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

What's Up Wednesday February 2024

Hi friends! It's the last Wednesday of the month and I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer for a little What's Up Wednesday. I fun post sharing a little food, a little what we're wearing, a little what we're doing, a little what we're watching and a little bit of everything all in one post!

What We're Eating This Week

We are back from vacation this week and I was excited to get back in the kitchen and cook! This was our menu for this week. Paul had a fish dish in Florida that he loved and we are trying to recreate it this week. If it's a winner I'll share the recipe here soon!

I shared an easy recipe this week that will be on your table in less than 30 minutes. You can grab the recipe for these Air Fryer Chili Salmon Bites here.  

We ate a ton of delicious seafood on vacation and this was by far my favorite. I order it every time we come to this restaurant. It's called the Island Salad and has the most amazing mango vinaigrette and I add blackened shrimp. It is Ah- Mazing!!

What I'm Reminiscing About

Last year for Winter Break we took the most wonderful trip to the Bahamas. We stayed at Baha Mar for the week and it was our favorite family vacation ever. The hotel property and food was perfect and we got to swim with the pigs. 

The team at Mix & Match Travel Agency took care of every detail in planning it for us. I should really do a post to recap the trip, I would highly recommend it!

What I'm Loving

Honestly a 2 week break between sports seasons! As much as my kids love playing and we love watching them, between work, school, practices, games and tournaments it's a lot! It's nice to have a couple weeks with a lighter schedule. 

What We've Been Up To

We had a great trip to visit Paul's parents in Florida. We celebrated his Mom & Dad's 82nd & 89th Birthdays. 

We wrapped up the Winter sports seasons for the kids. They each had a great season, Luke in his first year of high school basketball and Ella in her third year of indoor track. As I mentioned we have a two week break before Spring Sports kick off. Luke is still practicing for his club volleyball team, but managing 1 sports schedule is way easier than three!

What I'm Dreading

Honestly......unpacking. We got home Sunday night and this is the status of my bags. 

While I love to travel, I despise unpacking. Maybe it's the reality that the trip is over or it's because I have to put away the 23 extra outfits that I didn't wear. Either way, I don't love it. I took a poll on Instagram to see who was team unpack as soon as you get home and who procrastinated. It seems like more of you are on the ball and getting it done right away. Maybe I should turn over a new leaf???

What I'm Excited About

I have a fun work trip coming up soon, and heading to Orlando. I am flying in a few days early to spend some time with one of my peers. She and I are staying at one of my favorite Disney properties and spending a day at Animal Kingdom.

I had the opportunity to go last year too. Now I have been to Disney several times as a family and Paul and I have been there a few times before we had kids, but going solo. Let me tell you... what an experience! I didn't have to worry about anyone but me.  It was a totally different experience to not be worried about lines and Genie Plus and snacks for everyone. It was just me and a few cocktails around the world. 

What I'm Watching/Reading

I read a few great books on vacation and I plan to share a full recap on them next week. 

The Housemaid's Secret

Apples Never Fall was so good and I am excited for the new mini series coming out that is based on the book!

This is what I am currently reading. 

What I'm Listening To

I have started listening to the Mel Robbins podcast when I am walking on the treadmill. She has so many inspiring and insightful messages to share. The guests she has on really add a lot of value on how to approach so many different facets of life. 

What I'm Wearing

I shared this sweatshirt before and I can't quit it! I have it in 2 colors. It is just like the Lulu scuba for a fraction of the price!

It comes in 16 colors!!!! How cute is this lilac for Spring???

Shay shared this fleece and well its a winner for me. The color is so bright and great for Spring. But if green is not your color, it comes over 30 other colors!

I got these bracelets last Summer and love them. They are just simple and stackable. I pair them with other bracelets I have and they are thin enough to layer with an Apple watch. I have worn them in pools/lakes and all Summer and they hold up well. So many fun colors to choose from.

This is the full stack that I have but there a ton of options. 

I also have the neutral stack.   Ella has swiped a few of mine....they would be a great little Easter basket item for your teen or tween!

What I'm Doing this Weekend

Friday night I am volunteering at a fundraiser for the PUNT Foundation. An amazing local organization helping families that are navigating life with a child with a cancer diagnosis. This was me and my girlfriends at the event in the Fall. Such a great night for a an even greater cause!

And then for Saturday and Sunday we have a pretty clear calendar and I am not mad about it!  Maybe I'll get that suitcase unpacked- LOL!

What I'm Looking forward to Next Month

March Madness. I love the college baseketball season and so does my family. We loved hitting a college game to see our favorite Villanova team play a few years ago!

And I cannot believe I am saying this, but we are starting the college tour process with Ella next month. Like, what? How are we here????

She has some top contenders in South Carolina so we are heading there first. We plan to spend some time exploring Charleston. Everyone I have talked to about the area says how much they love it and rave about the food! So if you have been to Charleston and have any must do's or restaurant recommendations, send them my way!!!

Wishing you a great Wednesday. See you back here on Friday...the first day of March! There's always room for one mor at our family table. 



Something New for Your Family Table Sweet Chili Salmon Bowls

 Happy Monday friends. We are back from winter break, and in full swing of school, work, and all the activities!

Today, I’m sharing another recipe that with the help of an air fryer can get dinner on the table pretty quickly. I mentioned this before, but my family loves a dinner that we can make a bowl out of. This is another “bowl dinner”…..sweet chili salmon bowls.

Here's what you’ll need. 

4  Skinless salmon fillets, cut into bite-size pieces.

3 tablespoons of liquid aminos

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Sweet chili sauce. We use the Wegmans brand, about 1/4 cup

Jasmine rice or cauliflower rice to build your bowl

Your choice of raw veggies. We use sliced cucumbers, abut we have also done carrots, edamame, and love pickled ginger on any Asian inspired bowl. 

Mix the liquid aminos and garlic powder in a bowl, and toss the salmon pieces to coat. I usually let them sit for about five minutes.

Spray your air fryer basket with olive oil, to prevent sticking and add the salmon. Spread them out, so they are in a single layer.

Air fry at 375 for about six minutes. 

Pull them out and brush them with the chili sauce.

Put them back in the air fryer for another 3 to 4 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Add your choice of rice to a bowl and top with some salmon and your veggies.

Again. Another meal idea that I hesitate to call a recipe. Because it is pretty simple comes together quick and is a healthy meal choice!

If you don’t have an airfryer you can bake the salmon bites. Line them on a baking sheet and cook for about 7 minutes at 400. Take them out and brush with chili sauce and finish off in the oven for another 3-5 minutes.

Part of my hope with this blog is to encourage people out there to experiment with different flavors in the kitchen and realize that it doesn’t have to be super complicated or time-consuming to get a healthy meal on the table during the week!

I hope you try this one! We’ll see you back here on Wednesday, for What’s Up Wednesday. Remember, there’s always room for one more at our family table.



Friday Favorites February 23rd

  Happy Friday friends! We are wrapping up our last few days of Winter Break. It's been a relaxing week filled with some much needed sunshine. Today I am linking up with Andrea & Erika for a little Friday Favorites. A peek into a few of my favorite things from the week. 

We have enjoyed sunshine and warmer weather this week. It was much needed, after seeing a lot of brown and gray over the last few months. I’ll share more on the trip soon, but sunshine and palm trees are always a favorite for me.

And this salad is for sure a favorite. I get it every single time we come to Florida. This Island Salad is amazing, I really need to try and recreate at home!

Travelling with my favorite people!

Earlier this week, I shared one of my favorite things that has changed my life for the better. Around six months ago I introduced plant based wellness into my daily routine, and it has given me a sense of peace and calm that has been missing for my life. As a busy mom with 9000 things running through my brain at one time, I found it harder and harder to focus, or to shut my brain off at times. These supplements are part of my morning routine have been a game changer in bringing that peace and calm to my mind. I shared what I use and why, in the hopes to help other women (and men) out there that maybe feeling that racing mind too.  You can see my story here

Last week I shared a few of my favorite travel pieces and thought I would show you a few more favorites that made their way on this trip.  Ella has these little pouches which are just adorable and perfect for caring her skin and face products. You can get both for under $16. They would be perfect in a teen Easter basket too!

I recently got the cutest crossbody and brought it on this trip. I love the quilting with the black piping. The strap adds some style and is a great neutral for Spring or Summer. Its large enough to hold essentials without being crammed in. It's under $25 and comes in a bunch of colors

I really love this color too!

This next item is random, but I have shared before that I don't love getting my nails done. I just can't sit there for an hour while someone polishes my nails. Anyway, these nail polish pads are always in my travel bag. One pad is enough to take care of both hands,  Even if you don't use them for travel, they are just really convenient without having to deal with the bottle of remover and cotton pads.

I shared a super simple recipe for your family table this week. Anything Mexican inspired is a favorite at our house, so these Mexican Pizzas were a hit! They come together pretty quickly and you can customize your toppings just like a taco. It's a fun twist on taco night! You can grab the recipe here

Have a great weekend friends!
 See you back here on Monday with a new recipe! There is always room for one more at our family table.

My Journey with Plant Based Wellness

 Hi friends! I am excited to share with you a little more about my wellness journey. Today I am going to share how I have incorporated plant based wellness into my daily routine and the positive effects I have had since doing so. Now I will also remind you that I am not a medical professional, just someone really passionate around living my healthiest life. So before you try something new or change things up for you, I recommend talking to your doctor first ;)

Ok so let's dive in here. For the past few years I had been hearing more and more about the benefits of CBD. Truthfully, I was intrigued but also pretty nervous about trying it.  I had never dabbled in drugs throughout my young adult life or into adulthood, so the thought of it being part of the "marijuana" family made me slightly uncomfortable. I also saw it being sold randomly in gas stations and odd places....again made me question if this was legit!

About a year and half ago I was seeing a friend of a friend sharing her story on Instagram around the benefits of plant wellness in her daily routine. I reached out to her and we began to chat through Instagram. She shared a lot of product knowledge with me, including that it was a product that is organic and grown and processed in North Carolina.  It made me much more comfortable, knowing that it was an organic product grown here in the US and not something shady sold on the streets or imported from another country.

I continued to talk with her a lot about the products and it's benefits, and about a year ago decided to make my first purchase. Funny story is that I received my order and it sat in the box for a few months. I was still reading and learning about the products and benefits until I felt comfortable.  Fast forward to this past fall, and I began to add some of these supplements into my routine regularly. And all I was left wondering is why I didn't start sooner???  I can honestly say after six months of using my daily regimen consistently, I have noticed a significant difference in how I feel everyday. And that difference is amazing. 

Why did I choose to incorporate plant based wellness?

As a full-time working mom, navigating the stresses that come with a full-time job, kids, working through busy kids' schedules, navigating the new challenges of life with teens, along with two sets of parents that are aging and working through what these next few years will look like for them, I found that my mind was always racing. With so many things happening it was sometimes hard to just focus on one thing at a time and it was also hard to find what I refer to as "peace in my mind". I was looking for something that could help calm my mind, but did not have a desire to seek out some sort of prescription. Since starting on this plant based wellness path, I have found a place of calm in my mind each day.

What do I use?
For me, I use a tincture of the broad spectrum each morning, along with the digestive combo. The tincture lasts up to 24 hours and brings me that daily sense of calm. I feel more focused and less edgy. 
The digestive combo helps to "keep moving things along" and eliminates bloat. It's really noticeable when I travel. I continue to use it on trips and don't' get that vacation bloat or uncomfortable stomach feeling. 
I also have the raspberry citrus jellies that I take occasionally at night. Where I used to have a glass of wine to unwind, if I have a particularly hard or stressful day, one of these nano jellies can very quickly restore peace to my mind. 

What benefits have I had?
I have mentioned a few of them already, but the game changer for me has been the overall sense of calm in a crazy period of life. Stress can be detrimental to your health in so many ways. I do manage my stress daily with exercise, good sleep habits and a healthy diet, but this has been the last piece of the puzzle for me in bringing that calm and reducing stress. The digestive combo has really helped to keep away the bloat and has been an asset in helping me drop 10 pounds since the beginning of the year. I stopped drinking alcohol at the end of last year, and this has helped me do it! The calm I feel each day, does not have me reaching for a glass of wine at the end of each work day. I feel like I am a much more patient mom and wife each day too. 

So that's just scratching the surface of some of the benefits. I felt compelled to share my journey, because I think there are so many others that may feel that unsettled mind all day or turn to that glass of wine each night. I am an open book about it, and would love to answer any questions you may have. You can reach out via email or send a dm on Instagram. 

Here is a little more on the products and how you can get them. If you would like to try them out, you can use my link to get $10 off and get sample of our top selling limoncello nano jellies- perfect for travelling!

This is my my daily lineup. The tincture and the digestive combo. 

This is a great offer! As a first time customer you can get your choice of nano jellies and our amazing chocolate collagen while saving $40 for auto replenish!

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk on plant based wellness! I would love to help answer any questions you have.

Have a great day! See you back here for Friday Favorites, where there is always room for one more at our family table. 

Something New for your Family Table- Mexican Pizzas

 Hey, hey Monday!! We came off a full week wrapping up the kids’ Winter sports seasons. This week they are off from school and sports and looking forward to a chill week with no schedules!

After this week we will be back into school and practices and need a meal idea that comes together quickly. I saw Happy Healthy Sarah on Instagram share a picture of this for her family dinner one night and I was inspired to create something similar!

I feel funny calling it a “recipe” because it’s pretty simple with minimum cooking needed. Here’s what you will need.

One pound of ground chicken

1 packet taco seasoning (I prefer Siete)

1 can refried black beans (again- Siete)

Tortillas (Siete for the win again!)

Assorted taco toppings- cheese, sour cream, olives, jalapeƱo, tomatoes, cilantro- what ever you love on your tacos!

Preheat oven to 375.

Brown your chicken in a pan and when cooked through add your seasoning per packet instructions. 

While the chicken is browning, warm the beans just to make them easier to spread. Lay your tortillas on a baking sheet and spread about 1/4 cup of beans on each tortilla. I did sort of eyeball this recipe and it made about 6 pizzas. 

Once the chicken is cooked and seasoned, add about 1/3 cup on top of the beans and sprinkle with your choice of cheese. Side note, if you are not using the pre-cut parchment paper for cooking you are missing out. No tearing, they just lay right on your baking sheet and make clean up a breeze. I use them almost daily!

   Bake at 375 for about 8-10minutes, until cheese is melted. 

Pull them out of the oven and top with your favorite taco toppings! You can slice into 4 slices with a pizza cutter or eat it with a fork and knife. 

You can also easily swap out the ground chicken for ground beef or turkey or make it even easier with some rotisserie chicken tossed with salsa. 

It’s a different spin on taco night and was a winner in our house!

Let me know if you try this out! I’ll see you back here on Wednesday, where there’s always room for one more at our family table.



Friday Favorites February 16th

  TGIF friends! We are celebrating the end of the week and rolling into the kids' Winter Break. We are off to find some warmth and sunshine for the next week and we are ready for it!  But before we take off, I am linking up with Andrea & Erika for a little Friday Favorites. A peek into a few of my favorite things from the week. 

We had an action packed week with sports. The kids are both wrapping up their Winter sports seasons. Over the weekend, Luke and I were in Pittsburgh for his club volleyball tournament. He has found a specialized role as the team libero this year and it has been fun to watch him develop his skill set. 

Paul stayed home with Ella and watched her run her way to a Sectional Championship! She has made so much progress in her times this year and am excited to see some new doors open for her from a running standpoint. She will run again tomorrow in the State Qualifier. 
Luke had his last basketball game of the season on Wednesday and had some extra fans there to cheer him on. My parents and sister were there to cheer extra loud. Pretty sure he will be taller than all of us by this time next year!

As I am packing I thought I would share a few of my favorite travel things. I travel fairly often for work, so I have tried a number of different travel bags and this one is by far the best. It's actually the second one I have purchased. It can hold full sized products and zips up pretty compactly. It holds so much and is under $20! 
There's a hanger hook to easily open up and hang in the bathroom making it super easy to access everything without making a mess. 

This makeup bag is another great travel find. It has inside pockets and a wired top so it stays open while on the counter- so easy to see inside and find what you are looking for!
This mirror is perfect for travel. Sometimes hotel bathrooms have awful lighting or when travelling as a family you may have limited bathroom time sharing amongst everyone. It has several lighting options, unfolds to stand up and is really slim and so packable. You can use it in the car or on the plane too. It comes in several color options, I have the white. 
Ok last travel favorite, although not specifically travel but this self tanner is the best. I have tried a lot of them, and this is the winner. I cannot tell you how many bottles I have gone through. I use it before vacations and all Summer long!

Ella and I spent last night together with a little pampering before our trip! A Starbucks run and pedicures with hot pink toes.... that's a favorite for sure!

New books for vacation are always a favorite! I love a paper book in hand. I am not a fan of reading digitally. Here is what I have on tap for reading this week. 
I am almost through this one and it has been so enlightening. Can't wait to finish and share my thoughts on it with you!

It has been a while since I have read a book from Liane Moriarty. I have enjoyed her writing and am excited to read this one

Paul will be wrapping up this book. So much great information in here on how to really live your best and longest life. 

This week I shared a new meal for your family table, Orange Chicken. It was a winner with our whole family. You can grab all the details here. 
And we took a fun look at little things I do everyday! You can catch that post here

Have a great weekend friends!
 I'll be back here on Monday, where there is always room for one more at our family table.

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