Tuesday, October 28, 2014

crockpot mac 'n cheese

If there are two things I love more than cold cereal, they would be the crockpot and Mac 'n Cheese. So combining the two is practically perfect and so is this recipe! I found it on, none other than the best go-to website for recipes, DIY's and basically anything, Pinterest and have been wanting to try a new crockpot recipe for a while so I went for this one. And it was YUMMY! Zach and I both gobbled it up, but not all of it because I need leftovers for later.

Here is the recipe I used: 

& Here is the run down from the link (steps included with my own photos):
Slow Cooker Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Boil the macaroni in water for six minutes and drain.
In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Heat over medium high heat and stir until the cheese melts.

Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine cheese mixture, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper in your slow cooker.

Add the drained macaroni and stir again.

Cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally (I cooked mine for about 2 hours and stirred it twice and it was perfect).
It is a simple to follow recipe, plus with only 2 hours in the slow-cooker it was perfect for me to put together after I got home from school and let sit. I love being able to put it in the slow cooker and work on whatever I need to do while it cooks. Then, voila! Ready to eat right when it is done with half the work. Man, I love that.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

pumpkin patch and a halloween party

Yesterday, we had probably one of the best saturdays we had had in a looong time. It was productive, yet relaxing and included a lot of really really great people.

It was Bonnie's, Zach's mom, birthday yesterday! Yay, Bonnie! We love her so much. We are both blessed with such incredible families. Although I didn't get any pictures from breakfast, we went over to Zach's parent's home and had a birthday breakfast for mom. We had her ultimate favorite, Eggs Benedict. I have to say, the White's do a lot of things right and Eggs Benedict is DEFINITELY one of them. Then we came home, I cleaned, Zach did homework and then I went to the gym. All good things.

I had been wanting to go to a pumpkin patch all October but figured it wouldn't happen until our good friends, The Valentine's, asked us if we wanted to go on a little day date to a pumpkin patch. Ummmm yes. Please. So we did! We went to Jaker's Pumpkin Patch in Springville, Utah and it was awesome! 
Here's us being really excited to go..

And some selfies before we left..

We made it! Lo and behold... Jaker's.

Not only did Jaker's have some yummy food trucks and pretty pumpkins, but they also had a great little petting zoo with a 700 pound pig, which we did NOT pet, and A BABY KANGAROO. Yes, you read that right. A darling little baby Kangaroo which we most definitely did pet. It (he/she?) was so soft and adorable.

We sure love our friends, Jake and Jessica. And of course baby Addison. They also happen to be our next door neighbors. We love hanging our with them, especially meals and particularly when they feed us because they are INCREDIBLE in the kitchen. Like, dang. 
The Valentine's!

Baby addison on the way to the pumpkin patch.. Isn't she so darling?!

Our turn and we look way to excited to take a picture with the cut out haha.

So much fun! It was everything I would hoped it would be and more! I mean, come on I got to pet a freakin' baby kangaroo for crying out loud. Check that one off the bucket-list! It was a great midday date and just a fun place to go. 

Later last night, we went to a Halloween party put on by one of Zach's good friends from High School and his wife, Jacob and Megan. We went to the party last year when Zach and I were getting more serious in our dating relationship. I was super nervous because it was totally like test. "Let's go to a Halloween party together as a date and you can meet all my friends from High School and not know anyone but me!" I mean, that's not actually how it went, but I totally didn't know anyone but Zach and felt nervous! 
Here we are at last years party as a Cowboy and an Indian
And here we are this year as High School Sweethearts circa 1980's
Special thanks to Bonnie and Monroe for lending us their Provo High letterman's for the evening and my mom for answering all my thousands of picture texts of what would look better for my outfit!
This year, though, was so so fun! I mean, so was last year but this year I knew more people and it was just such a fun party. Jacob and Megan are like pro hosts so needless to say the party rocked. We ate yummy food, played fun games and laughed A LOT.

Here is a pic of the whole group
Lots of so many fun and creative costumes, right?!
Here is a picture of Corbin, another of Zach's good friends, and I awkwardly between other photo ops...

And Corbin's girlfriend, Jenna, who also happens to be one of my favorite people/good friend

Then we played Murder in the Dark towards the end of the party and with the number of people and size of Megan's parents house, it ended up going for a few hours. So when Zach and I, being incredibly lame/already old married couple having an early bedtime, got home at 12:30 we crashed after having such a fun and long day. 
Today, Sunday the 26th of October, is our 6 month-iversary of marriage! Yay for us! It truly has been blissful. Hard at times and you learn a lot, but blissful nonetheless. Thanks, Zach, for marrying me and for still being married to me. Love you!

Like I said, it was quite the day and really quite a wonderful weekend. It is the first weekend in a very long time I am not dreading tomorrow because of how good and long this weekend felt. I mean, yeah I'm still sad tomorrow is Monday but not nearly as much as I normally am. So, here is to tomorrow and a great last week of October! (still can't believe that!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

grateful for zach

Scrolling through my Facebook feed (a not-so-rare occurrence), I saw then proceeded to read an article about domestic abuse and a man beating his wife. It made me sad yet at the same time so grateful for my incredible husband.

He gives me the best hugs (and I love a good hug), makes me laugh all the time, and puts up with my occasional.. okay regular craziness/emotional breakdowns. I feel so grateful that he is my husband and best friend. It makes life so much fun. Here are 5 (of, like, innumerable) reasons why I love and am grateful for my Zachary Monroe.

1. He loves to go out to eat/try eating new things as much as I do and, boy, do we have fun eating together.

2. He tells me he loves me at least 100 times a day and I know there are people out there that think that if someone says they love you so much it looses meaning and becomes just something to say and not mean and blah blah blah... Well, I beg to differ. Every time he says it, I can just tell he means it and it means the world to me.

3. Whenever I am with him he always sees at least one person he knows when we are on campus. Seriously, the day I met him, I also met several other people that he knew because we ran into them. He is just so good at making friends with people and never forgets a face. 

4. He is so funny. So. Funny. We are always laughing together and it's such a blast to be around him. It is especially meaningful that he can make me laugh when I am about to or am crying, which is amazing. 

 5. He is a worthy Priesthood holder and can take me to the temple regularly. He is always wiling to give me a blessing when I need one. He is the first to suggest reading the scriptures/pray about it/ go to the temple and ponder it when I need the suggestion. He is always in tune with and listening to the Spirit. He blesses my life for many reasons, this being near the top of the list.

Zach, Zachykins, hubsand... I love you so so much. You mean the world to me and not a day goes by where I don't find more reasons to love you. Thank you for all you do for me and our little family. You are loved.

Monday, October 20, 2014

monday blues

Mondays are so hard. And I mean like HARD hard. I am a passionate advocate and lover of the weekends, so on Sunday night when the weekend is coming to an end and Monday has to steal back the week I get the dreaded "Monday Blues". This past weekend was a much needed, chill and relaxed weekend.
Zach and I got to go over to Phlaurel's house, Zach's brother Phil and his wife Laurel use that name combination frequently, to babysit our beloved nephew Simon.

I just adore the little Si guy. When I met Phil and Laurel, shortly after meeting Zach, she was pregnant with Simon so he is the first nephew/niece that I have known his whole life, which I think is pretty dang special. Anyways, so babysitting him was a blast. We were all a little worried because he went down for a nap when mom and dad left and since his "stranger danger" phase has come in full swing, we prepared for the worst. He did cry a little when he first woke up but then was a gem the rest of the time. When Phlaurel got back, we decided to go out to eat together (an activity Zach and I enjoy very much) to Thai Kitchen.

(This was the clearest photo we got... obviously not the cutest but it wasn't blurry so...)

The lighting was dim which is why the pictures are not the best of quality, but it was such a fun date. And yummy, too! Then Zach and I went to the Sweet Tooth Fairy (my favorite) to get some cakebites, then to RedBox to get "The Fault In Our Stars" and "Godzilla" before heading over to Zach's parents house. Zach and Monroe, Zach's dad watched the Real Salt Lake soccer game while I cried my eyes out (yes, even though I read the book and knew what would happen) while watching TFIOS. 
We slept in, got up a little late and Zach went on a run while I straightened the house and started some dishes. I love surprising him with a clean house and other fun things. It makes me happy. We then worked on homework, ate donuts from Day's and enjoyed each others company. We went back over to Mom & Dad's to do laundry and continue to work on homework. It was a relaxing day, which is just what we both needed. Later that evening I attended a good friends bridal shower (love you Ems!) and Zach went to the sad, sad BYU homecoming football game.
Of course, more sleeping in occurred Sunday morning especially since our church starts at 12:30. Zach made breakfast (love when he does that) then we went to church. We LOVE our ward. So many wonderful people, SO many cute babies. Zach taught Sunday School where we discussed Jesus Christ and all the amazing things he has done, and continues to do, for us. In Relief Society, we talked about Temples and family history work. It was a wonderful day to be at church. Dinner at Mom & Dad's was super yummy but all packaged, General Tsao's Chicken, Pot Stickers, Egg Rolls, etc., because Bonnie, Zach's mom, was in Seattle with Megan, Zach's sister for their fall break. It was delightful.

All-in-all, it was a great weekend. Even if the weekends are all just too short.
Although that long, too-detailed account of our weekend may not have been so much for you as it was for me, thanks for reading (or looking at pictures).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

hobble creek half

When I met Zach and we got to know each other a little better, I came to understand (and learn to deal with) his love for running. I have always hated hated HATED running because it was always punishment for the sports that I loved playing.
Anyways, a little over a year ago as Zach and I became more serious in our dating he invited me to go down to St. George with his family, where we would meet up with his older brother, Justin, and his family, to support Justin in running the Saint George Marathon. It was such a FUN trip but Zach, his mom and I ran to the finish line from the condo we were staying at and although it was only about 3 miles I WAS DYING. Like really having a tough time. I was sore shortly after running and the entire next day. It was rough. 
After that, I sort of tried to start running more and then we got engaged and that plan got put on the back burner. Then Bonnie, Zach's mom, paid for Zach and I to run the Hobble Creek Half Marathon as part of our wedding gift... So I had to start running again. And man, was it tough. Some of my favorite hours of the day are when it is the morning right before you have to get up and the sun is starting to shine through the blinds and the morning is quiet... Yeah I love that. So it was always hard for me to want to ruin that and get up to run, of all things. So yeah it was hard but after about a month, the running got easier. I could run two miles without dry heaving and wanting to cry at the end which was tooootally an improvement. 
Race day came and I was pretty excited to run. I had trained the majority of the time with my sis-in-law, Anna, but she got sick about a month before the race so I had to train and run pretty much the whole race myself. Which was okay because I had some pretty sick tunes (One Direction added a lot to my running playlist) and the scenery was beautiful. But the race was still hard, especially because I ran it faster than I normally did while training which I am pretty sure was excitement and adrenaline. Once I finished, I was so dead tired. I seriously did not want to run again. Ever. But seeing my sweet husband at the finish line was so rewarding that I was grateful I did it. 
I haven't run in about two months... But I want to again. And this time I want to try for a full marathon. The big 26.2... Am I crazy? Probably. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

april 26, 2014

April 26, 2014 was an incredibly beautiful day in the Bay Area and the best day of my life. Zach and I were sealed for time and all Eternity in the Oakland temple. We had so much fun, laughed a ton, ate a lot of good food and got to spend our big day with all our family. 'Twas a beautiful day indeed.

take #onemillion

Every time I'm feeling good and up to it, I decide that a blog is a good idea. And every time I put that "good idea" into motion and create a blog it gets love for like... 5 days and disappears from my radar until I decide it's a good idea again.

Since I got married, there have been 3.. At least. The reason I love blogging so much (or enough to keep making, deleting and making them again) is because I love looking at others' blogs. Love it. I think it is so fun! I especially like my sister-in-law Laurel's blog and my sister-in-law Emily's blog. They are both so cute and fun to look at, especially since Zach and I have the cutest nieces and nephews. Another great reason to blog is because it is like keeping an online (not too personal) journal and I would love to have a record of these special times, photos and memories I am making.

Anyway, here goes take a million in the blog scene and here's hoping I keep up with this little project of mine.