Thursday, June 6, 2013

Food: chicken satay on homemade naan topped with cucumber, cilantro and coleslaw

I posted this pic on my instagram yesterday and declared myself a magician. Dinner was homemade garlic naan bread topped with iceberg lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, spring onion, chicken satay and coleslaw. The perfect fusion of salty, nutty, crunchy, tangy, doughy, yummy... Stuart actually groaned at first bite and then ate 3 more.

I make this naan recipe from BudgetBytes. It's good every time. We've even used it for personal pizzas. My tip would be to roll it a little thinner than you think you might need. When I cook it I use garlic butter in the pan.

Next on is shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced cucumber - Stuart isn't a fan of cucumber but from the first one he ate with cucumber on it he did say it's a crucial member of this experience - sliced green onion, cilantro, then the Chicken Satay.

I use a basic, trusty recipe:

2 tbls peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lime juice
3 tbls brown sugar
2 tbls curry powder
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 t hot sauce
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cubed or sliced thinnly

Combine all ingredients and marinade chicken in it for 2+ hours

You can skewer them, perfect for the barbeque or grill. I just throw the chicken and the sauce all into a frying pan and cook it slowly that way.

The coleslaw was from a bag - coleslaw mix with mayo, sugar and vinegar.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mighty Mathis update

Mathis passed away yesterday morning peacefully, surrounded by his family. He was 8 months old and touched so many lives - he'll continue to touch lives forever too. What a giant.

It's been hitting harder and harder just what a privilege it was to meet and hold him. The impact continues to grow.

Check out his facebook page here - share your own Hope List and change your profile pic to the above image to show support.

Read his blog and see his adventures here.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mighty Mathis

Yesterday was a really special day for us. It's one that although had Autumn screaming in the car for an hour will always be looked back on with extreme fondness. It was the kind of day you treasure.

We drove down to Saratoga Springs as soon as we were up and ready to leave. We spent the morning with Stuart's family, went on a walk, played outside, and enjoyed being out for the day. In the afternoon we headed up to the Mount Timpanogos Temple to meet my friend Jackie and her family.

Jackie is an online friend that I've always felt a bond with. She's sisterly, and that's something I really value in a friend. She has 3 gorgeous sons that have such strong characters that you'd want to steal them all. Amazing dark curly hair, long eyelashes, dimples, the cheekiest smiles!

Whenever we meet anyone from online (this is showing how awkward I really am. I do know people in real life too!) I always get anxious to the point of having mild panic attacks - what if I'm not the same in real life? what if this ruins everything? what if Stuart makes this really weird? haha! He worries about that too.

Luckily Jackie and Dujuan are more normal than us - so friendly, chatty, good huggers, laugh easily. I love them.

Their youngest son, Mathis is 8 months old. At 6 months he was diagnosed with Spinal Muscual Atrophy - Type I. With a life expectancy of 2 years Jackie and Dujuan are traveling and fulfilling a Hope List with him and his brothers. You can follow along with their Hope List progress and get updates on Mathis through their blog and facebook page.

My experience holding Mathis and looking into his sweet little face is something I'll never forget. I expected to see him and be changed. I actually expected to see him and not be able to keep myself together at all. I held it together though, and I wasn't changed in the way I expected.

I had prepared myself to feel things like, "We have to live our lives more fully. We have to be nicer to each other. We have to be more patient. We have to cherish life and one another, and our talents, our time, all our relationships etc..." I was prepared to feel depressed, I guess. I expected to feel like I had to do more but instead I came away hopeful. Holding him actually healed my heart. I felt relieved knowing that we are living our lives fully. We are nice to each other. We're happy! We're not where we expected to be, or wanted to be at this point but we're happy. We spend the time we have together. We say and show "I love you" every day. Patience, for now is not something we struggle with. We're living life, just the way it's meant to be. Feeling that means more than the other side of the coin I was expecting.

Yesterday was really special.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Autumn outtakes

I get so many funny outtake pictures of Autumn that I want to share but I know I already over share on my facebook, my photography facebook, instagram (my own sister stopped following me :-| ), and likely my photography website. No likely about it. It's definite.

This is my last channel to over share on. These are those pictures that are brilliant but not professional and yet are completely Autumn. Expressions overload. And teeth too.

are those not just the cutest, cheekiest teeth? she looks like she has a mouth full but there's still only 8.

"no no no!" this is when she scolds me for telling her to stop doing something naughty.

still scolding. she's goes for a while. dunno who she gets that from...

Of course, the less cheeky ones can be seen on my website: here

Saturday, March 9, 2013

3 years

6:30am on March 10th 2010 I left my little bungalow, and my little husby in California and flew home to Scotland on my own. It wasn't my first time traveling like that by myself but the circumstances made it scarier.

I don't know what I would have done if it had been ovarian cancer.

Three years ago I weighed 55lbs more, Stuart was 5 months into his now abandoned Chiropractic degree, we lived in California just the two of us, I was at the beginning of my online degree in graphic design, we had been married for 6 years and 5 days...

It seems like only yesterday I was saying "no thank you" to my aeroplane meals (I don't eat on planes), I was anticipating that first breath of salty air as I stepped off the plane. Home.

It seems like only yesterday. Now we're in Utah, 3 of us. We're a year into the 3 1/2 degrees we'll have between us when this one is completed. We drive a mini van! 

Living the life... but I'm ready to go home again.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I was lying on the couch one night last week when Stuart's throat clearing and sniffing got to much for me to sleep through. As I was lying twisted up in my blanket to save my skin from chilling against the leather couch, and to protect it later from sticking to it when I'd finally get to sleep, I heard a train softly sound it's whistle in the distance.

When I hear that sound it strikes all of my senses and it strikes hard.

The softness of the sound, the distance. The length of train tracks, the miles of land the driver has crossed. Is he alone? If I was a train driver I'd use my time to think and to look. How many sunrises and sunsets has he seen?

There's something incredibly romantic about the image it conjures in my mind.

Wide open space, golden sunlight, the rhythm of the train on it's tracks...

I wonder about the driver, a lot. Does he enjoy traveling those miles? Does he take pictures of what he sees? Is it what he always wanted to do?

Then I see myself in another life with nothing stopping me from running alongside a train to hop on and go too. Not knowing where I'm going to end up and feeling excited about it. And not only excited but safe. Safe and happy with the change and adventure.

I could swear I've done that before.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Twin Falls, Idaho

We embarked on our second big roadtrip with Autumn last week. It took a year to recover from the last one and the night before we left on this one I almost told Stuart to go without us. I was a bag of nerves thinking about how Autumn would behave. My sweet, funny baby turns completely demonic as soon as she's strapped in her chair. She can scream for hours without stopping. Cry-it-out is not something that phases Autumn, it's like she sees it as a challenge. A challenge that she wins every time. Horrible and terrifying.

Surprisingly, no, astonishingly she did incredibly well. I did have to sit in the back with her to keep her company and we did turn her chair around half way to Seattle but the crying was minimal and always ended in a nap. Unheard of!

Although she did so well we're in no rush to repeat at 13 hour, one way excursion with her. On our way home we stopped in Twin Falls, Idaho and retook some pictures from the last time we were there - when she was 4 1/2 months old and at the peak of her chubbiness.

I've been really realising these past few weeks just how big my tiny baby is getting - and I'm starting to understand why people have more than one. Sometimes it's hard to notice how big she's growing but all the little things she learns every day certainly draw attention to her growth.

She's a character and a half; such a personality- always charming everyone! Her wardrobe was stocked with new frocks by the time we got back from Seattle thanks to her adoring fans. I'm excited to take pictures of her in them!