Melissa McClure Photography

•March 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

We got the opportunity recently to shoot some maternity photos with my good friend and the always amazing Melissa McClure of Melissa McClure Photography. We hadn’t done photos with her since our trash the dress session shortly after our wedding so it was fun to do it again. 



Melissa just relaunched her website and it looks amazing! She does destination weddings all over the world and her work is AMAZING. She’s also giving away a bunch of free stuff to celebrate — an iPad, a photo shoot, and a spa day in your town! Check it out:

Sewing Corner: Coffee Cozy

•October 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I love this project. It’s easy and quick, so it’s something I can easily accomplish in half an hour. Those are the best types of projects — near-instant gratification! I’ve learned I’m just not made for long-term projects that take weeks and weeks. I don’t have the patience and I like to see my results fast or I lose interest.

Hence, the coffee cozy. I’ve made about a zillion of these by this point. They make great gifts and are a fun way to use up scrap fabric. I used a pattern (found via Pinterest) from Liberate Creativity.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

•June 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This post comes to you thanks to my mother-in-law, who gave me the little push I needed to get motivated to actually start blogging again. No promises it sticks this time, but I’ll try! :)

I found this recipe a few months back and have made it several times since. Mostly because it’s easy when I’m lazy, it’s fairly healthy, and it’s super versatile with what you can serve it with/under/on/etc. And anything healthy I can make in the Crock-Pot get two thumbs up from me!

This first time (in the photos), we served over quinoa and sauteed Swiss chard, but it also works well on top of pasta or with roasted veggies.



Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

Very slightly adapted from Skinny Crockpot

4 to 6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (but since there’s only two in my household, I usually halve and use only two chicken breasts, or three if I want leftovers!)
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 onion thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon each: dried oregano,basil, and rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
ground black pepper and salt to taste

Pour the olive oil on bottom of your slow cooker. Place chicken breasts on top of oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken. Place sliced onion on top of chicken, then add garlic and herbs. Pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes.
Cook on high 4 hours.

Hawaiian Vacation: Kauai

•April 24, 2012 • 1 Comment

Earlier this month we spent eight blissful days relaxing and rejuvenating on the sands of Kauai. It was painful to come back to the real world. We had a great week, with perfect weather, good eats, lots of beach reads, a few extra freckles than when we left and probably a couple of extra pounds, too (remember the good eats!). Can we please do this every year?

Waimea Canyon

Wailua River Valley


Sunrise on the Beach

 We stayed in Kapa’a on the East Shore of Kauai. It was a funky beach town and the perfect spot for us (very centrally located on the island and the town is very walkable). We rented a condo in a resort so we got to take advantage of the full kitchen plus all the amenities on the resort (right on the beach, great pool, bbqs, restaurant with a great bar and an even better happy hour) — Waipouli Beach Resort. Totally recommend! We’d stay there again in a heartbeat. The views from our lanai were killer.

The Scenery

Kapa’a Beach / Sleeping Giant / view from our lanai / tree tunnel

The Food

The Coconut Cup Juice Bar, Kapa’a / Scotty’s Beachside BBQ, Kapa’a / Ono Family Restaurant, Kapa’a / Fish Market, Kilauea / Kona Brewing Co. Koko Brown / Koloa Rum Co. / Puka Dog, Koloa / Kintaro Japanese Restaurant, Kapa’a


Images of March

•April 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Playing catch-up yet again! At least this time I have a (somewhat) good excuse other than laziness — travel! But first, to recap March (what little I remembered to capture…). Sadly, since the demise of Picnik I’ve had to look elsewhere to make photo collages (oh, the humanity!). Still not sure I like this format from Smilebox, but it’s good enough for now.

Clockwise from top left: Sockers championship game / Hunger Games @ Cinepolis / We Are the Champions / bachelorette cookie fun / Sylvia hits 100k / J2 / Writing Group tea party

Adventure: Foodie Fun Tour

•March 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Late in 2011 we did a fun walking food tour of Coronado Island. Well, it was fun except for the fact that it was POURING down rain the entire time. And the tours go on — rain or shine. We were troopers and did the whole thing, although we did replace some of the walking with driving. And while it was probably an abbreviated experience than if it had been sunshiney and glorious (as per usual in our beach city), it was still a blast.

So when the opportunity came up to do a similar walking food tour of La Jolla through Bite San Diego. It was another great experience, only bettered by the excellent weather! The tours are a fun way to check out a new part of town (for residents or tourists) and sample food at various eateries along the way while learning the history of the area. History + food = my kind of fun! Foodies and history nerds unite!


We started out at Karl Strauss Brewery (obviously, an awesome choice simply for the beer factor) and inhaled some dangerously addicting garlic bread knot pieces of heaven.


Please don’t drool on your computer screen. It’s not safe.

We then headed to the Brick & Bell, a cute little cafe with the most amazing muffins. So good I didn’t take a pic. I just gobbled. And then promptly wished I had another.


After Brick & Bell we walked over to Extreme Pizza for a couple of delicious slices. We will definitely be going back here! We got to try a couple of different kinds but there is a Peace in the Middle East pizza on the menu that I must have! All my favorite things — hummus, tomatoes, olives, feta, basil, mozzarella — what possibly could not be amazing about that combo?


Then it was on to Harry’s Coffee Shop…I was expecting coffee. Instead we found ourselves in a cute little diner that was a total throwback to the 70s (or older?). This place hasn’t changed in decades, and it should remain that way forever. The oatmeal pancakes were amazing. Seriously tasted just like oatmeal covered in syrup (FYI, that’s a good thing).Image

We rounded out dessert with a stop at Cups (the only spot I’d actually been to before) for mini cupcakes and mugs of cold milk.



And now to the finale! We completed our tour and the final stop — We Olive — for olive oil and wine tasting. Happy stomach!

The La Jolla tour definitely lived up to our high expectations after our wonderfully wet Coronado experience. Would highly recommend a Bite tour if you’re ever in San Diego. I know we’ll be booking again for a new neighborhood at some point!

Foodie fans and tour survivalists! Cheers!

Red Pepper Risotto

•March 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

We made this back earlier this year on a cold night and it was delicious! We modified slightly to add some chopped apple chicken sausage for a little extra oomph. Other than that, stuck pretty close to the original recipe. I mean, it’s Pioneer Woman. You just don’t mess with perfection!


Red Pepper Risotto

Serves: 4
Recipe courtesy Pioneer Woman

8 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onions, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 3/4 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
Salt to taste
4 to 6 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or any combo of cheeses)
1/2 teaspoon tumeric

Bring broth to a simmer in a medium pan. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add diced onions and cook until translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add red peppers and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add uncooked rice and stir for a minute or two, allowing it to be coated with the other ingredients.
Pour in wine and cook for a minute or two.
Now, start adding broth a cup to a cup and a half at a time, stirring gently and allowing each addition to absorb into the rice. Repeat for 25 to 30 minutes, or until rice is al dente. (You might not need to use all the broth.)
At the end, stir in a little more liquid and turn off heat. Stir in turmeric if desired.
Add cheeses and stir. Serve immediately!


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