Friday, September 12, 2014

A Good Laugh and LINKS

It's Friday, and this made me laugh! 
I'm pretty frugal, but when it comes to handbags, it's the one luxury I won't apologize for. My Birthday's coming up, and I already have my eye on one. 

What are you doing this weekend? We're still recovering from Mike's 50th, so we'll be relaxing, getting the house back in order, taking Tommy to the pool before it closes for the summer, and maybe enjoying a movie or two. Suggestions???


-Eggs Benedict is my all time favorite breakfast, but I've never poached an egg myself.  I'll be following THESE directions, this weekend to master the PERFECT poached egg.

-Do you love domino magazine as much as I do? Buy the Fall issue HERE.

-THIS woman is smart, beautiful, inspiring AND almost 43! To top it off, she's a fellow Virgo! What was "Dancing with the Stars thinking? Seriously!

-I need THESE.

-Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed, I go HERE. Try it! You'll love it!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Man Of Fifty Years

Michael turned 50 this week. I know, crazy!
 A few months ago when I asked him what he wanted to do for his 50th he said that he wanted a birthday dinner to be "Roasted" by friends. Only my husband would want to be "Roasted!" Anyway, the planning began. We contacted high school friends, college friends, ex girlfriends (yup,) and those who have been in Michael's life the longest who would guarantee a good "Roasting!" 

We had 7 people fly in from out of town who all stayed in a rental thanks to Is that not the BEST thing ever invented? It was nice to have them all in one place, and of course I got in early to make sure they all had welcome baskets! I love a good welcome basket! Each basket included......
Fiji water
Roasted almonds
Blueberry breakfast bars
Chocolate covered pomegranite seeds
Blondie brownies
and I made sure all the packaging was a shade of blue.

A good friend recommended a quaint little Italian restaurant (CafĂ© Trastevere) for the "Roast," and they agreed to give us the upstairs dining area to ourselves, so that's where we had the party. 

And it was a BLAST!

The party was a success!
Michael had the time of his life, and I think everyone else had fun too.
Check out the "Host with the most" (below) while friends were at our house the following day.

Yup! Love that guy! Not as easy to recover when you're 50 I guess. I wouldn't know. ( :

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

Long time! 
I feel like I say that everytime I write a blog post now, but it's true. SInce having Tommy, blogging has been put on the back burner, and I hate it so I'm doing something about it.
A few weeks ago, I decided to make a "To Do List," of things that needed to be done that I've been putting off. Don't get me wrong. I'm pretty organized, but I'm also the most organized procrastinator you'll ever meet!
My goal was to cross one thing off my list a day, and I'm happy to announce that I succeeded. 
The biggies? I did almost a years worth of company accounting, painted the kitchen, planned a party, cut and bathed Jake (this was a big one), vacuumed the stairs (another big one), and finally had my hair colored after almost 6 months! I know, crazy right? So I'm feeling pretty accomplished. And in between all of it, I got to chase after "Tommy the Terror" and catch up with friends. Not a bad life I tell ya. So, that's where I've been. Any big plans for you this Labor Day weekend? I'll be taking advantage of the pool, chilln' with my boys and baking some blondies.
 Hope everyone enjoys the long weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Life, Floaties and Trader Joe's

I call this "pool snacks.'

Life at the Andrew household has been jam packed! Little "T" continues to keep us busy, but I discovered the neighborhood swimming pool, so now he now takes 2-3 hour naps! Seriously! I take him for a few hours in the morning, then "BAM" it hits him like a ton of bricks and he's out!. More incentive to get a pool!
But seriously, check out my sweet little angel buoy boy! I just love this kid! I can't believe he's all mine to kiss and squeeze and I don't have to give him back! Ugh! Love him!
Are the floaties too over cautious? Naaaaa!

What else, what else.....
I managed to prime the kitchen, and can already tell I'm going to LOVE it. But I'm still torn about which white to use. White paint shades are tough. How could there be so many whites?

The BEST news right now? Drum roll please. My dream table is DONE! Thank you to my sweet husband who always makes my dreams come true. I'm devoting an entire blog to the table because it's THAT AMAZING!
Check out this sneak peek pic.

And the biggest news? The opening of Central Florida's first Trader Joe's! It actually opened a few weeks ago, but seeing how people are driving from hours away (I know crazy), to stock their carts, I thought I'd relax and wait for the excitement to die down. It hasen't really, but I finally conquered it the other night!
My review?
I was a bit underwhelmed. The Trader Joe's in NJ are big and beautiful. Yes, once again Jersey rules! This Trader Joe's is a bit small and annoyingly crowded. But don't get me wrong. I'll take it! The organic produce, flowers, prices and  Cookie Butter will keep me a loyal customer.

That's about it for now. Time to get little "T" all suited up for pool time. Hope everyone has a great week, and thanks for your patience with my sporatic posts. I really do appreciate everyone who follows Free to be Lea.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Life and Links

Life has been busy which is not surprising with a toddler who is nonstop, and the many home projects going on at Chez Andrew. Example above. These are just half of the 75 Tiki mugs I handwashed from Michael's Tiki collection!
This weekend my goal is to prime the kitchen so I can FINALLY paint it! Michael has been working hard in the Florida heat, making my "dream farm table" from reclaimed wood. It feels like Christmas  and I can't wait to have my first REAL dinner party to celebrate! 

My DREAM TABLE that Mike is basing his creation on. Ours will be a bit more rustic but will follow this design. 

Just bought THESE pants in charcoal. How could I not? They're called "LEA pants!"

Another thing on my agenda this weekend is THIS movie. I hear it's fantastic!

Want beachy hair for the summer? Check out this home made SEA SALT SPRAY  from the Free People Blog.

Too hot to cook? Check out these 25, EASY NO COOK RECIPES over at Real Simple.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom

I haven't done one of my "Wednesday Wisdom" posts in such a long time. 
This quote, by Paulo Coelho is one of my favorites so I thought it was a great one to restart the series. For those of you who aren't familiar with this brilliant man, he wrote the Alchemist. If you haven't read it, please do. It's fantasic!

While going through pictures of Tommy the other day, it occurred to me how quickly life does pass by. It made me think of all the plans I've made in my head, all the dreams I have, and all the things I STILL want to do. It made me realize that one of the best ways to honor my daughter is to live my life to the fullest, and to DO the things I dream about instead of just talking about them. After all, we don't really know how much time we have left do we?
Hope this makes you think. 
DO IT NOW, and have a great rest of the week!

Friday, June 6, 2014


Tommy you are 18 months (15 adjusted) and lately, this is my view of you. You are joyously running through life and we couldn't be more thrilled. Everything is so exciting that sometimes you just stop dead in you tracks, scream at the top of your lungs, look at me, smile and carry on. I can't get over your energy. I mean.... if I could bottle it, I'd be a millionaire! 

You're quite talented. Already an escape artist, you have made your way out of the dog door and can almost reach the door knobs. I see a lot of safety devices in your future. Slamming doors is one of your all time favorite things to do which is fine with me. Get it all out of your system before you're a teenager! 
Other favorite past times include....

-opening up the air conditioning vents
-throwing EVERYTHING in the trash
-shutting the baby gate 
-pressing buttons in dads recording studio. (Dad isn't thrilled about this one)
-doing puzzles and reading your books
-kissing yourself in the mirror
-emptying the dishwasher
-Turning the cable box on and off
-playing in the wood chips at the park
-playing the piano
-throwing EVERYTHING from the bathroom drawers into the tub
-giving opened mouthed kisses
-lounging in your new chair

Jake is your little protector and is never far behind.  He's fine with the fact that his water bowl kind of lives on the kitchen counter now so you don't dump it over, and that you've made his food bowl one of your toys. He knows he can count on you to drop food from your highchair, so all is forgiven. He's a little scared of you, but loves you regardless. 
You have mastered the Apple TV remote, and Sesame Street is STILL your all time favorite show. You have 10 teeth, and LOVE to eat. 
You say,"Mom, yum, ba ba, hi and eeeeeeeeee which I have figured out means YES! 
And lastly and most importantly, your father says you "get" comedy, which is extremely important in life and in this house! 
We love you T! Keep growing!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Style

Sun Dial KIMONO from $24.50
Summer has officially arrived in Florida. 
Last week we were in the upper 90's, which means it's time to crank the AC, break out the summer wardrobe and enjoy a little fun in the sun.
 Every year I buy a few summer staples. A new bathing suit, summer dress, some fun summer wedges, and whatever is trending at the time. This summer, kimonos seem to be THE thing! 
Now here's the thing about me. When it comes to a forever purchases, I'll research them to death and pay top dollar, but when it comes to a fad I don't. "Fads" are short lived and chances are you won't wear it the following year anyway. I like to find something cheap yet chic that I can wear out, and then throw out! 
Here are a few of my 2014 summer staples that won't break the bank. 

I like to have a high wedge because I'm short, but also a sandal for everyday. THIS sandal from Target is comfy and the "boho" print is what sold me. I love a little "boho" touch. THIS wedge from Lucky 21 makes me as tall as I am in my dreams, AND they don't hurt! Huge bonus! Sandal price- $19.99. Wedge price- $20.99

I saw THIS suit from ASOS and fell in love. It's so different and allso happens to be my favorite color. I know, I know crazy tan lines, but it's so worth it. The price- $34.30 for the top, and $26.68 for the bottoms. ASOS has FREE shipping which makes the slightly higher price tag worth it.

And lastly, THIS cute summer dress from Necessary Clothing, comes in a variety of colors. I chose the mint color on the model above. It's chic yet comfortable. I'm all about comfortable! Ready for the price? $19.99!

What are some of YOUR summer staples? I'd love to hear. Especially if it comes at a great price.
Happy Summer!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

One Pan Pasta

Have you ever had pasta in Italy? If so, you know how heavenly it is and how it's just not the same anywhere else. Kind of the same way you won't find a better bagel than in NYC or a better cheesesteak than in Philadelphia. This pasta is the closest thing I have found to real italian pasta, and the best part? You only use one pan! That's right ONE! I found this recipe HERE on Martha Stewart Living. It's pretty ingenious!

12 ounces linguini
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes halved or quartered if large
1 onion thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 sprigs of basil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Course salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 cups water
freshly grated parmesan cheese 

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

That's right! Just put it all in ONE pan.

Stir frequently!

It will start looking like this!

Right before serving, add shaved parmesan and toss. It adds a gooey goodness. Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2014

An Andrew Easter

How was your Easter?
Ours was very lowkey. Michael and I made a trip to Michaels for some watercolor paints and made watercolor eggs this year. Sounds cooler than it actually was, but it was fun. If you ever attempt this yourself,  just realize that once you put the eggs in the fridge, the paint remains wet. Just a little heads up!

The Easter Bunny brought Tommy an Elmo Easter basket with some goodies. I filled his plastic eggs with Gerber puffs and yogurt drops (no candy in this house), and some toys. He seemed to love it. Who knows. He's one!

I decided to do Easter Brunch this year instead of dinner. Thought it would be a nice change. I mean, who doesn't love breakie right? The menu included "Faux benedict," see the recipe on my blog HERE, french toast, homefries, and honeymoon melon. It was delicious, and I have to give myself a pat on the back for making it all with a baby clamped to my leg!

We finished the day by taking Tommy to the park to swing on the swings, and then that bunny had a botttle, bath and hopped off to bed!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. Have a great week!