Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Krueger Family Summer List

Happy May friends! I know for many, summer doesn't officially start until June, but around here summer starts when Fire Season starts and that is usually the beginning of May. So today, I am sharing whats on our Summer To Do List. Some people call them manifestos and in the past I have called mine a bucket list (which I've never really liked). Really it is just an intentional list of things our family would like to do during this season.

Some things are yearly things that we would celebrate regardless of the season, like Teddy's birthday. How is he going to be two already?!  I cannot believe it! Yearly events like parades and local parties. We also have a few random, every day type things on there too like baking treats, watching movies, and fishing. Although it looks like we planned a lot, I am really looking forward to a slow summer. What about you? Do you set intentions for your summer?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Week In The Life 2017 | Documentation Recap

As you may have seen from my post two weeks ago, I participated for the sixth time in Ali Edwards' Week in the Life project. This year, I didnt have a specific goal other than capturing moments from a random week from our life. I just wanted a record of what our life looks like right now.

I ended up using both my iPhone and my Nikon. Most of my documenting, especially photos from my phone, was shared on Instagram. You can see all the photos shared this year, and years past, using #amakwitl. However, today I wanted to share some of my favorite moments and stories from the week. Not all of these are the greatest photos ever taken, or have the right lighting or are perfectly crisp, but they are the photos that have my favorite stories from the week and best capture our "right now".

Monday 9:30am | Another break from finishing laundry because when a kiddo asks to read the answer should always be yes! 
Monday 5:15pm | That moment when Berkeley says he's taking TinyKrueger out in the backyard to grill and 5 minutes later you see a tow-headed toddler run unsupervised past your front window on the other side of the house! 
Tuesday 6:45am | The bathroom line up. We don'y do very many "products" in our house. These get the most use. 
Tuesday 10:30am | Instead of playtime, #TinyKrueger wanted a movie and a head scratch. I was happy oblige if it meant a few moments of calm.
Wednesday 8:00am | Some mornings require a dump of the fruit + veggie scraps and a turn of the compost. I am excited we were able to keep this going over the winter and can't wait to add this nutrient rich mixture to our garden!
Wednesday 4:45pm | Dad's home so that means TinyKrueger gets to "shoot water" (help water the lawn)
Thursday 4:35pm | "Hi Dad!" he exclaims as he opens the side gate to greet Berkeley when he gets home from work.
Friday 8:31am | This week has been so full of laundry. On top of our typical stuff, it was also time to rotate out clothes. That meant washing, folding, and packing smaller baby and toddler sized stuff and pulling out some larger hand-me-downs that have been waiting to be worn. 
Saturday 6:48am | It's Saturday, and Berkeley is off to work even though it is supposed to be his day off. I guess this means summer is here and Fire Season has officially begun. It seems earlier and earlier each year. 
Saturday 11:45pm | BK finally got home after ten. I was snoozing waiting for him and now I'm wide awake and listening to podcasts
Sunday 7:15pm | Kid, You'll move mountains! Story time with just me and TinyKrueger before bed.

So there are a few of my favorite photos from the week. We were supposed to have just a normal week, and then Berkeley ended up working really late on both of his days off. As a result, I got a lot of photos of what my "Stay at home Mom" life looks like. I also noticed that I tend to taper off my documenting once Berkeley gets home from work. The next time I do this project I want to make a point of taking more evening photos, no matter how grainy they may end up. I also want to be sure to find comparative shots in subsequent years just to see how our life changes and/or stays the same from season to season and year to year. 

I still plan on taking the photos and words and putting them into an album. I am focusing on wrapping up my sister's Disney album prior to starting something else. Once the Disney Album is done, I will be moving on to the Week in the Life album so be sure to look for those updates here or on my YouTube channel. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

For me, one of the best things about having a toddler is that he now has the ability to keep himself occupied for longer periods of time which allows me to play in the kitchen more often. Granted, a lot of times him keeping himself busy includes emptying kitchen cupboards or devising a plan to get up on to the counters, but that is a story for a different day. During one of our more recent "kitchen play days" I decided to satiate my peanut butter and chocolate craving with some cookies!

If ever there was a "healthy cookie" these would be it. On my quest to make cookies, I discovered we had very little flour, sugar, and butter. All of which are pretty standard to a typical cookie. Since we live a good distance from our grocery store now, I made do with what I had. Enter in a plan for some flour free, egg free, peanut butter cookies.

So I talked about what these cookies don't have, but lets talk about what they do have. For these, I turned to old fashioned peanut butter and oats! I have a mixture of rolled oats, and oats ground into a flour. I chose this mixture to achieve more of a cookie texture as opposed to a no bake bar.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
  • 1 cup chunky natural peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired) 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Place 1/2 cup of oats in food processor and pulse until just barely ground. 
  2. In small bowl mix together the ground oats, remaining rolled oats and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl mix peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. 
  4. Mix in dry ingredients and then gently fold in chocolate chips. 
  5. Roll dough into 2 inch balls. Place onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart. The cookies may not be as round in shape or flatten to a typical cookie shape while baking but that's okay. 
  6. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes and remove when edges barely begin to turn a golden brown. Gently, flatten the tops of the cookies with a fork. They may look slightly underdone but will continue cooking as they cool. 
  7. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April | Currently

enjoying documenting our life during this year's Week in the Life. I love capturing the details of what our life is like right now. If you'd like to see more of that documentation, it's happening this week (April 17-23 2017) over on my instagram @ashleyamak
appreciating that Teddy is at an age that enjoys interacting with the camera. I know sooner than later it will be a fight to get a decent shot. 
reading the Jesus Calling devotional most mornings. I don't discuss my faith much here but spending a little bit of time each day to center myself on The Word has really been beneficial for me. 
eating too many breads and sugars lately. I need to be better about following my anti-inflammatory diet.  
watching the Toy Story trilogy and Up several times a week. They are toddler favorites right now. 
fighting off a woodpecker from taking up residence on our patio. I never thought I would be at odds with a stubborn bird. I guess this is life as an adult. 
working on small patio renovation plans. I am trying to save some weather worn, outdated chairs, Berkeley is growing a more kid friendly front lawn and we are building planter boxes.
waiting not so patiently for warmer weather so the last of the snow and ice melt and we can get started on the bigger yard work. 
hoping to finally plant the vegetable garden we have been dreaming about since we moved into this house in January '16. 
thinking about how fast this past year has flown by. The last two winters, we have been blessed with consistent winter work for Berkeley. He didn't even experience his seasonal layoff this year. It has made for time to fly by. 
embracing this almost 2 year old toddler stage. In just three and a half weeks, I will have a two year old. Again, time is flying by. I will admit, the last month or so has not been my favorite stage. He is so stinking smart, and curious, and inquisitive that some days are a real battle of wills, but it also means that our good days are really awesome and outnumber the trying days. His sense of humor and laughter are everything!
doing my best to remember those moments and days on the more trying days.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week In The Life 2017 | Reminder

image from Ali Edwards

This is just a reminder that today I am joining in with Ali Edwards' Week In The Life. I'll be sharing my photos over on my instagram account @ashleyamak. Feel free to follow along with me there this week.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cranberry Orange Wheat Scones

I have been on a baking kick lately. I don't know what it is but I really enjoy the measuring and mixing of all the different ingredients. The science nerd in me even likes doing the calculations and adjustments for altitude. I also like experimenting with different flavors and trying to making our favorite sugary treats into something more healthy.

This past weekend, I decided to take on scones! While the flavor combination is pretty standard, Cranberry and Orange, I did look for ways to tweak an old recipe so that they are a bit healthier. For me, that meant adding in whole wheat flour, using greek yogurt, and switching the sweetener. Usually, I would try to swap the butter out for something else but cold butter is essential in creating the little pockets of air that makes a scone what it is.

Next up is the fruit going in these scones. It isn't exactly cranberry weather in these parts, despite the frigid temperatures and snow on the ground, so instead of fresh cranberries which would be best, I used some I had in the freezer. A lot of people like chopping their cranberries up, I keep mine whole. I find they do not affect even baking and I love the burst of tart cranberry juice. Lastly, do not skip on the orange zest here. It is where most of your orange flavor is going to come from.

All that is left to do is mix it all up, bake it and enjoy. All three of us enjoyed these for breakfast. They aren't as sweet as a typical scone but if that is something you are looking for, you could easily sprinkle the top with sugar or make an orange and confectioners sugar glaze to drizzle over top.

Cranberry Orange Wheat Scones
  • 1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs orange zest
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbs chilled butter
  • 1 c fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 c greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, orange zest, baking powder and baking soda. 
  3. Use a pastry blender (or the two knives method) to cut the butter into pea sized pieces. Combine with flour mixture. 
  4. Stir in cranberries. Optional: You can roughly chop up the cranberries before adding.
  5. In separate small bowl, stir together the yogurt, orange juice, and egg, then add to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. 
  6. Turn dough out onto a work surface. "Knead" 3 or 4 times. This may be difficult as the dough will be crumbly. 
  7. Form into a circle roughly 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 10-12 wedges. 
  8. Transfer onto a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Five: Spring 2017 Wishlist

Spring is upon us. While we are slowly digging out from the last of the snow we've gotten this winter, the temperatures still aren't the warmest. Also, our trips to Tucson and Anaheim a few weeks ago really have me dreaming of bright warm weather! I am also getting the itch to get some spring cleaning, organizing, and purging done. Today's Friday Five is a reflection of all the things the spring brings.

What does spring hold for you this year? Any fun trips, or home projects you're going to be working on the next few months?
Friday Five: Spring 2017 Wishlist

Monday, February 27, 2017

Around Here Winter 2016-2017

Around here, I have seemed to fallen off the face of the earth again. I really do enjoy blogging here. I really enjoy curating what our life looks like and sharing recipes we love and projects we make. Blogging is like a time capsule for me and it really makes me sad sometimes that I don't have regular posts here from the last few years. Part of the issue this time was an unreliable laptop. Now that has been resolved, I have lots words and photos to share.

Around here, we are entering into the toddler phase. Teddy will be two this spring and most days, I can hardly believe it. Other days, I feel like I am barely hanging on trying to keep up with his antics and correcting his crazy behavior. He is so incredibly inquisitive and hard headed. Two awesome traits he gets from both parents. All that said, I wouldn't trade any of it. I love seeing who he is and watching his personality develop.

Around here really hasn't been around our usual neck of the woods which seems to be par for the course this past year. 2016 was filled with so many adventures. Weddings, camping trips, baby and bridal showers, and Disney Trips, along with regular trips to visit family, have taken up so much of our time. As exhausting as those things can be, I am so glad we have all these memories.

Around here we are celebrating a bunch of small milestones as my nephew makes progress after being born at 31 weeks. It was been a crazy month in that regard. I am so incredibly proud of how strong my sister and brother in law have been throughout this whole journey. I couldn't imagine being in that situation. It takes so much strength.

Around here, I finally feel like we have settled after our big move in August 2015. We are slowly growing roots here. In effort to feel more at home, I am planning on having a slow year. After spring break, we have no out of town event travel plans yet on our calendars. I plan on taking advantage of the fact that our local community loves parades, music festivals, and all those fun things.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Five: 2016 Ugly Sweaters

This year we are spending the holiday weekend in California with my family. Part of the festivities is my Grandma's Annual Ugly Sweater Party on Christmas Day. We are very excited that we get to attend this year as we love themed parties, especially ones where it is absolutely acceptable to look extremely goofy.

This year, I opted to make my own sweater, which I hope to share after we return from our trip. It is awful and I love it. We thrifted Berkeley's sweater, and Teddy's we found online. During my online browsing, I did find a ton of awesome options for next time. This week's Friday Five is a collection of Ugly Sweaters for the whole family!
Friday Five: 2016 Ugly Sweaters

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Quoted November 2016 | Days 11 - 30

Today I am back with the last of the November Quoted challenge with Onica Hanby. My quotes for 11 to 20 were going to go live the week of Thanksgiving but for whatever reason, did not. So I am just adding the two posts together and finally getting them posted. I still haven't decided what I am going to do with them all. However, this was a really fun "challenge" and I could see doing more of these if I went the Traveler's Notebook route (which I have been considering).
This set is very similar to the first. Lots of Seafoam Core Kit journaling and filler cards, and Smash Pad sheets. I also added in a few 2x4 cards that are from a WRMK Albums Made Easy pad. I used a mixture of different writing utensils including Sharpies, Zig writers, ball point pens, and EKS metallic pens.
Nov 11 Veteran / Nov 12 Family / Nov 13 Crisp / Nov 14 Grateful

Nov 15 Treat / Nov 16 Friends / Nov 17 Pinecone / Nov 18 Chilly

Nov 19 Space / Nov 20 Gather / Nov 21 Voyage / Nov 22 Frost
For day 19, the original prompt was Spice but for some reason when I was writing out all the prompts, I wrote Space instead so I just went with it. 

Nov 23 Feast / Nov 24 Thanksgiving / Nov 25 Bountiful / Nov 26 Delicious

Nov 27 Blessed / Nov 28 Fall / Nov 29 Tradition / Nov 30 Abundance
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