Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls

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Are you searching for an easy, delicious  recipe to make in celebration of Mother’s Day coming Sunday, May 10th? Delight the special moms in your life with these scrumptious vegan Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls. Take a short cut and use Pistachio Chewy Bites to speed up this recipe. Thanks to Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg of Spork Foods, for sharing this recipe with my readers. These are perfect for a mother’s day brunch menu.

Three Generations of Women at Milo’s Celebrate Mother’s Day

3 Generations of Women at Milo's

I grew up drinking Milo’s Tea. It was a weekly staple in our refrigerator. My father, an anesthesiologist, always told my family that Milo’s Tea was good for you: all natural, no preservatives and made with pure cane sugar. There’s so much more to Milo’s than meets the eye, especially as we celebrate Mother’s day! Their story is amazing and celebrates the success and passion of three generations of women.

Milo's Tea #tea

Milo’s was founded in 1946 by Milo and Bea Carlton when they opened Milo’s Hamburgers in North Birmingham, Alabama. In the late 1980’s Bea’s daughter-in-law, Sheila, had the idea to sell Milo’s Tea to grocery stores because customers were coming to Milo’s just to purchase the sweet tea. Milo’s philosophy is simple – use high quality, fresh, natural ingredients, listen to your customers and never sacrifice taste.

Milo and Bea’s son, Ronnie, his wife Sheila, and their two teenaged daughters, Tricia and Leslie, brewed, packaged and loaded their tea onto delivery trucks. After college, Tricia and Leslie came back to work at the family company: Tricia as the VP and Leading Counsel, and Leslie as the Treasurer. Tricia was elected by the family to become CEO and has expanded the business into 38 states. Today, Bea (92 years old) still attends the company cookouts and Christmas parties, and each of these three women (Sheila, Leslie and Tricia) are still actively involved in the business today.

Tricia and Leslie hope their daughters are involved with the company in the future which would be the 4th generation of Bea and Milo Carlton’s family. “In the South, when you have a memory of drinking sweet tea, you always think of your grandmother. My greatest memory as a child was playing in the backyard at my grandmother’s house drinking Milo’s famous sweet tea,” says Tricia.

Today, Milo’s Tea Company still fresh brews their all-natural teas with simple ingredients just like “Mamma Bea used to make. Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea, No Calorie Tea with Splenda and Unsweet Tea have recently expanded into seventeen Walmart Distribution Centers. And their NEWEST drinks: Milo’s Lemonade, Milo’s Tea & Lemonade and Milo’s Decaf Sweet Tea have rolled out into four Walmart Distribution Centers.

Milo's new products

“We sell a gallon of tea in Walmart about every two seconds,” says Tricia. Milo’s Tea Company is a part of the Walmart Women Empowerment initiative. Milo’s has just introduced three new products to meet the growing demand of consumers for more Milo’s beverages.

Happy Mother's Day #milos

6 Mothers Day Spa Getaways

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With Mother’s Day around the corner, we’ve compiled a list of the most relaxing Mother’s Day spa getaways to indulge and treat herself to the ultimate spa treatments to celebrate her special day. From Mexico to Vermont, please find suggestions below.

1. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa  San Diego, CA

This Mother’s Day, moms can get pampered at The Spa at Rancho Valencia with a unique spa treatment, The Sixth Sense Ritual, the resort’s signature body ritual beginning with a soothing bath soak to relax the body and mind, muscles and joints. A massage of mom’s choice follows including a Harmonizing Scalp Massage with organic Mediterranean Myrtle, Juniper, and organic Jojoba, Avocado and Olive Oils. The experience culminates with a hand and foot paraffin treatment, providing softer, more youthful skin.

In addition, Moms can also get pampered at Rancho Valencia with a special spa treatment offered throughout the month of May. The Spa at Rancho Valencia is offering a Essential Summer Prefix

Detoxifying back treatment facial (60 min), a Ladies bikini wax (30 min), and complete with Rancho Valencia’s signature Pedicure (60 min). As moms are getting ready for summer, this back treatment gives instant radiant-looking skin tone and finished with a soft hydrated foot treatment ready for sandal season.

2. Rancho La Puerta Tecate, MX

Rancho La Puerta is the original “fitness resort” and spa welcomes some 140 guests each week to its 3,000 private acres of gardens, mountains and meadows in Baja California, Mexico. All facilities and land are for the exclusive use of guests who come for an entire week, Saturday to Saturday, or partial-week stays of three or four nights. It’s a unique romantic escape for women and men offering over 80 fitness classes including TRX, yoga, pilates and advanced hiking trails as well as spa treatments and therapeutic sessions. In addition to fitness and spa experiences, the Ranch offers daily lectures and workshops to inspire guests. Each week the Ranch has visiting guest speakers, talented performers and workshop leaders—authors, politicians, musicians, artists, MDs and other leaders in their fields — to present afternoon learning experiences and evening lectures. This Mother’s Day, moms can relax and rejuvenate with Rancho La Puerta’s special Head-to-Toe Candle Oil Massage, which uses the warm, scented oil from a just extinguished massage-oil candle, then employs a gentle form of massage that involves long strokes from scalp to toes, administered with a deep, caring awareness of comfort. Soon, moms will unwind, de-stress, and feel warm and revitalized by improved blood circulation.  

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3. The MODERN Honolulu is a lifestyle hotel conveniently located at the edge of Waikiki where polished sophistication and laid-back luxury combine to create an ideal resort getaway for Mother’s Day. The 353-room urban resort is noted for its chic not overdone design, friendly service and unparalleled guest experiences near Hawaii’s most popular destination, Waikiki. The Modern Honolulu provides a relaxing island getaway for mom with a special spring spa treatment that will provide ultimate relaxation. The Spa at The Modern Honolulu is offering a unique Spring Retreat Package, which features a special 80 minute Enzymatic Facial and 50 minute rejuvenating massage package. This dynamic duo offers the best of both worlds and puts the mind and body in a renewed state for a new season ahead.

4. Topnotch Resort  Stowe, Vermont

Located in the charming village of Stowe, VT, Topnotch Resort, which boasts an award-winning 35,000 square foot spa with over 100 treatments is the perfect retreat for mothers who do it all! Mothers can fully relax and unwind at this peaceful and iconic New England resort. In celebration of Mother’s Day, Topnotch will be offering complimentary decleor hydrating eye treatments with all facials reserved on that Sunday and offering a complimentary keratase deep conditioning hair treatments at the end of all massage services scheduled.

5. Rancho Bernardo Inn  San Diego, CA

The award-winning Spa at Rancho Bernardo features an outdoor spa garden and patio area with treatment casitas in which guests can receive treatments outdoors. A saline Spa Pool is adjacent to the garden area and features seven cabanas for relaxation. In 2008, readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted it the best resort spa in North America. This Mother’s Day, guests can indulge in the bounty of spring with the seasonal “Citrus Cherry Bliss” Made Fresh Daily Treatment, which incorporates specially selected scents and ingredients that complement the seasons of the year. Each Made Fresh Daily experience includes a body wrap, scrub and massage as well as a food and beverage offering and a take home recipe to recreate the spa experience at home.

6. Laniwai, the Spa at Aulani  Ko Olina on Oahu, Hawaii 

Laniwai is a place where moms can experience wellness along with their family. One of the only true luxury, family wellness retreats, Laniwai offers spa, relaxation and spectacular Hawaiian experiences for ages newborn and up. The Hawaiian word laniwai (lah-nee-vai) means “freshwater heaven,” and the spa lives up to its name with more than 150 treatments, including the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on the island of Oahu. With 18,000 square feet indoors and 5,000 square feet outdoors, the area includes a 2,000-square-foot Lift Fitness Cardiovascular Center, 15 treatment rooms and a full-service salon for hair, makeup and nail services.

Laniwai offers 15 treatment rooms including a couples room and a flex room for treatments for two-plus guests, including families. Treatments include body polish, vitality baths, massage, body treatments, facials, outdoor treatments. Signature therapies include Lomilomi massage incorporating lomilomi “pressure point” sticks and warm river stones; and Kilikili, including exfoliation and massage with coconut oil under streaming jets of warm waters.

Experiences that children can delight in include the ‘Ohana: Designed for 3 to 6 family members, this experience utilizes the healing touches of lomilomi (ages 5 and up) and The Makana: During this soothing therapy for parents and their infants (one-year-olds and under), one parent enjoys a treatment while the other learns the art of baby massage from a certified practitioner.

Moms and their and children will also enjoy the The Pulu Bar, which allows guests to create their own signature body polishes and scrubs by blending authentic Hawaiian fragrances, sugar cane sugar, sea salt and oils, like macadamia, kukui, and jojoba.Parents can relax in O’ahu’s only outdoor hydrotherapy garden – Kula Wai at Laniwai. Kula Wai features herbal pools, reflexology path, six rain showers, cold and hot whirlpools, as well as “Nature’s Soaks,” 25-minute vitality baths infused with flowers, fruits, herbs and oils. Let’s go!

Mother’s Day Light Cocktails: Relaxing Spatini

Happy Mother’s Day! Can a cocktail really be light? Check out this Relaxing Spatini recipe made with Smirnoff Sorbet Light which is only 78 calories per 1.5 ounce serving. This is perfect for those moms that are looking for a fun, tasty cocktail that’s waistline-friendly, below please find two recipes to mix up at home using Smirnoff Sorbet Light Lemon and Smirnoff Sorbet Light Raspberry Pomegranate starting with the Relaxing Spatini (above) and Leading Lady (below). Also, check out these really cool glasses that would be great to serve these fun drinks in at Shopbot.ca. These make great gifts too!

For the Leading Lady cocktail, combine  1.5 oz. Smirnoff Sorbet Light Raspberry Pomegranate, 2 oz. Diet ginger ale, 1 oz. Cranberry juice.  Garnish: Lime wheel and/or raspberry. Prepare in a highball glass over ice, squeeze in lime and stir. Garnish with lime wheel and/or raspberry.

 

Arizona Biltmore for Mother’s Day

Moms who’d love to escape but can’t make a kid-free getaway will find the ideal Mother’s Day package at the historic Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. I was just there over spring break with my daughter, Leigh, and we absolutely loved it!  The Spring Escape All-Inclusive Package, starting at $359 on Mother’s Day weekend, includes an array of amazing extras:

– Kids meals:  Up to two kids 12 and under eat free for breakfast and dinner
– Breakfast for two in Frank & Albert’s or The Café (includes gratuity)
– Dinner for two  (includes gratuity, excludes alcohol)
– $100 Spa Credit  on any spa treatment of your choice
– Self Parking
– Resort Charge
– A bottle of wine delivered upon check-in
– 20% off retail shops
– Arizona Biltmore History book
  • The Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort is a favorite spot for Mother’s Day.  Moms enjoy strolling the beautiful flower-filled gardens, soaking up the historic ambience, taking advantage of special discounts on treatments at the spa, and indulging in the mouth-watering holiday dining choices. At the Arizona Biltmore Spa, moms will enjoy 20% off four popular treatments:  Dreamcatcher Aromatherapy Massage, Restorative Anti-Aging Facial, Ultimate Manicure and Ultimate Pedicure. Find more at Arizona Biltmore

Blueberry Pancakes for Mother’s Day

What a week… I can’t believe that a week ago I buried my mom, and tomorrow it’s Mother’s day. It’s been such a rough week, but I have so many of you to thank for the sweet messages, notes, emails, calls, flowers, comments, lunches, etc. I am trying to pick myself up every day and move forward, and this blog is one great way to push me to do that. I thought I would share a super simple recipe for Blueberry Pancakes for Mother’s Day or any day since my mom always loved Mother’s Day brunches and who doesn’t love pancakes and blueberries?

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful, wonderful, giving moms out there. For those of you who still have a mom, give her a big hug today! All the best, Alison

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

Travel Tuesday: Peninsula Spa in Chicago & Mother’s Day

If you’re traveling to Chicago this spring, or live there, take note of the The Peninsula Spa in the Peninsula Chicago. This spa, located on the top two floors in the Peninsula Chicago, offers a holistic approach to mind, body and spirit wellness. The Peninsula Spa introduces monthly specials this spring and summer to celebrate and rejuvenate by combining healthy cuisine, state of the art fitness techniques and all-natural beauty treatments in packages for men and women. Check out their Facebook Page.

This urban retreat offers a variety of signature treatments that uniquely layer European and Asian philosophies using all-natural products, a half-Olympic-length swimming pool surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows with city views, and a state-of-the-art fitness center with expertly trained personal trainers and advanced group fitness classes.  ESPA’s newest product line, which is proudly used at The Spa, offers updated formulas that average over 99% all-natural ingredients to ensure each product is as efficacious, luxurious and natural as possible.

Mother’s Day Promotion

Book a massage, facial or body treatment and receive:

50% off an additional treatment for your Mother or loved one

Available Mondays through Thursdays

Price: Treatments begin at US$ 160

Valid: May 1 through 31, 2012

Mother’s Day Gift Certificate Promotion

Purchase a Mankind Massage or Tension Relief Massage and receive:

A complimentary one-week membership to The Spa

A one-hour personal training session

Price: US$ 245 (valued at US$ 405)

Valid: May 1 through 31, 2012

Tomato, Fresh Herbs and Feta Crostini for Mother’s Day

Since Mother’s Day is this weekend, I thought I would share a super easy recipe from my new cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Burgers & Classics to Wraps & Condiments”. These Tomato, Fresh Herbs and Feta Crostini would be considered an open-face sandwich and a simple spring appetizer that is pretty, fresh and versatile with a brunch, lunch or dinner menu. I am making this recipe today along with 4 other recipes on Nashville’s Newschannel 5 “Talk of the Town”. My television segment will air at 11 a.m. central as well as on Comcast channel 50 at 12 p.m., 4 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Monday. I hope everyone has a great weekend and Mother’s day celebration.

Healthy and Easy French Toast for Mother’s Day or Spring Holidays

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We love French toast at my house. We make it just about every Sunday. I developed a healthier version, and this recipe is great. It uses maple syrup or agave nectar, egg whites, a touch of cinnamon and whole grain bread to produce an awesome Healthy and Light French Toast. You can also slice the bread into thin sticks to make French toast sticks (kids love this). Enjoy during the week or weekend and on holidays such as Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Father’s Day.

Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies in under 30 Minutes

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This is not one of my typical low-fat recipes, but sometimes you need a special sweet treat. Trust me, these are awesome! I have been searching for an easy brownie recipe, and I finally have found the winner: Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies. The recipe is so simple to prepare and can be prepared in 30 minutes. I was asked to make something for the school’s bake sale, and these were highly requested. Also, for Mother’s Day, this brownie pan, below, was one of my top present picks because it makes slicing brownies so easy. This pan also works with any box brownie mix if you’re short on time.

Check this great brownie pan out