Welcome to my blog!

This blog highlights all my favorite picks and ponderings. I share book recommendations, yummy recipes and fashion favorites! I throw in some surprises every now and then and share my life happenings and LOTS of pictures of my adorable sons, Joey and Teddy:) Hope you'll keeping stopping by!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Muca Must-Have!

I am excited to announce that I have a guest book blogger today!  It's my fellow book buddy and my bestie, Dr. Gulia Muca.  Yes, Gulia is a dentist, a real one! She is all kinds of smart!  But she is also beautiful, super fun and my best friend!  But if you really want to know about Gulia, head over to my family blog for my Bloggin about my Bestie post. Gulia and I love to read books and share titles, so I thought who better to guest book blog than someone who enjoys books as much as me! Without further ado, Gulia's recommendation!


What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty



I am so excited for my guest blog spot! I have never blogged before so bear with me :) My summer beach read suggestion is What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.
What I liked about this book was that, although it was a quick and easy read, it really made you stop and think. The premise of this book is that Alice, a very busy PTA mom and social coordinator, suffers from a bout of amnesia. Implausibe? Perhaps, but lots of fun none the less.

While at a spin class at her local gym, Alice falls off her bike, hits her head, and essentially loses 10 years of her memory. She wakes up in the hospital thinking she is still a newlywed, married to the love of her life, and pregnant with her first child. I don't want to give too much away, but a lot happened to her in those 10 years she forgot. Readers journey with Alice in her attempts to reclaim memories as well as forge new relationships  and understand old relationships with her family and friends.

The book got me into a very inquisitive frame of mind and really had me ruminating on the past ten years of my life. If I woke up thinking I was 18 again, (heaven forbid!) would I be surprised at where I am now? Would there be things I would want to change or things I never thought I would accomplishing and did? Were there aspects of my more carefree-innocent 18 year old personality I would wish to get back? And thinking forward to the future, it led me to examine where I might want to be in the next ten years. Its not everyday that a beachy-read gets you all introspective so, therefore; I recommend it to all. It is quite fun along the way and it may even inspire you to try a spin class or bake a lemon meringue pie. (I tried both after reading and neither is easy!) Thanks for letting me join in all the fun everyone. Happy reading!

Being the overachiever that she is, Gulia also has a recipe to share with my blog readers!! Come back tomorrow for a tasty vegetarian dish:)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer Salad Swap

I am doing my recipe of the week a little early because today I am linking up to the Summer Salad Swap!



The host is Mel, from The Larson Lingo.  Check her out here!

I racked my brain for the perfect summer salad.  A summer salad needs to be light, fresh, tasty and most important, easy!! No one wants to slave over anything in the hot summer months.  I like to emphasize that I really like EASY recipes, but easy recipes that have a fabulous presentation. I am not someone that can have a salad as a meal. No siree, it has to be a side!  I am a hungry gal and require lots of substance when I eat:)  So my salad is the perfect side dish! AND, easy:)

1 bag of frozen sweet corn (or 1 can)
I zucchini chopped into small cubes
1 sweet orange pepper chopped
1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 tbs of olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
a generous squeeze of lime juice

Mix all ingredients together and chill for at least an hour!

How easy is that?? Easy breezy summer salad. Perfection, I tell ya.

If you do not have red wine vinegar then you could replace that and the olive oil with some Italian dressing.  Just as yummy:)



Did you miss my weekend wrap up yesterday?? It was a doozy! Click here!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Favorites

It's Friday again! Can you believe it?! My mom once said that the days go slow and the weeks go fast and I would have to agree! Most of the time:) 
What are my Friday Favorites this week?? I am glad you asked.

Favorite #1: My DIY project!

I was doing some de-cluttering this week and realized how messy my necklaces look thrown in my jewelry box! Not to mention how tangly they get! I had seen quite a few people who have a nifty little jewelry hanger for their necklaces and I thought how perfect?! It saves space and makes it super convenient to find your necklace! I was just going to throw some tacks up on the wall and then thought, how boring?? I found this cute polka ribbon left over from my baby shower and it worked perfectly!! Pretty proud of my handy skills!! That handy hubby of mine must be rubbing off on me:)


Favorite #2: Polka dot socks!

I found these cute socks at the Dollar Tree store this week!! I'd like to mention my affinity for the Dollar Tree. A store where I can spend $20 and get 20 items?! Yes, please! What is not to love?! So anyways, the socks. They were calling my name! I have a strong DISLIKE for feet so jazzing them up with a darling little pair of socks, fabulous!!

Favorite #3: the weather!!
Was it me or did yesterday day feel like fall!! Ahh I loved it!! Fall is without a doubt my FAVORITE season!! Why?? Because of the 3 Fs: the food, the fashion and the festivities! More on that later! Joey and I went for a morning run and it was actually chilly! Yes, chilly!! Ahh I love me some fall weather! And this weather allows me to snuggling up in my new Cape Cod sweatshirt and a cup of coffee!!

  Don't judge!! I just woke up people:)

Did you check out my mama must haves for newborns yesterday?? Click here!

Happy Friday!!
Enjoy the weekend:)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Newborn Necessities!

It seems as though every one in the world is pregnant right now!  Ok, that is a slight exaggeration, but LOTS of people have or are having babies right now.  I thought it would be fun to do a post of my top newborn must have, couldn't live without items!  These are things that were helpful to me early on and totally got me through those challenging and exciting first few months!!

Pick #1: 

Fisher Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper
Click here to check it out!

Seriously this thing saved my life!! This little gem is what Joey slept in for the first five months of life!  I totally credit this thing for Joey's amazing sleeping skills.  Joey was a big spitter and hated being flat on his back.  This was perfect for him.  I loved how he was all cozy and cocooned in it.  He started sleeping through the night at about 6 weeks and I totally credit this sleeper! AMAZING! Loved it! CANNOT say enough wonderful things about it.  

Pick #2:


Baby night gowns
Click here.

First of all, how precious are these tiny little night little night gowns?! Andrew use to hate when I called these night gowns because boys do NOT wear night gowns, but really I don't know what else one would call them??  These little night suits (?) were clutch in the middle of the night!  At night,  I put Joey in a onesie and one of these gowns and then swaddled him in a blanket.  During middle of the night feedings it was SO convenient to just lift up the gown, unsnap the onesie and change the diaper.  No taking off any clothes and redressing.  Believe me, in the middle of the night, when you can barely open your eyes, the little you have to do the better!  In my opinion:)

and last but not least Pick #3:

The Boppy!

This is a staple for all mothers.  Obviously, this pillow is extremely helpful to nursing mothers, but I also found that I used it for other things too.  It is a practical AND comfy thing to have! And they have the most darling covers for them.  Click here to see some of the adorable choices.

Now these things may not be helpful to all mothers, but they were certainly must haves for this mama!! I know I will certainly be using them for the next baby!  What were some of your newborn necessities?! I'd love to know!

Wanna see Joey with my must have "newborn necessities"? Click here!

This is my first installment of Mama Must Haves!  Next week?? The baby months picks!




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In honor of Belle!

  My dear friend Belle got engaged on Saturday! I am so excited for her!  She is just about one of the sweetest people I have ever met:) AND she is a faithful follower of my blog, so clearly I love this girl! In honor of my darling friend, today's recipe is dedicated to her.  I don't really need an excuse to bake, but when I heard that Belle was engaged, I thought, hmm I need to make her a cake!! It couldn't just be any cake, it had to be a celebratory cake!  I consulted my trusty pseudo best friend, Mix and Match Mama and recreated one of her classic Bundt cakes with my own twist.  What is this cake, you ask?  Why, a Champagne Bundt Cake of course!! Champagne in a cake?? Genius, right?! Nothing says celebration quite like champagne!  It's basically celebration in a cake.
Your welcome.
Ingredients:
1 box of white cake
2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup veggie oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups Champagne (divided)
1 stick of butter (softened)
4 cups of powdered sugar
Grease  a 10 inch Bundt pan with LOTS of Pam, basically so it's dripping.

In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, puddings, oil, 1 1/4 cups champagne and eggs with electric mixer.  Pour into prepared Bundt pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes. I usually stick in a knife and if it comes out clean, all done!
Let cake rest on counter in pan 10 minutes then flip cake onto a serving plate to finish cooling. 

To make the frosting, beat butter with powdered sugar and remaining 1/4 cup champagne until creamy.  Once cake is cooled top it off with frosting!

This is the first time I ever made homemade frosting and I have to say it was super easy!

CHEERS:)

And don't forget to pop over to the family blog:)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Another "Wave" of Beach Book Bonanza

Anything by Emily Giffin is the perfect little read to tuck right in to that beach tote!  In fact, every book I have ever read by her has been on a beach vacation.    There's love, friendship, cheating, betrayal, scandal.  You know, your typical chick lit criteria.  I don't know about you, but that's exactly what I need in the summer.  What I think classifies a beach read more than anything is the ability to read a book despite distractions.  And let's face it, summer reading usually comes with lots of distractions.  I like to be able to put down my book and pick in right back up and be just as enthralled as I was when I put it down!  Here are some of my favorites:

Ellen and Andy Graham have the perfect marriage. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo. The one who brought out the worst in her. The one who left her heartbroken nearly a decade ago. The one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she’s living is the one she’s meant to live.



Tessa Russo is a stay-at-home mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie—a boy who has never known his father. Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, they are strangers to one another and have little in common, aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.
This is the moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.
Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six-year-old television producer living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and picture-perfect relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had locked away forever.
From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s meticulously constructed world will be shaken to its core, resurrecting memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her. For the precocious and headstrong Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to reevaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light.
As Marian and Kirby embark on a quest to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves. A place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.

Happy Reading:)
You can find my weekend wrap-up over at Blissfully Blessed!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Favorites!

"I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so sad!"

Does anyone else think of that song on Friday Favorite day?!  I am literally belting it out as I write this post:)  Thank goodness you can't hear me.  I am not known for my singing voice!  Actually I am, but because I have a horrendous one. Darn, because one of my biggest wishes is to be in a musical! Oh well we are all blessed with something, my thing just doesn't happen to be my voice.  Okay, okay I digress. On to Friday Favorites!

Favorite #1: Granola Mixed Berry Eggo Waffles
They sounds fabulous, right?! RIGHT! So delish!  I am a big breakfast person.  In fact, I could eat breakfast for every meal.  I have actually done this on numerous occasions! Bagels, toast, eggs, waffles, pancakes-- you name it, I love it!  I usually have a big yummy bowl of cereal in the morning. It is my go-to.   Chasing around a toddler, however, is not very conducive to eating a bowl of cereal, what with the milk sploshing about and the cereal getting soggy.  So, I found these yummy little waffles and they are divine! I don't put syrup on my waffles so I lather on a little butter and I am good to go.  Perfect for chasing Joey and one of my new favorite things!



Favorite #2: my Alex and Ani bracelets

This is my favorite because it's the J for Joey:) Furthermore, I have always loved the cursive J.  Not only are these bangles a great accessory, but I have also been finding they are super helpful while changing Joey's diaper. SAY WHAT?! Joey HATES to get his diaper changed and he is a squirmy little worm.  So to distract him during the process I let him play with my bracelets! It works wonders:)  Hey, a mama's gotta do what a mama's gotta do:)  We shall see how long this trick lasts.



Favorite #3:  my $4.99 Old Navy sandals
YES people, $4.99!


How cute are this puppies?!  I think they may have been on sale because the flower was slighty off kilter! Who the heck cares! I still thought they were darling.  I scooped them right up!  They are surprisingly comfortable because they have a little cushion.  And for that price, mama did good:)
Happy Friday, Folks!
Pop over to the unveiling of family blog's new and improved name! Hint, an alliteration may be in place;)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wedded Bliss


In honor of Andrew and I's third wedding anniversary today, I am dedicating my post to my top Wedding Picture Picks:) I could easily post about 100 but don't worry, I didn't! Excluding the day I became a mother, my wedding day was the best day ever!  It was SO much fun!  Not only did I get to marry my little hunk of man, but the wedding reception itself was off the hizzy! Do people even say that anymore?? I feel as though talking about my wedding totally called for it!




Here are some of my favorite gals helping me with my dress:)



I love this pic because I look so happy! And tan:) And my teeth look pearly white!



Last day without a wedding band!  Please ignore my hairy arms!  (side note: When I taught 5th grade, one of my students said my arms looked like a Sasquatch.  Kids are so endearing aren't they??)


My handsome daddy-io walking me down the aisle


i heart this pic<3



Woo we're married! Andrew is thinking, "What have I gotten myself in to??!"


My whole family! Pretty good looking bunch huh??;)


My whole wedding party!! Phewsh between 8 siblings, 10 cousins, and four friends we made quite a crew!  This is what happens when you come from a LARGE fam:)



Sister love<3



the happy couple!  This was right after my one and ONLY diva moment!  It was the heat, I swear I was a really nice bride!


Our cake! OH.GOOD.GRACIOUS was this thing delicious!



First dance with my hubby!


This picture kinda of cracks me up because I am shoving my face with food!  Some things never change, even on my wedding day:) Notice Guls is chatting my ear off!!



Father/Daughter dance:) I have the best dad in the world! You may think you have the best dad, but you'd be wrong;)


One of my all time favorite sister pics!


HILARIOUS!! One of the best captured moments of the night!  Gulia really went for it!

And boy was she happy!


DANCING up a storm!  This basically sums up the night!  Didn't leave the dance floor at all! I don't think anybody did!  That is all I wanted for my wedding.  



So lucky to have married such an amazing guy!  Can't wait to see what the future holds for us, Andrew James Paladino:)


Click here to check out Cape Cod Day 3 of my family vacation!


Monday, July 15, 2013

A Jazzy Cucumber Side Dish

Looking for a light, summer, and most importantly, EASY side dish to add your meal, something on the grill perhaps?! I have just the thing. Cucumbers are one of my favorite summer veggies because they are cool, refreshing and full of water! They are perfectly tasty, but kind of boring on their own, right?? I love to marinade my cucumbers and just like that, they become a jazzy side dish!  Here's my recipe. 




Cucumbers with a marinade of vinegar, water, dill, sugar, and seasoning.
Ingredients:

4 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons chopped dill
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
Preparation:

Combine sliced cucumber with all other ingredients; cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.




Yummy, right?!  I may just make some for dinner tonight!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sweet Salt Air

I chose Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky for the title alone!  If this book doesn't shout summer from the top of a fabulous rooftop patio, I don't know what does! Close your eyes.  No seriously, close your eyes.  Ok, are they closed?  Now, take a deep breath and breathe in the sweet salty air of a Maine summer.  Fabulous right?? One of the best smells in the world.  This book actually offers you that smell, the illusion of that smell! This book even takes place in Maine, so if you do not go out and buy this beach book bonanza gem, you are missing out on a little slice of summer! But in all fairness, this is a fantastic book.  Delinsky is a master storyteller. She knows women and is able to communicate their connections, bonds, emotions, and actions both good and bad in such intricate details. As a reader, you become invested in the characters. If you haven't figured me out by now, you know I am all about the characters!  When I read a book, I literally want to crawl in and walk right along side them.  I cheer for them and cry with them. Delinsky delivers with a plot that leaves you with a twist you never quite expect. 

Here is the book summary straight from Barb's website! I really don't think she'd mind my term of endearment:)


Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in the Maine island house owned by Nicole’s family, but they have since grown apart. A successful travel writer, Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, lives in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian.
When Nicole returns to the island house to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend Charlotte for both sentimental and practical reasons. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole would like her help interviewing locals for her book. Missing genuine connections in her life, Charlotte agrees.
Reuniting that June on Quinnipeague, they feel the same excitement they always did.  But ten years have changed them.  There are secrets, born of betrayal and fear, that could destroy their friendship for good.  And they aren’t alone on the island.  There are locals wary of betraying confidences, ill-timed visits from Nicole’s mother and step-daughter, and more food than any woman who loves island food could ever ask for.  Through it all, Nicole struggles to save her marriage, while Charlotte is drawn, night after night, to the far end of the island, where the herbs for which island food is renowned scent the ocean air.  Equal parts gourmet, homeopathic, and mystical, these herbs, so crucial to Nicole’s cookbook, are being safeguarded by a dangerous man and his dog.
As the days pass and secrets fall, the two women survive test after test.  But with the last one, a health crisis for Nicole’s husband, Charlotte has to decide whether to reveal a final secret that could either save his life – or destroy him.
Sweet Salt Air is filled with gut-wrenching emotion, family drama, and forbidden love.  All that, plus a plethora of taste and smell, make it as sensual a book as I’ve written in years!

I already envision you sitting in your beach chair, with a cold yummy cocktail in one hand and this sweet summer read in the other!  Don't forget to pop over to my family blog to check out my Cape Cod vacation recap! paladinofam.blogspot.com

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Favorites

Greetings from my vacation!  My Friday Favorites are simple.

1. FAMILY.  duh, I have the best family!
2. Vacations.  Vacations rule:)
3. Irish music--we danced up a storm at the pub last night and we are ready to go again tonight!

Tune in next week to see my vacation posts!! Have a good weekend y'all:)

My sisters and I with Grampy at the pub last night!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Style Soiree!









An invitation to a Style Soiree?! I am so in!  I am a religious reader of one of the bloggers hosting this link party.  Sheaffer at Pinterset Told Me To is a freakin riot!! Plus, she has totally given me a new outlook on my closet.  You absolutely need to check out her blog, pronto!


Today's style icon is Ralph Lauren.  I don't know about you, but when I think of Ralph Lauren, I think classic meets preppy sophistication.  I don't know why but red, white and blue also jumps to mind!  So my first look is very patriotic!  I don't know if I got the sophistication part, but I definitely got the classic look.

This has Ralph written all over it, right?!


I took inspiration from my Ralph Lauren super comfy sandals for my second look!

Please ignore my pasty white legs!

Would Mr. Lauren approve of my inspiration?? I think so! I don't know why I look so serious in this picture?!?!
 
I am so glad I was invited to the party! It's fun to dig through my closet and come up with new ideas that I may not have thought of before.  I'd love to see your Ralph Lauren inspiration!! Feel free to email me at kefoster9@gmail.com.
 
 
One more thing! Remember last week when I told you how I won a $50 gift card in Pinterest Told Me To's Sugar Love Boutique giveaway?! No?? Click here for a reminder!  Anyways, I decided to get this darling little cardigan because I thought it seemed the most practical purchase.  I can wear it all year round!  And you can never go wrong with a cardigan, am I right?? Well, yesterday it came in the mail!! WOO, I was beyond excited for two reasons! Reason # 1: I LOVE getting packages in the mail!  I hold my breath in anticipation whenever the UPS man pulls up in front of my house!  Sadly, he is never coming to my house:(  So getting a package yesterday was super fun! Reason #2:  I LOVE my cardigan and have been anxiously awaiting its arrival so I could wear it.  As luck would have it, yesterday was the perfect day for it! Thank you Mother Nature, for once I applaud your summer chill.
 
 
 
This is how it was wrapped inside the box! Isn't it so cute?!

How adorbs is this cardi?! Seriously! I wore it last night to work and now it is safely packed up for my trip!  Click over to my family blog to see where we are headed:) 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blondies

Last week I told you I would give you my blondie recipe that I made for the 4th of July! They were a huge hit by the way.  My husband has requested that I make them again this week.  I wanted to make my blondies very festive but could not for the life of me find any red white and blue M&Ms or sprinkles.  What is up with that?  SO I did what any good baker would do.  I bought a bag of plain M&Ms and picked out all the red and blue ones:)  Of course this did not end up being enough, so I also added the chocolate ones.  Still not enough!  Well then I did something a little crazy.  I added some chocolate chips. I SWEAR, this made all the difference.  DELICIOUS, I tell you. What's really cool about these blondies is you could use whatever kind of seasonal M&Ms are in stores, and make a festive little dessert.
Ingredients:

                                                                                                 
                                                             1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup of M&Ms of your choosing
1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with Pam and set aside.  Combine brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla with a spoon until just blended.  Then add flour, baking powder and salt and stir.  Stir in M&Ms and choco chips.  

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack for about 20 minutes before cutting.  There ya have it--yummy, gooey perfection!

Don't forget to check out my family blog!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Love's Better in Books, ain't that the truth!

Hello there, faithful blog readers.  I have a confession to make.  Today I am lazy.  My husband is on vacation this week and we are getting ready to take a trip so I am in slacker mode when it comes to creating my posts this week.  Therefore, I am borrowing the recommendations of another!  NPR books is doing a special series called Critics Lists: Summer 2013.  I chose to highlight the list titled-- Love's Better In Books: 5 Romantic Summer Reads.  If that doesn't scream Beach Book Bonanza, I don't know what does!! I reviewed the list--definitely light-hearted and sappy and I think sand may actually fall right from the pages:)  Click here to check them out! Now I am off to the library to stock up on books for my trip:)   Check back tomorrow for my blondie recipe! Missed my Must Have Monday? That won't do.  Click here! Toodles, blogees? No that isn't right. I promise to never say that again.



Don't forget to visit A Blessed Little Family:)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Must Have Monday (I know, enough with the alliterations)

With the holiday falling on a Thursday last week, my days got a little screwy!  I didn't do a Friday Favorites post so instead I am going to do a Must Have Monday!  I have a thing for alliteration, can you tell?? Hey, I will always be an English teacher at heart!  Just ask my students, they were forced to use alliteration in lots of writing pieces, it's very catchy:)  Essentially, my Must Have Monday will consist of things that I love and must have!  Here it goes...


Andrew just started his vacation at 3:30 on Friday afternoon. Woo hoo!  I feel as though we need to kick of this week with a trip to The Cookie Jar.  I am OBSESSED with the place.  Upon walking into this little cloud of heaven, you are hit with the decadent --and in my case, lethal--scent of pure, unadulterated SUGAR.  Oh it is a beautiful thing.  And here is the best part, people.  EVERYTHING in the bakery tastes just like this euphoric smell.  I kid you not.  So my first two Must Have Monday munchies will call them (to stick with the allieration of course) are my go to items.

#1: The Cookie Jar blend coffee--ahh, pure bliss.  No other words necessary
#2: The blueberry glazed donut hole--I suppose you could go for the full size donut, but I always get the donut hole--it satisfies my need and I feel NO guilt whatsoever.

Now the Cookie Jar Bakery is unfortunately not an option for everyone.  My point is:  Everyone MUST HAVE a cup of coffee that sends you straight to lala land, and a scrumptious little treat that curbs that sweet craving.  Because let's face it, life is too short not to eat a donut everyone now and then:)

Ok now I have talked enough about food.  I should end Must Have Monday with something other than food!  How about shoes?? Who doesn't love shoes?? I know I sure do!  Ok I decided that I am IN LOVE with these Sperry sandals!  Aren't they adorable?! And I am assuming because they are Sperry, that they will be super comfy.  When I work at Maxwell's I sometimes have to stand for six straight hours.  But I don't want to sacrifice cuteness for practical shoes, so I tend to wear sandals that end up killing my feet.  So I am thinking that I MUST HAVE these Sperrys in my wardrobe.  It is a matter of feet survival, I swear:)

Happy Monday:)

 


 



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mac Salad-Summer Style

I have a yummy little recipe for you today. Before I give it to you, I need to let you in on a little weakness. Carbs. ANYTHING in the carb family, I mostly likely love! It's not right, this I know.   So if you are noticing a little trend in my recipes, well there ya have it, folks!  Yesterday, we went out to my Aunt Pam and Uncle Terry's beach house with tons of family and had a big BBQ.   Everyone brought something to share. I brought a really scrumptious dessert that I will blog about next week and I also brought a macaroni salad. I wanted to jazz up the standard Mac salad a bit and make it a super summery concoction. If you wanna know how it tasted ask my sister, Moira! She gobbled it right up, so she is my spokesperson:)

Ingredients:
I box of pasta ( elbow works best for Mac salad, but I used cavatappi for a change of pace!)
1 cup mayo
1 TBS  mustard
2 TBS vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of sugar
A generous dash of pepper
1 chopped orange pepper
1 chopped yellow pepper
Chopped pickles ( secret ingredient, I used pickle chips and cut them into 4s until I thought I had a good amount)

Cook, drain and rinse pasta. Add chopped veggies. Mix together all other ingredients and pour over pasta.  Stir!  That's it.  Super easy right? And super yummy!

*Note-this recipe would be really good with shredded carrots and celery, but I had neither on hand! 



Click here to see what we were up to for the 4th!




Friday Favorites will return next week!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Picks

Tomorrow is the 4th of July and although it isn't one of my favorite holidays, it's not my least favorite either. Any holiday that involves food, family and fun is ok in my book!

Pick #1: a cute beach coverup
Chances are you may be heading to the beach or a pool party to celebrate the 4th which means you will most likely be in a bathing suit for the majority of the day. If that's the case you need a cute beach cover-up! I am kinda a beach cover-up-aholic. I love me a cute beach cover up! Here are some cute beach cover up options.

Here is a snazzy little number from Old Navy.  They also have this romper that would serve as a beach cover up that would look good on say my annoyingly perfect bodied sister!

Here's a swanky little number from The Loft.

Or how about this adorable maxidress coverup from Target!

Pick #2: a yummy side dish 
You should never show up to a party without bringing something! A yummy side dish is always a good option. I really want to try this taco pasta salad, it looks so delish! Or how about a really yummy dip? I have made this spinach dip twice this week and both times it was a huge hit! Or maybe you want to bring a yummy dessert! How about these very festive ones!

Pick # 3: a sweet summer sip 
I hate, loathe entirely, drinking my calories. Besides my coffee (given) and milk I try to never to drink my calories. Let's be honest this doesn't always work, but I do try! Having said that,  when I do make a fun little cocktail I try to minimize the calories. One of my favorite things to use as a mixer is a fun seltzer water flavor. The seasonal Ginger Lemonade seltzer mixed with some gin makes for a fabulous, gin and tonic style, low in calories, DE-lush(haha) summer sip:)



Want to see two really exciting things that happened to me in the past week?! Pop over to the family blog!

Happy 4th of July y'all:)