in the kitchen-a weekly plan

Our week of dinners.  My hope is that you can find one meal to make this week.  {My absolute favorite this week was the Pot Sticker Burgers.  Oh. my. goodness!] I am "off" next week.  Spring Break = a week of no cooking for this mom.  I will post again once I am back in the kitchen.

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito bowl

Spicy Brown Sugar Salmon with Chopped salad with fried garbanzo beans 
**We put our salmon on the grill using a cedar plank.  The rub is fantastic!

Paleo Potsticker Burger with Spicy Asian Slaw

**This recipe calls for Coconut Aminos.  This is a soy free substitute for soy sauce.  Since we are gluten free in my house, this was a great find!  I was too lazy to run to Whole Foods....Amazon Prime to the rescue.  {Find Coconut Aminos here.}

 Just plain old hamburgers.  Dinner without a recipe or new ingredients was the perfect choice!  Yes, there were frozen fries served for a side.  Little Man was very happy. 


lovely easter eggs.

Brown eggs and a white paint pen is a simple alternative to coloring Easter eggs.  It is truly as easy as drawing lines and dots.  They turned out great and are lovely displayed together.  I cut my egg container in half and sprayed a quick coat of gold spray paint [matte white would look great too.]

Have a wonderful holiday weekend.  Happy Easter.

{eggs inspired by joy ever after}


chia seed pudding

I have recently been snacking on chia seed pudding in the afternoon.  Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, omega fatty acids and fiber.  When added to milk [of any variety] they magically make pudding in a matter of hours.  Skeptical?  I get it.  However, it truly is a great snack and this recipe really does taste good.  I promise.

chia seed pudding::
1 1/2 cups  almond/coconut milk [Any type of milk will work.]
1/4 cup  raw chia seeds [Buy here, if you can't find them in a grocery store.]
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together and place in fridge for 3 hours or overnight.  Shake [or stir] the pudding a few times to evenly distribute the seeds.  You may also have to adjust the amount of seeds in the pudding based on your texture preference. 

[adapted from this recipe]


the kiran anjali project.

I was lucky enough to attend an event earlier this month to benefit The [amazing] Kiran Anjali Project.  It was inspiring to hear about the work this organization is doing to assist young girls at The Wings School in India.  The girls receive a free high-quality education, including arts and tae kwon do, and two nutritious meals a day.
Co-founders, Linda Floyd and Sheryl Hoye, became friends while living in Hyderabad, India in 2008. They met Grace Rajkumar, a woman working with abused women with a dream of opening a school for girls.  And so began a journey to better the lives of girls.  Linda and Sheryl share a passion for women’s issues and a desire to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Naming their foundation after their daughters, their mission is to support the eduction of disadvantaged children. 
As I listened to the stories of girls born in India and the challenges they face everyday, I was reminded of the simple gifts I was given.  Given freely and without question.  I was valued.  I was safe.  I was educated.  Every child should be able to say the same.  I am honored to call Linda Floyd a friendShe kindly shared more about The Wings School and her experience with The Kiran Anjali Project. 


in the kitchen- a weekly plan

Day 1- Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili
I actually made this on Monday, but this would be ideal for Sunday dinner.  [I prefer to keep prep for weekday meals under 45 minutes and this recipe took about an hour.]  I could not find the tomatoes with chipotle chiles, so I just used fire roasted diced tomatoes.  You could add one diced chipotle pepper if you want the heat.

Day 2-  baked potato topped with left over chili
Serve leftover chili on baked potatoes.  Dress it up with chopped green onion, sliced avocado, sour cream and hot sauce.


which one?

I may have gone on an unplanned spring shopping spree yesterday.  I purchased two pairs of sandals.  Since they are basically the same shoe - I should only keep one!  I can't decide.  Really loving both of them.  I thought maybe you could help?  I plan to wear them with skirts, shorts, and cuffed jeans. 

A few details...
Matiko:  insanely comfortable, extremely well made, zipper in back with leather tassel. Considerably more expensive.  I love that they are unique!

Steve Madden:  comfortable, ankle strap is much thinner, classic colors.    I love that they are simple and easy to wear with just about anything.

So, what do you think?
{Bring on spring.}


pick up your LEGOS.


A LEGO mom's dream.  All LEGOS in their proper place.  There is nothing worse than stepping on a stray LEGO piece in the dark.  How can a small piece of molded plastic cause so much pain?

These storage containers are dreamy.  Shaped just like a brick with a removable top.  They stack just like the smaller pieces and are just so darn cool. 

The storage heads are pretty fantastic too!

Since I am such a total sucker for storage containers, I just bought a few to get us organized.  Now the trick is to get the boys to actually USE them!!  That is an entirely different challenge.

[I also found them here, here, and here.]


a cozy desk chair

I long for a desk to call my own.  I have a very small built-in desk in the kitchen big enough for my computer.  That is it.  If you follow me on Pinterest, you will see an entire board dedicated to this simple idea.  A workspace-just for me.

Recently, I have a small obsession with faux fur throws to cozy up a desk [or dining] chair. 




However, sometimes the trouble with an obsession on Pinterest is being able to find a source to purchase!  I traveled down a blogger rabbit hole and finally came up with a lead.  IKEA.  And of course, they are no longer available.  I am hoping it is a seasonal item and will be back in stock next fall or winter. 

A girl can dream.  
What are your tricks to finding an item you have seen but don't know quite how to get your hands on it?


sweet pecans

Candied pecans are by far my most favorite holiday treat to make and eat all year long.  My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me years ago.  [And I mean years ago. Back when you had to print the recipe instead of "pinning" it.]  I whipped up a batch on Sunday to add to a cheese plate.  It took me about 15 minutes.

These pecans are extremely versatile.  Use them to top a salad, give them as a hostess gift, or simply have them on hand to snack on.  I am telling you-they are irresistible!

Candied Pecans
  • 1 pound chopped pecans [Find them in the baking aisle.  It's the cheapest way to buy pecans.]
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon  
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread nuts in a single layer over a baking sheet. Roast for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until the nuts start to turn brown and the smell of roasting nuts fills the kitchen.

Stir together sugar, cinnamon, salt, and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 minutes, or until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage of 236 degrees F (113 degrees C). [You will need an inexpensive candy thermometer.] Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla immediately.

Add pecans to sugar syrup, and stir to coat well. Spoon nuts onto waxed paper, and immediately separate nuts with a fork. Cool, and store in airtight containers.  Mason jars work great! 

[Adapted from this recipe.]


nailed it [mint and gold]

essie-mint candy apple and gold glitter

I don't often get manicures, but I think I am going for it the next time I splurge.  "Go for it", you ask?   The glitter.  I am going to go for the glitter.  

It is something I can't do myself [or at least not very easily] and it would be something totally out of my wheel house.  Since emerald is the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year- green is all the rage.  

The mint and gold seems light with a bit of fun.  What do you think?

Anyone ever played with nail glitter?


in the kitchen- a weekly plan

With lives busier than ever, I felt like I needed to make myself a plan for getting dinner on the table.  Winging it wasn't working for me during the week.  I thought why not share with all of you what we ate for the week?  Hopefully you can get at least one idea for dinner next week.  I plan to post on Saturdays.  Let me know what you think.

*All dinner recipes are gluten-free.  Because that's how we roll!

Sundaysteak with mushroom sauce and cauliflower puree
This recipe called for skirt steak.  My grocery store didn't have that available, so the butcher suggested flat iron as a good substitute.  The mushrooms and wine sauce were delicious!

Monday:  steak, mushrooms and wilted spinach
Cut the left over steak into bite size pieces.  Add sliced mushrooms and the steak in a skillet until mushrooms are cooked through.  Last, add 1 cup of spinach to the skillet until wilted.  Fast and easy.

Tuesday: spicy chicken and hominy soup

Wednesdayskillet-poached huevos rancheros
This was ready in less than 15 minutes.  I had a kid distraction while poaching the eggs.  They ended up cooked all the way through instead of being poached and this dish was still delicious.

Thursday:  open faced sausage sandwich
I had a evening meeting, so I left the sausage and the sauce simmering on the stove until my husband was ready to eat.  I simply used a bottle of marinara, one [chopped] red pepper, and fully cooked [sliced] Italian sausage.  Simmer all on low until warmed through.  Serve on an open faced roll.  Top with peperoncini peppers and mozzarella cheese.

Friday:  Parents' night out  [can I get an amen!]
I ordered pizza for my guys and the sitter, but came across this super idea for pizza in the crockpot.  Might have to give it a try.  

Have a wonderful week in your kitchen. 


links to love.

dreaming of warm and exotic.  

Have a fab weekend!  This is a just a quick round up of a few things that caught my eye this week.   Inspiration is everywhere!  Be on the look out.
{Also, stay tuned for my post tomorrow...it will help you plan for your a week's worth of dinners.}


Our cherished market.  Seattle: then and now.

Prepping for Season 6 of Mad Men.  A totally fab cocktail guide.

Some locations allow girls can wear sandals in March.  Seattle....not so much!  I now covet these.  

#PantonePairings.  Prints coming soon. They would be awesome framed in a kitchen.

Creative easter eggs, for adults that want in on the action. 

Glasses fit for St. Patrick's Day mayhem. 

A great manifesto for women.  Make it art.  Read it and believe it!


guys read [Lunch Lady]

I will be honest, it hasn't always been easy to find books my guys [grade 3 and Kindergarten] are eager to read.  When we find one that gets the green light - I promise to share. 

The Lunch Lady series is one such hit!  These graphic novels are funny and imaginative.  The Lunch Lady and her kitchen assistant Betty are the heroines - using crime fighting gadgets disguised as kitchen tools to save the day!  "Serving Justice! And serving lunch! "There are eight books in the series, thus far, and each of them has been equally fantastic.  Boys [and girls] can't put them down. 

Lunch Lady Book Series:  Books 1-8

Jarrett J Krosoczka

Read this great interview with the author. 

Remember http://www.guysread.com/ .   This site is the ultimate resource for finding great books for your guys! 


soggy bottoms

A little ingenuity and a sense of humor got us out of a soggy situation yesterday.  Little Man was eager to run off some energy at a neighborhood park.  He bee-lined it to the super, fast slide and down he went.  In the rainy northwest, every park veteran knows to check slides for water before sliding.  My guy made a rookie mistake.  His pants were soaked from waist band to hemline-all the way through to his underwear.  Yep, pretty much ended park time.

We hustled to the car and I quickly shifted into crisis management.  I had him strip and wrap up in a blanket, which I luckily carry in my emergency box.  I didn't have time to go home, so I used my car heater vents as a dryer.  The pants would have taking a week to dry, so I dried his underwear instead.  Little Man giggled and giggled in the back seat.  We were headed into Seattle, so I bought him a new pair of warm ups when we arrived and the rest of our day went off without a hitch.

What crazy solutions have you come up with on the spur of the moment?


the pressure of a name

I recently read of parents naming their baby girls interesting names.  Rainbow and Jett.  I worry for Rainbow.  That is going to be a tough, tough road.  On the other hand, I actually really like the name Jett.  Unique, strong and a great name for a girl to grow into.  Why is one unusual name likeable and the other - not so much?

Naming a child is a huge job.  I will admit I was a little nutty.   Making list after list.  My husband and I didn't decide on our boys' names before they arrived.  There were top choices, but the final decision came after we held each one of them.  In the end, we chose traditional names for our little men.

What do you think about Rainbow or Jett as a first name?
What did you consider when you named your children?

[a post about babies?  I couldn't help myself.]
william james

henry vaughn


odds and pins [gone gold crazy]

There may or may not be a growing obsession with gold.  Here a just a few gold items that caught my eye this week! 

frends ear buds.  ps. how awesome are these?

Eames Golden A Shell.  luxury item x10

DIY gold leaf easter eggs.  too cute.

Titanium Druzy Ring.  makes me woozy.

gold shoes. How fun with cut off jeans!

Do you have anything you are currently crushing on? 

{Not sure if you noticed, but I added the feature to pin directly to pinterest from Where is June?  
Just hover over a picture and you are off to the races.  Pin away!}


from my book shelf.

Are you looking for a great read? I highly [HIGHLY] recommend Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  It is a memoir documenting one woman's journey on the Pacific Crest Trail.  Her writing pulled me instantly.  I honestly could not put it down. She was truthful, honest and raw.   There were many things that astound me about this woman's story.  Cheryl Strayed had absolutely no hiking experience.  She shares, "I had never gone backpacking.  Not one night."  Yet, somehow, she had the courage or enough blissful ignorance to set off on a trek that would lasts months.  She encountered the kindness of strangers over and over along the way.  It was inspiring to read that there is, indeed, good in the world.  Though she had numerous set backs, she persevered. Truly, this book is for everyone.  It isn't a book about the outdoors or hiking.  It is a book about the human spirit. 


If this woman, who had absolutely no idea what she was doing and was able to hike from the Mojave Desert to the Columbia River, what can I do?

Watch a book trailer narrated by Cheryl Strayed


flower shop finds.

Look what I found!  I popped into my local floral shop and spotted this show stopper.  I couldn't get over the creamy colors and the softness of the pussy willow branches.  Simple and gorgeous.  Spring has now arrived in my living room! 

I was inspired to gussy up the mantle a bit.   I added a book from my book shelf {Its title is very seasonal, don't you think?} and some of Little Man's artwork that I cut out and framed. 

While I was noising around the shop, I found a few other great home accessories!  This mini- live topiary was calling my name.  It works perfect in a small collection on my coffee table.  I placed it in the lid of a fabric box I had in the closet - along with a prayer candle and my Hudson glassybaby.  On the super plus side, I only have to spray the topiary once a month to keep it green.  Even I can do that!

While serving no real purpose {other than looking awesome...} I couldn't leave this crown behind.  I love the gold and the heft of this piece.  Where will end it up?  I have a feeling it will move around a bit.  For now, it sits atop a gardening book on the coffee table. 

And last, but certainly not least, a GurglePot.  A whimsical stoneware pitcher that gurgles when you fill a glass.  They offer a rainbow of colors, but I went with simple white.  Pop over to GurglePot to see all of the choices and hear the "gurgle".  {The striped tray is from Target last year.  Target.  Another great place for affordable seasonal accessories.}

Check out your local florist.  You might be surprised what you will find!  Have you ever discovered a favorite piece for your home in an unexpected place?


a June reboot

I have been away.   Somehow it is already March and all signs point to Spring!  So.... I decided to reboot with a new look.  A new look for this space of mine, that is!  Simple changes, with a few new features.  I am learning, exploring, discussing and dreaming about how I can make it even better.  Thanks so much for reading!  Really. Thank you.

{Hopefully, more great things are just around the corner.}

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