1.31.2014

Five on Friday: Super Bowl Edition

You know the deal...

Don't worry this doesn't actually have anything to do with football because I don't really watch it. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy the commercials and delicious food! 

1. Budweiser Puppy Love Commercial - anything with a puppy kills me.  I'm also obsessed with the song Let Her Go



2.   Anna Kendrick's Faux Super Bowl New Castle Commercial- I freaking love her and think she's hystercial.



3. Football Shaped Brownies-  A few years ago I made football shaped rice krispy treats dipped in chocolate for super bowl.  They were amazing and a lot of work.  This year I've decided to make brownies in the shape of footballs since they require a little less work and who doesn't love a brownie.  



4. Buffalo Chicken Dip- I love this bad for you dip and I love to break it out for special occasions like Super Bowl.  I don't like the low fat version I like the full fat delicious version.   Oh and for the record I'm pretty sure I post about this dip every year on this blog. 

Here is the recipe I follow:
Ingredients: 
4 or 5  boneless skinless chicken breats (I know some poeple use canned chicken but I refuse to and always use fresh chicken breast)
1 (12 ounce) jar of hot red pepper sauce (I usually use Frank's Red hot buffalo)
16 ounce cream cheese, softened 
1 bottle (12 ounces) ranch or blue cheese dressing (I usually do ranch)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded 
Boil the chicken in water to cover in a large saucepan for 20-30 minutes or until fully cooked.  Shred the chicken with a fork into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl.   
Pour the hot sauce over the chicken to marinate and let sit for 8-10 hours (There is no need to do it this long at all, I would say 2-3 max is all you really need.  If you have time then do it over night if not don't worry about it ) 
In a 9x13 baking dish layer the cream cheese, undrained marinated chicken, salad dressing and top with mozzarella. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  I always serve mine with Fritos scoops but any type of tortilla chip will work.


5. Champagne-  I've been thinking about what I'm going to drink for Super Bowl for at least a week now and I've decided I will be breaking out some champagne to enjoy.   I LOVE champagne and before I had Miller it was honestly my weekday drink of choice.  Now that I can't quite drink it fast enough to enjoy it before it goes flat I save it for special occasions. Super Bowl falls into the category of special occasion so I plan to enjoy.    My champagne of choice is Korbel. 

What are your super bowl plans? 

1.27.2014

Monday Chit Chat

 Did you all hear about the mall shooting this weekend?   Yeah that happend about 30 minutes from my house, at a mall I used to frequent at least weekly when I worked in that town.  So so so sad and so absolutely terrifying.   Do you know how often I go to the mall? (not that one another one closer to me)  It's been one of my favorite activities with Miller this winter and now I'm totally freaked out.   Ugh.  Is anywhere safe anymore? 


Did you watch the Grammys or Sean & Catherine's Wedding?  I'm pretty much over all things Bachelor related so opted for the Grammys.

Things I was not prepared for: 
-Beyonce's sex song
-Taylor's piano hair flip
-Metallica in general
-Lorde beating out all the HUGE name stars multiple times 
-Kacey Musgraves beating Taylor Swift in the country category- anyone watch Nashville?  Made me think of the Juliette Barnes and Layla Grant rivalry. (I don't know anything about her but I've decided she's the new Layla Grant of country music) 
-Ummm the Weddings during Macklemore and Ryan Lewis...


Some links I stumbled upon this weekend that I had to share: 

This is a good read for anyone who is married and especially those with kids.

For my fellow wine lovers- 25 Signs You Drink too Much Wine
Let's see #3, #4, #9, #11, #13, #14, #16 especially

Did you see this baby carrier ad about motherhood?  Yeah it totally had me crying by the end. 

Love this mom's approach to dealing with her teenagers and social media. 

These brothers. They kill me. The sibling bond is just so special.

 Oh and some how this nugget is 7 months old today and has been trying so hard to crawl!!  Seriously where is the time going!

 

Sorry for the horrible picture quality it's the only ones I took this weekend!



Hope you all have a great Monday!

1.24.2014

Five on Friday: Fashion Edition

TGIF!  You know the drill...

 Linking up with Darci, April, Natasha, and Christina


1. J.Crew Factory New Arrivals
Since it's about 7 degrees here and we still have 6 inches of snow on the ground these are killing me but I am SO READY for summer!

Once my January shopping ban is up I'm adding each of these to my closet:













2. Gap Kids Paddington Bear Line
Thanks to quite a few people pointing this adorable collection out to me I have decided that Miller needs each of the following:






 I mean could it get any cuter?!?

3.  Help me Pick a New Bag! 
So my birthday is in 2 weeks and I really want to treat myself to a new bag.  I haven't quite let my husband in on this yet but I have some gift cards from Xmas and I'm hoping to use that and my birthday money to give myself a little treat :)  
Here is where I need your help! My mind is all a over the place about what I want and I can't really decide at all so I'm hoping you all can give me some insight- all opinions welcome!

Here are my choices:

 This is the mini bag and I would get my initials on the front 


I'm going for the smaller versions of both of these because I normally lug around a huge diaper bag so I'm looking for a small bag I can take out when I'm not using my diaper bag.  

Also if you have another tote that you love let me know about it- in case I'm missing something! 

I picked up my first pair of Miller sands last summer and now I'm obsessed.  I'm hoping to add this gold pair to my collection this summer.  


http://popsu.gr/pynC


5.  Skinny Jeans Help!-   Here is where I need your help again!  I am on the search for a new pair of skinny jeans.   I own a few pairs but I need something new so I'm asking what is your favorite pair/brand.   I'm looking for something that has a mid-rise/high rise waist to help suck in some of that left over baby tummy and I need them to be tight all the way down to the ankle because my ankles are really skinny.  

Here are two I'm considering: 





Hope you all have a great weekend!!  


1.21.2014

Baby Product Favorites: 5 and 6 months

The past two months have brought so much change to Miller and his personality that so many products we used at 4 months have already been packed away, like the swing, bouncer, and bumbo seat.  Cue the tears, my baby is growing too fast :( 

All this change has been exciting and has brought about a love for so many new products which I'm sharing with you today.   I used to love these when I was pregnant so I always try to share what's working for us. 


Baby Product Favorites: 5 & 6 Months


1. Aden and Anais Sleep Sack-  LOVE these!  First of all they are so, so soft which I love.  Secondly they are a great size so Miller has plenty of room to grow in the medium size. He's a tall boy at 28.5 inches (95% for height) so he's already grown out of a few other brands.   They also give him plenty of space to be able to scoot and roll around the crib at night. 

2. Dr Brown's Bottles-  We are still loving these bottles!  I've tried to introduce other bottle brands  with less pieces to clean but Miller was just not having it so with Dr Browns we stick!  Even though they have a lot of pieces I really do think they help a lot with gas and spit up. 

3. VTech Learn and Discover Driver-  Miller absolutely loves this toy! Now that he can sit up it is so much fun to watch him turn the steering wheel and press all the buttons.  I've been finding that VTech toys have more items on one toy that can keep Miller entertained longer than some other brands of toys we have.   

4. Fisher Price Jumperoo- This is a toy Miller has at my parents house and he is obsessed. We have an exersaucer and I just don't think he likes it as much.  We have moved him up to the second level already and it's so fun to watch him turn the book pages, put the fruit and in and out of their holders, and spin around to play with the other side all while jumping up and down the whole time.  This toy also buys me 20 minutes in the morning to make my coffee and eat a little breakfast.

5. Huggies Overnight Diapers- Miller is a major sleep pee-er.   Doesn't matter if it's overnight or just a nap this kid can fill up a diaper.  He woke up too many times recently soaking wet so I finally bought some Huggies Overnights and our problem is solved.  He still wakes up at least once in the middle of the night and sometimes I will change him but he's a very easily woken baby so many times I don't even dare, so these diapers have been a lifesaver. 

6. Trumpette Socks- Best Baby socks EVER.  Hands down.  Don't even bother buying any other brand. They are a bit more pricey but totally worth it.  These stay on Miller's feet through all the scooting, sitting, jumping and I rarely have to pull them back in place.  Miller can pull them off but they are much harder than other brands so he has to be working hard to get them off.   They also come in so many cute styles for boys and girls. We have the striped, argyle, basketball shoe sock, and the Christmas set. 

7. Fisher Price Space Save High Chair- Again this is at my parents but we are getting one as soon as we move back into our house after the renovation.  Our current high chair takes up so much space and this type of chair just makes so much more sense since it can be used from 3 months through toddler.  Even now when we're eating dinner we take the tray off and just pull Miller up to the table so he can join us, which he absolutely loves. 

8. Munchkin Bowls and Spoons- Miller started eating Rice and Oatmeal cereal when he was around 5 months old and we have loved these bowls and spoons ever since.   The can easily be hand cleaned or thrown in the dishwasher.  Plus they come in such fun colors.   

9. Pampers Swaddlers-  We have a diaper blow out problem around these parts and so far Pampers Swaddlers are the only diapers that can contain them.  Miller is tall and these come up really high in the back which is why I think they work for us.   Trust me I have tried Honest, Luvs, Pampers Baby Dry, and Huggies Snug & Dry.  I would say the Huggies Snug & Dry are a close second but the Swaddlers are my first love.  

10. Munchkin Inflatable Safety Tub- I was given this tub as a gift and I love it. We broke it out a few weeks ago after Miller was sitting up well on his own.  He is really active and loves to move around, splash and play so this tub helps ease my worries about him slipping and hitting his head.  I never thought to register for one but I'm going to suggest it to all my girlfriends now. 

11. Jelly Cat Pet Tails Book- My sister in law gave Miller this book for Christmas and I'm going to add this it to the list of gifts I give new mommies.  Miller loves this book!  He's at the age where he loves touching and exploring different textures and colors and this soft book is perfect. All the animals have long tails made of different rope/fabric that he loves to touch and put in his mouth :).   I keep it in my diaper bag to pull out when we are running errands or out to lunch/dinner and this book can keep him distracted for awhile. 

12. First Years Sounds for Silence Premium Sound Machine- Another lifesaver around here! Miller HATED noise machines when he was a newborn and they would actually keep him up instead of lulling him to sleep.  Right around 5 months when he started to roll around and play in his crib I realized that small noises that didn't bother him as a newborn (like the dog barking) kept him awake as a 5 month old.  Enter this sound machine I found on sale at Babies R Us.  It has made such a difference in his sleep.  I'm not sure which setting I use but I just hit the noise button 6 times until the white noise/rain type sound comes up and we use that one.  I also keep it on a really loud volume to drown out all the other noise in our house.  This took his naps from 1 hour to 2-3 hour naps- which is a win in my book!

13. Munchkin Formula Dispenser-  Since we are now doing formula for all our day time feedings these Munchkin dispensers have been so handy.  I usually just fill his bottle up with water before we leave the house and then keep the powdered formula in the dispenser as needed.  It's great to have on the go so I'm not stranded without a bottle. 

Do you have any favorite baby products for around this age?  We love hearing about new toys and gadgets all the time! 



1.20.2014

Thank You and some Monday Inspiration

First off I have to say THANK YOU for all of your sweet comments on my post on Friday! It seems that many of you other moms and women can relate to how hard it is to find balance in your lives.   i still owe a bunch of you emails and I promise I will get to them soon, hopefully!  You all made me feel so much better.  I can't thank you enough and you gave me some great ideas on how to manage my time and to chill out a bit about the small stuff. 

So I had some free time over the weekend to spend on Pinterest and I just had to share some of it with you today...




via 



Can you tell I'm ready to shop again and for some warmer weather?!   Just in time for us to get a snow storm too!!   Ugh why is winter so long and why don't I love is SoCal?!

1.17.2014

Five on Friday: Keeping it Real

I almost didn't want to do this post after reading about Super Teddy over on Natasha's blog because that really put my small problems into perspective but in an effort to keep things more real around here I decided to post anyway.   If you get a chance and have a box of tissues handy go check out Super Teddy's story.  We need to help bring more awareness to his disease so that other babies may have a chance!




1.Finding Balance- I'm having the hardest time right now trying to juggle my roles as wife, mom, friend, sister, daughter, cook, dog mom, blogger,  house cleaner, errand runner, bill payer, etc. I feel like I'm constantly dropping the ball on a few of these things and I'm not really sure how to make it all work.  I have emails or texts from friends that go unanswered and are completely forgotten about until I'm feeding Miller at 2am and suddenly remember I was supposed to write someone back.  I have at least 10 blog posts in my drafts that I just can't get around to finishing.   I have 5 half read books on my Kindle.  I've forgotten to pay our electric bill TWICE since Miller was born.   I cannot remember to do anything, ever.  If you want me to do something you have to write in about 5 places and set at least 5 reminders for me and then maybe I'll remember but I probably won't.   
I hate feeling like this. It sucks.   How on earth do these people with multiple kids find time to look cute, go to work all day, write a daily blog post, DIY a piece of furniture,  cook dinner, wear a size 0, and have a smile on their faces?!  


2. Miller Sleeps on his Stomach- with a blanket or lovie in a crib with bumpers.  I'm pretty sure someone from the AAP just had a heart attack reading that sentence.  Right after he turned 5 months old and could roll back and forth he immediately rolled right onto his tummy to sleep.  At first, like all good first time parents, we rolled him back to his back.  Then about 5 minutes later he would roll himself over.  After playing this game for a few nights we just let it go.  He then started sticking every limb out of the crib and getting it stuck.  This turned into another get up and move him every 5 minutes and neither one of us was loving it,  I bought a mesh bumper  and I swear that first night we  all had the best sleep ever.  We are currently staying at my parents house and their crib has a regular bumper in it. At first I was going to take it out but I didn't and so far Miller has enjoyed snuggling his head up against it when  he sleeps on this side.  We let him have a lovie and blanket at naptimes when he was about 3 months and just over the past few weeks have we been letting him have them for bedtime too.  I find he sleeps so much better when has a little security item with him to hold on to. 

3. Speaking of Sleep... -What? Sleep?  I'm not sure I remember what that is.  Miller has never once slept through the night.  Yes I've been lucky with a few 7pm-5am nights but those are few and far between and in general he's up at least once a night sometimes two usually around 1am and 3 or 4am.  I've been working really hard on trying to let him cry/fuss as long as I can but most nights I end up losing and he ends up winning.   It also doesn't help that I don't go to bed until at least 11pm so I need to work on that too.  I guess I could get more sleep if I went to bed when he did at 7pm.

4. Postpartum Body- Even though I've read this article here that Katie shared on her blog it's still hard not to feel insecure even though my body did an amazing thing.  At this point I've lost all my baby weight plus 8lbs.  So yes I'm technically skinner than I was pre-pregnancy but it still doesn't feel like my body and nothing seems to be quite where it used to be.   The holidays completely derailed my exercising and eating healthy plan so I'm trying hard to get back on that because I know that will make me feel better but it's still hard.  Even when people say I look good or don't even look like I had a baby I still don't feel as confident as I used to.  I don't know if this is just something I have to learn to accept or if I will start to gradually accept the changes to my body as time goes on.  I know one day I probably won't care as much but as I struggle to find a balance in my new role as mom it's difficult not to be hard on myself. 

5. The Love and the Worry-  The love I have for Miller is so incredibly overwhelming sometimes it just makes me want to cry.  I truly never knew that I could love something or someone as much as I love him.  With this great motherly love also comes an intense need to want to protect my baby from everything and keeps me up at night worrying about things that aren't even relevant right now.  After the watching the news and seeing all the horrible things out there I can't even imagine sending him to school or to the movies or to a friend's house to play alone when he's older or to college or pretty much anywhere without me.   My mom says I will learn to accept these things and won't worry like this but that it's a gradual process that I will work on day by day and year by year.  She said it's natural to want to protect your baby but that they too will grow up and you will get through it just like every other parent does.  

Hope this wasn't too heavy for a Friday!  Have a great weekend!

1.09.2014

Kitchen Update: Totally Gutted

You all have no idea how excited and nervous I am at the same time.  Our kitchen renovation officially started on Monday January 6th. (Eeekkk!!)  I am seriously still giddy over the fact that we are actually renovating this kitchen. 

Here is the game plan.  


We are ripping out all the old bulkheads, knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room and then expanding into there.  






(try to ignore my awful carpets- the dog has ruined them and they're being torn up)

They started the work Monday morning around 10am and by 7:30pm it looked like this.

 (that's Danny one of the contractors who got caught in my pic)


 According to the project manager our dry wall should be back up by Friday of this week and my cabinets will be in late next week.

I know the kitchen doesn't look too awful in the photos above but the sellers did a "quick fix" with cheap granite and poor quality stainless appliances to get it rented a few years ago.  The cabinets are the originals from 1986 and have years of wear and tear on them so it was time for them to go.  Since our house isn't very big and it's choppy when we decided to renovate we decided to tear down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room to really open things up and make the house feel bigger.  

We bought our house knowing we would have to renovate but were lucky enough to get a great price on it for the neighborhood and school district we're in. 

In addition to the kitchen we are also renovating the powder room and putting in new hardwood floors and baseboards throughout the whole first floor.   I will be back with more details about both of those and more kitchen updates for you early next week, including granite, backsplash, hardwood, and bath options.  



1.07.2014

Checking in

How is it January 7th already?  Wasn't it just Christmas?!

January has totally gotten away from me already.  If you follow me on instagram (@eastcoastnat) you know we are in the beginning stages of a full kitchen, powder room, and flooring renovation which is exciting and completely stressful at the same time! 
We had planned on staying in our house as long as possible but when I showed up last night to check the progess there were nails and staples all over the floors and tons of hanging electrical wires.  I made the call at 7:30pm that I couldn't bring a dog and baby back in there so I frantically packed up what I could and went to my parents. 

So for the next 4-6 weeks there will be 4 adults, 1 baby, and 3 dogs living under one roof.  Wish us luck.  I'm pretty sure a lot of wine is going to be consumed over the next month. 

I will be back tomorrow with more details on our kitchen renovation which I'm so excited to share!  I also need to get caught up on everyone's blogs since I feel like I have about 1000 that I need to read in Bloglovin. 

Also I'm on the search for the perfect blue gray, nantucket feeling paint sooooo if anyone has an suggestions I would love to hear them!


1.03.2014

Five on Friday: Best Moments of 2013

Welcome to 2014!!    Can you believe the new year is here?  


I decided to share 5 of our best moments from 2013 as a little reminder and recap for myself.   I'm just going in order of how they happened through the year. 

Linking up with Darci, Natasha, April, and Christina as usual!


1. January 25, 2013- It's a BOY!!




2. February 8, 2013- Bought a New House






3. May 17, 2013- Kyle graduates from MBA school 




4. June 27, 2013- Miller's Birthday! Best day of my life! 




5. December 2013- Miller's First Christmas

Round 1 in Maryland






Round 2 in PA




As I said at least a dozen times 2013 was such an amazing year for us that I'm sad to see it go but I'm excited to see what 2014 has in store!

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