Monday, August 31, 2015

that time we met a baby camel

one of my favorite places in upstate South Carolina is Hollywild Animal Park. it's an interactive zoo and rehab of sorts for animals from all over the world. the first time i went was during the Christmas season where you drive through at night to enjoy the lights. during Christmas they also have a petting zoo and a field where you drive through and can feed cows, deer, zebras, and donkeys through your car window. it was that field of animals where a zebra stuck it's head in my car that made me fall in love with Hollywild.

then, i started dating Thomas and found out that during the other seasons of the year Hollywild is an interactive zoo during the daylight hours! i was so excited to find that out because i love animals and being able to interact with zebras, camels, and other fun animals was super attractive to me! so, we went during the day as a date and i fell even more in love with it! now we are frequent visitors to Hollywild each year. any normal zoo would get old after a while because you would just see the same animals every time you went. but at Hollywild, since you get to feed them and interact, it really is a different experience every time you go!

in May, two of the camels at Hollywild had a baby that they named Wednesday (because of the hump day commercials), and i have been dying to go visit the baby camel! Hollywild recently opened up a nursery experience where you can go visit the baby animals in their nursery by buying an add-on to your ticket. so, that's what we did and we were the only 2 signed up at our time so we got to have the nursery to ourselves!

Wednesday would moan randomly at the other baby animals or if people passed by, and she would also randomly run and kick her legs all crazy because she's still getting used to her legs. it was so adorable though & i even got a video of her doing it! her and the baby antelope loved giving kisses too so we got our share of camel kisses as well. we were in the nursery for about 20 minutes with them & it was really cool to be up close and personal with baby animals! we will definitely be going back to the nursery in the future!

are there any interactive zoos near you?! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

quick & easy | breakfast sandwiches

i love breakfast food, but can't eat at 6am before i leave for work. so, Thomas and i try to have breakfast foods for dinner every now & then. lately, we've been trying to make our dinners more healthy, so a lot of breakfast foods are out! however, my dad makes these english muffin breakfast sandwiches occasionally, and we decided to try them out for ourselves. 

we doctored up his recipe a little bit by using egg whites and adding turkey bacon to the sandwich. it turned out super delicious - i think this is the best combination of healthy breakfast foods! these sandwiches really take breakfast for dinner to the next level! plus, you can freeze the leftovers for grab-n-go breakfasts for the rest of the week. so really it is a win-win.

by the way, did you know they sell already separated egg whites in the store? it is more expensive than buying eggs and separating them yourself, but there is less waste this way & it's quick! Butterball also makes pre-cooked turkey bacon. i didn't use it this time because i couldn't find it at the store i went to, but that is definitely an option!

- whole grain english muffins
- egg whites
- baby spinach
- roasted red peppers
- turkey bacon
- cheese (optional - we didn't use it but it would be a good addition!)

- cut up the spinach & roasted red peppers into bite size pieces, then mix with the egg whites in a bowl.
- heat up pan & cook eggs like an omelet. 
- while cooking the eggs, toast the english muffins and microwave the turkey bacon according to package instructions.
- cut the eggs into sandwich size pieces and assemble on the english muffin with turkey bacon on top.

a good compliment to this breakfast sandwich would also be homemade turkey sausages, if you are not a fan of turkey bacon. the sausages would be great mixed in the eggs or served on the side!

what's your favorite breakfast for dinner menu?

Monday, August 17, 2015

o7 | project 12

Project 12 | a picture for each month of the year

- we had another family vacation this month with Thomas's family. so our vacations were one after another, but they were definitely needed. it's been a long 6 months for both of us because we hadn't taken any time off this year except for our anniversary in May. so it was nice to have back-to-back family vacations in June & July. however, since these were all weekend vacations they made the weeks hectic so we were ready for rest by the time they came! 

- shark week is in July! aka - the only time i wish i had cable. i'm not sure when sharks became one of my favorite animals (especially because they eat penguins which are my top favorite animal), but they just fascinate me so much. Discovery devotes a whole week to sharks every year & i just can't get enough of shows about sharks! there are episodes from past years on hulu which is awesome, but this year we were at the cabin during the end of shark week so we were able to watch some of it on vacation!

- i mentioned last month that our basset has been having back issues. we started her on the second round of medicine and she seems to be feeling better, but it's been a month now and she is still not 100%. it doesn't seem like she's in pain still, but she just isn't moving as well as she used to. so we are making sure she has plenty of padding on her bed and is comfy. plus, we are giving her fun treats & bones to chew on. her new favorite is this Blue Buffalo knuckle chew - she says thanks!

- in May there was a baby camel born at the animal park nearby our house. they announced that you could visit the camel in the nursery, so i've been dying to go see her. we finally went this month and got to hang out with the baby camel. she was funny because she would moan randomly and awkwardly jump around, as she's still getting used to her legs. we got to stay in the nursery for about 20 minutes so we got some fun pictures and videos!

July 1 - dinner date @ the lake
July 3 - movie date - Inside Out (so cute!)
July 4 - dinner & fireworks downtown
July 9-12 - Gatlinburg vacation with Thomas's family
July 14 - dinner with church friends
July 24 - dinner with Thomas's family
July 25 - Hollywild Animal Park & meeting a baby camel
July 26 - lunch with Thomas's family
July 31 - James Taylor concert in NC

- eating my weight in watermelon
- watching ducks on the lake
- caramel apples & fireworks atop a parking garage
- my photogenic bunny
- journaling/reading at the lake 
- endless games of pool
- vacation treats
- seeing wild elk in the south
- baby duck friends downtown
- random crane sighting
- selfies with a zebra
- baby camel kisses
- seeing fire & rain live

- we saved a box turtle from the middle of the road & took him to our woods.
- we traveled to Bangkok for our passport to fun date!
- i discussed why i have tattoos & things i've been told because of them.
- Albus the bunny joined our family!
- i shared the engagement gift i made for my newly engaged friend.

what are your highlights from this month?

Monday, August 10, 2015

homemade cinnamon sugar donuts

i mentioned that on our family vacation, my brother-in-law shared a homemade donut recipe with us. i am not a huge fan of donuts normally, but i loved these because they were light and fluffy. most donuts seem kinda heavy, so i loved that these were light. 

they are pretty easy to make & they go super quick once the oil is heated up to the right temperature. they are great to make on a vacation or at a party also because there's only 4 ingredients that you need. so, next time you're invited to someone's house make these for dessert and be the hero! :)

Pillsbury Grands biscuits (original, not flaky)
canola oil

1 - heat oil (to around a 6) in a deep pan on the stove (enough oil so the donuts can float)
2 - while oil is heating up, mix your sugar & cinnamon in a bowl (about 1 part cinnamon to 10 parts sugar) and set aside
3 - lay out all biscuits and cut out a hole from the middle of each one, use these pieces to test the oil and see when it's ready (it's ready when it browns the biscuit dough - you just have to gauge it)
4 - lay out a cookie sheet with paper towels next to the stove, for the donuts to rest before being doused with cinnamon sugar
5 - when the oil is ready, use tongs to place a donut into the oil. cook it until one side browns, then flip and brown the other side. pull it out and put it on the cookie sheet to rest. repeat with each donut.
6 - have a second person to work the cinnamon sugar while the donuts are cooking. let each donut rest for a few seconds after cooking, then place into the bowl and spoon cinnamon sugar on top. once the donut is covered well, move to a plate. repeat with each donut. 
7 - enjoy some delicious, light, fluffy donuts!

- it moves pretty fast, so once that first donut is cooked it will only take a few minutes to finish them all. 
- it is best to only try to cook 1-2 donuts at a time. since they cook fast, you could end up with one being overcooked and one being undercooked if you lose track. 

have you ever made homemade donuts? what's your favorite recipe for them?

Monday, August 03, 2015

one sentence a day | recap

i don't really use twitter that much, so i was a little worried going into the month that i would have a hard time remembering to post a sentence every day during July. however, after the first few days i frequently thought about it during each day, and had a lot of fun coming up with my sentence for the day.

it was a challenge at times, especially on those long work days. then, some days i had so many things i wanted to include it was hard to pick just one. there were a few bloggers who joined in during the month also (shout out to VictoriaJulie, and Jessica!), so it was fun to see what they were up to each day! below is a recap of my entire July, one sentence at a time!

July 1st - cool weather, binoculars, turtles, and baby ducks equals the perfect combination for a mid-morning work break!

July 2nd - it's a good day when you ask to take a picture of a basset hound puppy & you end up with a doggy date!

July 3rd - the one redeeming thing about having to work on a holiday is that there's no morning traffic!

July 4th - after living in #yeahthatgreenville for 15 years, I'm finally going downtown for fireworks on the 4th!

July 5th - I never thought I'd be thankful for rain, but the cooler weather is definitely appreciated!

July 6th - shark week is the one week of the year i wish i had cable!

July 7th - there's nothing like going to lunch & coming back to the blue screen of death (during quarter end, mind you).

July 8th - coffee & old school Hanson are the only things getting me through this particular work day afternoon.

July 9th - today i saw a homeless man (who frequents the park) feeding the ducks & that's so beautiful it just made my heart smile.

July 10th - you know you're exhausted when you sleep for 9 hours & then take an hour long nap a few hours after waking up.

July 11th - the gap outlet said 70% off and my fun money for the month said see ya!

July 12th - surprise BOGO deals, random elk herd, hiking straight up a mountain & 17K step fitbit record is a good last day of vacation.

July 13th - this is the first time I've had the day after vacation off of work & it is so glorious!

July 14th - lunch with my high school BFF was a welcome break to this first day back after a long weekend!

July 15th - somehow it always happens that i feel more exhausted after a vacation.

July 16th - tomorrow is friday so I am having a celebratory root beer!

July 17th - the bad news is Thomas had to work until 7, the good news is he is bringing home Thai for dinner!

July 18th - family vacations the last few weekends have been fun, but I'm thankful for this weekend of rest.

July 19th - lazy sunday afternoons make it easier to face the work week hustle that monday brings.

July 20th - thanks to a free month of hulu, I'm now obsessed with The Good Wife.

July 21st - this morning on my walk into work, i saw a massive crane sitting on a rock in the river!

July 22nd - I wouldn't trade coming home to a basset & bunny every night for anything!

July 23rd - tonight I came home to a basset, a bunny, and a cricket, but I had to tell the cricket that our pet quota has been met.

July 24th - It's been a long week and I'm convinced coffee was made for days like today!

July 25th - today is a day for dreaming & planning - in that order!

July 26th - I'm missing hanging out with the baby camel today!

July 27th - most people think accountants are boring, but we sure know how to pull off 50th birthday decorations!

July 28th - today we are one step closer to something we've been dreaming about for years!

July 29th - I realized today that I have more pictures of animals than people on my Instagram - not sure what that says!

July 30th - figurative fridays are my favorite kind of fridays!

July 31st - working 5 days a week seems a bit excessive, so i'm taking today off & going to see James Taylor instead!

what's one sentence to recap YOUR July?