• Grandma's Chocolate Cake
    In the Kitchen

    Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

    My grandma’s chocolate cake is one of our family’s staples. For years, my grandmother made it every single week for Sunday dinner. By the time I was born, however, it had become our special occasion cake made for birthdays and other celebratory family dinners. This weekend, my mom got out her old and faded recipe card so I could make this for her birthday. There’s really no hint like handing someone the recipe you want them to make for you! We had a busy weekend, but I was still able to whip this cake up in less than 20 minutes. Since everything is made in one bowl, it’s fast and…

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  • In the Kitchen

    7 Minute Frosting

    Growing up, my grandmother’s frosting was my absolute favorite. For red cakes, she would make a traditional Ermine frosting. But, for her signature chocolate cake, she made this sweet and fluffy 7 Minute Frosting. Spread thinly, because a little will go a long way, but don’t expect a smooth finish. Sweet with a little sugary crunch, this frosting sets up to have a natural flaky consistency.  Years later, I realized that it was also dairy free. Of course, my grandmother’s celebration cake has both butter and buttermilk, but this frosting could easily be used on other dairy free confections. It’s somewhat of a cross between spun sugar and a dense…

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  • Turbo Fire on demand

    Turbo Fire – Week 3

    This March I’m challenging myself to a month of consistently working out before work using Turbo Fire on Demand from Beachbody. Last week I had three big unanticipated hiccups in my routine: a snow day, a snow day, and another snow day. This week, I had three big anticipated disruptions: Day Light Savings Time, St. Patrick’s day, and our school’s Parkland Walkout that I was facilitating. Turbo Fire Week 3 is over and the results are in. How did I do on Turbo Fire Weeks 3? Read on… Turbo Fire Week 3: Hot Mess Edition This week was challenging personally. The switch to Day Light Savings time really messed up…

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  • Fitness

    Beachbody On Demand Turbo Fire Week 2

    Welcome to Turbo Fire Week 2: Nor’easter Edition. I am challenging myself this March with doing an entire workout cycle on Beachbody on Demand. After a successful first week with Turbo Fire, I was “fired up” (pardon the pun), to keep going this week. I had perfected my timing in the morning to get my workout in, walk the dog, and get out the door and to school on time. However, this week threw my a curve ball, a curve snowball to be exact. My school and Jason’s work were closed for an unprecedented three days due to an unseasonable late nor’easter. In the past, this would have meant hot…

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  • Breastfeeding

    Pumping Schedule At Work

    This is the pumping schedule at work I followed when I returned to work at 4 months post pardum until 13 months when I stopped pumping (but still kept breastfeeding). Because you’ll be relying on your pump to not just provide you little one food but also keep you healthy and comfortable, you need a reliable pump. Check out my comparison of the two most popular insurance-covered pumps here. My Pumping Schedule 5:30 a.m. – Dream feed. When I was pumping, I found that I liked dream feeding Charlotte as soon as I got up. After nursing her, I’d drink a 16 oz. glass of water. That was also my…

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  • Instant Pot Weeknight Bolognese
    In the Kitchen

    Instant Pot Weeknight Bolognese

    Last summer my husband was out of the country for work. I had never had the patience for Amazon Prime day before. But that day was the perfect storm: my daughter was down for a nap, I was a little bored and lonely, and it was Amazon Prime Day. I scrolled through sales on items I didn’t really need or want. My Facebook feed was lighting up with comments about the incredible sale on Instant Pots. What’s an Instant Pot? At 12:30 on Amazon Prime Day I had never heard of an Instant Pot, by 1:30 I was the newest owner of this 8-quart 7 In 1 Instant Pot ($139.95, Amazon…

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  • Breastfeeding

    Pumping at Work

    It’s no secret that maternity leave in the United States is tragically lacking. The American Association of Pediatricians and the World Health Organization recommend exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months. However, American mothers are sent back to work within weeks of their delivery dates. For breastfeeding and pumping mothers, however, this quick return to work presents a logistical challenges. What do you need to do to prepare for pumping at work? Can I make it pumping at work? I was “lucky” enough to get four months of maternity leave. Back at work, I pumped for 10 months, including the month it took me to “wean” off my pump. Over that time I…

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  • Cloth Diapering

    Cloth Diaper Buyer’s Guide – Overnights

    I’ve hinted, I’ve implied, I’ve outright mentioned overnight diapers, but here is where I will actually tackle the topic. Before we get to that, lets find some common ground about overnights. I changed my daughter when she was a newborn before nighttime feeding sessions. Until she was about 6 weeks old, she pooped nearly every diaper change, so she needed it anyway. After she stopped pooping so much, we stopped changing overnights. Once I lay my daughter down, she’s down. We use a good layer of Aquaphor and “see you in the morning”. So, we only need 7 overnight diapers, though I have 8 “just in case”. Option 1 –…

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  • Cloth Diapering

    Why I Chose to Cloth Diaper

    “We’ll see if you stick with it.” “It’s a whim.” “We’ll support you, but we’ll see.” We heard all of these and more when we decided to cloth diaper our daughter. My husband and I both have sensitivity skin, and I was afraid diapering would be three years of endless diaper rash for a new baby. I had been cloth diapered for a time as a baby for a short time so I started looking for a cloth diaper service like my parents had used. Luckily, I found Fluff Love and CD Science. After scouring the website and watching videos, I started following the Facebook page, reading every question and…

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  • Photography

    DSL…ARG! Mirrorless and DSLR Basics

    DSL…ARG! DSLR (and now mirrorless) cameras can be overwhelming at first. For years, I was happy with my light and portable point-and-shoot camera. DSLR cameras, on the other hand, were heavy and bulky. For me, the mirrorless camera has been a great solution. By removing the mirror from the camera, you reduce the size and weight of the overall camera substantially. However, all of the technical settings remain the same. To even take a photo, you have to adjust multiple different settings. If something changes (you walk into a different room, the sun goes behind a cloud) you may have to change one or more settings! Where do you even…

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