August 25, 2015

A Dinner date on the Beach for the little ones

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We have a summer house that is located 2 miles from the beach. We have been to the beach about 4 times this summer. Yes, that’s all. Why you ask? Because it’s a schlep! There is so much to bring and lugging bags, chairs, umbrellas, etc. through the sand is NOT easy!
I’ve tried and tried to come up with ways to limit the amount of items that I bring…and for starters, I cut down on the number of people that I go to the beach with. Less people, less stuff. It works!
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One of my favorite beach trips this summer was with these two little ones, Harlow + Luke. We decided to take them on a sunset run to the beach for a dinner date one night.
Sounds totally dicey doesn’t it? Well it was GREAT. Until “Sammy the Seagull” stole our food…but I’m not even going to get into that. Let me just tell you how we made this easy on ourselves…
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Here’s a recap of how and what we packed:
To eat: Had to think like a toddler…what do they like to eat? I packed: chicken cutlets cut into strips so they could easily eat with their hands, corn on the cob and watermelon.
How to serve: Paper plates (shaped like watermelons of course).
What to drink: Water. Let’s not get crazy here. Mini bottles of water – easy does it.
How to pack it all: In a watermelon cooler bag. Obviously.
What are we sitting on? A plaid beach blanket of course. Who wants to lug the chairs? Not me!
The toys! I almost forgot the toys. I put the kids in charge of packing the toys that they wanted. They each grabbed a beach shovel, couple of pails and couldn’t have been more content digging up sand, looking for seashells and chasing the water.
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The kids were relaxed and playing footsies. Not sure how I feel about that but I do know it was a perfect beach date.IMG_7952

xx, Seri
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August 18, 2015

A Creative Twist on Baby Wipes

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Part of my duties at LMP is to be a catch-all for all of the new and creative ideas that are thrown around daily.  One recent idea that Seri came up with was to find a cute way to decorate a box of baby wipes.  While Seri was entertaining friends and family for Luke’s 3rd birthday party a few weeks ago, she noticed how everybody kept reaching for the baby wipes to clean up messes. Not only on their kids, but everywhere! She also noticed how plain the plastic container that the wipes came in  looked, and thought it would be fun to come up with a creative way to spruce up the box, so that it didn’t look so boring.

She asked me to take over and brainstorm a few ideas, and I landed on the perfect one – washi tape! Washi tape is literally take that comes in cool patterns and colors.  It is easy to apply, waterproof, and very easy to find.  Easy decision.

After a trip to Staples (where I was overwhelmed by the very abundant selection of washi tape) I decided to decorate our container of wipes with tape in varying tones of mint, with tape with some cool designs interspersed throughout.  After picking out the tape, the rest of the process was super easy.  Here’s how I did it!

What you will need:
4-6 rolls of different colored washi tape, depending on what you want your design to look like
plastic wipes dispenser
scissors

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What to do:
Wing it! I decided to make a strip pattern, and basically just stuck the roll of washi tape around the container until the entire stripe was finished, and layered each strip twice so the branded sticker on the box didn’t show through.  You can pick any colors you want and get creative with your designs!

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I love how the finished product turned out.

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Later that afternoon, after Seri’s son Luke came home from camp, he and I decided that it would be fun to paint in the backyard.  After I got all of the painting supplies, you know what I grabbed next? The wipes!

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They were perfect to have easily on hand to clean up all of the inevitable paint messes, and were way more fun to look at than a normal wipe dispenser.

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xo,
Abby

xx, Abby
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August 14, 2015

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Leave it to me to post a “meatless Monday” recipe on a Tuesday. I’m sorry but those s’mores consumed my life the other day and there was no room for this faux pasta dish on the blog docket.

Now tell me something? Have you ever?

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This was probably one of the most beautiful plates I’ve seen of just plain ol’ veggies in a long time. One of the main reasons I made this was to use up some of the recent garden haul from our backyard. My husband’s zucchini, bell pepper and tomato crops are at full picking force right now.

It truly is my favorite time of the year.

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The tastes. The colors. Oh my.

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Here’s a little secret. This may be a meatless dish but it doesn’t mean I didn’t sneak in a little side of bbq’d chicken for protein. Cluck cluck.

If you’re one that wants a strictly vegetarian only dish, just do it and add in some legumes – which I can’t stand. Did I tell you I have an aversion to beans? Specifically LIMA. Don’t even try to fool me by disguising them on my plate. I will hunt them down one by one, spear them and throw them onto your plate.

Of course there’s a story behind the creation of this dish. I really wanted to “spiralize” these veggies. So off I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy another gadget for my kitchen. I stood in the spiralizer aisle for 39 minutes staring at the array of SPIRAL TOOLS.

After speaking to a few strangers about other useless gadgets, I settled on a handheld vegetable spiral thingy that was green and looked like a dual ended pencil sharpener. I paid $19.99 less my 20% off coupon and quickly headed home to “curl” my vegetables. I was actually quite excited about what the end result would be after all the spiralling.

SO.

Here’s what happened. I stuck a zucchini into this green pencil sharpener and it didn’t do what it promised to do and that was TO SPIRAL the stupid vegetable.

THEN.

I tried a carrot.

THEN.

I packed up the green spiralizer that didn’t spiral and took out my mandolin.

THEN.

My mandolin wasn’t cooperating and my zucchini fell on the floor.

THEN.

I had laughing fit to the point of crying ….you know …when you laugh so hard you start to cry for no apparent reason except for the fact that you’re nuts and alone in the kitchen with a zucchini on the floor and a slippery mandolin? Ya. That’s what happened.

THEN.

I had to settle for julienne instead of curly cues.

The end result tasted the same and I’m thrilled that I will be getting my $19.99 less the 20% coupon back.

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Meatless Monday Faux Pasta

1 large zucchini or 2 small ones, julienned
1 bell pepper, julienned
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
2 tbls olive oil
any type of freshly grated cheese if desired
1 recipe fresh garden tomato sauce
2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
3/4 large vidalia onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, cook tomatoes and basil over medium-low heat until tomatoes are soft.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent.
Add onion mixture to tomato mixture then sprinkle in the salt and pepper.
Let simmer on low heat for 2 hours or until thick.
Keep stirring on the 1/2 hour to make sure it isn’t scorching.
I like to puree the sauce afterwards with a handheld blender but it’s also nice with the texture of the tomatoes left in.
Place vegetables in a large skillet with 2 tbls olive oil and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Just until cooked through but not mushy. Serve with fresh tomato sauce and freshly grated cheese if desired. Serves 2.

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See ya next week!

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@simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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July 29, 2015

Project Playdate: Bookworms

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So the kids were having a playdate on a Sunday and wanted to do something a little different before hitting the pool. So we thought it would be nice to visit the library for some books…
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We got to the library and it was closed. Ok woops! Should have checked that. So we window shopped our way over to the cutest little book store to browse through a few books instead.
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These kids have such a wonderful love for books and reading. It is a quality a mother dreams of for her children.
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We have a few people to thank for this (not including myself because I find it hard to find the time to read…) so I will give the credit where the credit is due here.
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For starters, our nanny Kelsey. Kelsey was apart of our family during the kids earliest years and made it part of the daily routine to read to them. The library was a weekly activity and I love how the kids took responsibility over returning them on time – always asking – when are our books due?!
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The other person in the kids lives who spend countless hours reading with them…their teachers of course. I have the utmost respect for teachers. They are a special type of person who have the most powerful influence over our children today.
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The kids each left with a book and we headed back to Mazzy and Harlow’s place. And this is there the fun really began…BTS21
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When the kids got back to Mazzy & Harlow’s house they ran away from us immediately to run wild and then sit down to read their books in private…hidden under the treehouse. How precious?!
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Happy reading friends!

Back to school clothing by Gymboree
Photos by Reyna Sara Photography
More on this playdate over on the Mommy Shorts blog.

xx, Seri
Party conversation
  1. Marissa

    Most important thing ever!!

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July 9, 2015

Summer in the Hamptons 4 ways GIVEAWAY

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The sun is out, the air is warm and we are spending most of our time at the beach and in the pool. Pretty perfect if you ask me! So how are we drying off? With our favorite towels on earth.
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Our friends at Fine Linens sent us the Abstractions towels by Lulu DK. You know when you grab a towel and it cover nothing but your bottom? Well not with these towels! They are huge! And they are so cozy to wrap up in especially after you get out of the water.
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Well today we’re psyched to tell you that Fine Linens is giving away two of these awesome towels (colors of your choice!) to one lucky winner.
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We have Aunt Debi of Simply Beautiful Eating and cousin Daniella of All that Glitters spending the week in the Hamptons with us and they are showing you how to summer with these gorgeous towels 4 ways and all you need to do enter for a chance to win these towels is tell us who you want to spend your summer at the beach with in the comments below or on our Instagram feed.
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Summer by the pool = an ice cream stacked high…and topped with sprinkles!
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Summer on a raft = berry cocktails…this is a pomegranate and blueberry soda loaded with blueberries, blackberries and raspberries fresh from our local farm stand.
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Summer in the sun = sorbet in a pineapple which you can find at your local price club. We loaded ours with fruit to make for the perfect summer snack.
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Summer in the garden = sherbert float which we made by adding store bought sherbert to a glass of sprite. Add a paper umbrella and boom. Does it get better then this?
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If you haven’t already, check out Fine Linens for their incredible bedding, towels and so much more!
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All photos in this post were taken by Debi of Simply Beautiful Eating.

xx, Seri
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