Monday, July 27, 2015

A Tasty Salmon Treat

Happy Monday! I had a weekend full of studying for finals next week, but my wonderful hubs treated me to this fancy dinner. It was our 11-monthiversary (no, we will not stop celebrating monthiversaries). He even set the table with two forks... which is too fancy for me and didn't know what to do with both. He told me that he wanted to make it nice so that I could post it on my blog, so I asked him to write about it! He was very proud of it and wanted to take pictures of me with the flowers he got. He's so sweet! Without further ado...


This is a recipe that I tried out for filet of salmon one evening when it was just Danielle and I. When I recently visited Canada I went fishing and brought back all the salmon in a cooler as a big treat!  I really prefer fresh caught however it was unavoidable to freeze it but it tasted fantastic!! I modified the recipe a bit because Danielle isn't really big on ginger... and neither am I so I only put in half the ginger that it called for. I used Pink Salmon for the recipe, some people prefer other kinds but that happened to be what we were catching this year.

Here is a photo of what our dinner looked like, We had the Salmon, Spanish Rice and salad mmm! I am really looking forward to the next time we make it! This is possibly the best salmon recipe I have come across and it is super easy to make!!

Sesame Ginger Salmon (click for original recipe)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 salmon filets
Salmon Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

To make the glaze, whisk together honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, ginger and sesame seeds in a small bowl; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds and green onions.
In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine ginger marinade and salmon filets; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place salmon filets along with the marinade onto prepared baking dish and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. Serve salmon immediately with honey ginger glaze.

Thanks for reading! See you again at my next guest post (-:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

21 Ways to Brighten Someone's Day

A lot of what I write on here is about improving yourself or being introspective. Today, I wanted to think of some things that can help make someone else's day better. I tried to have a range of approaches so that you can adjust to meet the needs of the people in your life. Why 21? Because I just couldn't stop. 

1. Make a small gesture. Bring your spouse, friend, or coworker a treat for no reason. It could be coffee, a new plant, or really anything. 

2. Don't just text. Missing a friend? Pick up the phone, write an email, or even send them a card in the mail! 

3. Call a friend a tell them you are treating them to lunch. Now who doesn't love a free lunch??

4. Smile and say HI to everyone you see. It's not hard to do, but so few people do this! It really cheers me up when someone makes the effort.

5. Leave a message on the bathroom mirror for someone you love.

6. Surprise your spouse by doing a chore they normally do.

7. Leave notes in your spouse's/kid's lunchbox. Read a powerful story about the impact it can have on your children here.

8. Compliment someone on what an amazing job they are doing.

9. Compliment someone on how good they look.

10. Secretly make your spouse's/child's favorite dessert and bring it out after dinner.

11. Leave an overly generous tip for your server and write a "thank you" on the receipt.

12. When your mom calls, don't forget to ask about her day too. She may be your parent, but she's a person too!

13. LISTEN to your husband/child/friend is worried about. Don't just brush it off or try to fix it, but really try to show you are interested.

14. Go visit someone in the hospital. Don't forget flowers or a card!

15. Offer up your seat to someone on the bus or in a waiting room.

16. Tell an overwhelmed mom at the grocery store that she is doing a great job!

17. Offer to take back someone's cart at the grocery store.

18. Give your spouse a foot rub and pedicure.

19. Offer to run errands for your family or friends. 

20. Invite an elderly person from church for dinner. 

21. Send flowers to someone far away (or near) for no reason!

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Weekend on Fire

I had a great weekend! It started off on Thursday night with a celebration of my friend, Jessica's birthday. We went to a burger place that had the most amazing onion strings with ranch. I basically ate them all before my Philly Cheesesteak and then was too full to eat the sandwich. Oops. #notsorry

girl on fire. 

birthday girl!
um... onion strings. yum
Then, on Friday we went to an Arboretum that is at UC Davis (take that, summer bucket list!) It wasn't what I expected (I thought it would be like a garden but with trees), but it was amazing! We saw some neat wildlife (turtles! otters!) and had a nice time enjoying God's creation.

we saw the tiniest turtle!
I spy a turtle.. do you?
the couple that wears aviators together, stays together

Daniel is obsessed with squirrels... I don't know why

the bridge of love... or something. we saw all these locks with people's names engraved into them
Saturday, Daniel and I were dog sitting for a neighbor. We spent the afternoon swimming and reading. I'm not a very good swimmer so Daniel was helping me practice. He loves dogs so he was excited to be taking care of one, even if just for one night. He was also thrilled that we went to a car show that was nearby. He was like a kid in a candy shop, running from one car to another (and squealing too). We ended the night with some ice cream, so that was perfect.

his favorite car
After church on Sunday, we went to Chipotle with my dad. Then we headed to the Crocker Art Museum for free admision day. I'll be honest, I don't get a lot art. I do enjoy looking at beautiful paintings and ceramics, but beyond that I'm a bit lost. An hour or so is about all we could take. #uncultured

What fun things did you do this weekend?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Destination... Home?

If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go?

I've never been much for traveling. I have never been outside of the US and Canada (although I have traveled quite a bit within the US). I don't really like hotels-- I think it is somewhat gross to stay in the same place thousands of people have stayed. I don't like to use other people's showers and kitchens. Being gone for more than a week or so makes me long for the comforts of home. Do I sound a little picky? I suppose I do.

However, that doesn't mean that I don't want to travel at all, I just don't have the urge to go backpacking across Europe for weeks or ?? I just want to do it... slowly. With this writing prompt, I actually am hard pressed to think of a place that I've been dying to go, because there really isn't one. 

So where would I go?

I don't know! One thing I think would be really neat would be to go to each of the 50 states. I live in a country full of wonderful places that I would like to explore. 

I did a google search on the best places to travel and I stumbled across a list of the "top" 25 (in their opinion). The two places that jumped out to me on the list were the Bahamas and Jerusalem. The Bahamas because they look gorgeous and relaxing and Jerusalem because my husband wants to take me to Israel! I've been to New York and San Francisco and now I'm done with big cities.

Looks pretty good to me! (-:
One thing I DO know: when I'm on vacation, I don't like to be rushing around. I don't want to tour a thousand museums or hike every mountain. Life is busy enough, I don't want vacation to feel stressful. When I vacation, I like to eat and relax. So maybe one of those all inclusive resorts is the place for me. Or maybe, I should just stay home. 

So where have you been dreaming of going?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Week Later

Daniel is home! Yay!

For the past week, Daniel has been in Canada visiting his family. Since I started my second session of summer school, I wasn't able to go with him. It has been the first time we have been apart since we got married so I was feeling a little (okay, a lot) sad! I took him to the airport in San Francisco on Sunday evening and we had a nice sushi dinner at the airport. He then walked me to my car and we said goodbye. Even he looked a little teary! (Or maybe it was just allergies, ha!)

Anyway, it's been a good week. I got to hang out with the rest of my family a lot which was really nice. And of course, he enjoyed seeing his family and getting to go salmon fishing. BUT we are very glad to be back together!

Why does my forehead look so veiny?? I don't know!

When I got home from school today, we went down into our backyard and had a picnic. I am enjoying having someone to cuddle and hold hands with again! Next time, we are going to try to plan to stick to going on vacations together.

The only good thing about staying at home was that I got to get presents when he came back! (-; He brought me a really pretty dress that he got in Victoria.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Getting Motivated

I am someone who feels best when I accomplish something. Sometimes, I think I am a little too motivated because all the things I try to accomplish cause me stress. My husband often reminds me that I can't do it all. He's right-- I can't. When I take on too many things, I find that I fail at them all! BUT, in all areas of life, I do try to constantly improve. Sometimes, I just need to learn to pick and choose which area needs the most improvement! It's my belief that if we are staying "stagnant", that we aren't living up to our full potential. Now, of course we can never be perfect, but with God's help I think we can always be better than we were. 

So what are some areas that I am always striving to be better? And what motives me? Here are just a few:

Spiritual life
To improve in any area of my life, I think I need to first focus on this one. I'm not saying that it's okay (because it's definitely not!), but sometimes I let this one slide because, well, I can't see God. When I can see my husband, schoolwork, chores, etc, I find that it is easy to focus on those things first. I need to remember that God is the One who can see me at all times. 
So what motivates me to work on my spiritual life? Often, praise music. I love singing songs so having a wonderful evening of singing with friends really uplifts me and encourages me to refocus. A really interesting talk at church might also motivate me. I find myself fascinated when a speaker brings up a really intricate and mysterious point from the Bible and that encourages me to want to find out more! Often, an intimate devotional will also inspire me. Typically, I find devotionals more real and raw than a class. "Real" gets to me. When I hear about other's struggles, other's joys, other's hard work... it makes me want to get closer to God. 

This one is huge and it makes me sad that so many people don't seem motivated to improve their marriage. One of the biggest things that motivates me is seeing or hearing of couples who don't seem to try. They are married, but they don't make an effort to talk, to make each other happy, or to love each other. I don't want my marriage to be like that and neither does Daniel. We have been working on communicating a lot. We also have been working on intentionally loving each other. Marriage is difficult, but it is beautiful. I've been inspired by a lot of fun ideas from The Dating Divas. It's a great website for marriage and for family that Daniel and I have used for date ideas.

To be completely honest, sometimes the wrong things motivate me to be more healthy-- like seeing photo-shopped pictures of gorgeous women and dreaming of having perfect, tiny legs. When that happens, I try to bring myself back to reality. I'm in the healthcare field so I know the importance of moving. I get motivated when I hear about people who are really unhealthy or sick. I know being healthy can't prevent everything-- we are all going to die-- but it can make the journey a lot more pleasant! 

A lot of the time, I'm not that motivated in school.  In our program, we have to get an 83% or higher on everything, so that can be stressful! Whenever I don't study well, I worry about passing and that motivates me to do better the next time. I am also motivated when I hear about people who have overcome incredible odds to get an education. That motivates me to try harder!

So, what motivates you? Do you find yourself motivated by some of the same goals?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Self Improvement

It's a little late, but happy July!

Three months ago, my brother shared a "Self-Analysis" with us at church. Together, Daniel and I filled them out and posted them on our door. It's basically a way to set specific goals for yourself and work on them. My brother had the idea that you would do it quarterly-- so every three months you would check yourself and see how you are doing.

I think it has been a useful tool and I've enjoyed working on my goals for personal growth. It's important to make goals that are simple and measurable. Otherwise, you'll come to the end of the three months and not know how you are really doing.

To make sure that we remembered to check our progress, I made sure to note on our calendar that it was time to do our quarterly self-analysis. I reviewed my goals and am pleased to say that I felt that I had done two of them (hey, two of three is pretty good, right?!)

One thing I didn't do is memorize the Bible verse I had chosen. So this time, I made sure to note that I want to choose a verse to memorize to be my "motto" for the upcoming months. I think this time I will set more measurable goals for myself as well. I have made a simple PDF of the document that you can download and fill out. It's nothing fancy (I'm not a graphic designer!) but I hope you will find it a useful tool for self improvement.

Happy self-improving to you! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Just Press Call

There are a lot of things about technology that I think have had a negative impact on our society. But there are a lot of good things about it too.

I'd say my favorite thing about technology is the way I can so easily communicate with people I care about who are far away. Daniel and I both have a lot of far away family, as well as friends through church who live all over the country (and other countries too!) The best thing about my iphone is that you can message anyone who has an iphone (which is a lot of people!) without having an international plan. 

When Daniel and I were in a long-distance relationship, the resources available for us to communicate were amazing. We mostly talked on Skype and Facetime, but we also used iphone messenger all the time, for free! It's really just amazing to me that there are so many free ways to keep in touch with people all over the world. We even used to have "Skype dates" where we could talk on Skype while watching the same movie on Netflix. How's that for a date?? (-:

Thankfully now Daniel and I don't have to be separated by hundreds of miles, but it's still nice to be able to instantly talk to our family and friends all over the world. Yes, there are a lot of things that I dislike about how technology is taking over the world, but the communication tools it provides are definitely invaluable. 

What's your favorite thing about technology?