Playing on the beach…a favorite.

 Growing up in the NW, I’m actually happier on overcast days… I know that sounds weird, but often times when it’s totally sunny, I don’t want to go outside.  Everyone and their dog (literally!) goes outside to play, and sometimes I get a little clausterphobic.  I love that we had the beach almost all to ourselves on Wednesday!!Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-1 Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-2 And, we were able to run around and play without getting all sweaty-WIN! Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-3 Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-4 Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-5 Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-6 Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-7Hahaha.  I posted this next one on Instagram.  This started out as us having a Kung Fu Panda kick off.  Then, I wanted to see if my 40 year old arse could still do one of these jumps.  Then, once I did…I was determined to get it with the self timer!  Honestly, I can’t believe I actually caught it!  It did take a few tries HA!  Maya kept saying “Do it AGAIN!!” ;) Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-8 Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-9 Blog Vintage Fishermans Sweater Paige Skyline Ankle Peg Lorelei Black Converse-10Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-1Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-2Some people are playing in the snow…we have the sand :)Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-3Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-4Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-5Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-6Roar!  Maya the Lion!  Or…Maya the Tiger.  It changes by the minute :)Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-7Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-8Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-9At first I was like “Maya, no!  Put that down!  You’re going to get so wet and dirty!!”Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-10And then…I realized it was worth her joy to just let her have at it :)Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-11Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-12Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-13Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-14Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-15Oh, and somersaults in the sand?  Sure, why not…Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-16Blog HandKnit Coral Sweater DL1961 Harper Bogs Purple Flower Toddler Boots-17On me…

Sweater- Vintage, thrifted
Top- Stylemint (similar here)
Jeans- Paige “Skyline Ankle Peg” in Lorelei (thrifted)
Shoes- Converse (thrifted)
On Maya…
Sweater- HandKnit (thrifted, similar color here)
Jeans- DL1961 “Harper” (C/O)
Shoes-Bogs (thrifted, but similar here)
Keeping it Real…
Here are a few of the failed attempts to capture the jump.  At some point, Maya lost interest haha :)
Blog Outtake
(all pictures taken with a self timer and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Paleo Chocolate Pudding with Almond Date Topping

If you’ve been following our blog for a while you know that we are big fans of avocado! This recipe takes avocado, some cocoa, a little sweetener, a splash of coconut milk and vanilla – and makes a lovely smooth chocolate pudding.

It is similar to the Paleo Chocolate Pudding I made a while ago, but the recipe below is quicker and a nice variation! I discovered it sort of by accident – as luck would have it – while trying to make a Paleo Chocolate Pie.. turned to soup.. turned to pudding!

Blog paleo avocado chocolate pudding

Ingredients for the Topping

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 4-5 dates, pitted

Ingredients for Filling

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2-4 tbsp. cocoa (depending on how dark you like it)
  • 1-2 Tbsp agave syrup (or you could use maple or honey)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (adjust for consistency)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

 

Directions

  • In food processor, pulse almond meal and dates until crumbs form
  • For filling – combine all ingredients and blend with an inversion blender until smooth
  • Layer filling and topping in individual serving dishes

Enjoy!

dit-elle-Esther

Grilled Chicken, Onion, Plum, and Goat Cheese Salad

I had a craving for the Grilled Chicken, Onions, and Peaches with Avocado Tomato Salsa the other night.  I didn’t have any peaches on hand though and sadly my avocado’s weren’t ripe yet, so I did a variation and used some plums!

It wasn’t as delicious, but a close 2nd… :)blog Grilled Chicken Onions and Plum Salad with Goat Cheese Salad-4Ingredients (to serve 4)

  • 8 plums (I used ones that were almost ripe, but still a little on the firm side)
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 10 cherry tomatos (I used orange ones)
  • 4 Tablespoons of goat cheese
  • Handful of diced almonds
  • 4-6 Cups of salad greens.  Your choice, but I like to use a mix that has both spinach and arugula, because those wilt nicely.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (amount not measured, but will describe in instructions :))
  • Sea Salt and Pepper
  • Trader Joe’s Reduced Balsamic Glaze.

Directions

  • Light your grill and set it to a medium heat.
  • Cut your onion into 1/2 inch slices
  • Season the chicken breasts and onion with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
  • Set both on the grill for 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breasts)
  • Cut plums in half and lightly coat with olive oil and a little bit of sea salt.
  • At the 8-10 minute mark, flip both the chicken and onion and add the plums to the grill.
  • Cook everything for another 8-10 minutes until chicken cooked all the way through.blog Grilled Chicken Onions and Plum Salad with Goat Cheese Salad-2
  • During the cooking, cut tomatoes and break up the goat cheese over the salad greens in a big bowl.
  • Layer everything together.  Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and Trader Joe’s Glaze over each serving and ENJOY!!! :)blog Grilled Chicken Onions and Plum Salad with Goat Cheese Salad-8dit-elle-Lauren

 

Spinach, Bacon and Artichoke Dip

It feels like I’ve been on this Artichoke Dip frenzy now that I look back at our recipes, but then I guess we’ve also been doing this blog for a while! :-) Over the holidays I discovered Hot Artichoke and Crab Dip, then I was looking for a very simple baked dip and discovered the awesome Warm Artichoke Dip with only FOUR ingredients, then finally with some tweaking and consulting of multiple recipes, discovered this excellent Spinach, Bacon and Artichoke Dip that I’m posting today.

This recipe is very similar to my Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon, with one key difference being that this one calls for sour cream and the other one calls for mayo, and this one uses a mix of cheeses. This recipe has more veggies and less dairy that many similar dip recipes that you’ll find out there, but that’s the way I like it. And you know, with ingredients like cheese, artichoke, spinach, and BACON.. well.. you can’t really go wrong! Enjoy whatever variation you decide on or come up with. :-)

Blog spinach bacon dip

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese + more for topping
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese + more for topping
  • 5 bacon strips, cooked and chopped (an easy way to cook bacon is to microwave between paper towels until crispy)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (8oz) blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • Serve with fresh cut veggies or tortilla chips

Directions

  • Heat oven to 350*
  • Combine mozzarella, sour cream, Parmesan and next 6 ingredients (through spinach) in a large bowl and stir until well blended
  • Spoon mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese
  • Bake at 350* for ~30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown
  • Serve warm

Super Mom Tip: this freezes well! Put in individual containers and let thaw in fridge a day ahead of use. :-)

dit-elle-Esther

DIY Destroyed Denim…and we found a new beach!

 I had to take the scissors away from myself a while back.  I was destroying denim left and right haha.  Well, I was getting the itch again.  I found these perfect Paige Denim Jeans for $6 over the weekend (yes, $6!!!).  I have a ton of plain skinny jeans, so I decided to try making some with a wider knee rip (they are being sold everywhere and add about 20% to the price tag haha)Blog Vintage Leather Jacket See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-1The other bonus, is that these don’t have as much stretch as some of my others (only 2% lycra), so they are actually more comfy with the rips! Blog Vintage Leather Jacket See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-2 Blog Vintage Leather Jacket See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-3Maya would NOT finish this apple.  “I’m just licking it…” ;)Blog Vintage Leather Jacket See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-4 Blog Vintage Leather Jacket See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-5Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-1Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-2And…I had to DIY distress another pair for Maya too :)Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-3“RAWR!!!”Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-4Blog Vintage Leather Jacket See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-21And then we looked off to the left and saw a path leading down to the beach.  But even cooler, was that there were all these cairns leading down too!Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-10 Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-11 Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-12I wasn’t planning on us playing on a rocky beach.  These clogs probably weren’t the smartest choice, but they didn’t even phase her! Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-13 Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-14 Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-15 Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-16 Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-17 Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-18 Blog See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-1Blog See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-2Blog See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-3haha.  This next shot totally looks like I’m pulling her hair.  I promise, I’m just playing with it!Blog See by Chloe SS Boho Top Paige Skyline Skinny DIY Destroyed Jeans Frye Lisa Short Stitch Booties-4Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-19Attempting to make her own cairn :)Blog HM Zebra Cardigan Gapkids Tee Gray Mini Skinny DIY destroyed Jeans Sven Toddler Mary Jane Ankle Strap Clogs-20On me…

Jacket- Vintage (similar here, and less expensive here)
Top- See by Chloe (eBay, similar here)
Jeans- Paige “Skyline” then DIY destroyed (thrifted, similar here and here)
Boots- Frye “Lisa Short Stitch” (eBay, sold out but similar here and here and less expensive here)
On Maya…
Sweater- H&M (thrifted, but similar here)
Top- GapKids (thrifted, but similar here)
Jeans- GapKids DIY distroyed (thrifted, but similar here)
Keeping it Real…
As soon as she saw the beach, she’s like “I’m OUTTA HERE!  Take my apple!” hahaBlog Outtake
(all pictures taken with a self timer and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Taking a jumpsuit from day to night…

 I’ve been a little hesitant on the jumpsuit craze.  That is to say…I have bought a few (when I’ve found a crazy deal too good to pass up), but they just keep hanging in my closet.  I always feel so dressed up in them.  Isn’t that funny?  A jumpsuit…too dressy??

Anyway, I decided to try and dress one down for day.  It was SUPER comfy!  I will admit…the whole going to the bathroom and stripping down (when as a mom you are NEVER alone/the door is always open) still weirds me out.  So, I wore a little cami and problem solved!

And yes!!!  I’m sleeveless in Seattle in FEBRUARY!!  Omg, I didn’t even realize until I typed that… “Sleeveless in Seattle” hahaha.  Good grief, I need some sleep…Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Levis Denim Shirt Leopard HM Shoes-1 Again, wasn’t so sure about the whole drop crotch craze either.  I grew up in the MC Hammer era, and it wasn’t good then.  BUT…it is pretty comfy, and hides if you’ve gained a few ;)Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Levis Denim Shirt Leopard HM Shoes-2 Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Levis Denim Shirt Leopard HM Shoes-3 Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Levis Denim Shirt Leopard HM Shoes-4 Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Levis Denim Shirt Leopard HM Shoes-5 Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Levis Denim Shirt Leopard HM Shoes-6 Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Levis Denim Shirt Leopard HM Shoes-7Blog Osh Kosh Denim Jacket Little Boogaweezin Remembering Ryan Raglan Red Skinny Joes Jeans Candy Heart Vans-1Blog Osh Kosh Denim Jacket Little Boogaweezin Remembering Ryan Raglan Red Skinny Joes Jeans Candy Heart Vans-2We took these pics on Valentine’s Day.  We’ve had these shoes for a while.  I almost DIED when I found them thrifting last APRIL for $4.25!  I was SOOO hoping they’d still fit by Valentine’s Day, and they did!Blog Osh Kosh Denim Jacket Little Boogaweezin Remembering Ryan Raglan Red Skinny Joes Jeans Candy Heart Vans-3Blog Osh Kosh Denim Jacket Little Boogaweezin Remembering Ryan Raglan Red Skinny Joes Jeans Candy Heart Vans-4Blog Osh Kosh Denim Jacket Little Boogaweezin Remembering Ryan Raglan Red Skinny Joes Jeans Candy Heart Vans-5Finally we ditched the jacket, because it was….too hot (seriously, say what?!?!)Blog Osh Kosh Denim Jacket Little Boogaweezin Remembering Ryan Raglan Red Skinny Joes Jeans Candy Heart Vans-6Hahaha.  Love how enthusiastically she blows bubbles :)Blog Osh Kosh Denim Jacket Little Boogaweezin Remembering Ryan Raglan Red Skinny Joes Jeans Candy Heart Vans-7Blog Osh Kosh Denim Jacket Little Boogaweezin Remembering Ryan Raglan Red Skinny Joes Jeans Candy Heart Vans-8Blog Osh Kosh Denim Jacket Little Boogaweezin Remembering Ryan Raglan Red Skinny Joes Jeans Candy Heart Vans-9Then, I took off the cami, let down the rolled cuffs, added some fun heels, and did a super easy braided bun.  I’d like to tell you that this outfit actually made it to “night” and went out, but no…just our sidewalk hahaha.

Looking at these pictures, I think I’d still keep the legs rolled if I were to do it again.  It would probably highlight the cute heels more, and still look dressy.  With the legs down (on my short legs), I think it looks a little frumpy.Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Nine West Two Toned Pink Pumps-1Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Nine West Two Toned Pink Pumps-2Blog The Fifth Label Drop-Crotch Jumpsuit Nine West Two Toned Pink Pumps-3On me…

Jumpsuit- The Fifth Label (still on sale for $19, down from $95!)
Top- Levi’s (mine is old)
Shoes- H&M
Heels- Nine West (old)
On Maya…
Jacket- Osh Kosh (thrifted, but similar here)
Top- Little Boogaweezin “Remembering Ryan Raglan” (sold out, but more goodness here)
Jeans- Joe’s Jeans (thrifted, but similar here)
Shoes- Vans “Candy Hearts” (thrifted, but loving these silver heart ones here)
Keeping it Real…
For those of you that were looking closely, you’ll notice that we went through three bottles of bubbles.  I have no idea why… ;)Blog OuttakeOh, that could be it. :)Blog Outtake 2
(all pictures taken with a self timer and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Costco Hack- Grilled Chicken and Onion Salad with Kale, Broccoli, and Avocado

As a working mother of 2 teenage stepsons and a toddler, dinners aren’t always what I imagine or want them to be.  If I can make them reasonably healthy, easy, and edible I count it as a major win!  So, you know who gets a lot of our grocery business?  Costco!  I don’t have the time, patience or wallet to go to all the various grocery stores, and if you have a bigger family-Costco is a home run.  So, I do a lot of what I like to call “Costco Hacks”.  The term “Ikea Hack” has become pretty well known as a term of making something inexpensive into something that doesn’t look inexpensive at all, and I think that the same can be made of food!

You can totally do that with Costco/Trader Joe’s too!  Especially if you have a family.  Gather a bunch of ingredients, and then make them into meals that are healthy, relatively easy, and enjoyable across the board!  And above all…share with the rest of us!!!

So…for my first official “Costco Hack” installment… Everything in this salad is from Costco.

And sadly, I know I could have made it look better, but I got the idea to take pictures after I had tossed it all together.  Which jumbled it all and made it look messy.  I guarantee it tasted a LOT better than it looked :)

There’s something about the grilled onion diced up into the salad.  It added such a yummy flavor, that I do it almost every time we grill for dinner!Blog Costco Grilled Chicken and Onion Kale Avocado Brussel Sprout Salad-3 Blog Costco Grilled Chicken and Onion Kale Avocado Brussel Sprout Salad-2 Blog Costco Grilled Chicken and Onion Kale Avocado Brussel Sprout Salad-1Ingredients

  • 4 Individual Chicken Breasts (frozen then defrosted)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • Olive oil and salt and pepper to coat both chicken and onions (to taste)
  • 1 Avocado
  • Handful of Cherry Tomatos
  • 2 Handfuls of Mixed Greens
  • 2 Handfuls of the “Sweet Kale Frise Chou Doux” Mix
  • One pouch of the Poppyseed Dressing.
  • Cheese of your choice.  I was going to do some goat cheese, but I had some Parmesan on hand and that was yummy too.  A little goes a long way with all the other flavors, so use sparingly and it will still be delicious!

Directions

  • Heat your grill to medium heat.
  • Marinate defrosted chicken in olive oil and salt and pepper
  • Slice your onion to 1/2 inch thickness and coat with olive oil and salt and pepper
  • Place Chicken Breasts and Onions slices on grill for 8-10 minutes (depending on size) then flip and cook again for 8-10 minutes (depending on size)
  • Toss the various greens together.
  • Add Avocado and tomatoes.
  • Once chicken and onions are done, dice them up and add them to the mix.
  • Sprinkle with cheese of your choice, add dressing and toss to ENJOY!