Stilettos and Diapers Reviews

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Moment For Me (aka, Mom Timeout)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #ArtisanFlavors #CollectiveBias
 photo 1c6fb548-959f-4dd2-adf5-2255dabe66f1_zpsnit9pdll.jpg
Motherhood is a strange thing, ya know? There are moments of complete, overwhelming love for your babies, where you want nothing but to hold them as close as possible. Then there are moments of complete, overwhelming chaos, where you want nothing but to get as far away as possible for a little break. Am I right, Moms? 

Since motherhood is such a demanding job, I think it's essential to take a break. Actually plan time away, not just running out the door in sheer exhaustion when your husband gets home from work. Putting yourself in "mommy timeout" is essential. Thankfully, my husband is very gracious and seems to be able to tell when I need a good timeout for myself. 

My favorite way to spend that time, is on the lake. There's nothing more relaxing to me than to be on the water. And there's no treat I'd rather have out there with me, than some delicious ice cream.

My new favorite? Nestlé® Häagen Dazs new artisan collection. I bought nearly the entire line, because it all looked so good when I was at Walmart! Let me tell you, it's even better than it looks. The Tres Leches Brigadeiro didn't last very long during my moment for me... photo IMG_4354_zpsmqjmtair.jpg
My personal favorite is the Banana Rum Jam. It reminds me of Bananas Foster, which is one of my favorite desserts. Ginger Molasses Cookie and Chocolate Caramelized Oat have been tasted, right out of the container, of course, and are hard to beat. 
 photo IMG_4357_zpsmqbzvkpi.jpg

Do you take time for yourself to get away? Studies have shown that vacation makes employees perform better at their jobs. These little mini-vacations for mom are so good for the soul and I think, really help me to be a better mom. 

You don't have to take a whole afternoon on the lake, either. It could be a walk around the block. A pedicure. A cup of coffee, finished while still warm at the coffee shop, or even just an little time in your backyard with a good book. 

Haagen Dazs is helping you treat yourself with this awesome giveaway! 
Häagen Dazs #ArtisanFlavors Contest

Whatever it may be, make sure you take a "moment for me" to recharge those mom batteries. Your family will thank you for it! 

Do you give yourself mom timeouts? What is your favorite moment for me? 

Check out Nestlé® Häagen Dazs on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for more info about their new Artisan Collection! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Running Bay to Breakers

I first started running when we lived in sunny San Francisco. We were newlyweds living in the most gorgeous place, that had perfect running weather almost every day. It could be 100 degrees outside, but the lack of humidity made it perfect. I ran through 6 months of my first pregnancy and trained for my first half marathon with the hubs and a jogging stroller.  

I had so much change in my body from running, that I was addicted. Not only physically, I was leaner with more defined legs and abs, but mentally, as well. Working out does something amazing to your brain, but running, for me, is the best. Pounding the pavement is always such a good release. 

A training schedule helps me stay on track with so many other things in my life. You can't miss too many of your scheduled runs if you want to preform well. When I get up and get my run in, it seems like everything else falls into place that day. I'm pumped, moving and mentally in go mode. Bay to Breakers San Francisco Prep 
While I was pregnant with baby #2, I signed up for my second half marathon. Some people thought I was a little crazy, but I knew having a goal was just what I needed to whip my postpartum body back into shape. I ran in the Rock n Roll DC half with my sister and 2 friends and it was such a rush. 
Bay to Breakers San Francisco | Stilettos and Diapers

A year later, I was ready for another 13.1. I entered the lottery for the DC Nike Women's Half and was thrilled to get in, along with one of my great friends. It was a fantastic race. So many women and so much energy. I beat my goal of 2 hours by just 16 seconds! (I'm turned around waving to my boys around mile 10 here!)
Bay to Breakers San Francisco | Stilettos and Diapers Nike Women's Half

Since I'm pregnant with baby #3 right now, my running has been less than normal, as well as slower than normal. Nonetheless, it still feels so good to get moving. Taking it slower means I have the time to enjoy the scenery of the gorgeous place we live. 
Zappos Bay to Breakers San Francisco | Stilettos and Diapers Zappos Bay to Breakers San Francisco | Stilettos and Diapers

I'm currently searching for my next half marathon, which I'll run next spring sometime. After the baby is born at the end of the summer, I'll have all winter to train and get ready. That also means by next summer, I'll be bathing suit ready! 

Zappos is a company that many people rely on for their running gear. They built their business by offering a large selection of footwear, but have added apparel, accessories, luggage and more in the past 15 years. Now boasting over 150,000 styles from over 1,000 brands, they'e so much more than shoes! With amazing customer service, always fast and free shipping and a free 365 day return policy, you can always count on Zappos. I count on them for a variety of my favorite brand of running shoes as well as tons of popular brands in clothing that I love. 

This year, Zappos is the official sponsor of the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco on May 17, 2015. If you're up for the #BaytoBreakingRecords challenge, head here to register!  
Zappos Bay to Breakers San Francisco | Stilettos and Diapers

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Breastfeeding, Bottle Feeding and the Go-Between

Tracking Pixel
This post is brought to you by Munchkin LATCH as part of the #LoveLatch campaign. 

September of 2008 had me in Las Vegas for a work trip with the hubs, my 4.5 month old firstborn in tow. I was struggling to get comfortable with breast feeding and opted to leave my manual pedal pump at home and bring along an enormous, rented hospital pump. Needless to say, I wasn't that successful pumping and leaving the bottles with my parents, who came along to babysit during the fancy dinners. I ended up back in their room multiple times, nursing a baby who didn't like his bottle.

Baby #2 was a bit easier and we started with the bottle far earlier. I bought a good pump (y'all don't even try manual!), I felt more comfortable and big bro loved bottle feeding his baby brother. I quickly learned that it wasn't necessarily just how early you started the bottle, it also how the baby liked the bottle itself. Still, it wasn't a frequently used thing, because he much preferred mom to the bottle and I didn't have much reason to need to use a bottle. 

Baby #3 has 2 big brothers that are so very anxious to feed him "special milk" so I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy that I needed bottles that can easily handle the breast to bottle transition. I'm also a lot busier now than I was with my firstborn. I have school events, baseball games, and a much more active social life than I did with my first. For those times, it will be really nice to have a baby that can take a bottle. Much less for me to be able to wear something out other than a button down shirt, amiright? 

Thankfully, I've found a new bottle that I'm really excited to use for baby #3. The Munchkin LATCH bottle was specifically designed to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. 

As any Lactation Consultant would tell you, proper latch is achieved when the mom's nipple reaches all the way back to baby's soft palate. The one-of-a-kind LATCH nipple moves and stretches, just like the breast, to ensure an easy and proper latch. When the baby is getting the same flow with a bottle as with the breast, they are going to be much happier with the transition between the two. The state 1 nipple is perfectly designed to allow a reduced rate to your newborn, with stage 2 and 3 increasing the flow as your baby grows. 
The LATCH system works, with only a few simple parts, to reduce colic. This means you don't have a million pieces on your drain every night. Finally! Thank goodness!

I'm so lucky that I've been able to successfully breastfeed my babies so far. It's not easy. There's pain and awkwardness to begin with, but I'm so glad that Munchkin is helping us breastfeeding mamas out so much. Being able to pump and not whip it out in the mall or a restaurant is quite lovely and I plan to be doing that much more the third time around!

You can buy Munchkin LATCH bottles from Target, Babies'R'Us, or right from Munchkin, where you can save up to 15%! 

This post is brought to you by Munchkin LATCH as part of the #LoveLatch campaign. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pregnancy Food Craving: Fried Chicken

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by KFC through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about KFC Popcorn Nuggets, all opinions are my own.

Let's talk about one of my latest and favorite pregnancy cravings. Fried Chicken. Now, I'm from Georgia and have had some really really good fried chicken in my life. I definitely don't want to be let down on some crummy stuff when I have a craving for it! 

So where have I been visiting lately? KFC. They have these tasty little Popcorn Nugget pieces that hit the spot every time. Their Go Cups® give me Popcorn Nuggets with a side of potato wedges and it fits right in my cup holder. Total win.

Now, everyone has take out nights. Those nights you don't want to cook and you end up ordering something, usually the same thing as you ordered last time, and picking it up for dinner. Well, I can tell you that your family is probably tired of it! It's time to get nuggets! And not just any nuggets. No one wants the pressed, formed nuggets that aren't even tasty. It's time for a Nugget-vention! Your kids will be thanking you if you get the 100% white meat Popcorn Nuggets from KFC. They're real chicken, that's crunchy and in fun, bite-sized pieces your whole family will love. 

Try KFC's Popcorn Nuggets for a kids Birthday party, sleepover, or your next meal on the go. The bucket and boxes are perfect for a picnic or the ball field! 

Grab KFC Popcorn Nuggets on their own to share, in a $5 Fill Up, or a fun Go Cup®! Any way you look at it, you're going to have some happy kids. Or pregnant wife

Monday, March 23, 2015

Recipe: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles (My Afternoon Pick-Me-Up!)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KreateMyHappy #CollectiveBias

Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

Rice Krispies Treats have long been a favorite of mine. The individually wrapped ones are a go to if I need a fun snack in case of a sweet tooth. A cool thing about the Rice Krispies Treats, is that they're so versatile. You can top them, dip them, use them in recipes, or just eat them plain! Today, though, I'm sharing my favorite way to eat them and that's as Rice Krispies Treats Truffles. 

Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

They make for an elegant looking dessert, without being a big fuss to make. You end up with something like a box of chocolates, with different flavors in each little truffle. 

To start, I use packaged Rice Krispies Treats, cut in half. Each individual treat makes 2 truffles. 
Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

Ingredients: (Makes 24 truffles, 6 of each variety)

12 Rice Krispies Treats, individually wrapped bars
12 oz chocolate almond bark
1/2 cup powered sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 Tbsp caramel sauce
1/4 cup plain M&M's, chopped or crushed
1/2 cup JET-PUFFED miniature marshmallows 
1 graham cracker, crushed 
6 peanut butter M&M's

Instructions for each variety:

Turtle Truffles:
Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

Gently flatten 1/2 Rice Krispies Treats bar. Place 4-5 pecan pieces inside, followed by a drizzle of caramel sauce. Roll into a ball and dip in melted almond bark. When almost solid, put a little caramel sauce on the back of a pecan and press onto top of truffle. 

S'mores Truffles:
Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

Gently flatten 1/2 Rice Krispies Treats bar. Place 3 JET-PUFFED miniature marshmallows inside and roll into a ball. Dip in melted almond bark. Immediately sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. 

M&M Truffles:
Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

Roll 1/2 Rice Krispies Treats bar into a ball. Dip in melted almond bark. Immediately sprinkle with chopped plain M&M's. 

Peanut Butter Truffles: 
Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

Mix together peanut butter, powered sugar and vanilla. Evenly split into 6 portions and flatten each portion out. Set aside. Roll 1/2 Rice Krispies Treats bar into ball. Wrap ball with peanut butter mixture, rolling in hands until completely covered. Dip in melted almond bark. Immediately top with one peanut butter M&M. 

I just make one variety at a time, so I don't end up topping one the wrong way. It's hard to tell what kind each one is before the toppings are on! Another tip, is if you microwave your Rice Krispies Treats for about 10 seconds before you add ingredients or try to shape them, they are a little bit easier. It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but I'm willing to bet you have most of them in your pantry. You don't need much of each thing! 

Now here's another exciting part. Starting tomorrow, March 24th through May 3rd, you can vote on your favorite Kellogs Rice Krispies Treats recipe in a challenge and mine is one of them! But the winning isn't just for me. Each vote you make gives you a chance to win prizes, including:

$250 gift cards 
Beats PillsBy Dr. Dre
Kellogs Rice Krispies Treats 
and much more! 
You can find Rice Krispies Treats at your favorite retailer, mine, obviously being Target!
Stilettos and Diapers: Rice Krispies Treats Truffles #Kreatemyhappy

Monday, February 9, 2015

Art Of Entertaining with Estancia

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ArtOfEntertaining #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

The Art of Entertaining with Estancia
#ArtOfEntertaining #CollectiveBias

There's not much I'm more enthusiastic about than entertaining. I love having people over, cooking delicious food and making a swoon worthy spread. Over the weekend, we had a wine tasting party, complete with pairings and blind tastings.   photo a09f4fb9-5121-43f3-ba4e-d3d0fb715355_zps62db9619.jpg  photo IMG_2550_zpsefa2984c.jpg When we moved to California in 2007, we weren't big wine drinkers. That quickly changed after many Saturdays spent in Napa, tasting all the delicious varieties that the west coast had to offer. We developed a love for California Cabernets, with Estancia being a favorite. Estancia Vineyards started in Monterey, California, where the midday heat, along with morning and afternoon fog, create a perfect grape growing climate.
 photo IMG_2519_zps4c023d42.jpg
 photo e3f5268b-6954-4c98-ab20-0df0563f8254_zpse023139d.jpg There is nothing, in my mind, that goes better with wine than cheese. We've been known to have post-bedtime date nights, with just that for dinner! Creating a great cheese spread isn't that difficult. You'll need several varieties of cheese, some labels you can write on and some condiments. Some type of nuts, dried fruit and some prosciutto or smoked sausage is perfect. You'll want make sure there is a variety of soft and hard cheeses. For this party, I used smoked gouda, jarlsberg swiss, blue, cranberry cinnamon goat cheese and a caramel apple brie. I made the brie myself, simply wrapping a wheel of brie up in a piece of puff pastry and baking it. After it was done, I topped it with caramel sauce and diced apple, them stuck it back in the oven for about 5 minutes. It's my absolute favorite! 

There are plenty of options for the actual board you present on. I found this slate cheese board that I love and it's nice because you don't have to worry about it breaking when people hit a knife into it. 
 photo IMG_2542_zps85e7c847.jpg
Since it's Valentine's Day this week, I decided we definitely needed to sip some red wine with a heart shaped box of chocolates, right?!
 photo IMG_2536_zpsa7d4bbfa.jpg
Along with those chocolates, I made chocolate cheesecake bars and they were amazing. (You can find the easy recipe a bit further down in this post!I also used some crunchy breadsticks and wrapped each one in a thin slice of prosciutto, which pairs well with Pinot Noir. 
 photo IMG_2525_zps3e60c260.jpg When people are drinking a bit of wine, I like to have some bread around. A little bit of good olive oil, with some spices sprinkled in, makes for a simple, yet delicious appetizer for in between tastes.  
 photo IMG_2568_zps09316c51.jpg
Now for a really fun part, blind tasting. I love doing this, especially with people who swear by expensive wine. To see them pick the $10-$15 bottle over the $50 one is so fun. Have some cards available for people to write down their thoughts, put 3-5 bottles in paper bags (making sure no one can see the labels!) and pour everyone a taste. Allow everyone to vote on each bottle and compare the results. You may have a new favorite wine!
 photo IMG_2567_zpsfa9995a6.jpg
Now let's talk about these Chocolate Cheesecake Bars...they're so good and so easy, so you will definitely want to make these. 
 photo IMG_2553_zps3f2a69f6.jpg
They start with a crust layer, made out of cake mix. 
 photo IMG_2512_zps582a17db.jpg
Top that with a cheesecake filling,
 photo IMG_2513_zpsb1404bb6.jpg
Then finish with some more of the crust mix, crumbled on top. Bake, cool, cut and serve. That easy! 
 photo IMG_2514_zpsf6b9c77b.jpg

Crust layer:
1 box chocolate cake mix 
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

Cheesecake layer:
1 8oz package cream cheese
1 Tbsp. milk
1 egg
1 cup sugar

Mix crust, reserving 1 cup. Press into 9x13 and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Whip filling until fluffy. Spread onto baked crust and top with reserved crust mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, cooling completely before cutting into squares.
 photo 2650fc53-647e-41e2-b274-8e11a495b229_zps327ff954.jpg
Hopefully these tips will help you host your very own wine tasting party! Whether it's a romantic Valentine's tasting for 2, or a party with lots of your friends, wine tasting is a fun way to inspire, entertain and enjoy time together. 

You can probably tell that my favorite pairing is cabernet with brie cheese or chocolate. What is your favorite wine and food pairing? 

Inspire your table tonight with Estancia! TwitterInstagramPinterest, Facebook