I’M BACK!!!

IMG_0198

Wearing a LuLaRoe Julia dress

Guys, I have been totally and completely slacking! I had big plans for this blog but life got in the way and unfortunately my blogging got pushed to the back burner. BUT I’M BACK! And have exciting news! The past 3 months I’ve been consumed with launching my own small business! I’m now an official LuLaRoe Retailer – find me at LuLaRoe Nicole Newman on Facebook!

Never heard of LuLaRoe? Well pull up a chair and let me tell you about it!

LuLaRoe is best known for their leggings – described as “buttery soft”. I guarantee you will NOT find a better pair of leggings. They hug you in all the right places and are unbelievable comfortable. But that’s not all! LuLaRoe offers women’s shirts, skirts, dresses, and layering pieces in sizes XXS – 3XL. We claim there is something for EVERYONE and we mean it. Whatever size or shape you are we have something that will make you feel beautiful, comfortable and confident.
IMG_0251
If you’re looking to make a fashion statement, LuLaRoe is the way to do it. They are well known for their fun patterns and prints and there is a good chance nobody in your circle will have the same print as you. Why is that you ask? Only 2500 garments are made from the same print! And those are divided amongst all styles, all sizes, and all retailers! These items are NOT sold in stores, only through independent retailers so when you find a print you love you don’t need to worry about everyone wearing the same thing as you! LuLaRoe truly allows you to express your personality and be uniquely YOU!

IMG_7536

Wearing a LuLaRoe Carly dress

I do plan to get back on a blogging schedule and LuLaRoe will be a big part of that. I’m so excited to share more about the brand, pictures, styling tips, and my experience as a small business owner. I hope you’ll stick around because the fun is just beginning!

Find me on Facebook and Instagram and join in on all the fun!

XOXO Nicole

 

 

Advertisements

KinderPerfect Review

I’ve discovered being a parent is a complete rollercoaster and being a parent to a toddler is absolute insanity.  There are new adventures everyday and you are put in situations you never thought you would be. A new game, KinderPerfect, captures those moments perfectly. Described as “a timeout for parents” it is a hilarious card game modeled after Cards Against Humanity.  The cards describe real-life situations gathered from actual parents.

img_3276

First, the game came delivered with a hand drawn note from the creator’s kids. How cute!  I played with my boyfriend and two friends and we had such a great time!

Each player draws 10 white cards. Some of my favorites are below! Each round one red card is pulled and players select the best response from the cards in their hand. You end up with some hilarious combinations.

img_3281img_3282img_3279The game is so relatable to real life. I would highly recommend this game to parents or anyone who has worked with children. It’s guaranteed to bring out some laughs. I can’t wait to pull it out for our next neighborhood moms night – there are 4 of us on the same street all with kids 1 and under. I know they will love it!

I was given a copy of KinderPerfect in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own!

RICED CAULIFLOWER TACO BOWLS

img_3233

So I’ve jumped on the riced cauliflower bandwagon. It’s tasty and a much healthier alternative to rice or other grains.  Tonight we made riced cauliflower taco bowls and they were so tasty!  Tacos are a favorite in our house and we eat some version of them at least once a week so they can get a little boring.  Enter the taco bowl.  All the taco fixings thrown in a bowl!  We made ours with ground turkey and topped with black beans, store-bought salsa, cheese, and avocado.  Quick, easy, fun, and bonus – my 15 month old son gobbled it right up!

Many stores sell cauliflower already riced, but if you can’t find it you can easily throw cauliflower florets (1 medium sized head) into a food processor for a couple seconds to get the same effect.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan.  Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until just tender and slightly browned – about 10 minutes.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.

img_3225

In the same pan, add another 2 tablespoons of oil and the ground turkey.  Cook until no longer pink and cooked through.  Add taco seasoning and cook per package directions. You can certainly make your own taco seasoning (tons of recipes on Pinterest!), but for convenience I used store-bought.  You can also sub your favorite meat – ground beef, chicken, or pork would all be great.

img_3228

To serve pile rice in a bowl and top with turkey taco mixture and your favorite taco toppings.  And for the heck of it add some sour cream – you’ve saved calories from the cauliflower so you deserve it!  Enjoy!

img_3231

 

WHY I MARCHED

img_3174

With my mom and stepmom at the Connecticut State Capitol building

Yesterday I had the privilege of standing with women, children, and male allies at the Connecticut Women’s March, lending our voices to the fight against injustice and standing in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington and the 600 events happening worldwide.  There were an estimated 10,000 participants in CT and 1 million worldwide.

I marched for every little girl who has been taught her voice and value are not important.

I marched for every women who has experienced the glass ceiling and had her ideas and contributions undervalued and under appreciated.

I marched for the right to make my own decisions regarding my body and reproductive health.

I marched for the LGBTQ community who are not awarded the same rights as I, a cisgendered woman, am.

I marched for the minority communities and their daily struggle for racial equality.

And most importantly, I marched for my son in the hopes that his future will be a little bit brighter because of my participation and the millions of others across the globe who stood with me.

I feel so honored to have participated in such a historic event but know the fight has just begun.  I will not be silenced until all people are awarded the same fundamental human rights.

img_3147

No sugar added Apple-Banana-Carrot Muffins

image

As Logan quickly approaches his first birthday he suddenly  has become an extremely picky eater.  I think it has less to  do with the flavors and more with textures at this point, but it makes mealtime very frustrating. Because of this I’ve tried to get creative with the food he will eat. He is a huge fan of bananas and applesauce so I wanted a way to combine those 2 in something with a little more texture.  I found this recipe for Apple-Banana-Carrot muffins and was sold.  There is no added sugar, it is sweetened only with applesauce, which makes these even more appealing especially for Logan.

These muffins are surprisingly good even without any added sugar. They are just slightly sweet from the added fruits and vegetable and you just feel healthy eating them!

I made a few alterations to the recipe  and was pleased with the outcome – I used canola oil instead of coconut oil, 2 bananas instead of 1, omitted the ground almonds and replaced with regular flour in the same amount, and also left out the walnuts. Logan hasn’t tried any nuts yet so I made sure to completely avoid them – I’m sure these muffins are great with them added though.

If you’re looking for a healthy muffin, especially for your littles, I’d definitely give this a try!

 

 

Apple-Raspberry Tart

Fall is right on our doorstep and the cooler weather makes me so excited for pumpkins, apple desserts, Halloween, and cozy sweaters.  Although we’ve had a recent bout of unseasonably warm temps (mid-90s in September!), Logan and I decided to get in the fall spirit with some apple picking.  We met a good friend of mine and her son at a nearby orchard and walked away with a bag of tasty apples and a few pints of raspberries. It was Logan’s first time fruit picking and he seemed to have a good time – or I should say he seemed to have a good time sampling the fruit!

I was looking for an easy apple recipe and found this one for a rustic apple- raspberry tart.  Crisp, tart apples and sweet raspberries combine in a freeform style crust that is baked until browned and the filling hot and bubbling.  I love the idea of a a freeform crust because you don’t have to be so precise in rolling out and shaping the dough.  You simply roll it out into a general circle, pile the filling in the middle, and fold the edges up around the filling.  I baked mine a little longer than the recipe called for in order to achieve a nice golden crust. We ate ours warm with vanilla ice cream and it was simply delicious!

 

image

 

CILANTRO-LIME SHRIMP

This summer has been CRAZY.  We have been unbelievably busy and I’ve been working on being more present in whatever I do – especially during my time with Logan, family, and friends.   Unfortunately that means not always having time to blog and is the reason it’s been over 2 months since my last post!

Our nights are pretty scheduled at this point and Logan has a 7pm bedtime so I’m always looking for quick and easy options for dinner.  We try to have family meals together but time is usually working against us.  There is something about summer that makes me want to grill.  Meat, vegetables, fruit – you name it, I’ll grill it so I was really happy to find this recipe for cilantro-lime shrimp. The shrimp marinates in a mix of cilantro, lime, garlic and olive oil and then cooks up in under 5 minutes.  We had ours with a side of couscous and grilled squash but it would be great in tacos or with pasta.  The marinade would taste great on chicken as well!  Enjoy!

IMG_4269IMG_4271

OUR WORLD LATELY AND HOT SUMMER FUN

Well I took a bit of an (unintentional) hiatus from my blog.  Life has been BUSY lately and soon one day of not blogging turned into one week, one month, and here we are 6 weeks later!

Logan turned 8 months on Sunday (can you believe it?!) and becomes increasingly mobile everyday.  He is fully crawling and even pulling himself up to standing.  Gone are the days of leaving him in one spot and expecting him be there when we return!   Most days Matt and I get home from work and spend a few hours chasing him around, complete his bedtime routine, eat dinner, wash and prepare bottles for the next day, and collapse into bed.  Over the past few weekends we’ve visited my dad’s farm in  Maryland and went to the Smithsonian National Zoo, hosted a Memorial Day BBQ and started some yard projects including planting a vegetable garden and started landscaping under the front window.  I also uncovered Matt’s plan to throw me a surprise 30th birthday party over 4th of July weekend (30 in 15 days OH MY GOODNESS) so we’ve been planning that as well.

Summer is my absolute favorite season and I’m so excited to have Logan experience some of my favorite activities.  Our summer “bucket list” is below.

  • Visit the Mystic Aquarium
  • Take Logan to the beach for the first time – I have this swim diaper and baby sunblock all set to go.  I am still on the hunt for a beach umbrella or beach tent though.
  • Visit the Coventry Farmer’s Market as much as possible
  • Attend the Vermont Brewers Festival – we went last year but I was pregnant and couldn’t fully participate.  This also means leaving Logan with my mom for a whole weekend!  I don’t know if I’m ready for that but it will be nice for Matt and I to get away
  • Take the boat to at least one Music on the River concert
  • Go for family walks each night.  There is a rails-to-trail route right by our house that we should take advantage of more often!
  • Make pesto, grilled vegetables, and salads from our garden
  • Take Logan on his first flight – we are headed to Michigan in August for a family reunion.  Any tips for traveling with a baby??
  • Plan a 24 hour whirlwind tour of Chicago.  We are flying in and out of Chicago on our way to Michigan and will be there overnight before flying home.  Neither Matt or I have been before so I’m hoping to visit some key spots during our short stay
  • Eat lobster!  There are spots down on the CT shoreline where you can buy it fresh off the boat.  NOTHING is better than a fresh lobster.
  • Have a date night with Matt at least twice a month.  Enjoying a meal and wine outside during the warm summer months is my favorite and we need the time to reconnect with each other.
  • Attend Sailfest to see the fireworks display

What activities are you looking forward to this summer?  I also hope to blog more!

TACOS AL PASTOR

image.jpegWe eat tacos at least once a week in our house. They are a quick and easy meal, though we tend to follow the same recipe – ground beef, cheddar/Colby-jack cheese, lettuce, tomato.  This weekend I decided to mix things up and follow this recipe for Tacos al Pastor.

The pork is slow cooked in a pineapple, chipotle, beer sauce making it slightly sweet and smokey and the pork super tender.  The meat is shredded and mixed back in with the sauce right before serving atop corn tortillas with pineapple, avocado, red onion, cilantro, and goat cheese.

These tacos are surely a family favorite!  The flavor of the meat is quite versatile and could easily be served on rolls with cheddar cheese or with rice and beans.

imageimage

FRIDAY FAVORITE

You guys, this shirt is chambray and peplum…need I say more?!  Denim on denim is one of my favorite looks and the peplum detailing gives it a fresh spin.

image

 

The fit is a bit loose which is great for my post- baby body, but you might want to size down if looking to purchase this top. ( Also, it’s on sale right now plus you can get an extra 30% off ordering online so don’t wait!)

I found some tips for wearing double denim to avoid the dreaded Canadian Tuxedo look (no disrespect intended Canada!).  I paired it with some darker jeans, a black cardigan, and black flats for casual Friday at work, but this top would look great with white jeans and wedges as well for a spring date.

image