Tuesday, June 30, 2015

S'mores Rice Krispie treats



Oh my goodness. This recipe is SO GOOD. If you're in need of a fun summer dessert, this one is sure to impress at any picnic or family gathering, and would be perfect for the 4th of July!! I made these last year for the 4th of July party we had and everyone that walked in gawked at them "oooh what are THOSE??"

Needless to say, they were so good. And so bad at the same time ;) They are a bit messy, but oozing with marshmallow, chocolatey goodness.

3 TBL butter
10 oz mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided)
3 1/2 oz marshmallow fluff
12 squares graham crackers
1/2 tsp veggie oil

Grease an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray or butter and set aside. Put 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat in short increments (15-20 seconds), stirring each time, until melted. Set aside. 

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add marshmallows, stirring until smooth. Add Rice Krispies and stir well until combined. Working quickly, scoop half the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer. Pour melted chocolate over Rice Krispie layer and smooth with a spatula. Add graham crackers to the top in a single layer until covered. Warm marshmallow fluff lightly in the microwave (20 seconds or so) and spread on top of the graham cracker layer. 

Spoon remaining rice krispies on top of the marshmallow fluff layer and press lightly to smooth. Melt the remaining chocolate chips and veggie oil in the micro following the same process (checking after 15 seconds or so and stirring until smooth) and then drizzle on top. 

Then crush a few graham crackers to add a sprinkle on top. 

Allow to set / cool for 30 minutes before slicing (and make sure you use a sharp knife!).

ENJOY!!!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Heat Wave weekend


Happy Monday! We are in the midst of a heat wave here in the Seattle area, it's supposed to hot and into the 90s all week, just in time for the holiday weekend. You may be thinking that is not a heat wave, but around these parts anything over 75 is "extreme" ... Ha!



We had a fairly low-key weekend, mostly hanging around home and enjoying a few trips to the park.

On Saturday we took the kids to a splash  pad, which I wanted to run in as well! I'll be bringing my suit next time! 



During nap time I did some important reading whole soaking my feet in the kiddie pool. 


Then we hit the park and by that time it was HOT. We all came back sweaty and glad we have AC!


Sunday Lila and I went to a baby shower for my cousin's wife, held at my Great Aunt's house. She has the most beautiful yard!! Inspires me to do some more landscaping ... This picture is one tiny piece of it and behind the camera is full panoramic views of the Puget Sound. 


Hope you had a great weekend!! I'm looking forward to a busy but short week!!

Xo

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Friday

TGIF, ya'll! It's the first Friday of summer and after trying to immerse myself in a new job the last couple weeks, I'm wiped out!
 
On top of that, every very day this week I woke up between 5 and 5:15 a.m. As I posted earlier this week, I'm trying to become a morning person, and thankfully the summer sunshine has made it a bit easier, but I'll be honest - it's HARD! I'm hoping if I get in the habit now, when it's light and sunny out at 5 a.m., it'll be easier to continue once winter comes and it's pitch black ... any morning people out there? Please tell me it gets easier! I will say, no matter how tired I am, there is something nice about enjoying a quiet cup of morning coffee outdoors!
 
 
I'm keeping it short and sweet today and will be back next week with a recap of all our weekend happenings. Have a great weekend!!
 
xo


Thursday, June 25, 2015

One year blogging + Most Popular Posts

As of last Friday, I've officially been blogging at Little Goodies for one year! Someone (hi Grant) predicted I would fizzle out after a couple months, but I'm happy to report this has been a great creative outlet for me! It's also been so much fun capturing what's going on with the fam, so it's been easy to keep up with.

I was scrolling through some of my original posts last week and was interested to see which have been my most popular posts to date. Some of them surprised me ...

Here's a look back at the top 5 posts on Little Goodies!!

+ Baby Names. In this post, I shared how we settled on our kids names, as well as other names that were on our short lists. I do love baby names and even though we aren't having any more kids, I still love thinking about baby names and making little lists. I had such a hard time settling on names for our own kids, but I love this topic and never get sick of it. I think some of you may be the same way!



+ Copycat Jimmy John's Tuna Recipe. OK, this one surprised me. Not only were my pictures not great, this isn't really that exciting of a recipe. Apparently there are a lot of Jimmy John's fans out there!! If you like a good tuna salad, this is a great recipe even if you've never had Jimmy John's tuna sandwich. Secret ingredient? Soy sauce - who knew?



+ Business Travel Fashion. In this post, I shared some of the outfits I'd planned for an upcoming business trip - both that were professional yet easy to pack and comfortable to wear on a plane.



+ Southwest Quinoa. I love this recipe!! It's easy, healthy and enjoyed by the whole family. If you're a quinoa fan, definitely check this one out.



+ Staying Organized with Kids Toys. If you have kids and don't have a playroom in your home (like us), it's hard to have an organized living room that doesn't look like someone ransacked a toy store. In this post, I shared how I use cute baskets to conceal and organize all of the toys we have our living room. Typically we keep it "messy" most of the day, but the baskets are a nice way to clean up each night or quickly stash items when we have guests over.



Thanks for reading over the past year - it's been so fun to document what we've been up to and look back and be thankful for so many things!! And ... to any new readers - welcome!!

xo

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Morning Person

Normally I hate hashtags but I want this ! I Woke Up Like This Travel Mug by MySassyLife on Etsy
image

I've always desperately wished I were a morning person. My ideal routine would be as follows. BOUND out of bed at 5 a.m., take a quick shower and get ready for the day, followed by a quiet morning breakfast, coffee and reading, catching up on the news, blogs or otherwise. There's a peacefulness about a quiet house and the whole day ahead of you.

However, there's one small problem ... I'm NOT a morning person. Even if I go to bed at 9 p.m., it's a struggle to wake up early. I'd like to blame it on this fact (#riiight). But in reality I think being a morning person is something you either are or aren't.

What do you think?  Grant and I are both trying to change our tunes, but one thing I'm definitely realizing is that I require (or like) way more sleep than he does. 

Here's how it went when I tried it one day last week ...

#Nothanks ... not even 6 a.m. yet (and my clock is deceiving because it's set 10 minutes fast).


OK so I'll admit I then snoozed for another 20 minutes or so. Finally up at 6:10 (real time) and into the shower. To start, I felt more like this:

95 Funny Nursing eCards and Memes - Nurseslabs

However, once I went downstairs things were looking up. I was met with this beautiful sunny view over our backyard. Morning sun really is quite pretty ...


 Then, with my coffee in hand (#neverenoughcoffee), I settled in to do some work, blog and general reading.


All in all, I was a fan! There are TONS of "how to become a morning person" tips on Pinterest, and essentially they all say you just have to go to bed early and stick with it until it becomes habit. 

Are you a morning person? If so, what gets you to stick to the routine?

Xo

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Spinach pasta salad


I love having simple salads around the house that are super easy to make and keep well in the fridge. Lately, I've been loving this simple spinach pasta salad. It's made with ingredients we usually already have at home and keeps well all week long. Not only is it great to pack for work-week lunches, but is also a great addition to any picnic spread, or even a side dish for dinner. Win win! 

Spinach Pasta Salad
8 oz spiral pasta
4 heaping cups spinach (I sort of eyeball it, so add more or less depending on what you like)
3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, in bite sized pieces
1/2 cup feta crumbles
3 TBL red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (I also eyeball this - depending on if your sun dried tomatoes came in oil, you may want to add more / less)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and run cold water over them until cool. Transfer to large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well until the spinach becomes wilted. Add more / less spinach or other ingredients depending on how you like it. Other great additions could be chicken or salami if you like meat, or artichoke hearts, red peppers, etc! Let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or so before serving - also a good time to taste test to see if you think it needs more salt/pepper or OO/vinegar.



ENJOY!

xo

Monday, June 22, 2015

Our Father's Day

First things first - Happy SUMMER!!! Even though it's felt like summer around here for weeks, my favorite season is finally upon us. Did you notice it was the "longest" day of the year yesterday? My favorite thing about this time of year is how light it is. I LOVE waking up to sunshine streaming in my windows and sometimes going to bed before it's even completely dark out yet. Love love love! 

We had a busy but fun weekend, celebrating the many "Fathers" in our lives!! We were lucky enough to not only celebrate Grant, but both his dad and mine! Lots of great men to recognize and of course, lots of great food and conversation too. 

First, on Friday afternoon Grant picked Lila up from school early, and brought both of them to his work's company picnic!! I met them there as well and it was a monumental moment because Lila got her first taste of cotton candy!!!! 




They'd also made the sweetest projects at preschool for their Dads! I love her answers on this - some are hilarious. 


LOVE this - so sweet (and had to be a ton of work for the teachers!) 


On Saturday, we were hosting Grant's side of the family for dinner, so we had a quiet morning and Grant treated us to homemade french toast!!! We sat outside, the kids ran around while we sipped our coffee, and it was truly pure bliss. I love summer breakfasts enjoyed outdoors!


Once the fam came over, we enjoyed apps in the yard and even dinner outside as well. Grant's mom brought the fixings for Watermelon Sangria and it was OH so delicious ... recipe to come!



Feasting!! 



Sunday, we had another delicious breakfast outside. This time, Grant's homemade smoked salmon on toast with cream cheese, capers and red onion. We were laughing about something Lila was doing in the background so it turned out a tad blurry!


Then we relaxed at home before heading over to my parents' house to celebrate with my side of the family. And naturally, I was having too much fun to take pictures! 

My parents gifted Grant a little backyard fire pit for his birthday, so after the kids went to bed we celebrated the first weekend of summer with a relaxing outdoor campfire. I see a lot of these in our future!


Hope you had a great weekend!!

xo





Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, friends! We've had a pretty crazy week around here between work, sickness and running the kids to and from, but we have a fun weekend ahead - full of Father's day festivities, birthday parties and a sunshine-y forecast to look forward to!

Here are a few of my favorites from this week ... 


Blooms. Our hydrangea has officially exploded and I LOVE having fresh bouquets around the house. This one is bigger than my head! 


Birthdays! This week we celebrated Grant's birthday!! However, the poor guy started feeling sick on Sunday and was miserable by Monday before I forced him to go to the walk in clinic. Diagnosis? Strep throat - yuck!!!! The weird thing is, the kids didn't have it first, so we have no idea how he got it but he was purely miserable. Despite that, we got two Blizzards from Dairy Queen (Grant had his own quarantined bowl), sang Happy Birthday and opened gifts. 



We got him a camping hammock for his birthday! We quickly tested it out in our yard and despite our trees being a little too far apart, we're all huge fans! The kids LOVE it too - they think it's a glorified swing! 






Cowgirl! Oh my goodness. I think this picture is SO hilarious and too cute. Lila's school does "pony pictures" every year as a fundraiser. Last year she was SO deathly afraid of the pony she looked like she was about to start crying in the pictures, but this year she was a total cowgirl!! I love the little "outfit" they dress them up in. I'm sure she'll look back at this and laugh, but it'll remind us of fun days at her preschool. 


Staying Organized. I've been trying to be more organized of late and was sick of having my necklaces always tangled into a giant knot, so I bought this cheap $10 jewelry organizer on Amazon and starting hanging my jewelry! I'll tell you this - I've gotten much more efficient getting dressed each morning, as I no longer spend 10 minutes untangling knots!. My only remaining problem? I need about 20 of these "organizers" ... ha!



Four.  Lila had her four year old check up this week and I'd prepped her all week for the fact that she'd need to have two shots - EEK! I was so worried she'd freak, but she did SO great! She didn't even flinch or cry. Such a big girl!!! She was quite proud of herself too. She even told the doctor her favorite food was "veggies" (#futurepolitician?). Afterwards, I treated us to some Frapps, because being four is definitely something to celebrate! PS - I got the s'mores one again - amazing sugary goodness. 
 

 
Hope you have a great weekend!!

xo
 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Berry Crop

 my sweet little garden helper!

I've mentioned before that every year we grow raspberries and strawberries and this year started blueberries too! Growing raspberries is part of my family tradition. My grandparents grew them, my parents grew at our home growing up and when we bought our own house, my grandpa gave us starts of his "award-winning" stems. Now we get to grow them too!! It's a fun tradition for us and the kids love to help. We picked our first mini crop last week and none of them made it into the house - between both kids they were gobbled up before they could even hit the bowl. 




Love my little helpers!


First strawberries, too!









I love to have little traditions that our kids will hopefully remember one day with their own families!! 

xo

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