Summer Recipe Roundup

We have been grilling and eating outside every night for the past week– it officially feels like summer! For dinner last night, I roasted up a ton of vegetables and plated with burrata and a leftover spinach basil pesto I had in the fridge. It was delicious! I have a bunch of recipes saved for the next few months and thought I’d pen some of them here for you to enjoy as well. I’m also stocking up on melamine plates and other outdoor dining essentials– some fun ideas linked below for dining alfresco. Bon appetit!

Grilled corn and zucchini salad
Charred peppers with lemon ricotta and cucumbers
Potato salad with mustard sauce
Grilled vegetables
Watermelon salad with cucumber and feta
Skirt steak with avocado and tomatoes
Summer stone fruit salad
Cucumber and peach salad with herbs
Spaghettini with roasted tomatoes
Loaded grilled steak salad
Southwest BBQ pork sliders
Blackened salmon burgers
Everything but the kitchen sink pasta salad
Blackberry peach crisp
Browned butter grilled peaches with ice cream
Strawberry yogurt popsicles
Strawberry thyme lillet spritzer
Cucumber mint gimlets
Grapefruit ginger bourbon sour
Kentucky lemonade

Cleaning a White Slipcovered Couch

I am all-in when it comes to a big, cozy white slipcovered couch. I love the non-tailored look as it feels more casual and inviting. You can also have a ton of fun with pillows (you can shop mine and other favorites here) and it washes so easily! Many people are hesitant to get a white couch with kids, but I actually think they can be easier to maintain since they handle washes so well. I wash mine about once a month, unless some dirty little hands get to it more often than that ; )

One thing to make sure of when buying yours is that the fabric you choose is actually washable! The couch we have now is from Pottery Barn– the PB comfort roll arm, box edge back cushion, down-blend fill, with denim warm white fabric. For us, it’s a great middle of the road couch. It certainly won’t last us forever, but I don’t think twice when kids are jumping, or even eating, on it. The other brand I love is Lee, which is higher end than PB and what we have in our living room.

My tips for washing:
• Spot treat stains. We have had berries and wine spilled on this couch and have been 100% removed! The key here is to wash immediately, which can be annoying but it makes a difference. If it’s in the middle of a party, waiting an hour or two will be fine! Remove ASAP and spot treat. I use a basic “clean” stain remover, nothing fancy.
• Always wash on cold. Most HE machines now do best with cold anyway, and I think the fabric stays nicer.
• Use distilled white vinegar! This is a secret weapon when it comes to laundry. It keeps whites white, darks dark, and colors brighter, plus it softens fabric and removes odors. I add laundry detergent as usual, and then about 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar into the fabric softener section (or add into your last rinse cycle).
• Dry as usual, but remove from the dryer when it’s still a little damp. I like to put the slipcovers back on at this time so they are less wrinkly and also fit on easily. I keep the cushions propped up to dry completely before tucking everything back in.

Hope this helps you enjoy your white couch!

Memorial Day Weekend Sales

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I’m a big fan of this Americana theme year round, but it’s especially fun to get in the spirit this weekend. There are a ton of sales going on, so I thought I would round up some great buys that fit the American theme– red, white, blue, stripes and natural materials. These are also all great for the Fourth!

I love this rattan chair as an accent piece for the living room and this outdoor umbrella– both are 20% off from One Kings Lane.
Serena & Lily has 20% off sitewide– this gingham pillow, seagrass wrapped pitcher, glassware, and darling whale serving spoons are all perfect for outdoor dining.
Add some American Flags with this festive coffee mug and heritage bunting for your home– both are on sale + Pottery Barn is running buy more, save more.
My favorite outdoor teak sling chairs are 20% off! I love them in this striped fabric, and you can pair with these fun beach towels.
This white eyelet dress pairs perfectly with this denim bubble for baby that is 50% off (couldn’t help myself and just bought it in all sizes)!
Fun accessories for mom– these raffia earrings, straw tote bag and seersucker boat shoes.
Lastly, for the home! I love this rattan mirror that is 20% off from S&L.

Happy MDW!

Grazing Boards

My favorite way to eat! Who is with me? You probably know what a big fan of cheese and charcuterie boards I am, so I thought I’d mix it up and create more of a “grazing” board this time using my absolute favorite reclaimed wood board. You can read my tips for the perfect cheese board in this post. We will use some of those tips for this board as well! Here are some things to keep in mind:

Buy soft AND hard cheeses
Make sure to get a selection of soft and hard cheeses so that the board has variation. Some of my favorites include: Saint Andre, Toscana Black Pepper, Mt Tam, Aged Gouda, Port Salut, Goat Cheese with Honey, and Humbolt Fog. This is more important when it’s mostly just a cheese board, but I like to offer a soft and hard cheese on this as well.

Dips!
For a summer grazing board, I like to add a flavored hummus or other light dip for all of the veggies and crackers. Here I used a cilantro avocado hummus, but anything goes.

Cut as much as you can
One of the great things about a cheese board is that it’s easy to grab a bite size piece quickly. Try to cut the cheeses into pieces as much as possible so that this is doable. You will need to keep some of the soft cheeses as is (a log of goat cheese, for example). Same thing goes for fruits and vegetables– try to use bite size or cut into pieces.

Color, color, color!
This is essential when it comes to a beautiful cheese board. Depending on the time of year, fresh fruits and vegetables will help add to great variety of color. I love to keep the green tops on vegetables which helps add beautiful color. I also added some additional greens in this board since I wanted it looking fresh for spring.

Mix-ins are a Must
This one goes without saying! It’s necessary to mix in delicious fruits, nuts, olives, or pickles to both pair with your meats and cheeses, or to eat on their own. I often will slice up a pear or a green apple, or cut figs in half so that guests can create their own bites with different cheeses. Don’t forget to have small piles or containers of nuts (I love marcona almonds), olives, or cornichon pickles. Grapes are always a go-to, too!

Add some toppings
This one isn’t a necessity, but it’s nice to have some small containers of a relish, jam, or honey to spread onto your bite of choice.

Keep crackers and bread on the side
You’ll see in my photo that I don’t have a ton of crackers shown. This is because it would have taken too much room on the board! Just don’t forget to not skimp on various crackers and sliced bread so that there are a lot of options for your guests. I like to use a smaller basket, tray or platter to hold everything.

Variety is Key
Remember that anything goes! The most important thing here is to have variety: cheeses, dips, meats, fruits (dried or fresh), vegetables, olives, pickles, nuts… the list goes on and honestly anything works!

Cheers!

Bump-Friendly Dresses for Summer

I posted this photo to instagram and got a lot of questions from other pregnant mamas about the dress I’m wearing (it also comes in a pretty red color). It’s extremely flowy, and therefore very bump-friendly! So, I thought I’d round up a few favorites I have found for spring and summer– none are maternity specific, but all should fit a baby bump nicely. This also makes them perfect for after baby and beyond… better to spend on non-maternity so you can get more use out of them!

Spaghetti with Asparagus and Parmesan

I absolutely love this spaghetti– not only is it delicious, but it’s incredibly quick and easy to prepare. Asparagus is the perfect addition for spring and pairs wonderfully with parmesan and lemon, but the options are endless– any roasted veg added in would be delicious.

I use a lentil and chickpea pasta that I really love. I’ve tried more kinds than I can count and this brand has remained my favorite. Of course, any kind of spaghetti works, but I love that this offers more protein and fiber than most.

Directions: Lay asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 until tender.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta per the directions on the box. Once drained, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Add in asparagus, plate up and enjoy. The perfect dinner in a pinch!

Nursery Planning for Baby Girl

With 3 months to go until we meet our baby girl, I am (very excitedly) prepping and planning her nursery. We are likely going to keep her in our room for some time (and not complete her room for a bit), so I purchased this changing table from Serena & Lily that we are housing in our master bedroom. That way, I can keep her essentials nearby until she has her own room. I added these darling beachcomber baskets to keep folded clothes, diapers and other essentials on the shelves. Of course, staying true to my beloved blue and white, I bought this Serena & Lily coastal toile crib sheet that I am using as my main point of inspiration for the room. I’m planning on having it made into a changing pad cover as well as keeping it for her crib sheet. It also comes in this darling wall paper! We are big fans of jellycat stuffed animals over here, so I purchased this darling white bunny that Henry is gifting to his baby sister upon her arrival. Next up is to order a chair for her nursery– I’m likely going to get a white slipcovered chair and order a monogrammed pillow for it. You can view some of my favorite ones- which I have found to be very reasonably priced- in my Etsy Favorites Shop. These also make the sweetest gifts!

Hope this brings you some inspiration! xo

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Whether or not you’re able to celebrate in person with your mom this year, it’s always important to gift her a little something to let her know how much you appreciate her. These ideas also work great for your sister, aunt, cousin, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, friend… or even yourself. Don’t forget about yourself!

1. A market tote! Darling for the beach, market, or to hold throws at home. I really love this one from Jenni Kayne. Also, this one on Etsy is a great price!
2. A cozy hand-loomed linen throw to cuddle up with.
3. This candle is my absolute favorite and comes in this perfect spa-like scent for mom to relax.
4. Pair the candle with this darling match striker.
5. One of my favorite little ginger jars to put anywhere!
6. I adore this knot door stopper– a go-to gift!
7. Gift her with a fun new straw hat for summer. This floppy one is darling, as is this very chic visor.
8. Who doesn’t love soft new pjs? Lake is my go-to for cute, casual cotton pajamas. I love this nightie paired with this robe.
9. For books on the coffee table or linens for entertaining, this tray will certainly get used nonstop.
10. My absolute favorite bread boards for cheese and appetizers. They also make for fun decor for a countertop or bar cart.
11. Beautiful monogrammed cocktail napkins for the mom who loves when the clock turns 5.
12. A darling ruffled baker or loaf pan for the mom who loves to cook and bake.
13. Add a photo of the two of you into a cute new picture frame for her home. This one is also pretty!
14. Lastly, another cozy washed linen throw… that matches her new pajamas.

Hope you have a fun day celebrating!

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Happy Spring! Happy Easter! This is one of my favorite springtime appetizers. It is so perfect to make on Easter, but really it’s delicious and absolutely acceptable to have anytime. Plus, it’s extremely healthy! The ingredients are very flexible, but the below is my favorite combination. Hope you enjoy!

6 eggs
1 avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
lemon zest
2 tablespoons green onion or chives
salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Lower in 6 eggs, carefully with a spoon. Boil for 30 seconds. Cover, reduce to very low and simmer for 10-11 minutes. Remove from heat and drop the eggs into an ice bath for 15 minutes. The eggs should be perfectly hard boiled and very easy to peel!

Mash together all ingredients– egg yolks, avocado, lemon juice, a little lemon zest, green onions, mustard, salt and pepper. With a piping bag and tip, or just a snipped plastic bag, pipe the filling into the eggs. I like to finish them with a sprinkling of more lemon zest and sea salt. Enjoy!


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