Food, family, and fitness... all with a bit of style.

Friday Favorites....My Best Life

Happy Friday friends!!!
This is a post I am so excited to share with you!
 A post I have thought about writing a hundred different times and stopped.
A post about how my life has changed for the I have become a healthier, stronger version of me.
But I just never knew how to say it or how it would come across.
And then I read my new favorite book and found the right way to share my story or maybe it's just the right time.
So, as always, I am linking up with three of my favorite blogging friends, ErikaNarci & Andrea to share my one favorite this week, and it's all about me!

What's Up Wednesday...June Edition

Is this really the last few days of June???? Although it flew by, I am happy to say we kicked off Summer with lots of fun!! I am excited to link up with  ShayMel and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday....June Edition. 

 A fun monthly post where we answer these questions....

What we're eating this week......
We are still loving trying new recipes out each week, like these lettuce wraps.

and this Green Goddess Quinoa Salad

What I'm reminiscing about.......
Paul and I went to two fun Summer concerts this month and they were so much fun!
I love me some live country music in the Summer!

What I'm loving.....
I am loving a Summer schedule with no where to be!  We have been taking the mornings slow and planning some fun afternoons with friends or just hanging out. Maddie is all for the slow and easy pace!

What we've been up to......
We have been enjoying the first week of Summer vacation. We had a big school's out party for all the kids in the neighborhood on the last day of school!

It was the best way to kick off Summer!!! I shared some party details here.

What I'm dreading....
Nothing. This is my favorite time of year!!

What I'm working on......
Managing the snack situation!

What I'm excited about......
4th of July fun! I love watching our town parade and fireworks.

Cute little faces all in their red, white and blue is one of my favorites!

What I'm watching/reading.....
I have not been watching too much! Paul and I just finished Billions which we both really enjoyed.
Image result for billions images
As for reading, I am pretty much hooked on all the fluffy beach reads!!!
The Perfect Couple

What I'm listening to......
Boat music....Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, and our new favorite Chis Janson.
Image result for chris janson album cover

What I'm wearing......
All the shorts! I shared some of my favorite "shorts looks" in a fun post last week. Like this look...
Shorts    Tank   Sandals
and this one....

What I'm doing this weekend...... is playoff weekend for Luke's travel team, so we will be spending a lot of time at the ballpark.

Unless we lose, in that case we will be on the water๐Ÿ˜‰

What I'm looking forward to next month.....
Our good friends are coming for a visit! They live in Maryland and visit us every July and it's a favorite part of our Summer!

And Paul & I are doing a Murder Mystery Dinner with friends. I have never done one and am excited to do see what it's all about!

What else is new.....
We have just been doing all the Summer things! It is our favorite time of year and we try to get in all the fun things! I did make a Summer favorite treat a few weeks ago. These Key Lime Pie Cupcakes are so, so good! Perfect for a Summer get together!
Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

That's a wrap on what's up in our house lately!! #allthesummerthings
See you soon....there's always room for one more at our family table.

Something New for Your Family Table Week #22......Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce

Hello Monday!!!
 I have a simple, fresh recipe to share with you today. These lettuce wraps are a perfect Summer dinner idea. I stumbled upon  this recipe and followed it pretty closely.
I subbed in ground chicken for the tofu and added a thinly sliced red pepper to the filling.
They were a nice mix of spice, with a little sweet from the peanut butter and got two thumbs up from my crew!
Have the best Monday!
See you tomorrow, there's always room for one more at our family table!

Friday Favorites...Hello Summer!

This week kicked of Summer Vacation for my crew and we were super pumped!! E & L were all smiles on the last day!
So let's get into some of our favorites from this first week of Summer!
As always, I am linking up with three of my favorite blogging friends, ErikaNarci & Andrea to share a few of my favorites from this week. 

School's Out Party!!!!

We are officially on Day 2 of Summer Vacation and we kicked it off with a bang! Ella & Luke had a half day of school on Tuesday, their last day so I thought it would be fun to have all the neighborhood kids get off at our house for an afternoon of fun. 
As I started to write down the kids in 5th grade or younger on our street, I realized our list was about 40 kids! Umm....what was I thinking??
Ella delivered flyers to everyone's mailboxes and we got RSVPs for about 30 kids.
The bus driver took the kids up the hill first and around the cul de sac before dropping them off at our house. They came off screaming and singing for Summer Vacation.

A Day in the Life....Summer 2018

Hi friends!!! I took yesterday off from the blogging world, as we have had a busy few days! But I am back with one of my favorite posts... A Day in the Life! I have done a few of these over the past two years and I think they are so fun! I love to see what a day looks like for other people... am a I crazy?? Well if you are crazy like me, here is a little peek at my day.....
I documented a little of my day in photos last Thursday. I got up around 6am, let the dog out got some coffee and decided that I would document the day for "A Day in the Life" post. 

Something New for Your Family Table Week #21....Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad

Happy Monday friends!!! We are coming off a really busy and fun weekend... the kind where I need an extra day to get the house back together!
I have been on the hunt for some more plant based Summer meals and found a gem last week. This  Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad is so, so good.
 I made a few tweaks I will share with you. This one will definitely be in our Summer meal rotation!

Friday Favorites

Yay for Friday and finishing the last full week of school! My crew has one and a half days left until Summer Vacation. I realized that yesterday and really took my time at Target.... it was probably my last solo trip until the Fall....
Let's move on to happier thoughts, like my favorites from the week!
As always, I am linking up with three of my favorite blogging friends, ErikaNarci & Andrea to share a few of my favorites from this week. 

I got to spend the day with Ella and her friends at an amusement park this week! 

Summer Style....Shorts Edition!

Hey friends!!!! I hope you are having the best week! The weather has been warming up here, so I thought I would share a couple Summer looks with you. I always struggle to find shorts that look and feel right. Some are just way too short and some are way too long. I have found a couple favorites this season that seem to work for me. So here are 4 simple but pulled together Summer looks featuring shorts. 
A few of my favorite looks for this Summer and I tried to link everything for you so you can get to shopping too!

 I have shared these before, but these denim shorts are perfect and so comfortable. Bonus, they are currently 40% off!!!  This tank has a great racerback style and a little longer length and also 40% off!! If you are looking for a neutral wedge, then look no further! This one right here looks adorable and is comfy too!
Shorts    Tank   Sandals

I think we all need some good  basic tees for Summer and I have found this year's favorite at Target. They are a great length, appropriate v-neck style and a little front pocket. They are currently on sale 3 for $20 and come in 10 colors- the perfect time to stock up!
 I grabbed these  shorts at TJ Maxx for $14.99. I saw the pattern and just loved them. I found a very similar patter on line that I am linking, or you can always check out your local TJ Maxx (they are Cynthia Rowley).  I have shared before, but these  wedges are just that good, I have to share again! 
Tee    Shorts    Sandals

Now if you are spending the day walking around this Summer...think zoo or amusement park, then this right is the outfit for you. I just wore these  slip on shoes to Ella's field trip this week and they were so comfortable. And they are perforated, so they keep your feet really cool. They come in a bunch of colors (I have the grey and blush). I could not find the striped version of this  tank, but I am linking the solid colors. They are currently on promotion- 2 for $10! A great Summer basic.
Speaking of Summer basics, these  Loft shorts are the best! A great length, lots of great colors and currently 40 % off!! The color pictured is coral blush and they run big, I would size down.
Tank   Shorts   Shoes

I fell in love with the detail in this  black tank! It makes a plain black tank look, well.. a little bit more and it's less than $15. I was randomly walking through a JC Penney, ok maybe not randomly....I needed to find a restroom! Anyway I spotted these  shorts and they are everything! Super lightweight fabric, elastic waist with cute tassel detail and so comfy! As of last night they are on sale for less than $15 and come in 6 cute patterns!!
And here are those  wedges again that I absolutely love! I feel very strongly that these are the perfect Summer  black wedge.  I think this outfit is perfect for a casual dinner out this Summer.

So there you have it! 4 easy looks for Summer! And if you have found any great shorts this season, share them in the comments below!
One more sleep til Friday!!!
See you tomorrow, there's always room for one more at our family table!

How We ... Wednesday... Plan our Summer Vacations

Happy Wednesday friends!!! Today I am linking up with Shay & Erika for How We Wednesdays. Some fun topics on "how we do" life... and today's topic is about planning Summer  Vacations!
And I have to say the thing I love most about Summer is no plans! So I probably won't have a ton of grand ideas in this post. We are kind of a laid back.... stay up late....sleep in later....and have all kinds of fun Summer family!

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

Hi friends!!! I made one of my favorite desserts for a party this weekend and they were a hit. If you are looking for a dessert idea for a Summer party, I have the recipe right here for you! These key lime cupcakes are so good and layered with a graham cracker's so much more than a regular cupcake. This lime flavor just has me just screaming Summer!
Here is what you will need....
For the cake batter
4 1/2 cups of Cake Flour
3 TSP of Baking Powder
1 TSP Salt
1 cup of Unsalted Butter (room temp)
2 1/2 cups of Sugar
3 Eggs (room temp)
3 TSP Vanilla
2 cups of Milk
Zest & Juice of 2-3 key limes or one lime

For the crust
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cups of sugar
6 TBSP of melted butter

Preheat your oven to 350.

First prepare the crust by mixing all three crust ingredients together. Mix until well combined.

Line your pan with a paper liner and add 1 TBSP of the crumb mixture to each cup. Using the back of the measuring spoon, gently press the mixture down.
Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Now you can prepare the batter.

Sift your dry ingredients and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy (3-5 minutes).

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition

With mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of flour mixture. Blend and then add 1/3 of milk. Repeat this until all have been added. Add the zest and lime juice and mix until just combined.
Scoop into the graham cracker crust. I use an ice cream scoop here. You will want to fill them about 2/3 full. This will make 30-36 cupcakes
Bake for around 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time.

For the frosting
2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temp)
16 oz cream cheese (room temp)
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-5 TBSP of fresh key lime juice (or regular limes if no key limes)
Zest of lime & graham cracker crumbs for topping

Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until well combined.

Add the vanilla and blend.

Mix in the powdered sugar while the mixer is running at the lowest speed. Add in half a cup at a time.
Once the sugar has been added & combined, add some lime juice. You will need to mix it and do a little taste until you get it "limey" enough!

Then turn the mixer to high and whip the frosting until it is light and fluffy. Be sure to stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple times to avoid any lumps.

Frost the cupcakes using a larger round piping tip, or you can just spread on a thick layer with a knife.
I like to add a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs and fresh lime zest on the top.

The perfect little Summer dessert!

See you soon, there's always room for one more at our family table.

Something New for Your Family Table Week #20...Cod Tacos with Lime Slaw

Hey friends!! You know I could eat some form of taco everyday and be totally ok with it!! So I am so excited to share my recipe for these cod tacos. 
So many fresh tastes and a favorite in my house! This recipe serves 4-6 and you can either grill the cod or cook on the stove top.
Here is what you will need.

Friday Favorites... TGIF Edition

Thank goodness it is Friday!! This was a long week. Not sure why, but it felt like it was extra long! I am ready for the weekend and a night out with some good friends at a country concert tonight!! The weather looks perfect and I am so pumped for the first concert of the Summer!!!
As always, I am linking up with three of my favorite blogging friends, ErikaNarci & Andrea to share a few of my favorites from this week. 

The countdown is on to Summer Vacation for my crew! They have 7 more school days left!! And they are counting down!
This pic was on Monday, celebrating 12 more days!

Three Things Summer 2018

Hi friends! It's time for another round of three things!
I like to do this post every 6 months or so... it's fun to look back and see what my crew is up to or what they have been into lately. So here is a peek at three things about my kiddos!

The most exciting thing in Ella's world right now is finishing elementary school and getting ready to head off to middle school in September! We have had a wonderful 6 years in elementary (kindergarten-5th). She has made so many great friends and has had some amazing teachers! There is a "Moving Up Day" to close out the school year and celebrate moving up to the middle school. I have not yet seen any nervousness from her about the middle school. Her big question....When can we go school supply shopping???
Yep she's the girl that wants to go buy next year's supplies on the first day of Summer Vacation!

Ella is 10 1/2 and we have begun giving her more independence over the past few months. She might stay by herself for 20 minutes while I run to the store or drop Luke off at practice. She loves this little piece of freedom and always recites the rules to me as I leave her ๐Ÿ˜‰

She loved learning to play the violin these past 2 years and is excited to continue playing in middle school. She also picked up playing the ukelele.
Not sure where she got her musical talent (not from Paul or I) but it's fun to listen to her play!
And speaking of talent.. she is gearing up for her dance recital next weekend!

I have shared this about Luke before, but he gets really into certain things and then forgets about them. Lately it's been certain sports. He was obsessed with all things football in the fall... collected jerseys, hats, card, recorded every NFL game and then basketball started... he collected jerseys, hats, cards, recorded every NBA game and then his baseball season started. He has not started a collection yet, but is really into playing and has started to watch some MLB too. Although I have to admit, I can watch a lot of sports, but baseball on TV is not very exciting to me #sorrybaseballfans
Funny thing about Luke. He watched so many NFL games, then playoff season started and he kind of stopped watching and started watching basketball. Now the basketball playoffs are in full swing and he has begun watching baseball! Paul is like how do you stop watching when it's the best part???
That's Luke.

This kid is still a pretty avid reader. He loves wandering Barnes & Noble.
I have tried to push him towards the library, but as I have mentioned before, he is a collector.
Remember last Summer was the Who Is/Who Was series, I think we have over 100 of those books!
This Summer he is loving The Heroes of Olympus from Rick Riordan. He had a bunch of Barnes & Noble gift cards and of course bought the series ( I think there were 6 books?)

He is an outdoor kid! He comes home from school, unpacks his bag, eats a snack and is outside until I tell him he has to come in. He is happy doing anything out there... kickball with friends, shooting hoops, playing in the creek, riding bikes, finding bugs.... he just loves being outside! Although he does like to get dressed up too.....

So that's a little bit about E&L as they get ready to close out another school year! 

See you tomorrow for Friday Favorites, there's always room for one more at our family table.

May Book Review

Hey, hey its book review day!!! This month was so good for two reasons. One, I got to do a lot of my reading outside....

And two, I enjoyed every book I read this month!!!

Something New for Your Family Table.....Week #19 Spring Grain Bowls

Happy Tuesday friends!!  I am still loving eating more plant based meals each week. We have been sticking to about 2 per week and am really building up a stash of great recipes. Here is a recent one we made and will definitely make again!
I love "bowls.  I like to layer different, unexpected flavors in a bowl. I think they look pretty and taste so fresh! I found this recipe for Spring Grain Bowls from Cooking Light
I followed the recipe, but also added some grilled shrimp and a little goat cheese.
 I loved the crispness of the peas and carrots. Our grocery store carries shredded beets that have some flavor added. I got a smoky chile flavor and they were so good
These bowls were pretty simple to make and you could easily sub the farro for another grain. We normally do quinoa or couscous, but we all liked the farro. It has kind of a nutty flavor. Just a heads up that it does take a bit longer to cook than most grains. 
This dish would be perfect to take on the go if your kids have activities around dinner time and would also make a great lunch!!  And you can get creative with whatever veggies you want to add!

See you tomorrow for my May Book Review. There's always room for one more at our family table.

TBB Asks...Summer Lovin

Hi friends!!! I hope you all enjoyed the first weekend in June!! I thought it would be fun to link up with the ladies over at The Blended Blog for their monthly chat. This month is all about Summer favorites! I mean Summer is my favorite time of year, so this was a fun list of questions!

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