Monday, August 15, 2011

New Site: A Collection of Passions

You will be automatically redirected to my new site for A Collection of Passions.

Or you can click... 
HERE head over to the new site!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2nd Anniversary and more...

Gwyneth and I had such a lovely time in San Diego.  
Baby Lucia was so perfect and beautiful.  

We flew home last night and got to see a gorgeous sunset from the plane.  Kyle picked us up from the airport and we were both very happy to see him.

It was so nice to wake up and do a little cuddle time.

Today is our second wedding anniversary.  I can't believe two years have passed since our sweet little wedding...

AND two years since we hit each other with pies...

I love my little family so much.

A little note about the new site:  The big launch is this Monday!  There's going to be a little giveaway every day of the week to celebrate.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Off to San Diego

Gwyneth and I are headed out to San Diego this morning to photograph the newborn baby girl of Steph and Andy.  Lucia was born on Monday morning and I can't wait to photograph her. I met Steph a few years back and photographed her first pregnancy...

Took photos of her first son, Harrison when he was a newborn...

Then I photographed their family again when Harrison turned one...

A few months back I took her pregnancy photos again...

I feel so honored that I get to capture the first few days of Lucia's life.  I will be staying with them so I'm going to get to take a lot of family photos.  After experiencing the magic of that first week myself, I am so excited to get to capture it for them.  They are such a lovely family and Steph is an amazing mom.

With that, I'm off for the next few days.  Then I'll be back just in time to celebrate our second wedding anniversary and then it's time to launch the new site next Monday! I'm so excited to share it with all of you, it's been such a labor of love.  "See" you in a few days.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grilled Veggie Salad

Grilled Veggie Salad
We make this salad all summer long.  It's inexpensive (especially if you have a garden), easy, healthy and satisfying.  Grilled veggies, goat cheese, garlic... what's not to love? 

You can grill up as much as you want, the leftovers are great to use for another salad or a grilled veggie sandwich. I've listed enough for four servings.

2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into large slices
1 very large yellow, sweet or red onion, cut into large discs
15 crimini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
2 zucchini or summer squash, cut into discs 
1 bunch of green onion 
2 heads of lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
pine nuts, toasted
goat cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
large handful of fresh herbs, minced (any combo of basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, chives)
freshly ground black pepper

Heat up your grill nice and hot.  If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure to use enough charcoal to keep your grill really hot for about 30 minutes.  

In the bottom of a large casserole dish, drizzle a bit of olive oil. Start slicing up your veggies into large pieces.  You WILL lose some veggies in the grill, it's sad but true.  As you slice them, layer them in the casserole dish drizzling each layer with olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper. 


Cook all of the veggies (except for the green onions) on the grill to your desired done-ness, flipping them over halfway.  It will probably take two batches on a charcoal grill.  I like my veggies crispy and charred but you can cook them however you like.  

While they are cooking, make up your dressing by mixing together the minced garlic and herbs in a bowl.  Drown the mixture in olive oil (about 1/2 a cup) and season with a bit of salt and pepper. 
When the veggies are done, return them to the casserole dish with the green onions and pour the dressing over them while they are still nice and hot.  If you are working in batches, pour the dressing of the first batch and mix it in again when you add the second batch of veggies.  It's important that your veggies are hot when they are dressed. 

Let the veggies marinade and cool.  Put your lettuce on plates.  Once the veggies are cool put a bunch of them on top of the lettuce.  Top with crumbled goat cheese, pine nuts and craisins.  Finally, drizzle the salads with a bit of fresh olive oil.  Enjoy!  

Printable Recipe: 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Patio Update

Last weekend we made some major progress on the patio!  As you may recall, Kyle's folks helped us get the patio are prepped and I complied lots of inspiration (here).  Between the baby, the rain and the trips, it took us a bit to find the time to get to work.  But last weekend we busted out the reggaet├│n and the Pacifico and we made the patio!  We still have all the decorating work to do but here's a look at what we've done so far...
Kyle leveling and measuring.

While Kyle got the foundation ready, I stained all the pavers.

Gwyneth (and Sophie) watching from the sidelines.

We poured in the sand and leveled it.

Once the sand was perfectly level we started placing all the pavers.  This was fast and fun because we could really see the end in sight!  

We celebrated the completed patio with a mini barbecue!  I love the way it turned out.  We can't wait to dress it up a bit and complete the oasis.  Hopefully we can get the decorating done in the next couple of weeks.  We also started on our kitchen remodel.  September is gonna be crazy.  We are redoing our whole kitchen and tearing up the carpet to put in laminate flooring!  We spent five hours at Ikea yesterday and ordered the kitchen.  I'll post a kitchen remodel post soon.  It's so much fun working hard to make our house even more enjoyable.  

Friday, August 5, 2011


I loved Elsie's post "on learning my craft"...

I was smiling from ear to ear while recording this...

I need this for our new patio (grand reveal soon)...

I think this comic is super funny...

I'm going to buy a curling iron because of this...

I'm making this for dinner tonight...

I think this dutch subway slide is hilarious (thanks Joanna for posting this earlier in the week)

I've been really enjoying All This Grace and Charm lately...

I need these... okay maybe I just really, really want them...

I absolutely love this dress...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Monthly Menus: August

August Menus

Hope you guys enjoyed last months menu.  I loved using My Father's Daughter (Gwyneth Paltrow) cookbook all month.  Have any of you had a chance to check it out?  There are so many great recipes in it.  This month I'll be using it again, along with Tyler's Ultimate (Tyler Florence) and my favorite online foodie sites and some of my own recipes.  Here you go!

August 3rd-6th
Thurs: Grilled veggie salad with pine nuts, craisins and goat cheese
Sat: Roasted Eggplant with Za'Atar Pizza (might do a grilled version if it's warm out!)

August 7th-13th
Sun: late lunch/early dinner at Fire on the Mountain
Mon: Chicken Thighs with Wide Butter Noodles, Fennel, and Grapes (Tyler's Ult p.142)
Tues: Tuna Noodle Casserole (with leftovers for Kyle)
Weds: Kacie and G out of town
Fri: Kacie and G home late
Sat: 2nd Wedding Anniversary and Marion & Co. in town.  Somethin' special!

August 14th-20th
Mon: Dinner out
Tues: Sicilian-Style Spaghetti (Tyler's Ult p.168) and Kacie' Garlic Bread
Weds: Gazpacho (Father's D p.62 ) and Garlic Croutons
Thurs: Grilled Tuna Rolls
Fri: Leftovers
Sat: Grilled Fish and Grilled Eggplant with Lemon, Yogurt, Pomegranate and Mint (Tyler's Ult p.210)

August 21st-27th
Sun: Chicken and Dumplings (Father's D p.159)
Mon: Leftovers
Tues: The Ultimate Ratatoille (Tyler's Ult p.210) with Kacie' Garlic Bread
Thurs: Leftovers (make Weds dinner fresh again)
Fri: Cold Nicoise Salad (Father's D p.83)
Sat: Leftovers

August 28-31st
Sun: Cheesy Stuffed Burgers (Father's D p.99)
Mon: Leftovers
Tues: Fried Sole Sandwiches with Spicy Mayo and Pickles (Father's D p. 113)
Weds: Leftovers

This month I'll share my recipes with you for my Grilled Veggie Salad and Garlic Croutons and I'll have an update on my Margarita Recipe... before it was for one drink and I now have perfected the recipe to make a whole pitcher of mix.

Happy cooking.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Exciting Announcement!

I am thrilled to announce that I will be moving my blog to a new, fully customized website!  I've been working on it for months and months with Kyle's brother, Dayne, and it's finally finished!  I'm just making a few final adjustments and then it will be all ready to go!  

My new site will be launching on Monday, August 15th!

I am also excited to announce that I will be excepting sponsorship and advertising.  My blog has grown a lot over the past months, I currently have 4,000 pageviews each month and that's been increasing at a rate of 40% for the past few months.  My new site is a great place to advertise for your business or blog. 

I am offering three different ad sizes starting at $10 per month.  I am offering a variety of packages and options.  If you purchase one now, you will also get two weeks of free advertising!

If you are interested in sponsoring my blog or would like more information please email me at

Finally, I'd like to thank you all for being such wonderful readers.  It means so much to me when you leave comments and I love interacting with you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

7 Months Old!

You like to "fly"...

You celebrated your first 4th of July with Grandma and Grandpa...

 You figured out how to put your foot in your mouth...

You had you first solid food...

 You wore matching outfits with Poppy...

and Nana...

and Nana took you for a "ride"...

You love your Bumbo chair...

You laugh a lot...

You figured out how to escape your swaddle...

You fell in love with Sophie...

 You met Megan, Chris and Luci...

 You got to visit with Uncle Rob and Aunt Meghan...

 Great Grandpa...

 and Uncle Ryan...

and you met Dayne, Amber, Bailey and Chloe...

You love to play with blankets...

 You graduated to the "sitting up" stroller...

You went to the zoo...

 You cut your first tooth...

You went swimming...

You mastered the art of chill-laxing.