An Unexpected Day at Citi Field to See the New York Mets

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
I'm not one for spontaneity. I like my plans and my structure, and any sort of deviation from them can set me into a slight panic. So, on Saturday evening at 8:45 pm just as I was finishing up Sunday's to-do list, the Hubs informs us that we are going to Citi Field for a Mets game the following day.

Ok, Ok, don't panic, I told myself.

Despite the last minute notice, I was actually excited. We had never been to Citi Field as a family. It's been one of those things that always makes it to our summer bucket list, but always gets pushed to the bottom of the list in favor of some other activity or event.

On Sunday morning we boarded a train to Manhattan and we were on our way.

Having a little fun while passing the time on the train.

Once we got to Penn Station, a Starbucks stop was in order!

Next stop: Citi Field!

{Blue skies and baseball}

{Not sure if she was happier about Shake Shack or the actual baseball game}

At the end of the day, I was glad that I pushed my Sunday to-do list to the side and focused on a fun day with the family. And...the Mets won! It was a winning day all around.

Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches {Giveaway} - CLOSED

When yogurt pouches first hit the market, I wasn't sure my daughters would have any interest in them. Yogurt pouches seemed better suited for the little hands and little mouths of babies and toddlers. They are a fun way to get kids to eat their calcium, but would my girls go for it?

When Stonyfield offered to send me coupons to try their new yogurt pouches, I was skeptical. I wasn't convinced that my girls would love these more than the yogurt cups. Since I love the Stonyfield brand and mission, I was certainly willing to give them a try.

Stonyfield Pouches are certified USDA Organic. That means that there are no GMOs (genetically modified organisms), no toxic pesticides, no artificial hormones, and no antibiotics in Stonyfield Pouches. You can feel good about the food you are feeding your children.

But did my daughters, who are 8 and 11, like them. Yes! They loved them. They were easy (and fun) to eat. There was no mess, and they loved taking them on the road with them. Whether it was in the car for a quick trip to the gymnastics facility or it was a 2 hour road trip, Stonyfield Pouches are the perfect grab-and-go snack.

If your children would prefer a different type of snack, try adding a Stonyfield Pouch to a smoothie. We love smoothies and the addition of yogurt gives your smoothie a silkier and smoother texture.

Layer yogurt with fresh berries and granola for a parfait that's as pretty as it is delicious.

Add it to school lunches for a mid-day calcium kick.

Are you ready to try Stonyfield yogurt pouches for yourself? They are available in grocery stores nationwide. Or enter to win for your chance to receive ten (10) FREE coupons for Stonyfield single-serving yogurt pouches. One winner will be selected at random. Coupons will be mailed to the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As a Stonyfield Yo-Getter, I received coupons to cover the cost of the yogurt pouches. All opinions are my own.

Menu Plan Monday :: 4.28.2014

Monday, April 28, 2014
I took a break from meal planning last week. The Hubs was traveling a few days, and I have found that I'm never good at sticking to the plan when he's not around. So, I gave myself a week off.

But now it's time to dive back into it.

MONDAY - Black beans and rice

TUESDAY - Ravioli with brown butter and sage sauce.

WEDNESDAY - Stuffed peppers

THURSDAY - Slow-cooker skinny chicken enchiladas

FRIDAY - Take out. I'll be busy preparing for a luncheon we are hosting the following day, so take out it is!

SATURDAY - Harper's Communion day.

SUNDAY - The Hubs is on dinner duty. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate so that we can make something on the grill.

Meal planning doesn't have to mean pulling your hair outCheck out a variety of meal plans at I'm an Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday. To see all of my meal planning posts, click here.

Objects of My Obsession

Friday, April 25, 2014
It's my favorite time of the week, time to share my favorites! This week included some spring cleaning and organizing (mostly my beauty products). Don't forget to check out my favorite drugstore beauty finds too. Go forth and have a great weekend!

{Nothing cheers me up faster than a new bottle of nail polish in a fun, spring color}

Acrylic organizers are perfect for storing go-to items in the bathroom. Found at Target}

{Speaking of cosmetics..this Vera Bradley cosmetic bag is a must-have for transporting beauty products}

{This picture captures the essence of spring here in the northeast}

{Colorful trays that are perfect for summer entertaining}


The Best Drugstore Beauty Finds

Thursday, April 24, 2014
I could spend hours perusing the beauty aisles of any drugstore. When I buy makeup and beauty products, I like to combine drugstore brands with some higher end department store brands. Plus, when you purchase drugstore brands, you are able to try a variety of products and colors since they are reasonably priced.

I'm sharing a few of my favorite drug store basics that are part of my everyday beauty routine.

1. Once in a while I'll add an expensive cleanser to the rotation, but generally, this cleanser does the trick just fine.

2. For soft, silky skin this baby oil gel is applied on wet skin and lightly dabbed with a towel.

3. Hands down, this is my favorite nail polish. It lasts...and lasts.

4. I love this mini eye shadow. I like experimenting with different shades. The size and cost of these make it easy to stock up in different colors and not feel guilty.

5. I recently discovered this moisturizer, and it has been ideal for my skin since I have rosacea.

6. This light foundation offers ample coverage without feeling cakey and heavy.

7. I've finally found a mascara that lengthens and plumps my lashes.

8. A lip color that offers just the right amount of tint and shine.

9. I'm so bad about getting frequent trims. This conditioner keeps my hair in great shape when I don't have time to make it to the salon.

I'd love to know some of your favorite drugstore beauty finds.

Angel Food Cupcakes

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
When I pinned this recipe a few months ago, it was only because I thought they looked pretty. I wasn't certain that I'd ever make them.

But when Easter rolled around, and I needed a dessert to make for dinner, these angel food cupcakes came to mind first. Due to my time constraints, I swapped out the homemade version for a box mix. The box mix produced delicious, light, and airy cupcakes. I was pleased.

The original recipe can be found here.

Angel Food Cupcakes

1 box angel food cake mix
1-1/4 cups water

For the whipped icing (or you could use prepackaged whipped icing):
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Fresh strawberries, blueberries or raspberries (optional)

1. Prepare the cake according to package directions. Instead of pouring batter in a tube pan, pour into lined or sprayed cupcake tins, filling 2/3 full.

2. Bake according to package directions. Allow to cool completely before applying the icing.

3. Using a knife or a piping bag, apply icing to the cupcakes. I like to use a piping bag for a more elegant look. If you don't have a piping bag, place icing in a quart-size freezer bag, snip off a corner, and squeeze icing out of the bag.

4. Place fresh berries on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Reflections on Spring Break

Monday, April 21, 2014
Last week my daughters were home from school on spring break. Nine blissful, consecutive days without school.

It was utopia.

While I watched Facebook "friends" post a constant barrage of photos of 24/7 activities they were doing with their kids, I sat back and smirked. We had purposefully made no plans. I've been there. I've done that. You can see here, here, here, and here how our spring break was packed to the gills with plans a few years ago.

Sometimes we need to slow down, to take a breather from a life that is already hectic and fast-paced. We live in a world that moves at lightning speed. We are so accustomed to moving with it that we often forget to take a breather.

We spent mornings lounging around in PJs savoring our favorite treats.

We spent sunny afternoons at the park, swinging for hours and climbing the jungle gyms.

We took long walks at a reservoir and at the beach.

We ate frozen yogurt and drank smoothies until we nearly burst.

This relaxing spring break has taught me that a break should be just that, a break. It should be a chance to slow down and take a departure from our otherwise busy lives. No plans, no alarms going off, no reminders popping up on my phone. It felt good to take a break, and it was a reminder that I need to do so more often.

Five Ways To Wear a White Blazer #FashionFriday

Friday, April 18, 2014
Each season, I make a list of a few key fashion items that I want to purchase. At the top of this season's list was a white blazer. Crisp and incredibly versatile, the white blazer can be paired with just about any item in your wardrobe.

Here are 5 ways to style this wardrobe staple.

5 Ways To Wear a White Blazer

1. With Boyfriend Jeans (This happens to be my favorite way to wear a white blazer. I love the clean look).

White Blazer with Boyfriend Jeans

Blazer / Tank / Jeans / Clutch / Shoes

2. With a Flare Skirt

White Blazer with a Flare Skirt

Blazer / Tank / Skirt / Clutch / Shoes / Bracelet

3. With a Peasant Skirt

How To Wear a White Blazer with a Peasant Skirt

Blazer / Tank / Necklaces / Skirt / Bag / Sandals

4. With Trousers
How To Wear a White Blazer with Trousers
Blazer / Top / Tote / Shoes / Trousers / Bracelet

5. With Shorts

How To Wear a White Blazer With Shorts

To see all the latest in fashion trends, check out other Fashion Friday participants including All Things Chic's spotlight on the rose gold jewelry trend.


Objects of My Obsession

Easter weekend is upon us. I am excited to spend some quality time with family. Tomorrow is my great-nephew's first birthday party, and Sunday we will be hosting Easter dinner.

I am looking forward to unplugging for the weekend and totally chilling.

Have a great weekend and enjoy this week's obsessions.

{Loving these anchor sandals for summer}

{I'm saving this pretty wrapping paper for my daughter's upcoming 12th birthday. She'll love it!}

{This adorable sticker greets our guests before we even open the door}

{My latest lunch obsession: warm ravioli salad, iced tea, and a magazine}

{Spring flowers on days when it feels nothing like spring}

Printed Invitations From Simply To Impress

Thursday, April 17, 2014
I have always loved stationary. Invitations, note cards, journals, and notebooks make me happy. Their smell, their texture, and what they represent are just a few of the things I love about them.

But in this technological age, so many people have lost touch with the art of stationary. Most people reserve this art exclusively for holiday cards and wedding invitations. But I love to send a special thank you or an invitation any chance I get.

Our youngest daughter will be celebrating the sacrament of her First Holy Communion in a few weeks, and I thought it would be the perfect occasion to have some invitations printed for the special occasion.

When I bought my MacBook a few months ago, there was a coupon code for Simply To Impress included in the package. It was generous, $25 off any order. I knew we'd be inviting only family, and thus, we'd need only a small number of invitations plus a few to save as keepsakes.

I hopped on to take a look. I was pleasantly surprised. The invitations were beautiful, and there were so many designs to choose from. It didn't take me long to scroll through the designs to find one I loved. 

I placed the order and waited patiently for the invitations to arrive. Simply To Impress generously upgraded my shipping, and I received the package within two days.

I was, no pun intended, simply impressed. The invitations and the customer service exceeded my expectations. Although it's difficult to tell from this picture, the card stock is high quality. It's not flimsy or cheap.

{Some information has been censored}

If you have a need for printed invitations, note cards, or thank you cards, I recommend at least giving Simply To Impress a look.

This is not a sponsored post. I wanted to share the pleasurable experience I had ordering from Simply To Impress with the readers of Pieces of a Mom.

DIY Wine Cork Chalkboard

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I love DIY projects that are relatively easy and don't need a ton of supplies. I don't have the patience required for long, drawn out projects that require several trips to the craft store to stock up on the supplies.

When I came across this DIY wine cork chalkboard, I thought it would be perfect for my short craft attention span.

I've been collecting wine corks for years, mostly for sentimental reasons, but I had a feeling they'd be useful one day.

They certainly came in handy for this project.

Supplies You'll Need:

  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Wine corks (number will vary depending on the size of the chalkboard
  • One chalkboard (any size), preferably one with a wooden frame around the perimeter
  • Large piece of posterboard or newspaper to use as a work surface

1. Start by arranging the corks around the perimeter of the chalkboard. Place the corks in the pattern that you'll want them to appear in the finished product. Slowly slide them off the frame and place them to the side, being careful to keep them in order.

2. Pick a corner and start there. Place a generous amount of glue on a cork and firmly place on the border. Hold in place for a few seconds. Continue gluing the corks around the perimeter of the chalkboard until you have finished.

3. Once all corks are firmly glued in place, allow to dry for one hour. Once the frame is dry, write a fun sentiment on the chalkboard and place it on display.
Click HERE to see more DIY projects that I've tackled.

April 2014 Birchbox Deconstructed

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
One of the things I love about my monthly Birchbox subscription is the element of surprise. Some months I am pleasantly surprised and others are a bit of a let down.

This month was a tough call. I'd have to say I was split down the middle. Loved half of the items and as for the other half, well, let's just say it was "meh".

Here's what was sent to me (in order of what I liked most):

1. BeeKind Body Lotion (Received a sample. Full size, $15)
This lotion which is made with honey and organic chamomile sinks deep into your skin to restore moisture.
My thoughts: Loved the light, earthy scent, and the reasonable price.

2. Sumita Color Intense Eye Pencil (Received a sample. Full size, $11)
A soft wax liner pencil that delivers rich, long lasting color that won't irritate eyes.
My thoughts: I haven't found many eye liners that are irritating, but I did like that this one didn't bleed and make me look like a raccoon halfway through the day.

3. Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine (Received a sample. Full size, $65 - $170)
This versatile, distinctive citrus blend lasts all day...and then some.
My thoughts: I liked the scent and the fact that it didn't wear off after an hour or two. But I can't get past the hefty price tag.

4. KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bar - Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt (Received one. 15-count, $11.88)
A perfect combination of salty and sweet with a whole-grain punch.
My thoughts: Seriously, Birchbox? I can buy this in my grocery store.

5. Color Club Gala's Gems Collection Nail Polish in Gold Struck
This exclusive shimmery shade is available only through Birchbox.
My thoughts: I don't do shimmery nail polish, so this was not for me. I gave it to my 8 year old who loved it.