Friday Favorites–September 22nd, 2017

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Happy Friday! This post is earlier than normal as I woke up at 4:45 and couldn’t go back to sleep. This rarely happens but when it does, if it is after 4 AM, I tend to just wake up. There will be lots and lots of coffee this morning as we are driving up to my family’s place in Vermont this morning. We don’t have any special plans, just spending lots of time on the porch together and hopefully a hike, if the weather allows. Right now the forecast for both Vermont and New York looks warmer than normal these next few days. Am I the only one cheering for Fall and ready to put my Summer clothes away once and for all? I am looking forward to the vibrant colors in Prospect Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park during long walks with Katie, bundling up in sweaters and leggings and hair that isn’t perpetually frizzy from the humidity.

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.

  • While we typically have Hello Fresh meals during the week, at least one weekday I cook dinner from scratch. Over the past year I’ve enjoyed integrating more chicken thighs into our life as they have more flavor than chicken breasts. This Five Ingredient Lemony Chicken recipe looks like a perfect weeknight meal especially when served with my favorite garlic roasted green beans and mushrooms as well as roasted new potatoes.
  • Making this pumpkin pie smoothie this week immediately got me excited for a season filled with pumpkin in both sweet and savory recipes. What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?
  • I’ve worn these jeans four times since they arrived and love the flattering fit, high waist and dark color. I like the fit so much that I ordered a pair in black yesterday.
  • Since sharing my running short story on Instastories yesterday, a few people have asked what shorts I’m running in these days. I love the forgiving nature of Brooks 5 inch Chaser Running short. They are a lightweight short with built in moisture-wicking liner, loose fit that prevents chafing and a wide waist band that is comfortable and large enough for keys and a phone. Also, in case you missed my Instagram Story, my shorts fell down while I was racing across the street yesterday since I was running in my maternity size and also weighing them down with a phone, keys and credit card in the pocket! Ooops! Like I said, it was time to buy a smaller pair!
  • I ordered a new front door mat to greet our guests when they arrive this season. I put it out on Wednesday, as soon as it was delivered, and the UPS man even commented on it yesterday afternoon! It’s festive and only $13!
  • I appreciate when bloggers share their top social media tips, especially as I focus on growing my platforms and engaging with readers better. Luckily, my friend Heather shared all her top tips for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in one convenient post yesterday! 
  • You’ve probably heard about the importance of kegels, but do you understand why it’s important to strengthen your pelvic floor? Whether you are 20 or 50 years old, this is a key often over-looked area of the body that we women should focus on for our overall health. It’s crazy to think that nearly one in three US women suffer from a pelvic floor disorder!
  • Have you all watched the new Netflix Original, Jerry Before Seinfeld? Bo loves Seinfeld and while I’ve never made it through the entire series, I have an appreciation for the witty humor and fun characters. This is on our Netflix list as the combination of Jerry Seinfeld and hearing about his roots and how he started seems like the perfect way to relax on the couch.
  • Pinned over 98,000 times on Pinterest, this Healthy Turkey Chili seems like a sure winner for an easy weeknight meal this Fall.  

Okay guys, it’s time to finish packing and then head to Vermont! I’ll check in with you guys later on Instagram stories. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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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Highlights from the Weekend

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Anyone else already had a second coffee today? It is definitely an under-eye concealer, strong coffee and top knot kind of day over here. It was a great weekend but definitely not the most relaxing.  How was your weekend? I thought it would be fun today to share a few highlights from our weekend.

Friday night Bo and I relaxed at home with a delicious steak dinner complete with a Cesaer salad, roasted potatoes and wine. Before the wine, I enjoyed my first Oktoberfest beer of the season – Bell’s Oktoberfest.

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Saturday morning I laced up my shoes for a quick workout while Bo watched Katie. I was able to make it down to the waterfront during the 30 minutes. I am focusd on a smart return to running through a strong base building period of run/walk intervals. I was able to cover 2.9 miles in the 30 minutes using 2 minuntes of running followed by 2 minutes of walking intervals. The weather was muggy but during the time alone with my playlist and the sidewalk was exactly what I needed. Man did it feel great to be out running! A month from now I’m doing the Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn 5 Mile race in Prospect Park with Brooks and plan to complete the race using the run/walk intervals if anyone wants to join me!

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We spent the rest of the afternoon cooking and cleaning around the house since we were having friends over for dinner.  IMG_6355

The highlight of the afternoon was harvesting tomatoes and basil from our small backyard garden for this delicious Pesto Pasta Salad. The roasted tomatoes gave it delicious flavor and the lemon brightened the pesto dressing. IMG_6376

For dinner we served smoked Boston Butt, homemade coleslaw and the pesto pasta salad! Enjoyed with a few beers and baby giggls, it was a fun evening with friends.  After they left we curled up on the couch with Bo’s sister, Meg, and watched The Big Sick. We LOVED the movie and agree that it deserved the 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday I met Evann and Meghann for a girls brunch in Downtown Brooklyn. Katie was a delight, showing off her giggles and smile for them and even sleeping for a bit in the carrier while we sipped mimosas and chatted.IMG_6382IMG_6389

Unfortunately, while the commute there was a breeze on the subway, the journey home was less than ideal. I’m still a new mom who is learning the ropes so anxiety kicked in quickly when I found out that the subways weren’t running due to a power outage. Since I’d worn Katie in the carrier, I didn’t have the option of taking a cab or Uber home. Instead, I found a coffee shop with back patio and fed her before walking the 1.5 miles home. It wasn’t ideal as I was over dressed for the hot, humid weather and Katie was over-tired but by the time we got home I everyone was just fine. 

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So, like I said, it was a busy weekend but one filled with lots of friends, funs and fresh air. Hope you guys have a great Monday and a wonderful week.

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How My Priorities Are Changing These Days

It’s incredible how quickly perspective and priorities can change when certain life events take place.

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Last week, while in Savannah, Georgia visiting our friends and family at home, it was clear that the locals were on high-alert after watching Hurricane Harvey devastate Texas the week prior. With two more storms in the Atlantic, many people were focusing their long, holiday weekend on putting together their hurricane evacuation essentials, and, overall, preparing for the unexpected.

For Bo and I, expanding our family has caused us to think more about how we can help ensure a safe financial future. We now have a fully dependent, 12-week-old daughter to think about when we make decisions.  For us, term life insurance is a necessity for ensuring that no matter what happens to us, Bo and I will both have a financial cushion to help with paying the bills and raising Katie.

When Haven Life reached out to me in June, asking if I would be interested in partnering for a sponsored post, I quickly said yes. Updating our life insurance policy was on my to-do list and like so many other tedious and often overwhelming tasks such as creating a will, it had been pushed further and further down my to-do list.  At the same time, I’ve heard horror stories from friends and family about waiting too long to update or even purchase policies. So, hopefully this post will motivate and encourage you to look into life insurance more actively. It did for me.

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What’s nice about Haven Life is that they realize that today’s generation is looking for a simpler, easier to understand and transparent life insurance solution. We aren’t accustomed to having long-term relationships with insurance agents. Similar to the way that Expedia and other travel websites changed the way we book travel, Haven Life believes that today’s moms and dads deserve an insurance option that meets their online, DIY expectations. While Haven Life has a startup feel and fresh perspective, they are backed by MassMutual, a 160-year old life insurance company with a long history of financial strength.

Haven Life’s aim is to deliver a life insurance buying experience as it should be – a simple, transparent and friendly process that any customer can complete quickly and confidently.  Their application process is online, and some people may qualify for InstantTerm, a Haven Life process that allows qualified applicants* under the age of 45 to finalize coverage without the need for a medical exam.

Plus, since the process is online, you can find out instantly if you’re approved for coverage and how much it’ll cost.

If you’re like most in our generation, you may not realize that a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy can be very affordable, often less than $20 per month for a healthy 30-year-old woman.  For a NYC resident that can mean taking your lunch to work a couple times a month.  In fact, when using our current Brooklyn zip code, I found that a $1,000,000, 30-year policy would cost a healthy 34-year-old woman $54.33 per month! clip_image002[4]

So, instead of putting life insurance off any longer, take a few minutes to help financially protect your family this week!

This post is sponsored by Haven Life, but views expressed are my own.

*Based on health information from the application.

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC15DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC.

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