Monday, October 23, 2017

Sloped Backyard Transformation DIY

We used Minwax stain in dark walnut on all the wood to give it a more finished look.

We used 12 inch pieces of rebar to hold the landscaping timber in place.

You can see our neighbor's horses, Lucky and Jenny. I love when they visit at the fence!

This is the view from our patio at the top of the pathway I made leading down to the fire pit area.

If you follow me on Anchor, then you've probably been hearing all about our home projects as they come along, and most recently, our biggest home project has been transforming an overgrown hillside into a usable fire pit and entertaining area. It took a lot of work and a lot more money than we originally thought, but the finished project ended up being better than we ever thought and definitely worth all the long days and sore muscles. It was also well worth the cost! After adding up all our receipts the project cost around $600 and 2 weeks of long days of work, which is more than we thought we were getting ourselves into, but now that it's finished, we're totally happy with it and realized that it definitely would have cost us well over that if we had not done it ourselves. I think we'll get at least $600 worth of use out of it, plus we added value to our home by adding more usable space and getting rid of an ugly weed patch. Who wants a view of weeds from their patio?

We decided to terrace the hill for two main reasons: first, to level out the hill so you can actually walk around on it safely, and secondly, to add built-in seating. We did this by making the upper retaining walls double as benches.

When we started this project, we had a general idea of what we were doing, but it really wasn't as planned out as you might think. It started with me just digging the basic shape I thought it would be while Jordan cleared brush and removed stumps. The great thing about me and Jordan working together on projects is that we both bring different skills to the project. I usually have the idea and vision that starts the project and then Jordan makes sure it gets done right. Neither of us are experienced enough to know exactly how it's going to end, but it's kind of fun to figure it out as we go and see it shape into the finished project through the process.

After I had dug out the basic outline, we decided to start on the retaining wall. We chose to use concrete landscaping bricks for the base wall because we thought it would be the hardest to repair when the wood eventually broke down. We wanted something that would last. We went with wood for the upper, smaller walls since they would be much easier to eventually replace. Wood is also a lot cheaper and less bulky which allowed us to get the exact shape we wanted for the seating. We used treated lumber for everything but the seats of the benches which we stained and sealed with at least 2 coats of marine varnish. We used marine varnish instead of deck sealer because it has great water protection and looks nice and shiny and feels super smooth and finished. The staining and varnishing was probably the most frustrating part of the entire project because we were so close to being done and all we could do was sit and wait for it to dry between coats.

One thing we learned while doing this project is that the most important thing to building retaining walls is plenty of good drainage (Thanks YouTube!). You should have at least 6 inches or more of drainage stone behind your wall. We also learned that the drainage material is where most of the cost is going to be. So make sure to factor that in when planning to build a retaining wall!

From there, we just started building and digging and building and digging until it started to take shape. We wanted it to feel as natural a flow as possible so we worked with the shape of the existing hill to decide where our walls and benches ended and how tall they ended up being while still being a reasonable bench height. We also didn't really have to add much dirt. We were able to pretty much just use all the dirt from what we dug from the hill to level out each tier.

One of the features of this project that I am probably most proud of is the stairs/path leading from our existing patio down to our new fire pit area. Because our patio sits on top of a rock wall, we needed some stairs. How the rocks are stacked, however, made it a little bit of a problem, and it was really hard to figure out how to make it work. It wasn't steep enough to just simply add stairs but wasn't sloped enough to walk down. I stared and thought for quite a while before I had any luck. One night when Jordan was gone, I went out and just started working on it. I looked around the yard for rocks I could add and just dug and placed rocks until it formed a walkable pathway. I still can't believed I got it to work without having to build a staircase. I ended up gluing some of the rocks to make sure they weren't going to move over time, and it seems to be pretty solid.

All in all, we couldn't be happier with the finished project! And if us newbs can do it, then I think just about anyone can with some hard work and research! Living in the age of the internet really makes learning how to do anything possible!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

How to Plan a Wedding in 3 Months or Less

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography

You might have noticed on my post about how I made my wedding dress that Jordan and I were only engaged for 3 months. Actually, it was just shy of that at 12 weeks and 3 days, but who's counting. It's a common thought that you need at least 6 months to a year to adequately plan a wedding, but in reality, how long it takes to plan a wedding is all subjective on you, what you want, and your budget. I have a very good friend who pulled together a stunning wedding in a week. Yes, I said 1 week!

I'm actually not sure exactly how much time went into planning our wedding. I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted before we were engaged. I feel like most girls have at least an idea even if they don't admit it. So, once we had sealed the deal, it was just time to start actively putting the pieces together and making it happen. It was going really well for the first couple of weeks but started to go down hill when we bought our house a month later. We were so excited about our house that we put all our focus on house stuff, and I completely forgot to keep planning our wedding. It was 2 weeks before the wedding when I snapped out of my house brain and realized that we were getting married in 2 weeks and I still had a ton to do! Can you say freak out moment? I pulled together an emergency meeting at Starbucks with my sister and my mom to get things done. So, in a way, I only really actively planned for our wedding for a month and 2 weeks.

I really wanted a longer engagement but, once we were engaged, we both agreed that we were glad we went the quick route. We were so ready to be done with dating and move on with our life together that a long or just simply average engagement time would just be frustrating. So pulling off a wedding in 3 months or less can be done! However, planning a quick wedding comes with some conditions that you need to be aware of.

Limitations and Advantages

The first thing to be aware of is that there might be some limitations to what you can get in short notice, but with those limitations you might find some advantageous discounts. Some venues book a year in advance so last minute venue shopping can be tricky, especially if you have a particular venue in mind. But don't lose hope if this is the case, there are often cancellations and you can sometimes scoop up those dates if an opening does come available. This isn't always the case, but in some instances booking last minute can land you a discount. Most venues like to stay booked and when a cancellation happens, they want to fill that spot because some money is better than no money. Don't be afraid to barter pricing for last minute bookings! Just know that this is not true for all venues and might depend greatly on how in demand it is. Don't expect a discount if there are 5 others behind you wanting that date. But on the other side, you have the advantage of being the crazy bride booking 2 or 3 months before the date. There won't be that many of you.
That being said, you will have to be flexible on your date. If you have a specific date in mind that can't be moved, then you'll have to be more flexible on your venue choices and pick from what's available. These limitations unfortunately aren't just limited to venues, you will probably find yourself making these types of decisions a lot with last minute planning. Will you have enough time to get the dress you've always wanted if it's not in stock? Is your favorite baker booked till next November? And so on... You just have to decide if that's something you and your fiancé are ok with. Consider your priorities and ask yourself the question "How important are the details of my dream wedding?" and "Am I ok with not getting exactly what I want?" which leads me to my next point...

Think Outside the Box

Creativity can go a long way! If you are set on what you want and you still want to have a short engagement, then it's up to you to make it happen. Realize that it's going to be a lot of work but it can also make all the difference. When you run into a problem, find a way around it. Say your dream dress is not going to be possible on short notice, find a way to get something that you'll love just as much. You could buy a similar dress and get it altered to look more like the one you wanted or figure out something you love even more, whatever that might be! Having the need to be creative during planning can help you realize options that you might not have considered in the first place but might love more than your original idea. Even if you just want to get married and couldn't care less about what your wedding is like, a little creativity can still come in handy to just get it done! So get those creative juices flowing!

Make a Schedule (and stick to it)

I made a schedule and it would have worked out great if I had only followed it instead of getting so sidetracked with our house. So I highly recommend making a list of everything you need to do and and then setting goals for how and when you are going to get them done. I used an app called Wedding Planner by Wedding Wire and it was great! The app comes with a timeline checklist that you can edit to add your own items and take off things you don't need that the app's added. Even though the timeline was much longer than mine, it gave me a good place to start and had things on the list I might have forgotten about. I just kind of attacked the list and tried get caught up like I had been planning the whole time. I highly recommend it! Especially if you are doing a lot of diy projects for your wedding, doing a little bit at a time as you go will make it seem a lot easier than a mountain of crafting all at once. Also, try to plan out everything to be done a week earlier than your wedding. Last minute things will come up that last week, but the less you have to worry about the better. Plan for that last week to be a time to enjoy your last week of being engaged, think everything through in a relaxed state instead of a crazy stressed state, and get plenty of sleep. If I have one regret, it's not sleeping enough those last couple of days.

Tips on making a priority list:
First focus on the big ones: how, when, where, who, what

How many guests are going to be invited? This is important because it affects where and what.

When is the wedding going to be? This is a given, you obviously have to pick a date. Even if your date is flexible or dependent on venue options, you will need to at least think about options and black out any date that would absolutely not work, that way you don't jump on a venue booking just to remember that your grandmother is having surgery the day before...

Where is the wedding and reception going to be? Once you know how many guests are expected to attend, then you can start looking for venues that fit your needs.

Who is going to be involved? If you haven't already, you'll need to decide who will be involved in your wedding, including wedding party, officiant, ushers, and anything else that might be covered by family and friends.

What is everyone going to eat? You need to decide on a menu. Whether it's simple hors d'oeuvres or a full meal, you need to know what it's going to be and who is going to provide it.

What are you, and your party going to wear? Your dress will be the crown jewel of the ceremony so you'll want to get that taken care of! Along with what the beautiful people around you are going to wear as well.

What's left? Last, you need to fill in the gaps with whatever is left over that you need covered, such as cake, flowers, photos, etc. Luckily, I have a very wedding talented group of family and friends and didn't have to hire any vendors outside of a caterer and a venue, but you might not be so lucky and will want to have these things taken care of.

Another big thing to think about early on is anything that you might need to order. Online shopping will probably become your second job and you will want to make sure to leave plenty of time for everything to arrive on time!

Once you have these biggies covered, everything else is just details.

Get Help

This goes for any wedding planning process, but especially for planning in a short time. This is one thing I was very bad at. As a creative and somewhat stubborn person, I don't always know how to ask for help. It's not that I don't want help, it's just that I don't know how to ask for it. I usually have everything planned out exactly how I want it and sometimes it seems easier to do it myself than take the time to explain to someone else what I want and how they can help. For my wedding, I really didn't get any help until the last 2 weeks of planning after my freak out realization that I needed help and fast!

Be Confident 

One of the most important things you will need to pull off a quick wedding is confidence. Be prepared for people to think that you are crazy... or pregnant when you're not. be prepared for wedding industry workers to laugh at you and look at you like you have 3 heads when you tell them your timeline. Be prepared for people to tell you that you can't have a nice wedding in that amount of time. It will probably happen and you will have to just brush it off knowing that it is possible and that you can make it happen! Don't be intimidated by dress shops, bakers, and venues who look at you like you are a child who obviously doesn't know anything about anything because what they don't know is that you've got this! Even if you are having to prove it to yourself, just know that it is possible and that you can do it. You'll be surprised at what you can accomplish if you just tell yourself that you can do it!

In all, short engagements aren't for everyone, but they are possible if it's what you want and you're willing to put in the work! Our wedding was almost everything I ever wanted! I say almost because there were some things that didn't go to plan, but whether you are engaged for 3 months or 3 years, know that there will always be things that don't go to plan. Ask anyone who has ever gotten married and they will tell you that stuff happens. So don't let the fear of things not being perfect keep you from doing what you want! In the end, almost what you wanted can be more than you even dreamed of.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Easy Baked Pears

Fall is the season for pears. Baked pears can make a beautiful, healthy dessert topped with a little ice cream or drizzled with nuts and caramel. They also make breakfast or brunch extra special! The best part is that they are incredibly quick and easy to make! They pretty much speak for themselves so I'm just going to skip the fluff and get straight to it!

You will need:
-Ripe Pears
-Sugar or honey

Start by cutting your pears in half length wise and then scoop the core out using a spoon. If your pears are ripe enough, this should be pretty easy. You can also remove the stems, but I like to leave them on because I think they look pretty.

Lightly grease an oven-safe skillet, backing sheet, or dish. I like to use my cast iron skillet, but anything will work.

Arrange the pears in the skillet and place a small piece of butter in each well left by removing the core. I usually slice a pat of butter and then cut that pat into 4 pieces and put one of those pieces into each pear. It's really not a lot of butter. Next, sprinkle a little bit of sugar (or a drizzle of honey) and cinnamon on top of each pear.

Broil the pears on the top rack for about 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Different ovens cook differently so keep an eye on them.

That's it! So easy. So fast. So good. Now go impress your friends, husband/wife, mom...whoever!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Making My Wedding Dress

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography 

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography 

Even though we had a very short engagement, my wedding dress was a long time in the making. Let's just be honest, Jordan and I had been dating for a very long time and we knew we were going to have a short engagement. I knew that I wanted to make my dress which doesn't always fit well with a short engagement so I needed to get an early start. That being said, I decided to make a tester, prototype dress before we even got engaged. That way when it came down to it, I could be sure that I could even pull off making my dress because I had never made anything even close to that complicated before. What I didn't know is that that practice dress would actually become my actual dress.

It all started when I was browsing through Pinterest and saw a dress that I loved, but it was a designer dress and would be way out of my budget even used. There were also a few aspects of the dress that I would've changed, and why would I spend that much on a dress that I wish was just a little bit different anyway? So I just decided that I would make my own version.

I know the basics of sewing, but I am no seamstress. Seriously, believe it or not, I just winged it. I knew what I wanted and I knew I could figure out a way to make it work. The crazy part about me making my dress isn't my lack of sewing expertise, but what I made the dress out of.

It's a funny thing that you can actually buy clearance clothing for less than the cost of the fabric to make it. Knowing this, I bought 3 clearance dresses online from Forever 21 that were similar in color and fabric to what I wanted my future wedding dress to be, and those are what I used to make my dress. I did this in part because I got the dresses for less than I could have bought the fabric and I thought it would save time because I thought I would be able to preserve some of the existing dress structure. I was right in part because I did keep some of the original hemlines, but I ended up not being able to use as much as I had originally thought and almost completely reworked everything, ending in a dress that is pretty unrecognizable from the original dresses involved.

The dress in the center was my inspiration. To make it, I used the dress on the left for the main structure and 2 of the dresses on the right for layers and for the lace appliqué.

Like I mentioned above, this was supposed to be the practice project but as I worked on it, it was turning out so well that I decided to just keep going, and the practice dress became my wedding dress in progress. I continued to tweak and add to the dress until just 3 days before the wedding when I decided that it was finally done.

I thought I could save some of the dress structure because my original plan was to put the sheer outer layer of the dress on the right over the dress on the left, and with some slight modifications, that was going to be it! I mean, enough to see how I liked the style anyway. The result was horrifying. I looked like a sloppy marshmallow. Both dresses were huge on me. Forever 21 smalls are not small. It looked like a large. And in addition to that, the seams didn't match up and there was way too much bunchy fabric. It was just bad. Definitely not anything that resembled a wedding dress.

So the first step was to alter the base layer dress. I did this by pretty much completely cutting it apart and then sewing it back together, only smaller and with some modifications. This was my first time sewing with chiffon but I knew that my sewing machine would definitely eat the delicate fabric. I used tissue paper, like the kind for gift wrapping, on both sides of the seam to support the fabric and it worked like a charm. I also did the same for the sheer netting of the outer layer.

Next, I cut all the crochet lace appliqué off of the sheer dress and then cut those pieces into smaller sections. I used those pieces of lace as the lace on my dress. I was first going to simply sew the lace to the dress but the crochet was too harsh on the mesh and ended up looking too casual so I sewed the lace to the back side of the mesh which ended up giving it a softer look. This took the majority of the dress making time because I had to individually hand sew each piece on.

Once the dress was basically done, it was just down to the finishing touches. I felt like it wasn't fluffy enough so I ended up buying a second sheer dress (thankfully there were still some available on clearance. I guess nobody liked that dress!) and cut it into pieces to add fullness to the skirt. Most of what's under the skirt is just strips of fabric hanging freely under there. The effect was just what I was looking for.

My veil is a different story. I wanted to make a veil, but my mom said I should buy a nice one. So we ordered a champagne veil that was seriously beautiful, but when it came the day before my wedding it looked seriously orange next to my dress. I wasn't too worried. I settled on the idea that I would just pin some fabric on my head and be done with it. I mean, isn't that what a veil is anyway? However, when I woke up, I had a perfect veil made from the fabric I had originally bought to make my veil and even had some scrap lace from my dress as the head piece. My mom had stayed up till 1:00am to finish it, and it was perfect.

I definitely went through a panic about a month before the wedding when I thought I had made a terrible mistake in not making a white dress. I thought that this was my one time to wear a beautiful white dress and I ruined it by choosing blush instead. I also went dress shopping to secure my decision to wear my homemade dress and found some very nice options, but the entire time I was trying on dresses my eyes were drawn to a whimsical blush dress on a mannequin that was so much out of my budget that I wouldn't even dare to ask to try it on. So blush it was and I don't regret my dress at all. I loved everything about it!

I wish I could tell you more about how I actually made my dress, but I honestly don't know myself. I didn't use a pattern or dress form, I just eyeballed it and kept adjusting until I got it just how I wanted. If you look very closely, you can definitely tell that it wasn't made by a professional. It has mistakes and the inside seams are far from exemplary, but I figured no one would be looking that close anyway! It's probably a miracle it turned out as well as it did.  In the end, it didn't matter to me. I loved my dress and I'm glad I got to wear something that I made, imperfections and all.

Here are some videos if you want to see it in action!
Blimey Cow
Inclement Films

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Finding Our Home

I've always loved looking at real estate. I don't know why, it's just always been something I've been interested in. I even thought about becoming a real estate agent and have even finished all the pre-license education. I just never went through the rest of the steps to get my license. As a kid, I would look at the real estate section in the newspaper and calculate how much I needed to save to buy a piece of land. I was a weird kid, I guess.

After a while, my real estate interest subsided but got renewed when I casually came across a listing for the most amazing little house I had ever seen. It was love at first sight. It was an approximately 1,280 sq ft custom built wooden house with ladders instead of stairs and a third level loft that couldn't exactly be counted as a floor, but it looked so fun! It also had a wraparound porch looking over 5 acres and an adorable, tiny guest house. The problem was that this house was priced at over $350,000 and I was fresh out of college. I ended up showing the house to Jordan and he fell in love with it as fast as I did. It was this property that made us decide to start saving for a house. In the back of our minds, we secretly hoped that in the time it took to save for a house, the seller would realize that a house that small would never sell for that and drop the price by about $150,000... not likely. The house did eventually sell for the $350,000.

Once we had saved up enough, we decided to do something a little unconventional and buy a house together before we got married. The plan was for me to live there with roommates to help cover the mortgage for a year or so before we got married and then Jordan would move in after that, but that plan didn't last long, and we ended up not finding our house until after we were engaged.

We shopped for more than a year to find our house. More than a year! For anyone who has ever house shopped, you know that's a long time and that looking at so many houses can be very frustrating. And it was frustrating. Part of this long process was because, at first, we really didn't know what we wanted. As we looked at houses, we kept changing our minds about what we were looking for. First we wanted land, then we wanted something in the city and back and forth, we even considered building. Of course, by the end of it I was ready to buy just about anything, and I'm now glad that Jordan kept his standards high because, just in the nick of time, we found what we quickly referred to as the perfect house. A log cabin on over an acre, far enough away that it feels like the country but close enough that it's a short drive to the city. In a lot of ways, this house had a lot on our wishlist that I never actually thought we'd get. I wanted a nice porch with a swing, and we have 3 porches to choose from, one of them having a swing. We wanted a fireplace, and this house has 2. I always wanted a clawfoot tub and now we have one. Jordan wanted high ceilings and our ceilings are about 15 feet at the peak. And the list goes on. Our perfect house ended up being very similar in style and category to the house we first fell in love with.

Our perfect house has proved to be far from perfect in condition. The previous owners didn't take care of it very well and both the house and property need a lot of work, but we love our house. All the hard, frustrating work is well worth it. I'm honestly really enjoying the process and the opportunity to make our house exactly what we want. It feels a little like a big art project. I can't wait to see what it will become over the next few years!

P.S. - The pictures above, with the exception of the first one, are from the listing online and show the house how it looked before we moved in. I'll be adding updated pictures as we make improvements. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Old Name, New Name

Since I didn't have a picture to represent this topic, please enjoy this picture of my backyard!

I've been getting a lot of questions recently about how to spell my name. If you have followed me on any social media platforms for more than a few months, you may have noticed that I've changed more than my last name after getting married. But even before that, there may have been some confusion. What you might not know is that there has been great confusion over my name for most of my life.

To add the H or not to add the H, that has been the question. Such a small, insignificant little letter has caused so much turmoil for those who have ever needed to address me in writing. So here's the deal.

If you didn't know already, there are two ways to spell my name, Sarah and Sara. Most of my life I spelled my name with the H simply because that's the more common spelling and so it was just easier in a lot of ways to keep it that way. However, that's not actually my name. My legal name doesn't have the H, which wasn't a problem until I was old enough for it to actually matter, like when I opened a bank account, got a job, and all those official matters where a legal name is needed. That's when the confusion started.

After that, I just conformed to spelling my name however the people around me spelled it. Sometimes I would spell it with the H and sometimes I would spell it without depending on who was going to see it, but it just got worse from there because everyone at some point thought they had offended me by spelling my name wrong. Some of my friends even just decided to cut through the middle and spell it like this: Sara(h)

I decided that I would clear up the confusion and pick a spelling to stick with when I changed my name after getting married. I decided to switch over completely to using my legal H-less name from then on. Same spelling across the board. Of course, if you spell my name with the H, don't worry! I really don't mind. It's just never been a big deal to me. But if it really matters to you, my official name is Sara Taylor. No H.

So there it is! Name explained! I hope this helps clear up a few things!

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Butternut Squash Soup

Even though it's currently 90 degrees outside, there's just something in the air that says the leaves will soon be falling, and that something also makes me have a craving for cinnamon and winter squash. So naturally I turned that craving into soup! I had never made butternut squash soup before but always thought it sounded delicious. I tried a canned version once that was terrible. I hate canned soup, I used to eat canned soups when I was little and thought it was really exciting! But after not having any for a while, I now realize that they are mostly terrible. But that's another topic for another day...

When I started to make this particular batch of butternut squash soup, I knew exactly what I wanted to put in it. But as I started gathering my ingredients and saw the cinnamon sitting next to a jar of minced garlic, I started to become a little skeptical of how it was going to turn out. To reassure my ingredient list, I looked up some butternut squash recipes to see what was normally actually in butternut squash soup. I found that there are a lot of different versions and some with similar seemingly strange flavor combinations, so I decided to proceed with my original plan!

This soup turned out better than I could have hoped for! It really is good. Don't be scared away by the cinnamon, garlic, and pears. Give it a try!

-1 medium butternut squash
-1 large pear, cut into pieces with the stem and core removed
-1 quart whole milk (I used goat milk)
-1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
-2 tbs coconut oil
-1 tbs minced garlic
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
-dash of pumpkin pie spice

1. Start by roasting your butternut squash. I do this by cutting off the top and bottom and then cutting it in half lengthwise. After that, remove the seeds with a spoon. You may peel it before or after roasting. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until tender. The cooking time will vary greatly depending on the size of your squash, so just keep an eye on it.

2. Once your squash is cooked and slightly cooled, add the squash, pear, and milk to a blender. You might have to blend it in batches depending on the size of your blender. Blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add extra milk.

3. Pour your blended mixture into a large pot and mix in all other ingredients. Simmer until hot.

4. Serve as is or garnished with a splash of heaven cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

This recipe will vary slightly depending on the size of your squash, so feel free to adjust the amount of liquid and spices to your taste.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Brunch: Smoked Salmon and Fresh Fruit

Breakfast is the main meal in our house. It's the meal where we take time to sit down and talk while we eat. Especially on Sundays. On Sundays, we usually eat a little later, and we might have something special. Today was smoked salmon on homemade sourdough bread spread with dill goat cheese with a side of fresh berries and grapes.

I'm not going to lie, smoked salmon used to gross me out. It just seemed too raw, but I've been converted and now really like a thin slice on toast every now and then. It reminds me of our honeymoon where Jordan tried it for the first time. We took a short cruise for part of our honeymoon and took full advantage of the food. One of the best things about a cruise is that your food is included with your ticket, so because you're not technically paying at every meal, you have the freedom to get something else if you don't like your original order. That means you can try new foods that you would usually never choose in a regular restaurant! This was the case when Jordan decided to order smoked salmon for breakfast one day and led us to find out that we actually like it. So when I found some at our local Aldi, I got us a special Sunday brunch treat.

The key to enjoying smoked salmon is to not overdo it. A small, thin slice should be enough. Also serve it on crunchy toast and add a cream. I used goat cheese with dill but cream cheese will work just fine!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Starting New

In the past 6 months I got engaged, bought a house, got married, quit my old job, quit my new job, and everything that goes along with all of that! Pretty crazy, right? I think I can safely say that most everything has changed, and it didn't feel right picking up my old blog where I left off - so new life, new blog!

I planned to blog throughout my engagement, but I seriously had no time. We were only engaged for 3 months which really isn't too short to plan a wedding, but in those 3 months, we also bought a house which was quite time consuming in and of itself.

I feel like I'll have to spend some time catching you guys up with everything that has happened in the past 6 months since so much happened in such a short time! I'm just now starting to catch my breath after being married for just over 3 months, but I'm very excited to get to start sharing all of those things with you here! So welcome to Saylor!

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