Healthy Eats: Blueberry Mango Almond Kale Smoothie

I am a creature of habit. I eat a bowl of plain oatmeal (made with water and typically topped with blueberries) every. single. morning. Its delicious, satisfying and cost effective. I can buy a tremendous canister of quick cook oats for under $4.00 that will last me a couple of months.

But in the warm days of summer, hot oatmeal just doesn't always cut it. As I’m trying to add more protein into my diet to supplement my strength training focus, I’ve been experimenting with smoothies. I’m in love. Smoothies are healthy, feel indulgent and most are such a generous portion, I don’t miss a big ol’ bowl of oats. This “debloating” Pineapple Kale Blueberry Smoothie from FitSugar is just fab.

It typically calls for pineapple, which apparently includes an enzyme to help with digestion and bloating, but I only had frozen mango this morning and I loved it just the same. Give it a try, I promise it’s a keeper!

For some of my other favorite smoothie recipes, click here and here. How about you, what are your go-to smoothies for summer?


Memorial Day Fun

It has been waaay too long since I've posted, so I wanted to share some pics from our Memorial Day dinner. My son is 19 months and very much aware of parties and celebrations! As he gets older, I know he'll understand the great significance of Memorial Day a bit more, but for now we try to teach him what we can and make all holidays festive.

Here are a few pics and recipe links from our meal. Sorry about the poor photo quality (and horrible tabletop!)...these were taken quick on my iPhone. I wasn't planning to blog them but here we are...

Love these star-shaped glasses I found at Target for my little superstar....

Yes, we made Greek-style burgers for Memorial Day. No, we are not Greek and  Greek food has nothing to do with Memorial Day, but I really wanted to try this Weight Watchers recipe...so we did! Below are the burger toppings: feta, spinach and tzatziki sauce...so delish and low-cal. I also whipped up this tasty pasta salad as a side dish.

For dessert...I assembled some angel food and brownie kebabs inspired by this recipe found via Pinterest and this recipe from SkinnyTaste.com. I also made her cheesecake dip...a must-try!

 We had such a fun day...hope you all did too!


LI Pulse February issue: Get Organized and Meet a Design Multi-Tasker

Over the years I've learned that when writing about the home, it is not always about making things look pretty (although that certainly is the fun part!). There is so much more needed in order to truly make a house your home. Proper maintenance, cleaning and organizing (and a lot of love!) are all part of the deal. 

That being said, I'm happy to share with you today, my latest feature in the February issue of  LI Pulse (on newstands now!)...all about winter organizing. Perfect timing in my opinion, as it is usually right about now that all of that extra winter gear and maybe even a few holiday stragglers, really seem to be a thorn in my side. 

Thanks to some tricks and product ideas from The Container Store and interior designer Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interior Design, I learned a few new ways to keep everything in its place this winter. I hope some of these tips help you too! 

Also for the February issue, I had the pleasure of interviewing Long Island-based interior designer Gail Gottlieb for this month's Inside Design Q & A. Gottlieb and I had a wonderful conversation and I gleaned many smart tips from this multi-tasking designer including the best way make an impact with window coverings--a must have for finishing off any room. 

Thanks for stopping by and happy weekend!


January Craft Supply Haul

Now that my son is starting to color and craft with me (as much as a 15-month old can!), I set out over the weekend to load up on some supplies for us. Now, back when I was a magazine editor, I lived in the craft stores, I was always shopping for supplies! Now that I'm writing much more than crafting and I have my little one to figure into the family budget, I've had to curb my supply shopping---a lot. So this haul was a real treat for me. Here's a peak at what I found. Everything was purchased at Michael's and A.C. Moore.

When I was at Parents, it was all about crafting and decorating without utilizing licensed characters (for more reasons than I can list here!).  Well now that I'm a mom and I see that huge smile on my son's face as soon as he spots Mickey, Goofy, Elmo or Big Bird, you better believe I'm hunting down craft supplies starring his favorite friends. Don't get me wrong, I love the basics too and firmly believe in using the imagination to be creative, but if his pals help spark his creativity so be it!

We scooped up these adorable cutouts of the gang from Sesame Street (similar here). The plan is to simply glue some of them onto the primary colored pre-cut circles I found and then craft them into a garland to hang in his room. Simple and basic for us, he'll hold his characters while I glue and assemble the rest :) 

I thought the fun splatter paint, star and alphabet patterned papers could be worked into countless other projects with the paper circles too. That's all part of the fun, you never know where your crafting will take you. 

Mickey is such a staple in our house...I love these giant stickers and that adorable paper. Awhile back I had purchased some plain Kraft bins and I think decorating them with his pals will be so fun. The paper is just good to have...I might just work it into some Valentine's Day projects...speaking of...

I've already loaded up on red and white heart-shaped doilies so I really was just on the lookout for finishing touches. I love the rubber stamps, which were only $1 each at Michael's and I adore rub-ons...they're just instant gratification. Looks like I'm into red and natural with touches of black and white this year...funny how once you look back at your purchases you can spot a theme. Those stamp embellishments will be perfect finishing touch to use with those mini notecards I found.

Finally...some random goodies for me. I miss crafting, I really do but I don't have the spare time to commit to big projects any longer. My plan is to craft a few fun tags using this collection of supplies. I love the black and natural polka dot reversible paper and the tiny letter stamps are just great. I'm also anxious to finally try out the Washi tape I purchased...one is a gold metallic and the other is black with writing on it, both really pretty. Plus, Glue Dots are just my absolute favorite supply (especially the removable ones) so I had to pick up another pack...no one should be without Glue Dots...ever. I use them to craft with, to hang decorations, they're just great.

I hope you've enjoyed my little haul...stay tuned as we craft, I'll be sharing our projects here. 

Happy crafting to you!


Corian and Zodiaq Unveil New Colors for 2013

Ah, the kitchen. The "workhorse" of the house, right? It certainly is in my home. Its where we gather every night, break bread with friends and family, cook, bake, laugh and play. Its also the room I'd like to remodel the most (with our sad bathroom being a close second!). 

That being said, I often spend some downtime (when I have it) pouring over kitchen ideas for that maybe-one-day digital file I have collected. Countertops are a huge thing for me, I've realized how important they are to really finish off the look of a kitchen. Tired of my blue, I'm loving the new color selections from DuPont Corian and Zodiaq. They are all so soothing and modern. 

According the company's press release, there are three main color trends the company based their selections from: Raw, Interference and Solidify, which all point to the uncertainty and desire for a little bit of luxe in our lives that we are feeling collectively these days. Whatever the reasons, I'm all for this new collection.  All are gorgeous and drool-worthy in their own right. Don't believe me...take a peak here:

I told you! So pretty. How about you, what sort of look do you prefer in your kitchen? 


Stacy Garcia's Chevron Pattern for Lamps Plus

It's been a long week around here so I thought I'd leave you all with a little dose of happy :)

When I opened up designer Stacy Garcia's January e-newsletter today, I instantly perked up when I saw these...

Her new chevron print for Lamps Plus is fun, cheery and happy! Love, love, love this print! And I really enjoy her company monthly newsletter featuring her recent blog posts. Its always full of loads of inspiration! Be sure to check it all out here.

Enjoy and happy Weekend!


Winter Treat: White Chocolate, Dried Cranberry & Pistachio Bark

The holidays may be over but the season still calls for some winter delights. I made this recipe for New Year's and just loved it. The salty and sweet mixture is a perfect way to curb those cravings and once piece will usually do it! Enjoy...

White Chocolate, Dried Cranberry & Pistachio Bark

I used a variation of this Martha Stewart recipe (I didn't use coconut). 

1lb of white chocolate
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup shelled pistachios

1. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler , the old fashioned method or the microwave.
2. Once the chocolate is smooth and shiny, let it cool for a minute or two and then mix in the dried cranberries and pistachios. 
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your mixture on top, making it as thin or as thick as you like.
4. Refrigerate for about an hour and then break into smaller pieces.
5. Definitely store this in an airtight container to make sure it stays fresh.