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roasted-kielbasa-potatoes
All the men on my husbands side of the family LOVE kielbasa and for the most part the ladies can take it or leave it. It’s usually the meal of choice on their birthdays and fathers day dinners. Brad has a few things he’s wanted me to make at home that I tend to shay away from. Kielbasa, corned beef and cabbage, and anything with brussel sprouts. I know, he’s neglected. I actually felt kinda bad about it and figured I’d try and do my own spin on a kielbasa recipe and I have to say, I’m really pleased how it turned out! Super easy and all the ingredients keep for a long time in the fridge so it’s a great meal for a time pinch if you have unexpected guests over.

Ingredients:

1 package of Kielbasa cut in diagonal slices

1/2 an onion. I like sweet or brown onions

5 yukon gold potatoes. Skin on. Cut into half inch slices

Roughly 3 to 4 tables spoons of olive oil

1 cup of freshly grated white cheddar or gruyere cheese

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan

(optional) 2 Peppers of your liking. I like red, orange, or yellow bell peppers. Cut up into small chunks

(optional) seasoning for the potatoes and onions. I prefer Santa Maria or Lawry’s seasoning.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Place all the cut meat and vegetables onto a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle to taste the olive oil over the food and using your hands massage the oil and food making sure everything is evenly coated. If you prefer more seasoning then very lightly sprinkle your seasoning evenly over the top. Kielbasa is very salty so if you do decide to season do NOT over season. I prefer not adding extra seasoning. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 35-45 min checking to see if the potatoes are cooked all the way through. Once the potatoes are cooked, pull out the cookie sheet and sprinkle both the the white cheddar or gruyere and the parmasen on top of the kielbasa, potatoes, and onions evenly and pop back in the oven until the cheese is melted. Let stand for a few minutes before serving. Roughly 4 servings.

 

 

turning-30
Wow, 30. I’m there. I have arrived. I’m no longer in my 20′s anymore O_o and so far it’s treated me pretty good. I have to say i think it was kind of making me nervous. As most of you know we bought a house, the kids are getting older with their own sweet (and demanding) little personalities, and I was approaching 30. Fixing up a house is exciting and wonderful to watch transform, but it’s also very hard and uninspiring at times. Especially for someone who spends most of her time at home, snapping photos of the little things that inspire me lol. Kids are wonderful and so sweet and I wouldn’t even think about having it any other way than being their mama, but it’s hard at times. Trying to keep my cool and teach them lovingly, trying to understand i need to guide them the best I can. Top those things with me approaching my 30′s and i was a big ball of tears constantly. I kinda crawled into a mini hole. They say you go through seasons in life, and I think I was/am in one. Kind of a tough one too, but I have my special things to help me get through this time and I’m very thankful for that.

(I’m going to break my birthday weekend into a couple posts)

I was reminded of the love that surrounds me this past weekend.  Brad told me we were going to rent out a loft in downtown LA from airbnb for my birthday, but that was it. He wanted to give me basic details to prepare, but nothing more. He wanted to surprise me. When we got in the car to make the long trip he puts a suitcase in my lap and tells me to open it. After some confused whining about why I had to, I finally did as he said and opened up the bag… to find… my dream camera the Canon EOS 70D!!!!!! I cried, cried like a big baby. I was so surprised and happy (thank you Bradly!). So we arrive in SoCal, drop off the kids, and my second surprise was getting my hair dyed for the FIRST TIME EVER! What a way to start off my 30′s eh? I didn’t do anything crazy as you can tell by my pics. My stylist suggested enhancing my hair before doing something drastic… like ombre… which will happen soon I’m sure. I like what we decided on. After that we hopped in the car and made the drive to LA. Driving through the city gave me such a thrill. I will forever love that city, even with the pee smell and homeless crazies. There is just something about that city the wins me over every time. We check in and get situated, relaxed and then got all dolled up to go out to dinner. We went to one of my fav restaurants I’ve mentioned on here before called Perch. After dinner I was surprised with a CRAZY AWESOME SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY WAITING FOR ME  BACK AT THE LOFT! I was on cloud nine. As someone who has planned plenty of surprise parties for others, I have to say it felt SO GOOD getting one of my own. I’ll share more pictures and detail about that in my other post. The rest of the weekend was full of snapping photos, favorite food, and lots of mama and papa time with no kids. It was wonderful, and even more wonderful when we got to go home to our little ones energized and refreshed. Thank you Bradley Hettervik for planning this weekend for me and making my 30′s so special. You did good. So good. I love you baby! Thank you family and friends for loving me and helping my Bradley out. It was so wonderful seeing you all there. I really needed to see you all and it filled my heart up <3

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outdoormovieSo, this post has a compilation of photos. Samantha’s original date for her birthday party got rained out so we held it indoors with some family. A week later I hosted the original idea of a DIY outdoor drive in movie party. So below are photos of both events. Samantha saw her first movie in a theater a few months ago and I haven’t seen her enjoy an experience as much as going to this movie. Anytime she talked about it she got so animated and excited. When thinking of her 3rd birthday, I wanted to do something fun with some personal touches, but nothing too crazy. Especially since a few months prior I threw Sean’s 1st birthday party…which was exhausting. I decided not to serve a meal, but keep it to popcorn, candy, cupcakes, and drinks. I figured  I was playing a dangerous game of possibly losing our sweet new friends we’ve made up here in the bay area by hosting a party where their kids stay up late and eat candy lol. But the kids had a blast. So much so, that I found myself enjoying the moment more than hiding behind a camera all night taking photos. Great for the evening, not so great for photo options. But that”s ok. ;) Below is a quick list of Samantha’s party details…

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52-weeks-silicon-valley-psycho-donuts

52 Weeks of Silicon Valley is a project where I visit, review, and take photos once a week of various places in Silicon Valley. For a more detailed explanation about this series, click HERE

Who: Psycho Donuts

What: Specialty donut shop (to say the least)

When: Friday 6am – 11pm | Saturday 7am – 11pm | Sunday 7am – 9pm

Where: 2006 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell, CA 95008 they also have a location in San Jose

Why: If you want more than the average donut, this is the place to go. Psycho Donuts has “donutized” everything from pizzas, tacos, and even sushi! You’ll find crazy-fresh, original donuts topped with everything from Oreo cookies and Captain Crunch®, to Rice Krispie Treats and Nutella. These guys would be such a fun vender to use for desserts at a costume party!

My Experience: A few friends of ours suggested we go in the morning, because like most donut shops, it seems like thats when the donuts taste the best. The kids and I ventured over around 10am. It’s a very colorful and creative shop that provides a unique experience. The theme is these donuts have gone “psycho” from the traditional donut, and this shop is the asylum where they all hang out. Local artists have contributed in the decor of this shop. They even have a mini padded cell you can go inside. The staff are dressed in scrubs like nurses, and instead of using wax paper to select your donuts they use bubble wrap. They really do make each donut it’s own original work of art. They had a “kookie monster” donut with oreos and blue frosting, a two toned jekyll and hyde donut, Fung Shui which had green tea icing, chocolate chips and vanilla drizzle. So many crazy flavors! We got the “cereal killer” which was a capt’n crunch donut, nutella-the-hun, and donuttella, which were nutella themed flavors. To see a full menu list go HEREThe Psycho Donut experience is not only yummy, but fully entertaining. I think it’s safe to say they are the most unique donut shop in the bay area and definitely worth visiting.

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home-grown-tomatoesWhen we moved into our new house, the previous owner planted a vegetable garden. Unfortunately he  planted it were the backyard grass would normally grow. I couldn’t bring myself to rip it all out without harvesting at least 1 crop of tomatoes. We got our basket and plucked as many as we could while Brad (sadly) pulled all of our tomato plants out of our yard. I have the perfect spot picked out to have an above ground garden though, so hopefully next summer we won’t be without tomatoes….because after this batch of tomatoes I don’t think I can go back to store bought ever again. I now understand why some people eat tomatoes like apples. They definitely aren’t doing it to store bought tomatoes though. We had so many extra tomatoes that we bagged a few up and took a walk in our neighborhood dropping off bag fulls to neighbors and friends. Samantha was my sweet little helper who delivered the tomatoes for me, and Sean supervised… from the stroller. I loved showing my kids the happiness of giving in this way. I’m really looking forward to starting up another vegetable garden asap!

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i-love-mangoes

Congratulations Jamielynn on winning our I Love Mangoes giveaway. I’ll message you with all the details on how to collect your prize =)

It’s the time of year again! The Keitt mangoes are in season! I couldn’t have been more thrilled when I Love Mangoes contacted me for a giveaway! This is the second time I’ve received mangoes from them and both times were excellent. I Love Mangoes not only provides premium fruit, but they deliver it to your front doorstep. So convenient and the quality is excellent. I also love their website. Very user friendly when ordering the Mangoes, and they also have recipes, mango tips, and more. Brad and Samantha were so excited to get their batch of mangoes.

Today’s giveaway will award our winner with 1 box of Keitt Mangoes delivered fresh to their door. To enter, go “like” I Love Mangoes Facebook page, visit their website, and then enter to win below the photos! This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents at this time. Good luck!

i-love-mangoesi-love-mangoesi-love-mangoes
a Rafflecopter giveaway

52-weeks-silicon-valley-tin-pot-creamery

52 Weeks of Silicon Valley is a project where I visit, review, and take photos once a week of various places in Silicon Valley. For a more detailed explanation about this series, click HERE

Who: Tin Pot Creamery

What: A specialty ice cream shop

When: Sun – Thu: 11 am – 9 pm  Fri – Sat: 11 am – 10 pm

Where: 855 El Camino Real, #121, Palo Alto, California 94301

Why: They offer decadent and sophisticated, full flavored ice cream with a twist on traditional flavors. Their ice cream is handcrafted in small batches using natural and wholesome ingredients. This place is good for dates (especially a first date where you want to impress), taking the kids out, or a guilty pleasure solo excursion.

Cost: An adult cup with two scoops with up to two flavors starts at $4.00. $10+ per pint. A one scoop kid cup or cone is $3.50.

My Experience: When I arrived at Tin Pot Creamery, I noticed a lot of attention to detail. Cute chalkboard signs, a little “cone holder” at the register to free up your hands, and I especially loved how they put two candied eyes on Samantha’s kid cone to add some character. I didn’t notice any seating inside of the shop, but there were benches outside where you can sit and enjoy your ice cream.  Samantha had strawberry short cake which she inhaled down without a peep. I chose roasted banana fudge ripple (oh ya!) and after asking what a good pairing would be for a second scoop, got the salted butterscotch. My scoops were on a waffle cone, which had a chocolate chunk at the bottom of it (I think I caught myself rolling my eyes in the back of my head while savoring).  I also noticed that with how creamy my two scoops were, the serving sizes were the perfect amount. The quality and experience you receive definitely justifies the cost. I would definitely recommend TPC if you want something yummy and unique, yet with a familiar flare that reminds you of making homemade ice cream with a family member.

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