Friday, August 31, 2018

Chickpea Tuna Salad




I know that I have mentioned many times my love for Skinnytaste recipes. Eating healthy is important to me, but I must have flavor as well. The Skinnytaste recipes always deliver on flavor, are easy to prepare and don't require a long list of ingredients. I especially love that she has many lunch options.

This quick to put together Chickpea Tuna Salad is such a great alternative to a sandwich, filling and tastes even better made in advance. It is also the perfect blend of protein and carbs; the holy grail for a diabetic. For those of you that need to take a lunch on the go, this would hold up really well in a lunchbox, since there is no mayo or salad dressing.

I made one change that to me, had no bearing on the taste. Because of the capers and caper brine, I didn't think the addition of vinegar was warranted. I also added salt and pepper to taste. From now on, my pantry will hold chickpeas, tuna and capers for this delicious and fresh lunch option.

Have a wonderful weekend!


{ Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane


Friday, August 24, 2018

My Daughter's Wedding {Part 3}




When we first began talking about Megan and Adam's wedding, Megan had some definite ideas about what she wanted. Simple, modern, elegant and not too big. Neutral colors, greenery and nothing over the top. The florist even had a name for the look - modern botanical. Quality vendors, good food, plated service and a venue that wasn't the typical hotel ballroom. I got really teary eyed only once and it was when I walked into the venue space and saw that everything had come together exactly like she had hoped.

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is an urban venue with a first floor food market open to the public and a reception space on the second floor. There is a rooftop greenhouse where we were able to hold our cocktail hour and a ballroom filled with light from floor to ceiling windows and wrap around terraces overlooking the city. Our guests couldn't stop raving about what a great space it was. We were able to acheive our goal of an elegant reception, but also far from stuffy. The dance floor was full all night and our guests were able to enjoy the terrace, since we were lucky to have beautiful Michigan weather.

Again, the photos are ones that family and friends were kind enough to take and share with us. There are many details I wish I could show you, but those will have to wait for the professional shots from our photographer. I don't have a photo of the wedding cake or the cookie table, but it looked amazing and brought the cookie table tradition (the tradition is for family to bake dozens of cookies, but we got ours from a bakery) straight from Megan and Adam's home in Pittsburgh. The mixture of farm tables and round tables were perfect for the space and the simplicity of the greenery fit beautifully with the wood on the tables and the accent walls.

I hope you can see, through these photos, the love, fun and joy that our family and friends felt on a night we will never forget.


Cocktail Hour in a rooftop greenhouse - Grand Rapids Downtown Market









Ballroom - Grand Rapids Downtown Market







Good Friends




Dancing Grandpa






After Party at The B.O.B.



Packing up our cars the morning after the wedding.

Still smiling.


As I write this post, almost two weeks have gone by, the newlyweds are back from their honeymoon in St. Lucia and normal life resumes. Look for the professional photos from our photographer in a few months.

Thank you for all your sweet comments and have a wonderful weekend!



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

My Daughter's Wedding {Part 2}




From the beautiful church, to the happy and so in love bride and groom, the ceremony was everything we had hoped and dreamed. When planning a wedding, it is easy to get caught up in the reception details, but it is just as important, to make sure the ceremony is equally as meaningful.

The wedding took place at The Basilica of St. Adalbert in Grand Rapids, one of only two basilicas in Michigan and it was the perfect choice for a Catholic mass. The priest, a family friend, who has known Megan since first grade, traveled from the Detroit archdiocese to perform the ceremony and none of us can imagine the day without him. We needed very little floral decor; just a few bunches of greenery tied to the pews, because the church is so ornate. It was a magical setting on a lovely summer day.

The day started early with hair and makeup at the hotel, mimosas and sweet bridesmaids keeping Megan calm. I know all brides are beautiful, but we think she looked stunning and her dress, veil, hair and makeup all came together just right. She was more than ready to get in the car with me, her dad and sister to drive the short distance to the church and finally see her husband to be.

The ceremony was so personal, with family members doing the readings, godparents bringing up the gifts of bread and wine and Father Brian speaking so eloquently of the relationship he has had with our family over the years. It was truly a joyous celebration as Megan and Adam walked back down the aisle, finally married.

The professional photos from our photographer will not be a available for some time, but luckily a few friends and family snapped some candid shots from the ceremony . Some are a little blurry, eyes may be closed, but they still show the emotion of the day.





Her dress was new, her shoes were blue and the florist attached something old (grandpa's cuff link) and something borrowed (my cross pendant) in the bridal bouquet.






Happy parents popping some champagne!


Next post: the unique reception venue and so much fun with family and friends.

Happy Tuesday!


Friday, August 17, 2018

My Daughter's Wedding {Part1}



Family dinner (missing Adam's brother and his fiancé) Thursday night. Of course, we started the fun with a champagne toast!


We are still on cloud nine, almost a week later, and by going back and sorting through these photos, it's easy to see why. We had so much fun the whole wedding weekend. It wasn't a destination wedding per se, but since we don't live in Michigan any longer and most of our friends and family were coming from other states, as well as other cities around Michigan, we treated it as such and planned events in addition to the wedding. Grand Rapids is a beautiful city, with a lot to do and is easily walkable. We were able to acheive an urban vibe, without some of the inconveniences of a larger city like Detroit or Chicago.


Welcome lunch Friday, for whoever was in town early, at a pretty outdoor space in one of the brewerys Grand Rapids is known for.




Trolley ride with wedding party to the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner





Rehearsal Dinner Fun



Welcome To Town Cocktails - post rehearsal dinner.


I am so glad we rented the trolley, as it was a fun way to get the wedding weekend started for the bridal party. From the church, we spent some time riding around downtown, with a pre dinner cocktail, before arriving at the restaurant. Adam's parents hosted a lovely dinner, with three kinds of sangria (red, white and mixed) and a delicious family style tapas menu. It was intimate, casual and broke the ice for those in the bridal party who didn't know each other as well.

We all took a short walk back to our hotel (past the love statue of course) and arrived at the hotel bar (outside and overlooking the river) to welcome our friends and family members to Grand Rapids. Everyone was so excited to see Adam and Megan and looking forward to a great wedding day on Saturday.

I can't wait to share the wedding with you in my next post.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sneak Peek




We are back home from our daughter's wedding and feeling all the emotions. Tired from a lot of early mornings and late nights, relieved that everything came together just like we had hoped, filled with love and joy for the newlyweds and most of all very happy. Our two families came together so seamlessly and I can honestly say, everyone had a weekend filled with fun.

I'll be posting more photos in the days ahead, but wanted to give a sneak peek of the photo our photographer posted on her Instagram. I barely touched my phone all weekend, but plenty of others took photos, so I will have some great ones to share with you.

Happy Tuesday from a very happy (and tired) mother of the bride!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sugar Free Baked French Toast with Struesel Topping {Recipe Redo}





There was a half loaf of stale french bread in my pantry and I remembered this delicious recipe, first posted all the way back in 2013. I think I have made it one other time for a tailgate, but it's been awhile and like many recipes buried in my archives, it deserved another try.

French Toast is one of my favorite things to have for breakfast, but I only like it made with white bread and I never have white bread in my house anymore. So, the stale French bread became breakfast. The original recipe is for a full loaf and I didn't have that, so I cut the recipe half and put the six slices in an 8x8 baking dish. This needs to sit in your fridge overnight, but it takes no time at all to put together; just slicing bread and whisking a few things together. The struesel topping is added before baking in the morning, so to save more time, I mixed the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon, but waited to add the melted butter.

This is pretty much fool proof and it perfect for a breakfast or brunch crowd. Or if you are like me, indulge a little (but, it's still sugar free of course) and treat yourself any day of the week.

Happy Wednesday!


{ Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane


Friday, August 3, 2018

A Day Out






Needing to take our mind off the upcoming wedding, my husband and I decided to do a little exploring. First, we headed north to Tampa to use my husband's Fathers Day gift; a gift certificate to Top Golf. If you are not familar, it is an over the top driving range, with food, drinks and targets to shoot at and keep score. Since my husband can drive the ball so much longer than me, I didn't stand too much of a chance, but it was still fun. It will be a great place to take people who come to visit when there is a cloudy day.

With no lunch destination in mind, we decided to head towards St. Petersberg and see what we could find. I vaguely remembered a pier that had shops and restaurants, but discovered it is being rebuilt as a whole new complex. We instead found a lovely spot for lunch in the downtown area, right across a quiet street from the fine arts museum and a marina on Tampa Bay. I was happy to sit outside in the shade of an umbrella, enjoy a delicious veggie wrap and a glass of white wine.

We are trying to venture a little further afield than the usual beach hot spots. We love them, but when you live here, something a little different is also good. This was a great start.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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