i am a boy mom...

One week ago today, I became Mom to this wiggly, squeaky, delicious, gorgeous boy.

I have a nephew. I have a husband. What I don't have is any clue about raising a boy. What I know for sure is that my heart is full of love for this little monkey and I'm going to do the best I can to learn.

I ask his forgiveness in advance for being his own personal paparazzi. One that cannot be shut out by a gate because I live with him (ha!). Although I can't promise not to dress him up in silly hats or clothing that he may one day find objectionable in order to get a great shot, I'll try not to embarrass him too much.

Being a boy mom will likely mean that this cat will not be the only creature I will be forced to contend with in my home over the years. I'm bracing myself for bugs, worms and all manner of creepy crawlers (but, please Lord, not a fascination with reptiles!).

Being a boy mom will mean sharing child rearing with my amazing husband and hoping everyday that he can teach our son to be as good of a man. A man who will be respectful of his mom and all women. To have a solid work ethic, be loyal, honest, creative and to try his best at everything he does. There will be sports. Many, many, many pieces of sports equipment, games and tournaments and I will do my best to learn the rules and know what I'm cheering about on the sidelines.

Being a boy mom will hopefully bring with it the promise I heard over and over since my 21st week of pregnancy when we found out 'the baby' would, in fact, be a HE..."Oh how wonderful! Boys love their moms."
I have a feeling that being a boy mom will be the most rewarding, puzzling, dirt and noise filled, wonderful journey I've ever undertaken and I'm looking forward to every single minute (yes, even the icky reptile ones).

This post was inspired by the always poignant and funny boy mom, Jill of Baby Rabies.


our very own christmas miracle...

Our beautiful son, George Elias was born on Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 8:36 pm. He weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measures 19.5 inches long.

Arriving at 37 weeks, 3 days and 11 days before my scheduled c-section, he made quite the surprise entrance into our world and we could not be more thrilled! It's amazing just how quickly such a tiny little person can take up every ounce of space in your heart and expand your capacity for joy beyond belief.

-- posted from my iPhone


36 weeks...

Baby Boom will be full term at the end of this week meaning, he can make his appearance pretty much any time now!

I have 9 business days left at work and, while I haven't really been nesting at home yet, I certainly have been at the office. It's getting increasingly uncomfortable sitting at this desk (oh, my poor cankles!!!) and I have exacly two pair of work pants left that appropriately fit my belly (although, thankfully, they still fit everywhere else). This must mean it's about time, right? Right?!?!?

On for this weekend's to-do list - install the car seat bases, start getting the wall decor up in the nursery, washing more baby clothes and blankets and playing around with my new camera in the daylight. Hey, I need to know how to use it before I have a need to take newborn photos! Lots to do and little time left...



Saturday was my baby shower. It was a beautiful party with so many wonderful and generous family and friends. Baby Boom is already very loved and anticipated by so many people and we are so fortunate! I'll post a couple of pics when I have a chance to pull them off my card.

My husband pulled off a huge surprise by having my sister hand me one final gift from him at the end of the day (encompassing the shower, my birthday, Christmas, push present and 1st anniversary gift in one!). So, until our son makes his appearance I have a stand-in, brand new baby...

The Canon 50D with the 50 mm f/1.4 lens. Straight out of the box, with not a single inkling of what to do with a Canon, I got a few shots that I already love in very low indoor light. Power combo! Completely. blown. away.Plus this Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. Supposed to be fast, sharp and fabulous. I'm trying hard to wait to really use anything until my UV filters arrive in the mail (fingers crossed for tomorrow) and the glass is well-protected. Then, I'll be unleashed...as far as my swollen, waddling body will allow :-)

And new gear begs for new storage, right? I haven't been happy with my current camera bag for a long time. It served a purpose but, I never quite felt safe walking around (in NYC especially) with an obvious camera bag and specifically one that was a backpack and could have easily been unzipped and emptied, quite literally, behind my back. I've browsed here and there in the past couple of years for a bag that looked far more unassuming, offered great organization and protection and would easily hold the camera one or more lenses plus my personal things (wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses, etc.). Last night, I stumbled across the JoTotes site and this olive number sung to me. The reviews I've found are good, it fits all of my criteria and is far less expensive than most of the other bags on the market. I slept on it and this morning made my decision. Hopefully, it's already on it's way to me.

Baby Boom is sure to be one of the most photographed babies around, no?

role play...

Feeling overly nostalgic this morning, I started thinking about all of the roles we play in life. All of the titles we assume on the path that leads us to where we are at this very moment. Just think about it for a moment and a vivid timeline will appear...

I was born a daughter, grand-daughter and niece.

At 4 months, I was a cousin.

At 3 1/2, I became a sister.

At 4 years, 9 months, I entered kindergarten and became a student. Sometime that year, if not before, I was called friend.

Through school I was a a reader, soccer player (briefly), swimmer, Editor-in-Chief, honor student and then, high school graduate.

In college, I was psych major, a children's entertainer (part time job), copy girl, Resident Advisor, girlfriend, tennis player and woman of the world as I lived, studied and traveled in England.

After graduate school, I became a social worker and this role defined me for many years until I assumed my new role two years ago, staff trainer.

In February 2009, I was blessed to become a wife to my incredible husband.

This year, beginning today at 35 years young, I am about to take on my most coveted, anticipated, dreamt about role yet.

I will be Mom.

Life, in all of it's roles and forms is very sweet and this year is my proof positive that the very best things do, in fact, come to those who are willing to wait patiently.

Today I am 35 and I am infinitely blessed.


okay, mr. deli man, i see your point...

Today marks another milestone...35 weeks behind me and 35 days to go until our little guy's estimated due date! Here is the latest belly pic taken yesterday at 34 weeks, 6 days:
The rapid change makes sense when using food comparisons. This week our baby is the size of a honeydew melon!

I went into my favorite deli for lunch earlier this week and the regular guy behind the counter said, "Whoa, big change from last week!" It was said in a nice, fatherly kind of way so I didn't get offended but, it's so funny that even relative strangers are noticing now. So much happening at the moment. Feels that things are both moving too quickly and standing still at the same time. An odd sort of limbo, waiting to meet this boy!

Fourteen business days left now until my maternity leave begins and, seriously, not a day too soon. Sitting here at work and being competent is getting more and more challenging. Nothing strenuous happening at the office and I'm not presenting anymore but, there is still a lot of clock watching happening. Tick tock, tick tock...


32 week, 3 day belly photo...

Excuse me ma'am, there seems to be a basketball under your shirt...
Hoping that my 33 week photos will be amazing - maternity pics are scheduled for this Saturday. Asking Mother Nature for some great weather so that we can take some outdoor shots.

Today was my last trip into NYC for work until next June and I now have only 26 work days left until maternity leave...crazy and very exciting. Wrapping things up at the office is proving much more difficult than I had expected. Since I won't have a temp replacement, I need to leave everything in order for my boss to step in and monitor over a day or two each week, hopefully with some clerical support. So, that's what the next 26 days will consist of: organizing files, writing out procedures, training an admin and training my boss. Then, crossing my fingers and hoping it all runs smoothly for the six months I'll be out!

-- posted from my iPhone


oh, we're halfway there...

With the nursery, that is. Mr. Boom picked up our beautiful crib earlier today and we assembled it together this afternoon. I went into immediate nesting mode and had the bedding ironed and in the crib soon after - can you blame me?

Baby Boom's menagerie. The pillow came with the bedding set and will sit on the glider when we get it in the room. The animals will all have perches on shelves and other spots in the room before baby arrives.

And, a new addition we picked up last weekend...the giraffe mobile that plays Brahm's Lullaby.

-- posted from my iPhone


photo re-cap...

Monumental really since I have hardly looked at my poor, neglected camera in the past few months. A travesty. But, a few weeks ago two happy events collided that made my inner shutter-bug spring into action.

#1 - Welcome Isabelle!!! This sweet baby girl was born is the newest addition to my cousin's family. Jut one look and we were in love! #2 - That same weekend, my sister and nephew flew in for a visit and we took on NYC. Here they are in Times Square, complete with the Thomas backpack. And, earlier in the day in Union Square Park eating Crumbs cupcakes. My nephew had gotten a gob of seasonally appropriate orange frosting on his nose and thought everyone else should match...including Mr. Boom. Too cute! Seriously, how adorable is this little face? Certainly as sweet as the cupcake he's devouring.


a belly, an app and the fast forward button...

I'll start off first with the newest belly shot (taken today at 30 weeks, 4 days) since I haven't posted one in a few weeks. I don't see a whole lot of change from 26 weeks but, the baby is constantly trying to stretch up and out of his little space, a clear signal that he is growing and getting cramped!
I'm loving this new little photo action - shakeitphoto. If you have an iPhone, it's a great little app that takes any of your camera pics and gives them an instant polaroid effect. Even gives a little vintage wash. Fun!

Life feels a bit as though someone has pressed the fast forward button. Work days are long, filled with activity and trying to organize my office before maternity leave. Weekends have been full of visiting with family and friends, childbirth class (this past Sunday), nursery organizing and just trying to get everything we want done in the house finished before this little guy makes his appearance. That leaves evenings. Well, frankly by the end of a work day I am D.O.N.E. done. Just running on faith that it will all come together in time.

I do have photos to share from a couple of weeks ago with my sister and nephew came to visit and of my cousins' brand-new baby, Bella but - they are held up on Mr. Boom's work computer for the moment. Hoping to get a couple of favorites posted this weekend. Stay tuned!


happy Halloween

Hope you have a fun, candy filled day :-)
And, remember to set clocks back an hour before bed. Fall back = an extra hour of sleep!

-- posted from my iPhone


seeing stripes...

Our nursery paint job is complete - added the dark glossy stripes on the main wall where the crib and dresser will go. Love how they turned out and so excited to see this room coming together! Crib bedding has been ordered, bitty clothes are hung in the closet and we're buying (and hopefully getting the same day) the furniture in two weeks...progress...

-- posted from my iPhone


the one {not) about food...

Just realized that I haven't posted anything other than recipes in the past two weeks so, let's play a little catch up - complete with photos:
The bump at 26 weeks, 6 days. What's the significance? Today marks the beginning of the third trimester and exactly three months until my estimated due date. This pregnancy has gone by so quickly and I know it's only going to speed up as the weeks go on and the holidays approach. Two thirds of the way to holding this baby boy in my arms!
This past weekend was the grand opening of the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, NY. Mr. Boom had inspected this bridge two years ago, hanging from ropes 200 feet over the river, in preparation for the restoration and eventual opening. It was nice to be there for the event and for him to see this through to completion. It's a beautiful walkway and we look forward to going back again and again.
Missing these two a lot right now, my sister and nephew. I'm thrilled that they will be flying down to visit next weekend! We plan to spend one day in Manhattan. The little guy is excited to eat a Crumbs cupcake and visit the huge Toys 'R Us in Times Square. Fun stuff!

-- posted from my iPhone


recipe: crockpot beef stew

This recipe was great - simple, healthy, hearty and delicious!!! Served it up with some crusty bread and DH and I were both happy. I'm already looking forward to the leftovers tonight. Clearly, the cat thought this was a winner too...

Crockpot Beef Stew
[Credits: Martha Stewart & Rachel's Olive Bar]

3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup tomato paste (I used the entire 6 oz. can)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound medium onions (about 2), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound small white or red new potatoes (about 6), well scrubbed, halved if large
1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths (I used a 1 lb bag of baby carrots)
6 garlic cloves, smashed (I used jarred, crushed garlic)
2 bay leaves

Load the veggies into the crockpot, and then the garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, flour, tomato paste, the beef and salt and pepper into the pot, cover with lid and set temperature to low for 6-8 hours. NOTE: I use a 6 quart ckockpot and the ingredients nearly filled it. If you have a smaller version, reduce your measurements accordingly.

1. Next time, I will add half of the veggies/potatoes in the bottom, then add the meat and finish with the rest of the veggies on top. While the meat was flavorful, I think it would have been a bit more moist if surrounded by the veggies, rather than sitting on top on it's own. This way was a little dry for my taste.
2. I will mix the balsamic and tomato paste together next time. The tomato paste didn't really melt away on it's own and I had to mix everything in when the stew had finished cooking. It was still delicious but, I think taking that extra minute of prep might help things along.


recipe: crockpot ginger beef with onion and garlic

Yes, yet another crockpot recipe. I hope this isn't getting old but, I like to share things I think are tasty and, honestly, it helps me to refer to my own blog when I misplace the scrap of paper where the recipe was originally written. Yeah. Why no pics? Well, while many crockpot recipes are delicious, I don't always find them visually appealing. Guess you'll just need to trust my opinion!

Crockpot Ginger Beef with Onion and Garlic
[Credit: CrockPot365]

2 pounds beef strips (I used stir fry strips)
1/2 c. broth/liquid (chicken broth, wine, beer, etc)
1 yellow onion, cut in rings
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips (my addition)
1 head garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 inch peeled and grated fresh ginger

1. Spray inside of crockpot with cooking spray. Add meat, cut up onion, red pepper and peeled garlic. Add ginger and pepper. Top with liquid. (Tip - add 1 cup liquid if using larger than a 4 qt crockpot. I use a 6 qt, added the extra liquid and it was perfect.)

2. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

The verdict: Tasty, light and healthy. This took about ten minutes to put together, including cutting the veggies and grating the ginger. I it over brown rice and enjoyed every bite. The one thing that could have made it better? BEEF broth. The recipe called for chicken and, looking back, I can't figure out why. I think beef broth would have added more depth of flavor and I'll use it next time. I'm certain a good red wine would also be great but, I didn't want to open a bottle for 1/2 cup (considering I can't drink right now).


recipe: crockpot tomato and mushroom chicken

Continuing on my quest for the best and easiest crockpot recipes around, I flagged this one in my Google Reader and decided to try it out last night. With a willing friend invited for dinner, I ran home on my lunch break to toss this in the crockpot and get it cooking. That was the only drawback to the recipe - it's not one for a morning start before a full day. Since my office isn't far from home, it wasn't a hardship to make this work and I'm so glad I did!

Crockpot Tomato and Mushroom Chicken
(Credit: 365 days of Slow Cooking)

5 (6 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used 2 lbs. of chicken tenders - on sale!)
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained (I used portabellas)
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 c. tomato sauce (my own addition)

Place chicken in slow cooker. Stir together the tomatoes, garlic, soy sauce, and mustard; pour over the chicken breasts. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Mix water and cornstarch together until smooth. Pour into the slow cooker, along with the mushrooms. Keep lid off and turn to high. Stir. Let thicken for about 10 minutes. I thought it needed a little more sauce so, I added some more tomato sauce at this point and let it heat through before serving. Serve over your favorite pasta.

The verdict: So delicious! The soy sauce gave me pause when looking over the ingredient list but, it was in no way discernable in the flavor of the recipe. All of the flavors melded together to make a rich sauce and the chicken was so soft that it just fell apart (kind of a pulled-chicken effect). I will definitely add this to my favorites list. Very easy and healthy.


a tale of three burpies...

I was off work yesterday (YAY...offices were closed for Yom Kippur) so, I spent the majority of the day at home alternately relaxing and sewing (or, prepping for future sewing). I got it in my head a while back that I would make all of the burp cloths our son will ever need in his lifetime and, while I was at it, also make bunches for friends and their little ones.

I seriously underestimated the prep work for this project!

Although the three I finished came out SO cute (see above) just cutting the fabric for only six different color combos took hours hunched over my kitchen table. HOURS. Hunched over, needing to take frequent breaks because this little boy was pressing down on my pelvis and threatening to dislocate both hips.

I also seriously underestimated the amount of ironing that would be required.

Iron the fabric prior to cutting. Sew the three pieces together and press the seams. Iron the cloth diapers. Iron the ends of the decorative piece on all four sides to fit to the diaper center. Have I ever mentioned that I loathe ironing?

Regardless, the hours were all worth it and I have to admit that this little project was very satisfying. I'm a very novice sew-er and originally purchased my machine for sewing on scrapbook pages. This may have been a bit labor intensive but now, I now have a lot cut and ready to sew and go anytime I have a half hour or so to spare. I'll count it as a success of a day :-)

Later last night I was able to show Mr. Boom the results and his response, "You made these? Like, sewed them yourself? And, you didn't call my mom over to help?" Um, no...thanks for the vote of confidence honey. And then, "So, how much could you sell them for?"

[Credits: I merged the instructions for burpies from Susan Weinroth and Chickpea Sewing Studio to come up with my own take...thanks for the inspiration, ladies!]


recipe: apple spice cookie bars

Last week after our apple picking trip, I went on a search for apple recipes in my favorite foodie blogs and on the net. Last weekend's cake was a huge hit but, I wanted to try something a little different this time and also wanted something a bit more portable to send with Mr. B who will be away for work most of this week. Heather of Heather Drive always inspires me with her baking prowess so, when I saw her rave about these cookie bars, I knew I'd have to try them.
Apple Spice Cookie Bars
(Source: Heather Drive & Good Things Catered)
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. allspice
- small pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 cup (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced (about two cups)
- cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 9x13 pan with foil and baking spray.
2. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Whisk to combine well and set aside.
3. In bowl of stand mixer, combine sugars and butter and beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to combine.
5. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
6. Turn mixer on slow and fold in flour mixture a little at a time until just combined.
7. Fold in apples.
8. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle top generously with cinnamon sugar.
9. Place in oven and bake until cooked through, when top slightly bounces back to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan, cutting and serving. (Bars will be very soft.)

The verdict: This recipe more than lived up to Heather's rave. Light and fluffy, moist and just delicious! I'd liken the consistency to a cake, definitely not a denser cookie bar as one normally thinks of them but, oh-so-good. I had two of my male cousins over to watch football tonight and several bars disappeared, I did damage to a couple others and so did Mr. B. I'm sending the majority out of town with him because I know I won't be able to resist them if they stay in the house!


recipe: autumn apple cake

Autumn is officially here, along with...apples!!! Yesterday, Mr. Boom and I went apple picking with my cousin and our god-daughter. It was sunny and warm - a perfect day to pick the ripe Honeycrisps and Jonanthans. We ended up bringing home close to 9 pounds so, I needed a good apple recipe and quick! I found this heirloom one online this morning, complete with a rave review and lots of photos and had to give it a try.
Apple Cake
Credit to SmittenKitchen

6 apples (I used the two types I had on-hand)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional -I omitted)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan or bundt pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

2. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer bowl). In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

3. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.

The Verdict: Delicious!!! The house smelled heavenly as this was baking, it rose up nice and high and the top apples got carmelized and golden brown. This is a dense but very moist cake that was simple to put together. The longest step was peeling and dicing the apples. I was a little concerned about the seemingly overly wet consistency of the batter following the instructions as written, but it baked up beautifully. The flavors are rich and deep. I sent a large piece over to my in-law's and, within minutes, my father in law was calling me to rave and give his thanks (and asking if there was still more to go around!). I think this will end up a fall favorite.
As always, if you try this recipe, I'd love to hear what you think!

While we were at the orchard yesterday, my husband snapped my 24 week belly phot0 - apples and all! I think this is my favorite weekly shot so far :-)


My weekend warrior...

In their infinite wisdom (insert eye roll here) previous owners of our condo had removed the closet from our second bedroom thus, creating a den and leaving us with both a lack of storage space and a dilemma. We needed more storage for ourselves and now, even more importantly, for our baby. We had spoken to a contractor but, neither of us really wanted to take time off of work to be home to supervise construction. Then, my husband remembered just how handy he is, recalled that we had a three day weekend to make progress and decided to do it himself.

As of this morning, framing is done and wiring/installation of the closet light, wall switch, outlet and cable hookup are in progress. So proud of him!

UPDATE: As of Monday night, the sheet rock and patching are finished. Just need to let the patches dry then prime, paint, add trim work, the shelving/rod system and doors...yay!!! Looks like we will have a fully functional closet very soon.

-- posted from my iPhone


22 week belly shot...

Definitely rounding out now! Grow baby, grow...

-- posted from my iPhone


when i look down...

My view from above at 21 weeks 5 days. No toes!
And, feel free to call me a cliche but a half jar of these was my after work snack on Monday. Yeah, true story.
The home improvements keep rolling along. This weekend: Mr. B installed knobs and pulls on every cabinet. Simple change, huge difference!
-- posted from my iPhone


and the verdict is...

Feeling very blessed today. Our baby is big and healthy, with a strong heart and "nice" brain (according to the OB!). And...
We had our amazing 20 week ultrasound this morning...got to count fingers, see all of the developed bones, parts of the brain and the heart chambers - truly astounding! When it came time to check the gender this little boy wasn't shy at all and gave us a clear view.

We are completely over the moon!

Baby Boom is measuring one week and one day ahead, which has been consistent with every u/s we've had so, we'll see at my if my doctor will make any due date changes at next month's appointment.

Let the shopping begin :-)


oh, we're halfway there...

20 weeks down and 20 weeks to go...

Today marks the official halfway point of my pregnancy. I can't belive how fast time is passing and I know this is something I'll repeat often as soon as this little one makes his or her appearance, grows and flourishes. The baby seemed to be commemorating this milestone with a party in my womb all day - lots of flipping and kicks (two that daddy was able to feel on the outside). We are about to countdown the hours until we are able to get another sneek peek on Tuesday morning!
Today is also bringing another gift - these stormy skies and leftovers from Huricane Bill means there will finally be an end (even if brief) to the high heat and humidity that has been torturing me for the past week and a half. My sweet husband installed the a/c to get us over the worst of it but, I'm hoping we won't need it many more days this season. Bring on autumn!
One more thing: the above is proof that an excellent cupcake can fix just about anything (yesterday's flavor - PB&J). Thank you Crumbs on 87 Beaver, NYC for getting me through the municipal training blahs!

-- posted from my iPhone


recipe: crock-pot swiss caserole chicken

Tried this fantastic recipe tonight, courtesy of Crockpot Tuesdays. Mr. B and I both loved it! It was very tasty, inexpensive and extremely easy to prepare (literally 5 minutes). As an added bonus, using these measurements yields the two of us 3 full meals...just add a salad or veggies. I'm sharing the recipe with some modifications and suggestions below.

Swiss Casserole Chicken
6 chicken breast halves
4 slices swiss cheese
1 - 10 3/4 ounce can cream of mushroom soup (*I used cream of chicken)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp crushed garlic (*modification)
2 cups instant stuffing mix (such as Stove Top)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1. Lay chicken breasts in slow cooker, top with cheese slices. Combine soup, milk and minced garlic in a small bowl and spoon over cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix over top. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing mix.

2. Cook on low 8-10 hours or, high 3-4 hours. (I cooked on high for 3 hrs 15 minutes and it was perfect)

  • Mr. B thinks adding some dried cranberries to the stuffing mix would be a nice addition, providing a bit of a sweet/salty twist. I agree and will definitely try this next time.
  • I would recommend using low-sodium soup, low-sodium stuffing or both. You can always add salt but, can't take it away. Next time I'll try one low-sodium option and see if it helps a bit. Although this dish was certainly not over-salted, I'm just not used to cooking with a lot of salt which effects my palette with some recipes.
  • I think any hard, sliced cheese would work for this dish. Swiss adds a very subtle flavor. If you are a cheese lover, maybe try cheddar for more flavor impact.

Please excuse the lack of a photo this time around - it was dark by the time we got around to eating and, frankly, it smelled way too delicious to put off dinner for a picture!


all things evil...

1. Sonic (and Cablevision for running their ads):
Seriously, why must I be taunted and tempted with images of things that are nowhere within my reach? A Sonic commercial plays on our television at least once an hour yet, the closest to our home is about 2 hours away or over state lines. Don't these people know it's unfair to play on the cravings of a pregnant woman? But, HA! I have found a way around their trickery. It happens that a Sonic opened not far off the path to our mini-vacation this weekend...score! Cherry Limeade Chiller, you will soon be mine, all mine!!! Bwahahahaha ;-)Bonus! I went online in search of a coupon (hey, if I'm required to drive two hours for it, I should at least get a deal, right?) and found this one for a 99 cent regular Chiller. Click and enter your e-mail address to get yours and join in my sweet revenge!

2. Vampires: I can't help it. Ever since reading my way through the Twilight series, I've been wanting more blood-sucking action. It's bad, I know. Add to that, the torture of hearing all of the rave reviews of the show True Blood and little ol' me without access to HBO. So, what's a girl to do? Read, of course! I found the Sookie Stackhouse books online for 40% off retail but, didn't really want to wait the 10 business days for delivery. Google being my friend today, I found a coupon for 40% off any book at Borders, called to have them set aside the box set of books 1-7 and made them mine at lunchtime. Gotta love vamps for a steal! I plan to make my acquaintance with Ms. Stackhouse tonight...

Have you read these? Any thoughts or reviews you'd like to share (without spoilers, of course!)?


super cute label freebie!

Tell me these aren't some of the cutest labels you've ever seen...Can't do it, can you?
Want them? Need them?
Go here now: Got Sketch Labels Download

Thanks for posting this, Celeste!


much needed updates...

I just typed out a looooooong post and my computer ate it, grrr! So, here's a short version for now...

The belly. At 16 weeks (7/24) my belly finally popped a bit so, I was inspired to try for a photo. Not the best from my iPhone but it's a start. Mr. B took several more that weekend and we'll likely take weekly shots here on out for Baby Boom's scrapbook.

Commuting to the far end of NYC in the summer is not fun, especially with my current aversion to heat and humidity. Steaming subway stations and molten asphalt, anyone? But, I am occasionally required to work out of our Wall Street office. At the very end of Wall Street, past the stock exchange and trough the throngs of warm weather tourists. And, here's proof - taken after crossing the street from the #4 Wall Street station. Check out the crowded chattle line on the left...yep.

But, the commute home is never bad when accompanied by a treat or two. The picks this date were and Iced non-fat Chai Latte and a black & White from Junior's. Yum!

On the scrapbooking front, I finally flung myself back into my beloved hobby after a 4 month hiatus (yes, my last page was completed in March!) at an all-day crop. Not my most productive crop ever but, I had a great time with friends and went home with 4 completed layouts. As soon as I can get motivated to scan them in, I'll post a couple here.

And, about that diaper bag decision. It's on-going:
  1. #3, the Petunia Pickle Bottom has gotten some pretty terrible reviews about the fabric wearing poorly and a couple of other things (the need to purchase stroller clips for an additional $20 you say?). And, a lovely reader offered her mom perspective that the messenger bag flap was sure to drive me mad (thank you!!!).
  2. #2, the Rowdy seems to be eternally out-of-stock or selling for twice the recommended price if one should manage to come across it. In the end, while pretty, I"m not sure it would be large enough for all the baby goods.
  3. #1, the Skip*Hop Studio is definitely still in the running and I'm also considering another of their models that, like the Rowdy, has a detachable small purse for mom (and is in a very chic fabric).
  4. Now, am looking at a #4, Fleurville. Love that they use eco-friendly fabrics that that they wipe clean.

-- posted from my iPhone


diaper bag lust...

When it comes to purses and bags, I'm a collector (much to my husband's chagrin). I love a well made, stylish and functional bag. Coach and Dooney & Bourke are my favorite go-to's for durability and fashion. I've seriously put a halt to my bag shopping over the past year but, the mommy-to-be instinct has me on the prowl again, this time for a great diaper bag. Here are my top three favorites so far:
Skip*Hop Studio in Charcoal
Rowdy Sophisticate Bowler in Tan

Petunia Pickle Pottom Boxy Backpack in Moon Over Macau (LOVE!!!)
During a trip to Destination Maternity yesterday, I saw the Petunia (oh, Petunia how I love thee!) and Skip*Hop in person and had to resist the urge to drool...omg, want! You know what? My birthday is coming around before this little one arrives so, I'm thinking - wish list? ;-)

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