What makes you happy?

25 things that make me happy:

1. Deep discussions with my dad during long car rides

2. Wine and fancy dinner with a group of friends

3. Rocking my daughter to sleep

4. A really good kiss from the love of my life

5. Playing with a puppy

6. Watching my baby discover something new

7. Hugging my friends who I don’t get to see very often

8. Listening to a feel-good song

9. Getting a call in the morning that I don’t have to go to work

10. A breath of salt air on the beach

11. Looking at a finished project or piece of artwork I made, after great effort was put into it

12. A long, healthy talk with my husband, at random

13. An early morning in PJ’s with a cup of tea and something to read

14. Puzzling with Poppop and making him laugh really hard and loudly

15. Running errands on a Saturday with my Mom

16. Walking into the Magic Kingdom in DisneyWorld

17. Christmas Eve at my Mommom’s house

18. Watching my husband enjoy a meal I made for him.

19. A lunch date with my sister

20. Eating slices of Mack and Manco’s pizza on stools in sandy bathing suits in the middle of a beach day with my Mommom

21. Seeing someone’s face after you just paid them an appreciated compliment

22. Hearing and seeing my daughter chuckle

23. Watching and reciting every line of City Slicker with my Dad

24. That perfect-timing hug and love from your mom

25. Walking the Ocean City Boardwalk on a summer night

*This post is dedicated to my beautiful daughter. May you read this and learn that your mom knows what matters in this world and thanks God every day for the small and incredibly beautiful gifts with which she has been blessed.IMG_0017

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Bears

My husband and I have been dropping our baby off at my mom’s house and seeing a movie every Tuesday night (we just learned that our theater has $6 movies on Tuesdays!). This is so fun for us because it gives us something different to talk about; it is like we are sharing a new experience! Anyway… a few weeks ago we went to see Saving Mr. Banks, which we really loved, and while we were waiting for it to start they showed a preview for a movie called Bears! It was made my Disneynature, was filmed in Alaska, and narrated by John C. Reilly!

Oh my gosh, I am a new parent and a nature lover so I cried by eyes out through this entire trailer. It really touched me, I can’t believe how emotional I felt. I was literally sobbing! I am so excited to go the week it comes out, April 18th to celebrate Earth day. For each ticket sold, Disneynature is donating to the National Park Foundation so not only are you getting an experience but you are helping too! I can’t wait!

Click here or click this photo, from the movie, below to see the trailer:

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Luciana’s Playground Adventure

It has been so cold in our town that this 40 degree day felt amazing! We needed to get out of the house and since Luchi is sitting up on her own now I figured she would have a ball in the swing at the park! She loved it!! We bundled her up and brought her over the bridge to a park I went to as a kid. She watched some other kids play, which is her favorite thing to do, and had a nice first ride in the swing while Mommy and Daddy took pictures!

 IMG_3127 She really liked this little blue car as well…she was sitting up in it and rocking it own her own! We were so proud! IMG_3180 IMG_3157IMG_3189IMG_3118

Friday Fun-day!

In between homework and chores, Mommy and Luchi have been having tons of fun in the kitchen! Luchi had some homemade sweet potato mash and Mommy had a fruity salad and roasted chick peas for lunch! Girls gotta eat! This amazing new popcorn I found has been in a bowl by my computer screen for some of the morning as well! What an awesome snack! Eat whole foods and feel amazing!

I just piled anything fresh I had into a bowl to create this masterpiece. Apples, raspberries, tomatoes, avocado, peppers, feta, and spring mix topped with raspberry walnut dressing.

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These are just organic garbanzo beans from a can, rinsed, dried, tossed in 1 tbsp of olive oil, baked for 25 mins at 400 degrees and then sprinkled with spices of your choice! (I used 1/2 tsp of each, salt, coriander, paprika, and garlic powder) They are crunchy and delicious! 4 points plus for 1/2 cup.

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Look at those little teeth!! I love this baby!!

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We are going to finish our Valentine’s this evening…stay tuned for that post!

Chase the Sunset

I was cozy in my bedroom with a book and the baby on this lazy Saturday afternoon when I glanced out the window to see the glow of the pink sunset on the snowy roofs of the neighbor’s homes. Inspired, I put the baby in a snowsuit, bundled myself up, grabbed my camera and ran out the door to get my shot!

I got a few right out front of my house but was not done! I packed the baby up to drive down to the bay. We got a few more to satisfy us! So much beauty so close to home!

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An Update…

As if I needed another hat to wear, last week I added a new role to my list, student. I started back at school to get my BSN. I didn’t particularly want to take any more nursing classes but getting my bachelor’s degree is a personal goal. I want to show my daughter that her mom can finish what she starts. It is a financial burden and eats up a lot of precious time but I think it was all be worth it in the end.

My sister moved to North Jersey and I went to visit her new house for the first time yesterday. She is only 21 and she bought her first home on her own, is taking care of her 2 dogs, and working as an accountant! I am so happy for her and proud of her! Her new home is perfect for her at this time of her life and her town is adorable. We had so much fun! We went to a restaurant called Toast, wandered around Whole Foods choosing some really fun chocolate bars, tea, and goodies, and went to a place called Eagle Rock Reservation to see the skyline of NYC. Luciana had a blast visiting her aunt “Mo Mo”.

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Luciana is getting really big and more beautiful every day. She is the best thing that has ever happened to us and we couldn’t be happier. She is a really good baby and is a ton of responsibility but is worth every second of it. It has been awful going back to work because I LOVE being at home but I am doing my part to contribute to my community and make some money to take care of my daughter; my dad takes care of her most days while I work, we are so blessed! She sits up on her own now and plays so nicely on her own with her toys. It is fun to make her different foods. She loves sweet potatoes and pears. I am enjoying every day. Watching her grow is the most bittersweet experience ever; I love that she is healthy and learning new things but seeing her slip away from earlier stages hurts so badly. Here are some of our favorite photos from the last month, playing outside at the beach…

IMG_3023in the snow…IMG_2867in the custom Christmas pajamas I designed and sewed for her with her name in the fabric…IMG_2646and on Christmas Eve with Mommy and Daddy…IMG_2579Stay tuned for more inspiration, recipes, and much more!

Thanks for reading…come back soon!

Family Memories In The Making

My husband and I have been enjoying every special moment with our daughter but her Baptism, Halloween and Thanksgiving were extra fun! We love to incorporate creativity into our every day lives and are excited to build traditions for our family!

We were excited to have a Baptism for Luciana because it is tradition in our families. We wanted her Godmother to dress her, to enjoy the ceremony with family and close friends, and have an Italian butter cream cake to celebrate afterward. So that is just what we did! We had her dress made from my mom’s wedding gown and I bought her her first bracelet with her name on it! She was such an angel the whole day!

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For Halloween, we decided to dress as Disney’s The Incredibles. We walked in our town’s Halloween Parade and won first prize for the best family costume! We even made it into the local paper (they spelled our baby’s name wrong but that’s okay, we were still excited!) I even made sewed parts of our costumes myself and we pieced together the rest!IMG_1323IMG_1611 We also dressed up to take the baby to our favorite neighbor’s houses to trick-or-treat! I made Luciana a personalized bag for her candy! I hope she likes to use it every year!!

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And for Thanksgiving we made pumpkin spice chocolate chip pancakes in our comfies (pajamas), watched the Macy’s Parade, traveled to see Frank’s side of the family at their Thanksgiving, and then wandered over to see my side of the family for their Thanksgiving!

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We are so very blessed!

Thanks for reading.

Sequin Monogram Pumpkin!

Over 700 tiny pins later, my pumpkin is done! I am so excited about how this came out!

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In order to complete this project I needed a variety pack of sequins, 3 packs of sequin pins (each pack with 350 pins), a pen, and of course, a pumpkin!

I started by drawing the letter “D”. “D” is the first letter of my last name! This is our first family pumpkin in our first home. If you don’t want to free hand draw the monogram, choose your favorite font and print the letter off of your computer. Cut it out, tape it on your pumpkin, and trace!

Next, line up the colors in the order you want them to go…

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Start by placing one sequin on each pin and placing them within your letter.

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You could look at this as time consuming and tedious or very relaxing. The end result is thrilling! These sequins shimmer so beautifully! Too fun! I love it!

A big heart or star would be awesome too!

Happy Creative Halloween!

10: Baby Products, so far….(1st 3 months)

Baby Products

So before I was a mom, I asked all my “mom friends”  what their favorite baby items were!

I received many items at my baby shower and I purchased some on my own. My daughter is 3 months old now and so I wanted to share our top 10 baby items…so far.

1. Fisher-Price, My Little Snugabunny Bouncer: This chair sits in our living room and whenever I need to get anything done, there she sits. It bounces with her movements but doesn’t move on it’s own like a swing. Necessity!

2. Prefolded Cloth Diapers as Burp Cloths: We can not live without these. We use them as burp cloths. In our experience they are best for absorption. We need one of these within a 3 foot radius of Luciana at all times.

3. Boogie Wipes: These wipes are unlike any other. They smell awesome and they are created to break down mucus. My daughter had a blocked tear duct for the first month of her life and these were our “go to” to wipe away the mucus. The scent called “fresh” is our favorite.

4. Medela manual breast pump: This pump is convenient and quiet. It is less work to clean when you only need to relieve engorgement. Disregard this one if you don’t plan to breast feed. I didn’t use mine right at first but am so happy I eventually opened and used it.

5. Chicco Keyfit 30: This car seat has been great. We have not had a problems with it. We bring our daughter everywhere we go. Best part is that it fits in to this frame, our number 6 top product…

6. Chicco Keyfit Caddy: This makes errands so easy! I am obsessed. I feel like my daughter is safe in this. We use it ALL the time.

7. Butt Paste: This butt paste is great when there is a little bit of redness. Clears it right up! Have not had a diaper rash yet (knock on wood).

8. Pampers Swaddlers: These are the only diapers we will use! We love them! They have a line on the front that tells you if it is wet or not. I don’t like the “baby dry” just the “swaddlers”. Also, there are always coupons for them, just keep an eye out!

9. Huggies Natural Care Wipes: We prefer the Huggies brand wipes. We have tried several but these are somewhat textured and come apart from each other with ease.

10. Summer Infant Bath: This is not the exact bath we have but its very similar and by the same brand. It has been perfect for us. We give our daughter a bath every night before bed.

 

In my opinion, don’t bother with these :

Wipes warmer

Rock ‘n play (unless you have a baby with reflux, I hear they are great for refluxing babies but we found ours unnecessary)

My best tip:

My daughter sleeps through the night, every single night. I am talking 8, 9, even 10 hours. I don’t know why but I personally think that it has to do with a few things…1. We always give her a bath at night. I believe it helps her understand the time of day it is. 2. I always nurse her after her bath for comfort even if she recently ate. Just for a few minutes if doesn’t need a full feeding. 3. I lay her in her bed while drowsy. She soothes herself to sleep. 4. I only ever place her in bed when it is bedtime. She does not nap or play in her bed. *You will learn the different cries. When I hear a “pain cry” I don’t hesitate to give gas drops. They help my daughter a lot.

I hope this is helpful! Comments welcome.

 

Lunch Date with Katie

One of my best friends from college came to my new home for a lunch date with Luciana and me. She wore her beautiful smile, as usual!

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I prepared a lovely lunch for us that we ate in my backyard under our bright yellow umbrella! We enjoyed a yummy spinach salad with watermelon, feta, and candied walnuts, a white bean spread on a fresh french baguette (and some gluten free crackers for Katie), and some raspberry iced tea! I loved making special treats from scratch for such a special friend!

IMG_1343After our lunch we drove over to my favorite local park for a walk! A few waterlilies were peaking out of the water, of which I snapped a photo, as usual!

IMG_1344 IMG_1347I love teaching my daughter how to maintain the friendships that matter, through example! We love you Katie. Thanks for visiting!