December Haul + Mini Me and Bolognese Sauce

Right after I realized I didn't shop at all over Black Friday, I immediately went crazy shopping, which is a bit embarrassing to admit since I was so proud that I refrained from spending any money during that time. Here's my end-of-the-year haul:

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. Here I am with my mini me - I love matching her!

If you're looking for a quick and easy dinner recipe (that's also kid-friendly), I made this bolognese sauce that has hidden veggies along with some potatoes and garlic bread recently:
Prep: 15 minutesCook: 1-1/2 hours
Ingredients1 lb ground beef1 cup diced onion1 tablespoon minced garlic1 carrot, shredded1 tablespoon dried oregano1 teaspoon garlic powder1 bay leafsalt and ground black pepper to taste42 ounces canned crushed tomatoes (such as San Marzano)2 cups water8-10 ounces dried or fresh pasta

November Haul + Classic Turkey Recipe

I've haven't been shopping much lately and when I did, it was mostly for baby A. Here's this month's meager haul, which is surprisingly the first Thanksgiving/Black Friday that I didn't shop!

I spotted the cute Bernardo Paige Rain Boot, which has a bow in the back, on an ad while browsing FB but they were unfortunately sold out in my size 5 everywhere I looked. After much searching, I found this pair of Bernardo Peony Water Resistant Chelsea Boots and I was super intrigued about because they are rain boots yet velvet and this brand receives such high ratings for comfort. When I got them, they were definitely comfy and fit very well but after wearing them once, I did notice it does uncomfortably push down on the top insides of my foot, though no lasting pain resulted from that so I'm hoping it'll go away with some more wear. Looking forward to Spring when it warms up so I can wear them out more. :)

I've posted a brined turkey recipe before but here's…

October Haul + Peanut Butter Donuts

Old Navy Super Cash has returned and with it were multiple purchases I made, all due to finding this super cute set for $1.47 (!) in stores for baby A.

While in stores, I saw a cute sweater in the girls' department that had me shopping online to meet the free minimum shipping, which led to the bulk of last month's haul.

This Wave Break Tie One Piece bathing suit I purchased from Athleta in conjunction with my Old Navy order is my second one piece ever, and I love it! It really is a bit tight and pulls a bit at the shoulders, which is surprising since I already have a short torso, but I don't mind it enough to not keep it because it is super cute and flattering on the body, which is so helpful post-baby. :)

I made some Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts over the weekend, which were a big hit and are super yummy despite being the healthiest donuts I've ever made so I will definitely be keeping this recipe to make again.


September Haul + Bermuda

I noticed I definitely increased my shopping in September, which I wonder if it's tied to the changing of the seasons.

I attended a Gilt event, which I didn't want to leave empty-handed and ended up purchasing a girls' little red jacket that fit really nicely and would be perfect for the holidays. After that, I went on a shopping binge and ordered a bunch of Maison Jules stuff from Macy's, of which I ended up keeping a good amount of items. I really like their lightweight blazers such as the Maison Jule Open-Front Knit Blazer and Maison Jules Linen Knit Jacket, which fit so well and comfortably and thought the Maison Jules Pull-On Flutter-Hem Shorts were super cute. My favorite purchase is the Maison Jules Hooded Raincoat, which fits well and is made of a really nice water-resistant material. I also placed a random big order on Spring, and ended up keeping a Ralph Lauren sweatshirt and Gymboree tassel bag, which I claim to have bought for baby A but will actually be we…

August Haul + Sweet Potato Bread

August was the only month I didn't shop much - I only picked up a pair Zella Turning Point Hight Waist Crop Leggings and my favorite luggage now - the Away Bigger Carry-On, which is affordable and has a built-in charger, which is very useful.

Here's a recipe for healthy Sweet Potato Bread, which baby A loved too. :)

SWEET POTATO BREADIngredients:1-1/2 cups oat flour1 cup mashed sweet potato (peel and cube then boil 30 min to mash)2 tablespoons brown sugar1/4 cup sugar1/4 cup applesauce1/3 cup egg whites1 teaspoon vanilla1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon cinnamon1/2 teaspoon nutmeg1/4 teaspoon saltDirections:1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Trasnfer to loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.3. Bake 35 minutes.Nutrition per serving (1 slice):96 Calories14g Carbs3g Fat

July Haul + Adult Grilled Cheese

Here is the long overdue haul from July:

I celebrated Audrina's first birthday party at my house this year and one of the biggest hits was the Adult Grilled Cheese, which was the best grilled cheese sandwich I've ever had at the Commodore in Williamsburg, Brooklyn so I was so happy to have come across the recipe in New York Magazine. I loved being able to recreate it for my friends who've never been and can see myself making this again.

ADULT GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES (THE COMMODORE)Ingredients:1 lb. Cheddar cheese, grated4 oz. cream cheese6 tbs. mayonnaise1 tsp. each salt and pepper2 tsp. lemon juice4 poblano peppers (to taste), roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped20 slices of bread1 stick of butterDirections:Add all the ingredients (except the bread and ­butter) to a large bowl, and mix together well. 2. Generously cover a slice of white bread with the cheese mixture, and then cover with another slice. 3. Butter outside of sandwich, and cook in a preheated skillet until b…

Recent OOTDs (Hawaii) + Brined Meat to Grill

Here's are some late OOTDs I was able to snap from the last month or two:

I mentioned in the last post that it's still warm enough to grill a few more times but it's definitely getting cold quick. I also made some ribs that were brined first and they turned out really yummy. I know I mentioned a basic brining recipe back in 2014 here but this recipe is great!

BRINED MEAT TO GRILLIngredients:10 whole chicken legs, 3 racks of pork ribs (spare, St.Louis-style, or baby back, each rack cut in half), or 6 lbs beef short ribs (English-cut, meaning the ribs are cut between the bones)1 cup sugar1 cup coarse salt1 head garlicDirections:1. In a stockpot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. 2. Stir in 1 cup each sugar and coarse salt until dissolved.3. Add smashed unpeeled cloves from 1 head garlic and meat; boil until cooked through and tender at bone, 20 minutes for chicken, 30 minutes for pork, and 40 minutes for beef ribs.4. Transfer meat to a wire rack and let stand to dry, 5 minut…