Tuesday, May 29, 2012

happy (a little late) birthday mom

from that...
to this

it sure has been a wild ride. an awesome, wild ride. 

happy birthday mom!
i love you.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

flour power

there is just something about warm bread: whether it be a fresh baguette from your favorite french patisserie, a roll smothered in jam still warm from the oven, a bread bowl filled with creamy chicken soup from le bou, or a slice of a homemade loaf with a crunchy crust and a soft center. it is comforting, it is delicious, it fills you up, and not just your stomach. warm bread can truly warm your soul. 

for some reason or another making bread has always seemed intimidating, so after 21 years of helping mom in the kitchen and being off on my own in my own kitchen i had never taken the chance. then i got married and suddenly the apron hanging on the hook and the flour sitting unopened on the self began calling to me. calling in a "come put me on and turn me into bread" sort of way. the newfound duty of true "homemaker" had kicked in. i couldn't resist. 

my roommate last semester, rebecca, was a breadmaker. she produced two recipes: her "fool proof easy bread recipe"and a delectable, "more difficult" honey oat loaf. as a first timer myself, it would have probably been smart to take that "fool proof easy" route, but where is the fun in life without a challenge? i decided to take the plunge and go all out, i asked for her honey oat recipe, put that apron on, and got to work. 

 it was simply a delight. i loved adding all the right ingredients, watching the dry and wet ingredients become one, working the dough with my fingers. as i set it in a well-oiled bowl and covered it with a clean towel i crossed my fingers, nervously waiting to see if my dough, truly kneaded with hope and love, would actually rise. 

and it did, it did! not once, but twice. i folded into my very first loaf and watched it double yet again. then as honey-delicious smells wafted from the oven i felt a sort of joy that only a first loaf of bread can bring. the yeast doubled my bread, and then doubled my joy as i pulled out a perfectly crusty and golden loaf from my very own oven. perhaps it is silly to find such happiness in bread, but it was a long-awaited goal finally accomplished, and not only that it was a great success. the center was soft and thick, the crust had perfect crunch, the sweet honey flavor lingered on the tongue. 

 we ate it with dinner, we ate it for breakfast, we ate it for lunch. soon this first loaf, this goal accomplished, this tasty treat, was almost gone. and then it was. just like that. gone. 

though the bread may be no longer, the feelings remain. now i have the newfound courage that i can make bread, delicious bread, filling bread, soul warming bread, with my own two hands.  and it feels good. 

i have since made banana bread, cheesecake, and even aimee's famous homemade rolls: all success. and i can't wait to try more recipes and make this perfect loaf again. you can find the recipe i used here, best of luck: http://bakingdom.com/2011/09/homemade-honey-oat-bread.html  

Friday, May 18, 2012


if any of you are planning a romantic mexican getaway anywhere in the near future and want to gain some weight, we absolutely have the place for you: the best service, the best view, the best rooms, and the best food. it was the best trip of our lives and we both found our wedding garb was a little bit more snug when we got all glammed for our open house the next week...

so worth it.

and now, prepare for a picture overload of our mexican adventure to
rancho pescadero
 first off, anj was super excited to go because he had never left the country, AND he could practice up on his spanish! we sat next to this hilarious lady on the plane who said we better document our ride.
 on the drive into pescadero (about 45 minutes north of Cabo) we stopped at walmart for some water bottles and snacks... and ate fresh made tacos at the extremely mexican food court.
 when we got to rancho we were treated like royalty... they took us to our room and we knew immediately we had come to the right place... especially because the first thing we saw was the ocean!
 our balcony ocean view... falling asleep to the sound of the waves every night, the best!
 pool number one.
 pool number two. we had some good times relaxing, reading, playing jenga and scrabble, and probably getting sunburnt.
 a little resort photo, the whole place was beautiful.
 me lounging on the sweet pool chairs.
 finally got someone to take a pic for us!
anj got a little (a lot) sunburned our first day out boogie boarding!
 but he still looks good!!
 my little surfer husband.
 once we managed to shove some boards in the car (i sat in the backseat) we drove on a crazy dirt road to a safer beach a little ways down the coast to try our hand at some surfing.
 i bargained down the wet suit man and we tried to catch some tips from the nearby instructors.
 after getting dominated by a few big waves i decided to sit out,
 but anj definitely rode some waves!
 love the bogan via that is everywhere!
 anj posing with chef bueno, who made some seriously awesome food, and some other guy.
 me and bogan via.
 sadly, the camera that has all the pictures of our adventure into the nearby mexican town and our horseback ride on the beach (dream come true... who doesn't want to be galloping next to their true love into the sunset?!) is probably lost forever.. so i don't have any pictures of that, but i we did get some shots of our romantic dinner on beach... it was such a fun way to end our trip!
 on our way down to the beach
 the gorgeous sunset we watched as we dined.
 two smoothies for two sweethearts...
 it really was a perfect trip... but i haven't even mentioned the best part... the FOOD! we mostly just ate at the resort because everything was so tasty and for the most part reasonable (besides the salad...) but we did have some tasty mexican food in town..

every day they delivered us a tasty little breakfast with fresh fruit and the best fresh orange juice ever!
p.s. check that view!
 the rancho salad... what a treat. it was a once in a lifetime week because anj ordered this 12$ salad, discovered it had a total of two lettuce leaves, and still managed to enjoy it!
 about to dive in to a tasty tres leches!
 some veracruz style fish!! apparently it was snook?
 one of our favorites... their tortilla soup! i think we ordered this on three different occasions
 a cheese and corn salad, surprisingly spicy.
 our romantic, beachy steak and potato (and guacamole?) dinner. yum!
 a sunset mango pineapple smoothie
 indulging in some breakfast before our flight back
 the pancakes were heavenly!
 our night in town we also went on an adventure looking for ice cream and found this great place that makes it fresh (it was kind of like mexican gelato) we tried corn, beet, and lemon rosemary flavors... some were better than others.

in case you didn't get enough... a few more artsy pescadero pictures
 palm tree
 beach love
 and sandy shoes
it truly was a once in a lifetime week and we really would recommend the resort to any couple looking to get away. honeymoon of dreams, and life just keeps getting better!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

i'm back. we're back?

hello all.
after a crazy, wonderful month i am finally back in action.
the layout is temporary, but i kind of like it.

i wish i had wedding pictures to show you,
alas, my photographer is so good i have yet to get them.
(keep your fingers crossed it is soon, soon, soon!)

so for now, here is a little update for ya!
since my last post....

we took a quick trip to CA and anj got to go to his first major league baseball game!
 i went through the oakland temple,
it was a beautiful day.
 i loved being there with my dear parents.
 we made around a million tissue paper puff balls.
 no exaggeration. 
my best friend graduated from college!
 go girl! 
(i have one more semester and two online classes to go..)
we had an amazing reception.
crepes, dancing, puff balls galore...
and then we got married. 
 we sealed the deal for time and all eternity. 
welcome to the world Andrew and Madeline Barrett.
 we went on an amazing mexican getaway for our
we flew from mexico to idaho falls to see another best friend be sealed to her new best friend!
 and i pulled faces like this....
congratulations Mallory and Daniel Barrick!
(our last names are now highly similar!)
 we had a blast finding treats in the grandparents' closets
 then headed to sunny CA for a quick trip to the city.
san fran that is!
 me and my new fam at ghirardelli
 we managed to squeeze in a tour of google campus
 and ride their colorful google bikes.
 then had a FABULOUS open house at my home,
it was a cookies and milk party, and it was ADORABLE.
 my mom made 850 cookies. no big deal.
 we headed back to salt lake to open all of our wonderful gifts. (everyone is so generous!)
and managed to fit in a trip to provo and tye dye some socks with mind and robb.
 and then we packed up the car til it was basically bursting at the seams and drove nine hours on over to colorado springs,
 where we have settled in quite nicely
 mexican tablecloth and all.
anj is selling like a champ, and i got a job at a fifty's diner.
i have a 'stage name' and am required to wear red lipstick every day. 
 anj did this dance move....
 and my mom, jenn and i all wore dresses my grandma rocked back in her earlier years to honor her for mother's day. aren't they fun?

and somewhere in between all that we had time for a little bit of this....

more to come later! hopefully i'll be more up to date these days. sure love you all and thanks for stopping by. let me know what you think!