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New Mom Style :: Comfy Casual {+ a giveaway!}

November 1, 2015




StellaAndDot_6Jeans from Madewell :: Sweater from Anthropologie :: Shoes from Tieks :: Legend Pendant Necklace c/o Kim Jensen :: Aurora Ring Set c/o Kim Jensen :: Deja Vu Pearl Studs c/o Kim Jensen

Curating a practical mom-drobe has changed the way I shop. Because I’m toting a messy, drooly baby around town half of the day, my clothes rarely make it through the day without a few spots and stains, meaning dry clean only items are a thing of the past. Some might say off-white isn’t practical with kiddos, but I love wearing white. As long as I can wash it at the end of the day, I’m good!

This sweater is incredibly comfortable, cozy and flattering. I paired it with my favorite skinny jeans, flats and some beautiful baubles from Stella & Dot. This is the second outfit that Kim styled for me, and I’m loving the edgy + lady like look these three pieces create. The pearl studs are actually reversible, so it’s like owning two pairs of earrings in one, which is perfect for a jewelry minimalist like myself.

Kim has been so kind to host a giveaway for Espresso and Cream readers! She will be giving away a $25 gift card to her Stella & Dot shop to one lucky reader. Thanks, Kim, for hosting the giveaway and keeping my mom-drobe looking fresh and stylist. Even if you don’t win, I would highly suggest hopping over to Kim’s page and doing a little holiday shopping – I know I already did!

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Emily Ley Simplified Planner Giveaway

January 12, 2015

Emily Ley Planner
Happy Monday, friends! Today I’m so excited to share a giveaway with you that I have a feeling a lot of you will be excited about. My friend, Emily Ley, is one talented designer and is the creator of the Simplified Planner, also known as one of the best day planners around and my lifeblood to organization and order in the day-to-day.

Emily and I first connected over e-mail while we were both struggling with infertility; Emily and her hubby were trying to get pregnant with their second baby and we were trying to get pregnant with our first. I still remember e-mailing Emily the day we got our positive pregnancy test with Baby H only to receive an e-mail back from her the same day letting me know that they had just found out their IVF cycle was successful and they were pregnant with TWINS! It’s been so fun to follow along with Emily’s journey this past year, and I couldn’t be more excited for her to welcome little Caroline and Tyler into the world in a few short weeks.

As I myself and experiencing a season of change and unknowns I’ve been especially excited to crack open my 2015 Simplified Planner in an effort to set a handful of goals and intentions for the year ahead. If I let it be, the change swirling around me can feel incredibly unsettling, but taking a little time to think about the year ahead (with all of its uncertainty) and putting down a handful of goals and dreams on paper has proven to be very helpful. Will all of those goals and dreams come true this year? Probably not. But that certainly won’t stop me from having the courage to write them down!

2015 Bucket list


So, what’s that about a giveaway I mentioned earlier? Well, I’m giving away a 2015 Simplified Planner to one lucky reader. You can consider yourself extra lucky if you win this planner because Emily’s planners have been sold out since the fall when they were first released! I got my hands on my own when they first came out, and a second for one of you guys because I love them so much.

The giveaway will be open until Friday! See below for ways to enter…

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Basics of a Well-Stocked and Healthy Pantry {& a Giveaway!}

May 14, 2014

Basics of a Pantry 1 | Espresso and Cream
One of the post requests I get most frequently is around the topic of what I keep in my pantry. Having a well-stocked pantry is something I’m still trying to figure out, but I do have a handful of basics you can find in my pantry at any given time that make putting a meal on the table a breeze. I’ve also included my favorite freezer items, since I think of my freezer as part of my extended pantry.

Instead of stocking your pantry with items from the regular grocery store (which can be $$) I prefer to buy my basics from Costco and the bulk bins at Whole Foods. Sure, it takes us a long time to go through the Costco-sized box of oats, but it’s worth storing just for the amazing cost savings of buying in bulk. Stocking your pantry may be a little more expensive on the front end, but you’ll gradually see your grocery bill decrease in the weeks and months following.

Pasta (I usually have a few different shapes/sizes, including whole wheat spaghetti, bow ties, and penne)
Whole Wheat Couscous (super quick to prepare, great for meals when you don’t have time to make rice or quinoa)
Brown Rice (either minute or regular, depending on your cooking style)
Old Fashioned Oats (breakfasts, meatloaf, cookies, etc.)
Oat Bran (you know how much I love oat bran!)
All-Purpose Flour
Whole Wheat Flour or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Brown Sugar

Black Beans
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Coconut Milk (great for curries and quick Indian meals using chickpeas)
Marinara Sauce
Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans
Crushed Tomatoes
Broth (chicken or vegetable broth)
Diced green chiles
Tuna (I buy mine from Costco and always look for a low-mercury, pole-caught variety)

Chopped spinach
Fish filets (I buy them at Costco, usually Salmon or Halibut)
Ground beef
Butter (I buy butter at Costco and keep what I’m not using in the freezer)
Bread (again, I buy it at Costco and store extra in the freezer)

Chia Seeds
Ground Flax Seeds (store in the fridge or freezer for longer shelf life)
Peanut butter and almond butter (Costco has some great options without added sugars or oils)
Nuts of choice (almonds, walnuts and pecans are my faves)
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Eggs (not really a “pantry” item, but they last a long time in the fridge and are a great source of inexpensive protein)

Danas Decals Labels | Espresso and Cream

Of course, keeping my pantry organized is always a challenge. Since I buy items in the bulk bins at Whole Foods and the items I buy at Costco usually come in large bags and boxes, I am constantly transferring a small portion of what I buy into storage containers that I keep in my pantry. However, it’s not always easy to remember what grain I put in each container and sometimes I’m left guessing and crossing my fingers as the grains cook.

When Dana Decals offered to send me a package of their sticky chalkboard decals to review, I jumped at the chance. Immediately I got to labeling my jars and containers and I have to admit, I love the way they look and the functionality, too. Aren’t they cute?

Dana Decals has generously offered a $25 gift card to one E&C reader. Check out their website for a full line-up of products, including wall decals perfect for decorating. There are three ways to enter below!

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Mother’s Day Gift Idea {Giveaway!}

May 5, 2014

My mom (isn’t she pretty?) is one of my absolute favorite people on the planet. Actually, now that I think about it, three of my favorite people on earth are in that photo above: Joe, my mom and my dad. Since Mother’s Day is just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about gifts for both my mom and my mother-in-law. It’s not an easy task when you have two women who both claim they don’t need a single thing. Can you relate?

A week ago I was contacted by a company called Ship & Dip. It’s a new company founded by sisters living in Kansas that ships surprise boxes of full-sized condiments on a monthly subscription basis. I agreed to review a box of Ship & Dip, particularly their Mother’s Day gift box, to see what I thought for myself. First, the box arrived within a matter of days. The packaging was adorable and felt personal, unlike some other subscription models I’ve tried over the years.

Ship and Dip Box | Espresso and Cream

There were cards in the box that told me what was included in the package and a bit of information about the flavor profile of each condiment. And the best part? Each condiment was full-sized, which I really loved since I am more than likely going to use these condiments for desserts and barbecue recipes and the like. My box included a barbecue sauce, garlic-mustard vinaigrette and the most amazing sea salt caramel sauce. Seriously, I could eat that stuff by the spoonful.

So what does it cost? One box is $35 and a monthly subscription (available in 3- 6- and 12-month periods) runs between $33 and $30 a month.

I had such a great experience with Ship & Dip that I had to share with you about the service. Plus, I’m a huge fan of women following their dreams and going out on a limb to start a business. The Ship & Dip team graciously agreed to host a giveaway on Espresso and Cream. One lucky reader will get a 3 month Ship & Dip subscription sent to whoever they would like it to go to. So you can keep it for yourself, or send the subscription to a friend or family member as a gift.*

There are three ways to enter, so check out the giveaway below for a chance to win. And even if you don’t win, the Ship & Dip team is giving all Espresso and Cream readers $5 off their first purchase from now until the end of this month. Just use the code 5FORME during check-out.

Ship and Dip 4 | Espresso and Cream

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Ship and Dip 1 | Espresso and Cream
*If you’re looking for your Ship & Dip order to arrive by Mother’s Day, make sure to order by Wednesday to guarantee delivery on time.
**Update: The Ship & Dip team has notified me that the May box has been so popular that they are nearly sold out of boxes that will arrive in time for Mother’s Day. You can still, of course, purchase the May box, but it will not arrive in time for Mother’s Day delivery.

Note: Think of this week as a bit of a “giveaway week” on Espresso and Cream. I have a few great companies I will be highlighting this week who have all graciously agreed to give product away to a lucky reader or two. As always, I only agree to review and promote products and services I truly love and think you would love, too.