Favorite Chicken Salad

I have been meaning to share this recipe with you guys for awhile now because it has become a staple around our house and everytime I make it for an event, it gets amazing reviews and dozens of requests for the recipe.  We actually call this salad Steph's Chicken Salad in our family because my cute sister-in-law was the one who introduced it to us all and she always makes it.  This salad makes a lot so it's great for a party or to have left overs for the week, just don't toss the dressing if you aren't planning on eating it all.  And also the dressing makes a ton, so save it in a jar in your fridge and you'll love having it on hand.  You can also make it with or without avocado because that is just what I like on it, but the original recipe doesn't call for it.  Hope you enjoy!!

chicken salad recipe

BOOKCLUB CHICKEN SALAD

| INGREDIENTS |

6 to 8 chicken breasts [cooked and cut into pieces]

8 oz slivered almonds [toasted with butter and sugar]

2 bags european blend salad mix

1 head iceberg lettuce [chopped]

1 pound bacon [cooked and crumbled in pieces]

1 cup craisins

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

 

| DRESSING |

1/2 red onion 

1 cup sugar

4 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 cups vegetable oil

Finely chop red onion in blender.  Add sugar, dry mustard, salt and vinegar and blend until frothy.  Slowly add oil.  Toss lettuce, chicken, bacon, craisins, avocado and cheese together in large salad bowl.  Add dressing and toss to coat.  Sprinkle sugared almonds on top and serve.

How to be Present and Play with Your Kids

Young at heart, present in the moment and more playful with the ones you love.  This is the message of Sonnet James and I love every bit of it.  Reminding myself to be more present in the moment is something I am constantly striving for because there are so many distractions between phone calls and work life to social media and what you should or shouldn't be doing to promote your business and then just being a mom with a big to-do list and keeping the house clean and together - it's a lot of directions to get pulled in.  So I've tried to be all there, whether I'm playing with my kids or working on my computer - just be all in and all there without any distractions.  There are a lot of fun ways to play with your kids that don't cost anything more than making a stop at the dollar store or letting them pick out a treat at the ice cream shop after a fun day.  I've made a list below of some easy ways you can start playing with your kids and creating those memories because these golden days of childhood sure fly by quick.  And also this Sonnet James June dress is the best uniform for all of those moments. 

sonnet james striped dress
manhattan beach creamery
how to be playful with your kids
toddler boy style
manhattan beach creamery
mommy and daughter ice cream date
sonnet james play dress for playful moms

TEN WAYS TO BE PLAYFUL WITH YOUR KIDS

1 |   Go visit a new park every week and pack a picnic

2 |   Blow bubbles together outside and look up recipes to make giant ones

3 |   Give your child a piggy-back ride or let them ride on your shoulders [you can even pretend to be a horse]

4 |   Draw pictures together with sidewalk chalk

5 |   Make up some relay races on the grass with whatever you have on hand

6 |   Bring a magnifying glass on a nature walk and let them make discoveries along the way

7 |    Lie down in the grass and find shapes in the clouds together or star gaze at night

8 |   Let your child do your hair or makeup or paint your nails together and play dress-ups

9 |   Make a reading list then visit the library and slowly cross each book off the list each time you go [make a reading fort at home that makes them excited for reading and also have a prize for when the list is done]

10 |  Cook together in the kitchen and let them make a mess 

And don't forget to put your phone away and any distractions so you can be present in the moment with your little ones.

mini micro scooter rides
toddler scooter style
sonnet james play dresses for moms

striped dress - c/o sonnet james | denim jacket - j.crew | wedges - merona | leather tote - madewell | sunglasses - karen walker | lips - bobbi brown | watch - michael kors | capri's shirt - old navy | shorts - old navy | sandals - saltwater sandals | scooters - c/o mini micro | black helmet - amazon | polka dot helmet - amazon | liam's shirt - janie & jack | shorts - zara kids | sandals - saltwater sandals

Playsuits by Sonnet James

As a mom, I am always looking for comfortable clothes that I can wear everyday that are also stylish as well.  I have loved the Sonnet James brand from the first set of play dresses they came out with because they are all of these things and more.  They just launched another new collection that just blew me away with these new playsuits in the cutest patterns.  So as you can imagine I am so excited for the chance to work with them again and share with you some pieces from their spring launch.  This flowered playsuit has been the most comfortable thing in my closet lately and I really love that you can dress it up a little or be casual and get dirty at the park with your kids.  It really is like wearing your pajamas around all day without looking like you just rolled out of bed.  I am also so impressed with the fabric of this suit.  It doesn't wrinkle!! I brought it on a weekend getaway and rolled it up in my bag and it just came out perfect and ready to wear.  I mean how great is that for busy moms?!  So if you are looking for some great staple pieces in your closet that you can wear everyday over and over again then I would check out Sonnet James.  I think you'll fall in love with them just like me.  

mommy and son fashion
sonnet james playsuit for playful moms
sonnet james playsuit for playful moms
playtime at the park
toddler summer fashion
sonnet james pantsuit - playful moms
blowing bubbles with kids
sonnet james playsuit
toddler girl summer fashion
playtime at the park
sonnet james pantsuit for playful moms
sonnet james playsuit for playful moms
playtime at the park
sonnet james playsuit for playful moms
family photos at the park
sonnet james playsuit for playful moms
toddler girl fashion
sonnet james playsuit
sonnet james playsuit
sonnet james playsuit for playful moms
toddler style
sonnet james playsuit
sonnet james playsuit

flowered pantsuit - c/o sonnet james | straw hat - j.crew [similar] | espadrille sneakers - target | lips - bobbi brown | sunglasses - karen walker | watch - michael kors | leather tote - madewell | capri's outfit - gap | white sandals - saltwater sandals | straw hat - gap | overalls - gap | white shirt - gap | brown sandals - saltwater sandals

All photos by Angelica Marie Photography

Shopping at Maude Woods

Some of you might not know this fun little fact, but the first place that Adam and I ever lived here in California was in Pasadena.  We lived right by Old Towne which is the most charming area of shops and restaurants and gorgeous tree-lined streets.  I always love going back up to Pasadena because it will always have a special place in my heart since it was our first home together.  And one of the best things about going up there is all the great stores and yummy food spots!  One of these shops in the beautiful area of Old Towne with cherry blossom trees lining the sidewalk is a store that you all need to know about, it's called Maude Woods.  It is a beautifully curated shop with a mixture of antiques and new treasures that really has something for everyone.  They have jewelry, baby gifts, and candles to unique glassware all the way from South Africa and you can't forget my favorite part - the pillow selection.  They have one of my very favorite brands, Jon Robshaw pillows and I love all of the fun patterns and colors they come in.  You can also find some great one-of-a kind furniture pieces here and some pretty artwork.  So plan a trip up to Pasadena and visit Maude Woods then head over to Green Street Restaurant for the diane salad and you'll see why it's on my must-do list.  You can follow me on my Instastories for more of adventures.  

Maude Woods - 55 East Holly Street - Pasadena California 91103

Easter Brunch

Easter week has arrived and I've been having so much fun getting ready for this holiday!  Having kids around just makes holidays that much more special so we've been making bunny treats, going to an easter egg hunt, and tonight we're dying easter eggs.  I have been loving all of the pretty Easter table decor I've found in stores and decorating the table for a special occasion is always a favorite for me.  I just love making everything feel beautiful from the room decorations, to the food and having a special easter dress to wear and a new treasure in your easter basket, it all makes it worth it to me.  I also love keeping with traditions and one of those we kept going from Adam's family is having eggs benedict on Easter morning.  You can see the recipe here if you're interested.  And I've also linked below all the recipes for the perfect Easter dinner. 

Easter Party Grid

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

The other Sunday we had the missionaries from our church over for dinner and I was trying to think what I could make for these young men that are always hungry for a big meal and twice baked potatoes popped in my mind.  They were always a special treat growing up because we only had them on special occasions and the extra time it takes to make them I think is so worth it because who doesn't love them?!  They make the perfect side dish for dinner.  We love them with flank steak [or some good meat grilled on the bbq] and a spinach salad and maybe some yummy homemade rolls if I'm feeling ambitious;)  But this recipe is so good with the bacon and chives on top everyone will love them.  Hope you're having a great week.

twice baked potato recipe

LOADED TWICE BAKED POTATOES 

makes about 8 servings

| INGREDIENTS |

4 large russet potatoes, washed

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/3 cup light or regular sour cream

1/3 cup whole milk

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1 cup cheddar cheese, divided

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided 

2 tbsp. chopped chives

 

| DIRECTIONS |

1 |   Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2 |   Wrap potatoes in foil or rub with a little bit of vegetable oil, prick with a fork and place on a lined baking sheet.  Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until tender.

3 |   Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven to 350 degrees.

4 |   Using a knife, cut each potato in half lengthwise.  Spoon out the inside of the potatoes into a large mixing bowl, taking care not to break the skin.  Leave a thin living of potato for support.  Return the potato skins to the baking sheet.  

5 |   In the large, mixing bowl, add the butter, sour cream, milk, salt, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, onion powder, 2/3 cup cheddar cheese and 3 slices crumbled bacon.  Mash and mix until combined, but still slightly chunky.  Scoop filling into the shells, top each potato with remaining cheese.

6 |   Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melty.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with reserved bacon and the chives.  Enjoy!

[if you have some left have dinner, they heat up well the next day or you can also make them ahead of time but don't bake them until you are ready to eat.] 

twice baked potato recipe