A Busy Mom’s Extra Green Pesto Pasta

I know I’m not alone when I have that “UGH” moment after a long day at work when I’ve just arrived home and I’m about to let out a sigh of relief when I can finally put on my comfy clothes and let the stress of the day fade away BUT then I remember that I haven’t made a plan for dinner yet. The worst. Exacerbated by the hungry faces asking me what’s for dinner.

This is usually when my savvy mom skills kick into gear and I get creative with stuff that’s in the fridge, however, one of these instances has led to one of my favorite meals that’s perfect for when you’re busy with returning back to work after the holidays and still wanting to stay true to the cutting back on takeout and unhealthy foods resolution.

Cue: A Busy Mom’s Extra Green Pesto Pasta!

SO easy! So realistic after a busy day! With the help of some go-to grocery store items, this dish is ready in the amount of time it takes to boil some pasta.


1 package of pasta (Willow loves bowtie but any work!)

1 jar of pesto sauce (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s)

1 handful of fresh cherry tomatoes (feel free to add in more! They’re extra sweet and juicy after being warmed from the pasta!)

1 bag of spring lettuce mix

3 tablespoons of salt (for boiling water)

Half a lemon

Parmesan cheese & favorite Italian spices to taste


  1. Bring pot of water + 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil
  2. Throw in pasta & follow cooking instructions on bag
  3. In the meantime, cut cherry tomatoes in halves
  4. When pasta is al dente, strain and place back in the pot
  5. Add pesto and Italian spices to pot of pasta
  6. Add fresh cherry tomatoes and squeeze lemon juice on pasta
  7. Stir! (This is the hardest step ;))
  8. Serve on a bed of fresh spring mix lettuce and add parmesan if you’re inclined for some cheese
  9. Enjoy the happy faces and well fed family!

Our Baby Moon To Big Bear

We were able to take a little vacation that I deemed our “baby moon” right before the holidays. With the twin pregnancy, I am considered “high risk” and basically got a travel ban after I was passed the 6 month mark. We had short notice when it came to planning, but I was able to throw two fun days together in Big Bear! It is the perfect destination for a family getaway.

Aj and I packed up the car with Willow and headed to the mountains. Big Bear is only two hours away from LA, but is exudes cabin life and makes you really feel like you escaped the busy activity of the city.  I found an easy cabin on Air Bnb that was within walking distance to the Village and was under $100 per night (score).  This way we were close to food, fun and some shopping. Aj and I loved our cabin so much, we would come home every night, collect kindling and make fires in the wood burning fire place. It is now on our vision board to get a cabin in Big Bear!

Shop The Look:

Now for the fun part, all the activities Big Bear has to offer! If you have kids I really recommend going to Alpine Slide for a day! It has different activities such as go carts, golf, snow tubing and even a bobsled slide… yes I said bobsled. The bobsled was the biggest hit with Willow! There is a ski lift that brings you to the top of the slide and don’t worry adults ride with the small children to the bottom! After the slide, we did several rounds of snow tubing until our baby was worn out! She fell right asleep on the way to our cabin!

The next day I planned a day at the Big Bear Equestrian Center complete with horses and a hayride. It is a beautiful ranch and the staff are beyond accommodating and sweet. We even took a hayride to the North Pole to meet Santa (they had real reindeer too). Willow’s mind was blown and it was entertaining for the entire family.

What are your travel plans for 2018?? I am looking forward to traveling as a party of five in 2018 as well! We have Italy on our list!

Why Winter Break Needs To Be Over

Disclaimer: I love my kid, like a lot.

Even though I could squeeze her until it hurts, I also need my alone time and my sanity. So at the end of winter break (yes I know it was only a little over two weeks) I am ready for the sound of the school bell.  Call me selfish, but I bet you have felt the same way as me at some point over the break.

Winter Break needs to be over because:

  1. Quiet, I just need some quite time.
  2. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
  3. My bank account and the sitter need a break!
  4. I want to throw my activity planner out the window (no more play dates, museums, or Disneyland trips for at least a month…okay maybe a week).
  5. Mom, Party of One, needs to happen. I want to watch daytime television in my pajamas, or get ready for work without any interruptions.

Are you sad to see Winter Break come to an end? Or do you feel like school can’t start soon enough??

Pregnancy: The Exhaustion Is Real

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka 

Pregnancy comes with many beautiful qualities, and many what the hell is happening to me moments. I like to call these “the little things no one tells you about” symptoms. When I was first pregnant with Willow everyone talked about how amazing they felt, when really I was feeling borderline narcoleptic over here. I literally had no energy and could easily fall asleep anywhere. I kept reading that I would be the energizer bunny when the second trimester hit, but I almost felt worse. I just thought this was normal for me and everyone is different, so this is just my plight.

With the second pregnancy, this Mama got a little smarter and realized I don’t want to be the girl snoring at the party. So here are some tips that have helped me beat exhaustion with this pregnancy. It is important to note that some fatigue is related to pregnancy hormones. Although there isn’t anything you can do to change hormone levels, I have found that these little actions help me feel alive and energized.

  1. Scheduling, scheduling, scheduling. You really might have to rearrange your schedule to allow yourself to rest more. Embrace your inner slacker and become less busy if possible. If you have more energy in the morning, schedule activities then and rest in the afternoon. Remember it is okay to say NO, and to put yourself first. Plus who is going argue with the pregnant lady?
  2. Eat regularly. This has been a lifesaver for me this pregnancy. I eat every two hours to avoid any dip in blood sugar (this has also helped my pregnancy weight gain remain steady and on point.)
  3. Moderate exercise. I know this one sounds like the complete opposite of what would make you feel better. Yet, regular exercise, even a 20 minute walk can release mood-elevating hormones and put a little pep in your step. So ignore the couch calling your name and set aside a little time for exercise.
  4. Set an earlier bedtime. Go to sleep one hour earlier than you normally would. This can give you a bit more energy in the morning.
  5. Ask for help! This is what I wish I would have done more of during my first pregnancy. You don’t have to be Wonder Woman, and there are people who will help you! Asking is the first step!!!


#AskAbby: How are you preparing for the newborns?

Like all expecting moms, I’m not immune to the stress that comes with preparing for a new baby (or two babies in my case!) but one thing that has been useful in managing my stress is a handy to-do  list.

This list is comprised of actions that need to be completed before the babies arrive and is not inclusive of my shopping list for baby items and the nursery (I will be writing a blog post on my favorite baby brands soon but would love any recommendations!)


  1. Making sure the house is as organized/clean as possible to come home to after the babies are born. This is a must! The last thing you want to be worried about is cleaning up or clutter when your hands are full with newborns. Thankfully I’m able to get some help in this area, but planning ahead so everything is immaculate for the first day back at home is important.
  2. Getting my general to-do’s out of the way. Whether it’s getting the oil changed on the car or paying bills… any of my general tasks will be done before the due date or hopefully far in advance since these boys may arrive early! This will help make sure my brain is fully in the moment with the babies when they arrive.
  3. Planning meals for the first month or so of the newborns being home. I’m the queen of easy meals but having a plan thats suitable for the whole family is important. Homemade frozen dinners, healthy takeout and/or meals prepared by family and friends is key!!
  4. Planning Willow’s schedule. I definitely want Willow around as much as possible with her new baby brothers but I know there will be moments when it may be best to have her occupied. I’m arranging drop-offs and pick-ups for school and some playdates so she’ll be able to have some fun while mom and dad hopefully get to have a nap.
  5. Clearing phone memory. This may be a ‘huh’ on the list but newborns grow SO QUICKLY and I know I’ll want to capture every moment (x2). I would be devastated if I miss the new cutest thing ever  because my phone ran out of memory.
  6. Arranging the nursery in a realistic way. Though aesthetics are important, I know when two new babies are crying and need a diaper changed… I’ll be less concerned with whether it looks cute! Setting up the changing table where everything is within close reach and being practical in my decor is important!
  7. Packing my hospital bag. Though we still have a couple months left, this is something I’m taking care of early on since I know the babies could arrive unexpectedly. I’ll probably consistently remember things to add to it since I have a slight case of pregnancy brain!
  8. Making our labor playlist. Going into labor is very memorable experience and special moment… I want to make sure the background music is not a stressful decision in the moment. I’m curating an energetic one for when I may need some motivation and a peaceful one for the quieter moments.
  9. Going through Willow’s baby items. From books to blankets, I don’t want to overbuy baby items that I may already have. Plus, it’s pretty nostalgic and fun to go through her old stuff!
  10. Organizing and saving important phone numbers. From our pediatrician to local emergency numbers…. I want to make sure I’m as prepared for every emergency situation with the fastest way to get help.