This week has flown by for me, thanks to a last-minute road trip. Perhaps the best part of working for myself this year has been the ability to make plans last minute and have some spontaneous adventures. Sometimes I forget that perk of being my own boss, but this week was a good reminder that a few nights spent working early mornings and late evenings can be so worth it when you balance it with a little bit of mid-week fun. Jane and I packed up our bags and drove down to New York on Monday to surprise my grandmother for her birthday. She was so surprised, it was great to see my family, and I got a little bit of work done while I was down there thanks to my mom helping out with Jane. We got back home just in time for a Valentine’s Day celebration, and now it seems the week is already over! To wrap things up, I have a few fun links to share in this installment of the download: read more

The last time I shared a Jane update was at 6-months, and it’s amazing how much can change in such a short period of time. Jane turned one a little over two weeks ago and it feels like the perfect time to share another big update, mostly because I love having these posts for myself to look back on and see what she was like, and because I always find it so interesting to hear what other kids and moms are going through at different ages. For starters, I can’t believe she’s actually one. This was simultaneously the absolute longest year of my life, and the fastest that time has ever passed; the first year of parenthood is a full-fledged time warp. At Jane’s birthday party a few of my girlfriends gave Mike and I presents (wine) to celebrate surviving the first year. It was the nicest acknowledgement because ohmygod some days it feels like will we actually survive? Now that she’s officially in toddler mode, I feel like we have our footing and are, in fact, surviving. Yet, everyday is a totally new ballgame with her. Infant life was all about nighttime exhaustion, the “will she sleep?” gamble every single evening as the sun sets. Toddler life is much more about daytime exhaustion; constantly running after her and saying on repeat: “Don’t touch that! Don’t put that in your mouth! That’s a no-no!” I joke, but it’s actually so much fun at this age to see her mind moving at lightening speeds as she’s figuring things out. 

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We woke up to a surprise little snowstorm this morning in our neighborhood, which meant all of the day’s plans got thrown up in the air. I didn’t mind it too much though, after having some friends over last night for a little Galentine’s Day craft night, I was onboard for taking it slow and hibernating with Jane today. We read books, played in the snow, and took every.single.toy out in the playroom to tire her out so I could work during her nap time (which seems to be shrinking these days, help!). So before my energetic little snow bunny wakes up, I thought I’d share a few random things going on around here:  read more

When I was still pregnant with Jane, my family was joking around and asking me if I had a theme for her first birthday party yet. Oh, they joked, but I honestly already had been thinking about how fun it would be to get to throw birthday parties for her. Over the last year, I tossed around idea after idea, and finally settled on a theme fit for our sassy, funny, little daughter who loved to say RAWR: dinosaurs. Jane loves books about dinosaurs, the toy dinosaurs at our local library are the first thing she crawls to when we visit, and she believes that all animals, no matter how big or small, say “roar” just like the dinosaurs.  read more

It’s been a month since I shared a download post with you guys. This year, holidays flowed into snow days and then into my birthday, and in a blink of an eye the first month of the year is halfway over. So let’s get right to it, there’s lots that’s been going on, which means there is lots to share!  read more

Thirty-three! Isn’t it funny how when we’re kids and teenagers, our current age seemed so darn old? Thirty-three to 18 year old Kate sounded ancient. And now I’m here. It doesn’t feel so bad. I always think of the wise words of my dark-humored grandmother, who scoffs at people that complain about birthdays and aging. She says: “Isn’t it better than the alternative?” Heck yes it’s better, how lucky we are.  read more

I have not jumped into 2018 with the fervor and energy of years past. Is it the weather perhaps? I’m typing this while huddled underneath a big blanket with a piping hot cup of coffee nearby, and yet it’s still freezing. The first big snowstorm of the season is barreling down, and while I wish I had bounding energy to write down goals and plans for the new year, I kind of just want to snuggle up with a good book instead. Sometimes though, a good book is just the motivation I need to get started. I thought it would be fun to round up a few of my favorite reads over the past few years that have inspired me, helped me make changes and resolutions, and a few that are on my reading list right now to tackle this month! read more

Well, happy, happy new year! I took a little unintentional holiday break from the blog and internet over the past two weeks, and I have to admit to you: it was blissful. The end of the year was madness as I pushed through tons of work deadlines, holiday commitments and errands, and juggled a sick baby who had ear infections, a bad cold, and was cutting her first four teeth — yikes! To say that I needed this holiday break would be the understatement of the year. We traveled to see family and celebrated Jane’s first Christmas, we took on a big house project and painted our living room (which I can’t wait to share!), and we closed out the break with a really fun New Year’s Day brunch party (and an unfortunate New Year’s Day hangover). I even got to relax a bit and read a book, a whole book! read more

Please note: This post was created in partnership with Marshalls; all opinions are my own.

It’s that time of year; we’re staring down the long road of the holiday season filled with errands and entertaining and events. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays! But this season gets busy and it can be hard to take a moment to catch our breath. Add the madness of working for myself, I’ve been spending lots of nights and weekends putting in extra hours – this is a busy time of year for a food and entertaining blogger! read more

I am continuing on my mission to create to tasty recipes that are toddler-approved, while still being enjoyable for the adults at the table too. Jane, like most kids (and adults), is a big fan of macaroni and cheese. I recently made my classic homemade macaroni and cheese recipe, and stirred in some leftover butternut squash pieces and a few dashes of cinnamon while the pasta and cheese were still piping hot. The butternut squash melted into the sauce and created a sweet, seasonal spin on my favorite pasta dish. It was such a hit that I made it again for a family party this weekend, and it was a hit with both the kids and the grown-ups at the party. read more