A Beautiful Weekend Away in Boston

It’s nice to be backing after a little impromptu blogging vacation! Over Valentine’s Weekend, the hubs and I headed to a Boston for a relaxing weekend away before Baby Morrison makes his/her appearance. I am so glad we stayed close to home, since the weather was a little less than desirable!

This bed was so comfy!

This bed was so comfy!

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We had a beautiful view of the Public Garden

I met Clarke after work in Boston at the Taj hotel. It was my first time staying at the Taj, and it was divine! The service could not have been any better, and the hotel was beautiful. I arrived first and was met with a beautiful surprise flower arrangement. :-) On Friday night we headed over to Newbury Street for dinner at Tapeo. I love to go for tapas when I am in a city, since you can’t really find them in our town. ;-)

My Valentine's Floral Arrangement

My Valentine’s Floral Arrangement

I wish I could eat more at one sitting, but I was full after just a few tapas. The “house car” dropped us off, but we took our time walking back to the hotel along Newbury. We made a quick stop at DeLuca’s for some healthy snacks for the hotel and then headed back for some major relaxation and Olympics watching–crazy night, huh?!

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On Saturday we had a relaxing morning and walked through the Public Garden to Paramount Beacon Hill for some breakfast. It’s an interesting little place–packed on weekend mornings. You go to the back and order and pick up your food, and then you are seated. I had a great omelet, and the blueberry pancakes were AWESOME! After breakfast, we headed over to the Museum of Fine Arts. It had been quite a while since I had been there, and I was looking forward to seeing the Impressionist exhibit.

Th e Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts

What is so cool about the exhibit is that they polled people to find out that favorite Impressionist paintings (it’s called the Boston Loves Impressionism exhibit), and then they went about borrowing the pieces for the show. The top 30 choices were picked for the exhibit, with the top 3 displayed right in front of the entrance to the exhibit. It was a great collection! We wandered around the museum for about an hour and then headed back to the hotel for some more relaxation—I’m getting sore after standing and walking for a long time now! ;-)

I love this neon sign at the MFA!

I love this neon sign at the MFA!

On Saturday night we went to Myers + Chang–we were really looking forward to trying this place after many recommendations. It’s a hip little Asian fusion restaurant that’s interior reminds you of an old diner (hard to picture, but very cool when you see it!). I chose the fresh rolls with tofu for my appetizer, since I am pretty much obsessed with fresh rolls! I had not had them with tofu, but they were very tasty, and the chili peanut sauce was fabulous.  For my entrée, I tried the Surf + Turf black pepper Shanghai noodles (shrimp, steak, peanuts, cilantro, lime), and it was to die for–so yummy!

Before we left on Sunday morning, the concierge recommended the The Met Back Bay for a great breakfast that was close by. I was really craving some pancakes, and they assured me the pancakes would wow me. They did, but it was a ginormous serving. I am proud to say I ate half! We headed back out of the city around lunch time and picked up the boys late in the afternoon. It was a much-needed and VERY relaxing weekend away. I headed into school vacation week feeling relaxed–always a good way to start off that week! ;-)

 

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A Babymoon Weekend and Some Car Show Fun!

I am so excited that later this afternoon I will be headed to Boston to meet my husband for a weekend babymoon! We wanted to go somewhere warm as a family, but the sky-high February vacation airfare and possibly having to wait until March (too close for comfort!) made this impossible. So instead we decided to spend Valentine’s weekend at the Taj in Boston.

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We will get to go out to dinner, maybe hit the Museum of Fine Arts, and just relax for the whole weekend–yay!!!! Can you tell I’m excited?! :-) I love my kids to pieces, but it will be so nice to have the weekend alone with the hubs and to not have to take care of anyone except myself. Thank goodness for my wonderful in-laws too, for planning a fun-filled weekend for the boys. They are so excited for their weekend too.

Northeast International Auto Show

I thought I would share a cute little collage of the boys from the Northeast International car show last weekend in Providence, RI. Clarke took the boys before they went to a nearby birthday party, and they had a blast! My oldest has been obsessed with cars since he could talk, so the car show was the perfect outing for him. The boys sat in so many different cars and had fun choosing their favorites. God help me when they learn how to drive! ;-)

What do you have planned for Valentine’s weekend??

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The Good and the Bad…

Okay, I’ll get the bad news out of the way first. I failed the 1 hour glucose screening–I had a suspicion that might happen, since I have never had to take it late in the day (after eating two meals). I think now matter how much you try to avoid sugar, it’s everywhere. So now I have to go next week for the 3 hour glucose tolerance test. I will bring my work and my iPad, and hopefully it will go by fast. :-/

They also tested my iron, and I had a feeling that would be low. As I suspected, it was (I had been feeling dizzy). Turns out I am now anemic and need to take 2 iron supplements daily—bring on the Colace! ;-) Please cross your fingers for me that I pass the 3 hour screening next week!

Fish Bowl Valentine

Now for the good. I found these super cute valentines on Pinterest (yes, I actually made something that I pinned- WIN!). My five-year old decided that he wanted Planes valentines, but I convinced my three-year old that these adorable fish bowl ones would be AWESOME. They did not disappoint (see pic). I had mine printed on card stock at Staples, and I found some great colored scotch tape at Michael’s (along with the small plastic bags).

We filled our bags with goldfish, but you could also use swedish fish. To check out the template I used, click HERE. Thanks Bliss Bloom blog for some very fun and easy to make valentines–I’m sure they will be a hit with the preschoolers! They read: “I’m so glad you’re in my school.”

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My DIY Nautical Towel Hook

With my design idea and my husband’s handyman skills, we created a nautical towel hook for the boys bathroom. Back when we were renovating the laundry area, we saved all of the old wood. I found a piece of backing that I knew would be perfect for some type of hook. About a year later, we put the plan into action!

The first step was to clean up the piece of wood and let it dry. My husband then covered it in one coat of polyurethane. I had purchased some galvanized steel cleats from West Marine that were the right size for holding a bath towel. I chose four, since I thought the spacing would look best and allow each boy to hang two towels/robes at a time.

Nautical Towel Hook

After the polyurethane dried, my husband arranged the cleats and then drilled them into the wood. The wood piece already had some pre-drilled holes in the back. We used drywall anchors and drilled directly into the wall to secure the section of wood. It works perfectly, and I love that it cost about $8 to make! It was exactly what I wanted–a nautical and rustic feel.

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28 Week Bumpdate (and my first pregnant selfie)

28 Week SelfieYesterday was my glucose test, and I’m really hoping I didn’t fail it! It was the first time I didn’t take it early in the morning–my appointment wasn’t until 2:30. At breakfast, I had a croissant with some almond filling. Crossing my fingers I didn’t get too much sugar. I REALLY don’t want to have to take the 3 hour test. :-(

My iron will also be tested, and I’m sure it will be low as it was with the other two. Bring on the Slow Fe! ;-) The baby sounds great and is sitting kind of horizontal right now. The heartbeat was good and I am measuring right at 28 weeks.

My appointments are now every 2 weeks–where did they time go?? I also got to schedule my 32 week growth scan (which they do at my group for advanced maternal age) for early March. Thank goodness we are finally getting the nursery ready! :-) I feel like the rest of this pregnancy is going to fly by!

 

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Is Your Cookware Safe?

I wrote about greening your dinnerware last week, so this week I am going to talk about greening your cookware. Like most of you, I prefer to cook with non-stick cookware. I have enough dishes to do–no need to spend extra time scrubbing pots and pans! ;-) Non-stick pans are traditionally coated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)—also known as C-8– a chemical that has raised concern over its safety.

PFOA has been labeled a carcinogen, and companies that make nonstick cookware have been asked to phase it out by 2015. A scary fact: PFOA can be found in the blood of 9 out of 10 Americans in low levels! In addition to its carcinogenic effects, it has resulted in low birth weight and suppressed immunity in laboratory animals (at high doses). In an effort to create a more safe nonstick coating, companies have created safer alternatives to Teflon. One of these coatings is Thermolon™ (a ceramic coating).

GreenPanI am in the process of replacing all of my cookware with stainless steel or cookware that uses Thermolon™. One brand I have used and really enjoyed is the Cookware Company. I recently got to try out one of their pans: the Barcelona 8-inch nonstick fry pan. I love it, and it has been getting a lot of use (along with my Henckels Thermolon™ skillet).

In addition to being PFOA free, the Cookware Company pans are lead and cadmium free. They are heat-resistant up to 850 degrees clean up quickly and easily. You can find the Original GreenPan™ and other Cookware company products at Macy’s, Target, West Elm, Amazon, and a number of other retailers. Check them out at www.-greenpa.us and www.cookware-co.com and on Facebook: GreenPanUSA and Twitter: @GreenPan_intl.

30 Something Mother Runner received a Barcelona 8-inch Open Nonstick Frypan – Coated for review ($59.99 suggested retail). All opinions are 100% my own–I LOVE this pan. :-) 

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Weekend Recap

I sort of can’t believe that the weekend is over already–why do they seem to get shorter and shorter? ;-) We had a busy weekend with parties and yet more home improvement. Weekends have been hard lately– you want to kick back and relax, but it’s also the time you have at home to get stuff done around the house.

bathtubSince I have been working a lot lately, and I am self-admittedly not a person who is very good at keeping their house clean; I broke down and hired someone to help with the housecleaning.

When we moved back to Falmouth, the square footage we have to take care of has tripled along with my cleaning responsibilities! I feel like I am drowning, so it was time to call in the reinforcements. It was like Christmas (seriously my husband couldn’t believe how happy I was!) when I set up the first appointment and arranged for our cleaning person to come every other week!

We took it easy Saturday night and visited with my Mom, who just got back from Florida. We had to rest up for back to back parties on Sunday! Sunday was a birthday party followed by dinner out with my Mom and then a Superbowl party. I made a cameo at the Superbowl party (I wasn’t into the game this year, since the Pats didn’t make it). I stayed through halftime, and I am glad I did. Bruno Mars knocked it out of the park !

It was nice to see a Superbowl performance in which the singer actually sang instead of lip syncing. He put on a great show–I loved it! I decided to head home after that and take a hot bath. My back has been sore from lugging around the extra pounds, and it felt good to put my feet up and relax in the tub. I’m ready to get back to work tomorrow, in addition to doing some more wall paper stripping in the soon-to-be nursery/guest room–three months left to finish that one!

Did you watch the Super Bowl? What did you think of the halftime show?

 

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Greening Your Dinnerware with Fiesta

One of the things I have made a concerted effort to do over the past few years is to make sure that our dishes and cooking ware is greener and healthier for us to use. While many of the dishes you see at big box retailers and online are great looking, they are often made in China and have no certification that the paints used are lead and cadmium-free.

fiestaware square bowl tangerineIf you think about how often you use your plates, it’s pretty scary to think of them containing lead and cadmium. What happens when you put them in the microwave of dishwasher? Scary! When I started researching dinnerware that is lead-free and cadmium-free, I stumbled upon Fiesta Dinnerware.

I always associated Fiestaware with my grandmother, because she had such an extensive collection! What I didn’t know at the time is that it is made in the USA and is lead and cadmium free. Fiestaware for the win!

It had me at made in the USA and lead and cadmium-free, but I also love the funky colors and the fact that it has a 5-year chip resistant warranty (huge bonus!). I promptly bought myself 6 place settings of Fiestaware and have never looked back. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe, and it’s held up very well!

If you are interested in purchasing Fiestaware, you can find it at most department stores (I got mine from Macy’s), specialty shops, online, and at www.homerlaughlin.com. To the right you will see a picture of the square bowls I recently received from Fiestaware (in tangerine).

30 Something Mother Runner received  4 square bowls from Homer Laughlin China (maker of Fiesta Dinnerware). I personally purchased six place settings of my own, because I truly believe in the quality and safety of this dinnerware. 

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27 Week Bumpdate (I Can’t Believe How Big I’m Getting!)

So I am one week away from the third trimester. I took a deep breath when I looked at the calendar and realized I have only three months (or less) until Baby Morrison #3 joins us! My legs definitely get more tired walking about the stairs, but all things considered, I’m feeling great!

27 Week BumpI get to take the super tasty gestational diabetes test next week, and hopefully I pass! ;-) I did with the other two, but I have recently spoken with 2 moms that had to take the 3 hour test with their third. Cross your fingers for me! I also have a midwife appoint next week. I think after that one, I go every two weeks. It still seems a little surreal. I have gotten used to the family routine with an almost four year-old and almost six year-old, and pretty soon we will be back in newborn territory…

Since we have only three months left (that I think will go very fast!), we are moving into high gear with the transformation of the guest room into a nursery/guest room. I am brining in some outside help with this one to get it done sooner. It’s going to be yellow and grey, which I think will make a great gender neutral nursery. I love yellow and grey together!

With the other home improvements, a lot of little things are being checked off the to-do list. The roman shades I had made for the boys’ room and the den will be arriving today, and the boys’ bathroom door (we are de-leading and repainting an old door from the home) should be finished by the end of next week. It’s all starting to come together–such a great feeling!

 

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Fit Bit and Other Fitness Tracking Devices

Like many of you, I kept hearing about the “Fit Bit” and other fitness tracking devices and wondered what exactly did they do. These very cool new trackers can log your exercise data (thinks steps, calories burned, distance etc.), weight, and sleep, and are able to sync with online tools to track your daily food intake. Here are a few of the most popular tracking devices on the market right now:

  • Jawbone UP

    Jawbone UP

    Fit Bit ($129.95) — This device tracks exercise, food, weight, and sleep. Fit Bit offers four different trackers: Zip™, One™, Flex™, and Force™. They range in price from $59.95 to $129.95. To read some of the reviews for Fit Bit devices, click HERE. The Fit Bit sits on your wrist, and it’s incredible slim it is with all of the data it is able to track!

  • Jawbone ($129.99)– The Jawbone UP is also a wrist tracker (with a very modern and stylish design). It can be synced with Apple and Droid devices. Similar to the Fit Bit, it tracks food, fitness, and sleep activities. The UP also has Insight Engine, which allows you to see and understand patterns in your daily activities, which can be invaluable when developing fitness and weight loss goals. Other cool features are the idle alert–which lets you know when you have been sedentary for too long and mood tracking capabilities.
  • Nike+ Fuel Band SE ($149.00)– The Fuel Band SE is more geared toward fitness tracking, providing you with comprehensive data about your workouts including frequency of movement, intensity of exercise, and also allows you to interact socially with other Fuel Band users. The device uses Bluetooth to sync to your smart phone.

 Do you have a fitness tracker? What are you thoughts on these types of devices?

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