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!
Kids out of school, boats in the water, toes in the sand….it’s summertime in North Carolina! July 4th is such a great time of year to turn on the outdoor grill, invite the neighborhood to the back yard, and truly connect with family and friends.
We’re preparing for a night with our neighbors and crafting a few of our favorite sweet treats for the kiddos! Click on the images below for recipe details. What do you bake up for this time of year? Share ideas with me and I will be sure to repost to our Facebook page.
These last several weeks, Thomas and I have shifted from our typical chicken and beef dinners to something pretty easy to find on the coast – fish! In an effort to trim down our meat consumption, we began adding in fish at least twice a week and have fallen in love with these quick and easy recipes.
Top of my list is a pan seared tuna with a ginger glaze – I think I could eat it every week and never tire of its bright and savory flavors. I have also developed a love for grouper, a common fish here off the coast of the Carolinas. Served with some lemon and butter, it is simple, easy and downright mouthwatering!
Do you have a few recipes for a seafood dinner you absolutely love? Share your tips and tricks with me in the comment section below!
School’s out for summer! It’s the perfect season for a getaway with the family, and we’ve taken a few adventures ourselves. Our galavants with a toddler shed new light on the ease (or lack thereof) of traveling. I went on the hunt for vacation spots best suited to large families. Check out my favorites below!
If you’ve read any of my blogs before this one – you know our family has a deep affinity for Blowing Rock, NC! It also happens to be a fantastic place for little ones. During the spring and summer months, Tweetsie Railroad hosts “Thomas and Friends,” perfect for your story loving bunch! Enjoy hikes through the mountains or around Price Lake and wonderful restaurants in town suited to littles.
While a little difficult to get to, Ocracoke Island is worth the effort! You can bike the entire island with your family in less than 20 minutes! Enjoy a drive onto the beach and set up camp to relish your surroundings. Grab a fishing pole or a boogie board and play in the ocean, or head back to town for a delicious lunch and tour of local shops. Ocracoke is just right for all ages!
If your family is anything like mine, you soak up a good museum tour and need some room to run and play. Washington, D.C. became a go-to for us as kiddos. With plenty of monuments to visit both during the day and at night, and loads of kid-friendly museums, we loved our time in the Capitol city. I cannot wait to take Hatton when she’s just a little bit older.
What are some of your favorite places to visit as a family? Share your suggestions with me in the comment section below.
Today, I am buried beneath laundry from 9 days away. We traveled to Ocracoke Island with my husband’s family and then met up with my family in Bath, NC to celebrate my sister’s 40th birthday! We enjoyed every second of our galavants, but the unpacking reminded me how thankful I was for this year’s intentional “light packing” efforts!
Especially in warmer months, I find it easier to prepare for a week away with minimal outfits. When preparing for our trip, I laid out a few shorts and shirts, all in neutral colors, and added in two pops of color to complete the wardrobe. With just a few pieces, I managed to create multiple outfits for our time away and keep my laundry to a minimum!
Below are a few pieces I keep on hand for weekend getaways. Easy layers, comfortable fabrications and solid colors – check!
How do you pack up for time away? Share your tips with me in the comment section below. Are you adventuring anywhere exciting this summer?
Photo credit: Peanut Butter Fingers
In March, Thomas and I ventured into the Whole 30 meal plan. We said goodbye to all sorts of things we loved, most noteable…sugar! Our journey into whole cooking challenged our habits and pushed us outside of our “cooking comfort zone.” This most often occurred when planning for breakfast. We used to eat oatmeal with brown sugar and honey almost every day. With a grain and sugar free plan in front of us, I had to find new options.
I learned a whole host of recipes and trialed new breakfasts I continue to make even after our one month food adventure was over. Below are a few of my favorite tried and true recipes – all of which are delicious, filling and (best of all) simple!
Click on the images to review the recipe in detail. How do you shake up breakfast every now and then? Share your favorite recipes in the comment section below.
Growing up, one of my fondest memories of home was the aroma of fresh flowers in our living room. No matter what time of year, my mom had a sprig of something fresh blooming in our home. As I continue to pretend my way through adulthood, I pick and choose what I bring from my past into our present…and fresh flowers are definitely a mainstay!
When I was in graduate school, I opted for very simple arrangements of what most would consider “filler flower.” That tradition carries over, as we budget more of our income on diapers and baby food that large arrangements. Once every two weeks, I grab five stems of Trader Joe’s $3.99 options and arrange three on my dining room table and cram the rest into a small vase in our guest bath. I’m always amazed how long these beauties last, and am now trying to build more colorful arrangements for special occasions.
When looking online for some inspiration, I (of course) landed on Pinterest and found a few simple and easy arrangements for Spring! What are some of your favorite flowers to display this time of year?
To cheerful days ahead,
If you’re (somewhat) like me…perhaps you’ve waited until the last second to hunt that perfect gift for Mother’s Day. You’re seeing gift guides pop up in your inbox and companies highlighting must-haves. But you still haven’t landed on just the right gift.
Don’t worry. There is still time!
Accessories are an ideal option for last minute gifts. My top reasons for accessories as a gift of choice:
- They are a want – not a need – meaning we rarely buy them for ourselves (ok…semi-rarely).
- They always fit.
- They can match anything in any closet.
- They complete a look with ease.
Below are a few of my favorite options for gift-giving (to a loved one or yourself!) What are some of your favorite accessory styles?
I remember the first few months of my sweet daughter’s life….and what little sleep we caught with her every-two-hour wakes. Thankfully, she got better at sleep with age. Unfortunately….I did not.
Perhaps I became so accustom to her wake-ups that I naturally stayed alert – waiting for her next cry. Maybe it’s my tendency to scroll photos of her after she’s sleeping or catch up on my grocery list. Whatever I stumble upon to distract me from deep sleep, I manage to successfully trim away at precious minutes of sleep that I definitely need!
Here are a few habits I’ve recently put into practice to better prepare for a full night’s rest. What are some of your bedtime routines? Share your tips with me – I need them!
- Bedtime tea. Each night, about an hour before bed, my husband makes me a cup of warm and calming Bedtime tea. I look forward to enjoying each sip of this luxurious tea!
- Lavender oil. Whether through a bath, diffused in our room or directly applied, lavender oil always makes its way into my bedtime routine. I like to add a few drops to an epsom salt bath or apply a couple drops to the bottom of my feet just before bed.
- Clean face. I love climbing into my soft cotton sheets with a clean and moisturized face. Without question, I must rid my face of “the day” before bed! I use a small amount of my Honest face wash and apply a nighttime moisturizer from Beautycounter.
- Pretty bed. Yep. We make the bed…every single day. There is something calming about slipping into a neat and tidy bed. We do our best to put away laundry and keep the clutter clear, as well. Cleared out room = cleared out mind!
- No devices. This one is hard for me, but we’re trying each and every night to shut off our phones and switch to a good book or magazine before bed. It is easy to get lost in all the noise on our phone, but the calming nature of a good read brings sleep along much more quickly!
If you’ve ever visited my home, you will quickly find that I am a fan of a muted color palette. It can get a little drab, at times, but overall – I’m a sucker for black, white, gray and all neutral colors in between! As the mama to a spunky baby girl, I wanted to incorporate more color in our home (proven fact – color is key to development for babies!) My dear friend, Whitney Walker, is quite talented in both teaching me how to mama and building rooms with color.
The plus side of a home filled with neutrals – adding color is a cinch! Here are a few lessons learned from Whitney. How do you incorporate color in your home? Share your tips and tricks with me in the comment section below!
- Use what you have. Since I have a background of neutral, I chose to accent my master bedroom and living room with color. Bright lumbar pillows in green, purple and blue coordinate easily with my large linen throw pillows and white duvet.
- Start small. Add color simply with either a pillow or throw blanket. Especially in a very muted home, decor pieces are easy to swap out (especially if your apt to change your mind often!)
- Consider the walls. When trying to break out of my neutral rut, I looked to paint! I opted for a pale ice blue in our master bedroom and a mint green in our daughter’s room. The rest of the furniture is muted – so the walls pop perfectly…just enough color for me!
- Do the unexpected. If you’re really up for a change, repaint a piece of furniture, like a dresser or end tables. Alternatively, take a muted lamp and add a contrasting shade – something unexpected and dimensional!
Let’s be honest. When you’re trying to eat healthy, salads become the go-to and quickly become boring. Today, I am sharing a few ways I reimagine the traditional salad in hopes of bringing you out of the doldrums of green and into the joy of color!
- Make it crunchy. I’m a sucker for berries atop my salads. I’ve taken the sweet tendencies a step further and added candied pecans to my traditional blueberry and strawberry salad. For even more crunch, consider a savory granola blend and honey-infused goat cheese. You’ll find the bottom of the bowl pretty quickly – I promise!
- Make it colorful. Salads don’t have to be filled with lettuce. Consider a base of cabbage and shredded carrots with sliced beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, black beans, and anything your palette desires. The more color you add, the more nutrients you’ll have!
- Make it wilted. One of my favorite tricks of the salad trade – sauteeting sliced sweet potatoes and topping the salad immediately with the searing hot veggies. Mixing cold greens with a warm protein or sautéed veggie will give you a beautifully wilted salad ideal for dinner time (or anytime in my book!)
- Make it plentiful. Try out a protein packed salad by adding steak, poached eggs, avocado and more. (For ideas, click on the image above!)
How do you change up your healthy eating routines? Share tips and tricks with me in the comment section below!