A Week with the Fam Bam

My family came into town last week! Well, my parents and my two youngest siblings. They only spent half a day in Corpus Christi, then South Padre Island and I met them later in the week up in San Antonio for a Spurs game. My family left Saturday morning, but Duke and I stayed behind and just hung out in San Antonio.
We've been up there several times, but this weekend, I think I fell in love with it. We didn't do anything particularly special. We visited the LDS temple there in the morning-- which when we were going in, I saw this old couple probably in the 70's and as they were walking out the door, the wife placed her husbands cowboy hat on his head. You just had to see them. I wish I had my camera out, because it was so adorable. We also went to REI and spent some of our REI points we had. I got an awesome backpacking pack and I'm pretty excited about it! Backpacking trips here we come!!!! Went to a really awesome mall and dined on the patio at Dough Pizzeria all whilst it was 80 degrees. It was just a recipe for good day. 
Our time in Texas is coming to an end quickly! We have 4 or 5 more weeks until Duke gets his wings! Six months has flown by. So we are going to make the best of the time we have left here. 

^^Corpus Christi

vvSouth Padre Island


Winston & The Beach

These aren't the best pictures, so don't judge me. I love Winston.. and dogs in general. They are just so happy all the time. Running around without a care in the world. Just full of love and loyalty. They make me happy.

Winston's favorite place in the whole world is the beach. He knows the second we arrive and starts jumping all around the car looking for the soonest exit. And then as soon as he can, he bolts straight for the water. Just like a little kid.

Don't worry...we'll have kids someday :)


The Dreaded Dinner Question

I love to cook. I really do. But sometimes I hate it too. Can't I just sit there and snack on whatever is around like I use to in college and call it dinner? Well I could, but I have this husband and when I make this suggestion he makes a sad face, and I don't like that. So cooking it is. Every week before I go grocery shopping I make a menu for the week. Sometimes it is just so difficult to think of meals that we will both enjoy and that don't take 5 hours of preparation. So I thought I'd share some of our favorite dinners that see heavy rotation around these parts and some of our go-to meals on nights I don't feel like cooking.

Homemade Pizza. THIS dough. THIS sauce. It's awesome. We have this at least once a week. The dough & sauce is enough for 2 pizza's so I always freeze half for another night. And it's really easy, you just have to think ahead. Annies Eats is one my go-to food blogs. She knows what she's doing. And we don't take food lightly in this house. However I can't promise how this recipe will turn out if you don't use a pizza stone. Just buy one, it's worth it. Also, when I make the sauce, I just throw all the ingredients in the blender and it has always turned out spectacular (and saves time!). Just cheese is great. Sometimes we throw artichokes, sometimes some thinly sliced deli ham, just whatever we feel like. I'm also gonna add if you struggle making pizza dough you may also want to read these tips and tricks first.

Homemade Hamburgers.  When it comes to hamburgers I have found that putting in a liiiiitle bit of effort in to make your own patties happens to make an even better burger experience. And they are super easy to make. We just get some ground beef (not too lean), throw in an egg, onions, worcestershire sauce, mix it all up and shape it into patties. The other key to some good hamburgers are some good buns. I'm not fancy enough to make my own (yet), but the bakery section usually has some good ones that are leaps and bounds better than those wonder-bread packaged buns. You know what i'm talking about. And then add some onions, tomatoes, avocados, what have you. Easy, peasy, and delish.

Skillet Lasagna. Who doesn't love lasagna? This is again from Annies Eats. Gives you all the goodness of lasagna and saves you hours of work. We love it.

Chili & Cornbread. This is a great one for those night you don't want to cook. Just throw some ingredients in the pot, heat it up and bam! Well, the cornbread takes a little longer, but it's worth it! We've tried a few chili recipes and Duke's favorites are these two: one. two. And the best cornbread, in our opinion, is this one. The cornbread recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk. I find myself in a pinch often and don't have buttermilk on hand. Not to fear- you can make it easy. This site is a great resource for making your own buttermilk. Did you know there was a difference between real buttermilk & cultured buttermilk? I did not!

Avocado Quesadillas. This one is our ultimate go-to. And probably one of my favorite meals. HEB sells fresh made tortillas which make these 10x's better, but if you don't have access to fresh made tortillas then I suggest going with the ones you cook in the pan. It's just so much better this way. And I modify this recipe by just mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, heating the tortilla with cheese in a pan, then adding the mixture on top. Sometimes I eat it taco style, or even like a dip with chips. The possibilites are endless!

Nachos. Another easy go-to. No recipe, just do as you please. We like to get an 8x8 square pan, put in our favorite chips add, cheese, black beans, salsa, corn, whatever we have on had that works, then broil for a min or two. Then we top with lime juice, avocado, maybe some cilantro if we are feeling fancy. It gets the job done people.

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake. Duke LOVES this one. I like it too. And it's super easy. Just follow the instructions!

Roasted Tomato & Asparagus Tortellini. Easy and Delicious. We love this one. Just follow the recipe!

I would kind of really love it if you peoples reading this did this too, because I reallllly can always use ideas! Sometimes Pinterest just takes too long to look through, plus tried and true is always a great way to go!


Big Bend National Park

This past weekend we decided we needed to go do something. I need constant adventure in my life. I don't know how to stay put for more than one month straight anymore. Besides our trip to Indiana, I still needed to go somewhere! So we packed up and headed out to Big Bend National Park on Friday. It was a long drive and we were there for less than 24 hours, but I think it was worth it.

It's a beautiful, big park that sits right down there on the border of Mexico in west Texas. We didn't get to explore the whole park, but maybe we will make it back someday. Now let the onslaught of pictures commence...

The Window Viewpoint...or something like that
cacti..i love it

Remains of an old ranch house

Santa Elena Canyon-along the Rio Grande. The prettiest part we saw.

The Rio Grande! I always pictured it more like the Mississippi, but apparently it's not?


Winston was happy too because he got to be reunited with his puppyhood BFF Jimmer for the weekend. (PS- It's really hard to get a picture of 2 dogs sitting still, but aren't they cuuute?!)