Cucumber Lime Sangria

One of my favorite things about warm weather is backyard patio grilling with friends. The littles playing in the sprinkler, the grill filled with delicious (and healthy!) foods, and conversation with friends. Even when it's just our little family, having a backyard al fresco dinner just makes the days feel more special. I love having a signature drink for such occasions as well, even if we are just celebrating being together. Here's a light, breezy recipe that is perfect for any backyard affair (inspired by this recipe).

Cucumber Lime Sangria:
1 small honeydew melon
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
12 fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup honey
750 milliliter bottle Sauvignon blanc or other semi-dry white wine, chilled (optional)
1 liter bottle carbonated water, chilled
3 drops lime essential oil
3 drops orange essential oil
Fresh mint sprigs, lime + cucumber slices for garnish

Remove and discard seeds and rind from the melon and cut it into thin slices. In a large pitcher combine the melon slices, cucumber slices, lime slices, and the 12 mint leaves. In a small bowl stir together lime juice, honey, and essential oils, then pour over the melon mixture. Add wine, if using, stirring gently. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, stir in the carbonated water and mix well. Pour into individual glasses and garnish with lime, cucumber, and/or mint.

Unwinding with Netflix

Television is one of those luxurious weekend things that we look forward to as a way to unwind at the end of a long week. We like to record our favorite shows like Parenthood and New Girl, then catch up on the weekends. Over Christmas, we were lucky enough to receive a year subscription to Netflix, which has been an amazing way for us to find some down time. Here are a few things that we love watching:

+ Parenthood: This is hands down my favorite show right now. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. This show is in it's final season (last episode was this past week!), but all the previous seasons are still online

Revenge: I started watching this when I was pregnant and exhausted, and I still love it. It has a somewhat complex story line, but the gorgeous scenery and interesting characters keep me coming back. 

Gilmore Girls: Because, hello, we all need something totally mindless and fun, right? Not to mention that I am completely smitten with Lauren Graham (um, remember Parenthood?) and Alexis Bledel.

+ Peaky Blinders: We started this one on a whim, but it is really interesting. A good mix of history and drama, this show is about a gangster family in England in the early 1900s.

+ Madmen: We lost touch with this show for a while during the second or third season when the story line became really slow, but we are giving it another shot. I love the wardrobing, naturally.