Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's a t-shirt! It's a dress! It's a t-shirt dress!

by Crystal

I would like to shake the hand of the person who invented the t shirt dress. I mean, how genius is it? I wonder if she (assuming it was a female...) just bought a t shirt that was too big, realized she didn't need to wear pants with it, and started a revolution. That's how I like to think it happened.

We played around with the settings on our camera today. We're still learning our way around it. I found out there was a photography club in our area, but their website hasn't been updated since 2009, so I'm thinking it may not be around anymore. It's ok, I have this thing called Google that tells me almost everything I need to know.

While E was playing around, I didn't even know when he was taking pictures. So I'm including some of the ones that probably wouldn't have made the blog otherwise. But seriously, when else are you going to see me with greenish skin? Hopefully never again.

Outfit details:
Dress: Banana Republic (old)
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider

Thursday, June 21, 2012

showered with love.

by Crystal

I usually try not to bring up the conversation of Eric and my upcoming wedding. Usually because, if I wanted to, I could talk about it for hours. So when people ask me about it, I just let them know plans are coming along, and I always make it known that I'm just excited to be marrying such a great guy.  (The one caveat for that is with my bridesmaids. I have leaned on them to help make multiple decisions that I'm probably supposed to be making on my own, but am too indecisive. I think we all emailed each other about 20 times just yesterday. No joke.)

But earlier this month, I flew to Chicago for a dual celebration of my sister's 21st Birthday - woo! legal! - and a couples wedding shower. It was beach-themed, and it was awesome. My mom, cousins, and aunts pulled it all together. Eric's mom flew in from Florida. People drove hundreds of miles for this. We really did feel a ridiculous amount of love. I couldn't believe all of these people were gathered for us!

Now, I must tell you I'm a little uncomfortable with having ALL the attention on me. So this day was a bit of an adjustment for me, since all of the focus was on us and our relationship. I tried to make it known how much I appreciated everyone's support, but tend to cry when I am extremely happy/excited, so I saved everyone the awkwardness and kept my gratitude speech very short. Thank you cards are being mailed, so I can appropriately thank everyone, and cry in the privacy of my own apartment while doing it. No one feels awkward that way...right?

I also want to send a big internet THANK YOU to everyone who was there, including my two fellow bloggers :). It was an awesome day, that made me even more excited for THE day.

And now, I must share pictures (Obv). Enjoy!

I mustache you a question.

The Newlywed Game / Almost Wed Game

...when asked what was our favorite vacation that we went on together.

...when asked what he would change about me. OK, so maybe I don't flush the toilet every time. Love it or hate it, I'm saving water and saving the planet, people!

Awesome, luggage friendly, gifts!
My cousin Bria was gracious enough to host this at her house!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Holy Moly Enchiladas!

By Anita

One of my favorite items to make and share with everyone are ENCHILADAS! I mean, seriously, you could roll anything in a tortilla and it will most likely taste amazing. Add cheese to that and you are in a little rolled up piece of heaven. Enchiladas are one of the recipes that I no longer look at a cook book for since the first time I read the recipe off of the 'enchilada sauce can'. It can be created into a super meaty & cheesy dish or a completely vegan and fulfilling meal. You could add ground meat (turkey is my favorite) or all chopped veggies such as bell peppers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, beans... OH the possibilities inside a rolled tortilla!

The typical enchilada recipe I use consists of a few basic items for Latin inspired meals: tortillas, cheese, enchilada sauce. It becomes my go-to when I want to use up some of my pantry items or veggies all while creating awesome leftovers that taste better the next day! So keep in mind that a lot of these items are optional depending on your dietary likes, wants, and needs. 

For listening pleasure while cooking, check the Brazilian Radio on Pandora and shake those hips even if this is more of a Mexican-style recipe.

Enchiladas: Veggies & Chorizo


  • 4 -8 Whole wheat tortillas
  • 2- 14 oz Enchilada sauce cans 
  • 1- 14 oz Black or Pinto bean can, rinsed
  • 1- 14 oz Vegetarian Refried bean can
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes OR one 1/2 chopped onion 
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Bell peppers - sliced or chopped
  • 1 Zucchini - cut in half & chopped
  • 1 Chorizo sausage - chopped; more sausage could be added, I wanted more veggies
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheese (Mexican style, Colby Jack, etc.)
  • OPTIONAL:1/2 Jalapeno pepper - finely minced/chopped, chopped scallions or fresh cilantro, sour cream, Greek yogurt, guacamole, salsa


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. In a large (deep) skillet on medium or medium-high heat, get the olive oil heated up and add the chopped peppers and zucchini.
  3. Add the spices and add salt to taste (not too much!) and black pepper to the veggies. Saute seasoned veggies for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped chorizo and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring to mix everything together.
  5. Add about half of the black or pinto beans (or all if you are not using any meat) and about half of the refried beans to the veggies/chorizo mix to heat through. 
  6. Add half of one of the Enchilada sauce cans into the skillet and turn the heat down to low/simmer.
  7. Create an assembly line to prepare your enchilada mixture on your tortillas. Get a plate for the tortillas, the cans of Enchilada sauce w/ a spoon, the sauteed veggies/chorizo mixture and a glass baking dish (i.e. Pyrex).
  8. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of Enchilada sauce on the tortilla, spread around the tortilla, add a hefty spoonful of the veggie/chorizo mixture down the middle of the tortilla, roll the tortilla, and set into the baking dish. REPEAT until all of the tortillas are filled.
  9. Pour remaining Enchilada sauce onto the rolled tortillas and spread around to cover them. 
  10. Add the shredded cheese on top of the rolled tortillas (as much or as little as you would like).
  11. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is all gooey and melty. 
  12. Add chopped cilantro or cilantro on top and let the baked enchiladas sit for a few minutes...if you can resist. 
Even though this seems like a lot of steps, once you get the hang of the sauteing/grilling and what type of assembly station works for you, this recipe will be a quick 30-minute meal that can get pretty creative. 

I make a quick salad and guacamole for the side of this meal and a tasty Sol or Corona to pour down the gullet. :) You can also add a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt on top of the Enchiladas.

Chopped up veggies

Rinsed black beans

The infamous ENCHILADA sauce -- I prefer the Old El Paso brand & have yet to make my own...

Saute the veggies and season

My trusty spice combo or you could use "taco seasoning" mix

Add Chorizo sausage to the veggies and cook through

MORE veggies - black beans and refried beans with Enchalada sauce to simmer

Bake the Enchiladas for about 10 minutes, let sit for a bit and add cilantro or scallions on top for garnish

Simple rolled up piece of heaven... ENJOY!

SUPER SIMPLE Chicken-in-a-Crockpot

By Anita

Since the weather is getting warmer and muggier one may not want to be standing over a hot oven baking/sauteing/frying so investing in a slow cooker is the way to go for a more carefree (and cooler) summer. As with most meals, there's a certain amount of planning beforehand that needs to go into it which is why a lot of people end up eating junk. Well, my advice to you is to buy a slow cooker (Crockpot) and maybe a calender to jot down what menu you'll have (and plan) during the week so you know when to thaw things out. :) Now you can relax a little more this summer.

This recipe is SUPER SIMPLE and takes only a few ingredients (and patience of waiting since it involves a slow cooker). 

SUPER SIMPLE Chicken-in-a-Crockpot


  • 1 large (3-4 lbs) whole chicken (organic.farmers market - highly recommended)
  • 1 onion (white or yellow)
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 teaspoon minced or whole garlic
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • OPTIONAL: Instead of all those dry spices listed above, you can use a Cajun spice premixed or Jamaican Jerk spice mix depending on the type of cuisine you want your meal to take on. 

  1. Combine all of the dried spices into a small bowl to mix up.
  2. Rough chop the onion, celery & garlic. Larger chunks are best to place on the bottom of the slow cooker to elevate the whole chicken.
  3. [WARNING: Here's the kind of gross part, at least for me it was not pleasant.] Take the whole chicken (on a separate, poultry designated cutting/prep board) and remove the giblets (inner grossness). 
  4. Rub the dry spices ALL over the whole chicken (this reminds me of rubbing lotion on a baby so this weirded me out a bit) and be sure to get into all of the crevices. Rub some of the spices into the cavity of the chicken too. 
  5. Place the spice rubbed chicken into the slow cooker on top of the rough chopped onions & celery. Cover the Crockpot and set it on HIGH. No liquid needed, believe it or not!
  6. Cook for 4-5 hours. The delicious, juicy meat will literally be falling off of the bone! 
  • If you want, you can also make your own homemade chicken stock from the remains (bones and all) in your Crockpot! Thanks to 100 Days of Real Food blog for inspiration. If you do, be sure you have a fine strainer or even cheesecloth to sift out the bits and pieces. Freeze the stock to use for future use.

I made some rice, beans, and veggies or salad to have along side this juicy meal. This is great for a party as well since you can make the meal go a long way. 

LEFTOVER INSPIRATION: Pulled chicken sandwiches, enchiladas, tortilla soup, on top of salad, Buffalo chicken dip... a lot of possibilities!

Chopped onion and garlic (and celery not shown); bottom of  Crockpot

The spice rub - use your own mixture or a Cajun or Jamaican Jerk pre-mix

THE WHOLE CHICKEN -- there it is, a blank canvas. 

Spice rubbed WHOLE organic chicken