Thursday, March 31, 2011

married for two years!

warning: a long post. well, for me anyway. mostly pictures though, so yay!

our anniversary was a couple of days ago, march 28th. two years! i can't believe it. our anniversary trip to DC and virginia beach was awesome, but i'll post about that later. right now, i'll give you a peek into our wedding, 2 years ago.

a mark and a bailey:

silly boys:

amazingly sweet girls:

parents know best:

a nervous bailey:

an excited mark:

a packed church:

yes, we do:

surprise dance party after ceremony? i think yes:

happy couple:

first dance as married couple:

dad surprised me with awesome dance moves:

mother/son dance ended splendidly with a crowd of boys and the electric slide:

mark wrote a song and created a dance to it, which we taught to our guests at the wedding while mark performed the song. we call it the marky march:

the best toasts ever:
a rigged bouquet toss:

an embarrassed bailey:

a constantly packed dance floor:

a last dance that everyone thought was choreographed and planned, but was not. we simply know each other and the words to i'll make love to you by boyzIImen too well:

the exit. they were throwing biodegradable sprinkles at us instead of rice. they were yummy:


the best wedding ever.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

CHALLENGE COURSE TRAINING | BROWNWOOD, TX

sorry for the week-long hiatus. guess i should have said something. oops! one day i'll get better at this whole blogging thing. ;)

last week, i was in brownwood, tx to become a certified challenge course facilitator. i attended the week-long training with some co-workers from camp, and it was so much fun. can't get any better than 10 hours a day outside on the course, climbing high off the ground, traversing elements, going down zip lines, tying knots, and meeting great people. not to mention sore muscles, splinters, bruises, sunburns, cuts, scrapes, and a big 10-hour test to top it off! don't worry, i'm okay. i am now a certified challenge course facilitator and i will wear my wounds proudly!

here's a peek at what we did:

and here's the awesome beauty of the facility that hosted our training, the texas 4-H conference center, right on lake brownwood:

so that's where i was all week.

i have a couple of recipes i want to post, so i'll try to update a little more before we leave for our vacation to DC on tuesday!!

[All photos were taken in March 2011.]

Saturday, March 12, 2011

PEANUT BUTTER SQUARES

need something sweet and tasty that's gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free? well, you probably don't need all that, but whatev, it's what we need at my house! these really are mighty tasty and you will feel good about eating three (or four) of them instead of feeling guilty!

peanut butter squares
 
ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
1 egg
4 tbs flaxseed
1/4 tsp vanilla
coconut oil (or another oil) to grease pan
 
directions:
1. pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. grease an 8x8 pan with coconut oil.
3. combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
4. bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
5. let cool completely before cutting.
 
tips:
- flaxseed is optional but i suggest you keep it in there; it is very good for you.
- you can use ground flaxseed instead of whole, or grind it yourself. i liked the crunchiness of the whole flaxseed.
- i would suggest making a honey version, and later an agave nectar version. the flavors will differ quite a bit, but both are good.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

vacay in DC - i need your tips!

in two weeks, my husband and i will be leaving for a vacation in washington, d.c. for our two-year anniversary! we will be there during the national cherry blossom festival, and we're so excited. we hope the trees will be blooming at the time we're there (they don't always during the festival) so i can get some photos like these (via mango street photography):


but we're not making any promises. :) we'll be staying at an old renovated fire house that we found via HomeAway. mark has never been there, so we have to hit up the monuments, but i'm especially looking forward to the museums.

though i do have things planned, i want to know what you think! for those who have been to or have lived in DC, where should i go? what are the best museums? are there any parks that are a must see? what about local attractions (bars, jazz clubs, places to eat, etc)? is it worth it to go all the way to arlington nat'l cemetery, take a white house tour, visit congress, etc?

anything you can give me, give it to me now! i welcome any tips. thanks so much.

Monday, March 7, 2011

TURKEY-VEGGIE MEATBALLS

i made these for a superbowl party last month and they are OH so good. i almost made a sauce for them, but after my husband tasted them and told me that adding sauce would debase the flavor of the meatballs, i decided against it.

of course, YOU can eat them however you want. if you think a sauce would go well with it, do it! or add them to some spaghetti, and you have an italian dish. one prerequisite, though: you may not judge these meatballs before tasting. please don't be thrown off by the veggies.

turkey-veggie meatballs




ingredients:
1 lb. organic ground turkey
2 medium carrots
1 large zucchini
1/2 cup parsley
3 medium cloves garlic
1 egg
1/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
approx. 1/2 cup high-heat oil (such as grapeseed oil)
 
directions:
1. in a food processor, chop the carrots, zucchini, parsley, and garlic until minced.
2. in a large bowl, combine veggie mix, egg, flour and spices with the ground turkey. mix until combined thoroughly.
3. in small sauce pan, heat oil on medium-high to high.
4. while oil is heating, form meatball mixture into small balls.
5. fry about 4 or 5 meatballs at a time, cooking them on all sides until browned.
6. let cool on paper-towel lined plate.
 
tips:
- do not start frying meatballs until the oil is very hot. otherwise, they will not cook and brown thoroughly or correctly.
- if you want to forgo the frying and the oil, you can also bake these at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.