Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

SHOP MY FAVES

SHOP MY FAVES
SHOP MY FAVES

STYLE

STYLE
STYLE

Backyard BBQ Taquitos

Hosting a BBQ can be a lot of work. From planning to preparing to executing to cleaning up, there are lots of tasks involved. I love any type of shortcut that saves me time and effort. When I came across this recipe for BBQ Chicken Taquitos, I loved it for two reasons. The first is it's a super simple
crowd-pleaser. The second is that it's a great alternative to and a fun twist on typical BBQ chicken.

Backyard BBQ Taquitos

INGREDIENTS
12 José Olé Chicken Taquitos
1 ½ cup BBQ sauce, divided
1 cup coleslaw

PREPARATION:
1. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grate.

2. In a large baking dish, coat the Chicken Taquitos with 1 cup of the BBQ sauce.

3. Add the Chicken Taquitos to the grill and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, rolling them along the grates until cooked on all sides and warmed through, brushing them with the remaining BBQ sauce.

4. Serve with coleslaw.
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Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Twenty foods to eat to de-stress via Elle.

2. Dos and don'ts for photographing fireworks like a pro via Refinery29.

3. The best and worst alcoholic beverages to drink while dieting via Cooking Light.

4. Eight hidden gems to watch on Netflix via Cool Material.

5. Fourteen beachfront restaurants in New Jersey you must try via Only In Your State.

6. These beach reads will keep you entertained all summer via My Domaine.

7. This patriotic cookie mix in a mason jar is the perfect hostess gift for a 4th of July BBQ via The Mason Jar Cookie Company.

8. What it's like to be 13 in this day and age via The Washington Post.

9. Avocado toast 5 ways via What's Gaby Cooking.

10. Everything you need to eat, drink, see, and do in Asbury Park, NJ this summer via Thrillist.
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Post-Workout Hydration and Fuel: Coconut Water & Smoothies


I post frequently on Snapchat about my workout routine and what fuels me post-workout. I've recently gotten a lot of questions about what I like to eat and drink pre- and post-workout.

Since I workout early in the morning, I generally don't eat prior to hitting the gym. In the summer months, I arrive at the gym by 5:45 am. I'm usually not hungry immediately when I wake up. However, I definitely drink a lot of water during my workout, and post-workout, I go for something a little more substantial.

I was recently introduced to Harmless Harvest Coconut Water, and I am really loving it for post-workout hydration. I've tried different coconut waters in the past, but none have struck my fancy. Harmless Harvest is the first ever Fair-For-Life certified coconut water. It maintains its unique, 'straight from the coconut' flavor thanks to its multi-step micro-filtration process. Harmless Harvest has a longer shelf life without extra additives or preservatives, and I love it as an all-natural alternative to sports drinks and juices


I love adding Harmless Harvest Coconut Water to smoothies. Since it contains vital nutrients that occur naturally in Harmless Harvest's specific young, green coconuts, it's the perfect addition to a post-workout, nutrient dense smoothie. Not only does it work for me post-workout, but my kids are loving it too after sports practices and games. I've been looking for a source of hydration that tastes good, is all-natural, and one that is loaded with nutrients.

My mixed berry smoothie is super simple to make. I use a frozen mixed berry blend from Whole Foods, Fage Greek yogurt, and Harmless Harvest Coconut Water. If you are using fresh berries rather than frozen, throw a few ice chips into the blender to make the smoothie super cold. Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Enjoy! It's a refreshing treat any time of the day, but I especially like it after an intense workout.


For more information on how Harmless Harvest became a leader in this industry revolution, check out their recent article in INC. Magazine: 'Winning the Hyper-Competitive Coconut Water Wars'
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4 Essential Tips for Entertaining Overnight Guests #AvoidTheOops

Thank you to Walmart and SheSpeaks for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

We love to entertain overnight guests. There's nothing more satisfying than having friends and family come to visit us. Since we live in a coastal, resort area, the summers are popular times for visitors to land on our doorstep.  And sometimes they arrive with little notice. How do we #AvoidTheOops when visitors come to town?

I have a fear of running out of everyday essentials when we have out of town visitors. Nothing is more embarrassing than not having necessities when your guests need them. Before your guests arrive, prepare for their arrival with these 4 tips for entertaining overnight guests.
Check out my #AvoidTheOops haul. I have my bases covered for our summer guests.

1. Be Well-Stocked
You don't want to open a kitchen or bathroom cabinet in front of your guests to realize that you are out of what you looking for. Oops! You can #AvoidTheOops by shopping for your essentials before your guests arrive. Walmart makes it easy to #AvoidTheOops by shopping online for all the products you need at www.avoidtheoops.com.


You can find all your household needs at www.avoidtheoops.com and at great prices. I was able to stock up on everything I need for out of town guests and for our own use for about $60. From paper goods to kitchen essentials to baby products, #AvoidTheOops keeps you prepared and stocked for everyday needs and emergencies as well.

2. Ask for Requests and Preferences
Cater to your guests by giving them the comforts of home. Ask them what they like from beverages to toiletries. I aim to make their stay as comfortable and familiar as I can. Whether it's a favorite toothpaste or a particular type of seltzer, I want my guests to fell like our home is theirs.

Buy their favorite bath and body products.

3. Clean the Bathrooms
Most of us go crazy cleaning our entire home from top to bottom. When actually, no one really notices most of the rooms in our homes. I always tidy and up to clear clutter. When it comes to head to toe cleaning, I focus on the the bathrooms. I find that bathrooms are where I notice most dirt in people's home. As I am standing over the sink brushing my teeth or washing my face, I tend to scan the sink and notice any lingering water spots and dirt buildup.

Plus, it's where everyone goes to get clean. If the room itself is dirty, you hardly feel clean after showering.

Keeping everything in the bathroom spotless is a must, and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers make it a snap!

4. Relax and Enjoy Your Time Together
When you are well prepared and fully stocked on all the essentials, you'll worse less and relax more. Visit www.avoidtheoops.com to get started.


Thank you to Walmart and SheSpeaks for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
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Menu Plan Monday :: 6.27.2016

The first week of summer vacation is officially under our belts. This week summer band starts for my 5th grader and continues every morning for the next three weeks. She's excited to learn how to play an instrument, and I'm excited for her to be trying something new. 

We are still easing into a routine and figuring out what works in terms of meals and schedules, but so far, so good.

Greek salad with oregano marinated chicken
Here's what's on our plates this week:

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - Greek salad with oregano marinated chicken

Wednesday - Creamy cavatappi with edamame, lemon, and tarragon

Thursday - Skinny loaded nachos

Friday - Chicken fajita kebabs with rice

Saturday - Tentative plans to attend a birthday party

Sunday - Going to a BBQ

What's on your plate this week? For more meal time inspiration, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday linkup.

To view all of my menu planning posts, click here. Visit my What's For DinnerPasta, and Soups On! Pinterest boards for even more ideas.


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Tips for Taking Care of Your Children's Teeth


As parents, we generally juggle many balls on any given day. It's likely that one of those balls will drop and you may forget to pick it up. It's happened to me many times. I forget an appointment or to turn in a form. A sports practice goes forgotten, and that permission slip for the field trip? Where did I put that again?

But one ball you don't want to drop is taking care of your child's teeth. My daughters recently had their six month check ups, and as they are getting older and experiencing more issues with their teeth, we are realizing how important it is to teach proper oral hygiene and the importance of taking proper care of your teeth for the future.

Our family dentist gave us some helpful tips for ensuring you are providing your child with proper care and education.
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Friday Fresh Picks ~ Fun Summer Finds

Summer is all about fun. The more amusing the merrier is my summer mantra. This summer surround yourself with all things playful and entertaining.

In this week's Friday Fresh Picks, I'm sharing a few fun summer finds to make this summer unforgettable and enjoyable.

Make your pool time Insta-worthy with this inflatable flamingo.
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Fab Finds at the J. Crew Factory Sale

I love J. Crew Factory, and when there's a sale, it's even better. J. Crew Factory is currently having a flash sale, and most items are on FINAL SALE, which means they are non-returnable. But at these rock bottom prices, who can resist? Here are a few of my favorite picks:


Update: Some of the above items have already sold out, but click through the links because in many cases other colors/prints are available.

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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Seven ways to make lifestyle changes stick via Do You Yoga.

2. The best rose wines to drink all summer via New York Magazine.

3. The secrets of women who exercise everyday via PureWow.

4. Ten things you should clean immediately via Well and Good.

5. Twenty perfect summer getaways via Travel and Leisure.

6. The benefits of actually drinking your suggested daily water intake via Man Repeller.

7. Ten vegetables that aren't good for your health via Delish.

8. What a Starbucks latte costs in 6 countries via Thrillist.

9. Patriotic Mason jars are perfect for any 4th of July celebration via It All Started With Paint.

10. Grilled desserts that beat a slice of chocolate cake any day via Food and Wine.
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Sleeping Tips For New Parents

Lack of sleep goes with the territory of being a new parent. The unpredictable schedules of newborns don't lend themselves to ample sleep for parents. But, it’s so important to try to get whatever sleep you can when you can. And if you can make it a good quality sleep, even better.

A friend recently had her first baby, and she offered some insightful advice on how to make the most of what little time you have to sleep.




Get into a routine
Your sleep routine will, in most cases, revolve around your baby. And, if you are still breastfeeding or your child isn’t sleeping through the night, wake up calls are inevitable. Establishing a good routine will help your body clock adjust. Have a definite time to go to bed, and wake up at the same time every morning. Make sure you do this on the weekends, too - no staying up late because your partner is going to do the mornings on Sundays.
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Summer To-Do List


A few years ago when I realized that summer flies by in the blink of an eye, I started making a summer to-do list to insure that I accomplish all that I hope to by Labor Day. New Jersey summers are never short of fun things to do. From the beaches to the mountains, fun abounds. This summer I have some old favorites on the list as well as a few newbies.

Here's what I am aiming to knock off my summer to-do list this year:

1. Go camping (yes, I said camping)!

2. Go to a beach movie.

3. Visit the Statue of Liberty.

4. Go to a local farmer's market that I've never visited before.
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Menu Plan Monday :: 6.20.2016

The first week of summer is here, and I am already ready to get into a routine, starting with menu plans and healthy dinners. Everything becomes more relaxed in the summer, and that includes meals and meal times. We had a summer a few years ago where take out dinners were a regular thing around here, and although it was fun to try out so many local restaurants, it was not budget friendly to say the least.

I am vowing not to fall into that pattern again. So, here's my first step. A menu plan for this week. Here's what's on our plates this week:

Monday - Chicken stir-fry with peanut sauce

Tuesday - Take out

Wednesday - Greek lettuce wraps
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Best Online Reads



The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. An open letter to perfect parents via Scary Mommy.

2. The definitive ranking of meal delivery services via The Verge

3. Hilarious stock photos from the 70s via BoredPanda.
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How To Throw The Ultimate Father's Day BBQ

As Father's Day approaches, we often wonder how to celebrate the day for dads. When it comes to Father's Day, I like to think outside the box. A cup of tea won’t cut it. My husband definitely favors something informal with the family, such as a BBQ. It’s fun, includes a lot of meat and a roaring grill, and it’s compulsory to have a beer while cooking, right?


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Here's a simple guide to the ultimate Father's Day BBQ.
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Summer Reading List

Yeah, I'm a sucker for a good beach read. I mean, who isn't? Isn't it everyone's dream to dig their toes deep into the sand and curl up into their beach chair with the ultimate read? Those are my #summergoals, for sure.

I'm keeping my summer reading list short and sweet this year. I've included recommendations from friends, books I've seen fellow bloggers reading, and I'm breaking out my all-time favorite book to re-read this summer.

Here's what I'll be reading this summer:

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
There's certainly nothing new about a novel written about a dysfunctional family, but this one is full of lovable characters, and I, for one, am ever so curious what becomes of the four Plumb siblings once the youngest turns 40 and the inheritance is dispersed among them.

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
This not-yet-released novel (out June 28th) is written by one of my favorite authors, and I cannot wait to dive into this one. I absolutely adored Something Borrowed and Something Blue, and I know this one will not disappoint.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang
This book sounds very interesting and slightly bizarre. A woman's nightmares drive her to become a vegetarian, but little does she know that her nightmares are her smallest problem.

On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Hands down, this book is my all-time favorite book. I can pick it up over and over again and read it as if it's my first time. Every few years I come back to it, and it never gets old. It's truly a classic, and if you've got wanderlust or just need an escape at the end of the day, open this book.


The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
Oh, come on. So you've never chosen a book based on the cover? I'm guilty. This cover had me. A town's secrets come to light after a local goes missing. This one is a total beach read!


Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Three seemingly happy families aren't what they appear to be. This fictional novel examines how strong guilt can be and how what we don't say says more than what we do.

What's on your reading list this summer?
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Menu Plan Monday :: 6.13.2016

I'm getting a late start on my menu plan post this week. I had an early morning appointment at the dentist to have a botched crown fixed. Not the most ideal way to kick off my week, but it can only get better from here, right?
Penne with summer vegetables
This week is the last week of school, and it's always a busy one. Thursday night Emma graduates from middle school. I can't believe she'll be a high schooler. I'm excited for her and her friends.

On to this week's menu plan, keeping it easy this week since we have so much going on and I didn't have a ton of time over the weekend to sit down plan the menu in depth.

Here's what's on our plates this week.

Monday - Chicken and zucchini enchiladas

Tuesday - Sausage kebabs with broccoli, tomatoes, and white bean salad

Wednesday - Grilled spinach and poblano quesadillas

Thursday - Emma's middle school graduation

Friday - Grilled pineapple chicken foil packets

Saturday - Penne with summer vegetables

Sunday - Slow-cooker pulled pork sandwiches with homemade onion rings for Father's Day

What's on your plate this week? For more meal time inspiration, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday linkup.

To view all of my menu planning posts, click here. Visit my What's For Dinner Pinterest board for even more ideas.
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Thoughtful Gift Ideas for New Moms

If you have got a friend expecting their first child, I’m sure they have been asking you lots of different questions. There might be stories about the birth, feeding the baby and just general tips and advice. It is such an exciting time but can be a little scary as you have no idea what to expect. There may be a few things that you think are vital to get, but aren’t actually that useful. I know there are certain things that I thought I knew all about. Until the baby was born and then it was obvious I had no idea what I was doing! It is nice to get new gifts for friends when they become a mom for the first time. But what do you get them that will help them ease into motherhood? I think quite practically, so here are some of my thoughts.

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Pretty Pajamas or Sweats
For a few weeks, your friend most likely won’t be fitting into her normal clothes. Plus she will be quite tired so might spend a lot of the time in the house. So what is better than some cute jammies to hang out in? You could get some yoga or sweat pants too, as it needs to be all about comfort in those early days. It is all about baby snuggles and resting up as much as you can. Then if anyone unexpected calls at the door, she doesn’t need to panic that she is in some old clothes that don’t fit quite right yet.

Something for the Baby
It is always a nice idea to get a little something for the baby too. You could get more practical things like diapers and wipes. You can never have too many, right? A new outfit will get the new mom excited about getting their new bundle all dressed up, though. You could even get something like a sun hat or a some bows or headbands for a baby girl. Lotions and baby bubble bath are all good options too.
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Provide a Meal
As nice as it might be to get a gift card for a spa day, when will it realistically be used? So something more useful would be to take a home cooked meal over to your friend. As a new mom, it is so nice not to have to think about cooking dinner. Plus, if the meal is in the refrigerator, it can just be heated up as and when it is needed. The thought of facing the grocery store with a newborn can be quite a daunting idea too. So taking over a meal is a winner in a lot of ways.


A Gift Basket
If you can put together a little hamper of some of their favorite things, it can be such a thoughtful gift. You could include a new DVD, book or magazine, to keep mom occupied when they are feeding the baby. It could include their favorite candy, as well as some lotions and oils. If they have some time to pamper themselves, they will feel a lot better.
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Friday Fresh Picks: Fun Gadgets and Gifts


TGIF!! The weekend is finally here, and I couldn't be happier. (I say that every Friday, don't I?). But it's true.  The weekends always offer a chance to refresh, relax, and gain some perspective. This weekend we were originally planning a trip to central Pennsylvania to visit my sister and her family, but our plans changed when we found out that the only day we could pick up my daughter's bunny is tomorrow in South Jersey. We'll be heading out early tomorrow morning to make the 2 hour trek to the farm and back again.

In this week's Friday Fresh Picks, I am sharing a few fun gadgets and gifts that I recently discovered.

This week I posted a video on Snapchat of the Avo Saver in action. A bunch of people snapped me back saying how cool it was and asking where I bought it. It was actually gifted to me last May when I worked on a Cinco de Mayo campaign, but you can get it here. It truly is the absolute best way to preserve half of an avocado until you are ready to eat it. It keeps it fresher for longer, is so simple to use, and costs less than $10!

These t-strap slide sandals are EVERYTHING! I haven't taken them off since I bought them. OK, maybe to sleep and to workout, but otherwise, they have been on my feet.

You'll also find this hanging terra cotta planter from CB2 on my Shop My Faves page. I ordered it a few months ago and hung it but had never planted anything in it. I was looking for a succulent that draped down the sides, but the ones I found were too big for this pot. So, I settled (for the time being) for a fern. I love how the greenery contrasts with the natural and painted terra cotta.

When I accidentally threw my favorite pizza cutter away in an empty pizza box, I was heartbroken. It was the best pizza cutter ever. This week I finally replaced it when I ordered this whimsical bike pizza cutter. It looks so fun! I can't wait for it to arrive.

I stumbled across this pouch last week while Harper and I were shopping at Old Navy. I think it's intended for holding wet bathing suits, but it really has so many uses. Makeup pouch, clutch, etc. I couldn't find the item on oldnavy.com so I don't have a link for you, but check your local Old Navy. I found it at the front of the store by the registers with the impulse buys. Yes, I just shamelessly admitted that it was an impulse buy. ;-)

Thanks for checking out this week's Friday Fresh Picks. Swing by the rest of the FFP gals to see what they are loving this week.
Friday Fresh Picks are hand-picked favorite items, reviews and highlights from the amazing women you see above.

Visit their websites to learn about other amazing picks from this week!


To view all of my Friday Fresh Picks posts, click here.
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3 Ways To Take Your Cat On An Adventure

 

Cats aren't known for their sense of adventure. By nature they are sleepers. They can doze for up to 18 hours a day. But regular activity and adventure is a must to keep your cats happy and healthy.

But just how do you do that? Getting a cat moving can be a monumental task, even on the best days. My cats love to lounge, and they do it remarkably well, as do most cats.

June 15th is National "Take Your Cat On An Adventure" Day. You don't have to go far or plan anything grand to provide adventure for your cat. It can be something as simple as purchasing a new toy and having fun for a few hours. You know how cats just love anything new!

How can you provide adventure for your cat on June 15th? It's easy. Here are a few simple and inexpensive ways to give your cat the adventure of his or her life.

1. Buy a new toy and enjoy some one-on-one play time with your cat.
Don't just place the toy in front of your cat. Grab it and give it a throw across the room or tease him with it.

We recently purchased this cat tunnel at our local dollar store, and our cat Sam loves it! He'll hide in it, sleep in it, and run through it.

2. Venture outside with your cat.
If you have an indoor cat, buy a collar and a lead and get moving with him or her! It'll be fun for both of you. If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, accompany him while he's outside. Let him take the lead and you follow along for fun.


Our cat Jade loves the great outdoors. She loves to try to sneak out to have some tree climbing fun with Harper.

3. Open up a window and bring the outdoors in.
We have a lot of trees around our house, and the creatures living in them provide hours of entertainment for our cats. From birds to squirrels to bugs, our cats love sitting in the window and enjoying the views.

Just like people, cats need proper fuel for their adventures. Purina Pro Plan has a formula that's right for your cat and his dietary and nutritional needs. Take the pet quiz to find the formula that's ideal for your cat.

When I took the pet quiz, I received an email with details of the recommended formula and how it will be beneficial to my cats. When you complete the quiz, you'll receive a $5 coupon to apply towards the purchase of the Purina Pro Plan that's recommended for your cat.

How do you create adventure for your cat? Don't miss these other ways to create adventure for your cat.

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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Thirty little things that mean a lot to kids via Parents Magazine.

2. You won't be able to stop at just one blueberry mojito popsicle via Broma Bakery.

3. Twenty-five DIY ways to decorate your porch this summer via Country Living.

4. Nineteen desserts you need to try at the Jersey Shore this summer via Spoon University.

5. The things a good hostess always has in her home via PureWow.

6. Amazing grill hacks you'll use over and over again this summer via Redbook.

7. Simple ways to trick your brain into focusing via Fast Company.

8. An insider's guide to Philadelphia via Wall Street Journal.

9. The joys of single-tasking via A Cup of Jo.

10. Why productivity is more about what you don't do rather than what you do via Jocelyn K. Glei.


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