Monday’s Memory Maker: A Key To Our World

If you know HeliHubby and I through our blog or in real life, you have probably caught on to a few things about us.

We love to travel.

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I am quite the planner.

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I have a {healthy} love for Disney, that Adam is slowly starting to appreciate.

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If I was a betting lady (and I am) I’d bet in 2018, Adam and I have spent more nights in a hotel than in our own home. You tell us when and where and  bags are packed and we’re out the door! Traveling has always been a big part of our relationship. While we were on our first date we traveled to the Georgia/Alabama boarder, just so we could say we crossed the state line, knowing it would make for a good story later down the road. We took our first trip together to New York City after only knowing each other for three weeks.  Adam works in aviation, I used to be a flight attendant, we got engaged in a helicopter, arrived at our Wedding reception in the same one and y’all know we just added, “Elsa,” our 1967 Cessna 182 to our family.

83E96767-399E-49CA-95AB-688FABD15D71.jpegRoad Trips, plane rides, cruises, you name it. If we have an opportunity seek a new adventure, we go explore!

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Part of the traveling aspect I love the most is the planning. Researching the cities we’re visiting, finding the local favorites, best restaurants and things to see. I do it all! I’ve always been an organizer and planner. From planning Sorority functions to being hired for private event planning jobs, vacations for Adam and I or for family and friends. I am always planning. Don’t get me wrong, not ALL things are planned. We are semi-spontainous when we travel and in daily life. We do however, try our best to maximize our time while on vacation and planning correctly is a big part of that.

Since October I have gone to Disney World at least once a month. (The benefits of living within driving distance and having an Annual Pass.) Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in October, a “just because” visit in November, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with the family in December, another “just because trip” in January, ran the Walt Disney World Princess 10k in February, and in March for Spring Break and Spring Training. Now some call this a little extreme or even an obsession- ha! I like to think of it as a more enjoyable way to get in my daily steps. It doesn’t matter your reasoning for going or how old you are, Disney is always magical. From the moment you walk through the front gates, hear the music playing in the background and the smells of popcorn and cotton candy fill the air, you can’t help but get butterflies of excitement.

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Don’t you wish you were there now?

Friends and family heading to Disney always reach out asking for help in planning their Disney Trip- Where should they stay? What fast passes should they get? What’s the best character dining? I get giddy with excitement for them and all the fun I know they will have at Walt Disney World. I love having the opportunity to help them plan their magical adventure.

So……after countless friends and family suggesting, years of researching and thinking it over I’m taking the plunge and becoming a TRAVEL PLANNER with Key To The World Travel!

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PINCH ME!

Is this a dream? I have found a career path that ties all of my favorite things together, traveling, planning and Disney. I could not be more excited! So while I am going to be specializing in Disney Destinations, I can plan any vacation for you! Cruises, All-Inclusvies, excursions, you name it, I can plan it!

Thank you to all my friends and family that encouraged me to pursue this new path. Thank you for trusting me to help plan your vacations and referring me to your friends too! I am thrilled to be doing Travel Planning and can not thank each of you enough for your support while I embark on this new adventure!

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Let’s get your bags packed and start planning your next vacation!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed adventures as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Tuesday Travels: Doing Disney {Tasting Around The World}

Hey there Musketeers!

Are you dreaming of Disney on this Travel Tuesday? We just returned from a quick weekend trip. I too, am wishing we were walking our way around Epcot. Sipping on seasonal cocktails and enjoying the fantastic March weather during the Flower and Garden Festival!

Come on! Take the stroll around Epcot with us! It’s not just for kids- adults can love Disney too!

We arrived at Epcot via boat from the Swan & Dolphin Hotel. Did you know you can do that? We went through the back entrace by the International Gateway. It was there we made a quick right to cross the bridge into France, where our day Tasting Around The World began!RenderedImage.jpeg

Our first stop was at Les Vins des Chefs de France for a little cocktail! We cheersed to our Day of Disney with a glass of Champagne and Adam had a French Beer similar to a Blue Moon. IMG_8012.jpeg

Also in France is Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, where we had a yummy French Duo-  a White and Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake. SO good y’all! It just melted in your mouth. The Mousse was so creamy- clearly this was not a Whole30 Day! IMG_8020.jpeg

Did you know you could travel 1,200 miles in just three minutes? You can! At Epcot anyway! From France we made our way to Morocco where Adam had his second beverage, a Casa Beer, an original Lager from the host country.  IMG_8045.jpeg

After Morocco we made our way to Japan where Adam and I shared a Sapporno Beer from Kabuki CafeIMG_8061.jpegIMG_8059.jpeg

We passed through the American Adventure (we can have a Bud Lite anytime y’all) to Italy for another glass of Bubbly! IMG_8064.jpeg

Next, we headed to Biergarten Restaurant in Germany where Adam took in the, ehh, local fashion culture and even found himself an Epcot souvenir! IMG_8070.jpeg

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China was next on our list, before we headed to Norway for a Beer with Olaf! IMG_8086.jpegIMG_8316.jpeg

I think a Margarita is calling my name! Is it for you too? Mexico was next where we had Cucumber Lime Margaritas.  A mix of Tequila Avión Blanco, Fresh Cucumber, Orange Liqueur, Lime Juice and Agave Nectar. Whew y’all! These little babies were strong! Stronger than we expected for sure! We washed down Beef Empanadas filled with Barbacoa Beef, topped with Chipotle Sauce, Crema Mexicana and Queso Fresco and served with a side of Corn Esquites with our Margaritas from Choza de MargaritaIMG_8108.jpeg

We finished our snack in Mexico and  headed North to Canada for a little beer eh! IMG_8140.jpeg

We crossed the pond for a Half & Half at the Rose & Crown Pub in England for our final beverage on our World Tour of Epcot. IMG_8152.jpeg

Well just like that we traveled thousands of miles and tasted ten new toddies in a few short hours! What’s your favorite country to visit while at Epcot? Do you have a favorite cocktail or meal you have to get while visiting? We’d love to hear about it!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be back in Orlando making our way through Epcot and the World Showcase? Who knows…with just a little Pixie Dust anything can happen! Maybe HeliHubby and I will make our return sooner than planned!

 

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed Disney moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Travels with Thelma & Louise Finale

Mom and I have traveled 12+ hours, over four and half states to the GREAT State. Up to Oklahoma and now we’re on the final leg of our Throwback Thursday Thelma & Louise Summer shenanigans!

After taking in all that Pawhuska, OK had to offer Mert, Louise and I took the road back to Tulsa for the night. For the short amount of time we spent in the city, we had a fantastic time and would love to go back! I was so surprised at all the unique shopping and little restaurants.

We spent the night at the Hard Rock Tulsa to do a little gambling! Before we tried to hit it big, we explored downtown Tulsa for supper. We found a great little Mexican/Taco spot called El Guapo’s. IMG_7517.jpeg

Y’all their Margaritas are spot on! So delicious! They have one named “The Horny Toad,” you know the three of us TCU Frog Fans just had to give it a try! IMG_7520.jpegWe had great service at the bar and the food was great! We started with stuffed jalapeños  with a homemade ranch dipping sauce. Y’all they were to-die-for! I would go back for those alone! I had some sort of semi-healthy grilled pork dish with grilled mexican corn. Ah! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Guess we have to go back! IMG_7523.jpegIMG_7524.jpeg

Sadly, we didn’t win BIG money or any money that is at the Hard Rock Tulsa Casino, so we packed our bags and headed back to the GREAT STATE. The next day Mom and I said goodbye to our travel partner, Big Mert and hit the road for Waco.

{Ok, I know what all of our TCU friends are thinking right now. You know the only reason we would go to Waco is to 1) See TCU beat Baylor or 2) To get our DIY Fixer Upper on and check out the Magnolia Market at the Silos!}

Waco is just a few hours from the Big MP and since we were in no rush to get back to Georgia Mom and I decided to add a little adventure to our Thelma & Louise trip. We would visit Waco, maybe head to Houston to catch up with friends, maybe stay the night and eventually start our trip back to the Peach State. If you’re heading to Waco from Dallas a stop at Slovacek’s, a Czech bakery and gift shop is a MUST! They are known for their Czech kolaches. Best things ever! They are yeast-risen rounds of dough topped with fruit filling or in this case savory sausages. Is your tummy rumbling like mine right now? IMG_7573.jpeg

After stopping for a snack and a little shopping we finally made it to the Magnolia Market!!! IMG_7582.jpeg

No signs of Chip or Jo and it was packed of course! We didn’t take into consideration that it was July 4th weekend and everyone was off work- whoops! Poor planning on our part, but we had a great time anyways! We snapped a few photos, met new friends, toured the grounds, tried a few food trucks and did a little {more} shopping! IMG_7594.jpeg

Just like that we were back in car {imagine that} and on the road to Houston! No trip to the GREAT STATE would be complete without a stop at Buc-ee’s! IMG_7595.jpeg

We may or may not have planned our drive around stopping at a location or two. What’s Buc-ee’s? Think glamorized gas station. What? Is that even possible? How about, the Walmart of gas stations? Ok, ok more like the Target of gas stations.

It probably sounds ridiculous, but unless you have stopped and shopped at a Buc-ee’s you have no idea! They have it all- literally! From branded Buc-ee products that everyone loves (get the Buc-ee Beaver Nuggets- just trust me) to brands like Mud Pie and Kamado Joe, you’ll find it at Buc-ee’s, not to mention all the super cute Texas stuff!

After a stop or two at Buc-ee’s we decided to pass over Houston and head towards Georgia and stopped in Baton Rouge for the night! (TG & I both love a good hotel.) Shout out to my @helihubby for being quick on his toes and scoring us a room at the Watermark Hotel. In LOVE! It was a great location and such a trendy hotel. We got in late, ordered room service and hit the bed! IMG_7609.jpeg

Before hitting the road and rolling out of BR we did a quick swing by the Campus of LSU and the ZTA House. Of course I just had to get a picture! IMG_7655.JPG

We made a few stops along the way since we took a different route home and not our usual I-20, but opted to forgo the grand adventure to get back to Atlanta in time for the Braves July 4th Game! IMG_7642.JPG

Lordy! Are you exhausted? I am just thinking about all that driving and what a jam packed day it was! Just like that my Throwback Thursday Thelma & Louise stories have come to a close, for now anyways! It’ll be hard to top last year and all of our shenanigans, but I have no doubt whatever Mom and I get into this Summer it’ll be just as fun! I’m so lucky to have a Mom that is not only my Mom, but my best friend. We may drive each other crazy sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so thankful for our summers and time we get to spend together. Love you TG!

Do you have an Annual Mother-Daughter trip? I’d love to hear your stories! We’re always looking for new places to go and things to do – brownie points if they are in Texas! Thanks for coming along on our adventures! Stay tuned for more heading your way this Summer!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(Mostly Holly & Mom this time)

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

 

 

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Zoodle Spaghetti

Ok…ok.  I know what you are thinking. GROSS!

There is no way you can make a tasty spaghetti with zucchini noodles. I’ll admit, it doesn’t compare to the real thing and honestly, it might take a little getting used to, but with the right Whole30 Compliant Sauce and full of flavor meat it can be a delicious substitution and SUPER quick meal!

There’s no real recipe. I just sort of threw together ingredients hoping to end up with something edible. Scary, isn’t it?

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You can use whatever compliant sauce and meat you prefer, this is just what I used.

Ingredients:

Trader Giotto’s Organic Spaghetti sauce with mushrooms  

Whole Foods pre-packaged Zucchini Noodles

Pederson’s Italian Ground Sausage 

In a skillet, brown sausage. You can dice some onion and add it to it for more flavor and extra veggies if you want.

While the sausage browns, heat up a small pan and warm up spaghetti sauce. Transfer sausage to strainer and drain over pepper towels and remove excess oils. In the same skillet as the sausage was cooked in, add zoodles. Cook until desired tenderness. (I like mine pretty tender) Do not add any extra oil to the pan. It will just make the zoodles watery when added to the sauce- gross!

Add meat into sauce pan and stir together.

Once everything is cooked and warm. Add zoodles to a bowl. Top with meat/sauce mixture and top with fresh basil or oregano or both if you’d like! Enjoy!

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Have you made a Whole30 Zoodle Spaghetti? What do you think about it? Do you have any tips for making it less watery? We’d love to know what you do to make it a delicious dish! This one is an easy recipe, but honestly, not one of my favorites. If I have the ingredients and don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I’ll make it, but it is not one of my favorites. Trying to get there though!

Hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole 30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Bangers & Mash

Y’all this recipe is one of our absolute favorites! Adam has said multiple times he could eat it every day. It’s so delicious and left overs are even better!

We discovered the recipe during our first Whole30 from Melissa’s Whole30 book,  “The Whole30: The 30 Day Guide to Health and Food Freedom,”  and it has become a staple during (and after) our Whole30s.

You’re 29 days in! If you’ve not given it a try, tonight is the perfect night! Enjoy!

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Banger Sausage Patties with Sweet Potato Mash and Caramelized Onions

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For the Sausage (I like my sausage to be full of flavor and add more seasonings than the recipe calls. My notes are in parentheses.) 

1 pound ground pork
¼ teaspoon ground sage (1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon dried thyme (1/2 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon onion powder (3/4 teaspoon)
¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
¹⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon salt
¹⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
Grated zest of 1 lemon

For the Mash

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
4 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
½ cup full-fat coconut milk
1 onion, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

PREPARE THE SAUSAGE: In a small mixing bowl, combine all the sausage seasonings.

 

In a large mixing bowl, mix up pork and add seasonings a little at a time. {TIP: If you have plastic gloves, they are great to use while you fold in the seasonings and form the patties so your hands don’t get icky.}

Form pork mixture into (about) 8 small patties. (I typically get about 6) Place on a plate and chill in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes while starting the sweet potato mash. (I don’t always chill my patties and they turn out just fine.

COOK the sweet potatoes in the boiling water until fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the ghee and coconut milk. Using a potato masher, immersion blender, or large kitchen fork, mash and mix the sweet potatoes with the ghee and coconut milk. (I add salat and pepper to the mash.) Cover the pot to keep warm and set aside.

REMOVE the sausage from the freezer and place on the parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake the sausage patties in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, and no pink remains in the middle of the patty.

MEANWHILE, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of ghee in a large skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. When the ghee is hot, add the onion and cook for 15 minutes, turning them periodically as they begin to brown and caramelize. (Do not rush this step—the browner the color, the more concentrated the flavor will be.)

TRANSFER the mashed sweet potatoes to the plate. Top with the pork and gently set the cartelized onions ontop of the pork. Enjoy!

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This recipe can easily be doubled- I actually recommend it so you have left overs for breakfast or lunch the next day! You can also pre-mix the seasoning mixture and save in little zip-lock bags or in mason jars so you already have it ready when you’re making this dish. It will just save you a little time!

If you make this dish- let us know what you think! What’s your favorite Whole30 Dish? Share them with us!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Friday {Stella& Dot Style} Favorites

This bag y’all!

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This bag is stunning! This bag is so versatile with the multi-color pattern. This bag is my Friday Favorite!

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Stella&Dot‘s Taj Multi-Color Clutch debuted last Summer and I just LOVE it! Don’t you?

It was my Summer “It” bag and I am just itching to pull it out to start using it again! Come on Summer! The Taj is beautifully made – hand woven in India. The boho inspired fringe trim adds so much sass and character to the clutch. It is the ultimate Summer statement piece!

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I love the magnetic hardware clasp and the large envelope style. It fits all my essentials and is the perfect clutch for daily daytime events or a fun night out. Trust me, my Taj went on all sorts of adventures with me last Summer. Atlanta Braves Baseball Games, Trips to the Arizona Biltmore,  Disney and supper with new Southern friends- this bag has been all over (and still looks brand new!) How can you not love it?

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The Taj is back ordered until early March, but you can still grab yours for all your Spring and Summer adventures! Can’t wait and gotta have one now? Stella&Dot just came out with a new design, the Eloise Clutch.

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This clutch is the ultimate finish the look piece and the gorgeous fringe detailing make it an instant show stopper! Perfect for your Valentine’s date with the Blush coloring.

Are you loving my Friday Favorite as much as I am? If your Stella&Dot Wish List is growing, let’s chat! Would love to have YOU as a Hostess for a girls night style session with you and all your friends!

 

Hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(mostly Holly)

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Let’s go fly a plane!

Yep. I said it.

On Sunday, August 20, 2017 when Adam decided to go “practice flying” I said, “Yea. Sure I’ll go.”

I’m not sure who was more surprised by my answer, Adam or myself. He had only been asking me to fly with him AND his instructor for 6 months and never did I have any interests in dying. I mean flying with them! Much less going up alone with Adam just days after him getting his pilot’s license.

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What in the world was I thinking? Maybe I was just being a supportive wife or crazy! I guess I’ll never know for sure, but on that warm August morning I decided to go up, up and away with my newly winged Pilot. I’ll share how we celebrated his big accomplishment in posts to come, but figured for our first Throwback Thursday of 2018 and (hopefully) days from getting our plane, it would be fun to tell our first flight story.

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Isn’t that the normal thing to do? Get your pilot’s license and buy a plane? We will share all the details about Elsa later!

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Adam spent weeks prepping for the exam y’all. If you know him, you know that when he has a goal, he is going to reach it and not only reach it, but do it with flying colors. He will be the best. He will do it the fastest and getting his license to fly was no exception. As thrilled as I was for him for completing his goal, it was not an easy 6 months for us. He would wake up super early. Go fly. Go to work. Stay late at work. Go night fly. Come home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. I basically never saw the man. We had plenty of conversations about him and the “other woman” he was obsessed with for months. Plenty.

August 20th was the first day I returned home from a trip down to Orlando. (Adam shipped me off to Disney World so he could study for the exam.) As I walked in the door, he was leaving to go on his first solo flight since earning his wings. JUST LIKE THAT I said, “Ok, I’ll go too!” It was a now or never thing. If we didn’t walk out the door that very moment, there was no way I was going up anytime soon.

Next thing I know I am in the passenger seat of a little Cesnna plane watching my Pilot do his pre-flight checks and texting my bother to let him know we were about to take flight, in the event anything happened. There was no way I was telling my parents until we landed safely back on the ground.

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In no time we were taking off!

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Needless to say my stomach was in knots. I said about one hundred Hail Mary’s and had white knuckles during take off. (Oh, lets be honest. I had white knuckles during the entire flight and landing!)

While I was never fully comfortable during the flight thanks to my nerves, it was actually fun. Seeing the city from above is pretty amazing. We flew around North Atlanta, over Stone Mountain and Lake Lanier for about an hour. Baby steps y’all, baby steps.

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I guess I should let you know Adam did a fantastic job flying! He was such a gentleman constantly checking on me, telling me what each of the knobs on the panel and exactly what their functions were. We even chatted about me, yes ME, taking a few classes just so I can learn the basics and more importantly learn how to land in the event of an emergency. We both think it will help my nerves and allow me to calm down and actually enjoy flying in our little bird.

I am still not thrilled with the idea of Adam flying and us traveling in a tiny little plane, but I am warming up to it. Adam got me my own fancy airplane headphones and the cutest miniature suitcase for weekend trips in Elsa for Christmas. It is the cutest thing ever y’all! (Watch my Instagram for a picture! You’ll love the suitcase, trust me!)

Just from writing this Throwback post, I am already getting butterflies thinking about going up again. After 4+ months of being in service, our little plane, Elsa, should be finished next week! Looks like we will soon be flying the friendly skies together and 2018 will be full of adventures!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (throwback) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts.

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Roasted Red Pepper Hot Sauce

Last week we shared one of our favorite WHOLE30 recipes, Banh Mi Bowls. This sauce is used to top the Banh Mi Bowls. It is an extra added step, but so worth it! This sauce makes the bowls!
Red Pepper Sauce- WHOLE30
Photo Credits: @sodiumgirl
ROASTED RED PEPPER HOT SAUCE
2 red bell peppers
1 to 2 dried ancho chili peppers
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp olive oil
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Cut the bell peppers in half, remove stem and seeds. Cover a baking pan with foil & place the peppers flat-side down. Place in the oven and turn on broiler. Cook until charred, about 15 minutes. Then place peppers in a bowl and cover with the foil to steam for 15. Meanwhile, steep the dried ancho peppers in very hot water until they soften.
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When cool, slip the charred skin off the peppers. Roughly chop the bell peppers & ancho, and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add olive oil and 1 Tbsp of the chili steeping liquid. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid or oil as needed.
Drizzle over the Banh Mi Bowls and enjoy!
*TIP: This recipe does make more than enough sauce for the bowls. Store some in the fridge or freeze and use later.
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Did you try make the bowls last week? What did you think?

We hope you are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

 

Monday’s Menu: Yak&Yeti Dining Night

Adam and I just returned from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. If you know me and follow along our Social Media outlets you’ve probably caught on that I LOVE Disney. This week on the Newly Newlywed Blog, we wanted to share all things DISNEY….starting with our menu today!IMG_7998.jpeg

We literally park hopped ’til we dropped on Saturday. Fourteen plus hours of Park Hopping fun.Before we ended our Disney day we had a fantastic meal (and service) at Yak&Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a park that is quickly becoming a favorite! FullSizeRender-1.jpeg

Yak&Yeti is a favorite in the park spot of mine, especially for lunch. It is a perfect spot for a casual, great tasting meal. They are one of the few in the park restaurants that actually have a bar- which is so nice for those of us that travel alone- especially if you can’t or didn’t make reservations. At the base of Expedition Everest sits Yak & Yeti Restaurant, a table-service eatery serving delicious pan-Asian cuisine. Reservations are encouraged, but if you are unable to score them on your trip, pop by and add your name to the wait list or see if you can grab a seat or two at the bar. If you’re an Annual Pass Holder you are able to use your discount, but sadly they do not accept Tables Cards. Yak&Yeti is a Landry’s Inc Restaurant, meaning if you’re a Landry’s card holder and you don’t have reservations you can get the next open table and you can score dining points! Such a great perk to being a card holder!

{Note: You do have to have a park ticket to dine at this restaurant.}

So what was on our menu for the night? Just a few of my most favorite dishes of course! We did a wide range of sampling, since it was Adam’s first visit after all!

We started with their Dim Sum Basket, a new dish for me! It was filled with Pork pot stickers, shrimp siu mai, cha su bao and pork siu mai steamed on a banana leaf, soy lime dipping sauce. So tasty! The Pork Siu Mai was definitely my favorite part of the basket. IMG_8181.jpeg

After the Dim Sum Basket we snacked on their Ahi Tuna Nachos. This dish is MASSIVE. I often order it as my lunch and can never finish it all. It is Sushi grade Ahi, Asian slaw, crispy fried wontons, wasabi aioli, sweet soy glaze. So delicious! IMG_8261.jpeg

We ended our meal with my FAVORITE dish Yak&Yeti offers, their Chicken Tikka Masala. It is some of the best I’ve ever had and yes, Adam loved it too! It is a Boneless chicken breast dish, marinated in yogurt and freshly ground herbs cooked in a traditional Masala sauce with jasmine rice and garlic naan bread. It’s a bit spicy which is nice. The Naan was tasty, but if I am being honest, not the best we’ve ever had- it was a bit soggy. Our neighbors Neil and Kokil have spoiled us with our Naan! IMG_8255.jpeg

All and all we had a fantastic dining experience. The food was so good, the service was great (Mike the Manager visited our table multiple times) and we left stuffed! This was clearly not a Whole30 day for me, but a day at Disney and 15+ miles of walking, it was a well deserved and enjoyed meal! I am getting hungry thinking back to this amazing meal, aren’t you?

Have you tried Yak& Yeti? What’s your favorite dish? Do you have another favorite restaurant at Animal Kingdom? We’d love to hear about it and it to our list to try!

We hope your enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed {Disney Magic} moments as much as we are! Stay tuned for a Tuesday Travels Disney Edition tomorrow!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Tuesday Travels: Girls Trip!

Sorry @HeliHubby, but you’re not invited on this impromptu Girls Trip!

Two weeks ago I bought a plane ticket, packed my suitcase and decided to set sail with my best girlfriend and Sorority Sister on my first Royal Caribbean Cruise to Key West and Nassau!

Why you ask? Why not? Ann Marie was on Winter Break from school, Adam was on-call and would be working late every night, so the two of us decided to take a little long weekend “Mardi Gras” themed Girls Getaway!

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DIY Surprise: All the staples you’d need on a Cruise for our Mardi Gras themed getaway! 

Samson spent the week at his Tonna and Buddy’s. Adam was wife and puppy free! Don’t let him fool you! He was loving “his” time while I was sailing the seas!

We flew Delta from ATL to FLL and used Uber to get us to the Miami Port. It’s so much cheaper flying into Fort Lauderdale than Miami and the Uber ride was less than $40 each way. We got to port around 10am and only waited about 20 minutes before we could get on our ship, The Empress of the Seas.

When on vacation it’s always cocktail time! We wasted no time finding a spot on the ship  to sit and sip while we waited for our room. IMG_5737.jpeg

Obviously, our room was the cutest on the entire ship! Laissez les bons temps rouler y’all! We were ready to let the good times roll on this girls getaway!

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We spent the day checking out the ship. EOTS is the oldest in the Royal Caribbean fleet. It is a smaller boat, but was nice to get the lay of the sea quickly. The main areas have recently been updated, but the rooms were very outdated.  We waved Bon Voyage to Miami and like the old women we are, went to bed before 8! {Hey now, getting up at 3am for a flight and traveling all day will do that to you! Besides we couldn’t wait to see what towel animal we got!}

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Day 2:

We docked in Key West on schedule. We had breakfast at the main buffet full of all sorts of options- you could be healthy if you want or load up on all the pastries. They had someone making omelets to order and were more than willing to help make my meal as Whole30 Compliant as possible. Afterwards we hopped off the boat and went to do a little site seeing. We visited Mallory Square to see the Kissing Couple and The Southern Most Point in the US. {Everything in Key West is the “Southern Most.” You’ll see it everywhere when you go.} IMG_5768.jpegIMG_5862.JPG

If you’ve not been to Key West before, Duval Street is the main street in town. It’s full of shopping, restaurants, night life, art galleries and touristy gimmicks like coconut water that I just had to have!

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Duval Street reminds me of New York City. It is the Street that doesn’t sleep! When you’re out and about shopping check out The Spice & Tea Exchange. It’s a franchise store, but each location has speciality teas and spices specific to their store. Since I starting getting into loose leaf teas in December, it has become a favorite store! This location has a Creme Brûlée tea you’ve got to try it! Oh-so good!

Everyone loves Kermit’s Key Lime Store. Pop in for a sample or a Key Lime Pie on a Stick! Everything in the store is made with Key Limes. They are proud of their products. There are a ton of touristy gift shops around town that sell similar items at a lower cost, just so you know! If you have time, pop into The Key West Rum Distillery. I was on a #Whole30 and didn’t do any sampling, but we did come home with a few surprises for the boys from here. They offer tours, tastings and all sorts of products. I will say the staff was not the friendliest, so be prepared! Just down from the Distillery is a great Lilly Pulitzer store and we all know how AM and I love our Lilly! Our favorite find {and where I did the most damage} in Key West was Antica Sartoria. Y’all this store is the cutest! We had the best customer service and such fun shopping in the store. They only have 4 locations and some of the most unique pieces. They are on the higher price end, but so worth it! You will not find another person with the same outfit as you! I got the most adorable *camo* top– LOVE! Holly in camo? Who would have thought?

After shopping and being tourists we headed back to the ship to work on our tan before sailing away to Nassau!IMG_5861.JPG

The Crew of Empress of the Seas is phenomenal. Yes or Yes? I know, I really don’t have another Cruise to compare it to, but in general compared to other hotels and experiences, they were great! Hugo, the Cruise Director, was full of life and personality. Always entertaining!

We did the My Time Dining and ended up having Milton and Wimbo as our servers in the main dining room. What a great team! They were so nice- my water glass was never empty and when we couldn’t decide which dessert we wanted to try, they brought them all to us! After supper we went to the nightly show before heading to bed for our big day in the Bahamas!

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Day 3:

We were at sea all day and arrived in Nassau that evening for a surprise overnight. All the crew that we spoke with suggested we stay on board the ship that night as Nassau can be a bit dangerous. If the boys were with us, we might have explored a bit, but since it was just us two we were just fie staying on the boat. Good call!

The nighttime entertainment was fantastic. Vegas Showman, Tony Tillman, is quite an entertainer! He came out in a sparkly suit and y’all the man sings, dances, tells jokes, he does it all! It is a show for all ages- even the kids. I’d go see him again! The second show was an adult comedian. He was hilarious! Definitely for the adult audience, but really funny! Both Adam and David would have liked him. Next time boys…

Day 4:

Nassau did not disappoint! We started the morning heading to the Queen’s Stairs in the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex in Nassau. Sixty-five stairs made of solid limestone rock around 1793 and provided a direct route from Fort Fincastle to Nassau City. It is free to visit the area and is a quick walk from the port. (We walked along side others from the ship and felt relatively safe. You walk through neighborhoods and passed a hospital to get there.) The Fort itself is very small, but has some of the best views of the city you will find. It was about $3/person. The area is surrounded by local vendors and “tour guides” that tell you about the Fort for a donation.

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We walked by the Straw Market, but did not do much shopping there. Everything was the same and haggling with the vendors is just not fun. We headed to the Duty Free shops instead! The main street off the port is full of Duty Free stores like David Yurman, Kate Spade, Gucci, you name it and they probably have it. AM and I took full advantage of our shopping opportunities! We were just saving the boys money!

Our trip flew by! We had such a good time! We had one last meal in the main dining area with Wimbo and Milton. They save the best for last- Lobster tails were on the menu and were oh-so delicious! The boys took care of us bringing us out an extra…or two and even cut it out of the shell for us! We even got a little Dining entertainment with a dance from the staff.

Just like that we awoke to the Port of Miami. Getting off the boat and going through customs was a breeze. No line. No wait. It was a great experience. Finding the Uber pick-up location was a bit chaotic, but overall not bad. I would do it again!

I am missing the sun and the ocean breeze, aren’t you? Such a great time with a great friend and the most perfect weather for a little weekend getaway! Can not say enough great things about the Ship’s Staff and the cruising experience. Guess it is time to book our next trip! Maybe the boys will be invited this time!

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Are you an avid cruiser? Share your tips and tricks with us! We are foodies and I have to say I was a little disappointed in the food…it was just ok. Tell us your favorite cruise lines and why- we want all the details y’all!

Signing off for now! Time to pack up and get ready for our next trip…DISNEY! Tune in next Tuesday for a little Disney fun!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlyed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Traveling with Thelma & Louise Part II

Last week we began our #ThrowbackThursday Thelma & Louise Adventure series. It’s full of lots of fun and laughs as Mom and I made our annual Road Trip to the GREAT state of Texas. We’re picking up mid-week into our grand adventure- come along and join in on our fun!

Mount Pleasant is a small, North East Texas town. They have a 4 screen movie theatre, a Walmart, a growing downtown square with a handful of cute local spots and that’s about it y’all. After seeing all the Big MP had to offer we had the bright idea to continue the road trip and head up to Oklahoma!

Oklahoma? Yes! Oklahoma! Pawhuska, OK to be exact! Why sit still when you can go, see, and do? We talked Aunt Tina, aka Mert, into joining us on our little adventure! We were off to see The Pioneer Woman! We’ve been to Paula Dean and Emeri’s restaurants. Sat in the audience for a filming of the Rachel Ray Show. Cooked with Cat Cora at Disney, so why not add another Chef to our list? IMG_7414.jpeg

We doned our denim and cowgirl boots and hit the road towards Pawhuska! About 3 or so hours from Mount Pleasant and an hour from Tulsa. The Mercantile was everything we could have imagined and more! Beautiful wooden floors, rustic displays, exposed brick. {It reminded me of a more rustic Anthropologie.}  They had Pioneer Woman Merchandise, like you can purchase at Walmart, and all sorts of kitchen and Mercantile branded products. I could have stayed there for days!

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The line to eat at The Merc Deli was down the street! We were able to walk right in the store- no wait!

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We did some shopping, picked up a few surprises for Adam, and of course had to sample some of Ree’s sweet treats from the Bakery upstairs. No surprise, it was delicious! We wanted it all! {Tip: Get the Cowboy Coffee if you visit! I crave it!}

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Specific days of the year while The Pioneer Woman Show is not taping, they invite guests of the Mercantile to head to the Drummond Ranch and tour the Lodge. One of these days, just happened to be the day we visited! The views of the Drummond Ranch from the Lodge were absolutely breath taking. Everything you could see was their property.

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We met the pups and the Drummond Ranchhand. I can’t reminder his name, but he has been working for the family for 30+ years! The nicest Cowboy y’all! He even wanted to get his picture with us Texas gals! I think we were the favorite visitors that day! Clearly!

Looks like Ree might have a little competition in the kitchen with Thelma, Louise & Mert!

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Loved our time at the Lodge and highly recommend planning your trip to Pawhuska and The Mercantile when you can visit the Ranch too.

Our time in Oklahoma continued to Tulsa. Check back next Thursday as we Throwback and share the rest of our Thelma & Louise Adventures!

Have you been to the Mercantile or Drummond Ranch? Share your stories with us! Were you lucky enough to meet Ree too? What about your favorite Pioneer Woman recipes? I’d love to know which ones you and your family enjoy most!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(mostly Holly & TG this time! )

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!