September 25, 2018

One Week of Meals!

I don’t know about y’all, but after going to work all day I get home hungry and unmotivated to make dinner. But, it has to happen. So, my method to alleviate this madness is planning ahead and having a cheat dinner or two in the house.


A cheat dinner at my house is something easy like a frozen pizza or a frozen family style dinner. It requires little to no effort, generally just a throw in the oven for a bit and voila, dinner is served.


Every other Friday I think about what meals we should have that week and make a list and then make a grocery list based on the meals. I don’t particularly like going to the grocery store, so I tend to go every other week. It means that we end up running low on fruits and veggies by the end of the second week, but getting some frozen and some fresh solves that problem!


I don’t like to assign meals to certain days, because what I planned for Thursday may not sound good on Thursday! So I prefer the fly by the seat of your pants approach. Also, my recipes during the week are generally super easy. I don’t want something too complicated because I like to relax in the evenings. On weekends I’ll do things that take more time like homemade pizza!


Last week looked like this:


Monday
Breakfast Tacos - For dinner!
Fitness, Health, Recipe, Wellness
Tortilla with bacon (follow the directions on your package), scrambled eggs (cooked for about 5 minutes), and cheese! Breakfast for dinner is always fun!


Tuesday
Chicken Tarragon Salad
Fitness, Health, Recipe, Wellness, ChickenFitness, Health, Recipe, Wellness
Four cans of chicken, one cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, chopped celery, and cranberries all mixed together. This is great in a lettuce wrap! And super healthy!


Wednesday
Steak
Fitness, Health, Recipe, WellnessFitness, Health, Recipe, WellnessFitness, Health, Recipe, Wellness
Using a store marinade makes steak super easy! Just throw it in a bag for a little while (30 minutes to an hour) and then grill! 


Thursday
Perfect Meat Marinade
Fitness, Health, Recipe, Wellness


Friday

Leftovers!

September 21, 2018

Blossom Update!

The garden has grown SO MUCH!! We now have tons of plants! And hopefully soon, veggies! I planted all my seeds on September 2nd, about a week before it started to rain and didn’t stop for two and a half weeks. Talk about great timing!


For the week of no rain, I did notice one strange thing: when I watered the garden, the water wouldn’t sink into the soil, it would collect on top. Only about half an inch was getting wet. Obviously not enough to water my plants! So, after doing some research I found that if soil is allowed to get completely dry, like soil you buy from a company, then it’s difficult to get it to take water again. The best way to fix this is to slowly water the soil for long periods of time. For a few days I did this and it seemed to make a difference. The water was sinking in faster and more than a half inch was getting wet. My flowers perked up pretty quickly after I made the change! Another suggestion I’ve gotten was to add mulch or peat moss to my soil after this crop to make it looser so water will seep into the garden.
flower garden
Then it rained! A lot! So everything started popping up and growing like crazy!!! Seeing those little sprouts show up was very exciting. I was amazed to see the difference in just a day’s growth. (You can also see the water pooling problem I talked about in the left photo-September 6th; In the right photo the water has seeped into the soil- September 7th)

garden beans, veggie gardengarden beans, vegetable garden



Here’s what all I planted (:
Sunflower
Sunflower, veggie garden

Pumpkin
pumpkin, vegetable garden raised garden

Beans
garden bean, veggie garden

Watermelon

Carrot
Carrot, Vegetable garden, raised garden

Summer Squash
Summer squash, yellow squash, veggie garden

Spinach
spinach, vegetable garden

Cucumber
cucumber, veggie garden

Arugula
Arugula, backyard vegetable garden

Broccoli
broccoli, raised vegetable garden

Lettuce
lettuce, backyard vegetable garden

Potato
potatoes, veggie garden

My first harvests should start happening in about two weeks. I’m very excited to see the continued growth in all my plants!! I know I got them in the ground pretty late for a fall crop, but they seem to be handling everything well.




Veggie Garden

Vegetable Garden

September 19, 2018

Cheers to .5 Years!

Y’all!! Justin and I have been married for 6 months!! So far marriage has been pretty fun. I love coming home to my hubby every night and he’s always super supportive and sweet. I still can't believe we're married and time has gone by so quickly! Clearly, we had to celebrate!!

We started our day with a nice walk with the pup! We went to Brushy Creek Regional Trail for the first time. It was gorgeous and had a stream that Atka loved! His leash broke at one point - he enjoyed being free for a minute or two!

Husky, hike, Brushy Creek

Husky, hike, Brushy Creek

After our walk we made a delicious steak lunch with steamed broccoli and mashed potatos. We sat down and enjoyed each other’s company over the meal!


cooking, cook, kitchen


We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and hanging out! And then finished the day off with some celebratory drinks and dinner.


Dinner, anniversary
Dinner, fashion


It was great to celebrate such a wonderful day in our lives. I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful partner!

September 14, 2018

Look Good, Feel Good

So, back in the day I was really good about working out. Once I hit the "real world" I fell off the wagon. I got back on track as I got ready for my wedding, but when Justin got sick it really derailed everything! 
Now I am on a mission to get back in shape! I'm tired of not feeling as confident in my clothes or as happy as I could be with my body. The solution? Exercise regularly and eat well. Obviously. But, since I've been having a hard time with that, I decided to join Beach Body! It has an accountability system, online videos designed for at home workouts (so no excuses about not wanting to drive!), and  a nutrition plan designed specifically for the workout program you choose! 
I am starting with a 21 Day Fitness Challenge. It starts on September 24th, so if you want to join in on this adventure you can email me or click here for the 21 Day Fitness Challenge!
Stay tuned for updates on what the workouts are like, what the meal plan is, and before & after pics!

September 11, 2018

Honeymoon aka Heaven


The hubby and I took our honeymoon some time after our wedding. Once all wedding stuff had calmed down and we had reached a new sort of normal, we were whisked off to Antigua, a Caribbean Island. We stayed at a Sandals Resort for eight days, and it was absolutely amazing!
The water was perfection. The beach was calm with barely any wind, the water was a great temperature and looked like a giant swimming pool that stretched for miles! We literally spent hours swimming, snorkeling, and soaking up the sun and water!
Antigua Beach
Antigua Beach
The food was phenomenal. Everything tasted delicious. My favorite was probably the Caesar Salad at Barefoot on the Beach. The dressing was so light and flavorful and it even had shrimp in it! Which is totally my fave! There was everything from burgers and steaks to lobster and crab cakes to pizza and sushi! Basically anything you could think of you could get. And all of it was cooked with exceptional skill and presented beautifully!


Antigua trip crab cake
Antigua trip Pizza
Antigua trip Caesar salad
Antigua trip shrimp cocktail
The best time we ate though was definitely a candlelit dinner one evening, which was just about the most romantic thing ever! We then went on an evening stroll of the beach. It was a really great night.
Antigua trip candlelit dinner
Landscaping was beautiful everywhere you looked throughout the resort. We would wander around just to enjoy the beautiful scenery and perfect temperature! There were all different colors of flowers and strange cool plants. Kitties even walked around in the evenings! And there were macaws in the lobby!


Antigua trip Macaw
On an excursion that went around the island by boat we got to hold a stingray and snorkel with them swimming all around us (unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of this because my phone died). They were HUGE, like three or four feet across if not bigger! We also saw a sea turtle while snorkeling! On another excursion we went around the whole island, all 108 square miles, by jeep. We learned so much history about the area and saw amazing views everywhere we turned. On both excursions we had Rum Punch. This is a delicious bright red drink that we found out, after two or three glasses, was just rum with a splash of grenadine! We were shocked!


This was the absolute best honeymoon we could have asked for! I loved every minute of it. It was a fantastic way to get our marriage started- relaxing, delicious, fun. Overall I can only describe it as perfect in everyway! Even after eight days we weren’t ready to come home, the idea of staying on those beautiful beaches with impeccable food sounded way better!

September 5, 2018

7 Date Ideas

I enjoy going out with Justin to dinner or a movie as much as the next couple, but sometimes we want
to switch it up or not spend money to do something. Here are 7 of our favorite off-the-beaten-path dates!

1. Hike
We take Atka, our dog, on hikes all the time. It’s great to get a little exercise and we end up
having quality conversation. Plus the pup loves it!


2. Stay-in Movie
Going to see a movie is great, but being able to pause the movie for a bathroom break is pretty
awesome too. We turn the lights out at home, close the blinds, make popcorn with too much
butter, get a big glass of soda and then snuggle up to watch whatever film is featuring in the
living room! Justin love Trolls, so that’s a frequent go to!

3. Picnic
While going out to dinner is a good time, a picnic provides a change of scenery without the added
cost of a restaurant. And, it’s way more romantic and intimate.

4. Spur of the Moment Trip
This one can be pretty price, but it’s a lot of fun to run away for a weekend! Justin and my go-to is
Louisiana for a weekend of gambling and walking around the many lakes in the area. There’s even
a 118 acre rose garden near Shreveport called The Gardens of the American Rose Center! It’s
SSSOOOO much fun to walk around!

5. Kite Flying
This is a lot of fun- at least on a windy day! Go to the store and grab a kite and spend a few hours
running around with it and seeing how high you can make it fly. Maybe even make it cheesy with
an “I love you” banner tied to the tail!

6. Painting With a Twist
This is one of my favorites, and while it is pretty common, I still feel worth mentioning because it’s
so freakin’ fun! We have been several times now and have had a blast every time! We take a bottle
or two of wine and get to painting while laughing so hard we’re crying at Justin’s attempts to paint
(though his last one was pretty good!). Groupon often has coupons for either Painting with a Twist
or Pinot's Palette which can make this date not too expensive.

7. Bowling
Justin and I haven’t been bowling in a while, but if you can find a discount on groupon or go on a
slow day, like Tuesday (even in the evening), then it can be pretty cheap! It’s a lot of fun and a great
way to add some friendly competition to date night! Occasionally we would add bumpers, just because
sometimes it’s fun to have a safety net!

September 2, 2018

Blossom Update: Veggie Garden Setup

When I was growing up I always had a veggie garden going. Now that I have a house, I can finally
have one again!

While setting up the garden did have some upfront costs, long term I think it will save us money. Take,
for instance, spinach. I buy a bag of spinach every other week for $1.98-2.28 (depending on time of
year). That’s $51.48-59.28 per year (without taxes) just on spinach. That’s enough for my WiFi bill for
a month! By starting a garden I can cut that cost and have organic instead of non organic produce. It’s
a win-win!

The set up was a little more work than I anticipated. I live in ATX, so have rock about two inches below
ground surface. I decided doing an above ground bed would be easiest. That way I wouldn’t have to
deal with the rock. So, I ordered some dirt and went and bought four 8x1x10 boards and one 8x1x8. I
only needed one because we built off an existing chicken coop, so no need for the second board!

Backyard elevated veggie garden

Step one was to construct the bed. We made a 20x8 garden. I am super excited about this - so much
space for veggies! We secured the boards in the rectangle with screws and very large nails. Smaller
boards, cut into blocks, were used to overlap where the two 10 foot boards met and in the corners. We
waited to put the last end board on so we could take the wheelbarrow into the garden to dump the dirt.
After it was full we put the last board on!

Backyard elevated vegetable garden

Step two was moving the dirt! I had a huge pile of dirt delivered on the driveway. One squeaky wheelbarrow
at a time, we moved the dirt to the garden. Talk about a workout!

Backyard elevated vegetable garden dirt
Backyard elevated vegetable garden

Next came the fun part! I mixed fertilizer into the garden and then shaped my rows. I decided to go with
rows perpendicular to the garden (so 8 feet long) because I thought identifying what was in the row
would be easier than trying to figure out where I stopped planting one thing and started another. After
that I carefully placed my seeds into the rows. We have sunflowers, cat grass, pumpkins, watermelon,
garden beans, spinach, carrot, broccoli, celery, and lettuce!

Backyard elevated vegetable garden

I also added a little flower garden on the other side of the coop since we had extra dirt! They add a nice
bit of color to the corner of the yard.

Keep an eye out for updates on the garden - we should see our first sprouts in 10-14 days!

We're Moving!