Thursday, February 26, 2015

Guys Behind the Blog | Link-Up

It is time for a link up with Heavens to Betsy for a Guys Behind the Blog link-up! I've never participated in this before and am so grateful that Eric agreed to participate. I won't lie, when I read his responses I got a bit sappy, so be prepared. 

1.  If you could write a book, what topic would you write about and why?
 I would write a book about the importance of parents supporting their children in any endeavor they choose, I would do this because my parents unconditional support of my life lead me down amazing paths and gave me experiences that I otherwise would never have had. I could tell stories of the amazing doors being a musician opened for me and explain the heartbreaks it brought but how those heart breaks and their support caused me to become the man I am today.  Unfortunately I am neither intelligent enough or capable of writing well enough to do this. 

2.  What is one thing on your bucket list, or one thing that you’d like to do or accomplish in your lifetime?
Get married. 

(probs to me ;) 

3.  If you could look out your window and only see one view for the rest of your life, what would you want to see?
Sunrise over the Swiss alps as seen from the balcony of my hotel room in Champrey Switzerland.

-- Can I just say that I am superbly jealous of the views he's seen? Thankfully he's willing to see most of them with me again.

4.  Imagine you’re opening a shop.  What are you selling? 
Musical Instruments.

5.  If you could have 50lbs of anything other than money, what would it be?
 Super well fit comfortable jeans!  Because I can't find any.........

6.  Time to brag on your girl…tell us one thing that makes you proud of your girlfriend/fiance/wife!
I'm proud of her because she is so adamantly independent and self sure, she refuses to let others opinions change who she is and there is nothing I value greater in this world than a person comfortable in themselves and their beliefs. 

Do you see why I was a little sappy? Yeah, this man is the best I've ever known. I feel like some of this can be read as "stubborn"

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Motivation Wednesday

Middle of the week calls for a little motivation + inspiration. I shared a little bit of my favorite verse last week + wanted to do the same this week. I'm starting to go to the gym 3x a week and do a home work out 2x. So rather than finding a quote about sweating more, I found one about restarting again and having someone by your side. 

When I saw this quote I thought about how difficult it can be to be proud of your life and yourself. I feel like a lot of this new year has been getting myself straightened out and re-starting my life. I'm happy with where I've come from, but I want to be better. 

Then I ran across this, it reminds me of Oceans by Hillsong United which was my go-to anthem for last year. Each time I think of this verse I am overwhelmed with a sense of peace. I have a Father who is with me. Always. I have a Savior who loves me, unconditionally and that is an amazing thing to know. 

What kind of motivation do you use to keep on track and start fresh? 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Knoephla Soup

So a few weeks ago, okay a month or two ago, I was sitting with Eric asking what I should make for dinner + he immediately said "if you make knoephla soup, I'll love you forever" well that was an offer I couldn't refuse ;)

I should mention that I had no idea what knoephla soup was! One of our co-workers had made it and he gets it from a local store for lunch sometimes.. so I was all sorts of "nope" because I hate new things? Just kidding, I am just surprisingly unsure about any and all NoDak food. Knoephla soup is a dumpling soup, just a fancier name. 
-we also made brownies, and I like when he cooks ;) 

This recipe I found on pinterest was super simple and pretty freaking good too! 

I added more potatoes than needed cause I like them, Eric doesn't, but he can suffer cause I was cooking. 

Rookie mistake was making the dumplings too big. Despite that one mistake it was hearty, warm and perfect for the snowy/stupidly cold nights we have here in North Dakota. 

Serves 4-6
4 cups water                                                          
2 cups chicken broth                                             
1 large onion, diced                                               
2 cups potatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup cream

Knoephla Dough -German dumpling
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
3/4 tsp salt

  1. In a big soup pot add water and broth, then add onion, celery, potatoes, bouillon cubes and spices. Boil until potatoes are done, about 12-15 minutes. Add cream and knoepfla. Simmer 30-40 minutes.
  2. Knoephla Dough a German dumpling:.
  3. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together to make a fairly stiff dough. Add eough water to make the dough stiff -- 3/4 cups or more depending on how much gluten is in your flour. You can use milk in place of the water -- some here do.
  4. Roll into 1/2 inch ropes and cut with a pair of scissors into 1/2 inch pieces right into the simmering soup.

Another cool thing about making this recipe was being tweeted by Kroll's Diner -which is a pretty big deal here?- so I was kind of humbled. And yes, I have a #nodakskillset but you don't have to be "nodakan" to try it out! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week in Review

This last week was pretty interesting. I won a journaling bible from marine_parents and theinkroad for a Valentines giveaway. This is a pretty big deal as my old bible is sitting on a shelf collecting dust. It holds too many negative memories and I know that's so weird/petty to some.. I was saving up for a journaling bible and now I am able to gift my old bible to my niece! 

I also finally said goodbye to my WA plates and became an "official" nodakan (North Dakotan) so there's that! But I also spent 3 days in the gym or doing a workout. I'm dedicating a lot of my time to this for the next month. I am just trying to be healthier and it seems to work! 
BOOT-TAY kicks as Eric would call them. 

I find myself feeling better and prettier after a workout. Below is a picture of me almost 2 years ago. I was in a healthier/happier place and I just want to get back to that + maybe fit in the clothes I refuse to get rid of, like that cardigan and dress. PS look at my long hair! 

Other than that, we had some pretty horrible weather. -24˚ without the wind chill, cause that was -41˚ AH! So I did what any normal person would do. I went and bought workout shorts and a naked 3 pallet -which I love + recommend you buy!- overall it was a good weekend. 

Thanks for joining me on my review of last week. Have a great start to your week! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lent + Me

Lent is a new thing to me, I participated last year + went to the churches lent thing. I still have the nail that represented Christ's wounds for my sin and I carried it around for pretty much the whole year. My little reminder that Christ went before me, when I ran my finger across it + when I laid it on a table + thought about it. When in all my selfish behavior my God still loves me. Last year I gave up fast food + Starbucks, I bragged about participating. I was trying to prove that my life was "amazing" when it wasn't. I was a sinner then + I'm a sinner now. I have learned a lot + yet feel so far from Christ.. 


This year I will be reading along with She Reads Truth on a daily basis.
I will not give up anything. 
I will increase God in my life and let myself decrease. 
I will devote time to prayer + devotion. 
I will be healthier + a more centered vessel for God to use. 
This is my lent. 


I hope that you all have started your lent journey's + they are going well. I hope you succeed in whatever you're giving up or trying to increase in your life. If you need prayers or are in my area + want to meet up to talk or anything, please comment below or email me hellolovelyblog(@)gmail(.)com

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Arizona | Top Golf!

This is my last Arizona installment on my blog, insert sad face, and while I am slightly happy to be done I'm going to miss inserting pictures of such a great vacation. I've determined that 6 days is not a long enough vacation and that Eric and I should probably go back to AZ when we have more time. On our last full day in Arizona Eric and I woke up pretty early to get breakfast at Kokobelli Bagel Cafe which Eric had raved about since we met, literally. But it lived up to it's hype! I had a delicious breakfast bagel and it had just the right weight, crispness and then soft insides.. mmm I kind of wish they over-nighted bagels here. After a breakfast we headed back to Eric's parents to get ready for some Top Golf! On Saturday when we were looking for a place to have lunch we went by Top Golf to see what it's all about, it was packed so we left and decided to come back Tuesday when it'd be a lot less busy. I'm glad we waited. I don't like large crowds and would rather have a relaxing time with people than having to listen/look at drunk frat and bachelor guys be idiotic.
So basically this Top Golf place is a skeeball meets golf, it's pretty fun and for someone like me who doesn't play golf at all it was pretty easy and entertaining. I swear I've come into a family full of golfers -no joke- and I am probably going to wind up playing real golf. Aside from it being a fun time, they also had fun boot drinks! I got one and so did Diane, now I have 2 boot mugs to use for random things.. like flowers or candy. 
After playing for a few hours, and Eric losing to his dad and buying us lunch, we went back for a mid-afternoon hang out before dinner with my dad. 
We couldn't complain about the 76˚ weather and a heated pool! We spent a good few hours in the pool and I took an almost nap in the sunshine..ahhh warm sunshine. It was the best way to spend our last afternoon, especially since it was 15˚ when we got back to Fargo. 
I'm going to miss sunsets like that and feeling warm and not dying from humidity. Sometimes I really, really miss living in Arizona. 

After an afternoon in the pool we were going to go to Chino Banditos with my dad, but their Chandler location had closed down, so we wound up back at the Cornish Pasty! Best part? We got our awesome waitress from Sunday night AND the pavlova that I'd originally wanted for desert. Think of the best whipped cream, not too sweet, with a firm meringue and a butt load of strawberries, grapes and kiwis. I wish we had things like that here in Grand Forks.  We wound up spending a few hours at the Pasty just talking, we discovered that both mine and Eric's dad are visitors. You know, the guys who can sit and talk to anyone forever? Yeah. 
I'm not complaining. I actually really enjoy watching my dad talk, its one of those things that I didn't realize I missed until after I moved away and wasn't around him for a long time. It's also nice to see we share so many characteristics. I was so glad that we got to spend some time together this trip. 
This is our selfie from the trip. My dad understands my selfie addiction, hooray! So this was the end of our trip. The next morning we were up incredible early to get on a plane back to the frozen tundra. I was sad to go, but happy that I could come home with the most amazing man in my life. 
And for your viewing pleasure, a sneak attack selfie in the airport at 5 something in the morning. Thanks for being apart of this consolidation of our trip. Till next time!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentines Day

So I'm posting this a little late mainly because I had a root canal this last Thursday and interestingly enough.. it has been bugging me. Sigh. But that won't stop me from telling you all about the very first Valentines with Eric!
(just wanted to make you guys laugh a bit) 

So on Friday I was kind of bumming around because my mouth was a little sore and took off part of my day so that I could just take it easy. Eric had o run an errand and lucky me I got "feel better" flowers, which are far better than Valentine's flowers because they are for the sole reason to make me smile. When I got some more time off of work Eric and I were in the impatient mood of giving gifts. I don't know why this surprised me at all since Christmas was basically celebrated for 2 weeks and whenever a gift would come in we'd just give them to each other #romantic! 
I gave Eric some boxers (ooo lala) a jar of hand written love notes that included quotes, lyrics and things like "I love that you laugh at farts" because I do. Seriously, his giggle is pretty adorable. For my gift I got a card, that ironically had to do with farts, and I thought that was it. Eric had been texting me about being annoyed earlier and I figured one of two things was going to happen. 
1. He gave up and would take me shopping later. 
2. He gave up and would find something later. 
But that man, I'll tell you what.. he surprised me big time. I thought that I was getting the naked 3 palette since I'd been wanting it for months and he kept talking about getting me it.. instead he walked out of his closet with a jewelry box. 
Yeah, the man got me a blue sapphire bracelet. Talk about shocked, but incredibly happy. I love shiny things! Since this was on Friday -cause we're incapable of celebrating things on the day intended- we decided to go get some pizza from Papa Murphy's 
Heart shaped love. 
The next day Eric and I had planned to do our grocery shopping and have a lazy day with dinner. When we woke up we decided to go see a movie and do our grocery shopping -which included a trip to the butcher, I don't know why I love going to the butcher, but I do. We went to see The Kingsman, which was funnier than anticipated and we both talked about how surprised we were that it was that good. After some shopping we decided to head home and get ready for dinner. It was like 4... we live in a small town (80k-100k people) and there are probably 5 good restaurants. We thought "hey, lets get to dinner stupid early and be old people" everyone else had that idea. So after being told a 4 hour to 1.5 hour wait we went to a BBQ place down at the other end of town, Wild Hog. While I wasn't 100% thrilled with the steak cut I got, the fried pickles, garlic potatoes and peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake saved the date! Plus I had this handsome man sitting next to me, dealing with my hanger (hunger-anger). He made the day so amazing and I cannot believe I get to spend my time him. *insert heart eyes emoji* 

I loved this food! Wild Hog in Grand Forks. 

All in all I was incredibly happy to spend the whole day with the love of my life and we have since decided that small towns stink and if we want the "best" restaurant in GF then we should go 2-3 days before or after any major holiday. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Arizona | The Grand Canyon Part Deux!

As I said, lots and lots of pictures to share so I decided to split them up. I will preface this post by saying the following; I am used to being behind the camera, so much that it was a very strange feeling to have people so adamant about taking my picture. They call me the queen of selfies, but to be honest.. those were some of the only pictures ever taken of me.. I don't want to sound like a narcissist, but if I hadn't selfie'd at points in my life there wouldn't be any "proof" that I'd been there. 
We drove around the rim of the canyon and I actually took the time to ask here and there to have my picture taken, but Eric's mom took the initiative to get some really awesome shots of myself and Eric which have made me an extremely mushy person, I love them! 
Eric's mom captured some shots of me taking pictures. I plan to use some of these as my head shots.. maybe. 
And I pretty much love this shot and the one below. I've never been able to be as loving toward my significant other in front of parents, but it was so nice to have Diane and Hans be totally fine with us hugging, kissing and having our own moments. I see now that Diane and I have a very similar view on photography/moments. These are the things we are left with, and I will cherish every singe one. 

Now remember when I said I didn't have an "ah-ha" moment until the end? Well see we were driving all around because Eric wanted to find this particular rock that meant a lot to him and he wanted to get a picture on said rock together. We weren't able to find it, but we found a new rock! 
It was this rock that I just sat and was really just struck with the fact that this, this is what people drive all the way here for! 
Now just some back story, my dad had told me not to go the edge of the canyon.. so I did what any child would do, I went to the edge. But the next day at dinner when I showed him this picture I told him that going to the edge is the only way to get some pretty snazzy shots. 
How can you not be taken by the beauty of the Lords creation when looking at this?! I am just humbled by being such a small creation in comparison to the entirety of the world. 

This would be known as an "Acacia face" because I'm well known in my family to not actually smile. 

And again, another matching picture of Eric's parents and us! I'm glad that Diane and Hans took their day to take us up to the canyon and to spend a day hiking and just enjoying each others company. I am so glad to have this family in my life. I have one more post about our trip to Arizona and I hope you stay tuned!