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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Can I tell you my new favorite thing? Polls on instagram. They’re the best. I’ve done a few informal polls recently to figure out exactly what my followers want more of, and the answers have been incredibly helpful. The biggest takeaway I’ve gotten is that dinner is clearly a struggle in lots of households (often at our house too!). Quick, easy, and healthy-ish dinner ideas are in demand, so I’m doing my best to come up with some fresh ideas to fulfill the need! read more

I am compensated by Keurig Green Mountain® for sharing my view; all opinions, images, and content are my own.

I’m a total Valentine’s Day nerd, I love the pink hearts and the sentimental cards, and I really love the excuse to indulge a little bit with some sweet treats! It seems that over the past few years, the idea of a “Galentine’s Day” party, to celebrate with your best girlfriends, has become almost more popular than the actual Valentine’s Day occasion. I get it, my girlfriends are way more into flowers and cute cards and heart sunglasses than our husbands likely are. Why not celebrate with them? I have some sweet ideas to get you inspired to throw your own Valentine’s Day coffee and cookies party with your best buds or your own sweetheart! read more

Last week I had a few gals over for a Valentine’s Day craft-session and some cocktails. It was on a Monday night after dinner, so I just had a cheeseboard out to nibble on and decided we needed something deliciously indulgent and sweet for the Valentine’s Day theme. I’ve been toying around with an “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” cookie recipe idea for awhile, and thought this was the perfect occasion to make them with a Valentine’s Day twist. The cookie recipe has all of the basics elements of a big gooey chocolate chip cookie, but takes it to the next level with a variety of delicious mix-ins. I put toffee bits, crushed pretzels, dark chocolate morsels, and a few different kinds of seasonal M&Ms inside these. You could easily swap in nuts, caramel chips, any kind of chopped up candy bar or chocolate. They were good, like, I had to hide them from myself and my family (mostly Jane) level-good. Make up a batch this weekend and find some valentine’s to share them with! Get the full recipe below:  read more

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

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am a sandwich fiend. I love a good deli sandwich; it’s one of my very favorite things to eat. Admittedly, the deli selection in this part of the state is dismal, and pales in comparison to the amazing delis I grew up with in New York. So I have gotten quite serious about making my own top-notch deli sandwiches at home. read more

If you’re going to cheat on your New Year’s resolution, please go big and feast hard next Sunday. Because Sunday is like the Super Bowl of Snacks. Well, yes, that’s exactly what it is. We’ve been eating so healthy around here lately, but I think a splurge might be in order as we cozy up on the couch to watch the Justin Timberlake concert, ahem, I mean our beloved New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. To get your menu in order (I hope you also like to plan your meals a week in advance like I do), I’ve rounded up some of my favorite savory, spicy, and sweet Super Bowl Sunday recipes! And please, tell me in the comments what you’re going to cook up so I can daydream about delicious snacks. read more

This post was created in partnership with Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP; all opinions, images and ideas are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site!

My brain has been colliding with lots of conflicting new recipe ideas for the New Year. On one hand, I know that everyone wants healthy ideas this time of year, with resolutions fresh on our mind. On the other hand, we have been snowbound the past few weekends, camped out on the couch watching football and movies and needing some delicious snacks to fuel our coziness. I’ve been thinking, is it even possible to think of snacks and entertaining ideas that cross these two categories? And then my friends at Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP sent me some of their classic popcorn flavors in the mail and the light bulb went off. My Sunday afternoons have been missing a football-viewing popcorn bar. read more

We are on a household mission this month to eat healthier. A really big part of our plan is to cut down on carbs. It’s so very hard since I literally think about pasta and pizza and croissants and bagels constantly throughout the day. Instead of thinking about this healthier low-carb eating plan as a diet where I can’t have the things I want, I’m trying really hard to think of all of the delicious recipes that I can have so there is something to look forward to. I’ve been digging through Pinterest, tearing out healthy ideas from resolution-fueled January issues of my favorite magazines, and brainstorming like crazy to concoct new recipes with a better-for-you twist. I’ll admit, healthy recipes have never been a focus on this blog (I mean, I posted about BBQ chip crusted mac and cheese and three ideas for loaded potato skins earlier in the week), but I really am trying to turn a new leaf and give it a try. 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