Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Words #22

We are back from Idaho and that means back to work this morning! I hope to post some pictures soon as well as a recipe for some super yummy lowfat granola I made with my mom.

OK...onto the Words of Wednesday.

Since we skipped last week, how about a double dose? I re-stumbled across the artist Katie Daisy and her shop, The Wheatfield, on etsy.

I really couldn't pick just one. Her way of illustrating words is just perfection.

{Go buy this from The Wheatfield on etsy)

{Go buy this from The Wheatfield on etsy)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Holy Snow!

Brandon and I are up visiting my parents in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for a long weekend. You just can't get this kind of beauty in San Diego. I love it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Santa Barbara

Lucky me, I got to go to Santa Barbara last weekend! One of my very good friends, Katie, lives up there, so my best friend Nikki and I decided to head up that way for the weekend. Instead of battling crazy Friday traffic through Orange County and LA, we decided to take the train. Best.Move.Ever. Yes, it took 5 hours. But it was 5 hours of not driving, so that's pretty awesome if you ask me.

We went on a beautiful hike Saturday morning. Instead of describing it, why don't we just look at all the pictures Nikki took with her iPhone? I must admit, I'm pretty impressed with her skills.

After the hike, we stopped by the Santa Barbara Zoo where Katie will be getting married this summer. How cool is that??! Seriously, her wedding is going to be GORGEOUS. 

We also got to help Katie out with some of her SUPER cute wedding stuff. I just love weddings. And hers is really going to be amazing. And on top of that, I really just love Santa Barbara. Everything about it is just so charming. From State Street to the beaches to the Mission and everything in between, every time I go, I just want to drink it all up. It's so beautiful. Can't wait to go back!

UPDATE: A few people have asked me where we were hiking. Truth be told- I had no idea! Luckliy, Katie filled me in! We were at Romero Canyon Trail. The trail head is pretty close to Rattlesnake Trail.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Words #21

{Find it here on pinterest}

It's been a while, friends. I'm sorry.  At the risk of sounding whiny, I'm going to tell you the truth: I've just been exhausted. Too exhausted to wake up early and blog. I wish I could say that I was working on some big amazing project I have to reveal to you, but I can't. I'm just tired. You see, between being a wife, a friend, writing this blog, making things for this blog, working my 40 hours at my day job, trying to exercise and stay healthy, keeping up on my reading, staying connected with God and everything in between, I noticed that I haven't been doing any of those things as well as I could.

So it's been a time of evaluation. A something's gotta give moment. And in this moment, I realized that what's gotta give is my self-imposed five early mornings a week of blog post writing. I just can't do it. And I'm OK with that. I'm only one person. I want quality over quantity. I want to free up some of my time to do more of the things I love. The things that convinced me to start writing this blog. So, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Instead of 5 days a week, you'll find me more like 2-3 days a week. I think it'll be better for all of us.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Birthday, Husband!

That's right! Today is Brandon's birthday. It's a certified fact that I get more excited about his birthday than he does, but whatever. Any excuse to celebrate! Today he turns the big 2-8. Woo hoo!
{go buy this print on etsy from studio mela}

I'm busy this morning putting together a few small birthday suprises before I head off to work. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Chive Sauce

I wasn't planning on sharing this recipe with you. I really wasn't. Which is why you'll have to forgive me for the lack of and poor quality photos. But seriously, I took one bite and was like- wow. This is yummy. I must share.

I found the recipe on You can find the original recipe here.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Chive Sauce
{Serves 4}

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (2-4 breasts depending on their size)
salt to taste
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. flour
2 large shallots, finely chopped
pepper to taste
1 3/4 cup chicken broth (or one 14 oz. can)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup light sour cream
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped chives or green onions
(1 tbsp corn starch)
(1 tbsp cold water)

Between layers of plastic wrap, use mallet to pound out chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness. Season both sides with salt, then dredge in flour.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat and cook until golden brown on each side. Transfer to plate and cover.

Heat remaining 1 tsp of oil in the skillet and add shallots. Cook about 1-2 minutes. Then sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp. flour and toss to coat.  Add in pepper, chicken broth and wine. Bring mixture to rapid boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to low, add chicken breasts back in and simmer uncovered for 6 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add in sour cream and dijon mustard. If sauce is not thick enough to your liking, whisk the corn starch and cold water in a separate dish and add to sauce. Stir in chives or green onions and serve immediately.

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The 36th Avenue

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Alarm. What?!

Oversleeping can feel so so good (especially when you really need it), but it makes for a lousy blog post.

The end.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Green Routine: DIY Drain Cleaner

The Christmas decor is down and it's back to work this morning. But it's the fresh & shiny start to a new year and for that I am thankful. I love the newness the beginning of the year holds and the road stretched wide with possibilities that seems to lay before us.

Perhaps one of your resolutions this year has to do with cleaning. Well, whether it does or not, I have a little gem for you: DIY Drain Cleaner. You see, our shower drain gets clogged pretty often. We usually buy some store bought cleaner, but it's kind of expensive. I saw this pin on pinterest from the blog Tidy Mom (Great blog, go check it out) and I knew I had to give it a try. It claimed to be the best drain cleaner and only used two ingredients that I already had on hand!

Here's what you do:

1. Pour 3/4 cup of baking soda down drain
2. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and cover drain with plate or plug.
3. After 30 minutes, remove plate or plug and run hot water down drain for several minutes.
4. Repeat 1-3, only if necessary (I had to for a very tough drain clog).

You can also do this on a regular basis just to keep your drains clean. Cool, huh? So inexpensive and so effective. I like that!

Check out my other post on my getting-there green routine:
Coconut Oil Love


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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year and Six Tips for Healthy Resolutions

Happy New Year, friends! Can you believe it's 2012? Let's hope those Mayans are wrong about that whole end of the world craziness.

Have any resolutions up your sleeve? I'm joining about half of America and commiting myself to a healthier lifestyle. You know, exercising and eating right. Good things to do.

Since our vacation in late September, I've kind of fallen off the bandwagon in terms of working out and eating a reasonable amount of calories in one day. Realizing you've gained 15 pounds in just three short months is quite the motivation.

This isn't my first time to try and conquer a healthier lifestyle. Although I certainly haven't perfected it, and I'm no expert- here are my six tips for keeping those healthy new year's resolutions.

1. Crash diets work. For a little bit. But by the time you're done with it, you're so hungry and eager to get back to eating real food that (if you're like me) you gain it all back and then some. For long term changes, just don't do it. Please. Just don't.

2. Community works. Get a workout buddy. Join a free site like SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is my current favorite. They have a great iPhone app that let's you track your eating and workouts on the go. It's super easy to use, has a ton of neat features like a bar code scanner, and let's you connect with and encourage friends. For me, it's been the best thing to keep me accountable as well as show me how working out really makes a difference. My favorite part is at the end of the day, when you're finished tracking, the app will tell you: "If every day were like today, you'd weigh X lbs. in 5 weeks." So motivating. Have I sold you yet?

3. Plan ahead. Do things, like  meal planning and packing your lunch. Seriously. Eating out for lunch can kill my healthy eating attempts. If eating out is required, do your research ahead of time. Many restaurants post their nutritional information online, so do your research ahead of time and know what you're going to order before you go. Trust me, it helps.

4. Be realistic. If you haven't been going to the gym at all, don't make your resolution be that you'll go to the gym 7 days a week. I mean, c'mon, who really wants to go to the gym that much? You're just setting yourself up for failure. Start small. Perhaps plan on just twice a week at first and then work your way up. You'll feel so much better.

5. Don't deprive yourself. The more you tell yourself you can't have something, the more you're going to want it. So don't make any foods completely off limits. If you want some cake, eat the cake! Try having a smaller piece, or getting in some extra time at the gym.

6. If you screw up once, don't scrap the whole thing. Everyone stumbles occasionally, but that's not the time to give up! Sometimes that entire box of chocolate on a super stressful day is just too irresistible for even the strongest of will powers. Just pick yourself back up and start again. It's better to make a goal and keep it 9 out of 10 days than to never make one at all, right?

That's all I got. Got any more tips for me?

p.s. I'm taking tomorrow off to spend time with our family, but I'll see you all again on Tuesday!

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