Wearing: Falling for Layers

September is already here and fall will be here before you know it! The only problem (well for me) is that it doesn’t get cold in Florida for some time, but I can still dream about layering sweaters with blouses. Fall is my favorite season. I love the smell of crisp air, changing leaves, football, uggs and oversized sweaters!

My fall wardrobe staples are long and 3/4 sleeved sweaters paired with any kind of collared shirt. Looking over a few of my favorites shops online I became excited and antsy for that weather to come! I might just have to crank the AC so I can break out a few of my favorites cardigans early!

1. Gap
2. Gap
3. J.Crew
4. Nordstrom
5. J.Crew

 

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    September 3, 2012 Reply

    I love all those outfits!

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  1. By Lily & Bliss | Fashion: The Peter Pan Collar on October 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

    […] of my favorite looks of all time is layering a sweater over a collared shirt (remember this post?).  It’s a versatile look by pairing it with dress pants for work or with distressed jeans […]

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Splurge or Save

Polka dots are everywhere! With fall approaching I found these two dot sweaters that can be worn by themselves or layered with a colored oxford shirt.

Splurge: Tippi sweater in swiss dot from J.Crew $138

Save: Boat-neck sweater from Old Navy $24.94

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    September 3, 2012 Reply

    I actually like the Old Navy one best. The price difference makes it even better. I can’t fathom paying $138 for a sweater unless it is a classic and I’d really have to think about it……after a couple of seasons I think I’d be tired of the polka dots.

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Grilled Greek Chicken & Vegetables

We invited my brother Alex and his girlfriend Emily over this past weekend to take advantage of our pool before tropical storm Isaac came to town. We provided the pool and libations and Alex did the cooking….pretty good swap if you ask me!

Since I am still on the road to loosing my baby weight I served up Skinny Girl White Peach Margaritas. Regular margaritas are chalked full of sugar and Bethanny Frankel sure did a good job capturing that taste while keeping the calories low! We recently cleaned our grill so while Alex managed the food we watched from the pool enjoying the guilt free cocktails.

Alex is trying to eat healthy and picked two amazing dishes, grilled greek chicken and grilled vegetables. Both recipes are simple and delicious! I could have easily made a meal out of the vegetables alone!

The grilled greek chicken is a perfect for the summer dish that will leave you wanting to eat it year round (found here)! One great feature on that website is that you can customize the serving size and it will give you the correct measurement for the ingredients. Instead of putting the recipe and directions on my blog, customize it per the serving size you would like! The recipe called for the chicken to marinate for 8 hours, but we did it for only 30 minutes and it tasted fabulous.

The grilled vegetables were served up on The Everyday Italian show with Giada De Laurentiis (recipe found here). There are so many vegetables in this dish you could eat it as your main course and be satisfied (or at least I could!). The only changes Alex made were omitting the mushrooms and using a regular eggplant and not the Japanese eggplant. I also let him use our black cherry balsamic vinegar instead of the normal kind. We get our flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegar from the Florida Olive Oil Company in Sarasota. Check out their various flavors online and guess what they ship!!!!!

This was the perfect meal to eat poolside. It was even better sharing it with my little brother and his sweet girlfriend! Thanks Alex for cooking and introducing me to two new favorite dishes!

Hope ya’ll enjoy!

Grilled Vegetables

From Giada De Laurentiis
3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
3 yellow squash (about 1 pound), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
3 zucchini (about 12 ounces), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
3 Japanese eggplant (12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
1 bunch (1-pound) asparagus, trimmed
12 green onions, roots cut off
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
(we omitted: 12 cremini mushrooms)

Turn your grill on to medium.
Lightly coat the vegetables with ¼ of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
You will want to grill the vegetables under tender and in batches as they all have different cooking times.
8-10 minutes for the peppers
7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant (and mushrooms)
4 minutes for asparagus and green onions.
While the vegetables are cooking whisk the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs (salt and pepper to taste).
Drizzle the vegetables with the herb mixture once it is removed from the grill.

 
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  1. By Lily & Bliss | Eat Clean Challenge: week one on September 11, 2012 at 12:39 am

    […] sliced apples and light vinaigrette.For dinner I stuck to something I have already made (post here). The grilled chicken and vegetable recipe is a very filling meal and I needed the extra chicken […]

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DIY Sensory Boards

Repeat after me: Every Kid Is Different.

This friendly yet annoying phrase is repeated on Baby Center when you read the weekly age post on your child’s development.

There is this constant struggle as a parent to make sure your kid is making their milestones. We all know that each kid is different but when I see a child walking months before Lily, I find myself asking, “What am I doing wrong?”

And the answer is nothing. I have been doing a lot of reading and when it comes to walking you shouldn’t force your child to do it. It will come. This is where being patient becomes a virtue. I have to keep telling myself that Lily will stop crawling and will walk one day. She will begin to talk one day. Be patient.

On top of worrying over milestones I beat myself up all the time that I am not doing enough engaging activities that help her develop fine motor skills or language and cognitive skills. It’s that dang parental guilt. Just when I start to relax, that guilt creeps back in and makes me doubt my parenting. Mike is very supportive and reminds me that I’m crazy (in a good way!) and that we are doing great as first time parents. My girlfriends make me feel normal when they agree that it’s challenging to find new activities for our kids.

So recently I enrolled Lily in MyGym along with her buddies Brady, son to Emily Ley, and Beckett, son to McKay Pittman of Oatmeal Lace Designs. At 14 months old all Lily wants to do is climb, jump, and explore and MyGym lets her do just that. Watching her light up as she jumps in the ball pit with other kids is priceless. She is learning to roll while building strength in her tiny little body. Being around other kids is building social skills…we are still learning on being gentle.  I know it costs money, but it’s worth every penny when I see her attempting to roll at home after learning it at MyGym.

Along with joining MyGym I made easy DIY sensory boards for Lily. She is still at the age of putting objects in her mouth so I used a hot glue gun to secure the objects. To keep it cheap I used items on hand like fuzzy Christmas puffs, soft wiry pipe cleaners, shiny gold beads, a squishy flower sponge, gentle felt fabric, a big bath loofah, and several buttons. I started by introducing one plate at a time and of course she put each plate to her lips. I would take her hand and rub the objects explaining them to her.

In a matter of minutes she was over it and moved on to her books (can’t complain that she likes those!). I felt a little defeated. An hour later I was showing Mike something when I realized she walked (YES she is taking her first steps!!) over to the ottoman and started to run her little fingers over a few of the objects. Feelings of glee swept over and I wanted to cry I was so happy! To change it up I would take the plates and rub or bang the objects together. The beads and buttons make loud clapping sounds, where the loofah and sponge are quiet.  Lily loves to replicate the noises and show off her new trick! Watching your child repeat something you taught them is a marvelous feeling. Hopefully these cheap sensory boards can help Lily grow and learn new objects and words.

So take THAT parental guilt!! Tomorrow I will be patient and go over the boards with her again. Maybe she will want to play with them, maybe she won’t even look at them. Either way we are going to have fun tomorrow. As long as I see that adorable smile that parental guilt will be pushed to the back of my mind.

 
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  1. By Lily & Bliss | Free & Cheap Toddler Activities on February 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    […] Sensory boards – Read all about them and how easy they are to make here! […]

  2. By Sensory Boards | Lessons in Therapeutic Riding on December 15, 2014 at 3:39 am

    […] Plates […]

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Tip Tuesday: Give Yourself A Spa Experience

I enjoy a nice relaxing bath when I get {find} the time and today’s tip gives you a luxurious bath without spending a penny (unless you don’t have a lemon or orange).

Tip: Toss in some citrus peels, like lemons or oranges, while you’re running the bath. The hot water will release the citrus scent giving you a spa like experience! Sometimes I even take each peel and roll them in my fingers under the running water to release more of the scent. Make sure you keep the leftover naked fruit in a zip lock for future use. After your bath throw your peels in the garbage disposal to give that nasty thing a better scent too!

For added comfort roll up a hand towel and place it behind your neck. I enjoy having some ice cold water to sip on and a cold wash cloth covering my upper face. Turn your lights down low, light some candles and play some calming tunes on your ipod or Pandora. Make sure you remember to place your towel nearby. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been too excited for my spa experience and in the end I have to tip toe wet across my floor to get it!

The only thing left to do is try and relax!

If you have any citrus in the fridge, take a moment for yourself (you deserve it!) and have a lovely scented bath.

 
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  1. Diane commented:
    August 28, 2012 Reply

    I love lemon scent and this sounds divine! And I always throw the lemon peels in the garbage disposal – such an easy way to improve that smell.

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Making Life Easier: The Baby Checklist

As a compulsive list maker I assembled several in preparation for motherhood. This particular one is a checklist for essential and optional items to register for. Even if you’re already a mother and awaiting baby number two, this list can help remind you what you will need for the new arrival!

Click here and here to print a copy!

Need a checklist to prepare you for the hospital?? I got it right here!

 

 
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  1. Jen Pollon commented:
    August 27, 2012 Reply

    This brings back so many amazing memories! Thanks Mama!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      August 28, 2012 Reply

      No problem Jen!! Hopefully this helps with baby number two 😉

  2. MEGAN commented:
    August 27, 2012 Reply

    What a great list! I can’t wait to see the others you made 😉 By chance did you make one for the Hospital?

    • Amy Romano commented:
      August 28, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Megan! This particular list started while I was pregnant. To answer your questions I DO have a list that prepares you for the hospital. I had mine packed for weeks. I am trying to finish it and will post it next week, stay tuned!

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] as a reminder here is a checklist to make sure your nursery is […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The Second Trimester on February 24, 2014 at 1:07 am

    […] a printable checklist of baby items that you can download and use when registering (read that post HERE). My tip would be to print of the list and then use it while doing some online research on items […]

  3. By Lily & Bliss | Newborn Nighttime Essentials on April 11, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    […] it necessary to chat about this first. Sure you have a registry (FREE printable baby registry HERE) that is suppose to prep you for your newborn, but for this post I’ll show you just the items […]

  4. By Lily & Bliss | Newborn Essentials: Vol. 2 on May 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    […] back with the second part of my newborn essentials. The items from your registry that you need to take care of your newborn for the first four weeks. Feeding your newborn and […]

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Blueberry Coffee Cake

Need a super easy and delicious breakfast? I’ve got one!

That Sara Lee sure knows how to make yummy coffee cakes that are easy to take out of the freezer and pop in the oven. When time is not on my side or I am boycotting the kitchen, I don’t mind tossing one in and enjoying an easy breakfast. BUT I love making things from scratch and this blueberry coffee cake is fluffy, tasty and easy. Something made from scratch that is easy?? Yes ma’am! Since this makes a lot (made in a 9×13 dish) you can re-heat it in the microwave for two days of yummy blueberry goodness! You can also easily cut this recipe in half by cooking it in an 8×8 baking dish. This weekend head to your kitchen and make an easy and scrumptious breakfast treat!

Enjoy!

Blueberry Coffee Cake

4 egg whites, slightly beaten
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups nonfat sour cream
3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
2 cups blueberries
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix egg whites, sugar, butter, vanilla and sour cream.

In a different bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Gradually add flour mixture to your wet ingredients.

Pour half of the batter into baking dish, top with blueberries and then cover with the remaining batter.

Sprinkle brown sugar on top then the cinnamon.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

 
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Bean & Cheese Lasagna

Vegetarians don’t have to miss out on lasagna anymore! This one has tons of beans, a great source of fiber and protein! There are only two layers in this recipe, but no worries it is very filling. This is also a great recipe to use for a freezer meal!

Enjoy!

Bean & Cheese Lasagna
8 cooked lasagna noodles
14 oz. of pasta sauce (I use Bertoli’s olive oil & garlic)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 (14 oz.) can white beans
1 ½ cup lowfat cottage cheese
2 cups grated part-skim mozzarella
1 (10 oz.) can/jar sliced mushroom pieces, drained
1 egg beaten

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté onion and garlic until tender.
  • Add pasta sauce, basil, oregano, beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow this to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Combine cottage cheese, 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and egg in a small bowl.
  • Lay four cooked lasagna noodles on the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Top noodles with half of the cheese mixture and have of the bean mixture.
  • Lay four more lasagna noodles down and repeat with the cheese and been mixture.
  • Top it off with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

 
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  1. By Lily & Bliss | Spinach & Artichoke Lasagna Rolls on November 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    […] cook 6 rolls and freeze the rest…gotta love two meals in one. For other freezer meals click here, here, here and don’t forget about […]

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Testing Cleaning Products & Another GIVEAWAY!

*Giveaway is now closed*

Today is a double rainbow kinda day! We have a great post about some cleaning products we tested out on our grill plus another GIVEAWAY!!!

A spick and span house makes me happy and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are my go to product to keep my home tidy. I was excited when contacted by their marketing after a post I did using Dawn hand renewal in a post about sugar scrub favors. I received a package with some products after I agreed to test them out. This post is 100% my honest opinion on these products and I was not paid to post this. Just wanted to give you all full disclosure!

First let’s talk about the products and what I did to test them before we dive into the giveaway! I was giddy when the package arrived because inside was a box of Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro Magic Erasers, Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro Multi-Purpose Spray, and Dawn Grill Cleaner.  Anyone who has used those magic erasers know that they can easily break down and the outdoor pro is formulated to be 50% stronger than the original.  After testing it out on the grill I was shocked that I cleaned the whole grill with only ONE eraser!

Labor Day is around the corner and it was perfect timing to get the grill ready for some weekend bbq. We recently had our backyard remodeled so our grill has been patiently waiting on the side of the house. With the remodel we had some leftover pavers and we used them as a prop for a rusted off leg…I keep it classy! I’m a total bonehead as my exposure was set wrong and I only have one before shot that can be used, but trust me our grill had layer upon layer of grime! My only before shot was thankfully of the inside grates and you will see how gross it was. We actually cooked food on that thing {vomit!}!!??!!

To start I cleaned the outside of the grill by spraying Mr. Clean Outdoor Multi-Purpose Spray and wiping it with the Outdoor Pro Erasers. It did the job well, a little too well! The spray completely wiped clean the knobs ‘off’ label. Luckily the knobs have an indentation to tell us where “off” will be when we use it. Other than that outside is shiny and ready for use!

The grates on the grill were nasty! There were burnt chicken remnants from the last time we cooked out. I put two trash bags on the ground and laid the grates on top. I sprayed both sides of each grate with Dawn’s Grill Cleaner. The directions say not to add water and wait 10-15 minutes, longer if heavily soiled. Since I can’t remember the last time we cleaned them (I don’t know if we ever have!) the grates marinated for the maximum time of 30 minutes. When time expired I wiped them down with a Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro Magic Eraser. I was amazed with how effortless the grime wiped right off! What was even more amazing is that I cleaned the whole grill with just one of the magic erasers, something impossible with the originals. I sprayed all the grates down with water and placed them back. The trays underneath the grates were so corroded I didn’t even bother with them! I am so happy with the results and will definitely use these items to clean the grates again! (Lily enjoyed the show too!)

For more information on these products read about them here and here.

Now for the giveaway!!!

As I mentioned Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are my go to cleaning product. They have never failed me to remove dirt and/or mildew from my front door or marks from my walls. The Outdoor Pro edition holds up even better for your cleaning challenges. So today my friends I am giving away a package of these magical cleaning supplies! The giveaway lasts until Friday 2 pm eastern time. To win a package of Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro Magic Erasers share this post on either Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Leave a comment to let me know you did and share your favorite thing to grill! Make sure you leave a comment, as I will use Random.org to pick a winner from the comments left!

Good luck friends!

 
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  1. Britt commented:
    August 22, 2012 Reply

    PICK ME!! I love free stuff…who doesn’t???I tweeted 😉 Grilled pineapple is delish!

  2. Kristy commented:
    August 22, 2012 Reply

    Magic erasers are amazing, can’t wait to try the outdoor pro ones! My favorite thing to grill are kabobs 😉

  3. MEGAN commented:
    August 22, 2012 Reply

    I tweeted it! I have three boys, so these will come in handy!! And my husband is always grilling ribs!

  4. LaTanya commented:
    August 24, 2012 Reply

    http://pinterest.com/pin/232639136972327418/

    We love to grill hamburgers. Thank you.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      August 24, 2012 Reply

      Congrats LaTanya! Random.org picked you as the winner! I will email you for details!

One Trackback

  1. By Lily & Bliss | Grilled Greek Chicken & Vegetables on August 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    […] Frankel sure did a good job capturing that taste while keeping the calories low! We recently cleaned our grill so while Alex managed the food we watched from the pool enjoying the guilt free […]

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Tip Tuesday: Keeping Your Fingernails Clean

This past weekend I took grimy hands to another level! I scrubbed down our filthy grill and my hands took a beating, especially my nails. I should have worn gloves, but I was in the zone folks. I am very proud of my sparkling grill (it doesn’t really sparkle, it was probably just a glare from the sun!), but was repulsed when I saw the black vile crammed under my fingernails. Dirty fingers give me goose bumps. Dirty nails bother me so much I actually broke things off with a guy in college because I couldn’t stand his lack of hygiene! I understand if you get dirty, that’s life. BUT when you constantly have fifth under those nails that will eventually touch your mouth or even me….YUCK, that is cringe worthy!

Today’s tip is one I picked up cleaning out my nasty nails. Many of you might not know what those objects are in the picture. Those are bottle cleaners from Dr. Browns. Even though Lily doesn’t drink out of bottles anymore, I kept these small wire brushes to clean the tubes in her sippy cups. I usually have an old toothbrush that I keep in the guest bath to scrub my nails or polish my ring, but of course when I needed it the most it was M.I.A. So I used the Dr. Brown bottle cleaner brush that was sitting by the sink and viola! Dirt be gone! These brushes were $6.99 so it feels great to get more use out of these expensive bottle accessories.

Don’t have kids or have this particular bottle cleaner…you can clean your nails with a toothbrush (hopefully you have an extra!), toothpick, knife or just scratch your nails down a bar of soap!

 
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