Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Growing Pains...

It has been a little over five months since we moved to Albuquerque from Ann Arbor, and the transition hasn’t exactly been smooth. Perhaps it is because my birthday was last week, or we recently had friends come to visit, but I am really missing home. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not missing the Polar Vortex weather, but I am missing just about everything else… our friends, grocery store, my hair colorist, our church, my old job, the Great Lakes, etc.

There are things we like about New Mexico, but there are also a lot of things we don’t, and the process to better those things feels so slow. The culture here is totally different, which is great, but we are tired of feeling like we have to love it. If we don’t love it, that should be okay too.

(And yes, I would like some cheese with my whine.)

John and I are reading Believing God by Beth Moore together, and so far, it has been fabulous – exactly what need right now (funny how that works, huh?). It is great to be reading it with John so we can hold each other accountable to the lessons we are learning.

Here are some of the truths that we are holding on to.
- “First and foremost, “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6). That’s one reason we may as well accept faith challenges as a fact of life and not be shocked or feel picked on when they come. God brings them to build our faith, prove us genuine, and afford Himself endless excuses to reward us. He delights in nothing more than our choice to believe Him over what we see and feel.”
- “...Getting by was never our destiny. We were meant to be profoundly effective.”
- “If we can come up with a God we can fully explain, we have come up with a different God from the Bible’s. We must beware of recreating an image of God that makes us feel better.”
- “Our toughest battles will invariably concern matters of faith—times when we’re tempted to think God’s Word and His ways won’t work for us, that He has abandoned us, let us down, or failed to come through for us. If Satan can get us to drop our shield of faith, he knows we can’t remain standing for very long.”
- “...Faith unchallenged ordinarily remains unchanged.”

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Short Weekend Recap!

This past weekend was my 26th birthday, and John and I celebrated by putting our pooch in daycare and spending the day together. To some, it may seem unnecessary to put your dog in daycare, but other bird dog owners may understand that if you aren't watching the dog 24/7, they are most certainly getting into something (ripping up paper, tackling our kitty, chewing on hangers, eating underwear, etc. - and let me just say, my husband and I are very clean people... where she finds this stuff, who knows?). Don't get my wrong, I love our little puppy so, so dearly, but it was quite nice to be able to spend the day not watching her the whole time.

I was able to get done some major cleaning (which felt amazing), made some juice, and finished a Valentine's Day DIY (which hopefully will be posted tomorrow!).

After spending the day together, we went to dinner at The Melting Pot. I am all about fondue (I can't decide what I like more, cheese or chocolate...), and it was so nice to have some drinks and enjoy a nice dinner out. We were planning on going to a movie after dinner, but it ended up being pretty late so we just headed home.

It was a lovely evening, and if it is any sort of omen for the rest of the year, I am looking forward to seeing what's next! :)

 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! Even though it was a lovely four-day work week, I'm happy that the weekend is almost here and I'll get to spend some time just hanging with John... We have a DVR to catch up on!

As always, I'm linking up for Five on Friday with Darci, April, Christina, and Natasha.

One

Rishi Masala Chai


This week I received a very, very lovely surprise in the mail... Rishi Masala Chai! In case you haven't read my chai latte problems, the Whole Foods near me stopped carrying this chai for some (crazy) reason, and there is nothing just quite as tasty.

WELLLL, I was surprised with four wonderful boxes in the mail as an early birthday present from my in-laws. When I opened the box, I just about screamed with excitement! Such a thoughtful (and yummy) surprise!


 

Two

Juicer


Yesterday, my new juicer arrived in the mail and I cannot wait to start juicing! It was a birthday gift from my parents, and I've already bought some mason jars and straws to drink my juice from.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and was able to get quite a bit of produce for $20... Maybe it won't be as much as I think once I start juicing, but I thought it seemed like a lot.


Any juicing tips or go-to recipes to share?!

My lovely friend, Faerl, gave me a recipe for a green lemonade that I tried last night - so yummy!! Her recipe is below.

-one head of romaine lettuce
-a bunch of kale
-two lemons
-one or two apples
-two stalks of celery
-one cucumber


I also made a juice with carrots, strawberries, cucumber, celery and ginger... Sounds like a mess of stuff, but it was surprisingly tasty!


Three

Colorado


My past two posts were about my recent trip to Colorado, but Val, sent me some more pictures that I couldn't help but share.





 

Four

Weather


The weather in New Mexico has been quite chilly the past couple of days, but everytime I start to complain, I remind myself about my family and friends' current weather!



Five

Birthday!


I grow a year older tomorrow, and I am quite excited about it! 26 sounds so much older than 25... And I'm lovin' it! ;)

Tonight for dinner, my husband, Scout, and I will be going to my in-laws, and tomorrow we will do dinner and a movie, just the two of us. Laid back and relaxing - just the way I like it!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jameson's Breaking Bad Tour

We didn't get back from Telluride until very late, and John had to work the next day, so while John was away I took Jameson and Val on a little Albuquerque Breaking Bad tour (per Jameson's request). I still haven't finished watching all of the episodes, but our sightseeing gave me (slight) motivation to keep watching. But I'm not going to lie, it's a little bit embarrassing how much this city loves the show. Anyway...

We went to see Walt and Skyler's house.


Took a pit-stop at Los Pollos Hermanos.


Saw the A1A car wash.


And no Breaking Bad tour would be complete without a trip to The Candy Lady in Old Town Albuquerque to buy some blue meth candy (the candy was used in the first two seasons of the show).

The Candy Lady is actually being evicted from her current location in mid-February because she cannot pay her store's rent.

She was featured in the NY Times though!


Once John got off from work, we all met up to go for dinner at El Pinto... a New Mexican restaurant that is super fun and beautiful. Upon entering the restaurant there are red chile ristas everywhere - they did a great job with the decor! We had some yummy margaritas and Jameson ate his final green chile cheeseburger.


After dinner, there would be no better way to end our trip than to watch The Bachelor together... that's what girlfriends are for, right?! It's a shame that Val and I can't watch together every Monday; even the boys enjoyed watching (or maybe they just enjoyed making fun of Juan Pablo's pronounciation of "pajamas"). Eitherway, our mini viewing party was quite fun! (Scout enjoyed it too... She sat on Val's lap and licked Jameson's head the whole time... I'll take it! Whatever you can do to keep a bird dog busy!).


Jameson and Val left super early in the morning the next day and it was so sad to know that it would likely be awhile until we see them next. I'm hoping that we will be able to get together this summer or early fall - but hey, I'm totally open to sooner, just sayin'!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jameson and Val come to visit!

This past weekend, John and I hosted our wonderful friends from Michigan, Jameson and Val. They flew in on Saturday morning and we were dying to see them! After we picked them up, we immediately headed to grab some lunch at The Range (to try some green chiles), and then we headed to Durango. On ourway to Durango we played the "I am going on a picnic and I am bringing..." game, but I don't think Jameson and John really understood how to play as they were bringing things like "history" and "Orlando Magic basketball team" to the picnic... Val and I stuck with the essentials like "apples" and "bananas."


Once we got to Durango, we checked into our hotel rooms. We stayed in a historic hotel from the late 1800s... it was beautiful and had a lot of fun character. It was so wonderful getting to catch up with them - a Skype date just doesn't do real catching up justice!


Later that evening we had a very, very yummy dinner at El Moro, and after dinner, the boys went out for the night and Val and I headed back to the hotel to watch a little TV and go to bed.


The next morning we ate a tasty breakfast at the hotel and did a tiny bit of shopping before heading out. The original plan was to head to Silverton and Ouray, but the road needed to get there was indefinitely closed due to a rock slide that happened a few days earlier (on our first trip to Colorado, the same road was closed due to a mud slide... seems like we don't have great luck with this road!).


The road closure ended up being a good thing because it provided more time in my favorite location: Telluride! On our way to Telluride, we entertained ourselves by planning the Newlywed game (which Jameson and Val shamefully ended up winning...). When John and I were in Telluride this past fall there was not yet any snow, and it looked like a completely different city, so it was quite fun to be there in winter with all of the snow. We started our tour by eating lunch at a fun restaurant that was at the base of one of the ski runs... the weather was absolutely lovely, and we were able to walk around without jackets.




After lunch we took the gondola to the other side of the mountain (where we ate freshly made crepes, sat by outdoor fires, and walked around discussing our future vacation property that we plan on buying together - I voted for sun and beach, but was outnumbered by everyone else). We did a little shopping (the boys both bought vests... aww, twinsies!!), and we had quite fun people watching.


It was such a fun day, and we were so sad to be leaving!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Valentine's Day in the Kitchen

I feel like everyone has been posting super cute Valentine's Day sweaters and outfits, so I thought I would take another approach and post some fun kitchen accessories!

There is something about Valentine's Day that incites in me the desire to bake... Here are some baking accessories and other kitchen goodies for this lovely holiday. :)


Valentine's Day in the Kitchen

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Valentine's Day Canvas

I know that Valentine's Day is still a month away, but I just couldn't help myself this weekend... this DIY was too easy and cute to pass up (and hey, there is something to be said for a DIY that you can start and finish in an hour - I'm all about efficiency!). 

I've never been one to decorate much for Valentine's Day, other than a bowl or two of candy sitting out, but this simple and fun canvas (who doesn't love glitter) is easy to pull out and put away (no need for a Christmas style clean-up!).


What you'll need:
- A canvas
- Tacky Glue
- Glitter
- Hairspray


1. Start by drawing a pencil outline of whatever shape you please (the above picture shows a heart, but you could also have a word or two... whatever you like!)

2. Using Tacky glue, fill in the areas that you want to be covered with glitter. I found that it was easiest to draw an outline of the shape using the glue bottle and then fill in the middle of the shape with a toothpick.

3. Pour the glitter over the glued area and then shake off the excess glitter (I shook my glitter onto a piece of a paper so that I could pour it back into the bottle).

4. Clean up the edge of the design with a toothpick (I also used tape to remove the glitter that was stuck to the unglued areas of the canvas). Finish by spraying with aerosol hairspray to set the glitter to prevent making a continued mess.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kale and Butternut Squash Quiche

I love, love, love butternut squash, and I can eat an absurd amount of baked kale, so when I stumbled upon a recipe for a kale and butternut squash quiche, I knew I had to make it!

Quiche a great breakfast for John because the left overs can be reheated the next morning for a no-fuss, yummy breakfast. I'm not huge on breakfast foods, but this is a convenient treat to bring to work and heat up when I finally get hungry.


What you need:
- A pie crust (I used one that was pre-made)
- 6 eggs
- Butternut squash
- Kale
- Turkey bacon
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

1.  Start by cooking your bacon, kale, and butternut squash however you please (I fried the bacon, sautéed the kale, and steamed the butternut squash).
2.  Next, beat the six eggs and mix in about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.
3.  Mix together the eggs, kale, squash, and bacon and pour into the premade pie crust
4.  Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
5.  Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees, or until done.


Linking up with Tuesday's Table


Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend Happenings

This weekend was such beautiful weather... During the day, the temperature was consistently in the mid 50s and sunny - lovely December weather, if you ask me! Although the sun has been shining, the wind has been terrible!! Look at yesterday's forecast... Dust? I didn't know dust was a type of weather... Either way, I'll go with it if it means the temperature can be in the 50s.


On Saturday, the majority of our morning was spent getting work done on our cars. To me, this is the ultimate mark of adulthood. What a sad way to spend money! John refers to his car as his horse (?), so he doesn't have as much problem putting money into vehicle maintenance, but for me, it is just depressing!!


After getting our cars all spiffed up, I enjoyed a long trip to Hobby Lobby. John headed to his mom's house to study with Scout (she has a large fenced yard that quail frequent in the evening... Every puppy bird dog's dream!! Although Scout got into a bunch of bird seed and hasn't seemed too comfortable since...).


After Hobby Lobby, John's mom and I did a little crafting while watching some figure skating... Is anyone else excited for the Winter Olympics?!

John worked for most of the evening on Saturday and Sunday. We have company coming into town this weekend, and he is trying to get ahead in his work load. With his little free time, he is planning every second of our time together with Jameson and Val... He wrote a very detailed itinerary with pictures, maps, and more for our days together (a very clear indication that he is excited to see them!).

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five on Friday

I know that I say this every Friday, but this week was terribly slow and I am SO thankful that it is over.  For real.  I need a mini adventure this weekend to get out of the house (nothing major, a trip to Home Goods will do, but I need SOMETHING)... we will see what we can come up with.  Until then, I'm linking up with DarciAprilChristina, and Natasha!


{ONE}

My sweet friend who lives in Michigan, Allison, makes beautifully painted canvases with amazing hand-lettering!  She and I were in a women's small group together before I moved to New Mexico, and she is so talented that I couldn't help but share some of my favorites!

She has a Facebook page with more of her hand-lettering, Designs by Allison Joy! You've got to check out the rest of her things... they are fabulous!!




(How adorable is this?! She is a nanny for two small kiddos and made this for their parents!)


{TWO}

Did anyone watch Downton Abbey this past weekend?  I'm obsessed.  At this point I don't really care what happens in the show - I am totally brainwashed and just sit there googly-eyed in love with the characters!




{THREE}

Coozie Collection! You know how sometimes people collect post cards, magnets, or shot glasses when they travel places as a mini memento of the trip?  Well my husband and I collect coozies!  It is our little thing that we have fun with... picking out a new coozie from a fun restaurant or adventure!

We keep them all in an apothecary jar to have them on display, but still put away.

The few I picked out below are from:
(1) a barbecue place at the Fort Worth Stockyards where we ate on our most recent trip to Texas;
(2) a fun brewery in Ouray, Colorado (with a rooftop patio and an unbeatable Rocky Mountain view) that we visited in early fall;
(3) an oyster shack and bar in Destin, Florida that John and I went to when I visited him at Florida State (our first coozie, when we were still dating!); and
(4) a Gone-With-The-Wind-themed bar in St. Augustine, Florida that we stopped into when John was living in Jacksonville.

It is fun because each coozie comes with a memory that is special to John and me - plus, it is a great excuse to tell a story! :)




{FOUR}

John and my closest couple friends come to New Mexico a week from tomorrow and I cannotttt wait to see them!!  It has been awhile since I have seen a familiar face and Jameson and Val's visit will be quite a treat.  

We plan to take a drive along the San Juan Skyway, with stops in Durango, Ouray, and Telluride. Here are some pictures from John and my last trip through Southern Colorado.








{FIVE}

Also! Don't forget that today is the last day that you can download select Beth Moore eBooks for free!! :)  I've already started a few and am looking forward to finishing them.  Has anyone started reading any?  I'd love to hear which ones are your favorites!




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