Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Living big in a small town!

I am horrible at writing blog posts. I end up writing 3 or more "versions" before I am happy with them. Maybe that is why I have been so horrible about updating this blog. Sorry! For those of you who read this to know what we are up to, I apologize. But on the other hand, I do not apologize, because I have been busy living life! 

We have been so blessed to live on a lake out in the country. There are so many opportunities here that we would never have in the city. Emad goes fishing every night (almost), horse back riding, off-roading, etc. He loves it! And I love working part time at KCA and being a housewife. We soaked up the last couple weeks of heat before school started and the cold set in.  Here are a bunch of photos of our summer, 

We loved having picnics down by the lake in the evenings.
This is my favorite tree. During wintertime it is covered in mistletoe.
This is my running road. The sky always looks so big on this road.

Emad spent most of his summer evenings out fishing on the lake.
He even caught some BIG bass!! 

I even tried my hand at fishing, but only caught 1!  

Sunrise on the lake, on my "commute" to work, is always amazing!

We visited the UC Davis Arboretum. It is amazing! I highly recommend it!

I got to hang out with these two a little this summer. They are the GREATEST!

Turkey visit our complex!

I attempted to fix up a bed. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the head/footboards were antique and don't fit any old bed frame. So now I have to figure out how to make it work. Suggestions?

Whenever we have visitors I love to take them to my favorite farm stand, Renker's. My dad bought this lug (box) of pears to dehydrate while he was here.

I took my family to the county faire when they visited. We rode rides, ate yummy food, and watched off-road truck racing. 

My "first day of school" picture. I love KCA! It has been the best job I have ever had. 

Emad rode horses with a friend!

We rarely eat out. There are very few places to eat at. But, this past week Emad took me out to have dinner (and watch the Charger's game). We splurged and he got RIBS!

The saddest part of being far away is missing out on the kiddos lives. We weren't able to make it to Kylie's birthday, so we celebrated with her when she visited us.

Emad LOVED off roading with Bill! 
Thanks for reading! We miss you all back home and can't wait to visit soon!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summertime Update

Hi All!

Life has been busy here at the Elias' house. Emad is keeping busy by working, working out, helping with the youth group at church, playing volleyball with friends, and fishing! He has become quite the fisherman. Unfortunately, the Mercury levels in our lake are too high to eat the fish, so he just does catch and release. But, it is always exciting when he catches something! (Actually, he is out fishing right now.)

I have also been keeping busy with book writing, teaching swimming lessons everyday, working at the school, and gardening. Many people have asked me recently when my book will be coming out. At this point, it feels like forever. I am hoping that in 6 months I will be ready to release a digital version to the various online book stores (iTunes Books, Amazon, and Kindle). Then, I will try to figure out how/if I will do an actual book.

Here is a sneak peak of the introduction thus far...but it will probably change 50 times before I publish it...

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Meal Planning Made Easy

I hate meal planning. It is my nemesis. But, since I am writing a book/cookbook about eating on a budget, it seemed important to put at least one section on meal planning. Some of you may be wondering, "Why should I plan my meals?".

If you are anything like me, you have a set of recipes that you make over and over again. But, every once in a while you make something new and it DOUBLES your grocery bill because you had to buy unique ingredients that you don't usually buy. With meal planning, it gives you the opportunity to try new things (or repeat the old ones) without the extra cost for ingredients.

Here are my four steps to simple meal planning,
  1. INVENTORY what you have to use for the next week.
    • For me, this was boneless skinless chicken breasts. I bought them last week when they were on sale and they are taking up too much room in my freezer.
  2. See what is on SALE at the store this week.
    • I use the Safeway app and love it! It automatically loads the coupons onto my card. If you shop at another grocery store, look up their weekly sales online.
  3. Now, you have a LIST of items to use and items to buy. So, start pulling together recipes that you (a) already  have or (b) have always wanted to try. 
  4. Once you have a list of recipes for the week, go SHOPPING
I know that that sounds way to simple and it is actually very time consuming. But, the more that you do this, the easier it becomes. My husband can attest to me repeating over and over again, "I don't know what to make!" as I meal planned this week.

Here is this week's meal plan:

Saturday (yesterday): Falafel & Cucumber Pitas
Sunday: Asian Shredded Chicken Salad
Monday: Burrito Bowls
Tuesday: Black Bean Tacos w/ Slaw
Wednesday: Chicken Lo Mein
Thursday: Greek Style Salad w/ Kafta (Substitute the Lamb with Beef)
Friday: Chicken & Rice (This is one of my new favorite recipes!)

Note: I am doing a lot of recipe testing this week which is why so many of these recipes are new ones. Usually I stick to my old reliable recipes.

I hope this inspires you to save money by planning your meals this week!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why KCA is the BEST!

Do you know that Beats by Dre commercial with Colin Kaepernick? Well, if you don't know the commercial, watch the video below. Basically it's a headphones commercial.

Well...the 7th and 8th grade class at KCA decided that it would be fun to do a spoof of that commercial with their FAVORITE teacher, Mr. Sombs. And, I am in it!! Enjoy.

Monday, May 26, 2014

First Anniversary!

We have been married for over a year now! I really can't believe all that has happened in the past year. For our anniversary we did a couple things. First, we went to a nice dinner at The Blue Wing. It was one of the best meals out that we have had since moving here!

Next, we went on a camping trip to Kern River with my siblings.

This face says the meat is not good. :(

Our last anniversary adventure was this past weekend. We went camping in the Redwoods!

The North Coast is beautiful!

Our campsite & my dish washing husband!

We drove through a tree!

Emad squinting to see the top of the redwoods (350 Feet)! 
Camping breakfasts are my favorite!

Anytime we leave Lake County we always try the food (and drinks).

I cheated and had dairy @ Cowlicks! Yummmy!
The last five years of being together and last one of marriage have been amazing! I am so blessed to be married to such an amazing man.

First Picture Together

Wedding Day! 
Married 1 Year!