Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites

How has another week gone by?? 
This week really seemed to fly by, so my list is short & sweet, as I link up with some of my favorite blogging friends, AndreaNarci, and Erika to share a few of my Friday Favorites.

Let me first say that today is for sure a favorite.... Paul and I have the day off and we have some of our good friends in visiting from Maryland! Looking forward to a day out on the water!
Luke has been obsessed with fireflies! He just cannot wait until it gets dark enough to see them each night. I tried to get his pic as he chased them...but kind of tricky to get a good shot in the dark!
So I mentioned our friends are here visiting. Andy & Paul have been friends since forever! They grew up across the street from each other and have remained the best of friends. They come for an annual Summer visit every year....a favorite Summer tradition!  We get a pic of the kids every year out on the boat together.....
I had another guest blogger this week. Luke shared his favorite book series. If you have kids around 8-10 years old, you will want to check out Luke's first post.
Fun at Granny's! We had a warm week and the kids had a blast cooling off in my parent's pool. My mom always makes it extra fun with pool games. This week they were racing in tubes!
Have the best weekend friends!
See you next week....there's always room for one more at our family table.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Guest Blogger Edition.....Luke's Book Review

Hi friends! So last week Ella was our featured blogger and highlighted her most recent read. If you missed it, you can catch up here.
And in true sibling fashion, Luke wanted to do his book review too! So here is a peek at Luke's favorite books!

Hi, my name is Luke. I am 8 years old and will start 3rd grade in September. My favorite hobbies are baseball, reading, swimming, and sleeping. My favorite color is black. My favorite sport is baseball and my favorite position to play is first base. My favorite animal is a cheetah. My favorite insect is a firefly.
A year ago I started to collect and read the Who Is books. I have 40 books.
I like these books because they have interesting facts in them. I have learned lots of interesting facts about all different people in history.
My favorite one is Who Was George Washington. He was our first president.
I love reading before I go to bed.
And I am always finding new spots to read!
One time I had a Barnes & Noble gift card and I ordered 8 books. When my package came, it was the best day ever!
I love reading.
Your Buddy, 
And there you have it....Luke's first blog post ๐Ÿ˜Š  I highly recommend this book series. It's a great read and he has learned so much about so many different people and places in history. A side note.. since he wrote this post, I think he has added 3 more to his collection!
Have a great Thursday. See you tomorrow for Friday Favorites....there's always room for one more at our family table.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up....We Love Summer!

Oh my gosh what a fun weekend we had! The weather was beautiful which made the weekend that much better!
Friday night Paul and I went out with our friends to the new Mexican spot on the lake. There was a long wait for dinner, but we enjoyed some margaritas on the patio.
And just ended up getting some appetizers at the bar inside and calling it dinner.
I love making a meal out of apps!
Saturday was a catch up around the house day with cleaning, grocery shopping, know adult stuff!
That afternoon we were off to celebrate a great baseball season with Luke's team. The kids had a blast swimming (I forgot to get a pic!) and we had a great dinner.
The girls chose their spot to eat and the boys chose a different spot!
Paul and I dropped the kids off at home with our sitter and we were out for another fun night. Two nights in a row? What?
A friend of ours hosted an awesome backyard concert with Eric Van Houten. It was a beautiful night with great friends, good music and even the ice cream truck!

Sunday morning I met my girlfriend for our weekly run and coffee
Then we were off to spend some time on the boat.
 It was a low key day of floating down river and finishing up with some ice cream. 
Another fun Summer weekend in the books!
See you tomorrow....we have our second guest blogger joining us! There's always room for one more at our family table.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday Talk...Favorite Salads

Hi friends! I am linking up with  Erika Ashley for Tuesday Talk. A monthly link up where we can talk about any and everything!
I have really been all over the board this year with my topics...
 I told you...super random! And for this month we will keep the random theme and talk about.....Salads! Yes, I know you are thinking what the heck? But let me tell you, I love a good salad in the Summer. It is such a quick and healthy solution to dinner and I have fun getting creative with them. Before I start, let me first say don't go assuming that your kids won't eat salads. My two happen to be pretty big fans. I find the best way is to let them build their own. Put out lots of veggie options and let them go to town. And if they want ranch as their dressing everytime... so be it. Just try to find a "better for you" ranch dressing and don't let half the bottle end up on the salad! So here are some of my favorites.
Hands down my favorite Summer salad is BBQ Chicken Salad. All my favorite tastes of a Summer BBQ, but in salad form. I shared the details on that salad in my blog yesterday and you can read that here.
Grilled Romaine with anything. If you have not grilled romaine.... you need to. It is just so good and different from your regular old salad! Just cut a heart of romaine in half lengthwise, drizzle with a little EVOO and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Grill cut side down for about 3 minutes then flip and gril 1-2 minutes more. I love it with some grilled salmon or grilled chicken. Just so good!

Salads with berries. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries all make great salad toppers in the Summer. Top spinach with a combo of all four and a sprinkle of goat or feta cheese and you have one delicious salad. Add some grilled chicken or grilled shrimp for a heartier salad. This salad here I added grilled peaches too. You can get so creative with salads!
A burger salad! Just take your favorite burger components and built it onto a bed of lettuce or spinach! This is a steak burger on top of all the parts of a wedge salad.
It is Tuesday.... which means Taco Tuesday....and you really can't beat a good taco salad!
This one was kind of a clean out the fridge salad. A mixture of lots of Summer flavors that I put together one night and it was oh so good! Grilled romaine, grilled peaches, grilled chicken, fresh tomatoes, fresh mozarella and basil.. finished with a drizzle of balsamic. So many flavors and was a  winner!
Do you have any favorite Summer Salads?? Drop them in the comments below!
See you tomorrow for our Weekend Wrap Up....there's always room for one more at our family table.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Five Meals for Your Family Table.....Week 28

Oh hey Monday....gosh you came fast!
 Another week.....another 5 meals for your family table.
So this Roasted Vegetable Tortellini is pretty much on repeat every month. And as we move through Summer... the veggies from local farmers markets get better and better, making this dish so, so good!
You can make it with just about any vegetables you want. My favorites are zucchini, red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms.  Chop up about 4 cups of veggies and put on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a little EVOO, season with salt & pepper, toss to coat and roast at 425 for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. While the veggies roast, cook a package of tortellini according to package instructions. When the veggies are done, toss them with the tortellini and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Well it's Taco Tuesday.....and we are changing it up a bit for Summer with these Taco Burgers. All the tastes of tacos, bu in burger form! Mix 1 1/2lbs of ground turkey with 2 TBSP of taco seasoning and form into 6 patties. Grill for 15 minutes. Now for the fun part! We topped ours with all the regular taco fixings... lettuce, tomato, salsa, avocado, black bean spread, shredded cheese.
So, so good! And so easy to just put on top of a salad and skip the bun!
BBQ Chicken Salad is still one of my favorite Summer salads. All the good tastes of Summer in a salad form. Grill some chicken (or use a rotisserie chicken) and then build your salad. Some of our favorite topping are black olives, bell peppers, corn and tortilla strips. Instead of dressing, we just drizzle a little bit of BBQ sauce over top. You can also mix some BBQ with plain greek yogurt for a creamier dressing option! The Summer beer is optional๐Ÿ˜‰
Next to a burger, fresh grilled fish is my next favorite Friday night dinner! This Grilled Halibut topped with bruschetta looks fancy and complicated, but its really anything but! Our local grocery store has an olive bar, so I just grabbed some fresh bruschetta there. Drizzle the halibut fillets with a little EVOO, sprinkle with salt & pepper and grill for 10-12 minutes. Top with the bruschetta once they come off the grill. We paired ours with some cauliflower rice and sauteed spinach.
Have a great week friends! 
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for Tuesday Talk....sharing some of my favorite salads!
There's always room for one more at our family table.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends! The first week back after vacation is always a tough one, but this one actually seemed to go by kind of quick...and for that I am thankful!
am linking up with some of my favorite blogging friends, AndreaNarci, and Erika to share a few of my Friday Favorites. A lot of fun things that made me smile this week, so here we go!

Last weekend Luke and his baseball team were in their fist tournament. They had a tough first day, but the second day they won a game in extra innings. It was so exciting to watch and seeing the team run out of the dugout when they scored the winning run was just awesome!
Have you tried Cotton Candy Grapes?? I am not sure if they are a local thing or available in other parts of the country.
Our local Wegmans has them every Summer for a limited time.
They are so good.....they really taste like cotton candy! Such a good summer treat.
We hosted our first guest blogger this week!
My sweet Ella asked if she could write a book review!
So check out her post to see her recap on the book The Fourteenth Goldfish. I'm sure it won't be the last you hear from her.
I shared my recipe for these Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes for Show & Tell Tuesday.
They were the second most requested flavor in my cupcake bakery. You can grab the recipe here.
I picked up this super cute tank at Loft....and bonus it is 40% off. I am wearing it to dinner tonight!
Tuesday was a beautiful night here, and we headed out on the water for dinner. I mean...I just love these two!
One of my very good friends from my Target days was in town for work and stopped to meet us for dinner. He was an incredible mentor to me as I took over my fist store and am so glad we have remained friends.
The kids of course had a great time hamming it up while he was with us.
This is probably the highlight of my week right here. Ella and I had hair appointments together last night and she decided she wanted to cut her hair and donate it to Locks of Love. So she got the cutest darn haircut and helped out someone that needs it all in the same night.
Here is her before...
And the after.....8 inches gone!
Why does she have to look like she is 15??
She was beaming the whole time it was getting cut. She just loves her new style!
I wouldn't say I was beaming during my transformation, but was definitely happy to be hiding all those grays ๐Ÿ˜‰
Ha!! Ella thought that was the craziest thing having foil in my head!
Now that my hair is looking fab, Paul & I are off to try a new Mexican restaurant tonight with friends. #givemealltheguacamole
And....we have no baseball this weekened!
I hope you have the best weekend.
See you Monday....there's always room for one more at our family table.