Thursday, August 30, 2012

Romantic Getaway

Here are some of my favorite moments from our weekend away in sunny San Diego for Tylia and Chalon's wedding. 
  • Walking around the shore cliffs of La Jolla hand-in-hand. Cool trees, energy, scenic views, and yummy burritos.

  • Room service dessert to make up for an AWFUL dinner downtown. (Loved that it came with roses!) BTW, we also got room service for breakfast on Sunday morning. We have never ordered room service before, so it felt like we were living large! We only left the hotel room once for dinner (we wanted to make the most of it - we got an upgrade to a high floor and a larger room!!!) We chilled in our matching robes, lounged on the patio (love hotels that have windows or doors that actually open!), drank beer, and watched the homeless shenanigans below.

  • Sunday afternoon in Mission Bay, on a shady patch of grass. We lounged on a blanket and shared an authentic burrito. There isn't much better in this world than a San Diego burrito.
  • Meeting up with Shannon and Griff at The Dana Hotel before the wedding for some drinks and photos. 

  • Magazine-worthy kiss. (Photo credit Megan Schahausen)
  • Loved hanging out with the beautiful Schafhausen ladies, Megan, Jo, and Janet. Jo was the prettiest bridesmaid of all time, might I add.

  • Tylia's smile said it all. I loved seeing the joy on her face all night. What a fun, elegant, and lovely wedding! And one of the best wedding dinners I've ever had!!! (I ate my whole dinner plus finished Steve's, nom nom!!)

  • This expression was on Steve's face all night. He was full of jokes, laughs, and a little craziness. And, get this....he danced with me! To a fast song! Multiple times! With this huge smile on his face! Loved every minute. He loved every minute until morning... ;) 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rogers Crew

As promised, here are a few of my favorite professional photos from our family reunion in Myrtle Beach! Love these.

Grandmama, the matriarch, has 4 children, 9 grandchildren, and three and a half great grandchildren! She is an amazing woman and I hope to always be as soft and sweet as she is. I have such fond memories of summers in Georgia, running around my Grandma's house, dressing up in her jewelry, and chasing fireflies. 

All of the 'Rogers' cousins

Chris Rogers fam

The Dwights!

My sweet cousins

This is my favorite picture because it shows the magic of life! Look what Grandma created! Her life continues to touch so many people and her loving spirit and nurturing heart runs through all of our blood.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dance Joy

Have you been watching So You Think You Can Dance? The performance and results show in one, and the two-week Olympics hiatus really messed things up this season. They've had to get rid of 4 contestants at a time, which really breaks my heart! In fact, this week they got rid of the only eye candy on the show - the Ryan Gosling mini-me. On one hand it is refreshing that they aren't keeping people around purely for ratings, but hello! Sex sells! 

Anyway, enough of my rant. My mom was in Lake Tahoe a few weeks ago for my cousin's dance competition and guess who was there?! Joshua, the winner from season 4! One of my fave SYTYCD seasons of all time. 

Endless Summer

Thankfully we live in a climate where garden season seems to last forever. We started with snap peas and lettuce and we will end with peppers and tomatoes. Lately, our strawberries have been popping, and it's like Christmas every time I go out and hunt for those juicy red morsels. These are the BEST strawberries I've ever had and so cool that whenever I want a sweet treat, I can just walk outside and grab a handful. 

We tried a new cucumber variety this year - Armenian cucumbers. They stay yellow and get HUGE. Unfortunately, so far their flavor hasn't been all that great. In fact, they sort of taste like a very dilute and salty honeydew. Ew. But, one of them grew in the shape of a J, so I can't give up on them yet!! And check out that radish below. Hideous and alien, but zesty and fresh.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Mosaic

Tylia's wedding shower in Mission Viejo
Summer treat - home grown fruit, a scotchmallow, and a glass of wine
Date night at Castoro Cellars to see Peppino D'Agostino
Bathroom remodel continues with my handy hubby
Sky art in San Luis Obispo

All photos taken with my iPhone. Getting ready to bite the bullet with a new lens for my Canon.


My mom is an excellent cook and one of her favorite things to make for people is Pot Stickers. A few years ago when I was visiting the fam in Bozeman, we all sat down and made Pot Stickers together. At the time, I didn't pay much attention to the recipe, which befuddles me because knowing what I know now, I don't have a clue how I survived over the years without these savory treats.

It all started when my friend Maren was about to have a baby and I wanted to come up with a  fun, unique, and yummy dinner to deliver to her family after the baby was born. I immediately thought about creating home-made chinese take-out, which got me thinking about those pot stickers. 

Pot stickers are relatively easy to make but they do take some time, so be patient and don't leave them to the last minute!

Pot Sticker Ingredients:
  • 1 pkg wonton/pot sticker wraps (round) - I couldn't find round, so I bought square and trimmed off the corners.
  • 1 lb ground pork (not sausage!) - This was not as easy to find as I thought it would be!
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 can water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp grated ginger root - (Cool trick alert! The leftover root can be frozen in a ziplock)
  • 3 green onions
  • 8 black mushrooms - dried in a package in the produce section. Follow instructions on the package before using.
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tbls Soy sauce
  • 2 tbls Rice vinegar
  • chili paste (tiny bit!)
  • sesame oil (couple splashes)
  • 1 tbls brown sugar
  • Add more of above ingredients to your liking
Mix raw pork, water chestnuts, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, mushrooms, pepper, and sesame oil in a medium bowl. See how easy!?  Put 1-2 tsp of mix in wrapper. Use egg wash around the rim of wrapper and seal by pinching. Place on wax paper so that they don't stick.

Pre-heat 2-3 tbls vegetable oil in a skillet. Add pot stickers and cook until browned on bottom. Once browned, add 1/2 cup water and cover for 5 minutes. (Be careful when you add the water, as it will splash and sizzle all over the place!!)  You may have to work in batches.

Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!!

For the dinner delivery, I also made the Thai peanut noodle dish, and some Jasmine rice, a bag of seaweed snack from Trader Joe's (Maren's fave!) and a bag full of plums from our plum tree!  I put everything in cute little chinese delivery boxes from Cost Plus (lined with parchment paper!). 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Real life love.

July - Marriage

  • Don't sweat the small stuff
  • Have one official "date night" per month
  • Week of Extreme Nice
  • Help Steve in the yard
  • Patience!
I couldn't be happier with our marriage. We hardly ever argue, especially when I am biting my tongue over those Cheerios on the ground or hat not hung up. Some things I don't understand when it comes to MEN. Like, how come they feel the need to leave their socks lying around? And why is it that they don't want to put anything into drawers? I will never understand, but I can try to find solutions. Steve tends to leave his dirty and/or gently worn clothes on the floor next to his side of the bed. There is a dresser one foot away, but the only thing that dresser collects is dust. So, I asked Steve if it would be easier for him if I put a hamper right next to that dresser so he can toss the dirty clothes in there, and then hang hooks on the back of the door so he can hang his clean stuff there. He said he'd give it a shot. Well, that simple solution worked. No more clothes on the floor! 

Steve and I spend a lot of time together, but he is generous in giving me time with my girlfriends. In July, I spent two weekends in a row down in Southern California and he didn't even hesitate letting me go. Not that he "let" me go, but you know what I mean. Even if we don't go out on an official date, we spend every evening together. We eat dinner together every night and we get at least a few minutes of tv and cuddle time in on the couch. It must be his month of marriage too because he sat through the entire 3 hour-long Bachelorette finale with me. I don't know what else screams true love like that. We went on a real a date to Art after Dark last week and we are going to see Peppino at Castoro Cellars next weekend! 

I have shown more patience over the bathroom remodel than I ever thought I was capable of. And I learned, the less you nag, the more progress is made! It seems simple, but it's true. I mentioned a deadline once and all progress halted. After a couple of weeks, I zipped my lips and things got back on track! A lesson well learned!

Steve is my soulmate. He laughs with me when I am acting weird. He acts weird right along side me. He tells me he loves me every day. He tells me when I have boogers in my nose and when I look like a lion. Real love.

We were talking about the 5 Love Languages with our friends Michael and Maren recently, and I knew right away which languages we were. Can you guess?
  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Receiving gifts
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch 
My love language is definitely TOUCH. Not one single night has gone by that Steve hasn't held me. And every morning we give each other big, warm embraces as we are getting ready for the day. He rubs my back, kisses my neck, and holds my hand every chance he get. He definitely speaks my love language!! Steve's language is acts of service. He feels the most love when I do things for him like when I help him in the yard, when I make him dinner, when I cut his hair! Which I did during the Week of Extreme Nice!

Next up is a two-monther on pursuing my passions. More blogging, more photography, DIY projects, and cooking! If you see more blog posts over the next two months you will know I am HAPPY!

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