A Wonderfully Warm Easter Weekend

 

Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and Monday. Before we talk about this weekend, let’s take a second to recognize the incredible runners who ran the Boston Marathon yesterday. It was such a joy tracking my friends using the app yesterday, which worked suprprisingly well. It worked so well that I was actually able to watch Charlie cross the finish line via the live streaming! Huge congratulations to everyone but especially those I was tracking – Charlie, Monica, Dorothy, Michele, Lora, Chloe, and Dani! I can’t wait to read your recaps and hear more about your incredible experiences.

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Bo and I spent the weekend in Brooklyn enjoying the gorgeous, unseasonably warm weather and time with friends.

Friday we started the weekend with dinner at Alma, a Mexican restaurant in between Red Hook and Brooklyn Heights, that is known for the incredible rooftop views and their popular margaritas. They made me a delicious, virgin hibisculs margarita and Bo and I enjoyed the view while having chips, guacamole and tacos. It was our first time at Alma and while we heard mix reviews before going, we will definitely be back. The service was definitely not perfect but the relaxed atmosphere, great views and tacos made me want to come back immediately.

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Saturday we had a busy day, spending time in the backyard planting flowers and deep cleaning our deck and patio before we headed out for a quick workout. I enjoyed my first tank top and shorts workout of the season while power walking for an hour and listening to Missing Richard Simmons, an intriguing podcast about the dissaperance of Richard Simmons.IMG_2346 IMG_2350

The rest of our day was spent in a child birthing class hosted by my OB-GYN office and NYU. The five hour class provided a realistic view of what to expect during pre-labor, labor and delivery along with techniques to make the process more enjoyable and less stressful. While some of the information was a review from the books and articles we’ve read, there were some very helpful tips that we didn’t know previoiusly or hadn’t thought about such as calling our insurance far in advance both about the baby’s coverage as well as the nursing pump, the things we do and don’t need to bring to the hospital when we’re in labor and how long they recommend laboring at home before coming to the hospital. It was also helpful to have an actual NYU Labor and Delivery nurse talk us through what to expect once we arrive at the hospital as well as the different laboring techniques, pain management options and what to expect should we have to have a C-section or have any complications. When we’re in Savannah this weekend my mom is going to teach us Infant CPR and then the only other class we are considering is a newborn care class that many people have recommended. Did you take any classes, watch any videos or read any books you’d recommend before delivering your child?

After the long day, we came home and made one of my favorite meals – Veal Piccata- and relaxed on the couch watching Patriot’s Day. We both really enjoyed the movie and learned a great deal that we didn’t know about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the events that followed.

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Sunday morning we were up early for another outdoor workout followed by a wonderful Easter Service at our church, Grace Episcopal in Brooklyn Heights. We’ve been members at Grace for almost a year and this was one of the best sermons I’ve heard to date as it was so relevant in today’s world. The sermon discussed the importance of living a connected life. IMG_2355

I’m going to to do a separate post about the dress I wore on Easter Sunday, but I’m in love with the comfortable mint dress I wore from Pinkblush. The dress is very different than anything else in my wardrobe but I received constant compliments on it and love that it will transition from maternity to nursing after I give birth. I love the dress so much that I’m considering wearing it again this weekend for my baby shower in Savannah!

After church Bo and I had the pleasure of hosting friends for a casual, backyard Easter barbecue. We welcomed guests with a cheese tray and then enjoyed grilled leg of lamb, grilled new potatoes and a Spring salad that Elizabeth brought. The kids enjoyed a small Easter egg hunt which featured 24 plastic eggs hidden in our backyard and on the back porch. It was hilarious to watch the difference between the way a 4-year old and 2.5-year old hunt for eggs.

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The above dress is one of my best and least expensive purchases of pregnancy!

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Check out those two baby bumps! It’s been incredible to watch both our bumps grow at such different rates since Elizabeth is expecting her second little girl in May and this is my first.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! It’s a short work week for us as we fly down to Savannah late Wednesday night for our last trip home before Baby Girl Diamond arrives. It’s going to be a packed weekend as we have our 15 year high school reunion, a baby shower and my aunt’s 70th birthday!

How was your weekend?

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Friday Favorites–April 14th, 2017

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Happy Friday! I hope you all have had a good week.  Overall, it’s been a good week here in Brooklyn. I was worried that I was getting sick yesterday morning when I woke up with a bit of a scratchy throat but luckily it was nothing that lots of sleep, tea and some ginger/citrus couldn’t remedy. The weather finally improved this week meaning that we’ve enjoyed sunshine and temperatures in the 60s or 70s each day. I’m thrilled that it’s going to be 80 degrees on Sunday for our small, Easter backyard bbq and Easter egg hunt we are hosting. This weekend’s plans includes a birthing class at our doctor’s office, Easter festivities and some relaxation.

Now, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

  • I enjoyed two long, evening power walks this week along the Brooklyn Bridge waterfront. The 5.5 and 6.5 mile walks flew by thanks to podcasts and gorgeous weather. I asked for podcast recommendations on Twitter and received a ton of great recommendations including the following:
  • Since my legs and feet have started to swell this week, I’ve made a point to take at least a few relaxing baths. These bath salts and this foot scrub have provided my lower back, legs and feet with some much-needed relief.
  • This salad looks so fresh and delicious and includes two of my favorite things – grapefruit and avocado! I think this would be perfect to enjoy before dinner!
  • I think I’ll be buying the ingredients for this updated avocado toast recipe this weekend! I love the extra kick of flavor from the pesto!
  • After a long day of sitting and typing, most of us can use these five yoga poses that we can do at our desk.   Also, can we talk about the palm print crop top Kayla is wearing? How perfect would this be for Summer funday when paired with jean shorts and Birkenstocks?
  • Brittany’s salads not only look delicious but include such an array of ingredients that I know the flavor profile will be out of this world. This pistachio salmon salad includes so many ingredients I rarely use but enjoy, making it a perfect recipe to try soon.
  • As you all know, Bo typically does the cooking in or home, but thanks to Hello Fresh I cooked dinner three times this week from start to finish! After receiving a mailer from them we decided to give it a try as we’ve never tried any of the ingredient delivery brands. To say that we are in love after just the first week would be an understatement. We’ve already arranged to have it delivered for the next few weeks! The seven different menu options are fresh, balanced and flavorful while I love the lack of waste since I don’t have to buy excess ingredients. Also, since many people have asked, YES THE MEALS TAKE THE TIME PRESCRIBED on the recipe cards, which I appreciated since most nights I didn’t start cooking until at least 7pm.  If you’ve never tried Hello Fresh you can get $40 off your first week by clicking here.
  • I’ve tried to curb my nightly ice cream cravings by alternating my favorite ice cream with some healthier options. I’ve made a few different homemade frozen yogurt recipes including this chocolate, peanut butter one and this simpler one. So far, my favorite combination is 2 frozen bananas,  a splash of vanilla almond milk, Fage 2%, bananas, chocolate chips, vanilla extract and some peanut butter powder.
  • My Sperry Perforated shoes arrived yesterday and I’m already tempted to buy them in another color. Seriously guys – they run true to size, have so much padding and are so fun especially for Spring and Summer! You can find a few colors on sale right now for $50 as part of the ShopBop sale or the full range of colors and sizes are available at Macys!

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  • Last but not least, since a few people emailed me asking about my recommendations for the JCrew Factory sale, here is what I’d be buying if I wasn’t focused on all things maternity, nursing and baby.

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Okay guys, that’s all I have this week! Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you guys on Monday for a recap of our Easter fun!

 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

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24 Hours in Carmel

 

24 Hours in Carmel

It’s hard to believe that our Babymoon was already a month ago. What a wonderful adventure that quick, five day trip was for both of us. It was one of the first vacations during which we both disconnected from work, focused on us and just relaxed together. The entire trip was so amazing that when we discussed it, in preparation for the upcoming posts, there wasn’t one thing that either of us would change. 

As you review our ititinerary, keep a few things in mind:

  • We had limited vacation time since I am saving for maternity leave. If we could have made it a longer trip, we would have preferred to extend it by at least one or two nights.
  • However, since I’m pregnant and the Big Sur Highway was closed, we are hard pressed to think of places we would have stayed longer. Instead, if I wasn’t pregnant and Big Sur wasn’t closed, we would have done one night in Big Sur and a night in Sonoma.

A number of people have emailed me asking for specifics regarding the places we stayed, dined and explored during our trip. Today’s post is focused on the one for which I’ve received the most requests – Carmel or Carmel-By-The-Sea. 

Where We Stayed: We absolutely loved our choice to stay on the coast at Tickle Pink at Carmel Highlands. The inn is located just a quick, ten minute drive from downtown Carmel but it felt a world away with the gorgeous views, large room, ocean waves and service. While we looked at many of the inns located in Carmel, we wanted to enjoy the ocean setting since we knew we’d spend plenty of time exploring Carmel. There are 35 rooms at this small inn and when we booked, our only request was to have a view of the ocean and one of the rooms with a wood burning fireplace.  It was such a treat to sit on our balcony, listening to the waves crashing and watch the sunset, then walk a few steps into our room and enjoy a small cheeseplate and roaring fireplace.

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What We Did:

  • Seventeen Mile Drive – We loved leisurely driving the historic 17-mile drive which takes you through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove while passing famous golf courses, stunning views and mansions. We stopped to have lunch and explore Pebble Beach Golf Club and would recommend having lunch outside at The Bench, their casual terrace restaurant.  
  • Carmel-By-The-Sea –  I would recommend exploring the downtown shops early, before the tourists arrive. We spent an hour meandering through small shops, sipping coffee and enjoying breakfast sandwiches. Check the website to see what time the shops open, depending on the day of the week, to ensure that you’re able to shop as well as meander. Don’t hesitate to make a few wrong turns, get lost and explore as I promise the small alleyways and courtyards are where the magic comes to life.
  • Enjoyed the Beach – We went on two wonderful adventures along the Carmel-By-the-Sea beachfront including an hour beach walk from 4-5pm before sunset and then a 5 mile run along the footpath.  The footpath provided the perfect way to take in the beach’s natural beauty as well as the incredible homes, including the famous Frank Lloyd Wright home, The Della Walker House.

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Where We Dined: Luckily, a few weeks before our trip, we took time to do some research and make reservations as it seems like the top restaurants book quickly. We opted to enjoy seafood while we were there versus one of the many French or European restaurants. Other than dinner, we didn’t worry about any other reservations and just stopped in the small restaurants and coffee shops while we explored.

  • Flying Fish Grill – This cozy, inventive restaurant serves a menu of Asian-Seafood infused dishes that have been delighting locals and toursits alike for years. Known as one of the institutions in Carmel-By-The-Sea, this spot books quickly and even a few weeks out we were only able to snag a late reservation. We loved the California Tower, artichokes and almond encursted sea bass. 
  • Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Co – This spot opens early so is a perfect place to grab a to-go cup of coffee before exploring town and a bite to eat. Their miniature cinnamon rolls are amazing!
  • Salumeria Luca – This Italian bakery and sandiwch shop is also home to the Big Sur Bakery Pop Up until the bakery is able to reopen. Therefore, the lines were long while we were in town but well worth the wait and moved quickly.  There are plenty of benches, shady spots and parks in the downtown area, so I would recommend getting your order to go. We enjoyed two of their signature sandwiches as well as a Big Sur Bakery chocolate chip cookie.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me an email as I’m happy to help!

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