Reflections on my newlywed life: my random thoughts on life about: me & my husband, home decor, travels, cooking, baking, weddings, being a Marine Corps spouse & fashion and other things that interest me!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My little piece of paradise in D.C.

When you think of D.C. you probably think of the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and all the Smithsonian Museums, and so do I. But there are many other things that our Nations Capital has to offer. One if these gems I discovered with a couple girlfriends a few months ago (and have gone back several times since). The U.S. Botanic Gardens is a little piece of paradise in D.C. As I went into the building the first time the feeling of warmth and humidity took me to a Caribbean island. The smell of water and plants was a needed break from the city smells. And then the beauty of the plants, trees and flowers overtook me. I fell in LOVE! This place is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, it is a retreat, a place to contemplate the beauty in what God created.

When I go on vacation to some place warm and tropical, what I look forward to the most is a change in my surroundings, experiencing new cultures, seeing different wildlife and vegetation, and usually a change in temps... (for the warmer).. I like things that are new, different, not the same as what I am used to all the time. There is beauty in the differences in people, in cultures and in nature.

At the US Botanic Gardens I can go to different parts of the world in a couple easy steps. One area is like a tropical oasis, another has a mini waterfall and Hawaiian flowers, there is a room that the air is super dry and warm and has plants from dessert areas. Being able to see how there is so much diversity in nature all in one spot is pretty amazing. If you are ever in the D.C. area I recommend checking this place out. And you probably don't have to come all the way to D.C. to go to a botanic garden, I think most major cities and universities have indoor gardens, so do some research and check one out near you! And you don't have to go to a botanic garden to see beauty in nature, take a look around you and enjoy the creation around you.

I captured a couple photos while my sister and her boyfriend were here visiting. Of course I took them to the Botanic gardens! Here are a couple pictures, wish I would have taken more!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Meal Planning

I've tried meal planning before and it was really great to have all the ingredients to make a couple complete meals. In the past our plans would change all the time and we ended up not eating at home as often as I planned, so some of the fresh indregdients would go bad by the time I got around to making it. Now that we live in Virginia with no family dinners, I get to come up with a dinner for everyday of the week! So I am going to give meal planning a second chance. I've been hearing from quite a few friends on Facebook how they love meal planning, it saves time, money and stress! So today I've scoured friends blogs, Facebook notes and Pintrest for some yummy recipes. I came up with 6 meals for this week that I am excited to make! Here are the meals I picked with a link to the recipe :)

1. Easy Broccoli chicken Wild Rice Soup 
my friend Monica shared this recipe on her Facebook page

Made this one before and it was awesome! I baked at 375 for 40-45!

I guesstimated the cost for our groceries this week and it looks like it will be about $85. (Food is more expensive out here in VA) That $85 is a good price for us, our normal grocery bill has been between $85-$120/week since we've moved to Virignia. I am about to go to the grocery store now, it'll be interesting to see what the actual cost is, hoping I can get it even below that $85! I'd love to hear about your experiences of meal planning and how you go about doing it!