What I’m Lovin’ in June

June jumped right by! In celebration of Independence Day (since I’m late to post again…), I’m sharing with you the short list of things I loved last month!

june

1. Chickpea of the Sea sandwiches

chickpea-of-the-sea

{Image source: Practically Poppy – click to view on Pinterest}

I know, kind of a weird addition to the “what I’m lovin'” list, but I had to share! In the summer, we switch to 10 hour workdays (so we can have Fridays off – yay!) with shorter lunch breaks. The days start early (7 am) so I’ve had to switch some of my workouts to the afternoons which means I need a heartier lunch to get me through. Chickpea of the Sea sandwiches have turned into my staple! It’s super easy to whip up a batch on Sundays and split up for the week.

I made a few modifications to this recipe from Practically Poppy: I use Dijon (because it’s what I had on hand & Lindsay said it’s be ok 😉 ). Rather than adding all ingredients to the food processor, I exclude the celery & scallions (both diced) and mix in after the others have been processed. Back when I ate meat, I enjoyed a chunky chicken or tuna salad so I like the celery chunks mixed separately to keep it thick.

Vegetarian or not, you should give this recipe a try!

2. My weekly CSA box

csa1

Week 1 of the CSA – squash, zucchini and dirt-covered red-skin potatoes

csa2

…and a bag of the most beautiful green beans you’ve ever seen!

I am absolutely LOVING being a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) member! I recently bought a “small” crop share for the season from Limited Edition Farms. For a few years, I have been toying with the idea of buying into a CSA. One of the things holding me back was that I didn’t want to end up wasting a bunch of produce since most of those boxes are stuffed for families much larger than just Jeremy and I. Boy was I excited to see that Limited Edition Farms offers a small food box to feed 2 adults. Despite buying the small share, we’ve still been able to share every week with our family and friends.

My favorite item has definitely been the potatoes! There’s no denying that I’m a carb lover. The potatoes are so precious and I love scrubbing the dirt off of them! We’ve been slicing and roasting them (at 425 for about 20-25 minutes – until golden at the edges) with a little bit of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. The flavor is just so great!

Here’s a recipe we made a few weeks ago – Vegan Barbecue Chili with Tempeh (click here for the recipe from Vegetarian Times) on a wheat bun with those roasted potatoes on the side:

bbq

This is a lot more beige on a plate than I usually tolerate, but it was so good (and I assure you that we had salad!).

With all the zucchini I have now, I am thinking of using them in place of noodles for a veggie lasagna – like in this recipe! I’m looking for a chunkier veggie lasagna recipe (with real cheese :)) – if you have a good recipe, share it in the comments below! I’m no chef, but I think lasagna is relatively safe to mix-and-match so if I come up with a great combination, I’ll share the recipe with you (unless you share a better one with me first!).

The Limited Edition Farm is actually located in Windsor, South Carolina (near Aiken), but Ami (one of the farmers) generously hosts a pick-up in downtown Columbia on Wednesdays. If you are local to either area, you should consider joining their crop share program (you won’t be disappointed!)! You can find more information about the boxes and view the list of seasonal produce LEF offers here.

3. Homemade Remedies with Essential Oils

A few months ago, I ordered a Young Living Essential Oils Premium Starter kit. My original motivation was because I wanted to make my own lotion (I’m still trying to find a recipe I like – a friend recently recommended this recipe for lotion bars that I’m going to give a try). In the meantime, I’ve become more comfortable with some of the home remedies. Since Young Living oils are therapeutic grade and most are safe to consume, I feel a little more comfortable about it.

My favorite homemade remedy so far has been adding a drop of thieves essential oil to a cup of hot water and tea to soothe a scratchy/sore throat.

thieves

I don’t know if it’s allergies or just a random fluke, but there were a few days last month that I woke up with a sore throat out of nowhere. I boiled some water and added one drop of thieves and a little dollop (about 1 teaspoon) of honey (the honey pictured is actually from Jeremy’s grandpa’s harvest last year). It immediately soothed my throat and I didn’t experience any additional soreness or scratchiness for the rest of the day!

You might also remember the beard oil and shaving cream that I made with my essential oils – which was a big success! Boys are hard to buy for so this recipe is worth keeping in your back pocket 😉

I will be visiting my Mom at the beach in the next few weeks and plan to make this homemade sunscreen recipe to try (I’ll keep you posted as to how it works!).

If you are interested in trying essential oils, let me know! I would be happy to order you some to try or talk to you about the kit. If you’re curious about some of the ways to use essential oils, check out my “Oil Therapy” Pinterest Board.

4. Spending Girl Time with my Momma

manipedi

My Mom & sister (and me not pictured) enjoying a little pampering together with a mani + pedi

It’s been quite a while since my Mom, sister and I spent some girly time together. It was much needed! This past weekend we soaked it up with manicures + pedicures. The lovely Chapin lacrosse family gave me a gift certificate to SC Nails at the end of the season (as a note to all people with children who play sports: treating the coach’s wife is brilliant! I may not have been on the field giving orders, but I had to deal with the coach after a loss! 😉 ).

We ate delicious food all weekend. We had lunch at Cantina 76 (best tacos in town), walked down to explore the Mast General Store and shared Lemon + Mint ice cream at the Sweet Cream Company on Friday.

After enjoying our mani/pedi’s on Saturday, we had brunch at Cafe Strudel which has quickly become one of mine and my sister’s favorite places to brunch. While waiting for a table, my mom spotted a berry cake layered with mascarpone cheese in the display case (which was conveniently located by the waiting area..). After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we agreed to go for the cake!

It was worth every calorie.

It was worth every calorie.

The cake was perfectly moist and the layer of fancy cheese was delightful. I think we can confidently conclude that I get my sweet tooth from my Momma!

Because I am an evaluator by trade and I believe in the importance of providing feedback, I reviewed all of the places we visited for our girls weekend on Yelp – you can read all my reviews here (in case you are interested in visiting them…and I hope you are!).

5. Jack is standing!

weekend

That’s Jack on the far left

I saved the best for last 🙂

I haven’t shared about Jack on the blog yet so I’ll give you a little background: Jack was a junior (now rising senior) at Chapin High School and was a co-captain of the Varsity Lacrosse Team this past season. My husband is the Varsity Lacrosse Coach for Chapin.

During a game on March 4, 2015, Jack suffered a spinal cord injury. He immediately had no movement in his lower body and only slight movement in his arms and hands. He was told there was only a slight chance he’d ever walk again. After undergoing surgery in Columbia, he was transferred to the Shepherd Center for recovery. He has been undergoing rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center since March.

Watching Jack, such a sweet, determined young boy struggle and suffer like this was tough. Watching my husband endure this as a coach was also tough. It’s hard to put into words what this experience was like, but I will say that I’ve never been more proud to be Jeremy’s wife. When times are tough, you really see what people are made of. And I tell you – my husband proved he’s made of gold.

March was a dark month, but the light was always Jack. He is so optimistic and so determined, it’s hard to be sad on account of what has happened to him.

It should come as no surprise that Jack has made incredible gains and amazing progress. Last week his Mom posted this video of him standing from his wheelchair (on his own with no use of his hands). Watch the video (here) and look at that smile! He’s so amazing.

You can keep up with Jack’s inspiring story and find many ways you can support his journey by following the Pray for Jack Facebook page.

That’s all, folks! I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day!

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here.}

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