Our Mini Family

Jul 28, 2016

Southwestern Pork Chops with Adobo Sauce and Cole Slaw

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GrillPorkLikeASteak #CollectiveBias

Last week was absolutely insane! Adam had been incredibly busy with work and had almost no time to himself, I had been engrossed in my mile-long to-do list for the blog, and we did not even have time to have a date night last week. Some weeks are just going to be hectic, and last week had proven itself to be one of them. I was lucky enough that I had time to do some laundry last week because my pile of dirty clothes was getting embarrassing, and once I felt like I could take a break for a half an hour I started preparing dinner for the two of us.

This Southwestern Pork Chops with Adobo Sauce and Cole Slaw recipe takes just under 30 minutes to make, and it's an easy and fast grilling recipe for you to serve at your next backyard bbq or weeknight dinner. And it's a great dinner option for those weeks that feel so hectic you don't have any control over your time!

Jul 23, 2016

Exploring Virgin Falls (Girdwood, Alaska)

Sharing my adventure hiking in Chugach National Forest to Virgin Falls in Girdwood, Alaska!

Growing up, I never enjoying hiking or climbing. 

It wasn't until most recently that I started finding interest in exploring the great outdoors, and when I found even the slightest interest in hiking. When I was preparing for my Alaska trip, I was mentally preparing myself for the worst--walking alongside scary-crazy cliffs and edges, horrible mosquitos, intimidating wildlife nearby, and humid weather. 

In all honesty, wildlife is quite literally all around you in Alaska so there is no escaping that (I mean I saw at least 5 moose in one day alone just on the side of the freeway). But apart from the fact that I knew that somewhere maybe only a few hundred feet from me there were critters and animals that could harm me if they so chose to, hiking in Alaska was a lot more pleasant than I expected. I am the most beginner level of hiking you can get--I did not even own a pair of proper shoes before my Alaska trip, and I was lucky enough to get some really great boots for my outdoor excursions that worked out really well for me. 

Hands down, the best hike I did in Alaska was while I was staying in Girdwood. We ventured through Chugach National Forest and made our way to Virgin Falls. The hike to the waterfall was short. I mean, we're talking less than a mile and easy enough for older children to hike. It was moderately easy to make my way through the rainforest, and there were only a few hairy edges that gave me slight nausea when I looked down (I am a total wimp and it was definitely less than 30 feet down to the bottom). 

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 81

Happy Saturday!

I will be spending this morning reading and relaxing before I kick off another weekend of work!

I finally finished my Chelsea Handler book I brought up to Alaska with me, and now I'm torn between starting a few other books I bought recently. Now matter which book I end up sitting down with, I am making sure to spend some quality time unplugging and staying away from technology for a few hours before I spend what feels like an eternity behind a laptop screen. All weekend I'll be working on some upcoming projects for the blog that are going to be awesome!

Jul 20, 2016

Breakfast Skillet with Egg, Cheesy Potatoes, and Caribou Sausage

These breakfast skillet potatoes with egg, cheese, and sausage are hearty and perfect for weekend brunch.

Weekends are made for brunch, and the best kind of brunch is packed with all of my favorite breakfast fixings. Eggs, cheese, potatoes, and plenty of juicy and tender sausage!

Since I am counting down the days until the weekend, I cannot stop thinking about Sunday brunch and bottomless mimosas. Most of my favorite brunch spots here in the Valley are almost completely dead right now, and I am loving it because all of the snow birds and college students have retreated from the city since the heat literally feels like death here. There's always a silver lining to Phoenix summers--the city is empty and there are no lines at my favorite restaurants! 

As much as I love going out for brunch on the weekends with Adam and our friends, sometimes I enjoy staying in and having a little siesta at home. This weekend, Adam and I will be staying in and enjoying some homestyle breakfast skillets packed with caribou sausage. During my most recent trip to Alaska, I enjoyed eating lots of seafood and game meats and was so happy when I got a package of caribou sausage delivered to our house! This skillet recipe is so delicious and absolute comfort food goals!

Jul 17, 2016

15 Insane Cupcake Recipes to Help You Celebrate National Junk Food Day (and a KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway!)

My favorite junk food? Cupcakes. And I'm going to celebrate National Junk Food Day with an embarrassing amount of insanely sweet and decadent cupcakes this year! 

Have you ever had a cupcake that was so insanely good you could barely contain your excitement?

Cupcakes are tasty, but every once in a while you find an exceptional cupcake that makes you do a double-take. These 15 different types of cupcake recipes are truly decadent and gorgeous, and these pictures of these cupcake recipes will have you drooling and pinning these recipes as fast as you can say "sugar high!" 

National Junk Food Day is July 21, and if you're planning on celebrating National Junk Food Day like we are I invite you to check out these awesome cupcake recipes and see if any of them are worthy enough for your foodie celebrations! Be sure to also enter the KitchenAid Mixer giveaway (limited time only) as well! 

Alaskan Fireweed Jelly Pork Chops with Garden Snap Peas

Have you ever tried cooking with Alaska fireweed jelly before? Try this pork chops recipe!

Fireweed grows everywhere in Alaska! 

In Alaska, fireweed can be collected in the Spring and then used for cooking and certain medicines. During my most recent visit to Anchorage, I learned all about the different ways that fireweed could be used. For medicinal purposes, it's said that fireweed is used for treating pain and swelling, and since it grows naturally on its own in the wild all of the natural wildlife in the area enjoy eating it as well. For cooking, fireweed is most commonly used in honey, syrup, candy, ice cream, and jelly!

Before I returned home, I made sure to pick up some fireweed ingredients to cook with. Last week, I made Adam and I some delicious fireweed jelly pork chops! Fireweed jelly is sweet and unlike any other jelly I've ever tasted--this recipe is a must-try for foodies!

Jul 16, 2016

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 80 (and our 5th Wedding Anniversary!)

Adam and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this week! 

For a good part of the first year of our marriage, Adam and I were beyond stressed and unhappy. 

The honeymoon phase lasted all of 2 days after our wedding day, and then we were back to our typical day-to-day anxieties and wondering if we'd be able to have enough money to buy food after paying our rent.  Mind you, since we spent the money we received from our friends and family from our wedding on bills because we were struggling so much financially, we never took a honeymoon/vacation until a whole year after our wedding day.

We loved each other very much, but our living situation was unbearable at best and we felt like we could barely keep our heads above water. When we came home from work we fought, we argued, and we expressed our concern for our happiness. After our first wedding anniversary passed, I felt as though things were not getting any better and we began talking about our future. The "what ifs" gave us hope as we signed off checks we weren't sure would clear, and we clung unto the hope of a better life until the day Adam selflessly agreed to move to Arizona with me where I knew we could make a better life for us.

5 years of growing together as a couple. As a unit. And we have also spent five years growing as individuals because of one another.

Today, I am happy to say that Adam and I have found happiness. I would even go so far as to say that Adam and I have rediscovered the honeymoon phase! Sure, we have the occasional argument or financial struggle like any other couple, but we are both living a life we enjoy together and we are both as passionate now as we have ever been toward each other!

Our love is fervent and our life is fruitful! Here's to 50 more years! I love you, Adam!

Jul 14, 2016

My Overnight Stay in a Log Cabin in Palmer, Alaska! Knik River Lodge

I can finally cross "stay in a log cabin" off of my travel bucket list since my most recent trip out to Palmer thanks to my friends at Knik River Lodge!

I have a travel bucket list. I haven't shared it anywhere because I have a lot of silly things on there, but I will admit that one of my bucket list items has been crossed off during my most recent trip to Alaska--staying in a log cabin!

I'm not sure if it had something to do with all of the sitcoms I watched from the 90's or what, but staying overnight in a log cabin is something I have just always wanted to do but never got around to doing it. Any tv show or movie that takes place in a log cabin has always seemed so whimsical and fun to me--my most recent trip to Alaska was incredible and I had many "firsts" while I was there, including my first ever stay in a log cabin at Knik River Lodge in Palmer, Alaska.

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