Food & Recipes

Desk Lunch // Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

August 19, 2018

If you’re signed up to receive my weekly meal-planning and behind-the-scenes newsletter, then chances are you’ve already heard that I’m on a mission to make Joe’s lunches a little healthier, with more variety and interest each week. I realized that I had been phoning in her lunches for a long time now that life has been busy with littles, and when I don’t prepare lunches in advance, he really doesn’t get the most well-rounded lunches. So each Sunday, I prep and assemble five lunches for Joe’s week to keep things easy for me but healthy, tasty and well-rounded for him.

I’m hoping to share a few more “desk lunch” ideas as we approach the back-to-school season. Some of these ideas will probably transfer into school lunch ideas, while others may be catered toward more adult tastes. My kiddos don’t love pesto all that much, so if I were making this for the girls I would keep most of the ingredients in the recipe but swap the pesto for olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese. The rest of the ingredients in this dish my kiddos love!

This recipe also gets my stamp of approval because it can be made in advance for the entire week, doesn’t require heating in the microwave and is well-rounded and flavorful. I will serve this meal with a side of carrot sticks for Joe as well as a piece of fruit or a Lara Bar for mid-afternoon hunger on those long days that he’s going to HS football practice after work this fall!

Desk Lunch // Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
Author: 
Serves: 5 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) corkscrew pasta, cooked according to package directions, then drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped (I used a rotisserie chicken and chopped it up)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz. fresh mini mozzarella balls
  • ½ cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
  • 1 jar (8 oz.) pesto
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, chicken breasts, halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, olives and pesto. Stir until well-combined. Spoon into lunch containers and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  2. Note: It's best to slightly under-cook the pasta to prevent it from becoming too soft as it sits in the refrigerator.

 

Fashion

Sun-Kissed Summer Glow Look

August 10, 2018

With summer on it’s last leg in the Midwest (cue tears and sad face emojis) I wanted to share a bronzed, fresh-faced makeup look that’s easy to create and perfect for the ultra-hot days of August before we transition into cooler temps. It’s been SO hot here lately, which means that I’ve been living in workout gear with the girls and pulling my hair back most days because it turns into a sweaty mess any other way.

This look is all about giving your skin a radiant GLOW. While makeup can certainly give you a glow when used correctly, I must also say that the best glow comes from healthy skin. Joe and I have both been using this Overnight Resurfacing Peel a couple times per week. He might kill me for putting that out there on the internet (sorry, babe!) but it’s been amazing to see the change in the way my skin looks over time using a peel a couple times per week.

As for the makeup, here are the products and steps I used to create this summer glow look…

PS: ALL the makeup linked in this post is currently 20% off now through August 13th. Use the links in this post and enter the code LOVE at check-out to get a super deal on safer makeup. 

STEP 1
Apply a tinted moisturizer (or BB/CC cream…) all over to subtly even out skin tone and appearance. Apply concealer under the eyes and any place that needs a little extra coverage, such as blemishes, around the nose, etc.

STEP 2
Fill in your brows with a brow pencil to create definition and frame the face.

STEP 3
Apply the world’s most universally flattering blush shade (this blush in Nectar) on the apples of your cheeks for a rosy glow.

STEP 4
Use a cream or powder highlighter on your cheekbones and in the corners of your eyes to brighten the face and give your skin a fresh glow.

STEP 5
Apply a shimmer body/face oil under your cheekbones and on your temples to give your skin a dewy bronzed appearance.

STEP 7 
Finish with mascara, liquid eye liner and a great neutral lip color (such as Terra) to complete the look!

Family, Food & Recipes

Meal Planning Resource // Seasonal Meal Planner

August 8, 2018

For those of you following along the last month, you’re well aware that we are on a journey to be more intentional with our meal planning and prepping this fall in hopes of creating a more intentional and less stressful meal time each day. Other benefits include having healthier options on hand for the whole family and saving money at the grocery store. So! When my friend Natasha reached out asking if I would be interested in giving her Seasonal Meal Planner a little test drive and sharing it with you, I said YES.

I’ve been jotting down grocery lists and meal plans on scraps of paper for the last, well, as long as I can remember. My grocery lists can be found on scraps of paper and envelopes and whatever is around at the time, notebooks scribbled with meal plans, etc. Basically our entire meal planning process was a little frazzled.

When Natasha sent me an early-access download of her Fall Seasonal Meal Planner (which launches TODAY for everyone!) I was immediately hooked. The planner houses everything in one place. There is a page each week to jot down dinners and a spot at the bottom of each day for noting any recipes you might use. There is another page for breakfast and lunch plans for the week and, what I find most helpful, a page that encourages you to take inventory of what you already have in your pantry as well as what commitments you have on that week’s calendar. It’s so smartly designed for meal planning – as formal or as relaxed as you want to be with the whole process. I have plans in the coming weeks to 3-hole-punch all the pages for an entire season’s worth of meal planning and put it in a binder to store in our kitchen so it looks as pretty as Natasha’s does! Isn’t it cute?

Natasha also has free crash courses on planning meals that you can sign up for HERE. Over the last couple weeks I’ve found her meal planner to be an incredible compliment to the semi-casual way that I like to plan my meals throughout the week and a great resource as I’ve tried to utilize what is in-season and in my pantry when planning meals throughout the week. Seriously, for $29 you get a lot of bang for your buck. Pair that with signing up for my weekly meal planning newsletter and you should be set with everything you need to get on the meal-planning and prepping bandwagon for the fall.

Madison

Fashion

My Simple Makeup Routine for Put Together Days

August 7, 2018

I’m the first to say that I’m no makeup expert. Most days I have a really minimal routine that includes a little tinted moisturizer, concealer if necessary, blush and mascara. But there are occasions when I crave looking a little more put-together. If you’re like me, it helps to have a little bit of a step-by-step guide for putting yourself together. Enter the Flawless in Five. I’ll admit that I haven’t shared this routine nearly enough, but for those of you who want a one-stop-shop for a full, fresh face of makeup this set has you covered.

My Flawless in Five // 
1. Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation in Linen (Porcelain in the dead of winter)
2. Touchup Skin Concealer Pen in Fair
3. Brow Pencil in Medium
4. Volumizing Mascara 
5. Satin Powder Blush in Melon (Nectar and Sorbet are also favorites)
6. Lip Gloss in Blush Shimmer

One tip I feel must be shared: I find I get MUCH better and more even coverage (almost an air-brushed look) using the Retractable Complexion Coverage Brush with the Tint Skin. It makes applying the foundation so much easier and the coverage is so smooth and even.

Family, Food & Recipes

Easy Homemade Meatballs

August 5, 2018


This week I shared our weekly meal plan for everyone signed up to receive my weekly newsletter. If you’re interested in getting our meal plan in your inbox each week you can sign up HERE. A part of the plan? These meatballs! Truth be told, I usually just wing my meatball recipe each time I make meatballs, but I took the time to measure and jot down amounts this week so you could create something similar at home.

These meatballs are easy to make, taste delicious re-heated and are always a big hit with my family. They’re ultra tender and assuming you select gluten-free quick-cooking oats, they are gluten-free, too. I’m using them this week served over veggie pasta with steamed broccoli and marinara for Joe’s lunches. I’ve also saved a few extra for the girls to eat for their lunches this week since they are such a hit with Ainsley and Collins!

Easy Homemade Meatballs
Author: 
Serves: 16 meatballs
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quick-cooking oats
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, milk, Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt. Stir until well-combined.
  3. Add in the ground beef and work together with a spatula or your hands until evenly combined. Gently form mixture into 16 round balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until cooked through and no pink remains.
  5. Serve over pasta with marinara, if desired.