Monday, August 28, 2017

Carnivore Turned Herbivore For a Meal

I love meat, I come from a family that loves meat, and I married into a family that loves meat. But recently I've been very intrigued on people that are vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based. They seem to cook a hell of a lot more than this meat eating family does, and it seems like fun trying to figure out what you can and can't have to eat (and somewhat stressful). So I wanted to give a few things a try but only a few things because this shit is expensive.

I convinced John to go with me to Whole Foods ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON, when the rest of St. Louis was grocery shopping, to pick up my goods. It seems to be the gettin' place for all things healthy, so why not. It also helps that we have been playing the heck out of Shopkick recently and that helped lure him out of the house as well. We are mildly addicted to this app. It gives you kicks for walking into a store, scanning certain items, buying certain items, and scanning your receipt. Those kicks accumulate towards a gift card of your choosing, and it's all free! Our entire Friday night was spent Shopkicking. #couplesgoals
First on the shopping list, I wanted to get something sweet because I have a massive sweet tooth. I decided on the Unreal Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups. I've never seen a cup that had almond butter, so I wanted to give that a whirl. I must say that I actually like them. It's different tasting with the dark chocolate, but I really like them. I can't compare them to Reese's because they are dark chocolate and almond butter. The cups are pretty tiny, so I could easily demolish this bag walking from the checkout line to the car. I've restrained myself, and I think I have two left.

Next, I was looking for a protein bar that would hold me over from breakfast to lunch then lunch to dinner. I get so ravenous in those parts of the day. I've recently tried the OhYeah! ONE Protein Bars and didn't care for them too much. They taste too much like protein. I don't want to know that I'm eating something relatively healthy. I just want it to taste good. I've been seeing these RXBARS a lot, and I must say they have a much better flavor than the Oh Yeah! bars. They are very sticky, like the inside of a raisin sticky. It didn't throw me off too bad but just a warning. I would definitely buy these again but try a different flavor.
Lastly, the burger.. This is what got me intrigued in the herbivore world. I watch a YouTuber that swears by these burgers, and I've watched so many of her vlogs that I just had to see what the hype was about. Can I just say I 100% understand the hype behind them. They.Are.Delicious. I ate one on Sunday night and used avocado instead of mayonnaise. Who am I? I tried John's meat burger (sounds so dirty but you get it) after taking a bite of my meatless burger, and I actually liked mine better! It could've just been the difference in seasoning. I don't know, but mine was good. If you are a meatless human, please give these burgers a try and let me know if you can taste a difference because I really can't.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Roaming Traveler: Travel Talk

John and I love to travel! I mean, who doesn't? When we save money, it's so we can travel to a new place.

I'm usually the trip planner in the family, and my go to books have always been DK Eyewitness Travel, specifically the Top 10 series. We went to the London Olympics in 2012, and the DK Eyewitness Top 10 London was a huge starting point for me. It's currently not pictured on the shelf because John's family is borrowing it to plan their trip to London next year!:) I also used the DK Eyewitness Top 10 New York to plan our Christmas family vacation in 2014!

The top 10 gives you the top 10 places to see for the specific city your book is for then it breaks it down to the top 10 in each main area of the city. It gives you tips for the certain city you will be in, where to stay, where to eat, and where to shop. The books also come with a pocket sized map that is super handy when you are traveling because you can just shove it in your back pocket.
We are currently planning a trip to Italy, so we have a stock of books to read. I've already finished Venice and now moving onto Florence & Tuscany. We also got the big DK Eyewitness Travel Italy, which isn't a top 10 book but just a big book that gives you loads of information that the top 10 might not have in it. I haven't used this book to plan any trips just yet, but I'm excited to give it a go in all of our Italy planning! Every little bit of information helps.
The books do update every so often, so the covers may look different than the newer ones that have just come out. They do this frequently to keep up with the times - duh. I highly, highly recommend these books, especially as a starting point, for your next trip!

Are you traveling somewhere exciting soon? Do you have any tips for Italy?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Chrissy Teigen's Sesame Chicken Noodles

HAPPY SOLAR ECLIPSE DAY!

Yesterday, I got a bug in me to try out a new recipe, and I knew just the cookbook I wanted to cook out of, Chrissy Teigen's Cravings. I absolutely love Chrissy (and John and Luna and Pepper and her dogs - don't judge me). She's funny, loving, gorgeous, and doesn't give two shits about what you have to say about her. If you love those qualities in her then you will love her cookbook. It's entertaining, funny, and does not disappoint. The recipes all look delicious! I actually read it cover to cover when I first got it, not to find recipes, just because it was fun to read. 

I decided to give her Sesame Chicken Noodles recipe a go. It seemed pretty easy, and we actually found Tahini at our local grocery store - winning! I knew at that point it was a sign to make it. 
I pretty much followed the recipe word for word except we used two chicken breasts instead of one. We wanted it to be a little fuller of a meal, and it worked out great! I've never boiled chicken before, but that and making the sauce was extremely easy to do. I left off the scallions because quite frankly I don't like them. But you do you and make it the way you want to.

The bowl below doesn't do it justice, but it was really, really good and will be a keeper in the Hubler Manor. It kind of reminded me of Chicken Pad Thai!
John's review: "Can you please make more, so I can take it to lunch? Can we also have this for dinner tomorrow night? This is a keeper! A+!"

SERVES: 3
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
DIFFICULTY: 1 out of 5
SPICY: 1 out of 5

Friday, August 18, 2017

West Elm Planter

Is this planter made of gold, and West Elm just painted it white?! It's so expensive, but.. I love it!

I've been eyeing it for probably around three months and just couldn't find anything comparable to it. Good thing I got some money for my birthday because I bought the damn thing. I couldn't bring myself to pay full price for it. Luckily, my mom had a coupon. Super mom to the rescue; she always has a coupon!

We went to the West Elm store to purchase the planter, but it was out of stock. Ugh.. I didn't want to buy it from the store and have them ship it there because I wanted it now and didn't want to drive all the way back out there and carry a planter through the mall (Who am I kidding, I wasn't going to carry it. John was.:)). Since there was no free shipping coupons and you can get free shipping to the store, we decided to go ahead and just get it from the store. They informed us it would take 2-4 weeks to ship. It took a total of 3 1/2 weeks, and I thought about it everyday until they called me saying it was in. It felt just like our Ikea story all over again.

We researched different plants we wanted to put in it. I even bought one and had to return it because it was poisonous to dogs. We finally agreed on this plant from Ikea. It seems pretty low maintenance, not poisonous to dogs, and reminds me of Florida. Winning.
The picture at the top was our "staged" blog picture that I was going to put on here by itself because it looks more esthetically pleasing than where we actually put it. But I wanted everyone to see where we really put the plant, which is the picture above with all of the crap in the background. After seeing the two pictures together on here, I kind of like the bottom picture better. It's more real.

Also, our plant has a name. I originally named him Henry (pronounced Aunree), but John thought Queen Elizabeth would fit better since it's a majesty palm. What do y'all think its name should be?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Perfect Plus Size Dress

This weekend, John and I were looking for a new church to call home. Since we've moved to Illinois, we have been on the hunt, and let me tell you, its been hard. We still haven't found the right one for us, but we still have hope we will find it. 

However.. We got to church early Sunday, and well, quite frankly, we don't like being early to a new church. It makes us uncomfortable. But I loved the outfit I was wearing. I saw an empty parking lot down the road and asked John if he would take a few pictures of me for the blog. 

I am in no way a fashion blogger, but we had the best time trying to "get that shot" in the 10 minutes we had before going to church. These pictures were the best we could do with a cellphone and no experience. We will get better (hopefully)!
On to the outfit.. My dress is from Old Navy, and it is one of the most comfortable and versatile dresses I've purchased in a while. I have quite a large butt and hips, and this dress doesn't hug any of those areas, which is quite rare! It's currently out of stock, but they have some other really cute colors on sale right now! My shoes are by Gianni Bini that I bought forever ago at a Dillard's sale. If I can ever get my hands on another pair of these booties, I will. They are so comfortable. I'm carrying my Louis Vuitton Totally MM that I LOVE, and my sunglasses are Ray-Ban aviators. Lastly I am wearing one of my favorite necklaces from Orange Magnolia. I have two necklaces and two pairs of earrings, and I love each and every piece! I highly recommend her jewelry!

Let me know what other dresses I should be looking at for Fall!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sunflower Pickin' at Eckert Farms

Ever since John and I moved to Illinois, Eckert Farms has always been that place we continuously go back to throughout the entire year. You can pick your own vegetables, apples, peaches, pumpkins, Christmas trees.. Well, this past week I found out that you can also pick flowers - zinnias and sunflowers to be exact - so I knew this was something we had to do this weekend.


To pick sunflowers, you have to pay a field access fee of $1.00 per person then each sunflower is a $1.00 a piece. I didn't think that was a bad price for the experience and the sunflowers. They were huge and totally worth it. Who all just said "that's what she said" about the huge part? *raises hand* The selection was pretty sparse, but we still found some good ones!
Note to anyone picking sunflowers: Do not hold your sunflowers together like the picture above. The petals will fall off, and you will be so sad when one of your sunflowers is only half petaled.

We decided to put the sunflowers in an old milk jug (we are guessing milk) that we found at an antique store. I've never put water in it until Saturday, and today I walked to the sink to find a huge puddle of water underneath the jug. I guess that's why it was at an antique store and not being used on a farm anymore.
I love our little kitchen nook area behind our sink. It's so bright and has really pretty sunset views. It makes washing dishes not so bad.

We received the McCartys Pottery gator from a friend of ours back in Mississippi, and we absolutely love it. It reminds John of the Florida Gators (booo Geaux Tigers), and it reminds me of Louisiana - one of my absolute favorite places in the world!

The succulent and pot were gifts from John's mom that came from Eckert Farms. We love how well it fits in with everything - swampy and pretty. This is also our first succulent, and I think it's doing quite well. We've only had two dead leaves thus far, so keep on keepin' on Spud.

The weather is getting cooler here in Illinois, and I'm getting ready to pick out our pumpkins! Cooler weather also means beer, football, and bonfires! Bring on Fall!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Fun in Citygarden - STL

If you are ever in St. Louis and want to people watch, drink coffee, or pet dogs, you have to go to Citygarden! It is right down the street from Busch Stadium, so you could come explore before a day game.

We first stopped by the most instagrammable coffee shop in St. Louis, Kaldi's Coffee. The coffee is fantastic and so is the food! I will warn you.. the specialty coffee drinks aren't super sweet, but they are still so good!

I highly recommend stopping by, if not for a coffee than maybe a smoothie!
The sandwich I got was a grilled pimento cheese and bacon sandwich. It was a special for the day but hopefully they keep it around. John got a turkey and avocado, and my sandwich was hands down the best out of the two.

While you aren't divulging in deliciousness, you can take a dip in the swimming "pool" or splash around the splash pad. From the splash pad, you can even see the top of the Arch. John and I always think it's so cool when you can see a peak of the Arch from an unlikely area. It's like a game.

If splashing around with oozy children isn't your thing, you must try the stepping key pad. It makes music when you walk on it. I may or may not have been mildly sweaty after playing on this thing.

There are also a lot of unique sculptures and works of art in Citygarden. My favorite were the two rabbits. Aren't they so cute?! I feel like I look like the pudgy one in the back, and I'm 100% okay with that!
This thing below looks like a Pokemon character. Gotta catch'em all!

On the way back to our car, John spotted this cool view of the Arch.

Citygarden is by no means an all day thing, but it's fun to see something different in the middle of the city. It's so pretty to just walk around and take in everything that's around you. Plus, it's free!

Have you ever been to Citygarden? Which rabbit was your favorite?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Roaming Thoughts of the Week - Five

Roaming Thought #1:
Why are rugs so expensive? I finally found the perfect rug - right size, right color, right feel - but it's $1,199 at the Pottery Barn Outlet. That's like half of Layla's upcoming knee surgery. I also found my extremely non-affordable dream rug at Restoration Hardware. It's only like $8,000. Can you imagine if something got on that rug? I think I would die.

Roaming Thought #2:
John and I just got finished binge watching How I Met Your Mother. All I can say is that I had all the feels, and I'm still processing them. In the meantime, John and I now do the Lilly and Marshall high five quite often. We are so hashtag goals now.

Roaming Thought #3:
Is anyone watching The Bold Type on Freeform? I just binged watched the first five episodes, and it's so good! It makes me wish I had some fashion sense. Choosing what t-shirt goes with what shoes is about as far as I can go.

Roaming Thought #4:
Between HIMYM and The Bold Type (and Friends and SATC), I am totally ready to move to NYC - which will probably happen in the year 20never. But occasionally I look for apartments on Street Easy to see what we could actually afford and what borough we could live in. So far it's just made me wish I chose a different career path because I can't afford shit there.

Roaming Thought #5:
One of my best friends just had her baby yesterday, my other best friend is having her baby in a month, my other best friend will have a one year old next month, and my other best friend's little girl started K5! All of this hit me like a pile of bricks this morning, and my eyes just started welling up with tears. I'm so happy for my besties and these beautiful miracles they have created! I wonder when John and I will have children? Maybe when we move to NYC.

Monday, August 7, 2017

DIY Dutch Door

Happy Monday, y'all! This weekend, John and I decided to turn our laundry room door into a dutch door.
One of our dogs, Layla, recently tore her CCL (similar to ACL in humans), and she will have to sleep in the laundry room because she cannot walk up and down the stairs very well due to the fact that she just had this same surgery in May on her other knee. This girl needs to catch a break.. and so does our credit card.

The laundry room doesn't get the best air flow with the door being shut during the day, and this is where Layla and Penny (our other dog) hangout in the daytime because they cannot be trusted to roam freely anymore.

So here we go with the DIY dutch door..
FIRST: Pick the door you want to saw in half.

SECOND: Tap the pin out of the hinges. Have a stud hold the door in place while you unscrew all of the screws out of the door instead of just tapping the pins out. 

PRO TIP: Don't unscrew all of the screws out of the door - it takes longer. Just tap the pins out.

THIRD: Have same stud take door knob off because you can't be bothered, and you feel like we could've just left it on there to begin with.

FOURTH: Place door on, preferably, a sawhorse for measuring and cutting. First, we put painters tape in the general area we knew we wanted to cut. This helps prevent the wood from splintering while cutting. We measured 1" below the door panel then measured, over from that, the width of our leveler, so we would have a straight edge to cut along.

PRO TIP: If you do not have a sawhorse because they are crazy expensive and your trash cans are too tall to lay the door down on, just use your dining room chairs. My dad's advice helped really well too. He said and I quote, "Just don't make dutch chairs." LOL. I love him.

FIFTH: We clamped down the leveler and began cutting with the circular saw.

PRO TIP: Make sure you have enough of your blade out to cut thru the entire door. This prevents you from having to cut it twice. Also, don't begin cutting at 9:00pm when your neighborhood is filled with small children.

It took two cuts and some finagling with the door because our driveway is on a slight incline, and it makes it more difficult to cut. But we got it done!

SIXTH: Measure where you want your new hinge to go, trace the outline of the hinge onto the door, then use a router to cut out where the hinge will go. We decided to measure how far the bottom part of the bottom hinge was from the bottom of the top door, which was 2" (confusing sentence.. just read it slowly and try to picture it). We just mimicked it, so they would be the same distance. You will also need to use the router to cut out where the hinge will go on the door frame. To do this, we just placed the door on the bottom hinge and traced where the top hinge will hit the door frame.

PRO TIP: Buy a router. We took the cheap route and chiseled. It took forever, and I don't recommend it.

SEVENTH: Once you are over this project, let same stud hang the doors and screw the door knob back in.

PRO TIP: Grab a beer and have a cold one waiting for same stud while you sit on your ass and give words of encouragement. I did none of these things, but I should have.

EIGHTH: Admire your new, amazing dutch door. We still need to put a piece of wood where we cut the door and buy a latch for the top door to lock into the bottom door. We aren't eager to put the wood "shelf" on the door yet, and we couldn't find a latch we both liked in such short notice.

NINTH: Make sure your babies approve of their new space!

This whole project took us around 2 1/2 hours. If we were a little more prepared (had a sawhorse, router, and flat ground), I feel like it would have gone much quicker.

I have to give John all of the credit for this project. He came up with the idea, got everything together for us, and did all of the research. He's the best!:)

This is my first DIY post, so I might have missed something. If I did, feel free to ask me in the comments. I will then most likely consult my husband and get back to you!