FOOD // weekend pancakes you'll want to make. always.

For breakfast, I'm an egg person.

Frittatas.

Scrambled eggs.

Fried Eggs.

Oh and lets not forget, poached eggs.

I'm an egg addict and we likely go through 3 dozen eggs a week in our house hold (before you judge, scrambled eggs alone for 3 is like 6-7 for a decent portion size).

But ever since we became parents and Grayson started eating solid foods, we quickly realized that we needed to spice things up a bit. Turns out, he LOVES pancakes. And the look he gives and the sound he makes when you pour some syrup on them in priceless.

CONTRIBUTED // parenting, the sequel

Having your first child is an adjustment for obvious reasons, but after a while you’ll finally feel like you (somewhat) have a handle on things and you might contemplate having a second child. It’s natural to worry about how having a second child will affect you and your family, so now that I have more than a year under my belt as a mom of two kids, here are the things I’ve discovered:

parenthood 101: go easy on yourself

Parenting is not easy. 

I'm sure those who are parents already know this and I'm sure those who are about to become parents, have been told this. Warranted advice or not.

As a typical Type A, OCD, orderly, list making, stubborn woman, I have the tendency to be really hard on myself (I have to wonder how I function in a day!).

This multiplied when I became a mom almost 2 years ago.

My stresses became more obvious. My outbursts became more frequent. My worries happened on the regular. My confidence became suffocated. All of this wrapped into one big package with a black bow on it. All of it being dominated and driven by a little 26 pound boy who is the love of my life.

the only salad dressing you'll want to make this summer

I am notorious for making my own, homemade salad dressing. Much like the Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp I shared with you recently, its one of the easiest things you can make. AND with minimal ingredients you know its healthy and simple. Who needs to buy the $5 crap in a bottle when you can make a delicious one in a matter of 5 minutes?

Enter: Basil Parmesan dressing. I recently got some recipes from America's Test Kitchen Magazine (which I HIGHLY recommend). They had an entire issue dedicated to salads so I had to get it! To date, I've made about 4 of the salads but the first one I made was the Basil-Parmesan Chicken Salad with Apples. It was amazingly tasty and simple and the dressing.....was heavenly. It could honestly be used on many different salads its that tasty and light.

FOOD // rhubarb strawberry crisp

When I think of summer, I think of a perfectly sweet yet slightly crunchy crisp. Apple, strawberry, mixed berries...you name it, I'll make it and I. Will. Eat. It.

For those of you who aren't big on baking, cooking or even spending time in the kitchen, you're missing out. Crisps are by far one of the easiest desserts to make. It's like throwing together a big salad with a bunch of ingredients and tossing it. That's all there is to it.

Every Father's Day I let Nate choose what he would like me to make him for dinner. This year it was my famous butter chicken. And let me preface this by saying, I had gone on strike with this meal over the past several months because, as you can predict, he was always asking for it. I. Cannot. Eat. Anymore. Butter. Chicken. 

the importance of breaking bread

I have been throwing or attending dinner parties for as long as I can remember.

I grew up in a household where that was just the norm. My parents still are very social people who always enjoy being surrounded by good people....and good, homemade food. There isn't a month that goes by where my mom isn't planning a dinner party.

You are the company you keep has always been alive and well in our household.

Statistically, mealtime is becoming smaller and smaller for most households. Between busy schedules - and in some cases - both parents working full time jobs, kids sports & activities and people eating out, sitting down to a home cooked meal as a family, has become less and less of a priority. 

our wedding // 04.28.18

Some girls dream of their wedding day as this BIG, monumental, perfect celebration. I, on the other hand, just dreamed of finally meeting Mr. Right to settle down with. I would say that I'm a simple person, but really I'm not. But I did refuse to settle when it came to love. 

I remember when I was in my early 30's and single, I told my father that there is the slight possibility that my wedding one day would be a shot gun wedding because if I figured at the rate I was going, I was likely going to be well into my 30's by the time I found said Mr. Right.

TRAVEL // Newberg, Oregon

I recently had the pleasure (and luxury) to get away for 3 days with my BFF and Matron of Honour, Tara to a little region just outside of Portland, Oregon. What a little piece of heaven this quaint town was. The Willamette Valley is KNOWN for their Pinot Noir but little did we know that it is also the home to one of the most luxurious, beautiful Inn and Spas I've ever been to.

My BFF arranged the whole trip and I couldn't' be more grateful for the time and effort she took to plan this trip, as we both have crazy busy lives in different cities. But I'm also appreciative for her thoughtfulness. Her and I both knew it had been AGES since just the two of us went away for a girls trip. SEVEN YEARS to be exact! Her daughter is almost 6 and I now have a little 16 month old, so travelling, let alone even getting away, doesn't happen as often as we'd like it to.

CONTRIBUTED // you know you're a parent when...

The other day I had an alarm set on my phone to remind me to order concert tickets. I needed to order them the moment they went on sale because they would likely sell out fast. (And sure enough, they sold out in thirty minutes.) I had numerous browsers open, refreshing the pages multiple times until I was finally able to order four seats together that weren’t in the nosebleeds.

I used to do this for concerts like AC/DC and The Rolling Stones, and sporting events like the World Series. But not this time. Oh no. This time, it was for…The Wiggles. And not even all of The Wiggles. Just Emma and Lachy, who happen to be married. (But more on that later).

Ordering these tickets was just another moment in which I became PAINFULLY aware that I am now a parent. Don’t get me wrong, I love parenthood. But every so often something will happen that makes me realize just how much my life has drastically changed from the way it used to be.

CONTRIBUTED // the importance of living like a leader

I recently saw this quote….”When I talk to a manager, I get the feeling that they are important.  When I talk to a leader, I get the feeling that I am important.”  I have no idea who wrote this but I love it!  Having worked with a true leader, I understand just how powerful and true this statement is and what a positive impact behaving as a leader and empowering the people around him has had. 

CONTRIBUTED // manhattan beach, ca

When most people visit Los Angeles, they’re looking for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the swanky shops on Rodeo Drive and the beaches of Venice or Santa Monica. But if you’re looking for a more laid-back vibe, you’ll want to visit Manhattan Beach.

Manhattan Beach is home to many athletes and even a few celebrities, although there is a good chance you wouldn’t even recognize them as they tend to blend in with the carefree locals. The quintessential California beach town, it’s common to see people walking down the street barefoot with their surfboard in hand.