Friday, October 16, 2015

The Friday Five

Hey, party people!
Happy Friday!
Here's what's good in my world...

Sufjan Stevens.
Then again, he's good in my world every week.  Just sayin'.

Zumba (on crack) with Luis Diaz
A ridiculous blend of authentic Latin dance & cardio funk that will leave you in a pool of sweat.  I can't think of a better way to dance off the pounds and burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour.  If you live in the Milwaukee area and like to dance, it's definitely worth checking out one of his amazing classes at Studio 611!
Note:  Not for the faint of heart.  Bring lots of H2O.  And a towel.

Pumpkin Pie Lust
Perhaps one of the only "pumpkin" beers I can actually groove on.  This one is a nice, amber-y color with just the right blend of spices (a.k.a. not too overpowering).  Cheers!

Honey Crisp apples
Crispy.  Sweet.  Little bit of tang.  Great for snacking... and even baking.
We lucked out and snagged over 20 lb for $20 last weekend at Barthel Fruit Farm up in Mequon, WI.
They're seriously the best.  End of story. 

Segue to...

Make memories...always.
Big ones, small ones.
Build traditions.
Be present.  Be affectionate.
Give them something to look back on and smile.

Not every day is easy, but every day is a gift!
I wouldn't trade those two biscuits for the world.

And a few more links, just for fun...

This mashup of famous dance scenes set to "Uptown Funk" totally made my day.

On the contrary, this photog's depiction of how addicted we are to our phones was totally disturbing.

As the leaves continue to fall in droves, I think this will be our next art project.

Three surprising design tips, ala Emily Henderson.

An eye-opening piece on single parenthood.  Bless you, people.  Seriously.

Conversations between parents and children.  Pretty much spot on.

Adorable hostess gifts, no?

On that note, I probably need this shirt.


Have a kick ass weekend, m'loves!

~ photos by bits of breezy / Zumba image via Studio 611 facebook page, quote image source unknown ~

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blanket scarves

One of my favorite fall trends, that in my opinion, never goes out of style!
These ladies' scarf games are especially on point...

From solids to plaids, and paired with denim and booties, I just love them all!
What's your favorite way to rock a blanket scarf?

~ images via the,,,, & ~

Monday, October 12, 2015

Mama Mondays : To say or not to say

Last week, I overheard a stressed out mom in the Target parking lot tell her 4 year old that he needed to "get a grip on his emotions RIGHT NOW!"  I laughed to myself because I'm sure I sound that ridiculous on several occasions every. single. day.

Namely, I am guilty of at least 5 of these:

My worst offenses are probably "be careful," "hurry up," and "great job."
In the right situation, they're absolutely appropriate; however, I know I say each one at least five times a day.  And usually, it's to appease my own worries and/or impatience.

According to the article in Parents magazine (from April 2014...yes, I'm that far behind on my mags) constantly praising your child (especially when it's unwarranted, e.g. for doing something they should already be doing, like picking up after themselves, etc.) reinforces them to be dependent on your affirmation rather than their own motivation.  Makes sense, no?

Overuse of "be careful" distracts their focus from whatever it is they're trying to do, whether it be climbing a ladder at the playground or painting a picture on your precious dining room table.  Like I said, this one usually is said on my part due to my own anxieties, not theirs.

And "hurry up" just makes whatever the situation is more stressful...for both parties.  You may be five minutes late for school that day, but it's important for your little one to put on those sneakers all by himself, okay?
(And when in doubt, refer to this.)

Needless to say, I felt pretty down on myself as a parent after reading all this, as you might imagine.  However, the article ends with some encouraging things you can say to your children...which I already say anyway!

"What could you do instead?" (Encourages problem-solving.)

"Yes." (Whenever possible!)

"You can always tell me everything." (Remind them often!)

"I'm sorry."  (Shows them how to own up.)

"I love you."  (You simply cannot overuse those three words.)

So, there you have it.
Guess I'm not completely failing as a mom.


~ image by Parents magazine / photo by bits of breezy ~

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Friday Five

Happy Friday m'loves!
Here's what's good this week...

M. Ward.
Love.  Just love....

Toasted Graham latte
A new fall flava from S-bucks.
Not too sweet and oh-so-yum!

Steve Madden booties
Namely these casual ones...super comfy and instantly add a little polish to your errand-running attire.  Recently marked down at DSW!  Extra love.

$5 Farmers' market bouquets
The dahlias are especially radiant right now @ the Fox Point locale on Saturday mornings!  Oh, and an honorable mention to all the Yankee Candle fall scents.  You're kind of amazing, too.

Arguably one of my favorite months.  
I just love everything about you, October.

And a few other links I'm loving this week...

Good examples of how Ikea can look amazeballs. (for all the #haters)

Crimson lips are "in" this fall.  Thoughts?  (A little too dark for me.)

This touching video literally shot chills (the good kind) down my spine.

How to prevent anxiety in your children.

A great deal on diapers, for all you busy mamas out there!

J. Crew's puffer vest game is seriously on point.

Thank you, Dwell, for showcasing that modern design doesn't have to be ridiculously expensive.  LOVE!

Hope your weekend is extra fantastic!


~ images via, / photos by bits of breezy ~

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

An ode to zucchini

As zucchini season comes to an end, 
I feel inclined to share some of my favorite recipes that star this versatile vegetable.  Because, after all, one can stomach only so many "zoodle" dishes.

In addition to the supply in our weekly CSA box,
I also grew my own zucchini this year.
It must be an idiot-proof vegetable, since my own harvest was plentiful.

* Probably shoulda picked this monster, like, a week ago.

So, if you have a pile of zucchini still sitting on your counter like me,
try any one of these amazing recipes and you will not be disappointed...

Zucchini Banana Bread
Super moist and flavorful!

Zucchini "Quick"
(Amazing over pasta!)

1 T butter or margarine
1 medium onion, cut in chunks
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large tomato, peeled and cut in chunks
4 cups thinly sliced zucchini, about 1 lb.
1 can 8 oz tomato sauce
2 t herb seasoning or 1/2 t each oregano leaves, thyme leaves, marjoram leaves, and dry basil
1/2 t salt
grated Parmesan cheese

In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter, add onion and saute until limp. Add beef and cook until crumbly; discard fat. Stir in zucchini, tomato, tomato sauce, herb seasoning, salt, and pepper. Simmer, covered stirring often, until zucchini is just tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover, turn heat to high, and stir until excess liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Pass cheese to sprinkle over top. Makes about 4 servings.

(Typed verbatim from original recipe card from Sunset magazine in the 1970s)

Baked Zucchini Dip
Tastes just like artichoke dip - amazing!  So amazing that a post-baked shot was not captured due to dip being devoured...

2 c. Fresh zucchini, shredded (or any summer squash)

1 tsp salt

1/2 c. Mayonnaise
1/2 c. Plain Greek yogurt (could also substitute sour cream)
1/4 c. Hard granular cheese, grated (I used Parmesan)
1/4 c. Bell peppers, finely chopped 
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp canola oil
Pita chips for dipping

In a bowl, toss the zucchini and salt. Let stand for one hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Drain and press out excess liquid really well.

(Recipe ala another CSA member.)

Zucchini Breakfast Cookies
They freeze really well, for a not-too-sweet, grab-and-go breakfast!
P.S.  Definitely grind your oats, as recommended in recipe.

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman, a.k.a. you know it's going to be amazing.  Super moist and a perfect blend of spices.  And then there's the cream cheese frosting....hello!  Perfect for those upcoming fall birthdays!

And last but not least,
one of my family's absolute favorites ~

Italian Zucchini Boats

Though I sadly have misplaced this most amazing recipe!

Meanwhile, just drool away (and your guess is as good as mine!)...

There are so many other amazing zucchini recipes out there, but let's just leave at this for today.  And if you're still like me and have zucchini coming out your ears, try freezing it in batches like this...perfect for adding to quick breads and muffins or sauces and smoothies throughout the upcoming winter months!

Bon apetit, m'loves!

~ photos by bits of breezy / zucchini cake image via The Food Network ~

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cottage by the sea

This feature in Lonny has me jonesing for a coastal cottage get-a-way...

Regional and global influences abound,
making this cottage retreat feel both cozy and unique.  

...they also evoke a sense of calm and relaxation, no?


I think it's time for another vacation...

~ image via Lonny ~