Hello 2015!

Happy New Year! I can’t believe 2014 is over but I for one am ready for a fresh start. 2014 brought lots of changes, the biggest one being our move across the country. I’m still adjusting and missing Colorado like crazy but I think once summer rolls around my mind will be changed about living in New Jersey.

I successfully (well almost I missed 10 days) completed a 365 Day Photo Project on Instagram. I had so much fun being a part of the community at #my_365. The people there are the friendliest and the challenges were a lot of fun. I didn’t always follow the prompts but I still managed to snap a photo almost every day. I’m doing it again this year, I’m going to *try* to get my Nikon out and use it more regularly…but having my iPhone is so freaking convenient! Doing this project also made putting together my Project Life album for the year so easy! Especially since it had all been packed away in boxes for most of the year and I didn’t get around to putting it together until last month. I’m happy to say I just placed on giant photo order which will get my 2014 album caught up!

This year we are looking forward to lots of fun (we’ve already got a cruise planned and 2 weddings to attend!) plus there will most definitely be lots of exploring up and down the east coast. We’re looking forward to hosting friends + family in our little home on the water. We’re talking about a trip to Iceland(probably more likely in 2016) We want to see Yankee’s game. We want to eat lobster rolls. We want to see a Red Sox game. We can’t wait to stick our toes in the ocean. We want to catch crab off our dock and eat it for dinner. We want to get to NYC for a weekend if not more.

I’m excited about continuing to cook. We don’t have many options for eating out that excite me which has made cooking at home a bigger deal than usual. We’ve found some new cookbooks and I’m looking forward to getting started with some new recipes. (Cooks Illustrated Asian Favorites, Americas Test Kitchen New Family Favorites + The Skinnytaste Cookbook!) I think I’m way late to the game with the new found love of Skinnytaste but I’m so excited to cook from her new book!

Wishing you the best year yet in this new year!


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Pinning Away….

Things I’ve stumbled across this week that I’m loving. Pinterest and I have a love hate relationship, lately it’s a loving one.

it’s like new clothes for your phone, since I’m not getting the iPhone anytime soon I feel like changing up the screen makes it feel new. there are lots of awesome options here!

this living room feels so cozy. I want to create a gallery wall and have a couch filled with gorgeous throw pillows.

the light! the sink! I want these things in a kitchen in my future house.

I love sushi. how can you not love this baby sushi?! we did something like this as a couple five years ago and won a few awards.

hello gorgeous. I adore those latte bowls from anthropologie. might have to find a way to add and add and add to my collection!

yes! I’ve been looking around for a way to display my instagram photos, I’ve got one corner with some hung up but I like this idea for a main wall in the house.

fall is officially here. this could definitely be my go to outfit all season long.

 

have a great weekend!

I Quit…

I quit the whole 30 challenge after six days. I got violently ill and my body couldn’t handle it. I slowly worked my way back into eating food and I’ve definitely paid more attention to what I’m putting in my body. I’d like to think that I’ll try it again someday but for now I’ve gone back to healthy eating my way. Lots of clean food with an occasional treat and coffee although I’m REALLY trying to just enjoy coffee on the weekends. 

 

Tomorrow is May 1! I’m trying to find one specific direction for this little blog to take, all the randomness makes my brain hurt! Until then….

Egg Muffins

In preparation for the start of my Whole 30 journey I spent a lot of time in the kitchen the past two days! One recipe that I’m excited about are my egg muffins. Don’t let the word muffin fool you, they’re simply baked in a muffin pan. They are 100% Whole 30 compliant! The recipe is below, feel free to make it your own as it’s pretty much a blank canvas for breakfast. If you’re starting on your Whole 30 journey tomorrow leave me a message! Do you have a blog or Instagram account you’re using to track your journey? I think support is going to be a huge part of the success. Let’s support one another! Find me on Instagram or here, I’ll probably be over sharing food pictures but that’s what I do 🙂 

Egg Muffins (adapted from Nom Nom Paleo

12 eggs

1/2 onion, minced

5 large mushrooms, sliced thin (I used large white mushrooms, you can use whatever variety you want!) 

1/2 pound asparagus, trim the ends, chop into pieces

1/4 bell pepper, diced 

3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil

salt

pepper 

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Preheat oven to 375˚

Heat your fat in a skillet over medium high heat. Once it is shimmering add in the mushrooms and allow them to cook until they’re light brown. Add in the onions and continue to cook together until the mushrooms are a deep golden brown and the onions are soft and translucent. Add in the peppers and asparagus and cook for another 2-4 minutes until your asparagus is tender. 

In a large bowl, crack all 12 eggs and whisk together. Season with salt and pepper. 

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While you wait for your veggies to cool prep your muffin tin. Liberally oil each cup or line with cupcake liners and grease the inside of those.

Once the vegetables have cooled, stir them into the egg mixture. Evenly distribute the eggs into the muffin tin.

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Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the eggs have set. 

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Notes:

* I used entirely too many vegetables. Or rather, next time I would prep 2 muffin pans and distribute between 18 instead of 12. Mine puffed up like crazy and poured out of the pan slightly as well. Go easy on the fillings or use an extra muffin tin 🙂

* I used coconut oil to grease my muffin tins and while they came out easily it made a HUGE mess. Next time I think I’ll try the foil cupcake liners and grease those instead. 

Keep in fridge and reheat as necessary throughout the week! I’ll be serving mine with a side of fruit and either some avocado or some chicken sausage. 

Half Way There

Happy Wednesday!! We’ve enjoyed some gorgeous days here lately. The taste of spring is making me excited about the possibilities that spring holds. I also know that there is the potential for more crazy snow here in colorado for a few more months. Oh well! At least there’s a lot of sunshine.

This year I’m participating in a photo project on Instagram called #my_365 Each week there is a list of prompts and I try to follow along. If I don’t follow the prompt they suggest I’m still snapping a photo. So far I’ve taken a picture every single day this year! Today marks day 42, the prompt they’ve given is door. You can get as creative as you want which is fun, some prompts open the window to lots of creativity. The gallery of photos from the people who are participating has some truly gorgeous pictures. Go check it out and join in if you’re so inclined! I’m also using the hashtag #mns365 to document my pictures for the year, although I haven’t been great at remembering to do so, I only have 27 pictures under that. Oops! Are you on Instagram?

Another reason I am enjoying this project is that it is helping me find creative ways to snap pictures of the everyday which I can then use in my project life album. My pictures for January are finally on their way so I’ll blog about what I’m doing this year soon!

Here are a few of my photos from this year so far.

 

Prompt: In The Air

Prompt: In The Air

Prompt: Red

Prompt: Red

Prompt: Lines

Prompt: Lines

Prompt: Bubbles

Prompt: Bubbles

Prompt: Daily

Prompt: Daily

Prompt: Name Begins With

Prompt: Name Begins With

Prompt: Enjoy

Prompt: Enjoy

Prompt: From Where I Stand

Prompt: From Where I Stand

Prompt: Cozy

Prompt: Cozy

Trader Joe’s!!

YOU GUYS!!!! Trader Joe’s has finally, finally arrived in Colorado. I know that I was not the only person doing a happy dance about this, especially with the insane crowds and crazy empty shelves in the stores. Seriously though? I’ve lived here for 5 years and patiently waited for them to open. I’ve lugged back bags of freezer goodies from Chicago and California. I’ve stuffed my carryon to the brim with snacks and goodies that can only be found at TJ’s. February 14 could not have come soon enough.

We braved the Denver store Sunday afternoon and while parking seemed out of control we just grabbed a spot on the street and walked into the store. It was slight chaos in the store but the employees were rockstars and on top of making sure things were moving along. We walked through the store and I was able to grab some favorite items and some new things to try as well. Sadly they were out of my most favorite pineapple salsa but I think I can survive without it for a while longer. One of the things I was most intrigued by was the box of frozen quinoa. Similar to their boxes of frozen white or brown rice, packaged in 2 smaller bags inside that are thrown into the microwave. I wanted a bag of dry quinoa but since there wasn’t any and I had a salad idea brewing in my head I snagged this to give it a try. I’ll report back on it later this week with the recipe that went along with it!

For Sunday dinner we picked up a package of Chicken Pesto Sausages (precooked) lots of assorted veggies, a bag of bow tie pasta, pesto and parmesan cheese. Dinner was a success, 2 out of the 3 of us liked the sausage. We all agreed it tasted slightly like beef salami (so strange I know) and I think this is an item I’ll bypass the next time I’m in the store. Too many other delicious things to eat out there. Below you’ll find the recipe for the first of many TJ inspired meals I’m sure! All items were purchased at Trader Joe’s. (I apologize for the quality of the photo. It was late, I was beyond hungry after a miserable brunch and I just snapped it and started eating.)

Enjoy!

Brown Butter Pesto Pasta with Veggies 

ImageIngredients

1 bag pasta (we used bow ties)

1 package Chicken Pesto Sausages (omit if you want this to be a vegetarian meal! substitute with your favorite sausage!)

1 pack of baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1 container of mushroom, onion and asparagus (sliced and ready to go in the refrigerator vegetable section)

1 bag english peas (found in the refrigerator vegetable section)

1 bag of small zucchini, chopped

1 jar Trader Joe’s Pesto

5 tablespoons butter

olive oil

salt

pepper

Italian seasoning

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 lemons (zested and juiced)

Directions

Follow cooking instructions on pasta package.

While pasta water is boiling, heat up a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook package of asparagus, mushrooms and onions until asparagus is tender. Transfer to large bowl. In the skillet add in 1 tablespoon of butter and once it’s melted add in mushrooms and Italian seasoning to taste. Cook mushrooms until golden brown. Transfer to bowl of vegetables. Add in chopped zucchini and additional seasoning to taste, cook for a few minutes until you’ve got some nice color on them. Add in 2 tablespoons of pasta water, cover with a lid and let cook for 3-5 minutes until zucchini are tender. Add in garlic and continue to saute until fragrant. Remove from skillet and add into the bowl of vegetables. Toss cut up sausages into the pan along with the bag of english peas. Cook until the sausages are warmed through and the peas are bright green. Toss together with all the cooked vegetables. Season accordingly with salt and pepper. In the same pan, place remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and cook over medium high heat until the butter turns a golden brown and smells nutty. Add in jar of pesto and cook down for a few minutes, stirring continuously. Add in lemon zest and lemon juice, give the sauce another stir and then add in pasta. Combine together so that pasta is coated by the sauce. Serve pasta topped with the vegetables and sausages. Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

*omit sausage to create a vegetarian meal.

*to make this into a vegan meal, whip up your own batch of pesto and omit butter from the sauce!

Happy New Year

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“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”  ― Brad Paisley

I welcomed in the New Year sick in bed, and I’m still here. Hopefully this won’t be a theme for the year. With that being said, here are some of the things I’d like to fill the 2014 book with!

– Travel More

– Eat Out Less

– Run a 5k

– Get Outside More

– Work On My Photography

– Read More Books

– Participate in a Photography Project (Either #My365 or 52 weeks of photos)

– Drink Less Coffee and More Green Smoothies

What are your plans for the New Year?

What A Year It’s Been

I can’t believe that we’re in the homestretch for the end of 2013. It’s been one whirlwind of a year and I am very much looking forward to what the new year has in store for us. Cheers to many more days of travel, laughter and continued love. Until next year…

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One Year

One year. Holy crap, time sure does fly. I can’t believe that just a year ago we walked down the aisle. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. What better feeling to be surrounded by friends and family that you love dearly.

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What a year it has been. There have been trips (Mexico, San Francisco, Chicago and Russia) baseball games, food adventures, moving into our first home together and so much more. There have been hard times too and I know with utmost certainty that we are both looking forward to what this next year might bring! [a girl can wish for a trip to Paris right?!]

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Good thing I love this guy. Looking forward to many more adventures together.

[all photos taken by the amazingly awesome Zach + Michelle Wear of Revert Photo.]

Summertime Fun

Summer is made for so many awesome activities. Swimming, bbq’ing staying up late and enjoying the extra sunshine and the crisp cool air, hiking, farmers markets, traveling and so much more. 

This summer we had one big trip planned but then there were tons of other things we want to  squeeze in before the leaves start changing. I decided to make a summer bucket list and join in on the fun with The Happy Family Movement. What a fun way to be able to document what we’ve done and to be able to look at our list and figure out what we want to do. It’s not too late to join in the fun, you can start your bucket list now! 

We’ve been busy busy this summer but have been checking items off our list left and right. The big one that I will blog about in more detail soon was taking a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. My mom graciously took my sister, myself and the boy, ahem the husband on this awesomely exciting adventure. Prior to the big leg of our trip we spent a few days in Chicago and managed to check some other items off our list. I’m going to blog more specifically about some of our bucket list items but one that we did manage to check off in Chicago was catching fireflies! I was so excited that we were going to have the chance to do so since we don’t have them in Denver. Luckily some of my favorite little ladies had no problem helping me get this taken care of! Not the best picture but they were captured and we held them in the mason jar for a little bit before letting them go again! 

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The main reason for going to Russia was to see my grandmother since she was turning 90. It was a lot of fun to see her and my cousin and his family. Especially since it meant that we got to introduce the boy, ahem the husband to her since she wasn’t able to travel to Colorado for our wedding last summer. Two quick pictures below before a full rundown of our trip! Happy Sunday, enjoy your week! 

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Above: the boy, ahem the husband and I in front of the Church of Spilled Blood. Such a gorgeous church outside! 

Below: my family 🙂 Image