Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Finally!!

We are finally all better. What a crazy sickness the girls and I had for the past 2-3 weeks. I finally have gotten rid of my cough, but in the process I pulled a rib muscle. Great timing....this set me back even more with my training. I haven't run in three weeks now. Well, maybe once or twice a week while I was refereeing lacrosse. I am signed up for a 10k this Sunday. We'll see how that goes! :) It is the Donor Dash in Philadelphia. My family and I walk the 3k in honor of my cousin, Alex, who died December 6, 2006. His organs were donated and it's a way we can all come together in his memory. It's a very special day. This is the first year I am also doing the run prior to the walk. As much as I will not be in the shape I had planned to be, I am still looking forward to the run.

Celebrating this handsome guy:
 Ellie and I last year at the Dash, 39 weeks pregnant!
The past couple weeks I've been focusing on getting myself better = early bedtime. I was also just trying to get through the days hoping we would feel better the next. I finally have my full energy back and can finally get things done around the house (and also blog again) just in time for Ellie's birthday on Saturday. I will give you a party recap on Monday. On Friday I am taking her to see the Pinkalicious musical in the city. It is our gift to her. We are keeping with the tradition of doing something together for birthday gifts. Last year we took her to the Aquarium. She will love the musical, I think. Also, because it will be a special date (my mother-in-law will be with Summer).

Saturday Nick has to go to a workshop in the morning so I am taking Ellie to get our nails painted. Her first time by a professional so I know she will feel special. I want to have everything ready for the party so we can spend the day together since Saturday is her birthday. The party isn't until 3- I am hoping she will nap. It will be a small party with immediate family and a few close friends. I have been checking the weather all week and initially they called for rain, but now it looks like 68 degrees and sunny!

Here are a few pictures of the girls and I taking advantage of the weather last week in our backyard with bubbles, of course!

On Ellie: Gap top / Gap leggings / See Kai Run sneakers
On Summer: Gap onesie / Macy's jeggings / Juicy Couture socks

I love this picture above of Summer and the bubble. I love this onesie by baby Gap. Very fitting for her name. Let's hope the sunshine is here to stay!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rough Week!

The girls and I are on the mend of a rough week and a half of sicknesses. Ellie was the first to get sick with an awful cough, then fever starting last Monday through Thursday. She only wanted to be held by me primarily and wasn't interested in playing. It was tough since I also had to care for Summer. Wednesday I had very painful swollen glands so I went to the Doctor's who said it was viral. Thursday Summer and I also developed the same awful cough Ellie had. On top of my swollen glands I was really sick and had no voice. Sleeping was another issue. Ellie only wanted to sleep with me, but we were both up coughing plus I had to get up with Summer to nurse through the night. We took the girls to the Doctor's and Ellie has strep throat and a double ear infection. Poor girl! Luckily Summer just has a cough and hopefully it won't develop into anything else. Saturday night I went to our local med clinic afraid I may also have strep, but the Doctor said it was bronchitis. That explained my cough and lack of voice. We didn't do much this weekend. I slept when I could and I've gotten some energy back. The girls are back to playing and acting more like themselves. It's so sad to see them not feeling well. Lots of extra snuggling and napping!
It's so tough being sick as a Mom. The littlest things like wanting to read the girls a book or tell Ellie a story at bedtime I couldn't do. I needed the energy to take care of the girls and play with them, but luckily my husband really stepped up and helped out a lot this weekend so I could recover. I also haven't been able to run in over a week- something I'm nervous about with my race in May. I'm planning on a short run this morning even though I still am fighting this cough.

Last Monday before I knew Ellie had a fever I took the girls to Target for a few things. We bought an adorable plastic mason jar for only $3 (bpa-free) and perfect for smoothies. Yes, that was a fun discovery, but what was even more exciting was that we met Charles Barkley! When I first noticed him I texted my husband to tell him. He told me to get a picture, but I didn't see anyone else asking him and I didn't want to bother him, but I did and he was so friendly. When I asked if he could take a picture with my girls, he said, "Sure!" Summer was sitting in the front of the cart and Ellie in the big part. He lifted Ellie up to take a picture with him and you can see Summer staring up at him. As I was taking the picture I was trying to get Ellie to smile and told him that she was so lucky because he was a famous basketball player. He laughed when I said that. Such a nice guy! That was the highlight of our week. Oh, that and I upgraded to the iPhone 5s and love it!!
I have to add that throughout the week all my good friends asked if I needed anything, if they could bring me coffee, or if they could help out in any way. I'm so thankful to have these women in my life. My parents took Ellie for a few hours yesterday evening since Nick had to work. They took her to dinner and frozen yogurt, which really helped me out since I only had to worry about feeding Summer and could put her to bed before Ellie got home. My Mom also made me a pot of homemade veggie soup. It was just what I needed and was so thoughtful. Plus, it was delicious.
I can't believe today is April 1st. In just two weeks Ellie turns 3 so I am busy planning her party and Summer's, too. Summer turns 1 on May 5th and her party will be the on the 10th. It's tough planning two parties at once. I am trying to focus on just Ellie's for now with the exception of getting out Summer's invite. I also want to enjoy these last two weeks of Ellie as a two year-old!

Happy April 1st!


Friday, March 21, 2014

The Luscious List

1) Loving this open back top from American Eagle. And, it's only $30.
2) I'd love to try to make this for the girls for our backyard. It would be so fun even I would love to hang out in here!
via
3) I really need to figure something out for all our coats/shoes/hats, gloves, etc. It's been driving me crazy seeing all of it pile up on chairs in our front room (the room you directly walk into from the front door). We do not have a separate entryway (wish we did!!) so I need an alternative. I moved everything into our office and am planning to set up a bench and storage in there. I love this one from the Threshold line at Target:
via
Or, I may just go the Expedit route with lots of storage:
I like this drawer option, too, for smaller items that could get lost in a basket. Whatever can help us get out the door quicker makes me happy!
4) I'm addicted to the daily deal site, Jane. I've gotten some really great (inexpensive!) deals. I check it almost everyday because they do sell out of items. I ordered a pillow cover for only $12 a few weeks ago and it matches perfectly on the couch in our great room. The seller was just back on the site again last week so I ordered another so I will have a pair. She also has an Etsy shop you can check out here. This is a great price, especially when most pillow covers cost $40+. There were so many options it was hard to choose! Here were some of my choices. I chose "Sophie Steel."
5) Grapefruit is one of my favorite fruits and I came across this drink on Pinterest that looks so refreshing. Find the recipe here for this Grapefruit Mojito!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Mother's Day, 2013
I could not ask for a better Mom. She is my role model and my best friend. I admire her so much more now that I have kids. She is a pre-school teacher so she is always singing songs to my girls and reading books. She is a runner and is very active so her idea of hanging out with my girls is going to the playground or to the library. I love this about her. If I ask Ellie what she thinks Grandmom is doing it's either "at the gym" or "cooking." My Mom is also the best cook. My parents have us over often for Sunday night dinners. Nothing better than a home-cooked meal with family. Yep, she is the whole package. I am so lucky to be her daughter. She is always so kind and generous and sees the best in others. Thank you for always being there for me, for supporting me and giving me honest advice, and for being a wonderful Grandmother to my girls.


Skinny Spinach Lasagna Recipe

My family loved this spinach lasagna recipe I made last night for dinner. Preparation was so quick and easy and takes less than an hour to cook in the oven. I love dinners with minimal prep that I can throw in the oven and do something else. Yesterday I made it after the girls napped, then let my husband take it out of the oven while we had a short play date with a friend and her two boys. It's so nice to get out of the house late in the afternoon and before dinner. It was a rainy day so the park and a walk weren't options. It was also nice to have some girl time.


Skinny Spinach Lasagna
(serves 12)
via 

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
6 ounces fresh spinach
2 lbs. ricotta cheese (I used 1 lb. whole milk and 1 lb. nonfat)
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 24 ounce jar of spaghetti or marinara sauce 
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and thyme; saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach; saute until just barely wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, salt, and nutmeg. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Transfer some of the mixture to a food processor and pulse a few times to break up some of the spinach pieces (totally optional, but makes for a really nice texture).
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread a little bit of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Layer with 3 lasagna noodles, ⅓ of the spinach mixture, ¼ of the tomato sauce, and ¼ of the cheese. Repeat and pour ½ cup water over the two layers. Repeat once more, ending with noodles, sauce, and cheese. Pour ½ cup water over the whole thing again and cover tightly with oiled foil.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes; when the liquid is bubbling and the noodles have softened, remove the foil and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving so that the lasagna noodles can soak up all the extra moisture.
The water really helped with the consistency of this dish. It was delicious. Next time I will add in another vegetable and maybe a little less ricotta (it was a little too much for my liking). And, I love that this dish is not loaded with fat and calories as other lasagnas usually are. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Training for 10-miler

I submitted an entry to the lottery for the Broad Street Run and was accepted. This is a ten-mile race on May 4th. I like having a goal at the beginning of the summer to get me in shape. I have run this race once before- prior to having kids. I really haven't been running much because it's hard to find the time, but I have been making it more of a priority lately. One day last week I even got up at 5:00 in the morning to get to the gym by 5:30 for a run on the treadmill. I'm only up to 3 miles, but I know I can do it. I do wish the weather was warmer!
One early morning at the gym, then my usual breakfast of oatmeal, almond milk, and berries, then coloring with Ellie:

I just bought this Under Armour tee in neon yellow (above) and bright pink and this one in purple.
I bought this headband from Athleta and love that it stays in place:
I need a new armband for my iPod Nano and I like this one:
Since I'm still nursing I have to make sure I'm drinking enough water and eating enough calories. Before I run I will usually eat a half sandwich with peanut butter and sometimes a dab of honey:
Lately I've been snacking on Lara Bars. I love that they have minimal ingredients and all 'real' ingredients. My current favorite is peanut butter chocolate chip. I also keep Kashi Trail Mix bars in my bag. 
I don't have a specific training plan. I'm just running when I can get it in- early mornings, when my husband gets home from work, and weekends. I prefer running trails at parks instead of the street. I will use Map My Run or sometimes just drive the route if I'm in the car with the girls to measure the distance.

You can see more of my favorite workout apparel HERE. What are your favorites?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Summer's Nursery Reveal!

If you are new to my blog (welcome!) I turned my dressing room into her nursery. I was excited we were having another girl so she could have this room. The walls were currently hot pink- perfect for a little girl. Please note that the wall color below is not the true color!! See my moodboard below for the true color, Eros Pink. My vision was hot pink, gray, and aqua. I also added gold and brown accents. I stayed pretty true to my vision and worked within a budget. It's tough decorating in a room with slanted walls and minimal wall space. The one large wall is taken by my closet. I had a lot of fun decorating this room and took my time. Summer was five months old when she moved into her crib.
It's really hard to have a favorite in this room. I really love the wall with her name, tassel garland, and bookshelves. The books add a fun and educational element. I love seeing this first as I walk into her room. It makes me happy and the girls love pulling books off themselves. The small wall gallery includes some of my favorites: a pregnancy photo taken with Ellie, one of Summer's newborn photos (ten days old!), and the "S" print was a gift. The love print is by Made by Girl and colorful heart by Pearls and Pastries. The glider is where I spend lots of time nursing and holding Summer and reading books. This is such a comfortable chair- a necessity in a nursery. The personalized stool was also a gift. This is Ellie's spot. She stands here while Summer is being changed. The girls love to do the puzzle, too.
 
I have not yet installed the pendant light or purchased a mirror. I also want to add a mobile in the corner above her wall gallery. I added a curtain wire to conceal my built-in closet and hung sheer curtains. Summer's closet (see in first picture above) is big, but is being reorganized. Pictures to come.
Resources:
Crib: Babies R Us
Crib skirt: Serena & Lily
Crib bedding: Clouds and Stars
Bunny: Jellycat
Dresser: DIY Craigslist find (see post here and here)
Tassel garland: DIY (post coming soon)
Letters: Babies R Us
Book shelves: Ikea
Roman shades: Babies R Us
Curtains: Marshall's
Glider and ottoman: Babies R Us
Storage ottoman: Home Goods
Wall gallery frames: Ikea / Home Goods / Michael's
Vanity: DIY (see post here)
Laundry hamper: 3 Sprouts
Tall dresser: Ikea
Chair: DIY (see post here)

Inspiration: 
Summer's Nursery Moodboard
See all links to products HERE