Saturday, December 31, 2011

mr independent!

how quickly my happy baby
is becoming a serious little boy.

everyday we get new surprises.
christmas day brought clapping.

a week earlier he started crawling
now containing him is becoming a challenge.

i love that he can play on his own
& now he loves to feed himself.

if you're my friend on facebook
you know i was looking for new finger food ideas.

trying to avoid the usual processed garbage.
i saw a recipe for banana pancakes using pancake mix.

i didn't have any mix on hand so i substituted
with his favorite cereal.

sliced bananas,
coated in a thin layer of cereal.

sprayed a thin layer of olive oil pam in a small pan.
cooked the banana slices for a few minutes on each side.

i broke them into halves
& quarters for santino
because i'm the crazy overprotective mom..
but he loved them!

i even tried a few
& they reminded me of fried bananas.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


christmas came & went in the usual blur.
yesterday was the best day of my holiday weekend.
nowhere i had to be,
nothing needed to be accomplished.

i'm so ready for the new year.
i love a fresh start.

i have so many goals this year.
i really need to organize them
& set up a plan of how to accomplish.

i plan on letting go a lot more.
finding happiness within myself..

i spend so much of my time at work
& at home talking about family.

it can be really overwhelming.
sometimes i feel so hypocritical talking about
other people's familes..
when i still have my own issues.

that's life i guess.
i wish i could do half the things i tell others to do.

write it down.
say it outloud.
be honest.
be prepared to be hurt.

instead i walk away.
i shut down.
i avoid.
i protect.

the only good thing about work,
is that it has help me to realize..
we all have some of these family issues.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

taking care.

i go through an absolutely
ridiculous routine after santino's bathtime:
aveeno baby for his legs,
they tend to get extra dry.
aquaphor baby for his face,
it's extra sensitive.
butt paste for down below.
then johnsons baby lotion,
for wherever i missed.

early mornings for myself..
i'm lucky if i get lotion on 25% of my body..
and it consists of whatever was on sale.

the thought of..
when do we stop caring about ourselves?
came across my mind as i browsed baby food ingredient lists.
i've stuck to only organic so far..
i was totally boycotting gerber until i was in DE
& couldn't find earth's best.

for me?
i stick to organic milk,
but beyond that..
give me what's on sale & in season.

seriously, i spend hours each week..
picking out the best of everything for santino.
and he deserves it..
but i can't help but think..
why don't i care this much about myself.

the truth is convenience.
and funding.

but maybe if we all spent a little extra time,
picking out the best for ourselves..
we would all be a little better off.

here's to cutting out the excess
& focusing on the wholesome this new year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

keeping in the game.

the diary of a working mom.
it amazes me that i can't find time for blogging.
then again..
the game is busy.

today is a sick day in the carotenuto house.
santino picked up the daycare cold/ear infection.
we've kept him home all weekend,
and today..

since i've been back to work,
i think there's rarely been a pay period when i didn't use personal time.
luckily my job allows for an abundance of pto.

the next four weeks will now be four day work weeks,
which are so much more tolerable than five..
even though it really doesn't seem like that big of a difference.

i still bounce back&forth between
loving working
& wanting to spend more time home.

recently i hit below my pre-baby weight.
i credit bfing (though we recently made the switch to fomula.. long story // another day).
but also the working mom schedule..
up around 5:30am..
sit back down at 8:00pm when baby goes to bed.

one of my new years resolutions is to be more grateful.
some days feel like groundhog days..
same routine.. just another day.
and i find myself just making the movements.
i forget how lucky i am.

most weekends i just want to relax.
try and get a crawling backwards baby,
to crawl forward!

the holidays are upon us.
helen's hassack has been busy..
lots of vintage love & gifts left.
i did 99% of my shopping online.

i haven't even baked a cookie lately,
though i did make this yummy pioneer woman stew.

sometimes i'm more likely to use tumblr.
so check that out for vintage love!

hoping for happy holidays this year..
that's all i want for christmas.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

cawman's antique mall

two weeks ago we moved to a corner spot at cawman's.
yesterday santino & i visited to add new items.

my mom did a great job decorating & arranging.
our spot from the front:
 the butterscotch china closet
with my jewelry & hat display:
 the large green hutch
with an ample supply of christmas dishes,
perfect for entertaining:
 primitive & vintage christmas tree:
 wall display
wine bottle lights make the perfect holiday gift!
currently on sale for $15 (down from usual $20)
free gift bag!:
be sure to like cawman's on facebook for photos from the rest of the mall
& updates about store hours!

Monday, November 7, 2011

and we're off.

the first carotenuto family vacation.
bethany beach.
visiting my grandparents.
celebrating a wedding.
family reunion.
early thanksgiving.
and hopefully a lot of relaxation in between.
although santino is not one for relaxing.

i tend to post more vintage posts on my tumblr.
so check that out if you're bored.
the shop will be closed until november 15.
however, our new spot at cawmans is set up.
go visit!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

baked apples for baby.

my martha stewart apple corer.
i knew it would come in handy one day.
bake in 2-3inches of water
@ 400 degrees
for 40 minutes.
& place in food processor.
mix with fresh water
until desired consistency.
*this helps with babies getting use to chunkier food :)
it's a little chunkier than he is use to,
but he's adjusting! :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

silly mom.

one day i know i'll embarass him.
he won't want me to kiss&hug him in front of his friends.
he'll ask me not to wear my silly hats outside of the house.
but today is not that day.
today he's just happy to be with me.
boy do i love six months :)
hat coming soon to helen's hassack
& necklace already available!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

twenty four weeks.

perfect weather.
fresh air.
a happy boy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

control your own destiny - mental health day.

gold chain & tassel pendant @ helen's hassack

an update.

an overdue update.

i have the best intentions to write in santino's baby book.
i have great intentions to conquer the world.
blogging is so much easier.
but i haven't even really blogged lately.

santino will be 24weeks in three days.
six months.

sitting up
& playing independently.
he's a few weeks away from crawling.
a tooth will be popping through any day now.
he's taken down all the earth's best level one foods.
size three diapers.
nine months clothes.
constant drool.

he's still waking up every 3-4 hours at night.
he's not on any type of sleep schedule.
but it works for us.
i'd rather him not be on a schedule
& be happy,
than be on a schedule
& be miserable.

yesterday was my grandmother's 83rd birthday celebration.
first we traveled up to TCNJ
& watched cousin shannon's seagull field hockey team kick butt!
then traveled to my aunt's for pizza, crab soup & cake.

my grandmother's birthday wish at 83?
to meet danny briere.
but after she gets a haircut..

the fall is birthday season.
all of my nephews & niece..
mother in law..

& it's football season.
thank god for the hokies.
since philly has let me down all over the place.

let's go flyers?

work is busy,
but i'm enjoying it.
as much as i hate being away from santino
i come home just wanting to soak in every minute of him.
& i still feel like i get so much time with him.

today is mental health day.
what did you do to make your mind happy today?
i ate lunch outside
& enjoyed the last of the beautiful weather!

everyone is the age of their heart <3

Saturday, October 8, 2011

vintage gold love.

these yellow floral studs are the perfect everyday earring.
i will be sad to see them sell.

this gold jingle necklace dresses up a white tee.
and is a great vintage piece.

Monday, September 26, 2011

backing off the ledge.

saturday morning i found myself standing on the ledge.
it had been a rough bfing week.

santino was sick on monday
& barely nursed.

then i forgot my pump on wednesday
& went an entire day engorged.

i had to break into my golden frozen supply.

santino weighed in at 16lbs 9oz
on monday..
more then double his birth weight
& he's almost sitting.

so we began solids after he was sick.
& added oatmeal cereal
which he thoroughly enjoys over rice cereal.

but to get back to the ledge.
i'm having difficulty keeping up with
the amount of milk he needs while i'm at work.
and i was considering supplementing
with one bottle of formula a day.

but i stood there in front of the formula.
i didn't even know what to look for.
what i could possibly need.
ready to jump off the ledge.

but instead i found myself pumping between every feeding.
trying to up my production.
eating tons of fresh veggies.
& today..
there's four fresh bottles in the fridge
waiting for daycare tomorrow.

i'm not jumping off the ledge today.
& not saying that i'm totally against starting formula..

but i'm so thankful for all the supportive
people in my life..
who've kept me off the ledge for the past 21weeks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


dressing up a plain off-white shirt:
brown & gold necklace
gold avon floral clip earrings
pearl stud clip earrings
ring no longer for sale (holding it for a friend!)
but a similar one here...

&& September 22, 2011 Deal of the Day - $4.00
poison ring!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

a day out - atlantic city

we were on our way to the zoo.
but decided to head into the city instead.

lunch, shopping & dinner.
santino is becoming a true foodie.
scales (formely flying cloud) at gardners basin - atlantic city, nj
we split the filet sliders.. nomnom.
& sam's octoberfest! (love this time of year for this reason alone!)
an outdoors santino = happiest baby.
beautiful day & beautiful view of golden nugget (formely trump marina),
harrahs & the ac coast guard station!

after shopping at the outlets.
we had dinner at the tun tavern.
better beer than food,
but good prices
& we were able to watch college fb!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

my FIRST giveaway.

so when we prepared for hurricane irene,
we stocked up on all necessary items.

as a new mom coffee is at the top of that list.
j tried to do something super special

he bought me dunkin' donuts coffee.
however, this is WHOLE bean.

and we don't have a grinder.
it's the thought that counts j i promise.

SOO you can benefit!
i'm giving away this package of WHOLE BEAN DD coffee.

comeon you know this is better than crack!

how to enter:
1. LIKE US on Facebook - Helen's Hassack
2. Follow me on twitter - hollycarotenuto
3. already do BOTH of those things - RT my tweet about this post or share my shop on facebook.

leave me a comment telling me which you did.
you can comment telling me you already like the shop / already follow me on twitter.
so at most you can get FOUR entries (1. like me 2. follow me 3. RT me 4. share me)

& literally there's about four people who read my blog
five counting my mom who just started reading my blog ( hey ma )
and my mom doesn't drink coffee so no competition there.

you have until FRIDAY 9/9/11 at midnight EST.
winner will be announced SATURDAY 9/10

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

santino & babar

"Now everyone is asleep.
Babar and Celeste will soon go to bed too.
They are gradually calming down
after all these exciting evnets.
'Truly it is not easy
to bring up a family,'
sighs Babar.
'But how nice the babies are!
I wouldn't know how to get along
without them any more.'"
- Jean De Brunhoff - Babar and His Children

would you believe me..
if i told you this is the first time i've read a babar book?

how perfect is this quote?
four of the past five days
i've been home with santino.

i had forgotten so quickly,
how the days fly by with him.

today he survived two needles
& an oral vaccine.
at home the floor was the only place that didn't hurt his little legs.
& he listened so intently while i read him this story.

we love elephants in this house.
bring babar to your house too!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

where am i?

twilight zone?

we survived the earthquake.
began discussing disaster plans for our family.
it's still weird that we are a family.

then, irene.
& we needed to activate disaster plan.
thankfully, no mandatory evacuations for us!

we camped out in the living room.
j, me, mini & santino.
i got about an hour of sleep.

during a week of an earthquake & a hurricane..
santino had a growth spurt.
back to eating every two hours.. wowza.

we survived the hurricane.
the tornado warnings all night were insane.

somehow i became a mom
& forgot how to nap.
all three boys were passed out twice today
& i'm up..
unable to sleep.

it's not even 8pm
& the bed is calling my name.

but i really want to read this & this.
back to work tomorrow,
(as long as work survived the hurricane!).
off tuesday,
daycare is closed & sonny has shots

i'll try to get some good post-hurricane pics tomorrow in atlantic city.
today i'm exhausted.
& if this post makes no sense..
i just survived an earthquake & a hurricane..
give me a break :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

working momma update.

1. we survived our first earthquake.
2. i think more than anything we were excited to spend an extra hour together yesterday.
3. being a working momma is hard. real hard.
4. saturday we spent ALL day together & it was amazing.
5. at 16weeks (17 tomorrow..wahh) he's so fun, laughing & rolling & trying so hard to sit up!

but really..
i wanted to update you all on being a working & nursing momma.

maybe a little inspiration for anyone who has decided
to be a working & nursing momma.

almost four weeks back
& we're still going strong.
pumping every three - five hours at work,
depending on my schedule.
usually two times a day.
sometimes need to pump a little at home to make sure there is enough for the next day.

trying to not use my frozen supply.
i started pumping & storing when the baby was three weeks.
& it definitely helps when i just don't pump enough at work.

usually during pumping i distract myself with my google reader.
did i mention washing bottles sucks?
but baby is still growing
& thriving.

long story short,
you can do it too!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

celebrate sunday.

vintage beads @ helen's hassack
only a few hours left to use coupon code: BIRTHDAY26
26% OFF all items until 5PM EST Sunday 8/14

Saturday, August 13, 2011

two . six

two years ago
i started this blog.

to increase love, strength & knowledge.
everyday it's a battle.
but i love being able to get my thoughts down
& share them with
the three people who read :)

last year i set goals to accomplish by 30.
a big one has been complete..
a baby.
i didn't accomplish two things:
taking a class for fun & volunteering.
this year.. NO EXCUSES.

& to increase my knowledge..
finally complete my application for my counselor's license.

this year it's been TEN years since i turned 16.
so i decided to write a letter to my 16 year old self.
i was an awkward 16.
i'm so happy to be 10 years past that.

so DEAR SELF @ 16,

i could tell what you should / should not do

but the truth is
everything that will happen
may not be pretty
it won't be easy
but it will lead you to this wonderful place.

one thing,
16 is the last year you will spend
in that little farm house where you
were raised.
& 10years later disaster will strike.
look around,
take in those memories of that home.

here is some good news:

those girls that keep talking..
let them.
their talking gets them no where.
your confidence gets you everywhere.

those boys that keep breaking,
you will break away from.

you'll find your self esteem eventually,
when you stop looking for it from others,
and find it in yourself.
its 10 years later:

you have a house,
it's not like your barbie dream house,
but theres a roof over your head
& a garden outside.
and it's filled with love.

you have a husband,
a real one.
it's not prince william,
but your husband does call you his kate middleton,
and that makes you happy.

there's a baby in your arms.
a little boy just like you always wanted.
who coos and smiles on comand.

the best part.
you have so much love.
and your happy.
real happiness..
it does exist.

happy sweet 16 self.
10 years later,
life is really sweet.

PS - blog readers & friends & family:
i'm celebrating my birthday at Helen's Hassack with a SALE
26% OFF all items
use coupon code: BIRTHDAY26

Thursday, August 11, 2011

smore day 2011

first gather your supplies.
& enjoy.

is there anything more simple
& perfect
than a smore?

now that i'm back at work,
we are celebrating.
yesterday was smore day.

today my co-workers surprised me with a cake,
for my birthday.

but this saturday i'll be celebrating for real..
at this festival!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

for me.

begin with that most terrifying of all things,
a clean slate.
then look, every day,
at your choices that you are making
& when you ask yourself,
why you are making them,
find this answer:
For Me. For Me.
- Anna Quindlen
Author & Journalist

found this quote in a woman's day magazine.
(that my boss swears he didn't order)
i posted it in my office.
teenagers are notorious for making decisions,
based on what others may think of that decision.

& let's be honest..
as adults we often do the same thing.
what will they think if i..

giving yourself a clean slate
(tabula rasa)
is so refreshing.
count to ten..
take a deep breath
& think about what you want.

so next time you make a choice.
For Me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


survived thrived during my first week back at work.
making big plans.
enjoying saturday&sunday family time.
getting on a schedule.
staying happy.

happy sunday.

bracelet @ helen's hassack.

Monday, August 1, 2011

working momma.

my alarm rings.
start coffee
drink first cup of coffee
eat a muffin
double check bag for grandmoms
pack full bottles
double check bags for work
iron clothes
pour second cup of coffee
let minion out
wake up baby
nurse change diaper
drink second cup
grandmom arrives
pack car
lots of kisses.
arrive at work
leave work
home to baby & j.
get thrown up on
change diaper
wash bottles
wash pump
play with baby
change diaper (twice..)
re pack bags
relax on the couch with baby & j.
bed for all by 10pm

our first try at daycare.

packing at night
makes mornings easier.
working with pro-bfing people
makes life a lot easier!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

jersey girls!

last night i headed up to the B&N in deptford, nj.
to meet a fellow jersey girl.
i met two friends at 4pm,
we were given wristbands
& went to grab some sushi.

we came back to B&N at 6
& waited about 1.5hours.
& then she showed up
(only 30minutes late!)

teresa - JEW-DI-CHE
earlier in the day i tweeted her,
that i was excited to meet her
& bringing baby santino.
she tweeted back.
we had a discussion in line wondering if it was really her tweeting.
when i got to the table
& a friend yelled 'santino wants to marry audriana'
teresa said 'is this the one that tweeted me'
it was her!
she was soo gracious.
told me i looked great..
(she gets major props for this haha).

santino couldn't handle the excitement.
can't wait to try out some recipes.
they actually look delish!
thanks teresa!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

birthday & blueberries.

last night i started practicing my song to the boy.
'happy three months to you
happy three months to you
happy three months dear santino
happy three months to you'

i don't really want to talk about three months.
where did the time go?
we're about to through a biiiigg change.
mommas going to work,
and baby will be with gmom & daycare.
pretty soon you'll be sitting up.
then crawling.
& ohh noo..
only 9months until you're one.
i love when you catch yourself in the mirror.
& that look comes across your face..
like: 'man that is a good looking baby'.
you love your play mat.
you finally don't hate belly time.
you're napping
(almost on a schedule).
you sleep at night.
then we find you in your crib in the AM..
you are such a morning person..
just like dadda.
you love our walks.
& lady ga ga.
we think you are on the edge of glory.
you still just have peach fuzz.
you're eyes are still the brightest blue.
we can hear you kicking in the crib from our bedroom.
maybe you'll be a soccer star.
yesterday you started squealing&giggling.
i can't wait for your future.
but today..
we just love you at threeeeee monnnthhss! :)
just in case you couldn't see this amazing shirt.
thanks aunt sue woz!
we will be chasing you sooo soon!

oh & the cake.
so simple.
i had all the ingredients on hand,
except fresh eggs,
& lemon!
find this yuuummyy recipe HERE!!