LIFESTYLE

Summer Bucket List

June 22, 2018

Having a little one who is now so active and on the move makes this summer that much more fun. There are so many things I want to take Luna to do and the first thing checked off on our bucket list: Strawberry Picking! (errr, or picking and immediately eating in Luna’s case…) We headed out to Krueger Farm on Sauvies Island and holy hell, it was hot. But we had a lot of fun and Luna was loving just running around eating all the berries. Strawberries are her absolute favorite so I figured this would be a hit.

Here is our Bucket List for this Summer!

  1. Go Strawberry Picking (check!)
  2. Go Blueberry Picking
  3. Take Luna camping
  4. Go to the Zoo (we’re members so this will happen A LOT!)
  5. Take a dinner picnic to Chapman Elementary and watch the Swifts fly in (only happens in September)
  6. Spend a weekend at the coast
  7. Take Luna to ride my mom’s horses…and just maybe a new pony is on the horizon ๐Ÿ™‚
  8. Go to one of the local ‘Movies in the Park’
  9. Go to an amusement park
  10. Spend many afternoons at the river!

 

LIFESTYLE

On the Move!

April 25, 2018

Three years ago we bought our first house just a few months before we got married. We have put in so much hard work making this little house of ours a home. We remodeled the kitchen and bathroom, repainted the interior and exterior, transformed the backyard into our little urban oasis but sadly we are at the point where we just need more space! Our current house in less than 1,000 sqft and with an active one year old and large dog, it is just too small for us now.

With that said we have officially begun the house hunt(err, like 2 months ago)! Living in Portland, the real estate market is crazy and we just haven’t found quite what we are looking for yet. We want to be in this next house for much longer so we (or maybe mostly me) are being pretty picky.

We are planning to list our current home as soon as we find a new house, so we are having professional photos taken for the listing this weekend!! That way we will be ready to list it the second we need to.

Hopefully we find something we love soon!

 

FOOD

Easy Chickpea Curry

April 4, 2018

What is up with this weather?! One day it will be 60 and sunny and the next its 48 and raining! Weather has a way of dictating the type of food I eat. When its cold I want some something that will warm me up, more comforting. While its the opposite when its hot out. With this typical Oregon weather we have been having it has me reaching for something warm and comforting but also on the lighter side. Insert this easy chickpea curry!

I am a huge fan of Indian food and chickpeas so, chickpea curry (with a side of garlic naan) seemed like the perfect fit. It’s quick and easy and seriously delicious. It is one meal that we eat on regular rotation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley,lemon wedges, and naan, for serving

In a sauce pan heat your oil over mediumโ€“high heat. Add in the onion and cook until softened and the edges start to brown. Then add in the garlic, curry, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Cook that up until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Next up add the chickpeas, tomato paste, salt, pepper and 2 cups vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
Remove the cover from the pot and increase heat a bit until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve over rice, topped with parsley and lemon wedges with a side of naan bread and delight in the easy delicious meal!

Bonus, this keeps really well in the fridge and I think it tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld!

LIFESTYLE

Hoppy Easter!

April 2, 2018

I swear every holiday is just that much more fun with a little one! We had a great Easter celebrating at home in the early morning and then headed to brunch later at my mom’s house. Seeing Luna’s little face light up when she saw her Easter basket this morning was the best. She had a blast throwing everything out of her basket and then throwing all the paper shreds everywhere… good thing shes cute!

We headed to brunch at my mom’s house around 9:30 and put Luna down for her a nap upstairs when we got there. It worked out great. She slept and Mars and I got to enjoy a couple mimosas ๐Ÿ™‚ Once we got her up we did a little egg hunt in the backyard and she got another Easter basket from my mom. She was one happy little bug.

Now, if only Portland’s weather would warm up a bit so it would start feeling a bit more like spring!

Also, I forgot to bring my camera to my moms so here are a couple i-phone shots. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DECOR, FOOD

Coffee Cart, Bar Cart, Al A Carte?

March 30, 2018

I have a major coffee addiction, specifically non-fat triple-shot vanilla lattes ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to go and buy a vanilla latte every. single. morning. That is until three years ago when Mars bought me an espresso machine for my birthday!!!!! (fueling my latte addiction)ย  This DeLonghi espresso machine has been hands down the best damn gift I have ever received! I use it every single morning to make Mars and myself a latte and then again later in the day for a little afternoon pick-me-up.

Since our house is so small and we have limited counter space in the kitchen I thought a coffee/bar cart would be the perfect solution. I got the cart at Ikea a few years ago. Super cheap and I just spray painted the silver metal pieces gold once I got it put together. While I say this is the coffee cart, it really is multi-functional. Coffee cart, bar cart, extra storage? Basically a little bit of everything but it all works!

The espresso machine specifically is seriously magical. Makes the perfect crema (although you do need to make sure your beans are ground to the right coarseness to ensure the ideal crema ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and steams the milk quickly with a nice froth. You can use whatever coffee beans you like, I typically use the Starbucks Espresso roast whole beans (Mars’ Dad is recently retired from working for Starbucks Corp., specially Tazo Tea, so he gives us bags of coffee all the time!) I also used to buy the Starbucks Vanilla syrup to add to my lattes but since they stopped selling it I started making my own (I’ll post that recipe soon)! And dare I say it’s even better? I love I can have the ability to create a cafe drink in my house, whenever I want.

Basically this cart has me covered. Morning/afternoon lattes, afternoon evening wine ๐Ÿ™‚ and recipes to satisfy those sweet and savory cravings in between.

LIFESTYLE

Luna’s First Birthday!

March 27, 2018

I can’t believe it has already been a whole year since this sweet little bug entered the world. She has filled our lives with so much love and laughter. I feel to lucky and proud to be her mama ๐Ÿ™‚

Since Luna’s birthday is March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day) we went with a more subtle St. Pattys theme, with a little bit of unicorns sprinkled in, for her party. A rainbow made from tassels, and lots and lots of balloons made for super cute, simple decor. We had a bunch of our friends and family over to our (tiny) house for brunch. Lots of yummy treats and of course, mimosas ๐Ÿ™‚

It was the perfect sweet celebration for our sweet little girl, Luna Knight!

FOOD

The Best Fish Tacos

May 23, 2017

Everyone loves tacos. And these fish tacos with a creamy chipotle sauce are too delicious (and easy) not to try!

TACOS
tilapiaย  fillets (about 2 per person)
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chili powder
flour or corn tortillas
CHIPOTLE SAUCE
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon of adobo sauce from can
2 garlic cloves (minced)
Juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
TOPPINGS
1 can corn
1 can black beans
shredded purple cabbage
avocado

Start with the sauce…Chop up the chipotle peppers, and mix together the mayonnaise, greek yogurt, minced garlic, lime juice, peppers, adobo sauce, salt and pepper. Voila! It’s ready to go and can be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.

Up next is the fish. Season the fish fillets with salt, pepper, chili powder, lime juice and drizzle with olive oil. In a saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish fillets and cook until browned on each side. Set them aside until you are ready to assemble the tacos!

Once you have the fish cooked and the sauce prepared you are ready to assemble the tacos! I always start with spreading a little (or a lot) of sauce onto the tortilla. I then break apart the fish fillets and spoon some onto the tortilla. I then top it with a little corn, beans, red cabbage and avocado. Add another dollop of sauce to top it off and enjoy!

These tacos are seriously so. freaking. good. I could eat them multiple times a week if I wanted!

LIFESTYLE

My First Month of Motherhood

May 9, 2017

We have survived one month (or almost 2 months at this point) with a newborn! It really is true what everyone says, being a mom is the hardest job you will ever do. I’m not going to sugar-coat anything, since our little girl Luna was born, it has been the most challenging time of my life, physically, mentally and emotionally.

The first two weeks (especially the first) were rough. I battled the baby blues and felt like a horrible person for feeling the way I did. I was mourning my old life when this new life had just begun. When someone asked me how I was, I did everything in my power to hold back the tears that inevitably would start flowing. My hormones were going crazy meaning my emotions were too. I wanted this baby more than anything but I couldn’t control the way I felt. I cried every time I thought about my dog (yes my dog), thinking she would feel so sad and replaced by this new baby. She had been the center of attention since coming into our lives two years ago, so in a way she was our first ‘baby’. (I’m sure this sounds ridiculous if you aren’t a dog person, but if you are maybe you can relate) She stayed at my mom’s house for the first week so my husband and I could get used to having the baby home and when we introduced Ivi to Luna, it couldn’t have gone better. Ivi loves to give Luna kisses and now doesn’t seem to be phased by this new little person in our lives. Such a relief.

Throughout those first couple weeks my husband was so amazing. Luckily he had about 3.5 weeks of paternity leave because I don’t know how I would of made it through without him. He recognized that I was feeling off and not the way I would of hoped. He sat me down to talk about it which helped so much and he did everything he could to just make the transition easier for me, even though he was going through the same transition too: no kids to having a kid. He truly is better than anyone I could of ever asked for and I feel so lucky to have him in my life.

While the first couple weeks were hard dealing with the baby blues, we entered the start of week three and it was like the cloud had lifted, my hormones were leveling out and I started feeling normal and more importantly, happy. Things have only gotten better and easier from that point on. We started developing more of a routine, started venturing out of the house more and seriously, the more you get out with a baby, the easier and less stressful it gets. And omg, thank god for the Solly wrap! The first few weeks Luna would cry in her car seat while we were out which made things stressful. But if we just popped in her Solly wrap she went to sleep immediately, and stayed asleep for our outing. Meaning we got to go out to lunch/dinner and eat (and have a margarita or two!) in peace! It was magical. Now that she is a little older (even just a couple of weeks older ha) she is much more content being in her car seat for outings or her stroller (though we always make sure to take the Solly wrap with us everywhere just in case). Another thing that has helped my overall mental state tremendously is the fact that she is a really really good sleeper at night! Once she was back above her birth weight her pediatrician gave us the go ahead to let her sleep for as long as she wanted at night. And literally ever since then, she goes down between 8:30 and 9:30 at night and sleeps anywhere from 6-8 hours before she wakes!!! Seriously getting that long stretch of sleep is so amazing, I don’t know what we would do if we had a baby that woke every hour or two. Once she does wake, usually about 4/4:30am, Mars gets up, changes her diaper, then hands her off to me to nurse her and she is back to sleep for a couple hours. I’m hoping over the next couple weeks we can get her to just sleep all the way through until about 6/6:30. That’s when we are typically getting up during the week anyways so it would be perfect:)

When Mars went back to work after 3ish weeks I was really nervous. Not because I didn’t think I could handle taking care of the baby alone, but because I enjoyed the company of having another adult around. Someone to talk to that could actually talk back. But after the first day, and then the first week went by it wasn’t so bad. I mean, I’m not going to lie, I still count down the hours until he gets home every day. But I feel totally confident in my abilities to survive the day without him. The one thing I was most nervous about was going on my first outing alone with the baby. I had pretty severe anxiety pre-baby so I was pretty nervous about this. But I talked myself into going to Target (of course) for my first outing. She slept in the car and I plopped her in the Solly wrap when we got there. She slept the whole time and then slept on the car ride home too. I felt like I had accomplished something huge, when it was really something so simple. Every week I have gone on more and more outings with Luna and none (knock on wood) have turned into a melt down situation! Before our first trip and honestly, still before every trip out, I get a flash vision of Luna screaming her head off while I have a shopping car full and me just totally panicking, dropping all my shit and booking it to the nearest exit. Thank god that hasn’t happened…yet. But seriously, the more you get out and do it, the easier it gets.

Overall, this first month, or almost 2 now, of motherhood have been hard, trying, overwhelming, exhausting but so. damn. amazing. This little baby girl has given a whole new purpose to our lives. She just started smiling a couple weeks ago and holy shit, it melts your heart every. damn. time. Now, can someone tell me how to get her to nap for more than 45 minutes at a time during the day? That would be really great ๐Ÿ™‚

FOOD

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

January 21, 2017

These are literally the BEST chocolate chip cookies! This is the first recipe I have ever made that didn’t turn out flat, pathetic, and unappetizing. Instead, these are SO thick, a little crunchy when they first come out of the oven and if you have enough self control to not eat the whole batch in one night, the next day they are chewy deliciousness!!!

I adjusted the recipe to make it more to my taste…more chocolate chips and cinnamon! You can never go wrong with a chocolate/cinnamon combo. I feel like the difference between this recipe and others I have made is the fact that you are using melted butter rather than just softened. That is literally the only thing I can think of that could be the difference between the flat cookies of the past and these delicious thick ones. Hope you give them a try because they are seriously too good not to!

What you’ll need…

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 12oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions…

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  • Mix together the sugars, melted butter, egg and vanilla
  • Stir together the wet and dry ingredients just until incorporated
  • Stir in the chocolate chips
  • Spoon mixture into tablespoon sized balls and place on cookie sheet
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes (depending on your oven so check them around 11 minutes just to be safe!)
  • Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and enjoy! Even better tasting the next day!
DECOR

Kitchen Renovation

January 12, 2017

Our kitchen remodel is finally done! We started the first weekend of December. My husband decided to take a few days off of work and try to get as much done in a 5 day stretch as possible. While he did get quite a bit done in that time, there was still so much more to do! Hence why it is just now finished….a month later.

One of the biggest time consumers was the cabinets. We went back and forth whether or not we wanted to rip the old ones out and start fresh, or keep the original set and repaint. While new cabinets would of been nice, we ultimately decided to keep the originals and sand them down and repaint. The biggest factor behind this decision was the fact that because the kitchen is so small we didn’t really have the option to change the layout at all so it just made more sense to keep the original cabinets, especially since they were real wood and were still in really good condition (other than the multiple layer of thick gross-colored paint…) Since we were keeping the cabinets we wanted to make the new paint look as nice as possible, so we sent all the cabinet doors to a local company to be completely stripped down to the bare wood so we had a nice fresh surface to paint over. This took a couple weeks, so we lived with an almost complete kitchen without cabinet doors for a bit. Not only did the stripping take some time, the actual painting was lengthy as well. We ended up using Valspar Cabinet Enamel and had it tinted to with a couple Valspar colors. For the top cabinets we went with Valspar Cool Grey and for the bottom cabinets we went with Valspar Autumn Fog. I know some people take a ton of time deciding on paint colors, but my husband and I walked into Lowes, and picked these out literally in 5 minutes. I knew what I was looking for so I suppose that helped.

Overall we did quite a bit of work in the kitchen. We stripped and painted the cabinets, installed a new checkerboard black and white floor, white subway tile backsplash, butcher block counters, a new farmhouse sink and faucet, painted the walls, put in new baseboards, and got all new appliances. While it was a lot of work (thanks to my husband!) we are so happy with how it turned out. My vision for a modern farmhouse style truly came to life and I couldn’t be happier!

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