Monday, April 22, 2013

Oh How Time Flies.

What a shocker - I got busy around wedding time and I am just now getting back here. Essentially, I was busy for like 8 months straight.

And then after the wedding I was in Maui for 2 weeks with my brand spankin new husband, then we came back and moved into our new house which is actually very old and had to be completely remodeled on the inside (we'll get to that), and then we got a DOG!  And not just any dog, but a dog that is now only a puppy but will grow to be a 150 pound BEAST.  We named him Conway and he is the sweetest, most soft-hearted fluffy adorable fun cool amazing puppy ever.

Now we are here on this beautiful April afternoon, I am sick with some sort of cough mixed with flu thing and am so thankful for the soft breeze coming in through our windows to make me feel like my day isn't a total waste. At least I'm enjoying the weather sort of. 

So, to catch you up on all the fun festivities going on around here, I thought I'd post some pictures!

These have been incredible months that will always be remembered as blissful.

All engagement and wedding photography done by Jessica Shae Photography. She is amazing and you should definitely check her out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Missed You!

I have been craving to write again.  I feel like I need to reintroduce myself!  So much has been going on, and actually the reason why so much has been going on is the same reason why my blogging came to an abrupt halt.

Brian proposed.

SCREAMING!  He proposed on April 17th, his birthday, in Chicago.  We spent the day off of work together in the city, eating awesome food, meeting a really cool homeless guy, going to the art museum and just having fun with each other.  We like to spoil each other on our birthdays.  Life is more fun that way to us.  So, you can imagine my surprise when the spoiling turned my way.

Wanna hear the story?!  We were walking down the street after Brian did a great job at lying to me about why we were walking that way, when he turned on the charm and the lovely words.  Brian is one with words.  Never meaningless words, just genuine words of kindness and love.  As he started expressing his love for me in the simplest and most beautiful verbage when I got terribly distracted by a real pretty horse down the street.  I ran to the horse and started introducing myself and petting it and talking to it - all very normal.  After no more than a minute Brian arrives, gently turns me towards him, and finishes what he started twenty feet earlier.  He asks me to be his, forever.  It was a dream.

I literally screamed so much and then realized my parents were right behind us the whole time, filming it and taking pictures.  So fun!!  It didn't feel real, in the best of ways.  I just kept asking, "Is this a dream??"  So, after saying yes, duh, Brian put a rock on my finger that I can't believe I get to wear the rest of my life.  Two of the diamonds were my grandma's too, so it is beyond special and sentimental.  Perfection.

So oh my goodness have I been a busy little bee.  We all have around this house.  It's been awesome.  I can't wait to share it all as the process continues! 

Hope everyone has been great.  Feels good to be back.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

BS Cookies.

This past week my grandpa passed away.  He was a wonderful 85-year-old man who was a devoted husband, father of 10, and grandfather of 21.  He loved to work hard and to have fun experiences and to really live up life.  He had a deep, rich voice and a strong stature that could make anyone feel safe.  He also loved food and especially sweets.  After my grandma cooked for their large family of 12 for many years, my grandpa took his place in the kitchen and became the head chef for him and my grandma.  Soon he was famous for his baking skills and thumbprint cookies at Christmastime.

For the funeral, many of our friends made delectable dessert goodies.  When it was all said and done I think we had culminated right around 8 dozen cookies for the entire crowd.  Can you imagine the temptation???!!!
Even though I have seen evidence of my palette successfully changing and my cravings for processed sugars has decreased greatly (yay!) I still succumb to a brownie here and there.

So, because I knew I would want something sweet at the end of the lovely luncheon, I decided to prepare by making some raw cookies the night before!  Especially with Brian's (boyfriend) help, these were some of the easiest little gems I have ever put together.  And they were pretty awesome.

A mix of lemon and coconut, the recipe that I originally started with needed a bit of altering.  I like my desserts pretty sweet and decadent.  I also, at least right now, like my raw desserts to taste as much like baked desserts as possible.  I added a stevia and lemon juice mixture to the top of the cookies for added sweet/tartness.  So, here it is friends!  They are named in honor of my grandpa, Bill Snellgrove.

BS Lemon Cookies 
1 c. raw cashews, unsoaked (get the "pieces" - they are cheaper)*
1 T. organic maple syrup
3/4 c. raw unsweetened coconut flakes
Juice of 1 1/2 medium lemons
2 t. stevia (powder, or equivalent amount of liquid)

What To Do:
Put cashews in the food processor until completely ground up.  They will resemble flour.
Add coconut flakes and stevia until all is well blended.  This may take about 8-10 seconds.
Add syrup and lemon juice.  It will all combine into a thick, dough-like consistency.
Roll out onto wax paper.  (I did not use a rolling pin, but instead just used my hands and fingers, which I think is easier and less mess.)  Make sure the dough is no thicker than 1/4 inch.  You can make them thinner if you want them to dehydrate faster, be crunchier, and more like a thin, sweet cracker or cookie. 
Use a cookie cutter or whatever you'd like to cut out the cookie shapes. Mine were 1-inch circles.
Place in dehydrator for approximately 8 hours.  Yes, 8 hours.

Other Options:
Omit stevia and juice of 1/2 a lemon and make a paste with the ingredients.  After 7 hours of dehydration, brush the paste (mix the stevia and juice right before application) onto the top of the cookies.  Let dehydrate last hour.

Swap half the amount of cashews for macadamia nuts.  I have not tried this yet but I bet it's yummy! 

*If you buy too many cashews, remember to freeze them!  Don't keep them in the pantry, because you may forget about them and then they may go bad.  Which is what happened to me once.

My grandpa will always reign supreme as the chief baker, but I think he would have loved these.
I hope you do too!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tune Your Ears.

There is a grocery store by my work called Mariano's.  It is seriously a gift from God to my body and my lunch hour.  

The salad bar in it is jam packed with all organic, fresh delicacies.  Vegetables like crazy and a choice of 5 different lettuces, including KALE.  What a DREAM.

So, I get a salad every day for lunch.  My co-workers ask me if I eat anything else, which just means they don't see me outside of work. :)  But something interesting happened today during my salad experience.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I literally thought the words, Get mushrooms every day.  You love them.  They are hearty like meat and just goooood.  Don't forget this and get them every day.
Then I smiled and went on enjoying my shrooms.

But TODAY I literally thought, Mushrooms do not taste good in salads.  Remember you don't like them in here, and as good as they look every time your creating your masterpiece of greens, don't get them.

What the heck?  I am weird and indecisive, yes.  But it also made me think of another great health concept that I want to stick to more and more the older I get:
Listen to your body.

This can be taken in the wrong way, giving yourself an excuse to eat crap.  That's not what this means!!  What this does mean is if you're full, stop eating.  If you're hungry, eat some more.  If you want something dense and hearty, eat an avocado (not steak. hehe.).  If you want something light, grab some watermelon or make a salad with lemon juices as dressing and cucumbers.  The more you do this, the better you get at it.  What this does is it gives your body authority over your mind, or, dare I say, heart.
Emotional eating is listening to your head.
This is listening to your body.

Your body will tell you what it needs and when.  How brilliant is that?  And nice of it, if you ask me.
And I can tell you, I probably won't be eating mushrooms in my salad for awhile.  And they won't be missed, for whatever reason?
But, when they are, I'll give them a real quick shout out.

Now smile, put your hands on your stomach, and say,
Thank you, Body, for being better at communicating than
a mannequin.