I’m just feeling an overwhelming sense of gratefulness and giddiness. Do you ever have days like that? Days where you just feel grateful for life and all of its blessings? I’m ever so grateful for health and for having an abundance of love in my life. I’m grateful for the love from my family, friends and YOU my wonderful readers, who stop me to say hi at the grocery store or take the time to write a super sweet comment or email. You all keep me motivated to keep this blog going. Seriously, I keep blogging because you all keep reading, plain and simple, so THANK YOU guys!
Zoe and I were driving to soccer yesterday and we heard the song “First Time” by Lifehouse. The windows were open, the air was warm and we just belted the song out. There’s a line in that song that I love, “Feeling alive all over again now” and that’s how we felt, alive, free and happy! Sometimes we all need to get reawakened in life, reawakened to how amazing life truly is.
I have another reason to celebrate this week as someone is turning 9 this Friday. Hint, he’s in the picture below. Isn’t he just the cutest? I just love this guy!
The kids had their soccer games this weekend. Zoe’s game was right after Eli’s, so she and her friend Madelaine sat down to watch Eli and eat some lunch before her game. I wanted to show you guys what happens to Zoe whenever she goes to one of Eli’s games. All of Eli’s pals have these adorable little sisters that attack Zoe whenever they see her. She of course loves it!
What I love about Eli is that he will stop and pose at any time (don’t worry, I only bug him when there’s a time out). I just call out his name, he looks, and if he see’s me with the camera, he poses. I love this top shot because he quickly went from that “what” face to the thumbs up face.
Sunday night dinner: Ina’s summer garden pasta and lacinato kale salad. Cherry tomatoes are still available out here and they’re on sale, so I’m taking advantage of it and making up this pasta. I’m also the dance carpool mom today so I want an easy make ahead dinner, and this pasta and salad fit the bill. I will make up cherry tomato marinade after lunch as well as the kale salad. All I have to do come dinner time is to heat up the capellini pasta. The other bonus is that this pasta is a two-nighter meal, so we will be having the leftovers tomorrow night.
Monday night dinner: Leftover night! Manic Monday calls for an easy meal, and what is easier than leftovers, right? I’m going to serve up the pasta from last night along with some fresh-cut red peppers and carrots.
Tuesday night dinner: Spaghetti squash tacos and kale salad with pear, toasted almonds and gouda cheese (recipe soon). Oh, how we’ve missed these tacos. They’re so good, and tastier than you would think. They’re also kid approved for those of you that may not think your kids would like them. I love having the leftovers of these tacos for lunch.
Wednesday night dinner: Easy skillet chicken parmesan, crispy garlic bread and broccoli rabe. This is such an easy weeknight dinner. It looks all fancy and complicated, but the chicken parmesan is a 30 minute meal. It’s also a breadless and eggless chicken parmesan. My friend Amanda recommended this recipe to me last spring and I’m so happy that she did, because it’s become a family favorite and staple in our house. Thanks Amanda. Oh, she also recommended the pumpkin sheet cake that you will see at the bottom of this post as well. Keep the recipes coming Amanda.
Thursday night dinner: Orecchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and green beans. This is another family favorite weeknight dinner. It’s super simple to throw together and it’s a one-bowl pasta which is even better. I’m going to use some broccoli rabe in place of the green beans. I also know exactly how long my orecchiette pasta takes, so I will just add the broccoli rabe in at the last-minute of the pasta’s cooking time, making it an even easier dinner to prepare.
Friday night dinner: It’s Eli’s birthday and he requested dinner out at one of our favorite spots, DJ’s Chinese. The owner and staff at DJ’s are like family to us and we celebrate all of our special birthdays and anniversaries there. We’ve been going there since we moved here 16 years ago and it has just become one of those special spots for our family. Every time we go to DJ’s we’re welcomed with open arms and hugs, and you honestly can’t beat that! I will be making our favorite chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting for Eli’s birthday dessert and sharing it with the staff at DJ’s.
Pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese frosting. This is the perfect fall cake for those class or work parties, because it’s feeds a crowd and tastes great!Mixed greens with creamy mustard vinaigrette. Surprise, surprise, we do eat other salads besides kale!