Hello Friday! Link Roundup

Happy Friday! Are you looking forward to a long, three-day weekend? I know I am!

I will be spending the weekend relaxing in the city. We’ve had some bad weather this week (hot/humid and/or raining), so my only hope is that we great a little break.

Lunch in front of the New York Public Library.The view from my favorite lunch spot in front of the New York Public Library.

Here are some things that caught my eye this week:

This One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil Pasta recipe looks delicious and seems easy! I’m definitely trying it.

I’m obsessed with salted caramel, and these Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles sound amazing. I’ve rounded up some other salted caramel recipes on Pinterest, too.

If you are looking for a fun bathing suit, check out this Elephant One-Piece from Lime Ricki. So cute!

Grand Central StationGrand Central Station

This Merona Cap Sleeve Dress from Target looks like the ideal summer dress. I’m hoping to pick one up this weekend!

Check out this cute updo from The Beauty Department. It’s perfect for the hot, humid weather we are getting in New York.

I love this bright and cheery kitchen corner makeover via Design Sponge.

Rooftop View on a rainy New York day.The view from our apartment on one of our rainy days this week.

If your Dad is a reader, get a head start on your Father’s Day gift with this Photo Bookmark Template from Simple As That. Now all you need to do is pick out the perfect book!

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the perfect Lazy Summer Dessert from Style Within Reach.

Enjoy the long weekend and Happy Memorial Day!

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Beach Essentials

Who is ready for a long weekend? I know I am. To me, Memorial Day signals the start of summer, and that means it’s time to hit the beach

I’ll be stuck in New York this weekend, but if I were going to the beach, this is what I’d bring.

Beach Essentials: One Piece 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

I love this pretty Liberty print tank. I’d pair it with super bright accessories, plus a touch of gold. A fun, easy read is a must, too.

Beach Essentials: Bikini1 / 2a 2b / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

For a classic bikini, you can’t beat this red suit from Old Navy. This look is all about the accessories: a fun polka dot hat, striped sandals, floral sunglasses and towel, and an ombre tote. Add a book from Jennifer Weiner, and you’re set.

What are your beach essentials?

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Lentil Brown Rice Salad + Weekly Meal Plan

As I’ve mentioned before, I like to create a weekly meal plan. If I’m staring into our refrigerator at 7:00 pm trying to come up with dinner ideas, I will most likely end up on the phone with our favorite Mexican place instead of cooking a healthy dinner.

Walking on the beach in Chacala, Mexico - www.HelloLittleHome.comIt doesn’t take much to put me in the mood for a Mexican vacation dinner!

I like to keep it super easy during the week. Some of my favorite time saving meals are hands-off crock pot recipes, big salads (ala Elaine from Seinfeld), and one pot dinners, such as soups or curries.

Or, I’ll cook a big pot of brown rice early in the week and use it for multiple meals. That’s what I did when I came up with this week’s meal plan:

Here is my totally customizable recipe for brown rice salad:

Lentil brown Rice Salad

Lentil Brown Rice Salad
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (cold)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1 pkg cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped

Lentil Brown Rice Salad

Cook lentils in boiling, salted water until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside to cool.

Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper.

Combine lentils, rice, cucumber, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Mix well. Add dressing, feta, and basil. Toss until well mixed. Adjust seasoning, adding additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Notes: This recipe is very flexible. Try adding nuts, olives, roasted peppers, or marinated artichoke hearts. Replace the lentils with garbanzo or black beans. Substitute quinoa for the brown rice. The possibilities are endless!

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