This Grand Adventure: Chelsa-Bea: June 2014

June 26, 2014

Life Update

My girl Molly posted this list a few weeks ago and since I haven’t had as much time to blog lately as I would have liked (hopefully to be changing soon) so, I’m taking a page from her today and sharing a glimpse into my life right now. We're in the midst of packing up our home for our move which is just weeks away and planning out the rest of our summer adventures that include trips to Seattle and Idaho. Things are flying by here and I’m grateful to have a few days off this week to indulge in some rest and alone time before we jump head first into the whirlwind that July and August are sure to be.

making: this week it’s been breakfast burritos for every meal – scrambled eggs with black beans, sharp cheddar cheese, avocado, green onions, tomatoes, fresh salsa and a dollup of sour cream all wrapped up in whole wheat tortilla.

cooking: not as much as I should as we’re half way through packing our kitchen for our big move in the next few weeks.

drinking: water with strawberries, or mint or lime. Whatever I can find to throw in.

reading: blogs and Jim Gaffigan’s, Dad is Fat (which is so hilarious).

wanting: an adventure.

looking: for d├ęcor and design ideas for our new home.

playing: lots of Head and The Heart (who we’re seeing this Sunday night!).

remembering: to enjoy each day and that it’s all part of the journey.

trying: to stay positive and remember to smile even when the June gloom makes it so hard.

watching: Orange is the New Black, Season 4 of Downton Abbey and The World Cup.

deciding: what to pack and where to eat for my Seattle trip.

wishing: for more consistent warm, sunny weather.

a bridal shower for Laura and lots of fall travel.

enjoying: quiet days spent on my couch.

waiting: for the weekend! It’s the first the husband and I have had off together in almost 2 months!

spending the entire day in my pajamas on my days off.

wondering: whether or not I should grow out my bangs. Always a struggle for me during the summer.

needing: a warm, SUNNY summer days spent lounging at the beach.

sun dresses or yoga pants. Depends on the day and, sadly, on the weather.

noticing: how much I miss having a garden this summer.

peaches. I can’t get enough of peaches.

thinking: how quickly the next 6 months are going to go by.

Popsicle and take-out sushi, not together but these have been my go-to's lately.

feeling: excited, reenergized, scared and hopeful.

June 17, 2014

One Year in Milwaukee

Today marks one year since we moved to Milwaukee. I know I keep saying it but this year, this year, has just flown by. I feel like I could just blink and be back to the week we moved here.

I’ve been trying for days to write this post. But like most things in the last few months, this date kind of snuck up on me, and now here it is. I sort of expected for it to feel very monumental and emotional, but truthfully, it feels like any other day. Maybe that’s a good sign? Maybe it’s a sign that while I don’t always feel it, our life here is content and settled.

Don’t get me wrong, I still desperately miss Des Moines, and even Idaho more and more these days but Wisconsin, well, right now, in some strange way, it feels like our home. I’m not sure if this is where we belong forever, but today, I’m certain that this is where we are supposed to be.

This year has been one hell of an adventure. We’ve tried to make the most of each and every day, even during the dreaded Polar Vortex (which we miraculously survived). While I have no clue what the next year will bring, I am very certain that it will prove to be just as exciting, entertaining and surprising as the last year, only with more beer and a lot less snow (pretty please).

So, I thought I should end with a little shout to our new city. Here’s a high-five from us to you, Milwaukee. Thank you for welcoming us with open arms and trying with all your might to help us feel like this is where we belong. We resisted at first, but you won us over in the end. Milwaukee you are home. Thank you for this beautiful year and all the adventures you brought our way.

On a side note, this is my 100th post! Yippee! I can't think of anything more fitting.
You can check out all my other posts about Milwaukee, here.

June 11, 2014

Best of This Grand Adventure - Reader Favorites!

Top 10 Reader Favorite Recipe Posts | Recipes by

Woohoo! This space is officially celebrating it's first birthday! How crazy is that?! This year has just whizzed by. While I have an official birthday post planned I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the most popular posts from the last year.

While I of course I wish I had been able to blog more pver the last year, or, let's be real, at least had the time to blog more, I’m pretty happy with the content and items I’ve produced here. Sharing these recipes with all of you has been one of the most exciting but, also, scary things I’ve ever done. I must admit, it still surprises me when I get a comment, or an email or mention about someone making the recipes I post here. While I know I create and share them with the intention that they be made in another kitchen, I often don't think that there’s anyone who does. It’s the most flattering and astonishing thing and I am just so grateful to be able to share these labors of love with all of you.

Please know that from the bottom of my heart, I am so very grateful to everyone who has read, supported, encouraged, prepared my recipes and just in general been there for me and the blog over the last year. I absolutely adore this space and I love the community, the friendship, the connections, the opportunities, the lessons and the ever-evolving story that this blog has created.

June 3, 2014

Blogging Bestie and A Weekend in Austin

Last weekend I headed to Austin to visit my dear blogging friend, Kaileen Elise. Kaileen and I met in our early days of blogging. Over the holidays in 2008, we gathered a few blogger pals and participated Christmas swap. Kaileen and I were paired together. After said swap, we continued our friendship via the Internet and on pen and paper as pen pals..

We’ve been there through each other’s lowest lows and highest highs. We’ve celebrated successes and consoled one another in loss. We’ve seen one another through moves, new jobs, new cities, weddings and more. Constant friends and support systems, we’ve traversed the latter-half of our 20’s together as we’ve explored and tried to find our place in life.

When I stopped blogging in 2011, Kaileen and I remained in contact through texts, emails, gchat and monthly letters. We celebrated birthdays, engagements and holidays by exchanging gifts and cards.

Our friendship is one of the reasons I love blogging so dearly. It made my Internet friend my real-life friend. Someone who I would have never met otherwise came into my life and has been what I like to call my blogging bestie the last five years.

We’ve been trying to meet up in-real-life for the last few years or so and finally this last weekend it happened. I caught a plane to Austin on Friday and spent the weekend with Kaileen gallivanting around town, eating our weight in food, laughing until our stomachs hurt, catching up on chic flicks and magazine, laying by the pool and talking endlessly about everything under the sun. It was as if we’d known one another our entire lives and while we chatted over cocktails filling in details of our lives, it never once occurred to me that the person sitting across from me was someone I just met.

It was perfection. I am still glowing from my girls weekend with my dear Kaileen. And while I lugged my big camera down to Texas to get lots of high quality photos and content someone ended up forgetting to charge the battery before they left. So, I apologize for the iPhone quality photos but here's a little glimpse into our weekend.

So, cheers to blogging besties and Internet friends. This is why I love blogging so, so much because of the relationships and friendship it creates and the amazing people it connects you to.