Summer Essentials: Avocado Corn Salsa


Hey There, Hi There, Ho There!

I had a little burst of "summer is coming!" inspiration yesterday and decided I would share the things I can't live without in summertime.

I made this last week and despite the cooler temps this week (and way too much rain) just tasting it put me in the mood for BBQs, pool trips and sunscreen.

I make this a little differently each time but these are the essential ingredients for the best Avocado Salsa I know how to make: 






Variations are a huge possibility with this!
My local grocery store didn't have any but once I found a can of fire roasted tomatoes and I used it instead of salsa, which was amazing! 
Also, if I add a can of black beans and halved cherry tomatoes instead of diced, it makes a great salad instead of a dip! 

What are you your summer essentials? 





Weekend Shenanigans

Sami's Shenanigans

My weekend started off with getting to pick this hunk up from Summer school and taking him out to lunch and then we picked up my mini me and went to the park.



I made some cards on Friday night. Crafting is like therapy to me...or maybe that was the Apple Ale, I can't be sure... 



Friday night my besties and I went to see Epic in 3D.
I give it a "meh" rating. I mean, the visuals were amazing and the creativity was out of this world. But the storyline was way too complicated and underdeveloped for my kids to follow. By an hour and a half into it (it's over 2) Reese was twirling in the aisle and Ryder was asking if we could go back to Sonic for more drinks....



 

Sunday I went for a drive....



Enjoyed the rain and fed my brain





Had some Mexican food with friends....




I made myself the most amazing fish taco for dinner on Monday night...


Tilapia, cole slaw from scratch, avos and black bean & corn salsa.
In other words, amazeballs. 

Oh! And also, can I get an amen for all the amazing Chick Flicks that were on this weekend? 
Clueless, The Women, 50 First Dates, Juno. 
PLUS hours and hours of the Kardashians. Junk food for my brain on overload and I loved it! 


And ended it all by running 2 miles and taking a 2 hour nap. 
AND experimenting with some awesome smoothie recipes! 



I mean, it's impossible to take a nation wide poll but I think it's safe to say I had the best weekend ever :) 









Book Round Up




I'm sad to report that I haven't been reading lately. It's the first time in the longest time that I can remember where I've gone this long without reading anything. 
But that doesn't mean I am not reading about reading books! 

Here are some that have caught my eye on Goodreads.com lately! 


When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?


The answer is beyond imagining . . . at least at first. Kate and Julian’s story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer.



Now, in modern-day New York, Kate and Julian must protect themselves from the secrets of the past, and trust in a true love that transcends time and space.



Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. 

That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview.

Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married—an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie’s arrival to restore her family’s old house puts her once more in the center of the community’s social scene, and she insinuates herself back into Lily's friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction...and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations. 

Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the surface, and as a cataclysmic hurricane barrels unseen up the Atlantic and into New England, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional cyclone of their own, which will change their worlds forever.

At 22, Leslie Morgan Steiner seemed to have it all: a Harvard diploma, a glamorous job at Seventeen magazine, a downtown New York City apartment. Plus a handsome, funny, street-smart boyfriend who adored her. But behind her façade of success, this golden girl hid a dark secret. She’d made a mistake shared by millions: she fell in love with the wrong person.

At first Leslie and Conor seemed as perfect together as their fairy-tale wedding. Then came the fights she tried to ignore: he pushed her down the stairs of the house they bought together, poured coffee grinds over her hair as she dressed for a critical job interview, choked her during an argument, and threatened her with a gun. Several times, he came close to making good on his threat to kill her. With each attack, Leslie lost another piece of herself.

Gripping and utterly compelling, Crazy Love takes you inside the violent, devastating world of abusive love. Conor said he’d been abused since he was a young boy, and love and rage danced intimately together in his psyche. Why didn’t Leslie leave? She stayed because she loved him. Find out for yourself if she had fallen truly in love – or into a psychological trap. Crazy Love will draw you in -- and never let go.





An addictive and moving debut about love, fidelity, sports, and growing up when you least expect it, told through the irresistible voices of three generations

It’s the spring of 1994 in Cooperstown, New York, and Joanie Cole, the beloved matriarch of the Obermeyer family, has unexpectedly died in her sleep. Now, for the first time, three generations are living together under one roof and are quickly encroaching on one another’s fragile orbits. Eighty-six-year-old Bob Cole is adrift in his daughter’s house without his wife. Anne Obermeyer is increasingly suspicious of her husband, Hugh’s, late nights and missed dinners, and Hugh, principal of the town’s preschool, is terrified that a scandal at school will erupt and devastate his life. Fifteen-year-old tennis-team hopeful Julia is caught in a love triangle with Sam and Carl, her would-be teammates and two best friends, while her brother, Teddy, the star pitcher of Cooperstown High, will soon catch sight of something that will change his family forever.

At the heart of the Obermeyers’ present-day tremors is the scandal of The Sex Cure, a thinly veiled roman à clef from the 1960s, which shook the small village of Cooperstown to the core. When Anne discovers a battered copy underneath her parents’ old mattress, the Obermeyers cannot escape the family secrets that come rushing to the surface. With its heartbreaking insight into the messy imperfections of family, love, and growing up, Love All is an irresistible comic story of coming-of-age—at any age.


And for all you beach comers out there: All The Summer Girls by Meg Donohue.

 I thought about doing a summer/beach themed book round up but I simply can't bring myself to think about the book when it's a cool 65 out. Next time the sun actually shows its face, I'll attempt to get in the summertime mood! 


“Beach Book Extraordinaire! Donohue’s three protagonists are irresistibly sympathetic as they try to unbury their true selves from the ruinous secrets of their shared past.” --Elin Hilderbrand. bestselling author of Beautiful Day

In Philadelphia, good girl Kate is dumped by her fiance the day she learns she is pregnant with his child. In New York City, beautiful stay-at-home mom Vanessa is obsessively searching the Internet for news of an old flame. And in San Francisco, Dani, the aspiring writer who can't seem to put down a book--or a cocktail--long enough to open her laptop, has just been fired...again.

In an effort to regroup, Kate, Vanessa, and Dani retreat to the New Jersey beach town where they once spent their summers. Emboldened by the seductive cadences of the shore, the women being to realize how much their lives, and friendships, have been shaped by the choices they made one fateful night on the beach eight years earlier--and the secrets that only now threaten to surface.


Happy Reading Friends! 
Are you reading anything extraordinary?
I need recommendations that will get me out of my non reading slump! 

A fictional story....




In the busyness of that Tuesday morning, there were cars in the bank drive thru, a phone company truck was being loaded and in the distance, a car horn sounded. Everyone was going about their daily lives, minute by minute. Too busy to see anything out of the ordinary.

Because what is ordinary about the end of a marriage? There was nothing normal about what was happening to them. They stood in the parking lot, his hands, homeless, stuffed in his pockets.

The tears that had been leaking out, the ones she was able to keep at bay inside the lawyer’s office overtook her and sobs seized her lungs and escaped in a choking sound.

“You okay, pretty girl?” he said.

She wanted to look away because she remembered he had told her she was beautiful when she cried. This was anything but beautiful.

She reached out and put her arms tightly around his neck and whispered the words that were desperately swirling around in her mind.

"I will always respect you. I fee like this is out of our control at this point...I just want us to be happy."

He told her he hoped he could believe it someday and the little piece of light, of hope, that was left inside of her flickered, waved a flag of promise. That someday he would see it. Someday he would see that her incapableness was her own warfare.

The years spent not nurturing their marriage, her selfishness, his aloofness and assumptions that everything is always as it should be, they were all weapons.

She surrendered.

She knew she lacked the effort, the heart and the conscious to keep fighting. She knew she wasn’t worth it. She wanted to stop hurting. And the sadness of it all is that the only way she knew how to stop was to get off the track altogether and go another direction.

On that busy Tuesday morning, no one noticed the breaking of two hearts, the desperate embrace, the hurried, whispered words and the end of a story that had once such a promising ending.

The only redeeming thing about the story are two little souls that will go on living, knowing they are loved unconditionally by their parents, whose parents will continue to use their love that had once been for each other to nurture the children and raise them with more love than any child could ask for.

The D Word. Divorce, not Dallas.

Want to get real?

Like really real? 

Maybe you've noticed my sobby, inspirational tweets, or maybe that time I disappeared for a week? Or that there's a person missing from the "About She" section of my blog? 

That's because I'm going through a divorce. The D word. Sometimes I think it really doesn't start with D at all. It starts with R for restructuring. E for exhausted. S for scared, sad and sorry. 

I made some major mistakes and missteps. I let alot of people down, mostly myself. And of course the other person. And that other person couldn't love me the way that I needed to be loved. The funny thing is, blame is an unobtainable thing in situations like these. No one involved ever sees the other's point of view...I'll never be able to explain myself and be understood and neither will the other person. Sometimes you just have to buck up, be honest, show your hand and cut your losses. 

But cutting your losses doesn't make you a loser. 

This has been a long struggle, and frankly, now that it's at the end, I finally feel like I've just shed a heavy, dark skin. 

I don't want to fail anymore. I want to be a good person, a happy mother and an honest friend.

The truth of the matter is that I was failing at my marriage because I don't believe I could be good at something I didn't want with my whole heart.

I want a life that I choose. Here's a break down : After knowing him for two years, we got pregnant. I begged for a ring because I didn't want to run around a college campus with a big belly and a bare finger. We got married. We lived the next two years on auto pilot, nurturing our children and not our marriage or friendship. Somewhere along that line, I lost myself. I lost my ability to make good decisions that were right for my family. I also lost respect and love for the person I had pledged my life to.

And a 21 year old girl who knows no better isn't the same as the 27 year old woman who emerges from a cave when she finally wakes up. 




Over all, I know this is the best decision that can come out of a broken, sad situation. 

Fighting. Silence. Resentment. It's an evil cycle that's not worth it. You've got this one life.

I don't want to be sad anymore. I don't want to try and escape to a quiet room for a break when I should be excited to play with children on a sunny day. I don't want to pop a Xanax before I get home from work every day. I don't want to drink too much so I can try and act fun. 

I want a life of yearning, not resentment. I want a life of forgiveness, not guilt. I want a life of effortlessness, not forced, fake happiness.

This week has been the hardest week of my life. My children are staying at their father's house because I didn't have beds for them in our new place, so I hang out with them until bedtime, then leave and go to bed alone in my new place. Miss out on sleep, get up and arrive back at their house to get them ready for the day. I fret that they'll wake up and wonder where I am. 

Over the weekend, our new furniture arrived and we'll begin a routine of living that I pray will be okay for them. They have more love than imaginable from both of their parents, so I know they can feel it. I know they know how much they are loved. I don't ever want them to think I left because of them. 

The truth is, I can't be a good mother when I'm this unhappy. I need to nurture my soul, my life, my heart so that it becomes a part of who I am. 


I know they'll see a change. I know they'll recognize the happier, calmer mother that is emerging in this new life. This life that I am capable of living because I want it and I am happy in it. 

Don't ever convince yourself that something you want is too difficult to obtain.

Don't ever doubt that tiny little voice in your heart that whispers a yearning for something better. 

Don't ever hesitate to cut your losses, apologize for your mistakes and stand up straight. 



Weekend Shenanigans


Friday: 
(Repeat picture a couple times) 


Saturday: 

Water Balloons. Park. Picnic. Trampoline. Naps.

In other words: My kids' dream day :) 


(Reese with her BFF, Talyn) 


This was taken just moments before Ryder completely soaked me! 

Sunday:
I started my message board DIY project. It's taking many more coats of paint that I anticipated, so I've been painting coats here and there all weekend...






And on a more monumental note...over the weekend and last week...this happened.
A new living room. A new home for me and the kiddos...

But more on that tomorrow....



Currently Link Up



HK

Hoping. Reading. Wearing. Making. Planning.



Currently I'm HOPING  that Mother Nature didn't just royally screw us out of Spring. It snowed on May 2 and now it's windy an 98 out. I just don't get it. I yearn for 70 and breezy, aka Spring Weather. Mother Nature is a schizo, at least in Missouri.

Currently I am READING book reviews for NovelEscapes.com and I finished The Great Gatsby, which I also saw in theaters. Guys, go see it.  Yes, it's a little showy and yes the music that perfectly matches the eyebrow movements of Leo is a bit over the top but I swear, it's the best production I have seen in a lonnnng time. I was riveted. And the story is soooo good. The movie did a great job of bringing the attitudes and one liners to life. I really recommend going to see it! And of course, read the book before you go!

Currently, I'm WEARING stinky running shorts and a tee...but when I am not sporting work out gear I have been loving these tunics from Old Navy, I have them in two colors and really wish they made one in black. They are so light and airy!


Currently

And I'm also currently loving this coral dress and shoes I bought at Target, both under $30. Those shoes? I die. I never wear stuff like that but I can't get enough of them! I need to start planning to go places that will constitute wearing them! 

Currently, I am MAKING....changes. But more on that later...maybe... 

Currently I am PLANNING some DIY projects, including this gem: 

4 Favorites!

I was so excited to find this 4 Favorites Link Up, I needed some major inspiration for a post! I've been in a rut lately, so this is perfect because I get to look at fun, pretty things to share with you and it's short and simple! Here are 4 things that have been at the top of my favorites list lately! 







The Boyfriend watch from Coach. MUST HAVE. I'd probably do nothing but check the time and stare if I had this pretty on my wrist...





Bai Square Retro Wall Clock...okay there's a small chance that this beauty surpassed window shopping and is literally headed to my wall in the next couple of days...but it's an essential item...because one must always know the time! (Excuses are a girls' best friend)



Smash Books. Yes. Please. It's chaos and creativity all compact in a fun loving book. I can't wait to fill this scraptastic album with my keepsakes, favorite quotes and more! 



And last but not least, a quote from Tyler Knott. Because he's my heart's hero when it comes to putting feelings on paper. 

Oh! I just thought of a couple more favorite things: Cuddle time with my bestie:



And these songs I have been listening to on repeat: 






What are 4 things you are loving lately? 
Happy Hump Day! 

My Weekend Shenanigans



First, this weekend was the one I have been looking forward to and planning for months! 
It was finally the time to celebrate my sister's baby bump, soon to be known in our family as Lucy Wynn! 
Her shower went off without a hitch, I wish everyday for my sister to smile everyday like she did during her shower. It was so wonderful to celebrate her and the little girl I love so much already! 

(Reading her baby book my mom gave her) 


Fish Face! 












Reese telling Aunt Jessie that she gave Lucy Goosey a dress just like her's! 





And then the rest of the weekend, I had the pleasure of shopping, lunch and ice cream with my two best friends: 


PLUS, I got to spend time with my mom and family at her house.
Meet my sister aunt, Aimee. She's technically my aunt, but we are close in age, humor and awesomeness, so I call her my sister :) 


My mom recently moved to a place out in the country that's practically next door to a winery.
I am just so sure that it had nothing to do with choosing the house...sha right...



When your afternoon looks like this, you really can't complain: 


And as always, we got in some quality time at the park....


Why oh why does it have to be Monday already?!