Posts by susanne:

Hello Shea! Minted Birth Announcements

 Minted is a Long Time Sponsor + Links are Affiliate Links 

In today’s world of instantly gratifying Social Media we know immediately when a friend has had a baby by their Facebook and/or Instagram update –  it is so sweet when newborn babies are filling my feed!  I have to say, in this sea of online images I truly love when I receive an elegant piece of mail I can hold in my hands, boasting a photograph of a beautiful baby signed by the proud parents (and sometimes siblings).

The announcement feels grand, and important, and it makes me feel special that I was included on their list.

Minted Birth Announcements

So when Minted reached out to me and offered Minted birth announcements for our bouncing baby girl (#3) I was thrilled, of course!  Minted has the sweetest designs, and I love that each one is offered in different color options.  Some of my faves are So Much Love To GivePetite Measurements, and Fancy Floral Frame.

The high quality product consistently delivered by Minted is unparalleled.  Their card stock is the thickest.  And yes, thickness matters.

After much deliberation, I chose Watercolor Bunting Birth Announcements in pink since we had been “not finder outers” this time around.


We had pictures taken by the amazingly talented Kristin Eldridge– watching her mold our sweet baby Shea into adorable little poses, softly patting her back to sleep when she stirred was awe-inspiring.  I wanted to take Kristin home with me!  We are in love with the images she captured of our Shea-Bear, and even more so with photographs of all three of our little ladies.

It was a must to include the backing option with a photograph so I could include Shea’s proud big sisters as well.


The FREE recipient addressing is seriously a lifesaver for me right now.  I had entered all of our addresses into Minted’s Address Assistant for our Christmas cards this year and so when it came time to figure out our announcements it was SO EASY!

And, actually there have been multiples times I have referenced the Address Assistant from my phone when I’m out and about and need a friend’s address.  So very convenient!


I am so excited for these to fill the mailboxes of our friends and loved ones!

Minted Nursery Art 

Minted also offers gorgeous nursery wall art.  We have the most adorable photograph I wanted to put in Shea’s nursery of  Shea and her Great Grandma Theresa Shea Paoletti the day she came home from the hospital.

The grin on Great Grandmas face is priceless, and Minted had the PERFECT nursery art design called Colorful Stages which allowed me to use my photo and include a caption to share the special relationship of Great Grandma and her namesake.  Surrounded by the whitewashed herringbone frame, I am slightly OBSESSED.


Minted is always offering helpful stylized tips like their Gallery Wall How To on their homepage right now, which I have to say, I am in love with a well done gallery wall, but find the project intimidating.

Love a deal?  (Yeah, so do I!)  Minted is always running promo codes and sending out artsy inspiration so be sure to subscribe for their email updates at the bottom of their homepage.

Levana Keera Digital Baby Video Monitor

 Disclosure: Complimentary Levana Keera Baby Video Monitor provided to facilitate firsthand review and Amazon links are affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own! I love our new amazing monitor!

Levana Keera Baby Video Monitor Review

Baby number three is well on it’s way and we will have a 6 year gap between our middle daughter and our newborn.  Needless to say, we are a little out of the loop on our baby gear game!  So when Levana reached out asking if we’d be interested in reviewing their Levana Keera Baby Video Monitor, it was a a HECK YEAH!

I did not have a video monitor when my first two daughters were infants, and I have to say just having one in my home is giving me a sense of comfort.

I’m a little nervous about the juggling act I am about to enter with three kids and knowing that I’ll be able to look after the baby while it is sleeping, while still being a hands-on-mom with my older two is giving me a little more confidence.

We set up our Levana Keera Monitor last night (correction, my husband set it up because he is my tech-support) but it took him under 10 mins and he said I could have EASILY done it on my own.  (That means set up is SIMPLE.)

We positioned one of the cameras on the top of the armoire to get a good view of the crib, because as an infant I will be mostly watching a sleeping baby, right?  (Fingers crossed we don’t get a colicky one this time around!)

We were impressed by how easily we could change the view on the camera with the pan/tilt and zoom functions, all by the touch screen of the video monitor.

We placed the other camera on a shelf in the room which will come in handy when the baby is a little older and our girls are playing with him/her to keep an eye on things.

What I love:

*It has night vision so you can watch your baby sleep in a dark room from up to 12 feet away

*It includes 2 cameras which can span the entire room

*The cameras easily pan/tilt + zoom from the video monitor touch screen

*It has a 24 hour battery life with a battery saving PEEP mode (meaning it goes into sleep mode when there is no sound coming from the nursery, once your baby makes a “peep” the camera and monitor activate so you can see what is happening)

*It has 2-way communication- you can talk to your baby and let them know Mommy’s coming, OR you can communicate with your hubs to let him know you really need some help with a major blowout.  Can you please come into the nursery NOW!?!

*It plays lullabies

*It can record video and snap photos

Our daughters are really enjoying playing with the new monitor system, standing in front of the camera and talking to each other- kinda like playing with walkie talkies on steroids!

Click here to watch their quick You Tube video of the Keera.

Good news if you are in the market:

The November promo price will be: $219.99 $179.99

And from Black Friday – Cyber Monday for: $219.99 $149.99 ($70 off!)

As I’m sitting here at my desk typing I realize how much I’ll be using this monitor right here in this seat in a few months and it’s all starting to get very REAL!!!

To Third.


As I’ve just entered my 8th month of pregnancy, I guess it’s time to write my follow up post about how my husband and I decided to go for the third child.

Some of you might remember my first post on the subject, written years ago “To Third or Not To Third?” where I layed out all of the reasons why we should and why we should not add another member to our family.

We talked about it and talked about it, and waited for the right time and talked about it some more and couldn’t come to a decision.

My husband was so sick of the topic.  

One night last Spring we were out on a date night (which included some tequila) and we decided to give ourselves a window.  A very short 3 week window, effective immediately and ending with a trip we had scheduled to Cabo for our friend’s 40th birthday celebration.

In this time frame we would not take precautions not to get pregnant.  (See what I did there with that double negative?)

Our thought process was, if we get pregnant in that time frame then it was meant to be, and if we didn’t we could feel good that we had left it up to Fate who had decided for us.

The next morning after that date night, when the tequila had worn off, we both woke up terrified and looked at each other (almost in a scene out of a movie) and said “yeah, that’s enough of that plan.”

We thought we had our answer.

Flash forward to the last night of our Cabo trip when we were having a SUPER fun time celebrating our friend’s birthday, and our friends who happened to be pregnant with their third started into a sales pitch about why we should have a third kiddo along with them.

Which got me thinking…something was a little late…

There will be a six year gap between our middle and our baby!  We will be going back to sleepless nights, and breastfeeding and bottles, and diapers and spit up, and strollers and carseat adaptors and high chairs and, and, and…

But after the initial freak out, the excitement set in:  we get to do this all over again!!

It will be the first time we are being surprised with the gender.  Our girls love to hug and kiss my pregnant belly, and get so excited to feel the baby kick and they love when s/he has the hiccups.  They are SO thrilled to have a little brother or sister. (Although Lyla swears she won’t change a poopy diaper.)

We can’t wait to meet this new member of our family who was SO meant to be.

Do you have a story to share on how you decided to go for the third? Share in the comments below! 

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(Photo Credit Top: Kristin Eldridge Photography)

We’ve Got Your Valentine’s Date Night Covered

Valentine's Day Dinner

Do you have a plan yet for you and your special someone for Valentine’s Day dinner?

How about get the kiddos down early, light a few candles and serve your Hubs this amazing dinner? If your guy is anything like mine, he’ll be stoked to not have to fight the Valentine’s Day crowds and not have to hire a sitter!

If a night at home sounds up your alley, this Valentine’s Day dinner recipe is sure to shoot cupid’s arrow straight through your man’s heartSlow Cooked Short Ribs & Celery Root Puree.

It’s easy to prepare and boasts a few layers of complementary flavors = definitely Valetine’s-date-night-worthy.  I mean, seriously, have you ever met a man who doesn’t like a short rib?


Any good chef will tell you, the most important component of executing a successful, elegant meal is where you start: the ingredients!  The fresher, higher quality ingredients, the better.

I love Whole Foods because they have the most beautiful meats, produce and spices to ensure the perfect finished product.

Oh and here’s the fun part – you can do your shopping for this special Valentine’s Day  meal, grab a girlfriend or your hubby, and meet up with Jennifer and I for a night out at Whole Foods Market Huntington Beach on Tuesday, February 11th for very special Valentine’s themed complimentary store-wide tasting called Ingredients: A Love Story.

We can’t wait!!

Ingredients: A Love Story

Tuesday, February 11th ~ 6-8pm

Whole Foods Huntington Beach

Some of the tasty treats to look forward to:

*Cheese & Chocolate*

*Mango, Pineapple & Habanero Guacamole*

*Fresh Shucked Oysters*

*Sweet & Hot Fruit Spreads with Tangy Goat Cheese*

*Chicken Wellingtons with Smokehouse Habanero Aioli*

*Chef Nick’s Roasted Asparagus with Lemon, Basil & Crisp Quinoa with a Fresh Green Goddess Dressing*

*Chocolate Covered Strawberries*

*Chantilly Fruit Cake with Sweet & Savory Butter Cream*

*Themed Beer & Wine- meet your Beer & Wine Specialist*

*Coffee Tastings*

AND there will be an in-store raffle to win tickets for a Valentine’s dinner for two!

(In which case if you win the raffle, stick this recipe in your back pocket for another at-home date night!)

Follow Whole Foods Market Huntington Beach on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you’re always in the know on their exciting and tasty events and happenings!

(Ie: Fridays in February they have live jazz in their 24 tap craft beer bar, Woody’s Surf City Grill, from 6-9pm.  How cool is that???)

We hope to see you Tuesday!


Your Sus Chef

(Disclosure:  Whole Foods is a beLOVED Tiny Oranges Sponsor)

A Little Rub a Dub Dub for Your Turkey

Best Turkey Rub Recipe

Looking for the best turkey rub recipe? Like ever?

Last week I roasted some turkey breasts for my daughter’s Daisy Troop Thanksgiving Feast and used this rub (slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s recipe). I have to say it was tasty so I wanted to share this turkey rub recipe with you. I’ll be using it on our bird this year!

Best Turkey Rub Recipe


3 Tbsp minced garlic (or you can use your press)

6 tsp dry mustard

3 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

3 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves

3 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

6 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp white pepper

6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup Sherry wine

In a bowl combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice to make a paste.   Loosen the skin from the meat gently and smear the paste under the skin.  Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Make sure to pay attention to your birds packaging for weight/roasting times.  (Center of  breast should reach an internal temp of 165 degrees F and the stuffing should too.)

Check out this link for some great turkey tips.

Happy Turkey Day to you and yours!



Your Sus Chef

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