Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stop and Smell the Lavender

Ever since our family took a trip to Maui in 2010, 
my dad has been obsessed with lavender. 

During our trip, we were looking for something FREE to do...
and a tour guide recommended we check out the Alii Kula Lavender farm in Kula.
(As you can tell from the photos) it's one of the most BEAUTIFUL places. 

The 8.5 acre farm is filled with more than 42 different types of lavender plants and products.

As an added bonus, the entire farm smells AMAZING too!

After taking the trip - my dad was determined to grow lavender in his garden.

This summer...
the plants have REALLY taken off and are blooming beautifully!

Maybe it has something to do with their new neighbors?
My dad got some yellow yarrows on clearance last summer, and decided to plant them near the lavender patch this year.

I think they're so cool.

since both plants are BOOMING in the "blooming department"...

... we've been lucky enough to have LOTS of fresh flowers in the house!

Instead of using a regular (boring) vase, I've been whipping out my favorite decorating accessory:
The Ball jar.

It looks so pretty.
I love the yellows and purples together.
(Plus, they last about 4-5 days inside.)

We are enjoying them while we can.
Before you know it... S-N-O-W will be gracing our doorstep.
I guess that gives us a perfect excuse to go back to Maui :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baby Blues

Something pretty spectacular has appeared in my parents' front yard.

My dad was so excited to show me what was nestled inside this itty-bitty tree...

... which is growing next to my dad's ENORMOUS truck. 

Tucked beneath the leaves...

... is a pretty little nest.

Inside... are two, perfectly blue eggs.
(I was able to snap a few pictures while the mama bird was busy gathering food.) 
The eggs remind me of my friend Heather's recent blog post.
I wish her son was here to see them!

It's amazing how simple and beautiful the eggs really are... 
hopefully we'll have two baby Robins soon!
I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The BEST Crock-Pot Tacos... (Seriously, they are AMAZING!)

I stumbled across this simple, delicious recipe in California.
(Little did I know) - the recipe is originally from Iowa!
Let me explain...

My cousin (Melissa) made these "Crock-Pot Tacos" for her son's birthday party.

The tacos were a HUGE hit.
Everyone kept asking Melissa for the recipe.
Turns out...
The recipe is from Melissa's friend (Susie) - who got the recipe from her mom.
Melissa stayed true to the recipe - but added a few twists of her own too.

1 (one) 4 oz. can of green chilies
2 lb. chuck roast 
2 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon vinegar
1-2 cans pinto beans (just depends how much you like beans)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

Flour tortillas
Diced cabbage
Diced tomatoes
Shredded cheese

Place the roast inside a Crock-Pot.

Sprinkle the ground cumin, chili powder and salt on top of the roast.
(I add 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper too.)

Add 2 cloves of diced garlic...

... and 1/2 cup of chopped onions.

Pour 1 teaspoon of vinegar on top of the roast.

Add the green chilies and pinto beans.

Cook the roast on low heat for 8 hours.

When the roast is done, shred it with a fork...
and place the meat BACK inside the Crock-Pot.

Let the meat cook for another 5-10 minutes.
(This brings all the flavors together.)

Throw some flour tortillas on the grill.
They only need 1-2 minutes on each side.

Shred CABBAGE... (yup - cabbage)... NOT lettuce!
The cabbage adds this awesome "crunchiness" to the taco.
It's WAY better than lettuce.

Dice tomatoes.

Start a little "assembly line" for the tacos.
Meat, cheese, tomatoes, cabbage and diced avocados.

The end result is freaking awesome.

These tacos are PACKED with SO MUCH flavor.

But, my favorite part is HOW EASY they are to make!

They pair PERFECTLY with my homemade margaritas.

Dig in and drink up!