Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Super Simple Shrimp Tacos

This meal is so easy, it almost feels like cheating! I mashed up a recipe from a couple sources, but basically I just looked for the absolute quickest way to create some flavor around these seafood tacos!

You'll Need:
Whole wheat tortillas
Pre-cooked, peeled (frozen) shrimp - thawed
Half cup of low-fat ranch dressing
Half a packet of taco seasoning
Shredded low-fat cheese
Seasoning for cooking shrimp (garlic, cumin, salt, pepper)

For sides:
Brown rice
1 small can of green chilies
1 can of refried beans

Saute the shrimp with your seasoning and a little olive oil for about 3 minutes. In the meantime, heat the tortillas in the microwave or oven. Mix the ranch dressing with the taco seasoning and spread on the tortillas when they're heated. Place the shrimp on top and add the cheese.

I like to serve with rice mixed with green chilies, and refried beans. That way you can add to the tacos or keep them as side dishes.

A really easy weeknight meal!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quick and Healthy Granola Bars

I adapted quite a bit from this recipe.

I used only one banana and lots of natural peanut butter, plus toasted coconut.

Very yummy and super easy! We've been enjoying them as breakfast and snacks over the past few couple weeks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Little Gravel in my Travel.....

I finally feel like I'm getting back to normal after what can only be described as an amazing past 10 days.

Teddy and I were in back-to-back weddings, with a family vacation in SC sandwiched in between! The past week was full of family, friends, fun, sun, laughter and relaxation - definitely a week comprised of special moments and memories that I will cherish!

Here are just a few highlights captured in photos - but no amount of photos could do this week justice!

Congrats to the newleyweds, Joel & Sarah and Candice & Andy. We love you guys!

*The title is from a country song that we spent a lot of time listening to while down south and out in wine country in MI - couldn't be more fitting!

Friday, June 22, 2012

For my Best Friend on her wedding day....

Today I am in MI to celebrate the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends. I have been thinking a lot about the many years, memories, laughs, and tears that have led to this moment. When she stood beside me at my wedding last year, I am sure she was having similar thoughts. It's hard for me to express how happy and excited I am for her, and all that I'm praying for as she enters into this chapter of life. So, I thought I'd sum it up by just letting her know I'm thinking of her and wishing her every joy this precious time has to offer.

Candy, when Saturday morning comes and your wedding day is finally here, I wish for you.....

The serenity of knowing you have a partner for life, starting now. The most special wedding day, with every eye on you and everyone appreciating how beautiful you are, inside and out. The happiness that comes from knowing the most special person in your world chose you to stand beside forever.The joy of having loving family and friends around you to celebrate this occasion and bless your marriage.

And, most of all, the knowledge that you have a lifelong friend who will be standing beside you and Andy, unable to be any happier for you, remembering all the years that passed that led to this moment, and looking forward to all the years and memories to come.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DIY Watercolor Cards

I made these cards for a recent bachelorette party (which I will post about later). The party was in Miami and I wanted to have a thank you note/favor for the girls who were able to travel to celebrate with the bride.

But what is small, durable, and easy to transport??

I decided to provide a custom thank you note for each girl, hoping the fact that they are hand-made would convey a little extra gratitude. I attached a $2 bill to the back of each card, instructing the girls to enjoy a cup of coffee on the way home - obviously they'd need it!

You'll Need:
  • Paper cards and envelopes made for watercolor work (easy to find on Amazon or an art store).
  • 2 watercolor paints - one color of your choice and one white. A tiny tube would suffice for a project of this size. I used purple (the bride's wedding color).
  • Medium watercolor paintbrush
  • Letter stencils. I found mine at Big Lots for $2.00 (odd, I know). Also easy to find on Amazon or craft stores.
  • Metallic sharpie marker. I used silver.

Mix the watercolor paint according to instructions. Use a mix of white and color for a lighter effect. Place the card on a safe surface and paint the desired amount of card surface with your paintbrush. Allow it to dry. If desired, you can paint a tye-dyed or striped effect by adding more of the colored paint to your paint bowl for a more intense color. Use the darker color over the lighter.

Once the card is painted as you'd like, use your stencils to put initials or wording on the cards. This is where the metallic sharpie comes in. I used a silver color.

I used the initials of each of the girls attending the party.

3. From here, you can customize as you'd like. I think they look pretty cute with just the letters, but you can write personal notes, fill in the letters with another color, etc. Get creative!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dose of Domestic - Chicago Style

The hubs enjoying the view and our picnic treats!
This week was full of all the little things that make Chicago a wonderful city to live in. Lately, a smaller town with a slower pace has been on my mind. I often think about moving back to Michigan and spending more time with family, or putting roots down in the south and enjoying a "southern state of mind". But every once in a while, Chicago wins my heart all over again.

This week the weather was beautiful, and Teddy and I took full advantage. We had a leisurely lunch during the week - a true, but very rare, luxury that we were able to enjoy since we both work from home. Oddly, we have only gone to lunch together one other time in the entire year we've both worked from home!

The highlight was the weekend (although, isn't that always the case??). We celebrated the anniversary of our engagement by having a picnic at the harbor, complete with plenty of wine, delicious food, a great playlist, and a fantastic view of the skyline.

The menu for our picnic included smoked salmon with cream cheese and toast points, tortillas with peanut butter, honey, and bananas, and pineapple avocado salsa with chips (made with pineapple chunks, chopped avocados, jalapenos, red onions, and lime juice).

We spent Saturday at the beach, and riding bikes. Since my bike is brand new, and I haven't ridden one in about 10 years, that was truly an adventure. I'm sore today in muscles I didn't even know I had!

Some highlights of our fantastic weekend:

Cream of Chicken and Rice soup
Pineapple and Avocado Salsa

How did you spend this gorgeous weekend?

Thursday, June 7, 2012


On the boat, the day we got engaged. The ring was in his pocket at this moment - and I had no idea!
"Come on, I'm hungry."

I'd venture to guess that is not the way most proposals begin.

It is the way mine started though (because I think about food basically all the time). Teddy had taken me for a romantic architecture boat tour (historic buildings are one of my favorite things), and we were enjoying a relaxing Chicago weekend with all that the city has to offer. Leaving the boat, we lingered at a breathtaking spot overlooking the Chicago river. It was there that I bossily informed him I was hungry, and proceeded to walk in the direction of a restaurant. I noticed I was walking by myself.

I turned around to find Teddy. On one knee. Looking more nervous than I could ever imagine.

It was an incredible surprise, complete with all of the tears and laughter I'd dreamed the moment would hold. I was in shock. It was the best day of my life up until that point.
It was the day my (now) husband proved once and for all that I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Hard to believe that day was 2 years ago now. With our wedding anniversary fast approaching, I just want to take a moment and tell my husband how completely fulfilled, blessed, and excited I am to have him in my life every day.

Teddy - Every day with you is a gift, and I could not ask for a better partner in this life. Happy Engagement Anniversary!