This post is sponsored by Stonyfield as part of my participation in the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club and part of the prAna #TheWholeYou campaign.
What Celebrating #TheWholeYou Means to Me?
Being present to enjoy life! Encouraging myself to be fully engaged within the moment, not letting my mind wander, or worry!, or start moving forward on to the next thing. #TheWholeYou celebrates being here, now, and enjoying the moment along the way.
Bringing awareness and understanding to the parts of ourselves we might feel inclined to hide. Banishing the idea of “guilty pleasures” and embracing those things which bring us happiness, no matter how large or small the joy.
Little Joys That Have Brought Me Happiness This Month
While breezing through Rachel Vs. Guy Kid’s Cook-Off Season 2 on Hulu+ recently, I became a fast fan for contestant Amber, the brilliant lady behind Cook with Amber, and was THRILLED to find that her YouTube channel was just a Google search away. Her videos are now my favorite time consumers and I’ve been equally impressed with her web space as I am with her on camera time.
The @ColorMadeHappy Instagram feed. So much #RainbowIsMyFavoriteColor goodness.
Stonyfield You’re Most Likely to Catch Me Snacking On
Chocolate Underground. This brilliance is like those little pudding cups from childhood but with a healthy twist,…and it doesn’t taste healthy, if you know what I mean. I’m one of those people who likes to end lunch with something sweet, and these individual cups of Fat Free Stonyfield make a great protein filled [6 grams per serving!] option.
Wild Berry Smoothies. I love keeping a pack of these berrilicious smoothies in the fridge for days when I need a little something to hold me over in-between meals. These smoothies are SMOOTH and the wild berry flavor is my absolute favorite.
Meals from the Stonyfield Recipe Collection on Our Summer To Make List
Greek Roast Chicken Pitas. I love Greek flavors and nearly flipped a lid when I learned I could Mediterranean-ize my Subway sandwich by choosing feta and tzatziki on my pile of veggies and roasted chicken. This DIY pita sandwich recipe is the way to turn that concept up a notch. I can totally see this becoming a favorite meal to food prep on the weekends for lunches throughout the work week.
Tomato Basil Tart. As tomatoes start over flowing the farmers’ market cart, this tart will be a great way to highlight one of my favorite summer produce all stars.
Strawberry Vanilla Bean Pound Cake served with homemade strawberry jam [based on this Vanilla Bean Yogurt Pound Cake] Pound cake is a great dessert for summer parties because it stands alone as a melt-free option for outdoor gatherings, pairs perfectly with chilled frozen treats like ice cream to cool you down, and layers beautifully with fruit and whipped cream or yogurt, for a festive trifle or parfait. When using yogurt in a pound cake, you are sure to win the battle against dry cake, which is every home bakers worst nightmare.
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Box Pie. This party is an annual event for us, and I make a habit of always bringing a little something extra for the hosts to enjoy the week after the party. This simple, impressive dessert was an easy choice after I stumbled across it a few days after a recent discussion about the many varieties of strawberry cheesecake.
Other Stonyfield Recipes I’m Considering Making to Bring Along, Too [Because I’m One of Those People Who Can’t Ever Nail Down One Idea and End Up Bringing an Entire Back Seat Full of Food, Of Course.]
Honey Peanut Butter Yogurt Crunch Picnic Salad. This salad was a hit when I first made it last summer and I think it would make a great party salad to share with the group. This dish is a great way to get some veggies on your plate while you party.
The relaxed fit and straight leg pairs well with my standard foot ware [flats or light tennies] and natural laid back style. Plus, they have pockets!!
The high quality fabric is light weight enough for summer, making these the perfect pair of pants for travel days. I wore the outfit above on my return travel day from a recent work trip to DC and was mega comfortable and happy with my choice.
Consumed on the Airplane During that Trip
Moonrise Kingdom. A Wes Anderson movie that felt a lot like a Wes Anderson movie, which I had downloaded through the Netflix App on my phone.
Good Bones. A fun HGTV show focusing on a rehab of an old house by Mother-Daughter business partners, thanks to a free episode preview on iTunes.
Completion of Physical Inventory at the office! There are still a couple of weeks of paperwork and filing to go, but we are on the other side of the very long work weeks and I’m thrilled about that!
The 34th anniversary of my birth. Woot.
Celebration Dinners at Favorite Local Spots
Johnnny’s Schenectady for Inventory Dinner with our team and the visiting auditors. A trio of cocktails were enjoyed alongside each course; a seasonal margarita cocktail with our appetizers of bruschetta and fried mozzarella, Tito’s and soda with my delicious dinner of Chicken Scarpariello, and decaf with Bailey’s with our shared dessert choice – Pear Orange Gelato Cake.
Mohawk Tap Room for Birthday Eve Trivia. Nick and I had dinner, and my work friend Scott joined the table for trivia. It was 50% Sports-themed because of the NFL Draft and we did not do awesome. But we had a lot of fun and even though the cider keg kicked, they had Down East Cider in cans, so all was not lost.
Sweet Little Gifts I Can’t Stop Gushing Over
Easter Pockets of tiny treasures. My mom’s best friend, Miss Judi, sent this sweet gift for Easter this year and I can’t get over the adorable concept. Each pocket is filled with a small treasure – stickers, decorative paper clips, shiny label tags, glittery trinkets, and tucked in a tiny gift bag in the center pocket, a coffee gift card.
Birthday Flower Crown. My coworker Stephanie found the perfect #RainbowIsMyFavoriteColor headpiece for my birthday. I wore it all day at the office, including a trip to Jade Bistro for a celebratory sushi lunch, and several times throughout the weekend while I was a writing, cleaning, and watching TV.
Speaking of ROYGBIV…#RainbowIsMyFavoriteColor DIYs That Would Be Fun To Do this Summer
A rainbow striped Chevron Rug would be great addition to the entry door of THS HQ.
Selfish Little Food Gifts I Bought Myself this Weekend
Heinz® BBQ Pitmaster Collection. I’m a lover of sauces for spreading and dipping and squirting and mixing, leaning heavily on mustards and bbq sauces for my favorite choices most often. I stumbled upon this four pack of flavored Heinz sauces and didn’t think twice before dropping it in the cart as I mumbled, “Happy Birthday, Heather….” to Nick as I moved on to the next aisle.
Recipes I’ve Bookmarked to Feature a Pitmaster Collection Sauce
Stovetop BBQ Chicken Shells and Cheese from How Sweet Eats. I’ve made this recipe a handful of times since Jess first shared it in 2012, and let me tell you – it’s a winner!! I think this pasta dish would be great with Kansas or Kentucky sauces, especially!
BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos from Oh Sweet Basil would be mighty delicious with the Hawaiian BBQ Sauce from the collection. I want to partner a basket of warmed chips with a guacamole and salsa duo and serve with a pitcher of sangria for an easy Taco Tuesday dinner with friends.
Old Journals. After taking off the month of April, I’m back at my #THSTheJesusYears projects, which has begun with a mission to transcribe my journals from my Bible Belt season
Meg Wolitzer’s The Ten-Year Nap. I made very little progress in April, but I’m hoping to have more free time in May to finish this novel. It’s definitely not my favorite of her fiction I’ve read, but I’m not even 100 pages in yet and my experience with this author reminds me that my opinion could change at any minute.
Jud Widing’s The Story of Uh. I won this coming of age novel in a Goodreads giveaway, and the book has been sitting on my desk since it first arrived. Several times this weekend I found myself flipping through the book in between computer tasks.
Favorite Travel Snacks I Enjoyed in the Air Last Week
DIY Snack Mix Mix. I dumped a bag each of Goldfish Mix Honey Mustard and Pretzel, classic pub snack mix, and extra mini pretzels into a large bowl to create an ultimate mix of mixes! I filled a small reusable to go container with the mix for my carry-on, and enjoyed it during two of my four flights along with a tequila and orange juice during beverage service.
Cocktails, Dinner and Dessert at Restaurant R’evolution. The chef’s interpretation of Beef Wellington was tender and so flavorful my mouth watered as I enjoyed each bite. The Mascarpone Grits were rich and comforting the way Southern food should be, but I made sure to stop eating early enough to save room for a little dessert. We enjoyed our dessert so much that we returned the following night to indulge, again. Throughout the two evenings I tried several flavors of the house made ice cream: chocolate coconut, toasted marshmallow, and crunchy peanut butter.
Lunch at Sammy’s Grill. Our waitress was witty and AMAZING and had great recommendations and descriptions of dishes which brought me to choose one of the menu items she recommended: The Prime Rib Po’ Boy. WHAT A SANDWICH. This is the kind of dish that I was sincerely sad I was too full to keep eating; I could only eat half! I think I’ll be dreaming about this sandwich for a long, long time. Maybe a DIY recreation is in my future?
New Orleans Tourism “Musts” We Crossed Off the List
Café Du Monde. We did what you are “supposed to do” when in the French Quarter: get beignets and café au lait. It was….fine?
St. Charles Street Car through the Garden District. Such beautiful homes and University buildings!
New Orleans Tourism “Musts” We are Saving for January
The National World War II Museum. About a dozen people recommended it to us, but we didn’t have the time to get over to the museum this trip. We will be back in town in January 2018 for a tradeshow and this is definitely on the list of things we hope to do on that trip.
Travel Media: Movies I Downloaded from Netflix and Watched in the Air
Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened. I had noticed that this documentary had shown up on my Netflix recommendations, but after I read Glen Weldon tweet, “So BEST WORST THING THAT EVER COULD HAVE HAPPENED is streaming on Netflix and you – every last damn ONE of you – needs to watch it YESTERDAY” and the thread that followed I decided to download it for flight consumption. I have been thinking about this movie daily since I watched it and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Broadway musicals.
You may not be familiar with the story of Merrily We Roll Along, a Broadway musical that closed after sixteen performances in 1981, despite being the talk about town leading to the opening. This film shares the story of the creation of Merrily and the young performers whose lives were changed by being a part of it. Best Worst Thing is directed by Lonny Price and features many members of the original cast, lending to a greater understanding of the impact the original
Sing Street. As I’m writing this, I now realize that both of the movie I watched on this trip come recommended from Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast folks, as Sing Street was on Linda Holme’s list of 50 Wonderful Things from 2016. It’s got a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and I totally understand why; would highly recommend this coming of age modern musical featuring a love for the music of the 80’s and a beautiful focus on a variety of relationships.
Travel Media: Television I Downloaded from iTunes and Watched in the Air
I remain WAY ahead of schedule in my Good Reads Challenge to read 12 books this year, having finished 9 books as of now. At the start of the year I made a stack of books in the apartment that I hadn’t read and have been working my way through them, one by one.
I have made very little progress in March. Everything I started reading I lost interest in and ended up putting back on the stack. I decided to take a break from the pile and gave myself permission to purchase some used books that interested me in an attempt to get back into the reading groove again. I’ve only read two of Meg Wolitzer novels at this point, which is the only hesitation to my stating that she’s my favorite fiction writer, so I decided to search for some good priced used copies of her other works to read next.
Meg Wolitzer Novels Up Next on My Reading List
The Ten-Year Nap. “a feverishly smart novel about female ambition, money, class, motherhood, and marriage-and what happens in one community when a group of educated women chooses not to work.”
The Uncoupling “a funny, provocative, revealing novel about female desire.”