November 5, 2014

I'm Convinced...


  • Full length mirrors make you appear thinner than you are.  Is that the point?  I wouldn't know. I've never owned one.

  •  I won't sleep like a baby until my kid moves out. Maybe not even then.

  • Flats are cute.  But they suck.  And hurt. 

  •  A blazer jacket, a pair of jeans, cute heels and a cute blouse will never go out of style.

  • Wearing a hat on a "bad hair day" is totally acceptable and is in fashion.

  •  Laughing in any given situation is the key to success. ( and the key to a healthy and happy marriage. Well, one of the many 'keys').   

  •  Freezing chocolate is the best and only way to eat it. Especially a Reese's cup.  
  •  There's nothing wrong with take out at least twice a week. We usually do pizza or Chinese.      
  • You can't go to the movie theater and not purchase popcorn.  The smell alone gets me every time.

  •  Vacuuming is great cardio.

  • A pint of Ben and Jerry's is the ultimate PMS indulgence.  Have you tried their Core Lines?  #allthesaltedcaramel

  • People are too nice.  Sometimes ya gotta get some balls in life and speak up.  Try it.   It feels great.

  • Roses are a nice gesture once in a while and way better than any piece of jewelry. 

  • Being honest, no matter what, is the bravest thing you can do.

What are you 'convinced' about?

Happy Hump Day!

November 4, 2014

Lighter Basil Pesto Recipe

Like simple, make ahead meals that are healthy, too?  Good.  So do I.  And I have the easiest basil pesto sauce for your next dinner.  Just make, heat, and toss over your favorite pasta.  Dinner is done!

I love a good sauce on my pasta.  If you love basil and garlic and ahem, Greek yogurt, you're in for a delicious surprise!

Another great tip:  Make ahead and freeze this.  I would only freeze it if you know you won't be serving it for more than three days.  Reheat in a small saucepan, toss in hot pasta.

I love simple recipes like this that can go beyond just a sauce for pasta.  Spread on a sandwich, or serve as a dip. 

Courtesy of  madewithmeg

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 cups ( one package of fresh basil leaves ) 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  •  salt and pepper. 

I don't have a food processor but you can totally use your blender. I just added a tablespoon of water to loosen everything up. Use the pulse button a lot. Everything will be creamy and blended to perfection within 5 minutes! 1/2 the calories of regular pesto, healthy and so so good!

I hope you try!  Enjoy!

Do you have a pasta sauce preference?

What Helps You Fall Asleep?

I'll spare you a photo of me sleeping so you can see this cutie in dreamland. 

I'm not gonna lie.  I'm a little grumpy pants today and exhausted. Claire was up non-stop crying from about 10:30-midnight last night.  She slept thru until about 6:30 this morning.  If she didn't, then I never heard her.  

I really hope it's teething.  I'll be downing lots of coffee today.

Unless I'm completely depleted out of my mind and in zombie form, { today}and/or sick, I can't fall asleep right away.  I've always been the type to toss and turn constantly; kicking the covers on and off until I felt settled and comfortable enough to finally drift off.

That can take anywhere between ten minutes or an hour.

Below are some of the 'remedies' that I've tried in the past: 

-Warm milk

-Sound Machine { verdict: it works better for babies }

-Turning QVC or The Home Shopping Network on low ( I always found the way they talk on there relaxes me )


I read real books, too.

And something finally seems to do the trick...

Reading a book while laying down in bed.  I swear within five minutes, usually, I'm out!  And sometimes I fall asleep on the couch while watching a movie.

Do you have to try different things so you can fall asleep more easily?  Do you not?  If you have more tips, I'd love to know them!

Have a great Tuesday!

November 3, 2014

A Refreshing Conversation

The other day I treated myself to a pedicure. As I was relaxing in the chair, there was a mom with her daughter who was probably around 6 or 7 years old.  She was making her way over to the drying station when another woman walked in.  The mom knew that mom and they started striking up a convo as the other mom was picking out her nail color.  

As a new mom now, I couldn't help but listen to their conversation.  And it was refreshing listening to them talk.  Before I was a mom, I'd easily get annoyed by different mom conversations out there.  I know at the time I knew nothing and really shouldn't have judged them because, well, I wasn't a mom and hadn't at all experienced what they have.  In the past it would be conversations about lunches at school, what gifts to give the teachers for Christmas or how perfect little Timmy was on the honor roll. I truly hope those kinds of bumper stickers are obsolete now. Or at least becoming obsolete...

I would roll my eyes and make my way toward the clothing section in Target without a care in the world.  Now?  Now I can completely relate to ANYTHING I hear.  My daughter is 8 months old and I know I'm not making her lunch box or taking her to dance class yet, but the way these moms spoke, I can now relate.  It doesn't matter what the topic is.  I know I'll be at that stage one day soon with my daughter and I already feel prepared in some way.  It's crazy.

So as these moms were chatting away, they went off topic slightly from  kids stuff to cancelling plans with friends. One of them got invited to dinner but she had to cancel because the very next day she had a wedding to attend.  She said, confidently, " I had to cancel.  I'm so bad with back to back things."  I wanted to shout out right then and there, I TOTALLY HEAR YOU!

Then the other mom replied, confidently as well, " I know. Well, you can't do everything."  I wanted to hug her. This post wasn't written with the intent to knock people who aren't parents. But from personal experience after having a baby and dealing with friends and family on the regular, it comes down to one truth that I feel should be a law here in the U.S.:  We can't do everything.

Forget children for a second.  That sentence should pertain to every single person on this planet.  I feel it's common sense. We simply can't do everything. We simply can not attend every function { that includes family functions}. We seem to never stop and take a breather and realize that we do too much.  I'm all about being busy and working hard and challenging myself, as we all should be.  But at the end of the day, I do feel it's healthy and necessary to stop and rest, too.  And to realize that we all need a break.

Before starting a family, I used to think it would be so difficult to be so busy, even on the weekends.  I would think, how do parents get a break on the weekends? The truth is , we don't. And I know until their 18th birthday, parents are busy bees with their kids.  We should be forced to take a break, simply for our mental health.  We can't fit everything in on our weekends that appear to be extra cherished now.  We should also take that break for ourselves. A simple one party trip to Shop rite is perfection sometimes!

Obviously, if an event is planned months in advance, you show up, enjoy and shut up about it. But if nothing is planned?  Do whatever the hell you want!  Get chores done, go out for lunch, bake, cook, workout, frolic in the park with your family and pet dog, take a nap!  I say weekends are now cherished for the many reasons
I just mention. I know people who I love dearly that try to fit in all kinds of things in their weekend.  Now of course they can do what they want. It's their weekend and their life.  I'm not going to judge them or stop them from what they want to do.  But in my opinion, the mere fact that a MOM said, "you can't do everything"; really puts it into perspective.  It just sounds so refreshing.

It's OK to say NO.  It's okay to decline things. We can't do everything. 

Thoughts?  Parents or not, I think this topic is an interesting one and tends to get passed by way too often. We are too busy worrying what others think and trying to please people by fitting too much in.

November 2, 2014

Apple Cider Caramel Cookies

In the past, Halloween always seemed like a bigger deal than now.  What was I going to dress up as?  Should I bake those cut out pumpkin cookies? I did not enjoy baking 10 years ago. ha!  How much candy should we buy for the trick or treaters? Should we even be home to hand out candy?

These days, I prefer being home to hand out candy.  Maybe order pizza or make some hearty chili, relax on the couch with a glass of wine of course, and watch horror flicks.  That's my ideal Halloween night!  Oh, and indulge in a mini Twix. Or eighteen of them.That may or may not have happened.

 This Halloween, we have our baby girl which makes it a little more thrilling. Especially since next year begins taking her out to collect her own bag of treats.  We also had family visiting from California and New Mexico.  My Dad's two sisters whom I adore and wish they lived closer!  We all hung out on the couch, played with Claire, (she was very entertaining), we ate pizza for dinner and ate these cookies and a cookie cake I made.  It was perfect.

Here's my Aunt Marlene meeting Claire for the first time.  Heart. Melted. 

Claire was Sleeping Beauty if you were wondering.  Though, she was not a sleeping beauty the night prior. :)

So, these cookies.

So moist, so chewy, so full of apple cider flavor.  SO delicious.  And addicting.  If you can't control yourself from licking the wooden spoon of cookie dough like me, lick at your own risk!  This cookie batter is crazy good.

And then there's a gooey caramel center.  How can you go wrong?  It's Fall in one bite. 

I came across this recipe two years ago and it took me two years to make them.  If you love apple cider and caramel, it's a no-brainer to give these a try. Make these for Halloween or Thanksgiving.  Or both.  I'm definitely making these for a dessert on Thanksgiving.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!  It's a colder day here in New Jersey along with crazy winds but my family and I are sucking it up and taking a trip an hour away in PA to an apple festival.  Wish us luck!  I am going to buy my apples there for my future First Apple Pie  and hopefully work on a test one within the next week!

Talk soon!

Dana xo