We made it home from Florida safely after a quick pit stop at The Great Wolf Lodge in North Carolina.
I spent the remainder of the week unpacking, grocery shopping, doing laundry, working...the usual. We also managed to squeeze in some playground time,
and a Friday afternoon play date with two of our favorite ladies -- Jennifer and Grace!
Does it get any cuter? And don't be fooled by the ruffles and bows -- Grace is such a sport! She can put up with just about anything, loves Ninja Turtles, and isn't the least bit bothered by the boys' fights over Lego pieces, the swinging lacrosse sticks, or the wrestling matches that spontaneously break out on a regular basis.
It works out nicely, because Jennifer and I just talk incessantly whenever we're together. Much needed girlfriend time!
I started my Saturday morning with a delicious breakfast: a big bowl of cottage cheese with maple syrup and cinnamon, topped with tons of fresh fruit from the fridge. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries -- all from Madison County (!!), peaches from our trees (yay!!), and some cantaloupe (not local. Hah!). When we were in Florida last weekend my sister in law served the best cantaloupe that I had ever tasted. The boys loved it, so I bought another one from the grocery store this week when we returned home. Summer fruit!! <3
I topped my cottage cheese and fruit with my favorite Coconut Pecan Skillet Granola, which comes together in about 10 minutes and is THE BEST. You need to make this stuff (plus, since it cooks on the stovetop, you don't even need to turn on your oven and heat up your kitchen...perfect for summer)! Then, after snapping the photo, I topped the bowl with even more cereal (for added crunch) and stirred it all together in a delicious mess. Served with a cup of Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce coffee.
Since we woke up to POURING rain (which continued most of the day), the boys' swimming lessons were cancelled.
Despite the weather, we headed out early for a stop at the Farmer's Market. Because of the rain, the market was located across the street at the Young Farmer's Grounds:
This week's haul included:
- Zesty Bread and Butter Pickles
- Grape Tomatoes
- Cookies (the Butterscotch Oatmeal cookies were SO GOOD)
- Dinner Rolls
Then we all made a run to the grocery store. Shopping with these boys is NOT a cake walk. They're all smiling here, but by the end of the trip each of the little guys had shed some tears. Rainy days are the worst!!
Back home I peeled and sliced about a zillion peaches from Keith's trees. I made two batches of peach freezer jam to stock away for holiday gifts. The kitchen smelled amazing, but my hands were cramping and my counters were covered in a sweet, sticky mess by the end of it!
I don't normally share all of my snacks/meal photos on here (boring!), but this lunch was too good to skip! I had some leftover homemade guacamole from last night's dinner on an English muffin with a fried egg. Perfect! Leftover zucchini, squash, and red onion from the garden on the side...and cookies for dessert!
At one point in the afternoon, I couldn't believe that the boys all sat on the couch together and watched a decent amount of a movie that Casey picked out at the Redbox rental. It was a documentary about scientists working to save endangered lemurs in Madagascar. Pretty random, right? But the kids were fascinated by it!
The boys also helped me bake a chocolate cake for their babysitter's birthday. I just jazzed up a boxed mix with chocolate chips. Do you know the coffee trick? For chocolate cake mixes or brownie mixes, use coffee in lieu of the water called for on the box. The baked goods won't actually taste like coffee, but the coffee makes the chocolate seem much richer. Trust me!
For dinner I threw together some Chicken Caesar Wraps (using hummus, cheese, and leftover chicken), as well as a Caesar salad. Some play, baths, and bed rounded out our evening before Keith and I crashed on the couch with TV and my latest issue of Us Weekly magazine. Classy.
The sun was back out this morning, so Keith headed out early to get some yard work done.
Casey helped me bake a peach coffee cake for a recipe that I'm testing for the blog, and then we made our way outside to play in the yard.
Everyone paused for a few minutes to devour some warm cinnamon streusel peach cake. The whole family gave it two thumbs up. Recipe coming soon!!
While Spence napped in the afternoon, I prepped THIS Summer Corn Salad to have with dinner tonight.
Then it was time for a hike! The weather today was absolutely perfect to be outside -- mostly sunny and about 70-75 degrees.
On the way home we made a quick stop at the Wolftown Country Store for some ice cream,
and we followed this '55 Chevy the rest of the way back to our house. Keith was drooling over its orange and white paint job.
Now I'm off to get dinner started...Keith is grilling some salmon to have with the corn salad and rolls that we bought from the market yesterday. He's also grilling THIS Honey Lime Shrimp (a favorite!!) so that they're ready to go for dinner tomorrow night. Less work for me during the week! Also on our meal plan for the week? THIS Dump and Bake Italian Chicken and Rice. Keepin' it simple!
Have a great week and wonderful 4th of July holiday! Check back here tomorrow for another easy and delicious recipe...