Yay!

The start of Fall…

Father and son shoes

Perfect snack…Grilled halloumi cheese with grilled flatbread

SuperBoy excited about Uncle’s birthday

A little twilight shopping

 

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LMG!

I drink significantly less water now that the weather has cooled down a bit. I just don’t crave it as much and find myself gravitating more towards hot teas and coffee. I don’t feel dehydrated but I do feel a slight bloat that I didn’t notice when constantly drinking my LMG (lemon, mint, ginger) water. So I guess it’s back to the cutting board to prepare my usual drink of the day.

It’s delicious (I can’t stand plain water), refreshing and from a vanity standpoint, helps with weight loss  Lemons are not only a diuretic, they also help to reduce your body’s overall acidity and if you maintain a more alkaline diet, you’ll lose weight faster. Not to mention it’s great for the skin (see here). And both mint and ginger aid in digestion which in turn helps to reduce bloating. It’s the perfect trifecta and I try to drink at least 2 pitchers a day.

The recipe is simple.

  • 1 sliced lemon
  • Couple sprigs of mint
  • 1/2 to 1 TBSP grated ginger (I like to peel fresh ginger right away and store in the freezer to grate when needed – this really makes it last forever!)

L.M.G.

I love this pitcher!
Makes it a cinch to refill with water and my LMG will be great for 2 days.

Homemade Lavender Sachet

A month ago I purchased a beautiful bouquet of fresh lavender with the plan to dry and preserve it. Was hoping to leave it by my bedside so that the lingering lavender scent would lull me to sleep. My monkey, however, was not going to let this happen. He’d quietly climb onto my bed and one by one see to the demise of each sprig of lavender. To avoid a full on massacre, I took what was remaining of my dried bouquet and made a sachet using just the lavender buds.

The survivors

Gently removing buds from their stems and enjoying the aromatherapy in my kitchen. I had no use for the stems but if you have a fireplace, throw them in with your firewood, for they will release a sweet smell as they burn.

Can’t you just smell it?
Ideas raced through my mind – I could make lavender soap, sugar, candles….but the scent of it all relaxed me far too much to have any desire to work. 

It’s important to sift out tiny particles so all that remains are buds for your sachet.

I used a mesh bag some earrings came in.

Now I get my bedside aromatherapy without all the mess and destruction from my little one.

Brussels Sprouts Leaf Salad

I’ve occasionally had brussels sprouts when dining out but never felt compelled to buy and prepare them at home until I was searching for something different for my daily dinner salad. It’s quite obvious their peak season has begun because I see them everywhere. I followed Giada’s recipe and found it easy to prepare since I always give my greens an ice bath in my salad spinner. This makes chilling, draining and drying fuss-free.

Peeling the leaves off each brussels sprout was a labor of love.

The Greens – brussels sprouts, endive and arugula

Prepared ice bath in my salad spinner.

Removing brussels sprout leaves from boiling water to ice bath.

A cinch to drain and then spin dry.

With toasted almonds and pecorino – Delish!

Fall Festival

Growing up in Florida and Texas, all the Fall Festivals I attended always fell short of my expectations. Pumpkin patches, hay rides and most importantly the cool crisp air  were replaced by us Southerners trying to cool off in shorts with water guns. Don’t get me wrong; a great time was had by all but it just felt like another summer fair expect for the fact that we had school the next day!

Since summer has officially ended and the weather has cooled down considerably in NY,  what better way to kick off the season then to attend a fall festival and one that can provide my little monkey with autumn memories I had always longed for.

Not quite understanding sitting next to vs. on the pumpkin.

Not the expression I was hoping for with this beautiful photo op.

Little monkey concerned about the broken pumpkin stem.

There’s a smile!

So brave. He bypassed the babies and went straight to feed the one with the biggest horns.

Unforgettable moment!

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate bread! Don’t mind if I do!!

Yay!

Stickered out at Trader Joe’s

Blueberry pancakes for brunch

Riding along with my little man

Homemade mexican pizza!

My little monkey loves walking his balloon doggy

Sesame Noodles for One

I pride myself on my cooking skills and experimenting with new recipes and for the most part, my extremely picky husband has been more than happy with what I serve up on the table. However, after our first year of marriage, I have been told to refrain from Asian cooking due to the numerous bouts of indigestion and discomfort my dishes have caused. As much as I love Chinese and Thai food, for some reason, I just can’t seem to make it work. But I’m no quitter and so on nights like this, when my husband is away watching the NFL Kickoff, I like to dabble a bit in the uncharted territories of my recipe collections.

Today I’m starting simple: Pioneer Woman’s Sesame Noodles. This is as basic as it gets and if I can’t do this right, I fear I’m a lost cause.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces, fluid Thin Noodles, Cooked And Drained
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin

Preparation Instructions

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with green onions and toss.
Serve in a bowl with chopsticks. Yummy!

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised that such a simple recipe could make such a flavorful dish. It was salty, sweet and spicy and definitely quieted my carb craving. My only gripe is that it was a tad oily, which accurately reflects most chinese takeout in NYC but if you’re making it at home, it should be healthier than that. My suggestion is that when mixing all the ingredients for the sauce, you reserve the canola oil  and only add as needed after the rest of the ingredients have been mixed with the noodles. I didn’t do it this way but after struggling to keep the slippery noodles on my fork, I wish I had. Replacing chili oil with crushed chili flakes will also help. But like I said earlier, a great dish nonetheless and one that I won’t be nervous to serve at dinner.

A Little Me Time With boscia Bright White Mask

With my little monkey down for a nap, I was finally able to try out something I bought a few weeks back. boscia Bright White Mask is an advanced antiaging mask that brightens, hydrates, and smoothes the skin. Soothing and hydrating, this antiaging mask contains clinical levels of advanced whitening ingredients to visibly even skintone, reduce dark spots, and brighten the complexion. Pro-vitamin C suppresses skin damage caused by UV radiation while delivering intense hydration and increasing natural moisture factors in the skin. It targets fine lines and wrinkles, and boosts collagen production to reduce excess sagging. The peel-off technology instantly smoothes the complexion for a healthy, youthful, fresh glow.

I first started using boscia products during my pregnancy because I was looking for something with the least amount of chemicals. boscia is one of the world’s first preservative-free, botanically-based skincare lines. That being said, I gave up on their products because my skin’s needs were constantly changing and I found Dr. Hauschka’s products better suited me.

I came across this peel off mask on Sephora.com and after reading some rave reviews, I decided to give this a try. I figured if it works as well as they say it does, fabulous! But if it doesn’t, I can at least expect minimal adverse reactions.

I definitely noticed the difference in my skin immediately after peeling off the mask. My face looks brighter and feels smoother with no irritation at all. Even a mark on my forehead from a blemish a few weeks back looks significantly lighter and this is only after one application. This can be used up to two times a week so I can only imagine how much clearer and brighter my skin will look in a few weeks.

The only negative point I have with this mask is removal is painstakingly slow. Peel off masks I’ve used in the past tend to come off in 1 to 3 attempts. I love the feeling of removing a mask off all in just one pull. You don’t get that satisfaction here. But a small price to pay for all the benefits this mask brings.

Time Out!

Last week I had to take a much needed time out from blog writing to deal with a serious case of the Terrible Twos. My little monkey is in the thick of it and we have started to implement time out. Not really convinced it will work but at this point, I am desperate to find something that he will take seriously.

First time out and will surely not be the last

Strict parenting and disciplining is what our household was all about last week but of course he’s still my baby and we decided to treat him to a visit to Sesame Place over Labor Day weekend. He was a bit too young to really enjoy most of the rides but had a blast splashing around in the shallow water and watching the parade at night.

On our way to PA and grateful for the peaceful drive.

Splash Castle was his favorite!

Everyone bracing themselves for the large bucket of water to turn over.

Fun but a bit intense for little ones.

Parade excitement!

Elmo!!!!

Hey Elmo!!!!

Exhausted!

Nailed it!

Painting nails have now become an art form. One that I haven’t quite acquired yet definitely admire.
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