Friday, July 25, 2014

Hey, Friday!

Oh Heyyyyyy, Friday! How you doin'?

{1}-Home Home Home
We are FINALLY going to be home this weekend. No long car trips, no living out of a suitcase....also, no beaches or hanging with friends ON a beach, but that's ok (we already have plans to hang out with a couple friend of ours tonight).
We get to take advantage of a FULL weekend to get work done on the house. I think we're gonna try and finish the last coat on the deck and hopefully tackle painting the kitchen. Which means I need to seriously figure out what color paint to use!
Speaking of paint colors....

{2} -Picking paint colors sucks
It's fun, yes, but I can't "see" how it all works on the wall sometimes. Sample paint colors have definitely been my friend (or foe, depending how you look at it), but even on the wall I can't fully visualize how it's gonna look totally painted. I don't wanna make a wrong decision and have to re-do it all!
I've already gone through several different ideas for the kitchen (and the whole main floor)...I think I know what I want to do now....I'd better get the paint on the wall before I change my mind again! ;)

{3}-Two Dots
It's an app/game. Have you heard of it? I can't even remember where I saw it, but it's a challenging little game that I'm addicted to, and have been since the beginning of June. If you need a new 'thing' to kill some time, get this one (and you don't have to bug your friends to be friends or do stuff like with some other apps). You can't kill TOO much time all at once on this one since you only have 5 lives at a time. And some levels, those go quickly. It's tricky and fun!

{4}-4 year old birthday (yes I purposely saved #4 for this haha)
MG and I are going to the birthday party for the cutest little 4 year old girl this weekend. She's the daughter of the people who were renting the house we moved into, and we've become friends with. Looking forward to celebrating the cutie and spending time with her parents :)

Yesterday started gloomy and humid but by the evening it was so nice out....MG and I met up with our friends who live around the corner from us to play some Top Golf. As always, these two are so fun to hang out with, and to top that off, we even got a really pretty, cotton candy, sunset:

(It got more cotton candy-like as the sun kept on setting).
I think today is supposed to be nice as well which is just how I want to start the weekend!

Hope your weekend is as fun/relaxing/productive as you want it to be!
Catch ya later, gators!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recipe Files: Chili Lime Tilapia

It's been a bit since I shared a new recipe with you all  (and I actually just realized there was one I made over a month ago that I never shared, either).

Since getting back from vacation, I've been trying to get my body back into a healthy groove so I went in search of more healthy recipes, and came across this one for chili lime tilapia:
This one is really easy and can be done on the grill, in a crock pot, or the oven!

What You Need:
-1 lb tilapia filets (I used frozen ones and thawed them)
-1 bag baby spinach
-1 lime
-1 Tbsp chili powder
-1Tbsp garlic powder
-1 Tbsp minced shallot
-sea salt/black pepper to taste
-olive oil
*tilapia filets not pictured here but you definitely need them :)

What You Do:
1. Rinse each filet and pat dry. Put salt and pepper on both sides of your filets.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice from your lime, chili powder and garlic powder. You may need to add in a little more lime juice to make it easier to spread (I used the concentrate kind since I'd already squeezed out all my lime). Spread a thin layer on both sides of the filets.

3. Spread out tin foil for each filet that you have (mine were smaller, so I had 7). Put a handful of spinach leaves on each piece of tin foil. Add a bit of olive oil to each spinach bunch (about 1/4 tsp).
4. Put your filets with their seasoning on top of each spinach bunch. Top each filet with some of your minced shallot. Add another squeeze of lime juice on top of each filet (or a slice of lime if you want--I didn't do that). 
(There are two filets pictured on one foil--don't do this. Each filet should have it's own piece of foil)

5. Fold each piece of foil into an airtight packet. Grill each piece for about 3-4 minutes on each side (original recipe said 5 minutes total, but our filets were thin and we still needed to add them back on the grill for another 2 minutes).
If you do this in the oven, cook them, in the packets, at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
In the crock pot, cook the packets on LOW for 2-3 hours.

Serve up and enjoy! The baby spinach tastes SO good because it gets all soft and absorbs the extra flavor from the fish seasoning. YUM!
Clean up is a breeze, too, since it's mainly the foil, and you just throw that into the recycle bin!

I've got another healthy and CRAZY tasty dish coming up (plus the other one I forgot to share with you all a month or so ago). Stay tuned, you're gonna wanna try ALL of these!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I love....

I LOVE....

.....hearing the creativity/thought process of a 4 year old mind

.......friends who will dog-sit for you last minute. And having a dog that so easily adjusts to new people and places. #welladjustedpup
......books on tape during a road trip. It makes the ride SO much better, faster, easier (thanks for the recommendations, Trish!)

.......taking my husband's last name officially (even tho it's an annoying process to make it legit, but hopefully by next week!!!)

.....looking at our wedding and honeymoon photos and video and remembering what an amazing time it all was :)
......hearing people's true thoughts and opinions on someone once they aren't part of your life anymore. It's amazing how much others are better able to see true colors in someone else before you can sometimes 

......buying presents for babies my friends are having #babyspoiling

....that I know how to say "I'm sorry," and how to take responsibility for wrongs that I've done. I don't need to pretend that I'm perfect, especially if I've hurt someone else without intending to. It's definitely not easy, but I admit my mistakes so that I can make myself a better me. My friend Trish told me the other day "the beauty in people is their imperfections" and I loved that thought

.......celebrating different milestones and accomplishments in my friends' lives--there's never too much to celebrate!

....Ariana Grande's song 'Problem'....especially the part where he whispers "I've got one less problem without ya!"
(you can catch me singing this one in my car on a regular basis lately)
.....making healthier choices for myself, in all aspects of my life. Healthy foods, more water, working out more/better, getting rid of "dead weight" relationships, maintaining a positive outlook. It's an overall life-cleanse! :)
(yummy chili-lime tilapia recipe coming at ya soon, but for now, here's a pic to torture you):

.....having so much wine that it doesn't all fit into our wine fridge
......that my husband's family loves me unconditionally (and I them), as if we were related by blood (thankfully, we're not, though or this whole "marriage" thing would be odd/illegal haha). I love that my husband gets along with my parents just as well. I know how lucky we both are to have that.

.....making our house feel more and more like home, step by step :)

What are YOU loving?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

South Carolina Recap (Part 2)

Our first full day on Kiawah Island started off with pouring rain. We were told to try out the Sunday brunch at The Sanctuary, so we'd made reservations and went. The food was SO good, and the view was really nice. Luckily the weather let up a bit as the day went on, too.
After stuffing ourselves silly with yummy food and endless mimosas, we went for a walk around the grounds and took pics:

Since the weather cleared up, we went down to the beach for a couple hours before heading home and making dinner.

The next day was beautiful so we got up, had breakfast, packed lunches and made our way to the beach early. We spent the whole day there and ended our afternoon with some bevies on the beach :)

We made our way back to the cottage, showered, and MG made grilled chicken for dinner while we watched for gators...and eventually spotted one! We went out to the water's edge to see it, and the gator turned around and swam back our way. As it got close, we all turned and ran:
The next morning all 4 of us were up and at 'em early to play tennis. It was hotter than hot out and the courts were in the sun which made for an extra strenuous tennis game, but fun nonetheless.
After that, we made our way down to the beach for the entire day, ending with beers on the beach before heading back to our cottage to shower, cook and hang on the deck.

We ate together, had some wine, and then decided to go for a bike ride to get ice cream cones.
Once we got back, it was getting dark and the guys wanted to go for another bike ride in the dark...Jac and I passed and let them have their fun while we hung out on the deck and chatted it up. It was nice to have girl time :) And the guys didn't get eaten by gators, thankfully.

The next day was just a day at the beach....more of the same from the previous day. At night, though, we decided to take bikes on a ride around and see the HUMONGOUS houses on the other part of the island. As sunset got closer, we decided to ride our bikes back on the beach....which would have been a great idea if we hadn't been riding right into the wind lol. Needless to say, we got another workout in for the day, but the scenery was well worth it!

The next morning, MG and I went for a drive to get supplies since our friends Kev and Michelle were coming into town for the wedding on Friday, but came a day early to hang with us at the house.
Our views on our drives were always SO beautiful:
Errands aren't so bad with a view like that!

Our friends arrived and we made our way to grab lunch and then hit up the beach for the day where we telexed, played games and just had fun:

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the cottage and get ready for dinner. We ate out at a restaurant nearby that had an incredible view for the sunset:

Nothing beats beautiful weather, view and friends:
After dinner, we went back to the cottage, made some bevies and played games.

It was the perfect way to wrap up our week in Kiawah, before going to our friends' wedding the next evening (which I already recapped last week).
That's my week in SC! We had SO much fun--I love looking back at all the pics we took and the fun we had.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Review

Another weekend's come and gone in a flash!

This past weekend, MG and I were back in the car to drive up to Avalon, NJ (also called "the shore"...just not that Jersey Shore).

One of MG's best friends from growing up and his wife and two kids were up there for the summer with his family. He and his brother had planned a surprise 60th birthday/36th anniversary/vow renewal for his parents. MG was part of the surprise so we made our way up late Thursday night and got in around 11:15.

Our friends who had gotten married in SC the weekend before were in the area on a mini-moon and everyone was out at a bar nearby, so we got in, changed quickly and walked over to the bar to see everyone that we'd seen the week before!
Since it was already late, we only hung out for a little over an hour but it was fun to see everyone, especially since we usually see these friends only about once or maybe twice a year if we're lucky. Two weekends in a row was pretty impressive!
I didn't take any pics. Slap my hands!

Friday we woke up to the most perfect weather ever, and had a day at the beach with our friends and their kids before the festivities that night.
This has become my view on a relatively regular basis lately, and I've got no complaints with it (and neither does the tan I'm sporting now):
There was lots of playing in the sand and in the water....a trip to the ice cream truck, and then even a buried human in the sand:

At one point in the day, their 4 year old son (in that pic) said to his parents "this is the best beach day ever"....melt my heart! :)

We all headed back to get ready for the surprise that night. MG and I went to a bar nearby to wait out the family leaving to to take family photos. I was ok with this view and a sweet breeze while we waited:
Once the family left the house, we hustled over to help with everyone else that was 'behind the scenes' to set up and decorate while they were busy taking pictures.
In the end, they were incredibly surprised when they walked up to the house and everyone was outside, yelling "surprise!"
MG played the alter server, and another of Kev's friends was the 'minister'...It sounds weird, but this was all based off of a joke that Kev's dad had said that if he ever renewed his vows those were the two people he wanted--you have to know this family to know how fun they are.
In the end, the renewal ceremony was funny and sweet:
After watching such a great surprise and special moment take place, both MG and I spoke about how we hope to have kids one day who love us enough to do something special like this. 
The rest of the night was full of fun, food and friends/family. Not a picture was taken because I was having too much fun to even think about it. Plus my purse was in another room :)

Sunday MG was part of a guys' fun day and my friends from down here happened to be up in the same area...4 blocks from where MG and I were staying. So I got to spend some time with my friends from back home:
Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and it was pretty overcast, and started to sprinkle a little bit. We made the best of it, stuck it out and had some wine on the beach, and just hung out. So funny to "run into" my friends from 4 hours away, right down the street from us up there!

Later that night I was back at Kev's family house where we had dinner together and played A$$hole (the card game) with a huge group of people which was really entertaining and lasted until around midnight when we could all barely keep our eyes open anymore.

Sunday morning we were up around 8 and ready to get on the road. We said good bye to the family and our friends who had a flight back to Minnesota that day too. 
Luckily we had a smooth ride back home. We picked up Cooper and then had to go and pick up a piece of furniture from my coworker/friend in DC that she was giving to us. 
She and her husband had us up to see their place and have a coffee....all of a sudden it was 2 hours later! (Guess thats what happens when you hang with good company :)

MG and I drove home, picked up Chipotle for dinner, and totally relaxed on the couch for the night. We re-watched Gravity On Demand, but this time we watched it in 3-D which was really cool. The movie was still as good the second time around!

And here we are, back to a Monday! We've had a ton of fun the past 3 weekends, with friends we don't get to see very often, but now I'm so glad that we don't have any travel plans for next weekend. 
Don't forget to link up with these lovely ladies:
Mingle 240

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Confessions

Hey, Friday, how ya doin'?
Ready for some confessions??
I confess that....

.....painting a kitchen is a pain in the butt. And we haven't even started the actual painting yet (just taped off almost the entire kitchen in prep). Fingers crossed it all comes together in the end!

.....another weekend is here, and it's another weekend where we're away. We're going up to our friends' beach house (friends we actually just saw last weekend) for a surprise vow renewal for their parents. More on that when we get back. much as I love getting away for vacay, being home for a full weekend is welcome so that we can get some more stuff done around the house (next weekend, hopefully!). I've been doing stuff during the week days, but there's some stuff I can't do completely on my own. 

....the weather yesterday and the day before was beautiful and my idea of a perfect day (mid 80's, no humidity, sunny)...Got a little reading done out on the deck without sweating, took Coop for some longer walks, and it was all glorious! It's also supposed to be insanely nice at the beach this weekend, too, and I'm totally ok with that!

....I believe in the powers of drinking lemon-water on a regular basis (without it last week, I came down with a cold...)

.....MG made me watch Lone Survivor last weekend and I actually enjoyed it. Well, as much as you can enjoy watching people be shot/hurt/killed. You know what I mean--it was better than I expected, but hard to watch, too.

....I've been reading a book for book club (Serena) and had a lot of trouble getting into it and liking it. Once I got to 45% and still didn't really enjoy it, I gave up. Reviews say it's slow til 75% of the way through. That's way too long!

....I wish I knew someone who could do manual labor (like painting) for a cheap price (like, free haha). Someone that didn't include me. :) eye infection cleared up late Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. I no longer HAVE to wear my glasses everywhere and that's a happy thing for me. I still have a touch of a cold hanging on, but was able to go to dinner with some of my teacher friends the other night (and all of our men) that we'd had on the books for a while. It was nice to get out and see my school the food was amazing! :)

.....while we're away this weekend, Cooper is getting dog-sat by our friends who rent our condo from us. I know Coop will feel comfortable there since he lived there for a few years, but I'm sure he's gonna be a little confused when he gets there (new furniture, new smells, new people). Hopefully it doesn't throw him off too much. I'm sure he'll spend most of the day like this anyway:

Hope you have a happy Friday and a fun-filled weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

South Carolina Vacay Recap (Part 1)

I got myself together and finally downloaded my pics from our recently week+ trip to South Carolina.

On the morning of the 4th, MG and I got up at 3 am (oof!) and were in the car and on our way at 4am (double oof!)

We listened to a book on tape (The Invention of Wings) for the majority of the ride. MG was a trooper and drove the whole way through. We made it to South of the Border around 10am (for those of you not familiar, this is one of the tackiest places along the east coast, and i's advertised for miles and miles beforehand) and stopped to pick up some fireworks. Let me tell you, the clientele here are....interesting. Especially at 10am.
But, when in Rome  South of the Border...

We made really good time and arrived in Charleston at our friends' place (who were getting married a week later) around noon. After hanging for a little bit, we put on our swimsuits and headed to a 4th of July pool party.
It was the perfect way to unwind after a day of driving (and being up so early).

After a day in the sun and a cookout at the pool, we went back to our friends' apartment, took a nap and got showered and changed to go out for the 4th.

We headed to a house party in the heart of Charleston with some of the people we'd met earlier at the pool party. We also ran into some people we met last year during our trip to Charleston.
And it wouldn't be a selfie without a friend being creepy in the background :)

Later on we all headed to a nearby bar called Closed for Business, home of Das Boot....

The night didn't go on much longer after the Das Boot had been consumed, shockingly lol

The next morning we grabbed a delicious brunch in Charleston, said good bye temporarily to our friends, and went to pick up our other friends (MG's best friend and gf) from the airport and make our drive over to Kiawah Island.
Yes, that turtle decoration has some little swimmie undies on....:)
We checked into our SUPER cute cottage on the island and then went to load up on groceries...along with every other person who was getting there that day. After about an hour of torture, we made our way out with our weeks' worth of supplies:

By the time we got back to the cottage, our friends (from the other night) had already arrived to check out the place and hang for the night. That evening we had our first gator sighting in the water by our place!
 We had dinner together and all played Cards Against Humanity (hilarious!) and some other drinking games way late into the night.

We all went to sleep to get ready for the next day which included one of the best brunches I've ever had.
I'll recap the rest next week since I've got some confessions comin' atcha tomorrow!