Monday, February 22, 2016

Happenings!

Mondayyyy, why do you always get here so quickly? I swear, I blinked and this weekend was over before I knew it! Is it bad that I'm looking forward to Friday already?!

It's been a while since I've shared what we've been up to lately, so here's a quick recap!

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One of the things that was so great about living in Scottsdale was all of the delicious restaurants in the area, and we've been struggling finding ones that we are super jazzed about (that aren't Mexican food) here in San Antonio... well, we've officially added a restaurant to our "must go again" list! 

The name of the restaurant is Bliss, and the atmosphere was great and the food was delicious - highly recommend! It was the perfect spot for our Valentine's Day dinner!


My 2016 travel bucket list included Big Bend National Park, and although I still haven't gotten a chance to make my way there, John and Scout went on a quail hunting trip. They had a great time and camped in the National Park. And thankfully, there were no encounters with large wild animals...


The terrain at Big Bend (and the surrounding areas) was very similar to what they are used to hunting in southern Arizona and they had an awesome time chasing quail through the desert.


 This past weekend we basically hung around the house, and it was pretty magnificent. We've been having fun planning our trip to Alaska, and watching all sorts of National Geographic documentaries on the state - the research and planning is half the fun for us!


Saturday morning I woke up, and out of absolutely nowhere, our trees had started blooming! The weather has been so fantastic lately, and the blooms really made me excited and convinced that spring is officially here (this makes my warm-weathered heart happy)!


Lily had a vet appointment this weekend, and she is just as cute as can be. She is getting big quickly (she is 15lbs, which is kind of a lot considering she is only 3 months old and Scout is 25lbs full grown), and loves to play with Scout (and by play, I mean never ending pestering!).


Sunday afternoon we went with our friends from our church small group to the San Antonio Rodeo and Stock Show! And to say I loved it would be an understatement... like, I wish John was a cowboy (actually, not really, but maybe wear a cowboy hat).

The San Antonio rodeo is a big deal, and being a first timer, it was super fun to learn about all of the different events. Without a doubt, the little kid mutton bustin' was my favorite event. :)


After each day at the rodeo they host a concert, and on Sunday Old Dominion was playing. They did a great job, and it was fun to see someone we actually knew (this year they have everyone from Martina McBride to Jason Derulo to Toby Keith... so you don't really know what you're going to get!).


The weekend closed just the way I like it... with relaxing and puppy cuddles - can't get enough!


Friday, February 19, 2016

Five on Friday

I can't remember the last time I did a Five on Friday, so I figured why not today... So here we go!


ONE  |  Hello Fresh
My parents recently bought John and me a week of Hello Fresh, and if you haven't tried it, you need to! It was perfectly portioned for the two of us, and not only was it tasty, but it me saved so much time with meal planning and grocery shopping. 

I am a total convert! Have you tried it? If not, you should!



TWO  |  Pre-Zoodled Noodles
I'm all about zoodles (zucchini noodles), but the truth is, they can take some time and be a bit messy to make. Well, I was at Whole Foods this past weekend, and they were selling pre-made zucchini noodles and carrot noodles - uhm, yes, please! They weren't cheap, but you can't beat to convenience. 



THREE  |  Donuts
Okay, I don't know what's come over me, but I was perusing Pinterest and came across a beautiful donut displays... then I started searching for more - moral of the story, my next party will certainly include donuts! 

(Is it strange that I mention donuts immediately after zoodles?)



FOUR  |  Rodeo and Stock Show
The rodeo has come to town, and I feel like our attendance is the final rite of passage for our lives as Texans. And I am actually super excited to see what its all about! It ends with an Old Dominion concert, so I think it will be a great time!



FIVE  |  Target Swimwear
Target has been killing it with their swimwear this year. And with warm weather around the corner here in Texas, there are several that I have my eye on!



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2016 Travel Bucket List

John and I have been planning our 2016 travel and decided to make a bucket list of all of the places that we would like to explore this year. 

We did quite a bit of traveling last year, but this year we've decided to keep things domestic. We were able to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, and we figured we should take advantage of it as much as we can while we have it!

Here's a quick look at our 2016 bucket list!

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Alaska

For our 5th wedding anniversary, John and I will be going to Alaska! We booked our trip this past weekend, and to say I'm excited would be an understatement. We will fly into Seattle and spend a day there before heading to Alaska. John and I went to Seattle over Thanksgiving two years ago, and I'm excited to see the city in the summer... but mostly, I cannot wait to explore the Last Frontier.



Denver, Colorado

John's younger brother recently moved to Denver, so we figured that it would be a perfect excuse to make our way to the city. John and I have explored southern Colorado pretty extensively, but haven't yet made our way to Denver. And no trip to Denver would be complete without a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park!



New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is a super quick flight from San Antonio, and would be the perfect destination for a long weekend adventure. John has been there several times, but I'm looking forward to experiencing the culture and food... lots of food!



New York, New York

New York City has been on my to-go list for awhile, and honestly, it seems silly that I haven't made my way there yet! We will likely save this trip for around the holidays (to experience at least a little bit of seasonal weather!). City, shopping, a show - yes, please!



Big Bend, Texas

This may seem like a silly add to our bucket list considering we live in Texas, but Big Bend is pretty much in the middle of nowhere (about a 6-7 hour drive from San Antonio, which is the closest big city in Texas). There are some great backpacking routes that John has been wanting to do, and we thought this would be the perfect way to explore and learn a little bit more about our new state!



What's on your 2016 travel bucket list?! If you've been to any of these locations, make sure to fill me in on all the good sites to see and places to see and eat!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

You know those pins that you've had sitting on your Pinterest board for a really long time, and you've just never gotten around to making them (despite how bad you've wanted to)? Well, these buffalo cauliflower bites were one of those pins for me... and they did not disappoint!

When deciding on the buffalo cauliflower recipe that I wanted to follow, there were many options - and some that were much healthier than others - but considering the fact that these are supposed to be "healthy" (or, at least, a healthier alternative), I opted for one of the non-breaded versions.


What you need:
- 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower
- 3/4 cup of buffalo sauce
- 1 tablespoon of melted butter
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder


Simply mix together the melted butter, garlic powder, and buffalo sauce. Then, cut the cauliflower into 1 inch pieces, and toss in the coating. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes (stirring half-way through).


After baking, serve immediately; pair with celery and ranch (or John's favorite, bleu cheese), and you've got yourself a super tasty appetizer!


Now, I don't know if I would call these a worthy substitute for buffalo wings, but they were certainly tasty and well worth munching on while watching a game or waiting for dinner to be ready!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Valentine's Day Brownies

As much as it pains to me to say, my days of macaron making have been put on pause for the foreseeable future... but just because I don’t have three hours to put towards baking doesn’t mean that I have to sacrifice fun holiday treats – it just means I have to go about them a bit differently!

Here’s a quick way to dress up a box of brownies and turn them into a sweet Valentine’s Day treat. Simple, festive, and tasty!



All you need is a box of brownie mix (and the ingredients required according to the box) and powdered sugar.



Bake the brownies according to the boxed mix instructions, and let fully cool. 
I used a round, springform pan, but any shape (or baking dish) will do!



After the brownies are fully cooled, cut a heart shape out of a piece of paper. Place the heart centered over the brownies and sprinkle with powdered sugar.



Carefully remove the paper, leaving the powdered sugar heart. And that’s all you need to do to turn normal brownies into a holiday treat!



Looking for other simple holiday desserts? How cute are these finds from Pinterest?!


Monday, February 8, 2016

DIY Valentine Mugs

This past weekend John and Scout went wild quail hunting near Big Bend National Park, 
and as much as I missed them, I enjoyed having some extra time to finally catch up on a little bloggity blogging! 

I've been so busy lately, and a little DIY (while catching up with some television - by the way, how amazing was the Superbowl halftime show?!) was just what the doctor ordered. I wanted a simple DIY that was Valentine's Day related... so I decided on His and Her mugs!


What you need:
- 2 white coffee mugs
- Oil-based Sharpies
- Letter Stickers


Begin by cutting out the letter stickers that you are looking to use for the mugs. Instead of using the letter sticker, you will use the outline of the letter; place on the mug in the center.


Next, using the stickers (and your creative scissor skills!), create a circle of stickers around the cut out letter boarder.


After all of the stickers are secure, start coloring! I did polka dots and stripes... but any designs will work (just keep in mind that there will be no Sharpie where the stickers are placed!).


Once the Sharpie is completely dry, remove the stickers, clean up any edges, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


After baking, let the mug fully cool, and ta da: you've got yourself Valentine His and Her mugs.
Perfect for breakfast in bed or as a holder for Valentine treats!




And in the name of all things Valentine's Day, treat yourself to a year of Birch Box!




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