EASY PICKINS

Which books are you must grabs for the summer reading list? What are the five best ways to style a scarf? Where are my spots for pimento cheese in the South? Find my favorite quick tips at Easy Pickins!

Wednesday Recipe Series-Cooking Up With Coconut Aminos

Last up on my back-to-school meal list, an all time favorite….chicken fried rice. 

When I had my sweet baby girl, I had to ditch soy from my diet thanks to a newborn with MSPI (milk soy protein intolerance). I’ll be honest – I didn’t even know that was a thing until I was up all night with a screaming baby who couldn’t seem to keep down anything I fed her. When I cut dairy and soy from my diet, I was extremely sad to say goodbye to delicious chicken fried rice (but thrilled to snuggle a content and growing baby girl).

Meet the next best thing: chicken fried rice made with a delicious soy sauce alternative, coconut aminos! Coconut aminos are a liquid made from the aged sap of coconut blossoms and have about 65% less sodium than regular soy sauce! This particular recipe only takes a few minutes (and some extra chopping) to pull together. Its savory ingredients and loaded veggie base will delight and nourish all members of your family!

Whole30 Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice

 

Enjoy,

Parker


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Patterned Shirts

Patterned to perfection – these web only exclusive options are lightweight, comfortable and stylish. Each one brings a unique trend element to the forefront.

The Jacquard Cold Shoulder top (on sale, by the way!) includes cutaway detail at the shoulder, 3/4 length sleeve, and a high-low banded hem. With a hint of spandex in the fabrication, this top holds its shape and color with every wash.

National’s Embellished Stripe Top by Ruby Road features a soft cotton knit with a unique stripe pattern and gold stud detail at the collar. Pair it with denim jeans for lunch with a friend or khaki slacks for a more polished look. Also by Ruby Road, the Paisley Patchwork Knit Top is a colorful and comfortable top with 3/4 length sleeves and studded detail at the collar. For a softer, more muted pattern, opt for the Horseshoe Floral Top with delicate pattern and a detailed neckline.

Which top is your favorite? Share with me in the comment section below!

Solvron Jacquard Cold Shoulder Blouse Erin London®

Embellished Stripe Top
Ruby Rd.®

Paisley Patchwork Knit Top
Ruby Rd.®

Horseshoe Floral Top
Ruby Rd.®

Stay bright,

Parker

 


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Wednesday Recipe Series-Healthy Goodness

It’s back-to-school week here in Wilmington! For parents around the area, easy dinners are top of mind (especially after the wild joy of packing lunches 5 days in a row)! I’m a sucker for a great pasta dish; recently, I discovered black bean rotini at Trader Joe’s! Time to put that goodness to use.

Tonight, I’m trying a new version of baked rotini thanks to this recipe from Healthier Steps. Instead of a tomato based pasta sauce, I’ll be using a creamy, vegan cashew sauce.

I’ve been working up a list of easy, healthy meals and sharing them right here every Wednesday. I have a couple more weeks of goodness coming your way. Anything in particular you’d like to see? Comment below for a meal you’re craving, and I will source my go-to recipe for you!

Easy Vegan Rotini Pasta Recipe

Five Minute Cashew Sauce

Happy cooking,

Parker

 


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Easy as Embroidery

If you’ve known me for more than a minute, you’re keenly aware of my desire to remain both stylish and comfortable. Especially as a working mom of a rambunctious toddler, I strive for a minimalist closet that affords easy dressing (I.E. little to no time).

As we move into fall, I’m adding in options to transition seamlessly from one (very warm) season to a new (not as warm YAY!) season. These embroidered tops pair beautifully with denim shorts, white pencil jeans or dress khakis. Each top can be layered with a sleeveless tank as the weather cools. Both silhouettes are figure flattering, suitable for tall and petite women, and easy care.

Of the two styles, which one is your favorite? Tell me in the comment section below!

Southwest Embroidered Top
Given Kale®

Embroidered Peasant Top
Given Kale®

 

oxox,

Parker

 


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Wednesday Recipe Series-Quick and Delicious Salmon

I’ve shared this recipe once before, but it’s too delicious not to share again. Say hello to my favorite one-pan salmon dish. As the mama of a toddler, anything I can do to make dinner quick and easy is absolutely a dream. Success in creating a delicious, restaurant worthy dish? Well that’s just unthinkable.

Until  found this recipe.

Salmon with Honey Dijon, Roasted Kale and Potatoes

And a little cheat sheet – I snag a bag of kale already chopped to make life a little easier and mix up purple, red and Yukon gold potatoes for added flavor.

Do you have a favorite one-pan recipe? Share it with me in the comment section below!

Happy cooking,

Parker

 

 

 


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Slip(per) and Slide Into Comfort

We planned a mini “staycation” this past weekend and cherished a few days with no plans, right here in our sweet town of Wilmington. I found myself enjoying the comfort of home in a new way – savoring the simplicity of a Saturday morning with pancakes, and taking time to water the garden with some intention (and snagging red peppers ripening like crazy on our biggest haul yet). Still in those hot summer days – typical for the Carolinas in mid-August; I reached for my most comfortable slides to wander around the house in and spend time out back.

As we round out the summer, I’m sharing a few easy slides and slippers to keep on hand for staycation weekends (ok…let’s be real. For anytime at all!)  If you’re looking for comfort and style or to complement your look, opt for the beautifully detailed black leather Delana Vanna Sandal. If you’re like me and craving time at home, grab a pair of Dearfoam slippers for comfort and support while enjoying relaxation. The printed Ryka sandal is ideal for a beach day or casual stroll around the neighborhood. Looking for an easy slip-on to get those steps in? Easy-Spirit’s floral slide has great support and traction while maintaining comfort and style.

Delana Venna Sandals Clarks®

 

Floral Scuff Slippers
Dearfoams®

Marilyn Sandals Ryka®

Seasonal Traveltime Walkers
Easy Spirit®

 

Which one is your favorite?

 

Happy fall,

Parker

 


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Bold Colors of Fall

Halfway through August – I can’t believe it. I’m not sure where the time went, but I am embracing the calendar and counting down to fall. My closet remains in a state of transition, moving between sleeveless shirts and cardigans on the regular. Typically, I lean towards a muted color palette. But recently, I have braved the bold world of color and pattern to diversify my closet and brighten my wardrobe. Especially as we transition seasons, I am trying to incorporate the boldness of summer days into my daily style.

Our design team has embraced the beauty of fall and showcased it through detailed embroidery, unique silhouettes and playful pattern. Below are three particular options incorporating some of my favorite trends for this season. What are you looking forward to in this upcoming season?

Grommet Detail Knit Top
UltraSofts®

Embroidered Jeans
National®

Print Medley Dress
La Cera®


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Healthy Comfort Food | Back to School Series

This fall, our daughter is headed to the sweetest little Pre-K program 5 days a week. I am so excited to see her grow, learn and thrive in a new environment. But admittedly, I’m a bit nervous for the “routine” of it all. Our collective schedules are already a bit packed between work, life and toddler joys. And I’m not the best at punctuality….consistency….and like, general life things that require adulting. Cooking falls in this category, and while I used to love it, feeding an entire family began to feel unexpectedly overwhelming. This was (entirely) due to the fact that I attempted previous recipes requiring 1.5-2 hours and multiple courses. Not feasible for this mama! The other part about “back-to-school,” even before I had a kiddo, that felt daunting, was my personal emphasis on healthier eating as summer came to a close. Between summer barbecues and spontaneous outings with friends, I tend to fully ditch a routine meal plan but, begin to crave the stability of it as fall rounds the corner.

I figured, I couldn’t be the only one evaluating my calendar and preparing for that “back-to-school” mindset. Even for those of us without kiddos in school, there is something about coming out of summer and resetting for the Fall I find exhilarating….and a bit daunting. To ease the transition, I’m starting a six week series of healthy recipes for back-to-school prep. Ideally, each of these will have a sliver of leftovers for our girl’s next day lunch.

To get back to the joys of cooking and bring some consistency to our week, we loosely meal plan for the week by sketching out favorite dishes and compiling a grocery list. (I then pick the recipe I most “feel” like day of!) . We’ve gotten into a bit of a rut, cooking the same things fairly consistently. So recently, we began searching for healthier versions of our favorite comfort foods.

Give me anything that includes bacon and buffalo sauce, and I’m right back in my southern, college game day, tailgating roots. Throw in a healthier version of my favorite combination? Yes, please. All over it. When I read about Mary’s Whole Life and her approach to one of my favorite dishes, I knew I had to try it. I kept the recipe as is, opting for the mild version of New Primal’s (incredible) buffalo sauce. When my sister makes this for her family, she adds red onion. Want even more kick? Throw in a jalapeño!

Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole {Whole30}

Hatton loved the Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Do you have a recipe you’d like featured during this series? Comment below with either a link or your recipe, and we will include our favorites!

 

Happy cooking,

Parker


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Starting Now for Later

Here in Wilmington, our last “frost date” was March 28th – just last week. Tis the season to start planting, my friends.

The biggest (and ok – possibly most obvious) takeaway I learned in last year’s planting season: start those seeds indoors. We had much greater success with the vegetables we start indoors and transferred to our outdoor raised beds.

So what will we be planting this year? We are considered a “zone 8a” in Wilmington, so in looking more into best suited options (and my favorite cooking companions), I have selected a few favorites to enjoy later this year: Brussel sprouts, cucumbers and squash.

Do you need to find your planting calendar and recommended foods? Click here to learn more. What will you be planting this year?

Happy gardening,

Parker


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The Countdown to Christmas

When we consider the countdown to Christmas, we normally think about a race to finish last minute gifts and a mad dash to wrap everything perfectly. But in the Swann family, countdown means one thing: Hallmark movie marathons.

A few of our favorites from this year?

It’s Christmas, EveLeAnn Rimes and Tyler Hynes headline this recent addition to the holiday lineup. Think “meet cute” + small town love, under the magical starlight of Christmas!

Christmas at the Palace: Who doesn’t love a fairytale love story set in a castle? Enjoy a holiday twist on a classic love story with this Swann favorite.

Entertaining Christmas: What happens when you’re supposed to go into the family business…but you don’t know how to do any part of it? Add this one to your list for a comical and heartwarming holiday film.

What are your favorite holiday movies? Share the must-watch list in the comment section below. Enjoy the fireside fun this Christmas, dear friends!

Stay cozy,

Parker
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