Now that it’s unofficially summer, I think we can officially call it sangria season! It’s likely that sangria season is my favorite time of year. Fruity, boozy, winey, super refreshing and perfectly party-ready! Sangria is made for front porch sipping, slow and easy back patio happy hours, and prepping in advance for all of your summer parties. This kiwi limi mint sangria recipe might just be my favorite one I’ve whipped up yet! It’s made with fresh kiwi purée (which is a cinch to make) and loaded with refreshing lime and mint so it’s basically summer’s new best cocktail recipe. Don’t be intimidated by the kiwi purée, friends, please! The addition of simple but fresh ingredients like that make a cocktail recipe come alive and it’s really easy to do. Scout’s honor! (Ooo! Do we think I could earn a badge in cocktail mixing?!) I’ll toast to a long, hot awesome summer with a glass of this one, pals, I hope you do the same!
Has anyone figured out where 2018 is flying off to yet? How on earth are we already heading into Memorial Day weekend?! I’d make some sort of vague complaints about how life is just moving too fast, but frankly, I love this time of year best of all and my sister flies home in a few days for the long weekend sooo, I got nothing. (This is where I would enter one of those quizzical little shrug emojis I love so much in text messages if such things were acceptable in long form.) With Memorial Day, comes picnic season and with picnic season comes an uptick in entertaining and the need for crowd-wowing but easy dessert recipes. That’s exactly where this brownie pizza recipe comes into play, friends! It’s relatively easy to make, it’s insanely pretty (without requiring any fancy decorating skills, which I don’t have) and it’s topped with the most delicious strawberry buttercream frosting. That’s what we call all the wins!
Over my last decade of blogging I have had the incredible privilege of making friends with loads of amazingly talented people. The camaraderie and the community in this wild little industry of ours is what made me fall in love with blogging from the very beginning, way back in 2008 when I took at stab at writing my very first post. Melissa Coleman of The Faux Martha is one of those people. She’s a tiny little whisp of a lady with an impeccable eye, a knack for making delicious food and a brand new cookbook, The Minimalist Kitchen, among her credits. A couple months ago I received an advance copy of her book, which is now available for sale, and I can’t get enough of it. It’s loaded with tips for how to stock your pantry and your kitchen so you can make really delicious, wholesome meals without having to run out to the store for a bunch of exotic ingredients every time you cook. If your kitchen is anything like mine, it can get overrun with containers of this and cans of that, too many of which go bad before they ever get used. I’m absolutely going to spend some time revisiting those sections of Melissa’s book and purging my kitchen of a lot of the nonsense, because I hate unruly cupboards and that’s precisely how mine are looking and feeling at the moment.
A few miles down the road from where my grandfather lived when I was a kid, there was a u-pick farm with a big strawberry patch where he’d take me every summer. The farm has since closed, but not before I was able to take Em there when she was just six or seven months old to pick berries and gleefully smash them all over her face. Strawberry season has always held a special kind of magic for me and I’m sure that farm is partially why. While it’s not quite strawberry season yet for us (this far north it tends to be mid to late June), I know it is in many parts of the country so I thought we should make strawberry pies! Mini pies in a muffin tin, because tiny things are adorable and because, duh. Who doesn’t want their own little pie?!
I may or may not have mentioned before that breakfast is hands down, no contest, my favorite meal of the day! If it came down to it, I would gladly eat breakfast foods every meal every day for the rest of my life. No shame! I think that’s why I love these adorable breakfast to-go jars so much. They’re perfect for prepping at the beginning of the week to bring with you to work, sending along in a kid’s lunchbox or for offering overnight houseguests in the morning before they hit the road. You can spoon yogurt (I prefer plain Greek yogurt, but obviously any flavor will work) into the jars on Sunday and bag up all the granola at the same time. I used simple, inexpensive cello bags from the candy aisle Michaels and sealed them with a piece of washi tape. For the kids or guests, you can write cute little sayings on tags and tie them on with baker’s twine for an extra sweet touch. Add fruit, cute spoons and napkins from Sugar & Cloth, and you have hands down the easiest, yummiest breakfast for on the go or on the road!
This post has been a long time in coming. I’ve talked about my lifelong weight struggles before, but not with any consistency. Last year, I shared a post about why I don’t share photos of myself online that resonated with so many of you. In all, there were hundreds of comments here, on social media and via email. It blew my mind. It humbled me. It made me realize that I am so far from being alone in my internal battle to feel “good enough” despite my weight. I committed then that we would talk about this more. I pledged to try and push myself a bit to step out in front of the camera and to open up a dialogue. I haven’t done an exceptional job of that as of yet, but it’s something I am still passionate about doing. (But ultimately afraid of, too.) So here we are! Today we’re talking plus size fashion. Someday soon I want to talk more about weight in general (and how we’re all so paralyzed by it), some changes I’m starting to make in my own life and generally just get into some of this more. In the meantime, it’s all about my favorite places to shop for plus size clothing! I am such a clothes horse and lover of fashion, and while it’s certainly more difficult as a woman of a particular size, I’m still committed to looking and feeling my best at my current weight. Over the years I’ve developed a list of go-to shopping destinations and since I tend to get a lot of compliments on my wardrobe from women of all sizes, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my favorites with you! Any other favorites of your own? Sharing is caring, friends, chime in below!
Friends, let’s chat about Mother’s Day! This will only be my third Mother’s Day as a mom, so I’m still fully in the mindset of thinking of the day as a celebration of my mother and now late grandmothers versus myself.
Does anyone else have a family of dippers? Between Bob and I and the kids, seemingly none of us has met a veggie or chip we didn’t want to dip! When the folks at Deep River Snacks sent along some of their delicious kettle chips to team up for a post, I instantly knew that I was making a huge spread of over the top party dip recipes. And make all the dips I did! These dips are totally party-worthy, especially when paired with a spread of Deep River kettle chips. Buffalo bean dip, everything bagel dip, spring pea hummus and loaded ranch dip! All of them are crazy delicious, pretty darn simple to make and loaded with flavor. Serve them on a board surrounded by chips and you’ve got a snack spread your family and friends are sure to love!
With Cinco de Mayo in just a few days, shouldn’t we be talking about margaritas? Well, you’re in luck! These raspberry swirl pineapple mango margaritas are everything you’ve been waiting for and more. I am such a fan of frozen cocktails in the spring and summer months, especially when I’m trying to channel those tropical vibes that we so desperately need here in our neck of the woods about now. (Although it’s finally warm this week! Hooray!)