With baseball season already in full swing, I am always looking for quick and easy ideas for dinner. The other night I threw together a last minute Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry and my kids raved about it like I spent hours cooking. Note to self...don't spend hours cooking anymore! (Not like I really did before anyway...)
Add the chicken until cooked through, then remove it and set aside.
Add a little more oil and then the frozen vegetables. (To help prevent the vegetables from becoming too soggy, you can rinse off any ice and dry them as much as possible before adding to the pan.)
After a few minutes, add back in the chicken along with about 1/2 the bottle of teriyaki sauce.
Cook until heated.
Serve over rice.
I recently started using this Wegman's store brand Organic Teriyaki Sauce. It's actually quite good and it doesn't have any high fructose corn syrup or genetically modified soybeans like most brands. It can be so hard to find healthier processed foods these days.
I threw in a few leftover pineapple pieces on the side and we had a delicious and EASY dinner! I think I will be adding this one to my dinner rotation for awhile. It was definitely a hit!
I was so excited when the lovely, Kristy Woodson Harvey offered to send me an advance copy of her new book,Lies and Other Acts of Love. As a huge fan of her blog, Design Chic and her first novel, Dear Carolina, I couldn't wait to dive into her newest creation.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.
My original plan for reading Lies and Other Acts of Love was to take notes along the way so I could share as many thoughts and details with you as I could - without giving too much away, of course! Well, the note-taking never happened because I found myself so caught up in the story that I just wanted to sit back and enjoy it. I waited until I was finished reading to write down my thoughts along with a few cute quotes that I found entertaining (which are listed near the end of this post).
Here is a brief recap from the back cover:
Dear Carolina was praised as “Southern fiction at its best.”* Now author Kristy Woodson Harvey presents a new novel about what it really means to tell the truth . . .
After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.
Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.
But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .
I know I love a book when I find myself thinking about it while I go about my daily routine. These past few weeks have been crazy busy around here but I couldn't wait to set aside some quiet time to indulge myself in this charming story.
Kristy Woodson Harvey has a gift for creating memorable characters with strong personalities and dialogue. You just can't prevent yourself from becoming emotionally involved in their lives and losing yourself in their world. Not a bad place to lose yourself, considering her story takes place in a small southern town and focuses on family and the deep emotions of love and loss. It's easy to fall in love with the characters and genuinely care what happens to them.
From the sassy best friend who isn't afraid to say what she thinks, to the grandmother who provides solid advice from many years of experience, these are people we all know in our own lives. With the story being told from two perspectives; grandmother and granddaughter, you are able to get inside their heads to understand why each character made their decisions in life. We are reminded that there is no perfect family and things aren't always what they seem.
The novel flowed beautifully from the very beginning, providing just the right number of twists and turns to keep you wondering throughout. There was plenty of lighthearted humor and adorable analogies mixed in with the heavier emotional subject matter. Even the end of the story was wrapped up perfectly, leaving you satisfied knowing the reasons behind the paths taken.
If you are starting your summer reading list, I highly recommend adding Lies and Other Acts of Love...I predict we will be spotting this book all over the beach! And I predict that Kristy Woodson Harvey will continue to entertain us with her amazing writing for many years to come!
And now for a few of my favorite random quotes from the book:
"I rolled my eyes, realizing it was difficult to look haughty in a somewhat sheer linen cover-up and flip-flops with bows on them."
"Should you choose to accompany me, there will be snacks and a box set of all of James Taylor's hits"
"But as hard as I tried, the words were stuck like a hamster in a tube too small."
It's been awhile since I have done anything interesting with my coffee tables. Just for fun, I thought I would join in on a Chairish Coffee Table Challenge. If you are not familiar with Chairish.com, they are an online retailer where you can buy and sell vintage and used furniture. They also carry tons of decor including vintage books and pieces you don't see everywhere.
I started with one of their antique coffee tables and found a few accessories to come up with an island inspired look...
Obviously, not everything is to scale in my picture but you get the idea. These are pieces that would add a little island style into my home. You can click on the links below to bring you to the actual items on their website.
By the way, I am not being compensated in any way to create this coffee table style board or to mention Chairish...just in case you were wondering.
When styling a coffee table I think it is important to consider a few things:
The colors and style of your room.
The seasons - because it's always fun to keep things fresh.
Things you love. You want your room to reflect who you are.
As you might know from reading my blog, I love the Caribbean and try to incorporate a bit of island charm into my home without going too crazy.
Considering what my mantel looks like these days, this island inspired coffee table should fit right in with my family room decor.
My living room hasn't escaped my island touches either. Here is one way I have styled my living room coffee table in the past. This is actually where I got the idea to use the cane box and shells in my inspiration board above.
I recently came across some photos from a (long time ago) girls weekend in Newport Rhode Island. I just had to scan them into the computer and share them with you. I am guessing they were taken the summer of 2002.
This is the view from one of my favorite places in Newport - the lawn at the Castle Hill Inn. I remember sipping cocktails out here during many visits to Newport. Such a beautiful spot!
Here I am during one of our sightseeing days and I still have that gingham dress...
This is the entrance to the Marble House, one of the many "cottages" we toured. Marble House was built for Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt. He actually gave her the house for her 39th birthday. I don't remember getting anything like that for my 39th birthday. I think my husband needs to step it up on the gifts.
It blows my mind that these were summer homes, known as "cottages". Not really what comes to mind when you think of the word 'cottage'!
The Japanese Tea House sits on the back lawn of Marble House. Quite a structure to have in your backyard. All we have is a swing-set.
This 'cottage' is called The Elms. You can kind of tell from this photo that the grounds of this mansion were just spectacular. How would you like a yard like that?
Newport is surrounded by water so a sunset cruise only made sense.
Such a wonderful viewpoint to see all the mansions.
Around the time I took this picture, I remember spilling my whole glass of champagne on my friend...good times.
This is the Castle Hill Inn I mentioned above. As you can see, the lawn is filled with guests enjoying cocktails on the lawn at sunset.
And a beautiful sunset to end the day.
The next morning we actually visited my favorite Castle Hill Inn again. This time instead of cocktails on the lawn, we had a lovely brunch.
Look how happy and relaxed I looked back then. Not that I am not happy now, just less relaxed!
It was a little chilly that morning so we just took a few pictures before heading inside to dine.
The outside was filled anyway. I guess these people didn't mind the chilly weather. The mimosas probably helped!
A delicious brunch to end the trip.
Thanks for reminiscing with me. It's been way too long and I think I need to plan another trip back to Newport but with my family this time. My kids are old enough to appreciate the architecture and they would definitely enjoy the Cliff Walk - (a 3.5 walkway along the back lawns of many of the mansions).
I can't find the rest of my photos (or maybe I didn't take any) but take my word for it that the town of Newport is the most charming little village filled with shops and incredible restaurants. Each year the local restaurants compete in a clam chowder contest known as The Great Chowder Cook-Off. For me, a trip to Newport is not complete without a few bowls of clam chowder!
I still haven't decided on counter stools. I know it looks like I am the most indecisive person in the world (and the clumsiest, but I will get to that) but I just want to find the right stools for my kitchen!
For years, I dreamed of the look I wanted in my kitchen. I have worked very hard choosing every item and so far I am very happy with all of my decisions.
As you can see above, I am still using two temporary wood stools. They are functional for the kids to sit there but they don't go with my overall plan.
I feel like I am constantly online searching and gathering different options for my kitchen. Take a look at some of my ideas below and feel free to let me know what you think!
By the way, some of the links to the stools below are 'affiliate links'. Which means if you click over and purchase the stool, I will make a small percentage off the sale with no additional cost to you.
Let's start looking at the latest group of stools I gathered up!
I still like the idea of a backless stool so I can push it under the counter when not in use. We currently have basic round wood ones but I like the idea of cushion...
I have seen many variations of these chairs but the ones above swivel. That might work well with my island since there will be three stools in a row.
Whatever I choose, I really need to get moving on my decision. These tiny-seated wooden things are just not cutting it for me with my morning tea routine.
And on top of that - today I am having to stretch out to rest my knee.
I would like to tell you a glamorous story of a knee injury while skiing but no, that is not the case. Sure, we took the family to Vermont and skied all weekend. The conditions were not ideal this time with slush on Friday, icy patches on Saturday and limited trails open. But we all managed to ski our best on probably our last weekend up there for the season. My husband and I congratulated ourselves for not getting any injuries....Then I went to feed Rosie this morning and tripped into the closet, smashing my knee into the corner of the wall. Apparently, I am not as coordinated as I gave myself credit for - I can barely walk now...just fabulous.
But anyway, back to the counter stools. With all these beautiful options out there I am having such a hard time deciding! I guess with the way my knee feels now, I will have plenty of time to sit and decide!
I know it's only March but I am already beginning to think how nice it will be to start using our deck again! All these photos are from previous years but they are making me look forward to the warmer weather...
I can't wait to relax out there sipping a glass of wine...
Or to admire flowers I haven't yet killed...(Maybe this year I will develop a green thumb!)
I guess the title sounds like I am on an island..a tropical island! I wish! Well, it is a gorgeous sunny day here so I will just imagine! The weather certainly inspired me to set the island (in my kitchen) for spring!