Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2nd Anniversary Getaway

This past weekend, we celebrated our anniversary.
Tyler has been working on a BIG account at work and has been stressed to the max.
So I said that I would be willing to plan this year's adventure.

And plan, I did.
I love planning events.
We are trying to save up for a big vacation in February to help celebrate Mom and Dad's 30th wedding anniversary, so I figured that I would keep this weekend low key.
But I still wanted to celebrate because anniversaries are worth celebrating.
Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

I planned a getaway in our own city.
I wrote down ideas of things we hadn't seen or been to since moving to St. Louis.
We had both been to several of these places, but not together.
I wrote out a clue for each place we were going, and Tyler got to open it and try to guess what we were going to be doing.

I should have known that after last year's getaway (and this post too), nothing would go right.


Friday night (pics 1-3) started off great!  We went to a Dine-in Movie!  They just renovated one of the theaters here in town to create these dine-in movie theaters.  Yes, it's a bit pricey and no, I wouldn't do this on a regular basis.  But I wanted to kick our anniversary weekend off with something fun!  We sat in recliners, had wait service, and ordered food to eat during the movie!  It was so much fun!

Saturday morning, we headed out to get massages.  Tyler was not excited.  You should have seen the look on his face.  But he had received a gift card from a co-worker, so we were going to use it.  And that's where things started going wrong.  We learned that there was a zero balance on the gift card!  It was kinda comical...but we paid and went on our way.  (Pics 4-5 show you how great he felt after the massage!)  

We headed out to Grant's Farm afterward (Pics 6-9).  It took us an hour and a half to even get in.  Ridiculous.  And honestly, not worth it.  It was fun and definitely an experience, but because it was 70 degrees that day, everyone and their brother thought it'd be a great idea to go!


After Grant's Farm, we headed to get Gus' Pretzels.  These are well known for some reason in this city.  The only reason I can think of why is because they're super cheap...like 50-cents-a-pretzel-cheap.  They taste like a regular pretzels. :)

We headed to check in at our hotel and took a much needed nap!  The view from our window was fantastic!  We got upgraded to the "Executive Floor," which just means it's really high up, and once the guy who checked us in found out that it was our anniversary, he gave us 2 free drinks and 2 free breakfast buffets.  Wanna know how you can get me to like you?  Feed me. :)

We were supposed to eat supper at the 360 Restaurant and Bar which was located on the 26th floor of our hotel, looking out over Busch Stadium and downtown, BUT it was packed full of already-drunk-people and there were no tables available.  I was super bummed, but my husband reminded me that we just gotta go with the flow.  He was totally okay with it.  So we went back to the first floor of our hotel and ate dinner at the restaurant down there, which was still delicious.

We headed out to the City Garden after dinner.  It's really just this little "park" with abstract art and fun fountains that you can play in.

On Sunday morning, we were supposed to eat breakfast at the Starbucks in our hotel, but that was a nicely-ruined surprise and we ate at the hotel buffet instead with our free ticket.  So glad it was free, because it was $16 a person...holy cow!!!


I told Tyler that our next activity just had to go as planned.  And that's because we were headed to the top of the Arch!  I love being up high and seeing the surroundings.  It's so beautiful!  We got our pressed penny, too!

For lunch, we headed to the Old Spaghetti Factory downtown.  It was a really neat place to go, but the food wasn't that great.  We tend to steer clear of Italian places (mainly because it's ridiculous to pay that much for pasta when it doesn't cost that much), and I think we'll continue to stick with that plan. :)

We got Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard that afternoon, which is another thing I don't see the hype about.  It tastes like Andy's, if you ask me (and I don't see the hype about it either).  If you ask me where I want ice cream from, my answer will be one of two places:  Braum's or Dairy Queen. :)   I guess we wouldn't make very good "St. Louis Natives."  We don't like very many of their specialties...  Good thing we're not!  haha!

Tyler had received a "Wild Card" to do whatever else he wanted to do.  He took me to the go-carts.  And not just any go-carts.  FAST go-carts...like 45 mph go-carts.  Where they encourage you to use your brake!! It was a LOT of fun...he won and I lost. :)


Yesterday was our actual anniversary, and I came home to the most beautiful pink roses!  They are so fragrant that my kitchen smells like roses.  Absolutely gorgeous!!  

Last evening, we went to The Muny to see Mary Poppins.  It was so wonderful!!  It only misted on us for about the first 45 minutes, but after that it turned out to be a great evening!  I am glad I brought a towel to dry off our seats, though!  :)

We had a wonderful weekend away together.  It's really nice to just put "real life" on hold to getaway sometimes!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Two Years

Two Years.
In some ways it feels like we've been together for a lot longer.
In others, I can't believe it's been two years.
I am so blessed to be married to my best friend.
The one I'm glad I get to come home to each day.
The one who makes me laugh.
The one who makes me feel like the only girl in the world.
The one I get to serve Jesus alongside.

I'm so thankful for Tyler.
I am thankful for the two years of marital bliss. 
And I'm not saying that sarcastically, as some might. ;)
I pray that God will bless us with many more years!
I'm thankful for our family's legacies of long marriages and what we have to look forward to.

I thought I'd share a few wedding pictures, since I'm not sure I've posted any here.
We had the wedding that was better than my dreams.
I'm so thankful for my parents and the willingness and their hard work that they put forward to help make my dreams a reality.
That is one perk to being the only daughter...haha!! :)

Happy Anniversary, Tyler!
I love you SO much more now than I did on our wedding day!
You are so good to me.
Thank you.




















Monday, July 29, 2013

Miscellany Monday

Happy Monday!
I haven't really blogged in a couple weeks.
Hopefully in the coming days, I will be able to share with you.
For now, here are my randoms.

One.
Our weekend was jam-packed full of fun and celebration!
I hope to share more of that later this week {with lots of pictures}!

Two.
Not too long ago, I sold a scrap fabric banner from my shop.  I had been in touch with the lady who purchased it, and I knew that she would be using it for her niece's baby shower.  I was so excited that she purchased it in the first place.  But when I received this picture back from her last week, I was so happy.


How cute is that?
The banner fit perfectly in that window and went with the party decorations beautifully.
She's the first one who sent me a photo of how she used her handmade purchase. :)

P.S.  I've closed my shop down for several weeks.  Don't worry, I'll be back!  
To see sneak peeks and what you can look forward to, find us on instagram (@asimplekindoflove) or on facebook!

Three.
I recently finished up Betty Rocker's 30 Day Challenge.
Let me tell you...I've discovered a lot about my self this past month.
Some things I'm still trying to process and figure out myself, but there are other things that I'm excited to share with you.
One thing that I've learned is that as a woman, I look to the scale probably more than I should.  Fitness is not about the scale.
Yes, it is great and it feels good to see that number go down.
But honestly, it's not all that.

The weight difference in these pictures is about 0.6 lbs.  However, I lost 4.75 inches overall during this challenge.  To be honest, showing these pictures is a little embarrassing, but it's my life.  Stay tuned for some other lessons that Betty Rocker taught me!

Okay, so those are only a few things that are going on in my life right now.  I have a lot more to share!  So come back tomorrow!  And the day after...and the day after!  haha!!  I hope to get back to blogging, but at the same time I have to live my life!

Happy Monday, everyone!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend!



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Friday, July 26, 2013

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Lately, I've been trying to experiment "outside the box."
I love finding new foods and trying them.
What I love even better is when they're healthy foods.
And what I even love more than that is when I find that I actually like those foods.

After trying out the Cauliflower Pizza Crust, I had some extra pizza sauce left over.
Now I know I told you before, but I could eat pizza everyday.
I had found this recipe online and wanted to try it out.

I changed it up a bit to suit what I had on hand.



Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups chicken broth (optional)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped green onion (you can use other onion...and more if you like onion)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend, the recipe called for mozzarella)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
some salt
pizza sauce



Directions:
Measure and rinse the quinoa well.  Add 2 cups liquid (I used chicken broth for a tastier flavor, but you can use water if you don't have chicken broth on hand) and the quinoa to a medium sized sauce pan.  Boil.  Cover and reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes.



Add all ingredients (except the pizza sauce) in a mixing bowl and mix together.  Spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray.  (I had a medium sized muffin pan.)  I also packed my each "muffin" down pretty well.



Cook at 350 degrees for roughly 20-25 minutes.  Grab some pizza sauce and dip away!  

These are super easy to make!  They're also delicious AND healthy!! :)

Happy cooking!


Friday'sFabulousFoods

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cauliflower Pizza Crust


It's no secret that I've been changing my eating habits during that last few weeks.
I want to put healthy things in my body, rather than feeding it crap.
So when I found a recipe for a healthier pizza crust, all systems were a go.
I LOVE pizza.  I could seriously eat it everyday.
That's how much I love it.

I will preface this to say that this pizza isn't like regular pizza.
It's a softer crust, so I ate it with a fork.
However, it doesn't taste like you're eating cauliflower.
It's just different.
I will also tell you that my husband loved it.
He said, "This is on the 'yes' list."
Meaning he would love to eat it again!

Ingredients:
*1 cup of cauliflower, cooked and riced
*1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
*1 egg, beaten
*1 tsp dried oregano
*1/2 tsp crushed garlic
*1/2 tsp garlic salt
*olive oil (optional)

Directions:
To "rice" cauliflower, I cut the stems off and cut them into florets and grated it with a cheese grater.  It worked better than I imagined.
But if you have a food processor, you can stick the head of cauliflower in there and pulse it until it looks like a grain.  Don't over-pulse it because then you might puree it.



Put the riced cauliflower in a microwavable bowl and cook it in the microwave for 8 minutes.
One large head creates about 3 cups of riced cauliflower (and I actually used it all).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Stir together the cauliflower, egg, and cheese (I used what we had on hand).

Add oregano, crushed garlic, and garlic salt.  Stir.

Transfer to the cookies sheet and pat out making a 9 in round.
(As you can see, mine was a little bigger than 9 inches since I used all the cauliflower.)

Brush olive oil over the top of it to help it brown in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add the toppings.

Place in the broiler on high for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
*Since you will be broiling it, all pizza toppings need to be fully cooked.*

Enjoy your healthy pizza!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Mommy and Daddy Hospital Survival Kit



A while back, our friends from our small group had their first baby.
I wanted to do something a little special for them, but I didn't exactly know what.
Our small group showered them with diapers, but I wanted to do something else.

I had questioned the husband to see if his wife had received anything that was just for her.
He said no, so I proceeded with my idea.
I had questioned my Instagram friends...because they are a wealth of knowledge.
Seriously...a lot of them have had babies and they knew exactly how to reply to my question.

Enter the idea of a "New Mommy and Daddy Hospital Survival Kit."
I knew that I wanted to give the new mommy something special, but I just had to include some things for the new daddy as well.
I mean, it wouldn't be fair if I didn't. :)



Here's what I included for the new mommy:
Deodorant
Kleenex
Wisps
Body Wash
Shampoo and Conditioner
Q-tips
Mouth Wash
Hair ties/headbands
Facial Wipes
Loofah
Chapstick
Chocolate


What I included for the new daddy (and I'm sure he shared):
Animal Crackers
Gatorade
Granola Bars
100 calorie snack packs
Fruit Snacks

They were so appreciative of it, and the new mommy told me that she had several of those things on her list to go buy.
I was excited to help out.
The cute bag was actually a "garden bag," but it was perfect for the project!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Young Wife's Guide

Being a young wife means learning lots of new things.
One thing I've learned in our two years of marriage is that purity isn't all about sex.
Want to know what it also encompasses??
Check out my monthly contribution article to Young Wife's Guide.
Click here to read more!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My 2nd Blogiversary

Today marks 2 years since I started blogging.
I really can't believe it.
That means in a couple weeks, we will be celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary!

I remember starting this blog...I was working my SOAR job (Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration) at Missouri State.
I remember having my wedding planner with me...I carried it everywhere I went at that point.
I remember thinking that nothing in that planner really mattered.  
What mattered was the marriage and relationship part.
I wanted to be the best wife I could be, and I wanted to be able to document it.

I'm sure glad I did. 
I never knew that I would be living in St. Louis 2 years later.
What plans the Lord had for us. :)


I thought I would share several of my favorite posts from the past.  Enjoy!


Disney World:  Here, Here, and Here

I love blogging for the very reason of being able to go back and read what has happened through the years.  I love being able to read what I was thinking and feeling, rather than just looking at pictures.  I love seeing how my heart has changed and where I was in my walk with Christ at the time.  I love to see how my passions have changed, grown, or began.  It definitely has been a blessing to me.  I hope that even maybe the smallest thing here has been a blessing to you. :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Our 4th of July

Last Wednesday evening, Tyler and I headed down to Southwest Missouri.
We were headed to my parents' house to hang out for the weekend.
And by golly, it was a much needed weekend.
I have to admit...I wasn't around my phone much, so I only have a few pictures to share.
But I also admit that it was good to get away from social media for a few days.

We got a head start because we both got off work early.
I was thankful...I like to drive in daylight more than the dark.
I captured these pictures coming home Wednesday evening...somewhere between Marshfield and Lockwood.



We made up our own little shooting range in the backyard.
I think it was genius...but maybe because it was my husband's idea. :)
And I finally got to shoot my pink AR.
I know...y'all are jealous.
Well, you can come over and I'll take you shooting sometime. :)



I tried to work out a little bit while I was home.
I wanted to keep up with my Betty Rocker workout, which has been killer.
I've really been working on my form rather than reps.
It's been really good for me.


I walked only a couple of days.
I really hate walking the gravel roads, but it was a gorgeous week so I was going to take advantage of it!


On the actual 4th of July, we had no where to be.
So we hung out at Sonic and ate supper together. :)
I loved it.


Our party was on Saturday.
Every year since 1999 (or maybe before) and with the exception of the year 2011 (we got married), my parents' have hosted a 4th of July party.
My uncle buys the best fireworks and gives us a show.
He loves fireworks...it's like his Christmas.:)
We invite my Dad's family and my Mom's family...and a few friends scattered in there.
We have some of the best food around.

This year was no disappointment.
We had fantastic food, and what I would say were the best fireworks ever.
Seriously fun stuff.
We also had some yard games, which were so fun to play!





It was a wonderful weekend.
I loved being home and being with family.
There's no place better to be.

This week, I'm back to the grind.
It's hard to come back from a long weekend.

Did y'all have a good weekend?
What kind of fun did you have?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mini Meatballs

Random fact about me...
I like to work out and watch food shows...especially on Saturday mornings.
We don't pay for any sort of cable television, so when I work out, it's a treat to get to watch "my shows."
Those happen to be any of the sort:  Say Yes to the Dress, Four Weddings, House Hunters, Love it or List It, The Pioneer Woman, Trisha's Southern Kitchen, etc.

Last weekend, I was watching Trisha's Southern Kitchen on the Food Network and she was prepping for a Girl's Night.
The meatballs she made looked so good that when I was finished with my workout, I immediately looked up the recipe on their website.



Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 2 cups Italian flavored breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • Salt and pepper



Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl or mixer, thoroughly mix the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, milk, parsley, eggs,  

garlic, onion and some salt and pepper. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.


Shape into meatballs and place on a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake 30 minutes


I went ahead and put them in some pasta sauce so that we could eat it with Spaghetti Squash.  They were definitely delicious!!


Friday'sFabulousFoods