Mommy Make Up


I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted this to be a series up on the blog, but I keep finding new products I like and little time-saving hacks that I think other moms will appreciate. So, without further ado, here is the third installation of Mommy Make Up!


Lazy Mama Contour – This is by far my favorite new hack. I love the idea of contouring…. but what mama has the time to watch YouTube tutorials on how to do it?! And the cost of some of those contour kits? No thanks! So I found a cheat to make it look like you’ve attempted a contour, without actually doing it. BRONZER is your friend! Yes, take a make up brush and smear some bronzer from your ear onto your cheek, stopping the brush stroke at your eye. You don’t want dark bronzer all over your cheek, so try to brush it on a controlled line from you ear to the halfway point on your cheek (for me, it’s my eye)


Lipstick is your friend! So, I was sticking pretty much to lip balm and tinted chapstick, but I have found that I really do like lipstick! If you choose a nude color, it doesn’t look extreme, too formal, or like you’re trying too hard. It gives you just enough color to look “put together.” I didn’t buy anything special, just your typical drug store variety. Since this is the cheaper variety, you can buy a couple neutral shades and keep one in the diaper bag!

Those are the new hacks and cheats I have for you beautiful mamas!


Honey Garlic Chicken



This is the easiest dinner ever, yintz! I put all the ingredients in a bag ahead of time, before Cora was born, so that I had it on hand for a night when I didn’t know what to cook. The best part of this recipe, is that it actually doesn’t require you to do any cooking. You dump these chicken thighs into a crock pot for 6 hours, and you’re ready to go!


It has been tough trying to narrow down Cora’s allergy, and while I think it’s mostly a sensitivity to dairy that upsets her tummy, I have been eating meals free of: wheat, dairy, eggs, fish, soy , and peanuts. It has really limited my options of meal helpers and other processed foods that I used to be able to quickly throw in the microwave as a side to a meal. Luckily, this meal met all my requirements and was also delicious! I paired it with “fried rice” only I substituted the actual rice with quinoa I had leftover from another meal that was in danger of expiring. This chicken is also fantastic with green beans, and while it can be made in the crock pot, it’s also a fantastic stove top recipe.


So, here’s what you need:

Spray your crock pot with non-stick spray (I used Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray) and lay the chicken thighs on the bottom. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the chicken. Put the crock pot on high and cook for 6 hours. SO EASY. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can cook the chicken in a skillet on the stove, and pour the sauce over it once the chicken has cooked thoroughly. This is also a tasty variation!

So tender… ENJOY!


Egg Muffins

Most mornings, I can hardly roll out of bed. Sophie ends up stealing a few bites of her Dad’s cereal before he leaves for work, and then I come downstairs and hand her whatever is most easily accessible to me. Maybe a nutrigrain bar, maybe more cereal, some times an apple… either way, I’m all about a minimal amount of effort when it comes to my kids’ breakfast in the morning.


A little lightbulb went off in my head a few mornings ago, and I’m so happy it did because I actually have some thing to hand Sophie in the morning that is healthy and quick.

Now I have 2 ways to make these little egg muffins. One is easy and a recipe you [the parent] can eat as well. The other one is geared more specifically toward toddlers as it requires either whole milk or breast milk [need that calcium!].


Version 1:
-6 eggs
-1/2 cup of spinach chopped
-1/4 shredded cheese [I used pepper jack]

Version 2:
-6 eggs
-1/2 cup of spinach chopped
-1/4 shredded cheese
-3 oz. milk [whole or breast]
-1 Tbs. of ground flax or flour

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients, and pour into a muffin tin. Bake for 10-14 minutes.


See? SO easy! I made 8, which obviously gives us breakfast for at least a week. I store these in the fridge and pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds in the morning before I give one to Sophie. Easy, healthy, and delicious. You’re welcome.


Crockpot Pulled Pork

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  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed

I coat pork shoulder with a spice rub of dark brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon, then cook it on a bed of garlic and onions moistened with chicken broth. Six to ten hours later, the tenderest pork is ready to be shredded and served with your favorite BBQ sauce. You can shred the pork with a fork, or if you’re super lazy like me, throw it in your stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix it on low for 1 minute. If you plan to eat it right away, add your BBQ sauce [about 2 cups for this much pork] to the mixer while the pork is being shredded. This no-fuss, versatile recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, and the leftovers—should you have any—freeze well, which is why I chose it as one of my make ahead meals for when the Baby Comes.

I froze it without any BBQ sauce on it. I plan to thaw and reheat the meat in a skillet with BBQ sauce to moisten it back up. Pair this with some freezer french fries or cole slaw and it makes the perfect, easy meal!


Mommy Make Up Hacks


Some of you may remember my 5 minute make up routine that I created especially for busy mommies, but I have shortened it even more for those days when you want to dash to the grocery store and not be embarrassed to run into some one, yet don’t want to put on a full face of make up. Also many of these tips involve drugstore make up items, so we’re going for quick AND budget savvy, here.

Instead of concealer some times I just swipe some powdered foundation under my eyes (my current favorite is Infallible ProMatte powder by Loreal). If I’m hormonal or my skin tone is really uneven for some reason, I’ll do an extra swipe starting from my forehead down the bridge of my nose. It takes 2 seconds, and while it’s not as good as having the full coverage of actual foundation or a tinted moisturizer, it eliminates the most noticeable parts of the problem.

Instead of eye make up like eye lash curling, mascara, eye shadow, and liner… I only apply the liner. When I’m trying to be quick but still get a polished look, I love to use liquid liner. A cat eye looks chic and will give you the most drama for not having any other eye make up present. However, some people really struggle with winged eyeliner which would actually cost them more time trying to perfect it, than if you were to use a standard liner. Either way, using liner is a great way to highlight the eyes without putting in too much effort. In fact, I only do my top ids, which helps make my eyes appear slightly bigger [and more awake and alert]. Maybelline Line Stiletto in black is my drug store favorite.

Instead of lipstick and lip liner I go for a tinted lip balm. I know I’ve said this before but serious, buy plenty of them and stash some in every diaper bag. Go for a more neutral color, but some thing that still stands out slightly from your natural color. Burt’s Bees has some great options and also do the best job at hydrating your lips.

Instead of dark nail polish use light colored polish. I know, many of us rarely have time to give ourselves a manicure, but on that one day when your kiddo takes an extra long nap, go light with your polish color! When it starts to chip, the light color polish won’t contrast as much against the color of your natural nail. If you go with black or dark red, your eye will instantly be drawn to the chip every time you catch a glance of your hands. Light polish helps your mani to appear prettier for longer.

What are your beauty secrets?

Nachos at Home

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This recipe is so easy, I’m sure you’re wondering why it deserves its own post. First of all, nachos are one of my husbands favorite foods so, If nothing else, this is a love letter to him. Otherwise, the thing I love about nachos is that you can totally dress these guys up by making your own tortilla chips and adding jalapenos and avocado… OR you can throw together nachos as a quick dinner with store bought chips, meat, and cheese. EASY.

Nachos are like the pizza of Mexican food, [well, technically I think tostadas are more like a pizza, but they’re really not as popular so we’ll stick with nachos…] you can make one big pan of them, and every one can share and be satisfied. If you’re looking for a more refined recipe, I absolutely love this post from Cupcakes and Cashmere, but if you want some thing quick to throw together tonight, here’s how I made mine:

-Half a bag of restaurant style tostitos
-1/2 cup of salsa divided into 2 quarter cups
-bag of Kraft Mexican blend cheese
-1 lb. ground pork
-1 packet of taco seasoning
-1 Tbs. Yucatan guacamole
-1 Tbs. cream cheese [totally optional, I just like having a creamy taste/texture to my meat]
-shredded lettuce

I preheated my oven to 400, lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and chips, cooked the meat in a skillet with: the taco seasoning, 1/4 cup of salsa, guacamole, and cream cheese. I sprinkled my meat over my nachos, spooned a little extra salsa on each of the bigger chips, then covered them all with the shredded cheese. I baked them for 5 minutes, then topped them all off with some of that lettuce! I provided extra guac and salsa for dipping, but I loved them as they were and what is usually a restaurant appetizer, became a pretty filling meal!

Easy Chicken Drumsticks

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Normally, I’m a chicken breast kind of woman, but when pregnancy gives you a red meat aversion, you kind of get sick of eating chicken breasts ALL the time (but you’re still totally not going to eat that nasty bloody meat). SO, I had to branch out a bit and so I went with my least-risky, next option: chicken drumsticks. If you had an awesome childhood, then you remember fighting your siblings for these tasty morsels out of all the other cuts of chicken in that KFC bucket. Ok, so maybe some of you didn’t, but in any case, drumsticks are an option that are both delicious and underrated.

Don’t be intimidated by the drumsticks, people! Like I said, least-risky…

I have a simple and delicious marinade that I use for these cuts, then all you have to do is pop them in the oven whenever you feel ready for it! I will warn you though, these take about an hour to cook, so don’t wait until you’re starving.

What you need:

  • 1 pound of chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • cup oil
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Place all of these ingredients in a big ziplock bag. Toss it between your hands a few times, to make sure everything is mixed together and evenly coated. You can set your bag in the fridge while it marinates. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, but I usually do an hour. If you want, you could prepare these the night before and they’d have an excellent flavor by the time you got home from work to cook them. Anyway, Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place your drumsticks on a lined baking sheet [I use silicone baking mats, but parchment paper works just as well]. Bake your drummies at 375 for a half hour, then take them out and turn them over. Place them back in the oven to cook for another 30 minutes. Remember to flip them, I promise it’s worth it. This ensures a crispy outside, and a moist inside.

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We served this chicken with a side of summer cabbage slaw and it was a great combo! Enjoy.

Summer Cabbage Slaw

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This week has been an exhausting week. I made it out of the 1st trimester, was still taking care of a recovering sick baby, and had an event in Pittsburgh that I went to [for those who don’t know, Pittsburgh is a 2 hour round trip for me]. Also, we live down the street from a university, and many of the students returned for the fall semester. Since Hubs works in the university bookstore, he’s been busy this week too. We were both so busy that we kept reaching for easy meals that required little to no preparation, and also, little to no nutrition. I had a head of cabbage sitting in the fridge and I didn’t want it to go to waste, so naturally I searched “cabbage” into Pinterest. I got some inspiration for this from a specific pin, but honestly, the recipe did not meet my expectations, so I’m not even going to bother posting the original recipe. Too much olive oil, too wet of a salad… it was just bad.

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Instead, I’ll give you MY recipe for delicious summer slaw. Its packed with veggies and has a delicious dressing, so it doesn’t even feel like work to eat something so healthy. It took me awhile to make my own variation on that original pin, but I think this recipe is the perfect solution! Here’s what you need for the salad itself:
-5 cups of shredded cabbage [you can buy prepackaged, but I prefer organic, so I sliced my own]
-1 cup of corn [if you’re using canned corn, make sure to drain the corn before using]
-1 red bell pepper chopped
-1 avocado [not too ripe] cubed

Then for the salad dressing:
-1 Tb Extra virgin olive oil
-2 limes juiced
-4 Tb greek yogurt
-1.5 Tb honey
-1 Tb hot sauce
– **optional** 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. [If you do choose to use cilantro, I would blend these ingredients in a nutribullet or blender]. Add all of the cabbage salad ingredients to a large bowl. Pour half the dressing over the salad and mix with your hands or with tongs. Continue to add dressing to your taste, and that’s it! You can even make this hours ahead of time and it still tastes great whenever you decide it’s meal time.

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We served our slaw with some roasted chicken drumsticks. YUM. I felt like it was a good way to get us back on the healthy eating track after a crazy week of compromise.

Thai Pork Burgers


This is a variation on a HelloFresh recipe that we LOVED! This meal is easy, and doesn’t take long. It’s an exotic twist on a regular burger. Oh, and it the cucumber mint salad doesn’t sound appealing to you, try it anyway! I was pleasantly surprised! The burgers are gluten free, and instead of buns, I used 2 slices of my gluten free bread, however, udi’s makes some really top notch hamburger buns that I’d recommend. While we ate these just as hamburgers, the cheese I’d like to see on top of this burger would be Munster. Munster cheese can be found in the deli section of your grocery store.

What you need [serves 2]:
-Ground pork
-1 stalk of lemongrass
-2 cloves garlic
-1 Tbs sriracha
-1 Tbs soy sauce
-1 Tbs homemade mayo
– 1 cucumber
– 3 green onion finely chopped
– 2 sprigs of mint
-1 lime
-2 Tbs olive oil

Remove the outer leaves of the lemongrass, until you reach the soft core in the middle. Thinly slice the lemongrass core and set aside. Zest and halve the lime, then, finely mince the garlic, and mint.

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green onion, garlic and lemongrass to the pan, cooking for 3-4 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the contents of the skillet with the pork, soy sauce, lime zest. half of the sriracha, and half of the mint. Shape into 2 burgers and add the patties to your frying pan along with 1 tbs of olive oil and cook for 5 mins on each side. While the patties are cooking, peel your cucumber, then shave the rest of it into ribbons. Toss your cucumber ribbons with the remaining mint, and a squeeze of lime juice. Mix the remaining sriracha with the mayo, and a squeeze of lime to dress the burger with. Serve the burgers with your cucumber mint salad and enjoy!


Hello Fresh!


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but my husband is the king of finding cheap deals on pretty much anything. In just an hour of computer time, I can’t even tell you the amount of coupons, codes, and discounts he can find. Its really embarrassing, especially if you were to compare mine and my husband’s internet productivity side-by-side… yeah –  But I can’t tell you every thread that appeared on BuzzFeed today, so hey! That’s something….

In any case, subscription boxes are all the rage right now. Graze, Loot Crate, ispy, etc. Well, somehow my amazing husband found us a way to try a food service for a fraction of the subscription fee. I’ll admit I was skeptical. The menu on the website showed complete meals with vegetables and various meats. What condition would these ingredients be in by the time they got to my doorstep? Rotten meat? Bruised veggies? With a name like “Hello Fresh” you’re setting the customers’ expectations pretty high for fresh ingredients. I was NOT disappointed!


I don’t get commissions for this post, never once in my 2 years of blogging have I even been asked to review a product, this is 100% based on something my husband initiated…. it.was.AMAZING.

The package comes with a recipe booklet, with detailed instructions and pictures so you can compare your work to the pros. The recipes are complex enough that you feel like you’re doing something new and exciting, without being overwhelming. I can honestly say, we cooked dinner each night in 30 minutes (take that, Rachel Ray) and the meals are also, HEALTHY. Generous portions of fresh veg with delicious proteins to accompany them.

We ordered 3 meals, so in our box, we had 3 separate bags. Each meals’ ingredients were grouped off so you weren’t struggling to find what you needed in a sea of their products. Organized… Easy.


I wasn’t even going to write a post about our first meal. It was going to be my best kept secret from my readers. Once we had the shrimp dish tonight, though? Oh man, I was itching to share the experience with you guys! It was a lime skewered shrimp, cilantro rice, and pineapple-avocado salsal. SO GOOD. We have one more recipe left, that I will have in a post coming soon.


In the mean time….. Want to see what I’m talking about? You can try Hello Fresh just like Hubs and I did! He was nice enough to send the link and discount code my way so I could share it with you all! Follow THIS link, and enter code S2VC69
Those that use the code (if they are first time) buyers get $40! Ingredients will be sent right to your door! Kept fresh, and cool with multiple ice packs 😉 This subscription seriously made my life so much easier this week.I knew I could count on healthy delicious meals that were different, yet easy to prepare. It even got Hubs and I in the kitchen working together. I just can’t say enough good things about Hello Fresh… so give it a try!