I’m thankful for…

date nights

I’m lucky to have nights spent with a man who makes me smile. Who laughs with me. Who I can enjoy time with away from our kids. Who opens my door and holds my hand. Who tells me all night long I’m beautiful. Who I can be serious with and also be silly, and goofy and he’ll be dorky right along with me. Most of all, I’m lucky to have all of this and have our night end just like this. IMG_7619

they call her amy louise

One of my favorite people has a birthday on Thursday. And to kick off her birthday week, we celebrated her last night with a surprise dinner.




We made her favorite foods and of course had tasty cocktails along with it.



To top it all off, was the best birthday cake EVER. Anyone that knows Amy, knows that her favorite meal is shake and bake pork chops, with mashed potatoes and corn. My other sister in law, Veronica, is a baking genius and made her a birthday cake that was out of this world. Seriously.


I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious it was, too. Chocolate and butter cream and peanut butter cookies. Oh heavens.

Amy is my sister in law now. But first and foremost, she is my friend. She’s honest and humble. I don’t expect anything less what’s true and real when I’m with her and her strong will makes her a force to reckon with.

She strives to be nothing less than exactly who she is supposed to be, and that is a quality I respect and admire. Kind and thoughtful, hilarious and blunt are only a few of the things I love about her. In the few years that we have been close, she has been a loyal friend, a loving aunt to my children and nothing short of supportive of anything life has brought to us.

She is a strong and beautiful mother and I can only hope that our babies (that are only 2 weeks apart in age) can grow to have a special bond like we do.

Happy Birthday, Amy.

deluxe taco pizza 

In the world of good eats, I pride myself on being good at a few things. I’d like to think I can make a mean batch of cookies, a delicious cocktail and one tasty pizza. This creation did not disappoint.

Crust. If your pizza has a bad crust or a bad sauce, its over. I have a few tried and true dough recipes and this one hands down is my favorite. It freezes well if you want to save it, and keeps good in the fridge for a later use also.


Start with 1 1/8 cup of warm water. Warm, not hot. Yeast can be tricky. Cold water won’t activate it and hot water will kill it. A package of yeast or if measured out, 2 1/4 tsp. Add a pinch of sugar, this will help get things moving. The sugar will feed your yeast and ensure your yeast is still active, it will be frothy and bubbly once you stir it.

Let that hang out while you gather your dry ingredients.

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp olive oil 

1 1/2 tsp salt


Add your water and mix. Get your hands in there and knead it until it comes together. You might be tempted to add more flour because your hands are a sticky doughy mess. Don’t do it. Once that oil finally mixes in, it will soften and be easier to manage. Adding more flour is just going to dry out your end result.


Place dough in well oiled bowl, cover and put in a warm spot in your kitchen. Let rise for at least one hour if not longer. Mine sat for a few hours before I messed with it. This gave me time to prep my toppings.

This is the part that makes this pizza deluxe. Some fancy toppings.


All things magical happen when you use fresh herbs. Especially cilantro. This is going to be our sauce that we’ll add on top of everything.


I roughly chopped a handful of cilantro and added it to about 1/2 cup of sour cream, a couple tablespoons of lime juice and one half of an avocado. Blend until smooth. I added a couple tablespoons of water to help break it all up.


Putting it into a squeeze bottle is totally optional. I feel that it makes it easier at the end when I’m putting the pizza together.


I might need to make more, because this bottle is going to get eaten all by myself. yuuummmmmm


Chopped shallots and yellow tomatoes are my “salsa”. You can use any onion or tomato. I prefer shallots, they are a bit sweeter and once yellow tomatoes are in season, that’s the only tomato I buy.


I browned a pound of ground turkey and once cooked, added taco seasoning and prepared the meat just as I would for actual tacos.

By this time, I can prepare my crust and prep my pizza. This recipe will make two pizzas. If you aren’t making two at that time, divide the dough in half and freeze or refrigerate for later. But if your like me, you’ll eat an entire pizza yourself and you need to make two to feed everyone else.


Lightly flour your surface and roll your dough to desired thickness.


Placed on greased pizza sheets and then brush the top with olive oil.


Now we top them. The base is really simple. A can of refried beans split between the two. I read a lot of recipes that called for a mixture of beans and salsa and I really prefer just beans.


Next up, cheese. I used a bag of store bought shredded Mexican blend. I’ve also done one with just pepper jack and it was just as good.


Top with your cooked meat. I prefer ground turkey, even for my tacos, but you can use ground beef if you like.


 Cook in a 400 degree oven until browned, approx 15 mins.

Let your pizzas cool down a bit and top with shredded lettuce. I used a bag of pre shredded iceberg lettuce, I like the crunch of it best.

Add your tomato shallot mix and drizzle your sauce over it.



Now excuse me while I got back for seconds. Oh, who am I kidding? Fourths….

Deluxe Taco Pizza


1 1/8 cup warm water

2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp salt


1 can refried beans

1 lb cooked ground turkey or beef

1 bag shredded cheese

chopped lettuce

chopped tomato and onion


1/2 cup sour cream

2 tbsp lime juice

1/2 avocado




I’m thankful for….

yard work


It seems silly. Growing up, I dreaded yard work. It was the last thing I wanted to fill my weekends up. Now, I am so desperate to mow the lawn. To tend to our garden. To plant flowers, to rake leaves, to water everything in sight. Yard work means summer is near. Yard work means fresh air. It means winter is over and warm days are here.


This is our first spring with grass in our yard and I think the kids are enjoying it just as much as I am.



Yard work means afternoons spent playing outside. Bicycles are ridden. Motorcycle rides are abundant.



Here’s to more days spent just like this.

arctic life: march

The joke is on me today since I procrastinated long enough to completely miss doing this post in March. Just pretend your reading this yesterday..

Spring is here. Officially here.


The mountain tops are still cloaked in snow but we only have small scattered piles at home. The days are getting longer and warmer.


Green life is popping up all throughout the yard.



We’ve begun to clean out flower beds and rake up wind blown leaves and branches that accumulated over the winter. The sunshine warms the entire house and afternoons spent outside are where it’s at. Especially for this lady. Who as you can tell, is transitioning to the warmer weather well.


Spring means cool breezes fill the house, and the extra vitamin D intake makes all of us around here that much happier. Long winters really take a toll on most of us.




Reid is my early bird, so like clockwork he’s up and at it come 7 am each and every day. But when we make our way out to the living room the sunrise already fills the room and when we go to bed at night, dusk still lights the bedrooms. Being light outside when you go to bed at night might seem strange but I gladly welcome it this time of year. It means summer is right around the corner and even longer days to come. Here’s a fun fact for you. Once we reach spring equinox, the days get longer at a rate that would equal the equivalent of us having daylight savings every two weeks!


I snapped this grainy picture from our bedroom window last night to give you an idea. This was taken at 9:30 at night.

In a short matter of time, I’ll be smelling fresh cut grass and watching the neighborhood kids play until all hours of the lit up night. I simply can’t wait.

On that note, I’ll leave you with another glimpse of all that our Alaska life has to offer. A beauty all it’s own.