Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

SHOP MY FAVES

SHOP MY FAVES
SHOP MY FAVES

STYLE

STYLE
STYLE
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Menu Plan Monday :: 9.26.2016

It's finally feeling like fall here in New Jersey. Not quite sure how I feel about that, but for now, I'll embrace the slightly cooler temps and the excuse to make soup and slow cooker meals for dinner!


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

Monday - Taco stuffed peppers. I love stuffed peppers, and these taco stuffed ones are a tasty variation of traditional stuffed peppers. Swap out black beans for pinto if you prefer. I like to use Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn, and I always top with sliced fresh jalapenos.
Photo credit: Wine and Glue

Tuesday - Sesame chicken stir fry. Stir fry is one of my favorite dinners to make because everyone in our family loves it. Plus, it's easily customizable by using the veggies that your family loves the most. This recipe includes bok choy, peppers, and celery. I always add broccoli as well because my kids love it.
Photo credit: Family Circle

Wednesday - Copycat Panera broccoli cheese soup and a side salad. This is the best copycat recipe ever! If you love Panera's broccoli cheese soup, you MUST try this recipe. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.
Photo credit: Jo-Lynne Shane

Thursday - Sesame noodle salad. I love noodle salads, but many have too much dressing or ingredients that I could do without. When you make it yourself, you can make it exactly as you wish. This recipe is perfect as it, but if you want to add protein, grab a rotisserie chicken and shred it.
Photo credit: What's Gaby Cooking

Friday - Takeout

Saturday - Slow cooker garlic Parmesan chicken and potatoes. I love slow cooker meals any day of the week but especially on the weekends. While some people love to spend hours in the kitchen on the weekends, I'd rather be enjoying myself other ways (exercising, binge-watching Netflix, shopping). So slow cooker meals are my best friends on Saturdays and Sundays.
Photo credit: Damn Delicious

Sunday - Pasta and white beans with garlic-rosemary oil. Sometimes a light pasta dish is exactly what you need. This one is light but satisfying. You'll never miss the red sauce.
Photo credit: Smitten Kitchen
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.

Friday Fresh Picks: Leopard Prints For Fall

Now that fall has officially arrived, I'm itching to swap out the clothes and shoes in my closet and make way for clothes that are more appropriate for chilly weather.


I love leopard print, but it always seems too heavy a print for summer. Even a lightweight silk leopard print blouse is difficult to pull off in the summer months. But now that fall is here, I'm seeing spots.

In this week's Friday Fresh Picks, I'm sharing a few fabulous fall finds in leopard print that won't break that bank but will have a big impact.

CHEETAH CALF HAIR BELT
If you like leopard print but want to wear the trend in a subtle way, a belt is a great alternative.


LEOPARD SHELL
This shell would work great for the office under a blazer or by itself with a black pencil skirt. Or pair it with a pair of distressed blue or black denim for a casual night out or weekend errands.


LEOPARD PRINT SCARF

Add some punch to a plain white tee and jeans with this leopard print scarf from Sole Society.


LEOPARD PRINT CLUTCH
I'm a sucker for a leopard print clutch. I own several, and it never seems to be enough. I love the color blocking detail on this one and how the black breaks up the leopard print and adds a nice contrast.


CALF HAIR D'ORSAY FLATS
The d'Orsay flat trend is still going strong, and this leopard print pair is one of my favorites (and currently on sale at J. Crew!).


IPHONE CASE
I love this phone case from Kate Spade. It's a stylish way to protect your phone.

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.

5 Tips for Successfully Dealing With Bedwetting


When I was a little girl, I had a serious bedwetting issue. I wet the bed until I was 10 years old. Eventually I grew out of bedwetting, but at the time, it was very confusing and incredibly embarrassing for me, and I am sure, very frustrating for my parents.

If you are dealing with your own child's bedwetting problems, it's important to keep a few things in mind as you navigate this emotional and very sensitive issue with your child and your family.

1. Don't scold or shame your child
It's important to be sensitive to your child's bedwetting. It's likely that they are hyperaware of it and know that you are as well. Don't scold your child or make her feel shameful when it happens. They already feel shameful enough. By adding to it, you could reverse whatever progress you've made since shaming will only result in trauma.

2. Offer your child nightly protection
The best way to boost your child's confidence at night is to offer them protection in the form of Huggies® GoodNites®. Goodnites® are bedtime pants that set the stage for a restful night of sleep rather than a sleepless night filled with worry and apprehension.

When I was a child, I would delay bedtime as long as I could to avoid wetting the bed. This caused me many sleepless nights, and ultimately affected how I performed the following day. I was tired in school the following day, and my school work suffered. I wish Huggies® GoodNites® were an option when I was a child. Wearing them would have certainly put my mind at easy and would have prevented my constant preoccupation with bedwetting.

Walmart has the best prices on Huggies® GoodNites®. Since you don't know how long this will last, it's helpful to save money anywhere you can. Use this helpful store locator to find your nearest Walmart Neighborhood Market.

TIP:
Since bedwetting is a sensitive subject, it's a good idea to keep Huggies® GoodNites® concealed in a drawer where your child's friends won't see them when they come over for playdates. Unlike proudly displaying baby diapers in a pretty basket on the changing table, you'll want to keep GoodNites® discreetly tucked away.




3. Consult a doctor
Two and half years ago, our youngest daughter Harper was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. One of the first signs of a problem was bedwetting. She had been potty trained from a very young age, and all of a sudden she was wetting the bed nightly. You can read more about her bedwetting story hereHuggies® GoodNites® were a life saver for us in the early days post-diagnosis while we were stabilizing her blood sugar levels. Bedwetting occurs often in children with high glucose levels. Huggies® GoodNites® saved us from purchasing a new mattress each month!


4. Take care of your child's skin
Remember diaper rash from those baby days? Urine that is left on your child's skin can cause irritation. Although it poses no serious health risk, it can be quite uncomfortable for your child. After they remove Huggies® GoodNites® in the morning, make sure they clean the area with baby wipes such as Huggies® baby wipes (click here to download a coupon).


5. Work as a team to accomplish the end goal
Working together with your child shows that you are in this together and that you are just as vested in his or her ultimate goal as he/she is. Overcoming bedwetting is difficult to take on alone, especially as a child. Take an active part, and it will give your child the confidence boost he or she needs to get through this with flying colors.

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Shop your nearest Walmart Neighborhood Market® for all your baby, toddler, and child care needs at low prices that you can only expect from a Walmart Supercenter.

What I'm Watching on Netflix


I realized as I was adding this post to my editorial calendar that I haven't watched network television all summer long. I've been subsisting on Netflix for months now, and I couldn't be happier. From original series to some of my long forgotten favorite sitcoms and movies, Netflix has it all. Netflix is everything!

Here's what I am currently watching and loving!

1. Revenge
I'm not sure why I've never watched this on network TV, but it's so juicy! Oh. My! If it were a book, it'd be a page turner. I loved Emily VanCamp from her days on Brothers & Sisters, and she plays an even more compelling character on Revenge.

2. Stranger Things
Everybody else is watching it, so I figured it was time to start. I'm only on the second episode of the first season, but I'm hooked. I'm still trying to figure things out, but it's very intriguing.

3. Arrested Development
I am sooooo late to this game. Sheesh! What the heck took me so long to start watching this show?? I laugh hysterically during each episode. I mean the Bluth family is everything we want to be and everything we're glad we aren't. And it's so easy to crush on Jason Bateman.

4. Cooked
This Michael Pollan documentary explores food through the 4 basic elements of fire, water, air and earth. Pollan delves into how different cultures approach and prepare food.

5. Narcos
This in-depth look into the Medellin drug cartel of Colombia and it's kingpin Pablo Escobar is jaw droppingly interesting. I am absolutely amazed by the fact that drug trafficking to this extent ever existed. It was a massive effort that made Escobar millions of dollars.

6. Burt's Buzz
This documentary examines the fascinating story behind Burt Shavitz, the reclusive co-founder of Burt's Bees. From his humble beginnings as a beekeeper and honey maker to becoming co-founder of one of the most successful all-natural beauty products companies to returning to a solitary life in rural Maine, Shavitz's life has been nothing short of mesmerizing.

Are you Netflix-obsessed? What have you been watching lately? 

Menu Plan Monday :: 9.19.2016

If you had asked me a few weeks ago if we'd settle into a routine once school started, I would have said "Never!". But I have to say, I am totally impressed with my girls, and how well they have been waking for school. It certainly makes the mornings go smoother and helps to set a positive tone for the day.

Speaking of making things easy, I'm all about easy with the meal plan these days. One pot meals are my best friends this week. Take a look:

Monday - Skillet nachos. Yum! This recipes looks super easy and super delicious. Just what I need to kick off the week on a Monday.
Photo credit: A Taste of Home

Tuesday - One pot pizza pasta bake. This is the first time I'll be making this recipe. Honestly, I was searching for kid friendly weeknight meals, and this one came up. Looks like a winner to me!
Photo credit: Damn Delicious

Wednesday - Chicken cutlets with deconstructed guacamole. Two of my faves in one delicious dish, and leftovers for lunch on Thursday. Bonus!
Photo credit: Skinnytaste

Thursday - 12-minute chicken and broccoli. I have back to school night at Harper's school. This quick meal will be perfect and healthy too!
Photo credit: Gimme Some Oven

Friday - Take out

Saturday - Tortilla-crusted chicken. I have 3 bags of tortilla chips, and one can eat only so much chips and salsa. This recipes looks like the perfect way to use tortilla chips in a creative way.
Photo credit: Delish

Sunday - Cavatelli with broccoli and a side salad. This is one of our favorite meatless pasta dishes. It's simple to make and everyone in the family devours it. Serve it with crunchy garlic bread too.

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.

Best Online Reads





1. A millennial's guide to email etiquette that anyone can benefit from via Vogue.

2. The best bottled waters via Thrillist.

3. What life is like behind bars for O.J. Simpson via Los Angeles Times.

4. Thirty interview questions you should know by heart via Refinery 29.

5. The 50 hottest dads on TV via Redbook.

6. A world map that's also a scratch off the show where you've been via Landmass.

7. Why I am all in favor of binge-watching via Quartz.

8. Why well done icebreakers, although awkward, work incredibly well via The Science of Us.

9. How and why you should be keeping a travel journal on your next vacation via Amateur Traveler.

10. How to conceal a bobby pin in your hair via The Beauty Department.

5 Must-Sees At The National Zoo

Last month, we took an impromptu road trip to Washington, D.C. One of the must visits on our list was Smithsonian's National Zoo. Harper has been wanting to go for years to see the pandas, and we were finally doing it!


The zoo is vast. We had no idea how sprawling it is. The exhibits are spaced apart, and there is lots of walking involved. National Zoo offers many amazing exhibits. Upon entry, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the zoo map, decide what you want to see, and go see it!

Here are my recommendations for the 5 must-sees at the National Zoo:


National Zoo is one of only 4 zoos in the United States that offers a panda exhibit. So, if you are at National Zoo, make it a point to see the pandas. But be patient. We had to linger for almost an hour to get a good sighting of one panda. There are 4 pandas in total, two adult and two cubs. Cub sightings are somewhat rare. If you get a glimpse of one, you are lucky!

Check out the live giant panda webcam here to get a sneak peek.



It's no surprise that I love the big cat exhibits, and the lions are always one of my favorites. They are so regal and generally look so peaceful, which is a sharp contrast to their personalities when they are on the hunt for prey or protecting their young.

Check out the live lion webcam here to get a sneak peek.



It's easy to see why this exhibit was one of the most crowded. Gorillas are absolutely fascinating to observe. With mannerisms nearly identical to humans, gorillas are as close to humans as any animal will ever get. I stood in front of the exhibit mesmerized for at least 20 minutes while I closely watched this gorilla meticulously pick at a piece of fruit it was eating.


These gentle giants never cease to amaze me with their extreme intelligence and incredibly social behaviors. National Zoo boasts 6 elephants. During our visit, we saw 4 and were able to catch a close up of these two. The Asian Elephant exhibit is accessible from two directions, so you are able to get a better look at them.


National Zoo is home to special exhibits that are continually changing. During our visit the impressive Washed Ashore exhibit was on full display. The exhibit was a larger-than-life exhibit of 17 marine wildlife sculptures—from jellyfish to sharks—made entirely of plastic pollution directly recovered from oceans. I was astounded by how much trash and waste ends up in our oceans and how this trash becomes the ocean's most deadly predator.

Check the National Zoo's website for information on current special exhibits.

Miscellaneou Notes:
We stayed at the Marriott Wardman Park (which was a hop, skip, and a jump from the zoo) and ate here and here.

Fab Find of the Week: Silicone Ice Cube Trays

I'll admit that I'm a little late to the silicone ice cube tray party. But now that I am here, I can't get enough. A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a silicone ice cube tray at Target when I was randomly browsing the housewares section, as I am known to do quite often.

I found this tray, and it's been a game changer. The pieces of ice fit perfectly into the mouthes of water bottles, especially S'well bottles. One of my biggest pet peeves has always been that you can't get ice cubes into reusable water bottles because the opening is too small. Well, not any more!


Buy this ice cube tray here.

p.s. This is the water bottle featured above.