Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What's Up Wednesday (May 25, 2016)


It's time for my FAVORITE Link Up Party
It is the last Wednesday of the month and that means it is time to link up with Mel, Sheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday- YIPPEEE!!!!  Can't wait to read all about you too!  Linking up HERE




Here it goes!

What We're Eating This Week
Monday was Pork on the Grill with two yummy salads!
The first is a Sweet Potato Salad
We used all non-fat Greek Yogurt for the dressing (and eliminated the mayo all together)
You can find the recipe HERE 

and the other is an oldie but goodie- one of my faves
See my blog post with the recipe HERE 

Barley & Corn Salad with Arugula and Green Beans

Tuesday Night was Marinated Chicken on the Grill with Greek Salad



Wednesday Night/Tonight is going to Frittata Night
Trying a Veggie One this week- you can find the recipe HERE 
 Thursday night 
It will be hot dog night at home- Mama has wine club

Friday night we are kicking off Memorial Day Weekend with my parents!!  

Here is the menu...
Red, White and Blue Bites (Watermelon, Feta & Blackberry Bites)

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatball Bites

Then for the main event...
Boiled Lobsters with Drawn Butter
Corn on the Cob
Baked Potatoes
Tossed Salad
and Strawberry Angel Food Cake with Whip Cream
(so festive- so Americana right?)



What I'm Reminiscing About

Since Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, I am reminiscing about past Memorial Day Weekends and how much fun I make sure we have
It is the true kick-off of Summer (my favorite time of year) and I make sure that we celebrate all weekend long with Red, White & Blue!

In 2008, it meant Ally's Softball Tournament, a Birthday Dinner for Cass and some fun Frisbee Time at the Beach!





In 2009, it meant a Weekend Getaway to Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham "Down the Cape"
It was just the 3 of us (before Pidge came along) so special







In 2010, it meant having a festive cookout with the Bannermans and enjoying the fishy pool (can you tell someone was afraid of it?) and then another softball tournament for Ally, beach time and a night at Wentworth By The Sea, topped off with a beautiful Memorial Day in downtown Newburyport.  I also got the deck planting done.


















In 2011, we kicked off the weekend on Friday night with the Fourniers (adults only) at the Atkinson Country Club.  Then my cousin Larry got married.  It seems like Nicole has always been part of the fam but it became official this weekend.  We had so much fun!  Kayla and I started with cocktails at the bar and then we all got ready at the hotel and stayed over after.  On Memorial Day, we snuck off to the beach.  It was supposed to be rainy in Hampton so we drove all the way up to York Maine to catch some rays and put our toes in the sand :) When we got home, we got our planting done









In 2012, we started the weekend Friday night at Rob's gig at Black Water Grill.  Saturday meant some walking at the Rail Trail and then hitting Griffin Park.  This was when I really got interested in Pinterest and started pinning all types of recipes.  Check out all of the festive things I made for the kiddos and Rob for Saturday night's dinner and dessert!  Sunday we headed to the beach and then to our favorite place in the world- Portsmouth.  We always stay at the Sheraton Portsmouth.  We hit one of our favorite restaurants on Sunday Night there- The Blue Mermaid.  Monday it was time to come home and get the planting done!



















In 2013, we all headed down the Cape and stayed at Ocean Edge in Brewster (completely over rated but we had fun nonetheless) We got the planting done on Monday when we got home.






In 2014, we took things easy.  Eva was just 1 month old :)  We chilled at home, did our planting, cooked out and enjoyed some sparklers and movies.  We had the Fourniers over for dinner before the Ice Cream Social.  Then on Memorial Day, Daddy marched in his first town parade as a 1st term School Board member.  We had a ball with the Grahams at the parade.















In 2015, last year, we started the weekend with stress.  We thought Eva had chicken pox but it ended up just being a bad rash.  Mimi and Papa came up for a cookout on Friday night, we did plant shopping on Saturday and then went out in Newburyport to celebrate Cass's bday.  On Sunday, we enjoyed a cookout and pool time at Beth Ann's.  On Memorial Day, we watched Daddy in his 2nd parade (again with the Grahams and this time the Beans) and then went home to get the planting done!  One of my favorite Memorial Day Weekends of all time- hope this one tops it!
















What I'm Loving

All of the flowers in bloom!  This is the best time for fresh flowers in New England- this is the time that lilacs bloom and remind me of my childhood.  Two years ago, we planted a lilac bush in the backyard.
I grew up with one so the sight and scents of the lilacs immediately bring me back to my childhood of wonderful memories in our yard
We got to pick some from our yard this weekend and they are displayed as soon as you walk in the house- I say "pure bliss"

What We've Been Up To

As you have read, we had an amazing trip to Orlando with friends and family and it included stops to Disney and Universal

We enjoyed an amazing dinner at the Partington's

and then First Friday, back there again, where we celebrated "Cinco de Mayo Style"

We have been prepping for cheer season with uniform fittings- here is what our 2016 Practice Bow looks like :)

Zach came home from London and we celebrated!

We had the Grahams over for dinner AND we got to enjoy Baby Maggie (and get Mama out of the house!)

The girls ate her up!

We enjoyed another Cinco de Mayo celebration on Mother's Day at my parents :)
Mom's special taco ring here

Diana did the Healthy Kids Running Series and impressed us all

Mama has also been training.  I joined the Couch to 5K program and I am headed into my fourth week- so so hard but determined to fight through to the finish. Check out one of my workouts HERE


We enjoyed more lunch dates with some of our best pals

We celebrated Baby Jocelyn's Christening

Diana has been working hard at tumbling and stunting lessons

Mama was back at golf- loving it- I didn't do as well last week- my own fault- did not practice- did not swing one golf club- back to work this week!

 Coffee Dates with my hubby are my favorite (especially when they involve silly selfies)



 "Pidge" LOVES this time of year because she gets to greet Diana when she gets off the bus (Mama does too)

We had the annual Ice Cream Social at Goldenbrook School- I helped scooping this year- it was HARD WORK but oh so fun

and later that night, we celebrate birthdays for 3 of my besties- Cass, Beth Ann and Greer
We sat poolside at Beth Ann's and everyone brought apps and desserts to share- it was a blast








Even after partying on Friday night, I got up first thing Saturday and completed my run- I was proud- it took major effort! After our workout, my friend Greer surprised me with a boat load of books for the girls- Diana was THRILLED beyond belief!



Later Saturday it was Picture Day at Diana's Dance Studio- CNDC- Carlene Nazarian Dance Center

She took pics for ballet, tap and hip hop and I was able to snap some cute pics of my own :)






I also was able to catch a quick video of the girls just messing around and doing their tap routine- sneak peak

and then Eva....she desperately wants to dance already
Here she is doing "Hip Hop"

After pictures, we headed to Lowe's and grabbed our plants for this year- for the first time, we snagged a couple of buckets to plant flowers in.  The buckets will be going in the large mulch area to the left of our house.
We got flowers for the front planters, herbs for the deck and veggies for the garden. This year, we are doing the same herbs- basil, mint and cilantro
In the garden, we are doing the same veggies as last year- zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and eggplant
Here are my "Gardening Hams"


Saturday Night we surprised Gina (my brother's girlfriend) and celebrated her birthday at Fusion Taste in Stoneham- awesome Asian restaurant- Chinese AND Japanese- truly outstanding
My brother treated us all to an amazing dinner
Check them out HERE
Check out the Rock Shrimp Appetizer- it was OUTSTANDING

and then we headed to Mimi and Papa's for cake and presents






Sunday meant sleeping in (which we never do!) and some planting.  Then we headed to mass and I crashed for awhile after and enjoyed watching Legally Blonde.  Rob and Diana met Kayla at the movies and the three of them went to see the new Jungle Book together- that is something these two girls have in common with Daddy.  That is their special movie :)

Right before the movies, we surprised the girls with our new swing set that we scored on Windham Yard Sale over the winter.  They really enjoyed it; seems so minor but I know I will remember that day forever-Here is a snippet

Woosh...I am tired just writing about all of our activities!

 What I'm Dreading

The end of this school year
Don't get me wrong, I am very excited for the end of the routine and all of that darn homework and all of the activities...the rat race.  I am, however, very sad that Diana will be finishing up with Mrs. Martin and moving on from Goldenbrook.
This was THE FASTEST year ever!
Mrs. Martin will go down as one of the best teachers ever
Her energy and passion always inspire me and she did wonders for Diana academically and for her confidence as a student.  We will miss you so much Mrs. Martin :(


What I'm Working On

In addition to my day job?  That makes me work ALL THE TIME but I wouldn't trade it for anything- I was born to be a Recruiter :)

I am continuously working on my health and as you have read here, heading into Week 4 of the Couch to 5K program

Exhibit A= Pounding the Pavement

and working on the garden and the yard (will post pix soon!)

What I'm Excited About?

My friend Sharon is coming to stay at her parents for the summer.  I CANNOT WAIT to spend some quality time together.  We have been friends since college and it is really hard because she lives in France!
We will definitely make up for lost time
(Pics below are from the last time they were here- Summer 2014 during the ALS Ice Bucket Challenges)


What I'm Watching/Reading

Well Rob says I am in a "Show Hole".  I am depressed because all of my shows are done for the season: Jane The Virgin, Younger, Teachers, Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Life...In Pieces, Dance Moms and of course, The Affair
Two of my shows are not returning at all: The Family and the mini series The People Vs. OJ Simpson

So....Rob and I finally settled on our next series
We are binge watching it on Netflix of course
It is Ally McBeal

I know...I know...I did watch MANY episodes but also missed too many to count and then did not see the entire final season SO we finally agreed.  Rob was too busy raising kiddos in the 90's so we are enjoying this one together!
Boy does this bring back fashion memories- gotta love it!


and we are still making our way through Season 2 of 
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (still hysterical!)

and I am still reading and making my way through
Jennifer Weiner's Who Do You Love


and another reason why I love the blogging community- all of the recommendations.
Several of my blogging idols recommended this book and I couldn't be happier with the suggestion. 
Jesus Calling is a book of daily devotions.  Each intention relates to a story in the bible.  It is now my go-to first thing every morning
 What I'm Listening To

Lots of jazz
We are really enjoying the new Bose speaker and that includes family dance parties in the kitchen and blaring jazz as much as possible
Megan Hilty's new album, Live at Cafe Carlyle has become a new favorite already

 What I'm Wearing

Stitch Fix seems to be getting things right lately
If you remember last week, I blogged about a recent favorite outfit- most of it came from Stitch Fix

 Shirt and Jeans from Stitchfix
Jacket from Nordstrom's HERE
Sandals Tory Burch- from Ebay HERE
Necklace- Kendra Scott HERE

 Navy and Coral- always- but especially fun this time of year- so nautical- so preppy- so right

Dress from Loft- Find it HERE
Necklace from Ebay-Find Similar Style HERE
Bag Tory Burch from Ebay - Find same style in different colors HERE

Snagged this top at Loft
and I paired it with white denim capris and tan wedges
You can find the top HERE

and I also added my Cobalt Blue Kendra Scott Rayne Pendant which you can find HERE



What I'm Doing This Weekend

It will be Memorial Day Weekend- can I get an 'Amen??
It is the start of summer and fun times outside



Friday night we are having my parents up for a cookout to kick the weekend off


 Saturday we are headed to our friends' home at the lake; we are thrilled to be invited and can't wait to spend some quality time including some boating on the lake!

 Sunday night, Rob and I are headed to Newburyport for dinner with another couple- cannot wait!  More quality time with friends- my favorite!

 Monday, Memorial Day, we will be enjoying the town Parade (and potentially Daddy's last parade to march in as a school board member) and then we will be cooking out once more!


 What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

 Coaches Clinic at SNHU with my Cheer Pals
and
Diana's Dance Recital (even though it means we will miss the Strawberry Festival and we have not missed that in 10 years)- I am excited to watch my girl dance!




More golf for Mama :)



The last day of school tradition
Kids and Mamas celebrate at Cass's




and

Cheer Skills Camp
Excited for a great season with a great group of girls and two AWESOME coaches to help me out!


 What Else is New?

My friend Greer made an awesome cocktail for the Birthday Bash last week
It is called Strawberry Lemonade Vodka
 You can find the recipe HERE
It is the perfect refreshing cocktail for summer! 

Bonus Question For the Month:
What am I looking forward to this summer?
It would have to be beach time- seems so simple right?
I am truly at my happiest when I am at the ocean
I feel so fortunate that we live so close- I could never be further from the beach  
We have some special trips planned and we plan on enjoying them to the fullest!
  
 and our trip to Storyland with the Graham Fam

Can't wait to read all about your Summer Fun!
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