Friday, June 27, 2014

Green Smoothie

My go-to green smoothie (read: the only green smoothie I've ever liked) is truly delicious, but sometimes I end up putting a little too much vanilla yogurt and peanut butter in it that it seems to be a little fattening. Over the weekend I decided to branch out and try another green smoothie , sans peanut butter and yogurt. Surprisingly, I loved it! It tastes so fresh with all of the different fruits in it, and I especially love the pineapple and frozen grapes. Caleb even thought it tasted good, as long as he didn't have to look at it while he tasted it:) If you're looking for a quick, tasty breakfast, try this smoothie out! Have a great weekend!

Green Smoothie
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup green grapes, frozen
1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cut into chunks
1/2 banana
1 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings.

source: recipe slightly adapted from Kitchen Confidence

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In My Pool Bag

My favorite place to be in the summer is the beach, but if I'm not at the beach you can find me at the pool on the weekends. I absolutely love relaxing after a week of work in the sunshine by the pool. Here's a look at what's in my pool bag:

1. A towel. I don't need anything too fancy, but I do need something to dry off/wipe the sweat that's dripping down my face. I'm pretty dedicated to staying in the sun for several hours, so that means quite a few dips in the pool to cool off and a lot of sweating. Sometimes I take two towels just to be safe.

2. Sunglasses. I actually prefer not to wear glasses for the majority of the time I'm in the sun (I don't want a sunglasses tan), but I like to have them as an option if need be.

3. A good book. Last Saturday I read Divergent (yes, I just jumped on that bandwagon - and it was so good!), and I just recently bought All the Light We Cannot See. I like to have a long book to last me the whole afternoon.

4. Lip balm with SPF. This yes to carrots pomegranate kind is my absolute favorite for the summer. It goes on smooth, it isn't too quick to melt in the heat, and it smells so good. The only thing worse than chapped lips is burned lips, so I frequently apply this stuff and love it.

5. Sunscreen. I haven't always worn sunscreen (hello 17 year-old self), but in the past couple of years I have changed that. I love being tan but I do not want skin cancer, so I always have sunscreen with me now. I've been using Coppertone Clearly Sheer this summer and really love the lightweight formula. It isn't sticky or smelly (it actually smells good!), which is key since I have to reapply frequently. I tend to have sensitive skin but haven't had any irritations or issues with this formula.

6. Drinks. I usually bring a couple of drinks to try to stay hydrated. Summers in South Carolina are brutal y'all, so the more beverages the better.

So there you have it, my pool bag. What do you take to the pool or the beach?

Disclosure: I received the Coppertone Clearly Sheer sunscreen for free from BzzAgent, a word-of-mouth program. All opinions are honest and 100% my own.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Last week my sister Lauren and her family stayed with us for several days while they were passing through town. We've lived just 2 1/2 hours away from them for almost three years and have loved getting to see them for quick weekend trips or as they've been in town for various reasons. They just moved last week and are now 7+ hours away, and we will certainly miss seeing them as frequently as we used to! We were thankful to have one last visit with them in our home before they moved. After dinner last Tuesday and after the two little ones went to bed, we sat on our back porch and enjoyed these ice cream sandwiches. Two little girls (who actually aren't so little anymore! where is the time going?!) gave me the thumbs up on these, and I have to say I agree. The cookies stay chewy even after they are frozen, which make for the perfect summer treat. 

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened

Heat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add sour cream, egg, and vanilla; beat until smooth. With mixer on low, gradually add four mixture; mix in 1 cup chocolate chips.

Using 1 rounded tablespoon per cookie, drop mounds of dough, about 1 1/2 inches apart, onto two baking sheets. (You'll have 25-30 cookies.) Bake until golden, 10-12 minutes; transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Scatter remaining chocolate chips on a plate (or you can use sprinkles or other candy pieces). Place about 2 tablespoons ice cream between 2 cookies, bottoms facing in; press gently. Roll the sides of each sandwich in chocolate chips. (If ice cream is melting, place sandwiches in freezer until firm enough to roll in chips.) Transfer sandwiches onto baking sheets. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours; then wrap individually in plastic. Makes 12 ice cream sandwiches. Can freeze for up to 2 weeks.

source: Everyday Food, June 2007

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to our dads! We are so thankful for the blessing of wonderful fathers! We love you!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dominican Republic Vacation

Last week we spent the week in paradise: we went to the Dominican Republic for vacation! It was actually our first time staying at an all-inclusive resort, and it was my first time in the Caribbean. We had a wonderful time and it was SO relaxing. We were completely unplugged for the week: no phone, no TV, no internet. I didn't even take a watch so I never knew what time it was. It. was. glorious. We spent our days on the beach looking at the gorgeous water and soaking up the sun. We had perfect weather for our whole trip, which was such a blessing. I read several books, and Caleb spent a lot of time learning to windsurf.  We went kayaking and snorkeling, and we ate delicious food (and a lot of it!). We really enjoyed taking a break from our routine, especially because we were in a gorgeous place! We are always so thankful for the time we have to get away together! Below are a few pictures of our trip, if you'd like to see...