Cooking With a Newborn

Well, I guess Gabriella has moved on from the ‘newborn’ stage…since she is 12 weeks old…but I think it’s no longer ‘newborn stage’ until 3 months. And since she is technically not 3 months yet, I’m sticking with newborn. She is growing up WAY.TOO.QUICK. But I know, they always do!

So I’m sure you have heard how much life changes when you have a baby, or you already know if you are a parent. It completely changes. I mean everything! Of course we totally LOVE the changes, but some take a little bit of getting used to.

One of them being cooking. Now I know that may sound stupid, but let me explain.

Gabriella is NOT the type of baby that will just be content with sitting in her bouncer, or swing, or pack n’ play. Nothing. She wants to be held non stop. You can maybe get about 10 minutes of entertainment out of the bouncer…and then all of the sudden you hear the scream. She’s OVER it. She wants OUT immediately!

(Don’t mind the following pictures, they are all from my phone, so they are kind of grainy)

g bouncer

G in her Rainforest bouncer

g monkey

G in her monkey bouncer (which we ended up returning because it wasn’t what we were hoping for)

g jump

G in her jump a roo. Let me explain this picture so that you can get a good laugh too. You see G is still a bit too little for the jump a roo. So because she is still little for it, I stuck that pillow (thank you Tara, it’s come in handy for things other than just a lounger πŸ™‚ ) underneath of it so that she could reach the ground & bounce around. It is SO FUNNY! I need to tape a video of her in it jumping on the pillow. She still isn’t quite sure what to do with it, so that makes it even better.

On Monday night we had a guest (a friend of Craig’s from college) over for dinner. I prepped everything early so that I wouldn’t be stuck in the kitchen the whole time while he was here. Since Gabriella always wants to be in my arms, and that isn’t always possible while cooking, I had to improvise.

First, she starts in her bouncer.


(don’t mind the eye booger, poor thing has a blocked tear duct, which is very common & usually goes away on it’s own- just a matter of time)

Once she is over the bouncer, I pull the Pack n’ Play into the kitchen & she lays in that & watches her bears.


Then the last resort is the Baby Bjorn. I save this one for last only because it ends up KILLING my back after a while…and she will stay in it for HOURS at a time, she loves it. I just got a few suggestions on my post about my top 10 must haves for a newborn for an Ergo carrier- I looked into it & I think that will be my next purchase for her. It looks like EXACTLY what I need, especially since it can hold up to I believe 45 lbs.


Please don’t laugh at my attire, lack of putting my hair together or putting any make up on…nothing like sporting one of your husband’s shirts all day & looking like a total bum. Just call me a fashionista πŸ˜‰

I’m just amazed at HOW much she loves that Bjorn. If I put her facing inward (towards me), she falls asleep in about 2.5 seconds. But I was trying to keep her awake the other day because it was getting close to her bedtime..and I didn’t want her to take a nap because she wouldn’t want to go to bed.

But YES, now you see how CRAZY I look when cooking. I swear if you were a fly on the wall you would laugh the whole time. Just because when I don’t have her attached to me, I am constantly singing, dancing & acting like a TOTAL fool so that she keeps laughing πŸ˜€

Along with the pasta dish that I made for dinner, I also made dessert. Not just ANY dessert. A Sally dessert. The BEST kind of dessert! πŸ™‚ As you know, I recently became addicted to her website & have a LIST of her recipes to make. I’m slowly crossing them off & I swear each one gets better. Is that even possible?!

The dessert I decided to make was Cake Batter Blondies.Β  I knew this would be a winner because I mean who doesn’t love cake batter?!?

I followed Sally’s recipe exactly, I just left out the white chocolate chips because I didn’t have any. I also didn’t have the full amount of sprinkles that the recipe call for, but I can assure you it did not matter! These Blondies were OUT OF THIS WORLD.

Cake Batter Blondies

(Recipe slightly adapted From Sally’s Baking Addiction)

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Β Spray 9×9 baking dish with nonstick spray. Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl. Add the milk slowly. You want to cake batter to be as dense & thick as possible. Mix in the sprinkles.Pour into prepared baking pan, sprinkle a few more sprinkles on top, and bake for 30-32 minutes until edges are just turning brown. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes so the center sets, before cutting into squares.

*The blondies will look like they are not fully done because the center will be quite gooey, but that’s what you want! After about 30 minutes of cooling, they will be easy to cut using a serrated knife.



So. So. So. Good. Like you have to take them away from me good. Otherwise I will keep eating them. The best part about them? How moist they are! (& I HATE that word moist, ew, but it’s the only way to describe them) If you do anything today, I suggest you make these. Had a fight with your significant other? Make these. ALL will be forgiven. I promise. πŸ˜‰


Gabriella wanted to wear something to match the blondies…and I mean, who am I to stop her?! πŸ˜‰

Hope you have a wonderful day…it’s ALMOST the weekend! Just keep reminding yourself of that if you are having a rough week. πŸ™‚


Skinny Bowtie Cheesy Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Good Morning!

We’ve made it half way thru the week. That’s an accomplishment in itself this week! I don’t know why, but this week has been NON stop for me. I’m looking forward to the weekend, especially because of that little game known as the Super Bowl on Sunday πŸ˜‰

I know I’ve talked about my Pinterest addiction before, don’t we all have least a little bit?! πŸ™‚ I love going on there for new ideas, particularly for new recipes. I found one for Spicy Romano Chicken with Artichoke Hearts & Sundried Tomatos and I knew I had to try it right away.

I actually tried it about a month ago, but added the two teaspoons of cayenne pepper as the directions indicated…even though the author warns about the extreme spiciness of the dish. I figured, eh, why not?! I can handle the heat. HA! Boy was I wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed the dish, but literally had to chug a glass of water between each bite.

I KNEW I wanted to make this meal again, but I just had to put my own little spin on it. I made it healthier by using Greek Yogurt instead of heavy cream, added some seasonings, left out the cayenne (replaced it with red pepper flakes), and changed the type of cheese used.

Skinny Bowtie Cheesy Pasta with Chicken Sausage

(Adapted from this recipe )


The Sauce:

  • 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
  • 4 Tbsp butter (or margarine)
  • 2 tspΒ  salt
  • 1 – 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (optional, but makes it a little more ‘saucy’)

The Rest:

  • 12 ounce package of bowtie pasta cooked and drained according to package directions – al dente.
  • 1Β  Tbsp melted butter (or margarine)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (or small can sliced mushrooms, drained)
  • 1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 12 oz chicken sausage (can be more than 12oz if you wish- can also interchange different protein types)
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Greek Yogurt (again, I used 0% Chobani)
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

How To Make It:


  • Melt butter in saute pan or skillet. Add greek yogurt, salt and pepper, heat to a boil. Remove from heat and fold in cheeses, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning and chicken broth. Set aside.

(Yes, I know that looks kind of gross, but I promise it tastes good!)

The Rest:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter, then add mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes. Stir for one minute.
  • Next add artichokes and chicken sausage. Stir.


(that’s the sausage that I used- DELICIOUS- and from Target.)

  • Stir in 1 ounce heavy cream and 1/2 of the sauce. Add bowtie pasta followed by rest of the sauce. Stir gently. Serve. Top each portion with a bit of parmesan cheese.




This dish is SO easy to make, and it comes to together pretty quicky. You can also MAKE IT AHEAD of time (which is what I did), just make the meal, cover & refrigerate it. Once you are ready to eat it, heat you oven to 300 degrees, and bake covered with foil for about 25 minutes, or until heated.

I love taking recipes & making them healthier. One of my favorite substitutions for butter, sour cream & heavy cream is Chobani 0% greek yogurt. Not only does it reduce the calories in the recipe, but it also adds protein!

We are VERY much a Chobani family! πŸ™‚


G is working on becoming the next spokeswoman for Chobani πŸ˜‰

As always, I would love to know if you try the recipe, ALL feedback is welcome.

Healthy Living Survey

I’ve seen this survey floating around the ‘blog world’ lately and thought I would do it! I think it’s pretty old, and I do NOT know the original source (sorry!), if you do, please let me know I’m happy to link it back to the creator of the survey. πŸ™‚

1. What did you eat for breakfast?
A banana with crunchy peanut butter. It’s what I eat everyday. I know, I’m SO exciting πŸ˜‰

2. How much water do you drink a day?

A LOT. Especially with breastfeeding, I am ALWAYS thirsty. But I have always been really good about drinking a TON of water.

3. What is your current favorite workout?

Running. Everyday. Love it. One of my favorite parts of my day because I always go with my littlest running partner, G$ πŸ˜‰
g run

This was her on our run yesterday. I’m just SO entertaining to her…she can’t help but drool!

4. How many calories do you eat daily?

I have no idea. I do not count. I would say around 1200- 1500 maybe..? Not sure. I do love a nice cup of frozen yogurt every night. It’s a mandatory thing.

Current favorite:
SamoasIceCream (Edy’s half the fat Samoas ice cream)

5. Favorite healthy snacks.

Chobani Greek Yogurt– new favorite flavor is pear! SO good!
cho pear

Also apples, pears (I CANNOT get enough of pears lately), PopChips, and animal crackers. <–the plain animal crackers that some people say taste like card board. They must be crazy πŸ˜‰

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

Salad. Pretty much every day. Or a peanut butter & banana sandwich with honey & cinnamon. See a trend? PB + banana. The BEST combination ever.

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?


(do NOT laugh πŸ˜‰ )

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

Back. I just get bored with it. But I still do it.

9. What are your ‘bad’ food cravings?

Umm, I guess you could say frozen yogurt/ light ice cream…which I don’t see as ‘bad.’ I think it’s important to have a little something you enjoy EVERY day. That’s part of why I workout so much- to eat what I like & not feel guilty. Because who wants to live like that?!

Also I LOVE carbs. Bread, bread & more bread. Yum.

Oh, and wine. Lots of wine. Does that count?! πŸ˜‰


10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

Yep, a prenatal vitamin everyday. That’s it.

11. How often do you eat out?

Well, not often. Like actually ‘out, out’ probably close to never. I’m not one to take a baby to a restaurant, I would feel REALLY bad if she started crying..and with all of the flu going around I try not to take G out too much. But we do get take out- maybe once a week, if that. I truly enjoy cooking.

12. Do you eat fast food?

Nope. Unless Subway counts…or Panera. Because I love both of those. Especially the Fuji Apple Chicken salad from Panera. SO GOOD! I try to recreate it at home, and that’s typically what I eat for lunch everyday.

Turkey-Fuji-Apple-Salad-Panera (just no onions, bleh.)

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

My husband, Craig. Love him so much.


14. Do you have a gym membership?

Yep! I just don’t get to go as often as I used too, which is why I’ve taken up running every day. I used to run maybe 3-4 times a week, but now G & I go everyday. She’s getting really good at it- she’s made it to 7 miles with me now! …then she starts to get bored.

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Ha, is this one of those ‘joke’ questions?! No, I’m just kidding. We are lucky, G is a pretty good sleeper. Ever since I started putting her down to bed earlier (around 6/ 6:30pm) she has been doing really AWESOME at night. *knock on wood* She will get up between 12am & 1am to eat, and then back to bed…and then up again between 3:30am & 4:30am to eat. So all together I would say around 5-6 hours a night. Which, for a new baby, I will TOTALLY take! I think I’m doing pretty good!


Who doesn’t love a sleeping baby? πŸ™‚ (she was SO little here…can’t believe how much she has grown up in the past weeks)

16. Do you have a ‘cheat’ day?

Nope. I eat something I enjoy every day, which is usually my cup of frozen yogurt every night.

17. Do you drink alcohol?

YES. Not much right now, with breast feeding. But I do have a glass of wine or two or three a week πŸ˜‰ And for my birthday (December 26th) Craig took me out for the day (G’s Grandparents & Aunt watched her) & with dinner I had a few drinks, so I ‘pumped and dumped.’


Mmmmm the ‘dirty banana’ drink from our honeymoon in St. Lucia. Ahhh, take me back there ASAP! πŸ˜‰

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

Oh, you know it. This girl right here:


Have you seen enough of G yet today?! πŸ˜‰

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a Healthy Lifestyle?

Well, honestly, I have always lived a healthy lifestyle. It’s not something I just embarked on. I started running competitively in high school, and since then haven’t turned back. I DEFINITELY took ‘healthy living’ to an EXTREME during my high school days…and went through some VERY trying times (I’m sure you know if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time), but I have learned that life is about BALANCE. You cannot be too extreme one way or the other.

high school cc

Me running cross country in high school.

20. What is the last healthy thing you did?

Did a nice full body weight workout this morning, and as soon as the little miss wakes up we are going for our run! Think we may do 6 miles today…just depends on her & her mood. πŸ˜€

Hope you had a great weekend & I hope you have a good Monday…or at least try to πŸ˜‰

Top 10 Must Haves for a Newborn

Happy 8 days until the SuperBowl πŸ˜‰

I thought I would (hopefully) help a few Moms to be out and make a few lists of baby must haves…starting with a list of things for newborns.

These are all just my opinion, of course. I know when I was pregnant I searched ALL over the internet for ideas, read THOUSANDS of reviews, but the BEST ideas came from my family. I had so many people to go to when looking for advice for items that I needed.

Not going to lie, it was SO nice having all of these family members to go to. Building a baby registry is a lot of work! I know that sounds silly, but there is SO MUCH research involved. It’s not like a wedding registry where you just register for things you like or want. Wedding registries are FUN, baby registries are fun, but also can be stressful because there are SO many products that it can be overwhelming.

Below are my favorite items that we got for Gabriella, they are not in a particular order, just listed as I think of them. πŸ™‚

1. Fisher Price Rock N’ Play

These are actually recommended for babies with acid reflux. G did not have acid reflux (thankfully), but we used this as her bassinet. This is what she slept in when we had her in our room & it is what she continues to sleep in in her room. We had to move her out of our room at about 10 weeks because she is SUCH A GRUNTER. Craig & I went without sleep for three nights…and we were seriously delusional and we knew we needed to do something. We put her in her room (in her rock n’ play) & since then it’s been wonderful! I think all three of us sleep better. I had planned to keep her in our room until at LEAST three months, but it just wasn’t working.

2. Baby BjornImage

This thing has been LIFE SAVING. G LOVES this thing. I put her in it & she’s asleep in literally about 2 minutes. No lie. It’s how I clean the house, cook dinner, run errands, etc. She just sits in her bjorn & is one happy little girl. One tip is that I suggest upgrading to the more expensive Bjorn. This one was a bit more, but SO WORTH IT. My sister has the original Bjorn and it’s great for when they are in it facing you, but when you go to face them outward there is not much support on there little bottoms, so it’s pretty uncomfortable.

3. Pampers SwaddlersImage

Why Pampers Swaddlers & not another type of Pampers…the Stripe that changes color when they go to the bathroom. Why? The husband. πŸ˜‰ I’m OCD about changing diapers, which is why G has never gotten diaper rash. (knock on wood) But Craig loves that it has a stripe so he knows when she’s ready for a change. Sometimes it may SMELL as if she needs a change, but the stripe will let you know for sure. This girl is a gassy little thing. πŸ˜‰

4. PJ’s with a ZIPPER


Again, why a zipper? Same answer: Husband πŸ˜‰ He HATES the snaps. I don’t mind them, but they are more of a pain. Much easier when changing a diaper in the middle of the night with a zipper rather than snaps. He will thank you πŸ˜€

5. Mustela Products for Bathtime


Yes, they are pretty pricy products, but it’s the only thing I use on G. My sister recommended these to me. I had never heard of the brand until I was pregnant. They are very gentle on baby’s skin & head, and they also have a nice fresh smell that is not too overwhelming. Another thing I like is that they have a ‘no rinse’ product that you can just use for a quick clean on days you don’t give baby a bath.(you don’t need to bathe them daily)

6. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat


This is the car seat we have & we really like it. We have also seen the Britax, my sister in law has it, and we liked that one too. We just picked this one after looking at reviews on Consumer Reports. But either way, you NEED a car seat, just make sure it’s safe! This one came with an infant insert & a head rest, which was nice. Just make sure you remove the infant insert when they get bigger…otherwise it gets uncomfortable for them. I couldn’t figure out why G was SCREAMING when we put her in the car seat (aren’t babies supposed to love to go for car rides?!) well, it’s because the infant insert was still in there- and at 4 weeks I guess she was too big for it. Once I removed it she was like any other baby & will normally fall asleep on the car ride.

7. Automatic Nasal Aspirator


One word to describe this product: AMAZING. I LOVE this thing. Babies get boogers. A lot of them. And those stupid nasal aspirators that you get from the hospital do NOT work. They suck. (no pun intended πŸ˜‰ Oh geez, did I really just do that?!) This thing straight up SUCKS those boogers right out. Never thought I would be able to go on & on about a boogie sucker…but I really could. BUY THIS! (& thank me later πŸ˜‰ )

8. Boppy Pillow


I’m sure you have all heard of these. Great for breast feeding AND bottle feeding. Just don’t forget the protective cover (for spit up, and just normal feeding…babies drip out of their mouths πŸ˜‰ ) and all of the cute slip covers!

9. Medela Double Electric Breast Pump (if breast feeding)


I am exclusively breast feeding & cannot recommend this pump enough. Yes, it’s pricy…but put it on your registry, maybe someone will get it for you..and if they don’t, use one of the coupons (usually 15% off entire purchase) you get from the stores you register at for the ‘remaining items on your registry’ for this pump. It’s worth it. The week I came home from the hospital I started pumping to start building up the supply in the freezer for later use. This pump makes it SO easy & super quick, not like you have a ton of free time with a newborn. πŸ˜‰ Oh, and if breast feeding, don’t forget NURSING BRAS. Your boobs leak. Yes, they really do. You will see. My sister in law recommended THESE bras from Target, and I LOVE them. They are cheaper than Medela bras, and they are really comfortable. They are more like a sports bra. And you’ll need nursing pads to put in your bras. They are super attractive πŸ˜‰

10. Burp / Spit Up Cloths


Ok, maybe I shouldn’t advertise this, but those striped blankets that EVERY newborn (see picture above) gets in the hospital are the BEST burp cloths I have found. We took EVERY one of the blankets that were in our hospital room home with us. Don’t know if we were supposed to, but we did. Oops?! πŸ˜‰ If you can, take them!

Now these are things I recommend having RIGHT away. There are a TON of other things I can recommend once they are a few weeks old, but for the initial couple of weeks- these are MUST haves. (Swings, bouncers, etc. are some of the things I can recommend using after the first few weeks- because they probably won’t be interested in them right away.)

I hope this list helps someone out! I know how stressful making a baby registry can be.

If you have any other suggestions, please leave them below!


Our daughter is born….absolute BEST day of my life. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And the Ravens are going to the SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I think G had something to do with it πŸ˜€




Funny thing, Craig just said ‘Our daughter is going to think this is normal. The Ravens go to the SuperBowl & the Orioles make the playoffs.’ Haha! πŸ˜€

Two weeks BABY! Harbaugh Bowl!!!!!!!

Circuit Workout & A Purple and Black Weekend

Good FRIDAY Morning!!! πŸ˜€

I CANNOT wait for this weekend…it’s the BIG weekend. Ravens vs. Patriots…again πŸ˜‰ But this time I hope we have a different outcome.


…& so does G πŸ˜‰

Anyways, a lot of people have asked how I was able to get back to my pre- pregnancy body so quickly.


(that was about 4 weeks post G…funny because I wore this outfit yesterday to the gym. I’m now addicted to Luluemon, thanks to my best friend Lea. My wallet is not as happy.)

The main reason was that I stayed active my entire pregnancy. I actually ran the day before I gave birth to Gabriella. I worked out six days a week- weights & running. Of course no HIIT because that is too intense for pregnancy, but I was still lifting heavy & logging some pretty good mileage. Call me crazy, but working out has always been my ‘thing.’ Completely a stress reliever, and just ‘me time.’

After a workout I always feel refreshed, and ready to take on the day. I also LOVE the saying ‘You are one workout away from a good mood.’ How true is that?!

…and, like I’ve said before, I now realize HOW thankful I am to be able to workout.

Now that I have Gabriella, most days we run. We are high mileage girls now πŸ™‚ I used to be more of a weights girl, but that’s because I was able to go to the gym. Now I can’t really go to the gym because I can’t take G there. She’s not quite ready to pump iron yet πŸ˜‰


But look, she tries. Do you see her little hand weights? πŸ™‚ And don’t you make fun of her high waters. πŸ˜‰ It was her last time wearing this outfit, it was newborn size. She is now in 3 months, but she had to get one more wear out of it since her Grandma & PapaNote (Grandpa) are in town.

Monday through Thursday I don’t go to the gym, those are the days G & I run in the morning (we try to do 5-6 miles each day), and then afterwards I try to do a weight workout while G naps. She likes to take her long nap in her swing.


(pretend her eyes are closed πŸ™‚ )

When she takes her “long-ish” morning or afternoon nap I break out the weights & get started. I have a small collection of weights, along with an exercise ball, yoga mat & a bunch of exercise DVDs…although I really only use the Jillian Michaels ones, on occasion. I prefer to do my own workouts.Image

But now when I do get the chance to go to the gym, I take FULL advantage of my time. I used to do workouts for each body part- like back/ biceps, legs, chest/ triceps – but now I don’t have enough days in the week to do that. So most of my workouts are now usually full body, upper body or lower body. I kind of had to break it into chunks now.

I can’t lie, I do enjoy doing full body workouts, I always have. Some of my favorite types of workouts are circuit style. I like the non stop style, and the constant change in the body part being worked.

The workout below is one that I did the other day & I loved it!! I ended with 15 minutes on the stairmaster- alternating running the stairs (level 20- the highest) & walking the steps at a pretty good pace (level 8- 10) for recovery.

Here is the circuit that I did three times through, followed by the stairmaster.

15 Step Ups (each leg)10- 12 Bicep Curls (HEAVY- I used 20lbs. in each hand)
20 incline situps holding weight
10 oblique crunches on incline with weight(each side)
20 plie squats
10 pushups (I did them on an incline, using the bench)
20 cable tricep pressdowns
15 dumbbell chest presses
20 lateral raises
15 lunges (each leg)
20 tricep dips
20 upright rows
20 deadlifts
12 lat pulldowns
25 crunches on Bosu balls (weighted)
10 burpees with jump (using a medicine ball for the jump up)

If you have any questions regarding any of the moves above, just let me know πŸ™‚

Also please let me know if you try this workout, I’d love to know what you think! I have a LOT of workouts to share, if you guys are interested.

Well, I really hope you guys enjoy your weekend! …and if you need someone to cheer for, the Ravens would love another fan. πŸ˜€

G will send you kisses if you root for them.


M & M Addict

Someone got into the M&M’s yesterday & it wasn’t me. We won’t name names…


She was trying to be all sneaky about it πŸ˜‰ She takes after her Granddad, with his love for M & M’s. πŸ™‚

Since they were opened, I figured I would make another Sally recipe that I had been eying – Peanut Butter M & M Cookies. Told you, I cannot get enough of her recipes!

Who doesn’t love the combination of peanut butter & chocolate?! I swear it’s like heaven on earth.

I don’t know about you, but I go through peanut butter like I go through water. It’s bad. But oh so good πŸ˜€

You know how I said I love to have easy go to snacks around the house? Well, peanut butter is another one of my favorite snacks. Nothing better than a spoonful of peanut butter to get you through a rough afternoon πŸ˜‰

As I was reading through her recipe, every ingredient just kept getting better. Brown sugar, peanut butter & M & Ms….Oh my!


I showed Gabriella the batter…and this was her reaction:


She started licking her fingers. She was pretending it was the cookie dough.

Then I did something really mean.


Bad Mommy.

She really just wanted to take her bath in the batter, but I told her I didn’t think that was a good idea.

She was mad at me for the rest of the day.

One day, Gabriella, one day. πŸ˜€

Anyways, I can’t rave enough about these cookies. I took one bite, and they immediately reminded me of cookies from Great American Cookie Co.(the batter even looks like the picture below!)


Do those even exist anymore?? I remember I used to LOVE the cheesecake brownie from there, which was weird because I don’t even like cheesecake. But for years I have been trying to find the ‘copycat’ recipe for those delicious brownies.

But their cookies were ALWAYS so soft & chewy, which are the best kind of cookies in my opinion. Those people that like hard, crunchy cookies make me wonder about them. πŸ˜‰

I followed Sally’s recipe exactly and I wouldn’t change a thing. They are PERFECT the way they are.

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

makes 3 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups M&Ms


In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed.Β  Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Slowly mix in the baking soda and flour. Do not overmix.Β  Fold in theΒ M&Ms with a wooden spoon.Β Β Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop chilled dough by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet or silpat. Β I pressed a few M&Ms on top of the dough balls.Β  Press the balls down (only slightly) since they won’t spread much while baking. Β Bake for 8-9 minutes.Β  Cookies will be soft and may appear undone.Β  They will firm up as they cool.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy!

*You may use unsalted butter in this recipe.Β  If so, add 1/4 tsp salt with the flour.




And the ONLY possible way to make these cookies any better is to serve them with a tall, cold glass of milk.


That’s one thing G & I definitely agree on! πŸ˜€

Addicted to Sally

Good Morning!

Ok, so how is it that I JUST discovered the blog Sally’s Baking Addiction?!

I happened to see a recipe on Pinterest that I liked, so I re-pinned it, then clicked on the link to get the recipe. Well, as soon as I got to her website I seriously went PIN crazy. (don’t we all have those pin crazy days?! Haha! ) I think I pinned nearly every one of her recipes!!!Β  All of the photos make me drool. I wish I could reach through my screen and try each & every one of her baked goods.

I have a bunch of recipes that I am dying to make, but this weekend I was looking for something quick, & easy to throw together.

I always like to have little snacks around the house, in those moments of ‘MUST. EAT. NOW.’ Having a newborn means that sometimes my meals are put on hold. It’s not that I don’t want to eat, I just completely forget to because it feels like we are going a mile a minute. So in times like those, it’s nice to have bite size snacks ready made.

My freezer is usually full of Healthy Bites, which are ALWAYS my go to snack. (let me know if you need any flavor suggestions, Lindsay has SO many great ones!)Β  They are awesome, and they tide me over until I can eat a real meal.

Since my Healthy Bite supply was running low, I figured I would try to find a recipe for something similar. That’s when I came across Funfetti Granola Bites– packed with oats, natural sugars, & of course some sprinkles thrown in for fun. πŸ™‚


I followed Sally’s recipe almost exactly, I just had to change the cake mix used because I didn’t have any yellow cake mix on hand. I also didn’t use quite as many sprinkles….I know, I’m a bore. πŸ˜‰

Funfetti Granola Bites

Slightly Adapted Recipe Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

Funfetti Granola Bites

  • 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup funfetti cake mix (the dry cake mix)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir well, until all oats are moistened. This will take some elbow grease!

Refrigerate mixture for AT LEAST 1 hour (preferably 2 – you want the whole mixture pretty stiff and stick together well). Remove from refrigerator and roll into balls. Enjoy!

I got about 3 dozen out of the recipe.



Not only are these DELICIOUS, but they are SUPER easy & quick to make!

These are definitely going to be on hand in our house at all times! The other thing I like is that there are so many variations that can be made from this recipe. I’m thinking next time I’ll add some chia seeds or flax to the mix…for some added nutrients πŸ™‚

I am VERY MUCH looking forward to making more of Sally’s recipes this week. I already have two picked out to make today! G & I are going to be very busy in the kitchen this afternoon. I’m glad that my girl likes to cook, like her Momma. πŸ˜€

I hope you have a good Tuesday….hey, at least it’s not Monday, right?! πŸ˜‰

Before I go, G wanted to say hi!



She hopes you have a GREAT day too πŸ˜‰

My Crohn’s Disease Post Pregnancy

Finally. Can you believe it? I’m FINALLY writing this post about my Crohn’s Disease post pregnancy! πŸ˜€

If you have been reading my blog (& previous blog) for a while, you know that I have Crohn’s Disease. I was diagnosed at 16 years old, and for the past 10 years it has been pretty severe. I was on some pretty strong medications, and at one point the disease was so bad that I couldn’t even drive. Which means I had to actually work from home at one point because it was so bad.

But in February 2012 I found out I was pregnant! πŸ˜€ It was actually on Leap Day- how cool, right?


I was a little nervous about my Crohn’s disease. You really are not supposed to try to get pregnant if your Crohn’s disease is flaring up. My Crohn’s was definitely no where near being in ‘remission’ & I was having a LOT of issues with it when I found out I was pregnant. I immediately stopped taking all medication for it, until I spoke to my gastroenterologist.

I was able to get into my gastro’s office the very next day so that we could discuss everything. He informed me that typically when patients with Crohn’s get pregnant their symptoms either ‘hide’ during the pregnancy OR they get worse. That’s what scared me. I did NOT want the disease to get any worse…it was already pretty bad. But either way, I was going to do whatever was best for my baby.


After speaking with my doctor, and having him answer all of my questions he put me back on the really mild medication, Asacol. I was on the medication years ago, but it was too mild to treat my symptoms. It was really the only ‘safe’ medication for pregnancy. There are other medications that you CAN be on during pregnancy, if your Crohn’s starts to flare up. If your symptoms are so severe that you are losing a bunch of weight & nutrients, obviously you have to do what is best for your body- and that may mean being on a stronger medication. If you are so ill from the disease while pregnant, obviously your baby is not getting the nutrients that it needs, so you need to do what is best for your illness, which could be a stronger medication. (& that’s OKAY! Do not get too hard on yourself!!- stress during pregnancy is NOT good)

Thankfully my Crohn’s actually went into remission during my whole pregnancy. I could NOT believe it. I had NEVER felt better in my ENTIRE life. I felt like a whole new woman. I didn’t need to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes, I didn’t have to miss events because of the disease, I was able to truly ENJOY every second of being pregnant & not having to worry about the disease.


But in the back of my mind I kept wondering how things would be once I delivered my little girl. I was worried, not going to lie. I CANNOT imagine how it would be to take care of a newborn while living with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Having to constantly be in the bathroom while caring for a newborn would be impossible.

Fast forward to now. G is 10 weeks today. (HOLY COW does time FLY.) And I’m still in ‘remission’ from the disease. I’m amazed. I always said she was my little miracle baby, because of how she ‘took away’ my Crohn’s disease during my pregnancy, but she really has no idea (yet!) of what a MIRACLE baby she really is. (for way more reasons that just the Crohn’s, but there are way too many reasons to list πŸ™‚ )

A lot of people thought I was absolutely INSANE for starting to jog/ run at 2 weeks postpartum. But, do you want to know the real reason?? It’s because I CAN. I honestly cannot tell you how long it has been that I was just able to go out & ENJOY a run without having to know where every single bathroom was along my run. And honestly I haven’t been able to run outside for a LONG time- I always had to run on the treadmill- due to needing a bathroom near by.

I did run during my pregnancy…actually up until the day she was born. (I even did a run the morning we went into the hospital to have her πŸ™‚ ) But I thought the whole idea of running outside was just a temporary thing…that once she was delivered, I would be back to the treadmill.

(weekend before we had her- that was after our run as a little family. Craig went with me πŸ™‚ )

Well, I was wrong. & I’m SO SO SO glad I was!!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜€

No longer do I take running for granted. When I was in high school, on the cross country & track teams, I never really valued how LUCKY I was to be ABLE to run. I really never even thought about NOT being able to run.

Now every time I go for a run I cherish it. Whenever I really don’t feel like going for a run (which is VERY rare these days), I just remind myself of the times when I couldn’t run & that just makes me want to run longer.

G & I run daily and I love every minute of our runs. She is my favorite running partner. πŸ™‚ I feel like she remembers when we would go for runs when she was still in my belly…haha! I think she was born a runner.


(out for a run this past week. She’s a lucky girl..gets to go for a run in her pj’s πŸ˜‰ )

I love that I get to run with her. She makes me smile the ENTIRE run. I’ve actually had people that I know that have seen me out running with her tell me how they saw me smiling & they could just see my love for her. Melted my heart!

I really hope that the disease continues to stay in remission. I just know that it has really put things into perspective, and it makes me appreciate the littlest things SO much more.

My Ravens Baby!

Goooooooood Morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know a lot of you are friends with me on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, so you have already seen these pictures, but I wanted to share them with those who have not seen them yet.

I have to say, I do believe that we have the CUTEST little Ravens fan in the world. :D







Not going to lie, I really think she was our good luck charm for the game yesterday! :)

Now we have to do the EXACT same thing next weekend. My husband is VERY superstitious regarding Ravens games, even down to what he was drinking during the game. So now we are pretty much going to have deju vu next Sunday! Which means I will have to be talking to my dear friend Janae during the game….since I was during the Broncos game. I told her she was definitely part of why they won! :)

I’m hoping for a Harbaugh brothers Super Bowl…which means Ravens v. 49ers! That would be pretty awesome!!

Anyways I KNOW I’ve been talking doing an update on my Crohn’s disease post pregnancy, and I promise I am going to write it today…so look for it tomorrow :) Right now little G is taking a nap, which is prime time to get things done…top of the list is my Crohn’s post!

Enjoy your day, I know we will! We are still celebrating the win yesterday. Little G is all decked out in Ravens gear. :D