Tips and Tricks for Traveling with a 2.5 Year Old

Hi Guys! How are you all holding up during this crazy time? We got home Saturday night from our family vacation in Park City, Utah. When we left the Coronavirus didn’t seem like that big of a threat…Oh, how things can change in 7 days! I heard that they are closing all of the ski parks in Park City TODAY. Literally the day after we left. The timing was absolutely on our side and I feel very blessed about that. This coming week, Charlee will be home with me while I try and work from home. I am very anxious about it all, but I know we will all get through it and everyone is basically in the same position. Matt, unfortunately, has to go into the office for the time being…that may change in the coming days.

Anyways, this trip was one of the first times we were able to really enjoy our flight with Charlee. She is great on flights now and plays with all the activities I pack and is good at watching her shows. We, of course, get up and walk the aisles every once in a while, but to be honest, this trip was awesome! I wanted to share an updated list of things that made our flight so easy. I’ve written these posts for traveling with baby and toddler if you want to read those as well!

Check out the list below:

Fun N Fly Foldable travel tray: This thing is AMAZING. I really wish I knew it existed for previous trips! This travel tray fits on top of all standard size airplane trays. It velcros together and clips around the airplane tray, keeping it from sliding. It comes with a lot of small pockets and areas to put snacks and keeps a cup stabilized. It’s great for keeping crayons from rolling off and keeps the area clean for snacks. Charlee absolutely loved having this tray and so did Momma!

Amazon Fire tablet: We always travel with a ton of activities which includes the Amazon Fire. We were debating what to get Charlee for travel and I did a ton of research before deciding on the Fire. We have downloaded a ton of Apps, including Disney + and PBS kids. It’s a great price and super durable for my kiddo.

Headphones: Charlee got these headphones as a Christmas gift from family and they have been so awesome. They are adjustable and stay put. We had originally bought Bluetooth headphones but found these chorded ones to be way less difficult to set up. Also, by the time your kiddo will wear headphones, they won’t mind the chord.

Playdough: I always bring playdough on a flight now. I usually bring a small set of three colors and some playdough accessories as well. C loves to play with it!

Sticker books: Stickers are always a hit with C so I try and bring a set of stickers for the flight. It usually gives us at least 30 minutes of activity time!

Coloring books: I always buy a few brand new coloring books off of Amazon to surprise C with on a flight. This trip I got this Frozen sticker and activity book as well as this Moana one. She was SO excited.

Skip Hop stainless steel stackable lunch kit: I made a quick trip to Buy Buy Baby before our flight and discovered this new product! These are awesome and keep food cold or hot for a long time. For the trip to Park City, I packed a PB&J and fresh strawberries. It was a hit with C!

Memory games: Charlee is obsessed with this Memory game that my friend Katie suggested of @fashionandford. C would play this for hours if I had the stamina lol!

Stasher bags: These are amazing! Matt randomly ordered these bags and I have been using them for anything and everything for Charlee. I used the smaller sized bag to store crayons and pencils for the flight. Normally I’d use a plastic baggie but those get gross and destroyed. I love being able to clean and reuse these!

I really hope this post gets you guys excited about FUTURE travel lol! And mostly, I hope you all are safe and healthy. We got this!

XOXO-J

 

The most delicious Fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli

Hi Everyone! It’s been a while since I posted but I am so happy to be back. As many of you know, I am pregnant with my second baby girl! Being pregnant, my cravings have been all over the place and carbs make this Momma and baby happy…SO…queue my craving for fettuccine Alfredo! I am such a fan of this dish because it tastes DELICIOUS and reminds me of that classic flavor we all expect when ordering at a restaurant. There is a secret ingredient and I am going to share it with you all. The secret is to add more pecorino romano cheese than Parmesan. It gives this pasta the most amazing flavor and takes it to the next level!

Also, this meal can totally be keto if you sub the noodles for any low-carb option. I am just feeling the carbs lately!

 

Ingredients: 

  • Fettuccine Alfredo noodles: You can use about 1/2-3/4 of the box of fettucini depending on the number of people you are feeding and how much sauce you like on your noodles.
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • broccoli (either already steamed and chopped into small pieces, or cooked frozen broccoli and chopped into bite size pieces)

Directions:

  • Start cooking your pasta
  • In a medium size pan, start melting the stick of butter on low-ish heat
  • add the cream once the butter starts to melt a little bit
  • Salt and pepper that layer
  • Once the butter completely melts into the cream, add your cheeses and dash of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper this layer
  • stir the cheese into the milk and butter until it’s all melted and creamy
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add your delicious Alfredo sauce
  • Then add your cooked broccoli and mix all together so the sauce coats all the noodles and broccoli
  • DEVOUR and thank me later 😉

Surviving the Holidays with Jetblack

^^ Charlee and I riding the bus home from school 🙂

Ok, so I know this is taboo but I am going to out my secret. Well, for those of you who have been following me for a while this isn’t really a secret! Either way, I am here to talk about my ride or die service,  Jetblack. I have been using this service since April of this year and since I began I honestly can’t imagine my life without it. You can read about how I use the app and service in this blog post on a normal basis. Having said that, we are now deep into the holiday season, and I have a new appreciation for Jetblack.

Jetblack has come to my rescue for almost every Holiday need. If you aren’t familiar with Jetblack, I’ll give you the rundown. Jetblack is a membership-only shopping service powered by expert research and personal recommendations. Simply text what you need and Jetblack will deliver it FREE with lightning speed; gift wrapping, assembly, and product expertise included always. This is the most valuable service, especially during the crazy Holiday Season. Matt and I are heading to California for Christmas which means I needed to send all of the gifts for the family to California. Instead of ordering on Amazon, Nordstrom or wherever else I wanted to order from, and having everything shipped unwrapped, I just texted Jetblack with the items I wanted to purchase as gifts. They took on the hassle of ordering the items and gift wrapping and labeling them. All I have to do is show up for Christmas and all the gifts will be there ready to be unwrapped. It’s also saved me when it comes to Xmas gifts for teachers and friends. I texted Jetblack on Monday when I realized I hadn’t gotten a gift for Charlee’s teachers. They sent over a ton of gift ideas for me to peruse, I chose what I wanted and then two days later the gifts showed up at my apartment gift-wrapped and labeled!

The best part about Jetblack is the fact that I get to spend more time with my sweet girl, rather than worrying about all the little things that tend to add up as a Mom. If you are interested in joining the Jetblack tribe, you can use the link and code below to get early access off the waitlist! We can all be super Moms together!

Code: JessUp01
I hope you all have a great rest of your week! Christmas is a week away!
xoxo-J

Family Xmas Photos 2019

Photos by: Shadi Garman

Dress: Coat: Club Monaco Boots: Stuart Weitzman Charlee’s Dress: Old Navy Coat: Gap Shoes: Mini Melissa

Hi Friends! Can you believe it’s less than two weeks until Xmas?! I can’t get over how close we are to the Holidays. We got back a few weekends ago from NC where we spent almost a week with my side of the family for Thanksgiving. It was so much fun! My sister and I hosted Thanksgiving at her house and cooked for 24 hours. It was intense but everything came out so delicious! I must say I am really proud of us.

Last year I put together a bunch of extensive Holiday Shopping lists for each member of the family. This year, I am just going to write out a few items I purchased and am looking forward to gifting the people in my life since I feel like everyone and their Mom is putting together these lists! I also am so busy with work and life in general so I hope you forgive me for the lack of shopping lists this year! Take a look at the list below on some of the items I have been coveting recently. I’m also sharing some random links and resources that I think you guys would find interesting!

  1. I just purchased this makeup remover towel and I am obsessed. I have been looking for a more eco-friendly way to remove makeup and this is amazing!
  2. I went to TJ maxx for a ton of xmas presents for Charlee. They have an incredible gift department filled with Melissa and Doug toys! What I didn’t realize was that you could buy the toys online. Look!
  3. I just bought Charlee these new snow boots and they are so cozy and cute. Under $35
  4. These pajamas are amazing. Make sure to size up though as they run super small. I bought a large and I’m usually a small on top and a medium on bottom
  5. I am trying Cranial Therapy tomorrow to help with my neck pain. I am actually feeling a bit better but I want to try something new and this came highly recommended. I’ll keep you guys posted on how it goes
  6. I love a Woodwick candle. They smell so good
  7.  Matt got me this amazing pillow for Xmas and gave it to me early. I can’t say enough about this pillow. It’s so comfortable and supposed to be great for your skin
  8.  Have you listened to the new Celine Dion album Courage? I can’s top listening! I am heading down to NC in late January to see Celine perform in Charlotte with my sister. I can’t WAIT!
  9. This month in book club we are reading Demi Moore’s new memoir, Inside Out. It’s so good and an easy read. I’m looking forward to discussing it next month!
  10. Have you listened to Celine Dion’s new CD Courage? It may be my new favorite!!!

xoxo-J

 

Cozy Morning in NYC

Thank you to Croscill for Sponsoring this post!

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hi Everyone! I am so excited to share these photos with you guys. It’s the weekend and that means Matt and I get to spend two whole days with this little monkey. Weekends are so much fun but they can also be super exhausting taking care of a toddler. We took Charlee to a really fun playground in Central Park and she threw a fit before we left because she had to wear a scarf and gloves. I will say as a team effort Matt and I were able to get her to wear her outdoor gear, but it was not without a fight! Anyone else dealing with toddler tantrums?

Anyways, our weekends when we are in town are pretty standard. We usually snuggle in bed together for a little while in the morning before we get up and start our day. Croscill reached out to partner and sent us over this absolutely beautiful bedding. I was so excited to partner because I’m a huge fan of this brand. I am also a huge fan of very neutral bedding which is why I love this set. I want to jump into bed every night! Charlee is also a big fan and keeps referring to our bed as “cosy cosy.”

This weekend has been so busy and I have wanted to share some random links and thoughts with you all below:

  1. This tanning water is a game-changer. I look like I just stepped off the beach every morning with a beautiful glow!
  2. Are you a fan of the office? Then you MUST listen to the Office Ladies podcast hosted by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. They break down every episode of the show and share really fascinating BTS info! I am only on the second episode and I’m hooked.
  3. I bought Charlee these adorable shearling winter knee-high boots and I want a pair for myself.
  4. I rented the most incredible faux leather puffer from Rent the Runway unlimited. It can be yours for purchase here.
  5. Why do we have to change the clocks twice a year?! It really screws with Charlee’s sleep schedule.
  6. I have a new obsession with the cinnamon bread from LC foods. I made french toast with it this weekend and the whole family devoured it!
  7. Next week is crazy for me work-wise and I already have anxiety, Anyone else struggle with Sunday Scaries?!
  8. I took Charlee to Tacombi on Friday night for a little Mommy and me date night. I had no idea how kid-friendly it was. They had crayons and high chairs and everything!
  9. I got a cortisone shot on Thursday and I feel like a new person. I basically have ZERO pain. It’s so wonderful!! I have been working so hard all weekend on strength exercises for my back. I realize the cortisone is a sort of bandaid but I need to take advantage of being pain-free so I can get stronger. I start PT tomorrow morning at 9AM and I can’t wait to get better!
  10. If you are interested in what I rent using my Rent the Runway Unlimited subscription, make sure to follow my new Instagram channel: @Myrentedwardrobe !!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

xoxo,

Jess

 

Brunch Date with Shadi and Charlee and 10 random things

Photography by Shadi Garman

These photos are from a brunch date I went on with Charlee and my dear friend Shadi. If you are ever looking for a photographer in NY area, make sure to reach out. I linked her website above. I just love how low key and natural this moment is and captured!

This is a totally random list of things I wanted to share. Enjoy!

  1. I just started re-watching Sex and the City on Amazon Prime. I just love that show.
  2. I started using a period cup, and now I will never go back to tampons. This is the best invention ever!
  3. We are in the middle of terrible two’s right now and it is not easy. Anyone else have a tantrum child? Charlee is the best but she gets very emotional quickly at random times and doesn’t know how to self regulate. It can be super stressful. Any and all advice and insight is welcomed!
  4. Last weekend we celebrated Matt’s 40th birthday and I wore this dress. I am so obsessed with it. I wish I had more places to wear it.
  5. My new go-to low carb cracker is Sigdal. They taste so much better than gg crackers and I only eat one usually and feel super full with yummy toppers. My current fave topping is liver pate and cucumbers. So weird, but it’s a Swedish thing. Try it!
  6. I have finally found a water bottle I love. This munchkin one is awesome and doesn’t leak!
  7. I just downloaded Tik Tok and I have never felt older lol! It’s fun to browse but don’t look out for my tik tok videos any time soon!
  8. We are taking family photos for Holiday cards this weekend. Of course, this weekend is also the Marathon so that totally derails my plan for beautiful Central Park pics. Oh well! We will stay in the neighborhood. I rented this dress for the photoshoot which i’ll pair with a camel coat and boots. Charlee is and Charlee is going to wear this adorable dress with a faux fur bolero on top. I CAN’T handle the cuteness!
  9. Have you heard of the Recently app? It’s an app that creates little magazines out of your photos. I have used it to create a magazine of Charlee’s first and second year. Love it!
  10. I just got a Gap card AND an Old Navy card and I’m mad I waited so long to get it. I got Charlee’s whole outfit for family photos for under $50! Totally worth it!
  11. Bonus! I love this low carb keto friendly cereal. It has zero sugar and tastes like cinnamon Toast Crunch. Charlee also loves it!

I hope you guys have a great weekend!

xoxo-J

 

DELICIOUS LOW CARB BAGEL RECIPE!

Hi Everyone! I am so excited to share this recipe for low-carb everything bagels. They are basically 1-2 carbs for the entire recipe which makes these the best ever!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have a slight obsession with LC bagels. They are so good and I basically eat one once a day! That said, they are really expensive and I have been looking for another option. Well, I put together this recipe and the result is amazing. These bagels are delicious and definitely make you feel like you’re indulging when you are absolutely NOT. They are super low calorie and net out to almost zero carbs due to the high fiber in the recipe.

One of the main ingredients that make these so high fiber is the inulin powder. I purchase my 100% inulin powder from Ingrid De La Mare Kenny’s website. You can head to her page on Instagram to learn all about the benefits of this fiber powder. I add it to my coffee every morning and to all kinds of different recipes. I really hope you all enjoy and I can’t wait to hear what you all think!

**Recipe makes 2 larger bagels and 4 mini bagels. Feel free to double the recipe. I do it all the time!**

Ingredients: 

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon inulin
  • 1 tablespoon of everything but the bagel seasoning

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Place dough into bagel molds. Here is a link to the large molds. Here is a link to the mini molds.
  • Sprinkle more everything but the bagel seasoning on top of each bagel
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes
  • ENJOY!

xoxo-J

An LA Wedding

 

Photography by Scott Saxtun

My Dress: Hanley Rent here Heels: INC Brand

Hi Guys! I just got home from a whirlwind two months of travel. Last month, I flew out to LA for one of my dear friend’s weddings that took place downtown. I have an incredible group of girlfriends who all met in college. We have stayed so close over the last 13 years and every time one of us gets married we basically have a college reunion. It’s so fun!

My girlfriend Carly told her wedding guests to come dressed for the red carpet, so when I saw that I knew I had to go all out! I started searching for the perfect dress and when I found this Hanley dress I knew it was perfect! I wanted to feel like a movie star and this dress definitely made me feel amazing! It had strategic draping int he middle and helped cover up any insecure spots on my belly. I felt fab and love the photos from the wedding!

xoxo,

Jess

 

 

Low Carb Lamb Burger Bowls


Hi Everyone! It has been a minute since I posted a new recipe! If you follow me on Instagram you know this has been a very tough time for me physically so cooking hasn’t been on my mind. If you are lost, I’ll go ahead and update you. I was recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis. I am still in the process of seeing different doctors to rule out surgery, but needless to say, it’s been tough. I am trying to stay positive and would so appreciate your good vibes!

Anyways, moving on to this delicious recipe. Matt and I came up with this last night and it was so good that I had to share. These lamb burgers are INSANELY delicious and can, of course, be eaten as a regular burger. I like to eat mine without the carbs though so we made bowls!

This recipe makes enough for 2-4 people!

Ingredients: 

1.5 lbs of ground lamb

1 teaspoon of thyme, rosemary leaves and garlic powder

crumbled goat cheese

1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper

Sliced tomatoes

Sliced Raw onion

Sliced Avocado

Arugula

White balsamic glaze

Bag of Tommy’s Root Fusion 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix the lamb meat with the thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, and salt and pepper
  3. Roll the lamb mixture into burger patties and set aside. We were able to make 4 patties from the 1.5 lbs of meat.
  4. Before you grill your burgers, slice your tomatoes, onion, and avocado
  5. Cook the root fusion veggies according to the package instructions.
  6. While that is cooking, grill your burgers! We grilled these burgers on the outside grill until our thermometer inserted into the center read 160 degrees F. We just got this thermometer and love it!
  7. At the very last step of grilling burgers, top each burger with crumbled goat cheese
  8. Now it’s time to add all the ingredients on top of arugula in a bowl.
  9. Add a little white balsamic glaze on top of the meat and veggies and ENJOY!

 

Charlee’s Barnyard themed 2nd Bday

 

Hi Everyone! I finally have time to post the photos from Charlee’s 2nd birthday party! I had totally anticipated getting photos of actual people at the event but we had too much fun and forgot to take a single picture as a family. Oh well! At least I have images from the party in case you are thinking of doing a Farm theme for your kiddos bday.

Before I get into the details of the bday party swag, I must shout out Jetblack for all their help with this party. I told them the theme via text and they sent over the most amazing suggestions for party favor bags and toys, straws, cups etc. I could not have gotten this all together without them. If you are interested in signing up for their services you can join the waitlist here and can use this link and code JessUp01 to get early access off the waitlist! You can read even more about Jetblack in this post. We can all be super Moms together!

Anyways, moving on to the party! We decided a while ago to have the barnyard/farm theme for Charlee’s 2nd birthday. Charlee has been obsessed with farm animals forever and we ended up taking her to a farm this summer which is when she went crazy for the farm. Every morning after she would ask about the farm, so we knew we had to throw her a farm-themed bday! I took my time planning this party because I wanted to make sure I could DIY things and research to find items at the cheapest price. I also wanted to do the flower arrangements myself. Luckily we live near the floral district so that was easy. I brought this image with me to one of the floral shops on 27th and 6th. The nicest floral designer helped me pick the flowers and then I put them together at home. It saved me hundreds! I also wanted to shout out Jam with Jamie! We had them come  and perform for 45 minutes and it was a hit with the kiddos. Charlee weirdly wasn’t into it but everyone else was hah!  In regards to the other decor etc, take a look at the list below where I have linked everything!

Tablecloths: Amazon We ordered this big pack of plastic disposable tablecloths that worked awesomely. We used these clips to keep them stable.

Balloons: We ordered all the balloons from Balloon Shop NYC

Farm Party Tablescape: Party City

Cake Topper: Etsy I originally planned on purchasing a farm-themed cake or cupcakes from a local bakery but swiftly realized that was going to cost me a pretty penny. I started searching on Etsy and found this adorable cake topper. I ordered it along with a plain vanilla frosted cake from Magnolia Bakery.

Cow Straws: Amazon

Chalkboard Pails for utensils: Party City

Tractor: Amazon How funny is this little tractor with rice crispy treats?! I saw this on Pinterest and copied the idea! Can’t get over how much that looks like hay!

Gingham Plates: Party City

Treat Bags: Jetblack recommended these from Amazon and they were so cute!!!

Treat bag insert (squishy animals): Jetblack recommended these Amazon

Treat bag insert (bubbles): These were also recommended by Jetblack. They found them on Amazon

Barn: This was one of Charlee’s bday presents, but I used it as the main feature of the tablescape.

Barnyard animals: I used these throughout the tablescapes as decoration but they were also a gift for Charlee to go with her barn!

Ice buckets: Amazon I am so glad we got these. We have used them for so many events after this! So great for outdoor parties

Kraft Paper for table: Amazon I bought this kraft paper and used it to add a little dimension to the tablescape. I love how it came out!

Barnyard confetti for tables: Etsy

Pig Out Paper sign: Etsy

I’m so happy with how everything came together! Most importantly, Charlee had the best time at her bday party. I can’t believe she is 2!!

xoxo-J