Friday Favorites–October 20th, 2017

fall in new york

Happy Friday! I hope you all are ready for a wonderful weekend. This afternoon we have Katie’s four month pediatrician appointment which includes another round of shots. It’s been two months since we’ve been to the doctor so I’m looking forward to getting her updated weight and height!  How the heck is she already four months old! This month she came alive with SO much personality, energy and laughter. Spending each day with her has been such a joy, even during the few days when sleep didn’t go well.  The rest of this weekend should be pretty relaxed as we do not have any plans. Between Halloween, Katie’s Baptism and returning to work the next few weekends are going to be packed so I’m looking forward to soaking up some rest and relaxation before the chaos begins.

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.

  • After ordering 12 (!!?) different pair of booties over the past month, I finally found a pair that I loved so much that I already ordered them in a second color! These Treasure & Bond Winsor booties are under $100, feature a block heel which makes them more comfortable for walking, are the perfect height bootie to go with skinny jeans or stockings when paired with a skirt or dress. I am now the proud owner of the black suede and the sand suede colors! As an FYI, I found that they run pretty true to size!
  • I mentioned last week that I finally ordered my first pair of Zella leggings after hearing rave reviews from friends. The Zella Live In High Waist leggings are my new favorite pair of pants that can easily go from park workout to weekend errands thanks to their moisture wicking and flattering high rise. No wonder they have over 2,900 positive reviews on Nordstrom! I also love that they are $54 which is half the price of the other high-rise leggings I was considering.
  • Earlier this week I asked for your tips as I transition to a working mom in just two weeks. More than 20 people recommended the book The Fifth Trimester which is an honest and helpful guide to the challenges women face as they transition back to work after staying home with their child during the first few months. I’m so appreciative of Lauren Smith Brody’s poignant book that I reached out to her on Instagram which resulted in a two day conversation! Even though I’m only a quarter of the way through the book she has helped me change my anxiety and fear into excitement and also put a few things in place to hopefully make the transition smoother. 
  • For years, we always had a WoodWick candle burning in our home but when we lived abroad, it was difficult to find them and after having two break when trying to bring them back in checked luggage, we gave up our love and found local, European candle replacements. During last week’s shopping trip I saw a display of WoodWick candles and quickly bought my two favorite scents – Fireside and Pumpkin Butter. I am a sucker for the crackling sound that comes from the wood wick and love that the fragrant candle is able to spread the warm scent throughout our downstairs.
  • I have met some incredibly talented moms during my maternity leave including Siobahn O’Connor, one of the editorial directors at Time Magazine.  The piece she wrote, When You’re Pregnant, Everyone is Suddenly an Expert on Your Health resonated with me and so many other women. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end when you have the baby as pregnancy is when the judgement and opinions just begin. I am so intrigued by their cover article this week, The Goddess Myth – How a Vision of Perfect Motherhood Hurts Moms, that I bought the print copy yesterday!
  • Always a fan of roasting vegetables, I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize you can also roast green beans! These roasted parmesan green beans have become a regular in our kitchen recently as they are so easy and tasty! I especially love adding a dash of Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning mix!
  • In case you missed it, this Easy Baked Pasta recipe has already become one of my top posts in just a day! Clearly we all love cheesy goodness that is ready in minutes!
  • I’ve been searching for a few new pair of work pants since these hips are definitely wider than they were before baby. Flattering and forgiving were the two qualities I wanted and these Easy Pants from J.Crew fit the bill perfectly. I snagged them during one of their 30% off promotions a few weeks ago and can tell that these will be perfect for work travel and client meetings alike! I love that they come in petite, regular and tall – perfect regardless your height!
  • Thanks to your recommendations, I bought two of the GapFit Breathe tie-back tanks and am loving them! The adjustable back easily accomodates my hips and any pooch I want to hide while the top and neck line are more form fitting and flattering. Thanks to their 40% off sale you can snag this top for just $15 which is a STEAL considering the quality, fit and sweat-wicking material! Has anyone worn their long-sleeve version of this top as I’m thinking it could be great now that the weather is getting cooler?

Your turn – What are you loving this week?

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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Easy Baked Pasta

Caprese Baked Pasta

Living in Brooklyn, there is no shortage of Italian restaurants. In fact, in our neighborhood, there are five Italian restaurants within a few blocks of our apartment. While most of them are wonderful, each serving a different rendition of their famous sauce and pages of pasta, these days it is easier to dine at home than try to go out to dinner with a four-month-old. While most of these restaurants offer delivery, I firmly believe that there are few cuisines that lend themselves to delivery. Delicious Italian food is not one of them. The pasta gets mushy and soft from all the liquid and moisture and the garlic toast is no longer warm and crunchy. Luckily, for every Italian restaurant we have in the neighborhood, we also have Italian markets. These small, independently owned markets are packed with fresh cheeses, sauces, pasta and meats. When we are craving Italian, we will make a quick stop to pick up ingredients and whip something up at home instead of going out or ordering.

This recipe is fore those evenings where you’re craving a homemade dinner but you just don’t have the time or energy. Whether it is that the day’s demands have left you less than energized to step foot in the kitchen or that your evening routine of bathtime and bottle service for your little one allows you no time to actually prepare dinner, today’s recipe is one that even you can make and enjoy. You will see that I recommend fresh ingredients if you live somewhere that allows you to buy fresh versus packaged. But, regardless whether your ingredients are bought in a large supermarket, Amazon Fresh or in a local Italian market, your dish will be delicious.

This dish comes together in no time due in part that you don’t have to brown meat or dice vegetables. In fact, you could make the dish ahead of time if that works best for your schedule then just put it in the oven or broiler to reheat it for dinner.  The gooey bites of cheese and fresh flavors make it a crowd pleaser even though it is so simple.  In fact, I think this dish is such a winner due in part to its simplicity. It pairs perfectly with a salad and a large glass of red wine because by Thursday, isn’t that what we all want?

Easy Baked Pasta

Easy Baked Pasta


  • 12 ounces pasta (fresh if possible)
  • 1 1/2 cup diced, fresh mozzarella or 1 cup shredded
  • 1 cup Marinara sauce, fresh if possible
  • 1/4 cup shredded, packed basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
  3. Cook pasta until al dente.
  4. While pasta is cooking, shred basil into thin ribbons and set aside.
  5. Bring marinara sauce to simmer over low heat.
  6. When pasta reaches al dente, drain pasta and transfer to cast iron pan or oven-proof casserole dish.
  7. Combine sauce, mozzarella, salt, and pepper with pasta in the pan and toss gently.
  8. Place pan in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until mozzarella begins to bubble.
  9. Remove pan from oven, lightly toss in shredded basil, top with grated parmesan and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Serve warm and enjoy. 
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Our Favorite Item for Newborn Babies

katie thriving

There is no doubt in my mind that Katie is thriving. She’ll be four months old on Friday and is growing like a weed. While we owe her happiness in great part to the support system we’ve had, we also attribute it to the fact that thankfully, our baby is a strong sleeper. But, she wouldn’t have slept nearly as soundly those first few months without one of our nursery essentials – a swaddle. In fact, we are so in love with swaddling that we are giving swaddle giftsets to all of our friends who are expecting babies!nursery

During the first three months of a babies life, they are actually in their fourth trimester of life. In fact, according to Harvey Karp, the author behind the book The Happiest Baby on The Block, all babies are born three months early. Swaddling, or tightly wrapping the baby in a muslin or cloth blanket, makes the baby feel secure and snug like they did in the womb. It decreases their startle reflex since their arms can’t wriggle around. In addition, it has been found that babies who are swaddled during sleep and fussy periods experience less anxiety and colic symptoms.

Until a few weeks ago, when Katie started rolling, we swaddled her for her naps and nightime sleep. In the beginning, we used the large, muslin square cloths but as she grew older, swaddles that provided assistance through zippers and velcro helped us keep her strong limbs swaddled.

That’s why SwaddleMe products are perfect for infants as depending on the style, they feature zippers or velcro to ensure the baby feels secure. They just introduced five new additions to their SwaddleMe line of safe sleep products for infants and man do I wish we’d had these a few months ago.

SwaddleMe 4

While we used their SwaddleMe Original, their new innovative swaddles would have been so helpful especially as Katie entered month two and three, when she was starting to grow more mobile and we were trying to have her sleep in places other than her bassinet, such as the swing or car seat.

swaddle me kicksie and footsie

Their new SwaddleMe Kicksie is a legs-free swaddle which is perfect for warmer weather, such as the summer months and allows the baby to feel cozy in a 3-point harness such a swing. The snap bottom also makes diaper changing quick and hassle free, which is greatly appreciated during those middle of the night diaper sessions.   They also just launched the SwaddleMe Footsiea legs-free swaddle that features pajama-like footies which make it great for cooler weather or even homes with strong air conditioner.


Like the Kicksie, the Footsie can also be used in a 3 point harness. This would have been SO helpful last month when when we flew down to Savannah, keeping her warm on the plane, or once she started discovering her feet and kicking them during her naps.

SwaddleMe 2

In addition to these new swaddles, SwaddleMe has launched three new gift sets, which are perfect for every mom-to-be. In fact, I’ve already ordered a few of these since I have FIVE friends who are expecting babies this Spring. The Essentials Gift Set includes muslin blankets, bandana bibs, burp cloths and a SwaddleMe® Original Swaddle. The adorable Baby Bath Gift Set includes muslin and terry bath towels, washcloths and a cute hooded wrap. My favorite set, The Little Lovey Gift Set, includes not only the Original Swaddle and muslin blankets but also an adorable natural shape pacifier with a lovey attached!

This post is sponsored by Mom Trends, Meredith Corporation and Swaddle Me but as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you to MomTrends for the professional photographs.

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