Monday, April 24, 2017

Currently // April 2017



I hope that you all had a great weekend. Ours was super relaxed. We had a bridal shower for my SIL and I think it went really well. Plus we got to take home tons of extra salad... yum. So I've been eating that with every meal! We spent the rest of our time watching TV, doing chores, reading, doing Project Life (me) and D&D prep (KC). It was a little boring off and on, I think I just have the itch to hit the road! 

Drinking: iced non fat no whip mocha from Starbucks and iced water. Still trying hard to drink a lot less soda recently. I think it's going well overall. I had lots of yummy cocktails in NOLA. :)

Eating: around vacation time we obviously ate out a lot. This week we are trying some mini taco cups and Asian lettuce wraps. We'll see how it goes! I want to get my hands on the Skinny Taste cookbook, but maybe I'll start with more of their online recipes.

Watching: iZombie (from the beginning) with KC's parents, they're loving it and I am enjoying the second watch. You know how much I like izombie, and I'll tell y'all for the 40th time to just watch it even though it sounds/looks stupid... it's not! :) We've also been re-watching Hart of Dixie, New Girl, and Gilmore Girls off and on. I want to start a new show or a new season of something, but we haven't decided yet.

Reading: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Ick. It's pretty interesting, but hella long (I feel). We'll see how it continues, I think Capote is a fabulous writer, so that really helps. Next up is my 6 word title, the last one, for Erin's 6.0. I only have a few days... so we'll see how it goes! Down to the wire. (What I'd Like to be Reading: Big Little Lies, Fan Girl, Everything, Everything, We Are Okay, ... anything fun and quick, basically!)

Listening To: we have mostly been using blue tooth in the car for our music, so lots from our itunes libraries. I made a good playlist for the dentist, it's just Broods and James Bay right now. Considering adding Ellie Goulding and Vance Joy... because that's how I roll.

Feeling (physically): bleh. I don't know if it was post-travel, or whatever.. but I've had an off and on angry stomach for about a week. It's gotten progressively better, but it's still a pain.

Feeling (emotionally): Alright. A tad bored I think.

Looking Forward To: my friend Juliet's lingerie shower is Friday night, which should be lots of girly fun. The first weekend in May is the 4th annual Kansas Food Truck Festival (eeeep!) (see year 1, year 2, and year 3) and Jess's bday! (woot!) Other than that it's a lot of graduation related things and then Juliet's wedding. Such a busy set of months! 

Wearing: I went thrifting with Jess, hadn't been in FOREVER, and picked up two cute navy dresses. the one pictured above, and a 3/4 sleeved navy and white striped dress. I also got a flannel button up dress for winter (also navy, lol), and a crazy '90's teacher dress... we'll see when/if I wear that. hahahah I have been wearing my utility jacket everywhere (also pictured above), and I broke down and bought some basic tennis shoes. They worked pretty well for travel. I also got these booties (in putty suede) for Christmas and I love them so much. I want them in EVERY COLOR.

Buying: I've bought tons of fun new sandals, I can't wait to wear them all! Also, new bras, shorts, and a strapless bra for my bridesmaids dress. Lots of graduation presents too!

Wishing: that we could take another trip soon... maybe we can... we shall see! We've been talking about a summer road trip. Though, you know my mind... it's become several road trips. I'd love to get back to The Great Lakes. :) 

What have you guys been up to lately?!

XO,

Alexandra

Friday, April 21, 2017

Have You Heard? // Jaenki - "Miracle Maze"

HAPPY FRIDAY FRIENDS! I hope that you had a great week! I'm settling back in at home... but the wanderlust hit hard at the airport on the way home.... typical. (hahhahahaha)


I really really like this song. I kind of forgot about it. The sound reminds me a bit of Death Cab... but different. I just love the sound of it! This music video is pretty cool too. :)



What are you guys up to this weekend?!

I have a date with KC tonight seeing Colossal (which I think looks quirky and hilarious), and getting a shower gift for my SIL, for her bridal shower Saturday, and then hopefully just a lot of fun time at home with KC. Do you guys know how it is when you're like with other people, or super busy, or preoccupied with other things... and then it's like even though you've been together... you kind of miss each other? (does that even make sense?!?!?), anyhow, that's where we are right now...!

Also, I only have 2 books left for Erin's 6.0 and I really want to finish them in the last 10 days of the challenge!! WOOT! :) 

Other Posts This Week: Spring Fever // Mood Board, and Back from NOLA.

XO,

Alexandra

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Back from NOLA // Laissez Bon Temps Rouler!

Happy Wednesday friends! We got back from NOLA last night, and so today is one of those "unpack, do laundry, and rest kind of days".

If you read my post before we left, you'll know that we met up with our good friends Brittany and Tyler who live in Boston. They've got a little one on the way! Eep! It was super fun to spend some time together and explore our favorite city once more.

Also, can I just say... that we had not been anywhere since AUGUST. Which for us... is about as long as it's been in between trips in several YEARS. Woah. Much needed to get away. :)

We spent a lot of time wandering around the quarter, magazine street, the garden district, and Frenchman street.




We saw several live music performances. Some were at bars, some were on the street, we also did a jazz brunch. :)




We ate at some of our favorite places, we also found some new ones. A few were great, a few were not the best.







We rode the street car, had cocktails (and a mocktail ;)) at The Columns Hotel, walked around Audobon Park, and played Uno at Dat Dog.




Overall it was great to catch up with Brittany and Tyler and show them bits of our favorite city. We loved being back in Crescent City!



Stay tuned for full recaps and more NOLA tips!

Have you been to NOLA? What did you do there?

Do you ever travel with friends? How do you coordinate it?

Any fun trips in the works for you this spring or summer?!

XO,

Alexandra

Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring Fever // Mood Board

Hello from beautiful NOLA! I'll post a re-cap, hopefully on Wednesday... but... until then....

Spring is in the air. I feel that here in Kansas it will be gone in a flash, so I'm trying to savor these nice days, the greens and blooms, and even the rainstorms. Here are a few things that I'm loving this spring. (hint: all things floral and bright)



Details (top left, clockwise):

1) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, one of the loveliest spring reads. (my review)
2) A gorgeous (healthier) strawberry cake, recipe here. (it's in French)
3) The prettiest spring dress from H&M. It's sold out online, so run to your nearest store!
4) Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries - I know that everyone has likely heard of this by now, if not watched it... but it's absolutely fabulous. Go watch it on Netflix. I could not handle when Phryne and Jack play tennis.
5) Lilac Cake - this image is via pinterest, sadly it seems to be an event photo rather than a recipe.
6) Cooking With Flowers by Miche Bacher - I just love the idea of edible flowers, I can't wait to dive into this cookbook!
7) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - Anne with and E, oh I loved this book! Perfect for springtime!
8) The most beautiful flower crown by Gardens of Whimsy on etsy.
9) A pretty little potted fairy garden from Garden Answer. Have you seen her videos? They amaze me every time!

I'm currently feeling the need to grow all of the things... despite my black thumb. So, I'm hoping to invest in some plants for work, and some non-toxic ones for home. Naughty kittens... always trying to kill and eat plants... I bought a shamrock plant around St. Patrick's day... *crossing fingers* - it's currently still alive! :)

What are you wanting this spring?

What's inspiring you?

XO,

Alexandra

Friday, April 14, 2017

Have You Heard? // Vance Joy - "Fire and the Flood"

Happy Friday Friends! I have today off as I pack and prep for our long weekend in NOLA. I cannot wait to set foot in Crescent City again. :)



I swear that I listen to new music... but my favorites are my favorites... so you'll see me continue to post about Vance Joy, Ellie Goulding, Broods, and James Bay... probably until the end of time. :)

This song came out in an extended version of his first album with another track called "Straight Into Your Arms". I love them both. :)

How great is this lyric though?! "everything is fine, when your head's resting next to mine, next to mine." - I. Die.



In case there was any doubt of my love for Vance Joy... here's that time we went to "prom" and saw him play. Also, just saw this in his merch store... and I LOVE it.

How are you guys doing? I hope that you had a great week!

What are you guys up to this weekend?!

We'll be spending it in NOLA. We have very few plans, so I'm going to enjoy soaking up the city, catching up with our friends, and relaxing for a few days! Oh yes... and plane reading!!

Other Posts This Week: March Reads & 12 Favorite Things // NOLA Edition.

XO,

Alexandra 

P.S. in completely random news... I caught 3-4 episodes of Fixer Upper this week... I'm ruined now... and I totally understand the appeal. #help !

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

12 Favorite Things // NOLA Edition

Hello friends! Happy Wednesday! I'm loving everyone's SUYB! So many books!!

This weekend we are heading back to NOLA for the 3rd time! We're meeting up with some good friends from Boston for an extended weekend in Crescent City! Be still my heart.
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We've been so many times that I'm not looking for recommendations, but I'd love to share some photos and my 12 favorite things about NOLA. :)

1) the liveliness
2) the street artists
3) the architecture
4) the beignets
5) that there's always music playing
6) the spanish moss
7) the carousel bar
8) the French + Southern + Caribbean fusion culture
9) royal street
10) jackson square
11) the pretty little shops in the quarter
12) the hold it has on me :)

Anyhow, thank you for reading my indulgent NOLA post. If you are heading that direction, you can check out my trip recaps, here & here.

What is your favorite city you've visited?

Have you been to NOLA?

Any fun trips up ahead for you?

XO,

Alexandra

Monday, April 10, 2017

March Reads // Diverse Genres

This year has been kind of an odd one for reading so far, but I'm enjoying it as always, and appreciating the relaxation it provides. Self care, self care, self care! :)  I'm still plugging away on Erin's 6.0 challenge, just 4 books left!! :)


The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco*

3 - 3.5 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy fantasy as well as something like Memoirs of a Geisha. It reminded me quite a bit of that.

This book follows Tea who learns at a young age that she is not like other children. She has the gift of raising the dead. Taken in by the asha, she is trained in the arts as well as darker skills. She'll soon find it hard to determine her friends from enemies.

This book is extremely complex in the beginning. The world is built up quickly and there are a lot of names and roles to keep track of. Once I got a bit further in, the plot took over again, and I didn't feel as confused. The book is told in two times the present, and the past. Tea has been exiled in the present, and she explains why throughout the book. A lot of Tea's training reminded me a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha. Tea houses, ornate costumes, music and dancing skills to entertain. Most of the book revolves around that. Intricate settings, outfits, etc. Entertaining at tea houses, etc. I found this book to be missing the action or intrigue that I come to expect with a fantasy novel... but it was still enjoyable. I'm very interested in the magic system, world building, and where the series will go next. I will probably read it, hoping for more action as the series goes.

Sneak Peek of "We Are Okay" by Nina LaCour*

5 Stars - I recommend this if you are interested in well written YA contemporary fiction. This story was packed with colorful characters, emotional depth, and intriguing relationships.

This story follows Marin who grew up with her grandfather as her guardian, books as her true love, and getting a good Catholic education. When her grandfather dies unexpectedly she runs away from California, to her college in New York, cutting all ties with everyone she knew. She left that world and those people behind, because the pain was too much. When Mabel, an old school friend comes to visit Marin over winter break she's torn between her new life and confronting her past.

I really only read a tiny bit of this since it was just a sneak peek... but I am already hooked by the story. The characters are so interesting and complex, the relationships are as well. I definitely want to see where the story will go. I hope for more flashbacks with her grandpa in them too. I can't wait to get my hands on a full copy of this. As a side note... this cover is awesome.

Saga, Vol. I by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

5 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy science fiction, or if you are looking for something different to read. I don't love sci-fi, and I had only ever read one graphic novel before this... but I really enjoyed this one!

This graphic novel follows Marko and Alana, two soldiers from different planets as they embark on a journey to start a family and a new life in a dangerous world. It begins with them having a baby, and follows their journey as they are hunted down by members of their own races, as well as other galactic forces who know that the news of their interracial baby threatens the way their world works. Think action-packed, sarcastic, sometimes explicit Romeo & Juliet.

As I said above, I don't read a lot of sci-fi. I don't generally gravitate toward sci-fi movies or anything else, but I had heard really good things about and really LOVED this graphic novel. The illustration, story, dialogue, etc. were very fresh and entertaining. I think it took me about 2 hours to read. If you're looking for something different, or to read a graphic novel, I highly recommend this one. However, please keep in mind this is rated M (mature), so if you're offended by explicit language and sexual content, this is not the graphic novel for you. I didn't find it overly gratuitous, but it's there. I passed it along to KC who also read it in a few hours (during March Madness basketball, lookout!), he loved it too. I can't wait to read the next volumes. Currently recommending this to everyone I know.

Sex Criminals #1 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

3 - 3.5 Stars - I recommend if you are looking for a graphic novel that's funny, and about sex. I've got mixed feelings on this one.

This graphic novel follows Suzie, who has the odd ability to stop time when she has sex. Then she meets John, and she finds out that he has the same ability. When you have sex and stop time... what else is there to do but rob banks?

I had heard really good things about this graphic novel. I was looking forward to a funny, witty, sexy comic about time-stopping, bank robbing shenanigans... but I have some conflicting feelings.... On the one hand, I appreciated a heroine who was body positive and owned her sexuality, on the other hand, I found this a bit gratuitous (yeah, I know it's called "sex criminals")... and a little bit stark. I was hoping for a little bit of sex, and a lot of shenanigans... but it ended up being a lot of time spent in adult stores and reviewing awkward middle school sex experiences. I understand that the characters need background, and that it's not meant to be a one-sided funny sort of thing.... but I found it a little depressing. Parts of it were definitely funny, and the idea is clever, but I wanted more of Suzie and John's relationship, and their quest to use their frozen time.

Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon

5 Stars - I recommend if you are looking for the perfect blend of romance, historical fiction, and action adventure. Oh yeah, and there's time travel in there somewhere too.

This book follows a former WWII nurse named Claire as she explores the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank. While she's exploring ancient ruins one day, she gets pulled into the 18th century, where she's promptly abducted by a band of Scottish men. She then meets Jamie Fraser, a dashing young Scot. She has every intention of getting back to the ruins and returning to the 1940's ... but it quickly becomes much more complicated than it seemed.

You may have already read my Outlander post... but... I had this book from the library, and for several weeks I just stared at it. It's so majestically huge that I couldn't start it. However, once I did, there was really no going back. There is a reason so many people like this book, it's got so much of everything and it's not boring... at all. There's so much adventure, romance, historical intrigue... It's just a blast to read. I was way more swept up in the plot than I thought it would be. I also read a lot of this while I was at home sick. I may or may not have been sobbing and then coughing in quick succession repeatedly during several scenes. Luckily, only the cats were home to witness it. There are some seriously squirmy disgusting things that happen in this book, but it's kind of like GOT* in a way, it fits with the world that the story takes place in. It's not nice and fluffy, it's scary and brutal. Which I think makes the nice things in this book even happier. I have to say for such a long book... I really didn't get bored. I can't wait to watch the show now.

*after thought, and after watching most of the 1st season of the show... the brutality and explicit nature of so many scenes (written and on screen) are a lot easier to stomach in this than GOT. Like a lot, lot easier. There are less completely awful and nasty characters and prostitutes, and more examples of love and war. - if that makes sense.

*time travel category for Erin's 6.0*

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy fairy tale retellings and middle grade novels.

This story follows Ella, a commoner who has won the affection of the prince. She's taken to the castle to learn the way of the royals before her wedding. However, life in the castle and with the prince isn't what it seems, and Ella doesn't like it very much at all.


This was one of my very favorite books in middle school. One of the handful that I still own. I wasn't sure what it would be like to re-read it. I certainly knew that the contents that had shocked and surprised me back when I was 11, would not now in the same way. I don't think I'd ever read anything quite like it. I'm happy to report... that after a second read, I still love it. 15 years later. Of course it was less shocking, and much much easier to read, but the story was still charming. I found the spin on Cinderella fun and filled with that whole, "you don't need a prince to save you," idea. I'm excited to check out the companion books, and someday recommend this to my youngest sister.

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

3 Stars - I recommend if you liked Just Ella, or if you like middle grade fiction. Keep in mind you don't need to read Just Ella to read this one. It could be stand alone for sure.

This book follows Cecilia, a princess in hiding in a small village. She's being hidden as a commoner so that's she's not killed the the assassins who killed her parents. All along there is a fake princess in the castle, Desmia. When her location is compromised, she heads off with her best friend Harper, to her rightful home, in hopes of resuming her family's reign at the palace of mirrors.

From the start this book felt more juvenile than Just Ella. I'm not sure if it is because it was written later, or if Cecelia is especially childish... either way, I didn't like it quite so much right off the bat. I liked Harper and I liked their interactions... but overall I felt like Cecelia was whiny. "Didn't they know who I was?" "How could they not tell that I was important?" "When I take the throne, I'll punish them...", "but I'm the true princess!" etc. In the end the book was cute, and all right. I could see a middle-grade reader enjoying the series. I would say that I enjoyed Just Ella quite a lot more.

*favorite author category for Erin's 6.0*

Currently Reading:


A Fork in the Road edited by James Oseland
Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey

Books on Deck:

Here are some of the books I'm hoping to start/finish/re-read soon, and obviously working on Erin's 6.0 challenge too! So far I'm 6/10 or 120 points after Palace of Mirrors.


The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
The Dry by Jane Harper 
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Doublas Wiggin
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (re-read)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum



Linking up with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books tomorrow. :) 


Life According to Steph

What have you been reading? What do you hope to read this year?!


Let's be friends on Goodreads!

XO,

Alexandra

* Asterisks denote titles that I was given advance access to by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. These reviews are my own opinion, and based on the edition of the book I was given at the time. Thank you Netgalley!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Have You Heard? // Ellie Goulding - "Don't Panic"

Whew, sometimes it feels like there's a lot to panic about. Sometimes tiny things, sometimes huge ones. Recently I can say that there's been a lot of strain on my family and KC and I with fairly big things (in the scheme of our lives). However, I read an interesting article that is meant to help manage anxiety. It says to place the worst case scenario (or what did happen) on a scale between 1 and 100. Likely when you think about it, it's not going to be 100. Or even 50 sometimes. That's what I've been telling ourselves. I can promise you though, I don't know how to rate current world strife and U.S. political decisions. I just feel lost about it.



Anyhow, last year, about this time, I was applying for my current "perfect job". It's nothing fancy, but it was perfect for me. Recommending books and creating book lists at my local library, working part time (even though it was evenings and weekends), and getting to work with people again. I turned the resume/etc. around quickly, I didn't sleep much, but I was SO proud of what I turned in. I was exhausted, really stressed, I don't think I could move my neck.... but one night we had tickets to see Ellie Goulding. We almost didn't go. But I'm really glad that we did. I didn't end up getting the job, I'll probably never know why..., but I did gain a great soundtrack for pumping up and calming down alike.

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I purchased this t-shirt and I like to wear it like a reminder. So, in more uncertain times, I'm trying not to panic.



How are you guys doing? I hope that you're doing well.

On a positive note, if you read about my dental anxiety... you'll be happy to hear that I went in for my root canal... and it ended up just being a crown! And then he went ahead and filled nearby cavities. For the most part it wasn't too bad. I'm glad that I decided to do the nitrous, it really helped. In the end we paid less for the whole quadrant of my mouth than we would have on the one tooth! I even scheduled my other side (may actually be a root canal, small tooth... :( ) for a month from now. I want to keep knocking them out! Despite the lingering pain, I feel good about working toward my goal and conquering my fears. :)

What are you guys up to this weekend?!?!

This weekend is not too bad for us, though every other weekend through June is very full! haha Tonight I am having a movie/junk food night with my girls, and Sunday we are celebrating OE's bday! Hoping to take the rest of the weekend slow! :)

Other Posts This Week: Apricot Adobo Pork Loin + Asparagus & Library Book Sale Haul.

XO,

Alexandra

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Library Book Sale Recap

Well.. I was going to post an update on my book ban this week... instead I bought quite a lot of books at our library's book sale. (to be fair... I've skipped several book sales since the ban started....) I ended up going twice and getting a nice haul at a GREAT price each time.

Here's what I bought:


Day 1 - with the girls!

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey - Mermaids!!
Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of GG #2)
Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of GG #3)
Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of GG #5) - missing some of the others, but it's a start.
Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of GG #7)
Everbound by Brodi Ashton - I have the first one on my ipad
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Russian Winter - Daphne Kalotay
The River Wife - Jonis Agee - started reading AGES ago, loooove this cover
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's newer CD. It was new but $1.

Total Spent: $14.50

We *may* have gone to the bookstore afterward, because I needed a kiddo book for a bday party... and on top of the kiddo book... I bought:

American Girls Addy Mystery: Shadows on Society Hill - still working on my AG collection...
Jackaby by William Ritter
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein - kiddo book

Total Spent: $12.60


Day 2 - with KC, and met OE there for like 5 minutes (LOLOL)

Tides by Betsy Cornwall - It's about Selkies!!
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake - already have....
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - SCORE!
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier
Cinder by Melissa Meyer - also already have... #norestraint
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - I have the first one
Ruined by Paula Morris
It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han - I do not have the first one... #norestraint
Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant - it's an ARC!

Total: $6.50

Grand Total: $33.60 for 23 books and 1 CD. Not bad! :) 

Overall, despite the book ban... I feel good about these purchases. Did I need to buy another copy of Cinder? No. But overall these books were either loved and I needed a copy, something on my TBR, or something like adding Anne of Green Gables series to my shelves. I don't feel bad about any of it, especially at the prices.

What have you guys been reading? 

Does your city do library book sales?

XO,

Alexandra

Monday, April 3, 2017

Apricot Adobo Pork Loin with Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus // Noms

Pork loins are underrated and I often forget about them in the world of cooking. There are several pork loin recipes that are now our go-to dinner choices. (so easy!)

This one is the one we've made the most, but I can share the others later if you guys are interested. :) Mashed potatoes are pretty standard, and many of you may want to leave those out of your meal.. so I'm not going to share that recipe. The asparagus is BOMB and easy, so I am definitely sharing that.




Apricot Adobo Pork Loin

4 servings

1-2lb pork loin (original/unseasoned)
1/2 cup apricot or peach preserves
1-2 T adobo chiles/sauce (you can chop these up and freeze them in ice cube trays! We never use them all! If you do this, just use one cube!)
Salt and pepper

1) Salt and pepper the pork loin. Sear all sides in a hot skillet.
2) Meanwhile, mix adobo chiles and preserves.
3) Place seared pork loin in an oven safe dish. Coat pork loin with half of the preserves/chile mixture.
4) Bake at 400 F for about 45 minutes, or until internal temp is 145 (medium-rare) 160 (medium). We've made this in two ovens and the times will vary based on oven and size of pork loin.
5) Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Use rest of sauce to top pork loin before serving. (you can put this on your potatoes too)

The BEST Asparagus EVER


4 servings

Two Bunches of Asparagus
Olive Oil
Sea Salt, Kosher Salt, etc. (some type of chunky salt)

1) Rinse asparagus.
2) Trim asparagus to correct length. {this is a very important {yet easy} process that makes ALL the difference}
     a) hold both ends of the asparagus
     b) pull both ends down with even pressure on both ends until the asparagus snaps and breaks.
     c) the "head" end is the part you keep, the other part disgard. *at this point you may feel like you are wasting food and money but if you cook this part as well you will not be pleased. Its too tough to eat*
3) Place "head" ends of the asparagus in a dish and drizzle with olive oil.
4) sprinkle with sea or kosher salt to taste
5) grill on an outdoor grill or george foreman grill for 4-5 minutes.

There you have it, super easy! We make this asparagus all. the. time. It's super easy and one of our favorite veggies!

What are your go-to easy/quick meals?! Please share! :)

Hope you have an exciting week ahead.

XO,

Alexandra

Friday, March 31, 2017

Have You Heard? // Broods - "Couldn't Believe"

Happy Friday Friends! It's been another crummy week for the books... but at least it's Friday... I'm going to vagueblog you again for now... :) Hopefully the weekend is better, right?!



I know I share Broods a lot... like ever since before the concert we went to in 2015... but it's just my favorite... so here we go again. I still love EVERY TRACK on this album, this one is maybe** my favorite from the album though... so catchy, and so dance-y. 



Currently very sad that they aren't coming back here for this album yet. I've been tour stalking... oh well. 

If you liked this track ... check out this one, this one, this one, and this one... :P - told ya they are my favorite...! 

What are you guys up to this weekend?!?!

This weekend is packed, packed, packed *anxiety*... I have brunch and a booksale date (speaking of that book ban update coming next week #rofl, we have ballet tickets in KCMO, we're helping friends move furniture... and then we have a family bday for one of the youngest kiddos. :) Whew.

Other Posts This Week: Hellllooo from Scotland (aka Outlander Obsession), and Three Months In // 2017 Goal Progress.

XO,

Alexandra

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Three Months In // 2017 Goal Progress

Hello everyone, can you believe that it's nearly April?!

March was a blur...!


In order to keep up with my goals for 2017 a little better, I have been trying to do monthly mini goals. :) See my 2016 goals here.


Goals for March:


1) See Beauty & the Beast - GAH


Check! You can read my thoughts on the movie, here.


2) Read 5 books!

this is one of our local bookstore's cats. She's feisty and her name is Dinah.

My reading has been really wonky, all of my posts have books from the month ahead... ha. So, I definitely completed this though I finished 4 books in March (The Final Empire, Alex & Eliza, and We Are Ok - sneak peek) that were in my February post. If you'd like to see what I thought of the others that I read (Saga Vol. I, Sex Criminals Vol. 1, Outlander, The Bone Witch, Just Ella...), come back 4/10! :) 


3) Have an epic KC Bday Week!


Check, read about that, here.


4) Read at least 2 Netgalley books


I read two "sneak peeks" that were from Netgalley. I also finished The Bone Witch. So I guess that counts? It got 3 things out of my queue.


5) Bachelorette / Shower plans for Juliet


We finished her invitations, I bought her gifts, two other ladies and myself have started thinking about details as far as food and games go. Any games that you just loved at a lingerie shower?!


6) Shower plans for SIL


I made and proofed her invites + recipe cards. I even got them addressed and mailed more quickly than expected! :) They have been sent out, and I'm getting RSVPs. Right now, I think that's my piece of the planning!


7) St. Patrick's Soiree?! - last year we did and it was so fun!

I wear this scarf every St. Paddy's day. I bought it in NM one year when I forgot to pack green. I updated the outfit to include this headband though. For $3 I couldn't pass it up. It's ridiculous and fun.

I don't know what I was thinking... it was just bday week. LOL. So we made some festive new recipes (corned beef and cabbage, corned beef grilled cheese, potato leek soup) and went to the parade. I think that's close enough!


8) Read one book from an under-loved genre (2017 goal list)




I read two graphic novels (OMG READ SAGA!!) and finished a high fantasy in March. Woot. I also finished Where'd You Go Bernadette - which was not my cup of tea, but sort of an under loved genre too.


9) Finish two more months in my 2016 PL album


I did this! Once bday week was over things were mostly organized and there was table space to work on this again. I have all of my photos picked, everything printed through October, and am ready to start making the October pages soon. So fun to get to work on this again. I can't wait to start 2017. I also added photos to go with my videos in each of my PL posts, so if you didn't want to watch the whole thing, check back for the photos! :) 



10) Do one extra workout every Tuesday

*Laughs hysterically*... um no. It was all dentist/doctor appointments, etc. and reading. March has been horrible for fitness all around. Whomp whomp.


Total: 8/10 - Very good, I'd say! :) 


Other Updates:


If you've been wondering what's going on (underlying stress... since Jan. 2) you can read about that here. Thank you for all of your lovely comments. :) :) 


Goals for April:


1) Prep for NOLA! *yayyy!*

2) Read 5 books!
3) Get back on the Yoga train
4) Read at least 2 Netgalley books
5) Bridal Shower plans for Juliet
6) Try some new healthy recipes (3?)
7) Find and start a photo challenge
8) Read one book from an under-loved genre (2017 goal list)
9) Think of some spring traditions for me and KC
10) Take at least 10 walks, enjoy the weather before it gets too hot!

How was March for you?


What did you accomplish?


What are your goals for April?



Linking up with Kristen and Gretch for, What's New With You tomorrow?

What's New With You

XO,


Alexandra