Family, Fashion

Avoiding Burnout in Motherhood

October 26, 2015

IMG_1813Every night I sit in Ainsley’s rocking chair and feed her a bedtime bottle. As I sit in the dimly-lit room, rocking back and forth with my now very big baby in my arms, the day finally slows down. It’s the first time during the day that I really have time to think, process and pause and I realize, every night, that I feel like I’ve been running at breakneck speed all. day. long.

Do other moms know this feeling?

Like you’ve been mentally and physically sprinting through your day, picking up toys and doing loads of laundry, feeding bottles and breakfast, getting dressed and ready for work, rushing to do drop-off and pick-up on time and juggling countless trips in and out of the carseat. Maximizing nap times and work time and every spare moment in between.

It is, without a doubt, a crazy season of life. I suspect that if I have more kiddos, it will feel even crazier. But it’s full, and wonderful and filled with smiles and giggles. So much wonderful life that I can hardly take it all in.

I’ve listened to a lot of people talk about motherhood at conferences and seminars and on blogs. It seems to me that a lot of moms like to complain about motherhood – to talk about how drained and weary they are and how terribly hard motherhood is.

Like all worthwhile things, motherhood requires a good deal of elbow grease, long days and struggle. But when I’m sitting, listening to women talk about how weary they are I just can’t relate. Although I’ve never run on such little sleep, never been so stretched and pulled in different directions, never juggled so many responsibilities, our life and family has never felt so incredibly FULL.

I’ve read a few posts on self-care for moms (loved this one from my dear friend Laura) and thought I would encourage you mommas out there to create a regular rhythm of self care in your life. I don’t mean long vacations and expensive spa days, although those are nice, too. I’m talking achievable, daily routines that leave you feeling rested and recharged. Not to say I do it all right (hardly!) but self care has always come easily for me – just ask my mom. And I think maintaining that without guilt has been a saving grace of my motherhood experience.

In my world, there is nothing as healing and wonderful as a steaming hot bath with lots and lots of girly products. I leave bed time to dad and prepare a bottle for him to give Ainsley while I sneak off to relax in the tub with a stack of magazines or my Kindle. Usually some type of hair mask and face mask is involved, and some really great smelling body oils or lotions as well.


1. Lustro Body Oil  The best I’ve found! It goes on without feeling greasy and leaves my skin so soft.
2. Dead Sea Mud Mask Gentle yet effective for clearing up skin and balancing your complexion.
3. Kerastase Hair Mask Leaves my hair feeling so much smoother and stronger. I use it weekly.
4.  Lustro Sugar Scrub For getting rid of dead skin cells and leaving my skin feeling smooth during the cold winter months
5. Epsom Salts Soaking in an epsom salt bath cures all your aches and pains and this specific Milk & Honey scented version is heaven!


Food & Recipes

Pumpkin Rigatoni with Turkey Bacon

October 23, 2015

PumpkinMac_1I’ve been making some version of this easy pumpkin sauce for more nights than I can count. It’s ultra-easy once you get the hang of making it and goes with pasta as well as roasted veggies. Although my husband’s preference leans strongly toward pasta with turkey bacon, my preference is for spooning it on top of roasted broccoli with a side of toast.

This dish could easily be made a day in advance and tossed in the oven for a quick dinner. Since it’s just me and Joe eating dinner (and feeding small bites to Ainsley now and again) I scaled this dish down a bit from the typical casserole size. We love eating leftovers but not leftovers for an entire week!


Pumpkin Rigatoni with Turkey Bacon
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 to 3 servings
  • 2 cups rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chicken stock (or broth)
  • ¼ cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 pieces turkey bacon, crisp-cooked according to package directions and crumbled
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray - I used a 6x6-inch dish. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
  2. In a small saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk together until smooth. Continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until flour is cooked slightly. Whisk in the stock and milk and continue to cook 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken just slightly. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, pumpkin puree and ricotta cheese. Stir in the basil, thyme, nutmeg, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the pasta to the sauce along with ¼ cup of the mozzarella cheese and all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon. Spoon mixture into the prepared dish.
  4. Top the pasta with the remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese, an additional 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese and the remaining crumbled bacon.
  5. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.



Marriage Matters

October 21, 2015



We had family photos taken a week ago by a dear friend of mine who is raising money for their family’s adoption. Family photos are my favorite, at least once they are over and done with! Once I have the photos in my hands I’m so thankful we captured this moment in time, when our daughter is tiny and our family is healthy and our lives feel so full. What a sweet season this is for us, after a season that felt as dry as a desert.

As women we spend a lot of time talking and talking about motherhood, don’t we? Blogs and articles and books are dedicated to the subject, and with good reason. Being a mom is important work! But where is the love and attention for our marriages?

I used to be very smug when people told me marriage was hard. Even as a newly married person, I still couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Marriage? Hard? Hardly! If you’re in that camp, I don’t hold it against you. If you haven’t yet hit that point where marriage is truly, deeply hard, it will come eventually. I can guarantee it.

We had one of those years. The years that test and stretch and strengthen you as long as they don’t kill you. And trust me when I say that sometimes you think it may actually kill you before you see the other side. I look at that photo above and my amazing, wonderful and loving husband and I thank my lucky stars for him every day. I think about our first kiss at 17 and the memories we’ve collected together. He’s my person, yet sometimes I don’t give him nearly the time or attention he deserves.

There are days when I give my best to my baby, my work, my friends and a bunch of people on the fringes of my life, leaving very little time or energy for my husband. I’ve been working on it, little by little. Investing into my marriage the way I invest in my child. Can you relate?

Despite all the parenting books I have read, I don’t think I’ve read a single one on marriage. In the past I’ve naively assumed that marriage is just supposed to happen intuitively without time or investment of resources.

I want to continue to strive after my marriage, to give my husband the best I have to offer. I want to take time to get away just the two of us, for date nights and vacations sans-baby and dates at home after Ainsley is in bed. To put down my phone and quit scrolling through Instagram when we’re together and really look him in the eyes.

It’s worth it. I’m convinced there are very few things more worthy of our time and attention.



:: My New Mom Style ::

October 18, 2015



StellaDot_4Today I’m launching the first in a series of posts on my new mom style. I’ve been slowly revising my wardrobe over the past few months to fit my new life as a mom, work-from-home freelancer and recipe developer and manager of a home remodel that’s still very much in progress.

Although I don’t have to report to an office every day, I do like to try and dress up a bit for the days that I’m working. Sometimes I’ll head to a coffee shop, sometimes I stay close to home, other times I’ll camp out at my mom’s house when she’s at work. There’s something about putting on a real outfit, makeup and doing your hair that helps to boost productivity.

One area of my mom-drobe that was seriously lacking? Jewelry. I’ve been putting more thought into my wardrobe without really focusing on accessorizing. Thankfully Kim came to my rescue and offered to style a couple outfits with beautiful jewelry from Stella & Dot.

Have you all heard of Stella & Dot? Their jewelry is beautiful, you guys! Heavy, high quality and durable. And I found the price point great – just nice enough to feel like you’re giving or receiving something speical without breaking the bank.

The earrings I’m wearing are reversible, with pearls on one side and gold studs on the other. And the necklace can be worn two ways as well, which, for a mom on a budget is a huge plus to be able to get two looks from one piece of jewelry. I’ll be doing a giveaway with Kim in the coming weeks, but I would highly suggest you check out the line for yourself in the meantime!

Outfit Details
:: Dress from Old Navy :: Boots from Frye :: Alexia Necklace from Stella & Dot :: Pave Wishing Bracelet from Stella & Dot :: Pearl Studs (they’re reversible!) from Stella & Dot


Family, Fashion

My Skincare Routine: Part 1

October 13, 2015

MorningSkincareRoutineSix months ago I sent out a call on Facebook for recommendations of safe, high quality skincare and makeup. One of you recommended I check out Beautycounter. I tried out a few products to start (hey, they give a 60 day money back guarantee, so I figured I had nothing to loose!) and fell in love with the line.

Everything I used felt so good on my skin. It was gentle, yet effective, and left my complexion much smoother and more even than before. As I started researching Beautycounter further I felt even better about the products. The US only bans 11 items from beauty products in this country; in contrast, the EU bans over 1,300 ingredients! It’s staggering, really. Beautycounter sets their own extremely high standard for what goes into their products, one of the strictest set of standards in the industry.

I’ve slowly, over the past few months, transitioned almost my entire skincare routine to Beautycounter. And I believe in the products so much so that I’ve decided to start selling them, too. If you’re interested in learning more or have skin-specific questions, don’t hesitate to e-mail me ( or check out the products I use each morning below!

1. Soothing Face Wash
An effective daily cleanser that removes makeup and nourishes skin. 
2. Enlightening Treatment Pads
These pads have been proven to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines and wrinkles. They improve skin tone and firm skin. 
Uplifting Day Cream
Promotes firmer looking skin, reduces redness and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

1. Gentle Exfoliator
Removes dead skin cells and leaves skin fresh and glowing without being abrasive. I use it a couple times a week.
2. Lustro Face Oil #3
Seven radiance-boosting oils promote balanced skin and improves skin tone and texture. Adding oils into my skincare routine have totally changed things for me. Amazing!

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