Friday, June 29, 2012

Estes Park: Quite the Adventure.

From our front porch; my last view of the mountains.

Welp, I made it home from our vacation Estes Park, Colorado... It was quite the vacation. We started with a wild fire that burnt down just about the whole neighborhood of the vacation home where we were supposed to stay. Then we hotel hopped a few nights while we tried to determine if we were going to get in the house or not (we never did.) Then we were "lucky" to find a group of 3 cabins at the YMCA of the Rockies... but later found out they were quite literally the highest housing on the mountain, had no air conditioning, and had a bear. Yes, a bear. I told you I'd tell you about the bear...

Well, when we got to these rustic cabins we noticed quite a few of the screens on the windows had big tears in them (screens on windows are crucial when you don't have AC) so we called the maintenance guy to come and fix them. When he came, he mentioned that there was a bear around, but didn't really make the connection that the reason why there were holes in the screens was because of said bear. My aunt Kay woke up in the middle of the night to a strange sound only to find a bear clawing its way through the window screen. She screamed and the bear ran away but it had already ripped apart another screen on the house. The next night, the boys of my family were up late playing cards, and my cousin Cameron heard something on the front porch, and looked out the window, and a bear was staring right at them. Man, I wish I could have been there to see those boys scramble to shut all the doors and windows... The rest of the week we were just spooked. Any time you would walk from one cabin to another you would clap and scream and run hoping to scare off the bear. The bear(s) didn't show itself again but it did poop around the cabins each night to let us know that it was still alive and well. And that, my friends, is the bear story.

So, we've got fires, and no AC, and bears... add a trip to urgent care because we thought my aunt Cindy may have had a stroke (she didn't, no worries), a car that wouldn't start and had to be towed quite a few miles away (turns out there was nothing wrong with it), and other fun mishaps mixed in there, and it was quite the vacation.

Two things that remained constant... 1. My family's resilience and love for each other. 2. The beauty of the mountains. Here are some pictures of the latter.

The view driving down from our cabin.

Cascade Falls. (I think.)

Calyspo Falls. (Once again, I think. I don't remember the names.)

Driving into Estes Park.

A cool amphitheater/outdoor chapel that was a short walk from our cabins.

We saw a rainbow every night...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 3.

Day 23. 

Hello, friends! On Friday, I left for vacation to beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. I figured I'd keep you posted on the beauty throughout the week because we were supposed to stay in this million dollar vacation home that my family got the hook up on. It had an indoor gym, three decks, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, enough rooms to sleep the 20 of us that were going... so I assumed it'd have wireless internet, too. Welp, turns out Colorado is kind of burning to the ground, and there was a house fire that turned into a wild fire and the home we were supposed to stay in didn't burn down, but was drenched with water to keep from burning, and we couldn't stay there. 

Long story short, we found a place to stay that has no air conditioning, no TVs, no civilization, no protection from bears (more on that later), and definitely no wifi. My brother Joel and I escaped for a little bit of internet time at the local McDonalds. So I have Diet Coke, the internet, and one of my favorite guys with me, and I'm pretty content.

With all that said, I'm just now finding time to post these pictures from last week. To be totally honest with you, I'm already getting tired of this project. But June, the month of gray/death, is almost over, so maybe next month will revive my interest... But I'll keep truckin' for now... 

Day 18.

 Day 19.

 Day 20.

 Day 21.

 Day 22.

Day 24.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Try-It Tuesday: Chicken Enchilada Puffs

A couple of months ago I got a text from my cousin Julie (man, she's getting lots of shout outs lately) telling me about this recipe that she tried and that her husband/one of the coolest guys I know, Anthony, said was one of the best meals she's ever made (I think I'm remembering this story correctly, at least.) At the time, I was watching what I was eating, and it wasn't so healthy, so I thought I'd save it for a rainy day.

Well, I have not been watching my figure lately, but plan on hitting the diet hardcore (I've got a bride's maid dress to fit into) as soon as I get back from vacation, so I figured now is the time to try this amazing recipe. What is it? Chicken Enchilada Puffs. Crescents. Chicken. Cheese. Cream Cheese. Enchilada sauce and seasoning. I mean, really, what's not to love? And I did indeed love it! The fam liked it, too! Good suggestion, Jools, good suggestion. Definitely a do-over. Well, at least when I am not in the mood/have the self control to eat healthy. :)

Chicken Enchilada Puffs

Cilantro Lime Rice (not the first time I've made this recipe, but it was still good.)

Next Tuesday I'll be in the beautiful state of Colorado for a family vacation, so this will have to tide you over until next time. Happy Tuesday! And happy trying!

Monday, June 18, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 2.

I had a busy weekend, decorating a special room for a beloved baby-to be, so I didn't have a chance to post my pictures for Week 2 of the 365 Photo Project until now. Nothing too spectacular in my week... I am ready for June, the month of gray, to be over.
Day 11.

 Day 12.

Day 13.
Day 14.

Day 15.

Day 16.

Day 17.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nursery Brainstorming.

So, over the last couple of weeks I've been surveying the internet to find fun yet cheap decorating ideas for a nursery. No, y'all, I'm not pregnant. But my lovely cousin Julie is! And she has asked for my help in decorating her nursery. I've been itching to decorate something lately, but all of the spaces in my current residence are already decorated, so I'm excited for the chance to help out.

Anyway, I'm not sure if we will use all of these ideas. I'm more of the "craft it myself" kind of girl, and Julie is more of the "let's buy it at Hobby Lobby" kind of girl. I'm sure we'll find a balance between our two tendencies. But I thought I'd share with you all of the cute nursery ideas I've come across. (Also, I just want a place to reference my ideas so when I go to Oklahoma City to help Julie decorate this weekend, they're easily accessible.) P.S. It's a girl and the theme is owls and trees, so that's why some of my ideas lean toward that.

So here I am. Making a list on a Friday. Just like all of those other cool bloggers out there. We'll call it:

Friday Favorites: Nursery Edition.

Tree mural. This isn't the one we're doing, but it gives you the idea. This will be our biggest project of the weekend.

Felt Garland. (I like the look above, but here is an actual diy how-to for the project.)

Ombre Embroidery Sampler.

Fabric in embroidery hoops. (I'm on an embroidery kick.)

Owl print from Etsy. (I'm a doer, not a buyer, so I want to make one of these on our own. Sorry, girl from Etsy, for stealing your idea and not paying you money for it.)

Owlphabet print from Etsy. (Once again, I want to be a copy cat on this one.)

Element Monogram. (Not sure why it's called that. Just a fancy name for "button initial.")

Quotes on Canvas.

Growing Animals.

Pennants. I don't think Julie loves pennants like I love pennants, but it's worth a shout out.

...ohhh the possibilities. I can't wait! It's going to be a great weekend. And no worries, I'm sure a before and after post of the room will be following soon...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 1.

Weekend at the lake.

It's been a busy week since I last posted. Wednesday night I met a friend for coffee, Thursday night I went to a softball game and to a friend's birthday party, and then I left right after work on Friday for a weekend away at the Lake of the Ozarks with my family. It was a great weekend... above is a picture that depicts it pretty well.

Moving on to the point of this post... last week I started this 365 Photo Project where I take a picture every day for a year, focusing on a different color every month. June is the month of gray. Gross, I know. But it's actually been a really fun challenge looking for beauty in gray things. Here are the pictures I've taken over the last week...

Day 4. 

Day 5.

 Day 6.

 Day 7.

 Day 8.

Day 9.

Day 10.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Try-It Tuesday: Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken (and Iced Coffee!)

I've got a thing for meals with rice. I don't even really love rice all that much on its own. But rice with chicken-y, spicy goodness... it's glorious. So, this week I gave my family two choices for Try-It Tuesday: Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken or Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken. Both sounded good to me, and sometimes I just want someone else to decide, so my brother Joel helped and the peanut chicken won out.

Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken.

It was good! It was cooked in a slow cooker, so I did pretty much all the preparation last night, so that was easy. (I leave for work at the crack of dawn everyday though (6:00 am), so my mom started it when she left for the day a few hours later. Thanks, Momma!) The chicken was nice and tender. The taste of the juice/marinade/whatever you want to call it was pretty well-rounded. It wasn't spicy at all so I think that part needs to be taken out of the name of the recipe. The verdict? My mom said, "I love this!" but my mom is my biggest fan, and says that every week, so you can take her compliments for whatever they're worth. I liked it, but kept on wanting it to be this (Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, probably my favorite recipe.) I'd say it was still a do-over though.

If you like easy. And chicken. And Thai-like meals. This is the recipe for you.

P.S. I tried this recipe for Mason Jar Iced Coffee last night. It was amazing! Coffee. Brown sugar. Cinnamon. Where can you go wrong?
(My before picture. Coffee. Brown sugar. Cinnamon. Mason Jar.)
(Their after picture. SO good.)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A new list.

Lately I've been craving a to do list. Not like a legit to do list like "Clean your room. Go through your closet and clean out your junk. Wash your car." I am pretty content without one of those lists, actually. (Although my messy room, closet, and car would disagree.) I'm looking for a fun list. Like the list I made last summer of things to do before I turned 24. Or the list of gratitude photos I took in the month of November. A friend of mine is also a fan of lists. Last year she decided to take a photo every day of the year, counting down to her 30th birthday (which is on Thursday, and she did it!) This same friend made a bucket list of fun things she'd like to do this summer like "Fly a kite. Go berry picking. Go to an outdoor movie." Lists are fun. I'm ready for a new list.
Positively Present's 365 Photo Project: you take a picture every day for a year and focus on a different color every month. Her pictures are pretty cool... so I think I'm going to do it. I'll probably update you every week or so on the pictures that I've been taking. And to keep them all in one place I've created a Flickr page for the project.

June 1st (today is actually June 3rd, but whatev) is kind of a funny day to start. But I think I like this idea, and I think I'm ready to go for it.... The month of June is gray... which is the most boring color ever, but hey, I can do it. Here are the first three pictures I've taken.
(Day 1.)
(Day 2.)
(Day 3.)

Saturday, June 2, 2012


(Probably my favorite Disney couple. Ariel and Eric.)

There are so many talented people out there... Like seriously talented. I'm really amazed at the different gifts that God hands out. Like the ability to draw... I can't draw. But this guy, Phillip Light, he can.

I randomly came across this guy's tumblr page tonight from a different blog that I read. Confession: I was drawn in because he drew pictures of Disney characters. When I look back on my childhood, I still have fond memories of Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and other Disney Princesses. So when I saw his modern day drawings of these characters, I wanted to see more of his work. I really enjoyed looking through his stuff, and thought you might, too, so check him out...

The Art of Phillip Light.
 (Not sure what the inspiration for this was, but I like it.)
(His take on Katniss from The Hunger Games before seeing Jennifer Lawrence.)