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We are getting into the holiday spirit over here with a few festive little decorations popping up around the house! I have to admit that I almost scrooge’d out on Christmas this year — the task of putting up a Christmas tree during month 9 of pregnancy (and perhaps taking it down with a newborn baby at home?) exhausted me just thinking about it. Luckily my husband pushed me to be a bit more spirited, particularly since my family is going to come and stay with us at the holidays for the first time ever! read more

This post was created in partnership with Capital One.

Maybe it’s rooted in my deep affection for a fresh yearly day planner and ripping the first sheet off a crisp new calendar, but I love this time year when we get to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and start setting goals for the New Year. With my birthday the first week of the year, I always give myself a free pass on resolutions until the day after my celebrations end (which helps me from fumbling on those fitness and health goals!). This year, with baby B due in that same first week, I’m pretty aware that the impending storm of chaos and exhaustion may make that timing difficult in 2017. Instead of putting this important resetting period on the back burner, I had the opportunity thanks to Capital One to get started a little bit early this year on planning for a fresh start.
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Less than 3-weeks left until the presents need to be wrapped and under the tree! I cooked up another fun gift guide this week with the procrastinator in mind. Everything on this list is Prime-Eligible on Amazon, so even if you wait until the last minute you can still steal these gift ideas and have them delivered in time! I love the idea of gift theme, and built out eight fun ideas based on a book, with little add-on gifts to go with each one. From co-workers to couples to families, there’s a little something for everyone — check out the ideas below!amazon-book-based-gift-guide read more

It’s been 8 weeks since my last bump update, and which is a testament to how life seems to be flying by lately. Part of me feels like I’ve been pregnant forever. I look down at that app on my phone and see the days count down though (oh gosh, five weeks and a few days to go!) and I’m absolutely amazed at how time is passing by so quickly in this stage. And with that, a few updates! img_6105_edited-1 read more

If you’ve ever read one of my blog posts, chances are you’re aware of my affinity for cocktails, bar carts, and all things drinking-accessory related. My collection of striped straws and cocktail stirrers rivals the prop closets at my favorite magazines (and could actually be teetering on hoarder status). With the holidays upon us, it’s the perfect time of year to get your own bar cart stocked with all of the essentials for easy entertaining (and more importantly, impromptu cocktail mixing!). I broke down all of my favorite pieces that are absolute must-haves to stock your holiday bar cart, from the bar itself, to glassware, tools, and all of the fun stuff that makes our drinks look festive! build-the-bar-cart_v2 read more

Back in October, I had the opportunity to take an interesting class at Society of Grown-Ups about creating spending plans that aligned to our values and priorities. The class gave me some great tools to help with planning for our finances, but it also did something else: challenged me to actually think about my values and priorities. On our road-trip down to New York this past weekend for Thanksgiving I was tired and opted to close my laptop, ignore my inbox and to-do-list, and crack open a new book instead – Emily Ley’s Grace, Not Perfection. Digging into this fresh read brought me back to that Society of Grown-Ups class in the early-fall, discussing a lot of the same topics. Between the start of the holidays, a busy period at my day-job, the busiest time of year for my blog projects, and oh yea, an impending baby on the way in just 6-weeks, this topic felt so timely and important during a hectic period of life. It gave me a little spark of inspiration to take a moment to reflect on just that: gratitude for what matters most to me.img_6134_b read more

Can I brag for just one second? I finished my Christmas shopping early on Black Friday with a few last online purchases, all from the comfort of my bed. With the baby due in just 6 weeks I was determined to get all of my shopping done early to reduce holiday stress! I also wanted have things wrapped up (literally) in case baby girl makes an early arrival.  So while I wait for my UPS guy to stack up boxes on the front steps, I thought I’d share the love and help out my readers with their gift-giving-lists!  I’ve rounded up 50 fun gift ideas, all under $50 (and many under $25!) for just about everyone. Check out my ideas below for travel-lovers, techies, co-workers, hostesses, and all the guys and gals on your list. gifts-under-50-for-the-traveler read more

The team at Martha Stewart Living sent me a little care package this month with a challenge! The December issue features some amazing pasta dishes with just 5 ingredients, making them perfect weeknight meals (which is so crucial during this busy time of year!). Armed with a box of Barilla® Rigatoni, their new issue for inspiration, and a cute new serving bowl from the Martha Stewart Whim Collection, I was challenged to create my own 5-ingredient pasta dish. Loving the fall flavors of a brown butter sauce and sweet seasonal squash, I narrowed down my five ingredients to butter, Parmesan cheese, sage, walnuts and butternut squash (plus some salt and pepper!). The result was a hearty autumn meal with a balance of sweet and nutty flavors (and it’s so easy too!). Full recipe below:img_5958 read more

We’re at the one-week countdown to Thanksgiving, and I’ve been busy brainstorming some of the dishes I’m bringing to our turkey-day celebration. I’ve already shared my all-time favorite entertaining pieces, and a round up of my must-have kitchen tools for any type of cooking — but especially at the holidays — to help you prep for your own Thanksgiving dinners, and thought it would be a fun idea to round up some of my favorite recipes from past years for inspiration. Below are a few of my favorite appetizers and side dishes for the big day, as well as some holiday cocktail ideas (family time = cocktail time) and two fun ideas for how to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers! thanksgiving-appetizers read more

One of my favorite nerdy cooking challenges I like to give myself each year is thinking of new ways to use leftovers after the big Turkey-Day feast! Sometimes it feels like those leftovers can last for weeks, and you’re eating turkey sandwiches until you never want to see another turkey again until next Thanksgiving. I made a few of the Thanksgiving classics and experimented with a new idea for leftovers this year: layering them into a Thanksgiving leftover inspired pot-pie! Everything in this recipe can be pulled from your holiday leftovers. Start with some pie dough leftover from your holiday baking, toss in chopped up turkey and keep it juicy with some leftover gravy drizzled on top, and layer it with leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce before baking with another layer of pie crust on top. The result is a slice of Thanksgiving that has just about every key leftover packed into each bite! My husband jokingly suggested that I should call this Pilgrim Pie, a rustic little nod to Thanksgiving’s roots, and I think it fits the dish perfectly! Earmark this one for your turkey-day leftovers next weekend, full recipe below:
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