How I Lost My Baby Weight – Without a Gym Membership



Working out consistently was hard enough pre-pregnancy and pre-baby, but fitting in a good workout routine as a new mom is extremely difficult.  I am an avid runner and have always enjoyed going to the gym (about four times a week) but between working, breastfeeding, and taking care of a new little baby, I had to reformat my expectations and approach to getting fit.  Because this winter was awful weather-wise and It was hard to find a solid gap in my schedule I invested in a set of free weights, a high quality gym mat, and some intense workout dvd’s to get me back in shape without having to leave the house or my baby.   Surprisingly enough this new method was more than adequate and I was able to reach my pre-pregnancy weight in under 6 months.

ak athletic equipment chevron mat, jari love dvds, weights.

ak athletic equipment chevron mat, jari love dvds,

At first I really missed not being able to run on the treadmill in the winter months like I would normally, but I found a great line of workout dvds by Jari Love that combine  a hardcore amount of cardio and strength training, while switching up exercises frequently enough to combat boredom.  I use my  “advanced level”  folding mat from AK Athletic Equipment as a mat, an aerobic step, and as a bench for seamless switches between workout segments and have found that the  firm, shock absorbent quality of the foam is far better for me knees and back than using of a traditional plastic step.



* My favorite workout dvd to date is Jari Love Get Ripped 1000 which does have a over the top cheesey quality but is extremely effective in making you sweat and gain lean muscle mass!

AK Athletic Equipment Chevron Mat

AK Athletic Equipment Chevron Mat



More recently I have also added running back in to my routine with a jogger now that the weather is warm and couldn’t be happier.




Kinderpack by KinderCarry Soft Structured Baby Carrier Review

Our Rating: 5 out of 5.
Frances With Jadon in Kinderpack

Frances With Jadon in Kinderpack



I was first introduced to the Kinderpack when my sisters neighbor (a super cute babywearing mom) suggested that I try this soft structured carrier for my large (and tall) 9 month old son.  Jadon and I have tried other more traditional “structured” carriers previously without much success.  He didn’t have enough room, and his legs were so long that kicks were inevitable.   When Jadon was much smaller we used the Moby Wrap Carrier but the wrapping and unwrapping was far too tedious once he was more mobile.

Ordering a kinderpack is unlike your average online purchasing experience because each carrier is handmade at home by a two-couple team run by Melissa (the creator of Kindercarry).   Because limited quantities are produced, the availability of different fabrics and sizes are listed once a week and they sell out QUICKLY.    I ordered the Standard, which is suitable for 8 mos-3yrs, 18lbs-50lbs and it is heavenly!! 

eric with kinderpack and Jadon

eric with kinderpack and Jadon

The straps are all adjustable and the weight is distributed in such a comfortable fashion for both baby and adult.  My husband also loves using the Kinderpack and we use it for getting things done around the house as well as for excursions.  The term soft structured is a great way to describe the durable and high quality construction/engineering of the pack while maintaining the closeness of a sling.

I am not an avid babywearing mom by any means, but I can definitely appreciate the extended “hug” feeling I get when using the Kinderpack!

Overall I give this a 5 star rating for comfort, aesthetic, functionality, and *extreme cuteness.

to visit the Kindercarry site click here.



Coral Colored Nursery Inspiration

House of Ruby Interior Design coral nursery

House of Ruby Interior Design coral nursery

Hi-Tech System Assoc., Inc. coral nursery

Hi-Tech System Assoc., Inc. coral nursery


Jewelry, clothing, and interior accents are all riding the coral trend and I can’t seem to get enough!  Here are some fabulous examples of a stylish coral colored nursery.


Lovejoy Designs coral nursery

Lovejoy Designs coral nursery

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC mint green nursery

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC mint green nursery

RN Interior Design coral nursery

RN Interior Design coral nursery




Easy Yellow Squash Fritters

yellow squash fritters on white plate



Finally fall is here and I am still trying to make use of the massive amounts of zucchini and yellow squash from my garden.  I found that these fritters are not only quick, but are also a nice break from breads, stir-fry, tarts, and the other numerous zucchini-yellow squash combination (Frankenstein) recipes I have tried this summer.  These fritters are deliciously crispy on the outside and are melt-in-your-mouth fluffy on the inside. This recipe was inspired by the zucchini fritter recipe from Smitten Kitchen with some modifications to accommodate what I had readily available in my kitchen.  If you have the ingredients don’t skip out on the delicious lemon sour cream – believe me.. my husband gave me the stink eye about this notion (he normally sticks to plain sour cream or cottage cheese with his potato latkes) but was blown away by the flavor this topping brought to the dish.

Yellow Squash Fritter Ingredients

1 pound yellow squash

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1 egg  (lightly beaten)

1/2  cup white flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2  teaspoon – 1 teaspoon (depending on your taste) garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon (depending on your taste) onion powder

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

ground black pepper (to taste)

pure olive oil


Garlic Lemon Sour Cream Topping

1 cup sour cream

juice from 1/2 a lemon

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon fresh garlic paste  or 1 -2 clove minced garlic

salt –  to taste



Cut yellow squash in half length-wise  and dispose ends.  Grate the squash using either a hand grater (with large holes) or food processor with shredding blade attachment.

Grated yellow squash

Add the grated yellow squash to a large mixing bowl and mix in 1 teaspoon of coarse Kosher salt and let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes. During these 10 minutes pre-heat oven to 200 degrees, cover a cookie sheet in parchment paper and add to warmed oven.  Mix together the 1/2 cup flour and the 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.  After 10 minutes pour the grated squash into a clean dish towel, roll up the towel and twist  over the sink to remove  excess water from the squash – dont skip this.. this is what makes these little guys crispy!

Return the now-shriveled yellow squash to the mixing bowl and add the egg, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, grated Parmesan and the flour/ baking powder mixture.  Stir until combined.

yellow squash batter with scooper

Heat the olive oil over medium to high heat in heavy pan or skillet ( I used my cast iron Staub – obsessed)  until the oil is shimmering.  Gently drop a spoonful of fritter mixture into oil, flatten with spoon,  and fry for a couple minutes on each side until golden brown.

frying yellow squash fritters

Remove the browned fritters from the oil with spatula and let them drain on a plate covered in paper towels.  After the fritters have drained, remove from paper-towel plate and gently place them onto cookie sheet in warm oven.  When all the fritters are in the oven let them remain there for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to crisp to their full potential.

garlic paste

For the Topping:

Combine the sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, and salt.  Put this on top of each individual fritter or serve on the table with warm fritters!

Yellow Squash fritters on baking sheet







Remove fritters from the oven and serve immediately with garlic lemon sour cream sauce.

** These can also be frozen and reheated at 325 degrees to be enjoyed at a later date – this was my goal since I am 39 weeks pregnant and am trying to stock up on some freezer treats, but we ate every single fritter.  Enjoy!

yellow squash fritter on green plate

Home Playroom Design

Playroom Design Chalkboard Paint MEME

basement playroom with custom ball pit

Cynthia Marks – Interiors attic playroom

FLO Design Studio Kids At home Playroom

Cornerstone Architects childrens playroom

Kuhl Design Build LLC pirate playroom 

Erika Winters Design playroom with slide

Lizette Marie Interior Design kids playroom

Amanda Austin Interiors Playroom

Having a fun playroom is a huge plus with kids in the house.  Features such as murals, custom ball pits, and chalkboard paint can make a dingy basement, or attic, or guest room an exciting and entertaining space for kids to play and explore.


Make Summer Last with a Bright Modern Floral Themed Nursery

Bright Blue Modern Nursery

Jeanette Lunde floral nursery

Decorating Den Interiors – Susan Sutherlin floral pink nursery wall decal

Kate Collins Interiors flower nursery

Little Crown Interiors orchid flower nursery

Alex Amend Photography floral wall paper nursery

Silvan Homes floral print nursery, flower brown rug, tree decal

Bright floral Prints can make baby girl nurseries instantly cheery while maintaining a modern feel. Add a lasting summertime feeling with  flower decals, bold flower art, or underfoot with a large patterned rug.  The flower theme can easily be overdone so only pick a few parts of the room to feature florals.



50 Shades of Green – Nursery Inspiration

gender neutral modern green nursery


Evelyn Benatar, New York Interior Design green nursery

Dvira – Interior Design Toronto green nursery

Fluff Designs & Decor green nursery


Robin Colton Interior Design Studio GREEN NURSERY

Liz Levin Interiors Green Nursery

green paper cheap accents green nursery

Green is fresh gender neutral color that can boost the energy of the room or add to the serenity of a space.  If you do not want to commit to a green wall, rugs or multiple art pieces are a great way to cover expansive areas and bring a color theme together.  If artwork is out of the budget paper hanging accents are a lively touch that won’t break the bank and can be easily made by hand or purchased online.




Purple Nurseries – Purple is the New Pink


Barden’s Decorating, Inc. purple nursery

emc2interiors Purple Nursery

Nisha Tailor Interior Design.LLC purple nursery

Paul Schulman Design purple Nursery

Red Leaf Interiors, LLC purple nursery

Vanja Maia – Arquitetura e Design de Interiores purple nursery

Purple is a glamorous and rich color that has the sophisticated elegance that many pink nurseries lack.  Purple combines well with grays, greens, oranges, and even turquoise but can also be a great accent color for predominantly black and white palettes.  Chandeliers, wall decals and 3d artwork make these purple nurseries stunning inspiration for a non-pink baby girl nursery.

Horizontal Stripes – Big Impact for a Bold Nursery

Modern Farmhouse Nursery by

Sarah Richardson Design horizontal stripe Nursery

J & J Design Group, LLC. horizontal strip nursery

OPaL, LLC horizontal stripe nursery

peace, love & pink baby bedding horizontal stripe nursery

Interior Style by Marisa Moore horizontal stripe nursery

Sarah Richardson Design horizontal stripe nursery

Lilli Design horizontal stripe nursery

Broad Horizontal Stripes visually expand the size of a room and look great in bright or neutral colors.  The boldness of horizontal striped paint can be toned down by sticking to similar colors for alternating stripes or by using artwork to distract from the wall itself.

Woodland Nursery Inspiration

Woodland Nursery Inspiration Board

DIY Tree Branch Curtain Rod

DIY Tree Branch Shelves

painted wood slices for nursery decor

Lauren Hufnagl woodland nursery

JMorris Design woodland nursery

Jen Talbot designs woodland nursery with tree decal

gray and yellow woodland nursery

Creating a sophisticated woodland themed nursery can be easily thrown together by combining your favorite colored bedding, furniture, and window dressings with small details that follow true to the woodland creature theme.  Have fun with owl, deer, rabbit, mushroom and tree decor.  To add a little DIY flair -tree branches and slices can be used for shelves or curtain rods.