Friday, February 28, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!! I'm linking up for Five on Friday with Christina, April, Darci, and Natasha to celebrate!



San Antonio

John has been in Texas all week on a business trip, so we thought it would be fun to end the weekend together exploring! I flew into San Antonio yesterday, and we plan to spend some time just relaxing before heading back home.

Yay, for a mini vacation! (Although I doubt that's what John thinks of it...)



John's Birthday

And speaking of John, it's his birthday this week! Birthday celebrations are always fun regardless of whose birthday it is - but especially when it is my hubby's!!. We will likely have a low-key night but most certainly go to a yummy dinner somewhere!

Happy birthday, sweet boy!



Scout's Birthday

...And speaking of birthdays (!!), our puppy turns 1 on Monday! Although she is getting older, we still affectionately refer to her as our little terrorist.

She was so bad that when we first got her, we weren't sure if we would be able to keep her - but we wouldn't give her up for anything now!!

(Is it bad that I have a collage of photos of my dog, but only 1 for my husband?!)



Purple Power Juice

I found this recipe on Williams Sonoma's 30 Days of Juicing, and it is delish! John is all about the fruit juices (while I like the veggies), so I thought this would be a yummy one for him.

- 6 cups grapes

- 1/2 cup blackberries

- 1 (or 2) golden delicious apples

- 2 one inch pieces of ginger



How to take better pictures with your iPhone

I came across this article explaining how to take better photos with your iPhone. Since I don't own a nice camera (yet!), I'm always looking for ways to make my iPhone or iPad photos better.

There was nothing revolutionary, but hey, I'll take what I can get!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Tea!

I am so excited for the first Tuesday Tea link-up! Thanks for hosting, Sam, Khala, Renee and Jenni!

I feel like tea time with the girls is all about catching up on the latest, so I thought I would share some of my most recent favorite beauty products.

Beauty Buys

Bobbi Brown Peony Blush

I love this color, and it applies great. I don’t wear much make up – I usually put on some blush and mascara and I’m good to go, so I like that this blush has a nice pop of color.

Clarisonic Mia

Okay, so most people already have a Clarisonic, but this little baby is my go-to. I don’t use it every day (it dries out my skin too much), but I look forward to every morning that I do use it. I swear, I can tell a huge difference in my skin after using it… it makes my skin look very clean and fresh.

Has anyone tried the Opal? I’m looking into it for my next beauty investment… 

Wet Brush

I have long hair that tangles very easily, and this Wet Brush has been a life saver. 

 I don’t know how it works, but it’s amazing and doesn’t rip or damage my hair. I bought my first Wet Brush from a blowdry bar, but you can also buy these at Ulta and Beauty First. 

This is a must have for long or snarly hair!


I have had really great luck with the Cetaphil lotion, and honestly, I would be hard pressed to find something I like as much. And let’s be real, you can’t beat the price! 

Does anyone else have a moisturizer that they swear by? I’ve used this stuff since I was in high school, so it may be time to change it up!

Bumble and Bumble Hair Dresser's Oil

This little bottle isn’t cheap, but it lasts a long time. I use 3-4 pumps daily (on wet hair after I shower or on my ends for days when I don’t wash my hair). 

Normally I am not into hair oils, but I can tell a huge difference on days when I do or don’t use it. It doesn’t coat my hair or make it oily – I love it!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekend in Instagram Photos

1 | The weekend started off right with a Friday morning venti non-fat white mocha with an extra shot of espresso! Gotta get through the Friday work day, right?

2 | I have no idea how I didn't notice earlier, but I was almost home from work and I looked at my gas gauge to find it well below E. I started to get nervous because my phone was dead, so, for some reason, I decided it would be a good idea to keep driving home rather than to turn around and find a gas station.

Once I got home, I waited for John who followed be back out to the gas station, and I swear I coasted up to the pump - it was stressful!

3 | DMV... where good days go to die. I lost my driver's license about a month ago, and figured it was about time to get a new one.

It was so strange, when I sat down to wait to be helped, some lady sitting next to me told me I had cat hair on my pants! I just about died from laughter and confusion - I don't know, something about a stranger telling me that at the DMV is a little comical to me.

4 | John was working all weekend, so Saturday afternoon I went on a hike with John's mom in the Jemez Mountains. We hiked (a very small portion) of the Continental Divide Trail. Scout was with us, and it was nice to let her run around off-leash. The weather was just way too nice to not be outside!

5 | After our hike we had dinner (and a margarita, for national margarita day, of course!) at a yummy restaurant near by.

6 | The evening ended with some yummy creme brulee (so tasty). And before going to bed, John and I watched 12 Years a Slave (it was good, but not exactly light material). Has anyone else seen this? I'd be interested to know your thoughts!

7 | John was able to take a mini break from work for a Sunday lunch at Whole Foods. When we lived in Ann Arbor we basically ate every meal there, so it was nice to spend a little bit of time together at a place we enjoy (we went back for dinner too...).

8 | Miss Scout had a bath!! We usually bathe Scout at home, but this princess went in for a manicure (not really, but they did trim her nails), a teeth cleaning, and a good ole shampoo and condition. She's looking like a sassy super model!

9 | Our Sunday night ended in the best way possible... spending some quality time together, watching none other than Downton Abbey. John leaves tomorrow for a business trip, so we wanted to spend a couple hours just hanging out and unwinding. It was a wonderful close to the weekend!

You can follow me on Instagram throughout the week here!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mini Date Night!

Last night John and I had a mini date night! We cooked steaks (John's favorite part), and had cheese fondue as an appetizer (my favorite part!). These cheese fondue recipe was way too yummy not to share!

I love going to the Melting Pot, and after several Google recipe searches, I think I found one similar to their cheddar cheese fondue.

It was a wonderful evening, and it always seems like the week moves faster when something special breaks it up! John has been working so hard lately that it was nice to spend time together, even if it was only dinner.

To share this delish appetizer, I'm linking up with Elise and Kati for All Things Thursday!

What you need:
- 1lb cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 cup light beer
- 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

How to:

1. Add all ingredients, except cheese, to your fondue pot over medium heat.
2. While your mixture is heating, coat your cheese in flour (I used about a 1/4 cup).
3. Slowly add your cheese to the fondue pot, stirring until smooth.

We ate our fondue with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, apples, and bread.

Don't have a fondue pot? No fear! You can melt the cheese using a crock pot or double boiler.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Our Weekend in Instagram Photos

1 | Valentine's Day!! I started the day by eating an absolutely absurd amount of sweets. It was no good (but oh, so good all at the same time!). After work John and I went to dinner then to see the movie Lone Survivor... It was a laid back, marvelous evening!

2 | Scout's standard Saturday morning nap in the sun (I often lay on the floor and sunbathe with her)... Gotta soak up the sun when you can!

3 | The weather on Saturday was so beautiful that John and I had a little lunch date on the Chick-Fil-A patio - let me tell you (originally from Michigan), 70 degree weather is something that I do not take for granted.

4 | Saturday evening we took Scout to the Cibola National Forest and did some hiking... If you couldn't tell, we are obsessed with our dog and think she should be model - look at that Vogue pose!

5 | There are few things that make me feel as pretty as a fresh manicure! I love gel, but it is so difficult to get off, so I opted for normal polish (although sparkles aren't a walk in the park either...).

6 | My small group Bible study started a couple weeks ago (we are doing Beth Moore's Breaking Free), so I have been trying (key word, trying), to get my homework done sooner than the night before (old habits die hard, I guess).

7 | Sunday afternoon John and I met our friends in the foothills of the Sandia mountains for some mountain biking. Girlfriend, it was tough. I am a pretty in-shape and athletically inclined person, and I was dying... DYING! I swear, I don't know how it happened, but the whole thing was up hill.

8 | The past few Sundays I have been doing some evening baking - I think it is nice to start Monday off with a little treat! I made carrot muffins with a cream cheese frosting... Yummy!

9 | And no Sunday night is complete without a glass of red wine and Downton Abbey!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Five on Friday

Whooho, it's Friday! And Valentine's Day! And the Olympics are on! To celebrate this trifecta, I'm linking-up with Christina, Darci, Natasha, and April for Five on Friday and #teamteddy!


Valentine's Day! (le duh)

Make sure you get your buy one, get one latte at Starbucks from 2-5!

Anyone have a fun date night planned? John and I don't have any big plans, but we are excited to spend the evening together and go to dinner tomorrow!

Over the past couple weeks I have been having fun celebrating Valentine's Day! Check out these yummy treats and easy DIYs.


Valentine's Day, as with all other holidays, is a great excuse to get dressed up, but I'm loving the stay-in outfit below!

Valentines day


Last Thursday I had a work snow day, but even better than a snow day is the amazing weather we have had this week. It has been in the high 50s and low 60s all week - we have been able to get outside go for a hike, and John even convinced me to do a light sunset mountain biking with him.

And even better, take a look at this weekend's forecast... 70s! I am one happy girl! 


It wouldn't be Friday without a juicing recipe... the past three Fridays I posted Green Lemonade, Mexican Jugo-juice, and Spinach-pineapple juice!

This week's juice didn't taste super great (beets are a bit too earthy for me!), but it was such a beautiful color (and healthy...) that I thought I would share!

Ginger-Beet Juice
- Carrots
- An orange
- An apple
- Ginger
- A beet
- A head of romaine


I've recently started using Bloglovin', and I have no idea how I did not know about it sooner! ANYWAY I'd love to follow you!! If I'm not already following you, please comment so I can add you!

You can follow me here.

Speaking of Bloglovin', I recently swapped button ads with Lew Party of Two (You've got to check out Bailley's blog! She lives in Germany with her husband and they take way too many fun travel trips all over Europe!). 

If you're interested in swapping buttons, let me know and I'd love to trade!

Happy Friday! :) :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

I'm a lover of anything with sweet potatoes (especially fries!), so when I came across a baked sweet potato chip recipe in Whole Living, I knew I had to make them.  

Baking them required a lot of attention (since the chips are sliced so thin they burn easily), but if you can get them just right, they are quite a tasty (and healthy) baked snack!

What you need:
- Sweet Potato(es)
- 1 tbs of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt 
- Cumin
- Paprika

 How to:

1.  Peel and thinly slice the sweet potatoes... thinner the better - if they are too thick, they won't get crispy.

2.  After slicing your sweet potato, mix with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

3.  Place a thin layer of the coated sweet potatoes on a baking sheet.  

4.  Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping half-way through. Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.

Linking up with Tuesday's Table

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Cards

Yesterday, Khala over at The Birdie Bowl, posted some of her favorite Valentine's Day cards - one of which I fell in love with (from the Paper Source)! 

John tells me that I am on my phone too much (or his phone when my battery is dead...), so this card seemed perfect for this year (with a much less sarcastic, and more meaningful note inside).  :)

Khala's post inspired me to share some of my other favorite Valentine's cards (all of which are letterpressed from Egg Press - check them out if you haven't before!).  I'm not going to lie, some of the cards are slightly ridiculous, but they all gave me a good laugh.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Xs and Os Valentine's Day Votives

I saw this adorable little DIY on Pinterest and thought I would recreate it for Valentine’s Day. It’s easy, and you can finish it in a couple of hours.

What you need:
- Balsa wood
- Cylinder candle votives
- An exacto knife (I used a box cutter)
- Paint and paint brush

How to:

Start by using your exacto knife and cutting out the center of the balsa wood. My votives were 2 inches wide, so I cut a two inch wide section. You will need two of these for every one votive that you make.

After cutting the votive holder out of the balsam wood, cut the wood to be varying heights (I did a 4 in, 5 in, and a 6 in).

Once you have the votive holders the desired heights, cut a small slit into the top of the piece of the holder, and one slit into the bottom (both slits should meet in the middle so that they can slide together perpendicularly to make an “X”).

After all the cutting of the balsam wood is complete, paint the bottoms of the wood whatever color you please (I did pink for Valentine’s Day!). If you’re anything like me, you may want to use painters tape for a straight line.

Once the paint is dry, fit the pieces together, and place one of the circle votives in the middle (ideally, it should be a snug fit). And ta-da, you're done!

Valentine's Day Buttons

These Valentine's Day Buttons may be the easiest bake project ever... With simple ingredients, these cute treats can be ready in only 10 minutes! They are the perfect "I was supposed to bring a dessert to my work potluck, but forgot until the day of..."  And a perfect dessert for a kiddo helping hands!

What you need:
- Hershey Hugs
- Square pretzels
- M&Ms

How to:
1. Put your pretzels on a baking sheet and place a Hershey Hug on top of each pretzel.
2. Put your baking sheet in the oven and heat to 200 degrees.
3. After 8 minutes, or so, the chocolate should be visibly melting over the pretzel. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place an M&M on top of the melting chocolate.
4. Let the chocolate cool and harden, then enjoy.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five on Friday!

It's Friday!! And I am so excited to sit on my couch all weekend in my pajamas and watch the Olympics! Anyone else?! :) :)  Linking-up with Christina, April, Natasha, and Darci!



Scout went to a birthday party last weekend at the dog park for her friend Phantom's third birthday! Having a birthday party for a dog may seem a bit over the top, which it probably is, but I'm not going to lie, it was quite fun and she did a really good job of planning details! There were about 20 dogs there, so it was quite a turn out!

There were party hats, favors for the dogs, all sorts of squeaky toys, and puppy cupcakes! Scout, being the out of control dog she is, snuck behind the table where the cupcakes were, knocked them over, and ate more than her fair share. She had a blast, but was very, very sick the whole night... John and I joked that she was feeling very hung over from her party.



We have been getting a lot of snow lately, and although I did not get a full snow day yesterday, I did get a snow delay! I didn't have to be at work until 10 which was a nice little treat. I still woke up at the same time, but it was nice to be able to make John breakfast and host his morning before he left for work.

Speaking of snow, Scout is a snow lover... She runs around like a maniac, white washing herself and eating snow. Look at those eyes in the picture below - those are eyes of a crazy animal!



The last two Fridays I posted a juice recipe, and I thought I would continue the tradition by sharing a Spinach-Pineapple juice recipe that I saw in a Whole Living magazine.

- 1 cup baby spinach
- 5 cups of chopped romaine
- 3 cups of chopped pineapple

The juice was super delicious, but I recommend that you drink it very shortly after juicing... I cut my pineapple fresh and it seemed to ferment pretty quickly.

Anyone have some yummy juicing recipes to share?!



I am not normally a You-Tube person, and really have never cared about funny videos or things like that, but yesterday I randomly clicked on the below video and just about died... How absolutely adorable are these little girls? They make me want to see Frozen this weekend!



Thanks to the fabulous ladies Nina, Khala, and Mary, I was nominated for a Liebster Award! Check out my answers to their questions here!

My lovely nominees are

Kristan @ Lavendar & Light

Make sure check out their blogs!!

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