sweet Georgia peaches!


Have you ever gotten really excited over something that everyone else probably think is really silly to excited over?  I tend to get excited over really small things... and today that thing was about a big ol' box of peaches.. not just any peaches.. fresh GEORGIA peaches.  The best in the country.  Twenty five pounds of juicy goodness.

Every year a big refrigerated semi makes a trek up to the midwest to deliver these pretty little things to various cities.  I waited in the Menards parking lot... in 107 degree heat index.. for 30 minutes.  Completely worth it.

We have a lot of plans for these.  Pies, drinks (maragaritas, anyone?), cobbler, a good snack for Clara... but one of my favorite ways to eat them?  Just sliced up over some good vanilla ice cream.  And by good vanilla ice cream, I mean Blue Bunny Vanilla Bean.

tomato basil squares {recipe}


 We also had these for Clara's birthday party.  My mom had the recipe, and all of my mom's recipes are good of course, so I figured we couldn't go wrong.  ;)  But seriously, I think we've had this twice since Clara's birthday 2 weeks ago.  It's good.. a keeper.  Pair it with a little salad and it makes for a good, lighter dinner.

I think the key to this is juicy tomatoes.. and fresh basil.  My mom grows her own, so she was able to just go out back and pick some for me.. yum mmmm.

This definitely has to be one of my new favorite recipes.

Tomato-Basil Squares
recipe from Pampered Chef

  •  homemade pizza crust or 1 package (10 oz) refrigerated pizza crust
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Roll pizza crust out onto a rectangle stone.  Once the oven is preheated, pre-bake your crust for just a few minutes (not so it's completely baked, but just so it's a little bit firm - to give the bottom a little more crisp).  Take the crust out and sprinkle with 1 cup of the  mozzarella cheese; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine parmesan cheese, remaining mozzarella cheese, mayo, basil, and garlic.  Mix well.

Slice tomatoes and arrange evenly over the crust.  Scoop the cheese mixture over the tomatoes, spread evenly.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Cut into squares and serve warm.

ENJOY.  I love the fresh taste of the tomatoes and basil.. with the parmesan cheese (my favorite).  

Want to print out this recipe?  Here is the printable version.

a little fro-yo in my life


Everyone needs a little fro-yo in their life.. aka.. frozen yogurt.  It seems that these little self-serve yogurt bars are popping up all over the place these days.  The first time I went to one was when we were visiting family down south.. my sister-in-laws and I went for a little girls day out in Memphis.  It was delicious, and I love anything that I can put my own toppings on.

Well, one opened in our town and I told my dad I would take him out for Father's Day.  So we went last Friday, and my little cousin came with too.  I really wish I would have gotten a 'before' picture of his yogurt concoction, but he ate it too fast.  ;)

I had white chocolate & chocolate frozen yogurt, with some heath bits and peanuts.  Topped with chocolate syrup, white chocolate syrup, and caramel syrup (yes, all three).  Oh, and a cherry.  :)

Joshua's creation consisted of white chocolate and strawberry fro-yo.. his toppings were gummy bears, m&ms, sprinkles, some jelly looking things, a couple sour worms... maybe a little kit-kat.  He was very creative.

Clara enjoyed the strawberry fro-yo.

 Clara was definitely dressed for the occasion.  She had little cherries on her dress, and the place was called Cherry Berry.  ;)

It was a fun night up.. and certainly a nice little change of scenery!

pink lemonade punch {recipe}


Over the next week or so I plan on posting the recipes to most of the things I had on the menu for Clara's birthday party.  I knew I wanted to make some type of punch, preferably with lemonade.. and something pink.  And I wanted to be able to put it in a drink dispenser because it's just easier that way.  Well I saw a lemonade punch recipe floating around on Pinterest.  It looked good, and easy, so I went with it.  The only thing I did different is I used pink lemonade mix instead of the regular.  By the end of the party, it was gone (I think I tripled the recipe)... I'd say it was pretty tasty!

Pink Lemonade Punch
adapted from Froggy and the Mouse

  • 1 cup Countrytime Pink Lemonade mix
  • 2 cup cold water
  • 46 oz chilled pineapple juice
  • 2 can chilled sprite
Mix together, and voila.  Couldn't be easier!  I added some slices of lemon, to make it pretty.  Also, since Clara's party was outside, I needed ice cubes to make it cold but I didn't want to water it down.  So a few days before, I mixed up some regular pink lemonade and froze it.  Worked perfectly, and I had pretty pink ice cubes.  ;)

hot air balloon fun


Last Friday, Clara's birthday, we decided to take a break from all of hustle and bustle of birthday party planning and last minute to-do's and head over to Galena to the Great Galena Balloon Race.  Hot air balloons are so pretty... and I would love to go up in one some day.

Clara kept pointing to the balloons as they were blowing them up and getting them ready to fly..  'pretty, pretty!' she would say.  :)

But of course, after a while, all the excitement go to her.  My mom and I went to go get some food and drinks.. and we came back to a sleeping beauty.  She had fallen asleep in Papa's arms.  Such a sweet sleeper.

Mexican Lasagna {recipe}


This should really be called enchilada casserole or something - it tastes like enchiladas, except with added veggies - delicious!  I love myself some good Mexican food.

I made this for my family last night and I think it turned out pretty delicious.  In fact, I'm already thinking about the leftovers for lunch today.  :)  I didn't adjust the recipe very much, but the one thing I did do is add a can of tomato sauce.  I just felt like there wasn't enough sauce.  And with all the tortillas, I didn't want it to be dry. 

I will definitely be adding this to our 'rotation' of meals - I can't wait to make it for my husband!

Mexican Lasagna
adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz  tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 can of corn
  • 3 cups cooked & shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 12 (roughly) corn or flour tortillas
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream, optional
  • Guacamole, optional 

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

To prepare the sauce, heat the olive oil and garlic in a sauce pan over medium heat until the garlic becomes golden and fragrant.  Add the crushed tomatoes and spices, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer while you prepare the filling. Season to taste with the Kosher salt before using the sauce in the lasagna.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling by heating the olive oil in a large skillet (or saute pan) over medium heat. Add in the onion, squash, bell pepper, and jalapeƱo.  Saute the vegetables until tender. Add in the corn and saute for another minute.  In  separate mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken and cilantro.  Add in the sauteed vegetables and season with salt and pepper. 

To assemble the lasagna, spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Top with a layer of tortillas.  On top of the tortillas, spread half of the filling. Top the filling with cheese and another layer of sauce. Repeat the layers of tortillas, filling, cheese, and sauce. Finally, top the lasagna with a final layer of tortillas, sauce, and cheese.

Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly. Allow the lasagna to rest for at least 10 minutes prior to serving. If desired, serve topped with sour cream and guacamole.

Want to print out the recipe?  Here is the printable version.

guest post on Clara's birthday


Oh I know it's been just about forever since I posted, or so it feels like it.  I have been super BUSY with my Etsy shop, Clara's birthday, and my photography.  However, I did get a chance to write my very first guest post over at Modern Mommyhood on Clara's little party.  We had a BIG surprise that day - go read to find out what it was!  Oh, there are lots of pretty pictures too.  :)

modern mommyhood

fun in the sun.


Clara is definitely our little fishy.  She loves to splish and splash in the pool.  The pool she has now has a small hole in it, so it doesn't last long.. but we made it last long enough for her to have some fun in it this past weekend! 

Those blue eyes make my heart melt over and over again every day.  :)

And that hat?  Seriously, it kills me. 

sippy success


For the longest time Clara wanted NOTHING to do with her sippy cup.

Nothing.  Nada.  She pushed it away every time I'd set it anywhere near her.

Finally, a little over a month ago, she started drinking from the sippy.  Poof, one day she just magically decided 'I like this thing!'  Babies are so funny like that.  She loves her juice now - 'berry' is her favorite.  I think it's safe to say 'snack and juice time' after her nap is just about her favorite time of the day.

She's gotten so good at it.. she can even drink from it one handed.  ;)