May 29, 2013

dinner time: worth the wait

I don't think we have eaten dinner together before 8pm once during the past few weeks. A super tight deadline at work means Dan has been putting in 10+ hour shifts and I start later in the morning so when we both walk in the door at night we are tired, hungry, and hoping the other person has a plan for dinner. Lately, we have been surviving on Trader Joe's frozen pastas and picking over things in the cabinets, but there is nothing as satisfying as cooking from scratch- even if it takes an hour, even if it means more dishes, and even if we still eat it in front of the tv while watching Downtown Abbey.

The other day, Dan came home around 5 to take care of the boys but had to head back to work, so he wasn't home when I got there. It would have been easier to do our own thing for dinner that night but instead I decided to take my time and make a nice meal for us. I made a little snack of cheese, crackers, olives, and a juicy plum and poured a glass of cheap chardonnay for company. I was inspired by this post so I prepared the artichokes and tucked some garlic into the leaves and let them steam for 40 minutes while I prepared the fish. I was craving fresh, fuss-free flavors so I simply sprinkled the salmon with olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt and headed out to our freshly planted herb garden to grab a bit of sage, lemon-thyme, and oregano. I baked the salmon for 15 minutes at 350, but I would recommend a few minutes less because it was a bit dry but the flavor was savory. 

When Dan {finally!} got home we were no less tired from the long day but getting to spend some time together over a fresh meal made everything a bit more bearable and enjoyable. With so many excuses to take shortcuts in life, sometimes it's worth taking the long way and simply enjoy every little step.

sage- how gorgeous are those colors?!

the herb harvest

ready to bake

my favorite sunset snack


May 28, 2013

life lately

Our Memorial Day weekend was certainly memorable, even though I know that's not exactly the point, but we definitely took advantage of some of our country's finest freedoms, all preserved by the price hundreds of thousands of brave individuals, and their families, have paid. Thank you to all who serve and have served our beautiful home. It was an exciting few days, filled with some fun "firsts" but as always, went by too quickly, especially since Dan worked all day Saturday and most of Monday so our weekend was cut a bit short but we still managed to cram it full of fun memories. 

We had an amazing dinner Saturday night at a lovely Italian restaurant and explored the wonder of the Spectrum in Irvine for the first time (think Disneyland-Vegas-outdoor-mall-carnival). On Sunday we went for a nice hike on the trails by our house and made it twice as far as we'd been before (whoop!), and then headed up to Santa Ana for the Patchwork craft show. We ate some delicious vegan tacos (beer battered avocado and bbq jackfruit!) and had blackberry Italian soda and each got a fun t-shirt from one of the booths. Then we came home and made some yummy jalapeno-artichoke dip and our signature spicy margaritas to take to the annual block party that was raging outside our front door. We had {way more than!!} our fill of food and fun and are still paying the price for it, especially in my neck- which may or may not have been subjected to whiplash on a trampoline that seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Monday was rough but we all lived. We had to take our boy Arthur to the vet(s) (who happen to be my father and brother in law) office to have xrays because he started limping out of nowhere Sunday night.  He never shows pain (this is the same dog who barely squeaked when he smacked his face into the wall in our backyard and knocked his canine tooth through his cheek a month ago... oh, I didn't share that story? Maybe another time) so when he started limping and collapsing on his side yesterday we knew something was very wrong. The good news is that we couldn't find any major injuries on the xrays but the bad news is that the only thing that will help is time, and some nice pain meds of course. We think he may have slipped a disk in his back or pinched a nerve so he isn't able to put any weight on his left leg. We know he is starting to get older, but he is like a child to us and it's awful knowing he is in pain right now. 

Dan had to stop into work before we drove up to see his dad, and he went back as soon as we got home... where he stayed for 10 hours. {side rant: I am so, so grateful that he has a job he loves and feels engaged and productive at but I am SO ready for this deadline to pass this week so we can start to attempt a somewhat normal routine}. Meanwhile, I treated myself (and my aching joints) to a wonderful bubbly bath and time with one of my current reads: Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin  which is a fun book but a little ironic since I am happier at home, in our incredible new house, than ever. I mean really... this is our bathtub. And that's the window above it. And that's where I watched the sunset from last night.  I mean, what? Seriously speechless. Everyday I am in awe of how blessed we are and so incredibly thankful for every little second of life. 

Today starts a short week for me, and *fingers crossed* for my husband as well. I am off to the DMV  to get my California license renewed, which means a new picture! Mercy. I'll see if they will at least dim the lights. 

One last thing...I'm totally going to be better about being on here more often, I promise, but thank you for holding the line while I've learned to juggle a whole new life over the past few weeks. Thank you for stopping by!


May 15, 2013

thedaileyhome: green things

dewy web

happy succulents

tomato vine

morning exploring

big, bold swiss chard

artichokes, apples, avocados

"Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises."

Pedro Calderon de la Barca


May 13, 2013

family // friends

One of the things we were looking forward to most about moving was the ability to see our families and friends at a moment's notice. We would be able to get together for dinner or a day at the beach without planning months in advance and for no reason other than we simply want to see them. If we were lucky, we used to have everyone in the family in the same room once or twice a year and for a holiday or formal occasion. Now that occasion can be as simple as an easy dinner and good drinks and great conversation at our place (or theirs! or anywhere!). To be close to our families is amazing, but to also feel like we can finally be friends too, is the icing (and strawberries and chocolate swirls!) on the tiramisu!!