I had some time home alone with Gisele, who just turned four, this past weekend  ( I say that like it’s something because we rarely have time alone with just 1 kid) around lunchtime and we had a random fennel bulb in the fridge so I decided we’d make a salad. {RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST}

Eating is my happy place and I love it when I can involve the kids in food prep.  (lol and CLEAN-UP!!) Whenever possible, Dave and I generally cook together and try to enjoy the process, turning on the music and talking over the yelling of our toddler who’s really into that right now.  We do NOT cook fresh every day and there are plenty of fridge clean-out/ leftover/ microwave or restaurant days (too many honestly!!) but we’re working on it.  I work late a few nights a week and Dave will sometimes have dinner waiting but I am really trying to get home early enough to have time to  be able to help.  It’s something I really enjoy and miss when I can’t do.

Anyway,  Gisele is loves to help do pretty much anything and is an awesome little buddy in the kitchen.  She will literally sit for hours in there with us as long as she has a job.


Shaved fennel with olive oil, finely chopped Italian parsley, and salt & pepper


I got to work on shaving the fennel bulb down (with a vegetable peeler) and she ground the raw walnuts…



As you can see in the photo below, Gisele & I kind of destroy the kitchen while we work.  (I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who cleans as they go- and I try!!!- but I’m just not that great at it.)  She’s always so proud of what she makes and I’m pretty sure she likes things more when she’s helped.


My helper


I added oil & vinegar, salt & pepper, and finely chopped Italian parsley to the shaved fennel and then stirred in a little bit of crumbled gorgonzola.  Gisele topped it with chopped scallions and her freshly ground walnuts.


All done!


It was a gloomy day but still warm so we headed outside for with a single bowl and a couple of forks (and G’s favorite mini butter knife!) to eat on top of our hill…


The hill in our front yard is just outside the front door


She was pretty pumped but I wasn’t sure how she’s do with the fennel-gorgonzola situation…

Ready to chow down


…but she was seriously into it!!  Definitely helped me house it.



It was so nice to have some quiet time together.  Gisele is really into plants and flowers like I was and is always picking the “flowers” that grow in our yard.  (we don’t really weed that much lol) After our salad we picked a bunch of dandelions and made wishes.  These are the moments that just fill me up and keep me energized.  I love being outside, just breathing deeply and taking it all in.  Time seems to slow a bit and I feel like I get re-grounded.  Seeing her excitement for all the things I loved so much as a little girl (and still do!)  is truly beautiful to me.

Here’s a little shoppable collage I put together with links to some specific products shown above (our mortar & pestle and Gisele’s outfit) along with similar products like shutters similar to our shutters & shutter dogs-which are original to the house (I finally found them!!) and our old french bistro table.   ***Update Gisele’s bunny sweatshirt is sold out-apologies! Click on the product photos for sources or to shop.


To shop the entire photo on liketoknowit, click here.  {If you’re reading this in your email, you might not be seeing the collage- apologies we’re still trying to figure this out- so if you want to check it out, click on the post link at the top of the email to view it on the actual website.}

And finally, here’s a little recipe card I put together for our shaved fennel salad.  I’m basically obsessed with it right now and can’t wait until the fennel in our garden it big enough to eat!!  This is a first attempt at all of this but I think it’s pinnable in case you save your recipes on Pinterest.



Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed this little peek into our weekend & the recipe if you end up making it! Have a good one!!