Healthy Black Bean Soup

Healthy black bean soup! Not only is it healthy, hearty, made in a crock was toddler approved and makes a great freezer meal!Some parents get lucky when their kids love vegetables. Some kids will eat broccoli if dipped in ranch, ketchup or another condiment. Not my kid! She only cares for peas and green beans. Listen I’m happy that she at least eats some kind of vegetable.  I just wish she would try and enjoy more…all in good time I guess.

Then that dang parental guilt creeps into my mind and I feel horrible that she eats the same thing everyday! Her pediatrician is fabulous and lightens the guilt every visit when she tells me that instead of focusing on her daily menu I should focus on what she consumes over a weekly period. She also told me that most kids will say no to foods a couple of times before they eventually like it, so I should keep offering them to her.

Oh remember my post from Monday about how crazy this week is for our family…well Murphy’s Law IS my life. All through the night Sunday Lily would wake and cry, but she would eventually fall back asleep. Monday morning she was in hysterics, which is really abnormal for her. She typically rolls around in her crib talking to herself in the a.m., but Monday she was screaming out in pain. Her private area was so red and while we waited for the doctor’s office to open every time she peed she froze and screamed out.  Turns out that the steroids she went on to help her allergic reaction made her body create yeast that then turned into an outer infection. We made a quick trip to the doctor for some cream and doctor’s orders for no diapers. This poor child has really been through the ringer!! So with everything going on I have a toddler running around my parent’s house (staying there during installation and painting) naked from the waist down! This would be the perfect time for potty training but she isn’t ready.

* I created this post on Tuesday but never got around to publishing it. Oh have things gotten even crazier over here! Last night (Wednesday) Lily continued to cry on and off for an hour and at 11:30 pm when I checked her she was on fire. Her temperature was at 104.8! Such panic came over me. Mike and I stripped her down to lighter clothes, gave her some Motrin and applied cool compresses. After an hour she was still at 103.7 so I called the on-call doctor who advised us to head to the hospital. Y’all it was horrible. This poor child had a catheter to get a urine sample. Then we had issues getting an IV in both arms, finally getting a vein in her tiny hand. Unfortunately the lab came back that the blood sample they got wasn’t good so they had to try for an IV again! Eventually they had to prick her heel three times to scrape enough blood. A few hours later the X-ray came back with early signs of bronchitis. I was in complete shock. Lily had no symptoms…no cough…not even a runny nose. But BAM she has bronchitis. I can only assume she picked it up on Monday when we went to the doctor’s office for her infection.

Watching your child go through an illness where you can’t do anything to help is hard. When your child can’t speak to tell you what’s wrong makes it even worse. All Mike and I could do was sing Barney songs and the itsy bitsy spider over and over. But children are so resilient. After the nurses would leave the room after pricking her Lily would blow them kisses. Since being home she has been smiling and having a ball placing stickers all over her face, my chest and even a sticker on Nana’s bum! Lily is so strong. So tough. As a parent I’m suppose to be her rock….I feel like she is the rock, every once and awhile giving us a smile or hug to let us know she is okay.  Dear Lord I’m praying for a break for my child. Please shine your Grace and heal her.

Thank you all to all my friends who sent love and prayers on Instagram. I ask that you keep her in your prayers so that she can rest & heal. A BIG thank you to all the sweet nurses and staff at St. Jospeh’s North location. You were so wonderful handling our little Lily!! Thank you THANK You!! Now back to this yummy soup post! *

Since Lily is in a lot of pain she is barely eating and to make sure she is eats something I am sticking to her usual green beans, pasta and fruit! BUT when her appetite returns I’m going to make this yummy and healthy black bean soup.

This recipe hails from The Gracious Pantry. I love that food blog. There are so many wonderful recipes that are simple, healthy and most importantly taste fabulous! This black bean soup is a perfect working example because it is packed with protein & vegetables, cooks in a crock pot (Amen!) and the husband and toddler enjoyed it!!

This recipe made a lot so I save some in a freezer safe container for a future dinner! Doesn’t this recipe get better and better! Healthy…check. Easy to make…check. Tastes good…check. Toddler approved…check. And a freezer meal…CHECK!


Healthy Black Bean Soup
By The Gracious Pantry

8 cups chicken broth (that’s 2 32 oz. containers)
2 cups dry black beans, washed
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
3 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 vegetable bouillon cube
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with cilantro, shredded cheese or a little chunky salsa if you want!

In a 5 quart crock pot combine all ingredients (except garnish items!) and cook on high for 6 hours or until the beans are soft and cooked through. Note: all crock pots are different so please cook accordingly. The Gracious Pantry also suggest cook on medium for 8-9 hours. I only have a low or high setting!

Once cooked, blend the ingredients to make the chunky soup turn smooth (there will be some lumps!) I have this Cuisinart hand blender that I used instead of a regular blender or food processor. This saves time and doesn’t dirty up more dishes! I highly recommend you get a hand blender if you like to make your own soups (works great on homemade potatoes!). If you have a blender or food processor only blend a few cups at a time!

Garnish with fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, chunky salsa or sour cream. I personally think it tastes great by itself!

black bean soup that's toddle approved

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  1. Alana Olsen commented:
    February 1, 2013 Reply

    Oh my goodness Amy! My heart is breaking for your family and little Lily!! It is a horrible feeling to feel so out of control, especially with the one thing you love and cherish most. Be strong! All of this will just make you stronger and really make you be superwoman ready to handle anything! The terrible twos will be nothing after this! It is a good thing that God made children so resilient too! Your beautiful little girl will be in my prayers tonight!! And I think I will definitely be trying this recipe! My Lilly eats peas most days too and if I’m lucky maybe some carrots or green beans! Although I have been able to hide some spinach in a cheese quesadilla before!

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Tip: Cheap Hidden Bow Storage

Great tip on how to store all your kid's bows a cheap way! Tie ribbon to the back of the closet's shelf. Clip bows onto the ribbon. You have the bows near when you are picking out outfits and when you want, you can pull the clothes in front to hide them!Last week my friend Lauri gave birth to her second child, a beautiful baby girl named Kaley Taylor. Being a mother already to a sweet little boy, Lauri now gets to purchase pink clothes and big hair bows!

While still in the hospital she sent me a text asking me how I keep all of Lily’s bows organized and stored away.  So today I bring you a great {cheap!} tip on how to store and organize toddler hair bows.

I keep all of Lily’s hair items in her closet. Sometimes I leave a few rubber bands on the shelf above her changing table for quick access. Early on Lily started to remove her headbands, so I only used rubber bands and clip bows to keep her hair out of her face. All of her headbands are stored in a pretty box given to me at my baby shower. Keeping the headbands in a box keeps that mess hidden!

Great hair bow storage idea! Buy one spool of ribbon and cut into 4 pieces. Tie each piece to the back of the closet's wire shelf. Clip bows to the hanging ribbon. This way you can easily pick out the bow to match the outfit and the clothes can help hide all the crazy bows!If you ever do a search on the internet or Pinterest for ‘bow storage’ you will see oodles of images where people have purchase personalized letters that have ribbon hanging from them where you can clip the bows onto. I see that people have re-used those criss crossed ribbon boards for picture display to store their child’s boards. I just hated the idea of hanging those items on the wall in her room. Yes bows are pretty, but when you have tons of different colors, shapes and sizes the bow display/storage can look messy and this momma didn’t want the eye sore.  So I hide Lily’s in the closet!

Great hair bow storage idea! Buy one spool of ribbon and cut into 4 pieces. Tie each piece to the back of the closet's wire shelf. Clip bows to the hanging ribbon. This way you can easily pick out the bow to match the outfit and the clothes can help hide all the crazy bows!I took one spool of pink gingham ribbon and cut into four pieces. I tied each piece to the back of the closet’s wire shelf.

To make it pretty I fish tailed the ends of each ribbon. Then I clipped her bows down the hanging ribbons. I like that they are stored in the closest because 1) I can easily pick out the bow I want when choosing her outfit for the day and 2) when I want to hide the bows I can easily move her clothes in front and 3) when I run out of room I can just tie more ribbon onto the closet shelf!

tip on storing toddler bows

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Oh Weekends How I Love You

At some point on Sunday evenings I get a little bummed that another weekend is creeping to an end. I usually glance over my list(s) created during breakfast or naptime for all the to-dos for the approaching week.

My lists (yes I have multiple) for this week make me sweat, grow more grey hair, want a beer, need Tylenol, giddy laugh and slap myself for planning so much in 5 days.

Tuesday is an all day install for our kitchen, master bath and guest bathroom. YIPEE!!!!! Wednesday the plumber comes to install all faucets and shower fixtures! And Thursday and Friday we are having most of our house inside painted!

To prep (and because I have a little OCD) I started taking items out of drawers and off counters a few days ago, but Monday will be devoted to finishing that task plus starting to take items off the walls being painted….and that’s a whole lotta walls. Our house is a ranch style where our family great room and kitchen are connected. That area plus all the hallways and master bedroom are being painted. I could technically wait until Wednesday to do this BUT Lily is receiving her third treatment for molluscum and this all needs to be done in anticipation for the painful healing process.

Thank goodness my mom and dad live close so we can hang out and sleep there Tuesday while the water is shut off during install. We will stay there Thursday and Friday because a toddler and wet wall paint just don’t mix! So that is prepping the house & walls for install and paint, Lily’s treatment and healing process (breaks my heart), packing all items needed to be away from the house all day Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Somewhere in there I need to finish some blog posts and start work on our condo for our new renters.

So before I break out in hives just thinking of the chaos let me hit pause, think of the wonderful weekend and soak it up.

Oh weekends how I love you. You bring my little family together for scrumptious pancakes, lunch al fresco, kite flying adventures and plenty of sweet moments that will last a lifetime.

weekendkiteLiving in Florida we don’t get your typical winter. Two days of cold are followed by a day in the 70’s, then maybe something in the 80’s before we have a random 50 degree day again. I’m sure anyone reading this in freezing temperatures would slap me silly wanting to soak up some vitamin D.  Mike and I miss having seasons living in Florida, but this weekend’s gorgeous 68-72 degree weather was amazing.

We took Lily to a huge park near our house to fly her butterfly kite for the first time. This child went nuts running around in the open soccer field. Wide open spaces + a toddler are awesome for parents. At small parks I have to follow Lily around so she doesn’t fall off the gym equipment, pick up a dirty cigarette butt and eat it (true story) or attempt to crawl into everglade looking bushes that surely have snakes, gators or ticks carrying Lyme disease (true story again- I got bit in ’08 and of course diagnosed with the disease).  In an open field I can just sit back and watch her run (well “toddler run”) around in complete delight.

wkkiteSo this was as high as we got this sucker. Maybe not enough wind or blame it on a cheap kite. BUT by the smile on her face, that 4 foot high kite was the coolest thing ever to this toddler. It’s not about how high we’re able to get it or how many loops and dips you can do before nose diving it into the ground. It’s about that smile. Pure joy.

weekendflashpancakes Oh weekends you give me the best excuse to break out my griddle and take the time to prepare these amazing whole wheat brown sugar banana bread pancakes for my family. Growing up I would get excited when I would enter the kitchen to a griddle set up. A griddle equalled a huge fluffy pancake breakfast or my favorite southern meal…an egg, sausage & hash brown meal (complete with biscuits & gravy from those sausages!). This griddle is actually my mom’s. It makes me warm & fuzzy inside knowing the traditions are forwarding on to my own family.

lilydogfoodAnd weekends you allow my husband to be present (when he’s not working a convention) and help me teach Lily that the two green bowls are for her doggy, Bentley.

lilydogfood2Bless her heart…this child tries so hard to touch his food and splash around in his water. Sometimes she thinks she is sooo sly just hanging out next to his the two bowls. She slowly scoots closer and closer. Sometimes I can catch her reaching while I’m drying dishes. As soon as my back turns to finish loading the dish washer….she scoots closer or darts out, grabs his food and high tails it out of the kitchen.

lilydogfood3This weekend….she was brazen.  As I was taking the pictures above I got down to her level and sternly said “No, Lily. This is not okay. This is Bentley’s…blah blah blah.” Homegirl looked at me then with her tiny finger reached out and slowly pulled the dog food towards her. Oh NO she didn’t. Well yes…yes she did, that stinker.

So it will be Monday when I publish this post.

I’m confident that I will be struggling to keep Lily from jumping on & off the sofa (her favorite activity that has given me more grey hair to count) or playing in Bentley’s food while I attempt to orderly unload all objects from the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. Hurry back weekend….I miss you already.

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  1. By Lily & Bliss | Healthy Black Bean Soup on January 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    […] remember my post from Monday about how crazy this week is for our family…well Murphy’s Law IS my life. All through the night […]

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Splurge or Save: Kick Knacks & Bedding

With the makeover to our kitchen, bathrooms and master bedroom underway I’ve been doing a little online searching for some knick knacks. I fell in love with these glass terrariums and vintage spoons. To see if I could save some bucks I searched online and found cheaper versions!

During my search I discovered the stitched quilt from Pottery Barn that we used to have in our master before we swapped it out for all white bedding. I was a little ticked when I found a similar version for half the price! That I would share if anyone is shopping for new bedding!

splurge or save glass terraniumSplurge: West Elm $69.99

Save: Target $24.99 (I might spray paint this gold!)splurge or save measuring spnsSplurge: Anthropologie $24

Save: World Market $12.99

splurge or save tufted quilt/duvetSplurge: Isabelle Tufted Voile Quilt $249

Save: Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet $139 $111

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  1. Lauren commented:
    January 29, 2013 Reply

    Beware the pintuck duvet from West Elm… we have the same one, and although I LOVE it, in theory, after only a year, it’s not holding up very well. The spots where the fabric is gathered together is starting to tear, and leave holes there. My husband rolled over just last night, and I heard a little rip. So sad! If you aren’t going to really use it, and have it on the bed, I’d say go for it, otherwise, it might be worth the splurge depending on how the Pottery Barn one is made. Good luck with your projects! I can’t wait to see how they turn out! xo

    • Amy Romano commented:
      January 29, 2013 Reply

      Hey Lauren, I already have this quilt (the P.B. one) and you know our’s ripped on the silk side too! I thought it was a result from my husband jerking the covers every night (he’s a big cover hog!). So maybe it was the stitching! Thanks for sharing!!

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Southwest Hash Bake

Southwest Hash Bake. Tasty protein packed breakfast! Plus it's toddler approved!Mike and I love mexican fare and we’re suckers for a good breakfast. This southwest hash bake happily marries of our favorites and Lily liked it! Yep it is toddler approved!

This recipe is beyond simple, protein packed and tastes great the next day! Our family of three couldn’t polish off an entire 13×9 so we saved it for breakfast the next day!

Busy in the mornings? No problem! You can prepare this dish the night before (don’t cook it!), wrap it in plastic wrap and before you get in the shower pop it in the oven!


Southwest Hash Bake

2 cups egg whites
½ cup milk
1 can (11 oz.) corn, drain & rinsed
1 can (15 0z.) black beans, drained & rinsed
1 package (around 1 lb) shredded hash browns (I buy Simply Potatoes)
½ cup bell pepper, chopped (any color you want!)
1 ½ cups shredded monterey jack cheese (you can use any cheese you want or whats on sale!)
Garnish: chopped cilantro and chunky salsa

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat  a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.
  • In a bowl mix egg whites and milk.
  • Add hash browns, corn, black beans, bell pepper, ¾ cup of cheese and mix.
  • Pour into the greased dish and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and spoon some chunky salsa on top! Or if you like spicy add some Cholula like my husband does! Since I did not add salt to this recipe to keep it healthy the salsa helps give it the salty taste it lacks!
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10 Tips: On Onions

10 great tips on how to pic, store and grille onions!! Red, yellow or white, onions are used in practically all of my dinner recipes. They bring so much flavor to dishes and if you are like my Papa you will enjoy them raw.

Today I bring you a 10 tips on how to pick, slice, store and cook this awesome vegetable!

1. Cutting an onion actually releases a gas into the air causing you to form tears. How do you prevent the water works?? You can start by refrigerating the onion first and cut the root end of the onion last. Place the onion under water when you peel it. Keep your mouth closed and if all else fails wear some goggles (HA!).
2. You can peel white onions easier by placing them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
3. If you love onions but not a big fan of the strong taste, slice the onion, separate the rings and place them in cold water for about an hour. After cut them to your desire, toss them in your salad and enjoy!
4. Just like my avocado tip, rub the cut side of the onion with butter and it will remain fresh longer.
5. Use a sharp knife to cut as a dull or serrated will only mash the onion…more mess and more tears!
6. If you like to prep ingredients in advance, place your chopped or sliced onions in an air-tight Ziplock bag and then place that into another. This will keep your fridge and food reeking like it.
7. If you are only going to use some of the onion leave the skin on and only cut off what you need. By leaving the skin on the onion before placing it into the fridge will allow it to keep longer.
8. When buying onions avoid ones that are soft or sprouting.
9. Do not store your onions next to potatoes (your potatoes will spoil quicker).
10. If you want to grill your onion use these two ways: place foil over the grates and cook your onion on top or cut your onion into wedges and then place them on wooden skewers.

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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    January 22, 2013 Reply

    My parents used to own a restaurant and when it was time to chop onions for the day they would always put a small piece of bread in their mouth. Supposedly it helped with the tears. I’ve never done it.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      January 23, 2013 Reply

      Elizabeth I am always looking for new ways to prevent the tears!! I will try this next time thanks 😉

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | 10 Tips: On Lemons on February 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    […] partly used on in the fridge. There are so many uses for this citrus fruit. Last week I shared 10 tips on onions, this week I bring you 10 tips on how to pick, juice and use this fruit for everyday household […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | 10 Tips: On Honey on April 28, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    […] Be sure to check out 10 awesome tips on lemons & onions! […]

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Two Months On The Island Of Misfit Toys

Watching your child go through a medical condition that you most likely gave them through genetics is painful. The last two months have been really rough on Lily and Mike and I as parents…especially this last week.

For almost two months now Lily has been isolated from all children and the only interaction with people has been with my parents, Mike and myself. I have nicknamed this solitary confinement as “the island of misfit toys”. We were told she has Molluscum Contagium, a skin condition in the “pox” family that is a horrible stubborn wart (read about it here). Most of the molluscum areas can be covered, but since I can’t cover her chin I have to keep her away from her buddies that she likes to kiss and hug on. Ugh…just the name molluscum contagium gives me the creeps. I mean contagium….really? Makes me want to get a hazmat suit and tent the house!

This annoying condition is passed by skin to skin contact and by water, like pools. None of her buddies have it (thank goodness), so the only conclusion is it was from another kid at passing at the park or by a community pool. Eeh. Anyone who knows me is aware that I find public water areas fifthly. Just a big cesspool of urine and germs. Large community pools that are jam-packed with people make me gag inside. Especially resort pools, where you know tons of people are just wading in the water next to the swim up bar using it as a toilet. Public pools don’t gross me out as bad as water parks. The only way my kid is ever going to a water park is if her father takes her (sad I know). And now that the likelihood that she got this contagious condition from a pool…well I would rather fork up the $ for Disney World than go wading in a filthy water park.

Back to Lily… this molluscum is very stubborn. We have been told most of the time it goes away on its own, but it can take anywhere from a few months to years. YEARS! We thought Lily had two skin tags on her right side, but now we know that those were molluscum and those appeared after a trip to Puerto Rico where we spent our days in…you guessed it…the pool. Knowing that she has already had this for months and it has only gotten worse (on her arm, back and her chin) we went to a dermatologist for help.

There are three treatment plans:

1-    A really expensive topical medication that is not guaranteed to work
2-    Canthacur treatments that are applied in office and she comes back every 3 weeks for more
3-    They can be burned off.

There is no way that I would subject my poor baby to the last painful solution. The topical medication scares me because her skin is so young and it’s known not to be successful. So we went with the canthacur. How it works: The doctor applies it to each spot and you leave it on the skin for 4-6 hours before you wash it off.

mollescumSo far Lily has received two treatments and this last one was the hardest. When you wash off the treatment you can get blisters to the areas treated…and Lily got them. A small area was done the first round where the blistering wasn’t that bad. This second treatment was horrible. To help relieve the pressure we took a sterile needle and lightly popped each one (under direction of her doctor). The under part of her right arm and right side of her body were treated, along with more of her back and two spots on her hand. We have been dabbing apple cider vinegar to the spots on her chin (read somewhere online that it helps).

The day of treatment Mike had to leave for work so I had my mom come over to help. Oh the blisters were huge and she cried as I washed her body. My heart crumbled as I poured the water and she cried like it was acid. As I tried to pop the blisters my mom had to hold her. My poor baby just screamed in pain. Being so young she had no clue that we were only trying to help her.

Just like any boo-boo there is the healing process where they scab. Since I am allergic to Neosporin, I placed Aquaphor to the scabs. Everyone has had a scab before, and sometimes they can be itchy. Last Wednesday we noticed that Lily was developing a small rash over the healing scabs. Lily would take her arm and rub it back and forth over her side to itch herself because we had her in long sleeves to prevent her from getting to the scabs. This back and forth motion caused a rash.

After being stuck inside for two months my mom and I decided to take Lily to the Tampa Zoo. A place where she could have fun, but I could keep her from touching kids. It was the calm before the storm. After two hours of feeding giraffes and watching silly monkeys we took her to the car when we noticed the rash worsened. I called her dermatologist and we received a topical antibiotic (in lieu of Neosporin) and cortisone ointment (for the itch).


rashfriNow during all of this Lily had a few red spots under her eyes that appeared on Tuesday (the day before her rash on the treated area). I didn’t think much of it because Lily and I are plagued with really sensitive skin and allergies. The spots on her face became bigger after we came home from the zoo and on Thursday I knew she was having an allergic reaction to something…so off to her pediatrician we went. We got confirmation it was a reaction, to who knows. Lily was to take Benadryl every 6 hours. During the day on Friday it got worse and I called her doctor back. They said to remain on Benadryl and if she got a fever and it spread to call back. Saturday it became worse. Her whole right side of her face was covered in hives and the area under her eye became a little puffy. When I went to apply her ointment to her treated area I noticed the rash from her face spread to the top of her arms. Keep in mind that the rash over her scabs has gone completely down over the last few days from the new medication.

rashsatSo with one rash disappearing and a new one getting worse my mommy gut feeling was that she needed to see a doctor. I grabbed a cheese stick and sippy cup and flew out the door. Oh did I look like a hot mess. I was wearing black stretchy pants (with sticky spots from my toddler) and an oversized grey v-neck shirt that has been stretched from Lily’s firm grasp when she’s on my hip. Inside one mother just looked at Lily as if she had leprosy…my insides burned with anger. Then a sweet family of four came through and showed compassion as the father asked what was wrong. When I said allergies he told me that his daughter (named Lily to!) has milk and other food allergies and he was so sorry that my daughter had it. I could go on a huge tangent about my trouble with allergies and that lady with the lack of compassion and empathy for Lily…but I will save that for another post. Doc gave us a prescription for prednisone and we were out the door and on our way to the drug store. With only 45 minutes until closing time I pleaded with the guy to help me out and he agreed. I was blessed to run into another person with kindness for this tired….worried…hot mess momma. And then it dawned on me that the cheese stick and gold fish wouldn’t cut it for dinner. Wendy’s was right next door. So drive through chicken nuggets and apple slices for the win while we waited for her prescription.

rashdrivethruWhen I got home and took off her clothes for bath time her rash had spread to her legs. My mommy gut instinct was right and I’m so glad I went. That night I went to bed completely wiped out, but in high spirits that Lily was on the road to recovery. Again the calm before the storm.

Today (Sunday) Lily was in a true terrible two (yet she is only almost 19 months) mode. And then she went to the couch and just stood there with extreme concentration on her face. Parents know this as “poop time”. Usually Lily waves her hand in front of her face for “Stinky” = poop diaper. When I asked her if she did a stinky she just had this painful look as she barely waved her hand. When I went to scoop her she cried out in pain, keeping her legs locked straight. At the changing table I was shocked when I saw that she was struggling “to go” and was very constipated. Her stomach was rock hard and she was screaming in pain. TMI-but the largest “nugget” was trying to exit and then I saw a bit of blood. In shear panic I wrapped her diaper up, picked her up (legs still locked) and ran to my phone to call my mom (who only lives 5 minutes away) because Mike was still in his convention. I freaked and she said she was flying out the door. I put Lily down as I flung some pants on thinking we were off to urgent care yet again. And then she started to cry again and when I went to pick her up I could feel that she was able to finally poop a bit. I quickly looked and saw no blood so I dialed for my mom to stop at the drugstore and pick up some glycerin suppositories. By the time my mom came running through the door Lily was feeling a little better. Her lower abdomen was still rock hard so we gave her the suppository. Poor girl sat and cried. We placed her in the tub (in case it got messy) so she could stand (so gravity could help the process).

I ran to the kitchen to get her some water and then I heard my mom yell, “Eeeewww it came out, Amy it came out!” Running back I thought seriously when can this sweet girl catch a break.

When I walked in Lily stepped back and into a pile of her poop and then she freaked out. Lily hates weird textures on her feet…she has since she was a baby. My mom picked her up and she was having a meltdown flailing her legs around. With each kick her “dirty” feet almost tagged my mom and me. YUCK!

As I type this now a silly Lily is running around in just a shirt and diaper, Mike (finally home) tagged in for parent duty and is chasing her around. I feel mentally and physically drained. The last two months have been so hard watching Lily courageously battle the blister, scabbing and lack in social interaction with her buddies. The random rash and poop events were just two olives that topped this physically drained yet emotionally filled momma’s martini.

I hope and pray that this will pass quickly and that soon I can reunite her with her friends and other kids at the park. I have been crushed inside knowing that my daughter might have my horrible allergies. I have struggled with allergies, rash, hives, shots, pills, ointments and ice packs since 2008 and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

My girlfriends (and mommas to Lily’s buddies) have been so awesome. They send me texts and call to check on us.  I have received so much love from readers and those following me on Instagram….Thank You so much! Over the last two weeks I got out for some much needed wine with McKay of Oatmeal Lace Designs, four days later another momma’s night out with McKay and Emily Ley, then a Tuesday evening to see Wicked with McKay, Emily (and her sweet assistant Gina), my friend Rachel and the very talented Gina Zeildler. The night after I went to dinner with some ladies to surprise a very pregnant friend with gifts before she gives birth. Oh how I needed those nights out to charge my battery for this crazy past week.

So Monday, as much as would like to to say BRING IT I kindly ask, can you just take it easy for me today? I need to re-charge my battery again while I love on my baby.

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  1. mckay commented:
    January 22, 2013 Reply

    oh my goodness. you know we love you and sweet lily! if you need another wine night soon, let me know!!

    ps- this week starts tomorrow since today was a ‘holiday’ :):)

  2. Melissa Murphy commented:
    July 23, 2014 Reply

    Once you handled Lily’s molluscum did it ever come back. We’ve been fighting this for about a year and a half now. Layt my 3 year old son, just had a severe outbreak and then 3 days later it was completely gone! for the first time since he’s been diagnosed.

    I hate to say this especially after all he’s been through with treatments, but I started using dial soap from a suggestion from an older family member and it cleared up.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      July 31, 2014 Reply

      Oh my this is so crazy….but YES just recently Lily had a few pop up on the inside of her arm, but they went away after two days. So weird! AND then yesterday more popped up in the same area again but on both arms! Hoping they too go away quickly, if not I will try Dial soap before I even think of putting her through the painful medicine! Ugh I feel for you Melissa and your son!!! Thanks for the helpful suggestion!

4 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | Oh Weekends How I Love You on January 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    […] are being painted. I could technically wait until Wednesday to do this BUT Lily is receiving her third treatment for molluscum and this all needs to be done in anticipation for the painful healing […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Healthy Black Bean Soup on April 4, 2013 at 2:33 am

    […] every time she peed she froze and screamed out.  Turns out that the steroids she went on to help her allergic reaction made her body create yeast that then turned into an outer infection. We made a quick trip to the […]

  3. By Lily & Bliss | My New Waiting Room on June 5, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    […] could run after the birds. Finally took Lily back to MyGym (like a Gymboree class) since her whole Mollescum treatment and seeing her light up over trampolines and a ball pit is priceless. I also hit the gym 4 days in […]

  4. […] keep me sane and an energetic toddler entertained while in isolation for 4 months battling her molescum and the 10 days healing over her 5 stitches (had to remain inside to keep the finger clean and […]

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Master Bath Makeover: Phase 2

It has been awhile since I last blogged about the makeovers we’re making to our home. Read all about phase one here. Long story short we are stuck in our home for a few more years than we anticipated. Until the market bounces back, we are making some updates now so we don’t have to shell out $$$ when we are ready to sell, plus swallow the $$$ we will have to most likely bring to close. Ugh just thinking that we will have to bring money to the table to close just makes me sick. BUT there is nothing we can do about the market…just wait it out.

Phase one was pretty simple…just painting. Sadly I still have paint swatches on almost every wall in our bedroom. Yes I still haven’t chosen a color for our bedroom!

bathroom makeover. New paint color is BM Conservative GreyPhase two is replacing our countertops in the kitchen, master bath and guest bathroom and updating the faucets. For weeks we stared at our options and brought a few samples home. The only problem with samples is that they are itty bitty. It was so hard to use our imagination what the entire kitchen or bathroom would look like from a sample an inch big. We finally narrowed it down to Silestone quartz in Bamboo for the kitchen and Viatera quartz in Cortina for both bathrooms (both found at Home Depot).

bathroommakeoverCurrently we have corian countertops that have sinks built into them so we had to purchase new ones (Kohler “Caxton” $90) that will be under mounted. The only sink we are saving is our awesome large stainless steel sink in our kitchen. Oh how I LOVE having one large sink for the piles of dishes and sippy cups we go through daily. For the bathrooms I had to let go of the “all white” look because our tubs and toilet are creamed colored, named biscuit to be exact. So we chose countertops that would give the illusion of a white marble look yet would flow with the cream colored sinks and nearby bathtubs. Right now our faucets have a dated look with crystal knobs so they are getting a upgrade to Moen’s Banbury ($59 each).

bathroomdecidingWe still haven’t figured out our mirror and light choices. Mike and I want two separate framed mirrors instead of one large. The lighting in the master bath will be moved to the guest and we will have to find two separate light fixtures to go over each mirror in the master. Before making those purchases we are going to wait until the countertops are installed. We are looking at light fixtures that are on the cheaper end, but match the new faucets (Sea Gull $84 each & 2-light Polished Chrome $71.74 each). I can’t believe how expensive lights and mirror are! Crazy! For the mirrors wer are trying to decide if we want to go ahead and purchase one with molding (Pegasus Carrabelle $70.50 each or Masterbath $147.50) or a plain cheap standard mirror (Erias Home Designs $29.99) and try adding molding myself as a cheap DIY alternative. Above are some options we’re looking at.

One way we are saving is swapping out only the handles in both showers and the roman tub in the master. The current handles on all the fixtures are the crystal knobs. Our sales guy at Home Depot helped us out by looking up replacement parts for Moen and we will be able to buy handles for the showers and roman tub that will match the new Branbury faucets for the sinks! We are still waiting to hear back from Moen for the exact parts and prices.

sinkreplacementsAnother way we made this makeover easier on our wallets was ask for Home Depot gift cards for Christmas. Exciting gifts huh….well to us they were because in two weeks this momma’s kitchen and bathrooms will look brand new! Mike and I also skipped Christmas presents for each other this year to save even more. Plus Mike received a large gift card from his company for all his hard work last month! You know your getting old when getting home appliances and countertops get you giddy!

Once the countertops arrive I’ll post some pictures!! Now I just have to wait until my Christmas presents are installed…tick tock…

View Comments
  1. Elizabeth commented:
    January 18, 2013 Reply

    Your selections are lovely and it’s going to look great. I agree those samples are way too small!! I drove my husband crazy during our kitchen renovations. Sometimes there are just too many choices and that is just overwhelming. Who knew there were so many shades of white!?

    • Amy Romano commented:
      January 21, 2013 Reply

      Thank you!! I mean really Elizabeth! I was so naive…I thought I would waltz in there and be able to pick out what I wanted quickly. So quickly I even brought Lily, horrible mistake. Who needs a new purse when you can get a new kitchen counter!!

  2. Alana Olsen commented:
    January 20, 2013 Reply

    Hi Amy! I just discovered your blog….as a stay at home mom and floral designer and calligrapher…from Emily Ley’s blog…from Lara Casey’s blog…from Southern Weddings! I love your blog! Not only because I too have a daughter named Lilly, (but with two L’s!) who is 15 months, but your posts are amazing! From your hurricane Lily’s, which I have the same thing every day…morning, afternoon and evenings…every toy from her room to our living room to our kitchen..hysterics with santa…but your amazing projects and recipes and just glimpses of real life! I have been going through page after page and it is so refreshing and encouraging to read your posts! Love the keepsake handprint, definitely doing that this weekend to the muffin tins with pom poms, love it all! Can wait to see more posts! And your little girl is gorgeous!! Thank you for your blog!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      January 21, 2013 Reply

      Hi Alana!
      Thank thank THANK you for those sweet words! I even woke up my husband and told him about your sweet message last night 🙂 Anyone who is a friend of Miss Emily is a friend to me! Oh toddlers….it seems that Lily & Lilly keep us both on our toes. I am so glad you have enjoyed reading and that you have found encouragement in the stories (that made me blush!). I took a look at your website and fell in love with your work, so beautiful and romantic! Hope you have a fabulous week…

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] the makeover to our kitchen, bathrooms and master bedroom underway I’ve been doing a little online searching for some knick knacks. I […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Kid Proofing: The Trash Can on March 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

    […] out of our cabinets for the installation of our new counter tops (read about our kitchen makeover here), I decided to re-organize and make room for a hidden trash can. After rearranging some of our […]

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Keepsake Glitter Handprint: Sweet Valentines Gift

Glitter handprint keepsake...sweet idea for a valentines gift for husband/wife or grandparents!I can’t believe that I’m already thinking of ideas for Valentines day!! Between you and me I think February 14th was created by Hallmark, Hershey and Necco (maker of conversation hearts) in a ploy to make more money…yep you heard it here first folks!

Jokes and conspiracy theories aside, just like millions of other people Mike and I shower each other with extra love and devotion on Valentine’s day. We find really sweet cards for one another, both of us find a card “from Lily” to give and we keep it low key. No fancy gifts. The only money spent might be on dinner, and most years we just cook at home. Isn’t that what it’s all about? To be with the one you love?

To keep it focused on love, but still enjoying the holiday we set a limit on how much we can spend on cards and maybe a little something extra….usually the limit is $20. Told you, nothing fancy….just straight from the heart.

Last year I took pictures of Lily holding up letters that spelled dad and framed them for Mike’s office. This year I wanted to make another sweet keepsake and thought of using her handprint as art. This was one of the easiest projects I have ever done….a little messy, but so easy!

With some Joann coupons I headed to my local store and was excited when I saw that they were having a sale on most of the items needed! Here’s a breakdown:

Blank white canvas (I got a 5×5)
Glitter (I got extra fine in gold)
Mod Podge (or any other glue)
Foam brush or regular paint brush
Sharpie paint pen (I used metallic gold)
2 Paper plates
Mini wooden easel (I painted mine gold so make sure you have spray paint or leave it plain)
Clear gloss spray paint (I used a clear gloss spray from Krylon)

Some of these items I already owned which makes this project even sweeter! I purchased three white 5×5 canvases (one for us and the two others are for the grandparents!) that were originally $4.29 each but were on sale for $2.57. I had glitter at home, but I wanted the extra fine type so that was $3.99 minus $1.60 using a coupon.  The mini wooden easel was on sale for $1.19 (originally $1.99).

Step one is to set up everything so you can get through all the steps, plus clean your kids hands before the glue dries! Line up the three canvases side by side. On one paper plate pour out a little Mod Podge and set the brush next to it. The other paper plate will be used to catch the glitter, so place your glitter next to that.

Mike picked up Lily and I applied the Mod Podge to her tiny hand and firmly pressed down on one of the canvases. After each canvas I applied more glue. Make sure you put enough glue on your child’s hand so there is enough on the canvas to catch the glitter, making the shape of your kid’s full hand. Do all three glued handprints and help your husband/wife with cleaning off your child’s hand.

glitterhanddateGo back and hold each canvas over the other paper plate while you sprinkle the glitter over the wet glue. Lightly shake and tap the canvas to remove the excess glitter. It might look really messy but don’t worry just let it dry! After three hours I went back with a Q-Tip and lightly rubbed off any glitter around and in between the fingers so the hand became more defined. I took the canvases outside and sprayed them with Kryon’s clear gloss spray. I did this to help seal in the glitter a bit more.  Glitter is like the sand at Clearwater beach. If you get that sand in your shoe or bag it seems impossible to get out. Weeks even months later you will discover bits of sand as you dig to find your keys! So give the artwork a little spray of clear gloss or that glitter will get everywhere!

On the back of the artwork make sure you mark the date and your child’s age. I used a Sharpie paint pen in metallic gold.

glitterhandeaselWhile I was outside applying a clear coat to the artwork, I sprayed the mini wooden easel in gold to match the cute keepsake handprint.

Such a sweet little gift that you can keep for years.

Glitter hand keepsake. Sweet gift idea for valentines day for mom/dad or grandparents.

View Comments
  1. Elizabeth commented:
    January 16, 2013 Reply

    So cute!!

  2. Nancy commented:
    January 17, 2013 Reply

    What a precious idea. Lily is the cutest.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] 1. Glitter baby handprint gift Amy at Lily & Bliss made this beautiful sparkly handprint canvas gift for her husband on Valentine’s day (from their daughter).  Find her easy tutorial here. […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Valentine Roundup on February 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    […] rest was super easy. Her tiny handprint is still on display on a gold easel in our kitchen! Click HERE to check out the […]

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Tip Tuesday: Keeping Lids From Sticking

Tip: to keep your nail polish lid from sticking apply some vaseline to the inner lid of the bottle!Don’t you hate it when your running out the door and at last minute you decide to check you’re your toes (because your wearing flip flops or heels with peep holes) and EEEeeeek your polish looks pitiful!!????!!! Sadly, I admit this happens more than I would like it to. You make a dash to your bathroom for a quick application of polish and then you run into another wall….your nail polish seems to be sealed with super glue. A mean prank huh!?!

Sometimes I have been lucky and with a few seconds under hot water I can unscrew the lid. However I usually bite down with my teeth and attempt to use my personal jaws of life to free the lid. The only thing that ever happens in that scenario is that my jaw gets soar and I end up grinding my teeth somehow….ugh worst.sound.ever.

To prevent this situation unscrew your nail polish lid, take a Q-Tip and apply some Vaseline around the outer rim of the polish jar. Taaa Daaa!

So if you ever find yourself rushing to give your toes a quick touch up make sure you have prepped your polish with this tip so you can twist off your lid with ease.

View Comments
  1. Susan commented:
    January 15, 2013 Reply

    Pretty pink glitter polish!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      January 16, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Susan! It’s calle “A Cut Above” by Essie!

  2. Diane commented:
    January 16, 2013 Reply

    Good tip!

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