Quinoa & feta salad - simple & summery

GDI - feta quinoa salad

A couple of years ago I stumbled on a recipe for a quinoa salad. Up until that point I really hadn't dipped my toe into the hipster-quinoa-kale bandwagon, but this salad was good. Then, I totally forgot about the recipe.

Fast forward to this summer and our trip to Texas (photos here, here & here). We were so busy having fun that I knew putting together healthy (and genuinely tasty) meals would probably not be a priority. 

So I bought a box of quinoa, some feta cheese & veggies and here's how I made it.

Boil a cup of quinoa with two cups of water. Drain, let cool.

Add a big squeeze of lemon juice, crumbled feta (this is all to taste, really), finely chopped onion and then any of the following:

dark greens

chopped peppers

lots of herbs - parsley, basil, thyme are all good

toasted walnuts or pecans, pine nuts etc

raisins, craisins (if you like a pop of sweet)

Also, if you don't like feta, you can substitute some other cheese but it's best with a salty, sharp cheese.

The thing is - after you've made a big batch and eaten some, you can just pop this in the fridge and nibble off of it for several days. It's delicious and very, very healthy.

Caveat - my kids don't eat this. HOWEVER, if you added chunks of cheddar and omitted, say, the onions, you might get them to eat this. Not my kids, but maybe yours.

PS - a cool summer treat & best summertime foods.

Friday tidbits

GDI - raspberry ricotta pancakes

What are you doing for this July 4th? We're having a few friends over for dinner tonight to celebrate Bud's birthday & then tomorrow we'll probably light some fire crackers :)

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend & see you back here next week.

A pretty French-y looking sweatshirt.

Every state flag is wrong and here is why. Made me laugh out loud. 

Wouldn't it be fun to have a falafel party?

A kindergarten class in the forest. Speaking of, Bud took Truett's class into the woods last year & taught them about different plants, trees & animals :)

Evolution of Michael Jackson. So great.

Have you heard about coloring books for grown-ups? It's supposed to be calming & meditative.

Epworth Children's Home is right down the street from where we live - this is a sweet & inspiring story about a girl who ended up there. 

I love this picture of the ocean.

Avocado is so last year, now it's cantaloupes having a moment.

Have you watched Unreal? I haven't but now am dying to.

Or read Circling the Sun? I've got it on my holds list at the library.

That's it - have a great weekend!

PS - these are the ricotta pancakes in the photo above.

A few more photos

GDI - TJ sleep

We had a wonderful trip back home - we stayed in downtown Birmingham for our stopover, had dinner with some lovely friends we haven't seen in forever (I did get a little homesick) & then got to see our friend's newborn baby at the hospital (talk about timing!).

Here are a bunch more photos from our trip & I'll be back tomorrow with Friday tidbits. In the meantime - HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUD!! We love you.

GDI - flying a kite Truett

GDI - flying a kite

GDI - TX fishing 2

GDI - TX fishing 3

GDI - TX granny TJ

GDI - TX Hope shoots

GDI - TX mule

GDI - TX playground 2

GDI - TX playground 3

GDI - TX storm

GDI - June new dress

Photos: little white dog is named TJ Robber. He came up to the van one day while we were looking around downtown Beckville. Skinny, covered in fleas & ticks, we popped him in the car and took him home. Bonnie has adopted him :)

June in her new dress & headband her grandmother made for her!

Kids at the playground, which has it's own misting machine the kids loved.

I shoot an old gun that was Bud's dad's.

The kids learn to fly kites.

The kids learn to fish.

Lastly - a big shout out to Bonnie aka granny for a wonderful & memorable trip. We can't wait to come back. xoxo

Pictures from Texas, part two

GDI - June prairie

We plan to leave early tomorrow morning. I've sent Bud to the store with a list so I can pack a good food box

Today Bonnie & I are scrambling to sew some dresses (and superhero shorts for True). I'll snap some photos & instructions for a later post.

The other day - when we'd been inside hiding from the 200 degree heat - I decided it was time to get out for some fresh air. We loaded up a bucket with cow feed & hopped on the mule (like a golf cart). Here are the photos I took below, if you're curious. 

Here's to a good road trip tomorrow, a wonderful trip to Texas and coming home to our beloved home and friends back in South Carolina :)

GDI - TX horse

GDI - TX Truett cows

GDI - TX skyline

GDI - TX cows June

GDI - TX June mama

Please note our red faces, as it was 400 degrees outside.

Friday tidbits

GDI - 6.26.15

What are you up to this weekend? We're here in Texas having a wonderful time - fishing, swimming, riding farm vehicles :) The kids are especially in heaven. And tonight we're having a pool/birthday party for Bud (who turns 33 in a few days!)

In the meantime, here are some great links & hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Edited to add: #LOVEWINS!!!!

This beautiful bathing suit is on sale at anthropologie.

I love this pretty beach blanket that would also be perfect for picnics.

An Italian teacher's summer assignment. Makes me so excited for the rest of the summer.

Good foods to swap out for pain & swelling reduction (think: allergies, inflammation).

A video about becoming a father. So incredibly sweet.

Haha, Bud needs one of these.

17 three ingredient cocktails.

This sounds like a fascinating book.

Wouldn't this be a fun dress for a summery party?

Up next week: simple handmade dresses, my new favorite cocktail & of course, more travel pictures.

What food to pack for a happy road trip

GDI - road trip menu

I made a rookie mistake on our way to Texas a few days ago. As the car ride dragged & dragged I realized I had missed out on a key component to keeping everyone happy - a well stocked food box. We had some crackers, water & cookies, but we needed real food to keep us fueled and happy.

Think: portable, yummy & nutritious.

GDI - road trilp food wax paper sandwiches country living

I also like to think of our trips as an opportunity to have a luxurious picnic on the road. 

Here are my favorites (and things I plan to pack on the way back).

A big jar of homemade lemonade. Sure, you want to avoid too many potty breaks, but we carry a little portable potty in the car with us for the kids &, of course, a few stops are inevitable.

GDI - lemonade karas party ideas road trip food

Fruit, fruit, fruit. Perfectly portable, sweet, healthy. Apples, cherries, oranges, blueberries & grapes are all good choices.

These ciabatta rolls from Trader Joe's are great because they won't dry out (individual portions) & are so much better than traditional loaves of grocery store bread. 

Nuts. Of course, there are these delicious chocolate covered ones or just go with plain for a less sugary  bite. 

I swear by cheese sticks/string cheese. Good shot of fat and protein, portable & neat. 

For babies, these Cheerio necklaces are an entertaining snack & keep the peace for a while. 

GDI - Cheerio neckalce

Babybel cheeses for the grown ups. The white cheddar sounds especially good.

Fruit leather. This looks like a healthy brand, or make it at home!

Boiled eggs. Bring little packets of salt & pepper for seasoning.

Craisins are HUGE in our family.

Meat sticks, or, jerky. Not the world's best sounding food, but easy + nutritious. 

GDI - road trip food stylemepretty

And, lastly, the good old sandwich, wrapped in wax paper & twine, for a romantic look ;)

PS - tips for a good road trip & 3 takes on lemonade.

(top image marthastewart, other images: lemonade via karaspartyideas, sandwiches via country living,  lunch boxes via stylemepretty)

Our trip to Texas, so far

GDI - Hope feet

On Saturday we left for our first stop on our road trip, my aunt and uncle's house in Alabama. We took the kids to a new, nearby water park (Truett passed the swim test & even went down one of the big slides!) & then yesterday we made the rest of the trip to Bonnie's (Bud's mom's) house in Texas. She lives on what the kids call a farm - a gorgeous piece of property complete with wide porches, cows & donkeys, and a hot tub we turn off so the kids can swim.

Here are a few pictures from our trip so far. The last one is of Annie, Bonnie's basset hound mix who seriously could not be cuter. If you look closely, she's posing on top of a wood pile. Be back soon with more pictures. xoxo

GDI - June & Truett water park

GDI - Truett light saber

GDI - Mississippi bridge

GDI - Annie Copper wood pile

PS - our last trip in 2013 - look at how little the kids were!

Friday tidbits

GDI - Fri Bud

Uuuh, is it hot enough out there for you? Yikes! We ran by Target yesterday & got this surprisingly large inflatable pool for only $20 ish. 

Tomorrow we head to Alabama on our way to Texas. We hope to have lots of time visiting with grandparents & family (& donkeys!) - seen here in pictures from our last trip.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and see you back here next week for pictures from our trip :)

PS - pictured above, me, embarrassing Bud by taking an instagram picture of our date night at Bourbon.

Why some cultures may not experience back pain.

When to close your eyes.

Maybe because they're happier people?

A sweet homemade Father's Day gift.

I just bought these palazzo pants from Target &, three pretty ways to style them.

Cheesy bacon twists, perfect for daddy's breakfast in bed.

Look at these breathtaking wood floors.

An interesting take on the possibility of life-after-death.

Old maps as wrapping paper. (I save our packing paper for gifts)

A cool place to stay in Dallas (weekend trip, perhaps?)

And, while there, places to eat

Oldest couple to marry :)

That's it - hope you do something cool (literally), this weekend.

A new bathroom

GDI - MP bathroom image

For the past few weeks we've been all about bathroom remodeling. We decided to give our main (and only!) bathroom a refresh - new sink, toilet & cabinet - and add a half bath where our butler's pantry/art area currently stands (I swear that little room has eight thousand names: cocktail room, butler's pantry, art nook,). 

So we will lose the kid's small art space BUT we've got the once-was-an-office-now-is-a-classroom-for-French area which works much better since it's full of little tables & chairs & has a fully stocked art cabinet. 

Here's what I'm brainstorming for the new bathroom:

GDI - wall trim

Wood trim for the bottom half of the wall.

GDI - wallpaper half bath

This wallpaper for the top half of the wall. It's an Ellie Cashman design called Summer Squall and I cannot possibly describe how much I love it.

GDI - RH console sink

The Gramercy console sink from Restoration Hardware is dreamy, but we'll probably go with this similar (& more affordable) version (which is beautiful, too).

GDI - bathroom pendant light

A small Edison bulb mini pendant for the overhead light. Edison bulbs cast a soft, pretty glow which is especially nice in a bathroom, no?

GDI - round mirror

This gorgeous, gorgeous round mirror, or something similar, since this one is sold out.

Here are some places I found inspiration: MyparadissiAmber Interior Design (for Cupcakes & Cashmere), HGTV, & Houseography

I am so excited it's crazy. I'll be sure to post plenty of pictures in the coming weeks & keep you updated :) xox

(images: top image from myparadissiwall trim at Home by Heidi, wallpaper by Ellie Cashman, Gramercy sink at Restoration Hardware, Allen + Roth mini pendant light, & mirror Snapshot Vintage on etsy)

Trip to the mountains of Virginia

GDI - Hope & June

On Friday we left for a quick weekend trip to the mountains to visit old friends. Cari & I met our sophomore year of college and have been close ever since. She has two darling little ones who are 3 and 1 (it was my first time meeting her baby!) and they live in an old farmhouse.

We spent our time soaking up the gorgeous views, chatting over wine & amazing food, & letting the kids run wild. Thanks to Jason & Cari! 

Here are some photos we snapped while we were there, if you're curious :)

GDI - Truett airplane

Note the white flowers June lovingly placed on Darius' head.

GDI - June Darius

GDI - fluffer

GDI - Jackson


Such a great weekend. I spent seven years in Blacksburg and this trip made me miss it all the more. Sigh. 


About Me

My Photo Hi! I'm Hope. Welcome to my website all about: style, food, travel & parenting. I live in Columbia, SC with my husband and two bebes.