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!

Friday, September 23, 2016

DIY Alphabet Wall Art for the Nursery

In one afternoon, you can create a personalized piece of alphabet wall art that would look great in a nursery, a playroom, or a child's bedroom!

Our house is a bit of a mess right now. We're in the beginning stages of a multi-step project to reconfigure some of the rooms. By moving a bookcase out of the living room and rearranging some furniture, we made room in one of the nooks for my new desk.

I'm moving out of my home office upstairs so we can use the room for Caroline's new playroom. I haven't used my office since before she was born, and the room just became a dumping ground for random things. Now that I'm working full-time, it didn't make sense to waste that space anymore. We have a long way to go until we reach the finish line on this project, but it's a start.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Family-Favorite Potato Salad {and Some Thoughts about My Mom}

This potato salad is a family-favorite. It's the perfect dish for any occasion, from a backyard barbecue to a football tailgate.

First-day-of-school photos flooding your Facebook feed. Pinterest boards filled with healthy lunchbox ideas for kids. PSL everything. Judging by my online world, fall is here.

In real life, though, we're heading into a short heat wave and I'm clinging to summer for as long as I can. Even though I love the fall, I'm refusing to get into an autumn state of mind. Instead, I'm writing about potato salad, a side dish most often associated with summer.

I wanted to share an updated version of my mom's recipe for potato salad last summer. But that didn't happen. And then I planned to share it with you last month. Again, that didn't happen.

I had decided I was okay with delaying the post for yet another year to try and keep my blog content related to the current season. But then I had a panic attack one morning after coming to a terrifying realization -- I'm starting to forget my mother.