Kirklands Serving Tray Wish List

I realized the other day, when we were grilling supper on the campfire, that we don't own a single serving tray.  Because I'm lazy & didn't want to make a million trips back & forth to the house, I had to use a 11"x17" baking sheet to bring out the meat, veggie foil pack, spices, & cookware.

The baking sheet did it's job, but I realized I'm in desperate need of a serving tray.

I've rounded up my 5 favorite trays right now at Kirklands, which is one of my all-time favorite home decor stores.

Kirkland Trays

1. Floral jardin -- this reminds me of my grandma & I sorta love it.

2. Wood & galvanized metal  -- I like the farm-house feel to this.

3. Reclaimed wood finish -- cottage & country chic, so cute!

4. Light blue vintage chalkboard -- super fun, you could write messages to your guests!

5. Red gingham -- I love that this looks like a picnic table cloth!

Help me decide... which one is your favorite?

Gone Fishin'

If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen that I caught a nice little salmon this weekend...
of course, with the help of my husband -- those suckers are a bit of a challenge to reel in!

Catch of the Day

My husband LOVES to fish.  Like, in life, fishing is his #3:

#1 - Me (at least it better be) ;)
#2 - Hunting
#3 - Fishing

He asks me to go fishing with him all the time, but most times I decline, as I have no interest to wake up super early on my weekends.  But, we are blessed to live about 15 minutes away from Lake Michigan & 2 minutes away from the Bay of Green Bay, so really, we are surrounded by large bodies of water, filled with fish.  I think sometimes I take that for granted.

Over the years, I have learned to like fishing, however I sometimes get bored when there's no action.  This weekend though, I witnessed the pure joy it brings to my husband, which was totally worth the 2:30 AM wake up call.

Zac gets so excited & is always optimistic about the fishing report.  The night before, he made sure the launch ticket was accounted for, the coffee was prepped, & the alarm was set.  At the sound of the alarm the next morning, he jumped out of bed, anxious & ready to get our fish on.

After picking up a couple friends & Zac's brother, we arrived at the busy harbor.  The guys quickly launched our boat -- they have a wonderful system & each person knows their role.  The process is like clockwork for them.  Totally seamless.

Zac drove us out into the dark lake, and then put auto pilot on & the guys quickly worked to set the lines.  Something about fishing on Lake Michigan when it's pitch black out is both nerve-racking & rewarding -- it's just such a large body of water & knowing that it can turn rough at any moment is scary!  But Lake Michigan was so good to us that morning....

sunset on Lake Michigan

Since it is currently the KD Salmon Tourney, the lake in the distance looked like a city of lights (which I neglected to document) -- filled with boats of fisherman hoping to catch the $10k winner.

Around 4:30 AM, we got two bites at the same time & the guys made the girls reel them in.  We lost one, but they helped me get my catch in safely.

fishing gear

setting lines

Salmon fishing Lake Michigan

I'm still tired, I have a sore arm & a blood blister on my pinkie (how? I have no idea), but it was so worth it!  The thrill of catching a nice fish & seeing how happy it made Zac, was my favorite.

We watched the sunrise & had a slow rest of the morning on the water.  Needless to say, we didn't catch a winning fish, but it was so calm & relaxing.  I even got in a little snooze -- the rocking of the boat puts me right to sleep! :)

Lake Michigan views

We ended the morning with breakfast; a perfect start to our Sunday. 

Summer = Wedding Season = What do I wear???

We’ve all been there.

You receive an invitation to a wedding.  It reads “casual attire” and immediately you think, what the heck does that mean?  Sun dress & flats?  Slacks?  Maxi skirt?  You don’t want to be over-dressed, but you certainly don’t want to be under-dressed, either.  You call your girlfriends & ask what they're wearing, and they have no idea either.

More importantly, you think, how am I going to dress my husband?  Because let’s face it, you will likely be picking out/ purchasing & ironing your husband’s get up, otherwise he will show up in shorts & a golf shirt.

Fret no longer my friends.  The fine folks at Paul Fredrick, along with the help of fashion & wedding experts, put together the below infographic sharing wedding guest attire for men, depending on the type of invitation they received.

I've put together 3 “couple” looks that my husband & I would wear, based on the type of invite we receive:

Details: Polished, rich fabrics.  Conservative, clean & classic.

Details: Still dressy, but not over-the-top.  Keeping it playful with a fun print & coordinating colors.

Details: Simple, cotton & a touch of nautical.

I'd love to know, what are your go-to tips for coordinating your outfits with the type of wedding you will be attending?

*Thank you to Paul Fredrick for putting together this cheat sheet!  Don't forget to stop by & browse their selection -- they have something perfect for every occasion, from formal to casual.

Date Night: Campfire love

A few Saturday evenings ago, Zac & I had no plans.  We took advantage of having nothing on the calendar, amongst a busy summer & had a low key night, checking "have a campfire date night" off my summer list!

It was a quintessential summer evening: a warm breeze, a colorful sunset, & a blazing campfire complete with s'mores.  We watched fireflies swoop through the air & star-gazed, reminiscing old times & feeling thankful for how blessed we are to have each other (and Gracie Lou)!

puppy love

Bare feet & belly scratches

summer campfire


Pile o' Sperrys.


roasting marshmellows

The perfect coals for roasting mallows.

campfire tunes

Music by Mr. Bryan, to set the mood.

Cheers, friends -- may you be lucky enough to have a date night campfire sometime soon!

Happy Sunday.

Outdoor entertaining tips -- I love the water balloon one!

I want her closet.  And her hair.

Adding "make homemade soap" to my To Do List after reading this.

Copper is totally trending right now, and I think this side table is darling!

Wonder if I could pull off this simple chignon?  I think I have too much hair for it, but I love the style!

Make: Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Pretty darn quick here, we're going have an over abundance of zucchini from our garden, so I've been scouring the web for yummy zucchini recipes.  Recipes in which you actually have no idea zucchini is a major ingredient in, because frankly, I am not a major fan of zucchini, but my husband is.

However, I love baking with zucchini, and basically, this recipe had me at "double chocolate".

This double chocolate zucchini bread by Sally is unreal.  It's SO good -- full of moisture & flavor & you have NO idea if you didn't bake it, that it contains a cup & a half of zucchini.

I did just a few things differently than the original recipe -- I only had regular vanilla yogurt on hand, not Greek.  I didn't have instant coffee or espresso powder, so I left that out, & I used organic cacao powder.

My slight variations didn't matter one bit -- this bread was still incredible.

Pin it. Bookmark it. Print it off.  Do whatever it is that you do.

Bottom line, make this recipe ASAP.  You will not be disappointed!

#gardenlife: an update.

It’s been just over 1 month since we planted our garden, and good news!  We didn’t fail, (yet)!  In fact, I can’t believe how much it grew in such a short time.  See my first garden post, here.

Most of our plants are flourishing & it’s so fun to watch their progress. We did have to replant our cucumbers & zucchini because OUR DOG ATE the original plants, but we’re back in business.  In fact, we picked our first zucchini yesterday & I promptly made this zucchini bread… it’s delicious – I’ll share more on that later this week.

Take a look, at how our garden grows:

This gardening thing really is fun… Zac & I care for the garden together (though admittedly, him more than me), and I love seeing our work pay off.   It’s also SO nice to be able to go the backyard & pick an onion, or cut some lettuce for supper.

Happy gardening, friends!

Impromptu backyard picnic

The older I get, the more I realize that sometimes the best times in life aren't planned.  This is something that I need to remind myself of more often, since I am a major planner...

I have a tendency to over-analyze, over-prepare, & want every last detail to be picture perfect.
But you know what?
Forget expectations.
Just enjoy.  Enjoy the moment.  Enjoy your company.  And cherish the memories.

All that to say that I unexpectedly got to pick my favorite kiddos (my niece & nephew) up from daycare the other day & decided that we needed to take supper outside because it was way too nice to stay indoors.

Enjoy, scenes from our totally spontaneous, unplanned, backyard picnic:

Sippy-cup cheers!  To backyard picnics!

The menu was frozen pizza & fruit, upon request.

Tunes to set the mood....

"Look!  Trattor, Trattor!!

Hershey's for dessert.

This Fujifilm instax mini camera is SO fun -- Elena loves it.

I highly encourage everyone to have an unplanned backyard picnic at least once this summer.
It takes hardly any work & makes a regular weeknight feel a little extra special.