Hello, hello! Summer has officially arrived here in Virginia and we're in the midst of a busy Memorial Day weekend. Let's backtrack to last week and play some catch-up in today's Weekend Recap!
Last Sunday started off slowly, which was perfect. While Keith mowed grass outside (and the boys followed him around), I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen preparing food for the week. It makes busy days SO much easier!
I put a batch of Soaked Oats and Chia (with cherries) in the refrigerator for grab-and-go breakfasts or snacks (recipe is in THIS awesome cookbook),
made a frittata to use up some eggs, kale, and sprouts that needed to be finished -- plus added some garlic, green onion, and fresh herbs (a similar frittata recipe can be found HERE -- just change the add-ins),
I chopped a rainbow of veggies for Monday night's dinner,
sliced some cantaloupe that was sweet and ready to be consumed,
and steamed Old Bay Shrimp (using this recipe) for Tuesday night's dinner.
We took a damp afternoon walk to get some fresh air,
and then Keith grilled some Mahi-Mahi for THESE Easy Barbecue Fish Tacos. Delicious!
Ah, Mondays...always an adventure around here. Our day actually started off with an unexpected trip into Charlottesville after we dropped Gibbs off at school. Instead of taking Casey to preschool, we ended up at the pediatrician because Casey was suddenly in tears and screaming that his ear hurt (the same ear that was treated for an infection two weeks ago). Apparently the first round of antibiotics didn't completely get rid of the infection, so we stopped at Target on the way home for another prescription...
Spencer's obviously OVER IT. He's so annoyed at this point and just tired of being dragged around! ?
Later that afternoon we made a stop at Yoder's on our way to pick up Gibbs from school. We grabbed some groceries, ran around on the playground, and fed the animals.
Gibbs brought home his first-ever yearbook and had a blast looking through all of the photos. Definitely brought back memories of how I loved to study my own yearbooks at the end of every school year too!
I served my Korean Beef Kabobs for dinner that evening, but cooked them on my indoor grill pan since Keith wasn't around to fire up the outdoor grill (and there's NO WAY I'm dealing with that while also trying to supervise 3 little boys)! The grill pan worked great, but I definitely had to keep the windows open and the fan on to get some of that smoke out of the kitchen. Such a delicious dinner served over rice, though!
Intellectually stimulating bedtime reading...?
And by the way -- has it really been 10 years since The Hills was on tv?! Man, that makes me feel OLD.
I stayed home for an early workout in my living room on Tuesday morning, so I turned to one of my favorites: this 10-5-10-5 Fat Burning Workout for a good mix of cardio and strength...in less than 20 minutes. Can't beat that!
Then we dropped Gibbs off for "Pajama Day" at school,
before Aunt Barbara came to take Casey on a birthday outing! They picked out a Lego set (and some new sunglasses):
Too cool for school!
and then went strawberry picking up the road at Liberty Mills Farm.
We all reaped the rewards -- plenty of sweet strawberries, plus kohlrabi and salad greens!
While Casey and Barbara were off partying, Spence and I took my car to the dealer for a routine service appointment. Not nearly as much fun, but at least it was productive! Spence was a champ, too...he sat happily entertained with Thomas the Tank Engine on Youtube and a packed lunch. Thank goodness for free wifi!
I also tried making my own almond milk for the first time on Tuesday! My friend Erica has been raving about how good it is, and since (1) I was out of my regular go-to almond milk; and (2) I just received a huge shipment of raw almonds from my friends at Blue Diamond, I decided that this was as good a time as any!
Here's the finished product: Vanilla Almond Milk flavored with cinnamon and sweetened naturally with dates! It's definitely delicious, and it's WAY easier than I would have guessed! While it doesn't mean that homemade almond milk will entirely replace my favorite store-bought stuff, I will certainly add it to the rotation as a special treat when I have the time and energy!
Before picking Gibbs up from school, the younger boys and I headed into the woods for a very short walk.
One benefit of all of this rain has been a very GREEN spring!
Really, though, the kids just wanted to play with sticks and rocks and build "bug houses." So that's what we did!
For dinner that night a light and cool Shrimp Cobb Salad hit the spot! I used my recipe for Salmon Cobb Salad,
but I replaced the salmon with the steamed Old Bay Shrimp that I prepared over the weekend since they're one of the kids' favorites. I subbed cheddar cheese for the blue cheese on the boys' plates, and I also made the dressing an Avocado Ranch by adding in some ranch seasoning to keep Keith happy. So tasty and such a great combination of flavors!
Then it was off to the soccer fields for Casey's last game of the season -- and a trophy at the end!
Wednesday started with a warm morning walk with my friend Amanda (and her son Leo),
while Casey and his buddy Henry were having a fun day of water play at preschool. The beach balls were the big hit (go figure)!
Spence spent the rest of the morning tending to the lawn! The farmer across the road was making hay that day, so Spencer just had to join in.
After-school snacks were delicious! We bought this new popcorn maker, which just uses hot air to pop it the old-fashioned way. With a little bit of butter and salt the boys were very happy campers!
Keith was gone at a baseball game in D.C. that night, so we cleaned out the refrigerator for dinner: spaghetti to finish up an open jar of marinara, "zoodles" to use some zucchini that was on the way out, and THIS Kohlrabi and Apple Salad to make use of the fresh kohlrabi that Casey and Barbara brought home from the farm on Tuesday!
I thought the salad was delicious! Kohlrabi is very similar to jicama -- crisp, crunchy, very mild, slightly sweet, but not a lot of flavor. It paired perfectly with the apple! I didn't have tarragon, so I just used fresh parsley, and I didn't have sunflower seeds so I used chopped almonds. Casey and I both really liked the salad...Gibbs and Spencer did not. ?
I was back in the gym on Thursday morning for a tough 30-minute workout with Mark. Here's a deceptively challenging exercise that works almost the entire body as you try to keep yourself stable on the Bosu. We did three sets of 10 hip raises on each side...
Later that morning we drove into Charlottesville for Kristin's Noonday Trunk Show (and I even put on real clothes...gasp!).
Oh my goodness...the jewelry, accessories, handbags...I wanted it ALL!
Doesn't Casey look thrilled?!?
Spence just snacked while I did some shopping!
I ordered the yellow "Sunny Day" necklace that Kristin is wearing in this photo, as well as a beautiful Rustic Leather Tote (which Kristin later informed me is the brand's #1 best selling product...I guess I'm not the only one who loves it!).
Do you know about Noonday? This was my first trunk show and I was beyond impressed. So much beautiful stuff, reasonable prices, and really great quality. Best of all, it supports an awesome cause. Noonday Collection partners with talented artisan entrepreneurs to make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. By developing artisan businesses through fair trade, we empower them to grow sustainably and to create dignified jobs for people who need them. Thanks to Noonday Collection providing a US market for these accessories, women are empowered, children are becoming educated, and families are flourishing. You can check out some of the other great Noonday products HERE!
This roomy bag will be my best friend for summer travel!
While in town, we stopped at the grocery store where I put my assistant to work with his own cart:
The key was reminding him to WALK, not run! I think we terrified some elderly folks who thought they were out for a quiet mid-day shop...
Dinner that evening was an easy Crock Pot favorite: Slow Cooker Chicken Nachos. In reality, though, we didn't all have nachos...the boys prefer the meat and cheese rolled up in tortillas, while I prefer all of the toppings over greens. So I suppose Keith's the one who had the official "nachos." ? And he loves the meal, so it's always a winner.
I did some blog stuff after the boys went to bed and then read about 10 pages in this new book before I completely crashed on my pillow!
Friday morning was a big day for Casey! It was his last day of preschool before he moves on to Kindergarten in the fall, so the whole family + both grandmothers were there for the occasion!
Casey did a great job in his performance, but most of all we were proud that he won the "Super Social Skills" award! Casey had a rough start to preschool last year, so it was a joy to watch him grow, mature, and become a good friend and leader this year. Warms my heart!
For dinner that evening we picked up carry-out from an Italian restaurant and the preschool graduate demolished the entire platter of his favorite -- Spaghetti with Meatballs! Before bed the older boys wanted to sit with me to read this new cookbook that Keith's mom brought them. Of all of the tasty recipes in the book, the one that they want to make immediately is the gingerbread men cookies. Go figure -- our first 90-degree day of the year and we'll be whipping up a batch of Christmas cookies! Adding it to my "To Do" list.? I should also mention, though, that Carole brought ME a new recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Brownies after raving about them when she tasted them at her friend's house. You better believe that I will be baking them (and sharing them here) SOON!
Saturday morning started early with a trip to the Farmer's Market on our way to get our hair cut. Our neighbors' strawberries are at their peak this week, so I scooped up a couple of quarts (plus some more of their eggs),
as well as plenty of other good stuff. This week's wagon included:
- Herbs! Now that the cold, rainy weather has passed it's time to get the gardens planted. I grabbed 8 different herbs this weekend to put in the ground!
- Salad greens
- Kohlrabi (from the Liberty Mills folks! We enjoyed the kohlrabi salad so much this past week that I'll probably make another one in the coming days)
Trimming the shaggy hair!
I love this photo that Keith took while Casey and Spencer were outside waiting for Gibbs to finish his haircut. Could Madison be any prettier?
That afternoon I spent a bit of time in the kitchen prepping a few items for the week, including a carrot, zucchini, and Parmesan frittata...
these Easy Oatmeal Bars for quick breakfasts or snacks for the boys (delicious!!)...
and the second batch of creamy popsicles for the week...they disappear FAST! These were a combination of strawberry, mango, and pineapple (recipe coming in a couple of weeks). Perfect for the hot weather!
We also enjoyed our first dinner of the summer on the picnic tables. Keith grilled these tuna burgers,
and I made macaroni and cheese to have on the side, along with farmer's market Broccoli with Olive Oil and Garlic from this cookbook.
Dessert was Monster Cookies from the farmer's market,
and a raspberry-peach crisp! Hello, summer!
Just the good stuff here -- fruit, oats, whole wheat flour, butter, and maple syrup!
This morning we are headed into Charlottesville for a Costco run to buy plenty of food and drink for a cookout this evening. We're having about 17 adults and 11 kids over for burgers, chicken, and FUN, so I better get going! Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and Happy Memorial Day!