Lately, 90’s R&B has been the ONLY station I will listen to on Pandora…



Lately…I have been slacking in the blog posting area so I will dump all pictures into one post. I’m sorry or you’re welcome.

treats and puppy backpack from cousin SAMBA (Aunt A and Uncle P too!).



solo viewing.


gf cookie making.


bike maintenance class at Papillon Cycles.


post-bike class dinner at P. Brennan’s on the Pike.





z’s homemade Old Bay shrimp boil.


first time at Wegmans with Dad. Yum.


road trip to NJ with mom for sister-in-law’s baby shower.



jersey diner.


baby shower cake.


tofu hot dogs.


weird book at school.


homemade mojitos with brown sugar.


loving our screened-in porch.



pre and post puppy haircut.


pretty rain barrel, painted by Z.



gigantic burrito at Taqueria Poblano.


morning after dinner with T&E and Dan’s 30th bday party. Ouch.


Advocare 24-day challenge.


healthy, Advocare-friendly meals.



oil lamp (awesome wedding gift).


cut my first whole pineapple then ate the whole thing in two days.


two weekends in a row of native plant sales.




cinco de mayo.


morning picture message to my mom.


Advocare smoothie.


900 pictures in one post. Awesome. Hope it’s not too long before I update again…

A Day in the Life (Snowy St. Paddy’s Day Edition).

So, I went back to work last week and to keep myself from doing any work at home today (consultants don’t get paid to telework), I decided to do a “day in the life” post!

Wake up 5am. z goes downstairs to check on the weather. No work for me, telework for z.


Turn off alarm and go back to sleep until 8:30! While I’m sleeping, z takes the pup out for a walk and measures the snow! I love the pictures he took!




While I was sleeping, z also put corned beef and veggies in the crockpot for dinner.

corned beef 2014

I finally get up and make some green juice for pre-breakfast. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Check email, blogs, and social media before pouring a bowl of cereal. I found this new cereal at Costco yesterday so I’m excited to try it.


Cut strawberries and pour unsweetened almond milk on top of cereal. Verdict: yum!


Post up on the couch with laptop and Louis.



After browsing the internet, with a baking project in mind, I find this recipe, for Lemon Chia Coffee Cake, and get to work! I deviated a little by using gluten free flour, extra zest, and blueberry Activia!


ch ch chia_thumb[1]

TJ eggs_thumb


buttercup lemon batter_thumb[1]

Behind the scenes it’s a crazy mess…



I washed dishes, put away clean dishes and ate lunch while it baked: Gluten Free Quinoa Tabbouleh with a piece of cheese and some horseradish hummus!


After 50 minutes of baking, I took the cake out of the oven and let it cool slightly before sampling…

lemon cake wholelemon cakelemon cake4

Oh it’s good. Really good. z was even surprised that it was gluten free! Success!

lemon cake yum

Around 3:11 I reheated my coffee that I’d forgotten about…Phew, still good!

cold coffee

After a little walk with Louis, I cleaned off the cars (holy cow, that’s a TON of snow!). I was on the computer a lot today – I had to renew my anti-virus, play on Pinterest, etc. Very important work.

I started prepping for dinner around 5:30 which meant chopping cabbage, onions, and garlic to sauté. I also boiled some potatoes.



Guinness, of course.


My meal: cabbage, potatoes, and a veggie burger.

vegetarianluck o the irish

z had corned beef, cabbage, and crock pot veggies!

corned beef dinner

A nice St. Patrick’s snow day at home with my boys!




Past St. Paddy’s Day Festivities:

Making a Rain Barrel.

z and I went to a rain barrel workshop that was offered by the Virginia Cooperative Extension. There was a brief overview about why rain barrels are useful, environmentally friendly, and cost-saving. We also got to see a demonstration of how to put the rain barrel together before they let us make one ourselves.


Our rain barrel used to have pickles inside!


I literally had to climb in to help attach adhesive and a washer to the inside part of the spigot!


I’d say I did a good job…


z hard at work!


We’re proud of our rain barrel!


We are excited to get Gherkin (yes, we named our rain barrel) painted and in to our yard to save money and water our plants!

Mardi Gras 2014

Last Tuesday was Mardi Gras! As lovers of all things New Orleans, z and I always celebrate!

glitter sign



Our meal showcased our favorite blackened seasoning blend: Blackened Redfish Magic from Chef Paul Prudhomme (remember when we went to his restaurant!?)


z read my mind and brought home some Abita!




Blackened tilapia, black beans (cooked with the “holy trinity”), rice, avocado, and cornbread!


For dessert, I made my own colored sugar (granulated sugar and food coloring) to put on top of the baby king cakes.


(Even though they sort of look like king cakes, these are really just super healthy, vegan cupcakes I made using a mini bundt pan)



Happy Mardi Gras, ya’ll!

Here’s how we’ve celebrated Mardi Gras in the past:

Meal Planning Rocks.

Remember when we bought a house and were renovating the kitchen…yea it’s still not done, but at least the fridge is decorated and we’re able to use the kitchen.

Meal planning has been a huge help to us since we moved in – it helps us save money, save gas (1 trip a week to the store), and answer the “What’s for dinner?” question! We have successfully meal-planned for each week of 2014 and we’re not stopping any time soon! Here is a sneak peek in to our process each weekend:


We create a meal plan and post it on the fridge each week! This helps if either of us are out of the house and the other wants to start prepping dinner.


This week, I knew I wanted to make a big pot of chili and cornbread on Sunday which would help us with leftovers during the week. I first made a giant pot of black beans (from dry beans) with soaked beans, garlic, bay leaves, and epazote. I used this in the chili and saved some because it’s Mardi Gras on Tuesday and we want to celebrate with festive food (blackened fish with rice and beans).


We typically do one pasta night and at least one fish night which greatly eases the process of choosing meals. After the meals are chosen, I make a list of all the ingredients that we need to purchase as well as other staples for breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc. Please forgive my handwriting!

Side note: I never remember meeting an adult with poor handwriting while growing up and now, at 29 years old, I fear I may be the only “adult” with really awful pen(wo)manship!

meal planning

I try to keep all my grocery shops under 100 dollars for the week. Meal planning, and keeping a stocked pantry/freezer, really helps with this goal!

Here are some of the fun, and zero-stress, weeknight meals we have made thanks to proper meal planning:

Parmesan Spinach Quinoa and Grapefruit Avocado Salad




Fish Tacos


Roasted Red Pepper Soup


Pizza and Calzones (with homemade dough)


Southwestern Stuffed Peppers


Swordfish Curry


Pressed Sandwiches with Sweet Potato “Fries”


It feels almost luxurious to have cohesive, delicious meals on a weeknight, but it’s totally possible if you meal plan! We are definitely big believers in this house!

Turmeric and Pancakes (Not Together)

I have been on a turmeric kick lately, all thanks to this Instagram post by Lilveggiepatch and the long list of health benefits!

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Homemade turmeric shot…(convinced my mom, dad, AND little brother to take them too!)

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Turmeric and coconut oil eggs…

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and swordfish curry. Turmeric is awesome!

swordfish curry

Want to know how to incorporate more turmeric into your day? Check out this great post by Mind Body Green: 10 Ways To Get More Turmeric

Now on to the pancakes! z and I got this huge electric griddle from my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. I use it almost every weekend to make a big batch of regular and gluten-free pancakes that we freeze for the week! I typically make blueberry pancakes for z and change it up with my GF cakes.

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I just got a new cookbook: BabyCakes Covers the Classics – after I was finished reading it cover to cover (like a novel), I had to make the gingerbread pancakes!



pancake batterbabycakescooked cakes


I’ll leave you with a random picture of z, Louis, and z’s new wooden 6-pack carrier I got him for Christmas from this Etsy shop: ReImagine UpCycling

He loves to store beer in the basement fridge (yes, we have two refrigerators) and bring them up 6 at a time with his new carrier! Cute.

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It’s a snow day around here, so I’m likely to shoot out a couple more blog posts…

Lovely Lavender Lemonade

It is so warm and sunny today! I’m celebrating by alternating between the hammock and back stoop to write this post! I’m also drinking a new refreshment I made today:

Lovely Lavender Lemonade
1 tablespoon lavender
1 cup sugar
1-2 cups boiling water (depending on how strong you want your syrup)
1 3/4 cups lemon juice
2+ cups ice water
Lemon slices (optional)

To make the lavender syrup, put the lavender and sugar into a heat-tolerant bowl. I massaged my lavender and sugar together to infuse more flavor but you can leave that step out. Next, add your boiling water to the bowl and stir until all the sugar is dissolved.


Cover the bowl for at least 25 minutes (longer if you have patience). After you have waited as long as you possibly can, strain the syrup into a pitcher.


Add the lemon juice, water, and lemon slices to the pitcher and stir!


Pour in a glass and enjoy the sunshine!!


Homemade Pasta (and a visitor from the North)

Little Margi came to town a couple weeks ago. It was so nice to have a visitor in our new house! We spent the weekend hanging out, having sushi with foca, and making homemade pasta!


1 egg for every cup of flour.


SLR selfie.


z making meatballs.


New pasta cutter!


I don’t have a pasta roller…so Margi rolled a lot of dough!


Oh Instagram.

pasta ig

so fun. so good. let’s do it again.

NYE 2013

Oopsies – this post got lost in my draft folder! This is how we spent our last night of 2013:

z made blackened shrimp with peppers, onions, and rice before we headed to…

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…the 9:30 Club for Trombone Shorty and Trouble Funk (hooray for go-go!!!).

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There was a balloon drop, champagne, and FREE southern biscuits (veggie for me and chicken for z)! Yum!

balloonstshortytreme shorty

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Happy 2014!

Snow Day Catch-Up!

Here in Arlington, we got 10 inches of snow which is 10 more inches of snow than I’d like to have.

I have not updated in a while, but there have been some super fun cooking projects in our house lately! Here is a sneak peek into what we’ve been up to (detailed blog posts to come for some of the recipes)!

Vegetarian pho using this recipe:


Homemade pasta with meatballs (during Margi’s visit):


Éclairs from scratch for our Super Bowl Party (z also made homemade meatballs that were a hit):

final eclair

Roasted Red Pepper Soup:

roasted peppers

soup and quesadilla

Beer pizza dough for pizza and calzones:

photo 1

Homemade tzatziki (to add some love to leftovers):

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z and I have successfully meal planned for the past 4 weeks! It is saving time, money, and the stress of figuring out “What’s for dinner?” Good work team.


More to come…unless I get lost in the snow.