Welcome to my blog!

This blog highlights all my favorite picks and ponderings. I share book recommendations, yummy recipes and fashion favorites! I throw in some surprises every now and then and share my life happenings and LOTS of pictures of my adorable sons, Joey and Teddy:) Hope you'll keeping stopping by!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fave Things Party

Hello, friends. 
Happy Monday!
The start of a week that has a holiday at the end is ok in my book:)  
Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Favorite Things Party!

I actually got this item a couple months ago and it has quickly become a staple!!


As soon as bought this watch knew I would be blogging about it for this link up!
  I don't know about you but I really feel lost without a watch. 
So when the battery on my old watch died I was in major need of a replacement. I wanted something I could use this summer that would survive little boys.  You know something water proof, slime proof, dirt proof, sticky proof.  Well this fab little pink watch is perfect!  The strap is silicone so it cleans so easily! AND it was $7.00!  I got this little gem at AC Moore and the compliments I get on it you wouldn't believe!  They have it in a variety colors! I was partial to the light pink. But it came in white, gray, blue, yellow, tan, coral and the like. 

It really holds up well! 
It's perfect for summer:)

Speaking of fave things--be sure to check out my fave books for summer here!

Cheers to a festive week!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Friday(Sunday) Favorites: Summer Reads

Hello, friends. 
When I first started writing this here blog it was to recommend good books! It has obviously evolved into much more, but I still like to throw in a good book recommendation every now and then! I thought today would be the perfect day to recommend my top 10 fave summer reads! 

Now that there isn't as much on tv it's nice to be able to get in a lot of reading! And there is a very particular kind of book I like to read in the summer! Something light, something breezy, something that captures the romance of summer. 
 
 
Here is my list of my top 10 faves! Some I have blogged about before. And all of them are books I have read more than once!

1. Summer Sisters-Judy Blume
This is the quintessential summer read. 
Click here for my original review. 

2. The Blue Blue Bistro-Elin Hilderbrand
She has been dubbed the Queen of the Summer read! All her books are set on Nantucket and truly romanticizes the feel of summer on the island! I have actually read this one several times--perfect beach read!

3. The Castaways-Elin Hilderbrand
Another Elin novel that I have read more than once! Sultry & scandalous--perfect for summer. For more on my love of Elin click here!

4. True Colors-Kristin Hannah
Another one of my fave authors-- you can't
really go wrong with one of her books. This particular one in particular is a fave:)

5. To Kill A Mockingbird-Harper Lee
While definitely not light and breezy--this is a classic that I love to take the time to read again. The summer is the perfect time to do just that!

6. Summer at Willow Lake-Susan Wiggs
Part of the Lakeshore Chronicles, this book captures a quaint summer romance while waxing nostalgic of childhood memories of summer camp. 

7. Eleanor and Park- Rainbow Rowell 
This is truly a great read! Click here for the deets!

8. Beachcombers- Nancy Thayer
Another beach read writer who captures the whimsical setting that is Nantucket. 

9. Sweet Salt Air- Barbara Delinsky
I love that this is set in Maine. I love that one of the main character is a blogger. I love that food plays a big part in the story. I love the love story that unfolds. Click here for my first review. 

10. Between the Shades of Gray
I am a sucker for historical fiction. This is sad and compelling--but it reads quick and captivating. Click here for my original review!

 
 
 
The following books are on my summer To Read list!
Currently reading: The One & Only-Emily Giffin
The Matchmaker-Elin Hildebrand
A 100 Summers-Beatriz Williams
The Vacationers-Emma Straub
Nantucket Sisters-Nancy Thayer
 
What's on your summer reading list?! I'd love to know!
 
1


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What I Wore AND Recipe Club

I am doubling the fun with two linkups today! 


I haven't done a What I Wore post in awhile and I have been pretty good about snapping some outfits pics so I decided today would be a good day to link up The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.  
A couple of people have told me that it looks like I am adjusting really well to life with two kiddos.  Honestly it has it's moments.  But I feel like we are finally in a good routine.  The simple act of getting dressed really makes me feel more down with this whole motherhood thing than I really actually am!  Something about getting dressed and out the door just makes you feel good.  So I may not always having it all together but at least I am put together:)--Except those days where I stay in my workout clothes until it's time for bed;)

That's why I like this link up!


 
I love pairing long sleeves with shorts.  Its a good balance I think!
Shorts: Old Navy
White Tank: H&M
Chambray shirt: Walmart!  Random I know--but I passed a rack and this shirt was on it for $5!  I couldn't pass it up!
Sandals: I cannot remember for the life of me where these are from--I have had them for years!


Love a white tee and jeans for every day comfort.
Jeans: These are one of the pairs of Maternity jeans that I specifically got because they just have the thin stretchy waistband that doesn't go up over your belly that is perfect to wear not only during pregnancy but also post partum when you want your pants to be comfortable and not cut off the circulation to your slowly shrinking stomach;)
mint tank: Old Navy
white shirt: Old Navy
sandals: Target from years ago

Love all manners of green so I love this outfit!  And this is my newly chopped hair!
Jeans: Urban Outfitters--I bought these jeans the month before I got married when I was at my slimmest!  And they fit! WOOHOO! Clearly they were quite a bit looser back in the day.
white tank: H&M
green tank:
scarf: Old Navy


Maxi skirt: Charolotte Russe
White shirt: Old Navy



Ok I am also linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for Wednesday Recipe Club

I love my lasagna recipe for three reasons.
1. It's easy
2. It's delicious
3. It tastes even better as leftovers
I actually don't do leftovers! Once I am done with a meal, I am done! But for some reason, this lasagna tastes so delish the next day!
I originally got this recipe from my mother-in-law and tweaked it a bit to make it my own! The great thing about this recipe is you use regular old lasagna noodles, but you don't have to cook them! Love that!




Ingredients:
I box of lasagna (You won't use the whole thing)
1 jar of pasta sauce (I use Newman's Sockarooni)
1 box of frozen chopped spinach
32 oz Ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 cups of shredded Mozzarella (divided)
1/2 cup Paremesan cheese
about 2 tsp oregano
about 2 tsp parsley
1 tsp minced garlic
pepper
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Thaw spinach in microwave for about 2 minutes. Drain excess water.
Mix together ricotta, eggs, parmesan, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and thawed spinach.  Add oregano, parsley, garlic and a dash of pepper.  Mix mixture until well incorporated.
Take 1 cup of pasta sauce and spread on bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Layer 3 rows of lasagna noodles across and 1 down.  *See picture.
Top with 1/3 of cheese mixture.
Add another layer of noodles.
Top with the next 1/3 of cheese mixture.
Add another layer of noodles.
Top with remaining cheese mixture.
Add final layer of noodles.


Pour the remaining pasta sauce over top and spread.
Add the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Now remember how I said you didn't have to cook the lasagna noodles.  Well the next step ensures they cook in the oven! Take 1 cup of water and pour around the edge of the lasagna all the way around the pan.
Tightly secure tin foil over the pan.
Place in oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Take out and let sit for 15 minutes.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and pop it in the oven when you are ready!

In all the excitement of getting the dinner all ready, I forgot to take a picture of the final product. Shame on me! I assure you, it looked as delicious as it tasted:)

Happy Hump Day bloggies:)


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

#palpicoftheday2014

I had a little snafu with my number of days so I had to go  back to see where I made an error.  My instagram account will be wrong but I have adjusted the days here on my blog!  The days are going by so fast!  I can't believe today is the 175th days of the year!
Here is out week in pics:
Day 167:
I had to drop my car off to get my tail light replaced so while we waited we walked over to my parents house.  Joey's day was made when he got to play with Uncle Pat!

Day 168:
We finally set up our water table and it was a perfect morning to test it out.  Joey loved it!  He is shouting "Wahoo!"

Day 169:
Once the afternoon arrives this little stinker likes to be held for hours!  I don't mind it too much but my arms and back are killing me!  Good workout:)

Day 170:
Suns out guns out!

Day 171:
Annie choppity chopped my hair!  Pays to have a sister in the biz:)  I would prefer long hair but I was in a rut and needed to rejuvenate!  Time to start fresh and hope it grows quickly!

Day 172:
It was a gorgeous Saturday so we took the BPs to Ft. Williams to walk around.  Joey had a blast!  And so did we:)

Day 173:
Hooray for new pjs!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Joey

I haven't done a Joey update in awhile.  I want to be able to look back and remember what Joey was like at certain stages of his life.  On Friday he was officially 27 months.  Once you hit the two year mark I feel like you no longer think of your child in terms of months.  You just start to say 2 years.  However, I feel like there is such a big difference between a newly 2 year old, a 2 1/2 old and an almost 3 year old--physically, emotionally and communicatively.  I think it will be interesting to see how Joey develops in this coming year.
 
Joey has and still is such a sweet boy.  I have to stay he is really pretty easy.  Does he have his meltdowns? Of course what 2 year old doesn't  but for the most part he recovers quite quickly and moves on.  He takes direction really well and hates to disappoint Andrew and me.  When we are firm with him he tears up and comes to hug us.  He is so dear!
 
He LOVES to be silly.  And if he is making you laugh--wow look out.  He doesn't stop.  He loves to make people laugh.  The more they laugh the sillier he gets.  He is quite a ham(doesn't get that from the wind).
 
He is still my picky picky picky eater!  And if he doesn't like something--he gags and throws it up.  I know, pleasant right?  He loves grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese in general.  He has Stonyfield Smoothies that are made with a serving of veggies--and that is the only way I can get this kid to eat veggies.  He likes bananas, waffles, toast, goldfish, pretzels, desserts of any kind as long as they don't include peanut butter!  And he loves Wendy's chicken nuggets.  One of his faves? Donuts.  Loves a donut.  What a great diet huh?
 
He is super stocky.  He wears 3T pants and 3T & 4T shirts.  He wears size 7 shoe.  He wears size 6 diapers. He loves hats.
 
He is still obsessed with trains of any kind.  Loves Thomas the Train and all his friends.  We pretty much own just about all of Thomas's friends at this point.  He sits there forever and plays with his trains. He  loves to watch the show and we own quite a few of the movies.  He also loves The Little Engine That Could.
 
He loves the movie The Sandlot.  He watches it so often that he can recite most of the parts.  It is HILARIOUS! and probably not appropriate for him to be saying "Pee drinking crap face."  But he is a boy and I have no doubt he will be using lots of toilet talk in his life--might as well start early with one of the classics right? He is obsessed with baseball.  He uses anything he can get his hands on as a bat if we don't have one handy.  He has his own official T-ball tee and balls and he whacks balls all around the yard.  I am actually quite nervous that when he's old enough to actually play T-ball he will take kids heads off!
 
He is talking up a storm.  He has tons of words and phrases.  We have been working on sentences.  If he comes up to me and says, "Milk."  I make him say, "I want milk please."  He has been getting really good at that! He loves to say please and thinks he will get whatever he wants if he says it.  It's so darn cute!  He loves to say, "Uhh nooo" when I ask him a question which I'm pretty sure he got from me.  I clearly need to watch the sass.  He imitates like crazy.  If he is watching one of his shows or movies he repeats after the characters.  He also acts out their movements too.  He really is quite the entertainer.
 
He still calls me Mum Mum or just Mum.  He calls Andrew Daddy with silent Ds so it sounds more like Da-EE.  He calls Teddy--Baby or Teddy.  He loves all over Teddy! He is SO sweet and gentle with him.  He can say all his grandparents and Aunt and Uncles names and prays for them all every night.  If we forget to say grace before dinner he reminds us by shouting Amen.  If you sneeze he will say Bless you!
 
He still carries his stuffed bear Woodsy around and sleeps with him every night.  He's not so stuffed anymore:)  He also likes to have 4 other stuffed animals in his crib with him too.--Dewey, Roo, Elwood and Monkey.  He goes to bed at 7:30  and sleeps until 6:00 every nights.  He goes down super easy.  He still sleeps in a sleep sack at night but not for naps.  He naps from abut 1:00-3:30 most days.  Sometimes a bit shorter sometimes a bit longer.
 
He is such a sweetheart!  I cant get enough of his great little personality.
 
Likes to show off his muscles!
 

Reading with Uncle Pat.  This kid loves him some cool Uncle Pat.

 
Waiting for the pitch

Loving on baby bro:)

My sweet Joey Pal
 
 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Faves

Hi friends. 
It's Friday! 
It's been a week peeps, it has been a week. 
Hence the lack of posts. Busy busy up in this house of the Brothers Pal.  Never a dull moment. Wouldn't want it any other way. 

Alas, Friday wouldn't be Friday without some faves:)

Fave número uno: Aunt Sadie's Fresh Cut Grass Candle

This candle!! Smelly smelly goodness in a can! Fresh cut grass is one of my fave scents so it would only make sense to capture that scent in a fab candle. Burns great, smells even better! Strong but not overpowering!! Want one for yourself?? Email me at katiepaladino9@gmail.com for the deets! Lots of other fun summer smells to choose from too!

Fave número dos: Greek Light & Fit Chocolate  Raspberry


Ok people--this yogurt!! Heaven on a spoon! So so so delish. And you know what else?? 12g of protein and only 7 g of sugar! Not too shabby! This is my new go to for sure! 

Fave número tres: The Brothers Pal Love Fest
Ok if you follow me on Instagram you saw this video I posted yesterday!! Holy cuteness! I just love my little BPs! They are going to be best buds-I can already tell! How can this not be a fave of the week!! It just has to be! 

Hope you have a fabby weekend in the works! 
Happy Friday!


Monday, June 16, 2014

#palpicoftheday2014 Week 24

 
Happy Monday, friends.
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I know I did.  It was gorgeous.
We hosted a Father's Day BBQ on Saturday.
I went back to work on Sunday for the first time since Teddy was born!
It was bitter sweet.  I only work one day for 4 hours so it's really not bad, and it gets me out.  But I really did love having my weekends to enjoy with my boys.
 
Here is our week in pics:
 
Day 161:
 
It was suppose to be hot and muggy on Monday so we headed out super early for our walk to beat the heat! Joey is waving to Teddy:)
 
162:
 
Cuddling with my boys:) I'm so lucky!
 
163:
 
Happy baby alert!  My friend gave me this bumbo seat.  I never had one with Joey so it was fin to try it out.  He loves it!  He doesn't like to miss out on the action!
 
164:
 
It was all smile smiles in the Pal house! I love this kid. 
 
Day 165:
 
Rainy Fridays call for snuggles in bed and a good book.  Side note: I will be writing a review of this book in the coming weeks!
 
Day 166:
 
Teddy and his Papa. I love this pic! Two of my fave guys!
 
Day 167:
 
Happy Father's Day to the guy I am so lucky to do parenting with.  He is an amazing dad!
 
Here's to a fab week!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

I am so blessed to have some wonderful fathers in my life!
 
My dad.
Boy am I blessed with that guy!
I honestly couldn't ask for a better dad!
My dad is one of the most decent, caring, happy, amazing men I know.
Of course he is.  God knew what he was doing when he gave this man seven children.
It takes a special kind of guy for that job.  And John Foster is that man.
Growing up my dad was super fun.  I still remember all the funny things he use to do with us.  I have a vivid memory of my dad singing Lionel Richie's Dancing on the Ceiling as he held us upside down and danced our little feet across the ceiling.
I remember the little song that he sang my sisters and me before we went to bed.
I remember the fact that he came to every single one of my sporting events.  And if you have ever watched a field hockey game you know how self sacrificing that was on his part!  I can remember a game in particular.  It was at Edward Little.  The fans had to stand up on this hill, it was the coldest game of the year and there stood my dad--one of the only fans--in his work suit and long rain coat with he wind whipping like crazy, just to see me play.  Those are the kind of things you remember as a kid.  You may not think it matters.  It does.  To see my dad coming to cheer me on, it was the best.
And I'll never forget our runs.  The first time my dad ever took me running I made it 1/4 of a mile before I burst in to tears declaring that I must have exercise induced asthma
Of course I was just out of shape.  And my dad kept encouraging me.
Running has become our thing.  I can't even tell you how many runs we have been on one in my lifetime.  I always enjoyed those times when it was just my dad and me.
He is also a great husband.  So kind and respectful to my mom.  Whenever we were rude or talked back to her--he would find us and make us go apologize.  We did of course.  I hated disappointing my dad.
My dad always puts his family first. 
He is so easy going.
He works hard.
Give him a coffee, the crossword puzzle and the beach--and he is a happy guy!
I love my dad:)
 
Another guy I am pretty lucky to have? My husband.  I am so blessed to have this man to do this parenting thing with.  He is an amazing dad.  He works hard for his family.  He is awesome with both boys!  And he is super helpful with all baby things.  He gives Teddy his baths, is the master swaddler, installs carseats like a pro, can change a diaper like no ones business and is the best lego builder around:)
 
I am one lucky gal, I tell ya!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Faves

Hi friends. 
It's Friday!
Woop woop!
I swear the days are just sneaking right by. I had every intention of posting both Wednesday and Thursday and then the days were over! I'll post them next week!
Today--it's Friday Faves!

I had a different idea in mind when  I started writing this post, but then something happened that had me singing a different tune. 

I was gonna post about some of my favorite things. But that's all they were--things. 

My morning routine made me realize that although it's fun to share favorite things--my truly favorite things are not things at all. Rather they are moments. 

Let me explain. 

I was in the kitchen drinking coffee, making breakfast for Andrew and Joey, packing Andrew's lunch and going about the daily morning routine. Andrew usually gets Joey up while I'm doing this stuff. 
He came down with Joey. Joey was in rare form on the cuteness chart this morning. And when he realized Teddy was no where to be found he was insistent I go up and get him! He was still snoozing after his 4:30 feeding. I told Joey I'd get him in a minute, but no--Joey wanted him now. So upstairs Andrew and Joey went to get baby Teddy. Joey ran over and said, Hi Teddy!" And gave him a big kiss. My heart melted. I just love how much he loves his little brother.  

These kind of moments are my favorite. And clearly these moments could be my favorites every week. But today the moment was just something I couldn't pass up. Because it's in those moments that make me realize how lucky I am to be a wife, a mother, and a family:)

Teddy's face cracks me up in this pic!



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Come on in AND palpicoftheday!

Hello there friends.
Today I am linking up with Andrea to share my outdoor space.

It will be two years this coming Labor Day weekend since we moved into our house.
For the first two years of being married we lived in an apartment.  So this is our first house as a family. 
It is the perfect starter home!
And one of the biggest selling points?  The yard!

This is a picture from the day we closed! You can still see the shadow of the For Sale sign in the background.


Walk way to the side door.


The backyard is seriously the best. 
The hubs does most all of the yard work.  That is not my thing.  I will clean every inch of the house--just don't make me do anything in the yard!  Our yard is mostly decorated with kids toys:)  The winters are long, very long.  So once we can get outside--we play and play and play.  It's not fancy, but it's fun!



Most of our meals in the summer come from that bad boy. Easy cleanup, so delish and the hubs does most of the work! Love that;)

Joey is obsessed with baseball! We have the perfect yard for hitting the ball. 

Better view of the swing set. 

The deck. 


The chairs are usually set up around Andrew's homemade firepit, but Joey got a hold of them and I was too lazy to go move them. 

There ya have it folks! I am so glad it's finally nice enough to utilize this great space!


I am doubling on this post today for my Week in Instagram pics

Day 153:



Just living the life:)

Day 154:
A trip to Smiling Hill Farms.  Joey was more into the structures than the animals and that was totally ok with this mama!

Day 155:

Rainy days call for puzzles!

156:

Ballin.

Day 157:

National Donut day calls for a trip to the Cookie Jar with my kiddos and 1/3 of my siblings! Also this kid bro just finished his first year of high school-- how did that happen?!

Day 158:


First beach day of the year!  Thinking with a 2 month old they will be few and far in between:)

Day 159:

Brother love with the brothers pal:)

I realized the majority of these pics were of Joey this week so I had to include some of the tedster!


True story!

My little inch worm


The nose, the lips, the face! I can't!

I have whaley big appetite:)
 
Sweetest happiest baby ever! I can't believe he is two months!

Thanks for popping by friends:)