Friday, August 1, 2014

gluten & egg free (damn good) choco chip cookie bars

Thanks to my friend Dana that manages Paleo Kitchen Stories I decided to see a nutritionist, allergist and internist about my digestive issues.  For many years I did a process of elimination to figure out what was upsetting my stomach, but I followed in Dana's footsteps and decided to see a professional.  Welp - come to find out that all visits brought to my attention things I didn't expect.  Allergic to all melons, kiwis AND bananas (not to mention seasonal allergies), but what's even more shocking is my sensitivity to yeast, rye and egg (whites and yolks).  Yup - eggs!  So all this while I thought I was gluten sensitive, but in reality - it's pretty much everything else that it's mixed with it that I can't eat.  Since these recent findings, I've been having to modify a ton of recipes to avoid  egg (PS - Dana is egg sensitive too so she has a ton of dairy free recipes on her site) and one of my all time favorite desserts I've been making are these chocolate chip cookie bars.  Warning - they're addicting.  Like for serious.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

soccer mom fashion

After going back and forth on whether or not we should enroll Mini into Lil Kickers, and after some convincing of people saying that our buddy had good hand/eye coordination with kicking the ball, we finally bit the bullet and with one swipe of the Mastercard I became a (dum dum dum)....Soccer Mom!  I didn't think I would be that mom who would be so involved with this activity, but alas every Saturday morning there I am running the field and cheering my little guy on, even if it's more of a scrimmage than game.  So when I take the kid to soccer every Saturday, it requires the right gear (for me and him) to make sure we're stylish enough to workout a sweat.

Ear to ear grin as soon as we stepped foot onto the turf #lilkickers #soccermom #futureworldcupplayer

Monday, July 28, 2014

10 ways to be productive with a work from home job

I'm really (really) fortunate to have a job where I work from home.  Aside from having no commute and never having to set an alarm clock (since the kid wakes up at 6am daily), working from home is a luxury that can't be overlooked.  However, many people have asked me how I'm able to be productive throughout the day without being distracted by my environment and my answer is that it's much easier than what people think.  It's a matter of knowing yourself, scheduling accordingly, and creating a routine that will drive you to be productive.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

rules for outlet shopping

Mini was in need of some new kicks (can't these kids stop growing so fast?) and since I'm super adament about not paying full-price for any kids clothes it was a good time to venture out to the Chicago Premium Outlet in Aurora!  Now going to the outlets can be amazing because of all the gear you can collect at a fraction of what you would normally pay at the mall, but it is easy to go a little overboard.  So I've put together a few trusty rules that will help you stay on track when outlet shopping.


Monday, July 21, 2014

teaching my son about friendship

As we approach Liam's 2nd birthday, I'm starting to realize that this is right around the age where first friendships form.  Whether it be through daycare, playgroups, parents' friends - this is the age where the idea of playing with others begins to develop into something more meaningful.  As I watch Liam grow these special relationships, I find myself collecting all the tidbits of advice that I want to share with him and can only hope he takes all of it to heart as he gets older.

Some serious snacking going on w/ @heather_clare & @emshimmy77! Love these kids! #100happydays #defininghappy #day47 #boyswillbeboys #buds #pulaskipool

Saturday, June 28, 2014

embracing change

Lately there has been one re-occuring topic that has come up in many of my conversations and that is...change.  Change in careers, change in relationships, change in lifestyles, and as  difficult as it is, sometimes change is the key to a happy life.  

image via

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

mom crush ~ kelley smith

Name: Kelley Smith


Stats: Married to husband Aaron, mother to Reese and Tatum, and full-time employee at marketing agency VSA Partners as a Director of Client Engagement.

Why she's crush worthy:  First and foremost anyone who works in marketing, especially on the agency side, knows that it is an extremely demanding job and it is nowhere close to a traditional 9 to 5 gig.  (Do those actually exist anymore?)  On top of that add being a mom/wife and well that pretty much eats up every hour of your day, but Kelley doesn't stop there.  She's an athlete who did (does) triathlons, active mentor at local non-profit organization Horizons For Youth and she's actively on the up in up checking out the local dining hot spots.  Oh and did I mention that she shares the same views as I do on city living?

Meet Kelley Smith and hear her views on...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

throwback thought ~ 10 songs that make you sing out loud

The best feeling is when you're driving alone in your car listening to the radio and a song from your past comes on unexpectedly.  A rush of nostalgic emotion bursts, you turn up the volume to full blast, roll your windows down (if weather cooperates) and sing along lyric for lyric at the top of your lungs.  Hearing those types of songs on the radio are rare occasions, but when it happens - it's the most liberating feeling and you can't help but embrace the moment.  Here is a list of 10 songs that regardless of what you're doing or where you are, you can't help but sing out loud.

Friday, May 9, 2014

spicy thai peanut chicken

I suck at cooking chicken.  If I bake it - I always end up over cooking it, if I pan fry it - I always end up butchering every piece to make sure it's cooked all the way through, if I grill it...ok let's be honest I don't grill, but you get the picture.  Cooking chicken confidently is tough.  However, thanks to my trusty crock pot, my chicken dishes end up the right temperature and texture.  This spicy thai peanut chicken recipe is inspired by a Swimming Rama dish served at one of my all time favorite thai restaurants located in Seattle called Jai Thai.  With a little bit of this, a little bit of that and a whole lot of peanut butter this dish quickly became one of my family's all time favorite dishes.