Thursday, February 27, 2014

summer skin

snow canyon utah // the little red house
we arrived with the night.
a chill in the air,
a squish of sand beneath our feet.
we threw our tent up under the star painted sky.

the morning sun rose over red rock,
slowly warming our sleepy bones.
the chill melted into the sand,
we peeled away our layers.

jackets. hats. socks.
shoes had to go.
our winter skin shone bright in the sun.
at last.

we played.
hiked. climbed. explored.
dug toes deep into the soft red earth.
stained our skin.

bruised knees.
scraped elbows.
sand covered,
head to toe.

we stretched out on the rocks
under an ocean of blue.
we baked away the winter,
soaking up every last drop.

the sun kissed our skin.
warm. hot. 
reminding us
of summer.
snow canyon utah // the little red housesnow canyon utah // the little red housesnow canyon utah // the little red housesnow canyon utah // the little red housesnow canyon utah // the little red housesnow canyon utah // the little red housesnow canyon utah // the little red housesnow canyon utah // the little red housesnow canyon utah // the little red house
snow canyon, utah

Thursday, February 13, 2014

one by one: a little love

because sunsets on the beach are romantic. and this post is about love. 
but mostly because I just needed a pretty picture.
It's been waaaaaaaaay too long since we've had 
a One by One assignment. 

What is One by One you say? Last year I had the thought, "Can one person make a difference? Can I make a difference to somehow better the world?" It's hard for one person to act alone--but if we all work together, one by one, maybe we can make small let's try!

Go read more about it HERE, and join in!
I was so happy to see THIS little article on our local news this morning. It's about saying what's on your mind--sharing the good thoughts inside your head instead of keeping them locked away where no one will ever know.

With Valentine's Day coming up, let's take the opportunity to celebrate what the day is supposed to be about: simply, LOVE. Somehow it has become more about store aisles and aisles overflowing with pink and red needless things. Let's get back to basics. 

I'm a people watcher.
I observe and notice people around me everywhere I go.
At school. At the store. Everywhere.
I often have little thoughts come in to my head as I watch, and I very rarely share them. It's so much easier to just walk right by, than to offer a quick compliment.....but why is that? 
Why is it SO incredibly hard sometimes to reach out to a stranger, a family member, or a close friend, and brighten their day just a little bit with a simple compliment?
We never know the impact our words may have.

Five or so years ago when I first started going to yoga, my wonderful, talented, and truly beautiful yoga teacher Abbey would always tell everyone in class how beautiful and strong they were. Like, look you straight in the face, and tell you. It is so easy to brush something like that off completely, and not fully hear those words...."yeah yeah yeah..." I would think to myself. But the more I got to know Abbey, the more I knew that she meant every word she said to someone. She saw beauty and strength in everyone, and had no reason NOT to let them know--it came so easily to her.
I think at some point in life, almost every woman (especially us who have stretched and skewed our bodies for babies) have felt very uncomfortable in our own skin. I know that I went through my own time of struggle.
But you know what made me realize I was being ridiculous?
Those first few years of yoga with Abbey.
The physical activity, being inside of my own thoughts, and without a doubt--HEARING Abbey's word's over and over. It took a few years, but it all began to come together.

We really never know how our simple words can change someone.
The One by One Project // the little red house
Let's start today.....all of us. You and you and all of you--no one gets out of this one.
Have a nice thought about someone? Tell them! It will take us just a few seconds....we can all handle a few seconds.

I'd love for you to share any experiences you've had with this--maybe how kind words and compliments have touched your life.

Happy Valentines Day! 
Now go spread the love by sharing your nice thoughts with others. 
One by One we can make a difference.

More One by One Assignments

Sunday, February 9, 2014

over the weekend

it started with one tiny flake. 
 a few more, here and there, sprinkling from the sky.
slowly, so slowly, fluttering from the clouds.
we kept peeking out the windows, fingers crossed for more. 
and then....
the clouds opened! they spilled over, painting our world white. 
and it just kept falling
and falling

lucky us.

I headed to the mountain on Friday to decompress after the week's papers! and tests! and lectures! and late nights! (my brain hurt.) The fresh air and fluffy snow was exactly what I needed.
I shared a lift with two guys who where visiting from Australia. They praised our mountains and snow and reminded me (in their thick Australian accents) how lucky I was to call this place home--"so spoiled you are here!" I remind myself of this every single day......we ARE so lucky. We never ever thought we'd call Utah home, but I'm so happy for the trails and mountains that make this place perfect for us.
snow day // the little red house
We headed up with the whole crew on Saturday and braved the blizzard for the best ski day we've had all year. I think every single prayer for snow was answered, in just a few hours on this very mountain.
snow day // the little red housesnow day // the little red housesnow day // the little red house
After our cold day we snuggled on the couch in jammies and cheered on Team USA in the Olympics.
(the fun had to come to an end for a lonnnnng night of way to end the day.....right?)

It was perfect soup weather, and this is THE best soup to make when you are feeling exceptionally lazy and really don't want to cook. It only takes a few minutes of prep work--and it's always a family favorite around here.
Chicken Chile Verde Soup // The Little Red House
Chicken Chile Verde Soup
-1 onion, diced
-3/4 cup roasted green chilies, diced (our awesome friends grew pounds and pounds and pounds of green chilies last year. Ali and I spent an evening late summer roasting and dicing. I pulled these from my freezer and they made me miss summer just a little bit...)
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2 chicken breasts
-4 cups prepared black beans
-4 cups chicken stock
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp ground coriander
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-pinch of red pepper flakes
-salt and pepper
-juice of one lime

In a large pot, saute onions, chilies, and a pinch of salt in olive oil for 5-6 minutes until tender. Add in red pepper flakes and garlic, and cook for a few more minutes. Remove pot from heat, and add onions, chilies, and garlic into a blender with 1 cup of chicken stock. Blend until smooth. 
Pour into pot and return to heat. Add in chicken breasts, remaining broth, beans, and spices. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is done. (I like to simmer on low for a few hours--the flavors have time to mingle and the chicken will easily fall apart. Salt and pepper to taste and stir in the lime juice. 

Top with all your favorites--avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips, cilantro, pepper jack cheese and an extra squeeze of lime.
Chicken Chile Verde Soup // The Little Red House

blogged 1 year ago: lower the beet juice
blogged 2 years ago: homemade almond milk

Thursday, February 6, 2014

coconut almond butter

I like snacks. Little bites between meal time to keep me happy. 
I always have some kind of snack (or two, or three) in my school bag or my purse......I actually have an irrational fear of being "out" somewhere and not having a snack tucked away, just in case. 
The horror!
I'm always looking for new snacks to try out, whether for on the go, or when I'm hungry at home.
Almond butter is nothing new around here--I make it every now and then, and while I always have good intentions of using it sparingly for fruit dip.....I usually end up eating it with a spoon.....whoops.
A few weeks ago my sister-in-law told me about her latest obsession: coconut peanut butter. 
I couldn't get it out of my head. 
I didn't have any peanuts on hand, but I always have raw almonds and unsweetened I just had to give it a whirl. 
(pun totally intended, because I have the humor of an old man).
coconut almond butter // the little red house
almonds + coconut = coconut almond butter. 
It's that simple......and so good.
coconut almond butter // the little red housecoconut almond butter // the little red house
Coconut Almond Butter
-2 cups raw almonds
-1 cup shredded UNSWEETENED coconut (keep this in your cupboards! It's so good thrown into oatmeal, smoothies, cookies, everything) find it in the bulk bins.
-pinch of salt. 

Heat oven to 400° and roast almonds on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes until almonds start to brown and smell perfectly toasty.
add almonds, coconut, and salt into a food processor or your high powered blender and process for 5-6 minutes. (stop a few times to scrape down the sides if needed)

I asked on facebook how YOU like to eat almond butter:
-stirred into smoothies
-on toast
-with a spoonful of chocolate chips
-stirred into breakfast quinoa
-by the spoonful
-my kids love it in their lunch boxes with pretzels or apples!
coconut almond butter // the little red house
but wait! 
there's more!
Raise your hand if most afternoons at 4:00 you simply
must. have. chocolate.
is that just me?
so why not find a healthier way to get your afternoon chocolate fix....
Chocolate Coconut Almond Butter
2 cups roasted almonds (see roasting instructions above)
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
pinch of salt
1 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 TBS pure maple syrup
1-2 TBS coconut oil, melted

make the coconut almond butter with the directions above. 
once your mixture is finished and smooth, add in cocoa powder and maple syrup--a little more, a little less, depending on how sweet you want it.
once the cocoa powder is added, the almond butter will loose some of it's smooth texture, so while the food processor is running, slowly add in your melted coconut oil until your almond butter is smooth again. 
chocolate coconut almond butter // the little red house
and enjoy.
be sure to check out:

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


   well hello. I thought I would briefly emerge from the black hole I've been living in....
 (there is no internet in black holes, you know.)

lately (as in, the past 11 days) I've been enjoying life 
as a 31 year old. 
I must say, it feels good.
lately I've been aching for a huge snowstorm......or summer. 
Either would do. If it's going to be winter, I want loads of snow--piling up to the rooftops and filling my yard with armies of snowmen. If the weatherman can't deliver, then let's move on to summer....I'm tired of all this in-between season stuff.

lately (last weekend, actually) we were able to 
celebrate the life of Robby's dear grandma. 
Such a happy weekend spent with family sharing all the best memories. 
And two kids pretty excited about flying for the first time 
(and killing time playing on the people mover at the airport)
lately I'm so happy that football is over......who's with me?!

lately I've been craving the cauliflower at Communal
Who are we kidding.....I've been craving everything. We went there for my birthday and I can't stop thinking about all the wonderful things we ate--I was sad when the last bite was gone. I'm pretty sure I'm one of the last people in Utah to eat there, but if you haven't been--head there for your next special occasion. You will love it.
lately I've been extremely lazy about getting out my big camera. 
So here is a phone snap of sauteed kale with a fried egg and goat cheese + my homemade natural protein shake. This is my go-to breakfast (or lunch or dinner) before I head to class. 
Super easy and filling and loaded with brainpower.
lately I'm debating adding more chicks to my flock 
later this spring.....
I just don't know if I'm up for those first few weeks with baby birds in my house. yikes.

lately this is my favorite soup.
Thai Butternut and Sweet Potato // The Little Red House
Thai Butternut and Sweet Potato Soup
I found this recipe on How Sweet It Is. I added more garlic, more ginger, and the sweet potato.

3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 sweet onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons red curry paste
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced into small cubes (uncooked)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (uncooked)
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
juice of 1 lime + more for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
fresh cilantro for serving

Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add coconut oil. Once it's melted, add in the onions with a pinch of salt and stir. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent (I like to turn the heat up a bit and let the onions start to caramelize) about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, ginger and curry paste and stir until it is incorporated. Add in squash and sweet potato. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stock and cover the pot and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the squash and potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Once the squash is soft, turn off the heat and very carefully pour the entire mixture into a blender. Blend until the soup is smooth and pureed. Pour it back into the pot and turn the heat on to medium low. Add in the coconut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper, and stir. Cover and cook the soup for 10 minutes until it's warmed through. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with cilantro and an extra squeeze of lime.
 Thai Butternut and Sweet Potato // The Little Red House
try it with homemade naan!

What have you been up to lately?

blogged 1 year ago: lentil and coconut curry stew
blogged 3 years ago: how to take a nap
blogged 4 years ago: how to build a farmhouse table