Summer Kabobs

This past Saturday we had friends over for dinner. I decided to do something we hadn’t done in a while…kabobs! There was this great kabob restaurant we used to go to when we lived in College Station, TX. It inspired me to make them with Middle Eastern seasoning. I googled Middle Eastern kabobs and I used these 2 recipes…click here for chicken and here for beef.

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Both recipes said to marinate the chicken and beef on the skewers with veggies. I opted to marinated the beef and chicken in separate dishes. I seasoned the veggies with light salt and pepper and skewered them before grilling. I also added different veggies than the recipe called for. I used zucchini, squash, sweet red onion, sweet pepper, red pepper and tomatoes. All purchased at our local farmers market. I also used chicken breast instead of boneless thighs and grass-fed sirloin roast for the beef.

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The yogurt sauce in the beef kabob recipe is to die for! We used it to dip the meat in but also as a dip with pita chips. I added a little more garlic than the recipe called for. We paired the meal with a pearled cous cous, but you can also do a yellow rice as well.

Wishing you a wonderful week! xoxo

 

Fav Things July 15-19

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Let me start by saying that the above picture is NOT my laundry room. That is the laundry room I wish I had! So this week I starting adding a few drops of essential oil to my laundry soap when I run a linens load (towels, bed sheets). My friend Brit told me she did that and it would take away any musty smell, especially out of towels. It would add a nice subtle scent of whatever type of oil she used. Who doesn’t want to smell a little bit of lavender on their bed before they go to sleep? Just put about 3-4 drops of an essential oil (best to use one that is naturally antibacterial like lavender, peppermint, bergamot, lemon grass, tea tree). I used a blend (lavender and tea tree)I had from the California Baby line. If you haven’t tried this I suggest you do. It is especially a good way to get those pool and beach towels to smell fresher and cleaner.

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Old Bay Lemon and Herb Baked Shrimp (serves 4)

1 1/4lb of fresh shrimp (de-shelled and deveined), 5 garlic cloves sliced, olive oil, Old Bay Lemon and Herb (OBLH) seasoning (or any lemon seasoning) and lemon

1) De-shell and devein shrimp place in large mixing bowl. Add a couple of glugs of olive oil and the OBLH seasoning until shrimp are lightly covered (then a few more shakes for good measure). Finally mix in the garlic.

2) Let shrimp sit in fridge for an hour or so.

3) Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with a little bit of cooking spray. Arrange shrimp on cookie sheet in one layer. Once oven is ready place shrimp in oven and cook for 8-10 minutes (no turning over required). Once they are pink juicy they are ready. Add a the juice of one lemon to the shrimp when they are right out of oven.

4) Enjoy!

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We became owners of an Apple TV this week. I love it because, it’s so cute and it is so much easier to navigate than our blu-ray is. It is a box that provides access to popular streaming services (Netflix, Hulu). If you already own iTunes products it enables you to stream everything through your Mac.

That is all for this week. I hope you all have a great weekend!

My Fav Things July 8-14

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I received a sample of Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls gel in my Birchbox last month. Over the past few years I have grown to embrace my curls, letting them loose more often (especially during the summer). Everyone’s curls are different and I normally don’t go the gel route; my curls are light and gel usually made them heavy and crunchy. Miss Jessie has changed that for me. This gel will leave your curls so light and shapely. I love it! To learn more about this product click here.

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The other day my husband brought these home from the grocery. I was at first skeptical. I love their other products (hot dogs and cold cuts), but every time I have bought a healthier version of chicken nuggets they don’t taste good, prompting a regrettable return  to the Yummy brand dino-shaped nuggets. I thought the Yummy brand was a healthier choice over Tysons and Perdue, but after reading this report, I am so glad I found the Applegate nuggets. The kids loved them! They are very tasty and have a lot of chicken meat. They really taste homemade. I have made homemade nuggets, but those have always been met with negative review from my boys.  During the summer, I feel like I am always in the kitchen making food. Weekday lunches have to be fast and easy, but somewhat nutritional. I urge you to change your home nuggets if you are buying the other crap (lets face it, its crap). If you aren’t making your own nuggets, give these a try. They are fantastic!

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Thank you to Vanessa for suggesting this show to us. During the summer, my hubby and I like to watch shows we didn’t discover in the regular season. I heard through the grape-vine that this show was great, so I am glad we have finally started to watch it. House of Cards is a political drama based off a BBC miniseries of the same name. Both are based off a novel by Michael Dobbs. House of Cards is set in modern-day Washington D.C. and follows the revenge path of scorned Congressman Frank Underwood, sublimely played by Kevin Spacey.  Along the way we meet his wife, Claire, played by Robin Penn Wright  who runs a non-profit; a young ambitious journalist Zoe, played by Kate Mara; and a down-on- his-luck Congressman Peter Russo, played by Corey Stoll. The acting is phenomenal. I encourage all of you who like political dramas to give this one a shot. You will not be surprised if you over stay your welcome in the House of Cards; you will leave wanting more! It is a Netflix original series, but I believe now you can get it on DVD. If you have Netflix streaming, you can access it with ease.

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I just love when you step out of your car when getting to the beach and getting that first whiff of sea salt air. I wish I could bottle that scent. This past Sunday my family spent a glorious day at Kure Beach in North Carolina. I would like to thank my friends (well, really they are like family) Vanessa and Matt and their families for opening up their beach house to us. There is nothing better than spending a day on the beach with loved ones, good food, drinks, and laughs.

This past week was a little hectic, so I am sorry I wasn’t able to post it on Friday. I hope you all have a great week! What some of your favorite things you have discovered recently?

My Favorite Things This Week 7/1-7/5

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I bought this sun cream in the fabulous Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2013 ( I am sorry, but I believe it has sold out; it quickly cleared the shelf.) I was wondering how I was going to get through all the enclosed products. I am trying one product at a time. I have been using this before I go outside for a prolong sun activity, such as the pool (I do wear a hat there), park, outdoor gatherings. I love love love it. Did I say that I love it! It is very creamy and light. I have found that a lot of facial sunscreen have a chalky texture to them sometimes and instead of moisturizing it immediately dries out my skin.  It is immediately absorbed by the skin. I love the light fragrance as well. It is a little reminder that you have it on. I have a few more facial sunscreens to try from the kit, but they really have big shoes to fill. Also, a lot goes a long way this might last through July. To learn more about this product click here.

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This summer I decided I was going to take a little break from cooking and doing some easier things for lunches and for dinners.  Welcome the art of making sub sandwiches at home! This is great, especially for spending the afternoon at pool. I take out all the fixin’s, and chop up the veggies on my big cutting board. Then everyone lines up and creates their own sandwich art. My favorite creation so far has been a garlic bologna, salami sandwich on a sesame seed Chicago roll with light Munster cheese, light mayo, spicy mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce, hot banana peppers, Aruba peppers, oregano, salt pepper and a dash of light Italian dressing. Not the healthiest choice, but damn it was soooo good.

monsters_university_2013-wideWe went and saw this last weekend with the boys and my bff Vanessa (Thank you to Matt and Vanessa for coming to visit last weekend!). The boys really enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it as well. If you were in a sorority or fraternity in college you will have extra chuckles as you can relate to a lot of the activity in the film.  The Scare Games reminded me of Greek Week or Derby Days.  This is a kid film that adults will throughly enjoy.

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Now that it is summer vacation, I decided to change my workout schedule around. The kids really don’t like going to the child care in the gym and with my oldest camp schedule getting to the gym in the morning would require rushing around. So I decided that at least for the first part of summer vacation I was going to take a break from my normal morning gym routine. So I have been running outside, doing Insanity and going to the gym on the weekends.  I ran a few times last week and an old injury started to flare up again. This week I decided to go to evening hot yoga classes. It has been so wonderful! It is a great way to end your day and you sleep like a baby. I am thankful my hubby has been supportive of this. I went three nights in a row and it was magical. The big plus is that my injury is healing and I can resume running soon.

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Finally, Happy Birthday USA! We might complain and belly ache all the time, but where else in the world can we have the freedoms we all enjoy? I hope you all had a happy 4th filled with love, laughter, fun and new memories!

From the kitchen: Homemade Bomb Pops

Thought this was appropriate for the season! The recipe has all fresh ingredients!

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Admittedly, summer is my least favorite season of the year. I’m not a fan of sweating, nor sunburns, nor sweltering temperatures. I don’t do heat gracefully at all. I become a moody mess – and God help you if I’m hot and hungry! Steer clear! (you’ve been warned). If it were up to me, we’d migrate with the seasons and live in everlasting autumn. But since my omnipotence seems to be on the fritz these days, guess I just have to deal with it. I mean, summer does have it’s pluses – beach & pool days, BBQ’s, vacations, and the coolest silver lining – popsicles! Remember Bomb Pops? Rocket Pops? Firecracker Pops? All different names for the same nostalgic red, white and blue popsicle that I loved so much as a kid. I loved painting my lips with the red layer and how by the time I reached…

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