Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Flashback! Packing Your Hospital Bag!

A few weeks ago I had a few of my closest girlfriends over for wine night.  Wine night is always fun with the girls because we share stories, talk about the kids, reveal Pinterest success stories (and failures!)  Just the girls enjoying each other's company....and wine.

This wine night was one for the record books as it took shape in a different way.  I don't remember who, but one of my girlfriends mentioned that her husband wanted to bring his X-Box to the hospital during their child's delivery.  Another woman mentioned that her husband brought a football to toss around while he was bored.  The more we talked about it, the harder we laughed at these ridiculous ideas!

I decided to take it a step further and make a collage of what we (the wives) thought to bring vs. what they (the husbands) thought to bring.  The list we came up with is pretty funny, and the descriptions are listed below. I'd love to hear feedback about what YOUR husband thought to bring!

To Make Sense of it All:

MY Must-Haves:

1.  Diaper Bag: I love this color! Source:
2.  ID and Insurance Cards: These are a MUST have for the hospital- to ensure they process your paperwork correctly.
3.  Cord Blood Collection Kit: This is of your partner's responsibilities and is important to give to your doctor.  Source:
4.  Flip-Flops: Many of my friends brought slippers, which got dirty quickly at the hospital.  I chose flip-flops and they were great!
5.  Bathrobe:  It's important to be comfortable and a cozy robe is a perfect choice.
6.  Big Sibling Gift: Making your first child feel involved is very important.  Bring his/her gift to the hospital for their arrival!
7.  iPad: Comes in handy to Skype and e-mail!
8.  Camera:  My husband was able to capture some beautiful pictures with our camera.  These memories are priceless.

HIS Must-Haves:

9.  Some Type of Ball: "To toss around while waiting for labor", was his explanation.  Really?
10.  PowerBars: My husband assured me that he needed to have the proper fuel for delivery.  Source:
11.  Our pup, Skip: Okay, this is a stretch and I understand where he was coming from but- no dogs allowed!
12.  A Stop Watch: While my husband thought timing the labor was a good idea, I assured him it would get tossed across the room (by me.)
13.  Pickles and Ice Cream: Doesn't he realize the cravings are gone?  I mean...really...
14.  "Neuralyzer": The "memory eraser from Men In Black"...just in case some of the more anatomical memories needed to be erased.
15.  Comics:  I many children do I have here?
16.  Give It Your Spin!:  My husband always kept me on my toes and although he tried to help pack for our delivery, my suggestions were a little more practical.  Feel free to share what your husband brought in the comments section below!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Apple Crisp

Fall to me is all about food.  I try to stay relatively healthy but lately I've been OBSESSED with apple crisp.  Something about the fall coolness makes me want sweet apples and crunchy oatmeal with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.  I NEED it.

So I'll share a quick crisp recipe with you all.  Quick crisp.  Say that 10 times fast!!

This recipe is taken from and it is 1000% amazing.  

  • 2 1/2 pounds medium Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples (about 5 or 6), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces, plus more for coating the dish
  • Pecans or Walnuts (optional)
Here's What's Next...1.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle.  Lightly coat an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with butter2.  Combine the apples, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl and toss to coat. Place the apple mixture in the prepared baking dish and set aside.3.  Using the same bowl as for mixing the apples, mix together the brown sugar, oats, flour, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt until evenly combined. With your fingertips, blend in the butter pieces until small clumps form and the butter is well incorporated, about 2 minutes.  Add pecans or walnuts.4.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and bake until the streusel is crispy and the apples are tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 30 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A SAHM's Salary?

Is it me, or is this summer completely flying by?  How could it possibly be August already?  It's been nearly a month since I've posted!!

I have a confession.  I'm slightly obsessed with infographics.  Seeing information broken down in pictures always seems to work for me.  Added bonus if the IG is super cute :)

I came across an infographic last night that REALLY struck a chord with me titled "Mom's Annual Salary."  I ALWAYS think about what a SAHM would earn if someone was paying her a salary and this was an eye opener for me. I would always ballpark the number at around $100K but this infographic took a more realistic approach.

It's interesting for me to see how it was broken down.  I definitely feel that I play cook a LOT- but that's something I enjoy.  Do I enjoying playing housekeeper as much?  No.  Not at all.

Take a peek below if you're lost at this point.  I really think this is an eye-opener!  Do you agree?  Feel free to leave comments!

P.S. Does this double if I have another baby ;-)?
Mom Annual Salary Infographic

This infographic was created by Credit Card Insider, your trusted credit resource, providing plain-language guidance from seasoned industry veterans.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Heat Wave!

If anyone else is on the East Coast, you know about this unbearable heat wave that has hit us this summer.  Lily and I are lucky to have AC throughout the whole house and my neighbors have a pool that they so kindly offer to let us use.  We also took a trip down to the beach and Lily LOVED it!


I've stayed out of the kitchen, and many of my craft projects are on hold because of the summer. My husband has taken a bit of time off so he can enjoy the sun (and heat!).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Guest Day...

Today I have the pleasure of introducing Nic!  Take a peek at her blog and enjoy the adorable pictures of her'll be happy you did! :) :)

Hey friends! My name is Mama Nic.  It is so nice to meet you.  Katie was kind enough to have me over today to introduce myself to you all.

That's me with my littlest one.  We love to hike.

I am the blogger behind Embracing A Life Unexpected.  That carefully chosen title, means exactly what it says.  I started writing the blog when I found out I was pregnant for the third time and wanted to share my story.  That pregnancy was a surprise, (a slight understatement!) because I was at the time, using the Mirena IUD.  I made a choice (although it for me was never really a choice) to take the risk and try to carry this wonderful gift.  It wasn’t easy.  I wanted to write and share my pregnancy which was complicated emotionally, and physically.  I scoured the internet for someone going through what I was, so that I could maybe know what to expect and to feel like I wasn’t alone.  I found nothing.  I knew for a fact from being on forums and such, that there were other women going through similar situations, but nobody that I had found, had shared their story on a blog.  My baby and I were at risk the entire time because the Mirena could not be removed.  I carried her (yes, her!  I had a girl! That is her in the above picture.) with the IUD still embedded into my uterus.  So the title to me, beautifully expresses my feelings of embracing my daughter’s life, and along that journey of becoming a mother of three, I was left feeling like I have a brand new life to live as well!  I live with much more of an urgency and gratitude for life now, and will do all I can to live out my dream for our family.  Hop on over to follow our story and to find posts on fashion, pregnancy topics, struggles as a Mama, DIY projects, our plan to relocate a family of five, and more.  I hope these stories are relatable to you in some way, and they leave you feeling inspired.  The point of this blog for me was to make a connection to you.  Maybe I can bring you some peace or at least make you smile.....make you realize that you are not alone.

Other than writing, I am a Mother of three young souls, whom I refer to as Bubba, Marmalade and Chica in my blog. My husband and I try to raise this little tribe the best we know how.  We are still learning everyday.  I think it will always be like that. 

And last but not least, I would like to share that I am the designer behind My Sweet Marmalade.  I sew teeny tiny dresses and find so much joy in doing it.  After my first daughter was born (nicknamed Marmalade), I wanted to get back to my roots of Fashion and also needed an outlet for my creativity.  I kept seeing dresses online and thought, hey, I could sew that.  From there, my Etsy shop was born.  I try to design items that are functional, economical, eco-friendly, and of course high on the sweetness scale.  If you need something for that little lady in your life, click on over to the shop.

Having children sometimes sparks a hidden passion!

Marmalade shows off her one-of-a-kind Birthday dress.

I am lucky enough to have lots of cute models to design for now.

My special boy even gets some custom threads on occasion.

Thanks again Katie, for letting me have a spot today.  I hope to get to know you all a little more.

Love, Peace, and Sandy Feet,
Mama Nic

This post was written and submitted by Mama Nic.  To connect with her click on her blog, Embracing A Life Unexpected, follow her on Pinterest, Facebook, or send off an email at 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Father's Day Is Coming!

Since Lily was born I find that each year I get really excited about Father's Day.  Possibly even more excited than Mother's Day (kind of weird right?).  I love making my DH feel special and dedicating a day just for him.  His day will most likely involve a round of golf with his father and friends, but as a family we always celebrate and enjoy the day.

I've been trying to find a few gifts that will really top off the day.  Here's are my 2013 Father's Day Gift Ideas:

5. Wood Pellet Smoker

This baby is nearly $1K so I think we'll skip this model, but I've seen others that are much more reasonable.  My husband LOVES smoked pork chops, salmon and chicken.  I think he would smoke his salads if he could.  This would be a great addition to our grill gear.

4.  Artwork from Lily

I saw this piece on Etsy but I swear Lily and I could create this ourselves.  This is actually a greeting card, but I can envision creating it on a canvas.  It would be a perfect addition for his office, and I think he would love it.  

3.  New Money Clip

A new fresh way to hold his money is always appreciated.  I particularly like this one because of the golf theme and it's relatively inexpensive at $79.95 at

2. Breakfast in Bed

This goes without saying.  My husband will get his favorite- two eggs over easy with raisin toast and extra crispy bacon in bed.  Black coffee and orange juice.  Done and done!

1.  A Hammock
This is a family beneficial gift that we could all enjoy.  We have a fairly large backyard and a hammock would fit perfectly.  My in-laws have a hammock and I've caught them napping when I make visits :)  They're incredibly comfortable and I think Lily would get a kick out of it too.  

Even thought Father's Day is still a few days away, I hope these ideas help inspire! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Family Filled Weekend

Even though we were able to celebrate a wonderful Mother's Day last weekend, the celebration continued this weekend with a family filled weekend. A trip to the regional farmer's market started our Saturday and it was PACKED!  We were able to grab some beautiful hanging baskets (pictures hopefully to come soon!) and just enjoyed our outdoor shopping.

My husband, who rarely has a dinner craving, was in the mood for Alfredo sauce and I knew I had to hop in the kitchen.  I found this amazing recipe at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and added shrimp and peas.  Peas are staple in my family, and my grandmother even puts them in potato salad!

On a scale of 1-10, this is a 10 and we will definitely be using it again.  Take a peek:

Alfredo with Shrimp and Peas

We also were able to FINALLY watch "Wreck it Ralph."  Adorable...a must see :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Everyone! Meet Emma!

Happy Monday!  I figured I would start the week by introducing you to my friend Emma and her AWESOME blog- Your Doctor's Wife.  She put together a wonderful little compilation of her life guessed it, a doctor's wife!  Make sure to check out her blog when you have a chance :)  Thanks Emma!

Hi Everyone!

You can call me Emma.
Everyday my husband goes to working dressed like this

But then he changes into his superman outfit 
and looks like this to go out and save someone's day

When we were dating, 
I used to think scrubs and white coats were sexy

But years have passed and I've learned of such things as MRSA and Norovirus, 
so if he comes home in scrubs, I feel I must break out my
One day he came home and screamed for a plastic bag from the garage.
He had been doing this

Keep Reading for the Rest of the Images!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Baby Names

When Lily was just a little developing baby in my stomach, I loved playing around with different baby names. I would ramble off names liked to my husband and he would usually nod "no" or give me a "thumbs up."  Lily was just so natural to me, and beautiful.

I was recently looking at the most popular names of 2013 and it's hard for me to believe that people actually name their children after character they see in television, movies or pop culture.  Thor actually made the list.


No matter how many times I try to justify, or make it sound nice, I can't.

Take a peek at a few other names that made the list of 2013 Top Baby Names

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Festivities

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe St. Patricks Day! We saw lots of people out and about with their green on and it always makes me happy.  My mother is 100% Irish so since we were young we were wearing green on March 17th.  Of course I dressed Lily up in green too!

Our holiday wouldn't have been complete without a little corn beef and cabbage- so naturally I whipped some up!  It turned out to be amazing and even Lily enjoyed it :)  My husband made a delicious horseradish cream sauce (recipe can be found here!)

The best part about corn beef is that we have leftovers for days.  The more I cook, the more I realize I'd love to explore my heritage more through cooking.  I know my mother is Irish and my father is Polish (give me a pierogie any day of the week.)  I'd love to dig up a great borscht recipe or maybe some Irish colcannon.  Any tips would be appreciated and welcomed!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A DIY Scrub for You

I feel bad.  I haven't put up a new post in a long time and for whatever reason I feel like I should give my readers (if there are any out there) a gift in order to make up for my absence.  I could list the reasons why I haven't been able to post, but they're boring and I won't bore you with that!

SO- what I have done is documented my latest beauty regimen that seems to work like a charm!  This winter has been terrible on my skin and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a product that may or may not work.  This led me to get creative in my kitchen and make my own facial scrub!

not mine..but you get the idea.
Take a look at my DIY Body Scrub:

What You'll Need
  • a small mason jar or glass container for storing your scrub
  • white sugar
  • almond oil
  • lavender essential oil (for scent- you can use mint, lemon, lavender or a scent of your preference!)
  • Combine (1) cup of white sugar with (1/2) cup of almond oil.  Make sure they are both combined well. 
  • Add two to three drops of your essential oil and mix well. 
  • Refrigerate overnight for best results.  It feels good to have the cold exfoliation clean your pores.
I wasn't able to take pictures as I really was just winging it.  I compare this scrub to others and found that I spent $5 while other facial scrubs can run upwards of $40!  

If you do end up making a scrub- send me a picture!  I'd be happy to post it here!

Photo Credit: Symbolic Imports via Compfight cc

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

To Grain or Not to Grain?

Over the course of the holiday season and the combination of the colder weather, my eating habits have strayed a little off course.  It was easier for me to just order a pizza instead of making dinner.  I think we've all found ourselves guilty of this at one point or another (so I'll try not to feel TOO guilty about it.)

I need to get myself, and our family, back on track.  Lily has always been a vegetable lover and it's easy to incorporate them into meals.  Sometimes I'll blend spinach, a banana, an apple with a little almond milk as her "smoothie" and she loves it!

Of course I've been doing a lot of research online about making our diets even healthier and I came across the "paleo" diet.  Well, it's not necessarily a diet, but a way of eating. There's a wealth of information about it online and sometimes it gets to be too hard to process.

The main premise of paleo is to avoid processed grains, sugars, legumes and dairy. When I first stumbled upon it, I was a bit taken aback.  How could people eat this way?? WHAT do these people eat?

There is a method to the madness, and I'm certainly not able to explain why or how, but it did make me question our family's eating habits.  Here is a REALLY good explanation here.  A typical weekday dinner usually looks a lot like this:

I've started to question if all of the pasta and bread we consume on a regular basis is doing us any favors.  I try to stay away from foods high in fat and sugar, but could bread be as bad as people are saying?

I have started by adding more vegetables back into our diet.  I've always loved kale and made this awesome kale salad for a dinner side yesterday with chicken and a sweet potato.

Do you eat within the paleo guidelines?  I'd love feedback...or advice!

Photo Credit: the_babyladies via Compfight cc

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hamburger Cupcakes

My husband is a HUGE football fan.  His second favorite sport is hockey and then probably basketball.  If he's really bored he'll turn to the golf channel (but that's definitely a last resort.)

We were invited to our friend Deb and Ken's house this past weekend and I decided to make cheeseburgers.  Just not the type of cheeseburgers you're thinking of.


I had seen this hamburger cupcake recipe on and have been looking for a reason to try it for quite some time.  I knew as soon as Deb called and asked me to bake I had the perfect dessert!

adding the "cheese" and "lettuce"

they were a hit!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Family Vacation

For one of my Christmas gifts my husband surprised me with a gift that I NEVER would have expected- a vacation.  He was able to take time off from work and book our rental home without me knowing ANYTHING...which was kind of a shock!

This past week we made our way to the Bahamas.  It was so nice to be in the warm weather, bright sunshine and enjoying some downtime.  It's amazing with a little getaway will do to refresh your mind after the holidays.  Take a peek of the picture I snapped from one of our flights:

Just breathtaking!
This was also Lily's first time on a plane which was VERY exciting.  I'm not sure she understood what was going on, and we did have a little bit of trouble during take off (yes, we were those people with the screaming baby.)  But we did manage to calm her nerves and she was fine for the second flight.

Since we rented a house we didn't have childcare services which is what I preferred.  If we went out to dinner, it was with Lily.  This kept things pretty low-key and I wouldn't have asked for anything different.  We spent most of our time on the beach and exploring the little island of Green Turtle Cay.

It was wonderful to get away and spend some time with my husband and Lily.  We needed a little break from it all after the holidays and this really "hit the spot."