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back to the kitchen

September 10, 2016

applebreadLately, when I ask friends about what meals they are cooking, everyone is getting Green Chef, Blue Apron, and other food deliveries to their door. We all seem to be in need of new ideas.  Here are some of mine- please share yours!

Panko Crusted Tilapia – I am trying to add more fish into my menus and this seemed like a no brainer. I didn’t have panko in my pantry so I used bread crumbs but I wouldn’t do that again. Stocking up on panko! This was easy and fast.

Thai Cashew Coconut Rice with Ginger Peanut Sauce– my friend Kristy sent this link to me and I am excited about it. It has all the things I like!

Easy Cake Mix Apple Bread– YUM. YUM. YUM.

We made a cake for a friend and I needed a quick recipe for the frosting. You may have all made this before but it was sooooooooo good. I am keeping this Chocolate Buttercream Frosting printed in my recipe box as a go to.

Beef with Peppers– this is an oldie- but back on my list for next week. I don’t add red peppers as no one loves them over here- but everything else runs the same.

Chicken, Bacon, Date and Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Power Salad– read the rave reviews and am buying pre-shredded Brussels Sprouts at my grocery. I think my husband and I are going to love it and all my kids like bacon so it could work!

Talk to me, friends! I want your easy weeknight recipes.

school time

September 2, 2016


All 3 kids of mine are in school. It’s a strange reality as I have been home for the last 12 with at least one by my side! The realness hasn’t set in quite yet- I am just happy to be in the grocery by myself or to have our house remain clean during the day. Plus, I have some new found time- which allowed me to blog today!

gizmo gadget– this phone watch (above) has changed our lives for the better! Our 8 year old son wears this (and now, half his friends as well!) and it’s been so great. With just 10 numbers that he can call or text, and a gps locator- it’s awesome. The silver lining is we convinced our son to work for this watch all summer by reading and completing math goals- and the bonus is we wanted him to have one! Sneaky.

Kat Von D tattoo liner– this liquid eyeliner goes on so easily and isn’t tough to remove at night.

Barefoot Dreams Blanket– I found this blanket in Breckenridge and it is the most in demand, softest blanket in our house. It makes a great gift and they have different colors and styles on their site. Great for fall!

Has anyone made a chatbook? Seems so easy. It’s on my list. Already thinking of presents for the holidays!

Stance Super Invisibles– I buy these at our local store- Solemates. I like them SO much I am on a 3 pair rotation this week. You can’t see them in my favorite Nike Tennis Classics. Another favorite!  I am a size 8 in the socks and prefer a size S.

An oldie but goodie hopped back in my meal planning this week. Nice to have a no-meat meal in the mix. My husband and my oldest like this as do I. I still had to make a separate meal for the younger two. But, with the ingredients, they could eat them separated and add in other extras. Thai Fried Quinoa.

I am reading At the Water’s Edge– by Sara Gruen –  and I am halway through and excited to get back to it tonight.  She also wrote Water For Elephants which was so good.

Hope all of you are enjoying this time of year as much as I am!


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


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-


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!