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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Light Summer Pasta

I've tried to start this post like three times.
Each and every time the only words that have come to me are these-

I.  Am.  Tired.
Like, as in I am physically exhausted.  I'm not sure how to explain the toll having a 55ish lb, 3 1/2 foot tall, autistic little man is taking on my neck and back.  He's sweet.  He's adorable.  He's freaking brilliant.  And he's HEAVY and POWERFUL.  I'm seriously just...ugh.  There is a huge amount of physical exertion that goes into every task, from getting him into position to change his diaper to getting him into his car seat.

My back is toast.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Salmon BLT Stacks and Perfect Summers

I love road trips *almost* as much as I love flying.  Call me crazy- maybe I just have amazing kids- but I actually ENJOY being cooped up in the van with them having adventures.  Even reeeally long drives- remember those trips to Texas we take?  I pack some Roadtrip Sandwiches, start Spotify, and make sure I have plenty of snacks, books, and magazines within reach.  Then we hit the open road!

This year we decided to make an extra trip out to Texas to spend the 4th of July with some of my husband's family (16 hours driving is totally worth the chance to restock my favorite balsamic vinegars, right?) and we also were blessed enough to be invited to spend a weekend in historic, quaint, peaceful, all-around wonderful Rugby, TN to celebrate my Father-in-Law's 69th birthday.

Between trip-taking, popcorn-baking, garden-tending, and memory-making with the kids it has been one busy summer!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Garden's Bounty: Zucchini Patties and Homemade Marinara

I'm relatively new at gardening, in fact this is only my third year planting a garden of my own.  I've really been blessed with beginner's luck and a bountiful garden from the beginning.  I've also learned that just because I can grow something doesn't mean that I should grow it...

My first garden was chock full of different veggies- tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, four types of bell peppers, an accidentally purchased lemon verbena plant, cayenne, jalapeƱos, poblano peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe.

I had a LOT of stuff going on out there- to be honest, more than I needed, especially pepper-wise.

My second garden was was just as large but the variety of plants was pretty pared down- tomatoes, jalapeƱos, banana peppers, zucchini, and cantaloupe.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Garden's Bounty: Zucchini Scallion Frittata Cups

I have absolutely no idea why I continue, year after year, to plant zucchini in my garden.
I don't really like zucchini.  My family doesn't like zucchini.

Yet- until this year- I continued to plant it.  Makes no sense, right?

Perhaps it's the enjoyment I get out of watching those plants grow to outlandish sizes.  Perhaps it's the fun of seeing the squash (that is what they are, right?) grow- seemingly overnight- to the size of my calf.  Perhaps it's those gorgeous, big, leaves that I love (until they're inevitably attacked by squash bugs sometime over the summer...).

Monday, June 30, 2014

Patriotic Wreath: Probably My Favorite Craft In the History of Ever

The military changes you.
At least it did me.

I don't come from a military family, and I don't suppose we were hugely patriotic- at least no more so than your average American out there.

I played a small role, I was never even deployed.
But I was part of something bigger than me.
I was part of a family.
I was part of America itself and the amazing group of men and women who protect Her.
It changes you.  It just does.

I don't look at flags the same way anymore.  It's not just an object.  It's such a graceful, stunning symbol of our nation.  It honestly makes my heart swell a little when I see the flag flying.  There's something about the red, white, and blue that inspires pride and reminds me what I was a part of.

I found this tutorial on Pinterest a few years ago for making a patriotic wreath and absolutely fell in love.
Like in love.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Amazing Muffin Cups with Zucchini Crust

This time last year I was swamped.
Overwhelmed.
Trying to keep my head above the flood of zucchini my garden was throwing at me.

Boy am I glad I didn't plant four zucchini plants this year!  What was I thinking last year??

Anyway, even if you were smart enough to only plant one, you're most likely a little overwhelmed yourself right about now- those can be some CRAZY prolific plants.

There are only so many ways you can fix zucchini before you're just done, you know?

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to work Johnsonville again.  We were asked to make their popular recipe for Amazing Muffin Cups.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chicken Fajitas and A Silly Husband

Diets can be frustrating.
I've really found my groove with this low carb thing over the past couple of years, but I still have my moments where I would give ANYTHING for like, oh, I don't know, say maybe...an entire loaf of Hawaiian bread ravenously torn off in hunks until every last crumb has disappeared?  A whole box of cereal?  So much sushi that by the time I'm done I think my stomach will explode?


Yeah...carbs and I have issues...lol it's best for me to just stay away, and for the most part my body is happy and my mind is content.

My husband...well, he's been attempting low carb living for awhile now.  He's having a rough time of it.
Aaaand I get it.
It is SO frustrating when you're hungry, or you want to snack, and everything you want feels like it's off limits.
Bring on a big attack of hangriness!