Archive for April, 2013

April 30, 2013

The Market.

One of my favorite Saturday morning *summertime* activities is strolling through the Farmers Market <3.
The fresh produce, colorful picked flowers, organic honey & friendly faces always starts my day off perfectly.
Also, supporting our local farmers & community feels rewarding & cherished.


Looking forward to many more trips to my favorite marketplace – loving summer <3.


We purchased veggie plants for our little garden … wish us luck!




*** *** ***


We chatted with this sweet farmer for 20 minutes & enjoyed all his gardening tips.
(no, we didn’t purchase any)


Farewell April,

April 29, 2013

Forgetful Sunrise.


First time camper owner?
Below are 15 things you might forget your first trip:

1. ice

2. foil

3. floss

4. sunnies

5. chapstick

6. oven mitt

7. seasonings

8. duck tape – given!

9. broom w/dust pan

10. dish soap w/sponge

11. cutting board w/knife

12. trash bags & zip lock bags

13. dish towels & paper towels

14. chargers (phone, camera, etc.)

15. poison ivy soap …
use this every shower, it’s better to be safe than sorry!



April 25, 2013

Pure Joy.


Niece & Nephew moments I don’t want to forget:

Throwing rocks in the lake is Marley’s most favorite thing. He could do it for hours!


Amelia saying, “I can do it Auntie A” – she is growing up so fast! Every time I see her, she is more and more independent.


Marley’s obsession with trains & him freezing to listen and make choo-choo noises every time he hears one.


Amelia wanting to stay the night with Auntie A & Uncle Ubbs! Watching her drag her suitcase over to our camper and coming up to me and whispering in my ear “don’t forget I’m staying with you tonight in your camper” – melted my heart <3.


Marley asking me to help him put on his shoes.

Watching both their faces light up when we mentioned going on a walk, going to the playground & when Uncle Ubbs says they can have a sip of his Mt. Dew (;


I adore them <3.

xo/auntie a

April 24, 2013

Living small, but BIG.


I’ve been fascinated with tiny houses for several years, and even had the goal to live in one someday. However, my husband wasn’t 100% on board with the idea, so a small energy-efficient home is us meeting in the middle.

Shady (our camper) is little, but I love its cozy feeling. I kept thinking about the advantages to staying/living in a small dwelling.

Less Cleaning. I’m never overwhelmed by a mess when camping. I know it will take a max of 15 minutes to make the camper spotless.

Detailed Camper Cleaning  Includes:
washing dishes; putting dishes & clothes away; tidying/cleaning the countertops & eating area; organizing cabinets; cleaning the floors; making the bed; wiping down the bathroom; dusting everything – including the blinds/baseboards; neaten outside the camper; picking up trash & taking it out to the large trash bin.

Imagine never wasting a Saturday cleaning your home again. Our regular house is pretty small, but it still takes several hours to get spotless!


The Great Outdoors. You can’t help but get outside in nature when you’re staying/living in a small space. Even when camping in 100 degree weather, we’re still outside. It’s crazy how your body adapts to its surroundings when you allow it to experience them.

… and yes, it is a great movie (;


Healthy Choices. If you stock your small camper fridge & ice chest with healthy food choices, that’s what you’re going to eat! Not to mention, we do so much more walking – exercise!

I honestly believe when we’re home, we use going out to eat as an excuse to get out of the house. The house we just spent the day cleaning, organizing, etc. When camping we don’t spend our day doing chores, but doing things we enjoy – so we don’t have a reason to “escape” to fast food.


Saving $. When you don’t have a lot of space, you don’t feel the pressure to fill it with stuff. We made 2 trips to purchase ice & didn’t buy any extra items. Honestly, we don’t have room to store junk in the camper – so we don’t buy it (:

I’ve been de-cluttering our regular house for 2 years. The money, time & stress I wasted purchasing, organizing & cleaning stuff is depressing! Everyone wants a nice house, but make purchases that mean something to you – not just to fill an empty space.


Prayer/Meditation. Time always seems to slow down when I’m camping. I don’t have a schedule to keep, and having that moment to catch my breath is priceless. I can go on nature photography walks, have deep conversations with Brett, not feel rushed during my time with God & truly focus on what matters.



April 23, 2013

1st Camp.


We took Shady (our little camper) out this past weekend to de-winterize him for summertime! The weather was perfect & everything is starting to bloom – paradisaical bliss <3.

We went on several walks, played horseshoes & just soaked in the sun. It was the ideal trip to kick-off camping season.

Feeling my anxiety drift away, was so uplifting. I’m feeling refreshed and ready to take on the week!


 *** *** ***


*** *** ***



April 19, 2013

This & That.


Wanted to share some recent captures that made me happy <3.


Green is my favorite color.


Little treasure growing over the fence <3.


I ❤ trees


beautiful sunny day <3.


April 18, 2013


I’m really really late posting pumpkins’ birthday pictures … I can’t believe she starts kindergarten next year!


*** *** ***


… blowing out her candles with Pop (:


gifts <3.


Wish these turned out more sharp … but sometimes it’s about capturing the moment, not just getting the perfect shot.




She was a sweet sister & let little brother help open her birthday gifts (:





Yes, I now realize the cake was sideways … oops!

Happy Birthday Little A <3.

Auntie A & Uncle Ubbs

April 17, 2013

Front Yard.

Just a few front yard treasures …


… looks like Mother Nature had a spring wedding <3.


*** *** ***


*** *** ***


*** *** ***


When I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, sometimes I just need a little outdoor therapy. I’m the type of person who has to work hard to not let my worries consume me. Photography has helped me focus on all the lovely details surrounding me. Memories take my mind off the things I can’t control. Even when it feels like the world is on my shoulders, I need to remember what a special occasion living in God’s beautiful creation is everyday. I have many senses for experiencing life, and I never want to take those gifts for granted.

I realize I’m still young, but I can’t express how grateful I am for my blessings. I have my battle wounds & personal struggles, but I also have strength from enduring them. God has always inserted the perfect form of support I needed to take on my valleys.

I’m discovering, sometimes, just coming to peace with your conflict is a victory <3.

Shine bright,

April 16, 2013

Good Boy.

The weather was perfect a few mornings ago.
I opened our back door, while tidying the house & flipped on the attic fan to pump fresh air into our home.
I was enjoying a nice quiet morning, until I glanced in our backyard & noticed “Exhibit A” digging holes!
Grrrr ….


So I did what anyone would do … went and woke up “Exhibit B” from his nap (:


 *** *** ***


*** *** ***


*** *** ***


*** *** ***


He still got a treat for effort … good boy <3.


Looks like Carroty has a cousin who makes bad choices!


April 15, 2013

Menu Monday.

Step 1: Buy these ingredients


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet or spicy Italian turkey sausage, raw and removed from the casing
  • ½ medium yellow onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • ½ small bunch kale, washed and chopped into small bites, about 4 cups
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 – 14.5 ounce cans organic, no salt added black beans with liquid
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ small bunch of cilantro, stems removed, roughly chopped, about ¼ cup
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne or 1 teaspoon of mild chili powder from the pantry –to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

*** *** ***

Step 2: Follow these instructions


1. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot add in the sausage and cook until browned.

2. Add in the onions, peppers, kale, and garlic – sprinkle with kosher salt and stir to combine. Sweat for 2-3 minutes or until the onions become soft and translucent.

3. Add in the beans with liquid, broth, water, cilantro, vinegar, and remaining seasonings. Stir to combine and simmer for 12-15 minutes.


In honor of STILL trying to get my cholesterol under control… I made this amazing healthy chili last week.

1. I’m not a good cook, but this was really tasty!

2. I made this after work, all the natural light had gone to sleep for the night … I had to take these pictures in ugly light  – sorry!

3. Makes great leftovers (:

Stay healthy,

I got this recipe from Fresh 20 – great website (: