Meet the Sullivans: July 2015

July 30, 2015

Recipe: Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad

I've got a fantastic salad for you today that is as simple to prepare as you need it to be! You can easily sub the cabbage and carrots for the pre-chopped variety if you're in a rush, but please don't skimp on the home made dressing and marinade -- it makes all the difference in this recipe!

Funny little story: Sometimes Owen like's to help me gather ingredients before I cook dinner. When we made this salad recently I was reading down the list of what we needed and when I got to the hoisin Owen heard "poison", and the look on his face was priceless.  He said, "Poison? What?!" I explained to him it was just a sauce with a similar sounding name and that our chicken and salad were totally safe!


recipe source

INGREDIENTS
marinade & dressing
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (white and green parts)

salad
1 lb Napa cabbage, very thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
3 green onions, thinly sliced and cut on the diagonal
2/3 cup freshly cut cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, dry toasted
1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp black sesame seeds, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS
Marinade. Whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and salt to make the marinade. Put the two chicken breasts in a gallon sized zip-top bag and add 3 - 4 Tbsp of the marinade to the chicken. Note** - You are going to reserve the rest of the sauce that we just made (the part that is still in the mixing bowl). It will become the dressing later, and it should never touch the raw chicken. Squeeze the air out of the bag so that the marinade comes into contact with the meat. With a meat pounder (or heavy pan, or empty bottle), pound the breasts to a uniform thickness. This will allow them to cook more evenly and also help tenderize the meat. Allow the flattened chicken breasts to marinade 30 minutes.

Dressing. To the reserved marinade, add in the 1/4 cup each of red wine vinegar and sliced green onions. Now we have the dressing.

Grill the chicken. To a hot grill pan (yes, an outdoor grill or 'regular' pan is fine), add the marinated chicken breasts. cook them about 4 minutes per side or until there is no signs of pink and juices run clear when pierced with a small, sharp knife. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow them to rest 15 minutes. Please don't cut them right away... all the juices will run out leaving you with dry meat! After the 15 minutes, you will cut them crosswise into 1/4" inch thick slices.

Salad. In a large bowl, add the cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro, half of the sesame seeds, and half of the almonds. Add the chicken and mix together. Add just enough of the dressing to coat the salad lightly and toss together.Serve. Distribute salad to 4 - 6 plates. Re-whisk the dressing and drizzle a little over each salad. Garnish with the remaining almonds and sesame seeds on each salad.



Enjoy!

July 28, 2015

Baby Sullivan #2 - 21 Weeks


How far along? 21 weeks!

Baby's size: About 10 1/2 inches long, about as long as a carrot.
 
Maternity clothes? Some, mostly just a few tees, tanks and leggings mixed with regular clothes. I'm going to need less this time around since I'm not going to work each day. My Maternity Stitch Fix came last week and I was sorely disappointed. I didn't even considering keeping any of it before putting it right back in the box and mailing it back.

Stretch marks? Not yet, although I did get a few with Owen, so it's probably just a matter of time. 

Sleep: Rough! I wake up briefly a handful of times each night as I try to get comfortable. I pulled a muscle last week (I'm pretty sure it happened in my sleep because I don't remember pulling it) and it was seriously uncomfortable to sleep with. It's healing now thank goodness.

Best moment this week: Making some purchases for the boys' room!

Miss anything? Wearing bathing suit! I'm avoiding it like the plague.

Movement: All the time! Sitting, standing, laying down -- it seems like this baby is always on the move!

Food cravings: This week I'm all about the salty foods and still craving lots of water. I used to be fine having toast and peanut butter for breakfast, but lately I need eggs and toast to get going on the right foot. If I don't have something salty / savory for breakfast I end up way hungrier by lunch.

Anything making you queasy or sick: No, I'm feeling pretty good! The 2nd trimester is the sweet spot! 

Gender: A sweet little baby boy!!

Symptoms: I'm feeling a lot of pressure at the end of the day. I asked about it at my doctor appointment last week and the doctor (not mine, since she is on vacation) said it's totally normal to feel pressure this early for a second pregnancy and it just means our baby is getting bigger and bigger.

Mood: Good! I'm grateful for this baby and feel so blessed to be raising a family with Keith.

Looking forward to: Meeting this baby! We've got about 4 months left and I know they're going to fly by.

Are we ready?: Not really, but we've ordered Owen's new bed, which should come in the next week or so, and the bedding, and some art for the walls that came last week, so we're getting there. I'm working on a post to share soon on what we hope it will look like, although I'm realizing now that it's going to be an even tighter squeeze than I thought!


We still haven't decided on a name, and I don't see us rushing to make a decision just yet, although I'm eager to order some cute personalized baby items.... I can totally see why some people wait until they meet their baby before settling on THE name. When we do pick a name we've decided to keep it to ourselves until he is born.

How is Owen adjusting?: Great! Lately he's been talking a lot about hiding his smaller toys from the baby so he doesn't put them in his mouth. I like to believe he's more concerned about the safety of his little brother than of his toys, but I'm probably wrong!

July 27, 2015

Menu Monday Link Up!

Welcome to week two of the Menu Monday link up!

I can't wait to see what everyone else has to share this week! Remember, you don't have to share a whole menu to join in the fun! If you have a favorite dinner recipe link it up below, because I know we're all looking for new recipes to try!


We've got another normal week this ahead of us, so I planned for four dinners, leaving Friday open since I know we'll likely eat out somewhere. Thursday night needs to be something quick and easy since Owen has Taekwondo in the evening, but other than that I just planned around what we had on hand that needs to be used and what I've been wanting to make!


I just love this salad! It really makes such a difference when you make your own croutons and it's really not hard to do. I buy the balsamic glaze at Safeway, which dresses it up a bit, and I can't wait to use up the tomatoes we bought at farmer's market this weekend!



This is one of my favorite "copycat" recipes to make! It has been pinned and re-pinned hundreds of times from my blog too, and so there is just something about it people must like.



I picked up Cooking Light One-Dish meals last weekend and flagged a bunch of new recipes I'd like to try. First up on the list is this Chicken and Mushroom dish. I'll let you know how it turns out!


We'll be at Taekwondo in the late afternoon on Thursday, which kind of gets in the way of cooking dinner, so I've planned this slow cooker dinner to give me a little hand. We all enjoy it, even Owen, and I'll be serving it with a side salad to balance out all the bread and saltiness. 

Now it's your turn! What's on your menu this week or what's your go-to dinner to serve? Link it up below and share!

July 24, 2015

Hey, Friday!

Hey there, I'm so happy it's Friday again, and I know you are too! We're off to my doctor's appointment this morning and to the concert in the park this evening with friends -- it's going to be a fun day!


| O N E | I just discovered digital magazines! I know, I'm so late to the party. Amazon started offering magazine subscriptions a little while ago and this week I ordered Family Fun magazine, which is my favorite of all parenting magazines because I love all their fun ideas for kid & family activities. Reading it on the iPad is 10x better than reading an actual copy too because I can screen shot any cute ideas straight from the device and pin them right into my Pinterest boards, or send them to a friend. And? The colors and clearness is so much greater than when I read it in print.


| T W O | Speaking of fun ideas from the magazine, I made these cute little page markers after seeing them in the magazine. You simply attach some cute washi tape (sticky sides facing in and sticking to each other) and cut the ends into a V, and you're done. Cute and simple way to add some flair to your simple paperclips.

source
| T H R E E | We're starting on some of the changes for the boys' room this weekend with a trip to Ikea for some essentials (frames, lighting, book rails, etc.), and then a search for the perfect bunk bed somewhere else. We're not totally committed yet because we don't know if it's the best move to make. We originally considered the Ikea one above because we like the simple, clean look of it, but decided we need something more sturdy if it's going to hold both our boys someday. Owen is 110% on Team Bunk Bed!

I have almost no direction for the room other than I want it to have as little clutter as possible. It's a small space and we'll only be able to fit the essentials in there, and I'm excited to get it started! 


| F O U R | I finally descaled our Keurig on Monday and I it made a big difference in the taste of our coffee! I'm embarrassed to admit that I although I have cleaned it several times, I have never descaled it before, and we've had the machine for 3 years now. I'm thinking I'll try doing it every other month!

| F I V E | A little housekeeping... Thank you thank you so much to the ladies who linked up with me last week for the first week of Menu Monday! I loved seeing what everyone had planned for the week and I got some great ideas to add to my arsenal.

I'll be sharing my menu again on Monday and I'd LOVE if you'd join me!  Remember, it doesn't have to be a full menu, it could just be a recipe your family totally loves that you'd like to share! You can read all the details here!

Have a great weekend!!
Also, today I'm linking up with...
A.Liz Adventures

July 22, 2015

Recipe: Chipotle Copycat Pico de Gallo

Where we live, in California, there are so many great burrito spots, and as much as I like the actual food they serve, I think I really just go for the fresh salsas! Salsa is by far my favorite condiment ever, and it is 10x better when it is made at home.


I could probably stop at Chipotle everyday, and I'm a big fan of their Pico de Gallo. I made a big batch yesterday to accompany the Quick & Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole we had for dinner. It was fantastic, and (you guessed it!) so easy!

I didn't want our salsa to be too spicy, since I think it makes it hard to taste the actual food, but if you like things a little spicier you can add extra jalapeño to yours!


This is all you need + a sharp knife to do all the chopping and some salt!


I always start with seeding the tomatoes. I used to do it the hard way, slicing them into discs and cutting out the middle... silly silly. This way is MUCH easier!

Cut them into quarters, and just slice the seeds away from the flesh. Do that a million times and then chop those tomatoes into bite size pieces. You really don't want to just leave the seeds in because it will make your salsa too watery and you want to leave the juiciness of this salsa up to the lime juice.


Please be cautious with the jalapeños -- I've had a bad experience chopping them that involved a flaming hot thumb. Chop up all that other good stuff and toss it in a bowl, and mix it gently. 


Squeeze in the juice of one lime and give it another gentle stir. One lime is definitely enough (but don't use less) and after it marinates you'll probably want to drain it a tad. Let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two, and then ENJOY! It's so good and quite healthy too!

PS. I always wish I painted my nails before letting my thumbs star in these photos... I'm such a nerd. 



...and it is incredibly hard to resist, so make a big batch because you'll want this for more than one day.

Chipotle Copycat Pico de Gallo

INGREDIENTS


3-4 Tomatoes, diced
½ Onion, diced
¼ Jalapeño, diced
5-7 stems of Cilantro
Juice of 1 Lime
¼ tsp Kosher Salt

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Finely chop the cilantro, and add to a bowl with the diced tomato, onion and jalapeño.
  2. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the top, and sprinkle on the salt. Stir gently. 
  3. Stir to combine, being careful not to smash the tomatoes. 
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to let the flavors marinate. 
  5. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and ENJOY!

And if you like a smoother salsa, check out my Fresh California Salsa!


July 21, 2015

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Trip Recap

It's been over a month since our Disneyland trip and I'm just now getting around to recapping it! Time is just flying by these days!


About a month before our trip we were trying to figure out where to take our little family on vacation this summer. Keith had take a week off at the beginning of June and the date was quickly approaching. We were having the hardest time deciding where to go, which I now know is because we both wanted to take another Disneyland trip, but felt like we shouldn't because we had just gone in December...

Anyway I digress.

We toyed around with the idea again one morning about a month ago and decided that if Owen had reached 40 inches tall (the height required to ride some of the bigger rides)  we would just book the trip, and if he hadn't we'd drop the idea and go somewhere else. Well, we measured him and low and behold he was exactly 40 inches! So we went ahead and just booked the trip! Really no that much different from letting a magic 8 ball decide your fate, right?

We also knew this would likely be our last trip down there as a family of 3! 


For Owen's first two trips we booked in advance and scheduled our trips around when there would be less crowds (you can find calendars online that will tell you when the park is busiest), but for this trip we had no choice of when we wanted to go. We knew if would be crowded this time of year, but also that the park would be open longer, from 8am to 12am each day we were there, giving us lots of time to battle the crowds and make it to everything we wanted to see and do.

*Booking last minute also gave us slim pickings when it came to choosing a hotel. We knew we wanted to be a short walk from the parks, and none of the hotels we've stayed at before had any availabilities, so we went with the Fairfield Inn Anaheim Resort.

We bought 4-day park hoppers, our usual since we've been taking Owen. We knew we'd really only use the tickets for 3 1/2 days since we'd be arriving on Tuesday and leaving on Saturday morning, but it was the perfect amount of time to allow us to fit everything in and not feel rushed. *We used our Disney Chase credit card which allows us to earn point and use points.We arrived around 1pm on Tuesday and since our room wouldn't be ready until close to 4 o'clock, we valet parked our car, checked-in to the hotel and checked our bags with the bellhop before heading into the park.

We didn't have much time to pack up our stroller before they took our car, but luckily I've done it a few times before so I knew all he many things we would want to have with us. Anyone interested in seeing a list of what I pack in the stroller for Disneyland in separate post?

When we arrived in the park we immediately got a FastPass for Star Tours. The height limit is 40 inches and we were a little worried about him not quite meeting it and being turned away, but luckily he was fine this time. While we waited for our FastPass time to come around we rode Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters in Tomorrowland and then ventured over to Bear Country for lunch at Hungry Bear. After lunch we still had a little time left so we waited in line for Whinnie the Pooh, which ended up closing while we were in line. I think Disneyland is having some problems with riders using selfies sticks and setting off ride sensors, thus creating a safety alert and shutting the ride down for a while. We had just enough time to grab a FastPass for Splash Mountain before running back over to Star Tours.

Don't worry I won't detail every moment, I just wanted to give you an idea of how we manage the FastPasses and coordinate etc. since I know that's something I worried about before we took O for his first trip.

The weather was super hot and humid the first day, but cooled to a much more manageable temperature for the remainder of our trip.


This guy was much more into dictating our direction and ride choices this time around! He knew when we were nearby his favorites and insisted on riding them!

In the park we spend so much time in the crowds, getting from attraction to attraction and waiting in line that it's really nice to schedule in some "free time". The Redwood Creek Challenge area was a fun place to let Owen run around and roam free.


Tom Sawyer Island is another spot that is really fun to explore together and let the kids run wild. The caves can be a maze and there are some tight squeezes, but Owen loved the adventure. Let me tell you, Keith and I had to do some serious teamwork to head him off at certain tunnel exits and chase him down.


The carousel is one of his (and our!) favorites! Have you ever spotted the hidden Mickey on the attraction? It's a set of three blue jewels on one of the horse's hind side that makes the shape of Mickey's head. Also, I can't help but think of Saving Mr. Banks whenever we ride it!

We made sure to see the new parade in Disneyland, Paint the Night. The spots to watch the parade fill up really fast in the summer, so we got there 2 hours before it started to secure a spot. I couldn't believe how seriously some people took it. There were almost no spaces left when we got there at 6:45 for the 8:50pm show. We passed them time by having dinner and taking Owen on rides or into stores while one of us held down the spot.

The parade was definitely worth all the waiting though, as was watching it through Owen's eyes. Watching him smile and wave at Buzz and Mickey Mouse like they are his best buddies makes my heart explode! The millions of lights and colors, and the music are absolutely amazing!

Ah, the Tiki Room! Another place to guarantee some cool AC and a nice spot to sit for a bit. We tried to take advantage of the "secret" line for Dole Whips inside the waiting area, but it was super long. No win!

Being pregnant in Disneyland wasn't a big deal at all. I had been a bit concerned that being in the park all day and being on my feet so much would be rough, but it wasn't really a problem, and my doctor had given me the OK to go on most of the rides. I didn't pass on too many, but when I did I just took the time to sit while I waited on Keith and Owen. The only rides I didn't go on with them were Autotopia and Thunder Mountain Railroad. I did Star Tours once just to witness Owen on it for the first time, but after that I passed on it because the motion made me feel queasy. We made sure to get back to the hotel for naps each day, which definitely helped.

Hard to believe my child actually requested we take this "family picture" (his words!) photo in the front of the park!


Owen was excited to be able o go on so many new-to-him rides on this trip. We took him on The Haunted Mansion on our last trip just once, but this time he wanted to go on it again and again. He was never scared on the ride, but he became a little obsessive about going on it, which I think was his fear manifesting itself, like he had to face his fear again and again. So, at one point we just pretended the ride was broken. Other than that he had no trouble on any of the "bigger" rides he was able to try like Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Soarin' Over California, Radiator Springs and Star Tours.


Very proud of his very first driver's license! Keith said he was quite the wild man on the ride and he was happy the cars were on tracks!

One of the rides he really wanted to go on, but couldn't yet, was the Matterhorn. He would insist he was tall enough for certain rides, and instead of dealing with a tantrum, we just let him be measured for the rides (like California Screamin' and Grizzly Rapid). When he was measured for Matterhorn the Cast Member was really patient and sweet with him and gave him this little ticket. It's essentially a FastPass for when he is tall enough to ride the ride. We thought that was a really sweet thing to do!

Just looking at this picture makes me want to take him back there right this second!

We had such a great trip and we're all looking forward to our next one already! There is nothing better than getting to spend uninterrupted quality time with my little family. It's true, family "vacations" aren't quite a vacation, they're usually leave me more tired than I was before, but the time memories we make are like GOLD.

A few Disneyland tips:

Rider Switch Pass. One some of the more popular rides (or maybe all of them, but we just noticed it on the bigger ones) you can get what is called a Rider Switch Pass (This is for when you want to go on a ride but not everyone in your party meets the height requirement (i.e. babies and toddlers). We just asked for one as we were about to get in line for the ride (it's the picture on the left). So Keith stayed back with Owen and I went along in the regular line. Before I got on the actual ride they have me the pass on the right, which is what I gave Keith when I got done. He walked up through the Fast Pass line and get right on the ride. 

Take advantage of your Magic Morning! If you buy a 3-day ticket you get one day of early admission (1 hour) into the Disneyland Park. They usually limit the areas you can go into, but it makes all the difference to be able to beat the crowds and get a few rides in before the park opens to the public.

Bring your own snacks and drinks. Now that we take Owen with us I always pack extra snacks, juice packs, waters and a few treats with us. A lot of people bring in soft mini-coolers for drinks too, which is really nice when it's hot. Having our own waters, etc. not only saved us money, but more importantly, time since we didn't have to stop or wait in line as often when we needed something.

eat breakfast at storytellers cafe and enter early through the entrance into the California Advenure park entrance inside the Grand Californian Hote, but remember to keep your receipt to show them at entry.  

Spots to go for some downtime in the parks: Imagination place in CA adeventure, tutrtle crush show, Aladain show, magical map, train around DL, tiki room (include dole whip back entrance line)


July 20, 2015

Menu Monday Link Up!

Welcome to the first week of the Menu Monday link up! I'm so excited to start this link up and see what everyone has to share. Remember, you don't have to share a whole menu to join in the fun! If you have a favorite dinner recipe link it up below, because I know we're all looking for new recipes to try!

Please make sure you share a link back to this post or the graphic from below so that your readers can join in the fun and find some new recipes for themselves!


Now, as for us, we have our usual activities planned for the week and no nights out for Keith or I so things are as normal as can be around here this week! Most weeks I plan for just four nights of dinners, knowing that by Friday I'm going to want a break from cooking or that we'll have other plans.

All the dinners this week are hearty, yet easy to make. I make it all even easier on myself by chopping up a big batch of lettuce and serving green salads along side each dinner.

 
I'm off to have a massage today, and I don't want to worry about dinner when I get home, so I'm prepping this in the slow cooker before I leave. Owen is a huge fan of pot roast, so I know he'll enjoy it, which makes it worth all the effort in the world!

We love Mexican food in our family, so any kind of enchilada is always a welcome meal. I'll be using rotisserie chicken to make this an extra quick and easy meal to put together!

Wednesday -  Roast Chicken & Veggies 
This dinner requires a little extra time, but once it's in the oven you're all set for at least one night's worth of food. You could use the extra chicken for salads or even to make the enchiladas I mentioned above!

Thursday - Burrito Bowls
No picture here because I'm not even going to follow a recipe! That's the best part! I've been trying to recreate the Chipotle chicken burrito bowl for a while now, but haven't gotten it quite right just yet, but if I ever do I'll be sure to share! 

Now it's your turn! What's on your menu this week or what's your go-to dinner to serve? Link it up below and share!







5 Steps to Boost Energy During Pregnancy

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and healthy mama® , but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #gethealthymama  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV” 

When I was pregnant with Owen I felt pretty tired a lot of the time, and it was frustrating to not be able to keep up with all of my regular activities. To make up for how tired I was I would nap when I came home from work, and then make dinner, and even go to bed early. On the weekends we would take it easy and I would usually sleep in and then take a nap in the afternoon.

This time around things are definitely different. I'm still tired exhausted this time around, but I have many less opportunities to rest, sleep or even sleep in -- that pretty much never happens these days! -- SO I've had to be committed to ways that boost my energy in other ways.

I recently discovered a new line of safe and effective wellness products made especially for pregnant and nursing moms at Target called healthy mama®, which I've been using as a part of my regimen to gain my energy back!



1. F I T N E S S - Some days I can't even imagine working out, but on the days that I don't I feel so much more sluggish toward the end of the day. A full workout isn't always a possibility, but even a short walk will give me the energy I need. Staying active will also make labor and recovery 10x easier this time around!

2. S L E E P - Getting 8-10 hours of sleep is what's recommended for a good night's sleep, but with all of the pregnancy related challenges it can be a struggle. I wake up a few times a night whether it's because I need to use the bathroom, I'm suffering from heartburn, can't get comfortable or Owen is up. I've devised a few methods before bed to help combat these issues before they start. I go to bed early to take advantage of the time Owen is asleep too, I only take small sips of water in the hours before bed and I've started using a body pillow.



3. H E A L T H Y   F O O D S - Pregnant women don't usually have much trouble with their appetites, -- unless you're still suffering from nausea, in which case I'm so sorry! -- but what's more important than filling up is eating the right foods. Maybe you're not a breakfast person, but for me it is the most important meal of the day. I always try to make something balanced, even if it's just whole grain toast, peanut butter and a banana, and usually a glass of juice since it's one of my biggest cravings!

I always start the day off with my prenatal vitamins, right now I'm taking the healthy mama® Be Well Rounded!™ones I bought at Target. You can find them in the in a new area of the store called “Pre/Post Natal Care”, located in the feminine hygiene aisle.



4. H Y D R A T E - Being pregnant in the hot months of summer is rough, and I find that I'm pretty much always thirsty. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, so getting enough fluids is vital to keeping up your stamina. While I crave juices a lot of the time I really try to stick to drinking water throughout the day. The water has to be ice cold, and I often infuse it with different combinations of fruits to mix things up a bit. Coffee is a known diuretic and contributes to dehydration, so I only allow myself one cup a day, but if I'm feeling sluggish in the afternoon I grab a drink with extra vitamins and protein like Boost it Up! from the healthy mama® products.

Boost It Up!™

Boost It Up!™
Boost It Up!™, the expert developed energy drink that’s packed with protein, B-vitamins, fiber and electrolytes - See more at: http://healthymamabrand.com/products/boost-it-up-pregnancy-energy-drink/#sthash.E6x5kLsy.dpuf
5. M E  T I M E - With so much happening to your body and in your life it is important to keep some down time for yourself, and not just for sleeping. Go on a date, take a yoga class, watch a funny movie, enjoy some time with friends -- all of these things will help refill your tank!

What are your tips for keeping up your energy during pregnancy? I'm sure there are so many more than can be added to this list!

July 17, 2015

Hey, Friday!

Hello there, Friday! We've had a busy week of errands, Taekwondo, hiking class and more Taekwondo. We are ready for a fun weekend! Here's my five!


| O N E | I don't always have my act together by Monday, but when I do I like to share what I have planned for our dinner menu for the week. Last week I received an email and a comment suggesting I make my Menu Monday posts a link up. I love the idea and decided we should give it a try!

So, if you're interested in linking up your menu for the week or even just a recipe you've tried that you think others might like to add to their menu, come back Monday morning and link it up! Don't forget to add a link back to the link up or the graphic above to your post so your readers can join in the fun too! You can read some more details in the announcement post I wrote yesterday!

I can't wait to see what you have to share and to get some new ideas! 


| T W O | My second Rocksbox (see my first one here!) came this week and I LOVED what was inside! I had added the Kendra Scott necklace to my wishlist and was so thrilled when I saw they had sent it to me. My stylist chose the rest of my items based in the necklace and I fell in love with the Loren Hope bracelet immediately. It is so easy to wear and comfortable for a chunky bracelet.

I seriously am so in love my Kendra Scott 'Rayne' necklace and it's on sale at Nordstrom right now for $52! Although, I was able to get mine for free from Rocksbox since I refereed two friends to try it too!

If you decided to try it out for yourself you can use this code COLLEENPXOXO at checkout to receive your first month of Rocksbox for free! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do! (PS That is not a referral link, it just gets you a free month)


| T H R E E | Summer is a boring time for watching television. All our favorite shows are on break this time of year, but I've found a few new ones to love. I started watching Odd Mom Out on Bravo after a friend suggested it, and it is really entertaining. The main character is a regular mom by CA standards, but I guess she's a rarity in Manhattan, which sets her up for some hilarious social situations. I also started watching Call the Midwife, which is really a combination of a hospital-type drama and Downton Abbey. What shows are you watching these days?

| F O U R | I'm not finding a lot of time to read lately, but I just re-started Fringe Hours. I also downloaded Little Women last night for free on my Kindle, so I'll be starting that too. Have you read any must-reads lately?


| F I V E | I've been drinking tons and tons of water lately, and it just gets a little boring sometimes, so I've been trying some new ways that my friend Kristy suggested in her post The 5 Best Spa Waters to change things up a bit. My favorite is strawberry & cucumber with mint or basil and TONS of ice. Do you have any favorite spa waters? Oh, and speaking of spas, I have a glorious day at my favorite spa planned for Monday and I am currently counting down the hours until it's time!


Have a fabulous weekend, and don't forget to link up your menu or favorite dinner recipe on Monday with me!

Also, today I'm linking up with...
A.Liz Adventures