Monday, January 27, 2014


Derek finally had a weekend off so we spent it doing what we do best--making a plan and then doing something totally opposite. The weather was too good to pass up and be spent inside a movie theater, so we went to Sea World for a couple of hours. We basically had the park to ourselves, lending us the chance to finally ride the new roller coaster 3 times in a row and get a private show by the noisy Sea Lions (Derek's favorite). If Derek does anything better then being a doctor, it's taking photos. He's (slowly) learning the ropes of the camera and how not to take un-flatering photos of his wife. {Side note: I could do an entire blog post, no series, on the photos this boy takes of me. The angles, the up close on the nose, the mid sneeze or clothing adjust. It's an art form really.} This time around, we walked away with one too many photos of the sea lions and a mini photo shoot of me putting on chap-stick, checking my phone, and drinking water. All of course while him behind the lens saying, "Work it. Work it. Oh yeah, baby!" That boy man, just gets funnier and funnier each day.  
*This bag has gotten so many comments, here is the link for the Steve Madden BMAXXIM Bag*

Monday, January 13, 2014


Banana nut bread is the quintessential item I go to when I think and need comfort food. It was that item I could easily whip up on a cold night in college after an exam, or that "go to" item to take to friends & neighbors. My recipe, the one that my Mom & Grandma both use is the best--hands down. It's light, airy, and just the right amount of banana. (coming from a girl who doesn't like bananas, this is key) Part of my birthday goals was to compile a list of local San Diego favorites, but I got to thinking that some of my favorites are in my own recipe book. Each month I will post a favorite item ranging from dinner foods to tasty treats. I hope that some of my recipe book favorites can become some of yours as well. Happy eating, and watch for those crumbs in the keyboard--- they are a pain to get out!

Monday, January 6, 2014


This year we traveled up the I-15 to Idaho- that great state we both love so much. It was the place Derek grew up and the place we met in college. Derek's hometown of Oakley is just the cutest little ranch town on the planet full of friendly people and hard working ranchers. This year, we weren't welcomed with snow, but rather dry fields & sunny days. The week started out with back-to-back family parties, in which I was assigned the task of decorating tables. (These people know me too well!) After that, all Christmas festivities started with baking, eating, and more baking. (It was even more of a treat to find out the sugar cookie recipe used by Great Grandma Neibaur is almost the exact same as my Grandma Tatum's. I just love connections like that between our families!) From the blanket fort on Christmas Eve, to family dinners and trips to the movies, the week was exactly what we needed. A time to relax, enjoy, and be with those we love. Derek was especially in heaven with his younger cousins and Mark (bro in law) when Grandpa Smith's old shotgun and .22 were tested out. I love getting to spend time with the girls in the family, since we have always lived the farthest away, and to catch up and talk about all things girl. I think it's safe to say, it was a great Christmas had by all! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014


For 2014, I decided to go along with the One Little Word campaign and choose a word for the year. Since I recently made birthday goals, I decided focusing on a word for the year to go along with the goals would be a good idea. This year, I am choosing joy. Sometimes it's easy to forget just how much we have to be joyful about. We all have those days---we run late, we forget an appointment, we bleach a load of colored towels, we leave a gallon of milk in the trunk-- I could go on and on. It's on those days, we need to find and choose the joy. So maybe the towels have bleach spots, but remember how you served a friend by babysitting for the afternoon? You were late to church but you were still able to listen to that talk that seemed like it was written just for you. This year, we all need to remember to choose joy, won't you join me?