The Smile List.

 

Eight Things That Made Me Smile This Week

1. Almond butter slathered on toasted homemade bread, and served with bright, summery strawberries and some extra crunchy veggies.

A simple, rainy day lunch.

 

 

2. Eating breakfast with a view.

I love you, Paris.

 

 

3. Revving up the nerve to buy (and sautee!) a bunch of baby artichokes.

(We all *loved* them, despite the amount of work it took to eat the hearts. ūüėČ )

 

 

4. Looking through old drawings and paintings that I did as a kid.

I want to know why I found the need to draw a can of Chef Boyardee’s spaghetti and meatballs??? :mrgreen:

 

 

5. Making winter feel like summer.

Enjoying smoothies for breakfast.

Driving home with the car windows open (50 degrees makes this totally okay.)

Making (and eating!) summery lobster rolls, served in a toasty bun.

 

 

6. Sampling my way through 4 new chobani flavors. ¬†Yes. ¬†Four. New. Flavors. ¬†The kind people over at Chobani sent me a sample of their newest releases. ¬†It was tough work, eating my way through all of those goodies, let me tell you. ūüėČ

Lemon. Mango. Berry and Honey-nana (made for kids!)

Honestly, I loved all of them, but my heart belongs to the Honey-nana. ¬†The banana wasn’t too overpowering, and neither was the honey; they blended perfectly together. ¬†I plan on stocking up.

 

 

7. My newest $5 H&M find.

This will be perfect for toting all of my big books and binders around. ¬†And once it gets too beat up to bring out into public (because this is guarenteed to happen, whenever you mix Sarah with white colored things), it will make the perfect bag for summer’s produce markets. ūüėÄ

 

 

8. Twinings Cranberry Green Tea.

The “sweet berry aroma” is what won me over. ¬†It almost makes me want to be up at 5 am in the morning. ¬†Almost.

 

 

Question: What made you smile this week?

Happy Friday!

snickety snack

Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to comment on the previous post that made it on to Freshly Pressed!!¬† What a fun surprise, and I appreciate all of your kind words as well as¬†the stories that were shared.¬† Thank you! ūüėÄ

I’ve noticed that I never—hardly ever—talk about snacks.¬† Which is a shame, considering how much I (a) enjoy them, (b) preach of their benefits in regards to a healthy diet, and (c) eat them.¬†

And so I figured it was due time that I share with you a few (or four) of my most recent favorites.¬† They’re simple—nothing fancy.¬† But that’s the way I like them.

“Sweet and Salty Banana Crunch”

Sweet and salty meets¬†smooth and crunchy.¬† It’s¬†a beautiful thing.¬†

Step one: peel and halve a banana.

Step two: smear with peanut butter.

Step three: sprinkle with your favorite granola (Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola is my personal fave!)

Step four: Enjoy.  Each.  Delicious.  Bite.

“Papaya”

As much as I like variety, when it comes to fruit I’m a hopeless bore.¬† Apples.¬† Bananas.¬† Oranges.¬† Maybe the occasional pomegranate, mango or pineapple.¬†

And then—this past week—my dad bought me a papaya.¬† He left the large green fruit on¬†the¬†kitchen table, as a fun¬†surprise for me¬†on the following¬†morning.¬† And I’ve been addicted ever since.

Papaya is one of those fruits that you’d¬†steer towards in the hot summer months.¬†¬†It’s refreshing, juicy, and best served¬†chilled.¬† The flavor is unusual,¬†with an exocit flair¬†like that of¬†mango (without the tart and tangy zing.)¬†

Simply scoop out the seeds, slice it up, and enjoy!

“Pumpkin Yogurt Crunch”

If you spend enough time traveling through blogland, you’ll see pumpkin pies, pumpkin breads, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin whoopie pies!!, pumpkin souffles, et cetera, et cetera.¬† Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.

And why not?¬† Pumpkin is just one of those things that never gets old.¬† It’s versatile and goes as well with sweet things as it does with savory.

For a simple snack, I swirl nonfat, plain yogurt into canned¬†pumpkin and top it all off with crunchy granola (hey now, you’ve got to admit that granola makes for a lovely garnish on lots of things!)¬†

Simply pumpkin.

“Crackers ‘n’ Cheese”

Normally when I’m talking about cheese and crackers, I like to discuss some¬†fancy schmancy cheese.¬† Like a sharp¬†Robusto that entertains your tastebuds with little crystals that pop as you chew.¬† Or a slice of mild jarlsberg, turned into a¬†melted grilled cheese and then¬†smeered with¬†a layer of¬†homemade raspberry jam (who needs a cracker there, you know?)

But—in this case—it’s all about the cracker.

My cousin introduced me to these fabulous crackers when she brought them to my sister’s housewarming party.¬†¬†The cheese was amazing.¬† Yes, it was.¬† But¬†the crackers are what¬†stole the show.

Think of a nutty, buttery wheat cracker meeting (and falling in love) with a sweet graham cracker.  This is the result.  Subtle, sweet (but not overly so,) and perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

(p.s. I could eat this for dessert as much as I could eat it as a snack with a slice of cheese.  )

And there you have it.¬† My top few (or four) favorite snacks.¬† I hope you enjoy them as much as I’ve been enjoying them over the past week or so. ūüėÄ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Guess what I was up to all afternoon?

The next best thing to putting up a Christmas tree in the living room is decorating the trees outside.

These cheery little bulbs ‘absorb’ the sun by day, thereby turning them into glowing lights by night.¬† They’re both¬†environmentally friendly¬†and charming. ūüėÄ

I give credit to people who have an entire house brimming with lights and things.¬† I was exhausted after putting the lights up with mom, along with putting up the outdoor wreaths and decorations.¬† This is what I call a¬†real life workout. ūüėČ

It’s really starting to feel like Christmas.¬† A little bit of Pandora Christmas¬†singing through the air¬†and a hot cocoa will make it absolutely complete.

Well.¬† That, and picking up¬†the Christmas tree.¬† To be continued this week…

Question: What is one of your favorite snacks at the moment?

weekend post: my most favorite of things

Thank you all for the get well wishes!¬† I’m still not feeling completely myself today, but at least I was able to do everything that I had set my plans—and my¬†heart—on doing.¬† I can tell that my immune system is hard at work fighting something off, and I’m sure by tomorrow I’ll be back to normal.¬† ūüėÄ

Today was filled to the brim with a few of my most favorite of things.  It all started with an early morning walk.

And a bowl of your basic oatbran.

This bowl of creaminess was filled—and topped—with warm, sweet bananas.¬† With a sprinkle of walnuts and¬†chia seeds.¬†¬†Plus a¬†drizzle of¬†fresh maple syrup.

A short breezy morning walk + a warm, filling breakfast + a hot cup of coffee = just a few of my most favorite of things.

Next on the list: hitting up a farmers market with my sis.  My best friend (aka, Nicole from Simple Moments.) 

We ooohed and ahhhed our way through thai basil, fresh organic kale, peppery radishes, and rainbow colored heirloom tomatoes.¬† It was nearly impossible not to buy everything in sight.¬† I’m sure you understand. ūüėÄ

And I also spent some time with my fur-nephew Stitch.¬† He desparately needed a manicure, which is a two-woman job. ūüėȬ† Nicole held him, while I snipped away.¬† He’s such a sweetie-pie, and just acts all upset and hurt vs. scratching or biting.¬† The poor little guy gave me the saddest look, with an expression that said, “I thought you loved me.”

The post-manicure kitty treats seemed to make up for any hurt feelings. :mrgreen:

 Spending time with Nicole + spending time with Stitch + hitting up a farmers market and feeling 100% inspired to continuously eat fresh and local = just a few of my most favorite of things.

My dad is convinced that¬†everything¬†tastes¬†better when it’s¬†cooked over an open fire.¬†

I’m convinced that he’s right.

Dad built a gigantic tripod, complete with a chain link to attach a cooking pot. 

Dinner over an open fire.  It felt so early American.  Completely primitive.

On the menu: split pea soup!

 And crackers for dunking.

My bowl was filled, filled, filled to the brim with warmth. 

¬†But wait!¬† No campfire is complete without s’mores.¬† It would be so wrong not to bring out the graham crackers, the fluffy marshmallows and the dark chocolate squares.

Step 1: toast a marshmallow.

Step 2: Redo ‘Step 1’ as necessary.

Step 3: Top the toasted ‘mallow with a square of dark chocolate.

Step 4: Ooze together. 

Dad’s s’more—obviously—came out perfect.

Step 5: Enjoy.  Each.  Bite. 

Don’t be afraid to get all messy.

A campfire + Split Pea Soup cooked over a fire + ooey, gooey s’mores = a few of my most favorite of things.

Twas a deliciously wonderful Saturday.¬† In every sense of the word. ūüėÄ

Goodnight World!!

Question: What were a few of your favorite things about today?