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Sunday, January 22, 2023

Potty Training at 22 months with the "Oh Crap" method

Oh Crap Potty Training

Diaper changes are never a pleasant experience. Changing a diaper on a toddler who refuses to sit still for even a second is challenging and let me go as far as saying dangerous. I have to haul this 30-pound child onto the diaper pad, keep him still enough to get a diaper loaded with poop off, clean him while he flails, kicks, and tries to flip over, and re-diaper this wild animal. All while trying not to spread human feces everywhere, or get kicked in the head. It's a miserable, stressful experience and one of the big reasons I was on board for potty training after the holidays and before the popular start age of 2.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Weekly Meal Prep and Freezer Stash 101

Meal Prep 101

If you follow me over on Instagram, you know that I live and die by meal prepping. I wholeheartedly believe it's the foundation to healthy eating, especially for those of us with busy, on-the-go lifestyles. Meal prep is the reason my family has healthy food (typically) three meals a day. This post kind of dives into two sides of my meal prep strategy: my weekly prep (what I do every single week to get ahead) and busy season freezer load up (what I do for postpartum food prep or to keep some freezer staples). 

Why Meal Prep?

I don't think I need to go into it here but in case you need the reminder, going out to breakfast/lunch/dinner or even grabbing those premade meals from your local bistro to bring home typically means that meal is an unhealthier options. They taste so good because they use a whole lot more butter, oil, sugar, salt etc than you typically would at home. The food is richer and you have zero control about the ingredients, where they are sourced, and what preservatives are used. And that convenience factor? It comes at a high cost. A recent study concluded that Americans go out for a meal (sit down dinner or lunch on the go) 5.9 times a week at the cost of about $3,000 a year. It's a lot but I personally think that number is much higher for most of us. There is also a significant value in sitting down as a family for a meal at the end of the day and meal prep makes that possible on the busiest of weeks. The other big piece of the puzzle no one really talks about is the dishes. If you do your meal prep at once, you make one "big" mess (but far less of a mess than you would making dinner each day). By meal prepping, you can reuse bowls, cutting boards, pans and what not which really lets you cruise through the week. 

Monday, January 2, 2023

Year in Review: 2022

There's that popular parenting quote "the days are long but the years are short". It feels so true as I look back on the crazy and fun year we had as a family. I'm freaking exhausted and parts of the year were really hard but when I look back 2022 was such a great year for me, professionally, personally, and with my family.  It looked a little different than other years as we navigated life with a busy toddler and towards the second half of the year, a pregnancy. My business grew and it was the first year I saw a really positive growth and income as I built up my client base. Adam had a busy year at work as well but per usual, we made time for some fun. We managed to squeeze in an international trip, a ski trip to Colorado, and New England getaways and adventures. 

It's my favorite post to write every year and you can read my recaps for the last eight years (2021, 2020201920182017201620152014). Let's take a look at 2022, month by month and adventure by adventure. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Holidays Lights at Lake Compounce - Bristol, CT

We have been going all out with holiday events this season. From a weekend in the Berkshires to light displays and cookie swaps to holiday dinners, it has been a fun Christmas season. We were looking to plan a fun family holiday event for my mother-in-law's 70th birthday and ended up at Lake Compounce on a Sunday night for their Holiday Lights event. 

Lake Compounce is the oldest, continuously-operating amusement park in the country, opening 176 years ago in 1846. The park is famous for its wooden roller coaster, water park, and New England charm. The park operates as your standard amusement park in the spring, summer, and fall before switching gears to Phantom Fall fest for a month in the fall and Holiday Lights in December. 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Winter Lights at Naumkeag in the Berkshires (Stockbridge, MA)


Winter Lights at Naumkeag

The month of December is when tiny towns across New England turn into a Hallmark movie. The coffee shops and storefronts are decorated with lights and garlands. Carolers sing through the firelit dining room of historic restaurants. Tree lightings and winter festivals bring in the crowds while light parades close down wreath-lined Main Streets. Holiday events take over our weekend calendars and we all bundle up to sip cocoa and enjoy the season.

Stockbridge, a small town home to Norman Rockwell in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, does all of this with a heightened level of charm. Not only do they turn their town into a snowglobe backdrop, but they offer one of the best light shows in the country. Winterlights at Naumkeag offer a magical outdoor holiday experience at the famous estate which is a New England holiday event that cannot be missed.