25 April 2016

Farm Fresh Strawberries

I have been slacking over menu plan's since I began working. That is actually the time to make a plan but I never know if I am going to be too exhausted or not to make a full supper or if it will be salad and baked potato kind of night.

On Saturday morning I went to the Roswell Farmer's Market and found so many goodies. Kale, jams, bread...you name it! I brought home just two things (big restraint): fresh ripe strawberries and spring red onions. The onions look just like green onions but are red and sweeter. I have been putting it in my salads. The strawberries (from Southern Belle Farm!) are just perfect but needed to be eaten fairly fast. That's one of the issues with strawberries so I only bought a quart and will go back next Saturday for more.

I made Kellie's Cream Cheese Banana Bread (no nuts in my bread, just my head) where I fried up the bread then fried up the strawberries. Then topped them with whipped cream. It is so easy and so decadent. My boys loved it. The other is taking Nutella and warming it up in the microwave (or double boiler) and dipping the berries directly into the Nutella. You can take the strawberries and macerate them and mix straight into whipped cream with a bit of vanilla. Last, you can't go wrong with strawberry poke cake. Nigella's strawberry ice cream can be made without an ice cream maker. There's so many recipes! I highly recommend the banana bread though whether you have strawberries or not.

Nigella's cookbook, Forever Summer, has many more strawberry recipes. 

22 April 2016

Earth Day WASP Style

I am re-posting this from last year's Earth Day post. All information is still relevant so I am posting once again. 

When married to a naturopathic doctor, you're surrounded by all things hippie. Add being a former homeschooling mother to the equation and that means super granola hippie surroundings. I was the only homeschooling mom at the park in Lauren reading Vogue. Anyhoo, I personally do not believe that there should be one day that we are grateful for the planet in which we live and everything on it. However, I do appreciate the attention being brought to taking care of the Earth. So, as a WASP married to a N.D., let me share how we "do" Earth Day every day. 
  1. Eat organic vegetables. I think we all know that organic foods are healthier for us. Now, before you get on the I can't afford Whole Foods listen to me. Aldi sells organic foods for half the price of Whole Foods. Also, you really only need to get the stuff on the dirty dozen (basically anything without a shell or grown underground).
  2. Use reusable bags. (Okay, I must fess up to Ziploc for frozen vegetables.) If you're wanting preppy bags, Lilly's are adorable. I use Trader Joe's as they have old-fashioned bags and freezer ones at good prices. Also for freezer bags, look at this Kate Spade one. I mean, how cute is that?!
  3. Reusable water bottles and coffee cups. Around the house, we have almost zero plastic except for 1 water bottle that my husband uses for his biking excursions. Otherwise it's all glass or stainless steel. I have a steel Starbucks cup for my iced coffee that I wash and bring with me, and if I could tolerate hot coffee I would buy one for the hot coffee. I do have an insulated stainless steel one for hot cocoa and ice water. I like Kleen Kanteen for stainless steel. We use Mason jars around the house. I just got the purple ones and they are cute (the blue are my absolute favorite though).
  4. Eat leftovers. I've forced my children to eat any leftovers, or I sent them to work with my husband. I've been on the Bento bandwagon for years. You can make soup out of chicken and vegetables or put them on a salad. If you really don't want the leftovers either compost, or send them out the back door for the animals.
  5. Drive as little as possible. Many cities have public transportation. Honestly, our public transportation (MARTA) is horrible so unless we need to go downtown we don't use it. If that's not your thang, then try to make your trips as close together as possible. For instance, yesterday after working out I went to Costco. Then since I was nearby (and after my husband and son texted me with requests), I went to Trader Joe's and Aldi. Sometimes it's insane how much I grocery shop. However, I go to these places only when they are somewhere else I'm planning to be at nearby. 
Well, these are just a few things that we do in our house to help the Earth (and our wallets). Please remember that  it doesn't have to be Earth Day or require eating granola to be appreciative of our planet and be kind to it. And, if you buy Starbucks mugs and Lilly Pulitzer bags, you can look cute celebrating Earth Day every day too.

20 April 2016

Many Happy Returns of the Day, Her Majesty!

source (all images)

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is having a special birthday today. It is her 90th! HM is not only the longest serving monarch of GB but also has the longest marriage of any royal couple at 69 years with her husband, Prince Phillip. Queen Elizabeth met her several generations removed cousin when she was 13 years old. He was an officer in the Royal Navy (and a Greek prince) at the time and gave them a tour of his ship. HM and Prince Philip began corresponding via letters and when she was 21 they announced their engagement. They had been secretly engaged prior but King George VI said they had to wait until she was 21 to wed.
You see, HM was not even supposed to be queen. Her uncle, King Albert, abdicated once he decided to marry divorce American Wallis Simpson. Her father became King George VI (if you have not seen The King's Speech, watch it now.) so once the king and his queen consort, Queen Elizabeth, became next in line without any sons, 

Princess Elizabeth was bound to be queen whether she liked it or not. The thing is, she loved it. In all of the articles and books about HM the number one repeating subject about her is that she has always had a sense of duty

The Queen is attending several festivties for her birthday this week near her home in Windsor Castle. Yesterday she opened a new bandstand (gazebo for us Americans) and was sung to by local school children (in the 2nd photo in the pink with Prince Philip) and she went to their local postal service, 
Royal Mail, for a tour of their facility where she saw her commemorative stamps (above and the top with her three heirs) as this is their 500th anniversary as well as the queen's birthday. 

You can pre-order the stamps, but I may just have my pal MVB send me a few sheets. According to the Daily Mail article above, HM intends to spend her birthday at Windsor Castle in private after she has a birthday party with local residents that are also 90 years old.
The British Monarchy, Kensington Palace, and Clarence House twitter pages will be active all day with her festivities and wishes to Queen Elizabeth. Tonight on BBC 1 at 9PM is a conversation between Prince Charles and Her Majesty. Once again, I am bummed to not have BBC Player. In the video below is The Royal Family giving interviews about The Queen for her birthday. 

Happy Birthday Your Majesty! Long May You Reign!

15 April 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook for April

For Today
April 15, 2016

Outside my window... I am currently in a high rise so all I can see is clouds...lots of clouds. We have had rain and clouds with temperatures in the 60's for the last three days, but thankfully that comes to an end tomorrow. We will be sunny and warm the next ten days! 

I am thinking about... sleep. I know, groundbreaking, but since I began working outside of the home by Friday I'm wiped. It's a good tired though. I'm home by 4:30 since I don't take a lunch so I am still able to get food on the table by 6. However, I am waking up so early and my body is still adjusting. It's like when the kids go back to school after being out all summer. It takes a few weeks.  

I am thankful... that my parents worked hard for my sister and I and provided a stable home to come. I'm seeing so many instances of children coming home to violence lately. Sarah Mae's blog posts on child trafficking in India is heartbreaking but necessary to share. 

I am wearing... dress, cardigan, flats, pearls (on major sale!), watch, bracelet (half off!), black purse, and my favorite new lipgloss along with other makeup, of course. I either need to get some pearl clip on earrings or finally get my ears re-pierced.

I am creating... grocery lists as Tone It UP Bikini Series (fitness and food) begins soon. 

I am going... currently at work after dropping my son off at school (my husband will pick him up) then home after work as I am BEAT. 

I am wondering... if Muzzie really watches down on me. Do our loved ones in heaven know what we do or is that something we tell ourselves to make us feel better after they've passed?

I am learning... about social media usages (work stuff).

In the kitchen... breakfast was nutella and banana in a wrap (SO good and filling), lunch will be leftovers of chicken tenders, Annie's mac and cheese, and peaches. snack (if needed) will be trail mix from Aldi, and supper will be Tikka Masala, rice or quinoa, and stir fry veggies. If I'm super tired it will be black bean soup and biscuits from the freezer.

I am reading... I just finished The Diamond Caper and Simply Nigella (so many healthy recipes). Tonight I begin The Southerner's Cookbook and Circling the Sun

Favorite Quote... "All those things that you're worried about are not important. You're going to be great. Spend less time tearing yourself apart, worrying if you're good enough. You are good enough. And you're going to met amazing people in your life who will help you and love you." Reese Witherspoon on the advice she would give to her younger self, Glamour

A peek into my day... work selfie.

13 April 2016

April Showers Bring May Showers

Our weather has been all over the place. One day we are near 80 and the next the high is 60 and rain. So you need to plan ahead and wear layers. I think this is my favorite spring look: trench coat, sailor shirt or thin OXBD, leggings, wellies, with sandals in my bag.
This trench is adorable. I have a London Fog from Muzzie, but I am seriously  considering this gingham one as well. 
If one wears the gingham you definitely want to wear a solid OCBD rather than the French sailor below. I am 5'9 so I always buy slim fit men's button up's. 
Normally I only buy L.L. Bean French sailor shirts, but this one is longer so able to wear with skinny jeans or possibly even leggings. 
White skinny jeans are perfect for spring and summer. Now I have these leggings, which are perfect for those of us with tummies. Oh Hannah.
I realize that Hunters wellies are the most popular, but for half the price of Hunters you can buy Joules, which is also a British brand. I think they are just as cute and warm. Make sure that you take extra shoes when the rain stops and it's hot and humid.

11 April 2016

Monday Musings

I'm back! As I said on my Facebook page, I am sorry for not posting last week. Working outside of the home has been an adjustment to my family. All week I got like 4-5 hours of sleep per night. I think it was because I was worried about missing my alarm clock so I was awake at 5 every morning though I did not have to get up until 6:45. Starting in the morning I will get up at 6:30 since schools are back in session and Will will need to be dropped off at school. Last week was getting used to leaving the house to work and this week will be getting used to our new schedule. Honestly, I am blessed with this new job so B will need to get used to it. #LeanIn 

Have you seen the praying puppy? This is adorable. 

Did you grow up with a Barbie house? My sister and I shared a Barbie house and then I had a Barbie townhouse too. My sister was around 12 so let's be honest, I played with the big house more than Jen.

I just finished reading The Diamond Caper by Peter Mayle and LOVED it. If you are interested in French Riviera and adventure then you must read it. I first heard of Peter Mayle after watching A Good Year.

Have you been watching The Masters? I love everything about the event in Augusta. Congratulations to Englishman Danny Willet for winning. Though I am disappointed that Bubba nor Jordan won, it's still my favorite of all of the PGA Majors. 

Speaking of Britons, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in India this week. Follow along with What Kate Wore for information on her outfits and Kensington Palace's or Rebecca English's twitter pages to know what they are up to. Today the Duchess played cricket!

My favorite cardigan is on sale. I've worn a different color of it every day last week. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

03 April 2016

You know what they say about good intentions...

It's Sunday night at 10:30 and I just realized I did not schedule tomorrow's blog post, nor the other 2 as intended. You see, tomorrow I begin a big change in my and my family's lives...I'm starting a 40 hour a week job outside of the house. I've worked 40+ hours as well as homeschooled my child off and on for years but all of that was on my couch, not an office. It has been since 2007 that I worked outside of the home. I have been so grateful to have the opportunity to be with my children as they have grown into adulthood. When my bonus children moved in, one in 2008 and one in 2010, I was needed at home. Now, they are living in other states and that child that I homeschooled is now a junior in high school and doesn't need me permanently. My husband works from home and can handle his and Will's schedule. I have been blessed with a great opportunity with a large corporation to do good work with good people. I'm so excited to get back into full time work and build friendships. 

This weekend I decided to rest for the week, besides going out to dinner for B's birthday. Yes, I did laundry and planned meals and dyed my hair (obviously those roots had to go), but I did not write my posts for the week. I will not make any promises that they will be written. You can follow along with my social media (links on the sidebar) and I may update my tumblr but will not promise that either. If I do not post on Wednesday or Friday you know why...I'm pooped! 

I hope you all have a great week. Wish me luck!

P. S. Wishing my husband a very happy birthday this week. Love you!
Little heartbreaker in the cornfields of Ohio. 
Please ignore his ugly shirt. This is what happens when he goes shopping by himself. 🙄

01 April 2016

Welcome April

"When April blows his horn, it's good both for hay and corn."
~Lord- Bacon:

The Queen's English's photo.
From 'The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady' by Edith Holden.

April is such a pretty month in Georgia. The windows are open, birds are chirping, and we enjoy the outiside before the heat sets in for the summer. I'm looking forward to picnics by the river, and dreading spring cleaning. What is your favorite spring activity?


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