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cooking and reading in july

July 23, 2016

nobake energy

hi there! Happy mid- summer. I have been on a cooking high lately. Here are some of my favorites:

No-Bake Energy Bites – so easy- my 4 year old and I made these and they were so good, I may have eaten half.  My sister makes these and freezes them for a quick breakfast for her girls.

Garlic Expressions-this stuff is AMAZING. It smells so good. My friend Heather had this on a Broccoli slaw salad when we were camping and it was love at first smell for me.

Ina’s Blueberry Muffins– Ina always has to be included in my mix of recipes. She just deserves the spot!

Basil Butter Chicken– I remembered this chicken for the archives and it’s coming back! Wonderful with fresh basil.

Sauteed Corn– It’s almost time for CORN! This recipe is so easy and fast- it’s our favorite way to eat it.

Creamy Avocado Dip– for a change up from the usual guacamole!

Books I’ve been reading:

Circling the Sun– I loved this book. The whole imagery of Kenya in the early 1900’s and Beryl’s amazing independent spirit- it was definitely an interesting read.

In a Dark, Dark Wood– I can see why this book is being made into a movie. You know something is coming but not sure how it will play out.

The Luckiest Girl Alive– currently reading. I can see she has a real dark side- which is always interesting!

The Guest Room– this is certainly not a must-read but my mom and I both read it this summer and it was entertaining.

Would love your book and recipe suggestions! Here’s to August!

 

 

 

summer loves

June 22, 2016

smore-ice-cream-sandwiches-diy-5

Here are a few of my favorite summer things!

Mermaid goggles– oh my! Brooke is LOVING these.

any doormat from Lulu and Georgia. Can’t tell you how many people laugh as I’m opening our front door.

cutest clutch! I stare at it every time I’m in Solemates in Old Town.  Plus, that store has the best scarves- I use them as a bathing suit skirt wrap, and always when I’m on an airplane!

Cooking Light Seared Tofu with Sweet Chili Zauce and Broccoli– YUM! I made it this week. Omitted the bok choy. 3 of 5 liked it (2 would not even try it!- that’s what hot dogs are for)

Anything Cucina! I love their dish soaps.

S’more Ice Cream Sandwiches– call me to come over when you make these!!

My sisters were just at a friend’s home and she made these Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes and they both RAVED about them. On my list! They said their friend doubles the frosting. I think I need to meet this friend…

Soy Delicious Island Mango candle. You know when you smell a candle at the store and then you bring it home and it smells like…nothing? This is the opposite. A sweet friend of mine gave this to me and I just love it! I fear it will be gone soon!!

This may be TMI, but I stayed at a friend’s house for a girls weekend and she had the Voluspa Saijo Persimmon Spray in her bathroom- of course we all had to try it and see what it was about since she has great taste! My roommate and I then sprayed it every time we used the bathroom just because we liked it so much! I ordered one and my boys love the smell and now I enjoy using my downstairs bathroom. Enough said.

Excited for the 4th of July!  It’s one of my favorite holidays. I will be excited to roll out the red white and blue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

kitchen update

May 19, 2016

Many of you know I stare at beautiful pictures of interiors everyday for pleasure and for the marketing I do for Restyle Design. It was slowly driving me crazy seeing beautiful kitchen updates with what appeared to be a coat of white paint! My poor husband as I kept talking to him about my white kitchen dreams until one day… he said OKAY. I don’t know about all of you but when I finally get the go ahead on any house project, I try to casually leave the room right after and then frantically get in touch with a contractor as fast as my fingers can dial.

So, last fall I contacted Summit Cabinet Coating and got a bid for painting my alder cabinets WHITE. As soon as I saw some before and after pictures, I was SOLD. What I thought would initially be one small change, became many. To list a few; new faces on my cabinets, the demo and new install of counter tops, new sink and faucet, larger crown molding, new under cabinet lighting and all the hardware. One thing leads to another… and luckily I am still on good terms with  Susan at Restyle Design now that we are done. She was really a champ with my late night indecision and my often WILD pinterest ideas.

This process was pretty short in my opinion. I signed the paint estimate in January and then worked backwards with my paint date being scheduled for April. After researching all sorts of marble knock-offs, my husband suggested we stick with black counters as we would need to ground all the white I was planning! He was right as now that the kitchen is complete- it would have been one big sea of white had we not installed a honed black granite. I also went for a BIG Blanco sink which is so thrilling to me! No more divider for my pans! I do find that with a big deep sink, however, my kids just pile those plates deep in there thinking I won’t find that they didn’t make it to the dishwasher. Oh well- small price to pay!

The other thing I could not decide on was the back splash! My sister joked that I really had high expectations from a tile. She was right! I was all over the board- color! detail! shape! until I slowly realized that everyone was saying the SAME two words to me – “subway tile”- there is a reason it is a classic! Thanks to Erin at Everitt and Schilling tile- I chose the Jeffrey Court subway which has a very subtle basket weave pattern to it. Here was my attempt at a design board with my choices-

kitchen

And here are some before and after pics- oldkitchenoldkitchen 2newkitch4newkitch3newkitch1newkitch2

Special shout out to some other people who I drove crazy during this project as well- Wendy, Stephanie, Becky, Trisha and anyone else who felt like I told you every single detail of this kitchen remodel. Oh, and my husband.. because you know he had it worst of all.

slow down

May 3, 2016

april extras

April 19, 2016

keyringA couple of you reminded me of some other things I like but haven’t blogged about- so here goes:

My friend Heather B knows how to do beachy waves. Thankfully, she offered to show me how! After one side being better than the other, I mastered it and regularly add some quick waves to my straight hair. The best part is the wand is $20 at Target. Conair You Curling Wand – I cannot find the right link here- this one is bigger than the one I use and mine was $19.99. I guess the takeaway would be look for a wand similar to this in the aisle and you are good. Use the thumb protector those first couple times! You may burn yourself getting used to it.

My sister Wendy sent me this O key ring last year and I LOVE it. I can just plunge my hands into the depths of my purse and always find my mail key when I need it! Plus, it fits around my kids handlebars if I send them to the corner to grab the mail.

One year later and I am still crazy for my Lettermate. I appreciate a well addressed envelope.

Think I am too old for these tennis racquet clips? I love everything from hello shisho. My daughter may be sporting these at her next tot tennis lesson.

One last recipe suggestion- yummy marinade- Sue Jackson’s steak marinade– a go to.

Have a great week!

 

 

spring favorites

April 14, 2016

oatmeal

I made these amazing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with my daughter the other day except she was adamant that we NOT use raisins, only chocolate chips! I used a dark chocolate chip and the results were…. INCREDIBLE. My husband told me these could be my TOP cookies.

The Easter bunny brought Brooke a bunny from Warmies. She is a stuffie girl but this one is taking all the attention from the others as you warm it up in the microwave before bedtime. She just LOVES it.

I have a new favorite hand lotion. Not only is it totally moisturizing- it smells AMAZING. It’s Capri Blue Aloha Orchid Lotion and locals can buy it at Heyday – I did! Makes a great mother’s day gift for your mil or mom- my mom LOVES hers.

go-to clutch in black- Loeffler Randall Tassell Pouch

favorite vase- Anthro’s pinched glass vase

new favorite wine- Wine by Joe Pinot Gris

app that my boys are on ALL THE TIME- Musical.ly

movie I’m so excited about since I loved the book- Me Before You– June 3

dream mountain home by Studio McGee

always glad to hear about your favorites too- so send me an email or leave a comment-

 

 

 

 

 

mid march favorites

March 7, 2016

grass

Hi all! Quick round up of some favorite things.

Rainbow carrots are back in season – my kids love the colors- sometimes meals need the fun of a rainbow! And we tried a Sumo Mandarin last night (ugly fruit) and it was delicious!

The best chocolate chip cookie skillet – I think I blogged about this last year when we made it- and my husband and son made it again last weekend- soooo amazing! Kind of rich, but unbelievable!

Just read Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon. She has led an interesting life and I never knew she stutters- amazing to learn that with her fantastic career singing. Many parts I skimmed as I didn’t know all the performer’s names, but for the most part- I liked it.  Poor James Taylor- I don’t think he has any secrets left after she wrote this memoir!

I was psyched to see this Metal Photo and Card Holder online at Magnolia Market. I bought one a couple of years ago for my holiday cards and LOVE it. There are tons of clips attached so you can add them quickly. I am buying another as one isn’t enough!

Thought this cake was a sweet idea. Always good to catch your kids off guard- in a good way!

Tried Blue Apron last week and forgot to cancel this week in time. We had an awesome shrimp dish and an okay chicken one. Oddly, my husband loved BOTH nights. That probably means the chicken dish was healthier than I like my meal to be!  We have two more meals shipping this week and then I will make a decision if it’s a good aid from time to time.

Found Honest Dish Soap in white grapefruit at Target and we are fans. It smells so fresh.

Have you ever planted wheatgrass seeds in time for Easter? SO EASY. Seriously. If you plan ahead, these babies grow in a week and a half and are a great centerpiece.  I have zero talent in growing something and even I do this a couple of times a year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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