Monday, June 17, 2019

An Ode To Dad | Father's Day 2019

Hello everyone!
Yesterday was Father's Day here in the United States. 
We celebrated at my parent's house with a barbeque.
We ate lots of food, the kids played in water and we opened presents. 
Growing up, I always heard how I would turn out like my parents.
I assumed that I would turn out like my mom but, now I have come to the conclusion that I am more like my dad. 
The realization was clear as I found myself laying with one hand behind my head the other holding an ice cold glass of water with my feet crossed at the end of the bed.
This is the position you could find my dad in almost every night while he watched TV.
A few other things I got from him.
My cleaning techniques, my road rage, my comfort in silence, my sausage fingers.
I am grateful to be like my father.
He is such a hardworking man, who was able to keep us afloat my entire childhood.
He is always willing to help others.
He has a lot of wisdom about life that he loves to pass on.
While reflecting this Father's Day I had quite a few memories of my Dad come to mind and I wanted to share them here. 

When he took me to see Peter Pan Return to Neverland in theatres.
Jumping on the tramp. 
Going to get ice cream at midnight on my sixteenth birthday.
Hanging Christmas lights.
His whiteboard presentations.
When he tried to get a bird out of the house. 
Making his lunch every day during the summer. 
Painting his toenails bright red while he was asleep. 
Driving lessons with him in church parking lots. 
Pushing him into the pool fully clothed.
His love for Halloween.
Our duets to Seal. 
When he took me to see 13 going on 30 in theaters. 
His Donald Duck impression. 
Test driving Mustang convertibles together. 
Our joint birthday parties.
Making him wear a pink Barbie backpack while Four Wheeling.
Working with him at his business.
How he always painted around the holidays.
Buying a large dancing Frankenstein that we knew Mom would not approve of. 
Taking off his work boots at the end of the day.
His amazing drum skills.
Listening to him binge 24 for weeks.
Singing to me while he played the guitar.
Getting his seal of approval on our house. 
Teaching me all of the words to Cats in the Cradle.
Going with him to pick up my Dalmation Birthday Cake.
Waiting for Tam outside of church every Sunday. 
His French Toast.

I am grateful for my Dad and all he has done for my family.
I am grateful for all of the memories I have with him and that I have the opportunity to make many more. 
What is your favorite memory with your dad or father figure?

All my love,

Friday, June 14, 2019

Steamed Artichokes In Lemon Butter

Hello everyone!
At the beginning of the year, I shared my lists I keep that help me accomplish things seasonally. 
Each list contains a seasonal item to eat. 
Last year I had artichokes on the list for summer and I wasn't able to get around to them...
So, they carried over to this year and I am proud to say we checked those bad boys off.
I looked through several different ways of preparing them and eventually landed on this recipe.
We ended up cutting the recipe in half as we didn't think we needed four full artichokes to ourselves.
We may have been wrong...
The below recipe is our halved and slightly modified version.

You will need:
2 Whole Artichokes
1 Lemon
Five Cloves of Garlic
4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons of Dried Parsley
Sea Salt, To Taste

Prepare your artichokes.
Cut off the top inch of the artichoke.
Cut off the bottom stem and remove any surrounding leaves.
Cut the lemon in half and rub it over the freshly cut top and bottom of the artichoke to prevent from browning.
Trim off the pointy tips of the artichoke leaves.

Fill a large pot with water until it reaches just under your steamer basket.
Squeeze the juice from one half of the lemon into the water and toss in the remains.
Add the garlic to the water and bring to a simmer.
We always have minced garlic on hand, so I just added the equivalent of five cloves to our pot.

Once the water is simmering, add the artichokes to the steamer basket stem side up.
Cover the pot with a lid and let the artichokes steam for 30 minutes, or until they are tender and the leaves pull away easily.
Continue to add water to the pot if necessary.

In a saucepan, melt the butter.
Add the juice from the other half of the lemon and mix in the parsley. 
Add a pinch of sea salt to taste.

Once the artichokes are fully cooked, remove from the pot and place on your serving tray.
The butter mixture can be poured directly over the artichokes or served on the side for dipping. 
Peel off the leaves and enjoy!

A little advice on eating. 
The outer leaves cannot be eaten whole. 
Use your teeth to scrape the tender white "meat" from the leaf and discard what is left. 
The closer you get to the center, the softer the leaves will become.
The softer leaves can be eaten whole.
When you get to the center of the artichoke, remove the inedible fuzz to reveal the heart.
Trim off any remaining stem and enjoy!

This was the first time we have made or eaten fresh artichokes.
I love artichoke hearts so, I was sure I would enjoy a full artichoke. 
And I did!
I thought it was really tasty and fun to eat. 
The perfect finger food to enjoy this summer.
Plus, there are so many different recipes for artichokes, you are bound to find a flavor you will love. 
What is something you are dying to eat this summer?

All my love, 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Marie Kondoing My Life Up

Hello everyone!
If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen my stories about decluttering our house.
As the weather started to get warmer, I got the bug to do a little spring cleaning. 
There were so many closets, drawers and cabinets that needed some serious attention.
I was feeling ready for a new start and was finally in a good place where I could say goodbye to a few things I have held onto for years. 
I didn't want it to turn into just another thing "I meant to do" so, I decided to set a deadline for myself.

Each year my family gathers together for a Yard Sale in my parent's neighborhood. 
My parents live in a community with an HOA that only lets them have Yard Sales twice a year on specific dates.
Due to the number of people who participate, it has grown into quite a large event. 
After finding out the date of the Yard Sale I decided it would be my deadline. 
I would go through everything in our house and have it ready for the Yard Sale.
We would try to make a little mula and what didn't sell would go to goodwill and stop taking up space in our house.

Each weekend from March till June I would take around half an hour and go through a spot in our house.
The junk drawer, under the bathroom sinks, the linen closet, the entryway table.
One by one they were sorted through and decluttered. 
It felt so good to get rid of things. 
I would classify myself as a pack rack. 
I find sentimental value in a lot of random things. 
During the last year or so I feel that I have come to find and understand myself a little more.
Because of that, I was able to go through things and recognize what they meant to me and whether or not I should keep them.
I cannot tell you the number of things that have stayed with us unnecessarily for years.
From my parent's house to our first apartment to our second apartment to our current house.
And now they are gone!
I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and everything we have now has a purpose and a place.
Plus, we were able to make a little extra money!
Erik and I brought our game faces to this Yard Sale as we knew it would be our last one for a while.
We were ready to draw people in and haggle with the best of them.

We ended up making just under $70 which isn't too crazy but, it is $70 bucks we didn't have before. 
It will help pay for some churros in Disneyland. 😉
And now we have a nice clean house!
What is the most untidy place in your home?

All my love, 

Friday, June 7, 2019

DIY Donut Hole Towers

Hello everyone!
Happy National Donut Day!
Erik LOVES donuts so, you know that we have been counting down the days for it over here.
Since we went pretty big with a donut pegboard last year, I thought we'd go a little simpler this year.
I decided to make donut hole towers.

You will need:
Foam Cones
Parchment Paper
Donut Holes

Wrap your cones in parchment paper.
This will keep your donuts sanitary and avoid little foam particles from sticking to them.
Once wrapped, place toothpicks through the parchment paper, into the cone, where the parchment paper overlaps to hold in place.

Cut off excess parchment paper if needed.
Insert additional toothpicks into the cone and add a donut hole on top.
Make sure the toothpicks are pressed far enough into the cone so they will not skewer the donuts.
Place the donuts close together to avoid the cone underneath peeking through. 
Continue until the entire cone is covered with donut holes.

I found working from bottom to top was best for me. 
I did three different sized cones to create a tiered look.
One all glazed.

One chocolate with sprinkles.

And one all powdered sugar.

You can do several cones or just one.
You can even have a variety of donuts on one tower.
Set out and enjoy!

These were very simple to put together and would be fun for any occasion.
I know Erik would love to have these set out for a date night at home.
What if you had these as a surprise in the morning for your kids after a sleepover?
Birthdays, brunches, weddings, the possibilities are endless!
Now tell me...
What is your favorite type of donut?

All my love,

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Our Weekend Downtown | 26 For 26

Hello everyone!
Since Erik and I both had a three day weekend for Memorial Day, we wanted to do something fun.
We decided to spend the night at a hotel in Downtown Salt Lake City.

Sunday afternoon we headed north and checked into our hotel.
We didn't have too much planned but to relax, watch some TV and enjoy a comfy bed.
After a few hours of TV bingeing, we decided to venture out for dinner.
We had been snacking quite a bit and were planning on snacking some more so, we wanted something that was fast, not too filling and cheap but wasn't just fast food. 
We landed on the Pie Hole!

The Pie Hole is a bold pizza parlor where you can get pizza by the slice. 
I had heard great things about it and was excited to finally try it out.

The specialty pizzas of the day were named after Pokemon.

Erik got the Dratini and I got the Gible.

They were both good and I would definitely go back for the price.
We enjoyed our slices outside on some benches and talked.

While talking we decided to cross something off my 26 for 26 list.
Watch my first R rated movie!
What better way to watch it then in a hotel on a king-sized bed?
After a bit of contemplating I decided Pulp Fiction would be a good first.
It's a classic that had always been on my radar, we could easily pull it up on Netflix, Erik had never seen it and it was on our 100 movies list.
Since the weather was nice we decided to walk around downtown for a little bit and enjoy the sites before heading back.
We did a little window shopping and I loved on all the dogs!

Then we started to head back to the hotel but decided to make one more stop...
At a movie theater to grab some popcorn to make my viewing that much better!
We got back to the hotel and changed into our comfy clothes and settled in for the movie.

During the movie, Erik kept telling me I picked a "hard R" for my first. 
I didn't think it was too bad but did have to cover my eyes during a few parts.
I do not do needles...
By the time the movie was over it was pretty late.
We got ready for bed and watched some more TV as we fell asleep.
I got such a good nights rest...
We enjoyed a complimentary breakfast the next morning and then it was time to go.
It was nice to get away and we got some much needed relaxing in.
It got me very excited for our future trips this year.
Do you have any upcoming trips planned?
Where to?

All my love,

Sunday, May 26, 2019

DIY Candy Graduation Leis

Hello everyone!
Since posing about Erik's graduation, I have had a few people ask about the candy lei's I made him.

I know that during the next few weeks there will be a lot of graduations so, I thought it would be the perfect time to share.
The best part is that they are fairly inexpensive and quick to make.

You will need:
Candy Bars, I used King-Sized
Plastic Wrap
Curling Ribbon
Tape, Optional

Lay your candy bars vertically end to end in your desired pattern with an inch or two in between.
I am very much a go big or go home person so, I went with king-sized candy bars.
You can make your leis with any size you prefer. 
Fun size, regular, etc.
Roll out your plastic wrap along the length of the candy bars leaving a few extra inches of plastic wrap at either end.
Cut the plastic wrap.

Place your candy bars in the middle of the plastic wrap in the same pattern face down.
This will make the front of the candy bars show on the lei.

Fold both edges of the plastic wrap over the candy bars.

In between each candy bar tie a piece of ribbon to create a "pocket."
Do not tie a piece between the first and last candy bars and the open ends of the plastic wrap.

Repeat until you have completed this between each candy bar.
Twist the open ends of the plastic wrap and bring them together, overlapping one another.

I like to wrap a piece of tape around the two ends to help reinforce the weight of the king-sized candy bars.
This is optional and would most likely not be needed for smaller candy bars.

Tie a piece of curling ribbon over the overlapped ends. 
Curl your ribbon if desired.

I like to add one or two more pieces of ribbon in between the candy bars to get a fuller look. 
You could even use the graduate's school colors. 

Erik has a major sweet tooth so I knew candy bar leis were the way to go for him. 
I think they are a fun way to present the graduate with an extra inexpensive gift. 
I love to see graduates with several different styles of leis at graduation. 
It's a big accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated. 
Are you celebrating a graduate this year?
Where are they graduating from?

All my love,