Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Favorites:: Easy Solo Dinner

Happy Good Friday to you. I hope where ever you are, you have a chance to remember the reason for today's holiday.

I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika for another Friday Favorites today, and I'm sharing my favorite meal for one. Off and on I'm on my own with the boys and (keeping it real!) my go-to meal for them is macaroni and cheese. Sometimes things like hot dogs, sandwiches, or eggs make it on to the table too. I used to eat whatever I made them to make it a super easy evening, but last December I found out I'm allergic to a bunch of foods including dairy. Last week when Dave was away working, I had this Paleo Eggs & Veggies for dinner several times. 

This dish is super easy and surprisingly tasty. I was inspired by my sister Kathleen, who makes something like this for breakfast. Yum! 

Ingredients (serves 1) 
2 tsp coconut oil
2 eggs 
Lettuce, chopped 
Green onion, chopped 
Fresh cilantro (or a different herb you like)
1/2 small tomato, diced 
1/4 cucumber, diced up small 
1/4 avocado, seeded, peeled, and sliced small 
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil 

Fry some eggs in coconut oil. I prefer mine over medium for this dish because that runny yolk is perfect over all the veggies. Season your eggs with salt, pepper, and other spices like red pepper flakes and basil. 

I'm just getting used to frying my eggs in a cast iron pan, so they turned out a little brown on the edges. 

Chop up your lettuce and green onion and tear off some cilantro. Mia these three ingredients on your plate. Slice your cucumber, tomato, and avocado. Toss into your salad. Leave some to garnish. 

Put the eggs right on top of your lettuce and veggies. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, and tomato. 

You can use dressing and cheese if you want (goat cheese would be excellent!) but the runny yolk kind of makes up for not having dressing. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Life Lately:: Traveling & Sick

It's been a rough week, so I've been pretty quiet on here. We had a busy couple weeks, packed up and made a long drive. Aiden got sick in the middle of it and we are back on the road. To say we travel a lot would be an understatement and I'm starting to question our sanity. Haha :) 

The week started out with some new "astronaut" Legos for our big boy Aiden. 

We put a sink only 24 inches off of the floor in our upstairs bathroom. When we decided to do that, this is exactly what I imagined. Love! 

Sometimes those big blue eyes just get me. 

Happy morning from Aiden! 

Snow in March is rarely pretty, but the St Patrick's Day storm that came a week ago created many gorgeous scenes around our yard. 

We stayed with family on our drive, and I had to get a picture of Kristine with their dog Trixie. She stayed with them for a week. 

Aiden wasn't looking right on Tuesday but didn't feel feverish. By night time his fever was 101 and by morning it was 102. He had a very restless night and was so tired, so I gave him some pain reliever so he'd be comfortable. He slept on and off all day Wednesday, but his fever returned during the night Wednesday night. Here's Aiden and Anders this morning. Aiden's fever has been gone all day but he still has some other symptoms. 

He picked out his toys to bring in the van, and was pretty upset with me when I went outside and didn't bring him. He thought he was getting left behind. 

Back on the road! We brought along a nanny for this trip. :) I've been feeling spoiled with all the help! 

Roadtrip sights.  

The gorgeous hills of Tennessee that we sing about in Proud to be an American.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Show and Tell:: Soundtrack of My Life

Today's Show and Tell Tuesday is a link-up with Andrea and we are talking about the playlist of our lives. I can close my eyes and think about certain times in my life and a song just pops into my head. And vise versa... I can think of a song and remember specific times. I had a lot of fun remembering those songs and those times, but some periods of my life come up blank. I'm going to do my best!

In middle school the only song I really remember is the Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams. When I close my eyes and think of that song, I remember my Minnesota friends coming to stay over and walking EVERYwhere. We walked to Burger King, the candy store, the local waterfalls. We walked home from church. We walked to other friends houses. One time we walked a few miles to a restaurant only to find it closed! 

I talked to some of my friends who go all the way back to high school to come up with this next list. 

We jammed to some really great songs in high school, like Right Kind of Wrong and Can't Fight the Moonlight by Leann Rimes, Joyride by Roxette, and Tubthumping by Chumbawumba. Anyone remember that song?!! 

It Wasn't Me by Shaggy is another song I'm not sure how we found. And there were many many nights we had Enrique on repeat singing I Can Be Your Hero! ;) 

We were talking the other night and can't quite figure out our styles. Were we in style? Was this how everyone dressed? Haha... I'm not sure. (Check out that wallpaper!) Dixie Chicks reminds me of high school, and we liked them before they became political. 

I don't remember so many songs from my college years, but there are a few that take me back to 2003 or 2005. Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson brings me back to September 2004 sitting in my car at my friend's camp, listening to the whole song before going inside. Kenny Chesney's songs When the Sun Goes Down and especially Anything But Mine remind me of my senior year. 

Reppin' our school at a basketball game!

Graduation day with two of my sisters. 

This is a little embarrassing because it's really not me, but while I was student teaching I had a routine. I'd get in the car for my 28 minute drive home everyday, and before I turned onto the highway, I'd have a Nelly cd playing in my Ford Taurus. That music helped me de-stress after busy days. That's the only time in my life I've listened to rap music.

After college, I moved to Connecticut to nanny and work for a family. I hadn't been hired as a teacher and did not feel inspired to substitute teach for an entire year, so I took the opportunity to see another part of the country and travel a little. I met some friends there and we had a lot of fun together that year. We went to NYC to watch Keith Urban and later Rascal Flatts perform on the morning news shows. Any of their songs remind me of that year on the east coast.
Close up of Keith Urban himself!  

Rascal Flatts with Diane Sawyer and Robin (??) 

How to Save a Life by The Fray will always remind me of the youngest boy (6 years old) I nannied for, and Fergalicious reminds me of the next one up from him. 

Facedown by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was the main song I listened to on repeat driving around CT. I bought their cd just for that song. I'm not sure why it spoke to me, but in retrospect I now know it had a lot to do with what was going on with one of my sisters at the time. 

In the years after CT and before I got married, my friends and I listened to Flogging Mollys a lot. And believe it or not, Dave and I do not have a song. We have even talked about it a few times and we can't even come up with one. 

The only songs I know lately are things like If You're Happy and you Know It, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea. 

Thanks for taking this journey with me. It was long, but a lot of fun for me to think about and write about. 

Have a great Tuesday! 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Favorites:: Peek into our House

Today for Friday Favorites, I'm talking about some of my favorite details around our house. I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals. 

When Dave and I were engaged (SIX years ago!), we decided we were going to build a house on the ten acres he already owned. Our plan was to save save save and hopefully have it built by our fifth wedding anniversary. We dug out the basement and footings and built the foundation in 2012, and on the day Anders was born in 2014 a crew started framing up our house. They framed it in and got the exterior completely done that summer and during the fall and winter we had guys working on the interior. By springtime, we moved in. It wasn't complete but close enough. :) All spring and summer, Dave was doing parts of it himself (hanging cupboards and stuff like that) and I even chipped in some help. Fast forward to this winter and we finally were able to hire someone to do the trim and baseboards on the first floor. Now I'm ready to share some pictures and I decided I'd pick out some of my favorite details around our house. 

I love our laundry room cupboards! We picked these out from Ikea and they help me stay organized. We have white in our kitchen so it was fun to go darker in the laundry room. 

Two of my favorites are in our master bathroom. First, these knobs I picked up from Hobby Lobby. This is an IKEA bathroom vanity and it came with plain little knobs that I didn't really like. I waited for the knobs at Hobby Lobby to be 50% off, and got these for $5 each. 

Here's a close-up detail of one of the knobs. They are made out of glass and metal. 

My second favorite from our master bathroom is the tile in our shower. We got it from Lowe's. I can find the specs if anyone is curious. I wanted the grey and white mosaic detail on the whole back wall, but it was way too expensive. I settled for this band of the tile mosaic going around at eye level and the little niche for soap and shampoo. 

We both like how it turned out. 

Next up are some of my favorite light fixtures. 

First, our living room chandelier: (some of the shades are a little crooked from some balloon interference up there - oops!) 

Since it's kind of high up there, it's hard to get a good picture. 

It sat in my cart at Amazon for a couple weeks before I was brave enough to click "purchase." The style is a little different than anything else we have, so I wasn't too confident in my pick. I couldn't find anything we liked better, so we went for it. I'm glad we did! 

Here are some more light fixtures in the living room. Instead of having lamps on tables that my 1 year old could pull down, we put wall sconces around the room. These lights each have their own switch, so they kind of act as lamps. 

The last light fixtures on my list of favorites are the island pendants. I really wanted the lantern look but most of them were just too expensive. These are some of the very first purchases we made for our house. I found a deal, so I snatched them up about eight months before we needed them. :) 

The last favorite I'll share is our railing and spindles. The guys who built this did an amazing job and Dave and I really love it. 

We feel so blessed and lucky to get to call this place home! The absolute best part about it? The location, hands down. 

One day I'll do another post about our house, showing the rooms and stuff. I don't feel like I have everything in order enough to do that now, so that's why you're just getting some of the details. 

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Family Travel Life:: The Sun

I have an Instagram page where I share my photos of our travels around the US and Caribbean. You can follow me if you'd like. I've had a little bit of a passion for photography since high school. I had an apprenticeship through my art teacher, and that confirmed my love for photography. In the years after college, I was a second shooter for weddings for several years, and I've done several weddings myself. I'm not super into wedding photography, so I never pursued that. Over the past year I've been trying to figure out what some of my passions are again (after being so busy being a teacher, then having two kids within a couple of years), and photography kept coming up. I decided to start the Instagram page to share some of my travel photos from the past ten years. Here are some of the photos. 

In the summer of 2012, Dave was working in Buffalo, NY, so that's where we lived. We were on our way back to Buffalo and stayed a night in Mackinaw City, and woke up to this view out of our hotel room. We both wanted to cancel the rest of our trip back and instead enjoy this scene all day. Of course that didn't happen, but I'm so glad I have this photo. 

I know I've shared both of these photos already, but I wanted to put them on here because all of my photos I'm sharing are sunrise or sunset photos. A few weeks ago on the debarkation day of our cruise, we woke up to this spectacular sunrise. 

I couldn't stop looking at it and trying to snap photos from different perspectives. Love. 

That first full day on the cruise, we got to see this cool sunrise. 

On the last full day of our cruise, this pre-sunset scene unfolded off the back of our ship. 

I've already seen many sunsets from my mom and dad's driveway and street. I can't resist that sun going down with the palm tree in the forefront photo. 

On our way to Florida last time, the sky to the west of us lit up with fiery red and orange colors. The hills turned blue. It was such a treat, at 75 mph. ;) 

Two years ago we saw this soft hazy sunset as we left St Maarten on a Caribbean Cruise. 

On that same cruise we got to watch the sun disappear behind the steep hills in St. Thomas. 

This is somewhere in the Caribbean. I can't even tell you when it was, but it was off the back/front/side of a cruise ship. :) 

Last winter we had a birthday party for my sweet little nephew at sunset at Fort Myers Beach. To this day, it remains the best birthday party I've ever been to. 

Three years ago, Dave, Aiden, and I went for a quick trip to Washington, DC. One of the best parts of the trip was seeing the sun streaking through the trees onto the sidewalk. I love that late evening low light. 

Then this happened! 

A year and a half ago, I couldn't resist capturing these colors as they painted the sky over Iowa. Another one through the window at 75 mph. 

One of my favorite places to watch a sunset is at Dave's family's camp. Seriously, can you beat these views? It'd be hard to. 

Lake Superior sunsets are always different and usually gorgeous. 

Another shot through the window, this time traveling a little slower. If you cross the Ohio River from Indiana into Kentucky around sunset, you'll rarely be disappointed. 

And finally, some photos from our walks in Louisville. 

Okay, now I realize that's a lot of photos for one post. I'll simplify next time. Thanks for reading and have a great Wednesday!