Tuesday, March 31, 2015

smashed white bean & spinach quesadillas

 I like dinners that you can just throw together in a matter of minutes. Things like these Smashed White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas I made just last night. My favorite way to make any sort of quesadilla is on a cast iron skillet. It's the best way ever! It makes the tortillas light and crispy on the outside while the inside is warm and gooey. When you are loading up quesadillas with lots of ingredients then it's always a worry of mine if everything is getting heated inside. But you don't have to worry about that with a cast iron because it slowly cooks things instead of all of a sudden.   Nothing better than that man! These quesadillas are meatless and fantastic for those ever famous Meatless Mondays that we all love so much. 


2  white flour or whole wheat 10 inch tortillas (makes one quesadilla)
1 15oz can white beans
1 green onion, chopped 
1/2 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded (per quesadilla)
tomato, sliced 
fresh spinach 
salt & pepper 
1 tablespoon olive + cooking spray 


1. Place cast iron skillet onto oven and heat it on low to warm it up.  In a separate pan add olive oil, chopped green onion and white beans. Heat bean and stir occasionally until the green onion soften. Place been in a bowl and mash them with a fork or potato masher. Set to the side.

2. Spray down the cast iron skillet to prevent quesadilla from sticking. Lay down one tortilla onto skillet and sprinkle half of the sharp cheddar. Take the spinach and spread it out onto top of the cheese as well as some thinly sliced tomato. Salt and pepper to your liking. Add the remaining amount of cheese to the top of everything. Take the second tortilla and spread a thick layer of the smashed white beans and lay it onto of the one inside of the skillet. Gentle press to secure.

3. You will only need to cook quesadillas for roughly 2-3 minutes on the skillet depending on how crispy you prefer it. We like ours pretty crispy! Also cheese varies from person to person. We like to watch how much cheese we are consuming so we tend to go on the lighter side with cheese and more with the veggies but by all means use a full cup of cheese if you are a cheese mongrel. And lastly, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

current podcasts

Podcasts are a new thing for me. I mean, I knew about them but it never occurred to me to actually give them a try. Honestly, I didn't even know where to go to listen to a podcast. Of course iTunes but for some reason iTunes hasn't really been something I'm drawn to. However, most recently I was introduced to the app Stitcher. I downloaded it onto my iPhone just last week and I've been obsessing over it ever since. Talk radio was never my jam. I mean, in the past when I'm in the car I would never really play a podcast and I always hated people talking but now I'm finding myself more intrigued wanting that interaction with the voice on the other side of the radio. Lately, I've been listening to my favorites on Stitcher while I'm on the ferry on my way to work.

The How They Blog Podcast. A whole bunch interview with some amazing bloggers who share about everything from managing life while being a blogger to more technical information. It's nice to listening to real people, yes bloggers are real people, and how they juggle life and being a blogger.

Stuff Mom Never Told You. This podcast I know I'll never get bored of! It's range of topics are so vast yet so interesting. With tittles like Daddy's Girls, Women of a Certain Age, The Literary Reign of YA Fiction. Just to name a few that I've listened too! So good.

Slumber Party With Alie and Georgia. "Climb into our fort for an adult slumber party with Alie and Georgia! There's wine spritzers, games, ghost stories and pajamas are mandatory." I mean, can it get any better than that. Alie & Georgia are super funny and witty. Most of their episodes they them talking with guest that share about their lives with  quirky little dialogue. So far I've listened to episode 28 with just Alie & Georgia and then episode 2 with Joy the Baker! Love actually hearing her voice and learning about where she came from!

The Nerdist. Everyone needs a little laugh here and there. I'm not hugely into comedy and my humor is pretty dry. I typically don't think things are as funny as most people think so it's hard for me be moved by most things but The Nerdist does it for me!

Have you ever listen to a podcast? Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tips on goal setting

If you're like me you are constantly setting goals. I have a list of so many goals. They range from small to large goals. I believe in writing goals down to not only, well, just write them down so you don't forget them but also to have a reminder to help motivate and inspire you. Huge on it! It's something I love to ask people-- What are your goals in life? Some people are like whoa! And actually have to think about something to say to me and others are on the same page and have no problem telling me. Either way is cool to me. I get a thrill out of both of those types of people. The thrill that I get from people who are a little hesitant on how to answer are people that I know I've planted a seed in. I can just imagine myself smiling with satisfaction at the thought. Hell, I'm doing right now just talking about it! Then there's the type that will answer, spewing off goals left and right, I fall into this type, which is why I get giddy because you just know they are goal setting people. 

If I asked all of you if you believe in the power of writing your goals down, you would all raise your hands. But the real question is do you do it? The majority would say no. Honestly, no one can tell me that you don't have time to do it or I always forget because really! Put your social media away or turn the TV off and do something that will empower you!!

It's all about being S. M. A. R. T. Acronyms, you got to love them! I've had this acronym written down for so long that I don't even know where I saw it at but it's helped me so much with my goal setting. Of course, you need to go about setting goals with a smart mind and open heart, is what I like to say. 

1. Specific. When you start to set a goal you have to just get right down to it. Being as specific as you can will not only keep things achievable but also it will keep you from getting overwhelmed, no point in setting yourself up for failure. We do not want that! That would just be working against what goals stand for. Example: Take more photographs. MORE specific. Take one photograph everyday for a year. 

2. Measurable. What I mean by measurable is in order to help the success of accomplishing a goal it's more likely to happen with you having an amount to look towards. When setting a goal for example that involves you making more money this year. Great goal! But make it more measurable, I want to make $3,000 more this year. Making more money is very nice goal to set but with having that amount you want to push for will give you even more motivation!

3. Actionable. And action! With this one I think action words. There's something about action words that seem to really give written goals some razzle dazzle. It's easy to write something like Be more constant with exercise. But you really want to bring it more life. Run one mile a day. You see the difference. Just adding run in there creates a sense of action and now it's like you have to do it! Whole new level. Actions get you to move. 

4. Realistic. The most important in my mind and the hardest to really understand. Who are we kidding, if you don't set goals that are sensible and have you in mind well then they're just not going to get done. It's effortless to tell yourself that you want to loose 20 pounds. Is it realistic? Maybe and maybe not. I think setting a goal like that can do more harm than good. Why not something more on the line of cut out soda from my diet. This way you're cutting out something that you know is not good for you but it's clearly going to do good for you in the long run. Having more goals like that will ultimately get you to loosing 20 pounds but doesn't make it seem like you'll loose your mind. 
I've had the most trouble with this step in my goal making process. In the past, I always seem to set goals that were just too much for me and weren't very realistic for me at the time. The great thing about it is that goals that are not realistic at one point in time can certainly open up and become realistic! It's amazing this life we live! 

5. Timing. Goals need to have some sort of a time-bound on them otherwise they are more likely to not get done. It's just another tool to pursue you to reach those dream and goals. Read more books. Okay great but you need more! By the end of the month I want to have read 20 books! So simple. I can see where this can be hard for some people. By some people, I mean me! It can be a little stressful putting a time stamp on a goal but really it's just there to push you and who cares if you don't reach it by the end of the month. It rolls over to the next month and you keep at it until you do reach it. No worries! 

Hey! Goals are for you. You have the power here. No one else. Write them in a notebook, your phone or blog about them. Tell people or don't. Goals can turn into dreams and dreams are only yours to have. I love inspiring people to make those dreams happen. We only live this life once and we have the power to make whatever we want to happen, happen! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Kitchen Donut party

The kitchen. It's my happy place at home. I mean, I sort of already knew that but today was the day that I really realized that it's sort of the place I spend the most time at home. I feel safe and kind of get into the zone when I'm in the kitchen. I have my own system when it comes to my cooking and baking. I put things in certain places and I usually have a pretty good idea about when it's the right time to knock some dishes out.

Today was a day where I spent most of my day in the kitchen. I always seem to find myself there when I have too much on my mind or not enough on my mind. When I'm too busy and need to wind down or when I'm bored out of my mind and need to keep myself doing something. Lately, I find that I've been challenging myself with different recipes or things that I would have never really had the nerve to create. I'm lucky for having my dad and mom around who are pretty good cooks/bakers to give me guidance when making things out of my comfort zone. It's fun being able to learn to cook foods from my culture or bake delicious goodies that you'd find in a bakery in Hungary.

Yeasted donuts. That was my challenge today. Honestly, it was a challenge from yesterday that pretty much went wrong. I'll admit it. Yeast scares me. I'm not sure what it is. Actually I do! It's the uncertainty about it. Will it rise this time? Yeast seems very finicky.

This project started yesterday and I just about gave up but then my mom swooped in and gave me a hand by adding a few more things to the dough like more yeast (because she suspected the yeast I had used wasn't cutting it), a dash of sugar and a bit more flour. We let it sit and it starting growing.

They turned out beautifully! I whipped up a simple vanilla buttercream to fill some of the donuts. I made a simple chocolate frosting to top some of the donuts and then a bowl filled with granulated sugar to coat some of the donuts, which is my favorite. We had a little mini donut party in the kitchen after they were all deep fried, yes, they were deep fried because we only live once!

I used this recipes from Brown Eye Baker.  Now go have your own donut party!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Smashed Parmesan Red Potatoes with Lemon Garlic Aioli

I feel like I don't post enough about the amazing side dishes I tend to make to go along with our dinners. They're important too! So to start my posting of more side dishes I had to share these super easy Smashed Parmesan Red Potatoes with Lemon Garlic Aioli. It's a great side to make when you want something tasty but quick. All you have to do is pop them in the oven, forget about them while you tend to other delicious things cooking.

Smashed Parmesan Red Potatoes

2 lbs mini red potatoes
olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450. Meanwhile, fill a pot with water and add potatoes. Heat until water is boiled then reduce heat to a simmer and boil them until they are tender. Once they are done drain the water and place them on a non-stick baking sheet.

Take a potatoes masher or use the bottom of a mug and smash each potato. The fun part! Drizzle them with some olive oil and lightly salt and pepper the potatoes and place them in the oven. Bake them between 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Time will vary so watch them. I left mine in for a full 30 minutes because we wanted them to be crispy.

At the last ten minutes sprinkle Parmesan cheese onto each potato and place back into the oven to melt the cheese and allow it to brown.

Lemon Garlic Aioli 

1/3 cup mayo
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Simply mix all ingredients together. Drizzle or dip potatoes in aioli. And watch them go!

who i am

I AM...

... pretty sure I know what you're thinking... DAMN, her hair is long. Just kidding. But seriously, it's growing! It's so hard though. I struggle with it everyday. I have been making a point to document the process through photos. It's been pretty divided, some people believe I'll go all the way and grow it out and others, like my family, don't think I'll make it. Honestly, if I've made it this long I believe, no I know, I will! Most people ask how long I'm growing it out to and my answer, as long as I can. May the odds be ever in my favor!

... loving my new home, Zero Zero Hair on Capital Hill. It's an awesome salon and I feel like I've really bonded with all the talented stylist there. It's exciting for me to know that I have found a place that I can be myself and where I am surrounded by like-minded people in a city full of rad human beings.

...not ashamed to say that I recently saw the movie The Fault in Our Stars and cried like a baby or worse. It was the most I've ever cried during a movie and it wasn't pretty. I was curled up on the couch and couldn't help but bury myself under my blankets when the water works started happening so that I didn't alarm my family. Such a fantastic movie. So well made and I fell hardcore for Ansel Elgort. But really both him and Shanilene Woodley were perfect for the role. I couldn't stand how much I loved it so I went out and bought the book!

... a busy lady. I just did a fun photoshoot for the students at Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy in Seattle. Loved seeing familiar faces and loved being in a familiar place. The academy was such a huge part of my life and I can't help feel overjoying emotions whenever I go back. It was fun for me because I got to play a different role and instead of doing the hair I was behind the lens.
I'll be a part of two other photoshoot this month. Ones that I will be doing hair instead of behind the lens and those I am super excited about! One of them will be with my mentor from the salon and another with a dear friend of mine who is a photographer and ask me to style her models. Yay!

... happy for daylight savings. It's aways rough in the beginning because we all can't seem to go to bed at a decent time and then we're left wondering why it's so dark in the morning and can barely get up. It effects Sebastian the most. But we're all over it and enjoying the sun being out in the evening. Our windows are opening until the sun goes down and the house is filled with sweet notes of the early blooming flowers in the air. Love that!

... starting to really realize that my heart and soul belong in the city. Since working in downtown Seattle I've come to really enjoy walking the streets along side tall building, passing by all kinds of different people, and looking at all that there is to see. Not to mention the loads of people I am meeting since working in the city. Fun!

... appreciating the people who are in my life that take the time to believe in me and encourage me. It's such a good feeling to have a village of loved ones that care.

... dreaming of the day when we find that perfect house with a perfect kitchen, with a perfect sized garage and yard, and in a perfect school district. It's hard to find perfect but I'm thankful that we are in a situation where we can take our time in looking and have a chance to find our perfect. It's a tough market right now for buyers. We have found a few houses that were pretty close to being perfect but they slipped out of our fingers. I never would have thought it would be this much work! It's hard when you go view a home and fall in love with it to then get told that it sold two hours after we saw it. Crazy! But I know the perfect one will show itself to us. Hopefully soon because I'm impatient.

... so glad that I forced myself to start House Of Cards on Netflix. I was in a slump when it came to watching shows and it was a show that I had no intention to try watching. But I did and of course I'm at the point of binge-watching the hell out of it. Kevin Spacey is evil and I love it. Politics are not my jam and I will confess I've learned quite a few things from watching this show. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing! I'm just about to start season two. Have you seen it?

...learning a lot. In about a hundred million different ways.

...looking forward to a mini-vacation to Portland, Oregon during Sebastian's spring break from school. We're going to Airbnb it and have an adventure. I found the coolest house and I just know Sebastian is going to flip! I can hardly wait to explore a new place. If you have an recommendation of places to visit, places to eat and just over all things to share, please do!!

...thankful for all the inspiration that the world holds that is constantly opening my eyes to the fact that there is so much to live for. Thankful for music that keeps me focused, for all the brilliant people who write brilliant books. Thankful that we've been lucky with two Friday the 13th's! Boy oh boy! I love that luck! Thankful for a little sister who even though I don't get to see too often is starting to really get her life on track and I'm proud of her for it. Thankful for a healthy boy and a supportive husband! Amem.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

how to insure you get the best haircut!

We've all been there. You go into a new salon because your usual lady at your salon is booked, you're too impatient and it's either do go now or take the scissors to your own hair. So you go to the new salon and stray from your four week appointment at the place you feel safe and comfortable at. We've all done it before, no sense in lying about it...

So, you go and you tell the stylist who has never cut your hair what you'd like and they do it. You leave the salon feeling not as great as you typically do when leaving your salon and then you get home and really get your hands in your hair,  it hits you...this haircut is bad. You hate it and it's not what you wanted. 

Sound familiar. Two things you need to realize in situations like that. One, most the time the reason for that bad haircut is because there was a lack of communication. On your part but hugely on the stylist. Our biggest role is to have the best consultation because if not then how in the hell would the  stylist actually really know what you want. Two, sometimes that haircut isn't bad but it's your expectations! Sorry, truth. Sometime we expect our hair to look exactly like that photo you showed of Blake Lively's bombshell curled hair that looks like something out of a Victoria Secret catalog. But then here you are with limp fine textured hair. That's not going to look like that on it's own. You've got to do shit to it! But seriously, no one can look like Blake Lively. Pouty face.

Not matter if you're sitting in the same chair you have been for ten plus years or if you are sitting in a scary new chair and are freaked out of your mind there's a way to come out of the salon feeling like a million bucks.  Because who are we kidding it's really up to you to make that happen. Stylist are not mind readers and we sure can't wave a magic wand and make you look like Beyonce. But we sure try! 

1. Bring photos! You see how I put this on the top of the list. So important. We love photos and I can't stress it enough. Print them out or save them on your phone or iPad. Bring them in. Multiples are good too. Say you like the fringe on this one girl over here but then you like the way the layers look on that girl other there. I used to bring at least three photos to my stylist picking out different things I like from each style. Not to forget color! You tell your stylist you want to go sultry red. Hell yeah! You go girl. But do you realize how many shades of red there are! Not to forget that chili pepper red might look one way to you and another to me. You can make sure you are getting what you're asking for too!

2. Explain what you see. Kind of piggybacking the last point, explain what you see in the photos. Being specific is key. When showing a picture of a haircut, explain and show what you like about it and what you might not. Hairstylist have a different "eye" and can be seeing things in that photo that you might not be. Also, it helps for you to use landmarks when telling them about length. Taking length off can be scary. When you tell the stylist to take a few inches off can be kind of vague. Hopefully the stylist will clarify but if not and for you to safeguard your precious hair use a measurement. I want to take off two inches. I want my shortest layer to land around my law line. I want my fringe to sit right above my eyebrows. Use descriptive words. It will help!

3. Can it be done? Expectations. Sometimes we find photos that we love. It can be of a celebrities new hair style or a model from a magazine. They have hair that shines like pearls and volume for days. You love the way it looks, I mean, who doesn't. However, I think our expectations can get the best of us. Celebrities and models have multiple stylist fawning over them spraying loads of dry shampoo and hairspray. Don't be afraid to ask your stylist if it can be done. Sometimes the model in photo has completely different textured hair or density than yours. Fine, but that doesn't necessarily mean it can't be done. Most stylist will tell you what course of action would be taken in order to achieve a style and then it's up to you to decide if it's right for you. We can all accomplish having that sexy hair but it takes work and some product. It's just the way it is. And when you see celebrities walking up and hash tagging their photos with I woke up like this, well, they woke up like that because the amount of product in that hair could withhold a windstorm.

Be confident with your hair and be your own kind of beautiful! 

Friday, March 06, 2015


Wanderlust, a strong desire or urge to wander or travel and explore the world. 

Yup! That about describes it. Now that I'm getting older and Sebastian is growing up my urge to start traveling more is growing stronger. Sebastian's at the age where he is curious about places and things and also at the age where it's a lot easier to travel. It's super nice. I've been compiling a list of places near and far that I hope to visit.. It's fun seeing people live in these places via Instagram and getting to see sneak peeks or just seeing people visit places that light a fire within me and make me what to pick up and head right there!

Growing up my family didn't do much traveling. If anything we did a lot of camping in Washington State and did go to Disneyland once when I was younger. The trips we did take made an impression on me and the memories will always stay in my heart. I want Sebastian to have the same sort of memories and be able to experience different cultures, places and just see with his little brown eyes that there is a world of wonder out there. Hell, I want to see all those things too! 


1. New Orleans. I've wanted to travel to New Orleans for quite some time now. It looks like such a fascinating city with a melt of culture, food and music. Oh the food! I want to eat bowls filled to the brim of authentic gumbo and try an real deal Po-Boy. Of course, I'd stop at Cafe Du Monde for their world famous beignets and order a cafe au lait. A long walk around the French Quarter and gaze up on the beautiful timeless buildings and walk down Magazine Street to window shop small boutiques. It just seems like such an interesting place to visit with lots to see and do! Oh, and wouldn't miss out on a tour or two. 

2. Portland, Oregon. We're actually planning a trip to Portland for when Sebastian goes on Spring break in April! Someone had told me about this really great website called Airbnb. It's a place where you can find unique places to stay while traveling. Actual homes or rooms for rent where ever you go instead of staying in the boring hotel. It was an amazing discovery and we plan on taking advantage  of it. I've never been to Portland and now that we have been back in Seattle for a little more than a year it's about time to take a trip over. I hope to be able to visit the magical Multomah Falls and get some hiking in with the boys and then even take a drive to the coast! Of course, I need to find a few fun food trucks and eat at a couple restaurants that I've had written down after spotting them on Unique Eats on the Food Channel! 

3. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Major road trip in store for whenever this trip happens! I would like to a trip of this magnitude when Sebastian is a little older just so that there's a guarantee that he'll experience it to the fullest and remember it for many days to come. My dream would be to rent an RV and just drive stopping along the way. Roughing it for a few weeks as we adventure to Yellowstone. Of course, I long to see things like Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake but I also just long to go out and really venture letting nature whisper sweet nothings to us as we hunt for bliss. With backpacks on our backs and hiking boots laced up. I want to feel like a kid again and do things without thought or planning...just let it happen. And maybe along the way spot some wild life. 

Wanderlust. When it takes a hold of you, it's grip is tight. Anywhere you have a longing to visit or travel to? My list of desirable places to travel to is much longer and is not limited to just these yet these three places have been on my mind the most lately!