Friday, September 30, 2016

Five on Friday [9.30.16]

Happy Friday!!!  Fall Break begins this afternoon and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. (And I hope to actually get some posts written next week, too!  Thanks for being patient with me!)  Let's just get straight to this week's five:

Bestie KP and I have a lake getaway planned next week....cocktails, an evening boat cruise, and some spa treatments are in our future.  I was like a little kid on Christmas Eve last night and was so excited I couldn't fall asleep.

I've been swooning over this vest all week. Now that the weather has turned crisper it's becoming even harder to resist, especially since it's on sale.

Have you seen #deletetofeed on Instagram?  Delete a food picture from your account and meals are donated to those in need.  Click this link for more info.  (P.S. You can follow me here :)!)

One of our sweet girls made this darling picture of our class.  She's incredibly talented.  If you only knew these kiddos....she captured their personalities perfectly!

Hubby surprised me with a "new" vacuum the other day, a vintage Electrolux.  I've been campaigning for a canister vacuum for quite some time.  While this one might be older than I am, it works beautifully, much better than any newer vacuum we've owned.

A little extra today as this just came across my Facebook feed and made me giggle (note the caption).  I follow Trudeau's Twitter to practice my French.  If I'm being completely honest, I wasn't even on Twitter (and he might be the only one I follow) until someone told me I needed to follow him...because he posts in French, of course.

Wishing y'all terrific weekends!! 
Today I'm linking up with:

Happy Friday!

*Affiliate links included.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!

Monday, September 26, 2016

What's for Dinner [Kreatopita - Meat Pita]

One of Hubby's all-time favorite dishes is spanakopita.  He absolutely loves it.  While he tolerates mine, he adores my dad's.  (I must admit his is significantly better.  I'm learning though.)  Since Hubby is typically a meat and potatoes kinda guy, it seemed completely natural to whip up kreatopita -the meat filled version.  While Hubby still prefers spanakopita, he enjoyed this too and it was nice to mix things up.
We neglected to snap a pic after it baked - please forgive!

Kreatopita - Meat Pita
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 T fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t and a smidge cinnamon
  • 1/4 t (shy) nutmeg
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • a couple glugs white wine (So not scientific...Daddy's always reminding me cooking is an art....)
  • dried oregano (This one I forgot to pay attention -- a couple shakes.)
  • 1 package filo dough
  • lots of melted butter
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • In a little butter or olive oil, saute onions, garlic, and parsley, until onions just soft.
  • Add beef and brown.  (I drain here)
  • Add spices, wine, and tomato sauce.  Simmer for 30 min. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Butter round baking pan generously.Add five or six sheets of filo, one at a time, brushing with butter in between each, and alternating angles so that edges hang over side of pan and entire bottom of pan is covered.
  • Add five or six sheets of filo, one at a time, brushing with butter in between each, and alternating angles so that edges hang over side of pan and entire bottom of pan is covered.
  • Add filling.
  • Cover top of filling with filo in same manner, buttering and alternating, until filling is completely covered and all filo is used.
  • Pull edges back over filling and butter generously.  
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for an hour or until golden brown and filling set.
  • Note: it is important to work very quickly, as the filo dries out quickly and becomes very difficult to work with, breaking easily.  Some people cover with a damp cloth, but I find it only ends up taking me longer, so I just try to hurry instead.
Happy Cooking!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sip and Shop Sunday [Vests]

Happy Sunday!  I hope you have had a wonderful weekend.  Let's sit back and do some sipping and shopping.

This delicious looking cocktail  from Jo Lynn Shane keeps appearing on my Pinterest feed.  I'm thinking I'm going to have to whip some up sooner rather than later.

APPLE CIDER MOJITOS: Apples are everywhere this time of year, so why not use them in a cocktail?? The secret ingredient to this deliciously different cocktail is the Cinnamon Simple Syrup. Bottoms up! via Jo-Lynne Shane |  

I love a good vest in the fall.  (Who am I kidding, I love them all winter -- coats are just too constricting.)  They're the perfect option and here are a few that have caught my eye.

The collar, off-centered zipper, and diagonal seems have me swooning AND it's on sale!! 

Prow Vest
 A warm and cozy option that's under $100.

Los Gatos Fleece Vest
I love the quilting....and it comes in eight colors!  It's thin enough to wear under a coat on those especially cold days.

Kitzbuhel Vest

Happy Sipping and Shopping!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Five [9.23.16]

Happy Friday!!!  It's been a looooong week and we're so excited for a weekend of quiet.  Hubby and I have some projects we're hoping to finish up, but otherwise no big plans.  Yipee!!  So, without further ado, here are this week's five:

My first pair of Blundstones arrived and they fit like a dream.  My brothers have been raving about them for years and I now understand what all the fuss is about.....I shared my picks in my Sip and Shop Sunday post.  There's a red pair I'm swooning over, too.

There are changes afoot in the bedroom, literally.  Here's a little sneak peek.

I couldn't put down Evanthia's Gift.  A well told story and a great addition for any bookshelf!

Evanthia's Gift -

This one pot sausage and kale has been my go-to for lunch.

Do y'all use a countdown app??  I installed one a few weeks ago and am loving it!  My first countdown (Fall Break) is almost complete!!  Counting down makes things seem so special.  The one I installed is pretty basic though and you can't really modify (ex. leaving out weekends, etc.).  Anyone have one they would recommend??

Wishing y'all terrific weekends!! 
Today I'm linking up with:

Happy Friday!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sip and Shop Sunday [Fall Boots]


Fall is the perfect time of year to sip on some Honeycrisp Sangria.

I've been searching for the perfect pair of boots for the last few years, and y'all these are it!! My sweet brothers have been trying to convince me of that for years.  Blundstone finally came out with a ladies' line and the boys finally convinced me to give them a go.  Ironically enough, I went with a unisex pair from the Australian company, since they're a little lower than the women's boots.

Just trust me when I say they're not masculine in person.  I didn't believe it either myself, until I slipped them on my feet.  The smooth sole (not hiking tread) makes all the difference for this pair.  I'm envisioning wearing these with everything...they're just that comfortable....maxi skirts, cuffed jeans, and leggings.  

This gorgeous red pair caught my eye, too.  So pretty.


Or maybe this women's burgundy pair with the adorable tartan plaid side panels.  They're a steal. 


Years ago my dad and brothers spent forever trying to talk me into getting a pair of Tevas.  I respectively declined, as I was determined they were ugly.  My dad gifted me with a leather pair that I fell in love with (and that I may or may not still, to this day, wear).  I've been calling the Blundstones "Teva 2.0".  They've been trying to talk me into them for years, and I have a feeling they'll be on my feet all winter long.

Happy Shopping!
(Affiliate links included in this post.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Five [Fall Love Edition]

Last year Hubby and I didn't have much of a fall or winter.  The days and seasons were a long blur of hours sitting by his hospital bed praying desperately.  How good God is that things are so very different this year.  Truly a miracle and not a day goes by that I'm not grateful from the very bottom of my heart.

All that to say that I'm truly excited about fall this year!  I can hardly wait for crisp mornings and evenings, gorgeous fall leaves, something yummy cooking slow and low on the stove, and snuggles on the couch.  Sounds pretty perfect.

So without further are five things I'm looking forward to this fall:

Several years ago Hubby and I  started making bucket lists for the seasons.  Such a fun little way of taking stock of all that you'd like to do.  You can find last year's printable version here.


Although it's a bit too early for pumpkins, our fall wreath will grace the door this weekend.

As I mentioned earlier, there's so very much for which to be thankful.  The daily act of giving thanks brings that all into focus again.


As the cold weather starts to set in, so does the desire for soups and stews, a favorite in this hive.  Especially this bean soup with kale.  Yum-o!


The change of season has inspired a new little series, too....Sip and Shop Sunday.  Last week featured homemade pumpkin spice lattes and fall dresses.

Wishing y'all terrific weekends!! 
Today I'm linking up with:

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

On My Bookshelf [Evanthia's Gift]

When Evanthia's Gift by Effie Kammenou popped up on my Kindle Unlimited options for Amazon Prime I, naturally, jumped on it and I'm so glad I did!  It's a well told story that, for the patient reader, twists and turns around and around through time and over multiple generations.  It really is a great story.

 Evanthia's Gift -
Amazon says:
This Greek American family saga follows a multigenerational story of love, loyalty, and culture. An emotional novel about family bonds and the difficult pull between home and heritage.
In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is able to face the challenges of single motherhood. Left with emotional wounds, she resists her growing affection for Alexandros Giannakos, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets - ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family. 
The story continues in the 1970's as Dean and Demi Papadakis, and Sophia Giannakos attempt to negotiate between two cultures. Now Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean, who have shared a special connection since childhood, become lovers. Sophia is shattered when Dean rebels against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage and hides his feelings for her. When he pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, Sophia is left with no choice but to find a life different from the one she'd hoped for. 
As always, I'd love to know what's on your bookshelf.  I'm looking for something great to read.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Happy #8!

Just popping in to wish my wonderful Hubby a very Happy Anniversary!  I've loved every moment of the life we've built together and can't wait to see where life takes us from here.  I love you!

Happy Anniversary, Hubby!!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sausage, Quinoa, and Kale (Almost) One Pot Meal

Y'all, this just might be my new favorite dish.  One of the darling fourth grade teacher brings the yummiest looking lunches to school.  She's very sweet about sharing (both the actual dish and how she made it) and was absolutely the inspiration to this dish.  While her dishes feature pesto as the I decided to go with tomato instead.  She prompted me to just throw a little of this and a little of that in, and since that's how I cook usually, that's exactly what I did.  Here's the end result:

Sausage, Quinoa, and Kale (Almost) One Pot Meal
  • 1 lb sausage (I used garlic and basil chicken sausage from Fresh Thyme, which was terrific)
  • 1 head kale, chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce (I prefer this to jarred tomato sauce, use what you like)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked 
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 t basil
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • In saucepan bring broth to boil.  Add quinoa, lower heat to simmer, and cook for 10 min. Fluff with fork.
  • While quinoa cooks, saute the onions in a dab of olive oil. 
  • Add sausage to onions and brown completely.  
  • Once sausage is cooked through, drain if needed.  Return sausage to pan and add kale.  Cook until desired softness is reached.  
  • Add cooked quinoa, tomato sauce, and adjust seasoning.
  • Enjoy!  (It really is just that easy!!)
Happy Cooking!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sip and Shop Sunday

Sunday is my very favorite day of the week.  Typically the chores are completed and it's a nice, relaxing day.  As I was sipping my coffee this morning and scrolling through some sales hoping to find some fall goodies, I thought it might be the perfect new series on this little blog.  So, here's introducing....

This morning I'm sipping the first Pumpkin Latte of the season....

....and searching for the perfect Fall dress.

Eliza J
 (from Overstock, believe it or not!!)

Ann Taylor Loft


Banana Republic



Hope you enjoy the last little bit of the weekend!

Happy Sipping and Shopping!

*Affiliate links included in this post.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!

Never Forget

Just like all Americans, today I'm remembering all that were lost that day 15 years ago, although it seems just like yesterday.

Image result for never forget

I was at school, with all the sweet, innocent littles, watching the atrocities on the tv in the lounge in bits and pieces.  It seemed unreal, just as it still does.

It just so happened that I had just returned from a trip to New York and I was there again almost exactly a year later.  What struck me the most (and stays with me today) was not the actual site, the missing building, or the destruction, but the walls of missing persons postings in Grand Central Station.  It was utterly overwhelming.  Today my heart is with those families.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Five Tips for Back to School Organization

It's hard to believe that we've been back at school for a month at this point!!  With the pool officially closed I guess I can't deny the fact that summer is over any more (even if it is in the 90s here this week!!).  I don't claim to be the most organized individual, by any means, but I've found these tips work well for me.  I tend to start the week rearing to go only to fizzle out by Wednesday or Thursday.  These tips help circumvent that fizzle.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Labor Day Sales

Woohoo for the long weekend!  Sunday is my favorite day of the week....usually all the chores are complete and it's a quiet, relaxing day.  But a Sunday of a three day weekend...the ABSOLUTE BEST!!  It's been a quiet little morning watching Sunday Morning, Fixer Upper, and shopping some Labor Day sales.  They're the perfect little excuse to pick up some fall pieces, either for your wardrobe or your hive!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday Five [All Things Pumpkin]

Happy Friday and Happy September!!  I woke up yesterday thinking it was Friday.  Thank goodness today actually is, and a long weekend to boot!  Looking forward to squeezing the last little bit of time in at the pool.

In honor of the release of the pumpkin spice latte and the fact that fall is just around the corner I'm sharing five of my favorite pumpkin goodies.  Let's get right down to it....

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