Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All Grown Up

Well, I officially feel like a grown up.

Yesterday I handed over my personalized license plates to the DMV and in return was given boring 7 digit California plates. Even though I've been wanting to switch them for a few years now, actually giving them up was kind of sad. I guess because since I got my license, everyone has identified my car by KTPRNCS. Now I'm just some run of the mill 6JH blah, blah, blah. The bright side is my registration will be cheaper. Yay for saving money!

For the record, the plates were a gift from a family friend on my 16th birthday so don't get any ideas about the princess thing:)

Have a happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Unusual Combination

When you think of pizza toppings, what comes to mind? Pepperoni? Olives? Sausage?

How about pesto, grilled chicken and grapes? That's right, I said it. Grapes. Your reaction might have been similar to that of my husband's, but you haven't tried the recipe we did last night and possibly found the single most delicious pizza combination yet:) I must have some hardcore faith in Cooking Light for trusting that Chris would like this dinner because I was so reluctant to tell him the "fruity" ingredient, but somehow sure he would love it! Turns out, I was right!

I believe this could dazzle any pizza lover, with it's succulent basil scent, savory cheeses and the crunch of sweet grapes. I'm telling you, I surprised myself with this one! Definitely a hit!!

*I substituted a whole wheat crust.
*I would highly recommend spending the few extra dollars on the fresh mozzerella and romano cheeeses; it makes all the difference in the freshness of this pizza.

Chicken, Red Grape, and Pesto Pizza

And on a side note, it turns out our oven really wasn't heating properly and has now been fixed! Remember this? At least I know I'm not losing my touch. After our lovely dinner last night, we enjoyed a thick, delicious slice of pumpkin pie. All is well in my kitchen again:)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Productive with a Twist of Fun

Well happy Monday dear friends! And most unusually, I am feeling very good and rested today! Don't hate me yet, the day has only begun:)

I hope your weekend had you hoping it might last a few more days. Mine definitely did, but don't they always?!

Allow me to divulge a few highlights~

*Several hours of our Saturday were spent wine tasting in Amador Couty. The very best thing about wine tasting there is the tastings are complimentary. I know it seems ALL wine tastings should be free, after all, they are wanting you to buy their wine so they should let you taste it. However, many wineries in well known places like Napa usually charge between $10-$40 a tasting. Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! Maybe too much as we came home with five bottles of wine...Our motto is: when you find a wine you like, you should buy it! At least we have a good stock going into the holiday season:)

The first winery we stopped at had picnic grounds so we enjoyed our Whole Foods lunch at a pretty little spot with a pretty little view!

Enjoying his almond filled cannoli:)

Our view!

What we came home with:)

*Chris decided to go to the Raiders game on Sunday because it was blacked out. I was more than happy to have him go as I had a lot of studying to catch up on and he has been known to be a very good distraction to me:) I knew if he was home I wouldn't get it all done.

*My Sunday was very productive. And not just a little productive, but the kind where you actually check everything off your to-do list! It went a little something like this:

workout: check
pumpkin pancakes: check (YUM!)
grocery store: check
fold laundry: check
vaccuum: check
clean pantry and fridge: check
study 4 chapters: CHECK!!
pack lunches: check

Remember the Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes I talked about Friday? They were so yummy!!

And I still managed to make this INCREDIBLE Grilled Corn and Potato Chowder while I watched a few episodes of Friends!

By the time Chris got home from the game I was feeling so relaxed and accomplished! We had a wonderful night and enjoyed dinner and a bottle of wine we bought Saturday. Might I add, it was fabulous!

I feel ready to take on this week!

Much Love!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekend Plans

Happy Friday! My weekend begins in T-4 hours and it couldn't come fast enough!

This is what I'm looking forward to this weekend:

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes from the lovely blog, Pinch My Salt. I've been itching to make these all week!

Wine tasting in Amador County! Being only about an hour drive and less know than Napa and Sonoma, Amador County is like a hidden jewel! Unless you're from around here, of course:)

I hope you too have some fun things planned for the next few days!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Week of Weirdness

Happy Thursday friends! I am breathing a sigh of releif this morning because I can finally see the end of the week nearing! It's been a long one! I'm totally looking forward to this weekend because we're going wine tasting in Amador County and it's going to be a beautiful 82 degrees:-)

So onto the weirdness that has been my week...

First of all, things always seem to go awry when I'm tired and the past two nights I've been shorted of neccessary sleep! So needless to say, coffee has been my best friend and constant companion.

1) You all know I love to cook. Like REALLY love it! As every cook knows, you win some you lose some, but it's always fun to play with new things. Well, on Tuesday I made a pumpkin pie. THIS is not a new venture for me. Chris loves them so my kitchen has produces several of these festive pies. I baked my pumpkin pie the exact same way I always have, yet somehow, when it came time to eat this delicious dessert, the center wasn't cooked all the way. How does that even happen??? I was super dissappointed until my sweet husband said something like, "Did Julia Childs get it perfect every time?". I couldn't help but laugh at how sweet he was for trying to make me feel better. Well, it turns out there may be something wrong with our oven temperature. Man I would be relieved if that was the case! Someone's coming to look at it soon.

Anyway, the story ends well because when I came home yesterday there was a bag anonymously on our doorstep with all the ingredients to make a new one:) Though I'm pretty sure I know who put it there (and thank you!!). So I will once again attempt to make my pie and hopefully get this result...

2) After work yesterday I made a quick run to Aveda to grab a few products I was out of. In my unconscious hurried state, I walked into to the store and was instantly greeted by four employees (it seemed to be a slow day). And even more strange, some teen sales guy walks up to me in an "I don't quite understand personal space" fashion and shakes my hand and introduces, okay. Not trying to be rude, but I happen to know exactly what I need and exactly where to go, so I go about my business. As accustomed in Aveda I was offered a cup of tea. After my initial "No, thank you" the guy insisted he make me some iced tea. So I oblige, and even though I was checked out by the time he made it, I graciously accepted my tea and decided to enjoy it while I browsed for a minute (I couldn't take it because it was in a mug). You should know that I know every product in the store, and love them all, so I really wasn't looking out of interest. However, this guy thought it neccesary to give me a ten minute introduction to their essential oils, all the while adding that he just bought some creepy giant hand that also holds 5 candles in the fingers and that it's "totally sick". Seriously, was he mistaking me for someone else? Confused and finally finished with my tea, I gave him my empty mug and made a slow jog for the door!

All is well because Grey's Anatomy starts tonight! I am totally a fareweather fan, but I watched the season finale and am so excited to see the premier of the new season!

Wow, talk about a long, random post! Apparently being exhausted makes me incredibly long winded! Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Perfectly Satisfying

As it should be...

Our dinner last night was exactly what I love about this season; Pumpkin Ale, Chicken Potato Spinach Soup and a crusty garlic bread. Simple yet perfectly satisfying!

And since I am running on 5 hours of sleep, I think I'll wait to share some funny happenings from last night. Something to look forward to tomorrow! Happy hump day!!

Oh, did you know that Fall didn't officially begin until 2:19 PT yesterday?? So technically, today is the first full day of Fall:) Random, I know!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Top Eleven of Fall

Happy Fall! The season has finally arrived and I am saying goodbye to summer, even if the remnants of summer heat have decided to stick around a few more days! The high is suppose to be 99 today, but thankully cool down by the end of the week! That's Sacramento for ya:)

In honor of this lovely day, I'm giving my top eleven favorite things about Fall!

1. All things pumpkin! ~ Seriously, this is the time I start stocking up on cans and cans of pure pumpkin and sneak a little into everything, including: smoothies, pancakes, muffins, breads, soups, pasta...

2. Scarves and sweaters ~ I adore Fall clothes, enough said!

3. Hot tea ~ I drink hot tea year round, but there's something about the chilly months, a cup of tea and a cozy blanket that gets me everytime!

4. Apple Hill ~ An annual tradition in Northern Cali. Miles and miles of apple orchards filled with fun festivities, a pumpkin patch, apple treats and a craft fair!

5. Hearty produce ~ My favorites are butternut squash and eggplant!

6. Walks ~ I love a good evening walk with my hubby and my pup this time of year. And what better destination than to walk to the Starbucks across the street from us and sip a soy chai :-)

7. October ~ My second favorite month and the official month of Breast Cancer Awareness!

8. The colors ~ Deep plums, reds, burnt oranges...some of my favorite color combos show up all over the place in late September and October! In fact, our apartment kind of flowed right into Fall with our colors!

9. Soup ~ Since I can remember, I have always loved soup! And a plus, you can pack such nutritionally dense ingredients into them. Clean Eating magazine comes out with some amazing recipes!

10. Christmas music ~ I'm not gonna lie to you, by the time October gets here, I am itching to listen to it and almost always give in! What am I saying, I ALWAYS give in!!

11. Chris and I have started a new tradition of flying to the Mid-west to visit my Dad, Step-Mom and siblings in the Fall. We are totally looking forward to our trip next month!

A special bonus ~ David Crowder's new CD, Church Music, comes out today! The song, How He Loves has literally brought me to tears in my car! I am buying it as soon as I'm off work, followed by making a pumpkn pie for my hubby:)

Last year at Apple Hill!

Have a beautiful Day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Just Have to Say it

I'm just gonna go ahead and say it. You know, the thing most of us feel but don't like to say for fear of sounding negative. But we're all friends here, right? Here goes...I really don't like Mondays! No really, they are like dentist appointments, inevitable and neccessary, but totally miserable until they are over. They are especially unpleasant after a good weekend. It's like they just can't help themselves by raining on the parade of rest and relaxation. Every week, there they are just waiting to make you grumpy.

Okay, it's out of my system! I hope your weekend was glorious and filled with yummy breakfasts, fun outings, flea markets and football! Don't tell me it was just me that did all of those lovely things!

I know you have just been dying to know all about the Antique Market on Sunday ;) In true Joan and Kate fashion, the very first vender my Mom and I came to, we found a piece of furniture we just had to have! Thankfully our car was close! Both of our eyes were drawn to this oh-so-chic, turquoise side table with scalloped edges just sitting there with a little price tag of $32! Seriously, we both did that fast, "hope I'm not being too obvious, that table is mine and nobody else better touch it" walk. When we asked the lady if the price tag was right she responded with a light laugh and, "Yeah, I'm wholesale.". I think we both felt like we had struck gold:) Anyway, my Mom ended up keeping it since it is exactly what she's been looking for in her living room! I can't wait to see how well it goes in her already lovely house! Among the rest of our time there we came across some other fun tchotchke stuff. I bought a super cute vintage apron, but nothing was quite as successful as that table. It was definitely our prize find of the day!

I was thinking, you generally only hear my side of things. And we all know Chris had nothing to do with the antique market, so here's a glimpse of what the other Hansen's in our household did this weekend...

You got it, football :) And yes, Abby is wearing her very own Raiders jersey...sick, but you gotta admit, they are two very cute Raider fans!

And just a pic of us on our date last Friday:)

Have a very Merry Monday! And remember what tomorrow is...the first official day of Fall!! I am fully equipped, with my house decorated for the season, pumpkin pie ingredients all ready for tomorrow and of course, I bought my favorite pumpkin spice candle yesterday!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Homemade Really is Better!

Several weeks ago a friend said she had made homemade cinnamon rolls. My interest was peaked. I've always been a fan of a good cinnamon roll, but I've also heard they take a lot of effort to make yourself. Nevertheless, this was a venture I have never explored. I decided that I just had to try it, if only once, so I could know for myself.

I woke up early this morning to make the dough and get a head start on the hour and a half it needed to rise, which actually worked out fine because I did yoga during the rising period:) By the time I was finished, the dough had beautifully doubled in size and was ready to be rolled out. I should tell you that rolling it into a cylinder and cutting twelve individual rolls was quite tricky since the dough was so sticky and thin, but I pressed on thinking, "I've come too far to give up now!". Once nicely in my baking dish, they were ready to go in the oven! I say nicely, but let's be honest, they looked like either a kid or a first timer rolled them :) Thankfully for me, once I pulled the heavenly smelling dish from the over, most of the imperfections were masked since they had more than doubled in size and looked incredibly delicious! In my opinion, these are best served with a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee!

The outcome: wonderful and so worth the effort! Chris took his first bite, and said, "We are so making these for our kids someday!" followed by, "They just melt in my mouth!".

I adapted this recipe from the Whole Foods Cinnamon Sweet Rolls with Dates and Walnuts, but made these small changes:

*Instead of using walnuts I used pecans.
*I excluded the dates.
*I used 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/4 regular flour instead of vice versa.

Compare the picture of my finished product with the picture on Whole Foods website and be impressed with the resemblance:)

Notice how messy they look :(

But never fear, they came out way prettier than they went in!

Drizzle with some honey and chopped pecans. Bon Appetit!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Antique Market and Such

You may have noticed lately that I am all about the crafty things in life. It's always been something I've loved, but lately I have been acting on it and find myself constantly inspired and encouraged by people when I tell them of my ambitions. I just really love pretty things, whether that be beautiful food, crafts, accessories, home decor etc. But isn't there just something so splendid about having to handmake or put your own effort into something to make it unique and completely your own? To me that's half the fun!

And on that note, I learned to knit this week! My Mom and I took a class Monday night and now I'm hooked! Because I don't want to forget, I've been knitting at lunch every day this week:)

And for the highlight of this weekend, The Tattered House is hosting their second Antique Market on Sunday! I discovered this lovely store just after they held their first ever Antique Market in April and have been looking forward to the second one since! They are set to host over 50 vendors, offering antiques, vintage inspired decor and jewelry and handmde goods galore! I can't wait!

And here are some more pics of the new do! I had to take them myself because my darling husband wasn't home.

Very excited about working out with short hair :)

Happy Friday!

ps ~ Fall is officially 4 days away!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Fresh New Look!

This morning as I walked into the bathroom, eyes half-shut, I flipped on the light and remembered that I cut my hair yesterday! I walked into the salon last night with the mentality that I needed something fresh, and that's exactly what I got. No exaggeration, I cut about 4 1/2 inches off, which might not seem too significant if I hadn't just cut another 4 inches off 8 weeks ago! So that brings us to a grand total of 8 inches:)I didn't even realize my hair was long enought to cut that much off!

I'm not gonnal lie, as Whitney (who is fabulous, btw!) started snipping, I got a little panicked, having flashbacks to my 11 year old haircut that I had no clue how to style! But I must say, after the initial shock of my hair barely grazing my shoulders, I absolutely adore my new cut! And an added plus is I actually know how to style it now! We also added some warm undertones, so I am very ready for the new season!

It's amazing to me how every outfit seems cuter with new hair! I swear I feel like a new woman!! And as silly as it may sound, I am really looking forward to working out tonight because I just love those cute, barely there, pinned up pony tails!

So this is from Chris' phone and the quality isn't the best. I'll make sure and take some more with my camera so you can see it in all it's glory ;) FYI, it was kinda windy...

Monday, September 14, 2009

"The stuff dreams are made of"

Football season is officially in full swing and you know what that's almost Fall! The weather is even cooperating and staying nice and crisp:) All I wanted to do yesterday was ignore the laundry and enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon while Chris and Brad enjoyed football...ALL DAY:) I did get my wish, however, it came with a price. I was sick all night last night and it spilled over to this morning, forcing me to call in sick to work, which I don't like doing:(

Abby, showing her love for the Raiders:)

When I woke up, Chris was getting ready to leave for work and he told me it had rained last night!! I just had to get a glimpse of the wet ground so I took Abby outside and couldn't believe it when I needed a sweatshirt!. Oh Fall, you are almost here! Just one week from tomorrow! I was almost tempted to start my annual tradition early and make Chris a pumpkin pie today, but I decided to hold of until Fall is officially here.

When I was finally able to get up without feeling nauseous, I decided to go to the gym. It seems everyone else has the same idea at 9:30 in the morning! Of course it was mostly swarming with young moms! (Not gonna lie, I was a little envious:) I remembered how much I love working out at that time of day!!

Then I made my way to Whole Foods, which was basically deserted compared to a Saturday afternoon! As I usually do while I grocery shop, I treated myself to a latte. It tasted especially good and strong today! When the guy handed it to me he said, "This is the stuff dreams are made of!". It seems this crisp, Autumnesque weather has everyone in a good mood today!

And I'd just like to say that Jonagold apples are back! Can't wait to bite into one with some fresh almond butter later today!

And finally, I just pulled my Walnut Blueberry Banana Bread out of the oven, which smells amazing! The combination of that and my L'Occitane Crème Caramel Candle is enough to make me swoon!

Unfortunately, my tummy is feeling woosy again, so I think I'll rest a bit and hopefully get some studying in before Mom and I go to a knitting class this evening!

Walnut Blueberry Banana Bread
1 ripe banana, mashed
3/4 c. ground flax seed
2 egg whites
1/3 c. agave
1 c. nonfat buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. spelt flour
1 tsp orange rind, grated
1 c. blueberries
1/2 c chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine banana, flax seed, egg whites, agave and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, mix baking soda, salt, flours and orange rind.
3. Combine dry ingredients into banana mixture. Gently fold in blueberries and walnuts.
4. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Delightfully Inspired

Current mood: Beyond giddy!

A few hours of my Saturday afternoon were spent galore fabrics for my future endeavor to make aprons! I purchased enough to make five and I only wish I actually had a sewing machine to get started:) It has, however, encouraged me to continue my search for the machine suited perfectly for me! Now, inspired by the many patterns I rummaged through today, I have a million ideas floating around my head!

These two retro fruit designs are by Alexander Henry (thanks, Kristin!). Don't you love them?!

This Christmas "angel cakes" print is also by Alexander Henry.

I love the birds, it's so very Fall-ish!

And of course, a girlie floral :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gift That Keeps on Giving

Hello Friday! You know, three day weekends really are amazing because not only do you get a longer weekend, but you also get the added pleasure of a shortened work week. It's like the gift that keeps on giving!

The upcoming weekend has me really excited because we are working on some projects around the house! My plan is to paint this console table a rustic orange...I think. I'm still looking at some color options. I'm really excited though! And Chris is either going to work on his new fish tank (no, it's still not done!) or finish painting our extra dining table chairs:)

With yoga tomorrow morning, a trip to Joann's to find this fabric, and some time spent at Lowe's, this weekend is shaping up to be a very good one!

Looking for a quick dinner for the weekend? You may want to try out this delicious Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken I made last night! It is super easy and brings a wonderful flair of fruity succelance to the dinner table. We enjoyed it with some wild and brown rice and a simple herbed salad:)

*I also substituted boneless skinless chicken breast for the drumsticks and thighs used in this recipe, which obviously shortens the grilling time. The cook time is about 4 minutes per side, while continually basting it in the apricot glaze.

Hope your weekend is filled with this much relaxation!

All In Good Health

The other day I mentioned I made gluten free pizza while Lael and Elise were here. You may have wondered why. Well, I discovered that Elise has recently found out she is mildly intolerant to gluten and I of course, wanted to be an accommodating hostess:) So I modified the Fresh Mozzarella, Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Naan Bread Pizzas I had planned. I simply replaced the naan with Bob's Redmill gluten free pizza dough. It turned out quite good! I have to say, I wasn't surprised at the lovely turn out given that I have never tried a Bob's product I didn't love!

And for dessert we had Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss Ice Cream topped with fresh raspberries! Oh my, it was y-u-m-m-y!! It had a very nice nutty flavor to it and it's totally organic, vegan and soy, dairy and gluten-free. I'm totally looking for an excuse to try some of the other flavors like: Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge, Naked Coconut and Cappuccino! Did I mention they are also sweetend with agave nectar?!

Just to clarify, I am not promoting going gluten-free just for kicks, but Celiac disease, or an intolerance to gluten, is a very real thing and I'm so glad to see that there are tasty options out there. This is very helpful if you or someone you might be cooking for suffers from it. Of course, it is always nice to explore products made with good, wholesome ingredients:) It never hurts to get out of our comfort zone, especially with delicious foods!

If this is something you might be interested in getting good recipes/ideas on, you may want to check out the blog: Gluten Free Girl! It's quite delightful!

Wishing you good health always!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

On Kindness

Today I've been thinking about a quote that I really love. It goes like this:

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Isn't that wonderful?! It makes me think about my Mom when I was growing up. No matter what the situation seemed to be where somebody was upseting me, she never failed to instinctively give them the benefit of the doubt. When I was young I didn't exactly understand why and to be honest it quite annoyed me, but as an adult I really appreciate that quality in a person. I find myself now doing the very same thing to my husband. If he gets frustrated by somebody on the road I will remind him that we don't know what may be going on in their life. Wouldn't you hope that when you snap at someone or accidentaly cut off another driver they are saying to themselves, "No biggie, maybe they're just having a tough day". I sure do!

As the quote says, we all have difficulties in our lives and most of the time we won't know the struggles of others, which gives us all the more reason to show kindness. It's such a simple act that we probably learned in preschool, but it applies just as much now as it did when we were three. We may never know the impact a kind gesture or a smile can have on somebody.

Now that I'm all grown up, I realize the most difficult thing is to be kind when somebody is not treating me in the same manner, but when you think about it, those people probably need it most! Why is it that something so simple can be so difficult to penetrate, because the bottom line is, we all need grace.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One Whole Year

If you were to check out the archives, you would see that one year ago today I entered into this blogging world as a naive little blogger with absolutely no idea what I was doing. So, this post is a dedication to YOU! After all, without your encouragement, I would have given up a long time ago! Thanks to our friends, family and those we only know through the web, for staying tuned into our lives by means of our humble little webspace! We love and appreciate all of you. This blog has been a great way for us to stay connected even though many you live so far away! And let's be honest, the recipes are good too, right? ;)

And I just want you to know, even though my darling husband seldom contributes to these posts, he definitely reads them and all of your comments. What can I say, he's busy with his other sports blogs:)

I truly hope you had a fabulous long weekend! Ours was wonderful and relaxing. Of course a pedicure, some garage sales and a delicious meal with family and friends were thrown in there, but I think the best part was that my friend Lael and her sister Elise got here yesterday afternoon. Our evening was accompanied by gluten free homemade pizza and lots of catching up, but sadly they are leaving this morning and continuing their road trip that gets them closer and closer to New Zealand!! It was a short visit, but a great one!

I am a bit green with envy this morning because Chris took the day off to get some things done (one being the DMV, eww!). I wish I could have taken off too, but at least I can look forward to October 16, when we will be on our way to Indiana for a mini-vacation!!

Wishing you a happy and productive Tuesday!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mastering the Art of Cozy

Well happy Saturday!

This long weekend is already off to a great start...

When I got to work yesterday morning, I was greeted with the best kind of email and it went something like this:

"We decided to close up early today and get a head start on the long weekend! We are closing at 2, but because you come in early you can leave at noon."

Wahoo! And not only did I get to leave early, but my boss bought us Chipotle for lunch and even went to get it early for me. Talk about a nice surprise!!

So what did I do with the few extra hours? Well, I went home, got in my comfies, grabbed my all-time favorite book, Jane Eyre, and snuggled with Abby for over 3 hours! It was glorious!!

The only thing that could have made my afternoon better is if I would have had this:

Republic of Tea Pumpkin Chai Red Tea

Absolutely beautiful and fragrant! I bought it this morning at Crate and Barrel and am already brewing my second cup:) So happy I found it as I was in search of a new Fall tea!

And to complete the beginning of this already wonderful weekend, I am delighting in the thoughtful surprise my husband brought me yesterday:)

I was greeted with a kiss and these flowers when he got home! Yep, he's the best!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Some Favorites From The Week

I've got some good eats, reads and finds to share with you on this beautiful Friday!

Grilled flank steak tacos with avocado-lime salsa ~ Sometimes when I make our weekly meal plan, I get so excited about a certain dinner that the anticipation lingers all week. This was definitely one of those weeks! Chris has been asking for steak, so I went browsing through some past issues of Cooking Light in search of the perfect recipe. Alas, I found these grilled flank steak tacos! I splurged a bit on a beautiful $17 piece of flank steak (but he's so worth it!). Last night I was feeling tired and unmotivated to cook, but I simply could not let this meal get put off! As soon as I started grilling the meat my enthusiasm was renewed as it began to sizzle and the spicy aroma of lime and chipotle filled the apartment! The results: wonderfully fresh and authentic tasting! Chris and I agreed these tacos will be making another appearance on our weekly menu!

Secrets to a Happy Marriage ~ Joanna Goddard, the author of one of my favorite blogs, was married last weekend and while she is on her two week honeymoon in Greece and Italy(jealous!), she has asked various bloggers, authors and friends to post about their "secrets to a happy marriage". It has been quite a sweet series that I've enjoyed reading:) Check it out at Cup of Jo! The post by Elly on Wednesday has been my favorite so far:)

Apron inspiration ~ I've shared that I am getting a sewing machine for Christmas, but what I haven't told you is my obsession with aprons! My whole inspiration for learning to sew stemmed from wanting to make my own aprons. I just love them and have recently been on the lookout for cute patterns. Last weekend while garage saleing, Chris and I found a few that he insisted I buy:) While paying for them the girls told me their grandmother made them over 30 years ago! All the more exciting for me as I love the vintage look. I've added them to my ever growing collection and now I REALLY can't wait to start learning! I've also fallen in love with the vintage inspired fabrics at The Tin Thimble. I need to start stocking up because I can tell, this is not going to be my cheapest hobby:)

This is one I got at the garage sale last weekend. Love the bright, cheery fabric!

This one was my grandma's and probably one of my favorites! It has such a feminine sweetness to it!

And this one is from Anthropologie. I love it's simple design and retro flair!

Bulerias Tank by Lululemon ~ I adore this tank! Perfect for yoga or grocery shopping...that's my kind of top:)

Have a great weekend! I know we're looking forward to a low-key 3-day break together:)
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