Easy Refrigerator Quick Pickles

I’m typically not a huge fan of sweet pickles, but I tried these homemade pickles last week at church and was so crazy over them, I just had to come home and make them myself! This recipe is in our church cookbook (from about 10 years ago) by a lady I love very much and who is one of the best cooks I know. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 long english cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon of celery seed or mustard seed (optional)

Instructions:

  • Place thinly sliced cucumbers and onions in a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle with salt and use hands to toss and ensure they’re thoroughly coated.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  • Take out of the refrigerator and drain.
  • In a pot on the stovetop, stir together sugar, apple cider vinegar, and water until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Pour vinegar solution over cucumbers and onions, cover, and refrigerate.
  • Enjoy the next day! Yum!

I did not use the celery or mustard seed this time because I didn’t have any but I definitely will next time (and I’ll make these again, for sure!) because I think that would add just the right flavor. Consider this your warning – if you get a cute little jar of pickles from me for Christmas, don’t be surprised! Yummm ya’ll! Just YUM!

Beach 2019

This year, we spent the week of July 4th at Holden Beach with Grayson’s Mom and Dad. I wasn’t sure how Harper would feel about the beach this year, since she hadn’t been since she was just a little over one month old, but it’s safe to say sand doesn’t bother her one bit. She had the best time ever just exploring and splashing and ya’ll… she’s walking all over the place! She had started taking a few steps on her own just before we left for the beach, but having such a big, wide open space to roam freely really helped her progress quickly and now there’s no stopping her! I never want to forget the way she looked learning to walk on the beach. Those chubby, sandy thighs, wispy hair that the sun has turned almost white, and the way she felt curled up, sleeping on my chest under a beach towel.

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Grayson and his Dad took Landon out on a fishing charter one day and although they didn’t catch anything, Landon had the best time and it was definitely a highlight of the trip. I was a little nervous about letting him go out on a boat (not because I didn’t think Gray and his Dad could handle it, but just because I’m a Mama and Mama’s worry about things like that) but I’m so glad I let him go. It really made me think about what fear can keep us from if we aren’t willing to say “yes” to adventure. Now he has the memory of fishing on a boat on the ocean with his Daddy and Papa and that in itself, is such a treasure.

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I started reading two books while at the beach and I’m already hooked on both of them. I got to see my friend Andi, since her family was just staying a few blocks over, and Grayson’s aunt Lynn also came down to spend time with us for a couple days, and they both brought me a book! These gals know my heart, needless to say! A Life of Lovely by Annie F. Downs and A Love Letter Life by Audrey and Jeremy Roloff – you should add both of them to your reading list!

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We drove to Barefoot Landing one night to eat at a burger place we like called River City Cafe (all the praise hands for their pimento cheese burger!). They have shops, live music, a big playground, and rides, including a beautiful carousel on the water and we always like spending one evening of our trip there. Then, another day, we drove to Southport, ate breakfast at a cute little place called Locals (thanks for the recommendation, Lee!), took the ferry to Fort Fisher and spent the day at the aquarium, which Landon loved.

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Although it’s hard to pick a favorite part of a trip like this – and I do have many favorites, like waking up before everyone everyday and sipping coffee on the porch, eating Beaches and Cream ice cream, and sitting down at the water catching minnows with Landon – I think my favorite part was watching Landon and Harper interact with each other. There’s something so sweet and special about the bond that they share, and I can tell it’s only going to get sweeter with time. I can only imagine how much fun they’ll have together next year as they continue to grow and become the best of friends.

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Feeling really thankful for these summer memories, some time away by the water, and for the best mother and father in law. We had a great week but as sad as I was to leave, we’re all a little glad to be home. Looking forward to a busy week of Vacation Bible School and then it’ll almost be time for football season (and that’s when the real crazy starts!).

Oh Sew Feyen

Ya’ll know I have a thing for matching babies, right? The only thing better than matching baby outfits is if they’re personalized and made in America and these adorable pieces from Oh Sew Feyen are all of those things!

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Be sure to follow along on Instagram and “like” the Facebook page to see even more cute items as they become available! Or, email Olivia at ohsewfeyen@gmail.com to order (she’s always up for custom requests).

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Olivia, the face behind Oh Sew Feyen, has been sewing since she was eight years old! Her Mama taught her how to sew and her sewing machine is a beloved Christmas gift from her husband.

Olivia started making things here and there and gradually, people became interested in buying them from her, and that’s how her business was born. She lives with her husband and their dog in a small town in Michigan and is so thankful for the support of her husband, parents, and sister, who she says have cheered her on since day one!

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Thanks so much to Oh Sew Feyen for providing the outfits featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

 

The Mountains Were Calling…

Grayson went to Philadelphia for a conference earlier this week, so my Mama and I took off to the mountains for a few days. We had the most perfect weather, and although we really didn’t do anything extravagant at all, it was so much fun! We ate picnics for almost every meal, spent time with family who we don’t get to see nearly often enough, and just enjoyed being outside.

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Sometimes my heart physically aches because of how much I miss my Baba and Paw, but when we go to the mountains, I know we’re making sweet memories and bringing lots of laughter to their house, which is exactly what they’d want us to do. I don’t talk about it a lot, but I don’t think loss ever gets any easier and I definitely don’t think that “time heals all wounds.” In fact, I think the older my kids get, the more I’ll want my Baba and Paw to share them with and for them to be here for my kids to learn from. But, oh what a promise that we’ll be together again one day. What a day, a glorious day, that will be!

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One highlight of the week was going to my great aunt Tootsie’s little farm. It’s a special place that holds some of my most cherished childhood memories and seeing Landon running around with his cousins playing and exploring was just too sweet for words. I’m praying he grows to love these mountains like I always have and grows up knowing the importance of restoration, tradition, and a life built on faith, hard work, and grace. So thankful for these few days and the memories we made!

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken in the Instant Pot

I am still a newbie to the Instant Pot and to be honest, it kind of scares me, but my Mama got us one for Christmas and I am slowly but surely becoming more and more comfortable with it. Every time I use it, I love it a little more and it’s really amazing how many recipes are out there! In fact, I have an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to Instant Pot recipes, and one day, I’d like to get around to trying each and every one of them!

We have made lots of rice, “crack” chicken, several variations of stir fry, and a few other things, but this Creamy Garlic Tuscan Chicken is by far our favorite! I typically adapt recipes, share how I did it, and then give credit to the original source, but this time, I’m simply linking to the recipe I used because I did not make any changes or take any liberties (I’m just not quite comfortable enough for all that just yet).

The flavors in this dish are so delicious and the chicken is really tender and moist. We enjoyed it over egg noodles, but I think bow tie pasta, fettuccini noodles, or even rice would also be wonderful.

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From Mealtime to Bedtime with Things by Daria

Life with a three year old will definitely keep you on your toes! Landon is wide open from the moment his dreamy blue eyes open until the time they close and I’m so glad I have a front row seat as I watch him grow, explore, and develop more and more of his sweet, quirky personality. My boy loves to eat, loves to play, and fortunately, loves to sleep. And, to be honest, that’s pretty much what our days consist of in this season. That’s why today, I’m sharing some beautiful products from Things by Daria that help bring “a dash of magic for everyday life.”

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know that toddler nutrition and making mealtimes fun is something I’ve become really passionate about over the last couple of years. One thing that I’ve found makes a big difference is the way that food is presented and I love getting creative with that. In our home, we get really excited about pretty plates and Landon loves to request certain plates or bowls when I’m preparing his food.

This adorable plate and bowl set from Things by Daria features a whimsical hand drawn illustration (and Landon says that it’s him and our siberian husky, Kai Kai). They are BPA free, dishwasher safe, and very durable… a.k.a. “mom approved!”

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Another item from Things by Daria that we are currently loving is this cute outer space bedding set.  It’s super soft Jersey cotton and features another unique, hand drawn illustration. The fitted sheet fits crib mattresses (or toddler beds that use a crib mattress, like Landon’s) and the blanket is a soft, double layered “summer blanket” that is perfect for snuggling up with in the evenings on the porch or throwing over the stroller for extra shade.

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Thanks so much to Things by Daria for providing the products featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

 

5 Ingredient Energy Bites

These five ingredient energy bites are so easy to throw together and the perfect snack for when you’re trying to hold off til the next meal but just need a little pick-me-up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats (either old fashioned or steel cut quick oats is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Roll into balls (about 1 inch in diameter) and place on lined baking sheet (makes about 30).
  • Pop the baking sheet into the freezer for about 30 minutes to allow the balls to firm up and hold their shape.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks (but they probably won’t last that long because they’re delish!).

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This recipe is not my own. See original recipe by I Heart Naptime here.

Smocked Polkadot

My favorite baby clothes are always those that are beautiful and unique, but also really comfortable. With an active three year old and a one year old who is into everything (and will be walking any day now), clothes that move with them and are appropriate for all kinds of outings are ideal and quite necessary.

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Smocked Polkadot offers timeless, beautiful baby clothes that are just as comfortable as they are cute and there is a huge selection of ever-changing items to choose from. Be sure to read about how the business got started and all about their amazing adoption foundation at the end of this post!

I love this polka dot knit twirl dress so much, I’m sure Harper will wear it out this summer! The ruffle detail and adorable tie in the back make it so dainty and feminine and I really just want one in my size if we’re being honest.

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This smocked pineapple dress is even cuter in person (if you can believe that!) and just perfect for summer! The colors are a match made in Heaven and I love the way the polka dot straps tie in the back.

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This little flamingo short set is so girly and fun and I love the flutter sleeves and ruffle detail on the matching shorts. In my opinion, this one runs a little big, so if your little one is between sizes and you’re wanting it for this summer, I would size down.

And, last but definitely not least, these yellow seersucker jon jons stole my heart from the moment I laid eyes on them. When Landon’s too big to wear things like this, I’ll cry like a baby. But for now, my handsome boy will be in walking shoes and jon jons every chance we get!

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About Smocked Polkadot

Ya’ll know by now that one of the things I’m very passionate about and so honored to do here at Coffee Date With Kate is share the stories behind the brands I help promote. It’s so fun to hear what inspired these businesses I’ve grown to love and serves as a sweet reminder that when you shop small and support businesses like this, you’re supporting someone’s dream, and in turn, their family.

Ashley, the founder of Smocked Polkadot, began this online children’s clothing line in 2014 after the birth of her second son. She wanted to stay home with her kiddos, but also wanted to work so, like many other Mama’s, she was torn on what to do. She’s always loved dressing her children in classic children’s clothing and having them match, but realized that it can be pretty expensive to do so. Then, Smocked Polkadot  happened! She wanted to be able to offer adorable and affordable classic clothing to other ladies and she has been enjoying designing these clothes ever since and now has an amazing team that works with her to make all of her dreams come to life.

This year she started the Seecaas Hope for Adoption Foundation. Two of her three children are adopted so adoption is something she and her husband hold very dear to their hearts. She says,

“We know that sometimes the cost involved will be the barrier that will stop someone from going through with the process.  So we brought our foundation to life so we could maybe help someone in the ways we have been blessed. A proceed from every item sold at Smocked Polkadot will be put into the foundation. As well as a proceed of every sale from our women’s shoe line Seecaas launching in November of 2019.  We are so excited with Smocked Polkadot and hopeful that it will allow us to be able to help someone else start their family. Our first recipient of the grant will be in November of 2019, which is National Adoption month.”

You can learn more about applying on their website under Seecaas Hope for Adoption Foundation

 

Thanks so much to Smocked Polkadot for providing the outfits featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Chicken & Shrimp Pineapple Fried Rice

This dish is one of those summer meals that once you’ve had it, you’ll be craving it over and over and over again. It’s the perfect thing to make if you’re having company over and you’re going for the “wow!” factor, or it would be a great date-night-at-home meal to share with your honey! You can certainly leave out the shrimp or chicken if you wish (although I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe).

This meal is even more delicious than it is impressive looking, and don’t even get me started on the flavors and texture. The perfect amount of creaminess, crunch, and sweetness. Drizzle with some shrimp sauce and cilantro and you’re good to go!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked jasmine ricefrom 1 1/2 cups uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 1/4 lb large peeled and deveined shrimpchopped into chunks
  • 2 large chicken breasts, chopped into chunks
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh pineapplediced (from 2 fresh)
  • 5 large scallionschopped
  • 3 cloves garlicminced
  • 1 jalepenochopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauceor more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • cilantro for garnish
  • teriyaki sauce to taste (about 1/2 cup)
  • shrimp sauce for garnish

Instructions:

  • Cook rice according to package directions and set aside to cool
  • Saute chicken until almost cooked through, add shrimp until just opaque (about 3 to 5 minutes), add teriyaki sauce, and set aside
  • For pineapple bowls, cut each pineapple in half and hollow out both halves to make 4 bowls, saving 1 1/2 cups for stuffing
  • Cut a piece off the bottom of the pineapple halves to create a flat base
  • Cut the reserved pineapple into small pieces and set aside
  • Heat a nonstick wok on high heat; then hot add oil
  • Add the scallions, chili, and garlic to the wok. Saute for about 1 minute, then add the rice and pineapple and stir a few times until just combined
  • Add cooked chicken and shrimp back to wok
  • Add soy sauce and fish sauce, stir to mix all the ingredients and cook for about another 30 seconds
  • Divide and transfer into the hollowed out pineapples and garnish with cilantro and shrimp sauce if desired

 

This recipe is not my own. It was adapted from Skinny Taste and you can see the original here.

Fin & Kate Apparel

This little farm outfit is so colorful and fun! I love the cheery farm animals and little red barns, but the back is the part that’s the real showstopper! The gingham bow that compliments the trim on the shorts is just too cute for words and I can hardly wait for Harper to wear this to the county fair and to the farm this Fall!

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Fin & Kate has so many adorable items available right now, and these are a few more of my favorites:

You might remember the adorable sweater romper I shared a few months ago. I have been so pleased with the quality of every item I’ve received and love the variety of unique pieces they offer!

 

Thanks so much to Fin & Kate for providing the outfit featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.