Life Lately…In Pictures

March roared in like a lion, how did that happen?! So much happened in February, here’s a sneak at what I was up to. You can find more on Instagram {michellenaomi81} here’s hoping spring is on it’s way because these teasers that we’ve had are killing me!

Have a good week 🙂

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[ windy but sunny weather for much of February, definitely warranted a picnic or two || coffee date with the boy, ahem the husband. he came home for a few days!! || someone had a birthday and we had a blast celebrating. love that sister in law of mine || bathroom selfies are a must when you’re all dolled up || he’s home!!! || reunited and so happy || gorgeous denver day calls for a trip to the zoo || signs of spring ||

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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!

Project Life–April Edition!

I’m on a roll (yay!) Pictured ordered for June & July, the month of April is finished and May is 1/4 of the way done. I’m having so much fun mixing and matching pieces that I have and creating layouts. Below is my April Cover Page, I used cards from a few different kits and some embellishments that I had at home. It was a crazy month here in Denver. We were packing up and getting ready to move, our friends moved back from Texas, we had a blizzard, it was 70˚and we got to sit on a patio and enjoy beer & pretzels at Lowry Beer Garden. We also went to a rugby game, blue man group and I threw a baby shower!  I purchased a bunch of embellishments from Archiver’s and some ladies in a Project Life Facebook group that I am in. I’m looking forward to trying out my new goodies! I can’t wait to get my pictures so that I can keep working. At this rate it seems almost possible that I could be caught up by the end of the month (gasp!) Then it will be on to creating pages for our travels this summer.

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Items Used {I’m not affiliated with Amazon or any of these products in any way, I just like to be able to see the items that I read about when I read blogs…}

Thickers (purchased at Michael’s on clearance!)

Seafoam Kit

Midnight Kit 

Blush Kit 

Washi Tape {I buy this ALL over! Etsy is my favorite spot!}

Wood Veneers 

Dinner and other stuff

It’s no secret that I love food. Eating it and cooking it makes me happy. I love going out to eat but our wallets, well they don’t love that so much! So we’ve been making a really big effort to eat at home. I can happily say that in the past 11 days we’ve only eaten out twice for dinner. Once by choice {new years day dinner demanded a delicious burger from The Cherry Cricket. Aside from being tasty it was a great hangover cure. Not that I would know that. Ahem.} The other dinner out wasn’t by choice. It was when my Le Cruset pot decided to implode and destroy both the pot and my dinner. And yes, there were tears involved as well as many, many swear words. {I have no idea what happened with the pot, it’s currently back at headquarters being looked at but I do know for sure that it wasn’t something I did!!} To top all of that off we don’t have a working oven. It’s winter. I want my oven! I want to roast, braise and bake things! Thankfully it will be fixed on Tuesday but we’ve had to be creative with our meals! Lots of stove top and crock pot meals here.

Our eating habits at home are typically very healthy. I love fruits and vegetables and happily incorporate them into our meals. The boy, ahem the husband, is back on his low carb kick so no pasta, bread, potatoes, etc. I’ve been on a total citrus kick and can not stop eating grapefruits. Two nights ago I whipped up this salad and then last night I kicked it up a notch and I think I’ve found my new go to meal. It was so light and refreshing and totally healthy. It could be adapted in so many ways! I may have gone overboard on our date night in last night with the filet and this salad but I know that the boy, ahem the husband, certainly loved it so I suppose that’s what matters right?

What have you been eating this year? I can’t stop eating grapefruit, carrots, cheese and crackers. I’ve passed the candy aisle at the grocery store a bazillion times but nothing sounds good {which is so strange to me because I have the biggest sweet tooth!}

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IMG_0669*photo 1: the first salad I made, no shrimp, quick vinaigrette with champagne vinegar, meyer lemon olive oil and Dijon mustard. photo 2: date night dinner, same salad kicked up a notch, see recipe below. sauteed mushrooms, filet crusted with special spice rub and mashed cauliflower*

 

 

The Best Salad Ever

Bibb Lettuce (or whatever you have on hand or enjoy)

2 grapefruits, segmented with the juice squeezed

1 avocado sliced and tossed with grapefruit segments and juice

10-12 shrimp

salt

pepper

cayenne pepper

garlic powder

butter

sliced almonds (these are our favorite ones)

olive oil

optional: Blue Cheese

 

-Wash and dry your lettuce, set aside

-I used salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder to season my shrimp but any seasoning will do. I probably used a 1/4 teaspoon of each but I just dumped everything into a small bowl, eyeballing measurements.

-peel and de-vein your shrimp (I bought frozen, raw shrimp that had all that done from Costco!) Make sure they are DRY. Season your shrimp with your spice mixture.

-In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and when it’s nice and hot place the shrimp in your pan. Remember you don’t want to over cook your shrimp! Once they turn pink and are no longer translucent they are done. I cooked mine for about 2 minutes per side.

Time to assemble your salad!

Place your lettuce on a plate. Top with the grapefruit/avocado mixture. Drizzle some of the grapefruit juice on top. Sprinkle on sliced almonds. Top with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange shrimp on top of your salad and then drizzle a good olive oil on top. If you like blue cheese that would make a nice addition (so I’ve heard!)

Enjoy!

This makes a great side salad or could be a meal in itself. Would also be delicious with pomegranate seeds if you have some on hand.

Hello Friday!

Happy Friday! An round up of a few things I’m loving this week. It’s supposed to be COLD here this weekend {think high of 20˚!} but I’m looking forward to hitting Costco and spending the rest of the weekend hanging out at home and rooting for the Broncos and hoping for lots and lots of snow. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Have you heard of Becky Higgins and Project Life? I’ve been following her for a few years now but this is the first year I’m jumping in to scrapbook. I’m super excited, I used to LOVE scrap booking and am looking forward to this new way of doing things. I’d been holding out for the Seafoam edition and I got notice from Amazon that it shipped today. Yay! Go check out all her awesome products, she’s rolling out a ton more in May. I think this will be even more fun to do once we start a family but for now I’m looking forward to documenting our every day life and the fun things that we do. Plus it’s a great way to get all our pictures off my computer and printed! If you don’t want something that is quite so time consuming Shutterfly offers a few Project Life options as well! I made one for last year and I love it.

Have you heard of War Horse? It is playing here in Denver and we were lucky enough to score some free tickets courtesy of Yelp {yay for being an elite member!} for opening night. I truly wasn’t sure what I was going to think but I walked away from the show quite impressed. I won’t give anything away but the puppetry is incredible. If you have the opportunity to go see it, go!

I’ll leave you with this incredible looking treat. How awesome doe it look? I can’t wait until I find a reason to make it! Find the recipe here!

Enjoy your weekend! Hopefully I’ll have a Project Life sneak peek next week.

12-12-12

This date appears to be a big deal to a lot of people! While I will admit it’s kind of cool to see the number repeated it’s not exactly the first time we’ve seen this. I do realize it’s the last one and blah, blah, blah…but what this date did make me thing of is our wedding! I can’t believe it’s been FOUR months since we tied the knot. I love having the photos from our wedding on hand so I can look at them whenever I want. It was such a happy day for so many reasons but aside form the most obvious I think it’s so special to see all (well almost all) the people you love dearly in one room to celebrate you.

When we were beginning to plan our wedding I knew that in the top 3 of most important items for me to find was the perfect photographers. I’d been looking online a lot and I came across the website for Revert Photo. There was a photo of a bride and groom jumping on a trampoline on the cover page and it grabbed my attention. I literally got lost in their website browsing through their photos and I knew I had to meet the photographers behind the beautiful images. I had a meeting with Zach and Michelle and instantly knew that I wouldn’t need to meet with anyone else (seriously, they are that awesome) and that I wanted to sign a contract and book them. I am SO beyond grateful that we were able to have them capture our special day. I’m usually behind the camera, not in front of it and they made me feel at ease. Our engagement session in Breckenridge was so much fun and it made me even more excited to have them behind the scenes on our wedding day.  They didn’t disappoint and I now have hundreds of images to take me back to August 12. I could go through and share every. last. one. but I’ll spare you the hours of browsing through pictures. Below you’ll see a few of my favorites and I fully plan on coming back to showcase more but for now, since it’s been 4 months and all I wanted to share a few.

Thank you Zach and Michelle…for ensuring that anytime I want to relive my our big day I am able to do so and always walk away with a smile on my face. I’d get married again in a heartbeat (to the boy of course) just so I could have another fabulous party and make sure that these two were there to capture every last detail.

*side note. after writing this post I’ve realized that there are truly entirely too many photos that I want to post so you’ll just have to wait. I will however show you a few from our awesome session in Breckenridge. Stay tuned for wedding pictures, I swear I’ll share them!*

engagement1 revertphoto-michelle-michael-1-1847178715-Orevertphoto-michelle-michael-1-1847220721-O revertphoto-michelle-michael-4-1847192034-O revertphoto-michelle-michael-5-1847195940-O revertphoto-michelle-michael-6-1847200146-OYes. This last picture is hilarious. Gotta love the boy and his goofy ideas. Below you get a teaser of one wedding photo {we did it! we said I do!}

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InstaSunday!

life rearranged

Linking up with Jeannett again! Somehow I had planned on doing an InstaFriday post and am just now sitting down to write it. Things have been crazy busy around here, but I’m not complaining! I managed to snap a lot of photos last week so this post will probably be a tad bit long. Have a good week!

I went to Chicago last weekend and FINALLY got a chance to meet this handsome little man. Love him, absolutely love his momma. Was bummed it was such a short visit! I hate having friends with babies so far away.

Norm! I got to visit with another set of some of my favorite friends and Norman is their awesome dog. How cute is he? There are some awfully cute family photos as well but those are yet to be revealed. Yay photo shoots!

Waiting for the P family to show up at the zoo I snapped this picture of my boots that I am in love with. It was seriously the most perfect fall weekend in Chicago. Blue skies, yellow leaves and it smelled like fall. Love that.

No trip to Chicago is complete without a stop at Molly’s Cupcakes. Seriously. They make the best cupcakes in the city. They’ve been on Cupcake Wars (and they won!) Now get up and go get a cupcake if you’re in Chicago (or New York.) If only they would open up shop in Denver…This is their lemon blueberry chesesecake cupcake. Woah. Delicious! I also got a carrot cake one to take home with me!

I do love living in Denver but I miss this view from time to time. How pretty is the Wilmette Beach?

Back home in Denver to chilly temps and nasty weather.  A big pot of soup seemed like just the thing to make for dinner. This soup was a vegetable “garbage” soup with any veggies I had in the fridge. Kale, spinach, carrots, zucchini, celery and potatoes along with a can of cannelini beans and a can of diced tomatoes. It was delicious!

And then it snowed. Yep. Not just a light dusting either. Gotta love Denver weather. I for one was actually excited. There’s something magical about the snow. Then I tweeted this picture to Sam Champion at Good Morning America and got back “BEAUTY” as a reply. So fun!

Our backyard covered in snow….

The husband and I had a date night! We went to YardHouse (yum!) and then to a preseason Nuggets game. They sucked. However we did get to see the Clippers play and they are awesome.

Go Nuggets or something like that 🙂

I think I had more fun taking pictures then watching the Nuggets get their butts kicked. New photo phone obsession? Vsco cam. Have you checked it out?

I ended my work week with this tasty glass of Glider Cider with a friend I’ve known since I was probably 4. How fun!

Yum. Yum. Yum. Warm apple cider donuts! While these weren’t as tasty as the doughnuts from Curtis Apple Orchards they did the trick yesterday. All I’ve been wanting is an apple cider doughnut. I think that I’m going to have to go buy a doughnut pan from BBB and attempt to make some of my own.