Back To School

I cannot believe I’m already seeing back to school pictures. My southern friends are already heading into the next school year and I feel a little bit like summer just started! Even though we still have the month of August to enjoy, the reality is that it won’t be long before we will be doing the same here in New England.

Even though we are still summering hard around these parts, now is actually a great time to think about any personalized lunch boxes, pencil cases, soccer bags, etc… for back to school.  Having your name or initials on your kids items is both fun and practical!

And if you have a little one heading off to kindergarten this fall, you NEED this nap mat. I don’t mean to sound pushy but I seriously cannot recommend this enough. My girls all used and loved their sweet little mats, and I think when my twins were in kindergarten every other little girl in their class ordered one as well as a few boys!

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This is just a sampling of the many color options. And almost all pieces coordinate with lunch boxes and pencil cases, or snack bags. These nap mats are machine washable and have a little pillow and blanket for a cozy rest time. My girls just clipped these onto their backpack when they needed to bring them home for a wash.

A towel is fine, but this is so much more cozy! Let me know if you want to get any orders in – I’ll be thrilled to personalize your back to school goods for that sweet boy or girl! And if you are ahead of the game and already have your own goods, I still am happy to personalize those for you as well! Message me for more info.

Feta Slaw

Just popping in to share a quick recipe. This one is a crowd pleaser and I almost always get a request for the recipe by at least one or two friends. My southern friends will easily recognize the inspiration, as this is one of the sides from my favorite chicken salad place from back home.

I’ve had to get creative over the years, finding ways to satisfy so many of my southern cravings and I’m pretty happy with my version of Zoe’s feta slaw.

Ingredients:

One bag of shredded cabbage
Feta Cheese Crumbles (I usually use about 1/2 of a 4 oz container)
1 Large chopped Shallot (I use this in lieu of green onions for a lighter taste)
Greek Seasoning – sprinkled liberally (I love and use Zoe’s Spice of Life)
Pinch of Salt
Red Wine Vinegar (I never measure – maybe 1/4 cup???)
Olive Oil (I just give it a good glug!)

Those who know me best, will appreciate that I just don’t have exact amounts for this recipe. I literally just throw this together minutes before we leave for a party and by the time we are there, it has reached the perfect consistency.

This pairs really well with chicken salad, fruit and pita chips for the perfect ladies lunch, but also works with just about any backyard BBQ fare, from burgers to grilled meats. It’s pretty much the perfect summer side and we keep it on rotation at our house.

Do you have a favorite slaw? Share one with me in comments if you can!

Fish Tacos

I think I get more feedback on this recipe than I do any other I’ve shared so I’m just sharing it again. It is a perfect summer dinner, the cilantro lime crema is crazy good (And I swear even if you triple the recipe you will use it all. If you somehow don’t, add a little vinegar and it becomes a delicious salad dressing…) If you are entertaining, make up a batch of black bean corn salsa to go with it – you won’t regret it 🙂

Make it a priority to put this on the dinner menu ASAP!

 

Another look at Intermittent Fasting

Last year, I shared my thoughts on Intermittent fasting and how I try to incorporate it into my daily living. If you are not familiar with the term, intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather a dieting pattern. Intermittent fasting generally means that you consume your calories during a specific window of the day, and choose not to eat food for a larger window of time.

I’ve been following this way of eating for well over a year now and I think it’s a great way to incorporate fasting into your diet without “suffering” through the hunger, low-blood sugar headaches and other general discomforts that come with not eating. With IF, you are still eating, but gaining all of the heart, mind, body benefits of a fast.

This article gives a great, practical explanation of both the science and the how-to’s of incorporating IF into your daily living. And I should note that I look at this in the same way I look at exercising. I try to do it as much as I can. I know it won’t be daily. I won’t skip out on social events or other activities because I don’t want to “mess up” the pattern.  I don’t obsess over it and if I’m really and truly hungry, I will eat!

If you are looking for a fresh start, trying to lose weight or just overall hoping to add a boost to your healthy living, I encourage you to take a minute to read (or re-read) my original post on Intermittent Fasting.

Drop me a note in the comments if you practice this or are looking for more practical tips  for making this a healthy part of your daily routine.

Other Resources related to Fasting and IF:

*Fasting Benefits and Risks

*Johns Hopkins Health Review

Summer Favorites – The Outdoor Shower

I first discovered the love of an outdoor shower when I married into the Miller family. As a decidedly “not outdoorsy” kind of girl, I was so surprised how much I love the outdoor shower up at camp. The crisp air in contrast to the hot water is absolutely invigorating. Add to that the birds chirping and the blue sky (or) stars above depending on the day, and I was an absolute convert.

When we built our house five years ago one of the “must haves” on my wish list was an outdoor shower. With beach access just at the end of the road and 12 sandy feet coming into and out of the house all summer long, I knew it would be an important addition for both convenience and my sanity!

But, as we approached the end of the build, things started getting cut or pared down on the list and by the time we got to it, all we could do was install a cheap shower head on the back side of the house. With no where to stand and nothing built for privacy, we only used it a handful of times that summer. And to make matters worse, we forgot to shut the valve to that outdoor water source and it promptly froze and burst the first winter here!

For the next four years we talked about getting it fixed, making it a proper shower, how great it will be some day. And then we never did anything about it. WOMP. Luckily, we got a chance to make things right when we did the garage addition last summer. We knew that this time, it was a must have that couldn’t be pushed down the list.

I can never go back! It’s such a treat and comes in super handy when we have other families join us on the boat for the day. We send all of the kids straight to the outdoor shower before they come into the house. They love it and I get to keep the house sand free!

To make it fun, we use scented shampoos and squirt soaps, both exfoliating and regular. Speaking of, I sort of feel like an exfoliating scrub is a must in the summer for both my skin and the kids – mineral sunscreen literally sits on the skins for days, even with daily baths. I like this one because it’s effective but gentle for the kids and my sensitive skin. Right now, this shampoo and conditioner is on rotation and the kids love getting something “special” from the typical fare we keep in the house. It really is the simple things, right?!?

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I complain about the cold winters a fair amount and I will never truly be a Mainer, but summers in Maine are just about perfect in my book. And now that I have the daily summer outdoor to start or end my day, I’m a pretty happy camper.