Friday, January 24, 2014


In a world now driven by social media, you now have a look into everyone's lives. You get to see their accomplishments, their new homes, their growing families, their job promotions, their fancy vacations and sometimes, ok, maybe more than just sometimes, it can make you feel inadequate - like your life isn't quite as glamorous, shiny, and beautiful as everyone else's. As a mom, you feel like you are drowning in a pool of water as the 'moms who have it together' do the backstroke in the water above you. Not to mention they are probably wearing some expensive designer bathing suit and sipping on some fancy homemade cocktail, as they do it.

But really, can you hate these people? These moms whose lives seem perfect? No, because you would hate a lot of people, including yourself. You can't blame people. They WANT to share the happy parts of their lives (who doesn't?) and really, in most cases, you want to see it. It is fun and you are happy for them.

Even though it is fun, sometimes you cannot help but compare your life to everyone else's. I think it is just human nature. But when you do this, just remember, people do not share the bad stuff. You have a glimpse into their happy moments, not the ones where they fight with their husband or worry about money.

Yesterday, I wanted to write a facebook post that said "I LOST MY SH*T TWICE TODAY AND I AM MENTALLY UNSTABLE." I wonder how many 'likes' that would have gotten? I am sick, pregnant, and just unable to cope with life at the moment. Every little thing is a big thing for me. I cried in the car twice yesterday, ate cereal for dinner, and blamed all my life problems on my husband when he got home from work. I feel like I am drowning and something in our lives needs to give. Something needs to bend.

And then I sit and wonder... How do "those" moms do it. How do those moms work and get their family fed, stay in shape, have a social life, and keep the spark in their marriage? HOW? What's the answer?  The answer is they do probably just as well as I do. What I am feeling or experiencing isn't odd or out of the ordinary. To think I am the first mom to fly off the handle or like I said above, "lose my sh*t," would be crazy. Lots of moments in our life are great - the cutesy play kitchens, the homemade bread, the husband who plays the guitar and tosses our daughter in the air. But for every time there is a sweet, loving moment that we show the world through our instagram or facebook page, there is a moment when we loose it that no one sees. Well, someone sees it and it is usually those who are the closest to us and love us the most. They are the ones who get to see the real - the real good and the real bad.

Now, I know days like yesterday are not every day. You know that quote - "It is a bad day, not a bad life." Well, I need to remember that at these moments in my life. Today I am sitting here writing this, Ellis is napping upstairs, the house and my mind are calm and I am feeling a bit more normal and ready to resume all my grow-up responsibilities. All is well again... for the moment. ;)

I have a new resolution for 2014. Actually, let's call it a goal. My goal is to slow down, learn to appreciate what I have, stop holding myself to such high standards, breathe, and enjoy the little things just a bit more. I am going to take on less, relax more, and not worry as much. This life is good and we are lucky. I do not have to be perfect and as much as we think other people or other moms are... they aren't. We all struggle in one way or another. We all lose our sh*t. :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Remember this sweet little find from this post over the summer? Well, here is the promised 'after' picture. I would like to claim this handy work as my own, but I cannot. It is the work of the talented Kriza of Oak + Olive Home.

I wish I had gotten a picture of it with the oven door closed. Krizia painted a chalkboard window on the front of the oven so Ellis can draw things with chalk that are in the oven. She also painted the right side of the oven with chalkboard paint so Ellis can write her grocery list! You know, like wooden sandwich meat and maybe a few plastic pears! YUM! ;) Now Ellis just needs to learn how to write! We will work on that one...

I put a small cafe tension rod under the sink and sewed a little curtain out of some vintage fabric that I had.

We gave the oven (along with all of the kitchen goods) to Ellis for her Christmas present. She loves it and plays with it constantly when we are home. Her favorite is the Melissa and Doug cookie set. She pours us tea, 'cheers' with her cup, and shares all of her wooden cookies with us! We taught her to say "nom nom nom" as she pretends to eat her cookies. I love it!

Monday, January 20, 2014


I lied. I knew exactly what kind of change 2014 would bring to our lives. 2014 will bring Baby Buell #2! Yes, Ellis will be a big sister and our lives will forever change once again. Now that I have finally gone in for an ultrasound and saw the little guy/girl moving around, kicking it's legs and waving it's hands, I IS REAL. I mean kind of real. It is never REAL REAL until it is in your ams, but I am now starting to realize we will soon go from a family of three to a family of four.

Baby #2 wasn't exactly planned. We were planning on trying in the three to six months, but it looks like we are going to get our little peanut just a bit sooner than we had expected. If you know Logan and I, you know we are very planned people, so this slightly threw us for a loop. Of all the unexpected surprises, what a great one! The day we brought Ellis into this world was the best day of our lives and we get to do it again. We get to love another child just like we love Ellis. We get to watch Ellis become a big sister. 

So here we go. Family of four it is!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Like I have said before, I try different recipes all the time. Usually they are good, sometimes they are terrible, and once in a while they are fantastic. I love to share the fantastic ones with all of you. Here are three of my latest wins. You can enjoy them separately or make all together for a super yummy meal!


My sister-in-law was baking this in the oven one afternoon when I came to pick up E from daycare. It looked so amazingly crusty and delicious that I knew I had to try it. I have never made homemade bread and figured it was probably a lot of work and time consuming. WRONG. It is quite possibly the easiest thing ever. I pop it in the toaster for a few seconds to warm in up and eat it with butter and jelly in the morning. YUM!

* NOTE: It is advertised as 'no-knead', but I threw it in my KitchenAid mixer with the hook attachment for about two minutes. Also, if you do not have a dutch oven, think about getting one. 


Easy. Healthy. Yummy.

Salad ingredients: baby spinach, cherry tomates (sliced), cucumber (sliced), kalamata  olives, and crumbled feta cheese. Toss them together.

Dressing ingrediants: equal parts balsamic and olive oil and some cracked black pepper. Shake and pour over your salad.

*NOTE: Substitute black olives for the kalamata olives if you prefer.


I made this the other night for dinner and it was fantastic. What I was super thrilled about was how easy it was. I thawed, de-tailed (is that a word?) and marinated the shrimp the night before so when I got home from work all I had to do was dump the bag of shrimp (with marinade) into a skillet, saute it for about 4 min, add the cooked pasta, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese,and green onions, and we had dinner! It literally took 15 min to pull dinner together.

*NOTE: I added a few teaspoons of cornstarch to the skillet at the very end to thicken up the marinade/sauce. Just add enough until it reaches your desired consistency.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Hello everyone! I'm back. Probably back more here and there than every day or even every week, but never the less, I am back! I can't say the last month was pure bliss, but I can say it was good in its own way. Work was busy, the Holidays crept up faster than I was ready for (as they always do) and I got deathly ill with the flu for about a good week. Ehhh.

Anyways, 2013 was a good year for us. There were no new jobs or promotions, we didn't give birth to a child, build a new house or do any European vacations, but we still had a very solid year that we are more than thankful for. We enjoyed a family vacation to Florida with my family, I had the most amazing time in Ohio with my best friends, was part of our good friend's beautiful garden wedding, our nephew was born, we watched friends bring life into the world, get married, and announce pregnancies and engagements, we got to watch Ellis grow another year, and became even stronger as a family. For all of that we are more than grateful.

So that brings us to 2014. For some reason I think it is going to bring change. I am not sure exactly what kind of change, but I can just feel that 2014 is going to be a good year. Even though January 1st is really no different than any other day of the year and probably about 90% of us never follow through with our resolutions, there is just something comforting and exciting about the fresh start of a new year. I have been seeing this quote over and over lately and I love it. It is just so true.

A lot of people are not big on New Year's resolutions, but I always try and make at least one. Mine are never the typical 'work out more, eat better, and lose weight,' b/c I feel I do a pretty decent job at living a healthy lifestyle and do not believe in being overly obsessed in any of those areas. What I currently do is good enough for me.

Resolution #1: cut.out.all.swearing. Yes, it is kind of embarrassing, but I am a swearer. Not a horrible one, but never the less, it is not good to be any degree of a swearer when you have a 21 month old that will repeat pretty much any word you say. She hasn't repeated any bad words yet, but I cringe at the thought. So, if you hear me swear, remind me of how classless it is, ok? I will not get mad, I promise. If it wasn't for my Italian temper, I would probably be fine, but let's be real, my Italian temper probably isn't going anywhere. It is embedded in me.

Resolution #2: Cut our grocery bill from $700 to $500 a month. Quick question... Is it normal to spend $700 a month on groceries for a family with two adults and a toddler that eats breakfast and lunch at daycare four times a week???? I feel like that is really high. I am DETERMINED to get our bill down. I do not have time to coupon or sale shop, so don't ask me how I am going to do this, but I will. I will report back to you on how I do for January. 

Back burner resolutions: To make all of our own 'green' cleaning supplies and our own body lotion. We will see if that ever happens. ;)

And a little recap video of 2013 (and a little bit of 2012)


HAPPY 2014! I hope this year brings good health and happiness to all!