10 Ways To Celebrate National Simplicity Day

10 Ways To Celebrate National Simplicity Day

It seems that every day there is a different national or international holiday. Some don’t appeal to me as much (International Talk Like A Pirate Day?!) as others (National Donut Day), but I still think they are fun! Today, however, really struck me. June 12th is National Simplicity Day.

The holiday is observed on this day to honor the life of Henry David Thoreau who was born on July 12, 1817. I learned that Thoreau was an advocate for living a simple life.

“In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.” -Henry David Thoreau

10 Ways To Celebrate National Simplicity Day

Over the past year, I’ve been asking myself how I can simplify and slow down. It started last Fall and continues to be something I think about often (and express in my drawings as reminders for myself). Our lives seem to be going faster and increasingly busy. I love the idea of National Simplicity Day as a time to take a step back and evaluate how we can create more balance, declutter, and give ourselves margin.

I’ve put together a list of 10 things you can do today to start this process…

10 Ways To Celebrate National Simplicity Day

1. Go Outside: Spending time in the fresh air always centers me and makes me feel better

2. Clean out your purse: Maybe you aren’t ready to tackle your closet (I know I need to!) but your purse – this is doable. Who knows, it might inspire you to declutter the rest of your space.

3. Put down your phone for part of the day (or try a social media detox)

4. Make a list of things you are grateful for

5. Actually read a full article or blog post: Most of us are skimmers! Instead of trying to cram all that information in today, choose only a few things and really read them.

6. Stop the multi-tasking: Consciously pay attention to one thing at a time today.

7. Create a nice moment for yourself: Maybe it’s a cup of loose leaf tea or indulging in an extra long shower. Soak it in.

8. Stretch

9. Make a “Done” list: Think of this as a to-do list in reverse and write down everything you’ve accomplished today. Include small details like “made the bed.” Feel good about your accomplishments instead of looking at what’s left on your never-ending to-do list.

10. Visualize letting go: What negative feelings do you need to let go? Anger? Anxiety? Overwhelm? Picture these feelings as balloons in your hand and then let go of the balloons. Watch them float into the sky until they disappear.

Choose one or two of these things or think of them as your National Simplicity Day checklist!

Do you have more ideas to add to the list? I’d love to hear them!

10 Ways To Celebrate National Simplicity Day

Here’s to simplifying and living life de-cluttered! Happy National Simplicity Day!

Prints pictured here can be found in the Lily & Val Shop!

10 Ways To Celebrate National Simplicity Day
Lily & Val Loves- Summer Entertaining Favorites

Now that we have all prepared our patios and back yards for the 4th of July…why not keep the fun going?! You did all that work, so spend some time outside and have some little get togethers while the summer sun is still shining.

These are some of our favorite kitchen and entertaining items for the summer season. I keep a lot of these items in use year-round, but they are particularly great for poolside and cookout type gatherings.

Lovely Reusable gold stainless steal straws are perfect for summer sipping.

These stainless steel straws are an all-around lifesaver if you are a smoothie person. They also make sipping on any summer thirst quencher just a little cuter and more refreshing. I love that this set comes in gold and has cleaning brushes included in the set.

When you are having friends and family over, you don’t want to have to worry about your good glassware being outside or handled by all your kid’s friends. These mint green acrylic tumblers are beautiful and have a little vintage feel. They are perfect for poolside use too, so you will never have to worry about glass in the pool.

Vintage style tumbler that is safe for picnics and poolside drinks.


No one likes uninvited guests at their cookout…especially the ones who get on all your food. I don’t know what I would do without these netted food trays. They protect all your dishes and platters and look cute doing it.

The perfect and pretty solution to outdoor eating without all the pests.

I always have a pitcher of cold water in the fridge. We keep a filter on our faucet and these cute lidded glass pitchers keep our cool water on hand and don’t take up too much room in the fridge. I love that this one has a texture that goes perfectly with the mint green acrylic tumblers. Try putting different fruits and herbs (like mint leaves) in a couple different pitchers for your next gathering. It’s so easy and your guests will love the choices!

Always keep a cute pitcher of fruit infused water handy to quench that summer thirst. This may even help your family drink more water!

Last but not least…every party needs bread, right? I adore these handmade linen bread basket/bags. They are great because you can close them up when not in use, and they look so much cuter than just leaving your buns in the bags. It’s the little things that make all the difference, isn’t it?

A lovely way to keep and serve your bread. This handmade linen bag ads a sunny touch to any table or buffet.

I hope you try out some of these great entertaining products and take advantage of this time of year to soak up all of the warm summer memories with those you love.

Our Lily & Val Loves Series contains affiliate links. That means a little bit of your purchase through these posts helps us just a little too! This changes nothing about your purchase price, and we are not asked to feature these items. These are just things we carefully pic because we love them and think you will too! Thanks for helping spread the love! xo
What I Learned After A 7-Day Social Media Detox

What I Learned After A 7-Day Social Media Detox


Distracted. I think that is the best word I could have used to describe how I was feeling.

I was distracted by the scroll of Instagram and the never-ending supply of beautiful content. I was also distracted by my own drive to produce content, always “on the lookout” for the shareable of my life (or how I could edit it to make it shareable). Then, when I would post, I would hold my breath hoping that it was well-received and attempt to not second guess myself. This left me feeling drained and hardly present in my own life.

Before I go any farther, let me say: I think social media is a wonderful tool and I’m grateful to have it for many reasons. I’m happy to live in the era of social media and inspirational content creation. However, just like a piece of decadent double chocolate peanut butter fudge, a little bit is good, but too much can make you sick (and let’s face it, that peanut butter fudge is addicting!)

These things are embarrassing to admit, but I recognized my feelings surrounding social media and knew I needed to do something. So, when my friend Leah Remillet told me that she was taking a 7-Day Social Media Detox, I felt inspired to try it too. Nothing like ripping off the band-aid, right?!

To set myself up for Social Media Detox Success I took the following two steps:

  1. I placed all my social media apps in one folder and moved that folder to the very back of my phone by itself where I would not see it. I already had all notifications turned off. This way, when my thumb mindlessly wandered to that spot on my phone, the apps would be gone.
  2. I started a new notebook (a treat in itself!) to record my feelings on paper and make a list of fun things I wanted to accomplish during this “vacation”! A few things included enjoying my mother-in-law’s visit for the 4th of July, listen to a new podcast, and starting a book that’s been on my list.

To be honest, I felt apprehensive at the start of the week. My FOMO (fear of missing out) was strong, but I was curious. Fast forward to the end of the week and this vacation was transformative. 

I felt relief.

I was more content.

My mind felt clearer.

I had more time.

What I Learned After A 7-Day Social Media Detox

There’s so much I want to say and even more that I’m still working through, but for now I think it boils down to four realizations I had during this time away:

1. I have permission to shut off

For some reason, it felt as though I didn’t have this permission before. Maybe it is cultural, fear of missing out based, or how we’ve been told you are “supposed” to be marketing if you own a business. Regardless, I’ve always told myself I can’t shut off. This was wrong! I had permission all along to shut off and as soon as I believed that and acted on it, it was freeing.

2. Social media steals the mundane, ordinary of our lives if we let it

This point has been particularly convicting for me because I truly believe our lives are made in the ordinary, in-between moments. We all experience highs and lows, but it’s in the simple everyday-ness where we build traditions and often look back with nostalgia. This very concept is what the Lily & Val brand represents and what I strive to celebrate in the products we offer.

What I realized is that I may temporarily shut off for a vacation or when I am out to eat at a fancy restaurant, but what about the mundane of my life? How am I protecting this gift day-to-day? Why does it seem that these in-between moments are fair game for social media to steal away when it’s in these moments inspiration and breakthrough come.

3. Social media is a convenient tool for numbing

I fear to sound dramatic here as I realize there are far worse things we as humans use to numb, however, this was a profound point to me. When I was alone with my thoughts or felt stressed throughout the week, my complusion to check social media was high. It’s caused me to look within to see where this is coming from. I think we’ve trained ourselves to numb away the uncomfortable bits of life instead of digging into those feelings.

4. Contentment is worth fighting for

Discontentment has been a bit synonymous with social media. It’s difficult to separate our real lives from other’s highlight reels. To take it a step further, part of the struggle is looking to others to gauge how we’re doing in the form of likes. We all want to know “Am I doing okay?” My week away was filled with a greater sense of contentment for my actual life and I’ve realized I need to protect that.

So what does all of this mean moving forward?

This is something I’m still asking myself and working through! I’m not writing off social media, but I am trying to re-evaluate its position in my life. I want to continue this conversation, self-discovery, and use what I learn to live my best life!

I would love to hear what you think! Have you ever thought about taking a break from social media? Let me know in the comments!

What I Learned After A 7-Day Social Media Detox
July’s Summer Pineapple FREE Desktop Download

Happy July, friends! 

I hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start! If you haven’t noticed, we’ve had quite the thing for pineapples around here! On my Instagram, I’ve lovingly called them the pumpkins of the summer and I think it’s true! So, it seemed fitting to give you a big dose of sunshine for your screens in the form of these yellow beauties this month.

I hope you enjoy these free, hand-drawn designs. For more pineapple goodness you might also enjoy our new Welcome Print & this pillow!

Download Your Free Wallpaper:

  • Select the files you would like to download below.
  • Enter your first name and email address.
  • Press “Download” and wait a few seconds for the file(s) to appear.

Upon clicking these links, you will be prompted to download a file to your computer or smart phone. Save the file to your desktop or downloads folder. Once saved, go to your System Preferences> Desktop/Screensaver and choose this image as your new wallpaper!

It’s that easy! Enjoy!

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #94

Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this month’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #93, we’re documenting snapshots of our month. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:


Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #94 with fresh florals, Bless This Home print and selfies with mom1. “Inspiration found in unexpected places! Loving this wallpaper in the bathroom of Little Octopus restaurant in Nashville!” – Valerie

2. “The original drawing + the framed print (found at Hobby Lobby!) I thought it was time to erase this board, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Maybe another day!” – Valerie

3“A selfie with my Mom on her birthday!” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #94 with Three Rivers Arts Festival, macarons by the dozen and Just Ducky tours

4“I look forward to Arts Fest in Pittsburgh every year! It felt like the start of summer!” – Valerie

5. “My weakness: Gaby et Jules macarons! They’re almost too pretty to eat…almost.” – Valerie

6. “For Father’s Day, my family and I acted like tourists and took a Duck Tour in Pittsburgh! This is a photo of my Dad driving the boat!” – Valerie

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #94 with freckle season, mushrooms in nature and preschool graduations

7. “It’s freckle season!” – Valerie

8. “Went for a hike in the woods and it was pretty magical!” – Valerie

9. “When you graduate from preschool, it’s a pretty big deal!” – Nicole

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #94 with boy mom matching outfits, fluffy skies and happy bouquets

10. “Boy Mom’s can have matching outfits too. #Tacocat” – Nicole

11. “This sky was too pretty to not take a photo!” – Nicole

12. “Surprise flower bouquets from sweet friends make Tuesdays so much better.” – Nicole


4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

I am absolutely in love with throw pillows…just ask my husband. I think that’s a pretty standard obsession for those of us of the female variety. Since we started designing throw pillows over here at Lily & Val, we decided it was a good idea to share some throw pillow decorating tips here on the blog…

4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

The best thing about having fun throw pillows is that they can easily be changed out for the seasons, and often change the look and feel of a room or space. I especially love changing out pillows in the bedroom.

Here are 4 tips for decorating with throw pillows in your bedroom…

4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

No. 1: Go Neutral

Having neutral linens and pillow shams makes life so easy. This allows you to keep a solid base of neutral tone textures that you love and can add fun colors and patterns to.

I love these America the Beautiful pillows because they have just a hint of color. The bold hand-lettered design looks great on a neutral backdrop and has a really chic look to it.

4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

The summer floral pillows are absolutely beautiful additions for many styles. I love that they add a single pop of color and a modern floral pattern.

4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

No. 2: Create Your Base

A good stack of bedding throw pillows usually starts with two regular size pillow shams (or European size shams if you have a larger bed). Add to that another set of the same size pillows in another coordinating sham. Avoid matching your shams to the exact color of your duvet for a more intentional designer look.

4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom 4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

No. 3: Add Stacked Accent Pillows

After you have a solid base you can skip directly to a single accent pillow centered on the bed as shown below.

4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

To go for a more luxurious design, add another shape or smaller pillow with a great texture. You can also create a third level with two matching accent pillows. Then, stack a single accent pillow in front of that third pillow level.

4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom 4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

No. 4: Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and textures

Once you have a base of pillows, you can experiment with stacking different kinds of accents pillows. For example, try stacking a colorful circular pillow in a beautiful texture in front of the second set of shams with a bold accent pillow stacked in front of that. Having one, bold accent pillow makes a striking display when it is grouped with various textures. The textures create interest in the bedding design and provide a beautiful backdrop for your accent pillow to really shine.

4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom 4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom 4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom 4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom 4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

We hope these tips were helpful! Having a beautifully made bed is just one of life’s little pleasures that seems to brighten our entire day!

4 Tips for Decorating With Throw Pillows In Your Bedroom

P.S. Our summer prints and canvases coordinate beautifully with new summer pillows! Find them both in the Lily & Val Shop.

Happy Decorating!

Learn How to Create Beautiful Modern Flower Embroidery

Friends, today I’m so excited to tell you about my friend Kristen Gula and her brand new book, 200 Embroidered Flowers! You may remember my collaboration with Kristen last year when she turned a Lily & Val design into a beautiful stitched masterpiece.

I don’t know about you, but I am in love with the look of modern embroidery. My Grandmother embroidered (cross-stitched) and showed me how when I was young. Although I never kept up with it, it’s given me such an appreciation for the art! Combine that with my love of flowers and this book speaks to my heart!

Learn How to Create Beautiful Modern Flower Embroidery

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book and it’s as beautiful as it is informational. Kristen breaks down the steps in such an easy-to-understand manner. You feel like a friend is sitting next to you teaching you and giving conversational tips along the way.

All 200 flowers come with a pattern and all the information you need to re-create it. Kristen also shows in detail how to create each stitch type, transfer patterns, choose tools -everything you need to know.

Learn How to Create Beautiful Modern Flower Embroidery

Here are just a few of the possibilities for using this newfound skill. I seriously want to learn just to be able to embroider my shirt collars! Ahh! How cute is that?!

These projects and many more are also included in the book! I love how she takes your new skill and makes it really practical.

Learn How to Create Beautiful Modern Flower Embroidery Learn How to Create Beautiful Modern Flower Embroidery

So in the spirit of creativity, curiosity and trying new things, I hope you give this book a whirl! I can’t wait to stitch my first piece!

Congrats, Kristen! Your talent inspires me and so many!

Learn How to Create Beautiful Modern Flower Embroidery
National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

Hi Friends! It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks after returning from the 2018 National Stationery Show, and I am now finally able to sit down and share a re-cap of this year’s show! It was a big week in the Big Apple for our little company. This year’s NSS crew included me, Mak and my brother, Neal, who jumped in to help us during the show.

Here are some of my favorite highlights…

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

The Booth:

If you followed along with our Instagram stories, you may have seen that our booth underwent huge changes this year! We decided to paint the walls a golden, mustard yellow color and our table a blush pink. The backdrop was drawn to look like elegant wainscoting. We even had a drawn mantel (you know how much we love mantels!)

I think the backdrop was my favorite part!

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award | Hand-drawn booth backdrop Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

The Wedding Collection:

We purposely went a bit more elegant with the booth this year because we were unveiling our brand new WEDDING collection! Eeek!

I have wanted to develop a full wedding line for quite some time and I’m bursting to share it all with you. The products won’t be released to our retail customers for a few months yet, but I can’t help but share a few peeks. We are especially proud of our new Wedding Guestbook, which is unlike any other guestbook and has been two years in the making! More on that in a second…

The other new items include cards, artwork, bridal shower invitations, table numbers, photo caption signs and a Wedding Gift Tracker (based on our very popular Holiday Gift Tracker!)

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

The Awards:

OK, this part is pretty surreal to type. We are ecstatic to tell you that Lily & Val won another Best Product Award this year! (We’re still pinching ourselves over last year’s Chalk Lettering Tool Kit award!)

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

The Wedding Guestbook Award

This year, our Wedding Guestbook won Best New Product in the Wedding category!! As I mentioned before, this heartfelt item is a completely different take on the traditional wedding guestbook. Instead of just a boring list of names, it holds pages of prompts for guests to fill out ranging from silly to fun and sentimental. It’s an interactive book for guests, but the couple will love reading answers to questions like “how should we get through our first married fight?” and “Suggest weekend getaway locations.”

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

Something else that makes it different is its design. Goodbye, cheesy guestbook! This one was inspired by a vintage book with beautiful gold-detailed binding. You will definitely want to leave this book on your shelf instead of in a box in your garage (like my own! How I wish I had this guestbook!)

There are other surprises throughout the pages and thoughtful details, which are important to us (like a bookmark!) We cannot wait for you to see it.

P.S. Be sure to sign up for L&V emails to be notified when the Guestbook launches!

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

We were just a little excited when we won the award!

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

The Louie Awards:

I was incredibly blown away to receive a second award at the show! This time, a Louie Award for one of the holiday photo cards I designed for my friends at Mixbook! Winning a Louie in the greeting card industry is like winning a Grammy. Ahh what a night!

The awards were so much fun and we were all jumping up and down when our card was called! Below is a photo of me with the ladies from my Licensing Agency, Jewel Branding and Licensing and Allison from Mixbook! 

Valerie McKeehan winning a Louie Award

More Fun Things:

Testing out our new Wedding Photo Caption Signs! I have to say, they are A LOT of fun!

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

Squeezed in a night to see a Broadway Show! Phantom of the Opera is my favorite and I had the music stuck in my head for weeks after (not complaining!)

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

Loved displaying our Wonder Woman note card next to Stationery Trends Magazine, which features the card on the cover!

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

Our takeaway was one of our new loose recipe cards (they will be part of the wedding collection) filled out with my Mom’s corn casserole recipe! We believe handwritten recipes are just the best!

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award

All in all, it was an amazing trip. I am so grateful for the chance to meet new retailers, say hi to current retailers, see IG friends turned real-life friends, lots of putting-faces-with-names. Thank you to everyone that came by our booth and to everyone who supported us via your encouragement on social media! I’m grateful for this mile-marker in the Lily & Val story.

Lily & Val National Stationery Show 2018 Re-Cap + The Best New Product Award
Free Art Print In Honor of the New Mister Rogers Documentary

Last week, the new documentary about Mister Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” came out in theaters and I created this little drawing in honor of it!

If you guys remember from this previous download, the legacy of Mister Rogers is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. He was the ultimate encourager. He didn’t need flashiness or sensationalism- just a heaping dose of kindness and sincerity. The words of Mister Rogers are ones we all desperately need today- that I need to hear.

You are loved
You are accepted
You are enough
You are so special…
Not because of anything you’ve done, it’s just by being you.

Free Art Print In Honor of the New Mister Rogers Documentary

A Gift From Me To You

After I posted this drawing on Instagram, so many of you asked about purchasing it (you’re all too sweet). And it gave me an idea instead…

In honor of the legacy of Fred Rogers, I want to gift this print to you! Yep, for FREE (just pay for shipping; one per customer, please).

I hope that it spreads a little kindness, brightens your day, and reminds you that you are loved just the way you are!

Free Art Print In Honor of the New Mister Rogers Documentary

Be sure to see the movie in theaters now. Mak and I went to see it the moment we could and you definitely won’t be disappointed!

Grab your Print in the Lily & Val Shop for a limited time here.

I can’t wait to see how you display it! Be sure to tag us on Instagram @lilyandval  #lilyandval 

Kitchen Diary Stories – Courtney’s Chicken Facile

Friends, we absolutely love hearing your special memories, moments, and the stories behind the dishes you hold dear and how you are commemorating them in your Keepsake Kitchen Diaries.

Today I’m so excited to introduce you to Courtney, who is sharing one of her beloved family recipes for Chicken Facile and how she included it in her whimsical lemon diary. Her blog is A Life From Scratch and I highly recommend checking it out for more delicious recipes. Her blog slogan “a life you adore around a table you love” just speaks right to my heart!

Whimsical Lemon Keepsake Kitchen Diary

From Courtney:

I was so incredibly excited when I first saw the Kitchen Diary last year. I knew it was right up my alley and I immediately added it to my Christmas list along with a few other items. But I made sure to note that the Kitchen Diary was a MUST. Top gift, for sure. I was so happy to receive it and to have a couple lazier days post Christmas to get a few entries complete. I’ll admit it, I was so nervous to begin! The book was so perfect and I am not exactly the most artistic of people. Yet then I remembered that the content is what matters most. The special recipes and the memories made around them. So I dug in, with my five year old at my side asking to help, of course.

One of our most treasured family recipes is called Chicken Facile which is just a fancy French way of saying Chicken Easy. This recipe is amazing for entertaining! It’s a one dish, throw everything in together, and toss around with your hands. Very rustic, very low key, but still holds a sense of elegance to it all. You can serve it straight from the oven to the dinner table, keeping everything together in the large roasting tray. A butter chardonnay goes great with this one, as does a lot of hungry stomachs. And the bread and garlic combination in this recipe is literally pure magic, trust me on this one.

A great memory this recipe holds is my oldest son Logan helping me make it when he was just six years old as my hands were full of my youngest son, Beckett. He had so much fun just throwing everything together in the tray, and then shaking it around with the olive oil and red pepper flakes. Tearing up the fresh basil on top was also a highlight. He had no issues making this recipe on his own with a little guidance from me, and I got a work out getting the tray in and out of the oven while holding the (big) baby that never ever let me put him down.

We’ve had this meal many times since then, and yet I always remember my little helper and my baby in my arms. As the boys grow (they are now five and eleven) and still enjoy this meal and other recipes like it, I’m constantly reminded of how precious those memories made in the kitchen together are. I know it’s what will be making me smile well into my years ahead and I love that I have the Keepsake Kitchen Diary to capture them all.

Kitchen Diary Stories - Courtney's Chicken Facile in the Keepsake Kitchen Diary

Without further ado, our family’s favorite…

Recipe from A Life From Scratch


1 ciabatta loaf
2 big handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1 big handful of the best olives you can afford
1 big garlic bulb
fresh basil
one whole cut up fryer chicken
good olive oil
salt & pepper
red chili flakes
8 slices of pancetta


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large roasting pan, rip up a ciabatta loaf and throw it in. Along with it goes two big handfuls of cherry tomatoes, one big handful of the best olives you can afford and one big garlic bulb broken into cloves, skin still on.
Tear up some fresh basil and sprinkle throughout.
Pat one whole cut up fryer chicken pieces as dry as possible and lay them on top of the roasted pan.
Over everything, pour a generous amount of good olive oil, salt & pepper, and a sprinkle of red chili flakes. Toss with your hands and then reposition chicken on top.
Roast for 30 minutes. Remove and reposition chicken and roast another 30. Take out and place 8 slices of pancetta on top of the chicken skin and roast 15 minutes more.
At this point your chicken will be cooked through. I switched the broiler on at the end to crisp up the pancetta and chicken skin a bit. Feel free to do this, or even brown this chicken skin before putting in the oven. If you go this route, I’d cut back the cooking time a bit.
Before serving, add a few fresh basil leaves for color.

A family cookbook and memory keeper. The Keepsake Kitchen Diary is unlike any other recipe book!

Enjoy! Thank you so much for sharing, Courtney!

Find the Keepsake Kitchen Diary here and begin your family cookbook!