Vander Hoek Reception

 

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I have never done wedding photos (and I only did the reception for my sister), but I kind of loved it! Our wedding and reception photos are some of my favorites to look back on, so I was excited to capture moments/details that they would love looking back on as well. It was such a beautiful day, everything went so smoothly, and Harper looked absolutely gorgeous! My mom was a champ at pulling everything together (planning a wedding in another state is no joke – thank goodness for amazing mothers) and making all of Harper’s ideas come to life. I just love weddings (I probably told Anthony that 15 times throughout the day) and it was so much fun having everyone together – I can’t wait for the next one in the fam 😉

(^ I am definitely going to get crap for that comment hahaha)

I hope everyone is having a safe and relaxing weekend!

xo,

Paige

 

Full Capacity

I had never shot a gun before last weekend and was actually pretty scared of them. I would get sweaty hands and my heart would race whenever I was around a gun, loaded or not. I always knew (being married to a big second amendment guy) that I would have to learn how to shoot one at some point, but I always found myself putting it off.

I’ve never had a traumatic experience with a gun, so I can’t speak from that standpoint. But I had a fear of guns because everything I thought I knew about them made me uncomfortable.

We all have assumptions about what something will be like, or maybe that’s just me, and if those assumptions scare us or intimidate us we tend to back away and go a different route. I could make a list of all the times I’ve done this in my life, but I’m afraid it would be 10 pages long! I have found that my assumptions typically feed my fears. For example, I assume something will be awkward so I allow my fear of said awkwardness to keep me from going/participating. When in reality it may not have been awkward at all! Or maybe I assume something will be dangerous, and I allow my fear of getting hurt keep me from participating in a fun and perfectly safe activity…or maybe I assume that because I can’t surf I definitely won’t be able to snowboard, so I never even give it a try because I don’t want to fail at it.

Instead of putting these assumptions and fears aside it is so much easier to stay within our safe little comfort zones. Unfortunately, we don’t do a lot of growing and stretching within that comfort zone. We grow as individuals when we push ourselves – when we test our limits and discover how much we are really capable of, both mentally and physically.

I am not perfect at this, by any means, but it’s something I am always pushing myself to be better at and some days it’s hard! Actually, most days I don’t want to leave the comfort of my little bubble. Then there are some days when I just need a little encouragement from my husband, friends or family. But I am always so excited and happy when I do stretch myself and learn a new skill, find a new favorite food or activity, or reach a personal goal I never thought I could. 

But I want to hear from you! What have you accomplished by venturing out of your comfort zone?! Or what are some goals you have that will require leaving your comfort zone??

The tastiest enchiladas

Ok, so I’m obsessed with this enchilada recipe. It’s pretty basic but because of that you can do SO much with it! I’ve made it with plain chicken, smoked chicken, lots of different cheeses, and it’s delicious every time.
It’s originally a recipe from Real Simple that my sister sent me with her own modifications and I never even made the original one because I loved her version so much! I’ll stop talking (or writing I guess) now and share what you are really here for…


Ingredients you will need:

2 pounds of chicken breasts (approx 2-3 chicken breasts)

1  16 oz jar of mild salsa verde

1 cup of sour cream (we use Greek yogurt – you can’t tell the difference at all)

1 1/2 cups of frozen or canned corn

1 can of black beans

1/2 lb of Muenster or Monteray Jack (2 cups grated)

Salt & pepper 

6 inch tortillas

Optional: 2 cups of fresh cilantro 
Cooking directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place chicken in a pot and add just enough water to cover, bring  to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 min (or if you already have chicken cooked you can use that! Like I said, you can do a lot with this recipe so chicken cooked differently is a-ok). Once the chicken is cooked let it cool off and shred it.

If you are using cilantro, you will want to throw the salsa, cilantro, and 1/2 cup of sour cream or Greek yogurt into a blender or food processor and purée it until it’s all well mixed. If you don’t use cilantro you can just mix the Greek yogurt/sour cream and salsa in a bowl. Once the sauce is all mixed up, transfer it to a sauce pan and simmer until slightly thickened (10-12 min). Then add the remaining 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt/sour cream and remove from heat.

In the same bowl you mixed your sauce, or a new one if you prefer, mix the corn, beans, 1 cup of cheese, and 1/2 cup of sauce with your shredded chicken. 

Spread approx 1 cup of sauce in a 9×13 baking dish. Roll up your enchiladas (it’s about 1/2 a cup of the filling in each tortilla) and place them in the baking dish seam side down. Top them with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Bake until bubbling and beginning to brown, about 15-20 min. 

And viola! Get ready to feast!

This is the best photo I could get after they came out of the oven..couldn’t even wait to take a picture, we had to dig in right away!

I hope you all enjoy these enchiladas as much as we do, and if you try them out let me know what you think and what (if any) changes you made to the recipe!

We made it to Silver Lake!

I am finally getting these photos up from when we camped and did the whole Silver Lake hike last month. I know, took me long enough!

The last time we went to do the Silver Lake hike, we didn’t plan very well and ended up not going very far (we thought we went halfway…wrong) before heading back to the car. So we planned this little camping trip with our same friends in order to do the whole hike. Friday we hurried home from work to pack and get up American Fork canyon before the sun set so we could get all settled in for the night. Once we found a good spot, the boys set up camp while the girls got the fire and dinner started. We didn’t go to a “traditional” campground since most of them are booked in advance. Instead, in certain areas, they have designated camping areas with fire pits spread out along a mountain and it’s more of a first come first serve deal. But you aren’t all right next to each other which is nice. It was so peaceful and relaxing, until about 10 pm when a bunch of college kids (I know I sound like an old lady) came up the road and decided to camp right next to us with their music blasting…. (insert eye-roll emoji)

Besides our loud neighbors, it was a pretty good spot to camp. Next time we will be bringing better pads, maybe even cots though. It’s been so long since I camped, I forgot how hard the ground is when you are trying to sleep!! Anthony had his hammock…which he set up and got all ready, but ended up not even sleeping in. Lets just say, our camping spot didn’t have very good trees to hang a hammock on. He chose one solid tree and one….not so solid tree. Within twenty minutes of getting in his hammock, his back was on the ground. Now, I normally would have laughed at this, but at the time it was not funny because he came in the tent and woke me up after I had just fallen asleep (he ended up trying the hammock for a second time later in the night, only to end up in the tent again). It’s hilarious now, but that’s because it’s been awhile…

We woke up pretty early the next day and packed everything up before heading out on our hike. It turned out to be a warm day but it wasn’t terrible since we were up on a mountain. The hike was definitely harder than I thought it was going to be, but in the moment I was too distracted by how beautiful it was to think about anything else. It’s only 4 something miles round trip, but it is pretty steep the whole way there. I am not sure there is anything better than working up a good sweat while enjoying the great outdoors though! As for the lake, I can’t even explain how beautiful it was, so I will let my pictures speak for themselves!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more pictures!! (@paige.alise)

Tastes from Hawaii

While we lived in Hawaii, I came to love curry.

Ok, well not all curry, really just one curry in particular….Thai pineapple curry.

I am not kidding when I say that I was/am obsessed with it. I could only find it at one restaurant on the North Shore, so that’s where I chose to go for date night at least once a month while we were on that island! When we moved, I never really thought about how difficult it would be to find something (anything!) similar.

Well, I soon discovered it was pretty much impossible, so I gave up trying. I told myself a million times that I would just find recipes online and try them until I found one somewhat close. So, here we are, almost 3 years after moving off Oahu, and I finally found a recipe!!!!

Confession: it’s actually the only recipe I’ve tried but since it was so good, I don’t have to find and try 15 more to get it right! Woohooo!!

This is the recipe I based mine off of, but I took some things out, added others and this is what I got:

2 chicken breasts
1 cup of fresh pineapple (I used canned pineapple chunks)
1/2 cup of bamboo shoots
2 Tbs red curry paste (store bought)
1 Tbs of grated ginger (I got tired of grating it so I was a little short of 1 Tbs)
2 garlic cloves
1.5 Tbs of fish sauce
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of coconut milk
1 Tbs of coconut oil
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Fresh basil or cilantro to garnish (I hate cilantro, but I think basil is a better choice anyway!)
Optional: 1 Tbs of corn flour for thicker curry

****If you use fresh pineapple instead of canned, add 1 tsp of sugar

1. Cut chicken in to bite size pieces and in a large pan (I don’t own a wok, but if you do, use it!) cook chicken with coconut oil.
2. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Then add curry paste and stir to combine with the chicken.
*****At this point, I dumped the chicken, garlic, ginger, and curry paste mixture into a pre-heated pot because my pan was not big enough to hold all the liquids I would be adding.
3. Add chicken broth, sugar (if using fresh pineapple), turmeric, bamboo shoots, and fish sauce. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add coconut milk and stir, then add pineapple. Cook for another 5-8 minutes.
5. To thicken your curry, you can mix 1 Tbs of corn flour with 3 Tbs of cold water and add the mixture at the end. Let it simmer for a few minutes until it thickens. It will be most noticeable when the curry cools down a little.
6. Enjoy!!

I love my curry over rice, Anthony loves his with rice noodles. I haven’t quite mastered the rice noodle curry thing yet, so when I do I’ll let you know.

Oh, also, we both didn’t love the bamboo shoots, so I think I will ditch those next time.

If you try this recipe, or the original, let me know what you think!

Silver Lake

If you haven’t been up any of the canyons in Utah, then you are missing out. They are incredibly beautiful in the summer time (winter too, but hiking in snow is not really my thing…pretty much anything in snow isn’t my thing). After this hike we did, I completely understand why people love summer and hiking here.

Yesterday we hiked the Silver Lake trail, up American Fork Canyon, with some of our favorite people. We didn’t hike the whole thing since it was 4.5 miles one way and we unfortunately weren’t prepared with enough water. So we went a little over half way and it was beautiful! Our original plan was to hike the Tibble Fork Reservoir loop (which was supposed to be fairly moderate in skill level) but we got to the canyon only to find out it has been closed since June 1st for construction. I am really glad we found another hike to do though, instead of turning around to leave.

Getting to the trail was pretty easy, but the last few miles were up the side of a mountain on an unpaved, bumpy, dirt road. Luckily it wasn’t too bad for us since our truck has 4WD. Also, I am definitely scared of heights. We were on the side of the mountain and when I looked down my palms immediately started to sweat. They are actually sweating right now as I write this/think about it. I guess I have never known how scared I really am of heights. Now we know.

Once we got to the reservoir where the trail started, we parked and started going up a road that Anthony swore would turn into the trail…you can guess where this is going. Long story short, it didn’t turn into the trail and after asking someone where we went wrong we turned around. Once we got to the actual trailhead, it was great!! It was seriously so beautiful. I cannot say that enough. I am sad it took us half the summer to actually get out and do something like this!! Now we know to get our butts out the door and go sooner! But for now, I cannot wait to get out to camp and hike away the rest of summer!

Here’s the highlight real from the 171 pictures I actually took…. Also, a BIG thank you to Autumn and Brad (Fitz too!!) for being such good looking models and letting me take photos of them.

I think they love the truck more than we do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She secretly loves dogs 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fist pump for standing like a big kid!

 

My people

 

Ok Utah, I guess you are pretty beautiful…

 

Looking real focused…

 

A Very Special California Trip

I am finally getting around to this post, almost a week late…whoops!
We took a little road trip down to California about a week and a half ago and (not only was it much needed) it was a special little trip because my parents were finally returning home after living in Mexico for THREE years. They were there doing missionary work for the LDS church (they were assigned a certain geographical area of missionaries to lead and watch over) and were constantly on the go and working, so they were pretty tired when they got home but I know they met people and made memories that they will never forget.
Overall, it was a whirlwind of a trip, and I wish we could have stayed another week. Having everyone together again after 3 years was a blast and we had a lot of fun just spending time together. It’s funny how things change when you and your siblings grow up. ha. Everything isn’t quite so chaotic and you actually enjoy each others company!
aaaaand here  are some of the pics I took, there were over 200 so I narrowed it down for this post 😉

 

Side note: Anthony and I went for a walk, just the two of us, on our last night there and I told him that sometimes I hate going back to visit California because I always get so depressed when it’s time to leave. And then I cried all the way back to Utah! Hahaha. I really do love our life here, it’s just not fun ending a great trip that wasn’t quite long enough.

Rain Is A Good Thing

Every time it rains I think of the Luke Bryan song, “Rain Is A Good Thing”.

It’s been raining on and off all day which has been kind of nice since its been in the 90’s and hot all week. But I am not complaining because it’s a million times better than the snow!

Anyway, we decided to go out in the rain and explore close to home today with the dogs since we have a neighborhood chili cook off to attend tonight. Anthony and I like to spend as much time as we can with the dogs during the weekend since they spend a lot of time during the week inside. We ended up going out to an empty field nearby where there were lots of trails we could walk on while the pups ran wild and free. Since they love water and freedom, they were in heaven! I took advantage of this opportunity to play around with my camera (Anthony wanted to play with it too, hence some of the pics below..) but since it was raining and I didn’t have a lot of protection for my camera, I didn’t get too many photos. Oh well! Still a good time practicing on my favorite furry subjects!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mix it, Leave it, Eat it!

Well, I feel like I post a lot about food…but let’s be honest, who doesn’t love food?! I’m back with a delicious, easy, husband approved breakfast for you. I have seen the “overnight oatmeal” floating around for awhile but hadn’t gotten around to trying it so when I was at Target last weekend I bought a dozen mason jars and decided this oatmeal concoction was going to be a thing at our house!

and man, am I glad it’s become a thing.

So here’s how it works:

1/2 cup of oatmeal
1/2 cup (sometimes a little more) of milk (we use almond over here since we have some lactose intolerance in the house)
1-3 spoonfuls of greek yogurt (only in mine-see above)
1 tablespoon of honey
and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Then you mix it all together in a bowl, mason jar, cup, WHATEVER you want and stick it in the fridge so it sits overnight.

Yup, it’s that easy.

Oh, and in the morning you throw some fresh fruit or whatever toppings you would like on top and take it to go or eat it right then and there! I really need to try peanut butter/banana and cinnamon/apple next…..

Seriously, you can do anything with these. It’s awesome.

 

(this morning I did strawberries and mango, yesterday was strawberries and blueberries…)
BONUS! Anyone who hates slimy chia seeds like me, don’t fret! You can’t even tell they are slimy or even in there for that matter! #win
Like always, tell me how you like them if you decide to give it a shot or what you like in them if you are already on the overnight oatmeal bandwagon!

When you need a little extra fiber….

Try these.

This recipe has become one of my favorites. I found it while searching for easy and healthy meals I could make during the week because one of the biggest struggles for me while working full time has been finding time to fit everything in, including meals that we could take for lunch or eat for dinner. But not just any meals. They had to be easy and healthy…which I always thought was a non existent combination. Well, turns out it’s not impossible and there are some really good options out there!

When I first went to make this particular recipe I was a little skeptical….but I gave it a try and it obviously tasted great or else I wouldn’t be sharing it here! The actual recipe is vegetarian but you can add chicken and its still just as tasty!! We have had it both ways and love it either way. (Although, I do think Anthony prefers the chicken version because he’s a man and has to have his meat…)
I highly recommend these to everyone and I will be surprised if you try them and don’t like them. That’s how good they are….and bonus: I am usually good to go after eating three because they are filling (and good for you!!) so there are always leftovers.
Oh and before I forget, DON’T FORGET TO MAKE THE SAUCE TOO!!! It’s a greek yogurt/avocado/lime dream combo. Seriously. It is so good.

Please go try these and tell me what you think…..I need to know if you guys get as obsessed as I am…

Photo from I Heart Naptime