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March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

we had such a fun Easter this year. 
stay tuned for pictures from our fun filled's one just to tide you over! ;)

Happy Easter!

March 29, 2013

adventures in sewing

as i have mentioned a few times, learning to sew is pretty high on my bucket list. 
so when my friend ashley offered to teach me some basic about sewing, i jumped at the opportunity!

ashley & her husband are southern california natives and have such a cute apartment with a beachy feel to it. ashley decided that she wanted to cover her brown & green decorative pillows to match a little better. she found a really straight forward tutorial for making pillow covers via pinterest & bought some simple star fish fabric from amazon. what a cheap & easy option for covering pillows!

^^^ashley even let me give it a try!^^^

& the finished product!!! isn't that the cutest pillow cover? and it only took like 20 minutes. 
next we are going to try to tackle making maxi & pencil skirts with jersey fabric!

thanks for a fun morning, ash!

March 26, 2013

book club? ya right!

i have never been a big reader. i kind of go through little spurts of reading and then i won't see the inside of a book for months. 
i wish i was better! 

i am currently going through one of those rare times that i am actually interested in reading!! go me! but i am almost done with the novel i have been tackling for the past 3 years. okay, come on...i don't read THAT slow! i have read other books during that time but this particular book was rather hard to get through. obviously. but i was determined to finally finish it & move on.

so for all your book worms out there, do you have any good novels that you just loved??? i'm not into sci fi or fantasy, sorry i only got through the first harry potter. i love girly books, mysteries, historical ones or basically anything with a good story that will catch my attention early on!

help me out!! i would love to be introduced to new authors or books that i would probably never find on my own.

**this picture is from a recent phototshoot i did with a friend. i did not go blonde! ;)

March 22, 2013

recipes {ratatouille}

i have to admit, ever since watching ratatouille as a kid, i have been so curious to know what this dish would taste like. i know it is a bunch of veggies, but in the movie, & yes i know it is a cartoon, it just looks so good! so to keep with the french theme of mark's birthday back in february, i made this side dish!

i had a lot of fun making this dish. i used a mandolin to slice all of the vegetables & it took about 5 minutes to go through an eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper. hello, FAST! you can use a really sharp knife instead of a mandolin, but if you use a knife you most likely won't get a consistent thickness. once all of your veggies are sliced you can really be creative & layer everything however you'd like. it did take a while to layer all of the thinly sliced vegetables but it came out looking so pretty! this is definitely a dish to make if you want to impress your guests & get a few compliments :)

what you'll need >>
recipe adapted from smitten kitchen
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 egg plant
1/2 zuchinni
1/2 yellow squash
1/2 red pepper
a few sprigs of thyme
salt & pepper

directions >>
1. preheat oven to 375.

2. using a round baking dish, about 9 inches, pour tomato puree in the bottom of the pan. add onions, garlic & 1 tbsp of olive oil. salt and pepper generously & mix gently to combine.

3. trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. trim the ends off of the red pepper & remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

4. using a mandoline, or a very sharp knife, cut the veggies into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

5. on top of the tomato puree, arrange slices of veggies from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. you may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

6. drizzle remaining tablespoon of olive oil on top of the veggies and season generously with salt and pepper. remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs and roughly chop them. then sprinkle over the veggies.

7. bake for about 45-55 minutes until veggies are cooked but not totally limp. the tomato sauce will be bubbling up around the edges.

8. serve on top of a grain with a dollop of goat cheese or as a side dish with a yummy protein!

happy friday, y'all!

March 19, 2013

my life after graduation

when did life get to be so hard? everyone says enjoy your college years because when they are over you are shoved right into the 'real' we were living some sort of pretend life - in a way i guess we kind of were. a few hours of classes a day, some exams & papers mixed in with a whole lot of sleeping in, friends, boys & whatever else we wanted to do. it's funny though, because once you have graduated you really do see life so differently. i mean, ya there aren't the pressures of studying for a test until the wee hours of the morning or worrying about your grade in a class, but there are different deadlines & things to worry about that perhaps we never thought about before. & most likely these new challenges are more important than any grade we ever received.

i have been struggling with my purpose in life lately. what will i do in this life that will be good enough to feel like i did something worth while. will it be a job? a hobby? my family? kids? church? next month will mark one year since i graduated & although i feel like i know some of the things i want to accomplish in my life, i also feel like i am a very confused 22 year old. is this normal? i'm sure it is, but it is also frustrating. everyone is different. we all blossom at different times & pursue very different dreams. i simply wish i knew how/when/&what my purpose will be. not knowing what i will to do with my life is kind of scary to me.

on a more cheerful note, i am happy to report that our terrible utah winter may finally be over! last week i went outside for a little walk. it was sunny, no snow on the ground, i could actually feel the warmth of the sun on my face & there was a rather strong breeze. this combination reminded me so much of the santa ana winds back home in LA {my favorite} & i was just smiling ear to ear. it's so funny how the weather can drastically effect your mood & state of mind. i found myself instantly grateful for so many different things that i have in my life. 


March 15, 2013

recipes {spicy peanut noodles with chicken}

oh my. the recipe i have for you guys today is HOT! if you love peanut sauces you have to try this & if you are a big fan spicy asian dishes you will just swoon. the sriracha hot chili sauce really gives this dish a kick but it is

mark loves peanut sauces so i thought i should finally try to make something he would approve of so we don't have to get take out every time he is in the mood for a spicy peanut dish. i have been on a spice kick when it comes to asian food lately {i guess i may just be my father's daughter after all!} & i seriously loved everything about this meal. my favorite part was the heat, of course. but if you aren't a huge spicy person then feel free to cut back on the amount of sriracha you use or you can even take it out all together! i also wanted to mention that the noodles i used were rice noodles, you can purchase these from any grocery store, but if you don't have any on hand you can definitely use a basic linguine pasta as well!

what you'll need >>
adapted from skinnytaste

peanut sauce:
14 oz chicken stock
6 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp sriracha hot chili sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce

16 oz chicken breast
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 lime, juice
1 tbsp sriracha hot chili sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tbsp sesame oil

veggie topping:
11/4 cups broccoli slaw
1 zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 cup carrots, grated
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tbsp peanuts, chopped
1 lime

directions >>

1. combine chicken stock, peanut butter, ginger, garlic, sriracha, honey & soy sauce in a pan. stir occasionally for about 5-10 minutes until well combined. set aside.

2. cut chicken into thin strips. combine lime juice, sriracha, garlic, ginger & soy sauce in a bowl. mix the chicken with the marinade and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

3. boil water & prepare rice noodles as package instructs. i boiled my noodles for about 10 minutes. then drain.

4. heat wok or large skillet. once hot, add sesame oil & cook chicken on high. this will only take 2-3 minutes. once chicken is done remove from the pan & set aside.

5. heat up a little bit more oil in the same pan used for the chicken & then add broccoli slaw, zucchini, carrots & bean sprouts. saute for a few minutes until all of the veggies are tender but still crisp. remove from heat.

6. add cooked noodles to peanut sauce & combine. {if sauce is too thick you can use a bit of chicken stock to thin it out} then add chicken.

7. serve with the fresh veggies on top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts & a slice of lime.

March 13, 2013

a lack of sleep + counting sheep

ah what am i doing to myself?? my sleep schedule has been completely thrown off lately. some might blame the daylight savings time shift, but i think i simply over slept this past weekend & my body is now in a funk. i attempted to head off to bed on two different occasions two nights ago, which were both unsuccessful. so i resorted to watching some tv until like 2am until i felt loopy enough to hit the hay. {i learned in a college class that if you can't fall asleep then you should get out of bed & do something until you feel tired enough to try again...using my education people}

^^^ yes, i like grape nuts ;) ^^^

so where are we now on this sleep issue?? well let's just say i started this post last night at 1:40am. i finally fell asleep at 2:30am & was completely regretting that 2 hour nap i took at 9pm...i know i know, terrible idea but it was unintentional. luckily i have today off so i was able to sleep in a bit.

i need to get back on my normal sleeping schedule, & fast! not only does staying up late affect how i feel the next day in every way, but when those late night munchies hit...and you are alone...and you start coming up with reasons why it's okay to eat the last of the cookie dough...trouble. i have never had issues with falling asleep, so this has been quite an experience &, let's just say, less than enjoyable.

March 12, 2013

recipes {cookie dough greek yogurt}

i have a sweet tooth. period. & i go back and forth all of the time with wanting to be healthier and then just giving into temptations! but i recently came across this awesome idea of cookie dough greek yogurt. i think this is the perfect mid day snack or after dinner treat if you are still hungry but craving something that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
{NOTE: greek yogurt & peanut butter are FULL of protein so this mini meal will most definitely fill you up.}

much like most healthy options, of course this doesn't taste as good as cookie dough. i mean duh. but it is full of creamy peanut butter, some sweetness from honey & vanilla, and chocolate chips. it also has a slight tangy taste from the greek yogurt. 
i was curious enough to give it a try & maybe you will be too!

^^^ easy clean up too! ^^^

March 10, 2013

a cozy weekend inside

with the forecast predicting a wet weekend & still feeling a little under the weather, 
i decided it would be cozy few days inside for me.

this was pretty much how i spent my weekend. i was getting over a cold/cough combo from earlier in the week & decided it would be a good weekend to catch up on some business "to do" items while i was stuck on the couch. i composed a "posing guide", researched tips on getting wedding photography published, edited 2 recent weddings i second shot for, posted a new wedding on my website & worked on my photography blog all while enjoying some freshly made cookie dough right out of the bowl. :) 

i guess i wasn't working ALL weekend. on friday night the cook's came over & brought some indian take out. the boys watched the BYU v. SDSU game while maryclaire & i had some much needed girl time. my other grand adventure for the weekend was hitting up costco on saturday. the amount of people that gather at costco on a saturday afternoon amazes me. i am thoroughly convinced that a large portion of them only come for the samples, but can you blame them?

i hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!
& i am so ready for tomorrow night's bachelor finale!! yes, i am one of those girls. ;)

March 9, 2013

i'll take you to the doughnut shop

growing up in a los angeles suburb, krispy kremes were a rare treat for most people in my community. there wasn't a krispy kreme store close by, so little mom & pop doughnut shops were where we got our saturday morning doughnuts from...oh, & on the rare occasion, a quick before school treat ;) but since i've moved to utah i have found the complete opposite to be true! if i'm in the mood for a doughnut then i will typically make the 5 minute trip the the local krispy kreme store...when i first got here i loved having those melt-in-your-mouth treats so close by, but it is now 4 years later & i am kind of over krispy kreme {yes, i said it}!! i just want my NORAML doughnuts back!

so, i did a little search for local doughnut places & decided to try some out. {what a hard job, right?} these beauties are from a place called beyond glaze in draper. aren't they just the prettiest doughnuts you have ever seen???? i almost didn't want to eat them because they were so fun to look at. but that thought quickly passed & i dove in!

^^^ i was so close to getting the maple bacon but decided i would come back with mark & we could try it together ^^^

i would give this place a B+ because they cost double what normal doughnuts typically cost & i thought the they looked better than they tasted. but i only tried one...if i go back then i'll take a couple bites from a few different ones & maybe do an update if i need to :)

what are you favorite guilty pleasures?????

March 7, 2013

guest post: eryka from ABCDE

Hey...Five Foot Seven readers. I'm Eryka. I blog over at ABCDE {which happens to be our initials all mixed up}. Jenna and I are swapping for the day and I am so excited to be over here on her little corner of the interenets. ABCDE is where I share bits of my life as a wifey, things I love and everything else in between! I love pretty things, instagram, the color mint & my handsome hubby {who is the stud in the photo below}. Jenna and I thought it would be super awesome to do a little Q&A! 

1. Who is the girl behind the blog?
I'm a California girl turned Utah girl. I am a wife to an amazing Husband, Hairstylist, lover of Instagram, obsessed with the color combo mint + coral, and super baby hungry! {just gotta be honest with you all! haha}

2. What inspired you to start a blog?
Lauren from the former blog Busy Bee Lauren was one of the first blogs I stumbled upon and I loved that form of journaling. I have NEVER been a girl who kept a real journal. So, this whole blogging thing really clicked for me. It started as a way to keep family updated and has quickly turned into a part of me. I have met some awesome ladies through blogging!

3. What is something that most people don't know about you?
That I am actually pretty shy around new people. 
4. When you aren't blogging what are you doing?
Being a house wife, doing a little hair on the side, spending time with my family/friends and spending way to much time on social media {ahh don't we all?!}
5. What would be your biggest pieces of advice in building a good marriage?
Being each others best friends and making time for each other. My husband and I are each others best friends and I wouldn't have it any other way. Oh and one more thing that I would say helps is praying together, for each other and for your marriage. I have seen a huge change in our marriage when we started to do this everyday. I love hearing my husband pray for me, us, and our marriage it melts my heart!

Now, you know a little about me. Feel free to come on over to my blog and see Jenna's post as well as say hi. I love new blogging friends! Thanks for having me over, Jenna! 

You can find me here: 

March 6, 2013

photography tips // 01

i always love hearing other people's thoughts & tips when it comes to photography! i think it is so fun learning from others & developing my own skills. this time i am sharing a few!! go check it out over at Cave Girl in the City!

i cover four different lighting techniques
back lighting // even lighting // interesting lighting // window lighting

^^^ & of course there are pictures which serve as examples^^^

go check it out & let me know what you think!

March 5, 2013

live it up & write it down

this cute little "j" notebook is my photography journal where i write down notes, ideas, things i learn & what not relating to photography. i love looking back at the things that i have written down & to see how far i have come in my craft. journals of any kind are such a cool thing, don't you think? they reveal so much about a person! 

as a little girl i kept a diary that i wrote in from time to time. it had a lock & key so that no one would be able to read my deepest secrets. looking back on it now, i wish i wrote down more so that i could remember the important things that were occurring in my life at the time. i love being able to remember such innocent & funny things that i deemed important enough to jot down as a 10 year old.

i like to think that this blog serves the same purpose as my personal diary did then, but i know that i don't share very intimate & personal details about my family's life on here. to me public blogs just aren't the place to completely vent about everything. maybe for some, but not me at this point in my life. but i do love that this blog is a little place to share experiences & thoughts with others, as well as a mild journal of sorts.

// i really wish i would spend a little bit of time writing in a personal journal, though.
journals are great for venting & really fun to look back on. unfortunately, for some reason i find it hard to
find time to want to sit down & write with a pen and paper these days...thanks, technology! //

how much is too much to share on your public blog? do you guys keep a journal other than your blog???
how do you stay motivated to keep writing in it?

March 3, 2013

life lately {iphone edition}

well, hello there march! 

february went by so fast! here is a little look back on some of our adventures last month. i often forget to take pictures of the day2day stuff...i will work on that! this month was full of baking, eating, hanging with friends, mark's birthday & helping with a wedding!

March 1, 2013

recipes {homemade baguettes}

any french baguette lovers out there???

when my good friend told me that she made fresh baguettes in her own kitchen i was shocked & immediately had to know how it was done! this recipe was relatively straight forward, although you do need to prepare the dough a day in advance & allow enough time to let the dough rise, etc. BUT once you taste the bread you will forget about all of the little steps & be in bread 'n' butter heaven. i am a HUGE lover of bread & this baguette recipe did not disappoint. i ended up making this for the first time last week for my husband's french inspired birthday dinner.

>> what you'll need
yields 4 loaves

5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour {all purpose flour will work too}
1 tbsp coarse kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast {or 1 packet of yeast}
2 cups warm water

>> directions
this is a two day process!

day one:
1. combine all ingredients in bowl of mixer, set with paddle attachment, and mix on lowest speed for one minute until well blended and smooth. {add the flour a cup at a time until you get the right consistency. i used 5 cups of flour} dough should form a coarse, shaggy ball.  let rest, uncovered for 5 minutes.  

2. switch to dough hook and mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. dough should be smooth, supple, and tacky but not sticky.  

3. knead dough by hand on lightly floured work surface for 1 minute, then transfer to a large clean, lightly oiled bowl. cover with plastic wrap and immediately refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days.

** dough can also be made without the use of a stand mixer. combine all the ingredients – start with a wooden spoon then switch to your hands when the flour is incorporated. lightly knead until all the ingredients are well blended. let rest for 5 minutes then knead for about 5 more minutes until dough is smooth and slightly tacky.

day two:
1. remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours prior to baking.  

2. gently transfer to lightly floured work surface, taking care to release as little gas as possible.  divide dough into four equal portions. ** i prepared two baguettes & kept the remaining two portions in the fridge to bake during the week

3. pat each individual portion of dough into a thick rectangle.

4. fold the bottom half to the center and seal the seam. fold the top half to the center and once again seal the seam.

5. roll the top half of the dough over the seam to create a new seam on the bottom of the loaf. 

6. with seam side underneath, gently rock loaf back and forth, with hands moving out toward and increasing pressure at the ends, to slightly taper the loaf until baguette is the length of baking sheet. place the formed baguettes on a baking sheet that has been oiled or covered with parchment.  mist top of dough with oil, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and proof at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours, or until increased to 1 1/2 times its original size.

7. preheat oven to 450 degrees. place a sheet pan, which will serve as steam pan, with a 1-inch rim on shelf under which baguettes will be baked.  

8. remove plastic wrap from the dough 15 minutes prior to baking.  just prior to baking, score the dough 1/2 inch deep with a serrated knife or razor.  transfer dough to the oven, pour 1 cup hot water into the steam pan. {when you pour the water into the pan it will make a really loud noise so be aware!}

9. bake for 10-15 minutes, then rotate pan and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the crust is rich golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when thumped. cool on wire rack before slicing or serving. 

original recipe from

um, yum right???

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