Category Archives: Love

Pork Lemongrass Baguette and Dreaming Tree Wine

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I love to make different foods that we wouldn’t normally eat. And this Pork Lemongrass Baguette is right up our alley! We don’t eat a lot of pork and I have been trying to incorporate it a bit more into our meals. But you guys, this recipe calls for fish sauce and if you have ever smelled fish sauce you might be doubting my recipe planning. But I promise you, you won’t be disappointed! Don’t let the fish sauce deter you. I didn’t even say anything about it until after dinner and after I heard all about how delicious it was and then I told my husband to smell it! hahaha!

I also found the most perfect wine to go with our Pork Lemongrass Baguette. The Dreaming Tree Crush is a story of artistry and a wine from none other than Dave Matthews. It was inspired by the desire to make high quality California wines that are accessible to wine lovers everywhere.

The Dreaming Tree makes high quality, delicious wines that are affordable so that anyone can enjoy them. My favorite is the Chardonnay.

I started with using boneless pork chops. I know that might not be the typical meat cut choice, but I wanted something small and thin for a lighter meal rather than large chunks of filling meat. I also took each of those pork chops and cut them in half to make smaller pieces. Then I made my marinade and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator before having my husband bbq them.

While the pork was grilling I sliced some carrots, red onion and cilantro for topping and then put the sandwich all together.

Look at this Pork Lemongrass Baguette…. Are you drooling? Because I am. This was delicious!

The Dreaming Tree has an amazing commitment to sustainable wine making practices and is celebrating donating over $1M to environmental programs that protect tree and forestry programs across the country.

I bought my Dreaming Tree at a local wine store but I have also found it at my local grocery store and supercenter stores. To find where you can buy it- visit their website and type in your zip code… It is that easy!

Another great snack to pair with these wines would be something as simple as cheese and bread or even a popcorn like BoomchickaPop!  It really goes great with anything.

Needing more info about The Dreaming Tree? Find them on Facebook and Instagram

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless pork chops
carrots
cilantro
(4) 6 inch baguettes
Marinade for pork (recipe below)

Lemongrass Pork Marinade:

1/2 C. chopped lemongrass
1/2 C. sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Mix ingredients for marinade together, add pork and let marinade overnight.
2. Next, you want to grill until the pork is completely cooked on BBQ
3. Slice Baguettes in half the long way, adding grill pork, sliced carrots and chopped cilantro
4. Enjoy!

Now you know some of my favorite pairings with The Dreaming Tree Crush, what would you pair with it?

Summer’s Tea Party

This past weekend my baby girl turned 4 years old. Yep, Summer is four years old and that called for a Tea Party with her friends.

So we rounded up the best girlfriends a girl can have, and had some snacks, drinks and played some games.

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Months ago I decided to have a Tea Party for Summer’s birthday. Of course, I turned to Pinterest because, obviously you can find everything there. And several weeks ago I started collecting things here and there to complete her party. Then I made her invites and got them into the mail.

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Then this last week I was in Party mode to get things done and make it happen!

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Thank goodness for my Cricut because I was able to make so much of my decorations with it! I made doily’s, a banner, photo booth props, tea hats, pieces for Pin the tea cup on the tea pot, it was awesome, I made so much of it myself and that always feels great!

I am going to be sharing some individual posts on a few of the things I made over the next few days, so keep your eyes out for those too!

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In the past I always attempt making my own cakes, and it never works as good as I hope for it to so this year I just bought a cake from a local box store. I struggled to find a teapot or something similar so I ended up going with this princess cake since it was gardeny and flowery and I went with it! Plus Summer loved it and that is really what matters.

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I love my chalkboard wall. We never get tired of drawing on it!

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Using the Home Made Sand from the other day we put it to good use and made fun sand bottles. I used a coffee bottle that I washing to fill with sand. The kids all loved it!

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Then finally we did the photo booth all through out the party. It sort of got messed up because I planned to do the photo booth in my back yard with this beautiful wire chair my friend Kara lent me but it was pouring buckets and I had to set it up in my entry way instead! But it all worked out!

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We really had the best day and Summer had so much fun! She loved seeing her friends, playing games, eating cake and getting some super fun gifts!

Thank you to all of our friends that made this day possible for her! We love you!

2015 Year In Review

Hey now friends! Welcome to the Blogging Besties’ 2015: A Year in Review Link-Up Party!

We are ready to show 2o16 who’s the boss, but before we do, we want to give 2015 a proper send-off. The highs, the lows, the smiles, the tears, the trips, the holidays, the birthdays, the anniversaries, the babies…whatever it is that made 2015 special, we want to know about it! Grab a button, visit the hosts, and link up your post about what 2015 meant to you!

Hosts: Kristine: The Foley Fam // Megan: Absolute Mommy // Kate: The Colbert Clan // Lena: Lena B, Actually // Renee: coffee-n-ink // Kara: Chasing Zoie // Laura: Bits of Sweetness // Kassi and Kayli: Kassarie & Kayliray

2015 was a very interesting year for my family. It was a year where we still had many firsts without my mom and adjusting to this new world without her.

But it was also a year full of love, laughter, lots of recipes and DIY/craft projects and spending time with my family. I feel like I let 2014 slip away and I wasn’t going to do the same with 2015.

January was a long cold month. We spent a lot of time inside, which meant playing, movies and cuddling. It is also when I got some projects done. I shared these DIY Coffee Sleeves, which I made a ton of them and gave to my sisters, girlfriends, and all of Travis’ female coworkers. I also made the most delicious Vegetable Beef Soup that my family is probably getting sick of because I make it so often. But it is delicious!

janFebruary I shared my bedroom makeover, almost a year late. I also shared some of my favorite fonts I use when I create things for my blog, and these delicious Valentine’s Day Whoopie Pies. As the weather warmed slightly, we started spending a little time outside when we could! I also turned 32 and had dinner with my little family and my dad then came home where more family and friends joined us for cake.

FebSummer and I had a few girls days where we got pedicures, shopped and dressed like princesses.

IMG_20150214_100435March we were sick. Like, all.month.long. We actually were sick more times that I’d like to say during the entire year of 2015… but March really kicked our bums! We tried making our first gummy worms, we played outside in the backyard, getting fresh air whenever we could, and we played at the park.

MarchI also shared these awesome DIY Canvas’ that I whipped up pretty quick! And I made these amazing Pizza Rolls, that are seriously delicious! And I finally shared this DIY Quilt I made for Summer the year before! And Travis turned 31.

April we had park playdates with friends, the kids finally got to meet their new baby cousin, Oliver. Celebrated my MOM by having ice cream and sent some balloon messages to her in Heaven. And Zachary became a TEENAGER!

AprilI also shared these DIY Coffee Mugs I made, DIY Makeup Remover Pads, and this delicious Sliced Baked Potato. Travis and I took our first “real” vacation for our 5th anniversary and headed to MAUI! Check out Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4!!

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May was a lot warmer outside and we spent a lot of time outside at the park, with friends and at Papa’s house. We also took on a big project by ripping out the shrubs in the back yard and putting down sod.

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May15 collageI shared my Mom’s Night In, this delicious Pesto Chicken Ciabatta, Chicken Spinach Lasagna, and How you can make your own butter!

I also got my first business cards made for my first Blog Conference, and I had my first In-N-Out burger. maycollage 20150530_103727

June really started off our water play! We spent time at several different lakes and rivers. Some with friends, some with family, but all fun!

June collage

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I made a pennant banner and curtains for Summer’s big girl room, Super Moist Stuffed Peppers

July brought much more water days to our future. I became a BeachBody Coach, I made my own vinyl signs, and this delicious S’mores Frappuccino.

July

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August started with a Seattle trip with friends to the Aquarium and Zoo. Lots of water dates and lounging in the house because it was a scorcher! I also saw Rascal Flatts for my THIRTEENTH time! And it was Zach’s 3rd time seeing them! And I had a sister date, which that like, never happens!

Seattle

Aug 15

I also shared these mouth watering Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, and this healthy alternative to a Chicken Salad Sandwich.

September is always a busy month. Getting kids back to school and in a normal routine, open houses, Summer’s birthday… We started off with going to Pig Out in the Park where we did just that! We also fed the garbage goat, slid down the slide at the Big Red Wagon, rode the carousel and enjoyed the sights of our own town.

Sept

Summer bdayI had to take Summer to the ER a couple of days after her birthday and the poor girl had croup! Tyler and Zach went back to school and my sister, niece and I went to Gavin DeGraw and Shania Twain! Plus we traded in my swagger wagon for my awesome new Tahoe, which I love! Can I just say that butt warmers are one of the coolest inventions?

PicMonkey Collage

Delicious Monkey bread, Zucchini Lasagna and Summer’s big girl bedroom were shared on the blog.

October finally slowed down a little. We had a joint birthday party for Tyler and Summer. It was carnival themed, and you might have read about it HERE. We celebrated Tyler’s Birthday, Halloween, and a clean up day at my dad’s house to get all the leaves cleaned up. But first we played in them! Plus, Tyler is learning that it is no fun to lose! Love my little Minnie Mouse and Power ranger!

October

One the blog I shared BBQ Chicken Nachos, my Tips for doing 21 Day Fix and Pumpkin Waffles.

November was reasonably quiet. Except on days the Seahawks play! We enjoyed the days where we could get some things done, and spending time with family for Thanksgiving. Travis got a new truck and also got his first bull elk on his annual hunting trip. We also heard that the city was tearing down my Grandma’s old house, so we went over to check it out.

November

On the blog I shared Pull apart Pizza Bites, this delicious Chicken and Spinach Bake, and an amazing Pecan Pie Milkshake…. You don’t want to miss that one!

December was busy again with Christmas parties and programs, friend get-togethers and snow play. Lots and lots of snow play. We got well over a foot the week of Christmas and we headed to Papa’s on several occasions to go sledding. Plus you’ll find snowmen in our own back yard as well. The kids got too spoiled at Christmas and I did too. I even got Justin Bieber’s new cd and there is #noshameinmygame !

December

On the blog I shared some Oohey-Gooey Peanut Butter Cookies, and some One Pan Mexican Quinoa!

Whew! If you made it through all of that…. Thank you! It has been a pretty great year and I’m looking forward to next year! Now go check out everyone else who linked up and be sure to link up your own year in review!


Turning everyday moments into #FeelGooder Moments with Zone Perfect

I feel like so often people think that they have to get or receive something in order to feel good. Something has to be “happening” for them to feel good. But that is not true. Sure, those times when someone does something nice for you it does make you feel good and maybe even make you want to pay if forward. But why wait until someone does something for you? Why not start that chain yourself?

PerfectlySimple

Everyone wants those moments that make them feel good about themselves, about their relationships, about their life choices.

A few of my favorite things are:

Getting a pedicure
Getting my hair cut and/or colored
Exercising
Eating healthy food
Going to a movie with the kids
Having a date night with my husband

You get the drift, yes?

But what about even smaller moments? The #FeelGooder moments?

Like eating healthy food and starting my kids off on making good food choices while they are young.
Buying the persons coffee that is in line behind me.
Renting a movie and eating popcorn on the couch with my husband and kids.
Or coloring in a coloring book with the kids.
Making a holiday countdown.
Making holiday treats to share with our friends and family.
Filling a paper bag with food and toiletries to donate to a shelter.

If you ever look on Pinterest you have probably seen something called a “Blessings Bag”. It is where you take a Gallon size bag (or something similar) and you fill it with items that a homeless person could use. With it getting colder rapidly in the Pacific North West it is a great time to donate items to the shelter, or if you see a person on the side of the road asking for help. So I decided to put together some of these little bags to help out people in need.

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Some of the items I decided to put in my bag include:

Deodorant
razors
Shaving cream
Shampoo
Conditioner
Chap stick
Hand Sanitizer
Body Wash
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Floss
Mouthwash
Granola Bars
Hair ties
Face wash

I will also be adding brand new socks and some cotton gloves, but I didn’t have any to show for my picture.

Blessings Bag

One thing I wanted to add in was Granola bars.

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While I think any kind would be great, I picked the Perfectly Simple because of the ingredients in them and because they are packed with protein while still lower calorie to help keep you full for longer. They are individually wrapped which are perfect to put a couple inside of a Blessings Bag. And they come in four great flavors:

 Almond Toffee Crunch
• Bing Cherry & Almond
• Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk
• Roasted Cashew & Dark Chocolate

I have tried all 4 flavors and I will say that the Oatmeal Chocolate Crunch is the best!!

Want a coupon to get $1 off of your own Perfectly Simple granola bars? Get it HERE!

What do you do to create #feelgooder moments in your life?

Being a Stay at home Mom. 5 years later

I can’t believe it has been 5 years since I last worked. I remember when I left my job like it was yesterday. The decision to leave was made relatively quick, over a day or two. My husband and I worked together and had just gotten married. One of us had to leave and I was pregnant. It was pretty much a no brainer. We knew I would be the one to leave but it was bitter sweet.  I even applied for other jobs, had a couple of interviews, but ultimately we knew I was going to stay home.

THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK

I never thought I would be sitting at home watching soap operas and eating bon bons (nor did I want to be), but I’ll admit that I was naïve enough that I thought I would have time to dig out the old VHS player and catch up on old movies I hadn’t seen in ages, or be able to get caught up on my scrapbooks before Tyler arrived. But you know how that goes. We bought a house, Tyler was born, less than two years later Summer was born and two years later… Here we are. Life never slows down and I swear that each year that goes by, the next goes even quicker. And instead, I’m making scrapbooks via Shutterfly, or whoever else has a free or heavily discounted book up for grabs.

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One thing about it, being a mom is the hardest, most rewarding job out there. I am so grateful for Travis that he works so hard so that I can stay at home with the kids. And I love being home with them.

Being a mother

Now don’t get me wrong. My sleep is minimal and sometimes I want to pull my hair out. I have toddler songs running through my head all day long and I look forward to nap time every.single.day. There are times that Travis walks through the door and I have to just go close myself in the room to pee by myself. But if circumstances changed and I needed to go back to work I would be upset. I know it is not for everyone, but I like that I’m really the only one who raises my kids. I enjoy spending all day every day with them, even if that means I shower with two toddlers and I don’t pee by myself. Ever. Even if it means that my adult interaction is limited. It means that I still don’t have hand made scrapbooks, or watch movies because I can’t hear over the kids playing. or screaming.

Motherhood Quote

But waking up to my kids talking and laughing. Making them breakfast, making lunches, getting kids on the bus and off to preschool, playdates and picnics at the park, not having to worry about taking time off to go to school functions or find a place for them to go during Spring break is such a wonderful feeling. It makes it all worth the long crazy days and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

If you think my hands are full

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