Monday, July 24, 2017

What I'm Wearing Now: July


Casual Summer Style Staples
1. Printed Maxi Dress (similar), H&M   //   2. Love Bird Sunglasses, Free People  //   3. Linen V-neck Top, H&M  //  4. Embroidered Linen Tank, J.Crew Factory  //  5. The Perfect Jean Short, Madewell    //  6. Cora Chain Wrap Scarf Necklace in Antique Silver, Free People  // 7Morocco Sandals in Brown, Minnetonka  //  8. Magic Braid Cross Body Bag, Lucky Brand (on clearance!)  //  9. Rene Sandal, Trask   //  10. Silver Hoop Earrings Set, H&M  //  11. Off-the-Shoulder Dress, H&M 


July is my very favorite month of the year for What I'm Wearing Now posts. It's usually hot here in Chicago, but not unbearably hot like August tends to me. There are lots of parties and concerts and lake trips and other fun summery things that require me to put on more than my summertime work-from-home shorts and t-shirts uniform. It's the month where I'm most able to take advantage of my favorite pieces in my closet. This has been the perfect July for all of these things, and I'm genuinely sad that there's only a week left of it.

As you can see in the collage above, I've been living in my usual lightweight dresses (including this one and this one which are not shown above but are not to be missed as they are SUPER reduced in price right now), tees, cut-offs and sandals. But I've also ventured beyond my usual comfort zone this month, into maxi dresses - which I've always found beautiful, but don't usual work for my body type. I've actually found the majority of my beloved maxi dresses via the Knox Rose line from Target, believe it or not. They're really beautiful and so flattering and best of all, affordable AF.

We are going on another trip, way up to Door County, Wisconsin, later this week, and the kids and I will be going on another weekend trip to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks - so between our travels and other fun weekend activities (and maybe even a date night or two with Robbie sans kids), I'm hoping for many more opportunities throughout the next month to enjoy pretty summer dresses before my favorite season for fashion comes to an end.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Links I Love, Right Now



I was looking through old posts the other day and realized I hadn't done a Links I Love since March. I guess it's just been a busy summer (meaning I haven't had as much time to waste aimlessly browsing the internet at 2 AM). I've had a random case of insomnia all week long though, which means I've got all kinds of stuff to share. So here we go!


Mmmm. 80+ hearty vegetarian meal recipes. I'm in.

This Free People blog post on 10 ways to use healing crystals is actually a few years old, but it's new to me. I have dozens of crystals around my house and have always been fascinated by them.

A Saudi woman was arrested for wearing a mini skirt in public. I have so much to say about this but I'll leave it at that for now.

I am in love with these simple organic cotton duvet cover sets - available in 6 colors and less than $60. I think I need at least two.

Did you guys hear about the Swiss couple,  missing for almost 75 years, who were found frozen on a glacier? So intense.

This made my week: a dog rescued a baby deer from drowning.

This embroidered dress is everything.

A school in Paris asked 100 graffiti artists to paint before they renovated it. Who else thinks this is better than any renovation could possible be?

I enjoyed this piece on screen time rules and reality as voiced by 10 different moms. Both my kids are allowed to watch tv and movies, but it is very limited. It was interesting to read the views of others. (And I learned that many of us who were anti screen time for kids changed our views once we had them.)

I'm one of those rare bloggers who doesn't get excited for fall clothing - I actually get a little sad. But this oversized denim moto jacket (as seen in top image) might make me a convert. I can see myself wearing it with a pretty printed maxi dress on an end-of-summer night. Love.

This family turned a school bus into their own personal hostel on wheels and are exploring Europe. (Fun fact: I lived on a school bus, parked in the highest incorporated town in Colorado, the summer after I graduated college.)

How cute (and chic) is this little cactus stud earring?


What are you up to this weekend? The band Robbie works for is playing locally (in Chicago) tomorrow, which is usually just a once-a-year occurrence. The kids and I are going, and then we're heading down to Indianapolis to see them play there as well. I guess it's go-to-work-with-daddy weekend for us! Essley is stoked. Oh, and speaking of out of town trips, here's a funny story for you. We're taking a big family trip up to northern Wisconsin that, for many months, I thought was August 3rd. I found out last night it's actually July 27th - an entire week earlier. Yep. Considering we're leaving town this weekend too, I'll just let you imagine how frantic this Type A personality has been over the last 15+ hours trying to rework our schedule. It's going to be an interesting week next week. I'll see you back here on Monday!

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Easy Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos


Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos

Those of you who follow my food posts were probably not surprised reading the word "tacos" in the subject. It's no secret that I'm more than slightly smitten with Mexican and southwestern inspired foods - especially tacos. I mean, my Facebook bio says "I like tacos" and nothing else. Yeah. That said, I think you will be surprised by this particular taco recipe. Despite the fact that it sounds complicated, it's incredibly easy - and incredibly delicious. It's a light-yet-satisfying entree perfect for summertime, and it's become a staple around our house over the past few weeks. It's also one of the most nutritious meals we eat, full of whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats. You're going to love it, I promise.

Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos
Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos
Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos

Easy Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Quinoa Tacos

Makes 8 tacos

INGREDIENTS
1 cup Village Harvest Organic Benefit Protein Blend (dry/uncooked)
8 soft corn tortillas
1 large avocado (or 2 small)
1 cups organic greens (we like baby spinach or spring greens)
2 limes
salsa
hot sauce

Cook 1 cup of the Organic Benefit Protein Blend (yummy blend of organic jasmine rice, organic lentils, and organic red quinoa) with 2-1/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20-22 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and allow to stand for 5 minutes. While Protein Blend is standing, cut the avocado into slices and heat each tortilla for a few seconds on a heated pan to soften.  In each tortilla, layer the Protein Blend, slices of avocado, salsa, and a handful of greens. Top with fresh squeezed lime juice and hot sauce. So good.

Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos
Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos
Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos

While the richness of the avocado, refreshing subtle crunch of the greens, and tang of the lime come together to create the prefect flavor marriage, it's the Village Harvest Organic Benefit Protein Blend that makes that these (vegan!) tacos so delightful (or as Essley describes them, "fantash-chick"). Its filling in that great way where you feel satisfied but not overly full - thanks to the combination of protein, complex carbohydrates, and dietary fiber it provides. And the fact that it takes three of my favorite foods (jasmine rice, lentils, and quinoa) and allows me to cook them all in a single pot in just 20ish minutes is huge. When dinner or lunch can be this tasty and nutritious and also ready in less than a half hour with only one pot dirtied, I'm all in.

The Protein Blend I use for these tacos is my favorite, but I also love (and regularly eat) the other two  Village Harvest Benefit Blend varieties as well - Organic Antioxidant Blend (black rice, black lentils, and black quinoa) and Organic Ancient Grain Blend (millet, white quinoa, red quinoa, and buckwheat).  They each offer a uniquely delicious combination of healthful goodness that works in countless recipes. (I like the Ancient Grain Blend with a little maple syrup for breakfast - so yummy.)  You can grab all three on the (new!) Village Harvest Online Shop or at your local grocer. And if your favorite store doesn't carry Benefit Blends, just fill out this quick product request form and drop it off with a manager. The company itself is pretty rad too. Village Harvest donates 1% of profits toward programs that give back to the farmers and communities where their products are sourced, and also gives 1% of their employees' time to sustainability efforts and other causes. Pretty great, right?

Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos
Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos
Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos

I hope you guys will give these tacos a try. I'll be hear waiting when you come back to tell me how much your loved them. They're also great without the tortillas as burrito bowls, and even cold as a side salad. Endless possibilities, my friends. Enjoy!



Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Deep Thoughts on Summertime



I feel like summer always flies by because it's my favorite season (and times flies when you're in a state of seasonal bliss), but I'm genuinely in awe that July is more than half way over. We've been traveling quite a bit this season - we went to California last month and on a mini lake town getaway this past week, and we're going to Indianapolis this week, and then up to Door County in Wisconsin at the beginning of August. I've also been working a lot, the kids have had a lot of activities (dance, yoga, soccer, swimming), we're (still!) house hunting, and Robbie has his usual busy summer schedule on the road. So maybe all of the traveling and activities and plans are making it pass by even more quickly than usual. Or maybe what they say about time going more and more quickly as you get older really is true. Regardless, as I look back at photos on my phone of my kids enjoying summer adventures (some of which I'm sharing above), I can already sense myself longing for these days in the future. My paradise is one where summer is endless. For me, it's truly the most wonderful time of the year.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

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Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Disney Junior. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

One of my favorite childhood memories involves weekend mornings, when I'd get up early with my dad to make Mickey Mouse pancakes together. They weren't Pinterest-worthy by any means, but I loved everything about them, from the mixing of the batter to "designing" them to the way they tasted. After I became a mom to Essley a few years ago, I couldn't wait to repeat this tradition with her. And when she turned a year old, we started making our own Mickey Mouse pancakes together. They quickly became her favorite breakfast, and now they're Emmett's favorite as well. I'm a very visual person, and I'll admit that a lot of times when I'm preparing food, the way the finish product looks is even more important to me than how it tastes. With our family Mickey Mouse pancakes, this is not the case. They are rarely symmetrical and their decor is far from fancy. For this meal it's all about the process and spending time together as a family to create a breakfast that is fun, inspired by a character we love, and perfectly imperfect (just like our family; awwww). Today I'm teaming up with our friends at Disney Junior to share a glimpse into our special Mickey Mouse pancake making tradition (including how to make your own), inspired by one of our favorite shows, Mickey & The Roadster Racers.

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

Pancake or Baking Mix (feel free to make from scratch if you're feeling motivated!)
Eggs (our mix requires this)
Milk (our mix requires this)
Coconut oil or butter
Bananas
Blueberries
Pure maple syrup


Follow your pancake mix to combine necessary ingredients (in our mix, that's the powder, eggs, and milk). Heat a griddle or large pan to medium heat and melt enough coconut oil (this is what we use) or butter to adequately cover the surface in order to prevent sticking. For each pancake, use either a mixing bowl with a spout, a pitcher, or a ladle to pour batter, first to create the face, then to create two ears that will be attached to the face (at 10 and 2, if you're looking at the face like a clock). Make sure when you pour the ears that they just barely touch at the edges between the ears and the face to allow room for the pancake to expand. Flip once the underside is golden brown. Repeat with as many pancakes as you'd like, and remove from griddle or pan when each cake is golden on both sides. Then comes the fun part - decorating. We use blueberries for the eyes and sliced bananas for the nose. Sometimes we make larger versions where we add blueberry mouths as well. Really, you can use whatever you have on hand - fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. The whole point is to have fun and get creative with your little ones, and to work together as a family. On Essley's and ours, we drizzle with maple syrup. Emmett likes his with just fruit.


Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Essley decided that we should have a Mickey Mouse pancake making party the morning of July 28th for the premiere of the new episode of Mickey & The Roadster Racers on the Disney Channel, which I thought was a perfect idea. We love all of Disney Junior's summertime FRiYAY morning shows (favorites include Sofia the First, Puppy Dog Pals, Lion Guard, and Elena of Avalor), but both kids are really into Mickey & The Roadster Racers right now. They love the fun theme song and Essley is all about the race cars. Robbie and I are fans of the show too, because we love the positive messages and lessons it teaches about friendship and community. And just like the process of creating our special pancakes together as family, the show emphasizes the importance of working together to accomplish things. We're really looking forward to making our perfectly imperfect Mickey Mouse pancakes and then enjoying them while we watch together (8:30 AM on the 28th, on the Disney Channel).

You can find Disney Junior shows on two different television channels: Disney Junior (a dedicated channel that runs Disney Junior shows all day long), and Disney Channel (which airs Disney Junior shows during the morning block, and usually air new episodes first). You can also find Disney Junior goodness on their Facebook page and on their YouTube. We hope you love them as much as we do!

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Who else makes Mickey Mouse pancakes with your little ones? What is your favorite Disney Junior show?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Disney Junior. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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