{WHW}: Summer Fun Activities

Happy Wednesday friends!
I'm basically blogging once a week on Wednesdays, if you hadn't noticed. I've been spending a ton of time with my kiddo and really trying to enjoy all the moments of summer. 

Happy to report the toddler crazy meltdowns seem to have been because of the cold Ella was fighting and my sweet, smiling girl is back for now!
I thought I'd share some of the activities and things we've been doing since being on summer vacation!

On Friday we went to Flight trampoline park with Ella's good friend from school, Alex and the girls loved every second of it! It's so cute seeing them together, and it's really nice to spend mom time with Alex's mom who I've super connected with this year. We have lots of activities for the girls together this summer.
Friday night we had a little family date night into Del Ray to have pizza at Lena's. We'd been there before with friends and ordered the Diavala pizza which has spicy honey on it, and fried kale along with yummy salami. I'd never have ordered it had our friends not raved about it but BOY am I glad we did because it is maybe one of my most favorite pizzas ever. SO yum! The weather was also finally beautiful which made it even more enjoyable.
Saturday Ella did her gym class in the morning and then MG blew up her pool. It was so big we invited our friends Mary Katherine David and their daughter Nora over to partake as well, which was fun!
Sunday we decided to check out a local Zoofari in Reston where you can ride on a bus, and get to feed animals throughout the park. It seemed like a lower key version of the National Zoo. Ella LOVED it! She fed lots of baby goats (and was very strict about the goats who were trying to bully the others to get all the carrots...making sure the others got their fair share haha), MG fed the giraffe which Ella was slightly terrified of when it reached its neck over the fence, we saw buffalo, cheetahs, warthogs, geese, deer llamas, lemurs, and camels. If you're in the area, I recommend it!
Afterwards we went to Barrel and Bushel to grab lunch outside which was delicious and there was a little farmers market in the square there so we picked up some peaches to bring home, and Ella snagged herself a pickle. It's the little things!
Monday we went over to our friends' house who watched Ella her first year, and she got to see her "big brothers" which she loved. It's always fun playing with other people's toys, and she definitely feels at home there.
Tuesday we did a class with her friend Alex again in a soft play room where there was an obstacle course, music and movement activities and free play. The girls loved it, and left holding hands. Heart melting!
We've also been enjoying the water table, and perhaps the biggest hit of the summer are water beads! Ella is obsessed! I got this jar on amazon for $7.99 and a little goes a LONG way with these. I'm pretty sure this will last us all summer if not longer. Great toddler activity!
That's what's been hap-"pinning" around here activity-wise! I've been trying out some new recipes which I'll be sharing soon, too!

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{WHW}: Summer Yum!

Happy Wednesday, friends!
I'm into my first week of summer vacation, taking on the stay at home mom role these next few months, and again I say...momming ain't easy!
Ella's got a summer cold and has been a cranky mess much of this week which has lead to a lot of whining and tantrums (because, two year olds)...it's also involved late morning sleep ins and loooong afternoon naps for her which have been nice for both of us. Hoping the cold and the subsequent 'tude are short lived!

In the meantime, I've had some time to try out a few new recipes lately so I thought I'd share one that was a huge hit this week in our house (among the adults), and got a lot of requests for the recipe when I shared it on my story the other day.

I'm calling it Summer Veggie Pasta Primavera and the recipe is courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod blog!

The ingredient list a little lengthy but it's because this one is chock full of delicious summer veggies!
What You Need:
~16 oz box penne pasta
~1 Tbsp olive oil
~8 oz asparagus cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
~1 yellow bell pepper (or whatever color you choose), also cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
~2 cups small broccoli florets (I did 2 medium broc heads)
~1 small zucchini, chopped *I didn't use this because I forgot to get it at the store
~2 Tbsp butter (original recipe calls for unsalted)
~1 shallot, minced
~4 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp from jar)
~1 lemon (zest, and 3 Tbsp of juice, divided into 2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp)
~1 C veg broth
~1/2 C heavy cream
~1 cup frozen peas
~1/2 C Parmesan cheese (I'd planned to use shredded but ended up using grated and it was delicious)
~halved grape tomatoes (I used 1 pint)

See? I told you it was long but I promise this comes together really easily and the most difficult part is getting all the veggies chopped up. Next time I make this I will totally do that beforehand so it all comes together super quickly.

What You Do:
1. Boil a large pot of water, add salt and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
When it's done cooking, drain and return to the pot. *You will stir the frozen peas into the pot at this point*

2. While the pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat, then add in the broccoli, yellow pepper, and asparagus. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add in the zucchini (if you're using it), and cook for another 2 minutes and season the veggies with salt and pepper to your taste. Then transfer the veggies to another plate/bowl.

3. Melt the butter in the skillet and then add in the garlic and the shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the veggie broth and the lemon zest. Simmer for about 4 to 5 minutes and then stir in the heavy cream and 2 Tbsp of lemon juice.

4. If you haven't done so already, stir the frozen peas into the pasta, and then add in the veggies you set aside earlier. Stir the lemon cream sauce on the veggies and pasta and stir until well coated. Add in the parmesan and remaining 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Then add the basil and the tomatoes.
I added extra parmesan cheese on top of mine. The original recipe mentioned adding red pepper flakes, which I did not do. 

I can definitely see adding some cooked/shredded chicken (or even canned chicken) to this recipe, or shrimp. I fully intended to cook it with shrimp and then forgot to make the shrimp. Oops! It made for a really delicious meatless Monday dish.

This recipe makes a LOT of food and the leftovers are tasty!

Let me know if you try it! That's what's been hap-"pinning" over here. Link up with Jessi and I and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

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{WHW}: I'm Back!

Sorry for being so MIA the last couple of weeks. The end of the year chaos has literally been keeping me super busy and I have zero energy once I'm home to write a post.
But I'm back! And I'm catching up on what's been hap-"pinning" lately...
Reading....I've fallen off the reading train recently after breezing through 3 or 4 books. The end of the school year is wearing me down and at night I can barely keep my eyes open to read. On my Kindle, though, is The Sea of Tranquility which came highly recommended from several readers.
Drinking....alllllll the water. Trying to stay hydrated!

Eating....On the menu this week: Lindsay's One Pot Beef Skillet, Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta, Crockpot Salsa Chicken, and Chicken Risotto in the Instant Pot (new one--will report back on this!)

Feeling....wiped out. I've been MIA the last few weeks because of end of the year craziness at my school, and last week I was part of a hearing (read: lawyers, hearing officer, testifying for over an hour, getting cross examined, etc) which occupied me for two days and stressed me out beyond belief. 

Looking forward to...Friday. Thursday is the last day of school for students and they get out early, then Friday is our last contract day of the year. Ill turn in my keys, have my office packed, and have to bring Ella to school with me that day since shes done with her school/camp today.

Watching....The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel (when I'm not falling asleep on the couch!) and really loving it, and MG and I stumbled upon The Society which actually ended up being pretty good. He's still watching Breaking Bad (I decided it wasn't for me).

Wearing....some new cute finds at Loft Outlet that I for over Memorial Day weekend! I didn't get a pic of the cute yellow flowy top I got and adorable earrings, but Ill try and snap a photo soon because I love!

Enjoying....the weather lately (minus the rain). It's been 70s and 80s, low humidity--perfection! Made it perfect for us to get out to Old Town on Saturday, take in the boats, grab a delicious dinner at Blackwall Hitch and hang with our best girl.
What's been hap-"pinning" with you?