Weekly menu 5/52


It was so nice out this weekend, like 50 degrees in January nice, that Danny cooked steaks outside on the grill! We had the best weekend..which has me all kinds of giddy for spring.  Well that, and we scheduled a guy to come out & give us a quote for our pergola on Tuesday. I can’t wait to see what suggestions this guy has & really start getting a plan for what we can accomplish out on our patio. That way we can do a whole lot less cooking inside and a whole lot more grilling out…that groundhog better not see his shadow!! Despite the warm front going through, I’m craving all the home cooked, comfort food you can imagine. So this week is jam packed full of our family favorites. Don’t judge me.

Tacos & Beans
Beef & Noodles with Carrots
Grilled Cheese & Matzoh Ball Soup
Thai Crunch Salad (new!)

The coconut curry soup was such a success last week, Danny mentioned twice how good it was, that I’m adding it to my recipe roundup page; I can definitely see it becoming a family favorite! Because we liked it so much, I’m sneaking in another Thai recipe this week.  The listeria outbreak in packaged salads has completely wiped my Kroger’s shelves of their salad options, so I’m crossing my fingers that I can snag some locally grown produce at a market nearby to make this.

And if you’re looking for some good eats for Superbowl Sunday, here are a few appetizer recipes I found on Pinterest that are tasty enough to take with you to your party. Make this easy buffalo chicken in the crockpot and take along slider buns or lettuce for wraps & a few toppings– shredded carrot, chopped celery & bleu cheese crumbles are our favorites! Or beer cheese and pretzel bites would be a for sure crowd-pleaser!  I’ll be making each of these & loaded potato skins for our party.. of three ;)

& don’t forget the blue moon to drink!!



Swim to Mama

I tried on a one piece for the first time the other day & I have to say, I didn’t hate it! I definitely needed a M for length and the girls so I didn’t buy it because they only had a small and large, but it has me hopeful that I’ll find one to fall in love with.  I have literally always worn two piece Victoria’s Secret swimsuits that I purchase during the winter’s semi-annual sale.  I think every swimsuit I currently own I purchased that way.. but when I looked through the catalog this season, I couldn’t find a one piece I liked enough to pay $100 for even on sale! I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m really going to be wearing this suit for the rest of the summers that it fits, I should invest in one that I find to be flattering, comfortable, & will hold up well through the massive amounts of chlorine it’ll endure.  I’ve been following Amber on Barefoot Blonde for a while now and I see her on vacation at the beach wearing the cutest one piece suits.. so I searched her blog to figure out what brands she’s always sporting.  Nananette Lepore, Trina Turk & Mara Hoffman are a few she mentioned that she likes.. and they ‘aint cheap!  So my search began.

The thing I struggle with the most is what size to order.  There are so many mixed reviews online for each of these that it almost makes it harder. I’d say I have a little longer torso than most, but everything else on my 5’6″ frame is pretty average. So I want to order a medium or a 4/6, but then I worry that the top may be too loose or the bottom too saggy! If could go my entire life without any embarrassing slips happening, I’d be forever grateful.. tysm!

Anyway, I’m dying over this suit; haaaa in my dreams, $300+ swimsuit no way.  So I found this lookalike from target–ahh $45. much better. The high neckline and scalloped edge is adorable, but then I read the reviews and everyone complains that a nipslip is highly likely + there’s no support in that thing at all. Ashton: 0 Suit:1 Here’s one that is freakin’ cute.  I like that the ruching is across the whole suit (not just the midsection) so it looks intentional and adds to the style.  At $127 it’s a stretch, but it could be justifiable if it satisfies my 3 contingencies: flattering, comfortable, & durable.  Now on to this one. I’ve seen it on a few other mamas and love it, but is the black too boring? Or is it too classic, not to mention concealing, not to get it? The peplum on this tankini is also cute, but again with the black and I also worry it’s too juvenile? And finally, I have this one in my cart at anthropologie.. ahh I just don’t know if I can pull the trigger.




I think my interest in entertaining all began when I planned our wedding.  Then once we bought our house, we finally had the space to have people over for small get togethers. Today I thought I’d be fun to share with you a few of the parties I have hosted and planned in the past year. With the exception of my sister-in-law’s bridal shower (Danny’s Aunt & I did that one together), I did them all myself.  I designed the invitations, decor, homemade the chocolate dipped pretzels.. everything! I truly have so much fun doing it & I don’t see my love for entertaining dying down anytime soon.  Without further adieu,  here are the four parties I hosted in 2015:

Danny’s sister’s bridal shower was last January.  The colors for her wedding were pink and orange so I knew we had to make her shower just as bright & colorful.  Since she got married on the beach, I thought flamingoes would be fun to add here and there, too.  We had a caterer come to the house to make brunch–mini pancakes, cheesy potatoes, the most delicious mini quiches, fruit & mimosas.  And a friend of mine who bakes made the most beautiful cake & cupcakes.  Everyone took pictures with the bride in a makeshift photobooth & they all took home an Essie nail polish as their favor!  I got the idea for the balloon arch on Pinterest & a lady from the party store that we rented the chairs & linens from helped that come to life.  I thought I could do it myself, but she came with a special machine that blows the balloons up in about 5 seconds so the arch was done in a matter of 20 minutes; that would have taken me at least a week!

Then in April, I hosted a happy hour baby shower..for myself. lol. Well, it really was like my mom throwing it for me at my house. Since she lives in Nashville, it seemed to be the most logical to have it here.. plus I didn’t mind getting to help plan another party! Also, it was a little more relaxed than a typical shower–we invited all the guys too! This event is definitely lacking photos because I was busy up until the minute before everyone arrived so I didn’t get a chance to take many.  Nevertheless, we served small appetizers like cheese and crackers, fruit, & veggies and then my mom homemade 4 different kinds of pizzas for everyone to nibble on.  They were delicious, but I feel bad that my mom was busy for most of the party & couldn’t just sit back to enjoy it.  She also had a lady from Nashville decorate cookies for our favor; they were the cutest decorated crowns, mustaches, & onesies! I made these chocolate dipped pretzels & displayed them in a cigar box to hand out to the guys.  Isn’t it cool there’s actually a real cigar with my name on it?! Oh! I should mention that Babylist is the best place to do your registry! You can put items from any store, etsy shop, services (like home cooked meals!), hand-me-down clothes, gift cards.. anything! on your list. I found it super easy & such a relief when I knew I wanted things from stores that we don’t have in our city.

 Then we had Danny’s side of the family over for this shower. It was right before Cinco de Mayo, so it only seemed fitting that we had a fiesta theme.  I had a lot of fun with this one.  I handmade each one of those tissue paper flowers with instructions from Pinterest & it literally only took some floral wire, a package of colorful tissue paper & time..lots of time! We had a taco bar, fruit, chips & guac etc.  And zebra cakes on a stick were supposed to be a funny favor for everyone because it was a running joke that I ate those all the time when I was pregnant.

 And most recently, I hosted my side’s family Christmas.  Our gift exchange was a favorite things theme, so this event was is a combination the two. I don’t want this to be too repetitive, so you can see our menu that I planned in this post, and how the night all went down here if you didn’t catch it previously.  Ultimately, everyone went home happy with the gifts they chose, the meal was great, & we had a lot of fun together.

So those were the parties I hosted last year.  They may not be the fanciest or most elaborate, but I had fun planning them and my guests enjoyed themselves, so I consider it a success.  This year I’ll get to host Rhett’s first birthday party, maybe something for Danny’s 25th birthday, I want to get together with some girlfriends in the summer, & I hope to have Christmas at our house again! Lots of fun to be had.. only this year, we’ll have a little toddler around to give us a few more laughs!