NYC HACKS FOR MOMS

 Photography by Shadi Garman

Me: Dress: ASTR the Label Sandals: Nordstrom

Charlee: Dress: Gap Shoes: Amazon (only $10!!)


Hi Friends! I have been wanting to write this post for a while and I am super excited to share it with you all. Now that Charlee is almost 1 year old (OMG!!!) I feel like I have a decent handle on how to navigate the city with a baby. It’s a very different experience having a baby in suburbia vs. a city. Neither one is better or worse, just different! I wanted to share some tips and life hacks and random thoughts for parents of an NYC urban dwelling! Hope you enjoy!

  1. Best stroller for a city baby:
    • First and foremost…when you live in a big city, your stroller is essentially your car which means you will need to invest a little more than those living in suburbia. I have three strollers I am going to talk about. The first is the Bugaboo Cameleon which is the everyday stroller that we have. To be honest, I don’t love it. It is a great stroller in that it moves well and I like some of the features, but the problem is that the basket underneath is small and almost impossible to access!! It’s even harder to access with the bassinet. I had a few meltdowns early on in Charlee’s life because of this ha! That said, now that she is out of the bassinet it’s better. I keep a backpack hanging on the handles and this helps with space underneath. I really wish I had gotten the Uppababy Vista. I have a few friends that have it and say it’s great. It’s also great for taller people because the baby sits up higher than the Bugaboo. The basket is large underneath and the features are exactly the same as the bugaboo.
    • I also want to talk about travel strollers. We travel a lot with Charlee and knew we would need something a bit more compact, lightweight and easy to break down than the Bugaboo. We have the Mountain Buggy Nano and we LOVE it. It’s compatible with every type of infant car seat. It also breaks down so small that you can fit it in the overhead compartment on an airplane!
  2. Navigating the city via car:
    • This is a tricky one and to be honest, I had to do a lot of trips around the city, and back and forth to the airport to be able to share this info. A few things about traveling in and around the city in a taxi: It is surprising, but it’s actually legal to hold your child in your lap when riding in a taxi around the city. I am not advocating for this option, but if you are ever in a bind, you are allowed legally to hold your child in a yellow cab. That said, I think the best way to navigate NYC is in a cab or uber using a carseat that can be installed using just a seatbelt! We have the Cybex Anton infant carseat. It’s great because it can be installed into any car using the seatbelt and you don’t have to have the base in the car to use it. Uber and Lyft also offer cars that have carseats in them. They are harder to find though so I always bring my infant carseat when I know I need to travel in a cab.
  3. Kidpass: MOMS! This has been an incredible find! Kidpass is essentially Classpass for kids classes. You pay a monthly fee and can sign your baby up for kids classes all over the city. I have taken Charlee to swim lessons, music classes and play gym! It’s the most cost efficient way to take your baby to class! They even have bike rentals! It’s a great option! Message me if you want a referral link ;)!
  4. Local Library Offerings: The local library in our neighborhood has a free tummy time class for babies! You can check on this website to see what your local library offers for kids. All their classes are free and I love the idea of supporting local libraries.
  5. Best places to eat in NYC with baby:
    1. Almond :They even make their own organic baby food)
    2. The Smith : Loud atmosphere and great for kids brunch. They have high chairs! We took Charlee here last weekend and she cried a little but no one could really hear her since it was so loud hah!
    3. Alice’s Tea Cup: I can’t WAIT to take Charlee here! I actually have gone a bunch of times as an adult. This place is incredibly kid friendly and is adorable as they serve tea and delicious food and baked goods. It’s incredibly adorable and delicious.
    4. American Girl Cafe: Need I say more?!
    5. North River Lobster Company: This is the BEST place to take your baby if you want to enjoy yourself but also have an experience during the summer! It only costs $10 to board, and you can order delicious seafood and drinks on the boat! We bring our lobster high chair  (they do offer high chairs but I have found it easier to bring my own) and order a bunch of yummy seafood and rose while sailing along the Hudson. We just discovered it and have done it twice in the last two weeks!
    6. Maman: Filled with kids on a Sat. and Sun. morning. Delicious food and great atmosphere. French bakery but also has delicious food!
  6. Madison Square Park: I’m biased but I LOVE Madison Square Park. Matt and I had our first date there, got engaged there and our daughter’s middle name is Madison! There are so many babies in the park at all times and it serves as entertainment when Charlee is stir crazy and needs to get out of the house. There is an awesome playground and they have started to open the greens so we go on picnics all the time. They also have shows throughout the summer. You can check that out here.
  7. Amazon Prime: Just needed to include a shout out here haha! If you are an adult in the 21st century you understand the value of Amazon prime ha! I buy EVERYTHING on Amazon and if you aren’t doing it on prime you’re doing it wrong hah! Here are some of my most recent purchases I made on Amazon Prime:
  8. Where to Register in NYC: babylist.com & Buy Buy Baby in FlatironI had an incredible experience registering at Buy Buy Baby. I booked a registry appointment and they walked me through the entire store. It was lovely. We also just did the same thing with my sister when she visited and that was also awesome. In addition to Buy Buy Baby, I would also register at BabyList, which allows you to register from any website! It’s a great way to get those items on your list that a larger store like Buy Buy Baby won’t have!
  9. Workouts with baby in NYC: Ok so if you have been following me for a while now, you know I love BBG and do that about 3 times per week. That said, I have learned of a few mommy and me workouts around the city that I thought I’d share. This blog post has them all listed!!
  10. Best on the go noisemaker: NYC can be SUPER loud and there are times when I need Charlee to nap when I’m on the go and she is in the stroller. I swear by this Baby Shusher.   It drowns out the noise of the city on the go and also sounds like an actual person is saying “shhhhh.” It kind of freaked me out in the beginning but now I am obsessed because it works SO WELL!

Ok, so I know that’s a random group of information but I thought I’d share. Leave some of your Mom hacks in the comments!

xoxo-J

FAB FIT FUN REVIEW AND DISCOUNT CODE!

Photography by Brandon John

*In Partnership with Fab Fit Fun; All opinions are my own*

Hi Friends! Thanks for stopping by. I am excited to share this blog post with you guys! I have never been a girly girl when it comes to beauty and products. My husband makes fun of me sometimes because I take about 10 minutes to get ready and most of the time let my hair air dry and wear limited makeup. He doesn’t do it in a mean way, he just says that I probably should learn a thing or two about beauty since I have a girl ha! That said, this past year I have noticed I’m getting older (hello grey hair and crowsfeet creeping!) and I realized it may be time to up my beauty game! I was so excited when Fab Fit Fun reached out to me because to be honest, I didn’t even know where to start when it came to shopping for beauty products. Fab Fit Fun is a beauty subscription box that is sent to your door 4x a year. It includes Full-size, premium products delivered to you at the retail price of $200, but costing only $49.99! I am so excited to offer all of my followers a coupon code of $10.00 off of your first box at fabfitfun.com ! The code is JESSQ10

In my box, I received a ton of products! I love the magazine that comes with the box and the description of all the products :). I have to be honest and say I have tried a few different subscription boxes, and this one feels very worth it. The products are full sized and you really can’t beat the value. You can also customize your box too which is awesome! My favorite product was the Tarte Eyeshadow palate. I have become obsessed with this brand now because of being sent this palate! They also sent me the Tarte winged liquid eyeliner, which is AMAZING! I am still getting the hang of applying it but getting better :). See below for a photo of me wearing the palate and eyeliner ;)!

I am still working on my makeup skills, hence the lip line HA!! Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this review. Make sure to take advantage of the discount code!!

xoxo-J

 

 

MY GO-TO EASY SALMON RECIPE & A BONUS SIDE DISH

Hi Friends! I hope you all are having a fabulous start to your week. I have recently gotten into cooking now that Charlee has begun to eat what we eat for her meals. I have never been very good at cooking, and continue to get better by a lot of trial and error. Some of the recipes I have tried have now become part of our weekly rotation, and I am excited to share the salmon recipe that both myself, my hubby and sweet baby girl LOVE!

I found this salmon recipe online here from The Lemon Bowl blog! I loved the recipe, but decided I needed to change just a few things and add a side to make it easier for me. I decided to serve this salmon with a side of rainbow carrots! You can bake both the salmon and carrots in the same baking dish which is super awesome and convenient. I’ll separate the recipes below, but note that the cooking degree and time is the same 🙂

Salmon:

Ingredients:

  • 4 mid-sized salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard or dijon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic – minced (I use a spoonful of minced garlic from a jar)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • minced parsley (optional garnish)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray. I use this olive oil cooking spray from Trader Joe’s
  • Place each salmon filet in the baking dish, skin side down.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, lemon, garlic and salt/pepper. Use a small spoon to coat each filet evenly with the honey mustard sauce. I make sure to cover all the sides (except the skin) with the sauce.
  • Roast salmon 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges to serve.

Rainbow Carrots (side dish)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of rainbow carrots
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs of rosemary

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray. (The carrots can bake in the same pan as the salmon!)
  • Peel the carrots and slice off the top. If there are larger carrots, slice them in half length wise so they lay flat.
  • drizzle olive oil on the carrots and then top with the rosemary flakes
  • pop in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes along with the salmon!

This is one of the most delicious, healthy and EASY recipes on my rolodex. I always give Charlee the leftovers for her lunch at daycare the next day. She loves it! Let me know if you guys try this out!

xoxo-J

Incredibundles & 3-month diaper subscription Giveaway!

Photography by Brandon John

*Sponsored by Incredibundles.com*

Hi Friends!! Thanks for stopping by! I am SO excited about this blog post I could squeal EEK! When I became a Mom, I received so many beautiful gifts for Charlee and myself. I appreciated absolutely every single item we received and was overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity. One of the best gifts I received as a new mom was actually a gift card to Amazon which I promptly used to purchase an enormous amount of diapers and wipes. To this day, I buy about 150 diapers every three weeks which really adds up and can get pricey! I love getting creative with gifts and I love how Incredibundles has thought about a really personal way to gift an incredibly useful item! It’s super easy to gift and instead of giving a box of diapers or gift card, you can gift a Diaper Subscription service for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months!! It’s easy to update and even change the sizing. The gift itself  includes an announcement package which is pictured above. Too cute!

Curious how it works?? check out the easy how-to steps below:

1. The purchaser Selects a Subscription Length (You can choose to give a 3, 6, 9 or 12-month Diaper Subscription!)

2. Then the Purchaser Chooses Where to Send the Announcement Package: Upon your purchase, Incredibundles will send an adorable package announcing your gift! They can ship this directly to the recipient or to you to bring to a baby shower.

3. The Recipient Creates an Account and Activates Their Subscription: The Announcement Package contains all the information your recipient needs to redeem their diapers.

4. Recipient Orders Their Diapers: Your recipient gets to pick the brand, type and size of diapers they want on their own schedule!! So convenient and personalized!

5. The Recipient Receives Their Diapers! The diapers are delivered straight to their door each month!

Sounds pretty great right?! Well as a part of my partnership with IncrediBundles, we are offering my readers a chance to win a 3-month diaper subscription! In order to enter, you must follow @Incredibundles and myself @letsjessup on Instagram, and comment on THIS INSTAGRAM POST tagging 2 or more parents who would benefit from receiving diapers. As an extra entry, you can also leave a comment on this blog post.

I am so excited to offer my readers this opportunity! I hope you all have a great day!

xoxo-J

DARLING DENIM

Photography by Shadi Garman

Top: Asos Skirt: Vince Heels: INC Brand Purse: Chanel Necklace: Alexis Bittar Bracelet: Alexis Bittar

Hi Friends! I hope your week has been great so far! It has been a crazy few weeks and I am excited to be back with a new blog post! I just got this denim peplum top and I was so excited to style it. I tried it with a number of different pieces…some of which included high waisted denim jeans and shorts, but I randomly decided to try it with this very feminine skirt and I was INSPIRED! I love how the look came together. I think it just goes to show you that pairing casual or less fancy fabrics with higher end items isn’t off limits.

Matt and I got back last week from L.A. where we traveled across the country with Charlee! I wanted to take the time to offer a few more traveling tips for a longer flight. Let me preface this by saying I WAS SO NERVOUS to fly across the country with Charlee to L.A. Unfortunately, my husband’s Grandmother passed away. We wanted to be at the memorial but were super nervous to fly with Charlee. We decided to go for it, because we figured it would be hard but we could handle it! We booked two tickets in economy and added Charlee as a lap infant. We also made sure to book the first seat on the plane because we wanted a little extra room in front for Charlee to crawl or hang out if she wanted to get out of our arms. When we got to the airport however, there was an option to upgrade to first class at a SUPER cheap rate so we bought the tickets and oh my gosh it was a magical experience lol! We may or may not have screwed ourselves because now that I’ve gone first class back and forth I am spoiled! That isn’t going to be a common occurrence at all, to say the least!

Anyways, despite having first class seats I still learned a few helpful tricks that I wanted to share for a long flight with baby:

  1. Bring two light blankets. One for laying on the ground in front of you and one for placing over you and baby for nap time. Charlee can get distracted very easily so I have found that nap time on flights is tough. I always put a blanket on top of her and I and rock her back and forth. This way she can’t see anything but me. I swear it works like a charm! She is usually out within two minutes when I do this! The second blanket is to place on the ground in front of you. It helps with germs, although I’m not sure how much ha! 🙂
  2. Don’t bring too many toys. I like to bring 2-3 toys and rotate them so Charlee doesn’t get overwhelmed or bored. These are some good airplane toys for 6-10 month olds that don’t take up too much space: Noggin stick, banana toothbrush, Sophie the Giraffe. To be honest though, Charlee loves to play with water bottles and the safety print outs on flights ha!
  3. Try and keep your baby from napping until after take off. I used to try and get Charlee to nap before the flight because I didn’t want her to be cranky and overtired, but then she didn’t sleep much on flights so it was a bit more work for Momma! Now I keep her up so that she is super tired by the time we take off. This always ensures she gets at least one nap! She took 2 naps on both legs of our flight. One 45 min and an hour long nap.
  4. Let your baby crawl and get energy out at the airport before the long flight. I used to be a germaphobe with Charlee but then I got over it! Now, I let her crawl all over the floor and tire herself out. This helps her be more tired once we board.
  5. Eat an enormous meal before the flight and pack snacks for yourself. I was traveling with Matt so we were able to take turns eating lunch. That said, we made sure to eat before the flight because it is rare that your baby (at Charlee’s age anyway) will sit still long enough for you to down a meal. Also, you can really be hands free and eat, so try and eat a big meal before to offset hunger if you are flying without a partner.
  6. Pack wireless headphones! This one has been a game-changer not only on flights, but in life. Having wireless headphones was great for me. I was able to listen to an audio book while Charlee slept in my arms and I didn’t have to worry about holding my phone at the same time or dealing with the cord getting in Charlee’s way. This also helps in life when you want to be hands free and talk on the phone. I love the apple air pods!
  7. Remember, you can do this! No matter what, the flight is temporary. You won’t be stuck up in the air forever and you and your baby will be fine! Repeating that to myself before we left really helped. Then of course it was much easier than I expected!

That’s about it folks! All my other traveling tips wth baby can be found in this blog post!

xoxo-J

 

FANNY PACKN’ & 9 THINGS

Photography by Shadi Garman

Blazer: Zara Skirt: Hudson t-shirt: here and here Sneakers: Golden Goose  Fanny Pack: Gucci Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples

Hi Everyone! I’m back! I apologize for the lack of blog posts but to be honest, the weather has been TERRIBLE in NYC and I had to cancel multiple photoshoots! Luckily the sun came out and let Shadi work her magic ;). I couldn’t be more excited that summer is finally here. I am such a summer gal through and through. I just feel like I look 100 times better when I have a tan haha!

I recently got this Gucci fanny pack and I have to say I am OBSESSED. I was worried that it would be too trendy and I wouldn’t get enough wear out of it, but as a new Mom it’s quickly become my go-to bag. I love being chic and handsfree! Speaking of, that’s why I also love this diaper back pack. Anyways! I am so excited that denim skirts are back! They are taking me back to my middle school years and I don’t hate it! I paired this denim skirt with a blazer to create a bit of a more polished look. I wore this denim skirt again this week to another event. It’s so versatile!

Anyways, since it’s been a minute since my last blog post, I thought I’d round up a group of random thoughts and things I wanted to share with you all! Enjoy!

  1. I rarely have the time to get a manicure being a new Mom, but when I do I always bring my own nail polish. I love this Essie Gel Couture option and wear the color “Lace me Up.” The reason I bring my own nail polish is because I had a HORRIBLE experience last year right after I had Charlee. Matt offered to watch Charlee for an hour while I went to get a mani pedi when C was 2 or so weeks old. Well, to make a long story short I ended up having to go to the podiatrist every week for the following 4 months and had 6 ingrown toenails removed and treatment for a fungus I got at the nail salon. I didn’t realize the place I went didn’t sanitize correctly. Now I only go to very high end places and bring my own tools and nail polish! It was super stressful especially to have to deal with while I was recovering from birth! Sorry if that is TMI but thought I’d share!
  2. I have recently discovered this amazing under eye cream from IT Cosmetics. It is a game changer! I have always had thin skin under my eyes and this does the trick! I also love their CC cream and wear that every day as well. I wear the medium shade in the summer and the light shade in winter.
  3. Do you guys follow @Thehomeedit on Instagram? I just recently discovered them and now I have dreams of getting my home organized like their photos!
  4. I jut recently discovered this new cream cheese that is made of greek yogurt. It has 4x the protein of regular cream cheese and half the fat! It also tastes exactly like cream cheese and is super delish. I have it on GG crackers with a slice of tomato and onion, topped with Everything but the bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s for breakfast. It’s amazing and guilt free!
  5. I have been using the Jergens everyday tanning lotion on my body, and it’s really great. I think they changed the formula since it came out and the smell is nice and it really works!
  6. Have you guys seen the We Wore What x Onia swimwear collab? I am obssesed but can’t wrap my head around spending that much on a bathing suit! Maybe ill splurge once they go on sale ha!
  7. I just bought this Waterproof Sleeved bib for Charlee and it’s AWESOME. It allows me to feed her whatever food without soiling her clothes! You can just rinse it clean with soap and water, or throw it in the wash.
  8. This Simply Lite chocolate is amazing and guilt free! It’s super low carb AND low cal, and it tastes delicious. I like the plain dark chocolate flavor and the almond chocolate flavor.
  9. Now that the weather is so much nicer, I have been taking Charlee to the park almost every afternoon. I use this incredible picnic blanket. It’s great because it is water proof on the bottom and soft on top.

Ok that’s it! I hope you all have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo-J

OUR BAHAMAS VACATION- ATLANTIS TIPS & OUTFITS

Dress: here  Kimono: Sold out, similar here Heels: MIA

Hi Everyone!! Thanks for stopping by :). We are finally back into our regular routine after a week away on vacation! Matt and I took our first trip sans baby girl and it was SO WONDERFUL! We had the best time and I am so glad we made the decision to go away together. We left from NYC on Friday and flew with Charlee into Charlotte to spend time with my Mom and Papa. My parents are amazing and were thrilled to have special time with Charlee :). Sunday morning Matt and I left for the Bahamas and spent three full days together with two of our best couple friends. It was SO MUCH FUN! We stayed at the Cove at the Atlantis which is a beautiful part of the resort. It’s close to the rides and water park but the pool is adult only! We enjoyed laying out, drinking fruity spiked cocktails and gambling by the pool! I loved the resort and we had a wonderful time! I’m going to be sharing all my looks as well as some tips if traveling to the Bahamas!

Here are some tips if heading to the Bahamas soon:

Atlantis Tips:

  1. If heading to the resort with just your hubby or plus 1, stay at the Cove. The hotel portion isn’t technically adult only, but the pool is, meaning there are no children allowed around the pool. If taking the kiddos, stay at the main part of the resort. It’s super kid friendly.
  2. If traveling to the Atlantis with kids and want a night out, they offer an in-room babysitting service. Just something to keep in mind if you want a date night on vacation.
  3. Make sure to eat at Nobu. This restaurant is in the main part of the Atlantis Resort and is DELICIOUS! The atmosphere is also amazing and I highly recommend the Lychee Martini 😉
  4. Spend a day at the Atlantis water park. The Cove pool was walking distance to the water park! Matt and I took a part of the day to enjoy the water park and oh my gosh you guys I was like a 10 year old! I was living my best life! The “lazy” river is NOT that lazy and is more like a rapid ride. We went down the slides a few times and I haven’t screamed from excitement like that since forever! It was a blast! If you are staying at the resort, it is free to use the park. If not, there is a fee.
  5. The Cove: The Cove pool has two walk up bars and waitress service at your seats. It’s amazing and you feel really well taken care of when there. The food is really great and there is a DJ and there were two days we didn’t leave! We had a blast!
  6. Get an outdoor massage! I had two outdoor massages at the Cove pool. It was MAGICAL. You will see a tent propped up in the morning so make sure head there to book your time first thing! You can also book via the concierge.

General Bahamas Tips:

  1. Call your hotel in advance to set up a shuttle service from the airport. Almost all of the hotels in the area offer this free service.
  2. Spend a day in downtown Nassau. There are amazing local artisans and really great shopping down in the Bahamas.
  3. Check out the BahaMar. We stayed at the Atlantis, but spent an evening at the BahaMar and it was AMAZING. I actually think we may stay there next time we visit. It’s a brand new resort and has incredible restaurants and the casino looks like a Vegas hotel! They also have beautiful curated shops and I was able to pick up some really nice gifts for family there.
  4. Grab a bite at Dune at the Four Seasons Ocean Club Resort. It’s the best place to watch the sunset. It’s like a dream and the food is out of this world delicious. If you don’t want to dine, just go to the bar for an incredible cocktail and to watch the sunset :).
  5. Don’t forget your passport! I almost did!! For some reason I completely forgot it was another country…#mombrain!

Ok I think that about covers it! Keep scrolling for all my look details:

Blazer: Zara Shorts: Zara Tank Top: Express Heels: Gucci Bag: Mansur Gavriel Earrings: Baublebar

I wore ^^ this look for our first night out! I did a big Zara shopping trip before we left and got some awesome pieces. This blazer and shorts being a few! I paired it with my Gucci sandals and Mansur Bag. I added a pop of color with a red lip and earrings.

Dress: Zara Heels: MIA Earrings: Nordstrom Rack

This green dress was one of my favorites! It’s so beautiful and it actually comes in a number of colors! This is the view at the Four Seasons Ocean Club. GORG!

Bathing Suit: Mara Hoffman Sunnies: Celine Hat: Bought it at the gift shop!

 

Dress: here  Kimono: Sold out, similar here Heels: MIA

Blazer: Zara Tank: Express Shorts: One Teaspoon Scarf: Gap Belt: Gucci Sneakers: (not pictured): Golden Goose

This was my travel look for the way back to Charlotte to pick up Charlee! I love pairing shorts with a blazer. I think it is a cool way to dress up an otherwise chill outfit!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post :)! I also wanted to shout out that all of my photos were edited using my friend Meg Cusick’s new Lightroom presets!!! She is finally selling them and I had to share with all of you! Head over to her blog for details!

xoxo-J

 

EMERALD GREEN JUMPSUIT

Photography by Shadi Garman

Jumpsuit: Asos Heels: I.N.C Brand

HA! Sorry I had to throw that last photo in there haha!

Spring is FINALLY upon us and it’s so close to wedding season! I love love love weddings and really love any excuse to get super dressed up, so a black tie wedding is my absolute favorite. I found this jumpsuit on Asos and immediately knew I’d be wearing it to a wedding of some kind. We have one in June and I am excited to wear this! The jumpsuit is one of my favorite trends that has come about the last few years. From rompers to full jumpsuits, I am obsessed. I also wanted to talk about these amazing sparkly t-strap heels! I get millions of compliments when I wear these and people think they are Louboutins or designer. They are amazing and only $80! They also come in wide sizing which is great for me since I have wide feet!

In other news, Matt, Charlee and I leave for NC on Saturday. We are spending the weekend with my family to celebrate my Mom and Dad’s birthdays. Then Sunday morning Matt and I are heading to the Bahamas!!! We are going away on an adult only vacation and leaving Charlee with my Mom. I am SUPER nervous but very excited. I know my Mom is a pro and is so amazing at taking care of Charlee…I just know I am going to miss her like CRAZY!

Anyways, I am super excited to get some sun and private time with my hubby. It’s going to be amazing. I also can’t wait to share all the amazing summer looks I plan on wearing! Stay tuned!

xoxo-J

EASY & DELICIOUS CHIP-LESS NACHOS


*Photo courtesy of SkinnyTaste

Hi Everyone! A few weeks ago I decided to start the F-Factor diet and have been making a ton of healthy meals! I made these Chip-less nachos after seeing them on Skinny Taste. I found that as delicious as these were, I didn’t have the time or patience to measure out all the seasonings and it was a bit too in depth for me. I decided to change up the recipe and do a few things differently and they came out SO DELICIOUS! I wanted to share this recipe with you guys since a lot of you asked me to on Instagram. I would also like to point out that I am a novice cook and not very good, so please take my advice and directions with a grain of salt…see what I did there ;)!

Ingredients:

  • Lean ground turkey (I usually get the Trader Joe’s 99.9% lean ground turkey)
  • Olive Oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 white onion
  • Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning (or any type of taco seasoning)
  • Mini Bell Peppers (sliced in half with top & seeds removed…I usually buy two small bags of them at the grocery store)
  • 1 cup-ish Low fat Mexican cheddar cheese (use as much or as little cheese as you like)
  • Parsley

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • clean and slice the mini bell peppers in half sideways so they lay flat. Place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
  • Dice 1/4 of a white onion
  • Heat a pan to medium and spray the olive oil cooking spray and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the ground turkey and taco seasoning (follow the directions on the package as to how to add the seasoning) until the turkey is cooked
  • Disperse the cooked ground turkey onto the sliced mini bell peppers evenly across the pan
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top of the turkey and mini bell peppers and add any toppings of your choice! Some yummy options include jalepenos or black olives
  • Pop these babies into the oven and bake for 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted
  • While the nachos cook, chop up the fresh parsley. You don’t need much, maybe a sprig or two
  • Take the nachos out of the oven and garnish with the parsley
  • EAT!

I usually serve a side of guac and salsa to go along with these nachos. They totally fulfill my mexican craving without the guilt and are super easy to make! I hope you guys enjoy! Let me know if you guys make them!

xoxo-J

 

POLKA DOTS + 5 WAYS I’VE CHANGED SINCE BECOMING CHARLEE’S MOMMA

Photography by Shadi Garman

Dress: Asos Heels: INC Brand Purse: Mansur Gavriel Earrings: Nordstrom Rack

Happy Thursday everyone! I can’t believe we are already to Thursday! This week has FLOWN by and I love it! It means we are one day closer to our trip to the Bahamas! Matt and I decided to take our first trip away without baby the first week of May and I am super excited. I am also totally dreading being away from Charlee for 4 days but I know it will be super special and a wonderful and much deserved trip for Matt and I.

How amazing is this dress?! I saw it online and just had to have it. It has everything I look for in a dress! Statement sleeves, flutter skirt, open back, and polka dots! On top of all that, it’s under $100 so it’s a win win in my book ;)!

I have been wanting to write a post about how I have changed since having my daughter for a while but didn’t know how to set it all up, so I figured i’d include it in an outfit post!I have been holding out because I felt that I needed more time to really reflect on what exactly has changed for me since having Charlee. If I were to be honest, I feel like absolutely everything in my life has changed in some way or another due to having Charlee. My relationships have changed, my lifestyle has changed, my body has changed…you name it and it’s changed!! Sometimes it can be overwhelming how much change really occurs after bringing a new life into this world! I think we have no idea what we are really getting into until after the babies arrive! I wouldn’t have it any other way and I know I have changed for the better, but I figured I would share the most impactful personal changes that have shifted since having her.

  1. I am more sensitive: Now this may come as a shock for those of you who know me personally because even before becoming a Mom, I was SUPER sensitive. I have always had a tender heart and felt empathy very easily. Now that I am a Mom it’s totally different though. My sensitivity runs DEEP you guys. Some days I can barely get through a sappy commercial without crying haha! No but really, I am super sensitive to the needs of my daughter after becoming her Mother. I feel such conviction in making sure she is happy and taken care of. I am sensitive to her needs and what is best for her. If she is having a tough moment, I always try and take a step back and realize that this isn’t her fault and my poor baby is just going through the motions. This helps me from getting frustrated in the hard times because I remember that Charlee is just doing her best! I am sensitive to other Mothers around me and have found almost a kinship with strangers. I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I see another Mom on the subway, walking down the street, or in the grocery store, I find myself feeling like I know her somehow. Is that weird?! Who knows! I guess I just feel a deeper sensitivity and I am more aware of it now.
  2. It’s OK to say No: This has been a hard one for me, and even to this day I struggle with saying “No.” I am a people pleaser, and I have been my whole life. I always want to make sure everyone around me is happy and content. I hate inconveniencing others and before baby would go out of my way to accommodate them even if it was an inconvenience to me. Well, after having a baby, that doesn’t really work! My baby and her needs come first, so oftentimes I find myself saying “No” to things. Surprisingly, people are WAY more understanding when I say “No” to things. I used to think I had to really explain myself, but through postpartum therapy I learned that no explanation is ever really necessary. Just saying, “Unfortunately, that’s not going to work for us” is enough! Most of the time, whomever you are saying “No” to is like, “Ok cool, we can figure something else then!” and it seems silly that I felt weird saying “No” in the first place!
  3. My best is enough: There are times that I feel very overwhelmed. There are days where I don’t feel like I am the best Mom, friend, colleague or wife and I can beat myself up about it. In those moments I try to remind myself that I am doing my best and that is enough. Unfortunately it’s impossible to actually do everything 100%, so I have been practicing forgiveness and letting myself do my best without judgement (Easier said than done!). I truly believe as long as I am doing the best that I can, it’s enough.
  4. I care less about what other people think! This is a big one. I honestly, really don’t give a %^^&^ about what other people think. I have a new found confidence after giving birth. It completely changed my perspective. Social media is a funny thing and people are very open to sharing their opinions about me and my child! You would be surprised some of the comments I have received! What’s kind of nuts is that because I know the kind of Mother, friend and person that I am, I really don’t care what others think of me. I know that I am doing my best and I don’t need anyone else to validate that.
  5. My husband is even more important to me. I fell deeply in love with my husband immediately after I met him, but somehow have fallen even a little bit more in love with him every day since. When you have a child together, it really changes your dynamic. I find that I need Matt a little bit more than before we had Charlee. We are a family now, and we have a great team and system that works for us. I really can’t imagine life without him. He is the father of my baby girl, and is pretty much her favorite person. I have a need for him that runs deeper than before now that we have our baby girl. It’s pretty amazing and I feel so lucky to have him as my Husband.

I hope you guys have a wonderful Thursday and a beautiful weekend!

xoxo-J