Scenes from the Vineyard: Memorial Day Weekend 2013

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Hi Everyone!  Long time no talk!  The reason:  We were in “the Vineyard” (I’ve been there once, so now I can refer to it as such lol) for a wedding of a long-time best friend of my husband.  We made a long weekend of it and although the weather did NOT cooperate and it literally took “planes, trains and automobiles” to get there, it was a great time.  On Friday, we flew to Boston.

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Then, we drove about tow hours (yup, got lost of course) to Woods Hole to catch a 2:45 ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.

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Um, and then I found my best friend of late: under-eye concealer.

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We immediately checked into our hotel, which was one of the best parts of the weekend.  We stayed at the Ashley Inn, and because kids were not allowed in the main house, we scored an amazing two-bedroom cottage house next door to ourselves which worked out PERFECTLY because my Mom came with us to watch Zachy.  It was bomb.com!  (and so is she, by the way: gotta love the live-in Mema babysitter!)

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ANYWAY, after checking in and checking out the cottage, we immediately went to the welcome barbecue.   IT was supposed to be outside but it was pouring rain so it was indoor at a community center.  Despite the rain, it was a blast and was great to catch up with old friends.  Zach was invited to this event and he was a HIT!  He took off across the floor (with his “peg leg” crawl; hilarious but efficient (damn he is fast!), danced, entertained himself and tried to play with the other kiddos.

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Anyway, needless to say, we were exhausted after a long day of travel so we all turned in early.  the next morning (Saturday) it was not so nice out again so we took a walk into the adorable Edgartown (where our hotel was) and explored until it started pouring.

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That night was the rehearsal dinner at the groom’s parent’s house outside in a tent. It was super fun: again much catching up with old friends, good food and company. Oh and the BEST Derby pie EVER that I MUST recreate ASAP!

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So in the mornings, the inn had an AMAZING breakfast, made to order, that my mom and I got to experience in the quite of the inn one day, and in the form of takeout the other days.  think:  french bread french toast, pancakes, homemade granola, omelets, quiche, homemade muffins, fruit and amazingness.  Ok, moving on…So the day of the wedding (Sunday) the weather was STILL not cooperating but at LEAST it stopped raining. It was my chance!  The run I had been DYING to complete since I had stepped foot onto the island! I REALLY wanted to explore the island on foot and got in a beautiful 5-mile run.  It was SUPER windy on the way out and I might’ve let out a few curse words, but the scenery more than made up for it.

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The plus side is, the wind pushed me back 😉  Later we all drove to the beach (for a minute due to the chill) for a photo op and to admire the view of course.

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The wedding was later that afternoon.  The wind was still there at the beginning, BUT it ended up to be a gorgeous day with a gorgeous bride and groom.

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The love was so palpable…and the mashed potato bar was AMAZE.  For real, guys.

Groom in the middle

Groom in the middle

Anyway, the wedding was awesome, and i must say, I cut a mean rug 😉  I was exhausted by the end of the night and slept very well 😉  Today we woke up bright and early to make our 10:45 ferry.  We caught up with some more friends on the ferry which was a sweet way to end the weekend.   When the ferry landed, we hung around in the adorable town of Falmouth, MA where…ZACH TOOK HIS FIRST STEPS!  It was awesome, but for SURE a game changer.  He wouldn’t really replicate it either (I kept trying to get it on video after the first time but he wasn’t having it) but they happened there!

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After all of that excitement we drove back to Boston to catch our 4:30 flight. We were super early and tried to go standby on the 3:30, but alas no luck. PS: In case you are wondering, THIS is an amazing way to entertain a 13 month old in an airport besides letting him crawl all over the terminal which I FOR SURE did.

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OH and P.S.S. Zach was SUPER cute all weekend 😉

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What a nice weekend!  Tell me about yours!

“The Board” and other anal retentive necessities ;)

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Hi everyone!  Sorry I have been so MIA.  Things have just been CRAZY busy.  So, here are a few ways I keep myself organized when things are nutso (always, when you have a 13 month old, but who am I kidding, I have always been like this) LOL.  Speaking of that 13 month old, his new thing is climbing steps. Like over. And over.  And over.

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OK, so this is “the board.  It is right as you enter the kitchen and is a wipe board that COMPLETELY organizes our life down to  schedule, meals and my workouts 🙂

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I know, it sounds crazy, but it is super helpful for Husband to know what is going on and for me to visually be aware of what is “going on.”  This “organization hub” has been really helpful thus far and I plan on using it…forever 😉  OK, next…LISTS…I make lists for EVERYTHING.  Grocery store shopping (Whole Foods/Super Fresh), things I need to order from Diapers.com, things to do, things to pack, etc.

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Finally, if things are SUPER hectic, I make DESCRIPTIVE DETAILED daily schedules.

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So, I know they seem crazy (and they probably are), but they really help me get everything done and I truly would forget things if I did not make such detailed lists, schedules, etc.  I know I sound nuts, but if you are having trouble “keeping it together,” try one of these strategies. It feels SOOO good to cross things off your list.  Even if it is “shower.” 🙂

The Great Clothing Debacle

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We live in the city.  We don’t have tons of room.  So we have a storage unit.  And it has been a lifesaver.  I switch my clothing once a year (fall/winter and spring/summer) and store my alternate season clothing in the unit.  Switching the clothing is a REALLY big production.  I know my husband dreads it as much as I do because he has to lug the (usually 4) HUGE bins out of storage, which sometimes includes moving all the crap that is blocking the bins then putting it all back.

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ANYWAY, it is SO stressful and is usually a multi-day production.  I wish it wasn’t but it is.  You are probably thinking “is this girl nuts?!”  Yup, I am, but that is beside the point.  This is SUCH a production because it involves multiple steps.  First I take my current “wardrobe” out of the drawers.  THEN, I donate anything I don’t/didn’t wear.  And I put it on the bed.  Now here is where it gets tricky, because NOW I start the process when Zach goes to sleep and well, shorty after, I go to sleep…but all the stuff is on the bed.

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So I move it to the trunk until the next day.  ANYWAY, NEXT I unload the new wardrobe clothing from the bins and “categorize” them so that I can put them away.  You know, tank tops, v-neck t’s, etc.  I put last season’s clothing in the bins and close them up.

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While this is happening, I’m trying to plan out what will go where and in what drawers.  I inevitably change the logistics of the drawers several times as I try to determine what make the most sense 😉  I know, TYPE A.  THEN I put the clothing away. EXHAUSTING RIGHT!?  And poor husband then has to drag the bins back into storage.  Brutal.  So tell me, do you guys switch your seasonal clothing?

A lovely weekend

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*NOTE:  Sorry, this was supposed to post yesterday!

Hi everyone!  I am still thinking about my weekend; it was soooo lovely, so I just wanted to share some of the highlights 🙂  On Friday, I had a lovely long run during Zachy’s nap (8 miler) during which I felt fantastic and watched some amazing Scandal.  LOVE by the way.  Then, I was treated to a fantastic massage (at home) by the Lovely Nicky from Hands at Home. She is aaaaamazing.  Seriously, call this girl now.

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Then, Saturday morning, I FINALLY graduated with my Masters In Education from the University of Pennsylvania.  Let me explain. I literally finished my coursework a few years ago and truly delayed the writing of my 40+ page thesis.  You know, life got in the way…baby….etc.  But, I GOT IT DONE!  Woot!  SUPER excited about that.  It was a long time coming.

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Dad upsanddownes and me

Dad upsanddownes and me

Mom upsanddownes and me

Mom upsanddownes and me

After graduation, we met up with a ton of family who I do not get to often see as they live out of town. It was FANTASTIC to see them and to see the kids (cousins) playing together.  SO CUTE.

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Also, the restaurant (one of my faves) Supper, had a CEREAL BUFFET: all you can eat YUMMY cereals (think: Alphabets, Frosted Flakes, Life, etc.).  AMAZE!  Anyway, then we all went to the park for some more play time 🙂

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THEN, Sunday was a fantastic Mother’s Day.  We had brunch at Mema’s (my mom’s house) with loads of my family and FABULOUS food (including my famous Monkey Bread duh).  It was truly a great day.

I also got to take a lovely outdoor run during Zach’s pm nap.  He napped at my mom’s and I ran to the nearby track with plans of doing speed work, but high winds, a full belly, and a tad bit of laziness got in the way 😉  I just wasn’t feeling it, so I took a fun, slow 6 mile run.  LOVELY day all in all.  Still basking in the greatness of it.  I hope you all had an equally awesome weekend…now if this winter weather would just realize it is MAY!

To All the Nay-sayers

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So, on this lovely Mother’s Day, I wanted to write a post about Zach’s sleep.  Why, might you ask?!  Because I am WELL RESTED and able to enjoy the day!  Hahha.  Really though, I wanted to write a post about Zachary’s sleep because like many moms, for me, it has always been an issue.  And I don’t even think we ever had it that bad.  It wasn’t that I was unwilling to try “cry it out” or other “sleep training techniques, but I TRULY felt Zach was hungry and needed to eat at least once during the night. Yes, it was/is hard on me, and yes sometimes once a night lead to twice (or even three times in the earlier months) a night, but I just KNEW Zachary would NOT be still waking up in the middle of the night to eat when he was going off to college 😉  Hehe.  In all seriousness, I felt it was developmental and that he would “sleep through the night” in his own time.  Now understand, I stay at home with him during the day, so I don’t know how I would have felt/dealt with the situation if I had to work in the morning.  Anyway, at first, I defined STTN (ha, there is even an acronym for it) as being 7 hours.  So Zach would go to bed around 7 and inevitably wake up around 2 to eat. He would then, if I was lucky, go back to sleep until about 630 or 7.  Gradually, he has moved to a new (LOVELY) schedule, which I feel is partly due to his solids intake.  In the beginning of the “solids journey” with Zach, he wasn’t all about it.  He just didn’t eat that much or that  many different things.  Now, he still has a limited palate but eats a good amount.  He also LOVES peanut butter and I feed it to him A LOT because it is one of the things he WILL eat, and it has “sticking power” (I think it fills him up for a long time).  So his new night time sleeping is like this:  he goes to bed between 7 and 730 (based on his last nap; see schedule below) and will get up around 5 to eat (10 HOURS!!!) OR 6 (11 hours!!!!) then go back to sleep until 6:45 or 7.  WOOOOT!  Knock on wood, RIGHT!?  SO, the nay sayers… MANY people have asserted that Zachary would NEVER sleep through the night because I let him eat in the middle of the night and that if I didn’t stop doing this, I was “training him” improperly.  First off, I didn’t think he would NEVER sleep through the night, I mean what a funny statement!  Secondly, I THINK ALL CHILDREN ARE DIFFERENT.  Each child is merely a small version of us humans; different from the next.  Just like the books can recommend what to do and what not to do,  there simply is no right or wrong answer.  Moms need to support one another, possibly offer suggestions, but realize that all kids and situations are different!

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With that being said, Zachary’s current eating/napping schedule is somewhat like this:

7pm BATH

715-730 NURSE, GO TO SLEEP

5-6am WAKE TO NURSE (awake for about 5-10 minutes only, thank Heaven!)

645-7am UP FOR THE DAY!

7-7:45  CUDDLE IN BED, PLAY

7:45  BREAKFAST (small meal: yogurt or some pb on mum mum crackers)

8-9am PLAY!

9am NURSE, go down for nap

915am-1045am NAP #1(Thank God he is still on two naps, knock on wood!)

11am-2pm Snack when he wakes up (banana or cheese) PLAY or ATTEND a CLASS

*12:30 LUNCH (fruit slice, or some grapes, a veggie puree, etc.)

2pm  NURSE and go down for nap

215-345 or 4pm  NAP #2

4pm Snack (fruit, yogie bites, etc.)

4-6pm PLAY!  PARK TIME, sometimes GROCERY SHOP!

6pm DINNER (hummus and carrots, veggie puree, more pb and crackers, etc.)

630-700 Pre bedtime play, always ends on the bed with Zach flinging himself into the pillows.  HILARIOUS.

Anyway, that is just our (current) schedule. Heaven knows it can change at any moment (and kill my type A personality lol).  Hope you enjoyed your day!

PS:  Happy Mother’s Day to the woman who made me everything I am and who supports everything I will become 🙂  I am proud to call you my mom, and prouder to call you my best friend.  I love you.

 

Blackened Fish

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Hi everyone!  Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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So, I wanted to post a quick “how-to” for making the blackened fish that I use at least once a week in my meal plan;) It is SUPER easy (and a recipe any mom would love!).  You can use any type of fish; I use salmon when I want a strong fish taste with a meaty consistency or tilapia when I want a lighter fish.  Both are equally good.  So, here is how you do it.  Seriously SOOOO easy!  Along with your fish fillets, you will only need butter (I use Whole Foods’ garlic and herb butter) and blackening seasoning (I like Whole Foods’ one as well).

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Melt some butter in a pan, heat on medium high.  Ad your fillets when the butter is melted.

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Look to see when the fish has cooked 3/4 of the way (the tilapia turns white from pink and the salmon,which generally takes longer to cook will darken).  The thicker the fish, the longer it will take to cook.  In fact, I position my fillets so that the thicker surfaces are toward the middle of the pan (to get the most heat so to cook evenly).  When it has cooked “3/4 of the way,” sprinkle your blackening seasoning generously on top of the fillets.

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Then, flip the fillets so that the other side cooks.  It will take significantly less time than the first side as they are already 3/4 of the way cooked.  I like to cook mine as long as possible on the first side as I am paranoid about undercooking things.  Once you sprinkle the blackening seasoning on, it is hard to see/gauge how cooked they are.

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Then, sprinkle more blackening seasoning on this side.  When you feel the fillets are sufficiently cooked, flip again (to douse the other side in the remaining butter, of course!).  Then, remove from pan and serve!  I like to eat mine with green beans and cous cous. YUM!  So delicious and easy!  Enjoy your Mother’s Day!

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PINK POLKA DOTS: A Baby Sprinkle

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HIIIII!  So, last weekend I threw a baby sprinkle for a lovely friend who is expecting her third child, a girl!  She has two other amazing kids (boys) and is super excited to get her girly on!  I was STOKED to throw her a sprinkle, which, I feel should be pronounced “Spraaaankle” and it is very southern 😉  hehe.  SO, the set the theme as “pink polka dots” as this is near and dear to the guest of honor’s heart.  Here are a few pics from the party and some polka dotty ideas!  Enjoy!  (You KNOW I love me a good theme!)

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Baby clothes line: ALWAYS a good decor addition to a baby shower.  THEN you gift the guest of honor the fun little onesies!  Creative, cute and easy!  I used diaper pins to attach the onesies. I aways like to have a feature item decoration over the fireplace.  At Zach’s birthday party, I did a homemade name bunting:

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Speaking of bunting, I made one for the guest of honor for downstairs in the “food area.”

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When I throw my parties, I generally do the food/drinks downstairs and chilling/relazing upstairs. I try to disperse decorations between the both floors.

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These are super easy to make and can be adapted to any theme.  I LOVE incorporating vases into my decor. I have a ton sitting around the house and you can do super creative things with them. For these, I used pink polka dot tissue paper and crumpled it within the vase.  Then I made a big tissue paper flower and positioned it to come out of the vase.  Cute, no?!  Around the vase are baby feet candy 🙂 CUTE!!

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The drink/dessert table featuring ALL pink drinks 😉 including pink grapefruit drink mimosas.  The cupcakes were a favor as the party ended at noon (a bit early for cupcakes…maybe) and many of the guests had little ones at home that would enjoy a cupcake.  Up close of the cupcakes:

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Polka dot cupcakes; those are pink mints (had to pick them out of the other pastel colored ones hehe).  Fun favor when put into the polka dot take out containers shown above.

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View of the table.  Note the hanging polka dot lanterns.  Menu:

Monkey bread (duh; this seems to happily grace the table of most of my events lately)

Bacon and cheddar quiche

Mushroom spinach and cheddar quiche

Fruit

Yogurt parfaits

Banana muffins (a friend made and brought these)

Bagels/spreads

ANYWAY, all in all it was a great event!  Much love was shared 😉  PLEASE email me if you EVER need help with an event (themed or not). It is one of my FAVORITE things to do!  I am so happy that I was able to sprinkle such a good friend with so much love 🙂