Monday, January 26

Earth To Emerald - Scarf Camera Strap Collaboration

Photographers and friends! I am so excited to share with you a collaboration I did with Becca, one of my dear friends from college, of Earth to Emerald! Becca makes the most adorable scarf camera straps, and this particular strap is one I got to help her design!
You can pre-order this "Hailey" strap starting today on Earth To Emerald! During the first week of this pre-sale, you can also use the discount code "Hailey10" to take 10% off your order!
As a photographer and videographer I am constantly lugging my cameras around on our adventures without a strap on it, mostly because the stock strap that comes with Canon cameras is just not very cute and pretty uncomfortable. I always get looks from people out on the trails when I'm just holding a big camera in my hand, nothing stopping it from dropping off a cliff if I trip or fall. I needed something functional, but also comfortable for when I'm hiking or exploring and this scarf strap is absolutely perfect! 
As you can probably tell, I absolutely love stripes, and the neutral pattern of this scarf makes it totally versatile with my wardrobe.

 
These straps are a totally cute, functional way to style your photo or video shoots, while tying your outfit together with a trendy accessory.

Be sure to check out earthtoemerald.com.
Get out and explore and take some photos today! 
-Hailey-

Monday, January 12

Cooking with Allie: Chicken Tikka Masala


YOU GUYS.

I got a new cookbook for christmas and decided to try it out this week. You probably already know that my family LOVES food- all kinds of food. We love trying out new recipes and trying out foods from different countries. 
This cookbook is UNREAL. It has recipes that are inspired by the flavors of the world- I can't wait to keep cooking from it! 
Indian food has always been one of my very favorites- and when I saw the recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala in here I was like "NO WAY!!! THIS MUST GO DOWN." 

So I made it. 
And I want you guys to make it too.

ITS SO GOOD Y'ALL.


This dish looks gorgeous and made our house smell SO GOOD.


A lil' taste test never hurt nobodyyyy


CAN'T SEE NAAN. (See what I did there?!) haha


CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
from "Global Kitchen" by David Joachim

I N G R E D I E N T S

4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger (<- one of my favorite things ever)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 cups hot cooked basmati rice

G E T  C O O K I N'  G O O D  L O O K I N'

1) Combine garlic and ginger on a cutting board. Sprinkle with salt, and mash into a paste by dragging and pressing broad side of knife over mixture several times (I just put it in a food processor to make the paste (is that cheating? haha)) Combine garlic mixture, yogurt, and next 5 ingredients (through ground red pepper) in a large ziploc bag. Add chicken, seal and marinate in refrigerator for 8-24 hours, turning bag occasionally 

2) Place tomatoes in a food processor (I used a blender hehe. same diff.) process until pureed to measure 2 cups. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add coriander, paprika, turmeric, and ground red pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato puree, and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick

3) Preheat grill or broiler

4) While masala sauce simmers, remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread chicken onto 4 (12-inch) metal skewers. Place skewers on grill rack or broiler pan, cook 3 minutes. Turn skewers over; cook 3 minutes or until browned on all sides but still undercooked in center (chicken will finish cooking in sauce).

5) Remove chicken from skewers, add to masala sauce. Stir in salt and garam masala; cover and simmer and additional 6 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat; stir in yogurt and cilantro. Serve over rice. Serves 5.

(We also served it with naan bread cause its the most delicious thing in the world NBD)

This dish was a hit. My hands smelled like garlic and ginger for like three days but WHATEVS. Give it a shot! You won't regret it ;) You can find the cookbook HERE :)
Love you guys!
Happy Cooking!

xoxo Allie

Monday, January 5

New Year's Goals & Resolutions!

 

Happy New Year! I cannot believe that it's 2015! A new year means a new start. In our family, we always make a list of our goals that we want to accomplish throughout the year and we really work hard to achieve them. 


We have different categories we place our goals in that include disciple, artist, athlete, student, and explorer. There are lots of other categories you can have, but those are the ones that fit best into what goals I have for this year. 



We try to put three goals in each category to balance it out so there aren't too many that would make us feel overwhelmed, and that there aren't too little that we do less than what we're capable of. Categorizing your goals is a great way to keep them organized and keep track of your progress. It's always good to write down your list and put it somewhere you can always see as a constant reminder. 

  
Be specific! Make it so every goal is very straightforward so you know exactly what you need to do. If you really want something, you need to push yourself and put in effort in order to get the outcome you're looking for. 

 

 I always feel so great when I have really worked hard on something and i finally get it done or accomplish it, it gives such great confidence in myself and it makes me want to do more! 


For example, something I want to do this year, is to get more flexible. I'm not just gonna randomly one day be able to do the splits, I have to stretch everyday and put in the work and effort until I'm flexible enough to actually do the splits.
 

Playing the drums is something I really enjoy doing and want to be a professional at! So, one of my goals this year is to learn and perfect all of the fundamentals and techniques of drum set so I can move on to the harder things and eventually be a pro! 
I hope that you will create a list of your goals and really try your best to achieve them! Happy New Year!
-Abby <3

Monday, December 29

Winter Wonderland

We woke up on Christmas morning to a snowy fairytale and couldn't resist braving the elements to take some pictures in the snow! What a magical way to celebrate the holidays! 
 















Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
xoxo
-Hailey, Allie, & Mandi-

Friday, December 19

The Spirit of Christmas


I can honestly say that I look forward to and anticipate the Christmas season all year long. The food, smells, family time, movies, and music is nostalgic and timeless for me, and for some reason this year in particular I am beyond excited for it to be here. As soon as Thanksgiving Day ended, I was cranking my Michael Buble Christmas album and using pine scented soap and cleaning products in our home. It's just the most wonderful time of year!


Christmas to me is a time to really reflect on my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for Him the past few weeks as I've studied his life in the scriptures, listened to music that reminds me of the humble circumstances in which he came to the world, and hearing and reading the words of the leaders of our church in celebration of His life. I've felt very close to Christ, and have felt so much love and warmth in my heart as I ponder on how I can be a better person and better follow His perfect example He set for us. 


I want more than anything to carry this feeling I have with me throughout the entire year. I'm talking about the feeling I get when I watch the faces of those I love laughing and talking and just spending time together. The feeling I have when I sit quietly underneath the Christmas tree in the warmth of the lights and beautiful decorations and just think about how very blessed I am. That same feeling enters my heart when I read the account of the disciples of Jesus Christ who recorded the story of Christ's birth in Bethlehem, and when I think about his mother, Mary, the handmaiden of the Lord chosen to bring his perfect son into the world. 


Bonnie L. Oscarson gave a great address a couple weeks ago on this idea in a Christmas devotional that really touched my heart. She said, "The spirit of Christmas is Christlike love. The way to increase the Christmas spirit is to reach out generously to those around us and give of ourselves. The best gifts are not material things but gifts of listening, of showing kindness, of remembering, of visiting, of forgiving, of giving time."

John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God loved us enough to send us His son, and every year we can show our gratitude for his love by loving others. Being a little more kind and giving a little more of our time, energy, and talents to those around us. As we strive to show love to others, we will feel the love of Jesus Christ, the spirit of Christmas, fill our hearts and homes, and that feeling is something we can keep with us all year long.


Wednesday, December 10

Winter Woods




CHRISTMAS IS COMING... the goose is getting phat!!!! 
Oh man, I'm sorry... couldn't help it. No but seriously, I cannot wait for Christmas!!! This is the greatest time of year because the family comes to town, mom goes crazy on the baking, I break out my winter coats, Christmas music plays all through the house, and we get to focus a little more on others (and more importantly) Christ. Every year I look forward to the overall feeling of love and peace during the holidays, there's just nothing like it!

 

Let's talk family traditions. 
So in my family, there are ten of us. I have five sisters and two brothers, and of course my adorable parents. Now for a college student on a budget, that's a pretty significant number of people to provide Christmas presents for every year. To solve our little dilemma, our parents decided to have us draw names every Christmas. It has become one of my favorite traditions ever! I don't know why I love it so much... I guess it's just fun to go all out on one of your siblings and go crazy on all the stuff you know they would love. The easiest person to shop for is Allie. You literally could get her a Jamba Juice gift card and a sweater, and she will love you forever!


This year our mom set up ALL of our Christmas decorations like two weeks before Thanksgiving. We gave her such a hard time about it, yet we all secretly loved it! We usually set up our tree the day after Thanksgiving and when we decorate we blast Kurt Bestor, drink hot chocolate, pop popcorn, and mom always makes fresh cinnamon rolls. They are To. Die. For.



The weather at home has been a little unreal. 
I'm used to snow by Halloween, but this year it has been warm and sunny! No snow yet (knock on wood)! I am sooo not complaining, although I do hope we get a white Christmas this year. I'm a little obsessed with this coat I got a Forever21, I've been wearing it everyday, and it's super cute and warm for the winter! It would make a great Christmas present. Also, I've been completely obsessed with this Target shirt, it might also make a great gift! Hailey and I both got them in like every color! Ha!



Lindsay recently threw a Christmas movie party where we watched "Elf" in our pj's and ate enough chocolate to last us the rest of the year! It was great. I thought of that because looking at this picture made me think of an elf... Hailey said all it's missing is the little bell on my toe. 
Gotta love her.


Before you judge me, 
I have ALWAYS wanted to be a ballerina, and every single year in my family all the girls go to The Nutcracker Ballet. It never gets old. I always walk out of there with the urge to twirl in the hallway. That, and I also love to make faces and weird poses for Hailey when we do blog pictures. Anyways, I hope your holidays are filled with love, family, and Christ. Eat lots of sweets for me, find time to relax, remember the true meaning of Christmas, and enjoy the holidays! 
<3 Mandi