20 October 2012

"Cookie" Pancakes

Oh, hey. As you can tell, school is keeping me busy - too busy to update the blog. It's time-consuming and tough but I'm loving it. Anyway, I had this post in draft-form for ages and because one of my new friends from school asked for the recipe, I figured I might as well post 'er up!

Oatmeal chocolate chip banana pancakes. We make these nearly every Saturday and Sunday morning because we love them so much. They're delicious and moist and the melty chocolate chips in them make them taste like cookies. They also fill you up for a good long time! We got the recipe here. We use coconut oil instead of canola and sunflower seed butter (or any other nut butter) instead of almond butter but otherwise we make them exactly as written. They take a while to cook because they're so dense. I really can't explain how heavenly they are. It's saying something about how good they are that Jason eats them even with chocolate chips (he usually doesn't like chocolate chips in anything)! You really ought to try them - I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed!

08 August 2012

Italy, Part 1

Our European vacation started in late July! I'm still in Belgium with our friends for another week. Jason headed home the other day but we covered a lot of ground while he was still here. We'll have lots of photos to share of our whole trip once I'm back home (along with better explanations and descriptions of everything), but for now you can check out our friend Maitha's photography blog to see some photos from our trip to Italy (bonus: they'll be better than any of our photos anyway)! We hit Venice, Rome, Pisa, and Florence in a whirlwind trip of four days where we walked all day every day to see as much as possible!

Stay tuned... once I'm home I'll post more of Italy... as well as Belgium and Amsterdam!

23 July 2012

Little Bear

The sweet little boy I've been watching since April is going back home to NYC this morning. I'm SO sad. As I put him down to bed last night I said, "I love you, Little Bear" and he gave me a big grin and a giggle. I wasn't being funny, but he knows how much I love that giggle - it was the sweetest parting gift.

picture of us from last month at the Aquatic Gardens

Oh sweetest little boy, how I will miss you!

19 July 2012

An Ode to Summer

A beautiful short film best viewed in full screen.
Happy (almost) summer weekend.

An Ode to Summer from Kinfolk on Vimeo.

17 July 2012

American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery

In one of our last outings (*sniffle, sniff*), Jason and I took Colin out to the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. It's a very pretty museum inside with a huge variety of exhibits. I'm sure we'll be back!

Make sure you read them!

 Little navigator

13 July 2012

Summer Produce

Summer food! I'm so glad that my joy of cooking developed in the summer - it makes meals so easy with all of the in-season fruits and veggies. You can make delicious meals without much effort! I made some spinach edamame hummus yesterday - a bit more than anticipated - so I'm trying to think of creative ways to eat it. Any ideas? Please let me know if you have any ideas (or WANT some of it) because I have a giant tupperware full of it! Below is my first meal made with it - a sandwich flat toasted with the hummus and some cheese and topped with tomatoes. Eaten with a side of (more) spinach and some watermelon (I can't get enough watermelon)!

One of my favorite summer combos is this little dish of sauteed zucchini, summer squash, onions, garlic, and tomatoes.

It's delicious roasted as well. You can do so much with it - eat it with poached eggs and toast in the morning, as the insides of an omelette, on its own, over pasta with a little parmesan, a topping for pizza... the combos are endless! Yum.

09 July 2012

July 4th

I call Independence Day the red-headed step-child of my favorite holidays because it's in the summertime and I love winter. But it's still a fun one for me because I LOVE fireworks. They're so magical! It was a HOT one this year. I wanted to go down to the National Mall.... so we did. But not before we sort of dressed up: Jason wore a blue shirt and I wore a red and white one and also painted my nails black with multicolored sparkles like fireworks (which a hippy-looking dude - a guy you would least expect to comment on a woman's nails - complimented while we were out walking around)!

We took so many other photos throughout the day but this is literally the only one worth sharing. Once we got to DC I was feeling miserable with the heat, the mall was a constructional mess (I knew this ahead of time but ignored the facts), and we weren't near any music or anything festive - just craploads of people. After stopping in at Fogo de Chao to get a couple caipirinhas, I said, "Alright, I've been in DC on July 4th. Let's go back to VA now." HA. So that's what we did. After sharing a cup of Pinkberry for dinner, we watched the fireworks from across the river with a sweet little neighborhood with a view where we all had a little "Firework" singalong (Katy, of course) and got distracted by a cute chihuahua during the firework show (we're totally going to wind up with one sometime soon)... It wasn't much, but we enjoyed it. Happy Burfday, 'Murica!

05 July 2012

Katy Perry: Part of Me

By now you know of our joint love for Katy Perry. On Monday night we attended an early screening of Katy's movie, Katy Perry: Part of Me in 3D. It's out today and it's good -- go see it!

Jason took the day off (and Monday is my day off) so we thought it would be fitting to go to Shake Shack in DC for lunch. The first and last time we dined there we did so for lunch before our first Katy concert just a little over a year ago on June 15. Happy memories!

Ya like Jason's short haircut? I love it. 

And then the movie... It was a pre-screening for fans so when we got there we got special 3-D glasses, a poster, and glow sticks (we sort of grabbed three of everything between the two of us). The girl who was standing guard in front of it all looked at Jason and went, "you look just as excited as the other guys who are getting dragged to see this." I just smile and laugh inside when people say things like that... because I know secretly (or maybe not so secretly) he really loves it. He even updated his Facebook status with "KP time." Cryptic enough that most people wouldn't know what he was talking about. But I know and am blowing his cover because I love that he was excited enough to post it. I love that he loves her. If it wasn't for him, we never would have seen her live for the first time and the past year wouldn't have been as much fun as it was!

There we are wearing our awesome 3-D glasses. I'm keeping them to use for other 3-D movies because they didn't squeeze my fat head and give me a headache like other ones usually do! Also? Jason voluntarily took this picture. I didn't have to force him or even ask him - it was his idea! Love.

We had a running joke that I would probably cry through the whole movie, so Jason timed how long it took me to start. It took me 7 minutes, 24.5 seconds to tear up for the first time. At that point in the movie, you hear the opening cords of the beginning of the tour, which generated the same reaction from me each time I saw her live last year. I never full-out cried during the movie all but I got teary-eyed about a dozen times. Parts of it are really moving and heartbreaking. But I'm also a giant sap.

She's a pretty inspiring lady and the movie is empowering -- after all, the tagline for the movie is, "Be yourself and you can be anything." She's really worked hard to get to where she is today and she stayed true to herself all the while. If that's not inspiring and empowering considering the music industry nowadays, I don't know what is. I could go into detail but you should really go see the movie.

P.S. Apparently our power is back as of this afternoon - HOORAY!!!

04 July 2012

Power, Where Ya At?

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! We have plans to go down to the mall, but Jason is so not excited about the prospect of being outside in the heat (and doesn't love fireworks like I do) so we'll see what really happens... he's tried to keep me from wanting to go by telling me that Katy Perry will be on TV but it's not working... I figure I'll hear "Firework" all day anyway and we got a good Katy fix the other night (more on that later when I have internet to work with again) so I'm rearing to hang out in our nation's capital!

[photos from July 4, 2010]

As for our (lack of) power situation... Allow me to quote a neighbor friend's Facebook status from yesterday:

In my email today: "We still have no estimate for restoration of your power, because we just strung caution tape around the tree resting on your power lines and called it a day. Our billing department has power, though, so here is your bill reminder. Up yours, xoxo, Dominion."

Still no power 'round these parts! Today is day 5 (6 if you count Friday night) without power. Apparently there were 1.5 million people without power following the storm and as of yesterday there were about 300K. We're hoping by the weekend we'll have power again... but who knows?

I am so thankful for my generous in-laws that don't mind us hanging out in their house. Recently they were complaining about how rarely they've seen us lately due to my wonky work schedule... they may never do that again because we've been invading their space since Saturday morning!

Hopefully it'll come back on soon because our apartment is seriously cookin'. That, and I have a lot of things to blog about and very limited internet! So stay tuned...!!!

02 July 2012


This is something that's pretty important to us, especially while we're childless. I'm not really one for repeat vacations (other than our mini ones to the lake). We may fall into the repeat vacays when we have kids (but I hope we don't), but for now there are so many places in this big world to see! Each year, we try to take a big vacation and visit a new place. Last year, it was our drive down most of the Pacific Coast Highway from Seattle to LA.

This year? Europe. More specifically, Brussels. Other than that? Probably France and Italy while we're out there... but we haven't really decided on anything yet other than we're flying in and out of Brussels so we can hang with our friends Maitha & Andreas (their wedding was part of our trip last year)! Jason is going for a week and a half and I'm going for three weeks before school starts. At this point we have less than a month before we're headed off - we're leaving later this month! Any suggestions for places to visit while we're out there? We're all ears!

[image from here]

30 June 2012

We Saved the Ice Cream

We had a little storm last night... you might have heard about it or experienced it yourself. It was... a little bigger than little. Of course our power went out because when doesn't our power go out when it rains in the summertime? The difference is this time we're going to lose food which luckily doesn't happen to us often despite losing power. But don't worry - we saved the ice cream. It was one of those ideas that seems like a really great one until afterward when your belly is full of peanut butter ice cream at 1 am. Still, I'm glad we saved it. You know, priorities and all that. Plus, it makes for good memories: Husband and wife eating ice cream out of multiple containers in the wee hours of the morning by flashlight in their underwear.

The second tree behind the first one (no, those aren't bushes, that is a tree spanning across our one-way street) is the real doozy - right on our power lines.

We had a little birthday breakfast with Al this morning before I had to head to work. It was supposed to be a nice brunch but the restaurant didn't have power. It took us a while to find food without a line that looked like it would take 40 minutes to get through. Lots of people without power 'round these parts! We had to settle for grocery store bagels and vending machine coffee. Such a pathetic birthday meal. Needless to say, we owe Al a better meal at some point!

I drove home toward the end of the storm last night around midnight when the wind and rain calmed. However, the lightening was still strutting its stuff and I witnessed some incredible blasts in the sky going over the bridge. Mother Nature, you are truly something special.

26 June 2012

In the Kitchen

More healthy culinary expeditions since the last post:
  • Whole wheat buttermilk blueberry banana muffins
  • Pasta with chicken sausage, white beans, spinach, and cheese
  • Beet and orange arugula salad with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and dijon dressing 
  • Grilled blackened salmon served over a black bean, red onion, and grilled corn medley (for my dad's birthday)
  • Potatoes au gratin (for Dad's birthday)
  • A triple berry trifle (for Dad's birthday)
who needs a trifle dish when you have clear tupperware? classy.
  • Black bean veggie burgers (these were delicious but need some serious alterations with the filler - they were more like mush than burgers but were really tasty as part of a spinach salad with mango and tomato)
  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Zucchini and cheese enchiladas
one of us doesn't like scallions & cilantro. he shall remain nameless...
  • Chocolate chip banana muffins - I've made these a bunch of different times with some alterations each time. Jason loves these to take for breakfast to eat on his walk to the bus each morning which is why I keep making them (his without the chocolate chips, of course). Yesterday I feel like I perfected the recipe - I'll share it soon!
  • Tilapia tacos
  • Mexican chicken crock pot dish
  • Barbacoa in the crock pot served with brown rice (with corn, black beans, onions) and topped with cilantro, tomatoes, scallions, and avocado.
who needs chipotle?
  • Chewy chocolate chip granola bars
  • BBQ pineapple chicken
  • Zucchini fritters (they fell apart a little - I need to learn the proper ratio of flour/egg here!). I didn't make marinara sauce but I thought next time I'll make some to dip them in. Yum.
  • Chicken salad
  • Zucchini chocolate chip muffins 
  • Pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies
We loved the grilled blackened salmon and made it again when we were at Jason's parents' house since they have a grill. Someday we'll do it again at home but we don't have a dang grill. I keep searching on Craigslist for a mini charcoal grill - I would kill for a grill! We've also made the enchiladas twice. We have plans to do coconut chicken salad again tonight (from the last post). We're clearly finding favorites!

Whenever we're together for dinners (which is rare - usually only once a week), Jason helps me in the kitchen which makes things so much easier, faster, and more enjoyable. He's a great sous chef. On the days I'm alone, I just prep his dinner for him before I go to work so it's ready for him when he gets home! It makes me happy to cook for him because he has been super busy lately with school and work (I'm so proud of him). He has also been taking his turn in the kitchen by making breakfasts on the weekends before I have to go to work and not waking me until it's nearly done which I LOVE. I could get used to that! He's made a lot of whole wheat banana chocolate chip waffles and pumpkin pancakes. They are so delicious.

Our dishwasher bit the dust a couple of days ago... so there is a lot of hand-washing going on around these parts lately with all this cooking and baking (boo...)! The plumber came out yesterday but he couldn't do anything... sigh. Next stop - appliance dudes! Wish us luck that it's fixed soon... Of course I'll continue cooking anyway!

18 June 2012

Dave Matthews Band: LIVE!

Dave Matthews Band has been one of my favorite bands since I started caring about music in middle school. Jason has liked them just as long, if not longer. I actually prefer their live albums over their studio ones (I have memories of constantly stealing Jason's live discs from him in high school) so seeing them live has been something I've wanted to do for a long time. On Saturday night, we made it happen!

The drive was twice as long as we expected. I thought the show started 1.5 hours earlier than it actually did so sitting in traffic minutes before we thought it was going to start was making me antsy. I took a few photos while we sat there to pass the time... and had a one-woman Katy Perry dance party with the windows down yelling, "I'm at the wrong concert, y'all!"

We made it just in time to stand in a slow-moving bathroom line, grab a beer, get our pit wristbands, and snap a few photos of how close we were to the stage despite thinking we were late!

And then the show started. And goodness was it a good one. And a loud one (I wanted to plug my ears at times which made me feel... old). There's nothin' like standing in front of a wall of speakers in the pit! We stood with a couple who had been to 50+ shows and they said this was one of the best they had been to and that we were lucky to be so close. We were about 6ish people back from the front and I could see Carter (the drummer & my fav) smiling away the whole time.

It was well worth the wait. I knew it would be.
They played a lot of newer music (I wish this one was included in the newer song lineup - we played it to introduce our parents & wedding party at our wedding reception!) when I'm a bigger fan of the older tunes, but I'm not complaining. They did play a few songs from Under the Table and Dreaming which is my fav studio album.
They were incredible.


08 June 2012

DC's Aquatic Gardens

Last weekend, Jason and I went to the Aquatic Gardens in DC. They were a wee bit waterlogged from a big rain we had a couple of days prior but they were still pretty darn gorgeous. There was so much wildlife! Turtles in all different sizes (I was in turtle heaven), geese with their goslings, fish, and dragonflies galore. And of course, lots of pretty flowers.

 We brought a little someone else with us for the trip too.

This is Colin, the sweetest little guy I've been spending most of my time with lately. While his talented mama is off, "entertaining the masses," as she calls it, we take little trips around DC together. We have the best time!

I adore him.

We'll definitely be making another trip when everything has had a chance to dry out a little more.
There were quite a few walking paths we didn't get the chance to see and I'd love to explore them all!

06 June 2012

Back to School

My big news
(which is now relatively old news)
is that I'll be spending the next two years here pursuing my Master's of Public Health:

I can't wait!
I've been talking about doing this since before I finished my undergrad degree so I'm thrilled to get it started!
Jason has also been going to school for the past few months, 
so soon enough we'll both be little worker bees working on degrees.
I'm proud of us.
 Making changes for a better life.
Life is good. 
No, scratch that. 
It's great.

P.S. I went to Tulsa in January and finally wrote about it. Hooray for catching up!

01 June 2012

Making Space

The other day I had a meltdown about the lack of space in our teeny apartment that ended in a trip to Ikea. We bought a wardrobe and in a situation that would probably test the patience of some marriages, we found ourselves laughing. A lot. Thank goodness we're able to do that. How do we get ourselves into these messes? First, will the boxes fit in the car? Eventually... but barely. Then, will it fit through the hall door and into the bedroom once made? No, not even close. So, is there enough room in the bedroom to build it? Yes, but only if you have the strength of three people, are able to hold the damn thing up for extended periods of time, and are able to laugh in the face of what seems impossible, even in the wee hours of the morning with sore muscles and bruises.

I so love that man I married.

She turned out pretty nice though, yes?
 I sure hope the next renters think so because they might inherit her.

P.S. I finally wrote about our Vegas Trip.

30 May 2012

Food, Glorious Food

I have found a new hobby. 

In the past week and a half I have cooked: 
  • Zucchini turkey burgers with caramelized onions, tomato, and spinach;
  • Brussels sprouts with turkey bacon and garlic; 
  • Arugula salad with watermelon and feta (pictured); 
  • Mini quiches with caramelized onions, zucchini, tomatoes, cheese, and turkey bacon;
  • Mini quiches with spinach, cheese, and turkey bacon; 
  • Brown fried rice with onions, scallions, carrots, edamame, and egg;
  • Spicy mayo shrimp;
  • Garlic lime shrimp;
  • Roasted summer veggies: yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, and garlic;
  • Stuffed mushrooms with turkey bacon, spinach, and cheese (pictured); and
  • Coconut chicken salad.
And I have baked:
  • An oatmeal bake with bananas and blueberries;
  • Oatmeal cookies - chocolate chip, cranberry, and blueberry varieties (pictured);
  • Blueberry scones (some with chocolate chips);
  • Banana muffins (some with chocolate chips) - these are dangerously delicious... I might have eaten three in one day...; and
  • Chocolate banana souffles.
Jason made banana chocolate chip waffles for me one morning this past weekend too. I had plans for other meals but two people can only eat so much. I started cooking to make healthier meals for us both and despite the fact that a lot of it doesn't sound all that healthy, it all is - at least when you give yourself the right serving size. I think the most fun part was finding ways to make every one of these things healthy (turkey alternatives to beef, wheat flour instead of white, less butter and more alternatives, etc). A lot of these were recipes that I found online, but I made my own twist on most of them.

If you had told me two months ago that I would love to cook and bake if I had free time, I would have laughed at you. But now that my schedule has changed and I have free time during the day, I'm loving it! Now if only I had space to entertain (and someone to clean the rest of the apartment I've neglected) so I could feed more people!

P.S. How do people cook with online recipes? This is the first time I can understand the usefulness of an iPad because my MacBook takes up half of our counter space (I wish I was exaggerating). But I still won't buy an iPad if that is the only use I get out of it. Maybe I could try my Kindle's awful "experimental" browser? Anyone have any other ideas?

P.P.S. I have another post lined up for Friday, so come back now, ya hear? I hope to be updating a bit more soon... and doing a bit of catching up!

02 April 2012

The Vegas

We did my 27th in Vegas (my first time). What does a non-gambling gal do in Vegas? Eat. Lots and lots of food. Enough to make a 5-pound food baby, to be exact. She ain't pretty, let me tell you, but Vegas food is not to be missed. Yum.

As a surprise, Erin flew in from LA for the day to hang with us! After a chocolatey breakfast at Max Brenner, we drove to Hoover Dam in our fancy convertible. We skipped the tour and walked over the dam instead. Whew, it's HIGH. I couldn't get all of it in the picture, but the scale is told by the tiny people up in the right-hand corner.

Also? It's windy. You like that hair?

Lots of walking, lots of eating, and a couple of shows later we were ready to come home. Until next time, Vegas!

01 March 2012

Four Years Ago Today

March 1st is a special day in our little family's life. 
On February 29, 2008, I decided I wanted a dog. 
The next day, on March 1st, I made it happen... slightly to Jason's dismay. 
It's okay though - he warmed up to the little dude pretty quickly. 

02 Snowpocalypse 2.0 

Winter Snows 5



Since he's a rescue, we don't know Rufus' true birthday.
So we celebrate his homecoming day instead.
Happy Homecoming Day, Rufus.
You make our little family complete and we love you so much!