I work out. A lot.

I love to be in the kitchen, because I love good food. Here are some recent successes.
Personal-sized chicken pot pie

Cake pops (before frosting)

 Election Night Swirled Cake 
(The above two are the brain-children of my friend, Allisa.)

Homemade Nilla Wafers 


Christmas cookies: marshmallow and candy canes
(Recipe from my friend, Allison)

Coconut macaroons

 Why, thank you. :)


Thanksgiving in Georgia

For Turkey day we drove up to Atlanta to spend the day with Taylor's parents and sister. It's amazing how getting away from your daily life to spend a couple days eating, sleeping, cuddling and doing a bunch of nothing will make you the happiest person ever. Also, it gave me the opportunity to experience fall, which doesn't really exist in Jacksonville.

Thanksgiving day Taylor's mom, Corinne, and I spent all day in the kitchen. Taylor came in after catching up with his dad and the three of us busted out a delicious, southern meal. I made my first pumpkin pie (recipe off the can) and I was about to pour it in the crust when I realized I forgot to add sugar! Thank goodness I didn't ruin the pumpkin pie, I never would have lived that one down. And, yes, my mother-in-law is shoving butter under the turkey skin. Welcome to the south!

The next day we drove down to the University of Georgia to check out the law school. It is gorgeous! The day was warm, the campus is clean and quaint with all the brick buildings and we ate a lunch of turkey sandwiches and Taku ginger cookies. We decided we're not interested in transferring to UGA because there's nothing there, which would be really tough for me. Helped us appreciate all the things Jacksonville does offer.

Taylor and I took an afternoon to ourselves and he showed me around Acworth, GA. On one of the buildings in the little downtown was an historic, Coca Cola advertisement wall. Taylor then told me about an NPR article he heard about how Coke holds records for selling coke for the same price for decades, and why that happened. Check it out, it's really an interesting story.

We then stopped by a park that has a couple pecan trees, and when we realized there were still some fresh nuts on the ground, we collected a bunch to make into a pie. It's proof I'm maturing nicely that I love pecan pie so much, I use to be turned off by it because there was no chocolate.

Making the pie was the best event of the weekend. We collected the pecans in the fall light, then cracked them together at the kitchen table; trying to crack the shell while keeping the nut in one piece, then as Taylor prepared the nuts I mixed the filling and Corinne built the crust. It was a unique, simple and bonding experience. Yes, mushy, but I'm a romantic and it was wonderful. And the pie was freaking delicious!!! Seriously, check that baby out. I ate it for breakfast the next day.

We ate the pie while playing Rummikub, and Siam, the cat, liked the crust so much he helped himself to my lap.

He also really liked boiled peanuts, which is why he was always underfoot in the kitchen. But how can you say no to an adorable, old cat like that?


Washington DC in October

This post is way delayed, yes I know, but at least it is happening (unlike my flight home from DC, but we'll get to that). The weekend before Halloween my immediate family (minus Taylor, because he's a dedicated law student) met in Washington DC to play. It was a great weekend! I'll bullet point it, along with pictures, to keep it as easy to read as possible:

  • McKenzie and I spent Friday together in old-town Alexandria walking through town and thrift shopping, before meeting up with Philip and Elizabeth for lunch at the food trucks down town. I really needed that time to just chill with my siblings, especially my sister.
  • For dinner, once my parents were in town, we went and got falafels. Love them. Plus, the little shop felt a lot like La Victorias, so I felt at home. 

  • We saw some of the sights, including looking at some of the monuments at night, and the masonic temple in Alexandria. We didn't go inside the temple, since we didn't have time, but it's still awesome to look at.

  • Saturday we explored Annapolis, which included a white Monster Energy drink, cheddar, jalapeƱo Cheetos, Kilwins' toasted coconut ice cream (Literally, the best EVER.), and a four pound shake. (If you haven't tried those Cheetos, or Kilwins ice cream do yourself a favor and go get some immediately. Otherwise, your life won't be complete.)

  • Since we were together right before McKenzie's birthday we all ate drunken ribeye from Mike's American Grill. In case you haven't noticed, we ate really well on the trip. If you're near Springfield, VA, you MUST try Mike's. Below is my steak, taken in memory of my steak-loving husband, who wasn't there.

  • We then watched the Giants win the World Series (booyah!!) while waiting on hold for hours to change our flights.
  • Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, all flights were cancelled so Mom, Dad and I switched our flights to leave out of North Carolina, we rented a car and drove all night to catch a morning flight home. Thankfully that was the most trouble it caused any of us. Count your blessings.
Talk about a whirlwind summary! 


Random life snapshots

  1. My birthday is in 98 days.
  2. I finally got my hair cut yesterday. I last got my hair cut in July, before leaving Utah, and I've been pushing it off, but the final straw was when my mom mentioned taking family portraits over Christmas. I went to the local Aura salon. I highly recommend them, they're connected with Aveda and I've always been pleased with what Aveda does. Jamie cut my hair dry, which was a first for me and I loved it. She washed, dried, straitened my hair and then cut it. It looks and feels wonderful! (Extra bonus: My hair smells great still!)
  3. The following pictures are:
    1. The sunrise from our balcony.
    2. Testing red lipstick.
    3. Homemade cookie cutter from Grandad Hurst.
    4. Elizabeth's color coordination.
    5. Proof McKenzie has taught me everything I need to know about topknots, messy buns and head scarves.