Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mediterranean Bean Salad

We're always looking for healthy sides to go with summer-time food. I just feel like it kind of evens out the greasy hamburgers and hot dogs, right?
 
I made this salad last weekend, and we had it with turkey sandwiches. It's perfectly light and fresh, and I just love the addition of mint (which came from our garden...yay!).
 
Bonus: it keeps well in the fridge. We enjoyed it over three days! Hope y'all enjoy too.
 
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Mediterranean Bean Salad
{Skinnytaste} 
 
1 (15.5 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1 medium lemon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
 
Directions
 
In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, garlic, onion, parsley, and mint.
 
For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice until smooth and emulsified.
 
Pour the dressing over the beans and veggies, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste and carefully toss with a large metal spoon. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so flavors combine.
 
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Happy Hump Day, friends. And let me know if you have a go-to side this time of year!
 


Monday, June 12, 2017

Weekend Update

Hey guys! How was everyone's weekend? We were able to get some things on our to-do list done, but we were also able to have a lot of fun...the perfect weekend, right? :)

And, full disclosure, I have used some affiliate links in this post which means if you click the link and make a purchase I might receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting me! :)

Now on to the good stuff...
 
Friday night Rob and I went to a surprise birthday dinner for one of our friends, and it was so good to be out with other adults! The food was yummy, and the company was even better. I wore this cute top with skinny jeans and black sandals...love the bell sleeves and the tie at the front. It's sold out in black, but I've linked the striped version (which I'm kind of wanting now!).
 
 
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Saturday we went swimming at Pop and J's house. The water was cold, but it was still fun. I love that kids don't even notice the water temperature, but adults can barely put a big toe in. Hadley and Pop shared some potato chips on the side of the pool while the rest of us swam.
 
 
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We missed church yesterday but were able to get a lot of things done around the house. I'm working on the girls' playroom and upgraded their art table with a new one that's a little taller. This table is seriously the best. It's a great height, but it's not too bulky. The chairs come in an assortment of colors and are big enough for an adult to sit in! Plus, it's 15% off right now!
 

 
I picked up the pom pom garland at Hobby Lobby, and the cups that hold their art supplies are old and from Target. I wanted them off the table (to give more room for drawing and painting) and had the idea to use Command hooks to hang them within their reach. I love the way it turned out! And while I was feeling crafty I put together the unicorn banner. I love this little area and know the girls will enjoy it too!
 
I also framed some of my favorite pieces they've created over the years and plan on creating a gallery wall in the playroom. And I spray painted this unicorn head I found at Hobby Lobby. It was white, but duh...we had to make it purple. The horn is gold and glittery and just pretty much perfect!
 
 
 
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We picked up a bubble machine recently, and the girls had the best time with it. These things are worth every penny. I don't know about you, but I can't blow bubbles for too long! The girls enjoyed every second being outside with their new toy.
 


 
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Hope everyone has a great Monday and a happy week ahead. And just remember...
 
 
 



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Crock Pot Salsa Verde Chicken

Holy smokes, this was probably one of the easiest things I've ever made...and it was so yummy, guys! Rob said it was his new favorite way to have tacos. Winning!

I know everyone and their brother has heard of Skinnytaste, but this was my first time making one of her recipes. I was so impressed and can't wait to try out more of her stuff.

Has anyone made this before? Any other Skinnytaste recipes you love and recommend?

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Crock Pot Salsa Verde Chicken
{Skinnytaste}

1 1/2 pounds raw, skinless chicken tenders
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt, to taste
16 oz. Roasted Salsa Verde (I used the Herdez brand)

Season chicken with garlic powder, oregano, cumin, and salt and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Cover chicken with salsa verde and cook on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove chicken from pot and shred. Remove 2/3 cup of liquid in the pot and discard or set aside. Place shredded chicken back into the crock pot and stir to combine with remaining salsa. Adjust seasoning if needed and keep warm until ready to serve.
 
 
I served our chicken with corn tortillas and a few toppings. I've found the best way to heat corn tortillas is to stack and wrap them in a damp paper towel, then microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
 
Spoon chicken mixture over tortillas. Any other toppings are up to you, but I thought a dollop of sour cream kind of calmed down the spicy chicken. I also added a slice of avocado to each taco, along with cilantro (from our garden!), and a few pickled jalapenos.
 
We're having this again tonight, and I'm honestly counting down the minutes until dinner!
 
And below is a pic of the brand of salsa verde I used. I thought it was great.
 

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Hope y'all have a great day!
 

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Little Bit of This...

I'm back with another installment of A Little Bit of This...where you'll see just how all over the place I am! :)

But first things first, how was everyone's weekend? I worked on Saturday, and it was a full day...physically and emotionally. Yesterday it was so good to go to church with my family and to spend the rest of the day just being together...you know, doing the things we so often take for granted.
 

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I've shared the good news on Instagram and Facebook but wanted to let everyone here know as well that I was accepted to the rewardStyle program! This was a goal of mine from the get-go, for a lot of reasons. RewardStyle is an affiliate program that makes your links shoppable. That means if you click on one of my links and then make a purchase, I'll receive a small commission. I'm all about transparency, so if you have any questions or input, I'm all ears! I plan on posting more about the program soon to help my readers better understand what it's all about.

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Has anyone read Option B by Sheryl Sandberg? It's on my to-read list next, and I'm looking forward to it. I read a wonderful essay by her, and I imagine the book is full of even more wisdom. 

You can read the essay here.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

*Side note: when doing a Google search to find an image of the book cover to share above, I googled Plan B instead of Option B. Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets things mixed up so easily!*

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I am trying really, really hard to eat better. I'm the queen of snacking, and I pretty much love any kind of carb. I've always been able to eat most anything I wanted without any repercussions (annoying, I know), but I feel like it's finally catching up to me at 36. Wah. Anyway, I'm also just trying to be more aware of what I'm putting in my body, and I'm trying to focus more on protein. I picked up these snacks at the grocery store recently. Any high-protein snacks y'all would add to my list? And, Noosa yogurt is my new favorite. Holy smokes that stuff is good! I buy a new flavor each time we're at the store!


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I know most of y'all have heard of LipSense by now. It's a long-lasting lipstick that comes in tons of pretty shades, and I'm hooked. I don't sell it, but I have a good friend who does! If anyone wants to try it, Kim is your go-to! You can connect with her here

I'm wearing Aussie Rose in the picture below. I also love Sassy Z (a deeper pink than Aussie Rose), and I just purchased Apple Cider.


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We had Sloppy Joes and Broccoli Salad for dinner last night...a perfect summer meal with plenty of leftovers. I've shared both recipes before, and you can find them below!

Sloppy Joes & Broccoli Salad

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How cute is this necklace? It's only $16.99, and I'd wear it with denim shorts, a white tee, and my trusty Birks. Easy summer outfit.

Layered Necklace with Strung Sequins

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I'm one of those lucky peeps who has keratosis pilaris (tiny bumps on the backs of my upper arms and upper legs). There's no sure-fire way to lose them for good, but exfoliating in the shower helps smooth my skin and makes me a lot less self-conscious. I stumbled upon this scrub at Target, and it's my new favorite. It smells heavenly, and it leaves my skin so soft.

 Alba Body in the Buff Scrub

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Lastly, a Monday funny. I hope everyone has a great day. I'm trying my darndest to be a better blogger so keep checking in. Hope to have some good stuff up in the days and weeks ahead!
 

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Our Beach Vacation!

We are back from the beach, and we had the most glorious time. Truly. I thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures along with info on where we stayed and where we ate in case anyone else is planning a trip to Orange Beach in the near future!

 
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We love Orange Beach, Alabama, for many reasons, and one big reason is proximity! It takes less than 5 hours to drive there, and with two kids that's something to consider. It's a family-friendly community with tons of great places to stay and some fabulous restaurants.

We've been visiting here for about six years now (pre-kids and growing up I always went to Destin, Florida), and each time we've stayed at a Phoenix condominium (there are 19 to choose among!). Our favorite is Phoenix West II, and that's where we stayed this year. We love how clean it is; the amenities are just what we need; and we also love the fact that there's a splash pad, and the pool has a big slide and a lazy river.

We always book directly through Brett/Robinson Vacations (the company responsible for the condos), but I know a lot of people have good success with VRBO.com as well. I've noticed I can find better rates on the Brett/Robinson site, however.

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Before I bore you with more lodging info, I'll share our pictures. There are lots! And then I'll share where we ate at the end.

Shortly after we arrived the girls were eager to feel the sand and the water. So we made a quick trip to the beach before coming back up to the room to unpack and get settled in.


Lily got this Trolls bathing suit for her birthday and has been dying to wear it since.


 

The Paw Patrol trucker hat kills me.


Hadley has food in every picture because snacks make her happy.

 
 
We had our favorite meal here. And check out this view! If you're in Orange Beach, you must check out Shipp's Harbour Grill!



This one ate her weight in fried shrimp.


Dinner ended with a surprise chocolate chip cookie with chocolate icing. Winner.


Doing a little dance. Another beach day. Yay! Followed by, "Can we move here?"


With my littlest nugget. How cute is her pineapple suit?


We love a splash pad...and it's surrounded by beach chairs, so Rob and I were able to sit back and relax while the girls played!





The sweetest sisters. So thankful they have one another!



Selfie with the hubs. Wish we could've gotten a family photo too!


This picture cracks me up. Hadley doing yoga at the splash pad!






Our final night, after dinner at Tacky Jacks.




The sunrise on our last morning. Just incredible. I enjoyed watching the sun come up each morning while drinking a cup of coffee. That's one of my favorite things about the beach!


Where we ate

Our beach routine is usually the same each day. Wake up; go to the beach for most of the morning, then cool off in the pool before heading up for lunch. We keep lunch easy and casual and pick up food from the local grocery store to snack on...that way we have more time at the beach. And then after a full afternoon of swimming and building sandcastles, we generally get cleaned up and head to dinner.
 
We went to Doc's Seafood Shack on night one. We were looking for something very casual, but we wanted some good seafood. Doc's did not disappoint. Don't go for the atmosphere or the views. You won't find either. But you'll get some really good food! Rob had the fried seafood platter (duh), and I had stuffed crab...and lots and lots of French fries.

After a long second day on the beach, we picked up sushi to go and ate on our balcony. That's kind of become a tradition for us, and each time we pick up from Big Fish Restaurant. Best sushi I've ever had. I'm sure the dinner menu is just as good.


A girlfriend recommended Shipp's Harbour Grill, and it's become a new favorite. The atmosphere was perfection, and the food was stellar. I had the Gulf Coast Snapper, and Rob had the Grouper Ponchatrain.
 
We discovered Cosmos years ago and make a point to return there each year. The atmosphere is fun and quirky, and we ate outside while a band was playing. There's also a fun gift shop attached, which makes waiting for a table a little easier. Rob got the fresh catch of the day for dinner, and I got the grilled shrimp. It honestly wasn't my favorite thing I've ordered there, but we'll still be back. If you go, you must try the firecracker shrimp appetizer and/or the BBQ crab claws!

Our final night we stopped by Tacky Jacks. It's probably more of a touristy spot, but it's casual and laid back and a great place to visit with kids. Our waitress was fabulous (she was from Romania!), and a fun band was playing in the outdoor dining area. I had the Half and Half platter (grilled fish and blackened shrimp), and Rob had the Steamed Royal Reds. It was really tasty. The Firecracker Shrimp appetizer is amazing as well.

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So, now we're home...our skin is a little darker (or, mine is more freckled, and Hadley's is just as fair); our bellies are full (we probably all gained a few pounds); and our hearts and minds have some special memories to hold onto (cheesy but true). It was a fabulous trip. Yay for summer!

Let me know if you've ever been to Orange Beach and where you like to stay and/or eat. We're always looking for new places to check out. Are most of you taking a family vacation this summer? Let me hear!

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Update: I wanted to source the girls' bathing suits for y'all too! If they're not listed below, they're sold out. We always find our suits at GAP, Old Navy, Target (buy one get one free right now!), Osh Kosh, Carters, and Gymboree.

Lily's pineapple two-piece
Hadley's pineapple two-piece
Lily's blue one-piece with tassels
Lily's purple sparkle one-piece (not pictured)
Lily's Trolls one-piece
Hadley's cactus one-piece 
Hadley's Peppa Pig one-piece
Hadley's flamingo one-piece

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