A Night in Italy with Bertolli

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces.


Last week the team at Bertolli® invited a number of bloggers and influencers to join them at the swanky Gramercy Park Hotel rooftop to celebrate the launch of their new Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces. Thanks to the delicious drinks, food, and details – I felt like I was transported back to Italy for the evening.


The evening began with mingling over cocktails and passed hors d’oeurves before the sun set and we transitioned to a delicious seated dinner.




While we mingled, I was able to learn more about the star of the evening, the Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces.


After living in Europe and tasting authentic, homemade sauce when visiting Italy I appreciate that these sauces are filled with hearty, thick-cut vegetables that you can see. Inspired by Tuscan cooking, the abundance of vegetables in the sauce means that you don’t have to worry about adding your own or “doctoring the sauce.” In addition, Bertolli Rustic Cut Pasta Sauces do not contain artificial flavors, artificial colors, added sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup.

Once we sat down for dinner, we were able to enjoy the sauces as they were highlighted in each of the family style entrees including branzino, chicken cacciatore and cavatelli.




While Katie’s four-month sleep regression and teething means I haven’t had time to create a recipe with these new sauces yet, I’m so looking forward to using Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces in many ways beyond pasta. In fact, Bo and I both agree that the hearty sauce would be the perfect ingredient in bruschetta, braise, ratatouille, lasagna or casserole. The team at Bertolli shared a few recipes with us during the event to get our creative juices going and this one caught my eye.


Grilled Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

Makes: 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


· 2 Tbs olive oil

· 1 1/2 cups (10 oz) uncooked orzo pasta

· 1 can (14.5 oz) vegetable broth

· 1 jar (23 oz) BERTOLLI Rustic Cut Spicy Marinara with Traditional Vegetables Sauce, divided

· 6 oz crumbled Feta cheese

· 1/2 cup (2 oz) coarsely chopped smoked almonds

· 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

· 6 large red, yellow or orange bell peppers, top 1/2 inch removed, seeded


1. Preheat grill to high heat

2. Heat 1 Tbs oil in medium skillet over medium high heat

3. Add pasta; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until light golden brown

4. Stir in broth and 1 cup sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook 4 minutes or until pasta is very al dente, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in cheese, almonds and half the mint.

6. Brush outsides of peppers with remaining oil. Grill 4 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender and lightly marked on all sides, turning frequently; cool slightly.

7. Place each pepper in center of 12×12 inch square of heavy-duty foil.

8. Bring sides of foil up and shape foil around each pepper, leaving the top open. Shape foil into a stable base to secure peppers firmly and keep them upright while grilling. Fill each pepper with 1 Tbs sauce and about 3.4 cup orzo mixture.

9. Grill peppers 8 to 10 minutes or until filling is heated through. Carefully remove from foil. Sprinkle with reserved mint and serve with warmed remaining sauce.

In addition, this month, Bertolli is also launching the Bravo Rewards program. This incentive program will reward shoppers who buy two or more jars of any Bertolli Pasta Sauce by sending them a ceramic spoon rest. All you have to do is post a photo of your receipt on bertolli.com/bravo!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bertolli® Rustic Cut™ Pasta Sauces however, as always, all opinions are my own.

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The Best Maternity Workout Gear

It is no secret that I believe staying active has helped me maintain my sanity during the past 32 weeks of pregnancy. From the very beginning, it was my goal to stay healthy and active throughout pregnancy while still listening to my body. While I realized that I pushed my body too hard by running through week 28, now that I’ve taken a break from running, I feel terrific.   In fact, this morning during our Orangetheory workout, Bo told me that I look like I’ve actually built muscle over the past few months.  Since taking a break from running, I’ve maintained a great workout routine that has ensured I get my heart rate up and break a sweat six days a week through long power walks, swimming, prenatal pilates, Orangetheory, Xtend Barre and prenatal yoga.

Best Maternity Workout Gear

I’ve enjoyed the many benefits of working out during pregnancy including:

  • Lowered my risk of gestational diabetes
  • Reducing aches and pains
  • No constipation
  • Minimal swelling which didn’t begin until Week 31
  • Minimal weight gain
  • Increase my stamina and strength for labor
  • Endorphins
  • Better sleep

However, the one thing that I didn’t enjoy about working out during pregnancy was finding clothes that fit well and flattered my growing figure. While I was able to wear most of the workout clothes through the first trimester, as soon as I started to pop in the second trimester, I started feeling like a stuffed sausage.  In addition, as my belly grew each week, I started to feel some aches and pains after workouts from the extra weight.  I knew it was time to invest in some maternity workout clothes but I didn’t know where to shop. I actually reached out to a few friends as many posts I found included links to brands that no longer sell maternity clothing, such as Athleta. The reviews on sites like Gap and Target had VERY mixed reviews which made me fearful of the quality or fit.

Luckily, at this same time, the team at Mumberry Fit reached out to me offering to send me one piece of their gear as well as provide a discount code for other items I may want to purchase as part of their Fit Mom Squad.


Similar to the sigh of relief I expressed the first time I slipped on a pair of maternity jeans, this workout gear made me feel comfortable and confident while working out. It is hands down the best maternity workout gear that I have tried! Since the clothing is made for pregnant women and takes into account their needs during this time of their life.  Since it was designed by pregnant women, each of the pieces is flattering and sweat-wicking since pregnant women tend to get hot faster. But, the biggest thing that separates Mumberry from any other maternity workout clothing is the Mumband. The Mumband is a support band that is built into each Mumberry item. It features elastic and compression that supports and secures your stomach while providing much-needed support for your lower back.  Since their clothing is meant to grow with you throughout pregnancy, the band can be worn either expanded, across the belly during later pregnancy months, or rolled down during the first trimester or after delivery when the added support isn’t needed.

The Mumband<sup>®</sup> belly support by Mumberry

Since discovering Mumberry, I’ve tested the following three items, each of which I’ve loved and wear on a regular basis.

Mumberry Maternity Active Wear

  • Ease Maternity Yoga Pant with Mumband Support –  After wearing the capris for six weeks, I was looking for a longer pant version to wear for errands, yoga, and even while working from home. The “buttery” soft fabric makes me forget I’m wearing them while the Mumband support makes sure that my back and stomach are supported even when I’m sitting at my home office desk working. They also feature a back zipper pocket, perfect for storing keys or even my iPhone during errands and workouts. My only request is that they feature a longer length for tall women like myself as these aren’t quite as long as I’d like.
  • Flourish Maternity Tank with Mumband Support –  I fell head over heels for this tank as soon as I put it on back in February. The built in sports bra meant that I had one less thing to worry about when I was getting ready in the morning and the high impact support allowed me to run in it without issues. I love that the bra cups can serve as nursing pads after Baby Girl Diamond is born and for now, they provide some added shape. The empire waist is very flattering and has provided plenty of room for growth. Of course, just like every other piece of Mumberry activewear, the back and belly support provides my back and stomach with the compression and lift needed to keep workouts comfortable.  I love this tank SO much that I actually just ordered the black one today to enjoy throughout the rest of pregnancy and beyond.
  • Move Maternity Active Capris with Mumband Support –  These capris fit wonderfully and the soft, thick fabric ensures that there are no surprises when I flow through prenatal yoga class as the material is definitely NOT see through. The built in Mumband fits perfectly over my stomach now that I’m 32 weeks and before this, I was able to adjust it to fit accordingly. I love that the capris also feature a side pocket, perfect for storing my keys, phone or credit card during a long, power walk.

Want to try Mumberry for yourself? Right now you can use the code MEGASALE30 to receive 30% off everything sitewide!

Thank you to Mumberry for sending me a piece of your clothing to try as well as providing a discount code for me to use on additional products. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Misfit Shine Review + Giveaway

misfit shine

Over the years, my interest in fitness trackers has been minimal to say the least. While I have reviewed one on this blog previously, I’ve never become one of those people that links it to an app and uses it each day to track my steps or activity. I partially blame this on the fact that our move abroad coincided with when trackers became popular in the US. But, at the root of it, I know that there is one primary reason I’ve never been interested in them. These days, I always get enough activity. In fact, if you were to ask Bo or my friends, they’d say I need a tracker that reminds me to chill out and relax.

Therefore, when my friends at Spright invited me to try out and host a giveaway for the Misfit Shine activity tracker, I was a bit hesitant. But, after going to the website and reading more about the fitness tracker, I quickly realized that this little, sleek device seemed perfect for my interests.

misfit box

As soon as the Misfit Shine arrived, it was love at first sight. While I know you’re not supposed something based on looks alone, the lightweight, sleek, black activity tracker looks more like a watch or bracelet than band that screams “I’m trying to log my 10,000 steps.” In fact, at least once a day someone asks me what type watch I’m wearing.  Unlike other activity trackers on the market, this piece of arm candy is also water resistant up to 50 meters, meaning that I don’t have to worry about taking it off in the shower or while washing dishes. If I was currently swimming, it would also allow me to easily track my pool activity as well as other common workouts.

Aside from looks, there are five key things that made me fall in love with the Shine versus other fitness trackers on the market.

  • Battery
    • Do you find yourself constantly losing or misplacing chargers? I certainly do! Luckily, the Misfit Shine is battery powered which means I don’t have to think or worry about the charge or the tangled mess of cords. Since the average battery life is six months, I only have to replace that bad boy two times a year which is a far improvement from charging multiple times a week.
  • iPhone Application
    • I really appreciate that I can see all the information I need inside the app versus having something beep and alert me on my wrist. The app, which is very simple to use and straightforward, syncs to your tracker multiple times per day as long as your Bluetooth is on. In addition to the app which shows sleep duration and patterns, movement and goals there are also additional inputs you can use such as food tracking and food photo storage.

misfit screen 2

  • Sleep
    • Remember I said that I need something that reminds me to relax more versus move more? Well, the sleep tracker portion of Misfit has been doing just that these past few weeks. The Shine automatically tracks your sleep, without requiring any extra attachments, and breaks your sleep duration down into awake time, light time and restful time. Since wearing it, I’ve noticed an increase in the length of time I sleep as well as better understanding restful versus light sleep. I’ve seen the number 8 in front of the little h more than the 6 as seeing 6h 30 on the screen made me realize how little sleep that really is. There is something to be said for the power of numbers on a screen to help something become real.  I’ve been carefully monitoring this, trying to understand things that lead to more restless or restful nights such as screen time, reading, alcohol or stress. In addition, there is a great alarm feature which can be set to wake you up at the perfect time during your sleep cycle. I’ve only used this once but really liked it and felt the difference.
    • misfit screen
  • Design
    • The Shine is designed to flex with you. If you’re not bothered by a wrist accessory then you can easily wear it on your wrist similar to the way you’d wear a watch. But, want something a bit less visible? You can easily remove it and use the included clasp to slide it into your jean pocket or hook it on your yoga pants. For spin class, I transferred it from my wrist to my spin shoe so it would more accurately measure my movements.
  • Price
    • As someone who is a self-proclaimed beauty and fitness junky, the last thing I want is to invest in a product that I may only use for a few months before discovering a newer version or model. At just $69 this is a fitness tool that everyone can enjoy and even gift to others during the upcoming holiday season.

What do I wish I could improve? 

  • I wish it was easier to track activities like Bar Method. While I know that you can adjust the activity to reflect specific sports like swimming, cycling or running, there isn’t currently a barre option so this is rarely reflected in my daily score.

Now comes the fun part. Want to try the Misfit Shine for yourself or give it as a gift this holiday? Just enter the giveaway made possible by my friends at Spright!  It is open until next Friday, November 20th! Good luck!

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