Swedish Meatballs with Cashew Pesto Arugula Salad

There is one place on Earth that rivals Disney World for me. It can’t match the magic of the Magic Kingdom, but it brings joy to a grown-up’s heart, is filled with the scent of delectable Swedish cooking, and when you are able to show restraint, it’s less expensive than Disney. Have you guessed it yet? Yes, I can only be talking about one place: Ikea. The mecca of affordable furnishings and masters of maximizing small spaces. Who doesn’t enjoy perusing Pinterest-worthy room setups while wiping the remnants of a sticky cinnamon bun from your hand? It’s pure joy. (more…)

One-Stop Shopping for Valentine’s Day

This is a sponsored post from UncommonGoods, but the opinions and sheer glee are entirely my own.

It’s February, the love month! Have you gotten valentines for your sweethearts yet? If you’re like me, the answer is a panicky no. How on earth are we supposed to show our deep affection with a gift? It has to represent all that our beloved means to us. Is that even possible? I put a lot of pressure on myself for Valentine’s Day, and Hallmark holiday or no, I want my loved ones to know they are loved. The regular department stores just won’t cut it. I want something different, uncommon. As luck would have it, I found the perfect place to shop: UncommonGoods.

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5-Minute Get-Moving Activities

Story and I recently learned about sitting disease. Apparently sitting is the new smoking. (I won’t get into the list of maladies linked to sitting; it’s too depressing. Suffice it to say, it’s bad.) We started to take stock of how much we sit during the day, and it’s a lot. With work (I’m an editor) and school (fewer recesses than I remember as a kid), our weekdays find us more often down than up. But even beyond that, we sit a lot — at dinner, in the car, to watch a movie, to play a video game, to pet and snuggle the dogs, etc. The worst part is, going to the gym daily won’t counteract the negative effects of sitting. What’s a busy mom to do?

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A Finger-Food Christmas

Because the girls aren’t big fans of traditional dinners, I decided to have a finger-food Christmas dinner this past year. For the first time, I think all five of us were full after. There were enough items to choose from that each of us found a favorite or two and was satisfied. I consider that a huge success! In the line-up, we had: bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, deviled eggs, spinach artichoke bites, cranberry and brie crostini, cocktail wieners, and apple pie. Oh yeah, I won that one! (more…)

At a Loss for Words

I had a lot of uncertainty when Riley was born. How would I know what she needed? How would I know that she didn’t die when I thought she was sleeping? How little sleep can I get before my body shuts down? One thing I was always certain of though was that she was advanced. Yes, I was absolutely sure that every milestone she hit was early and was perfectly executed. Disappointment struck each time I took her to a well visit and the doctor didn’t automatically refer her to some specialized doctor for geniuses. They may not have realized her extraordinary presence when they held her, but I sure did. I imagine it is the same way every new mom feels about her firstborn. I knew Riley was amazing and could do anything. (more…)