day trip: julian, ca

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We love Julian. Have you ever been there? Heard of it? Surely you’ve heard of the famous pies?? Anyway, this is a little town about 1 1/2 hours east of us. It’s such a fun little spot to visit for a quick getaway!

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Half of the fun of this trip is the drive. Sure, you could take the 78 freeway almost the whole way and get there a lot faster. Or, you could take back roads like we do and enjoy beautiful farms and orchards, winding roads and crazy views.

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Once we arrived, we parked by the Old Well. This place is so curious to me. It’s a record store, and right in the middle of the building is the original Julian well. What makes this store really odd though, is every time we have ever been to Julian, it’s closed. On the way, I picture the places we will visit, this being one of them. And sadly, every time we pull up, it’s closed. Maybe one day we will have better luck with it.

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I love all of the little shops. The names. The painted signs. The decorations. The houses. This town is so fun! I feel like I find something new with each visit.

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After lunch, we came outside and it was raining! Yes! Exactly what we came for. A hot day with thunderstorms. I don’t know why thunderstorms seem really romantic to me, but it was the perfect setting for our little day date.

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We walked around a bit, and took shelter in one of the shops. This particular store goes down a level to where all of the antiques are sold. The tin roof made the rain sound incredible, and the thunder echoed through the building! It was so fun!

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People were running around freaking out about the rain. I thought it was funny people didn’t check the weather before visiting. I always check the weather before I go somewhere different. It was nice entertainment though.

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We stopped into the Julian Cider Mill for some goodies. This is my favorite place to pick up jams, bbq sauces, granola, cider, honey, etc!

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Once we were thoroughly soaked, we decided to call it a day and head home. On the way back down, we stopped in Ramona. That was a fun new place to check out. I think we will spend more time in Ramona soon!

Where is your favorite place to get away for a day??

HappySnaps 8

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It’s Friday! Can I get a “TGIF”??! This week went by slow. And I’m tired. But thankful for everything that brightened another work week.

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Last weekend we went to Julian. It was forecast for rain and thunderstorms! We got what we went for. It was about 80 degrees, dumping rain, tons of lightening followed by thunderous booms that lasted from 10 seconds to over  a minute! Such a fun little day trip!

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On the way home, we stopped in downtown Ramona. If you’ve never been, I really suggest visiting. It is such a cute little area with tons of little shops.

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We of course brought home some delicious goodies. Granola, jam, and bread from Dudley’s. We have a full post about visiting Julian coming soon too!

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I discovered my new favorite drink this week too! Iced Green Tea Soy latte with sugar free vanilla. Yeah. It’s a mouthful to order, but so worth it. One of my friends Instagrammed a photo of this and I had to try it. I am obsessed with it now!

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Look what came up in a random search on Craig’s List! I can’t even remember what I was looking for, but it wasn’t Pyrex. I couldn’t pass these up though. Four bowls in perfect condition for the price of one. And just a town away!

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Impromptu nephew time! The best! I can’t believe how big this guy is getting!

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Robin hanging with me while I edit photos. This girl. She is too much sometimes! She is so loving! I can’t wait to share her adoption story. Soon!

What made your week happy??

kid intro #2, meet traeger

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This is Traeger Brickwalker Moyer. Yes, named after this certain Traeger. And his middle name is from a Maylene and the Sons of Disaster song. He is three years old, 20 pounds, part Sheltie, part Pomeranian, and all smiles. Seriously. On the rare occasion he will give you those sweet puppy dog pet-me-give-me-a-treat eyes as seen above. But most the time, you can count on a smiling pup.

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Okay, he sleeps a lot too. Everyone comments on how “chill” this dog is. And it’s true, he is very “chill”. If you hold him, he will slowly but surely start to drift off to sleep in your arms. But, he also is a happy, energetic, so-happy-to-see-you-he’s-going-to-explode kind of guy.

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We adopted Trae a year and a half ago. It was a really random, and probably rash decision, but he was so cute and needed a home. How could we leave the shelter without him?  So, off we drove, with the newest Moyer in tow.  It took a while to figure out his name. He was Soloman at the shelter. It just wasn’t right for him. We threw around so many names for quite a few days. One day, I called him Trader, because I love Trader Joe’s. But it didn’t seem right to call my dog a trader. Then Traeger popped out of my mouth. I couldn’t remember where that name came from but that was the first name I said that Trae even responded to. Then, after a second Tyler said, “Chris Traeger! Parks and Rec!” Duh! He and Trae are like soul mates. Both equally happy, eager, excited, energetic, etc etc. So, there he was: Traeger Moyer.

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I’m not going to lie. We got really lucky with him. Adopting a dog is a gamble. But to this day, I still can’t see why he was in the shelter. He is so loving, (mostly) obedient, has pretty good manners, and has never had any sort of aggressive outbreak. I mean, this guy gets slapped and tugged on by our nephews all the time. And his response is to lick their faces. Or hide, if he’s had enough (which isn’t often). This dog is a lover, down to the bone. He and Robin play together. Clean each other. Nap together. It’s awesome.

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He is also a really good size. Not too big for me to handle (I can still pick him up if I want), and not too small for Tyler (where people might laugh at him for having a pip-squeak dog).

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We are so lucky to have this little pooch in our family, and we love him so much.

country fried chicken + honey mustard dipping sauce

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There’s just something about fried foods. What is it? The smell? The taste? Knowing that you probably shouldn’t be eating it and doing it anyway? A special chemical in the food that tells our brain to eat lots of fried food as often as possible? Okay, I’m not sure about the last one. But I do know that this recipe is so great because it is one my friend Shannon shared with me. When someone gives you a recipe, it just makes it so special. It helps that Shannon is an amazingly talented cook. Her recipe was originally for Country Fried Steak that she made for us last summer. It was SO good with a delicious gravy to go with it. When I asked for the recipe, I only had chicken in the fridge, so I (impatiently) decided to try it with chicken and make the steaks in the (very) near future. I also decided to pair this with my new favorite recipe for Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce and my homemade biscuits (recipe for those soon too).

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Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce – serves four

3/4 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

3 tbs honey

2tbs yellow mustard

1/2 lemon, juiced

Mix together all of your ingredients. Add more honey or mustard if desired. I like mine a little sweeter so I added more honey.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Country Fried Chicken by Shannon Hubbard – serves four

raw chicken tenders

1 cup milk

2 eggs

2 cups flour

salt + pepper + cayenne pepper

oil for frying (use an oil that is stable at high heats, I used sunflower oil)

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Whisk together the milk and eggs in one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. First, dip your chicken into the milk mixture. Then, dip/roll/coat in the flour mixture.

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Cover a large cast iron pan with frying oil. Heat the pan on high. Once the oil is hot (you can test this by splashing a tiny bit of water on the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready), add the chicken. Cook the meat until golden-brown. About 2-2.5 minutes per side.

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Once the chicken is cooked, transfer to a lined plate to cool for a minute. Then dip, and savor. Mmmmm….

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This recipe is so delicious! And the chicken paired with the honey mustard… yeah.

I can’t wait to try the steak and gravy next! Thank you Shannon for sharing this with me!

the grandview

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I love basil. It’s just so refreshing and, well, delicious. Lately I have been seeing recipes for drinks using basil. Color me curious.

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The Grandview – makes one

2 oz apple vodka

fresh basil

strawberries (optional – mine were soaking in sangria since our last party… yeah, drunk berries, I recommend it)

apple juice (just a splash)

lemon sparkling water

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Roll up your basil leaves. Use as much as you want. I love basil, so I went a little crazy. Slice the basil into strips.

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Add the sliced basil and some strawberries to your glass. Muddle the heck out of these. Since my berries had been soaking for two weeks, they turned to mush. Delicious mush. Add some ice. Pour in vodka, a splash of apple juice, and fill the rest with sparkling water. Mix. Sip. Relax.

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This drink is so light and refreshing. We named it The Grandview after our new house. This house is such a refreshing new chapter in our lives. And this drink just fit that little description so well.

Do you love basil as much as I do??

dinner with friends

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Having friends over for dinner is one of our favorite things to do. I love cooking, and I love sharing my creations with people I love. It makes me so happy seeing something I made make someone smile. We used to have friends and family over all the time for dinner. Since we moved, we just haven’t had time or energy to do it. Finally the other night we had newlyweds Jed and Gabi over! I missed doing this!

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For dinner we had honey mustard chicken, homemade biscuits, and roasted veggies with honey mustard dipping sauce (Yeah, I’ve been on a honey mustard kick… recipe soon!)

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For dessert I kept it simple. Vanilla pudding with chocolate chips. It was such a nice cold treat on a really hot day.

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Dinner was really good. I was nervous it would be lackluster because I forgot to go shopping before dinner and just threw something random together. It ended up being really delicious. The honey mustard added a lot of dimension to this simple meal.

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Tyler and I love hanging out with our friends, but Trae loves it even more. Endless pets and attention from people?? Duh! He is all over that.

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Happy dog! And he didn’t even get any dessert. So easy to please.

Tyler and I can’t wait to have people over again regularly and get back into normal habits. What simple traditions make you happy??

house update – fresh paint

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We painted the house! Doesn’t it look so cute? I love how it turned out so much! The yellow we picked was perfect. We went with Clay Dust (a Dunn Edwards color). It’s the same yellow Eric painted Sookie’s house in TrueBlood. Here are some photos of the day (yes, Tyler painted it in one day… He’s a professional). Trae and I “helped” as much as we could. I.e. Trae sat around smiling while I snapped photos of Tyler painting. I did help paint the porch a little though.

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Peek-a-boo! See Robin inside?

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How spooky does this masked off window look? It was so weird being inside while Tyler was painting.

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See, I helped a little!

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We are so in love with our little yellow house! It looks so much better than the fifty shades of tan it was before.

Next on our list is installing a new screen door. Our security gate is broken and we want to have a more traditional front porch screen anyway. Tyler is installing that this weekend. Can’t wait!