Five Points To Consider Before Adopting or Purchasing a Pet

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Planning to take the plunge and welcome a new fur baby into the family? Dog, cat, bird or lizard, before you offer them a forever home, make sure to consider all the factors below. We recently added a hamster to our growing brood of fur babies, but before we did, we were sure to do our research and consider what is involved in caring for a new pet.
Cost is the number one thing you need to consider. Can you afford to support a pet? There are weekly food bills. Vet and medication bills. The cost of bedding and toys and the cost of having them looked after when you go away. Make sure you know all the costs involved, both daily and emergency costs.


Tween Style: Rompers

Monday, May 30, 2016
From casual outings to dressy affairs, a romper is a versatile outfit option for girls. Not only are they super comfortable, but they are incredibly cute and available in a ton of colors, styles, prints, and price points. My ten year old daughter Harper is having a moment with rompers lately, and for good reason.

They are perfect for her busy but casual tween lifestyle. And they are a fun alternative to the typical uniform of shorts and a t-shirt.

A must is an easy on/easy off romper. Avoid those with lots of buttons, making trips to the restroom a nightmare.

Shop Harper's look:

Shop more rompers:


Menu Plan Monday :: 5.30.2016

Happy Memorial Day! Summer is unofficially here. We spent the weekend grilling our dinners and eating al fresco, and it was wonderful. The weather was absolutely perfect and was the ideal way to kick off summer.
Caprese chicken
The official countdown to the end of the school year begins this week, and I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to having a break from planning and packing lunches. Until then, it's forward march!

Let's go on with this week's meal plan!

Monday - We'll be attending a barbecue.

Tuesday - Creamy tomato basil pasta with a side salad

Wednesday - Caprese chicken with a side of whole wheat pasta

Thursday - Orange chicken and veggie stir-fry

Friday - Dinner out or take out

Saturday - Cedar plank salmon. I bought some cedar planks, and I've been dying to use them!

Sunday - Grilled Caprese pizza. This recipe was on the menu last week, but we had a change of plans when we headed to the Hubs' cousin's house for dinner instead.

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. Follow my What's For DinnerPasta, and Soups On! Pinterest boards for even more ideas.

Friday Fresh Picks: What's On My Radar

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Hello, Memorial Day weekend! I thought you'd never get here. Thanks for bringing the great weather, too. It's finally feeling like summer around here, and I couldn't be happier. Twice this week I was able to hit the boardwalk at lunch for a nice, long walk. Everyone from residents to merchants is getting ready for the summer season. It's bustling, and although I often despise the crowds, I do love the excitement of these first few days of "summer".

In this week's Friday Fresh Picks, I'm sharing a few of the things on my radar lately.

Not only do I love "Better Place" by Rachel Platten, but believe it or not, the video is better than the song. I love the concept behind the video, and how genuinely joyful Platten is by the reactions.

This cucumber mint lemonade looks so refreshing for the upcoming hot, summer days.

This multi-purpose cleaner from Mrs. Meyer's Green Day Peony scent has become my favorite this spring.

Beach handstands are the best handstands.

A cozy spot in a local donut shop.

Beach prep for the busy summer season.

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.

The Perfect Summer Boho Dress

Thursday, May 26, 2016
A light, simple cotton dress is a must-have for summer. I spotted this one at Old Navy about several weeks back and knew the moment I saw it that I had to have it. I loved the embroidered detail and tassel tie (which looks great both tied or untied).

Dress | Sandals (similar)

The dress is lined so I don't have to feel self-conscious about undergarments showing. I love that it's not overly flowy or boxy. It has the casual boho look and feel, but the structure of a sheath dress.

This dress could easily double as a beach cover up that seamlessly takes you from beach to drinks and dinner with the quick swap of a few accessories.

I'm linking up with Fashion Friday.

Kate Spade Surprise Sale - Save Up To 75%

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
I love a good sale, and Kate Spade definitely has some winners. Right now there's a surprise sale happening, and it's HUGE! It ends tomorrow (May 26) at midnight, so hurry and get in on the action before it's too late. Here are a few of the many, many items I am absolutely adoring from this sale.

This post contains affiliate links.

Sky's The Limit Snack for Kids

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Is your after school snack game a little lackluster these days? The school year is wrapping up and chances are you are out of ideas. Today I'm sharing a super cute kite-themed snack courtesy of FamilyFun magazine.

Sky’s The Limit Snack:
  • Start by cutting a slice of bread into a square, either freehand or using a cookie cutter.
  • Trim a slice of cheese to the same size, and then quarter it diagonally.
  • Place two quarters of cheese on top of the bread, as shown. (You can add a little mayonnaise, if desired.)
  • Use a sharp knife to trim a carrot stick into a thin kite tail.
  • Arrange raspberries along the sides of it.
  • Add popcorn as clouds.
How fun is that? Enjoy!

K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital Superhero Soiree Raises $140K #KHOVSoiree

On April 29th I had the pleasure of attending the annual Superhero Soiree hosted by K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. The event took place at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank, New Jersey and raised funds that will be dedicated to the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital. The goal of the program is to add life to a child's years, not simply years to a child's life.

Citron and Dadzie pictured with John Lloyd, President & CEO, Meridian Health
This year's Superhero Soiree honored two local heroes. The honorees were Kyra Citron, director of the Kid's Corner at the Charles Lafitte Foundation who was awarded the Hometown Hero Award, and Dr. Charles Dadzie, pediatric pulmonologist at and one of the founding fathers of K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital who received the Hometown Physician Award.

This was my first year attending the event, and I couldn't have been more impressed with the level of commitment that so many members of our community have to providing quality and thoughtful care to children. The event raised $140,000 which is earmarked for providing care to children with life-threatening medical conditions and chronic illnesses and their families.

As the parent of a child with a chronic illness, I know how important it is to have a high level of care for these children. Caring for a child with a life-threatening and/or chronic medical condition takes a toll on the entire family and the child. This event raised funds and awareness for providing high-quality care for some of our smallest heroes.

Behind each of these fundraisers are true stories. Children in need of medical care, compassion, and hope. Children who have endured more in their short lives than many of us do in our entire lifetimes. They are brave beyond their years and are an inspiration.

I've spent several nights in K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital. The first time was an overnight stay for my daughter's broken arm. The second stay was longer and more intense. It was when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. To be in a room full of people who are focused on doing good and raising money to make those hospital stays more comfortable for both the patients and the parents brought me to tears.
All photos appear courtesy of Meridian Health.

There are so many caring people in this community, and I was honored to be among many of them for this special event.

Disclosure: Many, many heartfelt thanks to Meridian Health for gifting me a ticket to attend Superhero Soiree.

Menu Plan Monday :: 5.23.2016

Monday, May 23, 2016
I'm hoping this week flies by. I'm excited for the unofficial start of summer and for a long weekend. Maybe...just maybe...the weather will finally cooperate, and we'll be able to enjoy a meal outdoors followed by s'mores!!
Grilled Caprese pizza from Table For Two
Here's what's on the menu this week:

Monday - Skinny enchilada stuffed peppers

Tuesday - Pasta puttanesca with a side salad

Wednesday - Cavatelli with broccoli and a side salad

Thursday - Spicy ground beef tacos

Friday - Take out

Saturday - Grilled Caprese pizza

Sunday - Going to a barbecue. I'll be making this pasta salad and this dessert.

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.

My Favorite Rosé Wines

Friday, May 20, 2016
I started taking rosé wines seriously about two years ago after I bought a bottle of Whispering Angel when I saw it on another blogger's Instagram. She raved about it, so I decided to give it a try. One sip, and I was hooked. I set out to try as many rosé wines as I could. Surprisingly, they were hard to find two years ago. But today, rosés are en vogue and are much more accessible.
Here are 4 of my favorites:

1. Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel $20/bottle
This pink is irresistible. It's not overwhelmingly sweet but has the nicest hints of berries. It's incredibly refreshing and pairs well with anything from seafood to steaks to chips and guacamole.

2. 90+ Cellars $10/bottle
This is another real deal rosé that's not sickeningly sweet. A surprising combination of white pepper, cotton candy, and Provencal herbs make for a delicious wine.

3. Breezette Cotes De Provence $14/bottle
I love that this crisp and simple rosé wine contains rich exotic fruits such as pineapple and red grapefruit and has the slightest splash of sea salt.

4. Lorenza $18/bottle
I love the sleek label on this rosé. But in addition to a cool label, this rosé boasts hints of guava, passionfruit, and tart cherry. It's a must have poolside this summer!

Best Online Reads

Thursday, May 19, 2016

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

1. Ten T.J. Maxx shopping hacks to save you time and money via Redbook.

2. Mistakes you are making when ordering Starbucks via Delish.

3. Parents of successful kids have these 13 things in common via Tech Insider.

4. Eight things ER doctors refuse to have in their homes via Huffington Post.

5. Eleven vacations that will change your life via Coastal Living.

6. Colorful and easy DIY wind chimes for your backyard via Parents.

7. How negative energy affects your life and how to clear it via Beauty Also Healthy.

8. Shocking secrets of flight attendants via Mental Floss.

9. Quiz: Are you a hoarder or just well prepared via Man Repeller.

10. A sleek and simple leather slide shoe for summer via Soludos.

Splurge vs. Save: Tunics

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
If you haven't added a tunic top to your summer fashion must-have list, do it now! They are incredibly versatile and can be worn as a beach cover up, as a dress, or with jeans and leggings, and even with Bermuda shorts. They are available in a wide variety of price points from $300+ to $15, and of course, the quality varies. But no need to break the bank, you can find plenty of high quality tunics that cost less than $75.

In the mood to spend a chunk of your hard earned cash on a tunic? The Madeline Tunic from Tory Burch is a true classic.

Wanna save some of your paycheck for weekend fun? This embroidered tunic from Angie is your ticket.

Shop more tunics:


Menu Plan Monday :: 5.16.2016

Monday, May 16, 2016
The Hubs is traveling two nights this week, so I'll be making meals that the girls request those evenings. Actually, one night we are going to Applebee's for dinner at Harper's request. It's not my favorite, but she's been asking for weeks, and I am running out of reasons to say no. I'm happy to indulge her. All I ever wanted as a child was to go to McDonald's, and I know it wasn't a favorite of my parents. :)
Shrimp scampi from What's Gaby Cooking
Here's what's on the menu this week:

Monday - Baked chicken cutlets, parslied potatoes, green beans.

Tuesday - Dinner out

Wednesday - Shrimp scampi (a new recipe that I am trying from What's Gaby Cooking)

Thursday - Poblano corn quesadillas

Friday - Dinner out to celebrate Emma's birthday. She wasn't feeling last week, so we decided to postpone the celebration.

Saturday - Grilled flank steak in lettuce wraps

Sunday - Crock Pot pulled pork sandwiches and sweet potato fries

This week's fun treat: peanut butter oatmeal cookies

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: This Week's Favorites

Friday, May 13, 2016
Happy Friday!!! The weeks seem to be flying by. Am I right? I can't believe it's almost the middle of May.  Harper came home from school the other day and told me that she has 27 days of school left. I nearly fell over. How did this school year go by so quickly?

I stayed up much later than my normal bedtime last night. I attended the Meridian Health-sponsored Paint The Town Pink girls night out at the Downtown in Red Bank. I've lost track how many times I've attended this event. I look forward to it every year, and it's always a good time. I indulged in some pink sparkling wine and a few pink sweet treats and danced the night away. This morning, I am tired and in desperate need of iced coffee!

In this week's installment of Friday Fresh Picks, I'm sharing a few of my favorites from the past week. Have a great weekend! xx

{My azalea bushes are finally blooming, and they are gorgeous!} 

{Fresh cherries! I pop them in the freezer for an icy cold snack.}

{An absolutely delectable Confetti cupcake compliments of Sugarush served at last night's Paint The Town Pink event.}

{A scene from a mid-week walk on the beach}

{Non-pareil candies that are almost too pretty to eat...almost.}

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

Thursday, May 12, 2016

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

1. The mental trick that will help you achieve your goals via MindBodyGreen.

2. How to ruin your life (without even noticing that you are) via Thought Catalog.

3. Don't feel guilty for being happy via Yoganonymous.

4. What one airline did on Mother's Day each time a baby cried on board via Travel and Leisure.

5. Check out what some employees did when their CEO fell asleep on the job via Bored Panda.

6. How to fall asleep on a plane via Greatist.

7. An etiquette guide to using your phone at the dinner table via Health.

8. Nine things to do to be happy in the next 30 minutes via Real Simple.

9. More than 25 refreshing iced tea recipes to try this summer via A Night Owl.

10. The 5 secrets of people whose homes are always clean via Huffington Post.

My 5 Favorite Beginner Yoga Poses

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ask anyone who practices yoga frequently if they have a favorite pose, and I'll bet they'll be able to name a few. I remember the first yoga class I took where I actually let go and truly practiced yoga. I have to be honest. It took me a few classes to really check my bags at the door. I had difficulty shutting out the outside world and focusing on myself and my mat. But once I did, I fell in love. Hard.

Today I'm sharing my 5 favorite poses and why each one resonates with me.

1. Pigeon Pose
When I first started practicing yoga, pigeon pose was very uncomfortable and awkward. But as I began practicing regularly, this pose quickly became one of my favorites. If you have tight hips, this pose helps to open the hip joint. I love the way this pose fully stretches the lower half of my body from my waist to the tip of my toes.

2. Boat Pose
I've never enjoyed doing sit ups or crunches to strengthen and tone my abdominal muscles, but the boat pose is definitely a stretch I can get behind. In addition to toning and strengthening your abs, boat pose also strengthens your spine and improves balance and digestion. Boat pose is also effective at stimulating your kidneys, intestines, and thyroid and prostate glands. I love it for the balance challenge it provides and it's not as intense as sit ups or crunches, but you get the same results.

3. Seated Spinal Twist
One of the reasons I started practicing yoga was to alleviate some minor back discomfort and pain. This pose stretches the spine and shoulders to offer relief from back and neck pain as well as sciatica. This pose is also beneficial for your overall posture, which is great as we start to age and tend to lean forward.

4. Extended Side Angle Pose
The extended side angle pose gives you a full stretch from your mid-section to the tips of your fingers, including the groin, waist, chest, lungs and shoulders. This pose will also help you perfect your balance and increase your stamina. When I first began doing this pose, I used the wall as support and to help keep me aligned as proper alignment is key to reaping the benefits of any pose in yoga.

5. The Corpse Pose
The corpse pose (or more commonly known by its Sanskrit name "Savasana") is my favorite pose. It is the final sequence of any yoga practice. The goal of savasana is to quiet the physical body and calm the brain. For each 30 minutes of yoga practiced, you should remain in the corpse pose for 5 minutes. For me, savasana is pure bliss. It's one of the only times (other than when I am sleeping), that my physical and mental entities are completely relaxed and at ease. This pose has also been instrumental in lowering my blood pressure.

Honorable Mention: Child's Pose
Child's pose is a true resting pose. Whether it's done in between long standing poses or you choose to take a rest from a pose when you feel the need, this pose is nourishing for your mind and your body. In my opinion, this is one of the most overlooked poses in yoga, primarily because it's a resting pose which is perfored to give you a chance to refresh and regain your momentum. But by itself it calms the mind, elongates the back, opens the hips, and reminds us that resting is a good thing and helps us recharge.

Do you practice yoga? What is your favorite pose?

For more poses, visit POPSUGAR's For Newbies and Veteran Yogis Alike: 50 Essential Yoga Poses

All photos are property of POPSUGAR.