Tag Archives: Summer

What to eat in the summer | 4 favorite salads

Most days, my meal planning (if you can call it that) goes something like this:  

  • Consider what we have on the counter, in the cabinets, in the fridge and sprouting on the deck
  • Hold baby Nick with one hand, rummage with the other hand
  • Hope something miraculously falls out and a. doesn’t hit me or Nick in the head and b. somehow lands in my mouth and c. is delicious.  Oh, and nutritious.  

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to have a perfectly made summer salad fall into my mouth.  Or onto my head, for that matter.  As with most (all?) good things, it takes a bit of work.  But not much.  This is summer, after all.  If you’re wondering what to eat in the summer, I’ve got a few (simple, delicious) ideas.

WHAT TO EAT IN THE SUMMER | 4 FAVORITE SALADS

Mixed greens with pears, bleu cheese, walnuts + dried cranberries

what to eat in summer 1

This is really as easy as slicing a pear and throwing it, along with everything else, into a bowl.  I added a drizzle of Champagne vinaigrette because I like to pretend I’m fancy.  In reality: It’s well past noon and I haven’t showered yet.  Also, I just congratulated myself on wearing my “nice” sweat pants.  

Caprese salad

what to eat in summer 2

I basically eat this breakfast, lunch and dinner… all summer long.  The heirloom tomatoes are Canadian, but the mozzarella is from Rhode Island and the basil is from South Boston (more specifically: my deck).  So… it’s mostly #eatlocal.  Or whatever.

Both babes were asleep at the same time for an entire 11 minutes last week, so I made myself an extra pretty platter from which to dine solo while Nick was traveling.  That was a long sentence.  The salad didn’t last nearly as long.

Chopped salad with sprouts

what to eat in summer 3

I tend to chop a bunch of vegetables at the beginning of the week for easy salads such as this.  Instead of the usual greens, though, I used some Earth Salad (sprouted lentils, sprouted chickpeas and alfalfa sprouts) that I picked up at Whole Foods in the South End (it’s in the cooler next to the salad greens, alongside the cooked lentils). 

Heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing

Speaking of cooked lentils, I keep a package or two in the fridge because I am lazy like to avoid cooking as much as possible when it’s 90 degrees out.  And because I love making this salad.  And because I’m lazy.

I’m thrilled (and grateful!) that my recipe was included in Wayfair’s Simply Summer Recipes cookbook.  The cookbook is free to download and features over 100 pages of summer recipes created by bloggers and tested by Wayfair team members.  I love that they included their own notes after testing each dish.  I hope you’ll check it out!

In the meantime, I’m off to go shower.  Or eat another salad.  Or both.  Not at the same time.  OK.  Bye.  I love you.  And I love summer.  And cheese.  Bye.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • A favorite read: Sam’s weekly meal planning posts 
  • Closest thing to a wonder drug? Try exercise from The New York Times
  • Playing with Grace’s new water table (“All day!  All day long, mummy!  All day!  And when it’s dark!”)

What’s your ideal summer meal?

 

Today: Currently | September 2015

We’re more than half-way through September and my fellow old folks and I are left to wonder, Where has the time gone?  I’ve been feeling a bit in limbo (but physically unable to actually limbo) lately.  

Part of me wants this third trimester and all its grouchiness, discomfort and ill-fitting pants to fly by.  And part of me has always wished the calendar went Winter, Spring, Summer, Christmas.  But most of me wants to freeze time… or at the very least, slow it down a bit.  Even if that does mean being surrounded by fall decor (a.k.a. the worst) a bit longer.  Pants and faux pumpkins aside, here’s what’s currently going down.

Currently | September 2015

Currently feeling…

  • A little adrift and a lot disorganized.  Which is unsettling.  I usually have my act way under control, but I’m finding myself losing track of my keys, doctor’s appointments, and days of the week.  I’ve resorted to using Google Calendar (I’m usually paper-and-pen only), my regular planner and a dry erase calendar.  I’m making more lists than usual.  I’m triple-checking my handbag before leaving the house.  And I still forget something.
  • Like I sort of miss the back-to-school rush.  Sort of.  I love being home with Grace (and I know this was the right decision), but this is first year I haven’t been swept up in that new year’s feeling that used to come with September.  I did treat myself to some new school supplies paint, though.  Which brings us to…

Currently watching…

  • Paint dry.  I put together a new watercolor palette this morning and keep peeking to see how it’s setting up.  (I’ll probably let the paint sit overnight before using it.)  I’ve been using a pre-filled palette for ages, and am excited to see how limiting my colors and being selective will affect my creative process.  Then again… 18 shades is not really a limited selection.

  • Grace, Clark and mini-plastic-Clark snuggled up on the sofa.  They melt my heart.
  • Football… but only because it’s on.  And hockey is not.

Currently reading…

A little doodle from earlier this month

  • Articles about potty training.  Because Grace decided a few months ago that diapers are weird.  I don’t blame her.  And while I appreciate her enthusiasm for forgoing the diapers, I wish she were a bit less interested in testing out every, single bathroom available to her.  From her new gymnastics gym to Target to the Chatham Fish Pier… we’ve seen and experienced ’em all.
  • Mindy Kaling’s new book, Why Not Me?.  Because she can do no wrong.
  • A Nest is Noisy — fascinating for me and the little one.

Currently creating…

  • A gold leaf and shell homage to summer
  • A pre-baby check list (which I will likely lose and/or forget about… see above).

Currently enjoying…

Apparently this is what Grace thinks my workouts look like… she’s not far off.

  • Outdoor workouts and lots of stretching.  
  • Making plans with friends.  
  • Rediscovering old favorites on Spotify, including Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day” and basically anything on the 90s Pop Radio Hits playlist.

bulu box

  • New mid-workout treats.  As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I had a chance to check out last month’s Bulu Box for free.  I’m a sucker for monthly boxes — they’re such a fun way to find new products. I think a Bulu Box would make a great gift for the athletes on your list this holiday season (Too soon?  Nah…).  The August box was sort of hit or miss for me, but I suppose that comes with the territory.  I loved the movit energy gummies and racefood fastbar — both were perfect for a mid-bootcamp boost. I received a weight loss supplement, which (even if I weren’t pregnant) is not really my jam.  Similarly, I’ve cut back on the caffeine, but I have a feeling the Runa tea included last month will come in handy soon enough.  I’ve loved other Runa drinks I’ve tried and look forward to brewing a nice hot cup once our little guy arrives.  I (thankfully) haven’t had occasion to use the fourth item included in my Bulu Box — an anti-itch cream — but hey, you never know.  If you’re interested in your own Bulu Box (or one for a pal), use the discount code SWEATPINK to save 50% on a three month subscription.

Alright, time to go peek at that paint again.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you subscribe to any monthly boxes?  Which are your favorites?

Today: Happy Weekend.

If you’re reading this, I’m already gone… to the beach.  These are the days to soak up as much of this New England summer as we can, commit every moment possible to memory, get lots of sand stuck in the bottom of our canvas bags, spring for the medium large sundae and just simply enjoy life above 70 degrees.  

Because, like these incredible summer sunsets Mother Nature has been painting for us lately, these days are all too fleeting.

Happy Weekend, my friends.

Also On Tap for Today

  • Why you should bury your cooler from The Kitchn
  • Pretending to underpack (I always panic and overpack at the last second)
  • Looking forward to some beach yoga

What On Tap for the rest of your summer?

Today: Beach bag upgrades.

The sign of a great summer: My beach bag is getting more use than my handbag.

Whether you’re toting around a beach bag, a pool bag, a gym bag or a something-else bag, I’ve got a few upgrades to share.  Things that make my life a little bit easier and a little less messy.  

Beach bag upgrades

Some of these beach bag upgrades are technically baby items, but don’t let that scare you off.  And if you find yourself childless yet running to Babies ‘R Us after reading this post, allow me to either 1. talk you out of it (with one child and another on the way, that place still terrifies me) 2. offer you one of the 19 about-to-expire 20% off coupons I have crammed in my wallet.

A wet bag

This should really be called “a prevent everything else in your beach bag from getting wet… bag.”  We use this one from Skip Hop, which is on the small side, but is perfect for storing my wet bathing suit, Grace’s wet bathing suit, and at least one towel.  If you’re heading to the pool or a friend’s house, wet bags are a great place to store your change of clothes (which can be swapped out for wet suits).  This also works for sweaty gym gear.

I like the mesh pocket on the outside of the Skip Hop bag — it’s perfect for stashing keys and a few dollars, or an extra swim diaper or two.  The snap handle is great too — I often attach it to the outside of our beach bag if we need a little extra room.

A giant carabiner

I sort of wonder what life was like before I discovered stroller hooks. I also sort of wonder what I would get done if I weren’t wondering about things like life before stroller hooks. This thing is essentially a giant, glorified carabiner.  It’s padded on one side, allowing you to comfortably carry a bunch of bags or items that have been clipped together.  

During the non-summer (I’m just not ready to say winter, or fall even), I use our hook most often when trying to make a single trip into our condo with the groceries and Grace.  I keep one in my car, and another in or attached to whichever bag I am carrying.  In the summer, however, it’s perfect for securing extra items to our beach bag (sand toys, towels) or keeping multiple sets of keys from getting lost.

Reusable snack bags

I use these reusable snack bags to store small items that, like keys, have a tendency to go missing in the very bottom of our beach bag– my phone, lip balm, hair elastics, band-aids, and sunblock sticks.  Again, these work for your gym bag, too.  The larger size can take the place of my wallet (because who wants to bring their entire wallet… 20% off coupons and all… to the beach?) and the smaller sizes are great for collecting shells and other treasures.  They can be easily washed or wiped clean.  

Also: I am obsessed with the patterns on these bags.  They make me want to start designing fabric.  If I had any clue how to do that.  Which I don’t.  Mostly because I am busy thinking about life before stroller hooks.

A waterproof camera

This is a bit of a splurge, but I bought a waterproof camera before our honeymoon to St. John and I’m so glad I did.  We’ve been able to capture photos from amazing snorkeling trips and swimming in tropical caves to Grace’s first swimming lessons and days spent at the Cape with our family.  In my dreams, I am the sort of person who swims under waterfalls and regularly partakes in SUP yoga in the harbor… but um, it’s perfect for my less cool, less adventurous (real) life.

We have an older version of the Nikon Coolpix Waterproof AW100 series.  It is waterproof up to 100 feet, is shockproof and has built in GPS/world map.  It seems like there are more options available (and at better prices) these days, and the new Nikons have built in wifi to easily transfer images to your smart phones.  If you’re going to invest in a camera, I highly recommend getting a waterproof camera float, too.  This can be used to carry the camera… but also lessens the chance of your camera disappearing, sinking, or sneakily bodysurfing ashore without you.  

Speaking of bodysurfing, I’ve got a wave to catch.  Toodles!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post, but this post does contain several Amazon affiliate links.  As always, I greatly appreciate your support.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you upgrading these days?  Has anyone figured out how to make laundry do itself?

Today: Six minute hummus plate.

I promise, there is hummus under all that goodness.

When it’s approximately 9,012 degrees out, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven or serve something hot ‘n heavy to friends and family.  These super easy hummus plates look gorgeous, they’re the perfect way to incorporate all the fresh produce available this time of year, and… they take, like six minutes to make.  

Granted, you could make your own hummus… but that’s more time spent in the kitchen and less time spent floating on a pool noodle.

Six minute hummus plate

Vegetarian, gluten free (contains dairy); Serves 1 pregnant woman named Elizabeth, or up to 6 people… sort of depends on the crowd.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz. container of hummus (I used a zingy lemon hummus from Whole Foods Market)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 (small) red onion, chopped
  • 2 (small) sweet bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 handful of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest

Directions:

  • Minute one: Wash your hands.  Safety first, hummus second.
  • Minutes two-four: Chop your vegetables as instructed above.
  • Minute five: Evenly spread hummus in a shallow serving plate or platter (I used a ceramic tart pan).
  • Minute six: Artfully (or haphazardly, it’s totally up to you) top your hummus with feta, vegetables, dill, a little more feta, and some lemon zest.

It’s summer.  Everything should be this easy.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever made with a pool noodle?  I’m personally a big fan of tying one in a knot (so it looks like a pretzel), sitting on it, and pretending I can float upright.  So… there’s that.

 

Today: Happy Weekend.

From my tomatoes to yours, Happy Weekend.

I hope you’re keeping cool and eating Caprese salads for every meal.  Unless you’re lactose intolerant… or, like, allergic to basil… obvi.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your weekend?

Today: Currently | July 2015

If I see or hear one more back to school commercial…  Lord, help me.  Because of all that snow, the last day of school in Boston this year was June 29th, which was basically five minutes ago.  So, please… let’s keep those school supplies out of sight for at least another month.  

[Also, this is the first time since I was in kindergarten that my life doesn’t essentially revolve around an academic calendar.  So that’s kind of weird.  After graduating, my work was largely tied to school partnerships and while I never had a summer break, things always really ramped up in September.  Now that I’m home, I think Grace, Clark and I will spend September at the beach.  Or, like… doing laundry.]

This isn’t a post about graphing calculators (do kids still use those?), though… right?  Right.

Currently | July 2015

Currently feeling…

  • Thrilled to have shared our news with you and grateful for all the love and support
  • Like it’s 95 degrees and I am pregnant (because it is, and I am)
  • Excited about our upcoming vacation
  • Like life has changed so much in the past two months.  “Clean out the pantry” has been on my to do list since June, I sometimes forget to shower, and I caught myself having a semi-serious (albeit one-sided) conversation with my dog yesterday.  But I don’t think I could be happier being home with Grace. 

Currently eating…

  • As much fresh produce as I can get my hands on– tomatoes and berries, especially.  I loved our trips to the farmers market (here and here) this month.
  • 900 popsicles a day

Currently watching…

  • “On the Way to School,” a beautiful documentary about several children and the challenges the overcome (in most cases, daily) to get to school.  It’s surprisingly uplifting.  And I want everyone to watch it. (It’s available on Netflix.)
  • File these next two under much less enlightened: Candidly Nicole on Hulu+ (fellow Simple Life fans, rejoice!) and Naked and Afraid XL on Discovery.  Both make me laugh, like, a lot.

Currently creating…

  • Some fun little sketches and paintings in my new sketchbook (details here).  I got out of the habit of painting daily this month, but have started to get back on track this week.
  • Playlists galore.  We’ve been in the car a lot (going from one fun thing to the next), and making good use of that Spotify subscription.
  • A plan for the second half of the summer and a list of everything I’d love to do, see, and enjoy
  • Lots of Chatbooks (they’re 20% through today with the code HOLDON) — I am officially obsessed after making a little book of photos from our 4th of July on the Cape.

Currently enjoying…

  • Lots of great workouts.  I absolutely love the outdoor bootcamp (yes, even in the blazing heat) I’ve been attending and have started working in prenatal yoga videos a couple times a week.  
  • Swimming as much as possible.  We’ve been in the water a lot this month, from swimming class with Grace to pool days at my parents’ house and dips in the ocean in Southie and on the Cape.
  • An unusual (but welcomed) desire to make plans.  No one would mistake me for a social butterfly, but maaaaan, I love spending time with our friends and family.

Also On Tap for Today:

What were some of your July highlights?

 

Today: Fresh from the farmers market.

First things first: Thank you so much for all the love and kind words about our happy news!

We had great luck at this week’s farmers market at Crescent Ridge.  The farm animals were out and about, the weather was perfect, and we scored some really beautiful produce. 

farmers market haul

  • Eggs for Nick (and eggshells for me to grow little plants in)
  • Raspberries, blueberries and and a basket of “pretty uglies” tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm
  • Peaches and peppers from Silvia Farms

Needless to say, we also got ice cream.  With sprinkles.  

We’ve already done some serious damage on the berries, but the rest will go into breakfast parfaits and a blueberry + thyme lemonade I’ve been dreaming about (probably the most pregnant thing I’ve said today).  I’m also planning on a tomato tart and 900 Caprese salads.  As for the peppers, they are almost too pretty to eat.  Almost.  

Anywaaaay…. I hope your week is off to a lovely, delicious start.  To quote my animal-obsessed child, “Bye, goats. I love you.”

Also On Tap for Today:

What is on your menu this week?

 

Today: The Weekend According to Instagram 35

Take it from your friendly neighborhood not-a-meteorologist: It is hot as blazes today.  I slowed things down a bit at bootcamp this morning, but I’m not sure it made much of a difference.  By the time Grace and I got home, we were both ridiculously sweaty and in need of an extra nutritious lazy summer lunch: Popsicles, raspberries and lots of water.

Now that I’m feeling rehydrated and somewhat normal, let’s revisit the weekend according to Instagram.  

The Weekend According to Instagram

  1. There is no point to this photo, except that I am obsessed with my dog.  Clark has been extra patient and playful with Grace lately, and I think he’s finally back to his usual self after a not-so-usual winter.  The poor little guy had emergency spinal surgery at the end of February, was on bedrest for six weeks and is still waiting for most of his back fur to regrow.  It’s sort of like built-in air conditioning, but looks… weird nonetheless.  Nick recently found the breeder’s new website (she was sort of MIA for a while, which fits the bill)– the last thing we need right now is a puppy, but there were three that looked so much like baby Clark that I almost tried to convince Nick this was a good idea.  ‘Tis not.
  2. I know I need to get over myself (and I mostly did this weekend), but as long as we’ve lived in Southie (and in the past two years, right on the water), I couldn’t bring myself to swim at Carson Beach.  Supposedly the beaches in Southie are cleaner than Miami Beach, but… what does that even mean?  Long story short: We all went swimming on Sunday.  And it was actually kind of nice.  So that’s that.
  3. Sunday was National Ice Cream Day.  I don’t know where this crap comes from, but I am happy to celebrate anything that involves sprinkles.
  4. This poodle is one of Grace’s new best friends.  As previously mentioned, she is a miniature dog whisperer.  They flock to her (when she is not chasing them).  
  5. We went for a nice, long walk with my sister in Charlestown on Sunday (which is where we encountered the poodle), strolling through Paul Revere Park and through the Navy Yard.
  6. My first Google Express delivery arrived on Saturday afternoon.  We each received a gift code at last Tuesday’s dinner at Serafina to try out the service, and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed.  I’ve got a gift code to share with you (please see below), too.  The hardest part for me was deciding what to order.  I originally planned to go with diapers (boring, but necessary), but Grace’s size wasn’t available… which was just the motivation I needed to order a few fun things instead.  I love that you can purchase from multiple retailers in the same order.  I ordered some moisturizer and my favorite eye shadow from Ulta, and Go Set a Watchman and a grown-up coloring book from Barnes + Noble.  Everything was delivered the next day (in adorable packaging) during the delivery window I reserved.  I can see this service being perfect for last minute gifts or entertaining (in addition to household staples) and would love to hear if you have or planned to order from Google Express.
  7. We picked up all kinds of good food at the farmers market at Crescent Ridge (plus the ice cream….) on Saturday.  Summer tomatoes are heaven.
  8. A little surprise on a late afternoon walk: a giant sand sculpture in Southie.  
  9. And a leftover from Thursday:  Why bring a teddy bear to a teddy bear picnic when you can bring a slothExactly.

Here are the details for Google Express:

Now through August 2nd, use the code EXPRESSBOSTON to receive $25 off your first purchase with Google Express (limited to the first 2,500 users; please note it is stated in your cart when paying that Google Express may need to authorize payment method for the total amount of your order without the promotional credit, but the promotional credit will be reflected in the amount actually charged to your payment method.

Happy shopping! …Oh, and stay cool.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite way to cool off?

Today: Saturday at the farmers market.

This morning, we took a little drive down 95 to check out the farmers market at Crescent Ridge in Sharon.  I was on a tomato mission (our deck tomatoes are still a week or so away from ripening), but our first stop was to see the cows.

Hi, ladies.

It’s been raining off and on all day, so we didn’t last too long, but we did manage to pick up lunch (and dessert x2) and a few things from several vendors.  Oh, and we unexpectedly ran into two local celebrities… my parents.  Grace was quite pleased!

  • Raspberries and heirloom tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm
  • Corn from E.L. Silvia Farms
  • Whoopie pies from… Making Whoopie 
  • Pretzel roll sandwiches from Swissbakers
  • Fresh eggs (Nick eats them… I attempt to grow succulents in their shells, it’s how we roll)
  • Beef (Nick eats it… I make no attempts to grow anything anywhere near it)
  • And… ice cream from Crescent Ridge (obvi)

Not bad for a rainy Saturday at the farmers market, eh?  The market is open 11-2 on Saturdays through the end of October.  No guarantees about my parents being there… but you never know.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your Saturday?