Sunday Snaps 03-01-2015


You guys. Lets just talk about The Bachelor for a minute. I'm pretty sure that by admitting this love very publicly I am undoubtedly losing a lot of credibility, and I totally get it. 3 years ago, I didn't even watch the show, I too thought it was ridiculous...but then somehow I got sucked in, and now whenever its on, I'm like ok, channel 7, yoga pants, and a bottle of wine: Monday's you are a-ok.


I understand that The Bachelor might be scripted, and I really don't think that you can find true love with a bunch of cameras following you around on these fantastical, totally unrealistic dates, but the producers definitely know how to make some darn good T.V. I mean, throwing Ashley Kardashley and Kelsey in the middle of the badlands together? Genius. Geeeen-yes. And where did they find Ashley I.?  Bravo, ABC. Bravo. (Or in the words of my friend Dani: "She's actually really sad because she's a real person.")


For those of you who are following this season, and care to know what I think, I really dislike Becca. I didn't like Kaitlin either, so I'm glad she went home, but I have this sneaking suspicion that she might be he next Bachelorette. Ugh. Go back to Canada/Arizona, or wherever it is that you’re from. But Becca? She’s sheltered and totally indecisive and flighty. Mark my words. She is as noncommittal as they come.

In hopes to regain some of my credibility with you all, season 3 of House of Cards was released on Friday. So you guys can kind of guess what my weekend was like. I sadly didn’t make it through the whole season yet, but I am supremely impressed with the season so far. Frank Underwood, I hate that I love you.

Besides the fantastic T.V., this past month has been brutal. I have been swamped at work, which has been full of an insane amount of 2-3 hour-long meetings and evaluations. Every. Day. Some days were so stressful that I just came home and needed a couple drinks to settle my nerves. Like these Moscow Mules:


I’ve been so frazzled that one time I was trying to brew tea, but somehow got things totally mixed up, and ended up brewing coffee and tea at the same time in my Keurig. Can you say disgusting? I thought it was salvageable (I could be the inventor of the coffee-tea hybrid!) but it wasn’t. I’ll stick to my Russian pours.

But on the upside? Its March. As in, the month of spring break and the month of daylight savings. (Bloggers rejoice! We now have that extra hour back of natural sunlight to take pictures after work.) Luckily for me, here in NM the weather has been fab. No artic blasts like my friends in the Midwest and all up and down the east coast. I’m sorry.

So even though it still feels like winter to you, I am already in spring mode over here. I will probably post a couple more winteresque recipes, but then you’ll see be seeing a whole lot more spring and summer foods. What does that entail? I dunno yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Since its spring, I decided to be a farmer. No joke. I walked into Home Depot the other day because I wanted to buy some new succulents (#obsessed), but then walked out with several herbs, 3 kinds of mint, arugula, lettuce, a single tomato plant, and one lonely carrot plant. And succulents. A home is not a home without random vegetables and 3 kinds of mint. And succulents. I hope my vegetables don’t die. Until I can eat them, at least. If you can’t tell, I’m growing a mint salad garden.  


Hope my new leafy friends haven’t caught wind of my intentions yet. Except if you’ve read The Secret Life of Plants, you know that they already have. If you are looking for a new book to read, I highly suggest that one. It is not a crazy Sci-Fi book like it sounds, but rather a captivating read on plant biology and plant ESP backed by science. This is not a joke. PLANT ESP. It’s a thing.

The warmer weather has given me quite the motivation to get in some good workouts since bikini season is just around the corner. I’ve also been trying to eat more vegetables- always a battle. But I have been eating a lot of this Better Than Pizza Salad. Have you tried it yet? I highly highly highly suggest that you do.


If you’re into brewing your own Kombucha, I recently posted a Kombucha Brewing FAQ. Go check it out- there’s lots of great info. You can get your Kombucha super fizzy, like this:



OHHHH! And umm it has been a year since South of Vanilla! (I know, what?!) A. Whole. Year. Granted, it was my first year of blogging so I was by no means consistent, but wow. A year! I was actually going to post a special recipe on what the exact date of the blog’s start, February 17th, but that didn’t happen. No worries though, I still got around to creating and writing a whole blog post about South of Vanilla’s first birthday. It will be coming to you next soon. When exactly? I don’t know yet. Sorry. (Some things never change.)

Most nights, I wish that there was a way where fresh cookies could be delivered. Like a pizza.  Or a gigantic cookie shaped like a pizza? I would settle for that. If anyone hears of this business venture, please let me know.


Um, totally not food related, but I’m enamored with rocks right now. Not just any rocks, but rocks that Christopher and I find while we are out hiking and exploring the desert. We’ve found some amazing ones, including some fool’s gold, peridot, and glassrock? I also went out and bought a glass jar from Marshall’s (For $5!), and I’ve been keeping them all in there on the mantle of our fireplace. It looks amazing, if I do say so myself (far better than having random rocks all over our house), and is a great visual memory and a lovely conversation starter.


Also from Marshall’s? This gray and white bone and wood tray with a Moroccan print inlay. I’ve been using it for everything from displaying candles to using as a background for food photos. Marshall’s is the place to go these days.


The recipe for this Coconut-Sugar Broiled Grapefruit can be found here.

I don’t know any other way to introduce this topic, but Christopher and I burned sage the other day as a house ritual. We’ve been meaning to do it for while, but never actually got around to it.  Burning sage in your house is a ceremonial way to rid your home of any negative energy and facilitate positive energy. Does it work? Truly, I’m not sure, but we’ve both been a little more upbeat, productive, and happy since, even amongst the crazy month we’ve both had.


When I posted my Paleo Chocolate-Swirled Banana Bread Brie Grilled Cheese, I thought my computer was going to crash. I had so many hits the day it was posted! Does that mean you guys really liked it? I hope so. I mean, it has chocolate and brie that is all melty and stringy. Only technical terms here on South of Vanilla. 


Oh, and while you're still reading this, here’s a couple more picture of the new plants, which I am now lovingly referring to as The Rhino Garden. (And the Rhino is from Marshall’s-where else??)


As always, the southwest has been gorg. Hope you enjoy some of these shots, and have a fabulous and restful Sunday!