Valentine’s Day Themed Workouts

While we tend to think of flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day, there's no reason to forget about fitness on February 14th.

Click here and give yourself the gift of love with these 8 Valentine's Day themed workouts from our friends at Babble.

Newly Betrothed? Don’t Miss These Wedding Boards on Pinterest!

You can't stop admiring that brand-new ring on your finger, but now it’s time for the real fun to begin. Even if you’ve been dreaming of that fairy tale wedding since before you can remember, things can get a bit overwhelming once it comes time for the actual planning. Here are three Pinterest boards that offer hours of wedding inspiration, while also helping to keep you on schedule—and on budget!

Wedding Ideas
Are you planning a shabby chic wedding, or is your style more glitz and glamor? Whatever type of nuptials you have in mind, this Pinterest board is filled with ideas to help plan your dream wedding. Creative honeymoon funds, fun wedding favors, and simple, handmade decorations will make your big day even more special.

Browse Pinterest’s main wedding board by categories like wedding photography, flowers, and invitation inspiration to find tips and tricks for every aspect of planning a wedding. There are even printable checklists and calendars to help you stay organized along the way.

Romantic Weddings
Whether you’re actually planning a wedding or if you just love looking at ideas for that day far off in your future, the Romantic Weddings board is an endless source of dreamy inspiration. Best of all, this board is filled with photos from real weddings to offer a sneak peek of real life couples’ special days.

Chemical-Free Ways to Clean Your Oven at The Monterey by Windsor

You’re always on the hunt for chemical-free ways to clean your home, but when it comes to really heavy duty cleaning in areas like the oven, it may seem almost impossible. Luckily, it is possible to clean your oven without using chemicals—it just takes a bit of ingenuity and a few smart tips from the pros.

  1. Take out the oven racks and let them soak in a tub of hot water.
  2. Make a paste of ¼ cup of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of coarse salt and just enough warm water to create a thick consistency.
  3. Using a durable sponge, scrub the paste into the stained parts in your oven. Concentrate on areas that see a lot of spills and drips, such as the bottoms and around the racks.
  4. Let the past sit on the stains for an hour or two, depending on their severity.
  5. Using the same sponge rinsed out with clean water, wipe away the paste and give it a second good scrub. You may also want to use a finer grade steel wool for difficult stains.
  6. For extra cleaning power, spray the entire oven with a spray bottle filled with white vinegar, then wipe it away with a clean cloth.
  7. Before replacing the oven racks, scrub them using simple steel wool and an all-natural dishwasher detergent to break down grease.

How To Clean an Oven Without Harsh Chemicals [Apartment Therapy]
Natural Oven Cleaning Recipe [Wellness Mama]
How To Clean an Oven With Baking Soda & Vinegar [The Kitchn]

Think Beyond the Bouquet With These Lavender-Centric Recipes

Though lavender is a flower, it’s also a deliciously fragrant herb that can be used to add flavor to many sweet and savory dishes. By simply cooking or garnishing with this beautiful flower, you can transform the taste of an entire dish. If you haven’t yet explored the culinary wonders of lavender, these two simple recipes will give you a bit of inspiration.

Lavender Shortbread [Food Network]
Shortbread is known for its rich, crumbly texture and buttery flavor, which makes it a perfect companion for the floral notes of lavender. This recipe uses only six simple ingredients and takes just 50 minutes to make, but after it’s complete your whole home will be filled with the sweet, delicious scent. Simply knead the ingredients together, adding dried or fresh lavender flowers, and bake in the oven until each bar reaches the perfect golden brown.

Pepita and Lavender Brittle [Martha Stewart]
Most brittle candies have a rich, caramel texture, but this particular brittle is uniquely earthy and fragrant. The recipe uses Martha Stewart’s basic brittle recipe to create a crunchy base, while the pepitas, or green hulled pumpkin seeds, offer even more texture. To top it off, dried lavender cooked throughout adds a floral flavor that only the small purple flower can provide.

Calling All Telecommuters: Here’s How to Create a Functional At-Home Workspace

Nowadays more and more people are working from home full-time, whether you’re a telecommuter or a freelancer who works for yourself. While working at home has many perks, it can be difficult to find a space that’s free of distractions to get the job done. Here are a few smart tips for creating a functional workspace in your home—even if you don’t have a designated office.

  1. Choose the right space. If you have a separate room for your office, that’s great, but if not, you’ll need to create your own area. Pick somewhere where you can shut yourself away and avoid outside noise, and make sure it’s a spot where you can avoid distractions.
  2. Invest in a desk. Instead of working on the kitchen table (or worse yet, the sofa), invest in a designated desk that’s reserved only for work.
  3. Create storage. Keep your supplies organized by adding a file cabinet, shelving, pencil holders—whatever you need to minimize clutter.
  4. Add a comfortable chair. Instead of focusing on style, choose a chair based on what’s most comfortable for long hours in front of the screen.
  5. Make your Internet work for you. Fast, reliable Internet is essential for telecommuting, so to avoid unnecessary headache, choose a carrier that comes highly recommended in your area.

Telecommuting Tips: Setting Up A Home Office [Drive Less. Save More.]
4 Great Tips for a Functional Home Office [Flex Jobs]
10 Quick Tips to Create a Home Office You’ll Actually Want to Work In [Fast Company]

Fitness Friday

Trying to keep the holiday pounds at bay? Many people opt for running to take advantage of the cooler temperatures in Dallas this time of year. But how much is too much? You may be surprised by what the New York Times has to say about how many miles a week you should run.

Love to Ski? Download These Apps Before You Hit the Slopes!

Whether you live in a ski town or you only get to the slopes a few times per year, you want to ensure that you plan your ski trip in order to make the most of your day on the mountain. These two helpful skiing apps enable users to check things like snowfall, trail maps, and other valuable information before setting out onto the lift.

The SkiResort app uses high-quality images, detailed maps, and up-to-date weather reports to provide information about more than 4,800 ski resorts worldwide. Zoom in on different parts of the trail map for the ski resort in your area, and even plan your driving route to maximize your time on the trail. Test reports, snow depths, and webcams also enable you to get a feel for the slopes before you even arrive at the resort.

Using an interactive map of resorts near your current location, the Liftopia app helps users to decide which one has the best conditions on any given day. Check out snow depth and the number of trails open at each ski spot, and even read up on which resorts are offering deals on things like memberships, packages, and lift passes to save you a bit of money along the way.

Game-Day Eats Any Football Fan Will Love to Try

If there’s one thing all football fans can agree on, it’s that you have to have the perfect snacks to get you through the big game. The next time you have your friends over to The Monterey to watch some football, make these game-day eats that everyone will love.

Super Quick Chili []
While cooking chili may seem like an all-day affair, it doesn’t have to be when you have a recipe like this one. In just under 30 minutes you can create a perfectly spicy, flavorful chili and serve it in miniature bread bowls made out of store-bought dinner rolls.

Asiago-Artichoke Dip []
Make your usual cheese dip a bit more sophisticated with this unique but equally simple recipe. The addition of prosciutto and green onions gives the cheesy concoction a big burst of flavor, and you can serve it with your choice of bagel chips, toasted bread slices, or gourmet crackers for easy dipping.

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings []
If you want to make classic chicken wings a bit healthier, this baked recipe is a great option. Instead of frying the wings in a deep fryer, this recipe involves baking them in the oven with a complex ginger-soy glaze that’s still spicy enough to satisfy your hot wing cravings.

Savor Fall Flavors With These Pumpkin Recipes

It’s not uncommon to want to stay inside once the weather starts to cool down, especially since there are so many tasty fall weather recipes to try out. If you start craving all things pumpkin as soon as the first day of autumn rolls around, you might want to add these brand new pumpkin recipes to your to-do list this weekend.

Pumpkin Butter []
Instead of buying store-bought pumpkin butter, try this recipe for an all-natural, wholesome alternative. It uses only four ingredients and a bit of blending, and once it’s complete you can spread it on breads, bagels, muffins, and all of your favorite baked goods.

Pumpkin Bread Rolls with Cinnamon Butter []
Can you think of two things that go together better than pumpkin and cinnamon? This recipe not only shows you how to make tasty and adorable rolls in the shape of real pumpkins, it also offers the perfect cinnamon butter to spread on top.

Spiced Butternut-Pumpkin Soup []
If you love pumpkin so much that you even want to eat it for lunch and dinner, this is the recipe for you. It’s equal parts sweet and savory, and it makes the perfect small appetizer for all of your autumn dinner parties.

Windsor Gold Partner

Please join us in welcome our newest Windsor Gold Partner, The Alcove!

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