Memorial Day Weekend 2014

I simply adore starting the work week on a Tuesday, don't you? I hate to rush the weekdays, but I love that we are already one step closer to the weekend.

How was your weekend? Ours was really great.

My weekend started on Friday afternoon, following early dismissal at the office. I dashed home, picked up the car and headed straight to BJ's to stock up on bulk groceries. We live in an apartment and so I can't go too crazy with bulk shopping, but I found it to be especially handy for stocking up on various meat, cheeses, salmon and more for our week 2 of the Dukan diet. Afterwards, I ran home to pick up my Sweet P from daycare! I love the rare occasions when that happens. That evening Shaun had last minute plans to meet our friend Ryan for drinks in Hoboken and so it was girls night for Penelope and me. We snuggled up in Mom and Dad's bed with pillows, blankets, and Tangled on DVD.


Saturday was filled with errands and food prep for a barbecue that evening with friends who live in our building. Unfortunately, it began pouring about 30 minutes beforehand, so they hosted at their place and the guys simply ran down to grill and then came back up with the goods. No outdoor time due to rain, but we didn't mind!

Sunday we had plans to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday at the beach. Luckily the weather held up, but it was a little chilly on the beach with a pretty fierce wind. Sunny and chilly enough for a long sleeve shirt which was ok in my book.

Penelope was terrified of the sand and water at first. Of course it was way too cold to even dip her toes into the water, but eventually she warmed up to the idea of watching the waves and even playing in the sand.

She also loved her chair from Grandma and Grandpa.

In the evening we went for dinner and took a few spins down the slide at the park.

It was a long but fun day and we arrived home around 11pm. Penelope was so exhausted that she slept until 10:30 on Monday morning! I couldn't believe it.

Once she was up, P remained pretty cranky throughout the day. We had wanted to simply enjoy a day in Jersey City on Monday and so that's what we did. We decided to explore Lincoln Park, which is just a short drive from our place. We packed P up in the stroller, brought a few snacks and did the loop around the park.

We have passed this park so many times in the car and it was so fun to finally go inside and see all that it has to offer. Sprawling green lawns, sports facilities including tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, soccer fields and a track, playgrounds, fountains, picnic areas and a large pond. It's really a little hidden gem in our admittedly not-so-pretty section of Jersey City. Central Park, who?

Penelope was still so exhausted, so we headed home. She relaxed while Shaun and I cleaned up the place and prepped food for the week ahead. We grilled steaks for an early dinner and sat outside on our terrace for the inaugural use of the season. Penelope was in bed by 6:45 and we were on the couch by 8:30, lamenting the end of a great weekend. 

All in all, it felt like a nice long break and I'm ready to welcome the summer (and all of its craziness) with open arms!

How did you spend the long weekend?

Did you have good weather?

It Could Be Worse

I love starting my week on a Tuesday, don't you?

Especially after a nice, long weekend of home improvement projects, barbecuing with friends and family and lounging in the hot Jersey sun. Things could be worse.

My waistline that was on the cusp of trimming down could now revolt.

At least I used a sandwich thin. Though my palette seriously missed out on the good, old-fashioned potato roll.

I could have found a delicious and refreshing new homemade poppy seed salad dressing that my sister Christine whipped up, possibly knocking out my favorite balsamic-honey-mustard dressing. The balsamic dressing simply won't be happy to hear about this.

I could have lamented that though I'm jumping for joy over corn season, Jersey corn hasn't quite hit yet, leaving all other corns inferior. But it's still fairly wonderful.

Especially when it's cut off the cob, leaving no pieces stuck in my teeth. Smart, right?

This little girl could have eaten her own doggie food, rather than hide out under the kids' chairs in hopes of finding lots of 'crumbs'.

I could have spent the day indoors or out on my sweltering terrace instead of lounging at my parents' pool with them, my sister Christine and my cousins.

Things could be worse.

How did you spend your long weekend? Any parties or picnics? And please weigh in...Do you eat your corn on or off the cob?

Memorial Day Weekend Eats

It's Friii-daay! It's Friii-daay!

Excuse me while I get my happy dance on. Not only is it Friday, but it's a holiday weekend Friday which pretty much rocks my world. What do you have planned? Shaun and I are getting our home DIY on, having dinner and drinks with friends and just relaxing a bit. What do you have planned?

One of my favorite things about summer holidays is, you guessed it, the picnic and barbecue food. I can't wait to eat some of these this weekend! I thought I'd share a round up of some of my favorite picnic food ideas. I hope you've already eaten breakfast, because these will most certainly get your tummy rumbling.

Grilled Zucchini Coins

I love these. So simple, so delicious and so healthy. Make them today. And tomorrow.

Carmelized Potato & Parsnip Tart

Another great way to get some veggies. I served this on Christmas Eve, but it would be perfect cut up into bite size squares and served outdoors on a big platter for guests to pick at. Oh and it doesn't hurt that it's gorgeous to boot.

Grilled Caprese Salad

Melted mozzarella, fresh basil, doesn't get better.

Creamy Fruit Salsa

It really couldn't be easier. Find some delicious fruit salsa (I like Target's peach salsa) and mix with a dollop of sour cream. Serve with chips. Yum.

Pizza Dip

It's an oldie but always a goodie and always a crowd pleaser. I always, always serve this at parties and gatherings. Although it's one of the easiest dips ever, it's always the first plate to be cleaned.

Asiago-Fig Macaroni & Cheese

This can easily be prepped in advance and baked off once guests arrive or at your final destination. Guests and hosts alike will love you for it. I promise.

Burgers & Corn on the Cob

I can't imagine Memorial Day weekend wthout either of these items. I can't wait to finally eat some Jersey corn this's the best!

And for dessert? Something about summer gatherings always makes me want bars. So I'm sharing my 2 favorite bar recipes thus far.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Find me someone who won't like these. It won't happen. They are delicious and extremely rich so one tray goes a looong way.

Pineapple Carrot Bars

These are not only delicious, but look how cute they are! Not to mention, cream cheese frosting makes everything better.

So there you have it. Lots of delicious recipes for your holiday weekend! I hope you enjoy some of these! What are your plans for the weekend? What's your favorite picnic/barbecue foods? I'm always on the hunt for new ones, so dish in the comments!