Lovely Links

by Heather on April 29, 2016

Spring Greens #lovelylinks

YOU GUYS IT’S FRIDAY. Praise the Lord, amen.


This week was a little nuts; Nate was out of town for a couple days and during the time he was gone baby boy came down with an ear infection. Which meant little sleep for mom, lots of screaming and crying for both boys, and the dogs might have a few more grey hairs. Lord knows I have plenty more…


BUT. I’m not going to focus on that because I’m SO THANKFUL that we have access to great doctors and medicine to help heal my sweet boy. I’m even more thankful for my husband who makes life fun and much easier. And I’m thankful that my little nugget is back to his normal, hilarious self. THANKFUL. And thankful it’s the weekend :) Y’all enjoy!


1. Babies surfing = dreams do come true. This is so cute! (Evian)

2. Who else needs a technology detox? *waves hands frantically* (Well & Good)

3. 8 moms you meet at Target. This was so hilarious because it’s so true, and I’ve been all of them at one time or another! (SimpleMost)

4. Lord willing this could be me in 60 years… (Sutter Health)

5. Dad texts – I love these. SO FUNNY. (For Every Mom)

6. In that same vein, these dad jokes. I couldn’t stop laughing! (KIIS 1065)

7. Dying over this gorgeous crudite platter – makes those veggies look INCREDIBLE! (Half-Baked Harvest)

8. 100 years old and not slowing down. Super short, super inspiring! (New York Today)

9. These stunning photos of Cuban ballet dancers make me wish I was a dancer. (Huffington Post)

10. A beautiful story. Don’t read if you don’t want to cry a little bit of happy tears :) (Little Things)


Uncle John’s Brasciole

by Heather on April 28, 2016

This post is sponsored by FLYJOY; all opinions and stories are my own.
Uncle John's Brasciole

I have a soft spot in my heart for funny stories; my dad would always end our bedtime routines with a funny story about himself as a boy, usually getting into trouble with his brothers and sister, and they stand out as some of my favorite parts of the day. As we’ve all gotten older I’ve had the chance to listen to my aunt and uncle share their side of the story, which always had a new dramatic twist. Those larger-than-life memories are more cherished to me than pretty much any inanimate thing in the world; they are pieces of a much larger puzzle that spell out the lives of the people I love.


Some of the sweetest memories I have of my husband’s grandfather come from the simple sitting and listening to the stories he would tell. He was exactly what I thought an Italian grandfather would be like – loud, loving, a little cranky at times, full of good humor, a lover of good food, and an animated storyteller. One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received was him telling me my marinara tasted just like his mother’s, which made me so very proud.

Uncle John's Brasciole

Nate’s Papa would sit at the kitchen table for hours, telling us stories of Uncle John, who was actually his cousin but was called “Uncle” by my father-in-law and his sister. Apparently he was quite the character, and very much the hot-headed Italian living in New York who wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything. Hanging in the hallway at Papa’s house was a portrait of himself, John, and another cousin and goodness if they didn’t just look the part. I always thought that was really fun to look at the picture and wonder what kind of mischief those three got into this side of the pond. I have a feeling I only heard the tiniest percentage of it!

Uncle John's Brasciole

While our little family certainly doesn’t look the part, I feel that embracing our Italian heritage is fun and important. One day I hope to visit Vinchiaturo, where Papa’s family is from. I hope that we can show our boys not only the Italian culture and the way it is so deeply rooted in the things we eat, but just a larger perspective of the world in general. Sharing those stories of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers will be both explanations and reminders of who they are, and I can’t wait to see the way our two weave their own spectacular and legendary stories right alongside those of the men who have come before them.

Uncle John's Brasciole

When it comes to celebrating our heritage, I can’t think of any better explanation than food. Because Uncle John and Papa were every bit the Italians I imagined in my head, I knew that making Uncle John’s brasciole was the best way to taste where Nate’s family hails from. Sure, we’re a couple generations removed, but the reality is that the legacy of great food has snaked its way through both of our families until it reached us – and food is just how we roll.

Uncle John's Brasciole

Because I’m trying to be a good Italian heir I won’t be sharing Uncle John’s recipe; it’s just one of those things I’d like to keep specifically for our kids as they get older. I have dreams of making it together, perfecting their techniques, and then maybe one day they’ll use it to snag that special gal that will become my daughter. Who knows?


What I do know is that by tasting this little piece of their history my boys will begin to know part of their heritage from the inside out!

Uncle John's Brasciole

It also takes a while to cook, so while we waited we snacked on some FLYJOY bars. After making the sauce from scratch, pounding/searing/rolling the brasciole, and then cooking it for 2 hours? Well, let’s just say we got hungry in there. I love that I can cube up the bars and give them to my boys for easier eating. I also like that I can warm mine up in the microwave and top with a small sprinkle of chocolate chips to make a dessert-like snack that fills me up.


Here’s to years of learning more about who we are and fueling well all along!


Berries with Maple-Sweetened Mascarpone

April 27, 2016

I blame this one on Christina.   See, before this post the only person I had ever heard of using mascarpone for non-special occasions was Giada de Laurentiis and let’s face it – homegirl uses the stuff in EVERY recipe. I just didn’t think it felt attainable. It felt too far above my head.   […]

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6 Things I Can’t Get Enough Of

April 25, 2016

Happy Monday friends! You guys, this weekend – ugh, just so good. Great weather, great time with my guys, great food (probably a little too much of it, but you know…weekend), great friends. I was listening to this episode of Jamie Ivey’s Happy Hour podcast with Jo Saxton, and she asked Jo what she felt […]

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Lovely Links

April 22, 2016

[photo from The Influence Network] SUNSHINE. You guys, earlier this week it was pouring down rain for days on end and we had so much going on with the boys and doctors checkups and things to do – in the rain – and I just got so overwhelmed and tired and near crazy! And then? […]

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Muffin in a Mug

April 21, 2016

Show of hands: who finds those massive (see also: the size of your face) Otis Spunkmeyer muffins practically irresistable? You can’t see me, but I’m waving my hands wildly in the air. I know they’re not good for you, but those moist and crumbly and almost-too-sweet muffins are just so good. Have I told you […]

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The 9×13 Dinner

April 20, 2016

Back in August of 2015 Nate and I dove headfirst into a Whole30 challenge, and y’all? It’s called a challenge for a reason. We researched and planned our brains out, but nothing really prepared us for trying to do a challenge like Whole30 on a budget and with two kiddos in the house.   Have […]

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Parenthood as Art

April 18, 2016

I doubt it’s a secret – many of you long-time amazing readers know me well enough to know that when I fall silent (even silent-ish) there’s usually something going on behind the scenes. Anything from death to pregnancy to birth has caused me to fall behind in my recipe-making, photography, and ability to share as […]

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Lovely Links

April 15, 2016

Can we talk summer for a minute? I’ve so been enjoying spring that I totally forgot about what comes next: sweltering hot days, long hot nights, and trying to figure out the exact thermostat temperature that ensures we won’t melt in our home but also doesn’t drive the energy bill through the roof. Sounds fun, […]

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Finding Grace in the Target Checkout Line

April 13, 2016

I’ll be the first to admit that pre-baby Heather was fully devoted to the judging of parents whose children threw fits. Evil eyes on the airplane, angry scowl at the grocery store, annoyed sighing in any waiting room where children ran wild. I let everyone around me know that I was super frustrated short of […]

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