I think I blinked and two years went by in an instant! Jane turned 2-years old this weekend and I’m still processing just how it’s possible that time could fly that quickly. We celebrated with a little party — Curious George themed because she’s Georgie-obsessed. The snowstorm cut our guest list in half, but we had a great time despite the weather. Jane loved the balloons, and is still running around the house in circles with them trailing behind her. My sister brought the most amazing cake-pops that matched the Curious George theme, my mom made her a beautiful party dress, and we had a little homemade cake with a sparkler on top.  The sparkler left Jane in total awe and amazement when it was lit. It was a perfect cozy day to celebrate our Janie-bean!  read more

We are all camped out on the couch this afternoon, recovering from Jane’s birthday party and ready for relaxation and non-stop football watching. One of my favorite football snacks is a loaded potato skin — I’m always on board for potatoes topped with cheese and sour cream — but they can take awhile to make. I have been brainstorming some new recipes for my Super Bowl menu and this is my new shortcut for all of that loaded potato skin flavor in half the time. read more

I had one big personal goal last year, and that was to read more! I have always loved reading, and really fell out of the habit when Jane was a newborn (for obvious reasons, like general exhaustion). I have a really strong memory as a kid of my mom reading a book before bed each night, and my dad always reading the paper when he got home from work at our kitchen counter. It made me think about how I want Jane to see me enjoying reading too with the hopes it gives her the same excitement for books. I set a big goal to read 24 books — 2/month over the course of the year — and ended up finishing the year just shy of 30 (I finished my 30th book on January 2nd!). It was so nice to into the habit of reading again!  read more

We spent this past weekend in Newport, RI for a little getaway to celebrate my birthday! The idea to head to Newport came up when Hotel Viking invited us to come stay at their beautiful property, and thanks to my wonderful in-laws that offered to watch Jane, we were able to jump at the opportunity and plan a little overnight excursion! With 24-hours of kid-free weekending ahead of us, we packed in lots of eating and drinking and window-shopping. Before we left I polled my instagram followers for recommendations and I received so many great ideas. I was worried that we might be challenged finding things to do there on a cold January weekend, but we had the best time — thought I’d share a few of our weekend highlights for anyone else venturing to Newport in the winter!  read more

We have been on track with healthy eating for the new year, thanks in part to a lot of meal-prepping and planning! I had been brainstorming a big list of healthy dishes to try out this month, especially ideas that made use of my Instant Pot! I’ve had this one my list for a while, a shredded buffalo chicken served over a wedge salad, because I am 99% more likely to eat a salad if there is blue cheese crumbles involved. We will put this one into the healthy-ish category — if you have more self control than me you could totally have it with a lighter dressing. I’m keeping this one in the rotation for upcoming events too; the chicken would be great on slider buns for a Super Bowl party, and rolled up in wraps with some crunchy lettuce for an easy lunch. Get the full recipe below!
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Over the past few years, we’ve been tackling projects in our house room-by-room. We’ve taken on some pretty big ones like removing a kitchenette from our bedroom and turning a hair salon (!!) into my office (I laugh even typing those things — we had a LOT of vision to buy this house). We have also replaced lighting, removed more wallpaper than I care to recount, and painted and painted and painted (like 5 coats of white paint to cover all of the wood paneling in our living room). We’re finally getting to the point where nearly every room has come together and what is left is the not-so-fun makeovers of things like hallways. read more

One of my goals for this year is to introduce more Instant Pot recipes to the blog! We have loved using ours over the last year, but it took me a lot of experimenting with it to feel confident that I could share some of the recipes that we make in it. We use it often on Sundays for meal-prepping, and try to make a big batch of a healthy meal that we can break down into containers (these are our favorite) for lunches or a quick dinner when we’re busy with work. I also love using it for rice, I haven’t made rice on the stovetop since we purchased it! This recipe is for an easy and healthy turkey chili that would be great for meal prepping (I’ve had it for lunch everyday this week), but is quick enough to make for a weeknight dinner thanks to the speed of the Instant Pot! Get the full recipe below: read more

At the end of the year, I went back and looked all of the posts I’d written to try to gauge what sort of topics were most popular. I had a good laugh, because man you guys LOVE my super-indulgent, over the top, high-calorie recipes. The top recipes were full of heavy cream and lots of cheese and I totally respect that because I would eat that way every day if I could! My guess is though, that like me, you’re all probably on that January healthy-eating-kick that catches on as we regret the weeks of holiday indulgence. I’m taking it one step farther this month and actually signed up for Weight Watchers (I have my sister’s wedding this fall that I’m determined to slim down for!) and have made it my mission this month to add more healthy eating ideas to the blog that are just as tasty as my cheesy, caloric entertaining ideas you loved last year. It’s a challenge, but one that I’m excited to take on! To kick it off, I thought I’d share this side dish that we have been making on repeat at our house: Garlic and Herb Mashed Cauliflower. read more

I love to hit the ground running in the New Year – the clean slate usually gets me so energized. This week though, I did not find the motivation or rhythm I usually get at the start of the year. In fact, I started writing this blog post over Christmas vacation, and it’s taken me all week to finally hit publish! I’m starting a little slower than I’d like, but finally got my burst of energy today that helped me grocery shop and meal plan, start on my 2019 content plans, and take a look back at last year with this little recap post. It’s like a greatest-hits album of 2018, a year where I accomplished a lot! read more

I’m feeling like I’m on a little vacation this week with my work wrapping up for the year and my last book signing of the holiday season behind. And since this feeling is so very rare for me, I’m all about having a festive little cocktail to celebrate. I mixed up this tasty seasonal drink that can be made in a small batch to share with a few friends. The ginger ale and apple cider give it both sweetness and bite that balance the bourbon flavors, and I’ve garnished it to the max with cranberries, rosemary, and a fragrant orange peel. Get the full recipe below, and cheese!  read more