Inspired by Life

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oatmeal Savory Abelskievers (Paniyarams)

First things first: I am not a fan of oatmeal. I will try my hardest to camouflage the oats by any means possible. Yep, a bit crazy, I know. But that's how I feel about eating oats. I still eat it because it is good for me but I don't have to eat it in porridge form always, do I? In fact, I rarely do, and when I do, it is also disguised by a generous portion of fruits and nuts. That's how I like it.  When I came across this recipe in Cook, Click & Devour, I knew I had to try it. It was savory! Done! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad

Today is Day One of my attempt at clean eating. Now, I usually tend to eat healthy—lots of veggies, protein, fruits—however, I also load up on the carbs and I love salty things :) If I don't get my breakfast in, then I find myself craving some white rice and eat more than is needed to curb the hunger and the craving. Not so good, right? In fact, it is a vicious cycle and one that is hard to break: skip breakfast, blood sugar levels yo-yo, eat carbs, turns that into sugar, body stores fat, and you start all over again. Since my gym membership has been calling my name for the last three months and I have seen its doors maybe four times this year, I decided I needed to kickstart my dormant gym-rat status and start somewhere. Eating right. This recipe from Gimme Some Oven helps me do just that and it all comes together in less than 30 minutes! Check out Ali's blog (one of my favorites) where she creates this and other fantastic recipes.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” 

― Marcus Tullius Cicero

From the moment we walked through the doors of the Visitors' Center, I felt like I had been transported to a different time—a serene, beautiful, surreal one. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a hidden gem. Stunning expanse of the most beautiful little gardens all over the acres and acres of nature.  It was the perfect day to explore. But then again, Aaron and I are ready to explore any day of the week ;) Grace loves the outdoors and will relinquish all desires for sleep just to soak in all the beauty around her. And, oh it was beautiful! I will warn you that this is a picture overload but I am sure you won't mind when you see God's gift to us - Nature at its best!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Johnsons' Visit_Family Photos

What a lovely family photo, if I say so myself! No one could have guessed that Scotty was having a little meltdown and Gracie wanted to walk around the backyard and I was taking these pictures with my camera on a tripod and a timer/remote combo. Didn't they turn out just great? A wonderful way to preserve our memories of Adam, Tonna and Scotty.  We loved having them over, showing them around, eating good food, and enjoying just being together! Please come again, Johnson Family! 

The Johnsons' Visit_Sunday Morning Stroll

Sunday mornings are treasured around here. Since church doesn't start till almost the middle of the day, our mornings usually consist of a fantastic breakfast by Aaron, and a stroll along our favorite trail. What makes this even more appealing, at least for me, is that the path is now paved :) Pushing a stroller just got a whole lot easier! Obviously, we were excited to show Adam and Tonna one of our favorite spots. So, we headed out for a stroll on a beautiful, cool, crisp morning where the sun was shining but the air still had a nip in it, and the blossoms were spreading out their petals and enjoying themselves. Perfect for a walk, right?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cherry Blossom Festival 2015

In the five years that we have lived in these parts, Aaron and I have never made it to the Cherry Blossom Festival together. No, let me revise that statement. We have never made it to the Festival - for obvious reasons: crowds, traffic, lack of parking and walking space around the Tidal Basin.  This year, we had family in town — Adam & Tonna Johnson—who drove in from South Carolina and were excited to see the blossoms. So, we joined them along with the throngs of people who traversed the beaten path around the Tidal Basin. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Johnsons' Visit_Old Town Alexandria

It is a rare occasion for us to have family pay us a visit! Adam & Tonna Johnson (Aaron's cousins on his mother's side) along with their handsome little boy, Scotty, drove all the way from South Carolina for a weekend of fun, food, and exploration. Aaron and I were thrilled! 

Among the many reasons we enjoy our time with them was the fact that they are adventurous eaters like we are and they love to explore. I knew this would be a fun trip!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Blacksburg, VA

No matter where I go, Virginia will always have a special place in my heart! It has the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen and each season punctuates its beauty in a significant way. Aaron and I had been itching for a road trip for quite some time—actually, since our last one to North Carolina & South Carolina in September 2014. It was time. We loaded up our new SUV (yay! we have a second car!) and hit the road.  For those who do not live on this side of the country, trust me when I say, we felt our burdens lifted a bit as we drove through the suburbs and they gave way to green, lush meadows and bucolic beauties. The fast pace in this part of the country can take a toll on one's morale and once in a while (or as often as you can), one should escape into the far reaches of the open countryside and take some deep breaths of fresh air. The bonus for us was that we got to see our dear friends - The Kachers - who moved away last year and we rarely get to see them anymore!