such a breeze! What is your favorite travel app?!

My 5 Minute Makeup Routine

I don’t know about some people, but, for me, I can’t just roll out of bed and go. I do not feel comfortable with a totally blank face, messy hair and without a neat outfit on. This doesn’t mean a full face and pumps with a ‘do everyday, but I do take the time to apply some makeup, put on a collared shirt (even with boyfriend jeans and chic flats) and tame my tresses. Sometimes you are running so late that you have no time to get ready, such is life. 

During those times, I still take 5 minutes for me, and for this makeup routine. Here’s how I do it!

1 minute: BB Cream, apply  with fingers, blend out with beauty blender to make sure it’s even (my fave below)

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream

30 seconds: Concealer, apply to dark under eye circles, redness and blemishes, and to cover your eyelids (no veins here)

30 seconds: Translucent powder (or your shade for more coverage), to set entire face and concealer

1 minute: Bronzer to warm the face, applied below cheekbones, under chin and around forehead (follow my contour guidelines for this)- you’re not contouring though, just warming

30 seconds: Brows, use a thin pencil (suggestions below), brush through with spoolie and set with wax or clear brow gel (optional)

NYX Micro Brow Pencil
Anastasia Brow Wiz

1 minute: Mascara, use something with a lot of volume and oomph, which will really wake you up and make you look much more put-together, take the time to curl your lashes and really stamp the mascara on the upper lash line. Your eyes will look tight-lined without any of the effort!

30 seconds: Highlight your cheekbones, and pop a little in the inner corner of your eye to look bright and fresh!

Swipe on some lip balm or gloss on your way out the door, if you’re so inclined, and you’re ready to go!

I am a total Youtube makeup video junkie lately, so I’ve linked up some of my favorite super easy no-makeup or quick make up tutorials below! Show some love to these great vloggers and subscribe and thumbs up these videos!

KathleenLights, what can I say?! I love love love this girl, I can’t get enough of her channel!!

Ingrid is so quirky, I can’t take it, she’s hilarious!

Does Carli ever not look insanely gorgeous?! She’s my makeup hero!

What’s your 5 minute makeup routine?!

Splurge or Save Summer Sandals

I have been fantasizing about summer sandals for months now, and I am so excited to wear them again. I don’t even wait to wear shorts, I rock those bad boys with jeans! 😉 I rounded up some of my favorite splurges, and their counterpart saves for you!

SPLURGE

SAVE

SPLURGE

SAVE

SPLURGE

SAVE

SPLURGE

SAVE

SPLURGE

SAVE

SPLURGE

SAVE

And here are two more great mid-range options that I thought were adorable!!

Be a Better Bridesmaid – Bachelorette Bash!

I love me some alliteration, and today’s post really does the trick: Be a Better Bridesmaid – Bachelorette Bash! Welcome back to my Be a Better Bridesmaid Series, and welcome to one of the most important posts! If you can’t party hearty with your ladies one last time while you’re single, what’s the point of getting married at all?! 😉

I am in the process of recovering from my bestie’s Bachelorette Bash, and I wanted to share some of the ideas I came upon while planning the festivities. I also have some tips on treats, favors, staying safe and having a blast!

Bachelorette Bash Ideas

Fancy schmancy dinner and dancing
Make sure to set expectations for cost, and let everyone know you will be covering the Bride’s meal. Also consider setting a dress code, perhaps the girls in black, so the Bride stands out in white! Or try pink, sequin or blue! If the restaurant is BYO, you can DIY some mini (or full size, let’s be honest) wine bottles for each guest in attendance! Make custom labels, or cover the bottles with mod podge and glitter!

Karaoke Party
As long as your Bride isn’t shy, why not put everyone on display with a karaoke party?! You can do this at someone’s home, or head to a karaoke bar. Private rooms can be rented, and most places offer open bar packages, complete with apps! Why not make it a decade specific night, say 80s, and stick to everyone’s fave 80s songs and 80s clothing. Give out scrunchies, neon wayfarers and mesh gloves so everyone is photo ready.

Pole Dancing Class & Cocktails
Share a new experience with your favorite ladies as you learn from a pro. Pole Dancing classes aren’t just fun and sexy, they’re great exercise! Have some post dancing cocktails and giggle about the new moves you learned, and where you might try them out 😉 Use iron on transfers to make custom shirts for the attendees, or get some printed up professionally.

Ski Trip
If the timing works, why not hit the slopes with your besties? Have people who don’t ski? Most mountains have resorts offering spa services and special hills for tubing, so there is something for everyone. You can rent a house for the group, and get some winter hats for everyone, so they’re cozy and stylish on the hill. Don’t forget to print out my winter packing list and hand it out!

Tropical Vaca
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the tropical beach vacation. Lounge around poolside, splash in the surf and feel the sand between your toes. What better send off into married bliss than this? Make up welcome bags for each guest complete with sunglasses, nail polish and sunscreen- because what girl can ever have enough of those?!

Wine & Dine Trip
Whether you have time for a wine weekend, or only a day trip, you can enjoy local wineries and food pairings in almost any location. Hire a limo to drive you to the vineyards and home again for a day trip, and consider a day tour for longer trips. This way everyone stays safe, no drinking and driving! Have some custom wine bottle bags made so everyone can take home their purchases in style!

Yoga & Spa Om-scape
Do you love to get your zen on? There are plenty of hotels that offer yoga classes on site free to guests, just choose a relaxing locale. Hit up the spa after you are stretched and feeling good. A great gift would be a yoga mat for each Bachelorette attendee.

Hiking and Glamping
I am not the biggest fan of camping, but glamping sounds absolutely divine. Find a local glamp site and book some cabins for the ladies interested in attending. Map out some great hiking routes, and remind everyone to pack comfy boots or sneakers. Consider gifting everyone a compass, and be sure to pack plenty of chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows. S’mores party!!

BYO Painting Class
A friend of mine and I had the best time at a BYO painting class last year and all we thought was how much more fun it would be with a larger group! You can reserve a studio for the afternoon, and bring your own wine, beer, snacks and treats. Rainbow paint palette cupcakes anyone?

Dinner & a Show
Whether the Bride is a theater fan, or her favorite band is in town one upcoming weekend, attending a live event with your girls is super fun! This is another event idea that calls for custom shirts, why not make it known that you’re all celebrating the lovely Bride-to-be?! You’re only a Bride once (hopefully)! Again, you will want to set expectations for the restaurant pricing, and let everyone know that you will be covering the Bride’s meal. 

Details

Bride-to-Be Gift Bag
Pack up a special gift that includes a special wine glass or cup, Bride shirt, head wear or crown, meaningful trinkets, lot’s of ring pops, and anything event specific!

Treats
Stock up on ring pops so everyone can wear some “bling,” “He Popped the Question” popcorn, powdered donuts with tiny diamond toothpicks, sprinkle cookies and lots of beverage options. If you’re choosing a specific color for your theme, tie in the snacks so that everything coordinates well!

Hashtag
Make up a hashtag specific for the event and make sure to post it for all guests. Download my free Bachelorette Bash sign, add in your bride’s details and hashtag and print it out! I used the font “Good Vibes” for the text. It prints well in a 4×6 or 5×7 size, ready for framing!

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable - customize and Print!

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable – customize and Print!

Here's the printable in action at my bestie's Bachelorette Bash!

Here’s the printable in action at my bestie’s Bachelorette Bash!

Buddy System
Impart a buddy system so that no girl is left behind and everyone is watching someone’s back.

Hangover Remedies
Not every bad decision can be helped, but picking up some hangover remedies can counteract some of the damage done. Make sure to read the packaging, as some are meant to be taken prior to drinking, while some are for the next day.

Signs
Use small signs to label the food you’re serving so everyone can easily identify what goodies they’d like to try! I’ve include the 4 that I used for my bestie’s Bachelorette Bash below. Feel free to print them out to use at the next bash you’re planning! I printed them out as 4×6 images on regular printer paper, and taped index cards to the back of mine to make them sturdier when tented!

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable Signs! 

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable Signs! 

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable Signs! 

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable Signs! 

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable Signs! 

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable Signs! 

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable Signs! 

Free Bachelorette Bash Printable Signs! 

Follow my tips and tricks and you’re on your way to an awesome celebration! Most of all, have fun, and make sure the Bride is enjoying herself, this might be her last chance to let loose before it’s wedding crunch time!

Read more tips & tricks on being a Better Bridesmaid in my series!

7 Favorite Etsy Shops

Who doesn’t love Etsy? If you have a pulse and have ever had to buy a gift, or something special for yourself, you should be using Etsy. Their offerings are unique, original, and will get you noticed at any gathering. Below I’ve highlighted some of my absolute favorite Etsy shops! Please visit these retailers and let me know what you think!

Tutticonfetti
Charming illustrations

How cute are these artful interpretations of popular movies and shows?

YarningMade
Bold and modern knits for baby and the home hand knit in Victoria, BC.

I can’t wait to gift one of these blankets to the next Mom-to-be in my circle!

MugLoveAndMore
Mugs and Trinkets!

I picked these up for my bestie’s shower and she absolutely loved them!

HeleneinBetween
Custom, comfy, and casual t-shirts designed for people who know that t-shirts are the best way to express yourself

I mean, Friday Night Lights, need I say more?!

CleanMamaPrintables
Who says homekeeping and organizing can’t be enjoyable AND easily implemented into your life? Clean Mama Printables simplifies your homekeeping with easy to use and implement systems to get your life organized!

I love me a good printable!

SmashCandies
Candy Catering For All Of Life’s Celebrations

These candies are so unique and would make great favors for any event, for kids and big kids alike!

oneswellstudio
Celebrate the good things in life.

Loving these unique and 3-D invites for a variety of party occasions!

Do you have any Etsy favorites?

10 Easy Healthy Breakfasts

The most important meal of the day is breakfast, and some people love breakfast so much, they have it for lunch, or even dinner. Any of you like that? {slowly raises hand} I would eat breakfast every meal of the day if I could, so I rounded up some of my favorite ideas for easy and healthy breakfast options!

Smoothies

(check out all of my recipe options here)

Breakfast burritos

Frozen homemade waffles

(just make a large batch at once on a Saturday, enjoy on the weekend and freeze the extras! Pop them in the toaster just like an Eggo)

Avocado toast

Oatmeal

(there are so many options for toppings and mix ins!)

Cottage cheese with citrus fruit

(this one is my personal favorite!)

Yogurt and granola

Pb&b english muffin

(Peanut butter and berries!)

Baked eggs

(recipe here

Mini Quinoa Cups

(ham & cheese option here, but there are so many variations to consider!) 

10 Tasty Memorial Day Treats

Summer is on it’s way! The official start for most people is Memorial Day Weekend, and I cannot wait for it! I get really excited thinking about all of the amazing food I’m going to enjoy this summer, yummm. I wanted to get some inspiration for some new and different things, so I put together 10 Tasty Memorial Day Treats. Enjoy!

Guest Post: 10 Most Googled Pet Questions!

Hi there! While I am currently on a blogging vacation, I decided to have some of my favorite bloggy friends join me here on SnapGinger with their own contributions. Today I have Roxana who is a pet-loving traveler, an environmentalist and an occasional writer from Australia. 
Just like me, she is a proud pet owner! She has two labs, Brando and Astor, and a purrfect cat Archibald. Roxana can be found on Facebook and Twitter! She is bringing you the 10 most Googled pet questions today! Enjoy!

As any cat or dog owner knows, there’s way much more to pets than meets the eye. Though not always viewed as such, dogs and cats have complex personalities of their own and some instances of their behavior may come across as weird, silly or downright spooky to their owners. For cat and dog lovers eager to find the answers to the reasons behind sometimes odd conduct of their beloved pets, Google has always been a go-to solution – according to recent surveys, more people seem to turn to the internet than vets when it comes to a host of everyday pet-related questions. Here, we bring you top ten most googled questions, so make sure you check them out – you never know, you may find your reliable pet-related answers here and be able to skip the vet part altogether after all.

1. Why are dogs’ noses wet?
Anyone who ever had a chance to see a dog up close and touch its face knows that canine noses are usually wet and cold. The reason for nose wetness in dogs lies in the glands that are found inside each nostril and are used to produce mucus that helps dogs collect scents. You probably had a chance to see your dog licking their nose now and again – in this way, dogs help their bodily temperature optimal (as you probably know, dogs have no sweat glands so they regulate their body heat through the nose and paw pads) and also move the scents from the nasal area to the olfactory glands found on the roof of their mouth.

2. Why do cats eat grass?
As for our feline pets, their weird habit of eating grass and vomiting shortly thereon need not be a major reason for concern or a trip to the vet. Grass helps cats get the essential enzymes necessary for them to regurgitate stodgy matter such as hair balls or counteract indigestion. Though you probably never taught it to eat grass to remedy problems with their digestive system, your cat intuitively turn to it when its stomach cannot process certain foods so it would be a good idea for you to plant a herbal garden at home to prevent your cat from intaking harmful pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals usually used to treat grass found in lawns and backyards.

3. Why do dogs bury bones?
A typical instance of odd dog behavior, burying bones (sometimes referred to as hoarding or caching) has its roots in dog genealogy. Back at the times when food was scarce and hard to catch, the ancestors of our lovable canine pets had to store food in secret stashes to keep other animals from stealing it until they need it next. The simplest way to protect uneaten prey was to bury it in the ground, and in case food shortage arises, they could always go back to their cache for a sure meal. Though times have changed, canine instinct to bury food persists so don’t be surprised if you find a bunch of secret Canidae kibble stashes around your backyard next time you go gardening.

4. Why do cats have whiskers?
Unlike human hair, whiskers found in cats actually function as touch receptors and they are closely wired to the feline’s sensitive muscular and nervous system. Though their tactile hairs found on either side of the nose, upper facial lip and above each eye, cats directly receive information about their surroundings which gets processed in their sensory nerves, allowing the animal to detect and respond to changes in the environment. A sort of a kitty radar, feline whiskers should not be trimmed, cut or in other way tampered with as they help the animal gauge, analyze and respond to their surroundings and fiddling with cat’s tactile hair may make it disoriented, frightened or confused. 

5. Why do dogs chase their tails?
As you’ve probably seen already, dogs have a funny habit of chasing their tails now and again. The reasons for this odd behavior range from hereditary conduct patterns, certain anal infections, fleas, canine compulsive disorder to sheer boredom and lack of adequate exercise. Nevertheless, if your pet keeps chasing their tail all the time, it would probably be a good idea to contact your vet and have your dog examined for certain medical issues that may lead to such behavior.

6. Why do cats hate water?
Once thing is dead sure: 99% of cats don’t like water at all and will probably react frantically if submerged, drenched or splashed with liquid. The reasons for this major feline dislike of water are various and range from mere exposure to a new experience (in case you never bathed your cat before), added weight that limits their movement as the fur becomes waterlogged when soaked with water, to sensitivity to the smell of chemicals found in regular tap water. Nevertheless, instances of cats that love water have also been reported and it’s a well-known fact that large felines like lions and tigers often take baths in rivers and lakes out in the wild.

7. Why do dogs howl?
Most dogs are known to howl at times, and the reasons for this behavior range depending on the specific breed and dog’s character. Some dogs howl when they are expressing their territorial instincts, other howl when they are distressed, afraid or alarmed by a situation, object or sound they perceive as threatening. Howling in dogs is an instance of behavior inherited from their long lost relatives, wolves, and some experts on canine species believe howling represents a mode of communication or signaling their feelings to other canines in the area – and for all we know, some dogs may see howling as just a fun thing to do when bored.

8. Why do cats like boxes?
As documented in numerous funny cat videos and commercials, our feline pets love boxes in all shapes, colors and sizes. A possible reason for feline love of boxes – and other enclosed spaces, on that note – may be the fact that cats are ambush predators by nature and boxes provide a perfect hiding place to stalk prey from. Another reason why kitties love enclosed places like boxes may be the fact that enclosure gives them a sense of comfort, warmth and security, as cats tend to run away from potential sources of hostility, anxiety, conflict and unwanted attention instead of countering them in combat unless truly inevitable.

9. Do dogs dream?
Similarly to humans, dogs have two distinct sleep cycles, the slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM). Dreaming occurs in the second sleep cycle and your dog may growl, twitch, whine, breathe heavily or jerk its feet as if it is running. So, if you wondered whether your dog is dreaming of a rabbit hunt in their sleep when its leg muscles are twitching and its eyes seem to move behind the closed lids, he just may be so don’t disturb it!

10. Why do cats purr?
The most common sound produced by cats, purring is a typical feline reaction to pleasure and comfort, but it can also signify other emotions and/or needs your pet may be experiencing at the moment. For instance, some cats purr when it’s time for them to have their meals and their gentle throat rumble in such situations is often accompanied by a mew or cry. Likewise, most kittens purr to bond with their mothers and let them know they are alright. In return, mother cats purr to soothe their offspring or comfort them when afraid. Also, certain research has shown that purring can have a healing or soothing effect when the animal is hurt so don’t be surprised if you hear your cat purring next time it comes back home from a street fight with its fellow felines.