Friday, January 25, 2013

Take the Road That Leads to Awesome

This video is great, especially if you need are in need of a pep talk. ;) 

Also, his rendition of The Road Not Taken is the best I've ever heard. Not cool, Robert Frost. Not cool! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Warm weather, frisbees, and hot air balloons

Today was a beautiful day. Temperature in the 60s, sunny, beautiful, and perfect. I can't believe it's January. 

The weather was far too perfect to stay inside, so once my handsome husband got off work we went for a walk around the park. It's a good time to hold hands and talk and be cute 'n stuff. ;) Plus we get some much needed exercise. 

Did I mention it was perfect? :) I love Arizona. 

We threw the frisbee around for a few minutes too. We first met at an ultimate frisbee game so playing with him always brings back happy memories. :) I can't believe it's been more than 2 years since that chilly October night! I sure am glad I braved the cold. 

On our way back to the car, we spotted a red hot air balloon and I decided to be a crazy person and chase it. 

And guess what? I got lucky and found it just after it landed so I got to get a closer look at it and see them take it down! Here's some pictures. :)

There is something that intrigues me about hot air balloons. I cant imagine what it would be like to be in a little basket up in the sky at the mercy of the wind. I've flown in planes before, but I'm sure this is so different. I would love to ride in one someday, but then again just the thought of being one or two thousand feet above the ground makes me a little dizzy!

I'm not really sure what the point of this post is, but man, I sure do love evenings like this. I love being married to someone that is both my husband and my best buddy. I get to hang out with him every day and wake up next to his handsome face every morning, and that is just the bee's knees (whatever that means). ;) 

Creamy Tomato Pasta {Pin a Week 4/52}

This is definitely one of the best recipes I've found on Pinterest!

Click here to view the original recipe
I'm a sucker for pasta, all kinds. I love the tang of a good tomato sauce and the richness of a good cream sauce, and this blends the two together perfectly!

I pretty much followed the recipe this time, especially after last week's flop, but I did do a few things different. First of all, I added some sweet Italian sausage for some protein and flavor. I also used quite a bit more garlic... maybe even 3x as much. We really like garlic around here, okay? ;) It was just the right amount for our taste.

Last of all, I took a shortcut and just used bottled Alfredo sauce instead of making my own. I died a little inside doing that since I know how much better homemade cream sauce is, but I could't justify buying the ingredients since I know we'd probably never end up using the remainder. It called for 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup half and half, and I just couldn't justify buying a half gallon of milk and a carton of half and half that would most likely end up going to waste. Well, that and I didn't want to go to the store... heh heh. ;) Maybe that had more to do with it than anything, but whatever. It still tasted great with the bottled sauce, but one of these days I'm going to have to try using a homemade cream sauce.

Anyway, it was definitely a hit and I'm sure the leftovers won't last long! I'll be making this again for sure.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pan roasted chicken with garlic, potatoes, and green beans {Pin a week 3/52}

This week was a little crazy, so I'm posting this a little late... oh well. :)

Get recipe here

This recipe was pretty easy and probably would have turned out really well if I hadn't forgotten about the potatoes after I took the chicken out... they were a little overdone. ;) Also, I made the mistake of adding a little too much lemon juice. I also left out the green beans because the ones I had in my fridge were turning brown... dang it. Apparently they had been in there longer than I thought. 

The bottom line is that this is probably a really good recipe if you actually follow the recipe. ;) Let me know if you try it! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bow Tote {Pin a Week 2/52}

I've been meaning to make some kind of tote for my seminary books for a while now. The bag I've been using just doesn't cut it, not when I'm hauling scriptures, a notebook, two thick manuals, a folder overflowing with papers (which desperately needs to be organized... oh well :P), pens, and anything else I need for the lesson that day. When I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it out.

Click here to view the tutorial
As you can see, I changed it up a bit to make it my own. 

Besides the obvious difference in my choice of fabric, I added another pocket inside (Because this world could use more pockets, especially in purses and skirts. Am I right?), and I also just sewed the bow right onto the anchor strap. On the original, the center of the bow wraps around both the bow and the anchor strap, but I liked the contrast of the gray against the blue and it kind of messed it up to do it that way. I also made the bow a little smaller and the bag bigger so my books would fit comfortably. 

Oh, and one tip if you are going to make this yourself... make sure you sew the straps on the right way. Trust me, I learned the hard way that involved a good amount of seam ripping and grumbling. Whoopsie. ;)

My seam ripper is both my best friend and my worst enemy... 
I think it turned out pretty cute though, if I do say so myself. ;)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

8 Can Taco Soup {Pin a Week: 1/52}

Here is my first completed pin of this year!

Get recipe here.

This such a good, easy recipe. It really is as simple as dumping 8 cans of beans, chicken, corn, etc as well as some seasoning into a pot. That's my kind of recipe! :)

The recipe calls for a packet of taco seasoning, but I like it with a little more kick. I added some chili powder, crushed red pepper, cumin, and other spices to give it a little more flavor. Also, I like it pretty chunky so I didn't add a full can of broth. Next time I think I will leave it out completely. The best thing about this recipe is that it is really versatile and you can add whatever you want to make it your own. It's really good with cheese and tortilla chips, and cornbread would be really good too! I was just too lazy for that today. ;)

Another great thing about this recipe is that all of the ingredients have a long shelf life. Great for food storage, which I need to work on!  

Happy New Year!

Snuggled up on the couch watching the ball drop on Times Square. Can you tell I was really tired?
Also, I promise I am not 12...

Well, despite our fears of the Mayan apocalypse, we managed to survive 2012! And what a great year it was. :) I'm really looking forward to what this coming year will bring us. It's exciting to think about where we will be a year from now, and the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that... you get the idea. Life is so good right now, and it just keeps getting better all the time, so I can only imagine how good it is going to get as the years go by! I am so blessed to be in a happy marriage with someone that really makes me happy and I know that is one of the main reasons why life is so good and why I am so looking forward to the future that is in store for us!

Besides giving me an excuse (like I need one) to be sappy about that husband of mine, New Years is such a great time to "take inventory" and make resolutions/set goals that will help me become a better version of myself. Most of them are going to remain in my personal journal. I figure the whole world doesn't need to know my weaknesses and faults. ;) Here are a couple of the less embarrassing ones though... and they happen to be my favorites too!

  1. Get my house organized and decorated. This includes a lot of projects. For example:
      • Paint, paint, paint. Our living room is good (Bless you Dallin for taking care of that when you bought this house!), but everywhere else is a cold, dingy white. I'm not a fan. It's intimidating but I'm going to hike up my britches, roll up my sleeves, and get started on this soon. We just have to pick colors... which is probably the biggest reason why I have not started yet. We're both rather indecisive people. ;)
      • Clean out our garage. Yippee! 
      • Get our canyoneering/hiking/camping/hunting paraphernalia organized. If you know Dallin and I, you know that we have quite a bit of this. :) Our upstairs bedroom is now appropriately referred to as the "canyoneering room" since that is where we are keeping all that junk now. One we clean out the garage, it will all get moved down there. Can't wait. 
  2. I love Pinterest. There are so many great ideas just waiting to be discovered. My problem is that I spend a lot more time discovering these great ideas than I spend actually using them. My second resolution is to do a pin a week, whether is is a recipe, sewing or craft project, or whatever I feel like doing. I'm also going to post about it on my blog since I know that will help me keep doing it, plus, it will be nice to keep a record of the pins I've completed. :)
Well, that's a wrap for now... Happy New Year! 2013 is going to be great, I can feel it! :)