Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Boom Clap

Lately I've been *loving* the song Boom Clap by Charli XCX. Now, I haven't seen or read The Fault In Our Stars yet, but I have no doubt that it's an amazing movie! If you liked the movie, there's a version of the song that's on YouTube with scenes from TFIOS mixed in to the actual music video.


One of the reasons that I love the song so much is that it's clean. It's something that I can actually listen to with the kids I nanny! I can't tell you how many times I feel the need to change the radio station because a suggestive song comes on the radio, or a song that has multiple swearwords in it. The boys are only 4 & 6 for goodness' sake! I'm honestly considering getting a few kid-friendly CDs from the library and playing them when we're in the car since we have to drive almost EVERYWHERE we go.

Does anyone have any suggestions of good kid-friendly CDs/artists??

-JMB

Monday, July 7, 2014

Beach Days

Well, this 4th of July weekend was a HUGE success! I was able to visit one of my best friends, Malina, at her beach house in Brigantine, NJ for the entire holiday weekend. On friday we visited her friends, met cute kittens, and even made it to bed before 1am hit! Ever since I started working normal "business hours" I've been unable to sleep past 830am or stay up too far past midnight! Saturday was a day full of breakfast at Mad Dog Morgan's, hanging at the Cove with a bunch of family friends, and getting ice cream late at night to satisfy those cravings! Sunday morning Malina had to work, so I spent a lazy morning around the house until she came home and we headed to the beach for a few hours, despite the chilly wind! Sunday night there were beautiful fireworks in Atlantic City that we could see from the back deck of her house, so we got some ice cream and avoided the traffic getting off the island to watch the show! Unfortunately, today means back to real life, but here are a bunch of pictures from the weekend!








Hope everyone had as good of a holiday weekend as I did!

-JMB

Friday, July 4, 2014

Goodreads

Lately, inspired by Carly over at The College Prepster, I've been trying to log all of my books on Goodreads! Many of the books that I've been rating and logging were books that I read in my childhood and during my middle and high school days. Lately, I've posted a few book reviews for you all, and I hope that using Goodreads will help me be a little more committed to being active and faithful in reviewing what I read.

My taste in books varies widely. There are days that I want to read Historical Fiction, days I want to read a fluffy romance, and still other days where I want to read a self-help or organizational book. However, I love to see what other people are reading and I love to share the books that I'm currently into!



Please visit my profile on Goodreads to see all that I've been into lately and all that I plan to read!

xoxo,
JMB

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Being home with my parents for the long weekend is...well, it's a lot of things. It can be comforting, fun, and restful, but also hectic, stressful, and tiring. My parents have always been the inquisitive type, so the time Mom and I spent in the pool was more of a Q & A session for her to catch up on my life! (specifically about RR....) My dad is always a bit more laid back about the questions, he likes to let me tell him what I want him to know on my own, which is essentially everything.


I also get to spend time with my stud of a Little Bro. He works at the same grocery store that I once worked at, and his girlfriend works there as well. Last night the three of us bonded and took a trip to Kiwi, our favorite frozen yogurt place.

My "home base" is in the Royersford area in Pennsylvania. Despite being only 15 minutes from King of Prussia, it's a whole other world out here. We have farms, small towns, and mom & pop restaurants. Frankly, it's one of the things that I love about being home, it's still small town America at it's finest. This time of year especially! There are small fire company fairs everywhere, and they are easily one of my favorite things about the place I live. Sooo much nostalgia going on those rides and eating blue and pink cotton candy!

What are your favorite things about "home"?

-JMB

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book Review: Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews



From the back of the book:

"Grace Stanton's life as a rising media star and beloved lifestyle blogger takes a surprising turn when she catches her husband cheating and torpedoes his pricey sports car straight into the family swimming pool. Grace suddenly finds herself locked out of her palatial home, checking account, and even the blog she has worked so hard to develop in her signature style. Moving in with her widowed mother, who owns and lives above a rundown beach bar called The Sandbox, is less than ideal. So is attending court-mandated weekly "divorce recovery" therapy sessions with three other women and one man for whom betrayal seems to be the only commonality. When their "divorce coach" starts to act suspiciously, they decide to start having their own Wednesday "Ladies' Night" sessions at The Sandbox, and the unanticipated bonds that develop lead the members of the group to try and find closure in ways they never imagined. Can Grace figure out a new way home and discover how strong she needs to be to get there?

Heartache, humor, and a little bit of mystery come together in a story about life's unpredictable twists and turns. Ladies' Night will have you raising a glass and cheering these characters on."

The summer is the time of year that I spend the most amount of time reading. Luckily for me, I have a few hours each day that I can devote to that hobby! I've finished yet another book, Ladies' Night, and I absolutely love it! It was one of those books where I was crying - yes, crying - by the time I was 4 or 5 chapters in. The way that Mary Kay Andrews writes makes you really feel what the character is feeling, the type of character that takes up space in your brain and stays with you long after the book has ended. 

The book feels real, not just in the way that you can relate to the characters, but in the way where you know someone who's gone through something similar. Divorce is a painful subject for many people, and the bonds formed through the "divorce recovery" group show how important it is to have a strong support system around you while going through such a large life change. This is a great book that I finished in about two days, so I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves an intriguing summer read!

Buy the book on Amazon!

-JMB

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend Roundup

Well, it's safe to say that I've been very busy these last few days! On Friday I took JD and ZD to the Newark Free Library and let them take home a few books to read during quiet time, it was a HUGE success!!

Saturday morning my friend Liz dropped off her puppy, Taylor, so I could puppysit for a weekend. Taylor is a part of the Seeing Eye program, and at school we have a club devoted to raising the puppies until they are old enough to go through training to be a Seeing Eye Dog! There are many families that can participate in this, you can find out more by going to the website for The Seeing Eye. It's really an amazing program and you get to know that you helped change someone's life for the better!

A picture of Taylor in the car:


This precious girl knows to sit nicely in the back seat while I am driving, and she wears her green vest so that people around her know that she's a working dog.

Sunday was a lazy day for me and RR, we did laundry, watched TV, and then caught up on House of Cards on Netflix. Easily one of our favorite shows right now!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Delaware Children's Museum!

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into my nanny “schedule” as the weeks go by…the boys really start to get restless when the midweek mark comes up! They have asked to go to the Delaware Children’s Museum, so that’s where we headed today. In comparison to the Children’s Museums that I grew up going to in Philadelphia, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised!



Every display was interactive and on the kids’ level, which is what you would expect from a children’s museum.  However, the layout of the building was what pleased me the most! The transitions from room to room, and subsequently theme to theme, were very seamless and exciting, making the kids want to explore at their own pace and not “giving away” too much about the room to come.  When you first walk in, there is a large sculpture/climbing structure that the boys LOVE. They easily spent 30-40 minutes here! There was a large kids camp group there, which was a bit of a stumbling block at the DMNH, but with the size of the DCM, it was barely noticeable that they were there at all.

I basically had to tear the boys away from DCM when it came time for lunch, we were still there and quiet time was due to start in the next 45 minutes! Sometimes plans need to be adjusted for that sort of thing, but I like to keep them as close to a schedule in the summer as possible.

More pics!






Be sure to check it out, it would be easy to spend an entire morning or afternoon here with a few kiddos!


-JMB

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

One of the things that ZD and JD have been asking for is going to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. They have plates, cups, and even little frisbees that have HTTYD2 characters plastered all over them. Finally, I was able to take them to see the movie!



We went to the local Regal Cinema for the 11:15 showing, and had quite a few technical difficulties. Luckily, we were given vouchers for a future movie when we left. 

Now, I'm a little bit wary of movie ratings these days so I made sure to read several reviews online before taking the boys, but none of them prepared me for this: 

IT IS SAD.

There were several times that the boys looked over to me and said that the movie was sad, I don't want to go into details in case I spoil it for anyone. It was a good movie, it followed Hiccup and Toothless again as they proved the positive relationship between humans and dragons. Hiccup's "family" was involved this time around, and there was a lot of team building going on through the duration of the movie. 



Overall, we loved it! It's a little bit long for ZD & JD when they have to stay in a single seat for so long, especially when they need to get up for the bathroom but try to wait because they don't want to miss anything! Remember to ask the little ones (repeatedly) if they need to go. I won't mind when this DVD comes out and they want to watch it over and over, but I could see how some younger ones might not understand what's going on, and if they do they might be saddened/upset by it. 

Enjoy!

-JMB

Monday, June 23, 2014

Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Wooo! My first recipe blog post!

Lately I've been cooking two-person meals for RR and I after we get home from our respective workdays.

Tonight was Easy Chicken Fried Rice, with a recipe I found through pinterest (see it Pinned here). Bonus - the recipe only takes about 15-20 minutes!

Image from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

I tweaked the recipe a little bit to suit our taste...I'm also terrible at measuring so I usually just wing that part of it...

You will need:

  • ~2 cups of brown or white rice
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken (or previously cooked chicken of your own)
  • Canned sweet corn
  • Canned peas
  • Small onion
  • Minced garlic or garlic powder (I use the powder!)
First, cook the rice! When the rice is about halfway done I use a large frying pan, on medium-low heat, and cover the bottom in sesame oil, then add in the (chopped!) onion and lightly coat in garlic powder. After 2-3 minutes I microwave a paper plate of the chicken (about 7 or 8 strips) and then add that into the pan. Stir this up for a few minutes, raising the temperature to medium, and adding in the corn and peas, and mixing everything together to make sure that it's all coated in the sesame oil.

Now that the rice is finished, add it into the frying pan and turn that temperature up to high! Here is where the soy sauce comes in. I tend to use low sodium because RR and I are both Italian and high blood pressure is common in my family. I put in a few splashes of soy sauce, covering half of the rice, then I make sure to thoroughly mix it all together for about one minute.

Voila! Ready to serve, and when all is said and done should take about 15 minutes.

Let me know how it turns out if you decide to try this recipe!

-JMB

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Retail Therapy!

Whew! Today was a LONG, exhausting day. RR and I started out early, leaving his apartment at 10am to drive to the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware! Luckily for me, that boy loves to shop ;)

He ended up with:



a green dress shirt, a white polo, and a belt all from Vineyard Vines,


and a navy t-shirt from Ralph Lauren.


I walked away with: a seersucker skirt from Vineyard Vines,


the True Prep book from Brooks Brothers,


red pumps from Cole Haan,


the mobile iPhone 5/5s charger from Lilly Pulitzer in Lobstah Roll (my current favorite!),


and the "Go To Tote" from Dooney & Bourke.


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We got lunch at Chipotle, and we stopped at an adorable little coffee shop on Rehoboth Ave. It's called Cafe a Go-Go and the Iced Caramel Lattes were perfect to have before the afternoon drive.

Unfortunately, it was cloudy and rainy all day so we didn't get to hit the beach, but I did wear my Topanga Tunic in Coralina by Lilly Pulitzer for National Wear Your Lilly Day, aka the first day of summer and Rob's dad's birthday! Funnily enough, Rob and I unintentionally matched, since he was wearing a white oxford and J.Crew pants in Nantucket Red...we got quite a few compliments from strangers on the street ... :)

Happy #NationalWearYourLillyDay !

-JMB