Culinary Challenge Week #12

Hello peeps and welcome back to culinary challenge!! (Cue upbeat theme song) So this past week as you will recall from last week’s post(read here) Tay was on vacation and my Mom came up for visit. So I had her pick a few recipes that she has seen me make(she’s a faithful subscriber to my blog) and I would recreate them for her.

That being said we did eat out locally quite a bit and then a friend of mine gave me a ton of fresh strawberries so I had to create some yummy treats to use up those.

Without further ado let’s get cooking!

Strawberry+Rhubarb Scones with Almond Glaze Icing 10 out of 10

These were incredible!! Like some of the best scones I’ve ever had. And that’s most likely due to the fact that the strawberries and the rhubarb were fresh. Everyone who tried one of these fell in love with them. Even the kiddos who dislike fruit in their sweets.

Fresh Strawberry Pie 10 out of 10

As you can see I am on a pie kick(again refer to last week’s Key Lime Pie) This is actually an old recipe of my Mom’s paired with my flaky pie crust, which is getting better every time I make it. These pies were so yummy! Or as my niece would say, “Nummy, nummy.”

Focaccia Basil+Oregano 200 out of 10

A fav from Italian week, this bread of course again was a smashing success. So crunchy and soft and oily and flavorful. My Mom took the rest of this home with her. (Lol)

Peas+Onions 10 out of 10

Also from Italian week these peas were a triumph as well. Go figure right?

Well that’s it for this week’s cooking challenge. Tay is back and we are ready to go for the coming week. Or coming word is… drumroll please…


This is totally coincidental, because guess where Tay just went on vacation at? Universal Florida and the Magical World of Harry Potter(here is a post I did on my experience at the park three years ago). We couldn’t have planned it better if we tried. Until next week!

Lots of love,


Weight Loss Journey Part 3

Hay everyone it has been a minute! I’m so sorry for being MIA last week. The days got away from me and I just frankly ran out of time. (You know our last post? Yeah I should taken my own advice) Anywhoo I thought it was time just for a really brief recap and update of my health/fitness journey! (Read last post here)

Two years apart… wow

So right around this time last year(original post) I announced my random and spontaneous decision to embark on what would be a life changing journey.

I have never been athletic or fit in any way. And I have always been slightly over weight. Though my health journey was never been about necessarily loosing the weight as it was trying new, and what I at the time thought, impossible things. A year down and I have never regretted my decision to pursue the impossible.

As of date I am at my goal weight(lost roughly 35-40 pounds) and have maintained it for the last five months. Yay! I love long walks, jump roping, weight training, handstands and paddle boarding- Oh and roller skating! Things I never thought I’d say.

My energy level and confidence level have gotten a tremendous boost. I am totally up for trying new things and pushing my body to new heights. I hope this is encouraging to those of you who are going through their own journey, or who are thinking about starting their own incredible adventure. You can do it!

Lots of love,


Culinary Challenge Week #11

Hello my friends. Yes I know I am a week late(oops) but we really did do our culinary challenge BBQ! And here’s the proof.

Watermelon Feta Salad 6 out of 10

This was an interesting combination, but not our favorite and it didn’t keep very well. Still not awful.

Buttermilk Bread 8 out of 10

I mean it’s buttermilk bread so you can’t really go too wrong here. It did bake funny, which made the middle very dense. The flavor was spot on though!

Teriyaki Chicken Skewers 10 out of 10

These grilled chicken skewers were amazing!! So good in fact I made chicken thighs for a party with the same recipe. They were a big hit.

Corn on the Cob 9 out of 10

I mean you can’t BBQ without corn on the cob, right? Right.

Cherry+Almond Bagels 10 out of 10

When starting this culinary journey I had a few things I wanted to make that were on my “bucket list”. Bagels were one of those things(pie and cinnamon rolls another) well I can now say… I can make bagels! And man are they good. I will be making these again… probably often.

Orange Cream Cheese 10 out of 10

I mean you can’t have bagels without cream cheese and I have been on an orange kick. So yeah this was tasty.

Key Lime Pie 10 out of 10

Last but not least was this amazing, amazing pie. Sooo many calories and yet worth every single one. I had been hankering a key lime pie and this hit that spot nicely. (oh I can also make pie now!)

So that’s it guys. Maybe not a traditional BBQ ascetic but we enjoyed it.

Tay is going on vacation this week so we won’t technically doing a culinary challenge. Though my Mom is staying with me and I am cooking for her some of the yummy things she has seen me make and not been able to taste. This is Mom’s Picks week. Ooo exciting!

Lots of love,


The Busy Business of Summer

How is everyone doing? Well summer is in full swing here now. This whole week has been upper 90’s in temps and the sun has been blazing down. Which has made swimming every day, all day an absolute necessity.

With summer comes an extra sort of busyness. Every night this week I have had an event or a party or something going on. Add that to work and meeting with friends, chores, cooking, writing- Ah! My calendar is booked!

That is why I wanted to write this brief post for you(and mostly for me) It’s okay to say no… it’s okay to have nothing to do… it’s okay to breath…

It is so easy to get swept up in activity and life that we loose sight of the important things. Quiet Bible study time with the Lord. Time spent with family where you’re not running somewhere to get something done. Sleep. And the list goes on.

So my encouragement to you this summer is just to slow down and take it easy. Don’t let the busy business of life distract you from the important.

And remember it’s okay to have some days where you have absolutely nothing planned.

Lots of love,


Culinary Week #10

Well a day behind, but the week got away from me. And as you can tell I made a lot of food. This next week I’m gonna attempt to tone it down a little bit… Maybe…

Vietnamese Noodle Salad 8 out of 10

So just right off the bat the flavor and texture combination of Vietnamese food is super interesting. The mix of cool and sweet spices and smooth textures makes all the food light and clean. I loved Vietnamese cooking. And this salad was super yummy! Didn’t keep very well but that’s the only downside.

Cheat Pickled Veggies 8 out of 10

Again these didn’t keep very long, because they’re just cheat pickled veggies. But they were very yummy and apparently the Vietnamese put them on everything. Which I heartily approve!

Vietnamese Baguette 9 out of 10

So they don’t look like baguettes, but they tasted amazing! So when the French governed Vietnam they left behind the love of the baguette. Which the Vietnamese people took and stuffed with all they’re amazing food and made…

Banh mi 10 out of 10

These were awesome!! The pork was understated in taste so the pickled veggies and dipping sauces could shine. Sandwiched between to crunchy and toasted baguettes. So yum!

Worthy of two pics!
Nuoc Cham Sauce(two versions) 10 out of 10

Our two dipping sauces for the week, which we dipped everything into, one on the left being minty and the one on the right being slightly spicy.

Bao Breakfast Dumplings 10 out of 10

So they slightly burst their sweet pastry, but these steamed bao were fantastic. And I was super worried as I have never used a bamboo steamer before. However despite my worry the dumplings turned out well. We dipped them in the sauces in case you’re wondering.

Shrimp+Noodle Soup 8 out of 10

Again a unique flavor combination this soup was subtly spicy and very light. Which makes it an absolutely lovely summer soup. This is probably gonna be the last soup for awhile since it is very hot.

Sticky Rice 10 out of 10

Probably my fav of the week. This light dessert topped with sesame seeds and coconut. Very yummy for breakfast too topped with fresh fruit.

Rice Balls+Tapioca Gravy 5 out of 10

These were weird… not gross just weird. Not overly sweet- in fact they didn’t taste a whole lot like anything. So yeah… weird!

And that’s it guys. I liked Vietnamese week a lot more than I thought it would. Lots of unique and delicious finds that I will be making again I’m sure. But for now we are getting in with the swing of summer with our next word: BBQ

Lots of love,