Sunday, April 20, 2014


" A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014. "

This week has had a lot of ups and downs. Michael is really into the "mine" stage. This means everything is his, everything has to be done a certain way, and if we don't do something as soon as we tell him we're doing it-- prepare for a meltdown! So one afternoon we sat down and painted with fruit. He loved doing it, made some amazing artwork (I'm biased, I know), and went a whole hour without declaring something was his. I count this as a win.

Sadly, this photo was taken with my iPhone. We were having too much fun (did I mention the peace & quiet?) that I forgot to pull out my DSLR.

Part of Practising Simplicity's 52 Project.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Michael and Papa

My dad got to visit us at the end of March. My parents took turns, since they both work for a church in Iowa they couldn't be away at the same time. Of course, now that they've been, they're determined to come together next year for a winter vacation for, like, two weeks.

Michael had a lot of fun with his Papa, but I'm still hearing about how he and Papa went to the baseball game and the park. Before Clark came home, my dad, Michael, and I went to a Cubs vs. White Sox spring training game. Michael had SO much fun. Playtime with Papa was pretty much the center of his world.

As for the park, my dad watched Michael while Clark and I got a movie-date in and they went to the park for a very long time.

Other than that, we all had a lot of fun. We got to go hiking, just hang out, and try some of the local foods that we hadn't just yet... and some that we had. I mean, who can come out West and not go to In-N-Out?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

[Crock Pot] Chicken Tacos

This is my new favorite recipe. I get so tired of beef tacos, and for some reason had never really made just plain chicken tacos at home. Well, consider me converted. Nowadays Clark is lucky if he gets beef, because these are awesome and so easy.

The great thing about this chicken, too, is you can use it for so many different things. In tacos, over black beans and rice, as fajita meat. When my dad was here we made fajitas at home (as well as when my friend Linden visited) and it was a huge success. So healthy, easy, and delicious.

Are you sold yet?

Serves 2-6 people.

- 1-2 lbs of chicken
Note: Spices/taste will be stronger if you only use 1lb of chicken. I made it with 2.
- 1/2 C salsa
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- juice from one lime


- Spray your crockpot with cooking spray and put your chicken in it.
- Pour your salsa, hot sauce, garlic, and spices over your chicken.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 2-3 in your crock pot. Shred your chicken before serving.

Yep. It's that easy.

Recipe adapted from designed by dawn nicole.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

take me out to the ball game

If you hadn't noticed on Instagram or with previous posts, we've been enjoying some baseball. The great thing about where we now live is we are in the midst of spring training and just 30 minutes or so from Chase Field.

Clark and I both grew up loving baseball. He played when he was younger, and my dad took me to Rigley Field (and I played softball as a child). But I wasn't one to watch the games on TV (a little boring if you ask me), and I just didn't see following sports as a priority otherwise (I still don't, if I'm being honest). But now that we're here, there's really no excuse not to enjoy the game up close. Tickets are so reasonably priced and we're so close. Why not make it family fun?

The last day Clark left Michael had been asking to go to a baseball game after looking at pictures of him and Papa at the Cubs game we went to. Sadly, spring training was over, and we're not Diamondbacks fans, but then I remembered that the SF Giants were still playing in Phoenix. The Giants, thanks to my sister and her husband, is our new "family team". It was Clark and Michael's first pro-baseball game, even if it was spring training. While I know the Giants have a WAY better chance at going all this way than the Cubs (since the Cubs haven't won a world series in, like, over 100 years), I'm still a Cubs fan at heart. It was a my first game, and something special I always got to share with my dad.

I digress.

I bought last minute tickets to the SF Giants at Diamondbacks game. Even last minute the tickets were reasonably priced and we were on the First Base line and everything! It was so exciting, and Michael made it to the seventh inning stretch, which was the goal since it was a PM game.

Now, what you've been waiting for, the pictures. By the way... the Giants won... go figure.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Banana Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

I've been dying to do something with Lemon Poppyseed because, well, let's face it-- it's delicious. It's one of my favorite combinations for when it starts to warm up... or I guess I should say for spring and summer, since it's always warm where I am.


- 2/3 C butter, softened
- 1 scant C sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 bananas, mashed (I used overripe bananas that I had frozen)
- Juice from 1.5 Lemons
- 1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp poppyseeds
- lemon zest from one whole lemon


- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Line your muffin pan and spray with cooking spray.
- Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the banana and mix well.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each addition.
- Mix in the lemon juice, flour, baking soda, vanilla, salt, poppyseeds, and lemon zest.
- Scoop about 1/4 C into each muffin liner.
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove to cooling rack and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe molded from Something Swanky.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


" A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014. "

My wonderful friend from NC was out here for a Juice Plus conference weekend so we got to spend some quality time together... with Michael, of course. Saturday we made our way to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. It was fantastic. I'm definitely thinking we need to get a year-pass for this one for Michael. He had way too much fun.

Also, this photo credit goes to Linden. I didn't actually take it, but it was too wonderful not to share for the 52 Project.

Part of Practising Simplicity's 52 Project.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


" A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014. "

Early this week before my dad had to leave to go back to Iowa we all went on a hike. It was a little too hot for my taste, so I don't foresee us really going hiking, er, anywhere come summer time. The boys, though, had way too much fun. There was a pass in the rocks that Michael loved going through, and the pass also made for a sort of rock slide which Michael went down over... and over... and over.

Part of Practising Simplicity's 52 Project.