29 December 2016

Our Christmas

Quick Christmas recap in photos! Sweet P was much more into the holidays than I expected. The girl loved opening presents and still is mesmerized by the "tttuh-tttuh." She was great about just touching branches and didn't pull down any ornaments. I'd say that's a Christmas miracle! The biggest hit this year was an LLBean sled that we'll likely use in the next day or so as we expect our first Nor'easter of the season to hit today. 

For decor around the house, I mostly stuck with natural elements-- a cozy, rustic charm. And the Sailor cooked a gourmet Christmas Eve dinner, which has become a tradition. Our parents joined us for the festivities and an out-of-this-world delish meal. The Sailor REALLY outdid himself this year with a Christmas goose as the main entree. We didn't get too many photos of the dinner, but the menu and flavors were superb!  

A full post on the holiday menu to follow!

17 December 2016

Christmas Countdown: Advent Calendars

We've added another element to Christmas decor-- or rather I should say festivities. It truly has added to the fun of the season. While everyone else is madly moving the Elf around, all I need to remember to do is stuff a tiny treasure into our new Advent Calendar. It didn't arrive until last week, so the novelty hasn't worn off yet. 

11 December 2016

Holiday Highlights and Sweet P at 15 Months

Hi friends! We have some catching up to do--First some holiday highlights and then P's 15 month update which is really more like 15 1/2 months!

Forecasts predict that we're going to get 3-6 inches of snow today, so it will provide the perfect backdrop to decorate our tree. We picked it out at the local nursery last weekend but didn't get the chance to put on the ornaments yet. While theme trees are all the rage, we go for a more traditional tree- colored lights and sentimental ornaments collected throughout the years.

Next year, we'll probably go cut one down, but I'll miss the tradition of visiting the local nursery where we see the family that does our landscaping. After picking out the tree, it's always a treat to go inside the store, have cider and Christmas cookies and see the owner's cats sleeping near the potbelly stove. It's a classic cozy Christmas scene!

Terrain Woven Basket- I opted to switch out the tree skirt for a woven basket from one of my favorite home stores this year. No more straightening it constantly only so that Lola can run underneath and knock it askew. No more vacuuming up needles daily. No more adjusting it to water the tree. It's such a simple change and so much more convenient!

Real Life RD- has some great advice for kicking dieting to the curb during the holidays. Eat with intention and enjoy it because it satisfies! And remember just because it is on the table doesn't mean that you have to eat it.

"...if we begin to just focus on taking care of ourselves, resting, loving on our friends and family, and serving others, then we obsess less, or better yet stop obsessing — and the food becomes a way we celebrate and share this season with others instead of something we exhaust ourselves over." 

Gingerbread Larabars- YUM! These are such a delicious treat that you wouldn't even know that they're healthy! Little did I know that this flavor has been around for a few years- Boy, have I been missing out!

I've always been curious about making my own Larabars, and there are plenty of recipes to try. Anyone ever make them? I've found a few different copycat recipes but can't decide which one to use.

So I Married A Chef
Nutritious Eats
Chocolate Covered Katie

Jeanne Oliver Designs Holiday Home Tour- Even though I say that I'm not a huge fan of contemporary style homes, Jeanne Oliver's house makes me think twice about it. With layered textiles, rustic touches and greenery, her "modern" farmhouse is so inviting and cozy. And look at that light!!!


Making Memories: Here's a fun tradition to look forward to each year! 

Sweet P
Pippa had her 15 month check up at the end of last month. She weighed in at 21.2 lbs. and is in the 75th percentile for height-- hard to believe that the little one was only in the fifth percentile for height and weight when she was born!

She is quite the snuggler and loves giving hugs and kisses, and we LOVE getting them! She still has only a handful of words (Mommom, Dada, cat, car, cookie, socks, up, down, uh-oh) but understands so much more than she can communicate. And it seems that every day she is trying out new sounds and words.

Pip is a ball of energy, running around, pulling everything out of its proper place and leaving a trail of toys, clothes, magazines, you-name-it behind her. She still loves peek-a-boo and never tires of being chased-- and Pip has proven her stability and speed when chasing Lola.

Pip still loves KidzLodge and is thriving there! We're so thankful to have found a place where she is so well cared for and loves going every day. At eighteen months, she will move from the infant classroom where she is now to the toddler classroom, and Mom is already dreading it! P's positive experience is all due to her amazing teachers in the "Bunny Classroom," and we credit them with her joyful nature. They report that she's the class clown, which is easy to believe. Whether wearing silly hats, making faces, dancing or jumping/somersaulting on the couch, she's constantly giggling and trying to make others laugh too.

As active as she is, Sweet P's favorite activity is probably sitting quietly and flipping through her books. It depends on the day, but some times she will even sit still for us and let us read to her, especially if it's Pout-Pout Fish-- her favorite book.

Thanks for sticking around to read this very long post! I'm off to work on Christmas cards and decorating! 

17 November 2016

Tiny Twinkle Toes

I am waaaay behind on my Christmas shopping this year. By this time in years past, I would have been about 50% done. I love to have most of my shopping done ahead of time so that I can enjoy the holiday season doing Christmas-y stuff-- baking cookies (eating cookies), listening to Christmas music, drinking cocoa or my favorite Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, staring at the twinkling lights on the tree, and catching up with friends. It really is a magical time of year if you can slow down and be in the moment rather than trying to cross things off of your to-do list frantically.

Christmas 2015

11 November 2016


There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself,
 in acts of bravery and heroism. - Alexander Hamilton

07 November 2016

Baby It's Cold Outside: Essential Toppers

One of my 2016 goals was to SIMPLIFY, as in cleaning out, donating, selling, throwing away lots of stuff including unworn clothes. I've been pretty successful at maintaining that effort and have put lots in the charity bin at the church nearby several times throughout the year. And more importantly, I haven't refilled my wardrobe with impulse buys. I am aching for some updates to the fall/winter wear though. These toppers promise warmth and fashion without breaking the bank. All of them are around $200-$250.

25 October 2016

Food, Wanderlust, Design, Fashion, Soul

It's been awhile since I've done a round up of what's caught my attention lately. So what's on my radar this week?

Williams and Sonoma Complete Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner- Although we're not even through Halloween quite yet, I'm already on to the next thing. This is brilliant-- my kind of cooking! The bird and all the fixings delivered right to your front door. Channel your inner Robin Williams from Mrs. Doubtfire, and minimize the prepping mess. Your guests will be none the wiser!

08 October 2016

SWEET P turns ONE!

Signs of fall are everywhere. The air is crisp. The leaves are changing, and darkness sets in earlier in the evening. And all of the bloggers have done posts on fall fashion and autumn decorations and of course pumpkin spice everything. That means I am waaaay behind on posting about a "summer" themed first birthday party and Sweet P's 12 month update!

19 September 2016

Too Good to Miss: Le Creuset Giveaway

Quick check in to let you know that one of my favorite blogs, Waiting on Martha, has a super giveaway happening now! Mandy and Kat from WOM styled a Spanish themed dinner with Le Creuset, and they're giving away a 16 piece Le Creuset set in the color of your choice. So head on over and enter the giveaway!

We're huge fans of Le Creuset here at Casa DeSantis...Rather I should say that the Sailor is a huge fan of it for its functionality. I am a huge fan for the pop of color that the flame adds to our kitchen-- We have the tea kettle, mugs, bowls, stock pot, au gratin serving dish, Dutch Oven, the utensil holder...you get the idea. Oh, and we had to stop at the new Le Creuset outlet this weekend in Lake George to pick up a (replacement) spoon rest (oops). I could have spent hours in that store!

In addition to the flame, we also have a couple of other random Le Creuset pieces we've acquired in different colors over the years. As much as I still love the bold orange that we selected for our set six plus years after we added it to our wedding registry, my design sensibilities have matured over the years. (Thank goodness my mom talked me out of getting an orange Kitchen Aid mixer!) There's no doubt about it-- Orange or "flame" is a commitment. It's a winner for autumn and looks seasonally appropriate sitting on the stovetop or counter during the fall. But such a bright color can be a little overpowering at times. 

Since we got most of our pieces, Le Creuset has come out with some other really pretty colors  that are more sophisticated and subdued than flame. The blues really caught my eye-- Ink and Coastal are beautiful,  and the new Matte Cashmere...now that color would match just about any kitchen decor perfectly! 


Matte Cashmere

What color would you choose?

16 September 2016

Toes in the Sand...I wish!

Fall is on its way! Everyone celebrates the coming of the season with posts about PSL and cute autumn decor, but it means that the cold weather will be here soon. That is my LEAST favorite part of the changing of the seasons. I seem to be chilled from late-September through March every year. Upstate New York/New England is not the region for this girl!

21 August 2016

Catching Up

I'm back after a little bit of  a blogging break. I've been trying to treasure the moments of summer, so that means less screen time at night for blogging or reading blogs. In the evenings after work I've been taking walks with Sweet P in the stroller and enjoying time on our patio (photos to come) when it's not too hot, humid and buggy to be sitting outside. What else has been happening around here?

Track Time
Grammie and Pop-Pop, Sweet P, and I went to Saratoga to play the ponies! Actually, we all came home winners because we didn't bet a single race! P's head was spinning with all of the things to look at-- food and drink vendors, people, bands, betting booths. She didn't quite get the concept of watching the horses at first, but it wasn't long before she was pointing and smiling as they paraded by on their way to and from the paddocks.

29 July 2016

SWEET P at ELEVEN MONTHS: Monthly Updates

When Sweet P was born, I started a Shutterfly share site to post photos and provide updates to friends and family. But it wasn't long before I realized that Shutterfly's limited functionality wasn't the best option to capture these memories, and I wanted to switch to a better platform. Well, I STILL haven't found a better way to share the monthly recaps and photos ...and we're rapidly approaching Sweet P's first birthday! So with a little work, I converted the monthly updates to blog posts. 

Without further ado...

Sweet P at Ten Months
Sweet P at Nine Months

Sweet P at Eight Months
Sweet P at Seven Months
Sweet P at Six Months
Sweet P at Five Months
Sweet P at Four Months
Sweet P at Three Months
Sweet P at Two Months
Sweet P at One Month


As Pippa hits the eleven month mark, we eagerly await her being able to stand without holding on-- any day now! She's become a speedy crawler, scooting and exploring everywhere. Her curiosity has made baby proofing and constant watch essential as she investigates how things work and puts every object that's not a toy in her mouth... Flip flops and library books are especially tasty. 

12 July 2016

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

I'm back after a 4th of July weekend filled with birthday celebrations for the Sailor and boating on the lake...followed by a stomach bug that hit us hard last week!  We were away three weekends in a row, so it felt great to be hanging out at home this weekend-- even if it meant cleaning and catching up on other chores around the house.

Now that we've had time to adjust to this parenting thing and catch our breaths, I am finally ready to start doing some home improvements again. Sigh says the Sailor, who will be roped into  eagerly volunteer for handy work. Lucky for him, I've mainly been thinking about decor and design changes. Since we spend the majority of our time in the kitchen, I've been eyeing replacements for our battered, uncomfortable old dining chairs. And, ugh, tops on the list of updates-- getting rid of that dreadful boob light in the middle of the cooking area.

01 July 2016

Four Things Friday: Food, Fun, Flowers & Fashion

Hey there! I am on a roll here with two posts in a week. This was supposed to be a Three Things Thursday post, but here we are on Fri-YAY! A Friday before the holiday weekend and the beginning of the Sailor's Birthday Week celebration.

So here's what's captured my attention lately...

Half Baked Harvest's Avocado Caprese Pasta with Grilled Broccoli Rabe
Yesssss, I am still obsessed with this blog! Mouthwatering goodness every single day! Tieghan Gerard, the woman behind the recipes is just in her early twenties but she has a long history of recipe successes that she shares in a voice that's like sitting down to chat with a friend.

Avocado caprese pasta with grilled broccoli rabe

Just look at this delish dish! It's the perfect combo of creamy, crunchy, salty and satisfying ingredients. I love that it combines both raw tomatoes and avocado with grilled broccoli.

29 June 2016

Cape Cod with the Kiddo

We're back from a perfect vacation week filled with seafood, sunshine and lots of snuggles with Sweet P! The Sailor and I rented an adorable Cape cottage on VRBO. There were lots of options on the Cape, but I selected this place in Wellfleet for its beautiful gardens and outdoor space and the location about a half-mile from the beach.

28 June 2016


It's been a fun month seeing Sweet P's personality develop! She waves to everyone and everything-- ceiling fans and birds too-- and she her repertoire also now includes high fives accompanied with a belly laugh. Her once toothless grin now reveals two little white chicklets on the bottom, which help her chew her favorite foods of bananas and sweet potatoes. She also tried watermelon for the first time this month in a mesh feeder and loved the slurpy sticky goodness. Pippa weighed 17 lbs 10 oz at her last doctor's appointment on June 17. She's petite but strong, energetic and so full of joy!

16 June 2016

Design Darling: Nam Dang Mitchell

Since Sweet P came into our lives, design projects have been on hold around here. Heck, we can't even find the time to get out and shop for new patio furniture let alone do any renovations or redesigning of rooms! But when I stumbled upon the work of Calgary-based Nam Dang Mitchell however I suddenly had the urge to clear out everything in our home and start fresh. Nam's polished rustic aesthetic and attention to architectural detail make some inspiring spaces. 

How chic is she?! I wish I could pull off such a glamorous outfit. Note to self for the fall: Camel and black are a winning color combo. 

13 June 2016

You Are What You Eat: Tips for Pregnancy Nutrition

I'm over the moon to be an auntie again! I just recently found out that a very good friend is expecting her first baby. It came as a surprise to her, so she is trying to figure out all of the "do's" and "don'ts" of pregnancy including nutrition guidelines. There's a lot of information available for expectant moms, but I started putting together some nutrition info for her in an effort to help her get up to speed quickly.

10 June 2016

Friday Find: If the Shoe Fits

I'm no great fashion blogger, but I do like to share when I've found something that belongs in every woman's closet. Finding flats that are both comfortable and stylish has always been a real challenge for me. But now I present the perfect pair from Yosi Samra. 

With very limited time to work out, I have been trying to take walks at lunch time most days. I can easily switch from heels to slippers and be on my way. Bonus- they're foldable and come with their own little dust bag to throw in my work bag or diaper bag.

05 June 2016

Scent-sational Sunday

Last week was a whirlwind! After spending a relaxing holiday weekend at the lake, we had a jam packed week that included Sweet P's nine month check-up, a funeral and unexpected visit with my bestie who lives in St. John, a "sick" day feom daycare for Sweet P and a lengthy meeting with our new financial adviser. When I'm feeling in need of a little pick me up like I was this week, I turn to aromatherapy to bring harmony and balance back into my life.

Scent aids in healing and restoring energy for the body, mind and spirit. Here are some of my favorite scents and their benefits.

Lavender- aids in sleep
Cinnamon-sharpens the minds
Pine- relieves stress
Fresh-cut grass- makes you joyful
Citrus- boosts energy
Vanilla- elevates happiness and relaxation
Peppermint- increases concentration

Combine scent and beautiful packaging, and you have a little luxury to soothe your soul. A couple of years ago in Maine, I stumbled upon a small batch perfumery brand that has become my go-to for restoration. Library of Flowers, created by the founder of Lillia, Tokyomilk, Love & Toast, Apotheke, offers perfume, handcream, bubble bath, soap, and candles in scents like Wildflower & Fern (energizing ginger and lemongrass); Honeycomb (honey, fig and royal bee blossom);  and Arboretum (cardamom, ylang ylang and amber resin).


With colorful handdrawn artwork and romantic lettering, the packaging is as pretty as the contents are blissful. The hand soap and cream make great hostess gifts and can be found online or at boutique retailers. 

The Sailor and Pippa got me bubble bath as part of my Mother's Day gift, and I am still trying to find time to soak in the tub. A hot bath with a glass of wine and a stack of magazines to read sounds like the perfect way to spend a Sunday night. Bring it on! 

28 May 2016


Pippa with Gramps and Stormy
 Another month has flown by with Sweet P! At every phase, I say I wish I could stop time…but then Pippa learns a new skill or another part of her personality shines through. And my heart swells as I realize that each stage just gets better. This month is no exception-- Pippa has become quite the happy, charismatic, curious, and loving little girl.


Auntie K

Pippa is crawling and standing up by grabbing and leaning on furniture. It won't be long before she stands on her own and takes her first steps. She observes and explores constantly, and she loves pulling at zippers and tags and squishing new foods in her fist. Quite the little chatterbox, Pippa babbles with babababa and mommommomomom as her favorite words (I don’t think she associates mommomomomom with me yet though!). She's developed a sweet and friendly side to her personality blowing kisses, clapping and waving. She enjoys tubby time with her squeaky rubber duck and loves splashing! Hopefully she will have just as much time swimming in the lake this summer. 


Pippa smiles with her whole face by showing her four little bottom teeth and wrinkling up her nose. Her first tooth came through on May 17, and she has taken teething like a champ.While teething rings and terrycloth chew toys are never far from her mouth, her pacifier is her favorite way to ease discomfort. With her new chompers, Pip has been eating solids three times a day. Peanut butter and bananas elicit the loudest mmmmm's. At her last doctor’s appointment about a week ago, she weighed 16 lbs. 15 oz. She’s still petite at 23% in weight.  

If you couldn't tell just by looking at her, Pippa is surely a DeSantis. Fun fact: Like her Daddy, bright sunlight makes her sneeze. There will be lots of ah-choos coming later this month when we take our first family vacation to Cape Cod.  

Visit with Auntie Kara
Birthday party with the M Family
Mother’s Day Brunch 
First real boat ride of the summer

Pippa with Meme

27 May 2016

Fitness Friday: 20 Minute Killer Circuit

It's probably no surprise that working out has looked a lot different for me since Sweet P's arrival. Gone are the days of spending hours at the gym or running for miles. I'm all about efficiency these days, which is the reason I am loving speedy twenty to thirty minute circuit workouts.

24 May 2016

Why didn't I think of that? Capsule Wardrobe and Life Hacks

I am so late to the party on this one-- The Capsule Wardrobe. The idea of having a limited number of articles of clothing that work together for each season is SO appealing these days. I know I have my favorites on rotation in my closet already, so I just need to commit to the capsule. Annnnd toss (or store) the many, many things I rarely wear...

As I look at the ways I've changed and my life has changed, I'm embracing simplifying. There just aren't enough hours in the day to maintain all kinds of "stuff," whether it's organizing, washing and folding tons of extra laundry or dusting once-meaningful knick-knacks cluttering every room of the house. The capsule wardrobe is all about lifestyle, and I'm ready to give it a try.

18 May 2016

Nesting: A Return to Autumn

Brrr. It has felt like autumn again here in the northeast over the past few days. That gave the Sailor and I good reason to settle in and do some cooking this weekend. I tried this recipe for healthy chocolate chip chickpea blondies, which fell far short of my expectations. The recipe has been pinned over 28k times, so I'm pretty sure that I have to give it another try.

The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of oats or ground flax, and I used flax meal. It should have given the blondies a slight nutty flavor that complemented the peanut butter in the recipe, but they ended up tasting a little earthy. Flax is high in fiber, which lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar and keeps the digestive system in working order; full of antioxidants and omega 3s that fight inflammation causing heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and some cancers and packed with B vitamins and magnesium.