Quick and easy are my two favorite words when it comes to cooking! Cooking just isn't my favorite thing. I do it because well, I have to! So, I'm always on the hunt for recipes that inspire me to want to be in the kitchen while still looking like something I can pull off. 

This pasta salad recipe is something I threw together one night when we needed a simple side. It's great for summer time! Anyways, it's kind of a non-recipe, but I thought I'd share it here with you guys. 


We have a little tradition of letting Manny pick every year where he wants to go for Father's Day and it never fails that he chooses something fun for the kids. So, we set off for the zoo and a day in Columbia last Sunday! 


Happy weekend, babes! I'm sitting in the library attempting to write a list of blog posts to cover a few weeks. I am feeling stressed out. Which is why I'm hiding out at the public library. My anxiety is doing strange things. And, I'm just not feeling myself or very good these days. I think it's a combination of our usual schedule thrown to the wind and the summer blues.

My kids have hit a stage where it's never enough. Sometimes, I think it's because they have too much. Others times, I think it's a typical stage of summer time. Go more, do more, see more. It's summer and we have to fill our days with as much as we can, as often as we can. 

Balance is what we need. And, a clear-minded mom. I'm hoping to find some of that clearness and some summer structure while still totally falling into the pattern of lazy days, long nights, and fun adventures that seems so summer-esque.


Swim lessons started again this week! Last year, Lia was NOT a fan of swim lessons. She cried and refused to jump in the pool and did not want to go back after the first lesson. 

So, we did a second week last year. And that one went a little better. She was excited, at least! 



Summer officially set in two weeks ago when school ended here, but Lia has been at her grandparents house since then and I don't feel like our summer really starts until we get her back this weekend, so I threw together a little summer kick-off kit to celebrate!


With the kids out of town last week, I've had some extra time on my hands! It's been great (and quiet!) and I've spent a lot of it reading. Stillhouse Lake and Dead Certain are my latest reads. They were great! But, they are also mystery/thriller novels and I'm ready to sink into a few more lightweight reads as well. 


I found this book on our kitchen table amongst flowers and handmade cards on Mother's Day! I've had my eye on it for a while but I wanted my own copy. Something I can dig into, make marks on, dog-ear favorite pages.




Shopping is fun, right? But shopping with kids is a whole different thing! I get stuck carrying around a heavy bag full of snacks and diapers and any tricks I can find to get my kids through a shopping trip and generally I end up chasing Nico out of displays and answering nonstop questions from Lia. It normally isn't fun or productive!

So, I've started online shopping for my kids. It's easy enough to determine the size they'll need in most items and I can find great deals. A few of my go-tos are Gap, Old Navy, and H&M. But, my favorite is ThredUp. Thredup is an online consignment store for kids and adults. They only take the best of the crop!