Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Easy Maternity Style

It's hot. So hot. And I'm so so so very pregnant. So what do I wear when it's too hot outside to function and I'm too exhausted to put effort into myself? A maternity maxi dress, of course! I am all about easy breezy dresses to make the third trimester as comfortable as possible, and this Gray Space Dye Knit Maternity Maxi Dress from Seraphine does just the trick! 

This casual long grey maxi dress is perfect for summer, and is so easy to dress up or down. For a dinner out with my two favorite guys, I threw on some super comfortable and stylish Dolce Vita neutral wedges, a few fun colored coral bracelets, and my new Boppy Infinity Nursing Scarf for a little extra coverage in the chilly restaurant. My tiny tornado, H, is wearing quite possibly the cutest Hawaiian-esque set from Little Me

Monday, August 15, 2016

Home Office on a Budget: a Cost Effective Solution to #MakeMoreHappen for Small Business Owners at Staples

I was asked to participate in the #MakeMoreHappen campaign, sponsored by Staples. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

We have recently gone through some pretty huge changes in our family. I am now a Work from Home Mom, and my husband has recently had an awesome job opportunity come his way that completely changed his usual work structure. Rather than going into an office everyday, he is now working remotely from home and traveling more for business.

We are still getting adjusted to how our days are now structured much differently, but the first thing we came to realize is that we needed up upgrade our office situation, and fast. What I previously called my office was a makeshift desk my husband had assembled for me in my son's playroom - it worked just fine for me, as my work requirements and hours were much more flexible, but now that my husband is working from home and conducting online business meetings and conference calls, we quickly discovered that having H's toys in the background was just not a professional look (I know, shocker)!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

July 2016 PopSugar Must Have Subscription Box Unboxing and Review!

Last month I had the opportunity to review POPSUGAR's June 2016 Must Have Subscription Box (check it out here!), and it was honestly one of the most fun subscription boxes I've experienced. I loved that POPSUGAR's Must Have Box is composed of full sized items, so I'm not just being sent trial sized products and goods that I wouldn't even get to fully experience before being able to form an accurate feeling of whether I like them or not. This month, POPSUGAR contacted me again to see if I'd be up for reviewing their July 2016 Must Have Box (affiliate links), so you know I said yes.

If you want to learn more about the POPSUGAR Must Have or Mini Box, make sure to check out my unboxing and review from last month, and stay tuned to find out what's inside for July! If you decide that you want to sign up for POPSUGAR's subscription box, use the special discount code "SHOP5" (which will never expire!) to get $5 off your first Must Have Box!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Budgeting After Baby

Budgeting After Baby: How We Make It Work on a Single Income Budget 

I’m sharing #Luvs in my life as part of a LUVs sponsored series for Socialstars™

Money. It's an uncomfortable topic, no matter who you are. It's either coming or going, and if your family is like ours, the going is more often once you add a child to your family. Seriously though, kids - how are they so gosh darn expensive?! And why?! For people so small, they come with so many expenses - and they add up so quickly! It's not even their birth, or doctors visits or medical reasons why kids are expensive, its everything else they need, use, and politely ask beg for!

I wouldn't consider us parents who spoil their child (that's what grandparents are for), and yet we rack up a crazy amount of expenses every month for H. Most of what we spend are for the necessities, like food and drink, but there are also the things you don't always think about: we keep the house much warmer now that we have a child (I normally would keep it around 65 pre-H, and we would just use blankets and wear warmer clothing), and when thinking about where to set up home base, there are more expensive things to consider as well: more room for your growing family, possibly a yard for your kid(s) to play in, a safer neighborhood, a home in a better school district, all of which adds up, quickly

So how do you plan for living well with a young family, but still within your means? With a lot of thought and planning, a lot of budgeting, and setting and keeping realistic goals for yourselves and your finances.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Quick + Easy Grilled Pork Tacos Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GrillPorkLikeASteak #CollectiveBias

It's summer, it's hot, and I have no will to cook inside. This hot heat that starts early in the morning and doesn't let up until late evening has made us get a little more creative in the kitchen with no heat and low heat meals as much as possible. The best part about having a back yard is the ability to stick a grill out there and keep the heat outside, where it belongs. Plus, there's something so quintessentially summer about the smell of charcoal and smoke from the grill, and you can't beat the flavor it gives your food.

With this pregnancy, I've had some major meat aversions, specifically to beef and chicken, so we've had to get creative with our go-to meals and switch up our source of protein. While shopping at my local Walmart a few weeks ago, I picked up one of Smithfield's All Natural Boneless Loin Filet that already had been pre-marinated, because I wanted a quick and easy meal that I could throw on the grill and have all prepped and done within the hour. It was so simple, yet a hit with the whole family that I went back and also grabbed Smithfield All Natural Bone-in Pork Chops and Smithfield All Natural Boneless Pork Chops for more lunch and dinner recipes for the next little while.

H, my tornado of a toddler even approves of the Smithfield All Natural Pork, and his favorite, number one request lately? Super quick and easy (we're talking less than 30 minutes from start to finish!) grilled pork tacos (that just so happen to also be really healthy and good for him)! Never grilled pork before? Do it!

Because he's such a picky eater of a toddler, when he asks for something for dinner, I pretty much am willing to drop our whole meal plan and oblige, especially when its something tasty that my husband and I enjoy as well! Plus, I like that Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork is raised right here in the USA by Smithfield farm families, and there are no added steroids, hormones or artificial ingredients. That means its a high quality meat protein that I can serve to my family any night of the week without hesitation or worry.

  • 1 Package of Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork. (I love the Bone-in Pork Chops and Boneless Pork Chops)
  • Marinade of choice - I use whatever I find at the store that looks good that day. One of my favorites is a honey ginger!
  • Cabbage, sliced
  • Kale, sliced (I actually cheat on this a little bit, and use a Kale power salad mix from Walmart - it has broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and chicory, and is already sliced and diced to be the perfect slaw base for the tacos!)
  • Corn or Flour tortillas (I prefer corn, but my family prefers flour, so we usually do a little of both!)
  • Corn salsa
  • Cilantro, lightly chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  1. Preheat your charcoal grill. While it's getting hot, add a little salt and your marinade of choice, and massage into the Smithfield All Natural Pork. 
  2. Once your grill is hot, lay your Smithfield All Natural Pork over the heat and close the lid. Cook for 6 - 8 minutes.
  3. Flip the pork onto the other side, and cook for about 6 more minutes. (PSA: If you love your pork medium rare, you should cook it to an internal temperature of 145 degrees (followed by a three-minute rest). If you like your chops a little more done, you can cook them to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. I go somewhere a little in between and they always turn out nice and juicy!)
  4. When its done, pull your pork off the grill and let it rest for three minutes before cutting it into slices. 
  5. While your Smithfield All Natural Pork is grilling, wash and prep the cabbage, kale and cilantro and slice your lime. 
  6. Assemble your quick and easy grilled pork tacos as you'd like! 

And that's it! SO EASY! These grilled pork tacos are always a hit at every party we go to, and they are awesome for family style potlucks or dinners, but we also just really love them as an easy weeknight dinner option. Everyone gets to make their own and customize them as they wish, which our friends with dairy and gluten intolerances really love, and I like that they are healthy, but still full of flavor and take me less than half an hour to make from start to finish! 

Make sure to check out the Smithfield All Natural Pork website to get more easy and delicious weeknight and weekend pork recipes, and let me know which one(s) inspire you to "Grill it like a steak" AND grab a money saving Ibotta coupon (here) to make Walmart's prices even better! Plus, while you're getting all sorts of yummy new dinner ideas, visit to enter the Hog Wild Throwdown Sweepstakes for a chance to win some amazing prizes, including a Ford F150!

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