When you’re almost 4 and your brother spends his birthday in Disney World, the obvious thought is that all birthdays from this point on will be in Disney World. Not so much sweet girl, not so much… even though I wont lie, I’d be on the next plane sitting next to Minnie and Mickey for brunch. When asking Reeve what she wanted to do for her birthday (realistically), she was adamant at having it at our house with an under the sea theme, then mermaids, then Tinkerbell, then fairies. That made me a little crazy… there are 19 kids in her class and at this point, you’re supposed to invite the whole class. 50+ people for my 4 year old at our house. I don’t think so. We ended up inviting just the girls and a couple other special people. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and we couldn’t have been luckier with the weather.

Kid parties can be really expensive out, and doing parties the way I like to do them can be expensive in haha. I got put on a birthday budget and found SO much good stuff at the Dollar Tree. Plates, napkins, a tablecloth, wings, wands, banners, cute plasticware that looks really swanky and all of the supplies for the fairy gardens. I also hit up Michaels for my moss table runner, and the gorgeous fairy houses I used as centerpieces. It wouldn’t be a party without an Amazon order though. My main tablecloth (pink cloth, and gorgeous in person) flower crowns, which ended up being about $1 each; and butterfly catchers, to catch morning dew drops, ofcourse. AKA Bubbles.

I served sausage and peppers, baked ziti, fruit, veggies, chips and salsa, a cabbage/kale salad and Uncrustables PB&J and Nutella sandwiches. The cake and cupcakes came from Sams Club Dover, and the lady who took my order surpassed what I was expecting. I showed her a pretty picture of a pink cake but she really did it up with the sprinkles. Thanks Dee!

Invitations and cute little signs came from the Etsy shop IWatchThemGrow. Printed and put in dollar tree frames!

If you have any questions feel free to send me an email julianna@swankyplates.com!


I didn’t realize just how many meatless friends I have. I wouldn’t call myself a vegetarian by any means, but I do like to incorporate meatless or plant based meals in my diet several times a week. I will, in fact, have one fully meatless day a week.

We had a Galentine’s event this month and several of our guests were vegetarian! The feedback that came to us was that their diets were very carb/grain heavy. It doesn’t have to be that way, there are so many grain free options.











Skip the prosciutto on this one!

If you’re doing a cleanse, you’re probably tired of eggs by now. I hear this all the time “I just can’t stomach another egg”. It’s true though, breakfast can be tricky if you’re used to muffins, oatmeal or fruit.

I normally switch up the way I cook my eggs so I get a little more variety OR I skip breakfast all together and fast until lunch. Really though, my pallet has changed so much that I can eat dinner leftovers at 8am and not blink an eye.

One of my favorite veggies on cleanse is carrot. They are so sweet when drizzled with avocado oil, cinnamon, and baked. Why not use them as an “oatmeal” base and top with nut butter and chia? It’s really a win win with the sweetness of the carrot and the consistency of an oatmeal. Plant based too! I’ll keep you posted on more meatless meals. Personally, I don’t think I’ll never be 100% plant based, but I do like to incorporate meatless meals into my diet. FYI, going meatless doesn’t mean you have to load yourself up with grains and legumes!


Carrots (baby or whole cut)

Avocado oil

Salt to taste

Cinnamon to taste

1tbsp nut butter of your choice

1tsp chia seeds

** you could also top with hemp seeds, unsweetened coconut or add almond milk! Test it out and see what works for you.

Preheat oven to 425

Add carrots, oil, cinnamon and salt to a baking sheet.

Bake 25 minutes (or until soft)

Mash and then top with toppings! I also use this as a side to eggs and meat. I just love these carrots so much!

****i used leftover carrots from dinner last night so this breakfast took me under 5 min to make!!!

I’m known to never truly follow a recipe. A sprinkle of this or a dash of that extra, or swapping ingredients totally. In the cleanse group, we are starting another cleanse week because everyone wants to ride the wave of feeling so great. ❤️ I was sharing an eggplant recipe with one friend and a stuffed mushroom recipe with another. In the meantime, I have an overhaul of veggies because I went to the store today. Everything sounded good to me so I ended up combining the two recipes. The original eggplant caponata recipe can be found 👉🏻https://www.everylastbite.com/2014/07/24/eggplant-caponata/

And the spinach stuffed mushrooms can be found 👉🏻https://www.skinnytaste.com/skinny-spinach-and-bacon-stuffed/


1 Eggplant

2 Tomatoes

Handful of parsley

2 handfuls of spinach

1 red pepper

3-6 pieces of prosciutto (chopped small)

1/2c chicken broth

3 tbsp white vinegar

Mushrooms (I used portobello)

Avocado oil

Sauté pepper, eggplant, and tomatoes in avocado oil until slightly softened. Then add spinach and parsley.

Continue to stir.

Add salt to taste, white vinegar and chicken broth. You may want to add a little more or a little less depending how much liquid your eggplant is sucking up.

I used my cast iron skillet for sautéing and baking. At this point, I stuffed my portobellos and left some mixture on the side. I also added the prosciutto to the pan and baked it all at 400 for 15 min.

So delicious! I served with some romaine lettuce and green olives (not pictured). I want to hear if you try any of my recipes! Tag @swankyplates or send me a message!

It seems to be that when we talk about what to have for dinner, my husband always wants Italian. The more sauce, the better. I try to simplify things as much as I can and use as few ingredients as possible.

Chicken Thighs (I used 10 small boneless skinless)


2 cans tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste

3 peppers (I did 1 red, green and orange)

Salt/pepper to taste

Basil and oregano to taste

Start by browning the chicken on both sides in a skillet with a little oil (I use avocado oil). Then move the browned chicken to another plate.

Add the peppers, onions and mushrooms and sauté until soft.

Add the two cans of tomato sauce and tomato paste and scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the chicken back in and allow it to simmer (covered) for 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy with a simple salad, spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles!