Southwestern shrimp salad with cilantro-lime dressing

Do you know what absolutely kills my attention span on a Friday? Knowing I only have a few hours standing between me and a 3-day weekend! At noon today we get to break for Memorial Day weekend and I can’t wait. I don’t have any big plans since Riley will be working all weekend, but I’m just excited to hang out around town, go to the farmer’s market, do some shopping, and spend as much time on the patio as possible. Bring on the weekend naps!

Since my ADD has already kicked in, I’ll keep this post short and sweet by sharing the salad I made on Wednesday!

Southwestern shrimp salad 2

I was inspired to make this by a lunch menu item I saw at Bonefish Grill and figured I could recreate it at home, with several changes. The ingredient list is ridiculously simple and an easy dressing comes together in about 60 seconds.

Southwestern shrimp salad ingredients

I don’t like to dilly-dally and my attention span can’t handle it today, so let’s get right to it!

Southwestern Shrimp Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing

Serves: 4


  • 1 bag spring salad mix
  • 1/2 pound cooked, large shrimp
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can yellow corn
  • 1/2 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup fat-free feta cheese
  • crispy tortilla strips (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice from 3 limes
  • 3 small garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Chop all ingredients and place into a large serving bowl. Place dressing ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. I used a mini processor since that’s all I have, but it was perfect.

Cilantro lime dressing

Pour dressing over salad and toss until evenly coated. Enjoy!

Southwestern shrimp salad

I know I said the tortilla strips are optional, but they’re not, really. You should use them. Second, you definitely need to use the fresh dressing for this. I almost never make my own dressing unless it’s just a drizzle of oil and some vinegar, but this was way too easy and so good. The fresh lime juice helps preserve the avocado too, so this salad tastes just as good the next day.

I’m almost tempted to make another batch of this over the weekend since I still have several of the ingredients. One thing I do know I want is a giant hamburger. Riley just got some new replacement parts for the grill and I think Memorial Day Weekend is a perfect time to put them (and Chef Riley) to use!

I’m off to the office to twiddle my thumbs until noon, but hope you all have a great weekend!

What are your plans for the weekend?


Mid-week vacation days are the best

It feels weird that it’s Thursday right now! I love taking a day off in the middle of the week because it makes the work days seem so short. Yesterday was filled with a lot of fun and I’m so glad I took the vacation time.

The first half of the day was spent with Riley on our mini day-date. We recently found out that Bonefish Grill now serves lunch, so we headed over to check it out. It didn’t disappoint! I ordered grilled salmon topped with spinach, goat cheese, and artichoke hearts. On the side I had a couscous salad that was delicious. The whole meal hit the spot and was just the right amount of food!

Salmon from Bonefish

After lunch we went to see Neighbors, which was really funny! I don’t think I laughed as much as I was expecting to, but it was really entertaining and I definitely don’t regret seeing it.

Yesterday evening, my friend Danielle came over so we could catch up on the first episode of the Bachelorette. While I got dinner ready, we chatted and sipped wine. Meanwhile, Coco enjoyed the great outdoors on the back deck. It’s almost impossible to keep her inside once the weather warms up!

Patio and Coco

For our appetizer I set out some delicious crackers and gorgonzola cheese from Trader Joe’s that I couldn’t stop eating!

cheese and crackers

Dinner was a delicious salad that was inspired by a menu item I saw on the Bonefish Grill menu. I’ll tell you all about it with the recipe tomorrow. I’m really glad I have leftovers so I can enjoy it again today for lunch.

Girls night table

We watched the Bachelorette, a couple episodes of Vampire Diaries (Don’t judge me for my tv choices…..I get enough judgement of my teenager shows from Riley) and did our nails before calling it a night. I’m totally OK with a girl’s night that involves yoga pants, couch time, wine, and going to bed by 10:00.

Workout & Breakfast

Despite getting to bed a bit later than I normally would, I was determined to get to the gym this morning. Could have something to do with the fact that I ate everything in sight for dinner last night. It’s fine….I arrived at the gym right at 5:00 and hopped on a treadmill for a run. After 30 minutes, I’d planned to do a leg workout, but I was enjoying my run so much I decided to just go with it. I finished after 50 minutes to stretch a bit before heading home.

I was craving something savory for breakfast today, which hasn’t happened in a while. I scrambled up some eggs with turkey sausage, spinach, and feta cheese. On the side I had a slice of toast with avocado on top.


So good! I have a feeling this will keep me full right up to lunch.

I loved having my mini break during the week. The best part is now I only have a day and a half standing between me and Memorial Day Weekend.

Hope you all have a good one!

What’s for breakfast today?

Do you stick to a set plan for your workouts or do you like to go with the flow?

My favorite things about May

Hey, friends! Today promises to be another gorgeous day. I started out my morning with a nice workout consisting of cardio on the adaptive motion trainer, some ab work, and stretching.

Breakfast today is a Greek yogurt bowl topped with nuts and dried fruit, chia seeds, and a drizzle of honey.


I’ve been in the best mood lately. I think it has to do with the fact that May is one of my absolute favorite months! While I love the fall with it’s cooler temps, football season, and holidays, I really think that spring is my favorite season. Something about the promise of longer days, warm weather, and vacation just makes everything better.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share my favorite parts about this glorious month.

1) The sun is up early! This is a big one for me because I’m such a morning person. I love going to the gym and seeing the sun when I get out. All the birds are chirping and waking up and it’s such a great way to start the day.


2) The days are getting longer. This is awesome because I like to enjoy some daylight after the work day is over. In the winter, it’s always dark by the time I make it home from work, which makes me feel like I need to immediately go to bed. Having a few hours to enjoy the back deck is my absolute favorite.

3) The gardens! I shared my garden updates yesterday, but the whole town is in bloom it seems. Colonial Williamsburg has a bunch of public gardens that are so much fun to walk around. All the deadness of winter depresses the hell out of me, so it makes me happy to see everything come back to life.


4) Time off! This one is a big one. From September-May 1st I feel like my life belongs to work. I love my job, but by the end of the work cycle I’m totally drained. May marks the beginning of vacation season. I have so much vacation time to use I’m making it my goal this year to not work more than 4 days each week. We’ll see how it goes!

5) Warmer weather. I swear I will never move north of Virginia. Ever. I am not cut out for cold and this past winter definitely confirmed that. I love being able to take walks around campus to break up my work day and not have to wear a jacket. This time of year I’m a big fan of scheduling “walking meetings,” which is just an excuse to take a 10 minute walk and talk about work things at the same time.

In the spirit of not working full work weeks, I’m taking tomorrow off to spend the day with Riley. We’re going to see Neighbors, which I’ve heard it hilarious. Anyone seen it? Anyway, I’d better run, so I’ll catch up with you later!

What’s your favorite month and why?

Weekend recap: prepping for summer

I can’t believe it’s Monday already! This weekend flew by and I hope you had a great one! I got a lot of stuff done and enjoyed what was basically perfect spring weather!

Friday night Riley and I went out to a birthday dinner for his boss. The food was amazing and we had a really great time! I completely forgot to take pics, so no visuals, unfortunately. I did indulge in a fabulous filet mignon, plenty of red wine, and bread/butter, though.  Saturday was pretty uneventful. I had to work for a few hours and I mostly relaxed the rest of the day afterwards. After some homemade steak Caesar salads Saturday night (with leftover steak from Friday’s dinner), Riley and I both went to bed pretty early.

Steak caesar salads

Going to bed early on Saturday meant that I woke up with Riley around 6:00 on Sunday. I got into one of those moods where I wanted to do EVERYTHING in one day, so that’s what I did!

First, I got Bella into the car and we drove over to Colonial Williamsburg to enjoy the sights and walk around. Williamsburg is gloriously empty at 7 AM and the weather was absolutely perfect for an early walk!

Empty CW

This time of year the public gardens in CW are in bloom and it’s so fun to walk around and check out all the gorgeous flowers.

CW gardens

Bella got herself right into the middle of the gardens and was having an absolute blast!

Bella in the CW gardens

After our long walk, I got changed and headed to a hot Vinyasa flow class at Studio South. It was a 90 minute class, which was the longest I’ve ever spent doing yoga in 105 degree heat. Let’s just say the class kicked my butt in an awesome way and I was completely drenched in sweat by the time it was over!

After yoga, I decided to get started on our patio/garden overhaul and got to work. After a couple hours of pulling weeds, cleaning up beds, and shopping for plants, our little garden is off to a great start!

Veggie garden before and after:

Garden before and after

Between our little veggie garden and some pots, I planted:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Beefsteak tomatoes
  • Banana peppers
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley

I still have some room, so I’m hoping to track down some cucumber plants, jalapenos, and a couple more herbs.

I’m loving how great our back deck smells! I also got some new pillows for our deck chairs and some hanging petunias. Outdoor pillows at Target are on sale for $8 and buy-one-get-one-50% off so I got four deck pillows for $24. Score!

Updated patio collage

Coco was more than happy to help me garden.

Coco on the deck

And because I hadn’t done enough, I decided to whip up a batch of brownies too. They actually got whipped up pretty quickly cause I used a box mix from Trader Joe’s. Totally fine, because they tasted deliciously homemade 🙂

Brownie pan

Once Riley got home it was cocktail time! He’d bought a bunch of fresh lemons, limes, and oranges and made us some citrus-y vodka tonics. I spent my early evening unwinding on the patio with my drink and a magazine. Perfect weekend activity in my opinion!

Vodka tonic on patio

I’m a bit sore this morning, so I’ll probably take it easy in the workout department today. Now I’m off to grab some breakfast and get ready for work.

Have a great day!

What did you do this weekend?

Do you have a garden? What do you plant?