Highlights from the Weekend

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Anyone else already had a second coffee today? It is definitely an under-eye concealer, strong coffee and top knot kind of day over here. It was a great weekend but definitely not the most relaxing.  How was your weekend? I thought it would be fun today to share a few highlights from our weekend.

Friday night Bo and I relaxed at home with a delicious steak dinner complete with a Cesaer salad, roasted potatoes and wine. Before the wine, I enjoyed my first Oktoberfest beer of the season – Bell’s Oktoberfest.

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Saturday morning I laced up my shoes for a quick workout while Bo watched Katie. I was able to make it down to the waterfront during the 30 minutes. I am focusd on a smart return to running through a strong base building period of run/walk intervals. I was able to cover 2.9 miles in the 30 minutes using 2 minuntes of running followed by 2 minutes of walking intervals. The weather was muggy but during the time alone with my playlist and the sidewalk was exactly what I needed. Man did it feel great to be out running! A month from now I’m doing the Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn 5 Mile race in Prospect Park with Brooks and plan to complete the race using the run/walk intervals if anyone wants to join me!

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We spent the rest of the afternoon cooking and cleaning around the house since we were having friends over for dinner.  IMG_6355

The highlight of the afternoon was harvesting tomatoes and basil from our small backyard garden for this delicious Pesto Pasta Salad. The roasted tomatoes gave it delicious flavor and the lemon brightened the pesto dressing. IMG_6376

For dinner we served smoked Boston Butt, homemade coleslaw and the pesto pasta salad! Enjoyed with a few beers and baby giggls, it was a fun evening with friends.  After they left we curled up on the couch with Bo’s sister, Meg, and watched The Big Sick. We LOVED the movie and agree that it deserved the 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday I met Evann and Meghann for a girls brunch in Downtown Brooklyn. Katie was a delight, showing off her giggles and smile for them and even sleeping for a bit in the carrier while we sipped mimosas and chatted.IMG_6382IMG_6389

Unfortunately, while the commute there was a breeze on the subway, the journey home was less than ideal. I’m still a new mom who is learning the ropes so anxiety kicked in quickly when I found out that the subways weren’t running due to a power outage. Since I’d worn Katie in the carrier, I didn’t have the option of taking a cab or Uber home. Instead, I found a coffee shop with back patio and fed her before walking the 1.5 miles home. It wasn’t ideal as I was over dressed for the hot, humid weather and Katie was over-tired but by the time we got home I everyone was just fine. 

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So, like I said, it was a busy weekend but one filled with lots of friends, funs and fresh air. Hope you guys have a great Monday and a wonderful week.

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Friday Favorites – September 15, 2017

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Happy Friday! It’s been a great week over here in Brooklyn. I started the week with yoga at Wanderlust 108 and ended the week with a huge weight off my shoulders. As of yesterday, we finalized our childcare plan for Katie. I’ve been a bundle of nerves the past few weeks stressing about this but thankfully, as luck would have it, we found an existing nanny share just down the block from us who needed a new baby to join. So, as of November, Katie will spend her days a few blocks away playing with an adorable 13 month old and 3 year old. Their nanny is a sweet 32-year-old German woman who has been in the US for 14 years and is fluent in French, German and English. Since I work from home this is a perfect compromise and the short walk to their house makes it easy for Bo or I to take and pick Katie up each day. If anyone has questions about our nanny share search or childcare in general, I’m happy to help but I am in no means an expert. It was an overwhelming process, that’s for sure! Now that the stress is over, I’m ready to relax this weekend! We are having friends over tomorrow evening for a barbecue and playdate but otherwise, I hope to head out early each morning for a run and possibly squeeze in a massage. What are your plans for the weekend?

Now, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

Did you buy one too many apples this week at the market? These 10 apple recipes will help you use them in no time!

  • Inspired by so many of the bloggers I follow on Instagram, I’m pushing my boundaries a bit this week and doing more Instagram Live Videos including a tour of our apartment! Be sure to head over and check it today before it goes away in 24-hours!
  • As soon as I shared our master bedroom, 6 people asked where we found our floor mirror. This beaded leaning floor mirror is perfect for our large space and at $75 the price can’t be beat!
  • Last weekend we were craving chocolate chip cookies but my waistline didn’t need a full batch. This small batch chocolate chip cookie recipe resulted in 12 perfectly, chewy cookies that satisifed the craving!
  • Steak salad has always been a favorite but this recipe takes it up a notch! This steak salad recipe from How Sweet It Is includes gorgonzola cheese encrusted steak and fresh figs! 
  • I’m on the hunt for a new pair of sunglasses and am currently debating between this pair that I had for five years before losing them in Italy and this trendier style. Thoughts?
  • Ever wonder how a zoo manages to evacuate the lions, tigers and bears? This interesting NPR article answers that question and more!
  • In our relationship, this scenario is flipped. Since Katie was born, Bo stays up at least an hour later than I do. However, over the past week I’ve found both of us staying up later enjoying time together whether it’s planning a family vacation, talking about our days or watching a movie on the couch.
  • Speaking of staying up late, both Bo and I have loved reading Fortune’s Children. If you like Downton Abbey you’ll love reading about the rise and fall of the famous Vanderbilt family. I’m only a quarter of the way through the book but find myself staying up a few minutes later each night just to learn more about how this family made and lost their money so quickly.
  • I immediately fell in love with this small sponge upon receiving it in this month’s Birchbox. The Daily Concepts Micro Facial Scrubber left my face feeling 100x cleaner when paired with my daily cleanser. The natural cotton base layer wasn’t too rough on my skin but the texture removed dirt, oil and dead skin immediately!
  • Even when you know so many others are going through things that are tougher, more painful or 100 times worse, it’s still okay to have a bad day. As I read this post I felt like I couldn’t share it quick enough as every word Lindsey wrote resonated loud and clear.
  • This slow cooker Moroccan Stew looks like the perfect thing for a cool, Fall evening! It’s been ages since I used my slow cooker so maybe it’s time to pull it out and give it a try.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

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How My Priorities Are Changing These Days

It’s incredible how quickly perspective and priorities can change when certain life events take place.

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Last week, while in Savannah, Georgia visiting our friends and family at home, it was clear that the locals were on high-alert after watching Hurricane Harvey devastate Texas the week prior. With two more storms in the Atlantic, many people were focusing their long, holiday weekend on putting together their hurricane evacuation essentials, and, overall, preparing for the unexpected.

For Bo and I, expanding our family has caused us to think more about how we can help ensure a safe financial future. We now have a fully dependent, 12-week-old daughter to think about when we make decisions.  For us, term life insurance is a necessity for ensuring that no matter what happens to us, Bo and I will both have a financial cushion to help with paying the bills and raising Katie.

When Haven Life reached out to me in June, asking if I would be interested in partnering for a sponsored post, I quickly said yes. Updating our life insurance policy was on my to-do list and like so many other tedious and often overwhelming tasks such as creating a will, it had been pushed further and further down my to-do list.  At the same time, I’ve heard horror stories from friends and family about waiting too long to update or even purchase policies. So, hopefully this post will motivate and encourage you to look into life insurance more actively. It did for me.

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What’s nice about Haven Life is that they realize that today’s generation is looking for a simpler, easier to understand and transparent life insurance solution. We aren’t accustomed to having long-term relationships with insurance agents. Similar to the way that Expedia and other travel websites changed the way we book travel, Haven Life believes that today’s moms and dads deserve an insurance option that meets their online, DIY expectations. While Haven Life has a startup feel and fresh perspective, they are backed by MassMutual, a 160-year old life insurance company with a long history of financial strength.

Haven Life’s aim is to deliver a life insurance buying experience as it should be – a simple, transparent and friendly process that any customer can complete quickly and confidently.  Their application process is online, and some people may qualify for InstantTerm, a Haven Life process that allows qualified applicants* under the age of 45 to finalize coverage without the need for a medical exam.

Plus, since the process is online, you can find out instantly if you’re approved for coverage and how much it’ll cost.

If you’re like most in our generation, you may not realize that a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy can be very affordable, often less than $20 per month for a healthy 30-year-old woman.  For a NYC resident that can mean taking your lunch to work a couple times a month.  In fact, when using our current Brooklyn zip code, I found that a $1,000,000, 30-year policy would cost a healthy 34-year-old woman $54.33 per month! clip_image002[4]

So, instead of putting life insurance off any longer, take a few minutes to help financially protect your family this week!

This post is sponsored by Haven Life, but views expressed are my own.

*Based on health information from the application.

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC15DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC.

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