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Monthly Archives for March 2015

Carrot Cake Cookies


On every major holiday I’m fortunate to not be the one in charge of the family meals. Talk about pressure! I’m thankful for my mother, grandmother and mother in law who always graciously take the reigns and prepare delicious meals for our family. My role typically comes into play for dessert which I’m always more than happy to tackle. This Easter I wanted something festive and fun. Last year I enjoyed making these sugar cookies which were great but very time consuming. This year I also went the cookie route, but chose to try a carrot cake cookie with a cream cheese frosting and a simple carrot decoration. Don’t give me credit for any of the creativity, all thanks goes to Cooking Classy for this recipe. I’m just here to prove that your average baker can tackle this with ease. Oh, and they’re delicious in case I forgot to mention that ;)



Carrot Cake Cookies via Cooking Classy:


1 1/2 cups (213g) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (106g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (55g) packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (118g) finely grated carrots
Chopped pecans or cinnamon, for decoration (optional)

5 oz cream cheese, softened (don’t over-soften it)
6 Tbsp (3 oz) butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (220g) powdered sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg for 20 seconds, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Blend in egg and vanilla extract. With mixer set on low speed, add half of the flour mixture and mix just until combined, then mix in carrots, then mix in remaining 1/2 of the flour mixture just until combined. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is properly incorporated.

Scoop dough out with a medium 1 1/2 Tbsp cookie scoop and drop onto baking sheets lined with silicone liners, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven until set (they should still be soft to the touch though), about 11 – 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. After 5 – 10 minutes of cooling on rack finish cooling completely in an airtight container so they don’t dry. Once cool, frost with cream cheese frosting and top with pecans if desired.

For the frosting:
In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar and whip again until light and fluffy (if slightly runny chill in freezer about 5 minutes then mix one last time). If doing the carrot decoration set aside about 2 Tbsp to ting green and 2 Tbsp to tint orange.



So this post started out as your basic ‘white tee, jeans and sneaks’ type of outfit which I was inspired to wear thanks to Pink Peonies, who also just so happens to be pregnant. But it turns out our weather decided to hover around 30 degrees again and I therefore had to add the necessary layers (and I probably should have added even more!). It’s true, I do love to layer, and I’m happy with the way the outfit fell together, but 30 degrees? Come on now.









Details: JCrew scarf (similar) / Juicy Couture jacket (options here, here and here) / Motherhood Maternity denim (similar non-maternity) / Madewell tote / Converse sneakers / Michael Kors watch / RayBan sunglasses

Linking up with Style Sessions

High Five for Friday

After being out of town for four days last week, I spent most of this week playing catch-up on life. Catch-up in slow motion that is, because my body doesn’t seem to be moving as quickly as I’d like it to these days. That’s expected, I realize, but it doesn’t make the rest of the world slow down…or even just my kids for that matter ;) Regardless, the weekend is nearly here so I think we should be back on track shortly. I hope you all enjoyed your week!

Here’s a look at a few moments during my week:

1) My husband and I sneaking a selfie at my SIL’s wedding. Love this guy.


2) A quick stop in Anthropologie and I found myself wishing I could sit and watch this work turn into a masterpiece.


3) I remember getting sentimental when I was nearly due with this girl and tearing up as I realized my son would no longer be my baby, or the only child for that matter. I now catch myself staring at this sweet little lady and my heart hurts thinking that she’ll no longer be the ‘baby’. Granted, her self-proclaimed independence during this past year should be enough to reassure me that she’ll be okay, but it’s still change. And change isn’t always easy…for me at least.


4) Since the snow has just about disappeared, I figured it was alright to break out a bit of our spring decor.


5) Has everyone heard about the Lily Pulitzer for Target line coming in April? It was announced a few months ago, but I’m excited it’ll be arriving soon. Apparently the loyal fans of the line weren’t exactly thrilled about this, but I for one am happy to see it come to us at more than reasonable prices. This dress is one of my favs!


Just a little inspiration for your Thursday as I share some of my favorite tops that are all too perfect for spring as they make great use of flowers, ruffles and pastels. Soft, sweet and feminine which can always be enhanced with some white denim or toned down with good old boyfriend jeans. Take your pick, you can’t go wrong!


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Prego Peplum


One style I was sad to step away from during pregnancy was peplum. I love the femininity it adds to a top and how flattering it is to most any shape. You can see how I styled the look previously here, here and here. Then I ran into this tank from Gap and it was such a refreshing site to see! During the month and a half (or so) that is left in this pregnancy, this piece will certainly be getting its wear. And don’t worry, for the majority of you who are not currently expecting, in true Gap style, they also offer it in regular women’s sizing…in a multitude of colors nonetheless! It’s a perfect piece to add to your closet for this spring/summer.








Details: Gap maternity top (non maternity) / Pilcro denim jacket  via Anthropologie / Motherhood Maternity denim (similar non-maternity) / DV by Dolce Vita shooties (options) / Stella and Dot necklace and bracelet / Michael Kors watch


Quick, chicken and broccoli are three words that my family can relate to. I do my best to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals most every night of the week. Although I am a full-time mom, that doesn’t not mean that I have all the time in the world to sit and prep meals. So when I come across recipes that I know my family will love and don’t require much prep work or cook time at all, I’m hooked. The next time I make this, I’ll lessen or omit the amount of ginger simply because I’m not that big of a fan of it. Otherwise, it’s right on point. Enjoy!


12 Minute Chicken & Broccoli via Gimme Some Oven:

3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and pepper
1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small florets
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and mostly cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, make your sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, cornstarch, garlic, ginger and sesame oil until combined. Set aside.

Once the chicken is browned, add the broccoli and stir to combine. Continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green. Stir in the soy sauce mixture, and cook for an additional 1 minute until the sauce has thickened.

Remove from heat and serve immediately, garnished with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Wedding Recap


My family and I spent this past weekend in Hudson Valley, NY for my sister in law’s wedding. Kayla and her new husband Matt made the most picture perfect bride and groom and put on a wedding that no one will forget. It was wonderful to see all of the details we have been discussing for months on end come to life. As Kayla, her sister, mother and I worked through the planning process, we sifted through Pinterest and other resources to come up with a classic, old world feel. After suggesting ‘marsala’, Pantone’s color of the year, Kayla ran with it and worked with her florist to create the most beautiful arrangements which included a number of succulents which I adore. Being the most laid back, perfect bride that she is, Kayla let her sister and I choose our own bridesmaid dresses in navy. She also tied in a new purchase from her groom, her Manolo’s, pictured above. I do plan on stealing them one of these days ;) I admit, I didn’t do the best job capturing everything there was to see. I was busy chasing after my 2yo as she made herself known as the life of the party! But there’s certainly enough to inspire you or a friend…or make you want to marry your husband all over again ;)





(first dance photo courtesy of our friend Jessica Braga)




Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Kaplowitz! Love you guys! xoxo

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, gang! We made it to Hoboken yesterday and today are en route to NY for my SIL’s wedding. Since my husband had meetings booked, the kids and I spent as much time as we could enjoying walking around town despite the chilly (or downright cold) weather. It’s funny how my son lived there until he was nearly 4 years old, yet looking out our hotel room window at the city skyline and the Hudson river, it’s like he was seeing the ferries, boats and helicopters for the very first time. We enjoyed our brief pitstop, but are all excited to see friends and family and get the celebrations started!

Here are a couple of updates worth mentioning and a few shots from our trip thus far:

1) As some of you may recall, last year I was honored to be one of Redbook’s 10 winners of their Real Women Style Awards. It all began with the simple entry of a photo, and that was it. This year’s contest is underway and this time around they’re partnering with Dove and will be putting the winner on their cover (what?!). You can check out some tips from last year’s winners here and then head on over and enter yourself or a friend here. Be sure to let me know because you’ll get my vote daily!!


2) I know many of you have tried out Stitch Fix by this point and if you haven’t, you can read about my initial experience here. Well, for anyone who might be expecting, they recently began carrying maternity styles. I had been eager for them to do this throughout my entire pregnancy, but now at the tail end of things it isn’t exactly worth it. If any of you try it out, I’d love to hear about your experience!

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 9.53.16 PM

3) Jack and Madelyn, taking it all in as if it were their first time seeing these sights :)


4) Venturing around town doing a little exploring.


5) Winding down with a little TV time while I wonder how they’ll ever sleep in the same bed without giggling the entire night!



Have a fantastic weekend!

Road Trip

Today we’re on the road heading to NY to begin a weekend full of wedding celebrations for my SIL. Comfort is always key when traveling, but even more so at 32 weeks pregnant. I’ve rounded up what I’m currently wearing as well as some of what has been stuffed into my everyday tote. Reading material, water, snacks (because I get hungry and my kids rarely stop eating!), wipes (because they are a necessity anytime children are involved) and lip gloss (which keeps me feeling slightly pulled together) are a few things that are guaranteed to be with me. We are also loaded with children’s books, leap pads, and many, many batteries. Wish us luck!
road trip

sweatshirt / leggings / sneakers / watch / tote / lipgloss

Orecheti with Turkey & Broccoli (1)Today I’m sharing one of my latest go-to meals with you. I love this one because it’s relatively quick to prepare and covers all of the meat, veggie, pasta requirements of a dish that my family tends to enjoy. I found this recipe on Real Simple and made a few adjustments to enhance the flavor a bit more to our liking. It has some kick, so you may need to hold some of the crushed red pepper for those of you feeding children, but otherwise it’s quite delicious and a new favorite of ours.

Recipe adapted from Real Simple:

Orecchiette with Turkey & Broccoli

3/4 pound orecchiette
2 cups broccoli florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
kosher salt
Parmesan, for serving

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the broccoli during the last minute. Drain and return the pasta and broccoli to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, fennel seed, red pepper, italian seasoning and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes; season with ½ teaspoon salt.
3. Add diced tomatoes and heat through.
4. Toss the turkey mixture with the pasta and broccoli and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Serve with Parmesan.