Holly Madison Disney

Holly Madison’s Food Quest, Part 1: Halloween Treats

I recently spent a week at Disneyland for a family reunion and found several delicious seasonal treats during my time there. If you are headed to the park within the next week, here are my recommendations on what to grab before they are gone!

Holly Madison - Cheesecake

Sally Skellington Cheesecake

I love Sally and The Nightmare Before Christmas! This is my favorite cheesecake in the park, not just because of Sally and how cute the whole confection is, but for the flavors. The cake is composed of an Oreo cookie crust with a chocolate base, cheesecake and buttercream cake frosting on top. Raspberry sauce is included on the dish as well. Sally can be found at The French Market in New Orleans Square.

Holly Madison Halloween Treats

Photo Courtesy of @EATDISNEYLAND

Poison Apple Mug 

This is one of my favorite Disney souvenirs. Based on the Wicked Queen’s poison apple in Snow White, this adorable stein is available several places in the park-New Orleans Square, with fruit in Frontierland and with a frozen drink at Maurice’s Treats in Fantasy Faire. You can also get a glowing “poison apple” in an apple martini at Carthay Circle-it’s the perfect size for your kids to add to their doll props collection.


Chewie Cheesecake

This is simply a classic cheesecake (I like the Sally cookie and cream cheesecake better), but isn’t it adorable? I love the frosting “hair”. Chewie Cheescake is available at Pizza Port in Tomorrowland.

Holly Madison Halloween

Honey Bee Lemonade

The Honey Bee lemonade was introduced at the Hungry Bear Restaurant as a part of the 60th anniversary celebration last year, so it’s unclear if they will keep it much longer. It is one of my favorite refreshing drinks at the park-a pink ice blended lemonade served with a honey stick to add flavor. Grab one while you can at The Hungry Bear in Critter Country.

Holly Madison Halloween

Cotton Candy Cocktail

This is an off-the-menu favorite of park aficionados. The cotton candy flavored cocktail is available at The Cove Bar in California Adventure. You can order it virgin or with your choice of alcohol. It is delightfully sweet, goes well with the Bar’s famous Lobster Nachos and is quite Instagram worthy.

What is your favorite Disney or Halloween treat? Let us know in the comments below!


My Night Time Skincare Routine

I’ve been obsessed with skincare for as long as I can remember. I started getting terrible acne when I was in fifth grade, so I became interested in how to best take care of my skin long before my peers seemed to.

I still get breakouts, though my acne isn’t remotely comparable to what it was when I was a kid. My skin can also be dry simultaneously, plus I am in my 30’s and need to start taking anti-aging into consideration . . . so I’ve got a few things to consider when it comes to seeking skincare remedies.

I shared my nighttime skincare routine on Snapchat a little while ago and quite a few people were asking me about it, so I thought I would share it again, this time with a little more detail about the products.

1) Dr. Lancer Contour Decollete: My dermatologist recommended this cream for my neck and chest area. If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of beauty advice, it would be to treat the skin on my neck and chest with as much care as the skin on my face. I always focused so much on my face and never really thought about extra moisturizer or anything for my neck and chest, but the skin in those areas is just as delicate and prone to aging as the skin on your face. It’s important to treat it with care even if you don’t have any visible issues with those areas right now.

Holly Madison Skin Care2) The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Foaming Face Wash: I love the Body Shop. Their products smell so good and I love it that they are cruelty free. This wash is a favorite of mine because the tea tree oil fights blemishes, yet this wash does not dry out my skin. It is also excellent for removing makeup. So good, in fact, that I also use it to clean my makeup brushes.

HOlly Madison Foaming Cleanser

3) Retrouve Revitalizing Eye Concentrate: Ok, so this one is hella expensive, but I am on a MISSION to improve the skin around my eyes. The texture of this cream is so amazing and it leaves the skin around my eyes so soft. If anyone has a less expensive nighttime eye cream they swear by, please share in the comments section!

Holly Madison Eye Cream

4) OleHenriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster: I use this orange-scented serum on the parts of my face that feel extra dry or need a little extra care. I don’t know if topical creams can really boost your collagen production (sounds doubtful to me), but I love the extra moisture and the scent this product provides.

Holly Madison Collagen

5) The Body Shop Tea Tree Gel: do you ever get those blemishes that are painful when they start to come in? If so, dab this tea tree gel on top of it, and it will go away, usually overnight. This product works great on all breakout blemishes.

Holly Madison Blemish Fighting

6) Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream: This old favorite has stood the test of time for a reason. This is the best moisturizer and all-around youth-ifier I have ever tried. A less expensive product that can be substituted is Pond’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream.

Holly Madison Moisturizer

7) Smith’s Rosebud Salve Lip Balm: Don’t forget your lips! Have you ever noticed that some lip balms leave your lips worse off than you started and then it turns into this addictive, vicious cycle? Rosebud Salve won’t do that, plus it comes in two great scents (mint and mocha) in addition to the original formula.

Holly Madison Lip Balm

What skincare products do you love? Let me know in the comments section!

Holly Madison

My App Obbessions

Who doesn’t love a good app that can genuinely make your life easier? Besides the obvious favorites (Waze, Postmates, Uber, etc.), here are a few of my app obsessions:

♥ Instacart: Who wants to leave the house to shop for groceries? Not me! Especially in traffic clogged Los Angeles, I try to keep my errand running to a minimum. I can pick out all my favorite foods with this easy to use app and have them delivered to my door within an hour. Of course there is a service charge and you will want to tip the shopper/driver (tipping is done in-app), but even with those added costs I find myself spending less when I use Instacart because I am only ordering the things on my grocery list as opposed to browsing all over the store picking up things I don’t need.Holly Madison App Obsessions♥ FirstLook: FirstLook carries all the photos from WireImage made post-able for Instagram. It’s a great way to find photos of yourself or others from events covered by WireImage.

♥ CVS and RiteAid Apps: online shopping, prescription refill and free curbside pickup are a
few of the things a drugstore app can offer.

AstrologyZone: Okay, this one might not be for everyone, but I am obsessed with astrology lately and Susan Miller is the best. I literally check this one every day.

♥ 7min: This workout app walks you through a quick and effective seven-minute workout. I am the first person to admit I’m not the biggest fan of working out and often don’t have time for it, so I find this one useful.

What are your favorite apps? Comment to let me know what I’m missing!

Holly Madison


LA’s most Instagrammable Donuts

I am obsessed with donuts. They are my absolute favorite junk food. Not only are they the epitome of colorful, soft, sugary heaven, but they are special because I can’t make good ones at home. I can bake a pretty good cupcake, so I’m not as enthusiastic about going out for one. Ice cream can be kept in your freezer, so I’m not that motivated to venture out for a cone. But can I have a fresh maple donut at my house anytime I want? No. Not one that’s not a disaster, anyway.

When it comes to my favorite donut spots, I’m kind of a Voodoo loyalist. Any time I go back to Portland, I make it a point to stop in. Voodoo Doughnuts, if you don’t know, is the originator of such popular donut trends as the maple bacon donut and all those cutesy cereal-covered varieties, at least I think they are. Correct me if I’m wrong, but supposedly a Voodoo is opening in the LA area at Universal CityWalk soon, but until then, I have to find other favorites in town.

Holly Madison Voodoo Donuts

Credit: @voodoodoughnuts Instagram

I recently decided to go on a Donut Quest to find the best donuts in LA. (P.S. I did not include the famous Donut Man in Glendora, because I consider it too far outside of Los Angeles to make the cut.)

Here are my favorite spots, going West to East:

Sidecar Doughnuts
631 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica

Sidecar donuts in Santa Monica is the what I think of as the “fancy” donut spot. (Notice they are the only shop on this list to use the proper spelling of the word “doughnut” in their name. I’m not even using that spelling in this blog.) Each month, they change up their flavors, offering such classy fare as the “Fig and Goat Cheese” and the “Guava.” I fell for their s’mores flavor, which sounds a little more pedestrian . . . until you taste it. Their chocolate sauce is really amazing.

The most beautiful donut award goes to their Midsummer Garden Cake, a zucchini carrot cake topped with cream cheese and edible flowers. Usually, I’m one of those people that doesn’t think carrot cake counts as dessert, but this one has a delicate, multi-faceted flavor that I loved.

Holly Madison Sidecar Doughnuts

credit: @localemagazine Instagram

If you are looking for basic favorites, like a simple maple bar or jelly donut, this place might not be for you. But if you want new, creative flavors, or something a little more gourmet looking than a ‘nut covered in Fruity Pebbles, go to Sidecar.

2918 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
The second stop on our donut journey was Primo’s donuts in the Sawtelle area of West LA. This little spot has been around since 1956 (in LA years that’s super old) and thrives on the scarcity and mystery created when only enough of the specialty flavors are made so they don’t last past noon. As a night owl, this does not work for me. When I arrived at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon, their most famous variety, the buttermilk, was sold out. That’s ok. I was more intrigued by the neon pink and orange varieties I had spotted on their Instagram account anyway.primos

The cherry and orange glazed donuts tasted as good as they looked. Not only are the frostings’ neon shades appealing, but the flavors are tart and unique. The cherry tastes a little like cherry and a little like bubble gum. The orange is a sugary, bold orange glaze with the tiniest specks of orange peel in it. I’m always a fan of a good old maple bar, so I took some of those, too.

Holly Madison Donuts

5850 W 3RD St, Los Angeles

Next, we landed at SK Donuts & Croissant on 3rd. This unassuming shop, located in a plain strip mall relatively near The Grove, hides some of the most aesthetically appealing, delicious donuts in the city. They carry all the typical fun flavors like bacon maple, fruity pebbles and s’mores, but they carry some less common flavor combos as well.

I lost my mind when I saw a donut that imitates my favorite Girl Scout cookie,the Samoa, but I would later learn that the Girl Scout thing has become quite the donut trend as I saw them at other shops later in the day.Holly Madison Samoa

My top recommendation is their buttermilk. The texture is melt-in-your-mouth good and the flavor is somehow a little more special than the average buttermilk. Another of my preferred varieties from SK is the sandwich-stacked strawberry-Nutella cronut. Also high on my list is their peanut butter chocolate chip. Don’t skip this one!

skdonut2 skdonut3 skdonut1
3540 W 3rd St, Los Angeles

A long-time favorite of my husband’s and mine, California Donuts, takes cute to the next level. Their signature cookies and cream panda bear donut is adorable and they go the extra mile with the cereal covered donuts. The electric, colored frostings they use make theirs some of the most Instagram worthy donuts in town. Indeed, this local donut shop has almost half a million followers on the ‘gram, which, compared to the competition, is pretty impressive.

Don’t forget to crack open a Snickers donut . . . yes, they bake a Snickers bar inside a donut.

Holly Madison Donut Blog

credit: @californiadonuts Instagram

California Donuts also wins points in my book for their adorable, midcentury style logo.


Parking for this location is not plentiful and there can sometimes be a bit of a line, but the staff is so nice they make it worth the time.

ca-donut-1 ca-donut-2 ca-donut-panda

5107 York Blvd, Los Angeles

The last stop on our donut tour ended up being my favorite one. Donut Friend, located in Highland Park, has a donut bar where you can order a customized donut . . . but the flavors they offer on their regular menu are so good, I wasn’t even tempted to create my own. Look at the S’Morrissey and tell me you don’t want it!
smorrisseyBonus: Donut Friend makes vegan donuts. I’m not a vegan, but I prefer to eat vegan when I can. Does that make sense? Just call me the laziest vegan wannabe on the planet. Anyway, I saw on their website that their Bacon 182 donut is a maple glaze with coconut bacon and I really wanted to get that one. I always skip maple bacon donuts because I don’t eat bacon and now I’m going to shut up about that because there is nothing more boring than listening to the nitpicky diet proclivities that make someone such a special snowflake.

My dreams of finally tasting a “bacon” donut were not to be realized that day, since the variety was sold out by the time I go to the shop. Despite that disappointment, the flavors I did get to try more than made up for it. Some of my favorites included the mixed-berry flavored Panda Berry and the one covered in rose water and lemon glaze, which reminded me of my favorite pastry from Laduree. My top pick was the strawberry shortcake donut. A perfectly crispy cake donut with whipped cream and strawberries was absolutely perfect.


What’s your favorite donut spot? I would love to know!


Bringing Home My Baby: What I packed for the Hospital

As you may have heard, my baby boy, Forest Leonardo Antonio Rotella was born on Sunday, August 7th. We are overjoyed with excitement and so happy he is home safe and sound. Thank you for all the thoughtful wishes left on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page. It truly means the world!

I was looking through recent comments and saw a few of you asking for suggestions on what to bring to the hospital, so I thought I would share what I put in my overnight bag.

Preparing ahead of time is incredibly important and a great way to use your nesting instinct, if that has kicked in. Having a few essentials with you at the hospital will make you and your family so much more comfortable. I ended up filling a suitcase and a cooler with all my supplies. It was reassuring to know that I had everything ready to go at a moment’s notice should I go into labor before my due date.

Here’s what I made sure I didn’t leave home without on the big day:

The Cooler

First of all, since I was saving my placenta to be made into pills, I needed a cooler for it to be taken away in. Inside it I packed almond milk and a bottle for my toddler (her nightly necessity); Snack Packs, since I craved them the last time I gave birth and plastic spoons. I also brought bottled water, baby formula, and bottles. Hospitals usually provide formula, but they may not carry your favorite brand, so if you have a preference, bring it along. I brought Earth’s Best formula and the new Comotomo Bottles I was eager to try.Holly Madison


A Cord Blood Kit

I planned on banking my baby’s cord blood, so I made sure not to forget the cord blood kit. I also made sure to fill out a birth plan to bring to my doctor. I used the PDF worksheet from www.thebump.com/a/tool-birth-plan

Holly Madison


Mom Stuff

You never know what state your body is going to be in post labor, so comfort is key. I made sure to bring slippers, pjs, a loose fitting outfit to come home in, a wedge pillow for my belly and socks. These items helped me feel relaxed and at home pre and post labor. I am always surprised to see just how little my belly deflates after giving birth. My feet were so swollen, they looked like they should have been attached to a Hobbit. Not to mention, my anatomy was so swollen, I felt like I was sitting on a baboon butt (thankfully, that problem went away quickly). Those are just a few reasons I was glad I brought slippers and loose fitting clothes! I also packed toiletries, a little bit of makeup, a phone charger and a book.

Essentials for the New Addition

I knew Forest was going to be a big baby, so I brought both newborn and 0-3 month sized outfits, just in case. He came in at well over 8 pounds and ended up fitting in a onesie with a houndstooth vest and bow tie. The hospital usually provides all the diapers, swaddles, and hats you need so I didn’t pack any of that, but I did bring a pair of baby mittens. Babies are sometimes born with surprisingly long fingernails and can easily scratch themselves by accident, so mittens are essential.

Holly Madison


Sibling Stuff

Since I didn’t want Rainbow to feel left out or displaced by the baby, she came with us when we checked into the hospital and was brought back to visit as often as possible during my stay. To help make her feel more at home, I packed a small backpack for her with basic toiletries, pajamas and a couple of books, including ones that were all about new babies and siblings. I made sure to pack a cute party dress for her to wear as a “going home outfit” so that she would feel just as dressed up and special as her new little brother. We also got her a new baby doll as a surprise gift to help make this day as memorable for her as it was for us.

Holly Madison

The Final Essential

I made sure to have an infant car seat properly installed in my car ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to scramble and throw it together at the last minute.

Things I Forgot

Luckily, I had a friend willing to bring me a few items I found myself wanting. The first was my Boppy pillow, a half-circle pillow that makes breastfeeding so much more comfortable. The second was hand cream-all the extra hand washing you do during a hospital stay can really dry out your hands, particularly if you are sensitive to certain liquid soaps.

What must-haves did you bring in your overnight bag? I love hearing from you and know other readers appreciate learning new tips and tricks, so please share your thoughts below!

Holly Madison Baby
Motherhood, Recipes

6 Dishes to Have on Hand When the Baby Comes

There’s nothing a new mom doesn’t need like the worry of preparing meals when you’ve just brought home your new little one. But, as you can imagine if you’re a new mommy, finding the time to make these meals for you and your family are usually at the bottom of the list. (Typically right next to sleeping!)

Trust me, cooking up meals and strategically stocking your fridge before the big day is incredibly important. When I brought Rainbow home for the first time, our family and friends graciously filled our refrigerator with meals, which made a world of a difference. This time around, I’m taking the time to make my favorite quick and healthy, yet satisfying dishes that will make our welcome home that much sweeter.

Here are a few easy, freezer-friendly dishes that I’m preparing before the baby comes:

When You’re Craving Something Rich

  1. Mac and cheese. I posted this vegan mac and cheese recipe on my Facebook wall a few months ago and it was heavenly! This would fill any late-night craving I’m having if my husband or I are up with the baby.

And with this recipe, the sky’s the limit when it comes to veggies — you can easily add your favorites (or whatever you have in the fridge) to make this dish your own. I’ve even mixed in of my homemade tomato sauce before! And it only takes 10 minutes in the oven to cook. So easy!

  1. Crustless Quiche. Another great, freezer-friendly dish that can serve as a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal is crustless quiche. While you can certainly make regular quiche, I love the crustless version, so I found a mushroom, bacon, and shallot recipe and a spinach one that will really hit the spot when you’re looking for something rich to heat up. Plus, with our backyard chicken coop, we never run out of fresh eggs so this is the perfect way to make use of them!quiche

When You Only Have One Hand

  1. DIY burritos. Okay, so you guys may have heard me talk about my runs to Taco Bell, which is because tacos are high on my favorite foods list. But, with a new baby in the house, finding time to run out is much harder. That’s why preparing your burrito ingredients ahead of time will make it so easy to just throw it all together when you only have a few minutes to spare. I love bean and cheese burritos, but I also like to mix in some lean meats like shredded chicken or beef and put them in a few organic corn tortillas.

And for a low carb option, I grab a head of lettuce and make lettuce wraps! Those are a super easy way to enjoy this dish without the extra calories.

  1. Grilled skewers. Another really easy and healthy one-handed meal is grilled skewers. This takes a bit longer to assemble, but also a good one for your husband to help out with! Simply cube up some veggies, your favorite protein, pile on wooden skewers, and grill away. I love to drizzle a little bit of barbeque sauce or homemade dressing once they’re done, too. To avoid messing with the grill, you can also just throw them in the oven.Holly Madison Recipies

When You’re Craving Something Sweet

  1. Protein balls. With these little bites, they can serve as dessert and fill you up at the same time. Having a batch of protein balls on hand will help satisfy your sweet tooth without any work — most recipes don’t even require an oven! Plus, you can make a month’s worth by sticking half the batch in the freezer (although between my husband, Rainbow, and I, there usually aren’t any left to freeze). I love this carrot cake and peanut butter cup version.Holly Madison Recipes
  1. Frozen fruit bag. This sounds super simple, and it is! Having a bag of frozen fruit that I can thaw whenever I’m craving something sweet will keep me from grabbing ice cream every time. Though, don’t get me wrong, there’s a pint of dairy-free vanilla coconut ice cream in my fridge that I will make sure to have on hand, but having some nutrient-dense alternatives is always a good idea. Plus, if you haven’t tried frozen blueberries, they really hit the spot!

I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have a well-stocked refrigerator when you come home with your little one. And with a little bit of planning, you can whip up a number of healthy options that will last you all month long.

What are you favorite go-to foods to prepare when you’re short on time? I’d love to hear from you!