I sent a text message to my mom and sister this weekend, along with the picture below, to confirm with them that I am indeed a crazy person. Only a crazy person would feel this much joy over a newly organized closet. I spent some time over the long weekend turning an empty closet in our guest bedroom into a linen closet. The space was empty because when we first moved into our house, we actually used this guest bedroom as our master bedroom, and the closet held my husband’s clothes. Once we completed a renovation in our new master bedroom (which included turning an old in-law kitchen into a wall of closets!), we moved all of our clothes from various spaces throughout the house into our his and hers closets. That left this space empty and perfect for some much needed storage! read more

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

I recently got a few questions about my favorite kitchen products that I use when cooking and developing recipes for the site. A few years ago I wrote a giant post with all of my favorite cooking tools, and decided that it was probably time for an update! Quite a few of the tools from the first post are still on the list, like my beloved OXO 9” Tongs. There are plenty of new additions too; I finally found the perfect Everyday Pan after years of searching and I sing the praises of the current “it” kitchen tool: an Instant Pot. This list has all of my essentials and is fairly comprehensive of the items I use daily. The most important thing to note is that most of these things aren’t very fancy, and you’ll only notice one or two specialty items. I believe in a lean, simple kitchen with a few quality tools that keep me inspired and my recipes accessible. Take a look at my favorites: read more

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

I am currently suffering from a major case of wanderlust, and have been browsing flights, daydreaming of new destinations, and mentally packing my bags for a new adventure. I don’t exactly have the vacation booked yet, but once we decide on where we’re going, I’m going to be ready! When it comes to prepping for a trip – big or small – I have developed my own system for staying organized and making packing a little bit less of a hassle. read more

When Valentine’s Day falls mid-week, I tend to be in a bit of a scramble to come up with a special weeknight treat to celebrate the occasion. With just about every special event, my celebration-style always revolves around food. I make special dinner, pick up a favorite beer or wine depending on the menu, and of course we need something sweet to cap off the meal. This year I decided that I would find a way to dress up a boxed brownie mix for a quick-fix dessert that still feels celebration-worthy. 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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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