Tag Archives: travel

What’s in the Box? #78

What's in the Box?

My apologies for the tardiness of this post but Harper and I have been busy this week soaking up all that Santa Barbara has to offer before we head home.  We are blessed to be able to visit such a beautiful place, but the best part of Santa Barbara is our wonderful friends.  Here is a peek at what we have been up to this week:

Play dates at the park…

Play dates at the park

Pool time fun…

Swimming in the pool

Picking produce with friends…

Picking

Stopping to smell the flowers…

Sunflower

Boat rides in the harbor…

Lil Toot

and taking in beautiful sunsets…

Sunset

We are definitely going to miss this place, but are looking forward to being back home with Daddy :)

Now, without further ado, lets get “produce wasted!” (my own little spin on a popular movie line…name it!)

Our party last week was rockin! 19 link ups?!  The most we have had in a while.  Makes a veggie-obsessed, mommy blogger like me very happy :)  And you know what else makes me very happy?  Zucchini.  Especially when it’s hidden inside a chocolate waffle (Thanks Kirsten for taking my love of zucchini to the next level) or shredded into a savory loaf of bread.  It truly is the essence of summer.

And like the groundhog in February, a zucchini in my box this week means that summer will be around for at least a few more weeks (Full Disclosure:  I’m no meteorologist, it’s only a theory.  Just go with it.)

Not only did I get a pair of zucchinis, check out what else came in my box…

What's in the Box? #78

A rainbow of delicious colors.  And I’m loving nature’s candy again.  A bunch of red, crunchy grapes.  They make my world go round.  And no, I didn’t share.

But I was willing to share some of my other goodies.  I sliced up the apples for a picnic at the park.  Steamed the broccoli for my little veggie lover as a side to her lunch (she practically ate the whole head herself).  And the basil along with a few leaves of kale got thrown into the food processor for a batch of pesto.  Delish!

The oranges have inspired me to make a batch of muffins which will help to balance out the bowls of salad I will be eating thanks to the size of that head of lettuce.

I like my spaghetti squash simply roasted and tossed with some butter and parmesan cheese.  Although the fresh tomatoes would be a great addition to the squash in the form of homemade sauce.  In fact, I’m hungry just thinking about it.

Cheers to a fabulous weekend!  I hope it’s filled with as much fun and food as you can handle :)

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :) 

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? #77

What's in the Box?

We are coming up on our last week in Santa Barbara.  And although Harper and I have enjoyed hanging with our friends and soaking in the beautiful summer weather, we are looking forward to going home and having our family back together.  But before we head out, I have made sure that we experience our favorite CSA a few more times.  The quality and variety of their produce helps to ease the pain of being homesick (I guess it’s no longer a secret what my drug of choice is…).  As does a rockin’ produce party :)

Last week we had a total of 12 links which yielded a whole lots of produce…especially tomatoes :)  I was most intrigued by Kirsten’s Kale Hummus this week.  I have been really into kale pesto this summer but kale hummus…mind blown!  I can’t get enough of the beauty that is Salted Plates Peach Caprese Salad.  Simply gorgeous.  And finally, I’m excited to try Eats Writes Shoots Vegetarian Tacos with Grilled Zucchini.  Yum!  Thanks to everyone for linking up.  I truly can’t get enough of your ingenious ways to eat your veggies.

And now on to how I plan to eat my veggies…

What's in the Box? #77

It’s boxes like this that make me miss my old CSA :(  I mean, there is so much delicious and summery goodness, it’s hard to know where to start.  But since this item is new to me this week, I have to highlight it first…

Mouse Watermelon Cucumbers

Have you ever seen something so adorable?!  They are mouse watermelon cucumbers and they are my new favorite treat!  Kind of a cross between a grape and a cucumber, that looks like a watermelon but is slightly slimy and sour in the middle.  But they keep me coming back for more :)  I have been popping these suckers in my mouth ever since I opened up my box.  They are crunchy and delicious and as soon as we start up another garden, these little gems will be front and center.  Love!

And then there are those red flame grapes.  Or as I like to refer to them, “nature’s candy”.  These grapes are so sweet and crunchy, they have been serving as my post meal treat.

I am also loving the assortment of pluots this week.  During the days of pluot abundance, I would have made my famous crumble. But these days, it has been a while since I have had the chance to sink my teeth in to one of these.  Now, I am savoring each and every bite :)  The Flavor Gold ones are by far my favorite!

I am excited about the melon.  I am assuming it is a cantaloupe but haven’t cut it open yet.  It is still a bit green so I am going to try to let it ripen up a bit.  But I am looking forward to scooping out the seeds and filling it with cottage cheese or plain yogurt.  A healthy and hearty mid day snack.

Speaking of snacks, Harper and I have been snacking on those monstrous carrots the last few days.  If there are any left I have the perfect dinner dish to make with them and am looking forward to sharing it with you.

I have been craving big, protein filled breakfasts lately and adding fresh spinach and tomatoes to a morning scramble is a great way to kick off the day.  Or, they might make into a quiche, in which case, a salad on the side would help to create the perfect lunch or dinner.

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :) 

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #14

What's in the Box?

This summer has been all about traveling.  Whether we were moving, or jet-setting across the Atlantic, it seems like we are always on the go.  And we still have a few more weeks to go until we are home.  But Harper and I are having a blast and enjoying each and every minute of it (minus missing Daddy…that part really sucks).

After coming home from Branson last week, we decided to hop up to Santa Barbara to visit some of our close friends.  Santa Barbara is a special place for us.  It is where we lived for the last 3 years before Freddie took his new job up north.  It is where we found out we were pregnant and where Harper was born.  And most importantly, it is where we have created lifelong friendships with some very special folks.  We are so grateful for the memories that we have in this beautiful town, and it feels good to be “home”, even for just a little while.

Here is a glimpse at what we have been up to in our favorite coastal city…

Greek Festival

For such a small town, Santa Barbara is famous for their summer festivals. This past weekend, we enjoyed the food, the fun and the music of the Greek Festival.

Cute Little Firefighters

The streets are officially safe with these two adorable firefighters on duty

Beach Fun

You can’t be staying a few blocks from the beach without taking a dip. Although Harper was clearly way more excited about the cold water than I was…

We are blessed to be able to visit such wonderful people in such a beautiful place.

But this post isn’t a paid advertisement for Santa Barbara (although it should be…), it’s about the goodness of veggies.  And although I still don’t have a box (but I got one coming next week), there’s more than enough produce at the party to go around.

Last week we had a total of 11 link ups.  And not only were there Fried Green Tomatoes and Buffalo Chicken Pizza, but there was homemade pie, and a collection of blueberry treats!  Man, are we spoiled :)  Thanks for sharing and linking up!  You continue to amaze me with your delicious and nutritious dishes.

As for me, I have been eating my weight in homegrown tomatoes, which is ironic considering I used to not be the biggest fan.  But after almost 3 years of CSA membership, and tons of great recipes linked to the party, I have collected enough scrumptious ideas to change my mind (although I still won’t snack on them for fun…have to draw the line somewhere…).

So in honor of my graduation to an “almost tomato lover”, here are my favorite recipes that utilize the abundance of CSA tomatoes this season…

Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce

Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce - In Her Chucks

Cherry Tomato Pesto

Cherry Tomato Pesto - In Her Chucks

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Homemade Tomato Sauce - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA tomatoes into simple and delicious meals?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #13

What's in the Box?

Our last week in Branson was a blast!  We made sure to hit up all the local attractions before we headed out west.  Branson is known for their live shows and we were lucky enough to check out a few of them including The Price is Right LIVE.

The Price is Right LIVE

Harper could care less about winning a new car, she was all about the pretty model’s sparkly dresses :)

Branson also has a fun theme park called Silver Dollar City.  They have everything from rides, to live entertainment to crafty souvenirs.  It’s a great place to run around and enjoy yourself for the day (even when it’s 102 degrees!).

SDC

Finally, no trip to Branson would be complete without a ride on the ducks.  And I’m not talking about the ones that go “quack”.  I’m talking about the amphibious vehicles that were made famous during WWII.  This is Harper’s second time this summer riding a duck.  First as a viking during our trip to Ireland…Viking Duck

and now as a duckling herself…Ride the Ducks

Being a tourist is fun!

And of course we spent lots and lots of time with family.  Including, Harper’s new BFF, her Great Uncle John…

Holding hands with Uncle John

Harper and I are sure going to miss Branson, but are looking forward to another visit real soon :)

But enough about me, let’s talk veggies.

Last week we had a total of 13 link ups.  And to be frank, it’s summer produce at it’s best.  One of my favorite summer veggies is sweet corn.  And when you throw fresh kernels into a fresh batch of batter and deep fry it, the result is pure bliss.  (Speaking of deep frying, did you check out these crispy fried shallots?  The Angels are definitely singing for this one…).  Or you could toss it with some zucchini, leeks and a handful cheese and you got yourself an awesome summer pizza.  Oh, the possibilities :)  A big thanks to everyone who participated.  I just can’t get enough or your CSA goodness.

And because I am feeling extra sweet today (and in need of a sugar fix), here are some of my favorite CSA inspired desserts (in alphabetical order…).  Enjoy!

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp - In Her Chucks

Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Beet Cake - In Her Chucks

Carrot Cookies

Carrot Cookies - In Her Chucks

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars - In Her Chucks

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits and veggies into simple and sinful desserts?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #9

What's in the Box?

It has been a week since Harper and I stepped foot on Irish soil and life here is truly “grand” (as they say).  I could go on and on about everything we have seen and experienced, but for now, I will let Instagram do all the talking…

First stop?  A proper pub on the mountaintop complete with Irish dancing and finished off with an Irish coffee :)

Pub Antics

How do you recover from a crazy night out the with locals?  Well, an Irish Breakfast of course…

Irish Breakfast

After filling my tummy with goodness it was time to brush up on my Irish history and explore some ancient ruins…

Irish History

Harper was so inspired by digging down deep into her Irish roots, she decided to pick up the tin whistle…

Harper and her whistle

We have also visited the local zoo, done some cooking and of course lots of relaxing.  Life in the motherland (as my mom calls it) is gorgeous :)

And you know what else is gorgeous?  Last week’s links…all 12 of them.  What I love most about each week’s link ups is how much I learn from you guys.  And this week is no different.  Agrigirl taught us that corn silk has many health benefits…who knew?  And The Novice Gardener introduced me to Lemon Balm in addition to giving me loads of ways to use it.  Now I want to grow it all over my garden.  And finally, Have Dessert First is back at the party with a killer recipe for Grilled Shrimp and Polenta.  Thanks to everyone who linked up and shared their delicious dishes.  I appreciate your support and loyalty :)

As for me, there is no box this week.  So I thought I would share some of my favorite CSA BBQ recipes with you all.  With the 4th of July right around the corner, I couldn’t help but ensure that we all have at least one inspired CSA dish at our cookouts.

So without further ado, CSA produce does BBQ…

While you wait for the grill to heat up and prepare to cook your meat, why not grab for a healthy and delicious dip that utilizes only the freshest of ingredients…Seven Layer Bean Dip with Fresh Tortilla Chips

Seven-Layer Bean Dip with Fresh Tortillas Chips - In Her Chucks

As much as I am a meat girl, no BBQ is complete without a bunch of side dishes.  This is the best way to load up on CSA fruits and veggies.  Some of my favorites are Roasted Beets with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Roasted Beets with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

and Summer Pasta Salad

Summer Pasta Salad - In Her Chucks

For the mains, why not try something different this year and throw some lamb on the grill…Cumin, Honey, and Mint-Marinated Lamb Chops

Cumin, Honey, and Mint-Marinated Lamb Chops

And finally, we all know that no meal is complete without dessert…Pluot Crumble

Pluot Crumble - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits and veggies into your BBQ and cookouts?  Looking forward to drooling over your dishes.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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Hungry Globetrotter

Hungry GlobetrotterWith all the moving I have done in my lifetime, one would think I like to travel.  But the truth is, I am a homebody.  I wish I had the adventurous spirit to get up and go but it’s hard for me to even pack a suitcase, let alone live out of one.  However, as a lover of food from all over the globe, I realize how much I am missing out by staying close to home (on more than just the cuisine, I am sure…).  Which is exactly why my current subscription box obsession is Hungry Globetrotter.  Whether you are an avid jet setter or prefer to enjoy thrilling escapades from the comfort of your own home, Hungry Globetrotter is your passport to worldly edibles.

Imagine getting the chance to visit an exotic country once a month through a gourmet food box sent straight to your home.  And not only is it packed with unique ingredients, it is also accompanied by recipes that will transport you to a land far away.  Take a quick peek at what Hungry Globetrotter is all about…

For the month of March Hungry Globetrotter sent their subscribers on a trip to Tuscany.  With boxes full of traditional Italian flavors I was in heaven with Mushroom and Herb Farro, Italian Seasoning Salt, Tuscan Peasant Soup and Rosemary Focaccia.

Hungry GlobetrotterBut the adventure didn’t stop there.  Hungry Globetrotter also equipped me with all the recipes I needed for a full Tuscan Sun Dinner, complete with wine pairing suggestions.  And finally, to help me really feel like I was in the heart of Italy, they provided detailed information on the food culture of Tuscany.

Now can you see why I am so wild about Hungry Globetrotter?  It really is everything I ever wanted in a food subscription box.  Not only does it deliver delicious and nutritious items to your door monthly, but it expands your palate by introducing you to new places and cultures you may not have the chance to visit on your own.

I have always said that subscription boxes make great gifts.  And with Mother’s Day around the corner, why not surprise the domestic goddess in your life with an opportunity to both explore and enjoy foods from all over the world.  Plus, with half off a first month’s membership with offer code INHERCHUCKS50HG, how can you resist?

As the primary cook for the family, I love that Hungry Globetrotter has changed the daily question of “What’s for dinner?” into “Where is dinner going to take us today?”

*Full Disclosure: Hungry Globetrotter did provide me with a box free of charge. I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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February Photo A Day Challenge

February Photo A Day Challenge

Despite my enthusiasm for the photo challenges, I have really been lacking in my ability to deliver this year.  Last month I completed 2/3rds of the challenge, this month, less than 50%.  I guess, with everything I have going on right now, it’s hard to get it all done.  But I am grateful for the opportunity to capture a little bit of our daily lives with some fun prompts.  So I am going to stick with it and shoot for a better average next month.

1.  Day 1: Ascent–  After a fun week at Disney World, it was time to say goodbye and head back home.  I love taking pictures of the sky from the plane and todays prompt was the perfect excuse to snap one during take off.

2.  Day 2: Bear/Bare–  There is nothing cuter than tiny bare toddler toes.  My favorite thing to do is to give her foot massages.  My mom used to give me the best foot massages and now I am passing on the tradition to Harper.

3.  Day 3:  Comfort–  Harper loves her baths but she also loves getting all bundled up in her hooded towel when it is time to get out.  She likes it when we wrap her up and say “keep the baby warm”.  Talk about comfort!

4.  Day 7:  Genuine–  As Harper and I were enjoying lunch, I couldn’t help but realize that I had a genuine toddler on my hands.  Marker on her shirt, face covered in mac and cheese (which she is eating with her hands despite the pink fork sitting next to the bowl), and not a care in the world.  Living the good life, for sure :)

5.  Day 8:  Heart–  I am obsessed with these Homemade Dried Cranberry Shortbread Cookies.  I made a batch for my Foodie Pen Pal and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you soon.

6.  Day 9:  Intense–  After 2 weeks without sugar, I was getting pretty intense cravings to indulge in some Valentine’s day treats.  Thankfully my self-control kept me in check.

7.  Day 10: Joy–  Speaking of sugar, I caved and let Harper try her first lollypop at Bank of America the other day.  She enjoyed every last lick.

8.  Day 14:  Nourishing–  We all know I tend to get a bit too over excited about my fresh fruits and veggies, but is there anything more beautiful than the produce section.  So much color, so much variety and so much nourishment.

9.  Day 17:  Quench–  Thanks to the Fresh Start Challenge and some input from my good friend Cynthia, I am now totally hooked on Kombucha.  It’s so good for you and if you pick the right flavor (I like gingerberry) it tastes good too!

10.  Day 18:  Red–  Harper is a great shopping buddy.  She loves to try on new things and pose for adorable pictures.  She also is careful to make sure her accessories match her outfit (for the record, she picked out the red hat to go with her red outfit all by herself).

11.  Day 20:  Thrill–  I still can’t believe my baby is two, but I am thrilled and beyond blessed to be able to celebrate her birthday with her.  Especially when there is hot pink ice cream cake involved :)

12.  Day 25:  Youth–  Oh, to be a kid again.  Who needs a purse when you have a “pucket” that you can carry with you wherever you go?  PS:  she is still looking for the shovel  PPS:  I hate to break it to her that this “pucket” didn’t come with one

Wanna get in on the action? Check out this post for more details…and feel free to follow me on Instagram (@inherchucks) to keep up with the daily challenge.

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November Photo A Day Challenge: Day 21-30

Photo Challenge

It’s December!  Eek…where did 2012 go?  Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is around the corner and there is only a few short week’s until we ring in the New Year.  But even as quickly as the time has passed, being able to look back at all the pictures I have taken helps me to relive those moments. And while we continue on this journey, you can bet that I will have my iPhone with me snapping pics and making memories.

So before we say goodbye to November, let’s take a look at what the last few days looked like…

1.  Day 21: what I wore-  My style is pretty predictable.  Jeans, t-shirt and a pair of Chucks.  Sometimes I might get fancy and throw on a button down but for the most part I like to keep it comfortable and casual.     

2.  Day 22: grateful-  I have so much to be grateful for.  And a plate of delicious food on my favorite holiday is always a good reminder for me to sit down and count my blessings.

3.  Day 23: black-  When you are hanging out on a farm for a week, it’s hard to find something black.  But Emmy the dog turned out to be the perfect subject.  Her favorite activity?  Chasing after pine cones that Harper and I skip across the driveway.  Oh, the life of a dog :)

4.  Day 24: a sound I heard-  While we were away, we would go out exploring everyday.  With 37 acres to cover, there is a lot to see.  On this particular day, Harper led me to this huge tractor pushing dirt.  It was quite loud to listen to but fun to watch.    

5.  Day 25: sky-  After a great holiday with our family, it was time to hit the road…or the air.  I love the view from up in the sky.  The clouds.  The water.  The mountains.  Such a pretty sight.

6.  Day 26: in the cupboard-  Unfortunately, I picked up some yucky germs while we were away.  So all I wanted to do when I got home was stay in bed and sleep.  But I did get up to make myself a big pot of homemade Chicken and Rice Soup.  The best kind of medicine.

7.  Day 27: tree-  Living in California, you see a lot of palm trees.  You also see a lot of clear skies and nice weather…even in late November.  Just some of the many reasons why I LOVE the “Golden State”.

8.  Day 28: vehicle-  Harper loves to drive her Cozy Coupe all over town.  And who wouldn’t?  Get’s great gas mileage and turns on a dime…well as long as mommy isn’t pushing it ;)

9.  Day 29: big-  It looks like the wet and rainy season has finally hit.  It has rained pretty much all this week.  And my favorite way to keep warm is to sip on a big frothy latte.  Or as Starbucks calls it, a Venti Decaf Soy Latte.

10.  Day 30: on the wall-  To be honest, we don’t have much hanging on our walls.  I am pretty picky when it comes to art.  I like it simple and clean.  Freddie and I found these prints when we first got married and they reminded us of our wedding.  We had a black and white color scheme and black chandeliers were used as lighting for the reception.  I think we both agree that these are our favorite pictures in the house (besides family photos of course).

Wanna get in on the action? Join us for Fat Mum Slim’s December Photo A Day Challenge.  And feel free to follow me on Instagram (@inherchucks) to keep up with my daily pics.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend :)  And Happy December!

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November Photo A Day Challenge: Day 11-20

20 days down, 10 to go.  Boy does time fly when you’re fun doing a photo challenge :)  What I love most about this project is that it is a fun way to look back at the month and remember all the fun things we did from a new and different perspective.  Look forward to many more photo challenges in the future.  And I hope you will play along.  Already shopping for a December photo challenge…any suggestions?

But before we jump to December, let’s check out what the middle of November was looking like…

1.  Day 11: night–  The best part of my night is snuggling up with my loves.  But apparently the best part of Harper’s night is snuggling up with her bubbles.  Her daddy had just bought her a few new bottles for her bubble machine and she wouldn’t part with the blue one.  Pretty much the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

2.  Day 12: drink- I don’t normally drink alcohol.  Not for any particular reason except for the fact that ice tea just happens to be my drink of choice.  Wild and crazy I know.  But since we were having company over for dinner, I wanted to pick up something that was new and different.  And the guy at Whole Foods highly recommended this Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear Cider.  In fact, he said they were award-winning!  I totally believe it.  Might have to rethink my original drink of choice.  Cause these things are GOOOOOOOD!     

3.  Day 13: where you slept- I’m gonna be honest…I rarely make my bed.  And it’s a shame really because I don’t even have a top sheet, just a duvet.  It would be easy as pie to throw it over the bed and be done, but for some reason, I never get around to it.  Unless of course we are expecting company.  Then I’ll make sure my bed is made.  But otherwise…I like to keep it cozy :)

4.  Day 14: man-made- Ever since my success with homemade granola, I am on a mission to make as many of my snacks homemade as possible.  My newest venture?  Homemade granola bars (recipe coming soon).  Next experiment, homemade crackers.  Care to share your favorite recipe?

5.  Day 15: in your bag- Freddie is the ultimate packer.  The guy can fit an entire wardrobe in one suitcase.  It’s a fact. So he usually does all the packing for our trips.  But in an effort to plan ahead, while Freddie was at work the other day I took it upon my self to pack the suitcases myself.  And I have to say, I was pretty proud of the result.

6.  Day 16: the view from your window- I love a stormy day.  As long as I am in the comfort of my own home, or in this case car.  I have the pleasure of teaching music class down the street from the beach and couldn’t help but mosey on down to see the view in the rain.  I wouldn’t throw my beach towel down, but it was still a pretty sight.

7.  Day 17: the last thing you bought- There was a time, before I became a mom, that I used to shop for myself.  But now, it’s all about Harper.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I get so excited to shop for new clothes for her it’s kind of embarrassing.  There seems to be a theme of stars going around, which I LOVE, and couldn’t pass up this adorable hat and mittens set (which she wore around the entire store).  Came in handy in the rain, too!

8.  Day 18: happened this weekend- Every year, for the last 4 or 5 years, we travel to Texas to see my sister, niece and nephews for Thanksgiving (although last year, we changed it up a bit and went for Christmas).  It is the one time of year that we can all get together and catch up.  I was a bit nervous to fly with Harper now that she is a toddler, but she was a total ROCKSTAR!  She loved looking out the window and pointing out the water, the clouds and the sky.  And of course, made tons of new friends.

9.  Day 19: something awesome- I thought I had seen and tasted almost every fruit out there.  Until I went for a walk on my sister’s farm and came across these vibrant, tennis ball looking things.  Turns out they are called osage oranges and they are pretty much the most awesome thing I have ever seen.  I have yet to try one but I am looking forward to experimenting with them.  Or displaying them on my kitchen table.

10.  Day 20: work/play- After a day of traveling and another day of relaxing, I had a ton of emails to attend to.  I spent a good part of the morning attending to business on the computer (in addition to writing this post).  Once I was done, I treated myself to an afternoon stroll.  I couldn’t help but crunch along in the leaves and enjoy the simple pleasures of fall.

Wanna get in on the action? Check out this post for more details…and feel free to follow me on Instagram (@inherchucks) to keep up with the daily challenge.

Enjoy the rest of you week :)

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What I Ate Wednesday #9

I just got home from an amazing birthday weekend.  I have to say, if this year is any reflection of all the good times we celebrated over the last few days, 30 is going to be pretty darn cool.  I am so grateful to my husband and the rest of the family for making this birthday one I will never forget.  Look forward to a blog post of our activities coming soon.  But for now, let’s focus on the food.

This month, Jenn from Peas and Crayons has us all excited about the yummy festive treats Halloween has to offer.  October seems like the perfect time to eat pumpkin for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  While I didn’t’ quite get the chance to fit it in to all of today’s meals, I was able to start my day off with a short stack of pumpkin pancakes smothered in butter and pure maple syrup.  Yum!

Breakfast:

Before heading home from our lovely mini-vacation, we made a stop at one of our favorite breakfast spots, Uncle Bill’s Pancake House.  I couldn’t help but start with a refreshing ice tea on such a warm morning.  My mom and I decided to split a short stack of pumpkin pancakes, a side of bacon and a veggie omelet (stuffed with spinach, onion, avocado and cheddar cheese).  Everything was delicious!  And the view wasn’t bad either…

After filling our bellies with quite the breakfast smorgasbord, we hit the road to run a few more errands.  Whenever we are in LA we have a list of things we must do.  One that tops the list is getting our nails done.  Freddie and I have been going to the same nail salon for years so whenever we are in town we like to indulge in a little pampering.  Before we knew it, a few hours had passed by and it was time for a snack.  We ran across the street to Starbucks to pick up some munchies and an iced beverage.

Snack #1:

While I was pregnant with Harper I got very familiar with this Cheese and Fruit Bistro Box.  It’s a great snack to pick up on the go and always satisfies.  Apparently Harper is still a fan because she pretty much ate all the cheese on her own.  I was able to snag a few bites of the brie to eat with the apples and chomped on a few nuts.  To wash it down, I decided to try a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher, which I wasn’t too pleased with.  However, Freddie enjoyed it to the last drop.  Next time I’m sticking with my regular iced green tea.

After sitting on the freeway for over an hour in Sig Alert traffic, I was ready for some lunch.  We needed something that was convenient and easy so we settled on Baja Fresh.

Lunch: 

I just love these fish tacos.  The fish is light and flakey, the cabbage gives it just enough crunch to make it interesting and of course, what taco isn’t complete without a few slices of fresh avocado.  I paired it with a side salad and a few chips dipped in guacamole (not pictured).

I often find myself craving something sweet after such a flavorful lunch.  So during our car ride I cracked open a package of these chewy mango snacks to tide me over until dinner.

Snack #2:

They hit the spot and are by far the best dried mango I have ever had!  I am officially hooked.

We didn’t quite make it home in time for dinner so we did a quick sit down at Souplantation.

Dinner:

I love nothing more than a huge salad packed with everything but the kitchen sink.  I will throw pretty much anything in the mix as long as it qualifies as a fruit or vegetable.  The sweet potato was a great addition to the meal as well.  I actually ended up eating 3 more.  I just can’t get enough of baked sweet potatoes.

Road trips are always fun but finding a way to eat healthy on the go can be rough.  For the amount of running around we did today, I am pretty proud of most of my food choices.  The fact that we were able to steer clear of fast food drive-thrus is a huge success.  Thank God for smart phones and the ability to search for healthy and convenient restaurants in unfamiliar territory.

Now that we are home and settled and I am sitting at my computer typing up this post, I realized I needed one more yummy snack before I hit the hay.  So I grabbed some of Harper’s dried fruit and shoved a few handfuls in my mouth for good measure.

Late Night Snack:

If you haven’t tried these amazing toddler snacks, you are missing out.  This is a new flavor we picked up at Whole Foods this weekend but the Strawberry & Mango is fantastic too.  I am pretty much obsessed with these things.  And Harper likes them too (or at least that is what I am trying to convince my husband of so that I can continue to splurge on them at the grocery store…).

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite spooky snacks and healthy Halloween treats?  What are your tips for eating healthy on the road?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

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