Thursday, June 7, 2012

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

a family tradition: poppyseed chicken

i mentioned that i poached chicken for tonight's dinner.
it was so nice to throw together a quick
& easy weeknight meal in less than an hour.

not to mention it's one of my favorite meals,
not exactly healthy,
but real comfort food.

this recipe is one my mom's family loves.
poppyseed chicken.
my mom often makes big batches
& freezes or sends to us
(like after santino was first born, i lived on it)

shred roughly 1-1.5lbs of cooked chicken breast on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

combine 1cup sour cream (i used light)
& 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
(i used healthy request soup)

at this point i mix it up from the usual family recipe.
today i added 2tbsps of dill, .5tbsp of celery seed, salt&pepper, and some minced garlic.
mix spices well into sourcream/soup mix & spread over shred chicken.

next crush 1.5rolls of ritz crackers, mix with 1/2cup melted butter & 1tbsp of poppyseeds.
sprinkle crumb mixture over chicken/sourcream/soup mix.

bake at 350degrees for 40minutes.
serve over rice.
tonight i served with snow peas cooked in olive oil & garlic.

do you have a family recipe that everyone loves?

working mom update.

so i continue to be a full time working mom.
at least for the next month.
then i'm cutting back to three days a week
 { w a h o o }
plan on enjoying my last few months of just mom & santino.

santino's in daycare three days a week
& with my mom two days a week.
i feel like it's a great compromise,
he gets the one:one attention he craves,
& gets the social experience he needs.

i'm a little worried about him leaving daycare
for six months (summer + my maternity leave).
hoping to plan some playdates,
anyone interested?

of course working & being a mom continues to be a challenge.
not a negative challenge though.
i sometimes think about my life pre santino,
& can't imagine what i did with my free time.

i'm on my feet from 6am - 7:30pm most days.
& i really can't complain.
i love those two hours of quiet/alone time before
i actually go to bed,
but wouldn't give up the 13hours of running right now.

some tricks i've developed.
pre-planning = sanity.

coffee is preped each night
& brewed as soon as i wake.
last night i poached chicken
for tonight's dinner.
prepping snacks for santino & i.
some he takes to school,
& some i take to work.
some nights i cook
& freeze pancakes to make AM easier.

a load of laundry is done every night.
we vacuum or sweep everyday,
dishwasher every other day.
doing a little each day,
keeps this family sane!

how do you stay organized with a busy schedule?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

in honor of three years of marriage

three years of..
minion slobber
pinecrest breakfast
game of thrones
phillies games
the killing
rocco's townhouse
red wine
clif bars
deadliest catch
santino's laugh
shared cooking
daily vacuuming
nightly walks

& everything else that makes our marriage work.

my favorite hol & j posts:

the eagles in the snow

on me being lucky.

after three years together

becoming a family

can i ever get over the amazingness of kamila harris' photography of our wedding? nope.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

happiness is..

// girl talk over dinner on tuesday night
\\ getting packages of baby girl clothes & headbands delivered
// finishing my lac application & placing it in the mail
\\ a quick & easy ob appointment
// finding out baby girl is a mover like her brother
\\ santino's dance skills
// planning my summer schedule
\\ getting to see maryland cousins this weekend
// naomi's baby boy being born
\\ ordering these headbands for my beach days
// my first holly hock bloom!

what's happiness to you??

picture: white & gold wicker 1960s satchel available at helen's hassack

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

buttermilk & cilantro steak marinade

i usually get new recipes through blogs.
but one favorite recipe magazine of mine is
everyday food

usually i flip through
& pick out which recipes i want to try.

i originally skipped over this recipe,
but j wanted to try it out.

buttermilk & cilantro marinade
in a blender combine:
1 cup buttermilk
1 bunch cilantro roughly chopped
1 tsp corriander seed
.5tsp curry powder (i substituted for a mix of cumin & garlic powder)
3 scallions (i omitted, because we're just not fans)

marinade steak for 40minutes.
then grill away.

next time i might add minced garlic for more spice.
but overall a successful dinner.

we ate with j's tomato/onion/olive salad.
the dressing is a mix of vinegars & olive oil & italian spices.

& used 1/2cup of extra marinade as a dipping sauce.


Monday, May 28, 2012

mdw 2012 - in pictures

i use to dream of raising beach kids.
mission complete.
j's new summer toy = more beach time for santino & i
getting ((toomuch)) sun.
getting patriotic on the oc nj boardwalk!
first time on the carousel.
not big enough yet.
surfer boy.

dressing the man.

people keep telling me how my bank account will hurt from a baby girl.
& it already has!

but truth is,
i'm a frugal shopper.

even though i want my babes to always look their best.
i'm really into mixing a wal-mart tee & baby gap shorts.

i loved this post on dressing baby boys.
& how fun it really can be.

friday for school i dressed up santino,
they celebrate shabat every friday
& i like him to be a little snazzy.

i decided to go out of my usual
solid shirt & plaid shorts.
& mix plaid with stripes.

i've also been trying to snazz up my maternity style.
since maternity clothes are mainly horrid,
i usually try and add pretty jewelry.
& have been living in dresses.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

new hats.

mom picked up five hats at an auction.
& i purchased 25more from craiglist.
the store should be hopping in the next few weeks.
perfect time to pick up a summer hat!
here are some of my favorites so far.

genuine panama hat:

navy straw top hat:

straw & yellow daisy hat

navy straw hat with pink & white flora:

there is also some great vintage items in my sale section of the etsy shop

thank you for browsing vintage hats & accessoreis at helen's hassack

Sunday, May 20, 2012

the bump.

twenty one weeks,
over halfway cooked.

so different,
not better or worse..
just different than santino.

here's my pros vs cons,
of the first half,
of my 2nd pregnancy.

1. i felt this baby kick way earlier - such a mover & shaker just like
her older brother.
2. i've gained about half the weight i gained with santino - thank you
salads, omelets, nightly walks, frozen fruit bars, veggies & cliff
3. spring maternity dresses are way cuter than winter maternity sweaters
4. i can eat bananas - made me gag with santino
5. time is flying, i'm so busy with santino.. i can't believe this
baby will be here in 4.5months!

1. the pain - hips from sleeping on my side, foot/leg cramps, round ligaments!
2. goodbye what little sleep i was getting, i can't fall asleep.. &
santino takes up half my spot in our bed
3. my skin - yikes, hit a rough patch, switched to a simple neutrogena
cream wash & i'm seeing improvement
4. maternity clothes in general suck.
5. this awkward, 'i'm not fat, i'm pregnant' stage.. how do you tell

& let me make it clear,
the cons aren't really negatives.
just differences i've felt
& changes..

i love being pregnant,
today santino was curled up on my belly sleeping.
it was almost like my babies were already cuddling.
i'm so excited to add more laughter & love to this little family.

how did you prepare your family for baby number two?

Friday, May 18, 2012

new to my google reader.

love this pink porch.
my house is so blue // green
now that there's baby girl coming,
we might need to add some feminie touches.


the blogs i follow & read on a daily basis
are mainly real life friends
& such a strange mixture of
babies, food & design.

here's some new blog finds:

& as always check my favorites in my link love

share your blog, or let me know what i should be reading..

Thursday, May 17, 2012

cooking with cilantro

i'm on the lookout for cilantro recipes,
now that i have a fresh supply in my garden.

when i saw this recipe on marta's blog,
i knew i had to try it.

perfect weeknight recipe..
finished within an hour.

i poached two large chicken breasts.
while i was doing that i combined:
xl can chicken broth
1can rinsed black beans
1can corn
half jar salsa
minced garlic
1.5small cans diced green chilies
handful chopped cilantro
1 squeezed lime

once the chicken was poached,
i shredded and added it to the rest of the ingredients
simmered for 30minutes


topped mine with fresh avocado,
sour cream,
& whole grain tortilla chips.


what's your favorite cilantro recipe?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

big news!

santino's getting a baby SISTER!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012


hanging outside.
spent the day in the front gardens.
no veggies yet,
just perennials, herbs & berries.
pretending to drive the tractor.
not allowed to go anywhere yet.
my oregano & rosemary garden.
pretty much this whole patch is oregano,
and my rosemary plant is a small bush.
new blueberry & strawberry plants.
it's jersey strawberry season,
& we picked up some today
& no one has been able to stop eating them!
this is the first spring i've had blooms on my three year old holly hock!
can't wait to see what these flowers look like.

gardening is always easier when you have a helper.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

learning how to strut.

yesterday santino had his first experience with the mummers.
it was a gorgeous sunny
& warm morning on the AC boardwalk.
we walked for shirley mae.
a cause, near & dear to my heart.

santino just loved the people,
the noise..
& the walking.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

start fresh.

thank you produce outlet for 99cent herb plants.
hoping to spend my mother's day weekend out in the yard.
with 70+degree weather that shouldn't be a problem.
can't wait to start growing fresh zucchini.
&grape tomatos.

hoping to add blueberry & strawberry plants to the mix this year.
always adding herbs.
they just keep growing,
can't believe i've never grown cilantro!?
now i'll have a bundle.

here are some favorite spring & summer recipes:
no cook grape tomato & green pepper sauce with pasta

pineapple upside down cake

asparagus, broccoli, peas & zucchini cheesy pasta loveee
whooops here's the actual pioneer woman recipe

lemon &blueberry bread (kid approved aka by my 7y/o cousin)

zucchini, corn & swiss pasta

mango hawaiian cookies

peach crumble pie (made the clean plate club when brought to family party, also 7y/o approved)

phillies game

tuesday night the rain held off
& santino went to his first phillies game.

j&i have a long tradition of phillies games.
this is our 5th phillies season together!

santino, luckily...
loves people & noise.
except for that one random guy that looked at him..
& santino freaked.
swear babies have a wierd 6th sense.

loved the clapping.
he's always a little delayed..
watches everyone clap..
then he claps wildly.
but he loved walking around the park.
or better yet trying to run away from me.

enjoyed his first crabfries.
i was shocked..
they definitely have a unique taste
but he didn't seem to mind.

started to crash in the 5th,
but overall was a trooper.
he'll definitely be spending many nights here,
glad to know he's a happy phils phan!

adorable free certificate from the phils:

are you following me on instagram & twitter yet?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

think, feel, believe.

what you think .. how you feel
i'm successful / loved /etc .. i feel happy
change how you think = change how you feel
so simple, i know!

50 shades of grey = don't understand the hype
back to historical fictions
currently reading


dreaming of a baby girl's nursery.
no we don't know.
but i've got a feeling ;)

how are you thinking, feeling and what are you believing in?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

can i stand on a platform for a minute?

on april 23, 2012 the academy of pediatrics posted this article
the focus on childhood obesity.

here's what i understood admist the research data:
children from lower socioeconomic families,
those who specifically use government funded insurance
had a lower decline in childhood obesity than those children with private insurance.
simply: there is a great discrepancy in childhood obesity between higher & lower SES.

so many people recommended i breastfeed to 'save money'.
and you bet we save a ton of money during those 7months.
and when i fed santino his last formula bottle last week i was so relieved.
but honestly that relief had little to do with finances.

isn't it amazing that people from a higher socioeconomic status
are MORE likely to breastfeed.
i.e. angelina jolie, pink & beyonce

i really hope to never by formula again.
i can never say never,
but once we made the switch to formula,
santino started with ear infections,
& never adjusted well to the formula.

& in february 2012 the aap reaffirmed their guidelines for breastfeeding..
exclusively until 6 months.

in addition i've read so much advice on facebook
to friends & family about when to start cereal.
the aap does not recommend putting cereal in the bottle.
sometimes we need to close our ears to good intentions
of family & friends,
and listen to the docs.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

one year celebrations!

let him eat cake.
first birthday love.
a baby becomes a toddler?
the first of many ATVs to come.
can't believe how long he kept on his new navy hat!
so why is everyone looking at me & singing?
we celebrate not just one little boy,
but the family he created.
& so thankful for friends & family who always want to celebrate with us!
there's no greater gift,
than a happy & healthy child <3