Freshly Picked Moccasins GIVEAWAY (closed)

Baby moccasins are, quite possibly, the cutest things ever.

freshly picked

I mean seriously.  Freshly Picked, specifically, are the best.  When cold weather hit St. Louis, I immediately ran into a problem with dressing baby William.  I couldn’t find any socks or shoes to stay on him, and while taking him out in his adorable footed sleepers surely evokes many “awws,” I figured I should probably change him out of his pajamas… most days.

9months moccasins

Now when I take out William dressed in his little baby moccs, I receive way more comments and “awws” than ever before.  Grown men have told me they wished they had a pair of moccs.  The first time my best friend Diana saw William in his moccasins, she asked, “Were those Jacob’s, too?”  (The majority of William’s clothes come from my sister or my friend.  No shame there, those baby boys are stylish!)  Anyway, I proudly answered that no, they were not hand-me-downs, but instead, brand new just for my baby William!

If you’re wondering if Freshly Picked is the company of baby moccasins you saw on ABC’s Shark Tank, then you’re right.  The moccasins are durable, well designed, and most importantly, stay on babies’ feet!  They fit any baby, too, no matter how chubby their little legs and feet are.  There is a tiny piece of elastic that make them very easy to slip on and stay on. The soft soled shoes are absolutely perfect for babies in every way!

freshlypicked

Linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday!

There are so many awesome colors and patterns that the moccasins come in.  I chose Weathered Brown for William because I wanted something neutral that could go with any outfit.  I’m thrilled with my choice because I can literally pair them with any outfit.  The Signature Collections and Limited Editions are amazing.  The moccs fit true to size, too.  I ordered a size up because I wanted William to be able to wear them for awhile.

9months freshly picked

Let’s talk about the cost for a quick second.  They’re $60.  A bit pricey? Yes, but totally worth it.  Have you ever tried to shove a baby’s foot into “real” shoes?  Not fun.  And I’ve yet to find socks that stay on.  These are worth every penny.  They’re made from real leather, and look so stinkin’ cute on every baby with every outfit.  I’ll definitely be purchasing a new pair when William grows out of his.  Freshly Picked offers free shipping on US orders over $100.  This means you should buy two pairs.  Choose two different colors or patterns, or buy one for now and one in the next size up because I guarantee you’ll want them!  Or, you and your friend could both buy a pair to earn free shipping (I hate paying for shipping which is why I’m giving you all these great ideas haha).

9  months

Freshly Picked has so kindly offered to giveaway one pair of baby moccs to one wonderful Itz Linz reader.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post with which moccasins you would order (mandatory).  For additional, optional entries:

  • Follow Itz Linz and Freshly Picked on Twitter, and tweet the following, “Baby moccasins are the cutest things ever! Win a pair from @freshlypicked on the @ItzLinz blog –> http://wp.me/p2WMfo-2Sc”
  • Follow Itz Linz and Freshly Picked on Instagram, and tag two friends on my giveaway picture.

Be sure to leave a separate comment on this blog post for each entry (three total entries possible per person).  This giveaway will be open until Thursday, January 15th at 8:00 pm CST and is open to US residents only who have not won another FP giveaway.  A winner will be randomly selected and e-mailed on Friday, January 16th, 2015.  CLOSED!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of moccasins in exchange for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Shakeology 3 Ways

So the high today in St. Louis is 9.  NINE!  That’s the high.  That’s crazy cold, if you ask me.  And the wind chill is obviously much colder.  Brr.  I want my summer back, I want the sun, I want warm temperatures, and I want to sweat.  But that’s neither here nor there since we can’t control the weather or Mother Nature.  Hope everyone is bundled up!

Anyway, the purpose of today’s post is to tell you about Shakeology 3 Ways.  My friend (and momma to adorable twin boys!) Sarah from the blog Creating a Better Tomorrow  so kindly sent me samples of Shakeology. I was excited as she constantly raves about them and creates the most delicious sounding shakes.  She also included recipes for an entire month for four different flavors… that’s 120 combinations of shakes!  I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to make, but am definitely happy with what I chose.

Maple Pecan Protein Shake

maple pecan shakeology

Maple Pecan Protein Shake: vanilla Shakeology, milk, pecans, cashews, and maple syrup

Vanilla is notoriously my favorite flavor of protein powder thanks to its versatility.  I’m a sucker for maple flavored foods (particularly maple almond butter – mmm!), yet I don’t think I’d ever added it to a shake before.  It was awesome and the perfect amount of sweetness!

How Shakeology works

  • Ingredients derived from whole-food sources deliver the daily vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs to curb cravings, allowing it to shed stored fat.
  • More than 20 different antioxidants and phytonutrients help reduce free radical damage that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • Fiber, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes help your body gently eliminate toxins more efficiently and promote better absorption of nutrients.

Strawberry Walnut & Oats

strawberry walnut & oats shakeology

Strawberry Walnut & Oats: strawberry Shakeology, walnuts, milk, and oats

Didn’t my picture turn out pretty? :)  I have no problem adding oats to my smoothies; they’re a great source of complex carbohydrates that give me energy for the day!

What’s in Shakeology?

  • Protein and essential amino acids help build muscles and reduce food cravings.
  • Prebiotics and digestive enzymes aid in improving digestion, regularity, and nutrient absorption.
  • Antioxidants and phytonutrients help counteract free radical damage that can lead to degenerative diseases.
  • A daily dose of vitamins and minerals provides your body what it needs to function for optimal health.

Banana Honeymoon

banana honeymoon shakeology

Banana Honeymoon – chocolate Shakelogy, milk, banana, and peanut butter

(Inspirational mug from The Universe Knows

Chocolate, banana, and peanut butter is such a classic combination, and this shake definitely didn’t disappoint.  Can’t ever go wrong with that combo!

The thing that struck me most about Shakeology is how THICK the shakes were!  The recipes suggested that they would be thicker if you used more ice.  My ice maker is broken and I don’t have room in my freezer for ice cube trays (thank you, breast milk!), so I added no milk, and I couldn’t believe how thick these shakes were!  They could easily be turned into bowls and eaten with spoons if that’s more your thing.

All in all, I give Shakeology two thumbs up! It tasted good, it kept me full, it blended well, and the consistency was awesome! If you’d like to learn more or try some of your own, CLICK HERE.

I drank the Shakeology protein shakes for my breaktfasts, so for the rest of today’s What I Ate Wednesday, I’m going to highlight a favorite lunch and dinner as of recently.

Cincinnati Chili

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I’ve posted this a million times before, but Courtney’s Light N Easy Cincinnati Chili is the most amazing chili ever.  I add beans, corn, and brown rice or quinoa to it, just to bulk it up even more, but it’s seriously delicious.  And the secret ingredients of cinnamon and cocoa totally make it.  I’ve been making a huge batch on the weekend and then eating it every day for lunch on top of either spaghetti squash or a bed of greens.  Topped with cheese, avocado, and plain Greek yogurt is the best.

My dad has been quite the chef lately, and when he takes over the kitchen, you definitely want to be a recipient of his feast!  Check out our last Sunday dinner:

Baba Ganoush

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My dad follows the recipe from YaYa’s Eurocafe Baba Ganoush.  It makes a ton, so we were all sent home with leftovers which is fantastic.  I could literally eat it with a spoon, but we devoured it with a loaf of bread.  Awesome starter!

Chicken with Artichokes and Angel Hair

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This recipe is from Martha Stewart, and is very flavorful.  Potatoes and Brussel sprouts complimented the chicken with artichokes and angel hair pasta perfectly.  We kept saying, “Mmm!” all throughout dinner, and just looking at that picture makes me drool all over again.  Yum.

So if you need any recipe inspiration, definitely check out the links I posted in today’s blog.  Or head on over to Peas and Crayons for hundreds (literally) more blog posts full of mouth watering meals!

Are you a vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate protein shake fan?

Beginning to Sleep Train a Baby

Sleep is important.  It’s more than important.  It’s crucial.  It’s essential for life.  This goes for babies, kids, adults, everyone.  Sleep is part of living a healthy life as it’s a basic need that must be met.  It’s no secret that baby William has never slept through the night.  That means, for the last almost nine months, I have not gotten a full night’s sleep.  Shoot, I haven’t even gotten more than a few consecutive hours in nine months.  That’s crazy!  Even crazier is the fact that I don’t feel sleep deprived, and I’m most definitely not complaining.  Sure, there are days that I’m tired, even exhausted, but like everything else with being a mom, I just do it.  Some how, some way, my body allows me to function.

william sleep

when he was just a few days old!

However, William has been congested due to a cold lately and he’s cutting three top teeth all at once, so his sleep habits have gotten even worse (when I thought that wasn’t even possible).  After a couple of almost completely sleepless nights for me, I knew I needed help.  Plus, I think my lack of sleep really got to me this weekend as I came down with a nasty cold that knocked me out.  Luckily, I found Tracy Spackman, of Quiet Nights, who is a certified Gentle Sleep Coach.

I quickly joined her “Sleep Sisters” Facebook group, and posted a question explaining I had no idea what to do or where to start for sleep training my little one.  Several ladies commented that they were in a similar situation as me, and many others advised me to call Tracy for a free 15-minute initial evaluation.

To be honest, I haven’t read any books on how to sleep train a baby.  It overwhelms me.  There are a million different options, a million different opinions, and a million different ways.  How was I supposed to know where to start or who to go to?  Cry It Out is not an option for me for a couple of reasons.  First, I don’t agree with it.  I know many mommas who use it and love it, and I’m not knocking them at all; it’s just not for me.  Second, William has a very active gag reflex.  Basically, when he gets too upset, or even a little upset, he throws up.  A lot.  Ugh.

william sad 3.5 months

nobody likes to be sad!

I learned so much about sleep in that fifteen-minute phone call with Tracy.  Perhaps some of this is “common knowledge,” but it wasn’t for me.  Tracy agreed to let me share this information with you, which is good to know before starting to sleep train.

Beginning to Sleep Train a Baby Information

  • 8-9 month old babies need 3 sleep cycles + a catnap during the day
  • 45-minutes of sleep = 1 sleep cycle
  • Anything less than 45-minutes of sleep is considered a catnap.
  • Ideally, a baby “should” take a 45-minute nap in the morning, and then have 2 sleep cycles back-to-back in the afternoon for an hour and a half nap.
  • A “wakeful window” for an 8-9 month old baby is anywhere from 2-3 hours, typically.
  • Watch for early sleep cues as opposed to rubbing eyes and yawning (almost too late at that point).
  • Early sleep cues include zoning out, staring off, glassy eyes, wanting a hug, crawling over to momma.
  • It’s harder to read sleep cues of babies with alert temperaments (William!);  they also have shorter wakeful windows.
  • Continue to use sleep crutches (nursing, rocking, singing, etc.) during naps while sleep training.
  • The goal will be to remove the sleep crutches at nighttime, so the baby learns to self-soothe, especially when he wakes up between sleep cycles.
  • Burst of energy = cortisol rush. (This happens to William ALL the time!)  This means the early sleep cues were missed.  Use this information to make the next day better.  Subtract twenty minutes from whatever time the cortisol rush happened, and that’s when the baby should have gone down.
  • Maximizing day sleep leads to better nighttime sleep!

snuggle sleep babywearing

William sleeps so well when I baby-wear him!  Not an option for nighttime sleeping though!

After my 15-minute phone call with Tracy, I booked her to begin my sleep training with William.  She sent me a questionnaire to fill out prior to our consultation.  The following day, we were on the phone for just over an hour as Tracy explained my individualized plan for how I would begin coaching William.  I actually haven’t started yet because William is so congested and not feeling 100%.  Once he clears up, training using gentle methods will begin.  I’ll check back in once my baby is sleeping through the night!  In the meantime, I highly recommend you check out Tracy Spackman, join the Facebook support group, and call for your free initial evaluation!  Even though I haven’t yet begun, i feel so good just knowing I have a plan in place and know exactly what to do!

sleeping baby 7months

sleeping babies are so peaceful

Did you sleep train your baby? At what age? What method? How’d it go? Any advice before I begin?

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva for Marvelous in my Monday!

5 New Things to Love

Being off work for winter break has been fun. Sadly, I go back today. Since I had almost a couple of weeks off, I had lots of time to do some online shopping… which is becoming a habit… a very dangerous expensive habit.  I did all my holiday shopping online this year, which is how this got started.  (Way too hard to get out to a million different stores with a baby and battle crazy lines around the holidays.  Online was fantastic!)  I’ve found some great new-to-me products and sites that I want to share with you today.

Linking up with Clare’s Five Things Friday.

1.  Mindy Mae’s Market

mindymaes

One of my friends introduced me to Mindy Mae’s Market and I instantly placed an order!  The clothes are cute and so reasonably priced that I couldn’t resist.  From left to right, I bought the Polka Dot Chambray Button Down, Lounge Raglan Sweatshirt in Red Stripe, and Faux Leather Leggings (these are apparently a thing, right?).  My total was right around $50 which qualified me for free shipping – wahoo!  Plus, you can pay with PayPal which makes it even easier.

2.  iHerb

cleaning

Ok, so iHerb isn’t new-to-me, but the products I ordered are.  iHerb is awesome for so many reasons.  Their prices are the lowest, they’ve got a HUGE variety on tons of products, always free shipping over $20, and you can save an extra 10% on orders over $40.  Plus, they ship crazy fast.  I got my confirmation email and an email stating my order had been shipped on the same day.  No waiting around!  For the items I ordered this time, I was familiar with the brands, just not the specific items I purchased.

  • Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner in Lemon Verbena Scent: I use and really like their hand soap and am interested to see how the cleaner works.
  • Method All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner in Clementine: I use their dish soap, and my sister loves this surface cleaner.
  • Earth’s Best Tender Care Chlorine-Free Diapers: Earth’s Best is the brand of oatmeal I feed William.  He’s been soaking through his current diapers overnight, and I’ve tried two different brands, so I’m really hoping he stays dry at night in these!
  • BabyGanics The Grime Fighter All Purpose Surface Wipes Fragrance Free: I used to use this dish soap to wash William’s bottles and my pump parts when he was super tiny (now I use Method). I like how it’s fragrance-free, naturally safe, and nontoxic. I plan to use these to wipe down William’s toys.

Use my code VAJ523 to save money on your iHerb order! [affiliate link, thank you!]

3. Christen Michel Skin Care Line

christenmichael

When I attended the MizzFit Boxing at Sweat event, I was introduced to the Christen Michel Glow Skin Care Line.  We were gifted the Replenish spritz, and I loved it right away.  She sent me a couple of other samples to try out, and I’m definitely a fan.  The skin care line is designed for those in need of brightening and texture correction.  It’s paraben-free, cruelty-free, no dye, no faux fragrance, and no harsh chemicals.  The prices are average; they’re more expensive than drugstore products, yet less expensive than the really pricey stuff which makes them very reasonable, especially for the quality!  I used them for a week straight and noticed a difference in my face!

  • Strawberry Crush Polisher & BrightenerThis is the most  gentle yet effective exfoliating cleanser I’ve ever used.  And it smells amazing!  Normally I can’t exfoliate my face on a daily basis, but I was able to with this.  I liked using it in the morning to wake me up and brighten my skin for the day.
  • Replenished Daily SpritzI first used this after I had taken the boxing class because I didn’t feel like redoing my makeup. It definitely gave me the pick-me-up my face needed!  Platinum, oxygen, gold and silver are used to replenish your radiance & hydration all day as it may fade due to stress, exhaustion, too much caffeine or travel.
  • SkinQuench MoisturizerI use this oil-free cream at night before I go to bed. Especially in the winter, my face gets really dry and this cream feel great.

One or more of these products would make a lovely gift for your mom, grandma, sister, or friend.  You can buy gift cards or  “glow boxes.”  Treat yourself – your face will thank you!

4. Zulily

zulily hat

I know I’m late to the Zulily love, but wow, I love their items!  I ordered this BCBG ombre slouch beanie and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.  I also ordered Audrey an absolutely adorable winter coat for a Chanukah present.  Zulily has awesome brands and up to 70% off with new items everyday – a very fun way to shop online! [affiliate link, thank you!]

5. Victory’s Grin 

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Oh, you didn’t really think I’d do the whole post without a picture of baby William did you? ;)  One of my sister’s sweet friends, Mandy, sent us this Victory’s Grin “You Roll Poo Poo-trol” Baby Block Game.  The description reads, “Tired of being the one always on diaper “doody?”  Now, when “doody” calls, just roll the block to see who is on Poo Poo-trol!”  There are several different cute patterns to choose from, and it’s a fun, soft, squishable, tactile-pleasing block for baby.  There are even more items available on their Facebook page.  This would make a very unique and fun gift for a baby shower!

Any new-to-you items YOU want to tell ME about? What should I check out next?

Happy 2015!

The first day of a brand new year… Oh the possibilities!  I was thinking about writing a reflection post of 2014, but let’s be real. It would be filled with pregnancy photos and baby William photos.  So instead of re-posting them, check out my pregnancy page and baby itz page, and we’ll call it a day.  My fitness posts weren’t as plentiful in 2014 as they had been in 2012 and 2013, but wait for 2015… they’ll make a comeback!  And it’s not like I just sat around during 2014.  I worked out when I could and my priorities shifted in the best of ways.  Being a full-time working mom is tough… but I wouldn’t trade my little man for the world and what I have to do for him!

I’m ready for a fresh beginning in 2015.  2014 was amazing – it brought me a happy and healthy adorable baby boy who fills my heart with so much joy every single day.  2014 also had its downs, as every year does, but that’s not my focus. I’m moving forward in 2015 and not looking back!

May each of you have a happy and healthy new year!

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Happy 2015!

xoxo, Linz

ASICS Gel Fit Sana Fashionable & Versatile Shoes

You guys know I like jumping.  I like seeing how much height I can get.  I like trying to touch my toes in the air.  I like the freedom of being up.  And I’m not gonna lie… I love jumping pictures.  I think they look awesome.  Check me out:

split jump dec14

It only took about a million tries to get that one shot.  And for some reason, for the life of me, I just could not get my legs perfectly straight.  I’ll keep working.  Gotta keep working.  Practice makes [almost] perfect.  Not that I want to be perfect, just better.  Anyway, the reason for all this jumping stemmed from trying to get some cool pictures for my sweet new kicks.  So after we got this rad shot, I saw you couldn’t even see the darn shoes.  Whoops.  Still made for a sweet picture.  But now, the shoes:

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These ASICS Gel-Fit Sana shoes are the bombdotcom.  Seriously.  Since I’ve been on winter break, I’ve worn them almost every day.  I love how versatile they are.  They go great with a casual outfit and are incredibly comfortable for all day wear.

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There are six different color options that these shoes come in, but I chose the black and white because I wanted something that would literally match any and every outfit.  The color combinations all look awesome though. They’re bright and eye-catchy.  The options are: Concord Grape / White, Purple Magic/ White / Nectarine, Petal Pink / White / Fuchsia, Hot Pink / White / Grape,  Navy / White / Hot Pink, or Black / White / Coral.  You can see all the different color combinations HERE or check out the hashtag #FITwithASICS on Instagram.  FitFluential ambassadors have done a fabulous job showcasing the shoe.

Not only are the shoes incredibly fashionable, but they’re also great for working out.  They’re light and flexible with a customized fit. The Gel-Fit Sana adapts and supports your foot with the inner lining from the heel to the forefoot, while providing a barefoot-like sensation.  Fits like a glove!

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I had these shoes out in my house when my dad came over yesterday.  He instantly noticed them, picked one up, and exclaimed, “Wow! These are really light! They’re like nothing!”   True story.  They’re literally weightless on your feet.

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Another cool factor?  They’re just $80!  (And ASICS has free shipping on all orders!)  That’s totally reasonable for a shoe that you can wear around town or in the fitness world.

I’m off to enjoy my last few days of winter break.  And work on my jumps.

split jump asics

What are you on working on these days?  Which color combo would you choose?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of ASICS.

Weekend Snapshots

I hope everyone who celebrates had a very Merry Christmas!  Baby William took the opportunity to have his cute little self photographed near my sister’s family’s tree.

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We hung out over there on Christmas Eve and the cousins had some fun bonding time, as usual.  Seriously, so much love between those three.

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When I walked in the door, Stephanie and I immediately laughed as we were both wearing a monogrammed vest a sweet friend had gifted us the evening before for Chanukah.

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My mom frequently had us matching when we were younger, so now, as adults, it’s just funny.  On Christmas, we hung out at my parents’ house and did what so many other Jewish families do on Christmas: eat Chinese food!  Plenty of learning and playing happened, as well.

yaya pops

Yaya taught William to count using an abacus that was 30+ years old and Pops did his classic, “Who has stinky feet? I’m going to eat your toes!” move which had William belly laughing.

I even got in a two and a half mile walk on the treadmill in my new Asics GEL-Fit Sana shoes.  They’re super lightweight and comfy (review coming!).  My red and white striped socks were the most festive things I own, so it was only appropriate I sport them on Christmas.

asics

The next day, temperatures reached the mid-fifties, so baby William, Zoey, and I took a walk outside to soak up the sunshine.  It felt wonderful to get outside at the end of December, I must say!

We met Clare for a coffee date and baby William was all smiles (and wiggles!).

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I’m hoping Clare chooses St. Louis to attend med school next year!

Other weekend snapshots (sans pictures) includes getting together with high school friends, taking William to a music performance with his cousins, making a huge batch of my favorite chili, spaghetti squash, and corn muffins, and having Audrey spend the day with us yesterday and baking cookies and muffins.

We ended the weekend with a lovely 86th birthday party for my grandpa Poppy!

What’d you do over the weekend?

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Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva for Marvelous in my Monday and Erin at Her Heartland Soul for Weekend Snapshots – check them out and spread the love!

William’s First Chanukah 2014

We want to wish everyone who celebrates a very Merry Christmas today!  Since we obviously don’t celebrate, I thought we’d recap William’s first Chanukah 2014 since it just ended a couple of days ago.

first chaunkah

We had lots of family time which is the best part of any holiday.

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William even got to spend some time with Uncle Justin and Aunt Dana who were in town from Arizona.  William intently explored Justin’s face.

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I like how they both have the hair flip thing going on. :)

We had lots of playdates with our buddies!  William and Wolf:

wolf dec14

And William with his twin buddies, Asher and Sam:

asher sam

We celebrated the last night of Chanukah with our good friends. It was a beautiful way to end William’s first Chanukah!

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Happy holidays to all! xo

801 Chophouse

I love being on winter break.  I love not rushing around in the morning.  I love hanging out in my pajamas until 1pm.  I love playing with baby William all day long.  I love getting together with friends who are in town for the holidays.  I love spending lots of time with family.  I love setting up playdates with adorable babies.  The list goes on and on.  The food during winter break is way better than during a normal work week thanks to said get togethers, fancy dinners, and parties.  Here are some highlights from the past week as I’m linking up with Peas & Crayons’ What I Ate Wednesday:

Breakfast: Toasted bagel with cream cheese topped with a scrambled egg with salmon and fresh fruit on the side

salmon bagel

Reason #972 why brunch at my parents’ house is awesome?  Leftovers for days!  I don’t buy bagels for my house, but I have no problem eating them at breakfasts or brunches out.  And eggs.  I could do and sometimes do eggs seven days a week.  Salmon is not something I prepare myself, but I do eat it on a regular basis… mostly at my parents’ house.  The combination of all three?  Oh baby, this breakfast was awesome!

Said leftovers were also eaten for lunch the past couple of days.  I’m a grazer, so many times I don’t make an actual plate.  I take a bite here and there until the leftovers are gone.  This worked out well on Monday when my best friend Barbie and I went out for appetizers in the afternoon as I pretty much just snacked all day.

barbie

Barbie and I went to elementary school and high school together. She was who convinced me to run my first half marathon and ran it with me right by my side.  She started my love for running.  Our 25+ years of friendship is going strong.  And she just told me that her plans of moving back to St. Louis are becoming a reality! It may not be for a few years, but hey there is a date and it’s going to happen. SO EXCITED!  Barbie is a true friend.  And even though she goes by “Barbara” these days, she’ll always be Barbie to me!

When we were really young and we’d have sleepovers, I always remember eating so much junk food with Barbie.  Most notably, peanut butter M&Ms, chips, cookies, and ice cream.  When we went to Lester’s for appetizers, we enjoyed junk food just like our twelve year old selves would have.

lesters

We ordered the bavarian pretzels that were served with cheese sauce (the best!) and whole grain mustard (not a huge fan), and the bbq nachos which we (I) destroyed.  Mmm. They were so good and ended up serving as my dinner for the evening.  It’s funny because when we were talking about what we were going to do when we got together we were debating on working out together.  But then the weather was terrible and I couldn’t find a class at the time we were getting together, so we opted for food instead.  It was a good choice and so great to catch up.

Like I mentioned earlier in the week, my family went out to 801 Chophouse for dinner.

family 801chophouse

Also like I’ve mentioned, my family likes to eat and never goes hungry.  A ridiculous amount of food was ordered and eaten.  Literally everything we got was delicious.  Here’s what we got with a few of my notes.  I’ll try not say, “It was SO good,” for every.single.thing.  But it was.

801 chophouse

  • Carpaccio: Yes, that’s an egg on top.  I’m not a huge carpaccio fan, but the pickled onions it came with were very unique.
  • Pancetta- Wrapped Scallops: I love scallops all the time.
  • Fried Calamari: Can’t ever go wrong.
  • Oysters Rockefeller: I don’t usually like oysters, at all, but the topping on these totally won me over.  It was cheese and spinach and breadcrumbs and who knows what other kind of goodness.  It definitely deserves a, “It was SO good!”
  • 801 Chophouse Salad: This came with braised pork belly which I shared with some of the guys.  The salad was topped with a poached egg.
  • Filet Mignon: Melt in your mouth amazing.
  • Lobster Macaroni & Cheese: I could probably live off this stuff.  Well, not really, because that’d be super unhealthy, but you get my point.  It’s ridic.
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Made with toasted walnuts, garlic, orange zest, and parsley.
  • Lyonnaise Potatoes: Has bacon lardons, sautéed onions, and caraway seed.
  • French Green Beans: Sautéed with bacon and caramelized onions.
  • 801 Carrot Cake: Pecan nougat filling, caramel sauce, candied carrot – everyone loved.
  • Snickers Dessert: I couldn’t find or remember what the real name was for this, but it was my favorite.

See? I told you.  Everything was ridiculously good.  How’s that for a review?  So so so so good.  Sorry, not sorry, I’m not a food critic.  But I do love food and I can attest that 801 Chophouse is awesome and I’d recommend it if you’re in St. Louis.  Apparently they have other locations around the country, as well.

And my Poppy:

poppy

You’d never know he’s turning 86 in just two days, would you?

Have you been eating different (better) food lately because of the holidays?

Posing at PBK

So, about a month ago, my sister and I were at Pottery Barn Kids shopping for a few gifts.  Everything they have there is absolutely adorable, making it the perfect gift.  Yes, it’s on the pricier side, but there are items that are reasonable and everything is really good quality making it worth the price.  Plus, they gift wrap very nicely, so whatever you get looks even better.  Anyway, after I’d purchased a couple of gifts, we were waiting around while they gift wrapped.

Stephanie said, “Put William down by the Santa. Let me take a picture of him.”

I replied, “On the ground? Ew. No.”

“Just do it.  It’ll be funny,” her typical famous words.  It’s hard to argue with a ridiculously good photographer.  So I put baby William down on the ground and let her work her magic.

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Cute photo opp, but it didn’t do much for me since we’re Jewish and don’t celebrate Christmas.  When I expressed this, Stephanie replied, “Ok, let’s find somewhere else to put him.”  After walking around the store, the fun began.

William rode a lamb rocker.

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(Don’t worry, Mom.  I was right.there to make sure he was safe!)

William tested out the bassinet.

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And was chillin’.

We were literally cracking up walking around trying to find other places to pose him.

William snuggled with a giant bear.

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The next picture is the best.  I posted it on Instagram the night we took it.  Pottery Barn Kids re-posted it a couple of nights ago and it got over 2,600 likes!  Baby William is famous and should definitely model for them, don’t you think?

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That teepee, chair, rug, and bear would look faaaaabulous in our house.  As would everything else at Pottery Barn Kids.  Love that store.  Love my baby. So much fun!

Where’s the funniest place you’ve taken silly pictures?