Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hello, 2014!

So I maybe didn't get a Christmas card out... Or a New Year's card. Whoops. But I did design one, so some of you might as well enjoy it!

Ryan and I spent our New Year's Eve snuggled up on the couch watching a movie, and we toasted in 2014 with some butterscotch creme soda (note to self: stores will be completely sold out of cider a few hours before midnight in Utah). We're so old and married, but I kind of loved having a low-key holiday with May tucked happily in bed and us in sweats eating brownies and ice cream.

2013 brought us so many wonderful changes and memories. Ryan graduated from college and got a job a few weeks later, which inspired our move to northern Utah. We finally took a honeymoon trip to Mexico. Maylie started dance classes, which she absolutely loves. I transferred to a new school. Plus lots of good times with family and friends. Hopefully 2014 will be just as good to us as 2013!

Happy New Year all!

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Maylie Monday: Christmas Morning

There is nothing like a kid on Christmas morning. Miss May still isn't old enough to quite grasp the idea of Christmas and Santa, but she still really loved waking up to a bunch a presents.

We spent Christmas with my family down in Mesquite. It was great to get to see my family and to enjoy the nice weather for the holiday.

We had to take a break half-way through opening gifts, so she could play. She didn't even care that she had more toys to open. She NEEDED to play with the ones she already opened. 

When we got back, we had to clear out a ton of her old toys to make room for the new. That little girl sure is spoiled!

Thanks family for making May's Christmas so wonderful!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

TGBTL Week #3: Tom Kha Kai

So here's the thing--I don't cook that often. I really should cook more, we spend WAY too much money eating out. So my go-to meals are like so basic that posting a recipe would just be silly. I mean you all can read the directions on the back of a mac & cheese box without me. So instead for this week's link up, I'm going to share a recipe I had awesome success with recently: Tom Kha Kai.

It sounds scary and difficult, but it's not! I promise.

When we lived in St. George, Ryan and I loved to go to Benja's, which is an amazing Thai restaurant. One of the dishes we love most is the Tom Kha Kai soup. It took me awhile to get hooked on it, but once I did, I could not stop eating it.

Sadly, I have yet to find a place in Provo that serves it (if you know of one please let me know), and I crave it all the time. I have looked for recipes, but I have always been intimidated by the ingredients. Finally, I was craving it so bad that I decided to just go for it and hope for the best.

I found an awesome recipe at The Quixotic Table and decided to give it a go. I had to go to a Asian food market to find some of the ingredients, but I was able to get most everything at the grocery store. I made a couple alterations from the original recipe.

1. I halved everything. This recipe is huge. Even cut in half this recipe still fed us multiple times.
2. I substituted vegetarian Golden Mountain sauce for the fish sauce. Fish sauce is essentially fermented fish and salt. It is used in a ton of Thai food. But after reading some tips on using it, I read that while it does not taste fishy in food, sometimes the cook can smell/taste it because it is overwhelming alone. I hate fish, so I decided to be safe and replace it. I found the Golden Mountain sauce worked great and achieved the same flavor I was going for, without the fishy taste.

Tom Kha Kai

1 quart low sodium chicken broth
2 19 ounce cans of coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass, pounded with the back of a knife & cut into thirds
4-6 kaffir lime leaves
2-3 inch piece galangal, sliced
1 palm sugar disc, crushed
6-8 ounces mushrooms
Any veggies desired (I used spinach, but broccoli or snap peas would be good too)
1-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/3 cup Golden Mountain sauce or fish Sauce
1 bunch cilantro for topping if desired

In a large pot, add chicken broth, coconut milk, lemongrass, lime leaves, and galangal. Bring to a slow boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes. The broth should be strong and fragrant. Use a slotted spoon to remove the lemongrass, lime leaves, and galangal. Add the palm sugar, mushrooms, and veggies. Cook until mushrooms and veggies are soft. Add the Golden Mountain or fish sauce and chicken.

Serve over jasmine rice for a more filling meal, and add chili sauce or oil for some kick!

I know this might seem like an intimidating recipe, but if I can pull it off, I promise you can too! If you like Thai food, give this a try!

Girl Between the Lines Link up

Monday, December 16, 2013

Maylie Monday: The Grump

The last few days have been rough, my friends. Miss May has had a cold for awhile, well pretty much since September. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but it feels like that. Anyway she's had a cold this week, and it has made her super grumpy. She's usually an easy kid. Seriously, she's a busy-body, but she is so well-tempered.

Not this week.

This week, everything is a fit, and every word is a whine. It was kind of cute and funny at first because we never see her like this. But now we are just really hoping this cold is almost over.

Here's a little video of her whining when it was still cute:

Sorry for the horrible quality of this video, it was the best I could do from the iPhone.

Happy 25th Ryan!

It's this guy's birthday!

Happy Birthday Ry! Thanks for being the best hubby, daddy, and best friend we could have asked for!
I hope you have the most wonderful birthday!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

TGBTL Link Up: Holiday Favorites

I had such an awesome experience last week being a part of "The Girl Between the Lines" link-up that Hayley and Lauren put together, so I am so excited to participate again this week!

This weeks topic is: share some of your favorite things about the holidays.

I don't know what it is, but I am so excited for Christmas this year. I think it is probably mostly due to the fact that Little Miss is old enough to kind of understand the holiday. Not completely, of course, but she reminds me every day that Santa is going to bring her presents. I am just loving sharing and beginning traditions with our little girl. So here's a few things about the holiday season that I absolutely love:

1. I love wrapping presents. I know that seems silly, but I seriously love to pick out the paper and the ribbon and wrap everything. Growing up, I always offered to wrap all of our family's gifts (excluding my own), and now I always look forward to wrapping gifts for my hubby and Maylie. 

2. I love the spirit that Christmas brings to most people. Maylie and I have been watching Charlie Brown's Christmas Special on Netflix a ton this month, and Charlie says a quote that I just love. Lucy tells him in the spirit of Christmas, she is going to be nicer to him during this time of year, and he says, "Why does it have to be just this time of year?" I love that Christmas is a time when everyone seems to remember those around them, and they go out of their way to contribute small acts of kindness, but I love even more how this time of year is a reminder of how we should treat others always.

3. I love the food around Christmas. Seriously. Mass amounts of fresh baked cookies and treats. I'm in heaven. 

4. I love the little traditions that seem to go unnoticed. For instance, my brother and I have a little debate about who gets to hang certain ornaments on my parent's tree. Specifically, Mr. and Mrs. Mouse. These mice are a bride and groom, and Joey and I seriously get into it about who gets to hang the mice and who will get the mice after my parents die (super cheerful right?). It got to the point to where we had to designate who gets even years and who gets odds. I can't remember right now, but it's written down somewhere.

Overall, I just the way Christmas feels. There is something whimsical about driving around looking at the pretty lights and drinking mass amounts of hot chocolate. Happy Holidays all! Hope you're all loving the Christmas season as much as I am!

Girl Between the Lines Link up

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Maylie Monday: Snow Baby

This year is Maylie's first real experience with snow. She's been in it before, but she wasn't really old enough to understand or interact with it. But this year, Little Girl is in love with the snow.

Everyday she asks me to open the windows so she can see, "snow outside." And when we are walking out to the car, she always insists on stomping through the piles of snow instead of the neatly shoveled/salted walkways.

I really need to get her some better snow clothes so she can enjoy the snow a little more!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Girl Between the Lines Link-Up

Girl Between the Lines Link up

I know. Most of the time I post about Miss May, but I've been thinking of a lot of things I'd like to start posting about, and though most of those things still don't have a ton to do with getting to know me better, I thought this might be a cool way to start posting more often! So I'm pretty excited to do this link up. 

The first week's topic is: post a pic of yourself and say three things you like about yourself.

I LOVE this topic. Not because I'm just dying to share things I think are great about me, but because I think it is so important to acknowledge the good in ourselves. So often we focus on the negative, and we forget that we each have good qualities. By constantly giving merit to the bad, we give it power, and in doing so we distort our self-image. So here it goes, three things I like about myself:

1. I love that I am still going to school. Sometimes I hate it. I especially hate that I started college six years ago, and I still don't have my degree. But I am proud of myself for sticking it out, and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I love to learn, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to get a college degree.

2. I love my laugh. 90% of the time it's louder than anyone else's, but it makes my husband smile and it sounds just like my mom's. I'm blessed in a lot of ways to be like my mom, but my laugh is one of my favorites.

3. And I love my ability to see the good in others. This has gotten me into trouble in the past, but I always assume the best in everyone. I would much rather give someone the benefit of the doubt and be wrong than be assume the worst and be right.

Thanks Hayley and Lauren for creating this awesome link-up, I  am looking forward to getting to know you, and lots of other bloggers, better!

Check this out and join in! I'm pretty excited about it.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Maylie Monday: Scarred for Life

Thanksgiving weekend was filled with tons of fun, family, and food. We drove down to Moab to go Jeeping. The whole way there May kept saying, "Trip! Trip! Trip!" So cute.

But while we were there, Little Girl had some traumatic experiences. I am convinced she is forever going to hate chocolate now.

First, Aunt Riki stuffed May so full of chocolate ice cream that she lost her cookies just minutes later (Thanks for that Rik, I'll repay the favor one day).

Then, we were getting hot chocolate at the gas station, and May pulled a steaming cup right down on her. Luckily, we got her clothes off right away, and she didn't get any burns. Just shock and a traumatic experience.

This is what we came up with to keep her head from bobbing around while she napped while we were on the trails.
She also begs to drive now every time we get in the car.
But, despite it all, Little Girl had a blast this weekend. She kept asking to go "Jeep in the dirt." I can tell she's just going to be our little adventurer.

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