The Novice Griller..

One thing I’m not….. is a grill master.

Grilling seems like a challenge to me… and sometimes a complete accidental success.

Like that time I totally forgot to turn down the heat and somehow pulled out the steaks at precisely the right second.

Hmm. Accident or genius?

Experimenting with the grill may be my new thing this summer.

When Blue Diamond sent over the new Sriracha Almonds to try, not only did I devour an entire tin to myself; grilling, shrimp and experimenting seemed appropriate.

I attempted to “entrust” then grill up some shrimp!


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While the flavor was there, my technique could use some work!

But hey, that’s what experimenting is for.

Have you tried the Sriracha Almonds yet?

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond.

Patio Obsession

As soon as I can take the dog outside, minus a coat, my patio obsession begins. This obsession is real, I’ve talked about it before, here.

When do they open? How early do they open? How many are within walking distance?

How can I decorate my patio? Where can I find that perfect outdoor rug? One with color and pattern and all the feel of spring.

I’ve been pinning patio inspiration for months. Just waiting for those sales to spring up!

I have finally acquired almost all of my new patio pieces. A side table or so may still be on their way… But an almost complete and perfect patio sits waiting to  greet our Minnesota summer.

Not much can add to my perfect patio, except the perfect snack! A simple cheese plate, enhanced by Blue Diamond Nut Thins. Have you tried these guys ? I had not previously, and they are delish! The perfect accompaniment to a wedge of double cream brie 😉

I can’t lie, I even had them for breakfast the other morning…..

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Side note: Bets on whether or not I ate that entire wedge by myself…?


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins.

Eternal Summer…

It is far too soon. I do not remember it coming so fast.

Has fall always started on Labor Day? Or is it because Starbucks decided to release that awful PSL drink early this year? (don’t hate me). Once the PSL is available, is it now fall?

Some days I dream of an eternal summer. A forever of waking up and taking the dog out in barely there layers. A constant need for the ceiling fan to lull me to sleep. The never grabbing a coat or extra layer as I’m running out the door.

Perhaps it was the summers living in Florida for “home leave” every year we came back to the States. Or that year and a half of living basically on the equator. Or my Californian birthright.  Perhaps a combination of these causes me to pause and wonder if I’m ready for fall.

However while I hold on to my dream of eternal summer, I guess I can acknowledge the perks to come.

Like last weekend spent at the cabin. Due to rainy days and 66 degree temps favorite fall activities were had. That, and a lot of wine.  A few flabongos may have been had as well 🙂

Perk #1 Wine filled games of Telestrations with a backdrop of constant rain…

Chicken Breast


Cabin Town

Perk #2 Mornings spent perusing the small town boutique for new sweaters.

Almond Latte

And yes, Perk #3, my first hot latte. Sorry, not a PSL. Again, don’t shoot me 🙂

Am I the only one dreaming of an eternal summer? What is your favorite fall activity?

Lakelife Snacks #moretolove

Its a Midwest thing. When spring finally hits, you know, after that last random May snow storm… We all start to crave the lakes. Lake Life to be more specific.  A boat ride on a cool summer evening, an afternoon spent soaking up the sun, a weekend cabin side.


It was a weekend such as that, when I feel in love with popchips. Needing to stock the car for a drive to the cabin… Wanting a healthier, lighter snack option.. One allowing me to feel good about later slipping on the bikini… A snack to pack for lounging around the lake.. Popchips it was. One bite of that delicious Salt and Pepper popchip and I was in love. They are a line of chips you can feel good about eating, never fried (too greasy), never baked (too cardboard-y).

Did you know they have their own archive of recipes? I’ll be checking them out here, just in time for summer lake fun.

As they are introducing their brand new, 15% more to love bags, what’s not to love? And when these bags come in flavors such as sea salt, barbeque potato and nacho cheese tortilla, (yum!), how could you resist the perfect summer snack?

Want to join in the fun? Visit and tell your story of falling in love with popchips; tweet/Facebook/Instagram #moretolove, for your chance to win a sweet (potato) date night!


What is your favorite flavor?

Disclaimer: This was a snack sponsored post, but all opinions are my own 🙂

Cravings: BBQ

I know, I know, I am going off the no-meat thing for a hot minute (again. bad veggie, bad).  Friend demanded I try a certain place, a must for this city.

And it is summer, the SEASON of BBQ…

So one must partake and try some of the cities finest, right? And how could you pass up a place with a pink neon pig?


One must call in your order for pick up.  Luckily for me, Friend decided to buy a house four houses down from this lovely eatery.  10 minutes after ordering, our neon pink pig prepared meal was ready.

A little pulled chicken, pork, potatoe salad and who could forget the spicy rice? (although I’d take it a bit more spicy please)

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Um hi, can I just stick my head in the take out bag?? This bbq smells kills me.. especially when you have been holding out on the meat!


A meat lover’s paradise.  Really if you love BBQ, check out Milwaukee Smoked Bar-B-Que.