Devil's Lake State Park - Baraboo, Wisconsin

On Sunday afternoon, I was presented with the choice to

a) wash laundry, unload the dishwasher, and complete a host of other responsible activities to prepare myself for the week ahead

OR

b) hurdle myself down a 10-story waterslide.

Guess which one I picked?

On our way home from an overnight camping trip with friends (SO FUN!), Ben and I passed a sign for “America’s Largest Water Park.” We had our swimsuits in the car and exactly enough sunscreen to survive an afternoon in the sun. The universe was being clear with her intentions, so who were we to disappoint her?

Poised at the top of our first ride, whose precise name was something along the lines of “Scorpion,” “Black Anaconda,” or “This Is Probably a Bad Idea,” my entire body sprouted goosebumps and I realized my knees were wobbling.

I adore roller coasters, and I’ve never been scared of heights, so I was surprised at my own nervousness. I can’t remember the last time I was on a waterslide (age 13? 14?), but I remembered it being a lot easier…and less steep.

Just as I was seriously considering taking the walk of shame back down the stairs past everyone still in line eagerly awaiting their turn, I spotted a boy no older than nine tapping his foot impatiently in line behind me. If a kid who barely passed the height requirement could do this, so could I.

One big breath and…COWABUNGA! I slid down the chute. It was fast, freezing, and what felt like six gallons of water went straight up my nose. I stood up, laughed, and did exactly what my 13-year-old self would have wanted me to:

I ran right back around to stand in line for a second time.

In addition to our water park shenanigans, Ben and I also had a fantastic weekend hiking at Devil’s Lake State Park (pictured above) hiking and camping overnight with friends. While I can’t say we roughed it—our spread included a bottle of Prosecco, hummus, and a cheese board—we did stay in tents, toast s’mores over the fire, and stay up way too late talking: the essentials of a great camping trip.

To kick off the month of August, I have a fresh roundup of favorites for you! Here’s a sneak peek at upcoming blog recipes, some fun finds that caught my eye, and (my favorite) some of YOUR photos from Instagram too!


Most popular recipe on my site right now: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.

On this week’s meal plan: Grilled Vegetable Paninis. Spoiler: I am going to add goat cheese.

Upcoming blog recipe I’m most excited to share: Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Bars. Recipe coming Friday.

Reading: Evicted. I originally selected this book because it is set here in Milwaukee, but the issues it describes apply to cities all across the country. It’s fascinating, heart breaking, and expertly written.

I have way too much: Zucchini. Here’s how I’m using it!

Ina Garten and I sing the same songs while we cook! I nearly died.

Which gimmicky Instagram food are you? Apparently I am a “Unicorn Drink.” I must say, I was slightly offended. I’ve always considered myself to be more of a warm chocolate chip cookie sundae kind of girl. If you take it, let me know your results! I’m curious what the other options are.

Speaking of gimmicky food: The Legend of the Choco Taco.

Favorite fun wardrobe addition of the summer: This dress! It felt like a splurge at the time, but I wear it so often that I’m glad I went for it. It’s cute, comfortable, and easy to dress up or down.

Life skillz: How to get ketchup from a bottle without the water messy and goo, complete with scientific explanations.

INSTAGRAM: Here are a few photos of Well Plated recipes you’ve made and posted. I can’t say enough how much this makes my day! If you’d like to be featured, see details below.

If you make one of my recipes, I’d love to see it on Instagram and might feature it here! Just snap a photo and tag it #WellPlated, and I will be sure to find it. I absolutely love to know what you’re cooking.

NOTE: If you simply put @wellplated in the photo caption, I am unlikely to see it, because my alerts do not show every comment tag. The hashtag is the best way to make sure I see what you post, OR you can tap to tag @wellplated in the photo itself (NOT the caption). Thank you, THANK YOU for making and sharing my recipes. It means more than I can express!