Healthy Cooking And Eating As A Family

Cooking together in our family is important to me. I want for my girls to have fun in the kitchen but also learn about preparing meals that are healthy and nutritious. These healthy habits will hopefully last a lifetime!

Growing up, we also ate very healthily: a protein, a vegetable, a whole grain, and a glass of milk. Maybe even some sliced fruit on the table! We weren't big dessert eaters unless it was a special occasion. (But I still have a wildly crazy sweet tooth and I love dessert!) My mom did an awesome job of instilling healthy eating habits in us as children and definitely let us help her out in the kitchen.

On these warm summer nights, one way that our family has been reconnecting before another busy week begins is to enjoy a "picnic dinner" on Sunday evenings on our screened porch. We pull Camille's high chair out of its normal place in the kitchen so that we can all sit together at our red picnic table. On a typical night, we would have a menu that may look like this:

+ Grilled chicken drizzled with balsamic glaze
+ Roasted okra with cumin and olive oil
+ UNCLE BEN’S® wild rice with oranges and walnuts, served cold (recipe HERE)
+ Fresh fruit salad with pineapple, sliced pear, shredded coconut, and mint leaves

My husband handles the grilling, I handle the roasting indoors, and Camille "helps" (looks on!) as I put together the wild rice and fruit salad. Sometimes I get her to help -- I'll gather the ingredients and then let her add them into the main bowl.

This wild rice salad recipe goes together so easily. Another fun idea is to portion it out in mini mason jars for picnics!
The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand is passionate about encouraging parents and kids to cook together, because families that eat and cook together have children who make healthier meal choices. Because of this, the UNCLE BEN’S®Brand is hosting the fifth annual Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest to encourage children to get interested in cooking. Ben’s Beginners™ provides a platform for parents to connect with their children one meal at a time, and makes cooking an enjoyable activity for every member of the family. To help families get meals to the dinner table quickly, the UNCLE BEN’S® READY RICE® offers a wide variety of white, whole grain brown, specialty and flavored rice products that cook in just 90 seconds.

To enter the Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest, parents with children in Kindergarten through eighth grade can submit photos of their families preparing a rice-based together. More information about Ben’s Beginners™ is located at unclebens.com. People interested in UNCLE BEN’S® READY RICE® can find it widely available at most grocery stores nationwide.

You can connect with UNCLE BEN’S® on social media!
Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // YouTube 
This post is sponsored by The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand. Although I received compensation in exchange for this post, all opinions are my own.

What do you enjoy cooking with your kids?


The Lilly Sale & 6PM

So the big Lilly sale started this morning, and a girlfriend alerted several of us via group text about another great sale on Lilly on 6pm.com. In addition to free shipping and returns (!!!), you can score an additional 10% off the really low sale prices using code BESTPICKS.

Just a sampling of some of the awesome finds on 6pm.com

Most everything is under $100 with a ton of it being $30-50ish range! So, go forth and Lillify yourself!

8 of the Best Lilly Pulitzer Quotes of All Time  - <a href="http://TownandCountryMag.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">TownandCountryMag...</a>


Five On Friday

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

Okay, so unintentional radio silence this week, but we moved into our new house on Tuesday! The whole process of moving is so taxing, right?! But one of those things you just have to do. Our house front entry has been a revolving door of movers, handymen, repairmen, cable guys, you get the picture. Things and finally slowing down and I am so happy to be making our way through boxes and boxes!

make it an adventure.:

Fellow Lilly fans, I know you have your calendar reminders set like me for 8am sharp on Monday! The sale FAQs can be found here which is a great way to make sure you are ready to shop and score some great finds. Last year I ordered an Elsa top for me and two little toddler shifts for Camille to wear (and pass down to Charlotte!). The one thing I learned from last year is that if you plan at all to do any shopping next week for the sale, go here now to create an account. It is going to greatly expedite your check-out process and help ensure that the pretty top you add to your cart doesn't sell out before checkout is complete.

I ordered these return address labels this week from Etsy (here) and can't wait until they come in! I looked at so many options but these were so cute and the price was great. Pineapples ... the symbol of hospitality!

Personalized Pineapple Address Labels, Gift tags, Party Favor Labels, Birthday Labels, etc.


I am having a lot of fun planning out the decor of our new home. I am gravitating toward bright spaces with punches of color. Look at this gorg living room photo. You can see more of her room here on Style Me Pretty.

Colorful and Bright Living Room by Caitlin Wilson Read More: http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2014/10/27/whimsical-living-room-full-of-color/:


Lastly, a quick poll ... Instagram stories or Snapchat?

TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!


Roll Call Time!

It's Monday which means ... time for another Roll Call!

Here's today's question.
How many piercings do you have, where are they, how old were you when you got them?

I have my ears pierced, got them done by a jeweler when I was 11.
No other piercings although I wanted SO badly to have my belly button pierced in high school.


Saturday Sip And Shop ::: Summer Sips, Summer Prints


Limoncello Gin Cocktail with grilled thyme. A great cocktail/ long drink for summer:

Limoncello Gin Cocktail with Grilled Thyme
Recipe HERE from A Playful Day
Four ingredients -- yes, just four -- digging that!


Multi color floral outdoor print pillow cover, Santa Maria, orange, turquoise, lime, gold, damask, Waverly
Multicolor Floral Outdoor Pillow (Found here on Etsy)
From Wheaton Whaley Designs 
(my sister is her former coworker and she is SO sweet!)


Five On Friday

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

I think I've decided on our cabinet and kitchen island colors! We went to the local Benjamin Moore store here in Boone to grab some swatches. I'm leaning towards the cabinets being White Dove and the island being Galveston Gray.


We move in to the new house next week so I've been trying to use up fridge and pantry ingredients here in the mountains. Yesterday's lunch was an easy version of huevos rancheros -- two corn tortillas (warmed in a pan), black beans (also warmed up), a fried egg over hard because I don't love runny yolks, half of an avocado, and lots and lots of lime juice. It was delicious!


I may stray from this mascara (like I did recently), but I will ALWAYS come back. :) I was looking back at old photos from Christmas time yesterday and was like dangggg ... my lashes looked better then than they do now (#FWP for sure). So, to Walmart we went.


Walmart had this little Mickey Mouse snack pack that I picked up for Camille earlier this week (she loves Mickey and Minnie). After the cheese, pretzels and apple slices were gone, I rinsed out the plastic part and used it for her dinner "plate" the other night. She loved it!


Lastly, a tip I saw on Pinterest. You know those empty bottles of coffee creamer you just toss? They make great snack traps for car trips! Just peel off the label and wash thoroughly. This is the snack trap I have packed for Camille today as we drive into Charlotte to check progress on the new home!

TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!


Fun Things We've Done In Boone This Week

This is our second full week in the mountains of Boone, NC, while our home in Charlotte gets some work done on it. I posted some sneak peeks that I was sent from Hudson Hardwoods last night ... I can't wait to see the floors in person because they look PERFECT. 

Boone is a lot smaller than Charlotte, so finding activities for the kids is just slightly more of a challenge, but we haven't run out of things to do yet! It's been a rainy week, especially in the afternoons, so we have tried to schedule an activity for each morning to dodge the sprinkles and showers.

Here's a peek at what we've done this week.

Monday morning we attended family storytime at the Boone library (free) and the theme was bears. Several books about bears were read by the sweet librarian, and we got to piece together the arms and legs on a bear body and then color it at the end. They also brought in a therapy dog at the end of storytime ... a beautiful Bernese Mountain dog!

Don't hate me for the photo above. You just have to laugh! I was literally the only mom there wearing makeup. All good though! I've met some really nice folks up this way. 

Tuesday morning we headed to The Children's Playhouse which I've blogged about before. It's $6/person (Charlotte gets in free, and yes, you pay for adults) and we had an awesome time there. They switch up the activities so every time we've been there, there have been different things to do.

My friend Katie suggested lunch at Boone Drug, so we went there on Tuesday afternoon upon leaving the Playhouse. Their grilled cheeses were on POINT!

Wednesday morning we went into Banner Elk and picked blueberries at the winery. It operates on the honor system ... just fill up a gallon jug as high as you'd like and slip a $10 bill in the metal box. Organic, delicious blueberries. Charlotte was happy as a clam in my stretchy knit carrier

This morning we need to make a Walmart run and I'm also on the hunt for a local thrift store that my mother-in-law said is a great one. I'll post any great finds on Instagram stories!


Went a Wee Bit Crazy on Zulily Last Night

Two truths I cannot deny:
1) I love dreaming of decor for the new house, and
2) I can't resist matching outfits for the girls.

And that is how Zulily got me last night.

Because I can't resist sharing a great find, and I also believe we all love seeing what other people have purchased, here's what I bought last night.

Zulily Purchases

So, for the girls I got three matching sets: 

- Maroon and pink striped Leveret jammies (I plan to have these monogrammed in white ... they can be Christmas morning pajamas with green hairbows, and then we can also use them for around Valentines Day)

- Alligator Leveret jammies (I bought these in 12-18 months for Char and 3T for Millie, so they will be used next spring and summer)

- Lemon outfits (also bought in next spring/summer's sizes). They were only $7.99/ea!

For me, I bought this microneedling tool (normally $150) after hearing for a while how this roller is great for skin health and rejuvenating collagen. I figured for $19.99, it was worth a shot!

And lastly, those faux snakeskin dark green lamps by Safavieh ... I cannot handle how amazing they are. I truly hope they look as high-quality in person as they do in this photo. The rectangular shades and bases are my favorite, and they will look so great on the sideboard in our new dining room. They were a bit of a splurge, but they are awesome statement pieces. I guess I'm on the hunt now for drapes with green in them!

The sales on Zulily change all of the time which makes it fun to check in on regularly. It's the sale site I frequent the most and shop from the most. You can use my referral link to join if you haven't already! 

And, a little insider tip -- Zulily items tend to take a long while to ship (for example, everything I ordered above isn't set to ship to me until August 26) but if you want to look at items that will reach you faster, click "Shop By Category" from the menu bar at top and then click "Ready to Ship." That allows you to search through items that will ship immediately. For example, this adorable mason jar sign that is only $5.49 is included in that category. Would look so cute in a rustic kitchen or even on the front door.

Love this 'Home Sweet Home' Mason Jar Sign on #zulily! #zulilyfinds http://www.zulily.com/invite/alizadventures:

If you've scored some great finds recently on Zulily, I'd love to hear about them!
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