Saturday, April 20, 2019

Roasted Carrots Three Ways

Hello everyone!
Happy Easter weekend!
The big day is almost upon us and if you are looking for an effortless side dish to whip up for you or your guests, I have one that is Easter Bunny approved.
Roasted carrots!

Since we all have different tastes I am sharing three different ways to roast them.
I used carrots with a stem because I wanted the look of a fresh carrot right out of the garden.

Feel free to use these recipes with any carrots you desire.

8 - 10 Carrots With Stems
2 Tablespoons of Butter, Melted
2 Teaspoons of Minced Garlic
4 Tablespoons of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste

Preheat oven to 400o.
Trim the stems of the carrots to 2 inches long.
Wash and peel carrots.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease.
Place the carrots on the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix melted butter and garlic together.
Drizzle the mixture over the carrots and roll in any run off. 
Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
Top carrots with parmesan cheese and roast for another 15 minutes or until fork tender.
Remove from oven.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy warm!

8 - 10 Carrots with Stems
3 Tablespoons of Butter, Melted
1 Teaspoon of Thyme
1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste

Preheat oven to 400o.
Trim the stems of the carrots to 2 inches long.
Wash and peel carrots.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease.
Place carrots on the baking sheet. 
In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, thyme, garlic, and brown sugar together.
Pour the mixture over the carrots and roll in any run off.
Cook for 30 - 35 minutes, or until fork tender.
Remove from oven.
Salt and pepper to taste. 
Enjoy warm!

8 - 10 Carrots With Stems
1 and 1/2 Teaspoons of Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Rosemary, Finely Chopped
2 Teaspoons of Butter, Melted
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste

Preheat oven to 400o.
Trim the stems of the carrots to 2 inches long.
Wash and peel carrots.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease.
Place carrots on the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic and rosemary. 
Pour the mixture over the carrots and roll in any run off.
Cook for 30 - 35 minutes, or until fork tender.
Remove from oven.
Salt and pepper to taste. 
Enjoy warm!

All of these recipes are quick and easy to whip up and make for the perfect side to an Easter dinner.
After trimming down the stems I didn't want to waste the leaves so I decided to serve my carrots on top of them.
I gave them a quick rinse and let them dry while the carrots cooked.
Then I added them to my serving dishes and placed the carrots on top.
I thought it added some fun color and made me feel better that the leaves didn't just go to waste.
What do you have for Easter dinner?

All my love,

Monday, April 15, 2019

26 for 26

Hello everyone!
If you are kind enough to have visited here before then you might be sick of me mentioning my golden birthday...
If not, I turned 26 on the 26th of February and have decided to make this my golden year.
At the beginning of the year I made a list of a few things that I wanted to try.
Then I decided why not try 26 new things for my 26th year?
So, I am officially putting it out there.
I am going to try to accomplish 26 new things by my next birthday.
They don't have to be anything too crazy or fancy.
Just 26 things I have never done and have wanted to do.
Coming up with a list has been hard...
Here is what I have come up with so far:

Ride A Horse
Attend Ballonfest
Get A Passport
Try A Cycle Class (Check!)
Visit Harry Potter World
Go On A Hike Trail
Attend Swiss Days
Penguin Encounter At The Aquarium
Watch My First R Rated Movie
Try High Fit
Visit The Lavender Fields
Go To My First Therapy Session
Get My First Paycheck From My Side Hustle
Rock A Temporary Hair Color

Nothing too crazy, right?
A majority of the items aren't too far away or too expensive because we be ballin' on a budget over here.
But, I am several short...
I would love to hear your suggestions of things I could do locally in Utah for little cost or any suggestions in general.
What do you have for me?
I am going to share what I cross off here on the blog and hopefully on our vlog channel which I haven't touched in a hot second so, no promises...
What is something that you have always wanted to do?

All my love, 

Friday, April 12, 2019

DIY Easter Egg Garland

Hello everyone!
While pulling out our Easter decorations, I discovered that Erik and I had quite the stash of plastic Easter eggs.

I usually add a few to glass jars for decoration but had no idea what to do with the rest...
After looking online for some inspiration I decided to turn them into a garland.

You will need:
Plastic Easter Eggs, Make Sure They Have Holes At Both Ends
String, I Used Bakers Twine
A Needle

Sort the eggs into colors and size.
Lay them out in the pattern you desire and measure the string against them, I added a few extra inches for safety.
Cut the string.
Tie a generous knot at one end and thread the other end through a needle.

I originally was going to thread the string through the holes by itself but found that the majority of the holes on my eggs were not completely punctured.
The needle helped break through them easily.
Open an egg and thread the needle through one of the bottom holes.
Thread the needle through the same top hole and close the egg.

Repeat until you have all of your eggs threaded.
Remove the needle from the thread and tie it off.
Cut off excess string.
Place where you desire.

I can't wait until the day Erik and I have a mantle but for now I make our entry way table work for our garlands.
It's the first thing you see when you walk into our house and I love how it showcases our holiday decorations. 

All together the garland took me less than half an hour to make and now I don't have a bag full of plastic eggs just taking up space in my basement.
Win, win.
Does the Easter Bunny hide plastic or real eggs at your house?

All my love,

Monday, April 8, 2019

A Few Ways I Do Self Care

Hello everyone!
The past few weeks have been cray around here...
I feel like I am always saying our lives are busy, but the last few weeks have been a doozy.
We have so many balls in the air and I don't know how we have kept them up.
Why is it so hard to be a good person?
Not even morally good but, just to be a good productive member of society?
It's exhausting...
This past weekend I was able to finally indulge in some self care.

I take myself out for a pedicure about once a month.
It is the only thing I let myself splurge on.
I am on my feet 24/7 and I need someone to make me feet new again.
Plus, having cute toes makes me feel more put together.
It's also a fun way to express myself.
I love to choose a color for the month.
This time I went for "lovely lavender."
It felt very spring and it makes my toes look like an Easter egg.

I recently took up kickboxing again.
I tried it a few years ago with Groupon and loved it!
 I am not one to pay full price for anything so when the Groupon was used I didn't go back...
After finding a coupon for Groupon (I'm cheap okay?) I decided to get back into the grove.
I really enjoy kickboxing.
It's a great way to release your negative emotions.
When you hit your bag across the floor you realize how much you need it.
It also is a great workout.
I like to feel my workouts the next day and kickboxing definitely does that for me.

Speaking of good workouts...
I recently tried cycling for the first time and dug it!
It's a little cheesy but that's how I like it.
The fancy magnetic shoes, the playlist, the lights going on and off.
It was made for me.
I got five free rides for me and a friend from Localfluence and am almost out...
I will be really sad once its over so I might have to splurge on this too.

On the days when I have absolutely no time to fit in a pedicure or a workout I try to wind down before bed by fitting in something at home.
A bath, an episode of a crappy TV show, going for a walk around the neighborhood or reading a book.
Erik and I have been rereading the Harry Potter books again and I love to snuggle up with him and read a chapter before bed.

Since finding a new love for exercise (I'm going to try really hard not to become one of those people who talks about exercise all the time...) I am interested to try some new forms of self care.
What do you do for self care?
What has worked best for you?
Please share!

All my love,

Friday, April 5, 2019

Spring Brownies With Edible Flowers

Hello everyone!
I don't know if you have seen the gorgeous baked goods decorated with edible flowers floating around but, I am in love...
It's such an effortless way to add some natural beauty and makes for the perfect spring dessert!
I wanted to share a new family recipe for these delicious treats and realized I haven't shared our brownie recipe with you all.

In all honesty there are probably WAY better recipes out there but I grew up eating these brownies often and they will always taste like home.
Plus, they are super fast and easy to whip up.

You will need:
1 and 1/2 Cups of Flour
1/2 a Cup of Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Cup of Shortening
2 Cups of Sugar
4 Eggs
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350o.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and salt together.
Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
Mix in the vanilla.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in thirds, mixing well after each addition.
Grease a 9X13 inch pan.
Pour batter into the pan and spread out evenly.
Cook for 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
Let cool.

Growing up we ate these brownies with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
I wanted to give my edible flowers something to stick to so I frosted them.
I found this brownie frosting recipe in our Taste of Home Cookbook and went for it.

You will need:
6 Tablespoons of Butter, Softened
2 and 2/3 Cups of Powdered Sugar
1/2 a Cup of Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/3 Cup of Whole Milk
In a large bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
Mix in cocoa powder and vanilla.
Add milk until frosting becomes spreading consistency, you may need to use a little more or less milk.
Spread frosting over cooled brownies.
Gently press edible flowers into frosting and let set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Cut into bars.


Adding edible flowers to a dessert is such an easy and creative way to escalate them.
They are perfect for spring brunches, for Easter dessert and would be such a cute touch for a bridal shower now that it's officially wedding season.
My family has made these brownies for as long as I can remember.
I love that they are moist and fudgy in the middle but firm enough to hold their shape.
What sweet treats did you enjoy growing up?

All my love,

Monday, April 1, 2019

Our Honeymoon Phase

Hello everyone!
Just a fair warning, I am here to gush about my husband...

A few months into our marriage people started asking me if the honeymoon phase of our relationship had finally passed.
At first I responded with, "I don't think we had one."
That probably wasn't the best thing to say...
People would reply with "Uh Oh." "That can't be good." or "That's why you don't get married so young."
That wasn't the case...
I loved the crap out of Erik!
But when we got married not a whole lot changed for us.
Except that we rarely saw each other. 
One of us would leave before the other one woke up and with Erik's night classes he usually wasn't home until 11:30 and I was already asleep trying to recover from a full day of working at a job I hated.
It sucked and that was what the first five years of our marriage were.
I couldn't get excited about being with him.
I wouldn't allow myself to get my hopes up.
Now things have calmed down a bit.
I get to set my own schedule, Erik is home before 4 and no more night classes!
And I've realized we finally got our honeymoon phase!

I don't think I have ever been as obsessed with Erik as I am now.
I always thought I wasn't a clingy girl but man was I wrong...
The more time we spend together the more time I want to spend together.
We have time to talk, relax and just enjoy each others company.
Whether it's trying a new hobby, rereading the Harry Potter series or a spontaneous stay downtown we have loved the opportunity to do the things we have always talked about and to have new experiences.
I don't think I have seen him this often since we were dating.

We are both very happy with where we are at right now.
We are trying to enjoy every moment before life inevitably pulls us in different directions again.
If you are like us and feel you didn't get that honeymoon phase, fear not.
It can still happen.
If you are well passed the honeymoon phase, fear not.
I am a firm believer that you can get it back.
How do you spend quality time with your lover?
I'd love some new ideas.

All my love,

When Scout passed away we realized that over the years we had taken a million pictures of him and none of us...
We decided that we should start taking more photos and have started a "selfies" series.
Whenever either one of us wants a picture we let it be known and we take one no matter what.
We are starting to get a little collection and I absolutely love it!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Mermaid Tail Cake

Hello everyone!
Happy International Mermaid Day!
You know this girl is celebrating allll day long.
I have been obsessed with mermaids since I was little and I am totally okay with the fact that they have become quite popular again.
To celebrate the special occasion I decided to make a special treat.
A mermaid tail cake to be exact.

When trying to think of the flavors I wanted for this cake I decided to make it one of my favorite flavor combinations, salt and caramel.
Then I thought why not make it super festive and make it a SEA salt caramel cake!
I had never made one but, I had a few recipes I could mix together to make it work.
The day I was going to the grocery store America's Test Kitchen posted their Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Cake on Instagram and I knew it was fate...

You will need:
1 and a 1/2 Cups of Flour
3/4 a Cup of Cocoa Powder
1 and a 1/2 Cups of Sugar
1 and a 1/4 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
3/4 a Teaspoon of Baking Powder
3/4 a Teaspoon of Salt
3/4 a Cup of Buttermilk
1/2 a Cup of Water
1/4 a Cup of Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

For the Caramel Filling:
1 and 1/4 Cups of Sugar
1/4 a Cup of Light Corn Syrup
1/4 a Cup of Water
1 Cup of Heavy Cream
8 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter, Cut Into Cubes
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
3/4 a Teaspoon of Salt

For the Frosting:
16 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter, Softened
3/4 a Cup of Powdered Sugar
1/2 a Cup of Cocoa Powder
Pinch of Salt
1/2 a Cup of Light Corn Syrup
3/4 a Teaspoon of Vanilla
6 Ounces of Chocolate, Melted and Cooled
1 Teaspoon of Coarse Sea Salt

1, 10 Ounce Bag of Mini Marshmallows
3 Tablespoons of Water
6 Cups of Powdered Sugar
Oil, For Greasing Your Hands
Food Coloring

Preheat oven to 325o.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.
Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix buttermilk, water, oil, eggs and vanilla together. 
Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture until smooth. 
To get the shape of a mermaid tail I divided the batter into four oven safe glass nesting bowls.
I was originally planning on baking it in my Kitchen Aid bowl but read a few horror stories online about the bowl getting warped and having to replace it...
Then I decided baking the batter in four nesting bowls and stacking them on top of one another would work to create the shape I wanted. 
Use what works best for you.
Grease bowls.
Fill each bowl until it is half way full.
Bake the two smaller bowls for 20 minutes and the two larger bowls for 40 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool. 
Prepare your caramel filling.

Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.
Set aside.
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan. 
Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook, without stirring, until mixture is amber colored, 8 to 10  minutes.
Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, swirling the saucepan occasionally until mixture is dark amber colored,  2 to 5 minutes more.
Remove from heat and stir in cream, butter, vanilla and salt.
Careful! The mixture will bubble and steam.
Return to medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. 
Carefully transfer caramel to greased baking pan and let cool until warm to the touch.
Prepare your frosting.

Mix butter, sugar, cocoa and salt together until smooth.
The frosting called for 1 Teaspoon of sea salt but I am a salty girl and ended up adding 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons because it was more to my preference. 
Adjust to your taste.
Add corn syrup and vanilla and mix until just combined.
Add both chocolates and mix until smooth. 
Place a dot of the frosting in the center of your serving tray to hold the cake in place.
Place the largest cake face down on the frosting. 
Add a thin layer of the caramel filling to the top of the cake.
Place the second largest cake face down on top of the caramel filling.
Repeat until your reach your final and smallest layer.

Frost the entire cake.
The cake will be covered with fondant so it doesn't need to be perfect.
Place the cake in the fridge to set. 
Prepare your fondant.

Pour the marshmallows into a microwave safe bowl.
Stir in the water to evenly coat the marshmallows. 
Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir.
Repeat until the mixture is smooth. 
Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar into a large bowl and create a hole in the center.
Pour the melted marshmallow mixture into the hole. 
Add the remaining 3 cups of powdered sugar on top of the marshmallows. 
Oil your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking to you. 
Knead in the sugar until you have the consistency of soft taffy and the fondant no longer sticks to your hands. 
Add food coloring and knead until the color is completely incorporated.
Wear food safe gloves to prevent your hands from staining.
I wanted my mermaid tail to have several colors so, I cut the fondant into four pieces and colored them each an individual color.
On a clean surface sprinkled with powdered sugar, roll out your fondant to 1/4 of an inch thin.
Using a 1 inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles in each color of fondant. 
Cut the circles in half with a knife.

Remove cake from fridge.
Starting from the top of the cake layer your "scales" onto the cake. 
To help the fondant stick better I wet the back of each with a little water to make them sticky and work as an adhesive.
Working down continue to add and overlap your scales until the whole cake is covered. 
Brush the top of cake with pearl dust to make it shimmer. 
To create the fins I used the remaining scraps of fondant.
Trace the outline of a mermaid tail onto a piece of cardboard and cut out.
Add different colors of fondant onto the cardboard until it is completely covered.
With a rolling pin, roll over the top of the cardboard to help the colors blend together.
Dust with some pearl dust for shimmer.
Add texture with a toothpick and place on top of the cake.

I felt that the cake needed a little something extra at the bottom so I decided to add a sand border.
Simply grind up some graham crackers in a food processor and place around the bottom of the cake.


I LOVE how this cake turned out.
My 10 year old self would have screamed if she saw this cake.
Okay, my 26 year old self is screaming too!
I mean a chocolate sea salt caramel mermaid tail cake is the most ME thing I have ever heard of. 
I am so excited to enjoy this bad boy tonight while we watch Splash in honor of International Mermaid Day.
Erik has never seen it and it was a classic in my house growing up.
Darryl Hannah has been hair goals my whole life...
What cake would your 10 year old self have loved to have seen?

All my love,