Monday, June 2, 2014

Where the Buffalo Roam

This summer marks our first being a family of three.  
With the exception of last year, Patrick and I generally like to take off for a bit of a vacation.  We have been saying for some time now that we need to head out to the Black Hills.  Stay in a little cabin, see the sights, relax in the "wilderness."  We've both been there before, Patrick as a boy and I in high school, but there is so much to do and see you probably wouldn't need to repeat any attractions if you didn't want to.

In my head, getting away to the Black Hills with your family is one of the most All-American family vacations that you could have.  I wanted that for my daughter's first trip.

I realize she was just nine months old.
We even had a man stop us and tell us she wasn't going to remember any of it.  But that's okay.  When she is older she can look back at the pictures and know we just wanted to do something special for her.  Maybe one day she'll choose to do the same with her family (assuming she'll grow up, although I don't have any plans to let her).

So, without going into a million details about it, here is our trip in snapshots...

First stop, Badlands

My attempt to get a picture of Callyn with the animals outside of our car at Custer State Park

Mount Rushmore

Bored to death... or to sleep

Checkin out the animals at Bear Country

Baby bear!

No clue where we are but she's waving

Sylvan Lake

Hey mom!

Baby's first casino!

Friday, May 30, 2014

I Haven't Forgotten About You

I realize I have taken a bit of a hiatus from writing... totally unintentional.
It just so happens I've got a lot going on right now and I haven't even thought of sitting down to write a new post.  lo siento.

At some point I'll sit and focus on writing and share with you our first family vacay to the Black Hills.  Nine month old babies looooove the Black Hills ;-)  I am also leaving for a 10 day trip to Ireland next week.

Callyn at Bear Country.
 Much more effective to have the baby outside of the car in order to draw the bears closer so Patrick and I could get a better look.

In the mean time here's my quick "High Five for Friday."

1. Nice weather.  We've been having some.  Although I'd love the rain for our plant's sake, baby and I have been getting out for a nice walk every morning and afternoon.

2. Taco House. Got me some last night. I don't know how I am able to go without it during the winter.

3. I can't tell you the amount of excitement I have for the smores that I'm going to be eating tonight.  They'll be the first of the season and I've bought some special things for them.  We'll have the standard kind of course, but I also bought peanut butter cups and peppermint patties to try out on them. Mmmmm.

4. While I'm on the topic of food this week (embarrassing that 3 of my 5 items are about food), I tried out this silly little Weight Watchers (worth 2 points) dessert that I saw on Pinterest.

These little devils are yummy!  All you need is one regular sized tub of fat free whipped topping.  Thaw and mix with two tablespoons of peanut butter.  Scoop some into cupcake lined muffin tins and put a bit of sugar free chocolate syrup on them.  I would NEVER buy sugar free so I didn't have any on hand.  I used the regular stuff.  Then throw them in the freezer.  I really had high hopes for them but was pretty sure I'd be disappointed.  I wasn't!  They almost taste like a peanut butter ice cream or a peanut butter pie without a crust.  Although mine are more calories than the recipe I do believe the recipe said they're only 35 calories.  They've been perfect after supper when we're craving a little dessert.

5. In love with my fitbit (pedometer).  I've had it for a while and will go in spurts with using it.  I've picked it up again this week and have just been loving it.  Keeps me motivated.  If you're wondering "what the heck is that?" Google it, or ask me.  Obviously I should be a bit more vigilant with using it as most of the things I write about are the things I've been eating :)

Anyway, I'll try to get some new content up, be patient with me!  Happy weekend!

Friday, May 9, 2014

High Five For Friday

We made it through another week!

Happy (early) Mother's Day to all you mommies out there!  I'm excited to be celebrating my very first this weekend.  Have no plans as of yet but I know it'll be a great day.

Now on to my 5 favs from the week...

1. My baby officially became 9 months old on Wednesday.  How is this possible?  Makes me sad and happy all at the same time.  She is so much fun and makes me laugh daily.  We also had Jennifer (she's amazing, check her out) at studio.1328 take her 9 month pictures.  So excited to see how they turned out.  For once baby was happy and pretty cooperative.

2. I'll be getting out today (hopefully) to get my flowers for the summer.  Our house looks so nice when we have lots of color in our front yard.

3. I got out of the house last night to do a lia sophia party (shout out to Jenn, thanks again for hosting).  Had a great time with some fun ladies who love the jewelry.  May is an amazing month to host a party. If you've ever thought about it you should do it now.  The hostess and customer specials this month are wonderful!  Feel free to comment or shoot me a message if you're interested.


4. Taco House.  I've had it twice this week, I think.  Hoping to pick up one more time before the day is through.

5. I think I just need to praise Friday again.  This week has been a pretty busy one and I am so excited to have the weekend here with no plans.

Happy Friday Friends.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In Honor of Cinco de Mayo

I made... pizza?

Makes absolutely no sense, I realize that.  What you don't realize is that I spent the better part of my day telling myself I needed a couple of soft shells from Taco House in order to properly celebrate.  Alas, the part of my brain that tells me not to spend money (we'll call it the Patrick side), won out.  I had to eat something I had on hand.  Even though the amount of money I spent on groceries that day could easily feed all the starving children in Africa I chose to make something with ingredients I've had sitting in my cupboard for months.

A couple of weeks ago I decided I needed to learn how to make my own homemade pizza crust.  In my head it's one of those things that's really tricky to do, like making pie crust or eating only one King Sized Take 5 bar instead of two.  Turns out it's really simple.  At least this recipe is (compliments of Ree Drummond The Pioneer Woman).  The bonus is that (minus the yeast) I always have the ingredients on hand.  It's pretty much fool proof and comes out nice and crispy.

You do not need to pre-bake your crust and you can put on whatever toppings your heart desires.  I should mention though, the first time I made it I put on pepperoni, onion, green pepper and mushroom. The combination of those three veggies with the pizza sauce made for a runny/watery pizza.  The crust still held up and didn't get soggy but it was way more liquid than I'd like.

This time I went for something less traditional.  Rather than using a marinara sauce I chose to use jarred pesto (love this stuff).  And because baby was sleeping I had some time on my hands and sauteed/caramelized some onions.  Holy cow were they perfect.  To try and get a little more "healthy" in there I also topped it with fresh spinach.  I would have loved to do a few different kinds of cheese but I settled for some left over fresh mozzarella and bagged mozzarella.

One hour into the two hours it took to caramelize... kidding.  But it does take some time.  Low and slow my friends, low and slow.

Isn't she purrty?

Jarred pesto, caramelized onions and garlic.  I later added fresh spinach and mozz.

All of this build up and guess what? I'm not going to show you the end result... I burned the GD pizza.  It was looking so great, right on track to being perfect, just needed a few minutes longer.  That's when I heard a rumble coming from my child's general direction followed by a putrid smell.  In the time that it took me to change her pants and fumigate the living room I had taken the pizza too far.  You'll have to settle for this one, lonely picture of the end result.  This was one of the least burned pieces.  What I will say, is that it was still soooo good.  I can't imagine how good it would have been having not torched it.

Check out the recipe, add it to your collection.  Try it and tell me what you think (unless it's negative then I don't care what you have to say).  You'll be happy you did.  Happy belated Cinco de Mayo!

Pizza Dough
Makes enough dough for 1 pizza

1 scant teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Combine the yeast and warm water in a small bowl.  Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

2. Add the flour to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

3. Sprinkle in the salt.

4. Turn the mixer on low, then slowly pour in the olive oil.

5. Finally, pour in the yeast/water mixture.

6. Stop mixing when everything comes together.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to rise 1 hour before using.  The dough can be stored in the fridge for several days before using.

When you're ready to bake, roll your dough (or spread with your fingers like I do) on a lightly oiled baking pan.  Add toppings and cook for 12-15 minutes at 500 degrees.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy May

It's practically May!  Can you believe it?
Happy early May Day.

Because it's nearly May, I've got some brand new jewels to show you.  How cute are they?  I love layering dainty little necklaces.  Especially dainty, sparkly, little necklaces.  Need your own?  Let me know, I'd love to help you get them!

Friday, April 25, 2014

High 5 For Friday

It's Friday!!! Yippee!!!  How has your week been?  You're looking a little frazzled.  That's okay.  The weekend is here.

Here are 5 favs from my week...

1. Horay for free jewelry!  I got these beauties today for basically being awesome ;-)

If you love these wrap bracelets as much as I do ask me about them!

2. Finally got my hurrrrss cut... I was in desperate need of a trim.  Thanks Kourt!

3. Beautiful weather has allowed for walks outside with my babay.

4. New white sneaks! I love shoes, especially when they're new ;-) I bought these cuties for my trip to Ireland in June.  They're seriously perfect with anything... even skirts or a dress.  Try it.

Converse. Jack Purcell. Nordstrom

5. Pretty much just need to give a shout out to Friday itself.  This has been one of those weeks where I wasn't so sure I'd make it through.  Nothing in particular happened, just felt particularly long.  Is it bad that most of my favs happened on Friday?  Hope not... Fridays are magical!

Happy Friday friends!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

White Shirt Wednesday

Feeling blue...

To my excitement I received a shipment of jewelry that I totally forgot that I was going to be receiving. I earned some new pieces in March, saw that they had been shipped, and then totally forgot about them until I opened the box on Monday.  New, exclusive May pieces.

Lots of pretty blues inside, perfect for Spring.  I love these three bangles and especially love the way they can be dressed up or dressed down.

I went for the scarf/necklace combo again (rather than having the necklace underneath the scarf I put this one between the scarf layers).  White shirt, light jeans, airy scarf and soft blues say Spring.

On a side note...I hate taking these pictures.  Why do I do this to myself?

This is pretty much how I feel when taking them...

I took 500 out of 501 pictures with that ginormous bra in the background... didn't even notice it...
Oh, I also forgot to throw on an earring, but these are pretty...

I now realize you can't really see what the earrings look like.  Gah... They're crystals.

Happy Hump Day!