{everyone needs a side of sparkle}


happy {long} weekend

Happy Friday and happy long weekend! I will admit that my mind has been elsewhere this week. I'm   planning to make this blueberry tart for our Labor day festivities... maybe I'll get to this diy project too?

It's time for a coffee break and to daydream into this long weekend...
Pin It


to have and to hold

Hero Hubby and I will be celebrating the union of two friends in September. I love weddings and a destination fall wedding in New England is the loveliest of times. Yes, a weekend without the littles means my clothes have a fair shot at not being stained by food, poop (sorry, but it happens) or any other goo you don't want to be wearing, never mind cleaning up. For two days and two nights I get to be an adult... eating hot meals, having conversations (and finishing them) reading a book, drinking hot beverages without peril of being burned or burning someone, wearing earrings, and, my favorite, bathing on a whim.

So, what to wear for this glorious weekend of sanity? Here are a few compilations to inspire...

the last two sets were created by amandammorris 

Pin It


the taste of patience

Garden grown tomatoes are the product of patience. In fact, that to me is what patience tastes like - a juicy, savory-sweet, home grown tomato. Unlike their supermarket counterparts, homegrown tomatoes  live a luxurious life; never prematurely picked, they hang proudly off their vines, bathing in sunshine until they are ripe. "You haven't eaten a tomato until you've eaten one from the garden," my father once said to me. With an abundance of ripe tomatoes at farmer's markets right now this recipe for a tomato tart seems the perfect way to showcase the bright flavor of this summertime delight. Aside form tomatoes, the other main ingredient is the crust and I would trust none other than Immaculate Baking Company's pie crust for the job.

Summer Tomato Tart

2-3 ripe garden grown tomatoes (about 1 pound), sliced thin
8 ounces sliced fresh mozzarella
1 Immaculate Baking Co. pie crust
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Press pie crust into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the bottom of the tart shell with sliced mozzarella. Arrange the tomatoes over the cheese in a ring around the edge of the tart and a second ring in the center. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has started to brown in spots, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes. Remove side of tart pan and slide tart onto a platter before slicing. Sprinkle with freshly chopped basil. Tart may be covered and kept at room temperature for 6 hours.

Pin It


dinner tonight: quinoa salad

There's something about these late summer evenings that lull me into working less and daydreaming more. Maybe it's because fall is lurking around the corner and a new season with new responsibilities is about to start. Maybe it feels like the last chance for those lazy summer days I remember having as a kid - that precious week before school started and the end to sleeping in. No one sleeps in around here, that's for sure, but my secret in reclaiming some lazy days is to plan simple, light dinners that take little time to put together and yield excellent leftovers for next day's lunch. Quinoa is a new favorite in my house. Once I figured out how to tame it's bitter tendencies and add the right combinations of spices, it has become my go-to grain. Fancy it up with a supporting cast (such as this grapefruit and avocado arugula salad) and you've got yourself a winning combination of taste and nutrition.

Quinoa Arugula Salad

1 cup quinoa
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup olive oil or Avocado oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 shallot, minced
1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
4 cups baby arugula leaves, washed and dried
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat until it has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat, rinse well and drain in a fine mesh strainer. Bring water to a boil, add salt, and slowly add toasted quinoa. Cook until tender and whitish outer rings appear on the grains, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and place in a large bowl to cool.

In a small bowl, combine cranberries, lime juice, olive oil, honey, garlic, shallot, mint and 1 tablespoon chopped arugula. Stir into the cooled quinoa and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Place a generous handful (or more) of baby arugula on each salad plate. Top with quinoa mixture, avocado, and grapefruit. Additionally, you could add crumbled goat cheese or mild feta.

Pin It


house: day 34

It's day 34 here at the new house and my big focus has been getting the house finished. For the past two months Hero Hubby and I have been flat-out working, fixing, painting, nailing, chopping (more on that later), sawing, screwing (not that kind), moving, assembling, cleaning... The list of tasks go on and on. I realize that with a monumental task such as this there's no "finished." It's a process that leaves little time for playing.

It's time to get my ducks in a row and structure my weeks more so I actually schedule play time in. Many of you may be bristling at the thought of scheduling play time - I know I am! Naturally one to just go with the flow, I realize that in order to stay on top of the house projects and be a good mum I need structure. I'm not quite sure how I'll arrange my schedule or how I'll be at sticking to it, but here are some inspiring posts to help me get started. How have you organized your days? Also, I found some great DIY recipes for all things play-time (more on those later) and I'm putting this DIY teepee on my to-do list. What kid wouldn't like a teepee in her room?

How does you brain work via organized everyday
How I clean my house via mom of 6
21 day challenge via bowl full of lemons

Oh, and these activities might just save my sanity. The littlest one is thirteen months now and she is into everything!

Pin It


been a while + wordless wednesday

"Gimme back my Wordless Wednesdays!" read the text from my cousin and devoted a Side of Sparkle reader. Meghan had traded the paradise of Hawaii for two weeks of unpredictable New England summertime for a family visit not too long ago. I felt so lucky to host her and her gorgeous (and I mean gorgeous) little boy at the new house. After catching up on all sorts of things she asked me about the blog situation - or, lack thereof! Well, I'm back to posting regularly after a break that allowed me to focus on moving the family, renovating the house and starting anew. So, Meghan and all other Dear Readers out there, please excuse my hiatus. I have lots and lots of house news to share (everyone likes a good before and after, right?), kid updates, recipes, fashion posts... and, yes, Wordless Wednesday:

one | two | three

Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...