Tuesday, September 23, 2014


photo via Morganbsimon

Happy fall! My favorite season is here, yet I struggle through another wave of grief. It was my mom's absolute favorite time of the year. By now, she would have had all of her decor up around the home, the smell of cheesecakes drizzled with caramel + topped with apples would welcome you in and Bath and Body Works candles + soaps would in every bathroom. I know many people have memories of my mom during the fall, as she always could find someone to visit the pumpkin patch with her!

My mom and I simply loved fall. Now, our biggest worry this season is trying to get everything out of the house in time for the next family to move in. 

When I think about fall, my mind often wanders back to Fall Family weekends at Gonzaga University. The leaves were beautiful shades of orange and red and I would anxiously await the arrival of my family! We always loved going to Greenbluff farms to pick apples, eat pumpkin doughnuts and sip on cider.

My hope is that I find can joy in the season and holidays to come. I anticipate the emotions that come with the upcoming holidays and finding peace that we are no longer sharing these moments with mom. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Weekend

Hello! We had a fun and productive weekend over here at the Martin household. I have been sick with a head cold which meant our Friday night was lazy, we made dinner and watched Criminal Minds (yes, we're addicted). On Saturday morning, we were up early to start a home project, residing the garage! There is one side of our huge garage that is weathered and warped. Dustin wanted to redo that side before the rainy season hits us. 

On Saturday night, we had Dustin's mom, Dad, Karen and Grandnan over for pizza and beer! We needed the fuel and drinks after a busy day of house projects. We woke up on Saturday and enjoyed a big breakfast at a dive that we kept hearing great things about, it was delicious! 

After our goodbyes to Dad and Karen we dropped Grandnan off at the ferry. Dustin and I were off to watch the Seahawks vs. Broncos (last year's Superbowl teams!) We stopped at Pyramid for drinks first before heading to watch the game. The Seahawks won in overtime, what a game!

We came home and Dustin headed outside to paint the garage side we worked on and I helped him put the gutters back on. I then took Mya for a long walk, cleaned and made our Sunday spaghetti dinner. I'm ready to tackled this weeks work projects and start packing for Europe!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Europe Travel Essentials

The first time I went to Europe, I felt so unprepared. Think walking miles and miles in Old Navy flip flops. This time around, I am trying to learn from my previous mistakes! Here are a few things that I plan to pack for our Europe trip.

1) Light and packable clothes. Nothing that will wrinkle easily and that can be worn multiple times.

2) Comfy walking shoes. Farrah helped me select a few pairs of shoes that will be good for a lot of walking and all weather conditions.

3) Travel converters and adapters. My straightener blew week 6 during my summer in Italy. I purchased new converters and adapters along with travel appliances. I am hoping these will work this time around!

4) Longchamp bag. This bag is my go-to for all travel these days. I love how big it is, it's easy to carry-on and folds up nicely when you aren't using it.

5) Z Travel Pillow. I can't sleep on planes which is the biggest pain especially on red-eyes. When I traveled to Rome, I didn't sleep an wink on the plane over which made jet lag even worse when we arrived at 12:00 pm the next day. I am hoping this pillow helps.

6) Passport! This seems like a given, duh. However, mine was stolen a few years ago. Between my legal name change and updating addresses (I have used my mom's address for everything since I have consistently been moving) this thing took a while to get and was a huge relief to have again.

7) Lots of reading materials! I have really been wanting to read Emily Giffin's newest book and am excited to carry this around with me.

8) Scarfs. These are light to pack but can also be used as blankets on planes and bus rides. Double win!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Weekend

Hello, Monday! This weekend was filled with a lot of fun activities that kept us busy until Sunday night. 

On Friday, we celebrated Marissa's 25th birthday by cycling around Ballard on a Cycle Saloon. Yes, we literally had to pedal ourselves everywhere we went! It was fun to be out in Ballard again and I can't believe it has been over a year since I lived there. We stopped at new bars and old bars, it was a good time!

We proved to be Seattle's best sport fans on Saturday by attending the Washington Husky game and the Seattle Mariners' game! Dad and Karen gifted us a pair of Husky tickets and a vendor from Dustin's work invited us to their suite. #Suitelife #Freetickets. We were thankful for the beautiful sunshine all day long.

On Sunday, we spent our day running errands and finishing up the second gate into our backyard. I listened to Dustin yell at the TV during the Seahawks game while I went a little hammer crazy putting things up on our wall. Below is my new travel the world calendar that happily reminds me that we leave for Europe in 10 days!

We enjoyed our "Sunday Spaghetti" dinner tradition and had our friends Cam and Jordan + their pup Stella join us. We also watched the Miss America pageant because one of my Gonzaga classmates held the Miss Massachusetts title. It was exciting to watch her take 4th runner up!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is by far our favorite meal! I made it last night and thought I would share the recipe. Please note that I need to work on photographing my food a bit better! There are a lot of ways to customize this recipe, it is very versatile.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken - I use the breast meat and then save the wing + thigh meat for later (Or for your pup!)
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken
  • 4 oz. Block of Cream Cheese or 8 oz Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 8 Round Tortillas - I use flour but you could use corn to make this a GF meal
  • Monterey Jack Cheese - approximately 3 cups
  • 1 can Enchilada Sauce - whichever flavor you prefer
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Set cream cheese out to bring to room temperature
  • Shred chicken
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together shredded chicken, cream of mushroom and cream cheese.
  • Season chicken mixture to your taste, I use cumin, red pepper flakes and garlic powder.
  • Grease a 9 x 13 glass casserole dish 
  • Pour enough enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the dish
  • Slice 8 tortillas in half
  • Using your best puzzling skills, cover the bottom of your casserole dish using the tortilla halves, similar below: 

  • Spread half of your chicken mixture on top of the layer of tortillas using a spatula
  • Sprinkle desired amount of cheese over the chicken mixture, about 1.5 cups
  • Add your second layer of enchilada sauce 
  • Top with another layer of tortilla halves,
  • Spread the remainder of your chicken mixture over the tortillas
  • Sprinkle your last layer of cheese 
  • Season top of enchilada casserole to your taste, I used cumin, red pepper flakes and garlic powder
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown 
  • Allow the casserole to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving
Molly's tip: Broil on high for a few minutes after the casserole is done baking, this gives it a nice bubbly crust. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why I'm Choosing Yoga

Tuesday was my final night of Beyond Yoga with my friend Jessica. Although I was not an avid class "go-er" this summer, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in each of her classes. As the days become shorter and the mornings a bit darker, I typically lessen the time I spend running during the week. Two years ago, I really enjoyed hot yoga practice during the fall/winter and I noticed it significantly helped my running stamina come springtime. I've decided to commit to yoga again this winter after having chatting with several people this week about the significant benefits of yoga.

Here are 5 benefits that continually draw me to practice yoga:

1) Helps digestion
2) Slower breathing, less stress (anxiety!)
3) Increases metabolism
4) Better focus
5) Increases arm strength

Here are 3 things that I learned while participating in Beyond Yoga this summer:

1) We should be thankful that God designed our bodies to move the way they can
2) In order for change to happen, you must be willing to get uncomfortable
3) A few of the best yoga moves for stress are include downward facing dog, cat/cow, forward fold, bridge and savasana

What exercises do you enjoy dying the fall and winter? I am also getting excited for our new LA Fitness center to open soon as well!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Instagram Accounts to Follow

Design: Looking for cute, fun and accessible home inspiration? Here are the accounts I think are the perfect fit and easy on the eyes. 

jillian harris design / home goods / west elm / oh joy

Lifestyle: These accounts are fun to follow, I love the devotional prints, chalkboard designs, home tips and flash sale finds. A bit of a random mix that I enjoy browsing though in the mornings while sipping on coffee.

jlgarvin / she reads truth / real simple / brickyard buffalo

Fitness/Health: These accounts are sure to get you off the couch trying new exercises, recipes and will inspire you to become the best self you can be.

pb fingers / dashing dish / candace c burre / whole 30 recipes 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Our Weekend

Hello! Our weekend began with a night out in Madison Park at the Attic Alehouse + Eatery. We met up with our Gonzaga friends for a charity event that benefitted NPH USA called Cheers for Children. Dustin and I even walked away with two of the raffle prizes, it was great to get out of the house and see everyone! I also finally booked our lodging in Ireland on Friday night, so our Europe trip is officially all booked!

On Saturday, we Dustin worked on the fence and I assisted to the best of my abilities. We called it a night around 8 pm and fixed up a tilapia taco bar while watching Criminal Minds and Modern Family. Dustin was up early on Sunday working on the fence so I fixed us a big breakfast and coffees (which I haven't done in ages). His parents came up later in the day to help Dustin finish securing the slats of wood on the fence while his mom and I worked on putting together my latest ikea purchases. This BISSA shoe storage is amazing for our small entry way closet and this RASKOG kitchen cart is just way too cute, I currently have it near my office desk.

Staying at home all day on Sunday gave me a lot of time to do some cleaning, sell my rug on Craigslist, clean Dustin's car out (Mya drool everywhere), deep clean the house and start some laundry. Overall, it was a really domesticated productive weekend and we enjoyed every bit of it!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A note from Thayer

Dear Friends and Family, 

After a successful journey last December and January to Cambodia, I am extremely excited to embark on another medical relief trip to Indonesia in November of this year. I’ve always felt this specific pull toward understanding the human condition and desire to help people get better. The sense gratitude and overwhelming ability to change lives in under privileged countries, where our teams sometimes see over 500, (yes, 500!) patients a day, is sempiternal. 

The organization I am honored to travel safely with is International Medical Relief. The Colorado based organization provides medical, dental, and surgical care to under-served and vulnerable people around the world through medical mission trips.

We are fortunate medical care options are available in the US, and my appreciation for what is at our finger tips in has grown immensely. Though we do not have the ability to treat diseases such as cancer or HIV during our trip, I have learned despite all of our differences from third world countries, our need to be loved, accepted, acknowledged, validated and given kindness remains the same everywhere.

We will see diseases such as malaria, intestinal parasites, cholera, diarrheal diseases, and tuberculosis. Many vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles remain endemic and claim lives in Indonesia everyday.  Sometimes we do not have the resources to provide the care they need, yet donating time, efforts, and energy toward a cause that is greater than yourself- brings smiles, laughs, and encouragement, and it's enough for them to keep going and have hope.

The trip and all supplies are funded entirely by those personally going on the mission trip, and everything used is personally taken with us in our checked luggage. This includes all medical supplies, medicines, syringes, bandages, etc. On my last trip, our team quickly ran out of simple supplies such as ibuprofen, pedi lite, antibiotics, and reading glasses; items we run to the grocery store to purchase, but cost an entire months pay in other countries. My hope this time is to raise enough funds to pay for travel and avoid any shortages to the patients we see in Indonesia. 

It takes a collaborative effort to make this happen. If after thoughtful consideration, you want to support this medical relief trip to Indonesia, please take a moment to contribute a donation (which can be anonymous if you wish). And if you are not able to donate monetary funds, no worries- please send your thoughts, prayers, and love on my journey; and to individuals and families in Indonesia who are experiencing tribulation. 



If you are a reader of my blog, please consider donating to Thayer's International Medical Relief trip. We are so blessed here to receive proper medicine and care. 

If you are in the Denver area, Thayer is offering photography services with donations towards her IMG trip. 

I once went on a mission trip to Mexico, it completely changed how I view the world and how fortunate we all are.

Thayer did not request that I blog about her trip, however I felt compelled to share her experience. 


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fall Finds

Fall is by far my favorite season! I look forward to the crisp air, boots, a light scarf + holding a warm drink! These are a few of my favorite finds of the season thus far. I already purchased the Novelty Quilted Puffer Vest and love it! Not sure if I could pull off the Slim Jogger Pant but am loving the look of them on other (taller) people. The Layered Shapes Collector Tee (currently sitting in my electronic shopping cart online) is the perfect top to pair with skinny jeans. A fun scarf is a must when dressing up basic tops for work and that glass water bottle is calling my name! What are you favorites this fall?