Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, January 4, 2016

The End.

So, something strange happened in May.  One morning, a work friend texted me and said, "your blog is going viral."  Now, I had a 6 week old baby at the time.  I'm not sure how much I had slept.  I half read her text, then tried to get just 3 more minutes of sleep before I knew Ellie would be up.  When I was fully up and running, I went back to that text.

What on Earth was she talking about?  I hadn't posted in a LONG time.  So, I went to my dashboard, and sure enough, this post had thousands and thousands of hits already, and it was only mid morning.  I guess people were sharing it mostly on Facebook.  By the day's end, I had well over 100,000 hits for just that one post.

At first, I was flattered.  People finding what you have written to be funny or interesting AND sharing it makes you feel good.  It shows that not only family members are reading your blog.  But then, I thought it was slightly weird.  I had never intended strangers to read my blog when I started writing.  It turns out that I knew very little about blogging at all.

When I first decided to start a blog, it was because I knew that George and I would be moving.  I wanted a way to document what was going on in our lives and share it with friends and family back home.  But then, I started reading other blogs and got to know some of the girls behind them.  I had created a small network of "blogging friends," most of which,  I had never met before. Between Google and Bloglovin', I had about 1,000 subscribers, and thousands of hits per week. I even made a little money from Amazon links and ad space.

But, blog posts became less about life updates and more about my favorite products and recipes.  The goal was no longer to keep friends and family from back home up to date, but it was more to just write for fun.  Besides, most of my friends and family didn't even read this. Ha!

Then, life got busy.  I got pregnant, had a baby, and my free time dissolved into thin air.  I find myself posting on Instagram and Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family rather than making a post on here.  (P.S. for those of you who don't have a blog... it takes a LONG time to create a post, especially if you're creating your own graphics).

So, I think this is it.  I had so much fun doing this, but now it's over.  If you want to follow me on Instagram (emily.katherine.t.11), I will still be posting random recipes, lots of pictures of our family, and stuff that I would blog about.  For those of you who read here, thanks!  See you on Instagram :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

7 Things I wish I would have known when Ellie was a Newborn

Hey all,

So Ellie is 6 months old.  Like SIX MONTHS OLD. That's half a year.  I can't believe it.  While this has definitely been the fastest six months of my life, it has also been the longest and arguably the hardest as well.

As a new mom, you get a ton of advice.  I love advice, and I have no problem soaking it all in.  You never know what little pearl of wisdom you'll want to try when all else has failed.  So, here are a few it advice if you want... that I wish I would have known during the first few months.


Sleep.  Oh sleep.  You've never been so tired in your entire life.  What I didn't know was that you have to work to get your newborn to sleep.  Ellie wasn't the baby that you could rock to sleep, then ever so gently put down in a bassinet.  She wanted to be held, 24/7.  That made things really difficult during the first few weeks.  I thought it was going to be like this forever, and it was not.


While on the topic of sleep...they will sleep through the night.  When you're so used to waking up 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. times per night, you're running on fumes.  You don't know that it will be like to actually get a full night of rest.  It WILL happen.  You feel like it wont, but it will.  Some sooner rather than others, so try not to compare to other babies.  I thought that Ellie would never sleep through the night, and she does now.


Everything is temporary, the good and the bad.  Nothing is your new normal, whether it be good or bad.  Even with the sleeping thing, I know that once she starts getting teeth, things will be changing again.  Every time you think, "I got this!", something knocks you down, and when you're down...things get better.  I've learned to enjoy the good days and know that the fussy days are temporary.  I feel like babies know when they've pushed you to the edge, then they give you just enough of a break for you to regain sanity before it starts all over again.


See lactation early.  If you choose to breastfeed, and it's something you feel really strongly about... SEE A LACTATION CONSULTANT when you start to have doubts.  Ellie was having some issues that were seriously stressing me out and making me want to quit.  A lactation consultant recognized her/my problem immediately, and after my 45 minute appointment, I had a renewed sense of confidence.  If you see one that you don't mesh with, try again.  Of the three LCs I've seen, one is great, and the other two were "eh."


Guilt. There is always something to be guilty about.  I feel like I wasted a lot of time struggling with feelings of guilt for absolutely no reason.  "Why didn't I see lactation earlier?"  "I didn't read to her enough today." "She has spent too much time in her car seat today."  "Kathy and Hoda on in the background is probably turning her brain to mush."  I mean...I could go on forever and ever, but I'm slowly learning to relax.  I try my hardest to make sure that Ellie is happy, healthy, clean and fed. Sometimes, I need to make sure that those apply to me as a mom too.


Communication with spouse and asking for help.  This one is huge.  For some reason, I thought it was the end of the world to "bother" George with tasks around the house.  I felt guilty (see above, ha!).  He works his butt off all day, and then he comes home and I'm asking for help.  But, the reality is, that when I started asking for help, I became much less stressed, which made everyone happier.


Networking!  Having a support system of other moms has been so helpful.  Whether it be a quick text to my sister in law (who is a total baby guru, I'm so lucky...she's amazing) or a friend who has a small baby Ellie's age, sometimes it's just nice to bounce ideas off others.  Sometimes, it's also just nice to have a short bitch-fest about how tired you are or how chores are piling up.  Misery loves company, ha!

That's all I have for now.  What do you wish you could have told your "new mom" self?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Favorite Things

Wow, it has been a minute since I've posted.  I thought I'd come back and do a quick "Favorite Things" post to kick off October.  Here are some things I've been loving:

1.) Costco Leggings

I've decided that I'm not going to wear real pants this fall or winter.  I mean, I'll throw on some jeans if I want to get fancy, but I'm going to live in leggings and long sweaters to cover my mom-butt.  These Costco leggings are awesome.  SUPER soft and very thick.  You don't get that see-thru problem when you bend over.  They come in grey, black and navy.

2.) Crazy Cups

Most K-Cup variety packs seriously blow.  You end up really enjoying about half, and the rest is decaf crap or some gross butter almond something or other that you don't really want.  These Crazy Cups have the best variety with flavors like "Bananas Foster Flambe," "Death by Chocolate," "Frosted Oatmeal Cookie."  They're all delicious without being too much. Buy It Here

3.) Simple Micellar Cleansing Water

I wash my face before bed, but when I wake up in the morning, I need something to clean up with really quick.  You just put a dab of this on a cotton ball, and takes any oil or grime off without drying your face out.  It doesn't leave the soapy residue that you get with a makeup wipe. Buy It Here

4.) Target Threshold Monogram Mug

How cute and fall-ish is this mug?  I'm also a sucker for anything monogrammed.  Target has a ton of tartan style mugs and dishcloths that are absolutely adorable.  Buy It Here

5.) Maybelline Fit Me Powder

Nothing is better than the MAC mineralize skin finish powder, but this is a close dupe.  It gives more full coverage, but has a matte and kind of velvety finish.  Does that make sense?  I like to put on concealer to hide blemishes and dark circles, then put this all over with a big powder brush and skip foundation.  It's great to brush all over when you're in a huge hurry.  Love it! Buy It Here

6.) @fuckjerry on Instagram

Excuse the French, but this Instagram account is absolutely hilarious.  It's kind of like @thefatjewish, but I think it's even funnier.

7.) Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

Yes, yes... I'm all about doing your own gel manicure.  (I have a tutorial here) BUT... for when you're really in a pinch, this polish is by FAR the next best thing.  If I have 2 minutes during one of Ellie's naps to do my nails, and I don't have time to drag out my light and all that, this is awesome.  My nails chip in about 5 minutes after regular polish, but this stays looking good for 4-6 days! Buy It Here

8.) @targetdoesitagain on Instagram

Holy cow.  Those of you who know me know that I'm slightly obsessed with Target.  These girls are AWESOME!  They post their favorite things from Target that you may have missed.  Clothing, food, home items.  Like I need another reason to go to Target, ha!

9.) Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk

I had to cool it on the dairy because it was hurting Ellie's tummy.  Now that she has gotten older and is eating solids now, I've been able to slowly add it back into my diet.  I don't, however, think I'll ever drink normal milk again.  To me, it tastes better than cow's milk and has all of the same health benefits.

So, that's it.  What are some things you're loving for the month of October?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dinner Ideas

Hey all,

So, this summer I've been incredibly busy...but not really doing a whole lot at the same time.  Any moms of new babies probably know exactly what I mean.  When Ellie turned 3 months, I feel like I was finally crawling out of the hole that is the newborn phase.

Now that Ellie is napping more consistently, I'm going to try to update the blog a bit more.  I feel like I say this a lot, then it never actually happens.  Whatevs.

So anyways, I've been trying to do a bit more cooking at home.  When Ellie was first born, we got a lot of carry out, which is typically crap food. Even if restaurants disguise it as healthy, there is a ton of added salt and butter and everything else that is bad for you.  I enjoy cooking, and I really missed it.  I'm not a gourmet chef by ANY means, but I enjoy experimenting with different recipes.  I love love LOVE to see what friends and fellow bloggers are making for dinner.  Not only does it give me ideas, but it proves to me that it can be done by a normal person and not just the Martha Stewarts of the world.

Here are a few of my favorites:

But first, a few things:

*I don't cook any red meat or pork at home.  I'm very sssllloowwwwly moving away from eating meat.  I just can't give up chicken yet. I will probably always eat seafood. (It doesn't make me as sad)

*Some of the recipes I made up, some I got from magazines/Pinterest (I will link where I can), but most recipes I have tweaked to add more veggies.

*I can't eat dairy anymore because it messes with Ellie's tummy.  Boo! :(

*You may recognize some of these from my Instagram (@BeautyandtheGreek)

*I use my grill A LOT in the spring and summer.  It's just a normal gas grill, but I love cooking outside and having less kitchen cleanup.

*I keep a "dinner diary" (I talk more about it here) to document what I've made, ingredients, and things I would change for next time.

*I am no food photographer, so food is much tastier than it appears! :)

Coconut Curry Shrimp

Main Ingredients: Brown rice, shrimp, tomatoes, coconut milk, onion, ginger, curry sauce spices, top with cilantro
I add some sauteed squash and zucchini. Buy microwaveable brown rice here .  (No added salt or bad stuff), buy ginger in a tube to save time.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

I made up the recipe
Main Ingredients: Rice paper (Buy It Here), red pepper, cabbage slaw, shrimp (or pork), tomato, red bell pepper, and cilantro.  Soy sauce, sesame oil and red pepper flakes for the dipping sauce. Just keep mixing like a mad scientist until it tastes good.  Edamame on the side.

Pesto Chicken Pasta and Salad

No real recipe
Main Ingredients: Pasta, grilled chicken in (EVOO, S&P marinade, nothing fancy), with Costco pesto sauce (amaaazing, but any store bought pesto is fine, or make your own...but I think it's a pain), spinach salad with feta and veggies.

Pasta with Shrimp and Snap Peas

Main Ingredients: Pasta, feta, shrimp, snap peas, dill, lemon zest, garlic

Cucumber Tomato Salad

No recipe
Main Ingredients: Tomato, cucumber, oregano, olive oil (balsamic vinegar if you want), feta

George's dad gave us an obscene amount of tomatoes and cucumbers from his garden. This....THIS ladies, is what I came home to one day.  Yes, George said, "I totally went all Martha Stewart while you were gone."  I know, he's a keeper.  God love him...he even made the cucumber water too. Just precious.

Quickest Dinner Ever

No Recipe
Main Ingredients: Spinach ravioli (from Costco) with sauteed squash, zucchini, and broccoli, marinara sauce and a tiny bit of parmesan.

Ha, this was uploaded on accident.  But I've been LOVING oatmeal lately with some almond milk, cinnamon and fresh peaches.

Veggie Pizza

Veggie pizzas are my favorite to make.  I buy two thin pizza crusts because I'm too lazy to make my own.  This one has broccoli, bell pepper, tomato, mushroom, fresh basil, and garlic.  Cheese and sauce as well, obviously.  Make two and freeze the other one so you're not left with a ton of ingredients.  If I'm not up for making two, I saute the extra veggies and put them with some pasta later in the week.

Summer Tomato Soup  

Main Ingredients: Tomatos, shrimp, corn, zucchini, poblano peppers, onion, garlic.
This was awesome!  Lots of chopping, but it goes really quickly.


I make big salads almost weekly.  My current favorite is to make a spinach salad with some garlic cous cous and grilled chicken.  I add some tomato and sauteed mushrooms.  Some parmesan or feta with olive oil and a tiny bit of balsamic.  It's so good!

I'm also a fan of mixed field greens, peppers, tomato, black bean, corn, avocado and whatever protein you want.  Add some salsa with maybe a tiny bit of ranch...yum!

Apples and berries with some herbed goat cheese and cucumber makes a killer salad too.

So those are some of my favorite summer dinners.  Now what are yours?  I need some new ideas, haha!  If you liked this post, do me a favor and pin it!