Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink




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Friday Fresh Picks: Natural Life® Gift Sets {Giveaway}

It's finally Friday! This week seemed to drag on. Although it was a productive one, I'm happy to put it behind me and kick off the weekend in a few hours.

Speaking of happy, I received the cutest (and I mean absolute cutest!!) Happy Box from 
Natural Life® recently. I stumbled upon Natural Life® a few years ago while browsing a local boutique in my town. Natural Life® makes small treasures and trinkets for women from 8 to 80. The treasures invoke a positive vibe and a free spirit in the form of clothes, accessories, items for the home, and cherished gifts.

I've been a Natural Life® devotee ever since I bought my first item, which was an air freshener for my car. I've amassed quite a collection of Natural Life® treasures. But one of my favorite items from the Natural Life collection is a gift set. They are perfect for anyone (mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, teacher, or friend) and for any occasion. You'll see exactly why after you take a look at the contents of the Happy Box. Oh, and I'm giving one Happy Box away, so don't forget to enter to win at the end of the post!!!

The Happy Box includes all of my favorites such as:

Stickers - Who doesn't love a good sticker? For your laptop, the front of your favorite journal or notebook, and more!

Air Freshener - I love these for my car, but you could just as easily hang it in your bathroom, in a closet, or by your bedside. Made with pressed paper and essential oils (so keep it from touching clothing or other fabrics).

Key Fob - Pop around your wrist to run in to a store. You'll never lose your keys at the bottom of your bag again. Made from Neoprene.

Boho Bandeau - This bandeau can be worn 6 different ways, making it your best accessory ever. The best way to turn a bad hair day into a great one for sure!

Happy Notes - Think your favorite Pinterest quotes but in a compact notebook with detachable pages. They are perfect inspirational pages that are ideal for giving to a special someone or posting where you can see them when you need a pick-me-up.

Chip Clip - Every time you reach for the bag of chips, you'll be reminded why you should be happy today.

Toothbrush Cover - The cutest way to keep your toothbrush clean and protected, and the smiley face is a good reminder why it's important to brush 3 times a day.

Trinket Dish - Ahhh, trinket dishes. I love them! They are so cute, and truly very practical. I always have a need for one. From holding my rings by the kitchen sink to corralling paper clips on my desk, trinket dishes with fun messages will make your heart happy.

1. Natural Life® is offering one (1) lucky Pieces of a Mom reader a chance to win a Happy Box.

2. Box contents are shown above and detailed in the graphic below.

3. Use the widget below to enter to win.

Natural Life® Happy Box
Thanks for checking out this week's Friday Fresh Picks. Swing by the rest of the FFP gals to see what they are loving this week.
Friday Fresh Picks are hand-picked favorite items, reviews and highlights from the amazing women you see above.

Visit their websites to learn about other amazing picks from this week!

To view all of my Friday Fresh Picks posts, click here.

Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Eight things new parents should never post to social media via PureWow.

2. How to load a dishwasher via Food52.

3. The best hot chocolate destinations in the U.S. via domino.

4. The best shoes to wear with skinny jeans via WhoWhatWear.

5. What to do after you've made a mistake at work via Refinery29.

6. Public speaking tips that anyone can benefit from via ManRepeller.

7. Everything you need to buy at Trader Joe's right now via Thrillist.

8. Seventeen daughters wore this same dress on picture day over a 51 year span via NY Post.

9. The best concert venues in the world via Business Insider.

10. The best place to staycation in every state via Town and Country.

Easy Entertaining: Soup and Salad


 I remember the first time I hosted a playdate. Emma was two years old, and we invited a friend from music class and her mother to join us for lunch. I labored over what to serve. As the mother of a toddler, I didn't have tons of time to spend in the kitchen preparing an elaborate meal. But on the other hand, I wanted to make a good impression.

What did I finally decide on for our lunch? Soup and salad. Sounds really simple and unimpressive, but let me tell you, they loved it! I made a basic tortellini in broth and a simple mixed greens salad.

These days, I rely on the simple comfort of soup and salad for lunch time entertaining. It's always a crowd pleaser. For those times when I can't spend all day in the kitchen whipping up a batch from scratch, I head straight for a box of Good Natured Soups from Progresso. Good Natured Soups are hearty, vegetable-based soups made from the fresh and real ingredients. There are no GMOs, artificial colors and flavors, or preservatives.

Good Natured Soups are available in three delicious flavors and are an excellent (and easy!) way to get your daily dose of veggies.

For a recent luncheon, I paired the Hearty Tomato Good Natured Soup with a warm goat cheese salad. The hearty soup paired wonderfully with the light salad and made for a satisfying lunch that was neither too heavy nor too light.

Other ideal pairings include:
  • A sandwich - you can't go wrong with a grilled cheese.
  • Crusty rolls or sliced ciabatta bread
  • Caesar salad
Good Natured Soups are filled with chunks of veggies. The Hearty Tomato variety contains chunks of carrots and celery in every bite. And what could be easier than pouring it into a saucepan and heating it to perfection?


ENTER TO WIN a Good Natured Soup gift basket worth $25!
To enter to win, please follow these steps.

1. Visit the Good Natured Soup product pagecome back to this post, and let me know in the comments which flavor of soup you’re most excited to try and how you get veggies into your daily meals.

2. Contest is open to legal residents of the U.S., who are at least 18 years of age. Winner must have a valid mailing address.

One winner will receive a gift basket valued at $25 including Good Natured Soups and other branded items. Giveaway will end on October 31st. Good luck!
Don't forget! Download this $1 coupon (click on coupon to download) to start saving.

To stay up to date with Good Natured Soups from Progresso, be sure to like the Facebook page.

You can find more information about Good Natured Soups on the Good Natured Soups product page.


Menu Plan Monday :: 10.17.2016

This week is a busy one. With something going on everyday after school, I'm going to be relying on super quick and easy meals this week. Everything from an easy soup recipe to tasty paninis will find a place on this week's menu plan.

Check it out:

Monday - Southwest potato corn chowder. Potato and corn chowder is one of my favorite soups. I love that this one has a spicy Southwestern spin on it.
Photo credit: Betty Crocker

Tuesday - Caprese panini. This is one of my favorite sandwiches to order out, but I rarely make it at home. This week we are making it at home and serving it with a side salad.
Photo credit: Food Network

Wednesday - Pasta with fresh tomato sauce. Is there anything better than pasta with a simple but delicious tomato sauce? No! You can use some of the basil that you buy for the Caprese paninis in this recipe. Double duty ingredients!
Photo credit: Real Simple

Thursday - 12-minute chicken with broccoli. This is a house favorite, and it takes only 12 minutes to make!! Now that is my kind of dinner.
Photo credit: Gimme Some Oven

Friday - Tex Mex stuffed peppers. Lately, it's just been the Hubs and I on a Friday night. The girls are usually with friends. Since they don't like stuffed peppers, I am making these...we love them.
Photo credit: Girl Gone Mom

Saturday - Take out. The Hubs and I are going to a concert. So, we'll get take out for the girls before we meet up with friends for the concert.

Sunday - Crock-Pot roast with veggies. It's been a while since I've made a beef roast in the slow cooker. It's time to do it! My family loves it. The girls especially love the veggies. I usually prepare mashed potatoes as well. It's the perfect Sunday comfort food.
Photo credit: Yummy Healthy Easy

I'm all about the pumpkin desserts lately. To satisfy your sweet tooth, bake up a pumpkin layered magic cake. YUM! YUM!

What's on your plate this week? For more meal time inspiration, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday linkup.

To view all of my menu planning posts, click here. Visit my What's For DinnerPasta, and Soups On! Pinterest boards for even more ideas.

Sunday Sales - Kate Spade 25% Off

What goes best with your Sunday morning coffee? A little online shopping, of course. The sales are really hot right now, and as the holidays approach, they will only get bigger and better.

Today's best bet is the Kate Spade sale. This is a great opportunity to save on a tote or pair of shoes that you've had your eyes on.


Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the Web that I am loving this week:

1. The 25 best Halloween candies via Apartment Therapy.

2. How to choose paint for furniture via Sunset.

3. The right way to disagree with your boss via Fast Company.

4. What the Amish can teach us about modern medicine via Mosaic.

5. Your personality may determine your lifespan via The Guardian.

6. Twenty movies to see before awards season via Cosmopolitan.

7. The Obama family's White House life in pictures via The Cut.

8. This pouf from Target is perfect for around the fire in winter.

9. How much should you weigh via Redbook Magazine.

10. The app that will help you finally declutter your Inbox via The Washington Post.

Life Lately

Life Lately is a new monthly series where I share my latest obsessions, favorite finds, and any kind of entertainment that I am loving.

1. Mini Brie Bites from Trader Joe's - These have become my latest food obsession. Since I love Brie but no one else in my family does, they are the perfect way for me to have my cheese and eat it too. It's real Brie cheese. In a little cup. Just for me.

2. Amanda Knox on Netflix - I have to admit that I wasn't glued to the TV when this story broke years ago, but I am fascinated by the Netflix documentary from the perspective that I learned more about the crime itself and how Italian officials handled the investigation and trial.

3. Clean & Clear Deep Action 60-Second Shower Mask - This steam-activated shower mask offers superb cleansing powers and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and as soft as butter.

4. Cactus Prints - I'm having a major succulent moment. I'm wanting to hoard live succulents, fake ones, and even these adorable prints found on Etsy.

5. Siren Moonlit Orchid Candle - This woodsy candle has a surprisingly light, fresh scent that's utterly addicting. It's the perfect scent for fall and winter.

6. Photoshop Fix - No need to purchase the pricy full Photoshop suite when you can download the Photoshop Fix app for free. I love the basic retouching and restoration features and the easy of sending images from phone to desktop.

What To Wear On Game Day

Once September rolls around, every Sunday in our house becomes game day! Before we had kids, my husband and I were New York Jets' season ticket holders. We went to every home game, and just like everyone else, we were decked out in Jets gear.

But it wasn't always that way. I'll never forget attending my very first Jets game wearing a black turtleneck. Gasp! What was I thinking? At the time, I didn't own a thread of Jets clothing. I had recently moved to New Jersey from Pennsylvania, and the Jets were barely on my radar.
The morning following my very first Jets game, I made it a priority to purchase a Jets sweatshirt. I wasn't taking any chances showing up at the next game without a show of team pride. makes it easy to wear your passion for your team however you wish. The 2016 NFL Apparel collection features a wide range of styles from jerseys to jackets to hoodies to hats. I recently purchased a few new items since some of my Jets gear was getting a little old and outdated. I love the wide selection of items for women from yoga pants to t-shirts to hats and socks.

A small sampling of t-shirts available on

Lately, I am loving the look of vintage tees, so I was hoping to find a Jets t-shirt with a retro twist. I was so excited to find this one. It was right up my alley! The distressed screen print graphics added the vintage touch I wanted in a game day t-shirt.

You don't have to be a diehard fan to show your team spirit. You can show your team pride once a year or every day of the year with the 2016 NFL Apparel collection at

The other item I wanted was a hoodie. They are so versatile and are great for layering on game day...whether you are home watching the game or at the stadium. Our season ticket seats started out in the sun, but by game's end, we were deep in the shade where it was cold. A hoodie is perfect for throwing on over a t-shirt once the sun goes down.

I love the detail on the sleeve. It keeps the front of the hoodie clean so that the Jets logo is the focal point but still adds interest to the sweatshirt.

It was difficult making a decision. There are so many fabulous possibilities on for women. But since I knew exactly what I wanted, my decision was more or less made for me.

I also love the offers styles for all ages of women. I am in my mid-40s, and I had no problem finding pieces that were age appropriate. And I love that the clothes are made for female bodies. They are fitted in the right places to flatter our bodies.

What you wear reflects who you are and the team that you want to win. Choose your NFL gear on and show your pride! Own your team spirit and display it proudly.

What's your favorite game day outfit?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Menu Plan Monday :: 10.10.2016

After a dreary weekend, we are finally waking up to some sun here in New Jersey. Today is a holiday for us, and aside from having two appointments, we plan to do some shopping with my sister and my nephew and some prep for a busy week ahead.

Here's what's on our plates this week:

Monday - Orange chicken. One of my favorite family-friendly cookbooks is Weelicious. It has so many recipes that are wonderful for both adults and kids. This one for orange chicken is a crowd pleaser in our house and often compares to Panda Express.
Photo credit: Weelicious

Tuesday - One-pot bucatini Bolognese. One of my favorite pasta sauces is Bolognese. It's so flavorful but generally takes hours to simmer to reach the height of flavor perfection. This recipe takes a fraction of the time and offers up the same robust flavor.
Photo credit: Food Network
Wednesday - Breaded chicken cutlets with penna vodka. This is my FAVORITE penne vodka recipe. It's super easy to make and feeds a ton of people. Plus, it's not a heavy, creamy sauce. It's light and it coats the pasta evenly without drenching it.
Photo credit: Williams-Sonoma

Thursday - Lemon chicken orzo soup. I love a bowl of steaming hot soup on a chilly fall day. This soup really is good for the soul!
Photo credit: A Dish of Daily Life

Friday - Take out or dinner out

Saturday - One-pot taco rigatoni. I love this twist on taco night. Same great taste, but a lot less mess! I'm excited to try this recipe. I'll let you know how it goes over in our house.
Photo credit: Betty Crocker

Sunday - Slow cooker seasoned chicken, potatoes, and green beans. I've been relying on slow cooker meals on the weekends so that we have more time to enjoy fall activities. I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it included all of our favorites. It seriously couldn't be easier!
Photo credit: The Magical Slow Cooker

To satisfy your sweet tooth, why not bake up a batch of these pumpkin magic bars? They look mouth watering!!

What's on your plate this week? For more meal time inspiration, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday linkup.

To view all of my menu planning posts, click here. Visit my What's For DinnerPasta, and Soups On! Pinterest boards for even more ideas.

Halloween Tees For Girls

Halloween tees are a great way to show your holiday spirit without dressing head to toe in Halloween garb. You can find Halloween tees at just about any major retailer for under $20. Here are a few of our favorite tees this Halloween season.

Peanuts Halloween Tee, available at Hanna Andersson

Cat & Jack Halloween BOO Tee, available at Target.

Glow-In-The-Dark Pumpkin Tee, available at The Children's Place.

Hello Kitty Mummy Tee, available at Old Navy. (Toddler sizes only)

Spider web tee, available at Gap.

Cute as a pumpkin tee, available at Disney.