Need a last minute dish for a Fourth of July barbeque, perhaps? Let this salad help you. Three ingredients, and your done. It's crispy, tangy and delish. Not to mention, both adults and kids gobble it up. Winner!
Ya'll, SUMMER IS HERE. Swimming, barbequing, gardening, outside until the sun goes down SUMMER. I'm enjoying every. single. minute. of it.
Here are my June favorites:
1. Beach Blanket Bingo One Piece from Mod Cloth. I'm a little bit in love with Mod Cloth in general (the shoes!) and a lot in love with this suit. It fits perfectly (order up a size like the comments advise!) and is super cute. I can't seem to find a two piece that fits properly, so I spent the money on a great one piece. I'm never going back! I receive compliments every single time I wear this and it stays put. // 2. Grapefruit and Sumac Salad from Plenty More. Go to summer salad. //3. So despite the fact that it's summer, it still rains here all the time. So non-sandal foot wear is part of my summer wardrobe. Plus, there is lots of walking here, and flip flops are not made for lots of walking. I love my rose gold TOMS. They are no longer available (sad face) but I have my eye on the Classic Red as a second pair (TOMS is donating to the Special Olympics with every purchase of the Classic Red right now!)//4. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Fantastic read. I loved the main character, and the descriptions are amazing. I enjoyed Eat, Pray Love a couple years ago and this novel doesn't disappoint. // 5. Monogramed tote from MJ Custom Embroidery. My friend Morgan does amazing embroidery! I picked up this awesome tote from her to use this summer as a pool bag and I love it.
Favorites Around the Net:
Instagram: @elsiejoy, inspiring maker with fantastic photos
Next week, summer vacation will finally begin for Dylan. We had possibly the most hectic, jammed pack month ever in the history of our family last month and we are so ready for summer break to start. SO READY.
After the insanity of last month, my husband and I decided that this summer is going to be a slow summer. And the truth is, we almost always decide this. Summer, especially for school age children, is such a fleeting few years, that we try to just let it be a true break for our kiddos.
For our family though, because I work from home and my husband works long hours outside of the home, we still need some sort of routine in place. So I've put together a list of our Slow Summer Plans.
1. We aren't signing up for anything. There are so many amazing options for camps and activities during the summer that it's hard not to want to sign up your kid for them all. But we aren't signing up for anything officially: no Boy Scout camps, no summer dance class, no vacation bible school or science day camp, I'm not even signing up for the summer reading program at the library. Because I don't want to be tied to a schedule that I will come to resent. So we'll go camping as a family, we'll dance in the kitchen, we'll do science projects at home, and go to the library when it works for our schedule.
(My only exception to this will be swimming lessons.)
2. Get up early. I like the idea of sleeping in, but when it comes down to it, I'm a morning person. I can get a lot of crap done before 10am. So my goal is to get up early M-F and get some work done in the quiet, and then go for a run before my husband has to leave for work.
3. And speaking of quiet, we will have quiet time everyday. Ava still naps everyday, and I'm going to take her nap time and have both kids have quiet time everyday. Dylan will be allowed to stay up later this summer, but he's not one for sleeping in, so a rest period will be essential for everyone. Plus then, I can have two quiet hours everyday to work in the afternoon. Or even nap too.
4. Fridays will be my prep day. I try to do this now, most weeks, but have really been hit or miss lately. I like to take Friday and do all the grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry, plus food prep and meal planning for the week. This makes everything SO MUCH easier and the weeks I don't do this and do it thoroughly, are always tougher. I like to start the weekend with a clean house, food in our fridge, and clean clothes in our closets.
5. Disconnect for part of everyday. I have gotten into a bad habit of checking my phone all the time. I check on orders, I check on emails, and I check on social media. And I need to stop checking so much. Yes, all this connection is helpful and everyone does it, but there had to be a limit. And I need to check myself. So, no phone or computer from 6-9 everyday for me. I got this idea from Teaching Sam and Scout (where she also has a summer list like this; which I just realized that my list here is nearly identical too. I LOVE that blog. She's a smart lady :).).
And finally...6. We are going to embrace the ice cream truck. I have always been a big downer about the ice cream truck. I'm the first to say no, to roll my eyes at the music. I think it comes from growing up in the country where such things just didn't happen. It always feel like a waste of time and money. But you know what? My kids eyes light up when we buy them ice cream from the ice cream truck. They always appreciate it. Plus, a Mr. Softee truck drives right through my neighborhood. We are going to enjoy that and not feel bad about it.
I hope you have the summer that is best for you, whether that means a slow summer like us or one packed full of fun activities!
When Dylan was born, he didn't even cry. And not in a scary-he's-not-breathing way. He came out pink and breathing. Eyes open. Quiet and content as he could be. "Look at him look around," said the doctor. "He's seems to be saying 'Hello, World."
He's been like that since. His interest in the world is unquenchable. It's always been "Why?" and "How?" and "I think...". He's been working on projects since he could toddle around. Asking questions since he could talk. Trying to better and change things and turn his ideas into things "that could make the world better, Mama."
When I was a teenager and a young adult, I wasn't scared of anything. I never worried about going out in the dark. Rough neighborhoods and public transportation, being out late, never scared me. I KNEW I could stand up for myself, holler at someone being rude, slap a boy who got to close, drive a stick shift car to get away. It never occurred to me, like it did to some of my friends, that something bad could happen to us. "Seriously? No one is going to rob us." I'd say as I got on public transportation in Atlanta at one in the morning. And sure enough, no one did.
When I fell in love with a man who had a very dangerous job, I became practical about fear. I worried and fretted and was scared, but for what I considered legitimate reasons. I became more critical of people who were worried about being robbed just because it was dark out. They HAD NO REASON to worry about imaginary problems.
When I was pregnant the first time, I read all books and saw all sorts or warnings, and I heeded them. But it never crossed my mind that anything bad could happen. I was young, healthy, and my baby was going to be perfect.
And he was.
And then, this perfect baby was placed in my arms. And in that moment of my arms holding him, things changed.
As a mother, I worry about all sorts of things. I imagine what would happen if robbers busted into the house (I have a plan in my head for locking my children away why I fight them off). I see cars driving too fast, and the sun burning their skin. I have imagined all sorts of worst case scenarios. None of which have ever happened.
One day last year, while scrolling through Facebook, I was stopped by a repost. It was an article about a boy named Baylor, who wouldn't be going to baseball that season, and had been originally posted by his coach. He wouldn't be going because he has leukemia (one of the worst case scenarios that I have imagined). Since Dylan was starting his own baseball season it caught my eye and I read through it. And then I clicked on the link for his A Match for Bay page, a bit absently.
And then I was looking at a picture of a boy who looks just like my own boy.
Because you see, this little boy, like my own little boy, is both Asian and Caucasian. Making it very very hard to find a bone donor match for him. And it hit me in the face in the heart in my soul. All the worries, the imagining, the fears that I think of, were happening to this family.**
This family that looks just like mine.
Everyday, I thank God and the Universe that my beautiful children are healthy. I am so blessed that my husband and I are healthy and able to raise such beautiful little people. And I want them to always think that they can make the world better, even if it seems small. We regularly talk about helping others with common (and even not so common) courtesy, and about donating to causes that are helping others everyday in bigger ways. And always always dreaming and thinking up ways to make things better.
I encourage you to sign up, if you are comfortable with it, with the bone donor registry through
This trail mix was inspired by a pineapple granola I've been devouring as a snack at all times of the day sprinkling on my yogurt. There are sweet dried pineapple chunks and banana chips, salty almonds, and two kinds of chocolate. You can't really lose with this.
Trail mix is really based on what portions you enjoy. Really love banana chips? Add more. Nut allergy? Lose the almonds. The possibilities are endless!
We're going to go ahead and sprinkle some shredded coconut in there.
Let's go ahead and imagine we're sitting on a tropical beach while we eat this, shall we? Let's get through this early spring together!
Tropical Trail Mix
1/2 cup banana chips
1/4 cup roasted, salted almonds
1/2 cup dried pineapple, chopped up
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
Measure all ingredients into a large bowl, mix well. Store in an air tight container for up to two weeks.