Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday's Supper - Sunday Brunch

It's another review day. We haven't done a lot of out of the box cooking lately so I wanted to share another review of The Egg & I that just opened here in South Jordan. Joe and I have eaten at one in Vegas before and I know they have a couple other locations in Utah but we are always on the search for breakfast on our end of town. We have found quite a few amazing places in the downtown and sugarhouse area but for us to pack up Russell and make the trek takes serious commitment which sometimes I just don't feel like doing on the weekend.

So far we are loving The Egg & I because the food is good, portions are reasonable, and it's not expensive. Plus we can eat in or get it to go and the food has been good either way. For me, I love that they have a list of Eggs Benedict options I can choose from and if you check out my review you'll learn about two that I've had and loved.

Yep, breakfast is amazing! Especially when you don't have to cook. If you're out in my part of the world stop on by and give them a try. I recommend getting there before 8-8:30 or you'll get stuck in the tiny entry space waiting for a table. People also have to pay up front so it gets a little chaotic. Get there earlier than that and you'll walk right in and be seated. Anyone with kids knows this is important!

If anyone else knows of good breakfast places around South Jordan let me know. I'm always on the hunt for something new to try and if you try The Egg & I stop back here and let me know what you had and if you liked it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday's Supper - Savory & Sweet Review

Oh you guys. Every now and again you find a place that is such a little gem that you wish it were closer so you could eat there more often. Then again you know you'd also go broke if the place was closer so as you leave you plan your next visit. Joe and I have found such a place in Utah County. Yep, our voyage past the point of the mountain took us to Savory & Sweet. It's a darling little place in Orem that is family owned and has delightful food.

If you want to know more be sure to check out my Yelp review. Support a local business folks! If not, we'll all have to suffer in a world of only chain restaurants and no one should want that. For right now, check out these delightful pictures from our adventure.

Cutest Joe and cutest tea set.
Russell watching his Little Einstein's while we waited for our food. Don't judge. It keeps him quiet and happy. :P
Mixed Berries & Chocolate Whipped Cream - Joe took a bite before taking the picture.
Thai Curry Crepe - P.S. it's not spicy. If you want spicy, I would specify that.
Single Waffle with Strawberries - Russ couldn't wait for me to take the picture.

Do you have any favorite places that you might not have tried if someone didn't recommend them? Are there any local gems in your neighborhood that you just can't get enough of? What is your families favorite place to go out to eat?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Family Friday - Making Waves

This past weekend my husband and I went out to celebrate our anniversary. We did have fun while his parents were in town but we take turns each year planning something special for each other and this year it was my turn. I decided we would go to a restaurant I tried with friends, Red Rock, because I thought Joe would enjoy the food and he does like a good beer.

I had fish and Joe had steak. We also had to sample some of their desserts. The crème brûlée was delish and we really liked their peach cobbler. YUM! I'd totally go back and just enjoy some desert.

As part of my planning I decided we would try something new. We went to The Paint Mixer and tried our hand at painting some waves. Now, you may have seen my first attempt at painting with Starry Night and that actually seemed somewhat easy. This one was a little harder but still a great time.

Joe has always been somewhat artistic so I thought this would be a fun activity we could enjoy together. Before we even started he was already pointing out other pictures he thought would be fun to try. It was so fun to see our paintings take shape as the class went along. I especially love the comet that Joe put in his painting.

In the end I love how my moon turned out and I love Joe's wave. I think my wave kind of looks like a sharks fin but I still think it's cool. We already have plans to hang these up in our house and can't wait to paint more fun art for our home.

If you haven't tried something like this you should. Seriously I am not an artistic type. I am crafty, yes, artistic, no. They make it super easy and everyone's painting looks different which is great. My friends and I are going on Friday, May 9th to celebrate a friends birthday by painting Jellyfish. If you want to join us use this link so you can be sure to be sat with us when you arrive. Mature kids are welcome too if you want to bring the family. They do have specific classes for families as well as kid only classes too. It's a great date night too and they do sell snacks and drinks (both alcoholic and non) if you want.

Have you ever done anything that revealed a hidden talent or a new hobby? Have you ever taken a painting class like this anywhere in Utah? I'm looking for other ways to learn more about painting though I do like that these classes don't require you to own any supplies.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Need Fresh Air!!!

Is anyone else out there ready for spring? I typically like winter because I run hot and enjoy not being a sweaty hot mess all the time but this year I am cheering on spring. The few days we've had where the weather was nice enough to bust out the shorts and t-shirts have left me longing for more of those days. Honestly I would LOVE a nice long spring, a short summer, long fall, and short winter. Where can I find this type of weather that won't cost me an arm and a leg? If you find a place like that let me know because I might have to retire there. HA HA HA!!!

Today's wellness tip is inspired by our son Russell. GET OUTSIDE! Russell LOVES to be outside no matter what the conditions. Even if the weather doesn't look the best or it's a little chilly/windy, I highly recommend bundling up and getting outside. Get some fresh air. Breathe deep. Listen to the sounds around you. Breathe deeply again. Take time to smell the roses, or the other pretty flowers, though watch for bees. :) Enjoy feeling the sun on your face and the wind in your hair.

I don't know what it is but there is something so special to me about being outside and reconnecting with nature. Maybe it's the energy of the earth and reconnecting with all the sounds that remind me of simpler times. Maybe it's just getting out of places where the air is recirculated and stale and instead breathing fresh clean air. Maybe it's just reconnecting with that state of awe when you see there are just so many amazing things out there that most of the time we're driving by so fast we miss them.

I'm not judging anyone's lifestyle if you would much rather be inside watching TV or playing on the computer. That's fine. For me, I want to enjoy more time outside. I want to help my son appreciate the beauty in nature and why he needs to be smart about his personal consumption so we don't destroy the earth. I'm excited for warmer weather so we can bring Russell to the park to play so we can have fun and be disconnected for a while. Yeah, I do whip out my phone to take pictures but that's it. I enjoy the time not worrying about emails or Facebook or what's happening online. Ah...

If you haven't been outside lately I highly recommend you plan a day to go out and just be. Drive around, find a nice park, and enjoy! You'll thank me later. Make a promise to yourself that while you're outside you won't connect to technology. You can take pictures, read a book, get creative and sketch/draw/paint what you see, you can play with the kids, play fetch with the dog, or just simply be. While you're outside make an effort to look around and notice all the beautiful things around you. There are so many things and if you start to focus on things of beauty in your world you will attract more of those things into your life.

What's your favorite way to disconnect and feel grounded? Do you have any favorite places to be outside in nature? Do you have other ways you get centered and enjoy some time just for you?

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Slim & Sassy Sunday - The Real Truth

Hello Slim & Sassy followers. I haven't updated about where I am on my weight loss journey for a while because I haven't had anything to update. Honestly it seems like no matter what I eat I remain about the same weight. Perhaps this is my body's way of telling me it's happy at this weight and changing it up or down is going to take a serious effort on my part.

I guess I should consider myself lucky that I haven't gained any more weight but it is a little annoying to see that it would take some serious work on my part if I ever want to get to the weight I think I should be at. Now, don't get me wrong, I get it. Weight loss, for most people, isn't easy. If I had a nanny and a house keeper and all I did was go to work and work out then maybe I too would have shed the baby weight super fast. Since that's not my reality it really does take a higher level of dedication than I've been willing to spend to lose weight.

I honestly think my problem is conflicting priorities. I have other projects I'm working on and things that are date driven that end up taking prescience most days. It's easy to put off going for a walk after work when you have to make dinner for tonight and work on a project that's due in a matter of days/weeks/months.

Really you could look at all this as excuses but to me real change happens when you decide to make something a priority. Right now, losing weight apparently isn't as high a priority as I was hoping to make it. Overall though I am not sad about that. I am going to still squeeze in exercise when I can and try to eat better. I am also always on the lookout for fun ways to work out like trying a Zumba class or going to yoga with friends. For me, I'm at the point in my life where working out should be fun, not a chore. I don't have hours to dedicate to the gym each week because if I did I guarantee I would be down to my pre-baby weight with no problem. I actually LOVE going to the gym and working out but in my world spending what little time I have at home with Russell is more important than six-pack abs.

Please don't feel like I'm judging people who do work out to the point they can have six-pack abs. Some people's genetics let them lose weight and build muscle easily and for some people working out is how they find balance and health in their life. Seriously if our days had 48 hours in them or if I didn't need to sleep I would totally work out more. Alas, my current reality has me choosing to spend my hours in different ways and that's ok. I think it's good to be honest with ourselves and not try and kill ourselves over an image ideal. Be happy with where you're at and if you can't be happy with that then figure out how to make change a priority.

Slim & Sassy Sunday may change scope a little in the coming weeks so stay tuned to see what happens.

Do you feel there is something you're missing in your life to find balance and peace? Are there topics you've always wanted to learn more about but just haven't had the time to explore them? Is there something new you'd like to see on the blog within the realm of health and wellness, cooking, or crafts?

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Saturday's Supper - Easy Breakfast Casserole

Sometimes cooking can be a drag. I get it. You don't always want to spend the time slaving over a hot stove to make the same old thing again. Well, I have decided I am the queen of the fridge clean out. I can turn all the random pieces of stuff in our fridge into something tasty and totally different. On Sunday we usually make breakfast at home and after browsing Pinterest for some inspiration I decided I was making a breakfast casserole.

The original recipes I looked at were paleo and I was looking for something gluten free because I've been eating a lot of cookies and bread lately. The result, based on what we had hanging around, was this delightful and easy dish.

Easy Breakfast Casserole

by Heather MacDonald

1 large sweet potato - peeled and shredded
2 brats - diced
1/4 c bacon - pre-cooked
1 green bell pepper - diced
2 Tbsp green onion - minced
8 eggs - scrambled
1 c shredded cheese

Prep all your ingredients by slicing and dicing them all into bite sized pieces. I greased up a 9x13 pan and layered my shredded sweet potatoes along the bottoms and up the sides a little. I sprayed some oil on top of the potatoes and tossed them in the oven heated to 375 for about 10-12 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking I heated up the diced brats and bacon to let them get a little crispy. I also added a few dashes of smoked paprika and chipotle chili powder. I removed them from the pan and then tossed in my green pepper. I let that cook up until they were crisp tender with a little garlic salt, onion powder, and black pepper.

When the potatoes are partially cooked and starting to brown on the edges I layered in the meat and green pepper. I poured my scrambled eggs over the top then layered on the cheese and green onions. Everything went back into the oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese was melted and a knife inserted in the middle came out clean. (You could make this in an 8x8 or 9x9 pan for a thicker casserole but I would imagine you'd have to cook it a lot longer. I didn't want to wait that long because I was hungry.)

I served mine with some sliced avocado and hot sauce but you could also serve it with some pico de gallo, sour cream, or other favorite breakfast condiment. I loved this recipe because you can use whatever you have on hand. I would totally throw in any type of cooked meat you have or leave out the meat and go nuts with veggies. Mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, or anything else you have hanging around would be good. (I would precook your veggies a bit so you don't end up with a watery casserole.) Pretty much if you've seen it in an omelet or a breakfast scramble you could toss it in here. You could also use frozen hash browns or shred a regular potato. It's up to you. The measurements aren't exact as I just don't cook that way. This should give you a reasonable idea of what I put in though.

If you try this be sure to come back and let me know if you liked it. I personally enjoyed the sweet and savory flavors together and had two whole pieces this morning. YUM!

Do you cook from a recipe or do you prefer to make up your own recipes? I'm always looking for new breakfast ideas so feel free to share links to any of your favorites.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Family Friday - A Visit From the In-Laws

Last week we had my in-laws in town to celebrate our 4th anniversary. I don't know about your in-laws, but mine are actually pretty cool. Joe's mom and dad are very low key and just enjoy spending time with us.

One of the activities we did while they were here is visit a park that's close to our house. Russell LOVES being outside and playing so it was nice to let him spend some time outside with the family. He ran around, enjoyed some time on the swing, and even went down the slide all on his own!

After a nap (for Russell and Joe's Dad) we went up to the Natural Museum of Utah. Russell actually did really well which was great. He spent some time riding in his stroller and other times running around and playing with the exhibits for kids. I was glad it was a nice day out because Russell needed a snack, and since you can't eat in the museum, we went to the terrace and let him have some crackers before heading out. It wasn't too hazy so Joe's parents got to see the view across town.

While they were here Joe also took his Mom to a couple of movies and they all went and enjoyed Scheels and Cabelas. We need Joe's parents out here more often so Joe can watch more movies with his Mom. When we lived in Vegas they were movie buddies because I don't really care to see many movies. Now that we're here in UT Joe doesn't see too many movies. (Sorry Joe.) Joe's Dad also loves outdoor stuff like camping, hunting, and fishing so I know it will be fun as Russell grows up for them to all go out on trips together.

We did spend a little time at my parents house while Russell ran round in the backyard and then it was back home to Vegas they went. Their trips always seem to go so fast but when everyone has to work it happens. Hopefully one day they can come up and spend a serious chunk of time with us exploring all the fun things UT has to offer. 

What do visits with your in-laws look like? Do you plan the whole itinerary or do they come with a list of things they want to do? What are your secrets for making sure everyone has a fun time without breaking the bank or going nuts?