Monday, August 13, 2018

#CLTforCharlotte



If there's one thing that I will always love about blogging, it's the sense of community it brings. I started this little space almost 10 years ago which is crazy to think about! Social media and the internet can be a crazy place, but I have met some of my dearest friends through blogging and for that I'm forever thankful. 

I'm popping in today to share the story of my friend April's sweet little girl Charlotte in hopes to reach more people and share a few things we are doing around the city of Charlotte and beyond to help this wonderful family. 

Here's a quick snippet of Charlotte's story below:

Our Chari-girl. 💕 Many of you have followed along on our journey and know we’ve been desperately seeking answers for why Charlotte didn’t start walking and why we’ve seen other scary regressions lately. I wanted an answer so badly. Now I wish we didn’t have it. We are heartbroken to say we’ve received news that she has Leukodystrophy, which is incurable and terminal. I don’t even know what to say. We’ve been at the hospital since Monday afternoon. We have a group of angels as friends who have stepped in and set up a designated email address to manage for us requests that have been coming in of how to love on her during this excruciating time (robsonfamilyhelp at gmail). We are respectfully requesting for privacy at this time while we just love on Char and work on getting her home.
A post shared by April R. (@smidgeofthis) on


A Go Fund Me has been set up for the Robson family to help with medical and any other unforeseen expenses during this time.

Additionally, we have some super cute tees with the CLTforCharlotte logo- I can't wait to see everyone around Charlotte and beyond wearing these. The t-shirt sales end THIS SATURDAY, August 18, 2018! We originally set the goal to sell 150 shirts but sales sky rocketed this weekend and now I'm thinking we can get to 500 or beyond! Just amazing.



CLICK HERE for Adult and Youth tees.

CLICK HERE for Toddler tees and Baby onesies

All the prayers and love to this sweet family.





Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Grilled Okra



We spent this past weekend in the mountains of North Carolina (Beech Mountain for you NC readers) and the air up there is just so refreshing! I spent 4 years in Boone for college but I never ever spent a Summer in the mountains and I almost wished I had. It's such a nice slow pace at this time of year and although it's still warm and Summery, it's just always extra crisp. 

I have simple meals on deck this week and as I was scrolling through my iPhone photos, this beautiful plate of grilled okra caught my eye and I had to share. If you're not grilling your okra, you're doing it wrong and if you're not eating okra? Well then you're doing it REALLY wrong. I do think that okra is mostly a texture thing and any aversion to it would have to be that but I have really grown to love this vegetable. Roasted, sauteed, fried- with grilled being my most favorite at all. It's a Summer staple in our house, especially since it's so easy to find fresh at this time of year. 

This isn't so much a recipe as it is a PSA to get yourself to a farmer's market or grocery store and grab a bunch of okra and throw it on the grill. I promise you it will change your relationship with this southern vegetable. 

A veggie grilling basket will change your grill game so if you don't have one, get on it! You can do all of your Summer vegetables this way and they always come out so good with SO MUCH FLAVOR. 

Grilled Okra

Fresh okra, washed and dried
Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the okra by washing and drying it. You can remove the tops, but I always leave them on and they are fine to eat! 

In a large bowl, toss okra with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to a grilling basket/skillet and grill for 5-10 minutes, tossing frequently, until okra is charred and starting to get crispy. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Grilled Lemon Salmon Kebabs


No better way to start off the week than with a healthy dinner recipe! My love for salmon knows no bounds and I'm always looking for fresh and new ways to prepare it. I LOVE grilling it in the Summer and getting that smokey grill flavor. Kebabs have been having a moment at our house, too. It's so easy to chop up a bunch of fresh ingredients, put them on a stick and throw it all on the grill. A one step meal that's delicous, healthy and doesn't take much prep time. 

These salmon kebabs are going straight to the top of my Summer favorites list. The flavor on the fish was INSANE from the grill as well as each piece being sandwiched between fresh lemon slices. Something about fish and lemon ALWAYS does it for me. I could be happy eating this as a meal every night this Summer. 

I found this recipe via Skinny Taste awhile ago and have been itching to make it. Also, how beautiful does the raw salmon and bright yellow lemon slices photograph!? These tasted as good as they looked. I tweaked the seasonings here a little and came up with my own spice rub for the salmon that was just perfect. It may sound strange, but don't forget to eat the lemons! This might be the best part of the meal.

I just can't stop thinking about these kebabs.



Lemon Salmon Kebabs

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless wild salmon
2 lemons, thinly sliced
4-8 bamboo skewers 
Olive oil

Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before prepping your kebabs. I was able to fit all of my lemon and fish onto 4 skewers, and had them all pretty full. If you are serving more people, divide the fish and lemons amongst 8 skewers. 

In a small bowl, combine oregano, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, kosher salt and cracked pepper.

Cut salmon into 1 inch chunks. Beginning and ending with the salmon, thread salmon and folded lemon slices onto the skewers. Sprinkle evenly with the spice rub and add a little bit more salt and pepper on top as well. Drizzle with olive oil. 

If doing these on an outside grill, grill on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes, until fish is fully cooked through. Make sure you turn the skewers often. For a grill pan, grill on medium high heat, turning often and cooking until the fish is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Strawberry Jalapeno Simple Syrup



We had a weekend cool- down and a few days that felt so nice, breezy and almost cool, but the hot weather is back. Truthfully, I LOVE IT. I'm a Summer girl for life and as muggy and hot as it gets here, I would take these days over gray snowy ones ANY DAY. When Fall rolls around I'll be all Pumpkin spice love yesssss the best time of year is around the corner but for now, I'm sticking with Summer.

I'm coming at you mid-week with a happy hour hack that's sure to make your 5pm cocktail a little bit sweeter...and easier! My friend April shared this simple syrup tip last week and I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. Sure, simple syrup is simple enough on the stove, but why not make it simpler by making it in the microwave! Bonus points because you make it right in the mason jar so no need to transfer the mixture for fridge storage. That part is already done for you. I was shocked at how well this worked and how easy it was. Definitely a trick to have up your sleeve in a pinch or when you need a cocktail mixer for an impromptu night with friends.

The best part, is that you can totally add in any fruit and herb infusers that you have on hand which will allow you to get a little creative with your flavors! I did strawberries and jalapeno slices here and it was heavenly! This was extra delicious as a margarita mixer with some Tequila, lime juice seltzer and a splash of the syrup- and my sweet pregnant friend also enjoyed it in some orange la croix! Getting creative here, folks and you don't even have to enjoy this with alcohol. My other favorite way to enjoy a flavored simple syrup is with some Tito's vodka and Spindrift! PSA: If you grocery shop at Harris Teeter, Spindrift is BOGO this week and also $1 back on Ibotta! Not familiar with Ibotta? It's the easiest way to shop and get money back on things you are already buying at the grocery store. Sign up with my referral code HERE. (this is not sponsored! I just love using it, love getting cash back every few weeks and want to share with you all!)

 All you need is sugar, water, flavor infusers, a mason jar and 90 seconds in the microwave. Boom. And if you want to do this on the stove the old fashioned way, that works, too.

Whether you take a short cut or 

Strawberry Jalapeno Simple Syrup 

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 strawberries, thinly sliced

In a mason jar, combine the water and sugar. Place in microwave for 90 seconds. If the sugar appears to have not fully dissolved yet, microwave in additional 15 second increments. As soon as no more sugar granules appear present, add in jalapeno and strawberry slices. Let the mixture come to room temperature. Strain out the berries and peppers if you like, or leave them in the mixture. Store in the refrigerator.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Italian Potato Salad



I love Summer eating, but what I don't love is feeling full and bloated and just blah from the heat and a big plate filled with ALL THE FOOD. There are so many fresh ingredients available to us in the Summer and along with that comes many ways to lighten it up any way that we can...so we can do things like have an extra glass of wine or save room for an ice cream sandwich, am I right!? It's all about balance, after all. 

Ditch the heavy mayo based salads and get on board with this super simple Italian style number. It's so much lighter than most potato salads with bright and fun colors that look pretty on any delicious spread. Parsley adds a green punch and it's unique flavor while red peppers offer some sweetness and new texture. I love the simplicity of this dish, using only olive oil as the dressing and letting the fresh herbs and veggies do the rest of the work. Leaving the skin on the potatoes is also a key step! Adds so much more. 

I grew up eating this and everytime I make it, it's a huge crowd pleaser. Not your typical potato salad and an unexpected twist on a cookout staple. I promise if you bring this along to your next get Summer get together, everyone will thank you. 


Italian Potato Salad

3-4 pounds of red skin potatoes, washed with the skin left on
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
big handful fresh parsley, chopped
2 roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Wash and chop potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on how big your potatoes are. Boil until you can pierce them easily with a fork, but not so long that they are falling apart. 

While the potatoes cook, prep your onion, garlic, parsley and roasted red peppers. 

When the potatoes are done, drain and rinse with cool water and let them sit a few minutes to cool off. Cut them into smaller chunks and place into a bowl with the onion, garlic, parsley and roasted red peppers. Drizzle all over with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss it all together and adjust your salt, pepper and olive oil to your liking. Serve at room temperature. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 4th of July!


Stars and stripes forever! Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and Happy Birthday America! 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday Faves

A quick little edition of Friday faves to kick off the weekend and head into July! 

I need this Tequila Rose Spritz in my life ASAP. Rose is having a moment right now and I'm loving it more and more. Not going to lie though, the tequila is what sold me on this. Adding to my cocktail que! 

This tequila rosé spritz cocktail is perfectly refreshing for hot summer nights. A mix between a margarita and spritzer, this starts with muddled strawberries and honey, a shot of tequila and is topped off with your favorite rosé wine! I howsweeteats.com #tequila #rosé #wine #spritz #cocktail #strawberries
image via How Sweet Eats

These Buffalo Burgers from The Defined Dish were a great deviation from a basic grilled burger. I used lean ground beef and added some green onions to the meat as well. We ate them on top of arugula with caramelized onions and some roasted okra on the side! 

Image via The Defined Dish

I've never made it a secret that I love a good neutral nail color. I recently got this Orly color (Kiss the Bride) in a gel manicure for a wedding a few weekends ago and I'm in love! I grabbed a regular bottle of it immediately. This color is GOOD. 

Orly Nail Lacquer, Kiss The Bride, 0.6 Fluid Ounce

Meet my afternoon dream team. This Starbucks iced coffee from the grocery store refrigerator section is all kinds of magic. I don't know what they put in it but I think it's a hundred times better than the iced coffee from an actual Starbucks store. I love it with a splash of half and half and lately have been adding a quick pour of the Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coconut for a little island flavor. Seriously the best.


These Beautycounter products have been game changers for my skin- especially the Cleansing Balm and Countermatch Sleep Recovery Cream. These are both SO GOOD. 



WE HAVE BLUEBERRIES! Our favorite neighbors moved and we transplanted their blueberry bush to our house. It's been moved twice now so I was a little worried about it but we've been getting a good handful of berries. It doesn't make up for all of the berries I buy at the store every week, but it's fun to have our own homegrown blueberries! 



Hope everyone enjoys another wonderful Summer weekend!