Dinner Last Night: Crispy Tofu Pad Thai

We sure do love our Thai takeout around here!  I've tried a pad thai recipe here and there but Deb of Smitten Kitchen always comes through and when she posted her recipe for crispy tofu pad thai, I knew it was worth trying out myself.  I appreciated her tips on how to prep the individual components and then assemble into the final dish, definitely helped me when prepping dinner with two kiddos at my feet.  



How are you??  Have a good weekend?  We enjoyed a leisurely weekend of kids' birthday parties, soccer games, brunch with friends, and sunny skies.  All in all, a good one.

+ just watched this movie based on a true story this past weekend (I love Jessica Chastain)

+ just started this book per it's mention on the ted radio hour podcast

+ loving this new lipstick in "first date" and this lip gloss in "peony" (not sticky with a subtle hint of mint)

+ also recently finished an epic binge of homeland (seasons 3-7)...phew, I need a break

+ this essential oil is in the mail, pretty excited to test it out

+ looking forward to the royal wedding and this lifetime version of their romance



Hello out there!  I have a new gig I wanted to share with you!  I recently became a consultant for Beautycounter. I was reluctant to take on a side hustle unless I truly felt like it was a good gig for both myself and family and it had to be a company I really believed in.

How I got here? Well, I've been on a quest to rid toxins in my everyday products since a good friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, and was told by her doctors that traces of parabens were found in the cancerous tissues removed during her mastectomy. Since then, I've tried to transition out all the products I use that contain chemicals. During this process, I kept noticing that swapping out household cleaners seemed to be an easier switch. Their labels were more explicit, clear cut, and more transparently chemical free. But when it came to skin care, shampoos, and makeup- if was very ambiguous and I felt like I never really knew what I was putting on my body.

I first heard about Beautycounter on a few blogs I love. I admit, at first, I too was skeptical. With so many people are plugging their side hustles these days, it's hard to know if it's the real deal. In addition, I'd been pretty loyal to big name makeup brands like Laura Mercier, Mac, and Tarte for years - despite not knowing what exactly was in their products. In addition, I was a little wary of a new brand - would an exclusively clean line be able to hold up to the makeup coverage I was used to? The answer is YES!

I started small; first with foundation, powder, and moisturizer. Since then, I've dabbled in lipsticks, lip gloss, concealer, cleansers, sunscreen, and more! And believe me when I say, since I've switched, I haven't looked back! Plus, I feel so much happier and more confident in my skincare and makeup routine today knowing that I'm not inadvertently putting any chemicals or potentially harmful ingredients into my body.

One of the main reasons I'm excited to partner with this company is because of their mission. They only sell products FREE of parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, etc. in addition to 1,500 other questionable or possibly harmful chemicals, which consequently are quite prevalent in other companies the beauty market today. Their never list includes the 1,400 chemicals restricted or banned from personal care products in the European Union plus others Beautycounter has found to be of concern.

To put this in perspective, there are currently only 30 banned ingredients in the US, and there have been no laws passed to regulate the cosmetic industry since 1938. Beautycounter also spends considerable resources advocating for stricter laws and regulations in Washington, D.C. to help change this, to promote change and hold companies accountable for the the ingredients they're allowed to put into their products.

I encourage you to check out the Beautycounter website and seee if you find something that piques your interest. If you decide to buy and try, there's a 60 day exchange/return window, no questions asked.

And if you’ve read this far – thank you!  I want to give you as much information as I can without overwhelming you.  If you have any questions, please ask!  In the meantime, here is the link to my business website.  I'm excited to be doing something that I believe in that also earns money for my family.

P.S. I'll be posting some of my favorite products soon, so stay tuned!


Happy Monday

Trying to get back on the blog wagon...it's been a while.  How have you been?  We had a glorious weather week this week - sunshine, blue skies for miles, all the shorts and skirts.  We went to a local beach last night for a picnic dinner and there were even kids dancing around in

+ this new food show on Netflix

+ rediscovered this delightful movie this past weekend. love! have you seen it?

+ when your outfit perfectly matches the sky and sea

+ wanting to copy this itinerary for a sw roadtrip

+ would you ever make a children's art quilt?  love the idea.

+ don't these succulent cupcakes look too good to eat?

+ loved the first episode (christina tosi) of the new chef's table: pastry

+ bookmarking this pad thai recipe for a rainy day

+ loving this cookbook by nadine levy redzepi (wife of famous chef rene redzepi of noma)


Weeknight Baking: Double Chocolate Banana Bread

A day of endless rain - torrential downpour at times - made for a cozy afternoon indoors, baking.  With four brown spotting bananas calling out to me on the counter, I opted for banana bread when my daughter insisted, "chocolate banana bread!"  Upon the suggestion I shrugged, oh what the heck, who am I to withhold chocolate from our banana bread.  This recipe did not disappoint.  Truth be told, about 90% of it was eaten within a day.  Yum.

Dinner Last Night: Caramelized Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Add this one to your repertoire peeps!  This recipe takes pork loin to a whole new dimension - I am a fan, this will definitely be a repeat recipe in our home.  In addition, the pineapple, red onion, cilantro, cucumber salsa is light, crunchy, and refreshing, capped off with a zingy Sriracha mayo.  Holy yum!


2017 Goals Recap

Well, we're already about 1/4 of the way through 2018, it's about time I cobble together some goals for the current year, don't you think?  In the meantime, here's a recap of my 2017.  

throw kindness around like confetti
I think this went fairly well.  It is very easy to become consumed or absorbed in our little worlds, ignoring those around us that we interact with but do not inhabit our regular orbits.  I tried to go out of my way to make small talk with strangers, offering more than just a smile, and continuing the conversation were it fruitful.  I also tried to acknowledge and thank service people with more genuine thanks than I have before.  Going out to eat with two young kids is not always a cake walk, but when servers take the time to offer extra crayons or water with a straw and lid, it means a lot. On the whole, I feel like I achieved this goal.

try new things
Well, we did attend a symphony this year, which was positively lovely!  Plus, it's an annual benefit function, so we plan to make it an annual thing, and I'm glad we made that initial leap.  In terms of experiences, I tried more adventurous outings with my kids, ditching the stroller and being spontaneous, subscribing less and less to the rigidity of routines like nap time, which has allowed us some spur of the moment adventures.  

+ build an exercise habit 

Um...yeah, this not so much.  I tried, and I have been exercising, though I'm still far from calling it a "habit."

+ give back
I ended up giving back in unexpected ways.  I'm on the board of a local moms group and this year I was the philanthropy chair.  I helped organize an adopt-a-family at Christmas and we sponsored a student at one of our local elementary schools for the 2017-2018 school year.  Our club provided this student with a large donation of items each season (short sleeves for spring, winter coats for winter, you get the idea).  Also did a marble jar with my kids which we call "Kindness Marbles."  When they are caught being kind, a marble goes in the jar.  Upon filling the jar, we counted the marbles and assigned each marble the value of a dime.  Instead of spending this money, we talked about selecting organizations where we could put our kindness back into the world.  I had my kids pick who they wanted to give back to since collecting the kindness marbles had been their effort.  They selected "building houses for people" and "babies," which led us to give back to Habitat for Humanity and March of Dimes. 

+ bake something every week
Ha...also didn't happen.  I had some unexpected health things emerge this year, including gallbladder removal surgery.  This and some dietary changes made baking low on the priority list.

+ put away my phone
Yes, I think I've done better this year, but there is always room to improve in this area.

2018 goals coming soon...
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