Monday, June 22, 2015

Fresh Summer Salad with Grilled Steak ((Recipe))

There is nothing more enjoyable to me in the summertime than a fresh salad and a good protein to top it off with. Grilling is crucial part of enjoying the longer days Summer has to offer and the meal is especially gratifying when there are multiple colors on the salad. This Summer salad with steak has greens, purple, red, yellow, and it's filling, to boot.

Chase and I picked up some fresh salad ingredients + sirloin tip steaks that were on sale at Whole Foods, as well as a delicious marinade ((and of course some flowers)).  The marinade was a basic steakhouse flavor in a jar that was by the meat counter. His brother, sister and their spouses were spending the night with us, so we were wanting to enjoy an outdoor dinner. This definitely hit the spot.

Here's the ingredient list, the "recipe" is self explanatory ;) ((served 6))
Mixed Greens or 2 heads of romaine 
Grilled Corn (2 cobs)
1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 cup Cilantro
Avocado, sliced  (2)
1/4 Red Onion, chopped 
Queso Fresco 
Olive Oil 
Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper
2 lbs steak

For the dressing:
I just used olive oil and lime juice, along with salt & pepper. You can always add more, so use the olive oil sparingly and toss until you get the right amount without it getting soggy. 

Serving Suggestion:
Toss the cilantro with the lettuce and dressing...then let your guests add everything else in by having the toppings in individual bowls. More dishes, but that way it's customizable for preferences. 

After the fresh and delicious salads, we balanced out the health factor by heading into Boulder to our favorite gelato spot, Fior Di Latte. It's seriously the best. We recommend the affogato with mexican coffee gelato and the s'mores gelato. :)


Monday, May 18, 2015

((recipe)) cilantro-lime shrimp & quinoa bowls

This recipe has become a favorite in our household - Knox even finishes his bowl. Now, if that isn't a toddler win, I don't know what is! It's fresh and flavorful, perfect for warm summer nights and comes together quickly. One quick trip to Whole Foods for ingredients and typically under $20, depending on what you have on hand + the price you get your shrimp for, this is a go-to meal that you'll come back to time and time again.

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Quinoa Bowls
(serves 3-4)

1 lb deveined, peeled shrimp 
1 cups dry quinoa
1 clove garlic, chopped
avocado (2)
red onion
2 limes
1-2 tomatoes depending on size
((on hand basics))
chicken broth, water, olive oil, salt & pepper, chili powder, cumin
olive oil

1. Cook 1.5 cups of quinoa in 2.75 cups of water or chicken broth, according to package directions. I usually go half and half here. If you're making this for 1-2 people, just do a cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water or broth.
2. Chop half of the red onion and half of your jalepeno (or the whole pepper if you like it hot). Put in medium bowl and squeeze juice of one lime on top. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, tiny bit of salt and pepper, stir and let sit for at least five minutes (this will take some of the bite out of the red onion so it's not so potent).
3. Chop tomatoes, avocados, and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Set aside. You'll mix this with the onion/jalepeno mixture when it's been sitting long enough. 
4. Heat some olive oil in a pan and throw in a clove of chopped garlic. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with cumin + chili powder. Add some leftover lime juice and cilantro if you're feeling fancy. Cook a couple minutes on each side, until cooked through. 
5. Mix all the "avocado salsa" ingredients together if you haven't already and season with salt as needed. 

Add quinoa to a bowl, top with the avocado salsa, and then a few pieces of shrimp. Serve with lime wedge. 

-cut up shrimp rather than serving whole ((which is obviously what I do for Knox))
-make cilantro-lime rice instead of serving with quinoa. I just like how much protein is in quinoa and I feel like it gives more flavor to the dish when cooked in partial chicken broth. 
-Grill the shrimp
-Omit the shrimp, chill in refrigerator and serve as a delicious quinoa salad for your Memorial Day party

If you have leftover quinoa & avocado salsa, mix it all together with a bit of olive oil if the quinoa is dry and it is AWESOME cold the next day for lunch. ((thumbs up emoji))


Sunday, May 10, 2015

grace & motherhood

It's no secret that I wear a lot of hats. I'm a wife, mom, daughter, friend, business owner, blogger, consultant, designer, dreamer, teacher, singer, cook, housekeeper and more. I'm a busy-bee to say the least.  But being a mom is the most refining, exhausting, and significant role I get to play. It's an umbrella for everything I wanted to be "when I grew up." It pushes me to the feet of the Father daily and although I make mistake after mistake, I'm grateful that I can experience endless grace and new mercies every single day. 

I pray that one day, Lord willing, when my boys are Fathers themselves that they can see that providing for their families and using their passions to serve their wife and their children will feel like an extravagant gift. 

I remember a moment growing up, standing on a chair in the kitchen next to my mom while we made brownies.  I was a talker (shocker) and I recall rambling on to my mom a few things I wanted to be when I grew up. While we stirred the batter and I impatiently waited to lick the spoon, I explained that I either wanted to be a singer, a cook (which is ironic since we were making brownies out of a box), or a teacher. She looked at me and said, "If you're a mom, you will likely be a cook. Actually, you can be all of those things when you're a wife and mom." 

And she was right. Just like she was right about not being able to beat brownies from a box. 

Now, I'm no gourmet chef, but I get to prepare three meals a day for Knox and when Baby brother comes along, my body will supply many meals a day for this tiny babe. Making delicious dinners to sit down at the table and enjoy with Chase (and Knox) is a joy, even if it gets redundant sometimes. So, I'm a cook. I can thank my mom for not making that seem like a chore, but a gift. 

I sing Knox to sleep daily/nightly, and in that first year it was multiple times a day. I must have hummed and/or sung "I've Got Peace Like a River" and "Be Thou My Vision" hundreds, if not thousands of times in the past two years. Sometimes repeating all verses two or three  times until I saw the eyes of my sleepy sleep-fighter flutter and finally close to get some rest. I had a chunk of time where I really wanted to pursue music in some capacity. I am so completely satisfied in just being able to use that gift for my boys. So, I'm a singer. I can thank my mom for allowing me to see that singing my babies to sleep is a gift and it's enough.

I spent the first year and a half at Texas A&M studying early childhood education. It wasn't until I spent a summer being a counselor at a summer camp that I realized I wanted to teach kids about Jesus, not necessarily about math and science or English. I didn't make the best grades those first two years (let's just say ECON and Political Science were NOT my jam) and I switched majors to Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences (RPTS). I remember being a little ashamed that I didn't quite cut it, grade-wise, and that I wasn't going to be a teacher like my mom, and most of the women in my family. My mom never ever said she was disappointed. I can thank her that she instilled in me that I'll be a teacher to my boys ((although home schooling will likely not be our path, ha!)). I can teach them about bugs and fun and heartache and the ABC's and counting and Jesus. And so, I'm a teacher. I can thank my mom that I know teaching Knox and Baby Brother about the insurmountable love and grace of Jesus is being a teacher - and that's a gift. 

My mom probably doesn't remember that conversation that took place over 20 years ago. But that's the beauty of motherhood isn't it? We hope, so deeply, that our children remember the tokens of wisdom, the patient conversations over the stern ones, the evidences of grace, the kindness, the fun,  and the brownie baking memories over anything negative...over the inevitable mistakes we make as humans and as mothers.

Grace and motherhood. Such extravagant gifts that go hand in hand. 

Happy Mother's day to my mom and all the nurturers out there. 


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

outfit schmoutfit ((boyfriend shorts + spring blooms))

This baby bump sure makes getting dressed difficult some days. Other days, I remember about the piko tops in my closet and it's warm enough to wear these shorts. Easy peasy. I sized up in the CAbi boyfriend short so that I wouldn't have to wear a belly band with them. They are SO comfortable and I know they'll be perfect postpartum because they won't be too tight on my hips. 
Finding the right shorts for a twenty-something (or thirty or forty or fifty-something) can be difficult, especially if you're a mom and especccccially if you're pregnant. These are such a flattering length and they can be left cuffed or uncuffed for a little more length. Some general guidelines are to not go shorter than your fingertips when your arms are by your side and make sure they aren't skin tight. I like mine to be able to be pulled an inch or two away from my thighs. 

 ((My other go-to shorts every summer are these.)) 

If you want to order these shorts, let me know below and I can get you in touch with my mother-in-law who sells CAbi or you can click here (scroll to the bottom) to shop the collection. 

hat - several years old ((similar here & here)) // necklace, piko top C/O Riffraff // shorts C/O CAbi // sandals ((similar here)) // Rx sunnies - Warby Parker


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

outfit schmoutfit ((fitted maternity dress))

I am a stubborn, stubborn girl when it comes to buying maternity clothing. I don't want pieces that I'll only wear for a few months and then see hanging in my closet until another bump starts to grow. I, for the most part, hate side ruching. However, there are exceptions  - one of them being that sometimes you need a nice  dress that accentuates the bump and makes you feel sassy every now and again. 

This Isabella Oliver dress ((the Ellis)) is a great layering or stand-alone piece. I, personally, feel more comfortable with a layer on top....but earlier on in my pregnancy I think it would have been a great blank slate for a scarf or statement necklace or by itself. I've dressed it up with heels and a kimono and dressed it down with an olive utility jacket + converse. It's super versatile and the grey color will be flattering on anyone. I love a good neutral ;)

We hit 34 weeks this week and I am so ready to meet this little guy. Don't forget to check out our new Summer items - choose joy tanks, headbands, and wire wraps - that are in the shop as of today! Outfit details are below the following photo. Have a great week, everyone! 

dress: c/o Isabella Oliver //  hat: c/o riffraff (sold out but ((similar here))) // sandals (old blowfish) similar here & here// Necklace // Kimono 


Friday, April 17, 2015

spring finds

Between overall busy-ness, home projects, being 8 months pregnant, traveling solo with a toddler to Texas for a wedding/Easter, the cold and snowy weather we've been having and trying to launch our Summer head wraps & tanks...there has been little time for outfit posts (to say the least). However, I've scored some amazingly versatile items from Riffraff recently that I wanted to share. As always, you can get 10% off your order by using the code OHSWEETJOY. 

I'm envisioning that adorable tank dress being styled with skinnies until baby is born and then a lacy slip with a floppy hat and these sandals once I need a stylish and comfortable post baby outfit. I live in their piko tops postpartum because they are so accessible for nursing and cover up the leftover belly that hangs around. I just couldn't pass up the yoga bra (more colors available) because look how comfortable it looks!

Now, come onnnnnn Spring & Summer! This snow is for the birds. 

((ps i also got this dress in lime and white and it fits now - SUPER bump-accommodating -, and will be perfect post-baby too!))


Thursday, March 12, 2015

three things

I like lists and honestly, blog posts in list form are my fave. So, here is one of those for you. Short & Sweet.

1. I recently did a podcast hosted by the Influence Network. Check it out on iTunes here (free) if you want to hear Rebecca from Better Life Bags and I chat it up about Taylor Swift, textiles and running an online shop. I was equal parts awkward and nervous, so there's that ;)

2. You know how people say "this or that is my spirit animal?" I have no idea where that phrase originated and it's kind of weird...but I don't think I have a spirit animal. I think it's a dress. This one. Or possibly these shoes. If I have to pick an animal, then maybe I'd say a kangaroo. Or a toucan. That eats cereal. 

3. I actually don't have a third thing in mind, I just prefer things in let me make one up real fast. OH! We are finishing up our spring/summer kimonos and photographing the SS15 tees + tanks this week. Hoping to launch next week! Headbands will come later  in a separate launch because I keep forgetting to order the fabric. Oopsies!