Cancun Fun!

Hello everyone!

It has been some time since I’ve last updated the blog… life gets busy then bam, six months fly by!

The hubby and I recently got back from a winter getaway in Mexico and I thought I would post a few pictures from our trip. It was my first time in Mexico and it was a great one – I can’t wait to go back some day ๐Ÿ™‚

We stayed at the Hyatt Zilara resort in Cancun and it was absolutely amazing! A beautiful resort with a breathtaking sea view from every room – can it get much better than that? ๐Ÿ™‚

During our time in Cancun, we ventured off the resort a few times but not for too long. We took a guided bike tour one morning. This was fabulous because it allowed us to see so much of Cancun in a short amount of time! It’s crazy the number of resorts that line the ocean on the main drag. We also would walk around in the afternoons and explore some of the shopping centers.

The food at the resort was pretty tasty – our favorite being the authentic Mexican tacos that you can see pictured above! We definitely did not go hungry or thirsty on this vacation ๐Ÿ™‚

Long walks on the beach, amazing weather, and endless hospitality – can’t wait to go back to the Hyatt Zilara some day! Definitely beats the Iowa winters any day ๐Ÿ™‚

DIY 4th of July Wreath

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to share a diy project with you all. Last week I decided I needed a new decoration for my front door and since the 4th is coming up, I went with a red, white & blue theme!

This is a pretty simple project and doesn’t require many materials. I got all my materials from the local Hobby Lobby.

Materials needed:

  • Styrofoam wreath (mine was 18in)
  • 1 roll of blue star ribbon burlap (15ft roll)
  • 1 roll red burlap (15ft roll)
  • 1 roll tan burlap (15ft roll)
  • Scissors
  • Tape measurer

This wreath is different than ones I have made in the past only because you tie the pieces of burlap to the wreath, which actually made it easier in my opinion!

I started by cutting 16 inch pieces of the blue star ribbon and tied them all onto the wreath. I went with a double knot just to make sure they would all stay in place.

Once you finish with the blue, move on to the red burlap. My red and tan burlap was a little widerย than the blue ribbon burlap so I cut 16 inch pieces and then cut each one length wise down the middle (so you should have pieces 2inx16in).

Alternate when tying the red and tan burlap onto the wreath. I went by every 4th piece but you can do however many you want! Continue this pattern until you get all the way around the wreath and you’re complete!

Hang up your finished product and admire your hard work ๐Ÿ™‚

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Doggie Birthday Cupcakes

Happy Saturday, everyone! This past Wednesday was our dog, Charlee’s, first birthday and of course we celebrated as if she were a human herself! I can’t believe how fast the year has gone and how big she has gotten! From 10 lbs the day we brought her home to 45 lbs and full of energy ๐Ÿ™‚

I found a recipe on the Little Sloth blog and decided to give it a shot!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 t baking soda

Toppings:

  • Peanut butter
  • Few pieces of dog food/small treats
  • Birthday candle

The recipe is pretty simple! Just mix together all the ingredients and pour them into a greased muffin pan. This recipe made 4 cupcakesย for me. Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Let them cool, then top with peanut butter and treats!

Our pup absolutely loved her cupcake and couldn’t wait to eat leftovers for the next few days!

Happy Birthday, Charlee! We can’t wait to see what the coming years have in store ๐Ÿ™‚

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BBQ Chicken

Hello everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I posted last but things have just been busy around here lately!

Last week, we tried out something new for supper. I decided to try to make some BBQ chicken with fresh green beans and red onions and it turned out pretty tasty!

This recipe was also super easy and I’ll definitely be making it again this summer ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups fresh green bean
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • BBQ sauce
  • Black pepper to taste

I simply laid the red onion in a greased pan. Added the chicken on top on the onion. Topped the chicken with BBQ sauce. And last, I added the green beans to the other half of the pan! Super easy, right?!

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Place it in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is 170 degrees and golden brown on the outside. Then you are ready to feast!

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Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa Casserole

Hello everyone!

This afternoon I wanted to share a recipe I tried last week that turned out to be delicious! I was looking for something to make for supper that included broccoli because my husband made a Costco run on his own and came back with a three pound bag of broccoli! I then decided to give this casserole dish a try ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 can (10 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • black pepper to taste

I like this recipe because everything is cooked in one pan and clean up time is very minimal! Start by heating some oil in a big skillet. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and chicken. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until the chicken starts to brown a bit.

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Add the quinoa, chicken broth, and cream of chicken soup. Cook (covered) over medium heat until the quinoa is fully cooked (about 15 minutes).

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Then add half of the cheese and the broccoli to the casserole. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes to allow for the broccoli to soften. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and you’re done ๐Ÿ™‚

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1 Year Anniversary

I still can’t believe it, but yesterday my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary! They say time flies when you’re having fun and that’s the truth!

I wanted to write a post to capture all the big milestones we’ve had this last year (there were a lot!).

Matt and I had a gorgeous May day to celebrate our wedding! Lots of planning and help from family and friends went into making this day a complete success and one we will always remember ๐Ÿ™‚ We can’t thank everyone enough for all their hard work!

We traveled to Jamaica for our honeymoon! We had a blast and can’t wait to go back and visit sometime! The people were all so nice and the scenery was spectacular!

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Once we got back from our honeymoon, we had a crazy month in store! June was filled with purchasing our first home and standing at the alter for one of my best friend’s weddings!

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The rest of the summer months were filled with relaxing, enjoying married life, and preparing for a new member of the family! We welcomed our Australian Shepard, Charlee to the family in August ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s hard to believe she is almost one year old already!

We spend many of our fall weekends cheering on our University of Northern Iowa Panthers at the football games! Charlee even joinedย us for most of them ๐Ÿ™‚ We can’t wait for football season to start back up, go Panthers!

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In January we took a trip to Key West! You can check out my blog post about our trip here. It is beautiful there and we will most definitely be visiting again!

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Winter turned to spring and our lives were going along as normal. However, late spring both my husband and I both received new job opportunities! We’ve been adjusting to the changes but are loving every minute of our new careers!

Hard to believe all of this happened in one, short year! Here’s to many more!

 

Mini Spaghetti Bake

Hello everyone! Today I wanted to share another new recipe I tried out the other day at work. Here you go, Nicole ๐Ÿ™‚ This recipe uses the mini brownie pan like the mini meatloaf recipe I posted a couple weeks ago. This was a pretty simple recipe that would be great to make up on a busy week night!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box of whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1/2 jar pasta sauce
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushroom, diced
  • shredded cheese to top

First step is to cook the noodles according to the package. Then, combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Grease your mini brownie pan and fill them with the spaghetti mixture. Sprinkle some cheese on top and place them into the oven at 350 degrees. Let them bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove them from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Enjoy!

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