Pickle Factory

Our little garden has been out of control with pickling cucumbers! 


It seems like we can’t keep up with how many are growing – who knew they were going to do so well?? It’s been really fun to turn these little cukes into jars of pickles though!

When I was growing up, my neighbor would take us kids to the Farmers Market to buy a bunch of pickling cucumbers. We’d spend a day scrubbing the cucumbers with toothbrushes and water in her garage to clean them and then she’d work her magic and turn them into “Patty’s Pickles”. It was so fun! 

When we moved here, pickles started appearing on all of our plates when we’d go out to dinner. Not the plain old hamburger chip dill pickles, but homemade, sweet, salty, spicy, layers of flavors pickles. My absolute favorite are from this awesome BBQ place, Swig and Swine. You can even just get a jar of their pickles veggies as an appetizer. So good!

I picked up this spice packet from the Farmers Market with hopes of creating the same sweet/spicy pickle combo from Swig and Swine at home.


Ding ding ding! It worked! Or at least it’s pretty darn close. I use this recipe as my template. Instead of using the spices they list (the mustard seeds, celery seeds and tumeric) I use equal parts of our spice mix. We omit the red onions and reduce the sugar to a little less than half a cup but still include the garlic, red pepper and salt. Since this recipe is for refrigerator pickles, there’s no need for a fancy canner! You just store them in your fridge for a couple months. And if you make too many for your fridge, you just bring the extras over to your neighbors!


As you can see, we also did a jar of pickles beans (also from our garden). Verdict’s still out on that one…

We have made dill pickles too using this recipe. They are good too but not as special as the sweet/spicy version. Seriously, people have been raving about them!

Now if only we could think of a clever name for these…

I always want to remember…

How you wave and smile to us so sweetly when we put you in your crib to take a nap or to go to sleep at night. It’s so cute! You rarely fight us about going to sleep because we keep you awake until you are so tired you are thrilled to go to bed. Putting you in your crib is one of the easiest parts of our day! And I love looking at you on the camera to see you sleeping so sweetly. 

Father’s Day 2016

On the day when Ryan gets to do absolutely anything he wants, he chooses to finish building our outdoor shower! Haha!

That says a lot about our guy. He doesn’t like to make a big deal out of holidays, especially Father’s Day but I wanted to make sure it was still a nice day for him. He truly truly is an amazing dad and I wanted to take the day to recognize him – even if he didn’t want a big production. We started the day with homemade cards and fresh croissants from our favorite French bakery.

I’m pretty sure all Ryan wanted for Fathers Day was to take a big nap (wish granted!) but Emmett also presented his dad with the typical “dad gifts” – new socks and underwear! Per Ryan’s request, we watched the movie ET and then we took Emmett to the park. I made these awesome crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches (which got a big thumbs up from the dad) and finished our day with Ryan’s favorite dessert, key lime pie. For someone who didn’t really care about celebrating Father’s Day, I think he had a pretty enjoyable day!


The way Emmett looks at his dad says it all!

My heart explodes when I see Ryan with Emmett. He’s goofy, affectionate, present and tough when he needs to be. When Emmett’s antics crack Ryan up or when Emmett finally points to where his belly is, or when he makes a really good shot with the basketball, I can see the pride Ryan feels for him. I can’t wait to see him with our two boys. I think I’m going to burst with happiness. 

Also – a quick Father’s Day shoutout to my own dad! 


He is truly one of the most supportive, optimistic people I know! Dad, you’ve always put your kids needs before you’re own! Thank you for everything you’ve done for us! Sorry we tease you so much 😉 It’s just because we love you!

Weekend Recap

Despite such a sad weekend in the news (what is going on with our world??) my little family had a really fun weekend. 

On Friday night after a long and busy week, Ryan and I went out on a much-needed date while Emmett played with Becca and Kelly (we are so thankful for them!) We had dinner downtown at Pan E Vino and had some delicious pasta out on their beautiful patio. 


Followed by my favorite dessert: Jeni’s Ice Cream! I had two of their seasonal flavors: Atlantic Beach Pie and Sweet Cream Biscuits and Peach Jam. Holy YUM. 

On Saturday we made Emmett’s dreams come true: we took him to a kids drum circle. He couldn’t have loved it more! It was so cute to see him so in to it. He was one of the only kids who brought his own drumsticks! Haha!


(That’s Emmett and his friend Ramona! Mona was more interested in eating French fries than drumming haha)

I hit the 22 week mark this weekend! Baby boy was loving the drum circle too!


Today we set up camp at the beach with some other families and spent the whole day playing in the water and soaking up the sun. 


There are tidal pools that are perfect for little kids to play in and Emmett was loving it today!


We came home and grilled up some chicken and whipped together this yummy mayo-free potato salad


Now the boys are already sleeping (it’s not even 7pm!) and I’m doing laundry and admiring my pretty pink flowers that are blooming.


Hope you had a nice weekend too!