4.15.2014

Lemon Meringue Eclairs


I remember the time Ryan and I were married for about 4 years, and always dreamed of the day we could live away from Utah for a while. We loved our families so much, but we desperately felt like we needed our own little lives. So when the law school applications went out, we sent them everywhere. 

Long story short, we ended up being accepted here in Utah and somewhere else. We were a little disappointed at first, but slowly realized everything was going to be just fine if we stayed here. After his first year of law school, he was chosen for a clerkship in Washington DC. We were so excited to have our own little adventure for 4 months outside of Utah, we also had a 2 month old at the time. Poor Ryan worked long and crazy hours when we lived over there, but I had the time of my life that summer! We lived in Maryland, and I took the metro into DC 2-3 times a week with that little baby of ours. I saw everything. I made sure of it. I had amazing adventures, and didn't care hot blazing hot it was some days. It was incredible, and I loved every second if that adventure (minus the long-hours-for-Ryan part). I saw everything I wanted to see in DC by the time summer drew to it's closure. We even drove to Ocean City for a day at the beach, and visited Gettysburg for an afternoon. It was just the three of us, and we finally had our chance to "just be us" for a while.

The summer had ended, and although I had the time of my life, I realized something very important... 


I needed family. 

I longed for my family. 

4.14.2014

Grilled Chicken Bacon Alfredo Pizza with Easy Thin-Crust Pizza Dough


Happy Monday, everyone! As you may have noticed, the blog got a little unplanned face-lift. I say "unplanned" because well, it was just that.

I woke up Saturday morning, and all my photos and blog header, and sidebar everything were gone. My heart completely sank. Apparently my bandwidth was too much for my image-hosting site. I do all my own blog designing, so I didn't have anyone to really call and find a fix. Plus, my image header code was completely gone, so I knew right then I'd need to redesign the dang thing again. So my entire Saturday morning and afternoon were spent redesigning everything, learning more HTML coding, trying to keep it together, and seriously contemplating hiring a web designer. However, paying down law-school student loans and new-home-down-payment savings are where any of our extra money is flying in, so hiring anyone was completely out of the question. I was stuck sitting there in front of my computer, trying not to pull all my blondie hairs right out of my head in frustration.

4.09.2014

Jamaican Jerk Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad


For a while, starting back in November, our little gym in our apartment complex was on the fritz. I would wake up early before the boys were even out of bed, get dressed, drag my feet to the "gym room" across the parking lot, turn on the light, step on the treadmill, only to find... 

that the DANG THING WAS BROKEN AGAIN. 

Step on the other treadmill - broken, too.

Fine, whatever. 
I could step on the elliptical instead, I thought. 
BROKEN! 

Are you kidding me, people?  

I wanted to light the thing on fire. 

Apparently when a treadmill malfunctions, my first resort is arson. 

4.07.2014

Avocado & Black Bean Enchiladas


Sometimes after a long meat-filled Sunday dinner, I like to keep the menu on Monday pretty simple. We usually use up the leftover meat from Sunday's dinner in our lunches or tie it into Monday's dinner somehow. I've learned that one of the easiest ways to serve up leftovers is to roll them up in a tortilla.

However, sometimes I just want something simple, light, and healthy for dinner after the weekend. Mondays are the perfect time to start afresh with our "eating lifestyles." So for us, it's usually the day we end up eating the healthiest. I've heard of families celebrating Meatless Monday, and I think it's a wonderful idea! (and we are super-meat lovers, let me tell you). But for economical reasons, it's also a great way to have a meal or two during the week that's much less expensive without the meat included. And with a dish like these enchiladas, you won't miss the meat for one second!

4.04.2014

Easy Enchilada Pasta


Well, it's Friday, my friends. We made it! This week has sure been a crazy one, but one thing happened that makes me feel like spring can finally start whenever it wants to:

Our entire house is freaking clean. 

I wanted to enjoy conference weekend at our home without thinking about how much my carpets could use a thorough cleaning, how high my dishes have piled, how unorganized my pantry is, how scary those leftovers in my fridge are getting, and generally how much clutter surrounded me. I just wanted to focus and enjoy. I always find this time of year to start anew. 

4.01.2014

Bird's Nest Cookies + Easter Traditions


With a brand new month starting today, I thought it would be fun to get a head start on all the cute little Easter treats we love to enjoy in the lovely month of April. 

When I was growing up, Easter was like a dreamland. My Mom or Grandma Molly would make my sister and I matching Easter dresses (sometimes with matching lace gloves and hand purses). We always dyed boiled eggs. The kids in our household always woke up to a line of little candy & toy-filled Easter baskets in the living room. Going to church was something we did/do year-round, but I was always excited to go to church on Easter Sunday because we always focused all the meetings around the Resurrection of our Savior. We came home to a delicious Easter honey ham, a huge pile of funeral potatoes, a pan of fluffy rolls, and sometimes my grandma's green marshmallow salad. It was just magic for me, really. 

3.30.2014

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce & How I Feel About Monotony


Sometimes we feel like our lives are soaked to the bone in complete monotony. 

Every day follows the same sequence, same take-husband-to-the-train-to-go-to-work, same peanut butter sandwich for the toddler at lunch, same holy-smokes-my-pants-are-getting-tight, same walk up and down three flights of stairs to the apartment, same mess to clean up after the day, same laundry to clean and fold, same naptime battle, same stories to read at night, same everything. 

We look around and feel the day we're living is the same as the last, and tomorrow is almost guaranteed to be a repeat. Like we're somehow trapped in too much of the same. Groundhog day comes to mind. Ever seen that show?