Five Things for Friday

Happy Friday!

This week has been a bit of a #fail as far as blogging. Work’s been a little busy and I haven’t slept great. Still trying to get rid of this cold, so I rested as much as possible. Also — stay tuned for lots of recipes! I’ve been cooking a lot this week and have a few more experiments planned for the weekend!



Had to include this snapshot of Mohawk Jo from our groomer!

IMG_4055These two…pre-haircut in their new sweaters.

IMG_3981Homemade almond milk inspired by Erin Ireland‘s Snap Story.

IMG_4061A shot from conservationist Greg Rasmussen’s presentation at Audubon Zoo this week. Greg founded the Painted Dog Conservation project. He’s now shifted his efforts to the Painted Dog Research Trust and it was fascinating hearing about his work, the dogs and life in the Bush.

IMG_4029Jersey might have a crush on Pierre the Pelican.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading — especially on a weekend when content was a little sparse!




Wish List Wednesday: Books!


Sorry for the lack of post yesterday! I spent ‘blog time’ cleaning the downstairs for a little work video shoot we hosted at the house — I’m excited to share some behind-the-scenes photos once the video is out!

Today’s Wish List Wednesday is inspired by a recent acquisition I made: a library card! Ha ha! One of my co-workers, has mentioned that her mom works at one of the local libraries, so, since I LOVE to read, I decided to check out the one by our house. I’ve been buying a lot of books these last few years, so I figured this was a more cost-effective way of reading more!

Additionally, one of the reasons I wanted to post about my book wish list is to reflect back on some of the goals that came to mind when I was reading about people’s New Year’s resolutions. I’m not too into those, but I do think it’s important to hit the reset button sometimes and think about what adjustments you want to make in life. These books speak a little to that, so I’m looking forward to reading more!

Top row (L to R)

1-The Complete Book of Home Organization: 200+ Tips and Projects Paperback by Toni Hammersley

Who doesn’t need to be more organized?! I feel like I do a DECENT job of keeping things organized around here, but, sometimes, I feel like I’m too close to the projects and need new, fresh ideas and visuals to inspire myself to organize different spaces. Looking forward to checking this out — I have a closet outside that I’m DESPERATE to figure out!

2-National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States, 8th Edition

Ever since Africa, I feel like I’m constantly looking at places I want to go–the list is long! With that said, it seems like there is SO much focus on traveling abroad (which I totally understand), but there are so many incredible places to explore in the U.S., too!

3-The Girl on the Train Hardcover by Paula Hawkins

I’m so far behind on this one — have heard amazing things and can’t wait to read it!

4-Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life’s Biggest Yes by Kristen Welch

When I think about having kids, it’s rather terrifying to know that our actions will shape everything they do. While I want to give them the world — and maybe another planet or two if I have them — I also want them to be grateful and know it’s important to earn what you get, not expect it. This read got great reviews — we’ll call it homework for the someday mom, maybe?

5-Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home Hardcover by Emily Schuman

Cupcakes & Cashmere is one of my favorite blogs. The recipes, the design and fashion insight — Emily Schuman’s taste is impeccable. I have her first book and can’t wait to check out the second!

Bottom row (L to R)

1-Lovable Livable Home: How to Add Beauty, Get Organized, and Make Your House Work for You Hardcover by Sherry Petersik & John Petersik is one of my most favorite blogs and I miss its daily content! This is another ‘I have the first book’ situation and I’m excited to enjoy being inspired by another fun collection of projects from YHL!

2-Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

I can remember when Drew Barrymore released her book and was on the Ellen Show–I definitely thought it’d be a fun read. She took all the photos, too, which is so fun! Photography books are so interesting as you see the world through another’s eyes!

3-Humans of New York: Stories Hardcover by Brandon Stanton

Collections of stories about New Yorkers — how fun! The most inspiring, interesting city in the world has tons of great characters. I love following the Facebook page, too! So fun!

4-Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-Extinction and the Precarious Future of Wild Things by M. R. O’Connor

My obsession with animals continues to grow and, after listening to a presentation about the conservation of wild dogs, this book peaks my interest. I used to volunteer quite a bit and it’s on my list this year to try and get involved SOMEHOW with animals whether it’s at an animal shelter (we might have 3 dogs, if I do that) or working with a group forcused on conservation.

5-Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life Hardcover by Erin Gates

Similar to my interests and inspiration, I feel like my taste in design changes constantly. I love things to be clean and organized, but I also like eclectic pieces and decor items that have a story to them. I’d like to focus and do a better job looking at the bigger picture instead of individual items – I’m hoping this book will help!

Hope you enjoyed this post — what books are on your list?

Have a great day!



Recipe: Brussels Sprout & Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Hazelnuts & Creamy Avocado Dressing

Well, after another weekend of being pretty much bed-bound and resting, I’m happy to report that I’m feeling a little better. On Friday, I VERY relieved that the chest x-rays came back normal, but the doctor did warn me that since this is a viral infection, there isn’t a whole lot I can do except rest and take the dose of steroids he provided. So, here’s hoping the meds work because we have a busy week ahead work-wise!

Now, on to today’s post. I was inspired by one of the blogs I read, Carrie Bradshaw Lied, as, since beginning the Whole 30 diet, she’s been posting great recipes and insight about the diet. I first saw a salad on her Snapchat and found a recipe I adpated to re-create what looked SO yummy!

Brussels Sprout Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Hazelnuts & Creamy Avocado Dressing


Adapted from Tastebook


-1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, washed, dried and leaves separated

-4-5 kale leaves (I used lacinato kale)

-1 celery stalk

-seeds from half a pomegranate *how to remove tip below

-large handful of hazelnuts (about 1/3 cup), roasted

-juice and zest from one small lemon, about 2-3 tablespoons juice

-1 avocado

-pinch of sea salt

-1 package stevia

-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


1-Remove the kale leaves from the center stalk and cut into bite sized pieces. Massage the kale.


2-Roughly chop the brussels sprout leaves the same size, place in a large bowl.


3Scoop out 1/2 the avocado and place in a small food proccesor with the lemon juice, zest, stevia, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Blend until creamy and set aside.

4-Cube the rest of the avocado, thinly slice the celery and roughly chop the roasted hazelnuts. De-seed the pomegranate – this is how I do it — makes it so easy! Add those ingredients to your bowl.


5-Add dressing, toss and serve!


I absolutely LOVED this salad — so delicious! The original recipe did not include the stevia and EEVO, but I had to add it because my avocado wasn’t QUITE ripe yet. I may try and go without it next time and follow the recipe more exactly. I may have to keep the stevia though — the lemon gave the dressing a very tart taste!

Hope you enjoy and have a great Monday – thanks for reading!


Five Things for Friday

Happy Friday!

This week felt so long even though we had Monday off — I’m breaking down and going to the doctor again. This cold/cough has been going for six-plus weeks now and I’ve had it!

Here are five photos to start the weekend!

IMG_3924Brisket sliders & marinated brussel sprouts from Butcher.

IMG_3873Jersey put herself to bed on Saturday night.

IMG_3964My selfie game sucks, but Mom wanted a picture of the sunglasses she got me for Christmas. Love them — and love that they do more than protect my eyes from the sun. Thanks, Mom!

IMG_3913Received the best mail this week: a delivery from Rehab for Katy! So excited about the inspirational calendar and notecards — thank you, sweet friend! Check her out — she’s amazing!

IMG_3910A fresh New Jersey everything bagel + veggie cream cheese = happiness (& dinner on Tuesday)! Peppermint tea for dessert isn’t so bad either.

Have a great weekend & thanks for reading!


Links to Make You Think

Holy cow…did anyone see this article yesterday?!

One in 10 college GRADUATES believes that Judge Judy is a Supreme Court Justice. What the what?! According to a recent study from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), this is true…which is frightening.

tv-judge-judy Photo credit: Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I can rattle off all of the Supreme Court Justices, BUT I know Judge Judy certainly isn’t one of them.

In today’s society, most of us are guilty of being caught up in social media and my mom is always on my case about it, but, I feel like, at the very least, I definitely spend a lot of that time reading news articles. The topics vary, but at least it’s news, right?

When I selected today’s articles, I wanted them to be fun and interesting, but I hope you learn something from them, too – if nothing else, at least you know that Judge Judy isn’t a Supreme Court Justice, right? 🙂

One of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes & Cashmere featured a great post yesterday about incorporating greenery in your décor and the benefits it has on your health and environment.

Former NFL wide receiver Randle El was featured in an article (Click on WR) in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s 40X 10XL special section. Forty years ago, the Steelers won Super Bowl X. A decade ago, they took XL. The publication talked to former players who were catalysts in the team’s success and EL discussed his feelings about the long-term physical effects on him and how he’d do things differently.

No food is healthy. This article made me giggle a little as it made valid points about how we view health and nutrition.

Two separate studies are showing that vacations and green space are good for your mental and physical health. After saying, ‘duh,’ I proceeded to read about life as a safari guide. So interesting…take me back to Africa, please. Life. Changing.

These photos are beautiful and offer a performer’s perspective.

Wow… VERY eye opening.

Jillian Harris posted an article about the grim future for our oceans: There Will Be More Plastic Garbage Than Fish in Our Oceans By 2050. This gives me hope.

Lastly, this explains so much about my cheese obsession.

Have a great day!