Weekly Eats: 3 Ways to Eat More Vegetables at Dinner

Nothing sucks the joy out of my weekly meal planning sessions like trying to come up with different ways to get vegetables into our diet. I'm learning that I have the best luck when I include them as part of the main dish rather than as a stand alone side. I can't tell you how many times I've opened the refrigerator right before we're about to sit down and eat, just to find an uncooked bunch of asparagus or green beans staring me in the face.

The meals on this week's menu are three examples of ways I try to eat more vegetables at dinner time:

Clockwise from top right: 

{one} Make a sauce. Why not turn your vegetables into a delicious, dip-able sauce for your main dish? This Grilled Chicken with Romesco Sauce from myrecipes.com was a fun way to shake up dinner on the grill and add in a serving of vegetables too. 

{two} Use the pantry. For those nights when you have nothing left in the fridge, use your pantry to get your vegetables in. I like to keep things like olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes on hand for meals like this Greek Pasta with Olives and Feta from The Kitchn. (Do you recognize this one from my Food Board? I swapped the chicken for a can of tuna to make this an even easier weeknight meal.) 

{three} Sneak them into a stir-fry. At my house, nothing promises to make vegetables disappear quite like a stir-fry. They're quick to make and easy to adapt to whatever vegetables you have on hand. This week I made a beef and asparagus stir-fry, which I adapted from Beef with Snow Peas from the Pioneer Woman. 

What's your favorite way to eat vegetables? 

From the archives: 

Pinterest Inspired DIY Art

I'm linking up with In Residence for Pin to Present. Be sure to check it out to see more Pinterest-inspired projects. 

One of my goals this month was to finish my dining room shelves; they'd been looking pretty bare with one lonely piece of art on each shelf. Since buying new prints for a house we're hoping to put on the market soon didn't make sense, I turned to Pinterest for my shelf-styling needs. As usual, it did not disappoint.

I hit up Michael's when they were having a sale on blank canvases, and I decided to DIY a few pieces of art. The first one I tried was this lyrics painting from A Beautiful Mess. I chose to paint the chorus from Watch the Wind Blow By by Tim McGraw, because it was Aaron's and my wedding song. Rather than freehand with paint (too scary!) I wrote it out in pencil first. However, I wish I had just thrown caution to the wind and forgotten the pencil, because you can see it a little if you look closely.

Lyrics Art DIY inspired by A Beautiful Mess | www.shealennon.com

The second art DIY I tried was even easier; no paint, just a blank canvas and some washi tape. I actually love the way these look, although I had some trouble with one of the washi tape varieties not sticking to the canvas very well. Again, from far away it looks fine, but upon closer inspection the tape on the larger canvas doesn't lay flat. Maybe I should paint over it with mod podge? Thoughts?

I still need one more little thing for the top shelf, but otherwise I consider this a success.

Cheap and Easy Art DIYs | www.shealennon.com

Easy DIY art to dress up your shelves | www.shealennon.com

Have you tackled any Pinterest projects lately? 

From the Archives: 

What I Read: May

May was another slow month for reading. Life has been busy and my down time has been minimal. Such is life I guess, but I'd love to have more time to sit and read. I'll at least share the two books I did get around to finishing.

Books to Read May 2015 | www.shealennon.com

{one} Cane and Abe by James Grippando. If you're looking for a fun, page-turning, crime thriller, this one does the job nicely. Abe Beckham is a star prosecutor for the Miami State Attorney's Office, but a darker spotlight shines on him when his wife disappears during the investigation of a series of heinous murders. He lands himself in the suspect-zone for many reasons, one being that his marriage was on shaky ground from the beginning, when he was still grieving the loss of his first wife to cancer. Despite the suspicious connections to his past that keep showing up during the investigation, Abe fights tenaciously to prove his innocence. Thanks Krysten for the recommendation!

{two} Faithful Place by Tana French. After reading The Secret Place last month, I was itching to get my hands on another Tana French novel. Anne recommended this one, and it sucked me right in. This one focuses on Frank Mackey, an Irish undercover detective, who goes against his better judgment to revisit his family and his past. Despite being a grown man with a child of his own, he's never fully recovered from the loss of his first love, a girl who he thought had broken his heart by leaving town without him. When new evidence is found that points to a crime rather than a voluntary disappearance, Frank drops everything to get to the bottom of it. Just like the last one I read, this Tana French novel did not disappoint.

Have you read anything good lately? 

From the archives: 

Lace Top for a Night Out

Dabbling in capsule wardrobes and living out of a pared-down closet has made me into a sort of closet drill sergeant. I don't have the space nor the money for all the clothes that I want, so I train what I do have to work harder. Lucky for my wardrobe, I'm better at style boot camp than I'll ever be at the physical kind (although if you want to see fifty shades of beet red, watch me try).

This lace blouse is one example of a piece that I've whipped into shape to be ready to wear to work, on weekends, and on a night out. Since the bulk of my time is spent working and momming, I don't devote a whole lot of closet space to "going out" clothes (more on that here). So when I find an item that begs to be taken out on the town, I usually make sure it will pass the work or weekend test as well.

Do you like your clothes to work for all the different areas of your life, or do you have separate clothes for work and play? 

lace top for a night out | www.shealennon.com

lace top with distressed jeans | www.shealennon.com

lace top for a night out | www.shealennon.com

lace top with layered necklaces | www.shealennon.com

Lace top: Loft | jeans: c/o MODE | turquoise necklace: c/o eNVe Designs | gold spike necklace: Etsy | sandals: Old Navy 

Linking to "A Little Bit of Lace" at The Creative Closet

From the archives: 

Navy Stripes and Chambray Dots for Memorial Day

Hey, happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all the men and women who bravely risk their lives to serve our country. US readers, I hope you're enjoying your long weekend. I'm not sure if it was the anticipation of the extra day or what, but last week felt like it went in slow motion. At least between the hours of about 8 and 5...funny how that works, right?

Today I have an outfit that is perfect for a variety of Memorial Day plans. It's made up of two summer holiday weekend staples: stripes and an elastic waist. Navy blue stripes with subtle chambray polka dots look subtly patriotic yet far from over the top. Plus, what Memorial Day plans don't involve some sort of food? The elastic waist ensures that I won't regret going back for that second cookie. (Now I may sing a different tune when I get out my swimsuit for the next holiday weekend, but I'll worry about that later.)

How did you spend your weekend?

Striped top: Femme via MODE | polka dot chambray skirt: Target | pink necklace: Bauble Bar | embellished sandals: Target

See how I styled this skirt with my neutrals and bright yellow sandals here

Linking to Inspiration Monday, Mix it Mondays, and Let it Shine

From the archives: 

Weekly Eats: Surf, Turf, and Grill

Now that we have freezer space (we bought a deep freeze last year), I love buying meat when it goes on sale and then freezing it until we're ready to use it. No more "chicken is on sale so we're eating it ALL WEEK LONG!" Because of that, I usually have a variety of things to choose from when it comes to dinner. This week it was a fish dish, a steak dish, and chicken on the grill.

Clockwise from top right: 

1. Fish taco bowls from The Live-in Kitchen. This was actually my Mother's Day dinner; we decided to stay in instead of facing restaurant crowds. Aaron offered to cook and this was my request. He did a great job, it was so light and fresh and delicious! 

2. Broiled steak with feta cream sauce from The Kitchn with corn on the cob. I like steak, but I'll be honest, it was the feta cream sauce that was what I really wanted to try here. It came out less like a sauce and more like steak frosting (just go with it) but whatever the texture, it was wonderful. 

3. Grilled honey mustard rosemary chicken with golden skillet potatoes, both from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Sometimes grilled chicken can be kind of bland and boring, but I promise you that this chicken is far from it! It was packed with flavor from the honey, mustard, and fragrant fresh rosemary. The skillet potatoes didn't cook as evenly as I had hoped, but I think that has more to do with my baby-boomer-aged stove-top and less to do with the recipe itself. Next time I'll just stick with the oven-roasted variety. 

What was on your menu this week? 

Summer Wishlist: For the Mama

Last week I talked about my wishlist for Jona's summer closet. Thanks to a shopping trip with grandma, we got his list checked off, and then some. My summer wishlist items may fall more towards the "want" end of the spectrum than the "need" end, but nevertheless I'd like to make a few closet additions as well.

{one} neutral sandals. My Old Navy pair are about to bite the dust, after just a couple months of wear. Between the sandals and my dress shrinking, I can safely say that I will not be shopping there for myself again anytime soon. This pair from J.Crew would be a splurge, but I bet they'd last me through the summer and then some. 

{two} print shorts. Bright floral print shorts from Loft, I need you in my life! I always love Loft's shorts selection, and I can't wait to find a pair or two this year. 

{three} wedge sandals. I'd really like to venture out beyond my flat pair of Toms and try out their cute wedges. I love this pretty neutral pair

{four} white eyelet tee. Because a white eyelet tee is the epitome of summer.

{five} bold earrings. In the summer heat I go light on the jewelry, but these pretty leather Nickel and Suede earrings would make a statement without adding weight. 

{six} bright full skirt. This is one I blame on the blogs. I keep seeing such pretty mid-length full skirts on style blogs and every time I see one, I think about how much I'd love to have one. I'd happily trade out a pencil skirt during the summer months for this light, twirly coral version

What's on your summer wishlist? 

From the archives: 

Mood Board / Food Board: 15 Things to Eat Right Now

Today I'm linking up with The Circle, where everyone is sharing their Spring 15 mood boards. Be sure to head to In its Time to see some inspiring mood boards! 

In other fun news, today I'm featured as the Blogger Babe of the Week at The Blogger Collective

When I think of mood boards, I think of two things: one, the binders and posters I made in my high school fashion classes, and two, Pinterest. Since I shared a lot about my current style mood board (or Pinterest board) on my recent Spring Inspirations post, I thought I'd make this mood board all about one of my favorite things: food.

So here's my mood board / food board; 15 things that I want to make right now. I'm considering it my spring and summer kitchen bucket list. Now lets get to checking!

15 things to eat right now - spring food crushes | www.shealennon.com

Top row: 

{one} strawberry shortcake greek yogurt hack from Chasing Davies. I'm always on the hunt for snacks that are healthy and filling, and this one is both. It also looks perfectly easy to pack in a lunch bag and bring to work, which is another essential for snacking. 

{two} country breakfast bowls from Budget Bytes. You know me and my quest of late to improve my breakfast routine. If these little freezable bowls wouldn't fill me up in the morning, I don't know what would. I plan to give these a try ASAP. 

{three} berry green smoothie from Damn Delicious. I mentioned in my May Goals post that I wanted to try a new smoothie recipe. This one looks like the winner with the perfect balance of tasty berries and healthy spinach. 

Second row: 

{four} chocolate peanut butter no-bake energy bites from Gimme Some Oven. I feel like I've had some version of this pinned since I first got a Pinterest account, and I'm ashamed to say I still haven't made the dang things! But they look so good, so easy, and they're pretty healthy, so why the heck not? 

{five} chocolate chip granola from Brown Eyed Baker. I love granola; yogurt, berries, and granola is one of my favorite go-to snacks that I never get tired of. However, I always buy my granola and have never tried to make it myself. I've heard it's pretty easy to make, so I'd love to try this chocolaty version.

{six} bacon and avocado bagel sandwiches from Everyday Reading. What can I say about this, other than yum? I would gladly eat this little sandwich for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Third row: 

{seven} thai quinoa salad with ginger peanut dressing from Ambitious Kitchen. I don't make a lot of salads. I'm the only one who will eat them around here, and the poor greens start to get all sad and wilty looking before I can finish them off. However, this quinoa salad looks like it would stay nice and fresh if I made a big batch for work week lunches. 

{eight} greek chicken pasta with olives and feta from The Kitchn. This is another one I had in mind for take-to-work lunches when I pinned it. Tell Aaron a dish has olives and artichokes in it and he'll run screaming towards the nearest Pizza Hut, but I'd happily eat this pasta multiple days a week. 

{nine} eggplant pizzas from Eat Good 4 Life.  Since I discovered how good eggplant is, I've been on a mission to try to convince Aaron (and now Jona) to eat it. So far he's tried a few recipes, but hasn't been all that impressed. I think this may be the one that wins him over though; I mean, little mini eggplant pizzas? Come on. 

Fourth row: 

{ten} cheesy crescent roll waffle bites from Sweet Treats and More. While I don't see Jona being an eggplant fiend anytime soon, I DO see this one being right up his little cheese-and-carbs alley. And let's face it, it would be right up mine too. 

{eleven} mini mac and cheese bites from Snack Girl. This is another one with Jona written all over it. But what he doesn't know, and won't ever find out (insert cackle here), is that there's cauliflower in it too. Sneaky veggies for the win. 

{twelve} grilled artichoke with lemon garlic aioli from Camille Styles. We tend to get stuck in veggie and side dish ruts around here, and this would be the perfect thing to pull us out. Instead of our grilling side stand by of corn on the cob or potatoes, I'd love to switch things up with these pretty little artichokes instead. 

Last row: 

{thirteen} salted chocolate chunk cookies from Smitten Kitchen. While I'm pretty set on my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (Jacques Torres' recipe as seen on Martha Stewart), I do like to try new ones from time to time. When Deb from Smitten Kitchen says she's found a good one, well, you listen and then get to baking. 

{fourteen} nutella oatmeal cookie shake from How Sweet it is. I haven't made a milkshake in a good long time, and that needs to change. This one sounds positively dreamy. 

{fifteen} pineapple sangria from How Sweet it is. I'm not a big cocktail drinker; give me wine or beer and I'm a pretty happy gal. However, I make an exception for sangria, and this summery pineapple version sounds like something I want to sit outside and sip all season long. 

What's on your current mood board (food or non-food)? 

The Classics + The Fun: Jogger Pants

Yesterday I talked about one of my wardrobe staples, my chambray shirt. Today I'm wearing something that's almost the opposite of that, these trendy jogger pants. For me I think it's important to have a little bit of both in my wardrobe; the majority is made up of classic pieces, but I try to add in some "fun" too so I don't get bored.

These pants definitely fall into the "fun" category, and when I bought them I wanted to challenge myself to wear them to work as well as just dressed up, which is my favorite way to see them styled. So today it's a work-friendly joggers look, and while I kept the formula basically the same as the last time I wore them, the specific elements themselves make it more work-ready than night out-ready.

What's a "fun" piece in your wardrobe? 

Jogger pants styled for work | www.shealennon.com

Joggers with cardigan and wedges for work | www.shealennon.com

Joggers with cardigan and wedges | www.shealennon.com

Mint cardigan: Gap Outlet | navy t-shirt: J.Crew Factory | navy print joggers: Gap | necklace: Towne & Reese | bracelet: Oia Jewels | wedge sandals: Old Navy

Linking to "pattern on the bottom" at The Creative Closet

From the archives: 

Pale Pink and Wardrobe MVP Chambray

In my Spring Inspirations post last month, I talked about how one of my favorite looks right now is pale pink plus edge. I've had these pale pink jeans for a few years now, and I like the idea of updating them a little with my favorite snakeskin flats and t-shirt + chambray layers.

I don't keep track (although I sort of wish I did!) of how many times I've blogged something, but I feel like this chambray shirt is way up there. It's one of those pieces that if I ruined it somehow or lost it, I think I would cry real tears. When I bought it at Madewell a few years ago, I knew I loved it but felt a little nervous about buying it because it was more than I usually spend on a shirt. It didn't take me long to see that it was money well spent, and by now the cost per wear on this baby is pretty close to nothing.

What's your most blogged (or most worn) item? Was it expensive or a good deal? 

Chambray shirt: Madewell | graphic tee: Old Navy | pale pink jeans: Loft | necklace: Bauble Bar | snakeskin flats: Target

Pale Pink Jeans (another good buy) Previously Styled: 

{1 | 2 | 3}

From the archives: 

Weekly Eats: Flavor-Packed Weeknight Meals

You know by now that my cooking methods are more how-quickly-can-I-get-this-on-the-table than perfectly-styled-food-photo-shoot. After I pick up Jona from daycare and get home, it's a mad rush to get dinner on the table before the hungry-toddler meltdowns occur. (We are deep in the trenches of a whining phase right now...oh the whining!)

I still love trying new dinner recipes, but it's a requirement that they be quick and easy. That does not mean they have to be boring, however. This week's meals, all quick, easy, and packed with big, bold flavors, were a testament to that.

What's your go-to for a quick, easy, yet flavorful meal? 

Clockwise from top left: 

1. Cheesy Meatball Skillet from The Cooking Jar. When I think of easy yet flavorful, meatballs frequently come to mind. These are no exception; they're juicy and tender from being browned on the stove and finished in the oven. And don't forget the lovely little coating of mozzarella cheese that melts right on top. Oh, and it's a one pan wonder too! 

2. Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry from Skinnytaste. This is an old favorite at my house, and to me it's the perfect spring time stir-fry. The stir-fry method makes it quick and easy, the sauce makes it bold and flavorful, and the lemon and asparagus make it light and fresh. 

3. Pasta with Sausage and Sweet Peppers from Say Yes. I'm guilty of buying those flavored chicken sausages when they go on sale, and then forgetting about them in the freezer. Luckily I found this easy go-to meal that will use them right up. The sausage is browned up with sweet red peppers, and then tossed with pasta in a creamy, but not too heavy sauce. 

4. Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites from Mel's Kitchen Cafe with Skillet Potatoes and Green Beans from Budget Bytes. Before we go any further, know that this is chicken, wrapped in bacon, and then dredged in a brown sugar-chili powder mixture. I know. I have visions of these little bites served up at future summer barbecues. These little chicken bites stole the show, but the skillet potatoes and green beans deserve honorable mention for sure. I'll be making both again no doubt. 

From the archives: 

Taking Back Spring: Floral and Stripes

It's no secret that spring is my favorite season. It has a lot to do with the fact that my birthday is in April, but more than anything I love the feeling that accompanies that first warm day that comes after winter. It's a feeling I can't explain exactly, but I get it every year, every spring.

Lately I've been letting life's small irritations put a damper on my spring feeling. I'm starting to resemble our weather forecast; everywhere I turn there's a new rain cloud on the horizon. Something changed though when I stepped outside today. Maybe it's the bright sun deciding to make an appearance, or perhaps it's this quintessentially spring mix of stripes and florals, but I felt that familiar little tingle of joy. The rain clouds will surely come back, but I'm going to try my best to hold on tight to my spring feeling.

Is there a season that brings you more joy than any other? Why? 

floral dress with stripes for spring | www.shealennon.com

spring look with floral dress and stripes | www.shealennon.com

floral dress, stripes, coral accents for spring | www.shealennon.com

Striped cardigan: Loft | floral dress: Loft | necklace: Anthropologie | gold sandals: Target

Linking to What I Wore to Work

From the archives: 

Summer Wishlist: For the Growing Toddler Boy

I certainly don't want to hurry spring along, but as the days get longer and warmer, I'm reminded that summer is on the horizon. There are plenty of things on my own wishlist (stay tuned, I'll share that one next week), but I have a little growing boy who is badly in need of summer gear. Although there are a few things that still fit from last summer, the majority of his shorts and other summer gear would make him look very fat-toddler-in-a-little-coat. And shoes...I feel like we just got bigger shoes but it seems it's time to size up again!

Lucky for him his grandma and I have a shopping trip planned for the near future (read: tomorrow) and I hope to pick up a few of these things. 

summer 2015 wishlist for toddler boy | www.shealennon.com

{one} striped tee. We can never have enough tee shirts for this kid, who I swear wears more food than he actually eats. I love this lightweight striped version from GapKids. 

{two} sun hat. I anticipate a lot of time spent outdoors this summer, and to keep Jona's chubby cheeks from turning the color of that tee shirt, I plan a two-pronged approach. One, lots of sunscreen. Two, a cute floppy hat that he will (hopefully) keep on at least some of the time. 

{three} sunglasses. I'm not sure what's cuter than babies and toddlers in little mini shades, do you? Jona actually loves putting on his sunglasses, and usually he'll keep them on for a while. He's nearly outgrown his baby pair, but I think he'd be one cool dude in this red pair from Carter's

{four} sneakers. Jona has a cute pair of navy blue Toms that I love, but I don't love how easy they are for him to take off (every. single. time. he's in the car-seat). These Stride Rite tennies are equally cute, but look a little more toddler-proof. 

{five} shorts. I love this cute, soft red, cuffed pair from Old Navy. I'd also like to pick up a few more pairs in neutral hues. 

{six} sandal alternatives. I swear, I could write a whole blog post on the lack of cute sandals for little boys. Why are they all so terribly ugly? Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places, but the sandal selection I've seen for toddler boys is abysmal. I whined to Anne about it and she told me about Native shoes for kids, and now I really want to get Jona a pair. 

What are your summer must-haves?  

From the archives:

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. 

East Coast Prep

I wore this to work a few Fridays ago, and I liked it so much that I decided to blog it. That's right, Instagram outfit, you have been elevated to blog status. Your perks are better light, more detail visibility, and an all-expenses paid trip to the beach! Just kidding about that last one. I'd take an all-expenses paid trip to just about anywhere right now though.

This outfit looks particularly ready for the Hamptons, or another prep-tastic destination, which is why I thought it would be perfect to link up to this week's Creative Closet, whose theme is "East Coast Prep." I've spent very little time on the East Coast (I went to New Jersey once?), but I have watched a lot of Barefoot Contessa. So that totally counts, right? (East coasters, go ahead and laugh it up at this mid-western girl.)

What sort of destination are you dressed for today? 

Navy cardigan: Target | plaid shirt: Old Navy | pink jeans: Loft | pink necklace: Bauble Bar | white sneakers: Converse via DSW

Linking to the Creative Closet for East Coast Prep.

From the archives: 

Bloglovin Update

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I've been having some trouble getting my blog to update on Bloglovin, so I'm updating my feed's url. Please excuse this interruption, regular programming will be back in the morning!

If you're not already, be sure to follow me on Bloglovin!

Floral, Stripes, and Not-Mom-Jeans

How was your weekend? Did you do any celebrating for Mother's Day? Being a mom is obviously a huge part of my identity, and there are few moments that go by that I'm not thinking about Jona or my family. However, I still find myself forgetting that Mother's Day is about me too.

Someone asked me last week, "What are you doing for Mother's Day?" and I heard myself say, "Well nothing really, my mom doesn't live here, but I'll talk to her on the phone." Then it clicked: oh, she means what are we doing for ME? Because I'm a mom too? Maybe I'll never get used to being in this exclusive club with its yearly holiday in May, but when it hits me I'm instantly grateful for my membership.

I'm also grateful that "mom jeans" are not the necessary attire. I'll take my skinny jeans, distressed jeans, or even a great pair of boot-cuts any day. Just add a couple of spring patterns, some bright color, and I'm ready to mom it up all weekend!

What's the best Mother's Day gift you gave or got? 

Floral cardigan: Target | navy stripe top: MODE | jeans: c/o MODE | necklace: Bauble Bar | yellow sandals: Steve Madden

Floral cardigan, previously styled.

{ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 }

Linking to Inspiration Monday, Mix it Mondays, Mingle Monday, and Let it Shine

From the archives:

Weekly Eats: Spring Greens and Yellows

Lately I've been wanting to fill my plate with lots of green (like asparagus and chimichurri sauce) and yellow (like yukon golds and lemon). What is it about spring that makes you want everything to be lighter and brighter? We're attempting (for the millionth time I swear) to grow some herbs, so I hope to have even more green on my plate in the coming weeks. They usually succumb to death by heat or by bird, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Do you grow any of your own herbs or vegetables? What's your favorite? (Mine's basil.) 

Weekly Eats: Spring Greens and Yellows | www.shealennon.com

Clockwise from top right: 

1. Steak with Chimichurri from The Kitchn with orzo with snap peas. Mmm, chimichurri! It's like pesto's sassy little sister. Made with a mix of fresh herbs, vinegar, lime juice, garlic and a few spices (cumin and coriander), this sauce is the perfect topper for a grilled steak. It's very versatile and would be good with lots of different meats and veggies. As a side, I made some orzo and threw in some snap peas while the pasta cooked. (Two sides in one? Always a win.) 

2. Pan-fried flounder with garlic, lemon, and parsley adapted from Love and Olive Oil with oven-roasted fingerling potatoes. The only real adaptation here is that I made this recipe with flounder instead of trout, which is what the original recipe called for. Although I had a bit of a battle with my skillet (I won, thankyouverymuch) this fish was delicious! So light and flavorful. 

3. Cheese-stuffed chicken breasts from The Kitchn with roasted asparagus. When a recipe starts with "cheese-stuffed" anything, you can usually count me in. This is a meal that looks relatively fancy (although the plate needs one more thing I think) but was super easy to prepare. After you stuff the chicken with the cheese and toss the asparagus on a sheet pan, the oven does most of the work. 


I mentioned in my spring capsule post that I was considering swapping out my boyfriend jeans for a new pair. I realize that the idea of boyfriend jeans is that they're relaxed and distressed, but the pair I had were a little too relaxed and distressed. By the end of the day I needed a belt, and I just didn't love the way they fit.

I decided to look at MODE when Jana and I hosted our event there, and they kindly offered to give me a pair of my choice. I found these, and I swear little denim-clad angels came down from the dressing room ceiling. They fit perfectly, have just the right amount of distressing, and I can now attest that they keep their shape all day long, which is miraculous itself. So out with the old, in with the new. Isn't finding a great pair of jeans so satisfying?

What's your favorite pair of jeans? (What's the style? Where are they from? Are they old or new?)

Mint cardigan, stripes, distressed jeans | www.shealennon.com

Distressed jeans, stripes, mint cardigan | www.shealennon.com

mint cardigan with navy blue stripes and jeans | www.shealennon.com

Mint cardigan: Gap Outlet | navy stripe blouse: J.Crew Factory | distressed jeans: Sinclair c/o MODE | leopard belt: Gap Outlet | bracelet: c/o Oia Jewels | tan sandals: Old Navy

From the archives: 

Currently: May

Today I'm joining Anne and Jenna for their monthly Currently linkup. Be sure to head over there to see what other bloggers are currently up to. 

April was quite a whirlwind, so I'm hoping that May slows down a little. There are so many things I love about this time of year; I just want to slow time a little so that I can take the time to really enjoy all of it. Here are a few things I'm currently doing.

{designing} artwork for my shelves. Like I mentioned yesterday, I want to try a couple of DIY art pieces for my dining room shelves. I'm using the term "designing" pretty loosely here; the truth is I'm scouring my Pinterest boards to see which projects I'd like to try and what colors I should use.

{enjoying} longer days. I love getting home and having a few hours of daylight left to enjoy before Jona goes to bed. We've been going on walks after dinner lately and taking advantage of the many parks near our house. Another thing that longer daylight hours brings is outdoor eating! I love being able to eat outside, whether its at a restaurant, on a picnic, or even just our backyard deck.

{ordering} a bag... with your help. I'm in desperate need of an everyday bag. I tend to carry my bags until they start to fall apart, and since I never spend much on them, it doesn't usually take long. I think it's high time I invested in a well-made handbag that will hold up to daily schlepping to and from work and weekend errands. I'm looking for a brown leather tote-style bag, and I don't want to spend much more than $100. I've heard great things about Madewell's Transport Tote from Megan and Fran, and also about J.Crew's Downing Tote bag from Anne. Both are a little above my price range but I'm willing to sale-stalk if need be.  If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

{celebrating} all the weddings and babies! Oh my goodness, what a summer for celebration. I have three weddings to attend this summer, and so many friends (six!) with babies on the way. It seems to come in waves, and it's been a while since we've had a wedding wave. I can't wait to celebrate new love and new life in the coming months. Oh, and now I have baby fever like you wouldn't believe. (If you're looking for shower invites and decor, check out my friends' shop RV Parties on Etsy!)

{tasting} summer wine. I've mentioned before that I'm a seasonal wine drinker; typically I drink red wine when it's cold out (it warms me up in a hurry) and white wine when it gets warm. Spring must have officially sprung, because a glass of white wine (I like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio) has become my nightly ritual. I also got a bottle of rosé for my birthday that I'm anxious to try. Cheers!

What are a few things you're currently up to? 

From the archives: 

Goals for May and April Goal Review

This year, I started writing monthly goals on the blog as a way to motivate myself to get things done and stay accountable. Here's this month's recap and next month's set of goals for my home, my blog, and my family or personal life. 

April Goal Recap 

April Goals Recap | www.shealennon.com


1. Organize and clear clutter from my dresser. This is somewhat of a neverending process, but it's at least in better shape now than it was before. 

2. Frame prints. This was a big fat fail. I didn't even look at frames or even take an inventory of what I need to frame. 

3. Finish dining room shelves. Another fail. Home decor just wasn't on the agenda this month I guess. 


1. Pitch a brand or blog I'd like to collaborate with. I'm not going to cross this off, but I did do a couple of collaborations during the month of April. I teamed up with Anne for our Your Spring Style series. I also partnered with Jana Style to host a blogging and media event at MODE here in Kansas City. However, I didn't really leave my comfort zone to "pitch" these collaborations (Anne is a blog buddy and MODE contacted me). So I'll consider this one technically not done. 

2. Make mission and vision statements visible on my blog. Check! If you look under my profile picture (that needs an update) you'll see a little blurb about me, which includes my mission and vision in a nutshell. 

Fun / Family

1. Fill photo album with March pictures and print photos for April. Done.

2. Makeover my breakfast routine. I'm still trying to find what works best for my breakfast routine, but I did try some new recipes (seen here) that managed to fill me up better than my dry bowl of Great Grains. 

3. Put together a Shutterfly album for Jona's first year. Finally, I did this! I didn't order the album--I'm waiting for a good sale--but all I have to do is put it in my cart! It's not perfect: every photo isn't edited, the design is a little too cutesy for my taste, and it doesn't come close to capturing every memorable moment from Jona's first year. However, it's DONE. And in the long run, that's really all that matters.

May Goals

Goals for May | www.shealennon.com


1. Frame Print(s). There's really just one print I'd like to frame for the time being; it's a Boulevard Brewery print that I got in our yearly friends Christmas gift exchange. 

2. Finish shelves. I hope to do this with the help of #3 below. 

3. Complete one (or two!) artwork DIYs on my Pinterest boards. Part of my problem in not getting my shelves finished is trying to figure out what to put on the shelves. I've saved a couple of artwork DIYs (like this one and this one) that look easy enough to make and would be a fun touch for our dining room. 


1. Pitch a brand or blog I'd like to collaborate with. This month I hope to put the finishing touches on my newly created Media Kit and pitch a few brands. 

2. Organize my blogging resources, tips, and contacts. Ugh, I'm embarrassed of what a mess all my notes, resources, and business cards from GBS and other blogging events are. I need one central location for storing notes and other resources I can refer to. I'd also like to get some sort of binder to hold business cards. I suppose I should also enter them into my Google contacts...that sounds like such a nightmare though. Funny how at work I'm really efficient about doing that... What do you do with business cards you accumulate? 

3. Implement branding tips from With Grace and Gold. Kelly and Andra of With Grace and Gold presented at Go Blog Social last month, and I was lucky enough to receive a free 30 minute branding consultation with them. They shared some tips on small things I can do on my blog that will make a big impact. For example, one of their suggestions was keeping the same profile picture for your blog and all social media sites, so that new readers will recognize you across all platforms. They had a lot of helpful things to say, I'm looking forward to putting them into practice. 

Fun / Family 

1. Fill photo album with April pictures and print photos for May. Yep, same one again. I fear what will happen if I take this off my official list. 

2. Try a new smoothie recipe. Earlier this year I experimented with smoothie-making to try to get Jona to eat more vegetables. It didn't really stick though; I haven't made one since. Since I've been trying to eat better breakfasts, and Jona is still Mr. Picky-pants, it wouldn't kill us to try another smoothie recipe. 

3. Go somewhere new (to me) in KC. I've said it before, but Kansas City is such an awesome place to live. I'm always hearing about new restauarants to try or fun places to take Jona. Yet more often than not we get in our routine and end up at the same old places. This month I want to shake up that routine at least once and go somewhere different. One place I'd love to go is the restaurant/coffee house The Filling Station. There's one very close to where I live and I've heard great things about it.

What are your goals for this month? 

From the archives: 

Paisley Pencil Skirt, Refreshed

This paisley pencil skirt and I go way back. I found it at Target a few years ago, and fell in love with the J.Crew-ish style, bright colors, and budget price tag. I included it in my fall capsule but didn't wear it much, and I wondered if our time together was coming to an end. It lived in storage all winter, but I brought it back out this season and have been wearing it frequently since. I guess (closet) absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Reunited and it feels so good... 

Typically I bring out the prep in this skirt by pairing it with checks, pearls, or tailored blazers. This time, inspired by today's Inspiration Monday photo at Two Birds, I wanted to give it more of a cool-girl vibe with a graphic tee, heels, and a statement necklace. While I still love classic, timeless looks, this spring I'm finding myself drawn to styles that have a litte more edge or a touch of funkiness mixed in with classic elements.

How would you describe your style this spring? 

Graphic tee with print pencil skirt | www.shealennon.com

Graphic tee, paisley pencil skirt, statement necklace | www.shealennon.com

Print pencil skirt with graphic tee and heels | www.shealennon.com

Graphic tee, statement necklace, and print pencil skirt | www.shealennon.com

Graphic tee: Old Navy | paisley pencil skirt: Target | necklace: Bauble Bar | sandals: Old Navy

Linking to Inspiration Monday, Mix it Mondays, Mingle Monday, and Let it Shine

Paisley Pencil Skirt, Previously Styled. 

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From the archives: