We recently moved to the Hill Country in Texas and are so happy to be surrounded by so much beautiful scenery and so many critters! Here are just a few photos from our first couple of weeks.
I kept seeing deer poke their heads out of this thistle field… except when I had my camera ready.
Morning coffee with Hank
Elvis and Elvira were on the property when we got here, and they’re slowly warming up to us… especially when we have treats to share with them!
There’s so much room and smells for the pups to explore here!
Thunder and Lightning
We met the neighbors the other day!
There’s a creek near the house filled with turtles. I got so excited when we spotted the first one, then started seeing their heads pop up all throughout the water.
I’ve had such a blast working with brides lately, and I’m always amazed at their creativity! Recently, a few brides have come to me in a serious time crunch with their last-minute ideas, so I’ve been working with them on some DIY printables that I custom design and send as a digital file. This way they can save on shipping time (and shipping costs!) and either print at home or at a nearby Kinko’s (or any place that offers a printing service). I definitely remember all the last-minute inspiration I had just a week or two before our big day… there’s something about having wedding on the brain 24/7 once the real countdown begins that allows you to really start visualizing all your hard planning work coming together!
So, for all the other brides out there who are in a rush, I’ve added a few of these items to the Etsy shop! All DIY Wedding Printables are now available in high-res, 300dpi, for INSTANT DOWNLOAD. (Photos below link directly to the printable’s listing on Etsy):
I was lucky enough to be selected to participate in the One Hour Cheese blog tour, featuring the delicious (and simple!) homemade cheese recipes of Claudia Lucero from her book, ONE HOUR CHEESE.
I have to admit it was intimidating looking through this book at first since I’d never made cheese, and it sounded like a project with lots of room for error… my error, that is. Since I have a weakness for sweets, the recipe I tried out was the No-Bake Cheese Tartlet (recipe below) which didn’t require any special tools or fancy processes — just several yummy ingredients cleverly mixed and served up together.
Next up I tried the Triple Pepper Hack, which thanks to Lucero’s step-by-step photo instructions, surprisingly turned out to be a breeze. Can’t wait to try out a few more soon!
No-Bake Cheese Tartlet
- 2 Tbs honey or real maple syrup
- 1 cup Fromage Facile
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted almonds
- 1/4 cup juicy medjool dates, pitted (I had a hard time finding these, so I used some Dole-brand pitted California dates. They worked perfectly)
- 1 cup total berries, chopped melon, peaches, and/or plums (I used fresh peaches)
- 1 Tbs orange marmalade or honey (I used honey)
I’ve been trying to bake more and buy fewer processed goodies, so I’ve been baking away to keep the cookie jar full since we seem treats like this seem to disappear quickly in our house. Here’s a cookie recipe I finally mastered, with just enough sweet, just enough healthy, and all-around easy! Hope you enjoy!
Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
With a surplus of Mason jars in our home that we use for everything from serving drinks, storing spices and dry pantry ingredients, and as flower vases, I’m always looking for new creative uses. And for salads and on-the-go meals, it’s a no-brainer—freshness, convenience, portion control and an absolutely delish looking meal!
Check out these recipes from Mason Jar Salads And More! by Julia Mirabella—packed with recipes and bright, stunning photos for inspiration. In the book she shares step-by-step layering and assembling tips, along with salad recipes and lots of delish dressings.
Spinach, Radish, and Quinoa Salad
While it may seem like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed—an awesome, nutrition-packed
seed. Quinoa is a great source of protein, fiber, and iron, and its fluffy texture makes it
a perfect addition to salads. Here I’ve included it in a spring salad along with spinach,
radishes, and peas.
Makes 1 serving
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
- ½ cup water
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Blueberry Vinaigrette (recipe in the book!)
- ⅓ cup cucumber chunks
- ⅓ cup diced vine-ripened tomatoes
- ⅓ cup fresh peas (or substitute sugar snap peas)
- ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1 quart-size Mason jar
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under running water. Place in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Let the quinoa cool before adding it to the salad.
- Layer the ingredients in the Mason jar, starting with the vinaigrette dressing and continuing with the cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, and radishes. Add the cooled quinoa and finish with the spinach greens. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.