2020! New decade, new year, new YOU! I’ve put together my top 5 supplements I love and swear by. Whole Foods Market is having their annual supplement sale January 3rd-5th, but if you can’t make it to the store, feel free to shop through my Amazon links! Reach out if you have any questions and here’s to feeling and looking your best in 2020!!
Season’s greetings! I’ve narrowed down my top 10 holiday gifts for everyone on your list for under $50! Some of these sets can be broken up and used for significant others, teachers, parents, friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teens, children, the list goes on! Hope you enjoy and happy shopping!!!
October is Breast Cancer Prevention/Awareness month! If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been giving you daily tips with regards to safer switches. Below are my top 5 safer alternatives to limit your toxic intake!
Food Prep Containers with Lids: Research shows, plastic can leach harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates into your food and beverages and then into you! Using glass is a much safer alternative and helps with food prep for the week! Win-win!
S’well Water Bottle: Same goes for plastic water bottles! I always try to carry one around wherever I go! Keeps you hydrated and you’re not drinking any potential toxic ingredients seeping into your water!
Tulip Perfume: The word “fragrance,” is a cocktail of ingredients, masking countless carcinogens and hormone disrupting chemicals. Fragrance can be found in almost HALF of all personal care products! Be especially cautious when it comes to children’s products! Use the EWG app to scan products around your home to see its level of toxicity. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me where I got this perfume! It’s the perfect blend of lemon and sugar, without being overpowering and minus the harsh fragrance!
Safer Makeup: It’s perfectly legal for companies to use ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and reproductive harm in cosmetics and personal care products. With Beautycounter’s makeup you don’t have to choose between safety and performance!
LODGE Cast Iron: Some toxic compounds are used in non-stick cookware. While they keep food and stains from sticking, they stick around your body for a very long time and have been linked to cancer. I absolutely LOVE my cast iron skillet! You can literally cook anything you want in it AND it’s oven safe! It’s time to ditch the teflon and non-stick pans!
Can you believe that summer is coming to a close and back to school is upon us? We’ve got a first grader and a preschooler on our hands and we couldn’t be more proud of them! Below is a list of my top 10 back to school must haves that you might have forgotten!
- Backup Polos: Most schools require a uniform and these Amazon Basics are comfy & affordable! Plus they come in an array of colors! Always get back ups!
2. Hershel Backpacks: These are the new age Jansports of our time! They are weather proof and come in a variety of sizes and styles! I have the army print and I love it!
3. Lunchbots are 2 legit!: They’re good for the environment and the ones we love, bc they skip the BPA with their metal packaging and the hassle it takes to pack everything up in the morning! Just enough space and at a great price point!
4. Simple Modern Insulated Water Bottles: Never got thirsty with these trusty insulated water bottles. They come in a variety of sizes, colors and lids.
5. Electric Pencil Sharpener: I don’t know about you, but we are always sharpening pencils in our home. Skip the fuss and add this to your back to school list this year, you’ll be glad you did!
6. Desktop Organizer: With the amount of paperwork, homework and back to school tasks, this desktop organizer, makes it easy to have a place for everything and put everything in its place.
7. Hand Sanitizing Wipes: Back to school means back to germs! Skip the stress and have these handy while on the go! Skip the harmful ingredients too!
8. Adidas Slides: I’ve linked these before and I’m linking them again, because they’re the best shoe for running to and from car pool and pick up line! Mine were pink with some palms, but I might have to snag these too!
9. Inside Out Umbrella: This umbrella is like literal magic. It flips inside out, so that you’re not stuck fighting to close it in the rain and getting soaking wet! My Floridians know what I’m talking about!
10. Everyone knows the minute you get the kids from school they’re hungry. Plus when you and your littles are in the car waiting to pick the big kids up you’ve got to curb your snacking, so this little trust container should help!
Hope you enjoyed my top 10 back to school must haves! Have suggestions? Drop them here!
What a treat to collaborate with Voyage Miami on their latest feature! When I was first approached by the internet magazine company that focuses on local entrepreneurs…I thought to myself…me? It’s quite the honor to use my platform to tell my story. Shoutout to Erica Bachelor for submitting me and Dani Napert Photography, for her amazing photog skills! Check out the article to read my story, my struggles and my triumphs. Appreciate those who have supported me from the jump! 🤩
The Science Center is always a great idea, especially during the brutal Florida summer months! This time our little family took a trip to visit their latest exhibit, “Rainforest Adventure: Inspiring Wonder for the Natural World.” I particularly have a sweet spot for the rainforest, because my husband and I had our honeymoon in Costa Rica, back in 2010! There’s something about the lush landscape, coastal views, the exotic animals and not to mention the food, that keep me so intrigued, by such an amazing eco-system. It was really neat to be able to experience that with my two small children and give them a tiny glimpse into what it was like when we were fortunate enough to experience the rainforest almost nine years ago!
When you step inside the exhibit you are immediately transported to the tropical ambience of the rainforest. A maze is set up in the exhibit space for the kids to explore and learn fun facts, like the rainforest it is one of the least known habitats on Earth! They had the opportunity to see what it was like to swing like a monkey, climb up a spider web and test their frog jumping skills! They even had the chance to see what it was like to zipline though the trees. There’s a little interactive spot where, you can smell all of the things native to the region in a little sensory area. Things like chocolate and fruits and spices immediately transport you to the lush landscapes and immerse you into the culture of South America. As you exit, there is an area where the kids can learn all about ways to help conserve the rainforest and our eco-system. Things like conserving water, recycling and reducing our use of plastic.
I highly recommend beating the heat and cooling off in this makeshift rainforest exhibit that runs through September 4th. If you’re looking for things to do for the kids during summer, winter or spring breaks, The Science Center does offer camps for children throughout the year. The program is designed to highlight seasonal science workshops. From experiments to technology teachings and everything in between. Plus the recently added brain exhibit, larger than life dinosaurs and new splash pad and mini golf course are sure to make it fun-filled day. They offer day passes and annual passes too!
I should start off by saying my husband and I have managed to stay at almost every. single. resort on Walt Disney World property! You name it, we’ve experienced it. Budget friendly, mid range and even the best of the best. As a little girl, I remember my first trip to Walt Disney World. I was in the third grade…8 years old. It literally changed my life. I know that may sound a tad overdramatic, but listen here. I grew up in Brooklyn, we played hopscotch on the sidewalk, played on the stairs inside when it snowed and were lucky to hit up a carnival every now and again with the fam. My kids are straight up spoiled! When we lived in O-town for a brief stint, I remember my then 4-year-old boy saying we’re going to Disney AGAIN?! I about chewed his head off and proceeded to tell him about how some people were lucky to visit Disney ONCE in their lifetime! I haven’t heard a word from the kid since.
I can remember it like yesterday…taking the monorail and seeing the double doors open up to an untouchable world of wonder. The Contemporary Resort, The Grand Floridian (which we have stayed at too and I feel is a completely different post) and The Polynesian. That feeling of being so enamored with what’s in front of you, that it takes over your entire body. I remember saying to myself, “Oh, I’ll be back some day!” So, for my 35th birthday, my son’s 6th and our 8th wedding anniversary, we finally made it happen! We literally picked our son & daughter up from school and booked it to the Mouse’s House!
Upon arrival, you’re greeted by an incredible waterfall and the smell of pineapple and coconut is all consuming. The lobby literally transports you to the South Pacific (a place my friend, we will too someday visit), complete with lush landscape, smooth island sounds and a vibe unlike any other hotel on property. P.s. According to Disney.com, it’s been a fan fave since the 70’s! You are then greeted by staff with a lei (a symbol of affection and warm welcome).
While the hubby was checking us in, a woman was walking around in search of the honorary family to be a part of their fire ceremony, to which I immediately volunteered! Bless the hubby for going along with my antics. He took his newly upgraded lei and waited for his cue alongside us! A quick conch shell blow and the ceremony was off to a start! We stood at the front of the lobby and we’re announced in front of everyone “Aloha, please help me welcome The D’Andrea family!” We proceeded out to the lawn) which by the way overlooks the Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake) and took our front row seats for an incredible fire dance put on by one of the infamous dancers known for the “Spirit of Aloha” lively luau, (which we did by the way for my birthday the year prior! Most definitely on my recommended to-do list!) We then were asked to come to the front and say “Aloha!” and pose for pictures! What an incredible way to start off quite the fantastic trip!
The rooms are nice and super chill and the hotel itself is a place where for once, we weren’t trying to rush off to the parks! Whether you get the opportunity to lounge by the amazing pools with the Magic Kingdom as a backdrop or you walk the grounds with your toes in the sand alongside the new villas representative of life in Bali (another bucket list item), there’s no shortage of fun to be had at The Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. I would have to say one of the best parts, besides being so close to the parks via monorail is the fact that you can treat yourself to a Dole Whip any time of day! (My absolute favorite treat, which can usually only be found in the Magic Kingdom!)
One of the mornings we did decide to splurge on a character breakfast with Mickey, Pluto and Lilo & Stitch at “Ohana” (translates to family), which was all worth it for the mouthwatering sticky buns they provide before your meal even starts! (I’ll have to look up a recipe for that one! Ha!)
All in all, the trip was absolutely memorable and one for the books! One that in fact couldn’t be topped! So much so, that we opted to put our passes on hold and venture out to D.C. this summer for the 4th! Full report upon return. Don’t worry though, come fall and less sticky weather you can find the D’Andrea’s back in the Disney saddle with the launch of Star Wars! Make sure to follow me on Instagram @brianadandrea for an inside look at my crazy family, fun recipes and all things wellness! Until then…ALOHA!
Happy Earth Day friends! After more than 20 years of trial and error and tons of personal research…I’ve listed my Top 7 non-toxic cleaning products I swear by and I’m sure you will fall in love with them too! Have questions? Just ask! Simply use the links to shop now and celebrate Earth Day with me! xo -Briana D.
Buckle up and hang on tight as we take a journey through the human brain! The brain is quite the fascinating organ. It’s literally the command center of the human body and speaks to our central nervous system. Responsible for your best kept memories, your feelings, your emotions and the very function of our bodies.
My family and I were able to meander through the $2.5 million dollar exhibit, that is now a permanent fixture at The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. The space spans 2,500 square feet and is a journey through the inner workings of our brain and its funcitonalities. “The Journey Through the Human Brain,” starts at the molecular and cellular level and transitions into the makeup that is responsible for our hopes, fears and memories.
When you make your way inside the exhibit, you are greeted by an actual brain that was preserved and put out on display, which by the way was a favorite of mine! There are a number of interactive puzzles and technology stations, 30 to be exact…all leaving you completely immersed and fascinated by the inner workings of the human brain.
I enjoyed being able to see both the nerves that makeup the inside of the brain, as well. As for the children, they really got a kick out of putting together a puzzle that made up the entire brain, as well as a section where you could use your five senses to see, smell, hear and touch different items. From a touch screen display, that was essentially an in depth crash course to the human brain and even a fun lie detector test, there was no shortage of educational and interactive fun to be had.
One fascinating thing we learned was that a person’s brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25, however 90 percent of a child’s brain is developed by the age of 5…definitely some food for thought.
“Presenting an exhibit of such depth and breadth has been an incredible challenge, but we have drawn upon the talents and expertise of some of our tops minds in the region and the world,” said Lew Crampton, Science Center President.
The exhibit is a project that was three years in the making for the science center and is the most advanced display of the brain in the country. With high-tech displays, immersive experiences and state of the art equipment, the exhibit is sure to be a fan favorite, with something for every member of the family.
- Get to do what you’re passionate about. Life’s too short to do spend your precious time doing things you don’t enjoy. Find something that fuels your passion and do it!
- Create your own hours. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. However, it does provide you some great flexibility. You can work around your children, spouse or partner’s schedules, work from your pajamas and best of all you don’t have to put in time to take off work. However, you do have to show up every. single. day.
- Endless tax benefits. Gas? Write off. New Computer? Write off. Owning a business, you do have to make some initial investments, but the best part is that you can write most of them off! Talk to your CPA for more information.
- Present for your family and the things you love most. Nothing gives me greater pleasure, than being able to take my daughter to swim and gymnastics and my son to t-ball and help him with his homework. When you go into business for yourself, you can pick up and put down the business whenever you want. It’s important to stay present in these moments. Something I’m definitely working on all the time.
- Make as little or as much $$ as you want.
- No one says you have to work yourself to the bone to achieve massive success. However, it’s important to know your worth and reach for the stars. You can’t equate the amount of “hours” you put in on the daily. You just have to have a vision and goal and seek out to make it happen!
Top 5 reasons to join Beautycounter:
- Build a business with meaning. At Beautycounter our mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. It’s not often you get to work for a company, where you can make a significant social impact and money at the same time. Our products are also highly luxurious.
- Advocate for change. Meet with members of Congress to help enforce the Personal Care Product Safety Act. As it stands the U.S. only bans 30 ingredients in personal care products. At Beautycounter, we ban 1,500. Every formula goes through a rigorous test and is screened for safety. The work our army of advocates do is incredibly important, because it affects everyone. Everyone means everyone. Fast Company recognized Beautycounter as one of the top 50 innovative companies in the U.S. and number ONE in the beauty category. Google also recognized us as the #1 trending brand of 2018! There’s no better time to jump on this fast moving train then now!!
- Change lives. One of our pillars is to educate people on the topic of safety. You can change someone’s life by arming them with information to make better and more informed decisions. People work out, eat healthy foods and then unknowingly douse themselves in products that contain harmful ingredients. It’s our job to help the one we love, make the switch to safer, Beautycounter or otherwise. Educating people with regards to changing their products from one’s that contains harmful and unnecessary ingredients like Parabens, phlatates and formaldehyde most commonly used in beauty products that is now a $60B industry!
- Community. Our incredible advocates or consultants are amazing. The network of women I’ve met along the way are not only inspiring, but are here to help. Whether you want to work the business part-time, full-time, you need ideas or just someone to vent to. I’ve made lifelong friends through this company and for that it’s been worth it!
- The amazing icing on top! As a consultant you receive 25% off everything you buy and are eligible to make up to 35% commissions on everything you sell. You’re eligible for bonuses, incentive trips, free products. Each kit comes with everything you need to get started, our hero overnight resurfacing peel, a long wear color intense lipstick and your back office training through Counter University. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Some ways I’ve been able to incorporate the business into my day to day…
- I do product drop offs to and from events and schools drop offs and pick-ups.
- I usually workout and schedule my work time after that until I have to pick up my children from school. I then pick the business back up during quiet time and occasionally at night once they fall asleep.
- I don’t have an immense social media following, but I use what I’ve got to create a small community of people that are interested in what I have to put out. Everyone out there has something they want to share with the world and equally there’s someone out there that wants to hear it. If you’re a graphic designer, a teacher or a finance person you can absolutely incorporate that into Beautycounter’s mission.
- I pick it up when I want and set it down when I want.
Top 5 Favorite Products: 15% off through April 15th!
- Countercontrol Pore Cleanser
- Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion
- Overnight Resurfacing Peel
- Rejuvenating Eye Cream
- Moisturizing Tint Skin Foundation
- The BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY!
If nothing else, support the cause by purchasing through me and using your wallet to urge congress to pass better beauty laws and text “BETTERBEAUTY” to 52886 today!