Monday, October 31, 2016

A Month of Dinners: Menu Plan for November

In an attempt to make our lives a little easier, I'm planning all of our dinners for November at once.


Happy Halloween, everyone!

Even though today is the actual holiday, our family been celebrating since last week. Caroline had her first Halloween parade and party at school on Friday -- so adorable! I'm so impressed by the number of family members who came by to watch the kids walk around the building.

I'm swamped at work, so I wasn't going to go at first. But I think the "mom guilt" started to set in because, the next thing I knew, I was driving over to the school. It was so worth it to see her in her Halloween costume, and I'm glad I made the effort to show up for her. She likely won't remember it, but I will.

When we got home from school, we had less than an hour to transition to our second round of Halloween fun. Our town has a tradition of trick-or-treating on Friday, no matter what day of the week Halloween is, so we were out ringing doorbells by six o'clock.

By the time she was down for the night, I could hardly keep my own eyes open. It took the better part of the weekend for me to recover from all the rushing around... which is one of the reasons why I nearly to share our menu plan for November.

Without further ado, here's what I have planned!

Monday, October 24, 2016

How To: Make and Freeze Homemade Baby Food {Applesauce}

Apples are a great choice for one of your baby's first foods -- they're easy to digest, are a great source of fiber, and are so versatile, they can be paired with almost any other purée.

This shouldn't come as a shock, but I am completely in awe of my daughter. She's bubbly when she's happy and stoic when she's not. She surprises us every day by using new words and demonstrating new skills. And, much to our chagrin, she's showing us her mischievous side earlier than we expected to see it.

I'm amazed by how fast she picks things up and by how much she's learned in the few months she's been in school. Sometimes, it's difficult to wrap my head around how much she's changed over the past 19 months. A year ago, solids were still new to her. But in the past few weeks alone, she's eaten a wide variety of things with gusto (especially this, this, this, and this...) and has asked for multiple helpings with enthusiasm. Her willingness to eat whatever we put in front of her is astounding!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Bell Hall - Allentown, PA

Located in the heart of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Bell Hall offers gourmet burgers, innovative cocktails, and a wide selection of craft beers.

Now that I'm working, it's much easier for me to meet friends for dinner during the week. And working downtown makes it easier for me to check out the new restaurant scene in Allentown. So many restaurants have opened since Caroline was born, and I'm glad I finally have a chance to try some of them.

Among the restaurants on that list is Bell Hall. Located in an historic building, everything about this gourmet burger joint just feels modern. The industrial design and decor is cozy and welcoming, and the spacious patio area has a chill vibe to it... And that's where my friend Shannon and I opted to sit when the host asked us whether we wanted a table inside or out.

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Month of Dinners: Menu Plan for October

In an attempt to make our lives a little easier, I'm planning all of our dinners for October at once.

What a week, you guys. I've been putting in full days at the office and taking work home at night to meet tight deadlines. Just when I thought I pulled myself through it, Caroline's teacher called. She had a fever of 102.1 and I had to come pick her up.

My responsibilities at work and the needs of my family have tested my ability to balance at lot of things at once. Not to mention my volunteer work and my blogging tasks... and, while I'm beyond exhausted, even I'm impressed by how I've managed to "do it all".

One of the things that helped keep me on track was our monthly menu plan. Since I already knew what I was making for dinner, I was much more efficient in the kitchen when it came time to cook. That made all the difference when I sat down to work after Caroline was down for the night.

With last month's menu plan as inspiration, here's what I've planned for October... I just hope I can keep this momentum going!