Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

I have such a hard time believing that tomorrow is April 1st (don't forget to watch out for those pranks!!) and that Easter is this weekend... where is the time going?! 

I mentioned last week that it will just be John and me for Easter this year, but that certainly does not mean that we will be skimping on our Easter brunch! I've been testing out some recipes, and this blueberry breakfast cake is to. die. for.  

Really, it's uh-mazing!


What you need:
- 1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 cup of sugar
-  1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of buttermilk
- 1-2 cups of blueberries


How to:
 1. Cream butter, lemon zest, and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until combined.
2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add in to the batter.
3. Fold in the blueberries, and pour into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle the top with sugar.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until done.


The batter is pretty thick, and the breakfast cake is moist and delicious (with a crunchy sugar top!)... so if that's your jam, then you will love this!

I'm already thinking about swapping out the blueberries with raspberries or bananas to change it up a bit!


This breakfast cake is an absolute treat and is certainly worthy of Easter brunch!



Monday, March 30, 2015

DIY Pearled Collar

John and I have been doing some serious spring cleaning lately, and it most recently included going through our closets and bringing several bags of old clothes to Goodwill.  

I always have such a tough time parting with clothes, because honestly, I wear everything that I own!  ...Maybe not often, but at least once a year!! So I really have to force myself to part with the first few items to get my momentum going. 

Anyway, while going through my clothes, I found an Old Navy chambray shirt that was dying for a little sprucing up. And sure enough, a little dressing up was all this shirt needed to bring it some extra life!


This DIY is so easy, and with just a little bit of patience (about an hour of your time), you can have yourself a semi-new shirt!



All you need is a collared shirt, thread, a needle, and some pearl beads (I found my beads at Michael's for only $1/strand).  I bought a variety of neutral colored beads, and I am so glad that I did... it gives the shirt a little something extra!


Begin by fastening the first bead to the very corner of the collar.  

I tied several knots to make sure it was secure (this is probably a very terrible sewing technique, but I know nothing about sewing and it worked just fine for me!).


Next, using the same strand of thread, build out the beads further up the collar.


Continue to fasten beads bunched together and slowly start to space them up the further you get up the collar.


If possible, only fasten the beads to the top fabric piece of the collar.  This way, the underside of the collar will not show your stitching, and everything will look neat and clean!


Continue to space the beads out until you have reached halfway up the collar (I stopped at the shoulder seam).


To fasten the last bead, I stitched the same bead several times in the same place (and tied several knots)... super fancy, I know - but hey, it works and looks great!


Complete the same steps on the other side of the collar, and (attempt) to make it as symmetrical as possible.  Trim the ends of the thread when you're finished.


I am super happy with how it turned out... it is still a basic, versatile chambray shirt, but has a little bit of fancy to it!


I'm already keeping my eye out for other clothes to dress up... I have a few cardigans that I may try something similar with next! A perfect little spring re-vamp!

If I'm not careful, my whole wardrobe might have pearls on it - restraint is needed!



You can check out my other DIYs here!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Five on Friday: Spring Bucket List

Happy Friday! I've been loving all the talk of spring lately, so I'm sharing my spring bucket list!
Anything that I should add?!
 
As usual, I'm linking up with Christina, Amanda, and Karli!

***

ONE  |  Spring training game
Baseball spring training is a pretty big deal in Arizona, and there are about 10 different stadiums around town that host games. John and I definitely need to go to a game or two this spring to join in on all of the fun!



TWO  |  Beach vacation
Arizona is the desert (obvi), but San Diego is only a 5 hour drive (or a super quick flight) which makes it a great destination for a long weekend.  We have been meaning to go for a while now, and this spring seems like a pretty perfect time!  

If you've been, we would love to hear your recommendations!



THREE  |  Hike Devil's Bridge
Devil's Bridge is a hike in beautiful Sedona that has stellar views, but isn't too difficult (which is totally my kind of thing).  It has been on our to-do list for quite some time, and now that the weather is heating up in Phoenix, heading to Sedona (which is about 15 degrees cooler) seems like a perfect option!



FOUR  |  Explore our city
 There are so many fun events that happen in Scottsdale, and John and I never seem to get to any of them (either because we are busy or would just rather avoid the crowds).  There are quite a few events coming up, and we want to start taking advantage of the fun things that our city has to offer!



FIVE  |  Drive the Apache Trail
The Apache Trail is a 40 mile scenic drive through the Superstition Mountains and Tonto National Forest.  It has beautiful Southwest views (with both cacti and lakes!!) and goes through an old copper mining town.  Perfect for a day that we are feeling extra Southwest!



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easter Inspiration

I love Easter so much, and I can hardly believe that it will already be here next weekend.
I'm so thankful that our Savior made the ultimate sacrifice for us so that we may have life through Him.

John and I won't be traveling anywhere, and we won't have company, but we still plan to celebrate just the two of us... since there is no more worthy holiday to celebrate!

Here's some fun inspiration from Pinterest.  I'm loving loving all of the pastels, and fully plan on dropping some good money on fresh flowers... I love me some spring tulips! :) :)


{Table Setting Ideas}

{Sweet Treats}

{Home Decor}


Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

John and I have been eating at home to decrease our spending, and we are working on making meals for two (that don't have left overs for 10 extra people!!).  
It's a learning curve, but we are figuring it out.  

One of our more successful (and very tasty!!) meals was Southwest stuffed quinoa peppers.  
Yummo, indeed!!


Begin by cutting 2 red peppers in half and removing the seeds and ribs.  
I cut the peppers length wise to get two servings out of each pepper, but feel free to cut laterally, and stuff the peppers standing up.


 Combine 1 cup of shredded chicken, 1 cup of cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup of corn, 1/2 cup of black beans, and 1/4 cup of chives.  (And if you're feeling spicy, add a splash of sriracha!)


 Stuff the chicken and quinoa mixture into the peppers and top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs (optional, but obvi a good idea).


 Place the peppers in a baking dish, drizzle with a little olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees (or until cooked all the way through).


 It's as easy (and healthy and tasty) as that!! 
And I'm not going to lie, I'm no chef, but I certainly appreciated the variety of colors!


I'm looking forward to mixing and matching this recipe to come up with different variations... I'm thinking something with avocado?!  
If you have any suggestions of stuffing ideas, please do let me know!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Adventures!

It's Mondayyyy... whomp, whomppp!!
Although it's back to the grind, it's always easier after a little weekend R&R.
Here's what we've been up to recently!

***

Despite having lived in Arizona for 9 months, I just recently got a tour of John's building and office.  It was so nice to see where my hubby spends all his time at work... but, I will say that the man needs some office decor.

He doesn't even have a picture of me and Scout?! What the what?! Just kidding, but no really, I think I will be purchasing him a gold stapler to bling up his office a bit.  It's necessary.



This art is hanging outside of his office.  Is it just me, or does this art seem strange to be hanging in a law firm (and a firm where many are required to work long hours)? 

I get that art is all interpretive and stuff, so I will just chalk it up to "not getting it."  I can't imagine it was inexpensive either...



We recently went to a Phoenix Suns basketball game with one of John's coworkers and his wife.  We had a tasty dinner at The Arrogant Butcher before the game, and had a fun night out!



John and I have really been loving the weather lately.  
All of the cacti are blooming, and it is quite beautiful!



And the nice weather means evening hikes with Scout.  She loves it, we love it... it's a win all around!



John and I have been cooking dinner at home lately and are finally getting into a groove.  It's our third week, and each week it's getting easier.

We recently made the most yummy quinoa stuffed peppers... I will be sharing the recipe soon - easy and way tasty!



Preserve/ranch hunting season closes this coming weekend, so Scout and John went on one last hoo-rah... and they had a blast!  They got 5 chukar partridge and 2 pheasants.  This was Scout's first full hunting season, and we are just so proud of that girl - she even retrieved the chukars!



Our weekends have been busy, but they have left us with full hearts! The best kind of weekends :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five on Friday: All Things SPRING!

It’s officially the first day of springgggg, and that makes me so happy!

Even though there is no visible change in season here (it’s been warm for a while now), I absolutely love the mental change that comes with a new season. Y’all feel me?! So I’m linking up with Christina, Karli, and Amanda to share my Five on Friday: All Things SPRING!


ONE  |  Prints, prints, prints
Time to break out your Lilly! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some shift dresses in bright colors and prints. Pair with some Jacks, and bam. 

That easy... all things spring and summer and all things wonderful!



TWO  |  Summer vacation planning
Summer time is for vacations, and spring is for planning them.  John and I have a few good trips up our sleeve... now to just plan them!  Where are you headed on your summer vacation?!

(source)


THREE  |  Fresh flowers
I love fresh flowers year-round, but there is something even better about fresh flowers when spring hits.  Check out this awesome flower arranging guide for some simple spring flowers.



FOUR  |  Spring cleaning
Although spring cleaning isn’t always the most enjoyable, you really can’t beat the satisfaction of knowing your home is clean to the bone.  Below you will find a comprehensive to-clean list. 

I plan to tackle this and spread it out enough so that it doesn’t get too overwhelming.
Do you do any spring cleaning?!



FIVE  | Spring treats!
How cute are these cupcakes?!

I saw these in a magazine in the grocery store check out aisle (where all of my good blogging ideas come from...), and I thought they were way too cute not to share.  And so simple, too!



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wish List: All Things Green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  

I'm at work all day and won't be participating in any festivities 
(although I am wearing green pants, so there's that!).  

So make things a bit more exciting, I thought I would share my current wish list: all things green! 
John and I are in budget mode, but you best believe I will be keeping these items on my radar for the future!



All things green






Looking for some tasty eats?! Check out my all things green recipe index!



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