Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

SHOP MY FAVES

SHOP MY FAVES
SHOP MY FAVES

STYLE

STYLE
STYLE

5 Home Renovations You Shouldn't Do Yourself


Who else wants to totally remodel your entire home after watching home renovation and DIY shows on TV and YouTube tutorials? While there are plenty of renovations you can take on by yourself, there are also times when you need to call in the professionals. Certain jobs are better left to those with more experience and know-how than laypeople. To keep you from realizing that halfway down the process, here are 5 don't DIY tasks, for which professional help should be taken at all times.
0

Best Online Reads

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

1. What the tooth fairy is paying these days via Huffington Post.

2. Fifteen sneaky ways to save money each month via Redbook.

3. Five ways to power down a busy mind via Oprah.
0

Weekend Dispatch


Last weekend's weather was glorious (well, Friday and Saturday were gorgeous, anyway)! It made me wish summer would get here just a little faster. It was so nice to be outside and get a little Vitamin D naturally. While this coming weekend isn't going to be as spectacular, it's not going to be a throw away either. In addition to going to see Emma's lacrosse game on Saturday morning and my great-nephew's birthday party on Sunday, here's what else I'll be up to this weekend:
0

5 Ways To Improve Your Wardrobe On A Budget


There comes a point in everyone's life, when we stand in front of our closets and think everything looks drab and boring. It's this sight that turns our shopping spree mode on, and soon we've lost our money to shoes, clothes and accessories. With all the new collections rolling out every season, it's only natural that might crave a few new things, but what about those days when your budget won't allow a new purchase and yet you want to look your very best? If you find yourself facing this situation a lot then it's time for you to look bold, beautiful and fabulous, without the need of breaking your back:
0

Currently Crushing: Navy and White


Navy and white is one of my favorite color combinations, especially in the summer. It's such a fresh, crisp pairing. I have touches of navy and white scattered throughout my home, and if I'm not careful, they'll take over every room. Today, I'm dedicating an entire post to my love of navy and white. Check out the items I am currently crushing on.
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. The best thing to drink first thing in the morning via Coveteur.

2. Why you should wash new clothes before wearing them via Well+Good.

3. How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan to incorporate Princess Diana into their wedding day via Vanity Fair.
0

Weekend Dispatch


After enduring a never-ending winter, it seems there's light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the upcoming weekend's weather (woohoo!). With hints of 70 degrees on Saturday (and my kids have a snow make up day - yes, on the weekend!), I am planning all the outdoor activities starting with a long walk followed by enjoying an iced coffee at an outdoor café.

Here's what else is shaking this weekend.
0

Playing Favorites

Playing Favorites is a monthly series where I share my latest obsessions, favorite finds, and any kind of entertainment (books, movies, TV, podcasts, and magazines) that I am loving. Here's what I am loving this month.

0

Best Online Reads


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

1. A brilliant tip for making small talk less painful via Cupcakes and Cashmere.

2. The most popular baby names 100 years ago via Huffington Post.

3. Commonly misused phrases that make you sound unprofessional (and uneducated) via Work+Money.
0

10 Pre-Workout Snacks To Fuel Your Fitness


I'm changing things up a bit this week with my gym routine since the girls are home for spring break. Rather than going first thing in the morning, I've been hitting the gym late morning most days. Heading to the gym later than usual means I have to have a pre-workout snack. I haven't been eating a full meal (not even breakfast) since it takes a few hours after I wake up to get hungry. But a small protein-packed snack has been a must.

Here are a few of the things I think about before I reach for a pre-workout snack:
0

Weekend Dispatch


This week is our spring break, and sorry to say, it's anything but spring here. We woke up to a thin blanket of snow on the ground yesterday day morning, and today is dreary and drab. Last year we spent spring break in Tucson and Phoenix, but this year, we are sticking close to home. Emma has both lacrosse practice and games this week, and we'll be traveling to Utah later this summer for a family wedding in place of our spring break trip.

Here's how we'll be spending our staycation.
0

Think Pink!



I'll be the first to admit that I get stuck in color ruts when it comes to what I wear. I tend to lean towards navy, beige, black, and gray. Lately I've been making an effort to inject more color into my wardrobe. Color signifies youth, and hey, we could all use a little youthfulness now and then. Right? Spring and summer lend themselves to colorful wardrobes. Since they are warmer seasons, it's easier to find clothes that are fun, colorful, and anything but drab.

Lately I've been loving vibrant pinks. It's a nice change from the ever popular blush pink, and who can deny that it's definitely more eye catching as well? Here are few of my favorite recent pink finds:
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. Seven good reasons to take a nap right now via Huffington Post.

2. Why we give better advice to our friends than to ourselves via Business Insider.

3. Why we need to go easy on ourselves more often than not via The New York Times.
0

Weekend Dispatch


It's Easter weekend, and what was originally planned to be a long weekend with Good Friday off has changed slightly now that the kids have a snow make up day on Friday. We are shifting things around a bit, but here's what I'll be up to this weekend.
0

My Favorite Post-Workout Snacks


After working out consistently (4-5 times per week) for over a year now, I've developed a post-workout routine which consists of eating a healthy snack that aids in the recovery process. I generally workout first thing in the morning, which for me is around 8:15 am until about 10:00 am. I don't eat breakfast before I workout, so I am hungry by the time I leave the gym but not hungry enough for a full meal.

After reading this article, I've been following up most of my workouts with 10-15 minutes in my gym's sauna. After a grueling workout and sweat sesh in the sauna, I drink a lot of water which fills me up too much for a full meal, but a high protein snack always help to refuel me until lunch.

I like to keep my post-workout snacks quick and easy. It needs to be something I can grab and eat or prepare quickly. Here are my favorite go-to snacks to re-fuel post workout.
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. The most incredible road to drive in every state via MSN.

2. This country will have zero waste by 2050 via GreenMatters.

3. What really happens to your clothes after you donate them via Nylon.
0

5 Fab Finds Under $50

I'm always on the lookout for fun, inexpensive items that add flair to my home, my outfit, or my life. I've tracked down five items that every woman needs now. From entertaining to your office to your outfit of the day, any one of these items is a welcome addition to your life.
0

Weekend Dispatch


It's finally spring, and there are lots of spring happenings going on, even if the weather isn't quite cooperating. Here on the east coast, we are ramping up for yet another Nor'easter which is promising to pack a punch with up to 8" of snow. Over it! I'm going to be in denial over here thinking about all the cute spring shoes and clothes that I am dying to wear...but can't. I'll also be doing these things this weekend:
0

Currently Craving: Camo


If there's one rule in fashion that constantly rings true it's that what comes around goes around. A few years ago I bought a pair of camouflage pants at Urban Outfitters. When they became a little too tight (it happens!!), I put them away with the thought that maybe, just maybe, they'd come back into fashion one day and maybe, just maybe I'd be able to fit into them again someday. Sure enough, camo is back, and thanks to a year of working out consistently, I'll be able to fit into those pants. But now, camo is available in so much more than just pants and jackets. Here are a few fun ways to wear the camo trend.
0

10 Ways To Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy

photo via
I talk a lot about cats around here, but that doesn't mean I don't have a tiny smidgen of dog person in me. We humans are complicated creatures. By comparison, dogs are a walk in the park...sometimes all it takes to make them happy is a literal walk in the park! Still, just because it doesn’t take a lot of effort to ensure they’re happy and healthy, there are still certain things that you need to do. Below are ten ways you can keep your friendly pooch fit and smiling.
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. Why no one says "You're welcome" anymore via Huffington Post.

2. The best and worst foods to eat before bedtime via Sleepy Bliss.

3. Netflix tricks you need to start using via Mental Floss.
0

How to Deal With the Death of a Family Pet

photo via
When a family pet dies, it impacts everyone in the family, and it can impact everyone in different ways. It’s up to you to make sure that you’re there to support your children because they’ll find it particularly difficult. It’s important to be sensitive to their needs and handle the situation with care. Six years ago, we had our first experience with a pet death when our beloved cat passed away after 19 years. 
0

Weekend Dispatch


As I sit here trying to thaw out (why is winter still hanging around, anyway?), I thought I'd plan my weekend. I have big plans to start a massive clean out of our attic. I figure if I start now, I should be finished by June. Baby steps. There is so much junk up there that's leftover from the days the girls were little and would part with nothing. Now that they've outgrown that, it's time to purge. In addition to taking the first step in "Operation Attic", here's what else I'll be up to this weekend.

0

What We're Reading


A few weeks ago, I finally subscribed to the Sunday New York Times. It is definitely a commitment to read the entire paper, but I spread it out over the week with the goal of finishing it before the next paper arrives. One of my favorite sections is the Book Review. I read it from cover to cover, and often more than once. I have a running list of book recs from the review, but here are the three books we are currently reading:
0

Trendspotting: Lavender


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

If purple is your color, you'll be thrilled to know that Pantone's Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. If you need a modern update to your spring wardrobe, the first thing to do is to add pretty shades of purple to it. Take a look at a few of my favorite lavender pieces this spring.
0

Best Online Reads

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

1. Should you exercise when you are sick via Time.

2. The surprising benefits of waking up early via Balance Me Beautiful.

3. How a McDonald's in Lynwood, CA is celebrating International Women's Day via Redbook.
0

5 DIY Tips To Upgrade Your Bedroom

photo via
We don't always have the budget to renovate a room to its fullest, but money isn't all you need to upgrade a room and give it new life. These 5 DIY tips are sure to turn your bedroom around and give it a brand new look.
0

Easy At-Home Coffee Dates With Friends



Life is busy. Between jobs and families, there is often little time for anything else. But I've learned over the years that if you want something to happen, you need to make it happen. One of the areas in my life that always seems to fall to the wayside is spending time with friends. To have unstructured time with friends, you need to make a concerted effort to make it happen.

One of my favorite ways to connect with friends is a coffee date. While I love meeting up in a café and lingering over coffee and pastries,  I find that hosting a friend in my home for coffee is a much more personal and thoughtful gesture. When you share your home with someone, you share a piece of yourself. It's an experience that you don't get when you meet up in a coffee shop.


A few weeks ago I ran into a friend who was having drinks with a girlfriend while I was having dinner with my husband. We chatted for a bit since we hadn't seen each other in a while, and she told me that she had recently left her job to start her own business. She was working from home and struggling to find her place in her new environment. She asked for advice, and we promised to get together soon. A few days later I called her to come over for coffee. She gladly accepted.

One of my golden rules of entertaining is to serve a signature drink. In this case, it was the coffee, obviously. In preparation I asked her what her favorite brand and favorite roast is. In addition to serving her absolute favorite, I also offered Nestlé® Coffee-mate® The Cheesecake Factory At Home creamers as a tasty addition to our coffee.



To add a delicious blend of flavoring to our coffee, I purchase both varieties of Nestlé® Coffee-mate® The Cheesecake Factory At Home creamers: Strawberry Cheesecake and Dulce de Leche Caramel Cheesecake. The Strawberry Cheesecake flavor is the perfect blend of sweet strawberry goodness and tangy cheesecake,  just what you'd expect from the popular restaurant's cheesecake.

The Dulce de Leche Caramel Cheesecake flavor is a flavorful blend of Dulce de Leche deliciousness and tangy cheesecake. Whether you are just kicking off your day or you need an afternoon pick-me-up, Nestlé® Coffee-mate® The Cheesecake Factory At Home creamers are the perfect complement to your favorite cup of coffee.


You can find Nestlé® Coffee-mate® The Cheesecake Factory At Home creamers at your local Walmart. Learn more about Coffee-mate® creamers and find your nearest Walmart HERE.


I thoroughly enjoyed both flavors. They aren't overly sweet and add a nice, genuine flavoring to my morning coffee. I'll definitely be keeping these stocked in the fridge for coffee dates and my morning cup of java.


Now that spring is almost here, I'm planning to schedule more coffee dates like this one. Hopefully, we'll be able to enjoy our coffee and chats outside on the deck when the weather cooperates. Both my girlfriend and I agreed that every coffee date deserves Nestlé® Coffee-mate® The Cheesecake Factory At Home creamers. They add a sweetness to the occasion that other coffee add-ins seem to lack.


Celebrate spring by hosting a coffee date for you and a few friends. Head to Walmart to grab a few bottles of Nestlé® Coffee-mate® The Cheesecake Factory At Home creamers to add a sweet touch to your coffee. After all, don't your friends deserve a special treat every once in a while?
0

6 Easy Ways To De-Stress Your Family

photo via
We all have stressors in our lives. It's always beneficial to evaluate what's causing you stress and to do a little de-stressing from time to time. If you find that you’re always running around at 100 miles per hour, and your family is always ‘busy’, it could be time to take the steps to eradicate stress from your lives. Depending on how stressed you are, take a few steps to ensure  you’re not heading towards burn out is essential for your mental well-being.
0

Weekend Dispatch



This weekend turned out to be a little less productive and a lot more relaxing than I intended. I woke up late Sunday morning after being awake for a few hours during the middle of the night, and then finally fell asleep at about 5 am. I finally woke at 9 am and reached for my iPad rather than getting out of bed. I got sucked into a movie on Amazon Prime Video and didn't get out of bed until 10:41. Yikes! Luckily, my family indulged me and no one clamored for breakfast or needed to be chaperoned anywhere. Anyway, it's good to take some time for yourself to recharge. Here's what I'll be up to this coming weekend.
0

How I Am Getting A Better Night's Sleep


I've never been a good sleeper. Sleep has always been one of those things that has fallen low on my priority list. It's not that I don't think sleep is important or beneficial. It's just that there are so many other things you can be doing in the time that you are sleeping.

It's only been within the past few months that I have realized and harnessed the power of a good night's sleep. I wear a Fitbit and am able to see my sleep patterns each night. Those patterns were not impressive by any measure. I was lucky if I were getting 5 hours of sleep most nights. It wasn't until I actually experienced a good night's sleep (about 8 hours with zero wake ups and little restlessness) that I became determined to make that happen most nights of the week.

Here are the steps I've taken to get a better night's sleep:
0

Happy March ~ Letter From The Editor


Who's ready for a new month? I certainly am. A new month is a fresh start. We could all use one of those, amirite? March is a good time to reassess the New Year's resolutions you made and determine how you'll move forward. Having two months of the year behind us, we can use March is a chance to set some reasonable and actionable goals for the rest of the year without being too hard on ourselves for not accomplishing everything we set forth to do at the beginning of the year.

Plus, it's time to start thinking about beefing up your spring wardrobe. It's always good to add a few pieces while tweaking a few old ones as well. And then there's spring cleaning...a dreaded task for sure. I don't really do a large scale spring cleaning. I try to keep my house "drop-in guest-ready" at all times, and I'll share a few of the ways I accomplish that. The spring and summer travel seasons are approaching, and I'll be chatting about packing hacks that I swear by, and some of my travel favorites from outfits to carry-on bags to on board entertainment.
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. How to defeat procrastination and get things done via The New York Times.

2. The 17 happiest cities in New Jersey via In Your State.

3. Why you should be using your gym's sauna via Time.
0

Weekend Dispatch


After a crazy busy (with impromptu plans) weekend last weekend, I'm looking forward to something a little more relaxing this weekend. After hitting the gym together on Saturday morning, The Hubs and I drove an hour each way to the closest IKEA to pick up a dresser for Harper. While that was as uneventful as it possibly could have been (the staff at IKEA's customer pickup were very efficient and quick), I still had the long road of assembling the dresser ahead of me. Assembling anything is not my husband's cup of tea, so I put most of it together with a little help from Harper. Let's just say that I'm going to do everything in my power to avoid putting together anything this weekend. But here's what I do plan to do:
0

Tips For Living Comfortably On One Income

Sometimes making the decision to be a one-income family is yours, and other times it's made for you. When you make the decision for yourself, it can be a long and hard one as to what works for you and your family. When Emma was born, we knew I would stay home with her. I was a software consultant who traveled 2-3 weeks out of the month, and that kind of travel schedule wasn't conducive to having a newborn at home. It was always my intention to pursue my career at some point after starting a family. But once we did the math, we determined that in the short term, it was a better option to have one income after having children.

But living off one income doesn’t have to mean that you can’t enjoy things in life. It just means making certain changes and sacrifices and cutting some unnecessary costs. Start by recording all your expenses. Evaluate those that are the highest and determine ways you can save on those expenses. Here are some additional tips and tricks to help:
0

Best Online Reads


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

1. Should you shower in the morning or at night via The New York Times.

2. The most stressful jobs via Real Simple.

3. A look inside Olympic village via Cosmopolitan.
0

Weekend Dispatch


We've been spoiled with spring-like weather the past two days, and I never want it to end. It's been glorious to have this short-lived taste of spring, and it's making me crave outdoor activities. Unfortunately, by the time the weekend arrives, we'll be back in the throes of winter weather, albeit mild, but still. We'll have to endure several more weeks of chilly temps and indoor activities, and here are few suggestions for the weekend to kick off the countdown to spring.
0

Playing Favorites

Playing Favorites is a monthly series where I share my latest obsessions, favorite finds, and any kind of entertainment (books, movies, TV, podcasts, and magazines) that I am loving. Here's what I am loving this month.

1. Word Connect - It's not often that I download game apps on my phone, but Word Connect is challenging because my mind doesn't work the way the game is designed. But the more I play the game, the better my mind becomes at unscrambling letters to create words. I don't play it everyday, but I like it as a distraction when necessary.
0

Best Online Reads

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

1. The dessert Ina Garten made her husband for Valentine's Day via kitchn.

2. How restaurants actually feel about Instagram via Refinery29.

3. Another reason to travel to Scandinavia this summer via Condé Nast Traveler.
0

Weekend Dispatch


It's been a busy week between work obligations, preparing for and celebrating Harper's birthday, and gearing up for the long President's Day weekend, which has been cut slightly short due to a snow makeup day. :-(  There's still plenty of time to squeeze in all the things we want to do. Here's a rundown on how I'll be spending my time this weekend.
0

How You and The Litter For Good Program Can Help Save Shelter Cats



Everyone knows I love cats. From spoiling my own two cats to feeding neighborhood strays to donating to local shelters, I'm all about helping cats in need. Five years ago, we adopted our two cats, Sam and Jade, from a local no-kill shelter, and I couldn't imagine our lives without our precious little bundles of fur.


https://ooh.li/36a6211

Operating a cat shelter is no small feat. From the thoughtfulness of the volunteers to the generosity of donors, it takes a village. Together, we can all make a difference.


But in our busy lives, we may not have the time to donate our help to a shelter and we may not have the financial resources to give a large donation. That's where the Litter For Good™program comes to the rescue (no pun intended!). Every time you buy a green jug of Cat's Pride® Fresh & Light® litter, Cat’s Pride will donate a pound of litter to an animal welfare organization across the United States. It's as easy as that! No need to visit your local shelter to help out.



It's as simple as picking up a green jug of Cat's Pride® Fresh & Light® litter on your next grocery store run. There's no need to adopt another kitten or cat (in case you're like I am and already have three!!).



I remember the first time we visited our local shelter to choose a cat. It didn't take long. There was a little black one who kept sticking her arm out and reaching for the girls. They asked if they could hold her. They loved the black kitten, and she loved them. They didn't want to hold any other cats. She was the one for them. I completed an application and learned a few days later that we had been approved.


By 2020, Cat’s Pride hopes to donate 20 million pounds of litter to shelters across America. You can help Cat's Pride reach its goal by purchasing Cat's Pride® Fresh & Light® littereach time you re-stock your cat's litter.


Click here to learn more about the Litter For Good™ program and to find a store near you. You can also visit catspride.com/litterforgood and sign up for the free Cat’s Pride® Club to nominate a shelter to receive litter donation.
0