FOOD | one fish, two fish

Last week I went to our local Sprouts for our weekly grocery round-up. Mainly for the awesome deal they were having on salmon! I mean I really couldn’t pass up the chance to make a few more delicious seafood inspired summer suppers. Salmon is a summer go-to for us because it’s so fresh and easy in the unbearable Texas heat. It’s easily grillable, a great a addition to any salad and super flavorful. Salmon was also my intro to cooking seafood. I was always a little intimidated by fish but salmon proved to be pretty low stress and yet still full of flavor. Now, because I have a baby and efficiency is pretty much my goal at any point in the day I was able to make two dinners (and a few lunches!) in one night. If I only I had been wearing my matching apron, oven mitts pearls… I would have hit serious domestic goddess status.

Night one was a no leftover type dinner. It fed my husband and myself well for that night and then I took the extra salmon and mixed it into the salmon. I always appreciate when bloggers/recipes give me realistic measurements and ingredients needed – so for two adults with pretty healthy appetites I bought 1.5 pounds of salmon. I would say we probably ate a half a pound between the two of us for night one and then I used the remaining pound for my orzo salad. Just FYI.

Recipe #1: Coconut oil pan fried salmon + lemon parm bacon broccoli IMG_1438

Coconut Oil Pan Fried Salmon: 

  • Coat the bottom of pan with coconut oil and heat up over medium-low heat
  • Season salmon to your liking (I did a little s+p+lemon pepper)


  • Put that beautiful slab of pink deliciousness in your pan and watch that magic happen
  • Cook until golden brown on one side (approx. 4 minutes or so)
  • Flip with spatula to the skin side until it feels firm to the touch (I like to flake off a bit on the corner too, usually that means you’re good to go as well)


Lemon Parm Bacon Broccoli (cheese + bacon = you know this veggie is gonna be good)

Cute side note: So this is actually a recipe acquired from my husband which I’m pretty sure he acquired from his grandma.


  • I use fresh broccoli so I cut apart the crown into florets (I used two small-medium sized crowns)
  • Drizzle with coconut oil (or olive oil – I was sticking with the theme) and lemon juice
  • Sprinkle with s+p, crumbled bacon bits, and freshly grated parmesan
  • Stick in the oven for about 10ish minutes at 350* (I check after ten – you want the broccoli to soften a little and the parm to be completely melted)



Recipe #2: Salmon Orzo Salad over Kale

With you remaining pan fried salmon you are going to make the most delicious orzo salad that you will eat for dinner (and lunches for days!) the NEXT day. So much flavor the next day.)


  • Leftover salmon
  • Orzo pasta
  • Red & green bell peppers
  • Red Onion
  • Green Onion
  • Artichoke hearts (I used some we had that were in water – I’m sure marinated would be great too but I probably wouldn’t use so much dressing)
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese or Feta
  • Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette (I used Sprouts brand – you could totally do Italian too)
  • Kale
  • Salt, Pepper, Dried Oregano



  • Flake apart salmon with a fork into little pieces
  • Cook orzo pasta according to package (I used Barilla which has about 2 cups and makes a TON – you could totally half that and you would probably have enough salad for 1 dinner and a couple lunches)
  • Chop up your bell peppers, onions, artichoke hearts


  • Combine salmon bits + bell peppers + onions + artichoke hearts +orzo and mix together
  • Season to your liking with s+p and dried oregano
  • Coat with Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette (I used about half the bottle)
  • Fold in goat cheese crumbles
  • Chill overnight and enjoy eating over a bed of fresh kale (optional)!



Happy eating!

FAITH | my first non-first day of school


classroom1 Today is the first day of school for the district that I was a part of not only as a teacher these past few years but as a student growing up. I knew that when I made the decision to stay home that this day would come and feelings were going to be felt. It has been hard to wrap my brain around the facts that I am not with my staff, I didn’t set up my classroom, and I won’t be welcoming a new bunch of 8 year olds into a new year of third grade learning adventures. But then again I have had this overwhelming sense of peace about this decision to stay home with our girl.

A friend texted me this morning offering his prayers for me today. His mom is a teacher and he knows. Teaching isn’t just another job – it’s a vocation, a calling in life for those people equipped with the gifts of impacting students lives in such a way that they are willing to put up with the many (MANY) hardships that come with the job. He said something that made me feel a little bit more sane about this situation.

“Sometimes even when you know it’s the right thing, and you really are happy about it, there can still be a twinge of pain from missing something.”

So I’m not crazy.classroom3A part of me was feeling guilty for being bummed about the start of the school year. I mean, I am the one who decided to stay home – this was MY choice. I should be happy right? I shouldn’t even be thinking about school, right? Wrong. I was so relieved to read his words today because they were the best reminder and exactly what I needed. It is ok to feel like I am missing something. I AM missing something. I’m missing people and kids and my job that was everything to me.

There are people that would give anything to be in the position we are in. I know it breaks so many of my friends hearts when they have to drop their babies off at daycare to continue working and I know that I will never regret a moment spent at home with our family as it grows in these early years. But there is something missing. I missed the days this year when I would spend long hours up at school before the start of the school year setting up my classroom in the unairconditioned heat. I missed the staff development week for teachers  – learning about everything new that would come with a fresh new school year. I missed reconnecting with coworkers and hearing all about their summer escapades. I missed the jitters I would feel trying to fall asleep before the first day of school – knowing that my future students were probably feeling just as excited and nervous as I was.

And yet I know that this is where I need to be right now. Not in the classroom but learning new lessons at home. I am learning more about myself, life, my family, and God’s will each day that I stay home in this new role. Like I said before, I feel a sense of peace about this entire situation but that doesn’t necessarily excuse me from feeling a little left out of the new school year excitement.classroom2So to all of my former coworkers and teacher friends (and family!): I wish you the best school year yet. I hope your students have a great first week back and that you enjoy getting to know them and all of their little quirks. You are doing a job that you are meant to do in every way. But remember that it is so much more than just a job and when things do get tough this year (because “that point” always comes during the year) know that you are appreciated by many even when they may not say it and you are needed by those around you even though you may not believe it. I can only hope and pray that Madeline gets teachers as amazing as the ones I know and love.

To parents dropping off their kiddos for their first day and teacher friends alike – Happy 2014-2015 school year!

what’s cookin’?

Alrighty, it’s been about a week since my last post and in that time I have been sorting through and solidifying a few ideas. After attending The Hundred Event I had an overwhelming amount of new thoughts and creative inspiration floating around in my brain and I feel that I have had enough time to mull over what I really want from this space.

I originally started this blog to chronicle our daily lives. I was a new teacher, new wife, and learning a lot about living in this life of adulthood. It was a way for friends and family to keep up with our busy lives in Dallas and a scrapbook of sorts for us to look back on and see how life was changing. While I still love the idea of chronicling our family life through this blog I also realized during a few of my sessions at The Hundred that this blog is MY hobby. I want this space to be a place to connect and share but also a retreat of sorts. A place that I can pour into while also taking a bit of a mental break from the daily grind of mommyhood.

So…what now?

Before I start on the new direction of the blog I want to tell you what exactly inspired this change. Two of the speakers at The Hundred, Kendi and Annie, both said something that really struck a chord with me. During Kendi‘s keynote on Friday evening she talked about her blogging journey and how to grow in our businesses and writing endeavors. She said that in order to not get stuck, to not feel bogged down by the pressure to blog we A) needed to not be a jack of all trades and  to pick out a few choices avenues we wanted to share with the blogging world and B) we needed to find something we were passionate about and share that. If you share something you are already in love with then the potentiality of writer’s block becomes very small. Annie spoke the next day about her adventure in becoming a writer for National Geographic. She essentially created her job and shared her journey with us. She told us that if we really want to write and share ourselves with people then the best thing to do is to find something you are comfortable writing about. For her that was travel.

Ok so something I’m passionate about yet comfortable writing about for all to see…

I’m passionate about my family…but I’m not sure if I am at the point of being comfortable sharing every detail of my life online.

I’m passionate about my faith…but I’m not always sure I’m comfortable with using my blog as a venue of sharing personal spiritual encounters. (I’m more of a let’s get coffee kinda gal when it comes to God things.)

I’m passionate about food…and I’m comfortable with it being the forefront of these three topics in terms of this space.

Bingo. IMG_1474

Food. I love food! I love eating it! I love cooking it! I love finding new places and trying new things! I love beer and wine and enjoy learning about new ways to entertain!  It’s something I can grow in and share with people. I have always felt that we eat relatively healthy around here and are also unafraid to try new crazy things. I find inspiration from others online and I want to share that real, delicious, healthy, attainable meals are possible on a regular basis. All of this is not to say you won’t see snippets of our personal life on here. There will definitely be updates and I’m sure adventures  shared I just feel that I could use this space as more of a place for me and my mental break at the end of the day if found a different major focus.

So there you have it. Food. Family. Faith. Three strongholds in my life that I am both passionate about and comfortable sharing with everyone reading this blog.

Now let’s get cookin’!



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“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”   Amy Poehler

This weekend I attended my first blogging conference, The Hundred Event hosted in Dallas at the gorgeous Warwick Melrose Hotel. I decided to attend this conference earlier in the summer when a few of my favorite bloggers (Lauren, Megan, Bridget, & Grace)  posted that they would be coming to my city to host a gathering for bloggers new and old to learn and collaborate with one another. I have never really considered myself a “blogger” in name. I haven’t been consistent in my posting. I haven’t found my niche in the blogging world. But it has always been a hobby that I have enjoyed and thought I might like to pursue given the time. After going back and forth in my head about whether or not I should actually attend the conference I sided with the former and signed up (only after receiving a lot of encouragement from that husband of mine!) to see what these three days would bring to me and this little space I have here.

Our fabulous hostesses for the weekend!

As the weekend approached I started to get pretty nervous about what I was going to experience – What exactly was this weekend going to be like? Would I learn anything? Would I meet anyone or would things just be excruciatingly awkward? What if people thought it was a joke that I, a hobbyist blogger at most, was attending this conference? Then Friday came and I got my suitcase, my baby, and my husband all packed up into my car and off we were to have our little staycation in Uptown to see if anything was to come from these three days.

Little did I know how much good was to come from these few short days.

Friday night we were ushered into the weekend with cocktails, a fantastic dinner, and the most incredible swag bags you have ever seen along with a welcome from the main sponsor of the event Joules and the keynote speaker, Kendi from the  blog Kendi everyday. Her words were a perfect opening to the next few days and began to get my wheels churning. She encouraged us all to consider why we came this weekend and to have confidence in our blogs/businesses and what we write about or the products we make. She even shared some of her trials in the blogging world and encouraged us to power through when things don’t (and won’t) necessarily go our way. Dinner and drinks were made even better by the company I was sitting with. Earlier in the evening before the festivities kicked off I met Sarah and Amber in the lobby. Two of the sweetest (and local!) bloggers who were so excited and inviting. At dinner I met Taylor and we kicked off our conversation after an entree mix up and switching our plates! While I’m on the subject of meeting people – it was also great to finally meet Katrina in person! We have been keeping up with each others blogs for a good bit now and meeting someone in person who you have gotten to know through the blogging community is pretty much the neatest thing.




Saturday we started the day with breakfast at Breadwinners and then hit the ground running with a full day of sessions and speakers. Curt Steinhorst started us off with a session on distractions and I really think that what he said impacted me not only in terms of what I want to do with this blog but personally as well. Especially when he spoke about putting down your phone to experience the really great moments in life. I know I am definitely guilty of pulling out my phone when I’m bored or just easily distracted by it in general. It was a great reminder to live the life you want through YOU and not your technology. I also attended a session about travel and writing with Annie Fitzsimmons. She also made the point that while posting to social media and blogging is great…it’s hard to write about your adventures in life unless you are actually living them presently. Then the afternoon was filled with more informative sessions. A social media & blogging panel with Bungalow Magazine, Pulp Design Studios, Casey Wiegand, and Lily Jade Co., then a photography session with Jenni from J. Noel Photography and ending with a fashion styling session with Kendi. Needless to say, I was pretty whipped by the end of the day on Saturday. Oh and we can’t forget the delicious lunch at Il Cane Rosso and then then the block party on Saturday night hosted by Peacock Alley in the Dallas Design District!

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Sunday we were sent off in the most magnificent way with a lovely brunch at the historic Aldredge House. It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. Not to mention the amount of STUFF donated by the fantastic vendors and sponsors of the weekend. It was really overwhelming – the amount of thought and care that went into making this weekend so absolutely wonderful.

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But really, aside from the lovely gifts, delicious food, and talented speakers…I came away from this weekend with exactly what I needed. As I said before, I went into this event with no expectations and a lot of nerves and reservations. I have never really known what exactly I want to do with this blog but have had fun dabbling in blogging as a hobby now and then. After meeting so many people. Collaborating with fellow creative minds and being challenged on why I’m interested in blogging I think I have finally figured out what I want to pursue in this venue. I’m really excited for everything I have in mind and can’t wait to share with you all my new direction and focus for this space. I want to thank the hostesses of The Hundred again for their hard work and for making everyone feel so welcomed. I for one am so thankful to be a part of a community of people who truly love sharing themselves with the world and supporting others in what they do.

Now it’s time to get to work on what’s next! (:

(photo cred: Awake Photography

2 years

I woke up around 6:00 this morning to feed our baby. I am by no means a morning person and I usually have a hard time matching her early bird demeanor at such an hour. But this morning I couldn’t help but smile. Because it’s August 4th and August 4th is my favorite day.

Two years ago today I was up around the same time. Staring at a hotel ceiling in New Orleans; waiting for the day to begin. Already filled to the brim with butterflies fluttering with a combination of nerves and excitement in my belly.

Three years ago today I went on a date with my boyfriend. We ate burgers, walked around a little park and talked about ordinary things. That is until the end of the evening when a guitar was busted out and sweet songs were sung and sparkly ring was slipped onto my left ring finger.

Can you see why I love August 4th?






JRP1713Don’t even get me started on the reception. We were told by the staff at our reception hall that our wedding was by far one of the most entertaining and filled with dancing. I really don’t think there was a time that someone wasn’t on the dance floor. That day was filled with so much love and looking at our wedding pictures always makes me feel that. Love. Love from friends, from family, from everyone involved in starting our life together.

Some say that if you can survive planning a wedding together – you will have a great marriage. I can’t say that I disagree with that sentiment. Our engagement was filled with some challenges and I think that only made us more thankful and happy about this wonderful day. While in the grand scheme of things two years isn’t much…these past two years have been filled with so much life and learning. Learning how to live together, how to love each other better, how to throw a party for far too many people in a tiny apartment, what to do with a whiny dog in the middle of the night, and my favorite – learning how to be parents together. I mean really, we haven’t taken any of these past two years for granted and I don’t really want to slow down anytime soon. I can’t fathom sharing this life (or that special day) with anyone else.

Happy Anniversary, Eric Martin! You are the best, smartest, most bearded person I have ever known. I love you with all of my heart.