Tuesday, January 31, 2012

we got ourselves a wild hair

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The weekend of our anniversary, husband and I drove out to Wendover because husband has had himself some fantastic luck lately.  Wendover is not my idea of a romantic getaway, not even close.  If you've never been there, it's sort of like a pathetic attempt at recreating Las Vegas.  But we had to go because in the last month, my husband has twice won a contest on the radio, twice!  Fantastic luck!  Part of the latest win included a trip to Wendover complete with an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet and concert tickets to see Queensryche.  So off we went, and you know what, it wasn't half bad.  In fact, once I got past the rude hotel employees and tobacco enhanced breathing air, we had a great time. 

After 24 hours of Wendover bliss, we drove home.  But then we got ourselves a wild hair and decided we couldn't leave without driving onto the Salt Flats.  I've decided that ancient river beds are pretty cool, especially for driving really fast in a fancy sports car, or in our case, a 1994 Subaru Outback.  I know, you're totally jealous of our car.  We even got it on video, but since my husband only got our awesome car up to 45, I think I'll spare you.  But trust me, it was fun and I think you should do it on your way home from Wendover too.
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Nothing better than seeing your man in a black Gibson t-shirt.  Nothing.
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Monday, January 30, 2012

my favorite salad

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This is it, my favorite of favorites. It's really simple and healthy too! Here's how I make it.

arugula and spinach mix
freshly grated parmesan cheese
fresh lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper

I really am not good at measuring, so I usually just drizzle a little oil, squeeze a bit of lemon and call it a day.  And I could eat this salad every day, but that's just me.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Salsa Verde Chili

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I came up with this chili the other night, partly inspired by the tomatillos I had on hand and because I walked by the rotisserie chickens at the store earlier that day on an empty, growling stomach with very little dinner inspiration.  Needless to say, I bought one.  It's kind of impossible not to when you're hungry.  The aroma coming from that corner of the store was irresistible. So home I went, yummy smelling chicken in hand, and I must say, this twist on traditional white bean chili was very delish.

Here's what  you'll need for the chili:

* 1 green bell pepper, chopped
* 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
* 1 can of pinto beans
* 1 can of white beans
* 1 can of chicken broth/stock
* White meat from a rotisserie chicken, shredded
* Cilantro, a handful
* 3-4 tomatillos cut into chunks
* 1 lime juiced, divided
* 1 tsp. garlic salt {or to taste}
* 1 tsp. cumin{or to taste}
* 1 tsp. garlic powder {or to taste}
* 1 tsp. onion powder {or to taste}

Toppings {optional}
* Cheddar cheese
* Chopped red onion
* Cilantro
* Sour cream
* Guacamole {I make mine with avocado, garlic salt, and lime juice.  It's perfect.}
* Tomatoes

1. In a stock pot {your chili is going to cook in this},  saute chopped green pepper in olive oil until char marks appear and your kitchen smells amazing.
2. Add beans, chicken broth/ stock, and chicken to pot. Cook on medium heat until chili begins to bubble.  Reduce heat to simmer.
3. Meanwhile, put tomatillos, cilantro, and 1/2 of the lime juice in a blender.  Blend, then add to chili.
4. Add seasonings.
5. Simmer for about an hour.
6. Add the rest of the lime juice just as the chili has finished cooking.
7. When serving, you may add the toppings listed, or not.  Do what makes you happy.

Note:  If you'd like to spice up this chili, I highly recommend Jalapeno Tabasco sauce.  A teaspoon or two should do the trick, or three or four if you're like my husband.  And, I served this with toasted corn tortillas. Dipping them into the chili was like heaven, I promise.

You're gonna love it!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Master Bedroom Inspiration

Having a new house also means endless tasks such as unpacking {we're still doing it}, creating systems, organizing, and decorating.  It's all pretty overwhelming and so I decided to just focus on one room at a time, then divide everything up into little tasks.  For example, I organized all my shoes the other day.  This took all but 20 minutes, but felt like a HUGE accomplishment for me.  I'm still patting myself on the back for that one. 

Then there is decorating.  My mind could go crazy with this one.  Right now, imagining how I would love everything to look could take me to my daydreaming happy place for hours.  So, in an effort to not be in my happy place for hours at a time, I've decided to just focus on the master bedroom for now.  Here's what I'm thinking.

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via Anthropologie

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via West Elm

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via West Elm
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via Centsational Girl

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via Abbey Goes Design Scouting

So there's a look at some of the ideas that have been swirling in my mind lately.  Any thoughts on how to calm the crazy?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

anniversary

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We celebrated our second one last weekend.  Husband, it goes like this...

Love you more now than I did then.  Didn't know that one was even possible.

Knowing I get to cuddle with you every single day still seems like such a gift.

Marriage and children is exhausting.  I'm tired all of the time, but I can't imagine going back to my old ways of 9 o'clock to bed.  How incredibly lonely it would be to not have you, my favorite, to talk to, and then fall asleep on mid-sentence.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

I care for and love two little ones that I wouldn't have known without you.  Thank you for that gift.

Again with the gifts, you can't stand holding off on them.  I've grown accustomed to unwrapped gifts, given before the occasion, usually within 24 hours of purchase.  I never thought of myself as a gift person.  They really never mattered to me, until I started receiving yours, because yours are the sweetest ones.  Your gifts matter to me.

Your love, your hugs, your kisses, your thank yous, and your laugh.  Oh how I love that laugh.  Do you know that sometimes I purposely say things knowing you'll laugh just so I can hear it.  And there isn't just one laugh.  Oh no, you have several.  And I love them all.  Pure music.

I'm proud of everything that you are.  Even prouder to call myself your wife.

I love you--I always have. Can't wait for another year of you, loverboy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

red iguana

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If you happen to find yourself in the Salt Lake area and would like some killer Mexican food, you must run, not walk, to Red Iguana.  All seven varieties of their mole are to die for.  Ingredients like pumpkin and chocolate!  Yes, I said chocolate.  And if you're not sure about which one you want, your server will gladly give you a sample plate so you know exactly the one to douse your tamales in.  It must be said, however, that choosing the right mole for you just might be one of the tougher dining decisions you've ever made--they're all equally delish.

Because this hole-in-the-wall is so killer, you most likely will have to wait a bit to be seated, no matter the time of day.  They're that busy.  Apparently it's no secret that they rock.  So we had ourselves a fun time waiting in the cold, under some much appreciated heaters before getting seated.  My parents had come into town for a visit, so we made it a whole family affair. 

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I told you it's a tough decision making moment. Just look at the contemplating going on while my father studies the menu.
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Behold, the mole!
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

home

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This is our new home. And we couldn't be more excited.

We moved the week after Thanksgiving, on that Tuesday to be exact {I DO NOT recommend moving on a weekday, but we're new at this and had no idea how hard it would be}.

I hate to say that I just now feel like I'm home, but it's sort of true.  My husband and I lived in our first place for just under two years. It was our first place together, which is special in and of itself, and we definitely have some great memories there with the kids, but there just was something missing.  It never felt quite right and now everything about this home, our first home, feels perfect.

So much consideration went into this decision because our situation is a little more complicated than the average newlywed couple.  There were countless prayers my husband and I gave asking, pleading with our Heavenly Father to help us find that perfect home, the one that would suit us the best and help our children feel like they belong. You see, this decision to buy a home wasn't about the family we would have--it was about the family we already have.  We have two kids, not babies or toddlers, but kids.  We cared more about our neighborhood than anything else.  That was our number one priority.  Our kids haven't had a neighborhood they felt like they belonged to, really ever.  We wanted so desperately to find that home that could really feel like ours, that would belong just as much to our children as it does to us. 

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It feels silly even writing this, but I have this fantasy.  It's summer and I'm home with the kids.  They have friends like two houses down, and across the street, and up the street, and basically everywhere.  They play with them.  They ride bikes.  They come up with their own games.  They're carefree.  And they're rarely bored.  As I go about my daily tasks, I hear the laughter and sounds that accompany the shinanagins of a childhood summer.  The constant open and closing of the door doesn't even bother me, nor does the dirt on the carpet, or the chaos of it all.  I'm just happy because my kids have a normal summer to enjoy.

So there it is, my hopes and dreams for this summer.  And something tells me it might just happen, this fantasy of mine.  I'm just waiting for the snow to melt.