Saturday, September 14, 2013

life, & a granola (bar) recipe.

babies are mysterious things.
sometimes i wonder if it's phases that make them so difficult, or if it's based in their personality, or what. especially if they're fed and freshly changed and had a nap recently. (like the one above: s is 6 months old, and he fought that nap like no one's business. cranky babies fighting naptime is not fun. nope. and i'm pretty sure rocking chairs save lives. because babies eventually fall under the spell of spacial disorientation via said rocking chairs. thank God for those things.)
that's one thing i ponder, as i have 2 young nieces and a nephew --the latter of which is 6 months old, and fantastically (and i say that sarcastically) loud sometimes.
why do i think of all this? because i'm married and everyone asks when --whether in their thoughts mostly or not-- we will start to have kiddos. the answer is not yet. i have my fill of babies with my nieces and nephew. they're all cuties.
but, omg...gotta love their phases.

in other news, i adore the hoodie weather of yesterday and today. (just earlier this week, it was hot and windy. perfect for drying clothes on the line and saving the propane via the dryer.)
we haven't turned on the air conditioning since thursday. ceiling fans to circulate the air has been all that's needed since then. it's amazing.
oh my word.
hoodies and hot coffee and leaves just barely starting to turn.
i mourn the coming of winter after this beautiful, hot summer, and the autumn that is (hopefully) starting to set in.
but goodness, the fall day i feel all around me presently is such a relief.
such a beautiful relief.

i'm thinking of starting a new blog.
a different, clean, fresh place.
i started a new journal in the middle of a huge school-type notebook that i've been writing in since november 2012.
i got so tired of the plain bulky thing that i lugged everything in my purse.
so i dug around in a storage bin and found a few empty journals that i've either found or been gifted through the past few years.
and what did i do? i started a new, pretty, smaller, spiral bound, hard-back journal.
less space for so many words. less expectation.

also, i love hanging art.
this print from marisa's etsy is so cute, and i bought it in july 2011 for my house someday.
i'm thinking it'll look even better against pale yellow walls in the kitchen when we (hopefully sometime this year) paint it. :)

so, i started making no-bake granola bars.
and i can't find the recipe that i first used and adapted and memorized. i swear i pinned it, but it disappeared.
here goes.

no-bake granola bars

put in a medium sized bowl:
4 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups rice crispy cereal
stir to combine well.

simmer in a small saucepan:
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter
dash of salt
whisk steadily until the brown sugar is dissolved and the mixture has bubbled for a while.
add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg if you like the idea of some depth of flavor. (we like it a lot.)
take the saucepan off the heat.
drizzle a tsp or two of vanilla in and stir till combined.
pour over dry ingredients immediately and mix till dry ingredients are well coated.
pat firmly into a slightly greased pan, and refrigerate for a couple hours.
cut into bars, and enjoy!!

if you're a blog friend of mine and you have Instagram and we're not friends yet, my username is love_beka_hill. i update that realm way more than facebook or my blog these days. hahah.

Monday, August 12, 2013

backsplash inspiration. :)

so, i can make do with the counters. they're in great shape.
but all evening, i have been scrolling through and clicking on and reading great diy projects (from pinterest).
and i'm super inspired to not only run the idea by our landlord so we can pick a few colors and paint sometime soonish before 2014 (because heck yes, he said we could paint!!), but i'm also thinking that along with a nice light color on the kitchen walls (which are paneling and would need oil based primer first), we should put up an easy peasy peel-and-stick backsplash of some sort.

ya know. to go over this farmhouse red. heheh.
i used to have a real crush on red when i was around 14-18.
i used to especially love the idea of deep red as an accent wall color.
not anymore. over the past few years, my decor brain has observed and learned and developed a different level of taste and style.

here are a few pictures that i brought together from my instagram posts, just to show ya what the atmosphere is like and what setting i'm working with.
if you've got an idea or inspiration or advice on what color is in your mind to help me pile up a few perspectives (before i go get samples somewhere someday), feel free to comment with your thoughts! :)
my cupboards are painted an off-white cream, so i'm trying to visualize something that would be versatile and simple and clean but complimentary to the cream tone and the wood-look laminate counters. 

let the photo stream begin.

this photo was taken at about midnight. therefore, no natural light to help, but oh well.
morning-time light! gotta love it.
now we really know for sure that the new and simple backsplash must be photogenic--with recipes i'm working on trying out, the backsplash will almost always make it into the picture. lol.
hmm. what color would look good behind the roses, clean and drying dishes, spice rack, and cream cabinets and trim.....
i'm almost thinking a look with white-background-based, varying pale spring greens type of small-glass tiles.....
remember: comment with your thoughts! i always love more inspiration. ;)
(but gosh, i love the varying pale green glass tile idea that came to my to find it on a budget....)

Monday, July 1, 2013

on life, and settling in.

it's the most interesting feeling, having your own place.
if i must be honest, i love it.
it's fun. the details. the mundane. the every day.
they're our towels.

it's our kitchen sink.
our laundry to do.
(two loads desperately need to be done right now.)
our coffee maker that brewed fresh, hot, yummy coffee this morning.
our front porch.
(it could use a rocking chair or love seat of some kind...maybe craigslist will let something out of the woodwork again. hah.)
our couch.

our entertainment center that we put hard work and concentration and teamwork into, one night from 10:30pm to 2:30am.
our budget to sketch out and write up.
our rent to be paid (and what a great deal do we have!! so blessed.).
our dresser.

our mirrors and awesome leather chair that i found while rummaging with lady friends back in wisconsin. :)

our coffee mugs. (great gifts from awesome friends, used all the time, if you would believe that. ;))

our milk glass bud vase from my grammy who passed on in june 2011.

our at-home date nights late on sunday nights with a movie and caesar salad kit from wally's.
(p.s. i love you is one of those films that i watch 2 or 3 times a year and it gives me a whole new appreciation for life and loved ones. just because. these humans are so precious to me.)
friday and saturday night, while justin worked, i had rachel over for one night, and anna for the other night.

we talked and talked and watched a movie before sleep. the next morning, i made them coffee in my kitchen. poured them coffee into my collected (or gift-given) mugs. 
it's pretty fantastic to be able to have sisters over for a night of quality time and coffee in the morning.
i like it a lot. ;)

after-dinner walks out here in southern illinois are amazing.
no doubt about it.
i used to live in a small town, about 10k. i could see sunsets, but not like this. 
friday night i think it was, justin and i took a walk alone on the country road. all the way up to the stop sign like we always did over the past almost-2-years. we stopped and stared at the sunset. hugged and talked about how we couldn't remember the last time we'd done this together. the past how many months were too busy to randomly take a walk.
i believe after-dinner walks are some of the best things to have in your life. it's pondering time, whether you have good, lovely things to think and talk about, or hard, frustrating things.
and i can't believe,  that I'm your man,
and i get to kiss you baby just because i can.
whatever comes our way, ah we'll see it through...

[michael buble]

all in all, we're loving the challenge and joy that is marriage.
i'm just so glad we're in this crazy life journey together.

Monday, June 10, 2013

oh, hey. i'm married now and blogging for the first time in forever... :D

i'm married now.
i quite enjoy being married.
to my best friend, nonetheless.
he's pretty wonderful.
it's fun and interesting learning to live with a husband. 
oh yeah, and now i'm living in the country. (i lived in a small, awesome town of about 8k all my life.)
and it's beautiful.
i've been instagramming it up because of my new phone.
my username is: love_beka_hill.
you're welcome to follow me. :)
arranging house is pretty fun. i haven't made many amazing meals yet though. (two people don't eat that much. who knew?! hey. i came from a family of 8. lol.)
trying to get the kitchen all organized and the bedroom, too.

the dining room and living room need to be tackled, that's what i know for sure.
how about some fun stuff now?
pictures from the wedding? how about a few. ;)
photo credit: samantha
here's a few picture from the wedding --we did a first look and got all the photography done beforehand by a friend, samantha, and my now-sister-in-law, jen. it was awesome and so relaxing.

 me, my older sister anna, and two of our besties -- coincidentally, now my sisters in law. ;) love!!

me and the siblings. :D

more besties. :)

i'm off to watch some Lie To Me on netflix and wait for the husband to come home from second shift. can't wait to see his face.
maybe some wedding thank you's should be written too. hmmm.
see you around, cyberspace (and real life) friends!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

cilantro lime rice with pork chops & salad.

one day, i was craving chipotle's cilantro lime rice.
so what did i do, since after all....i live an hour away from any chipotle?
i looked up a recipe for it online. a gazillion links came up.
i skimmed one, made it to a T with all the details right, and since then, i just play it by memory.
this is awesome stuff, and it contains butter.
so it's all good going from memory, if you know what i mean. ;)
borrowed image
i melt a few tablespoons of butter in the pot i want to cook my rice in, and get it sizzling.
i love sizzling butter.
then i add the rice --for my family eating tonight, i made a too-huge batch of 6 cups rice, 12 cups water..... :P but at least i now have stuff to put in burritos whenever we're short on ideas for lunch for the next few days! hah.
so you add the rice. stir it around on medium-high heat, and smell its yumminess.

then, i squeeze 2-5 limes. depending on how limey you want your rice. ;)
dump the juice in the rice-butter mixture. or squeeze it right in.
now really inhale that smell. ohmygosh.
after a few moments of letting that sit on the heat --stir it a little, haha-- pour in the amount of water you need for the proper ratio of rice to water that you need.
put a cover on it, and let it cook according to the directions for the type of rice you're using.

mince a decent sized bunch of cilantro, and after the rice is done cooking, stir it in.

now eat up! :D
...tonight i made it as a side to some pork-barbecue-spice rubbed pork chops that i grilled on the good old weber.
i do enjoy grilling. i get to try my skills out a few times every summer, with dad's advice either on the phone if he's at work, or helping prepare dinner. :)
gorgeous evening.
proof of spring coming to stay....soon! ;)