Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sip and Shop Sunday [Greek Key]

Happy Sunday!  It's been quite a weekend! This weekend is my church's annual Greek Festival.  Think lots and lots of food, dancing, pastries, and our community's enormous sense of pride.  It's one of my favorite weekends of the year!

In honor of that Greek pride, today I'm sharing a true favorite - the Greek key.  Pretty much if it has a monogram or the Greek key, I'm sold.  It's just so classic. So, without further ado.... I'm sipping a chilled glass of Roditis.....
....and shopping for all things Greek key.

Pillivuyt makes such beautiful china.  While my Queen Anne is my favorite, this pattern is just lovely and so very classic (and currently on sale).

This tray is so versitile.


More china - because, my to Hubby's chagrin, I'm a firm believer you can never have enough china! 


Happy Sipping and Shopping!

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!  
Please find my full disclosure policy here.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

On My Bookshelf [The World According to Mr. Rogers]

With all that is going on in our country and world lately, Mr. Rogers helps to put things into perspective.  It might sound trite or naive, but it's true.  He is a true favorite of mine and pulling his book off the shelf the other night helped to remind me of all the good that is in each of us.


The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember was a gift from a dear friend who knows what huge fan I am.  It's also one I have given several times as gifts, either for graduation or a loving little pick me up.  This particular evening, the chapter entitled "We Are All Neighbors" was particularly poignant.

Amazon says:
A timeless collection of wisom on love, friendship, respect, individuality, and honesty from the man who has been a friend to generations of Americans.

There are few personalities who evoke such universal feelings of warmth as Fred Rogers.  An enduring presence in Amercan homes for over 30 years, his plainspoken wisdom continues to guide and comfort many.  The World According to Mister Rogers distills the legacy and singular worldview of this beloved American figure.  An inspiring collection of stories, anecdotes, and insights -- with sections devoted to love, friendship, respect, individuality, and honesty, The World According to Mister Rogers reminds us that there is much more in life that unites us than divides us.

Culled from Fred Rogers' speeches, program transcripts, books, letter, and interviews, along with some of his never-before-published writings, The World According to Mister Rogers is a testament to the legacy of a man who served and continues to serve as a role model to millions.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sip and Shop Sunday [Happy Bee Day!]

In honor of National Bee Day yesterday today's Sip and Shop will feature all things of our beloved honey bees!  I explained my affinity for bees here, but since then we've encountered a bit of a problem, as Hubby has developed a severe allergy to them (as in we've made a couple trips to the ER).  Althouh we're still trying to decide exactly what to do, it doesn't dampen our love for them!

So today we're sipping honey lattes....(more to come on that later this week!)....

....and shopping all things bee....

Sam Edelman

Williams Sonoma

Honey Pot

Cosmetic Pouch

It's not just about the adorablness though.  The plight of the bee is troubled.  Beekeepers worldwide are struggling with sudden mass losses of hives. We've lost a few ourselves.  This image is a striking reality check for a potential life without bees.

Image result for our grocery without bees

There are somethings all of us can do to help.  Try to embrace the weeds and refrain from using chemicals and pesticides, and plant a bee garden (more info here).  Just remember....the bees are our friends :).

Happy Bee Day!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

SkinnyPop Happy Hour

Although school is back in session, we're still holding on to Summer with all we've got.  When the folks at SkinnyPop reached out to ask if I'd be interested in pairing their delicious popcorn with summery cocktails, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to enjoy relaxing in the sunshine a little longer.

We love popcorn in this hive and at 43 (depending on the flavor) calories per cup it's the perfect little treat, but without the guilt.  The other reasons to love SkinnyPop? It has NO artificial ingredients, it's non-GMO, gluten free, peanut free (perfect for school treats), tree nut free, preservative free and has zero trans fats.  What I didn't already know, but love, is that most of their products are dairy free, even the White Cheddar, which is our fave.

I took the oppportunity to set up a little "summer isn't over yet" happy hour on our buffet.  Along with our standard favorite (the cheddar) we picked up a bag of salt and pepper to pair with our summer adult beverages.

We took SkinnyPop's lead pairing both flavors with berries, but got a little creative and mixed up our own Berry Gin Fizzes.  It was the perfect combination, both light and refreshing and certainly fun!

Berry Gin Fizz

Ingredients (per glass):

  • 4-5 berries (we used blueberries, but blackberries would be terrific, too)
  • Sprinkle of sugar
  • 2 oz gin
  • 2 oz berry sparkling water
  • lemon wedge to garnish
  • Muddle berries and sugar in bottom of glass until sugar dissolves.
  • Fill glass with ice cubes.
  • Add gin and sparkling water to taste.
  • Garnish with squeeze of lemon.

As I said, while I'm not yet ready for summer to end, my wheels are naturally turning toward our next season and all the popcorn pairing possibilities (hard cider, mulled wine, the possibilities are endless....).  Until then, you can find us sipping and snacking the summer combos!

Happy Skinny Pop Happy Hour!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Greek Style Whole Grilled Fish

Hubby and I enjoyed an absolutely delicous meal of whole roasted fish and horiatiki freshly picked from the garden over the weekend.  I was reminded of how incredible bright, simple flavors can be and just how very much I love whole fish.  It makes for an impressive, but still delicious, presentation with minimal prep.  This is actually the perfect weeknight meal, quick and easy with big flavor.

Greek Style Whole Grilled Fish


  • Whole fish of choice (We used trout here, snapper and branzino are also delicous!!)
  • Lemon, sliced and halved (crescents)
  • Oregano, 4-8 sprigs fresh (or dried)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mix 1 part fresh lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil.
  • Rinse fish and pat dry.
  • Score flesh of fish on both sides a couple times.
  • Drizzle fish with olive oil, both inside and out.
  • Liberally sprinkle fish with salt, pepper, and oregano, if using dried, including the cavity of the fish. 
  • Stuff cavity of fish with lemon crescents and oregano, if using fresh.  
  • Grill over medium high heat for 4-5 minutes per side. 
  • Serve with latholemono or lemon wedges.
  • Can tie fish closed, if desired.
  • Brush grill with olive oil to help prevent sticking (use a paper towl and tongs for ease).  Fish flips easily, when it's ready.
  • Serve with horiatiki, spakakorizo, or simple boiled greens with olive oil.
Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

On My Bookshelf [Borderline]

In this series Anna Pigeon, National Park Ranger, travels to many National Parks around the country solving mysteries and crimes.  She is, without a doubt, a daring overachiever.  I chose this particular book, Borderline  because of the setting, Big Bend National Park where my Bestie MHDRL lives.  I've been lucky enough to have visited the park twice and was rather excited to read a story set in such a beautiful and striking place.

While I did enjoy this story, I'm not entirely sure how believable it was.  About 50 pages in I looked up and shared with Hubby all the excitment she had already encountered.  He shook his head and said, all that already?  That being said, I'm anxious to read the stories set in other parks I've visited.  

Amazon says:
Hoping a raft trip in Big Bend National Park will lift her spirits, Anna Pigeon and her husband Paul go to southwest Texas, where the Rio Grande is running high.  The beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert and the power of the river work their magic --until the raft is lost in the rapids and a yound college student makes a grisly discovery.  Caught in a strainer between two boulders -- and more dead than alive -- is a pregnant woman.  Anna will soon discover that nature isn't the only one who wants to see the woman and her baby dead...

It's no accident I'm sharing this particular novel today -- I'd like to take a minute to wish Bestie MHDRL a wonderful birthday tomorrow!!!  Hubby and I are both so incredibly lucky to have you in our lives.  We love you, Sis, and wish you your best year yet!

As always, I'd love to know what's on your bookshelf!  My goal for the year is to continue to read as much as I've been able to this summer.  It's such a treat, one that I just don't want to give up.

Happy Reading!

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!  
Please find my full disclosure policy here.  

Monday, August 7, 2017

Garden Beet Juice

During a recent lunch Aunt MRM and I enjoyed a juice sampler.  I fell in love with the beet ginger juice.  It was absolutely delicious and I knew immediately I would be trying to replicate it at home.  While it takes a lot of veggies for a bit of juice, it's so yummy it's worth it.

Garden Beet Juice


  • 1-2 beets (Fresh Thyme has cooked beets in the refrigerated section, so easy!!)
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3-4 leaves kale
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • water as needed
  • Put all ingredients in blender, with kale on the top. 
  • Blend until all ingredients are well combined and "juiced".  Be sure to add a little water as needed to keep things "moving".  We use the liquify setting.
  • Strain using a fine mesh strainer.  
  • Serve cold.  (I even like over ice.)
  • While it might look like a smoothie fresh from the blender, don't make the same mistake I did and take a sip.  Be sure not to skip the straining step!
  • Be careful with the beet, they have the ability to stain!  I use parchment paper to cover cutting boards, etc.
Happy Juicing!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sip and Shop Sunday [Planners, Back to School]

Happy Sunday!  We've been busy little bees today planning for the week: lunches are packed, clothes laid out, and dinners planned and prepped!  Makes things run so smoothly during the week.  While I sometimes dread doing it, I'm always grateful I did.

Speaking of planning and organizing, today I'm shopping for new planners.  I love starting the new year off with new supplies, and a new planner is no exception.  While I do schedule things on my phone's calendar, I'm oldschool and still enjoy taking pen to paper.

So, today I'm sipping Frappe....

...and shopping for planners.  My favorite is the upper left -- to know me is to know that I'm alway running just a tad bit late - fashionably, of course.

Happy Sipping and Shopping!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Five on Friday [8.4.17]

Happy Friday!  We like to celebrate the little things around this hive, but, to be completely honest, this week we're celebrating that we made it through the first week of school!  Now, without further ado, here's this week's five:

I was so very happy to see my kiddos this week!  While I enjoy not having school, I sure do miss them.  However, it's crazy how exhausting the first few days are.  How do I forget this from year to year??  Hubby surprised me with a little trip for ice cream after school as a sweet surprise.

I ordered this cardigan from Nordstrom Rack (at nearly $60 off!!!) and I can almost hardly wait for the cooler temperatures.  (Almost....for now I'm still enjoying every minute at the pool....)

We tried zoodles for the first time last night.  While the verdict is still out, and we're still perfecting them before sharing a recipe, we certainly see potential.  Hubby loved them and it might be kind of nice to sneak in some extra veggies.  Anyone have a go-to recipe they use?

Aunt MRM and I visited The Garden Table recently featuring delicious local food, yummy juices, and a darling atmosphere.  The visit even inspired our own juicing affair with great success.  Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.

This is completely random, but we've tried absolutely everything to clean the grout in our kitchen, to no avail.  But last weekend we finally discovered something that worked!!  While it was slightly time consuming, it was easy and yielded great results.  Working in sections, spread Clorox Clinging Bleach Gel over grout and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Scrub with a toothbrush.  Let sit for five more minutes.  Wipe clean with a damp cloth or papertowel.  Mop floor when finished.  I did try a litle inconspicuous section in the mudroom before tackling the whole kitchen to confirm no damage to the tile itself.  We didn't have any problem.  I'd post a before and after picture, but I'm too embarrased to share.....just trust me, it really did work!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Katie                                              April

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Composting 101

Hubby and I scored a major deal on a double bin composter last weekend and I couldn't be more excited!!  (You know you're old when get excited over something like that...)  It's a beaut with two 50 gallon bins that each rotate separately.  When our sweet neighbor who is moving next week set it out with a for sale sign on it, we didn't hesitate to jump on it.  This means that our yard will end up looking as lovely as their impeccably beautiful landscape, right??
While I grew up composting (and quite honestly, thought that's just what one did) Hubby clearly did not.  He's been throwing a little of everything in there, while I keep pulling things out.  Composting is really pretty simple, once you know the dos and the don'ts.  For a successful compost pile, you need a combination of browns and greens. 

BROWNS include cardboard, dry leaves and grass clippings, straw, shredded paper, newspaper, cardboard egg cartons, and egg shells (not including walnut).

GREENS include vegetable and fruit scraps (think peels, strawberry tops, melon rinds), tea bags, coffee grounds, spent flower bouquets, and weeds.

DO NOT compost meats, fish, bones, dairy products, pet waste, cooked food waste, oils and fats, glossy paper, and charcoal.

Typically a good mix is one part green to two parts brown.  Make sure to mix and turn your compost once a week and water so that it's just moist.  Once it turns dark and is like soil you're ready to use the black gold in the garden.  

In the meantime, I found the cutest small compost bucket for the kitchen that almost matches my beloved Portmeirion.  While I currently don't mind going out to the big tumbler every night, I know that once winter hits I won't be quite as enthused.  This allows us to continue composting while keeping the kitchen looking cute and not freezing to death either.

Happy Composting!

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!  

Please find my full disclosure policy here.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Citrus Kale, Pineapple, and Mixed Berry Smoothie

My sweet Aunt MRM and I spent an absolutely lovely day together last weekend.  She fixed an utterly delicious (more to come on that later), we floated while basking in the abundant sunshine (that's literally what the forecast said - abundant sunshine), and tried out her new Nutribullet.  We threw in a little of this and a little of that and ended up with something quite delicous, filling, and healthy.  It was, without a doubt, a win!

Citrus Kale, Pineapple, and Mixed Berry Smoothie


  • 1 cup kale, thick stems removed
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup spinach, stems removed
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup mixed berrried (we used strawberries and blackberries)
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled
  • 1/2 lime, peeled
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water
  • Ice
  • Layer the ingredients in the Nutribullet or blender (berries, pineapple, citrus, and finally greens on top.  Add water.
  • Blend until smooth.


  • We loved the convenience of the Nutribullet.  It's small, compact, and easy to clean.  You could even pack the ingredients in the cup the night before and be all set for breakfast the next day.  That being said, I've tried the recipe since then in my blender, and it turned out beautifully.  
  • It's best cold.  You can add ice, or use frozen berries.
  • Hubby is picky, so I sometimes strain to remove the berry seeds, although they don't bother me a bit.  
Happy Blending!

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!  

Please find my full disclosure policy here.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

On My Bookshelf [The Love Season]

While The Love Season is different than the other novels penned by Elin Hilderbrand, Nantucket (one of my personal favorite places) still serves as the setting and almost a character in and of itself.  Quite simply, the island is stunningly beautiful, although a bit standoffish, and is the perfect backdrop for the story.

Amazon says:
It's a hot August Saturday on Nantucket Island.  Over the course of the next 24 hours, two lives will be transformed forever.

Marguerite Beale, former chef of culinary hot spot Les Parapluies, has been out of the public eye for over a decade.  This all changes with a phone call from Marguerite's goddaughter, Renata Knox.  Marguerite has not seen Renata since the death of Renata's mother, Candace Harris Knox, fourteen years earlier.  And now that Renata is on Nantucket visiting the family of her new fiance, she takes the opportunity, against her father's wishes, to contact Marguerite in hopes of learning the story of her mother's life -- and death.  But the events of the day spiral hopelessly out of control for both women, and nothing ends up as planned.

Welcome to The Love Season -- a riveting story that takes place in one day and spans decades; a story that embraces the charming, pristine island of Nantucket, as well and Manhattan, Paris and Morocco.  Elin Hilderbrand's most ambitious novel to date chronicles the famous couplings of real lives: love and friendship, food and wine, deception and betrayal -- and forgiveness and healing.

While admitedly it took me a bit to get into the book and I didn't love the ending, it as an overall good read, especially poolside.  As always, I'd love to know what's on your bookshelf!!  I've been so happy to get so much reading in this summer - and can only hope it continues as the craziness of the school year sets in quickly.

Happy Reading!

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Happy Little Hive!  
Please find my full disclosure policy here.  
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