Quick bites

My mornings used to be a relaxing medley of warm coffee, tidbits of the local news, browsing through my closet in search of a cute work outfit, and several days a week I might even curl my hair for work!  Whoa!

But now it’s jump out of bed, diaper change, nurse, dress Jenny, dress baby (bonus points for matching!) messy bun, and whirlwind to get out of the house for 7:10am.  It’s a good day if I remember deodorant ;)

So when a friend asked if I would sample these new “Karma”ffins from U-Be-Livin-Smart, I could not pass up the chance for a ready made breakfast.

The box of samples came last week, and immediately I called dibs on the Belgian Chocolate with Banana ones. Tony gravitated to the Berry Medley box.  And this folks is why we have a happy marriage :)

Upon reading the box, I was a little nervous.  These bad boys are nutrient dense muffins and each little square is packed with Protein, Fruits, Vegetables, and Fiber; Sweet Potato, Avocado, Blueberries, Blackberries, Cranberries, Pomegranate, Raspberries, Orange, Mango, Banana, and Apple.   I assumed these would be super heavy and have that protein bar taste that I am never a fan of.

But man, was I surprised!  The muffins are incredibly light and airy, and I could have probably eaten about 3 in one sitting.

Fortunately this lady has will power (or more like time restraints) so I kept things in check ;)

I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were low in fat and high in protein and fiber.  Win win.

See full nutritional info here.

They currently come in 4 flavors: Smoothie Berry Medley, Belgian Chocolate with Banana, Orange Cinnamon with Mango, Apple Cinnamon with Chia Seed.  I’ve now tried them all, and seriously enjoyed each one!

I’m not sure what I love more… eating a nutritious breakfast that keeps me full for a few hours, or not having to make it myself.  Either way, these are winners.

More info at www.ubelivinsmart.com!


Sleep. A poem.

This post is dedicated to all of my mom friends, who may very well be reading this at 2:30 AM.

To my dear friend, Sleep:

You’ve always been a great companion,
Appearing each and every night.
We’d meet right after Conan,
And you’d stay with me till light.

In college we were such allies,
You’d often wait for me till dawn.
Then you’d stay with me through lunchtime
When my hangover was gone.

Remember those daytime hangouts,
Where you’d join me on the couch?
Your patience never wavered,
When I was cranky or a grouch.

There were times I’d need you more frequently,
During pregnancy, or when I was ill.
You’d show up, no questions asked of me,
And help me slowly still.

Well I know lately things have changed, my friend,
Our schedule’s been out of whack.
At night we’re often interrupted,
And you’re never sure when I’ll be back.

Please know I think about you often,
More often than you probably know.
I yearn for a prolonged visit,
Oh the things, for you, I’d forgo!

But I’m learning to function with less of you.
Not always graciously, as you can see.
But with my new role as mom to baby,
For now, that’s just how it needs to be.

I now realize I once took you for granted.
Man, I owe you a round of beers.
But for now I must accept the fact,
That I’ll see you again in 18 years.

Love always,
Your tired new mama friend,


In my future dream home…

In my future dream home I hope to:

Eat dinner like this:

Work from my home office like this:

Yes, that’s sand under his feat!)

And then relax on the weekends like this:

(With unlimited access to all the latest RomComs)

Oh I’ve got plans, my friends….

See above sources and more super cool home ideas here!



The big smile you give me when you see me for the first time in the morning…

When we look in the mirror together, and at first, you so shyly nuzzle your head into my chest…

Your no-hold-back laugh when I kiss your belly…

How you bang your hands in excitement on the high chair tray when you want more bananas…

The way you hold my hand while you nurse…

That last moment in the day together, right before I put you down for the night, how you rest your head, half asleep on my shoulder, and I can feel your little breath on my face…

These are the small moments that make me being your mom the greatest feeling in the world.
Can’t wait for more, little man.


Pet Peeves

Can I just vent for a sec?

So I don’t really mind doing laundry (and ever since C was born, it seems to be my new part time gig… unpaid of course), but what drives me crazy, I mean reeeeally gets me going, is that the laundry basket is NEVER EMPTY!!!


Like I do a load (or 3) of laundry and I want to feel all accomplished… but then I look over at the basket that for a split second was empty, and see a dirty t-shirt has suddenly made it’s way in there.  Then throw in a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt an hour later, and now the damn basket looks half full.

This whole cycle… It’s cruel really.

The never empty laundry basket.  This is definitely one of my biggest house pet peeves.

What are yours?

Wood paneling makin’ a come back!

Last weekend I had a long overdue opportunity to browse through one of my favorite home decor shops, West Elm, and stumbled upon something very cool, and now very much on my wish list.

Have you seen their Stickwood Adhesive Wood Paneling?

They come in a variety of woods and finishes, but the weathered wood option is by far my favorite.


So. Freakin. Cool.

Tony suggested we use it to cover the two panels on either side of the living room TV, and I love the idea so much, I”m kinda pissed I didn’t think of it first.


Now if I can only justify spending $500 to put a wall on a wall :)

Here’s a quick tutorial in case you’re as smitten as I am!


Hey West Elm, need a demonstration volunteer??? ;)

What’s your Tree Style?

You know you’re a newbie to Christmas when your most standout ornament is a Home Depot gift card holder.

xmas tree

Can you spot it? ;) Yeah, we have some work to do.

Since I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas and this is only the second year I’ve had a tree in my home, I’m a bit lacking when it comes to ornaments.  Not to worry,  I’m totally taking advantage of some after Christmas ornament sales to be better prepared for next year.  Next year Christmas better watch it!

But while we’re on the subject, what’s your tree style?   We’ve had this debate with many of our friends over the past few weeks and there seems to be some strong opinions over the tree decorating, so I’m curious as to what you think!

White lights or colored bulbs?  Or no lights at all?

Real tree or fake tree?  Or has anyone ever bought a white tree?

Do you decorate with a color theme, or anything goes?

Do you decorate with berries, ribbons, or popcorn?

And where do most of your ornaments come from?

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season and new year, and I’ll catch you in 2014!

Charlie lights

We did it again…

I need to come clean.  I kiiinda bought another living room rug.  Ok, not kinda.  I really did.  I think I might have a problem [See previous post here on our musical rug situation].  But this one is totally justifiable… hear me out, okay?

I was practically forced to buy a new rug, for two reasons…  

First – My husband said the current rug made him dizzy.  No joke.  And this has been backed up by numerous house guests (Did he pay them off? Possibly.) But I kind of saw his point as the herringbone pattern looks like it’s moving when you’re up close.

Second – I spend a LOT of time sitting on the floor with Charlie now, and so the very thin kilin style rug we had just wasn’t cutting it.  In other words, my ass hurt.

I ultimately decided on a beige shag style rug because it is super cozy and cushiony, doesn’t shed, and the price could not be beat!  We’re talking $230 for an 8 x 10.  This particular rug got amazing reviews, so click, ship, unroll – it’s now mine!

Source: Overstock

And I can’t even believe how much different the entire room feels with this new rug.  The room is SO much more cozy and inviting, and so this is by far one of my best purchases yet.

Here is picture of the room with old rug…  Careful, don’t get dizzy.

And now the new one!

Don’t you just want to come over and sip hot chocolate with bailey’s with me here?

And not to worry, we found a spot for the blue rug.  It’s currently making Tony dizzy in our office. :)


Quick meals… for reals.

Before having a baby, I almost always made dinner for me and Tony during the week.  I’m far from being an amazing cook, and to be honest, I don’t loooove cooking as much as I wish I did, but I do like having a meal prepared for us to eat together, and so this became really challenging when C was born.    In fact, this stressed me out more than I am comfortable to admit (oh wait, I kinda just did) and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I was going to get a cooked meal into my very jam packed 1.5 hours between the time I get home and put baby to bed.

I function best when I have a set routine, and so after a few weeks of trial and error, I finally came up with this dinner schedule that works really well for me and my sanity. I hope it might help some other time pressed readers out there too!  As you can see, I’m a little Type A with this stuff (see previous post on my kitchen menu) so no judgement please! ;)

Sunday:  Tony on grill.  

Whatever the man wants… (this usually means steak) I don’t care because he takes care of it, and there is very little clean up.  And this isn’t limited to summer months.  We own a shovel that can clear a nice path to the grill!   I usually pair this with some sort of roasted veggie and side of baked potato or bread.

Option A: Crock pot dish and salad.  
Option B:  Big pan dish (something that can just be thrown in the oven) and salad.   I’ve had success with baked chicken dishes, casseroles, chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, etc…

Everything but the salad can be prepared Sunday night while partner is grilling and make it BIG since it’s also going to be Wednesday leftover night!  Simply heat or remove from crock pot, and we’re ready to go!

Option A: Fish, rice and salad (from Monday)
Option B: Pasta with veggies and salad (from Monday) 

For the fish I use Trader Joe’s pre-marinated frozen fish (they have a variety of kinds) and all you need to do defrost it and pop in the oven.  For rice I use the brown rice that takes 90 seconds in the microwave or cous cous which is super quick.  TJs has frozen (organic too!) brown nice, a non-frozen version, and very exciting news… I just saw Stop and Shop started carrying it too!

For the pasta, one of my favorites is pasta with marinara sauce, topped with chicken sausage and roasted peppers.  I throw some chicken sausage in the frying pan for 5 minutes (since it’s already pre-cooked) along with TJ’s frozen variety peppers.  If we’re out of salad from the night before, I throw some spinach in the pan too.

Leftover night!  

We eat what’s left from Monday and/or Tuesday.  I love this night.


We either do sushi, pizza, salad, calzones….  It’s usually pretty cheap and by the end of the week it’s a relief to have a night off from dishes.  I also love this night.

Meat stirfry (Chicken, ground turkey or steak) with veggies (fresh or frozen) and easy side (naan bread, baked potato, rice).

Always TBD…

Often we’re out, at a friends house, or make do with what’s still in the refrigerator.

Here’s a quick recap in case you want a print out reminder:


And BAM – we made it through the week!

So now it’s time to share your EASY recipes.  I’m talking few ingredient and few pots/pans to clean.  
So whatcha got?

Time to get your shopping on

Anyone else out there hate going to the mall to shop for holiday gifts?  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some mall time, but I can’t stand the crowds – so online shopping is my savior!

And I’m super excited to tell you about a new photo gift website that Staples just launched called create.staples.com.  It’s similar to some of the other photo gift websites, but what I love about this site is that you can upload your pictures straight from your Facebook or Instagram account — because let’s get real, do you keep your pictures anywhere else?

staples image

They also have some pretty clever customizable home decor ideas, like ornaments, pillows and desk organizers.  Nothing like looking at your puppy while trying to meet a work deadline, right?

I’m totally gifting a few of these this year (can’t tell you what I’m doing in case those special someones are reading) but I’m pretty pumped about it.  Aw I’m such a tease.   But seriously, this is the the perfect opportunity to start that gallery wall you’ve been wanting to make, or finally print and hang that wedding photo canvas.  Or be SUPER cool and create a custom phone case!

And to sweeten the deal, here’s a special coupon code to get 30% ANYTHING on the site right now!  Code: 11043

Ain’t that nice :)

Good luck holiday shopping everyone, and if you head to the mall, watch out for this crazy lady with a stroller trying to avoid all long checkout lines!

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