Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Harts - Month Two

My goodness, this month has been PACKED with so much fun, work, and business growth! We have been two very busy people, and it caught up with me this week. Thankfully we have a little getaway planned that we leave for on Friday. This month has been a little bit better than month one as we've found our stride a little bit. I'm thankful for a husband who really is a partner in life. We truly help each other, and for that, I am incredibly grateful!

Some notable things that I want to remember this month!
  1. VBS - We helped with VBS this year at our home church. It was the first time in a few years that I was able to help and I loved it! We had a blast! 
  2. Eating at Muriale's for our anniversary - We had an epic meal out on the deck at Muriale's for our one-month anniversary. We've tried to make sure we're celebrating the little moments. I had the most giant salad of all time, and Kyle had a spicy shrimp and pasta dish. Both were excellent. 
  3. The symphony and fireworks - We decided to attend an outdoor concert featuring the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra on July 3rd and it was AWESOME! There were fireworks afterward, and it was such a gorgeous evening! I love Fourth of July out on the lake, but this was a fun experience, too! I'm so glad we went. 

  4. Blueberry picking/Talladega Nights - On the actual 4th we decided to go blueberry picking on Blueberry Ridge Farm. The day was so hot and humid, but the drive was gorgeous and the fields weren't busy at all. The quiet of the day was a nice break that we both leaned into. We picked several pounds of blueberries out in the field and then headed to the Poky Dot for lunch. I had epic plans for the berries, but we ended up just eating them straight from the container. It's an activity I'd like to do again. 

  5. The reception in Virginia - Kyle's home church in Virginia was so nice to want to host a reception for us to celebrate our marriage. I LOVE meeting the people who have known Kyle since he was a kid. Folks always have the nicest things to say about him, and it's clear to me that he's loved Jesus and wanted to please Him his entire life. It makes me so proud of him. 
  6. Saturday afternoon with my family by the pool and BBQ - That Saturday was full of parties! Our reception at the church was a brunch party, and then we all headed to my cousin April's house for more partying! We had a great time sitting outside by the pool while we all inhaled Steven's famous pork BBQ and chicken wings. They are epic and are also one of my favorite meals! The time spent with family in the summer by the pool eating BBQ is one of my favorite things. 
  7. Second shooting for Ashley in PA with the sunflowers - I had the coolest opportunity this month to second-shoot for Ashley (who also happened to be our photographer!). It was a BLAST! We showed up to the ceremony/reception venue and were surprised with a little field of sunflowers. The images were epic, and the experience was even more fun!
  8. Kyle fishing with dad at Bluestone - Kyle went on a small fishing trip with a few of my family members. I'd say it definitely came at a good time for all of them, and I was so happy he was able to go! 
  9. Color mini sessions and my giveaway session - I hosted my summer mini sessions this month! They happened to be "color sessions" with paint and they were an absolute BLAST! I'll probably do them again next summer, too! 
  10. We got in a small argument over cookies. Bahahahahaaaaa! 


A home of our own! We are excited to be in this stage of life and really have the opportunity to go anywhere and do anything. The possibilities are endless and I'm thankful that we made choices earlier in life that will allow us more opportunities now. We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us!

Community. This is something that has really been on my mind and heart lately. We would both love a group of people to live life with.

My photography business! Nothing in life has brought me more fulfillment and joy in work as photography and being a small business owner. I am working and praying for this business to become more full-time for me!


I honestly don't recall much TV watching this month. Life has been too busy, and if I did start watching a TV show I normally fell asleep almost immediately. HA! I would like to see the new Jurassic Park though! There's just something about those summer blockbusters! 


Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand Another work of fiction?! I guess summer has me craving a good beach read! I started this July 13th and I'm nearly finished. It's fast-paced and has me on the edge of my seat. The author gives you just enough information through each chapter to keep you guessing. I love when I read books (and watch movies) that I can't guess the plot from the first chapter. I can't figure this one out! 

Soul Rest by Curtis Zackery I haven't started this one just yet, but I plan to dive into it this weekend. The Lord has been dealing with my heart about boundaries, rest, and Sabbath for a few months. It's a topic that is so deep and important for this season of life. 


I finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and hated every second of the book. IT WAS SO SLOW. I think this is one of the most popular books of the summer (??) and I just do not get it. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People was excellent. It's one I'll go back to, and I highly recommend reading it if you haven't. 


An upcoming career change. I've debated writing about my current situation and what I've experienced, but I'm not sure I can without getting too emotional. It's something I need to process through (maybe in writing) before I can articulate the depth of the emotions I feel. I've never experienced bias or prejudice in the way I've experienced it the last few months based purely on where my desk is located. People talk to me and about me in a very derogatory, condescending, patronizing way because they assume my level of position and education based on where I sit. It's been a lesson in humility and has magnified issues in my own heart that need to be dealt with. 

My husband. He has a servant's heart and is very tender toward me. I am so thankful that he is a true partner in this life. 



My crisp recipe with fresh cherries and chocolate ice cream. 

All the lacroix. We have a problem. HA!


My Chill Jams station on Spotify which is just basically a whole playlist of acoustic Disney songs. 

The series "Summer for the Soul" from the Church of the City. 


I looked at last month's list and need to continue to be more intentional about getting into my Bible. 

Creating boundaries for work. I'm so grateful that my business is getting busier, but I've noticed that I need to set boundaries for myself so I don't focus so much on my business that everything else gets neglected. 

Working out. My goal has been three times per week and I've met that goal every week but this one. I've been feeling under the weather this week (see also: not having healthy boundaries and ignoring my physical well-being). 


Vacation! We'll be going to Holden Beach this fall and I cannot wait! 

Homemade marshmallows for s'mores this weekend!


The Farmer's Market. I need fresh peaches to make THIS pie

Greenbrier State Forest

A weekend at home to be lazy! hahahaha!


Finish our back "deck". It's really more of a concrete slab, but my heart wants to at least make one room beautiful in our home. This one makes the most sense since where we are is temporary. No back deck progress has been made. HA! And it probably won't be. It's just not high on my priorities list. 

More pool days. Weekends and evenings have been busy around here, and I'd like to keep my honeymoon tan. Not only did I not make it to the pool at all in the last month, but my honeymoon tan is almost completely non-existent. BOO!

Finish my business website. My business website isn't finished, but it's still on my list. We will get there!

Figure out a better food routine for the two of us. Actually, just get a little more comfortable with our life routine in general. DONE! 

See a movie. 

Read more books. 

Dates that include chocolate covered strawberries. We're going tonight actually! HOORAY! 


Be better about getting to the gym, girl! It's important!
Finish my wedding galleries and my family session galleries.
Read more books! 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls with Spicy Salmon

I have another delicious, healthy recipe for you today! Much like the blueberry crisp, this one also feels like a decadent cheat meal. I guess that's the secret to get me to eat things that are good for my body - make them taste like the good stuff! 

I think the secret to the "cheat meal" feel of this dish is the creamy sauce. That's right, friends. I said creamy sauce! I creamy sauce made with full-fat coconut milk that you soften all those yummy sweet potato noodles in. It's so, so good. 

The sweet potato noodles are topped with a spicy salmon and the combination of sweet, salty, creamy, and spicy is amazingggg. Plus, this dinner comes together in 30 minutes so there really is no excuse for you to not make this. You basically HAVE to! Oh also, this is Whole30 compliant if you're into that. 

One last thing before I get to the recipe. The original recipe from Real Simple Good calls for bacon. Somehow in the meal planning every time we've made this I've forgotten to pick up bacon. How I don't know, but I have. We really love this recipe, but I think we'd love it even more with the addition of bacon. I didn't want you to miss out like we have so if you're interested in the baconized recipe check out the original post here

On to the delicious!

Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls with Spicy Salmon

recipe adapted from Real Simple Good

2 salmon fillets
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 sweet potatoes, spiralized 
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cups spinach

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

While the oven is preheating, place salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder, and salt & pepper. Bake at 400 for 15 - 20 minutes. 

While salmon is cooking, prepare your sauce by heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute shallots until softened. Add in coconut milk, garlic, and salt and pepper to the coconut milk and combine. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until the salmon has about 5 minutes left. 

Increase to medium heat, add in sweet potato noodles, and cover while the salmon finishes. 

Remove salmon from oven. 

Add spinach to noodles and sauce, and stir until just wilted. Remove from heat.

Serve noodles topped with salmon and ENJOY!