Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bourbon Street Chicken


Good morning! This post is being written from my iPhone, because we have been experiencing technical difficulties as of late with our Internet. Hence, hardly any posts from me this week! I am up to my ears in frustration with anything computer related these past few days- I decided to finally back up all my pictures since 2007 because my laptop is on its last legs and every picture I’ve ever taken is on that computer.

35,000 pictures later…. I’m ready to pull my hair out! 35,000!? That’s roughly 5,000 pics a year?! In my defense, I went to college, Europe, got married, started a blog, went to Israel, other vacations/weddings, and had a baby in those years… But still. That would account for MAYBE 1/8 of those pics.

The shame… So I’ve spent hours mass-deleting ridiculous pictures that my ‘teen self’ thought necessary to take.

I’ve vowed never to take another stupid picture. Only super cute ones like this.


In the midst of all this, our Internet went down! Ayiyi.

In an effort to maintain positivity, my little sis is here for the weekend and we have decided to not watch tv all weekend and busy ourselves by being outside and cooking delicious food.


I saw this recipe on Pinterest and one look at the picture already had me drooling and fumbling for the ingredients- it’s called Bourbon Street Chicken, but there’s no bourbon in the recipe. It’s an easy peasy crockpot dinner, probably our new favorite!


I served this tangy chicken over some white rice with grilled zucchini on the side- and drizzled the leftover juice on the zucch’s as well. Click here for the recipe!


This… Was a winner.

I only took two pictures of this… You know why 🙂


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Filed under Food Stuffs., Fridays

Cleaning House

Starting the summer off with the wedding of my cousin (who is has also been one of my best friends since I moved to California) is probably going to be really hard to beat! The wedding itself was beautiful- Ashley has a way of making her visions come to life, and this was no exception. It looked like a fairy tale!!! I’m waiting for pictures to be posted because I, dork that I am, barely took any photos at all. We’ll have to rely on M for those.
As M mentioned, last weekend was also baby sisters graduation from high school. Not sure how I feel about that yet….
…happy that she’s done with high school?
…excited that she gets to start college?
….I feel really old? (Maybe)
….feel like she should still be collecting rocks and playing tea party with Kool-Aid and Cheerios?
that’s it.

Ah well. We all have to grow up eventually. 😉 I’m sure Linds feels like we wish she’d be 4 forever! Hehe…;)

I started off my summer after wedding and graduation by tackling my toilet. Sorry for the face plant into my reality, but there ya go. My home suffered during this past semester so it is now time for spring cleaning! And it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. For years I have tried to use a pumice stone- never again. Drywall sanding screens are the only thing that even made a dent and my toilet bowl looks brand new. I’d post a picture, but I forgot to do a ‘before’ shot and I feel like that might be too much info for one post. You’re welcome. 🙂
P.s. here’s two pics of two cuties just cuz it’s Thursday.



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Filed under Books, Coffee, Pets, Wedding

Virtual Coffee Date

If we were having coffee today, I’d be so happy. Because it’s been a while.

K and I have had a crazy week and are both SO happy to be able to just sit. And have a cuppa joe with ya’ll.


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you all about the bridal shower that my friend Stace threw for the now happily married bride last Thursday- it was so fun! It was one of the best showers I’ve been too- mainly because we were allowed to wear comfy clothes!! There’s nothing better than sweet tea pedicures and blind wine-tasting with close friends, all while wearing stretchy pants. K and I got to make all the appetizers for this party- and we ended up making bacon-wrapped, goat cheese stuffed figs (thats a mouthful) and bruschetta, a cheese assortment, and a couple pounds of dark chocolate. Oh yes, chocolate is an appetizer in our book.


I’d also tell you that I had to work again on Friday- Joey’s mom got to watch Gabby all day and also kept me going by sending me videos/ pics of her throughout the day! I’m beyond happy that our moms are able to watch Gabby on the occasions I work- it makes it much easier to relax and focus on my job for the hours I’m required to 🙂

Right after work, I high-tailed it home, grabbed my hubby and daughter, and we were on our way to my little sister’s graduation from high school. Wait, what?? She’s out of HIGH SCHOOL!?

Oh, and my daughter is 3 MONTHS OLD. Okay, I’m going to go ahead and call a time-out- this is all going way too fast! It feels like everything is honestly in ‘fast forward’ and I can hardly keep up sometimes- maybe I’ll just camp out at home from now on and just stare at Gabby to make sure I don’t miss anything… good idea, right? Ha!

Let me tell you something before your coffee gets cold- Gabby is wonderful. Of course, the first couple weeks with a newborn always has its emotional moments and challenges, but I cannot believe how wonderful she is. She just smiles, coos, loves to swing upside-down, cuddles, and hates dirty diapers. And when I say she hates dirty diapers, I mean it- even if it’s barely wet, she’ll let you know she wants a clean one to poop in. Understandable, in my opinion.

In all honesty, I look forward to each day now more than I ever have because I get to experience it with Gabby- and I think it’s only going to get more fun!


My friend Nicole got to babysit Gabby on Saturday night when Joe and I attended our friends’ **AMAZING** wedding- it was the first time we left her with a non-relative, and it couldn’t have gone better! Nicole is a registered nurse and my running buddy- also expecting her own bundle of joy in September- not bad credentials for a babysitter! I won’t lie though, we definitely pushed the speed limit going to pick her up.


I’d also have to tell you all about the wedding- Ash and Tim are one of the best couples I know. And I know a LOT of ‘best’ couples! Maybe I’m just lucky to know so many good people. They had smiles on their faces that just radiated love for each other and the reception was gorgeous too! They had a COFFEE bar, folks. Aaand a cigar bar. (Not my thing, but still awesome) aaaand a candy bar! Be still my heart. And the food had me rendered speechless; you know how rare that is at weddings!






Do you need to heat up your coffee? I’m trying to convince myself that I realllly shouldn’t have a third cup. Maybe decaf? Okay.


My family was here from out of town, and it was their first time getting to hold my little Gabmuffin- we spent every spare minute with the fam this weekend! Sunday we also had Linds’ graduation party. Oh dear, I still can’t believe she’s done with high school. Not sure how I feel about that… mostly excited for her though! Still hoping for a time-slower-downer machine to be invented.


Well, there is SO much more I could tell you, but our plumber is just about finished fixing the floodgates that was our bathroom this weekend. Oh yes, sounds fun doesn’t it? 🙂 On the plus side, I couldn’t do laundry all weekend because the washing machines caused flooding- sounds like a silver lining to me!

Oh oh oh! One more thing– I’m so excited to say that my sister in law and I will be running the Wharf to Wharf in Santa Cruz in July! That’s 6 miles of fun, while surrounded by music and fans- Debs will be a few months pregnant, and I’ll be hopefully getting over my feet issues! I am already counting down the days that we get to do this together! Debating whether or not I should run with my stroller- I think it’s only fair since Debs will be running pregnant, I should probably run with my baby too! We’ll see.


Well, that’s all for today guys- hope we can have coffee together sometime soon. And after a week of radio silence on this blog, it is GOOD to be back!


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Filed under Uncategorized

School is OUT!

It’s FINALLY OVER! Finals have all been taken, papers turned in, books returned, and barely 24 hours have passed!
I celebrated this wonderful end of the semester by driving up to Ripon so I can babysit my beautiful niece, and it turned into a lovely afternoon! I got to visit with my friend Jess who just returned from a six week mission trip to Africa!! It was so wonderful to hear how God used her there, and some of the stories she had made me want to go! Maybe in the next few years 🙂
After catching up with Jess, I literally dragged M shopping. She whined almost the whole way until we got into the dressing room and she remembered that she does, in fact, enjoy it. 😉
THEN my momma and I had a mother/daughter date night! M already had plans for the night, so she thanked me ever so much for making her go shopping and headed home.

Mom and I grabbed some Chinese food from New China (hands down best chicken chow mein, deep fried green beans and BBQ pork ever), some redbox movies (Pitch Perfect was awesome!!!) and some candy before settling down to relax. It was delightful.
And now, as I lay down, I find myself at a loss…before I fall asleep I am so used to blocking out my schedule for homework and work and school and housecleaning that I can’t get out of the habit!
I think I might sketch a bit….maybe read something good…..come up with some ideas on dating my hubby…..or just do nothing for one hot minute.
So happy to be back.


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Filed under Family, School, Vacation

PB & Toasted Coconut Energy Balls

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to my brother, who had come to spend Mother’s Day here in CA with the family- we totally wish it was a longer visit but we’ll take what we can get! It was his first time meeting Gabs, and she is already in love with her Uncle ‘Merck’ 🙂



My brother just got his helicopter pilot’s license a few days ago- so proud of him! He has a few more licenses that he wants to obtain yet, but pretty soon he’ll be flying me all over Hawaii for free, I’m sure. I mean, why else does he need a helicopter license?? Juuust kidding. Won’t say no though, bro.

Anyways, up early again this morning with a hefty to-do list for the day! I was going to start out with a run, but I peeked outside and saw that it was sprinkling- and decided to put off my run until later and bump a couple other items on the list to priority. Enter: no bake energy balls.


I’ve heard a lot of people talking about different recipes they’ve used for these nutrient-packed little snackies, and had never gotten around to making any until now. And man, have I been missing out! These are like little balls of cookie dough, dude- SO stinkin’ good! But healthified. A perfect little pre-run bite or afternoon pick-me-up. Or even dessert! Or crumbled on top of oatmeal. Or… I don’t know, probably good any way you choose to eat em.


You can pretty much throw in whatever you want to make these- these are so versatile! I decided to make mine with the following ingredients:

1 cup dry old fashioned oats

2/3 cup toasted {unsweetened} coconut flakes

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 bar of Dove’s dark chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

{Mix all these things together, let chill in fridge for 1/2 hour, then roll into balls and viola! Better than cookies.}


Now that I’m recalling what I put in them, I’m planning out my next energy-ball attack. Craisins, white chocolate chips, almond butter, pepitas.. ooooo I’m getting so excited.

Any other good combos out there that you’ve tried??


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Filed under Cookies/Bars, Family, fitness, Food Stuffs.

On dating your husband

Gabs and I are total early birds. My favorite is when we have already finished our morning chores and exercise before 8- leaves the whole rest of the day for more fun things and playtime! And minor league gardening.


If you remember from last year’s attempt at gardening, I bit off a little more than I could chew (no pun intended). This year I swore I wouldn’t garden anymore, and ripped out all of last year’s plants. However, I checked a couple weeks ago and I must not have pulled all the roots out because a couple stubborn plants grew back- I decided to let them live because if they survived even when I TRIED to kill them, they deserve another chance, and apparently they don’t need much attention. So what we have back there now is some zucchini, strawberries, and some herbs & potatoes that my friend gave me.


I spray-painted some cheap pots with my leftover chalkboard paint and planted some basil, flat-leaf parsley, and cilantro last week so that I could have fresh herbs all summer- things taste magical and a million times better with fresh herbs. In my opinion, the three herbs I chose are the essential ones.



Gabs watched from inside and we were able to chat away with the screen open- she has quite the green thumb already. These fresh herbs were major players in the food we made for our date-at-home ‘Spanish style’!


Since having Gabs, we have found some pretty fun ways to stay at home and yet still ‘go on a date’. Joe & I love to try new international foods, and so we decided to try our hand at spanish tapas for dinner. My brother in law spent a semester in Spain last year and told us all about the tapas that they would enjoy regularly- this sounded right up our alley! Plus, he brought back a super cute spanish dress for Gabby- she totally played the part for this date!


We just googled “spanish tapas” and chose the recipes that sounded the best. Here’s what we enjoyed and HIGHLY recommend!

1. Pioneer Woman’s Bruschetta


2. Shrimp & Chorizo Tapas



3. Stuffed Mushrooms



As you can probably see, my chorizo did not hold together, so we dubbed it ‘chorizo paste’ and used it as a spread- it’s all about rolling with the punches, guys. It all tasted SO good, and we enjoyed some wine that a dairy employee brought back for us from his homeland of Chile! It was a lovely and relaxing (and DELICIOUS) dinner date.


I heard from numerous people before we had Gabs that it’s important to continue ‘dating’ your husband all throughout your marriage and especially once kids are in the picture! I’m sure every married person knows that dating does lose a little of it’s magic once you marry your spouse, and that’s why I think its especially important to try and make things extra special as the years go by. Sure, Joey and I know way more about each other now, so some of that mystery is no longer there, but we find that makes our love so much deeper. We know the good & not so good about each other… and keep on lovin’ on each other day after day. It gets more and more important to take the time to date your spouse as time goes by, because life gets busy. Even busier with kids! It’s so easy to get lost in the busyness of life, and when Joey & I take the time to sit, talk, & flirt a little, that ol’ dating thing gets the same excitement it always had.

Plus, it was fun to take a break from the typical weekday meals and spice it up with a little spanish flair!

If you’re married, take the time to schedule a date with your spouse this week! Make it your goal to get those cheeks blushin’ again- it’s crazy what a little flirting can do for your mood in a busy week.


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Filed under Baby, Family, Food Stuffs.

{Mother’s Day} belated– but not forgotten!


Even though this post is a day late {we were too busy celebrating our moms!} I want to take a sec to thank all the moms out there who do what they do. Especially mine.


I’ve only been doing this for a little less than 3 months now, it seems a little unfair that I get the same celebration as my mom who has been doing it for over 25 years! K and I talk all the time about how as time goes by, we realize more and more what our moms did for us. Or, how what they DIDN’T do for us benefitted us in the long run.




K and I have been incredibly blessed to have the mom that we do. Through each season of life so far, she has been an example of strength, wisdom, and selflessness to us- always having patience for us, helping us find our own answers, and giving us the tools to go out into the world knowing what we are about and what we stand for. Now that I’m a mom, a million memories come swirling through my head of things my mom said and did that used to frustrate me, but now I realize how wise she was- and how hard it must have been for her to give us the tools to make our own decisions, and  let us make them. 



I’m thankful for my mother in law as well- the relationship that I have with her is one I am so thankful for. She makes me feel like a daughter of her own- I’m sure that’s a rare thing and I hope that I can be a mom like that to my future daughter-in-laws someday (God willing!)


I know K is blessed by her mother-in-law as well, she has told me many times. It’s a special thing, when you enjoy all your moms!


To all you moms out there, or mom’s to be, or ladies who want to be moms someday~~ thank you for the choice you made in becoming a mom! It is an experience like no other- that requires daily sacrifice, constant intention and attention, patience, and nurturing. I don’t know the half of it yet, but I am learning daily, and each day makes me more thankful for the wonderful mom I have.


Thank you moms, we love you so much.


~M {and K}!



“A Mother is not a person to lean upon, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.”

Proverbs 22:6  “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

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Filed under Family