Home Heartache

by Maggie Griffin


Good news! Byron and I have (finally) decided to place our roots in Waco and stick around for the foreseeable future. We are both happy with our current jobs, excited about how those could change and grow, and ready to accept new challenges and responsibilities in our roles. We can't imagine life without UBC and those who worship within its walls. We love how Waco is growing and the new businesses coming into town. We want to be here and we want to find a house to call our own. 

Recently, we thought we had done that. We were extremely excited about the potential of this house and even more thrilled with its location, offering us neighbors that we already call good friends. After some negotiation our offer was accepted! Then came the homework period, which affected our feelings about our offer. We returned to the negotiating table looking for help to truly make this the place we desired, and we couldn't come to an agreement. We terminated the contract. 

Woof. 

These are the times when we, both the babies of our families, feel like true grown-ups. We are learning that house hunting is a process full of tough conversations and decisions that will not always end with a happily ever after. Walking away from something that in just a short week consumed much of our thinking and dreaming was extremely difficult. It felt like we lost something. And that was tough.  (We ate our grief in the form of Sprinkles cupcakes.)  

But, the dreaming we did this past week was so fun and we aren't giving that up. We are looking at more homes this week thinking about what will happen within the walls and what stories and memories will unfold. 

We are excited and hopeful to feel even better and more sure about a house, but now we enter our negotiations with caution and the knowledge that things might not work out. Lesson learned. 

How did you find your home? How many houses did you look at before you found the one?

 Tell us your stories! We really want to hear from you! 


 

Life Lately...February Round-Up

by Maggie Griffin


This year is moving so incredibly fast! I can't keep up with you, 2015. Slow down. 

Last month went by quick as it always does, but we did our best to pack it full of fun!

We spent time outside when the weather warmed up. I received my first copies of The Atlantic, the best Christmas gift from Byron and read up on power couples. 

I cooked with shrimp for the first time ever as part of my Miss New Foodie challenge. I went with Honey Lime Shrimp tacos (find the recipe here) and I thought it was extremely delicious.  Byron, however, had been sick the weekend I made this meal and felt nauseous upon his first bite. ...yikes. 

I invested in a new art endeavor and created some wooden stamps that are now for sale on my etsy store. This was such an extremely fun project, and I can't wait to make more and design things for people to use and love. 

We celebrated Valentine's day with gifts and coffee and movies and a delicious meal at Cafe Homestead. For the most part, it was a deja vu of last year, including similar photos that you'll recognize if you have a good memory. Our friend Eryn set up a photo booth and we jumped in front of the camera to capture our Valentine's fun.

Byron and I created countless cheese and snack trays in February...for just the 2 of us...for no reason at all. Why not cherish the days with celebratory cheese?! 

We revisited our favorite orange chicken recipe and threw it in a salad. The dogs stared out the window every day for hours. I got back into my work groove. We hosted a gathering for young professionals at our house and made some cocktails and watched Charade. 

February was great! This month is already stirring up some wonderful things and I can't wait to share more with you! 


Miss New Foodie 3/52 & 4/52

by Maggie Griffin


There's a whole-lotta yum happening around the Griffin house these days. This is the most fun project I have ever challenged myself with and I am so happy that I have stuck to it this first month! On week 3 of the year, my new ingredient was determined by what I was craving--Orange Chicken. I wanted to try and make this Chinese Take-Out staple myself and the ingredient list provided me with my new items. 

There are so many types of vinegar... Even at the end of this year, I'm not sure if I will be able to detect which one is used in different recipes and dressings, and to be honest, I'm not really sure that it matters...but I'm sure Gordon Ramsey and all the Masterchef Juniors would tell me otherwise. So far, I have bought Apple Cider Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, Red White Vingera, and the Rice Vinegar above. Let me know if you use those in any of your favorite recipes/dressing recipes...and let me know if you can TRULY tell the difference. 

For the Orange Chicken, my new ingredients included Rice Vinegar and Sriracha Sauce. I found my recipe on Pinterest, of course. Try it yourself. That girl from 'Damn Delicious' never does me wrong. This was so yummy. Does this not look like restaurant (read: Panda Express) quality? 

MOVING ON...

I have been so thrilled about week 4's ingredient. I am not sure why I haven't tried this before, but I have now and my life is better for it. THE POMEGRANATE. Who knew seeds/arils could be this delicious? 

I did my research on this little guy. I found out the best way to de-seed it without making a mess, though I ended up doing that anyway. And the best recipe to use him in. Once again, I turned to my web-buddy, Pinterest to find a recipe suitable to my liking and to this ingredient's tastes. I found this Pomegranate Pear Salad with Creamy Pomegranate Recipe and knew that I had found a winner. 

I used 3 different pom products--the pom itself, pom greek yogurt, and pom juice. I also used Sweet Red Chili Sauce, another new ingredient, as part of the dressing. Whoa! This is a twofer post featuring two weeks where I featured two new ingredients-WOO!

I am still on pomegranate week...so, tell me....

how do you enjoy this amazing fruit??


Miss New Foodie 2/52

by Maggie Griffin


Look at this thing! How could I ever pass it up in the grocery store aisle?

I never saw eggplants in my house as a kid, and I have always glossed over "eggplant" when reading menus, so I knew that this veggie had to make my #missnewfoodie list.  

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I did know I was going to make the classic Eggplant Parmesan, but I didn't know what I was going to find when I cut inside. The eggplant is so light, I thought it might be hollow. Spoiler...it wasn't! When I approach new recipes, I always turn to Martha first, and she did not disappoint with this baked version.   It was such an easy recipe...and delicious! 

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This might easily become a classic in the Griffin house! Tastes like lasagna...without meat and noodles...with the mysterious eggplant taste! Winner, winner, eggplant dinner! 

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I bought two, so what should I do next? 


December Daily Wrap Up

by Maggie Griffin


In December 2013, I came across a scrapbooking project by Ali Edwards called Daily December via the bloggers of A Beautiful Mess. I knew that I wanted to start my own December Daily project to celebrate this past holiday season and the days leading up to Christmas. And since I just got around to finishing...I thought I would share it with you all!

I loved having an excuse to buy paper goods and glitter stickers, and I loved thinking more about what moments I wanted to capture and remember throughout the years. I can't wait to see my collection of these little books grow and grow and include all the memories that we dream of having. I definitely want to find more ways to collect and record our memories during the non-holiday seasons of the year, so...

How do you record memories? Let me know! 


Miss New Foodie

by Maggie Griffin


I found you, Miss New Foodie. Get it together and bring it back to me. 

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Did you read our resolutions post? This year I am going to make an effort to try new things by setting forth on a new culinary adventure each week, selecting one new food item to cook or bake with. This week, I picked Tomatillos! 

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I first heard about these little green tomatoes in 8th grade from my middle school Spanish teacher, but I never dared to get one while grocery shopping. But yesterday, I picked out three little guys and made creamy tomatillo dressing to use in avocado chicken burritos...meaning I doubled up on pins from Pinterest, and recipes with avocados. Give it up for healthy fats! Am I right, Dr. OZ?!

I am excited to make this dressing more often.... using it as a dip, on salads, in quesadillas, on enchiladas & etc... and to try using tomatillos in other ways this week!  Do you know of any good ways to use tomatillos?? Let me know! 

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What uncommon ingredients do you love? I want to hear from you on what I should be trying...below is my brainstorming list...tell me how you use these ingredients or if you have things you think I should try! 

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Keep up with my culinary adventures this year by checking out #missnewfoodie on instagram!