Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sunflower Seed & Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

I've seen these "protein energy bites" on a number of other blogs and on Pinterest. I've thought they sounded like a great idea - something easy to take to work for a mid-day snack, feed the nieces when they are looking for a nibble and even as a dessert.

Not to mention that it's a great activity for the kids to help you with too. My niece Ivy helped me with the latest batch. She loved pouring, mixing and especially rolling the balls in her hands.

There are a number of varieties out there and you can make them your own - almond butter instead of peanut butter, cocoa instead of chocolate chips, agave instead of honey. The options are endless.

My favorite that I've made so far is the Sunflower Seed Butter and Mini Chocolate Chip variety:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pinspiration Fashion

Pinterest is a huge resource for me. Whether for dinner recipes, ideas for stops on a vacation, DIY tips for the new house and of course FASHION IDEAS! Below are just a few of the outfit combinations I've found (p)inspiration for on Pinterest.

Great thing is that these have all been pieces I've already owned and just needed the push to put them together.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer Corn Salsa

There's nothing tastier than a fresh, homemade, salsa on a hot summer day...well maybe add a cold beer to go with it.

So when visiting Southern California recently, I was excited to try my friend's corn salsa recipe. Delicoius by itself, on chicken tacos or with carnitas!

I've made some alterations to his original recipe (using fresh corn instead of canned and adding a tomato for a different level of acidity) I'm sharing with you my Summer Corn Salsa!

Monday, July 6, 2015

New House

We've been living in our tiny condo for six years now. There's very little storage (no garage) and we've really just grown out of it. So a few months back the family and I started looking for a bigger place.

A week ago we got word that we got a place (the rental market in the PNW is a killer these days and places get gobbled up just moments after posting)!!

We've already promised my niece she can ride her bike on our driveway

It's over double the size of our condo! Three bedrooms, two baths, a family room and living room (which I have plans for) and a nice large kitchen/dining space.

This only shows about 1/2 of the dining room.

I have plans for a butcher block to extend the breakfast bar (hooray for counter space),,,because we all know that I'll be spending most of my time here in the kitchen. We've already started planning the first family potluck! 

Aside from the kitchen (which tends to be the center of any family party) there is a beautiful backyard and deck that will be perfect for the nice weather we've been given lately. I can see the kids playing out front in a sprinkler or getting a bocce ball set for the backyard. 

Front yard.

Back deck.

You can't see it in the photo above, but there's a dog run on the west side of the house, as well as three large raised beds on the east side. I don't have much of a green thumb but that doesn't mean I can't try right? 

I'm also excited to have a blank canvas of a new place. I've already started envisioning turning the large living room into an office and library. I love having a space with no television. We have large beautiful dark wood bookshelves, an antique desk of my great grandfather's and a super comfy easy chair that will create and amazing reading nook.

Front foyer looking into my soon-to-be library
This also means that I'll have some great posts as I DIY my way through the new house. If you have suggestions for rental decorating tips, websites, other bloggers - please feel free to mention it in the comments below. I'm always looking for resources.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Seafood Chowder

In the last year I've visited New Orleans - once for pleasure and once for work. Both times I just fell more and more in love with the city. From the people, to the music, the culture and history....and of course we can't forget the food!

Seems like every restaurant had some in-house version of a corn seafood chowder. So when I got home, and those flavors were calling to me, I knew I had to make my own version.

It is a one pot wonder, where you can throw everything in a pot and then let it simmer on the back burner. Caramelize shallots, brown some andouille, boil potatoes and then just make sure to put your shrimp and crab in last. 

I'm still perfecting this dish, but every time I've made it my family gobbles it up and devours bowl after bowl. So obviously I'm doing something right.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Beach Vacation

It's just days away from Fourth of July and while some people are thinking of fireworks, camping, throwing some steaks on the grill.  For me it's a reminder that I can soon start planning a vacation!! Hooray!

This past Sunday we graduated 180 students - twice as large as last year and our largest class ever! In a few days we'll be welcoming forty new students (and then another 160 in September).

After weeks and weeks of planning, working long hours and being a tightly wound Type A... my boss has asked when I'm going on vacation. Hmmm. Where to go?

This past Memorial Day weekend my sister K and I headed to the Oregon Coast for a quick overnight at the funky beach B&B, with bottomless Mimosas and a few rounds of BINGO!

I may just need to head back to the Oregon Coast soon for a week(end) of no responsibilities, bottomless mimosas and falling asleep to the sound of the ocean.