Preparing for the Weekend!

Yes, yes, I realize it’s not quite Friday yet, but I wanted to share an experience with you that I had last Friday – which you would need to prepare for today, in order to experience that same experience that I experienced last week, tomorrow – should you desire to do so.

Got it? 😉

I was inspired, as I often am (because we like to copy everything the other does), by my dearest friend last week who was busy preparing for the weekend by cooking in advance. – This resonated as bordering on brilliant with me- especially since our weekends are usually filled with either home projects, entertaining, or relaxing-with-a-vengeance. – None of which usually include the desire or energy to cook very much.

So I set off to pre-cook / pre-prep for a weekend full of good eats last Friday, and let me tell you – it was SUCH a wonderful thing to have all of our meals and snacks just ready and waiting for us!

Here is what I did:

Mixed Irish oats and spices in a baggie, wrote remaining directions on bag, and set the crockpot on the counter to remember to dump everything in and turn it on overnight. This fed us for both of our breakfasts.

Made a huge fruit salad (watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, raspberries). This was great for healthy snacking, and we had some with our oatmeal each morning too.

Made a batch of Chocolate Banana Muffins. More snacking, breakfasts, and dessert!

Whipped up a double batch of Wild Rice Chicken Salad – half to take to a friend who just had a baby, and half to keep for lunch on Saturday.

Made some Watermelon Sangria with the rest of the watermelon I didn’t want to go to waste.

Chopped the veggies, and prepared the sauce for Spicy Peanut Noodles, so that all I had to do for dinner Saturday was cook the noodles and throw everything into a bowl to toss.

Sunday afternoon we had leftovers, and Sunday night, Jesse always makes waffles – so we were all set. The prep work went really quickly once I got into the groove, and I felt so spoiled all weekend not having to cook!

Thanks J, for the wonderful idea… I am definitely doing this again!

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*Linking up with Richella’s Grace at Home Party, and Amanda’s Weekend Bloggy Reading.

One Last Summer Outfit: A Maxi Skirt and Kickball

Skirt: Target, Top: NY&Co, Flips: LOFT

Ok. So. I’ve been craving a striped maxi skirt for awhile now. – There’s just something about them…you know? Early this spring I happened upon the little number you see in the photo above, at Target. Snagged it, and trotted home happy as a clam.

But when husband saw the skirt he said, “What??? That thing makes me dizzy! Yuk.” Now, husband can be rather opinionated sometime, but truly I do value his opinion. Why would I want to keep clothes that he hates?! So I tucked my treasure back in its bag, and thought I might wait to see if a) it might grow on him or b) my intense desire for a striped maxi skirt might wane with the moon. –

Time went by. Neither happened.

Meanwhile, husband’s friends started an ADULT kickball team to play in an ADULT kickball league this summer. I thought this was the. most. ridiculous idea I had heard of in a long time. So maybe I’m opinionated too…

Seriously: didn’t we all only just barely survive kickball in elementary school gym class? You know, that gem of a game where the mean boys threw a massively huge ball to hit the girls in the face (or boobs, or butt, or back…is there a GOOD place to be hit??) in order to throw a player out. Yeah. Good times. -Or- if they were “nice” and went to hit you in the legs, then you ran the risk of tripping on said ball and breaking your face.

Much better option.

SO, since that was all so much fun, why don’t we let grown men (with heaps more strength and accuracy than they had in grade school) pick up this neighborhood pastime and call it a “league”? It deserves quotes because I refuse to recognize it as an honest-to-goodness sports league. I mean seriously.  Oh, and did I mention the league was co-ed?

Obviously I thought this was bad news bears. And obviously I didn’t want husband to play in the “league” (on principle if for no other reason) ;-). We had many a discussion over this whole kickball business…

Now what does all this have to do with my beloved striped maxi skirt? Good, good, you’re still trackin’ with me…

The big finish:
So one day (weeks later), I see my lonely maxi hanging out still folded away in its forlorn little bag and decide: “By golly (except I don’t really say that), I really love that little skirt, and I don’t even care if husband hates it! I’ll just wear it when he’s not around if that’s what it comes to!” –

And I told him so.

To which he replied, “Welp, guess that means I get to play kickball this summer!”

We can both be a little rebellious sometimes… 🙂

The End.

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Linking up to The Pleated Poppy

Maple Glazed Salmon, Watermelon Quinoa Salad, and a Sangria

Let’s have one last summertime recipe fling, shall we? This first one is perfect all-year ’round actually – it’s our new favorite go-to on nights when we’re in a hurry, but still want a flavorful, healthy entree. Jenni kept telling me I needed to give this recipe a try, and once I finally did – wow. My life has never been the same ;-). Jesse and I both love it, and mega bonus: I love how easy it is to make!

Maple Glazed Salmon

2 Alaskan Salmon fillets, about 1/2 lb each (remove skin)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground ancho chili powder
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking dish with foil.  Place salmon in dish.

Mix all spices (from paprika to salt) in a small bowl and sprinkle over salmon, coating it well.

Bake salmon for 25 minutes or to desired done-ness (fish should be opaque and flake easily with a fork).  Once out of the oven, drizzle with maple syrup and serve!

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Next up is a favorite summer-y side dish to accompany the salmon:

Watermelon Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (cooked)
1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese
1 cup seedless watermelon, chopped
1/2 a bunch of cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
1/4 t  pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, chop and combine remaining ingredients. When quinoa is finished, toss lightly with the existing mixture. Can serve warm, or refrigerate until serving to give the flavors a chance to blend.

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And lastly, and deliciously refreshing summertime drink (to use up your remaining watermelon):

Watermelon Sangria

Watermelon
1 lemon, sliced thin
1 lime, sliced thin
1 bottle of sweet white wine

Puree watermelon flesh in a blender until it becomes liquid (or you can run it through your juicer). If you prefer NO texture to your juice, you can also strain it at this time. Pour into a pitcher. Add an equal amount of wine. Slice and add citrus, stir, and allow to sit in the fridge several hours or overnight. Enjoy!

For a printable version of all of these recipes, use the links below:

Maple Glazed Salmon
Watermelon Quinoa Salad
Watermelon Sangria

***Miss Jenni posted another summer-y recipe I’m sure you’ll love today! Go check out her Cous Cous Salad HERE.

A Day at the Lake

 

 

 

 

It is with the perennial optimism that floods my soul this time each year, that I bid adieu to summertime. Although, in reality, the weather will continue into the 80s for perhaps several more weeks, in Kristin’s world, Autumn officially begins on September 1st. That’s when the fall decor, the pumpkin scented candles, the autumnal music, and the butternut squash soup start popping up around these parts. Even if it means we need to crank up the a/c to properly enjoy them ;-).

But lest we get ahead of ourselves, I thought I’d dedicate this week to one last hurrah of summertime goodness!

And what says “summer” more than a day on the lake? Some friends of ours hosted a dandy of a lake party last week, and here are some snapshot memories from our time.

Do you live near a lake? Why not plan one more carefree summertime visit before it’s time to haul out the sweaters?

Near the Fountain

“If you want to get warm, you must stand near the fire; if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very center of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you; if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?” –C.S. Lewis