Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Last week my family decided to embark on a road trip through the Great Plains.  It was somewhat spontaneous but we all managed to get a couple of days off of work and pack enough things for the "survival" of all six of us (which, might I add, it's no easy task hehehe).  My parents rented a van and picked us up Wednesday afternoon. We drove from Wisconsin, through Minnesota, and into South Dakota all in less than eight hours.  We checked into the hotel way past midnight and enjoyed some much needed rest before continuing on our adventure.  From there we drove to the Badlands where we hiked all day and then set camp in the valley for the night. The rest of our road trip consisted of paying Mt. Rushmore a visit (a FIRST for all of us), driving through dirt roads looking for buffalo, surviving Needles Highway, camping in the Black Hills, and hiking around the Devil's Tower. On Saturday afternoon we drove out of Wyoming to begin our journey back home. We were originally planning on finding a hotel along the way once the sun set but we didn't realize that because of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally EVERY hotel along I-90 would be completely booked.  We were forced to drive straight through the night for seventeen hours. Absolutely exhausting, specially for Sean and my dad who took care of all the driving.  Three days later and I'm still dragging, sleeping in a bit too late, and bags are still unpacked but despite all that I am eternally grateful for the memories created along those I love most. 

The Badlands


Mt. Rushmore


Sylvan Lake


Custer State Park



The Devil's Tower

Home sweet home.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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Strawberry Almond Scones


   As of late, I've been growing quite obsessed with all things strawberry... Specially after buying over four pounds of them at the local market.  After looking through my Pinterest for some creative ideas I came across this recipe I had saved almost a year ago.  I did modify it a bit, but I can assure you these were one of the easiest and most delicious scones I have ever made. 


Ingredients:

3 c All-Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/3 c Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1 1/2 c Heavy Cream (+ some more to brush the top of the scones)
1 c Coarsely Chopped Strawberries
Diced Almonds (for topping)
Brown Sugar (For topping)

Directions:

- Preheat over at 425 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set Aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder)
- In a liquid measuring cup add the cream, vanilla and almond extract. Mix well.
- Drizzle the cream mixture into the dry ingredients tossing and stirring as you go.
- Add the strawberries and toss it all together.
- Add 2 more tablespoons of cream if necessary to create a moist and cohesive dough (make sure it is not sticky)
- Gently gather and knead the dough onto a lightly floured surface
- Press the dough out into a 3/4"- thick disk.
- Use a small biscuit cutter
- Brush each circle with the extra heavy cream and sprinkle generously with brown sugar
- Add almonds to as many of them as you wish
- Place one inch apart on the baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes (or until golden brown and cooked through)


Serve warm and enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The first thing we did when we arrived to Charleston on Sunday was a sailing trip on The Schooner Pride.  It was such a perfect way to kick off our little vacation! The weather was absolutely perfect that day... 80 degrees of sunshine and blue skies.  There were so many playful dolphins too! They were a bit too quick and spontaneous for a picture but we have a bit of video footage of them and their cuteness. Once we docked we went back to the apartment, ordered takeout, and chilled on the couch... the drive from Wisconsin had officially taken a toll and we were ready to recharge. After all, we still had two full days of exploring ahead of us. 
    On our last full day in Charleston we decided to drive out 15 minutes to the Boone Hall Plantation. This late 1600s plantation is the very same one that inspired many of Gone with the Wind's scenes/sets and where The Notebook was filmed (AKA Allie's house). The drive in through the "Avenue of Oaks" (the nearly one-mile rows of oak trees originally planted in 1743) is absolutely stunning and so whimsical. After taking it all in it was decided that our future home must have big oak trees with Spanish moss on them. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

    About a week ago Sean and I embarked on one of our longest road trips to date... a seventeen hour car ride to the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina.  This trip came about when we decided to celebrate our six years of togetherness a month earlier this year because of our busy schedule for April.  After surviving a very brutal winter up here in Wisconsin, Charleston truly became paradise the minute we drove in. With its temperature in the 80s, sunshine, palm trees, and the Atlantic Ocean, how could it not?

   We stayed in a beautiful upstairs apartment inside of a late Victorian ch√Ęteau in the Historic District.  Located just two blocks from the famous King Street and within walking distance to the docks.  The day after we got there Sean had a big project to finish so I got to do a bit of solo exploring. That mostly consisted of quite a bit of shopping at the City Market and checking out a couple art galleries. When I got back to the apartment the project had been submitted so Sean was ready to explore and I was more than eager to show him around. I put on the dress I had just bought a couple hours before and we set out for a stroll on the boardwalk. We got to see Rainbow Row, explore some alleys (seriously, even the alleys are breathtaking), and catch a stunning sunset. After dinner at the Fleet Landing we just walked around till the wee hours of the morning.  You can be sure no morning alarm was set for the next day. 


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