Health Hiatus + Home Body’ing

Greetings friends! So sorry that we’ve been a little out of touch lately. Due to some health situations, we have been preoccupied with getting better.

For starters, unfortunately, our pup is scheduled to have knee surgery on July 18th. Due to some wrestling with bigger dogs, his ACL is at risk of tearing completely and his knee cap is a little out of place, causing some limping. After consulting three doctors, x-rays and lots of tests, we finally settled on a great doctor at the Lynnwood VCA per the recommendation of a trusted vet tech and beagle-mom.

It’s incredible how much you would do and sacrifice for the health of your baby. We’ve sold a few items and skimped on a few luxuries to save quite a bit of money for his surgery without going into debt. But with the surgery date approaching, part of me is in denial of how sad I’m going to be to see my little guy in recovery. His quality of life is at stake, so we are doing anything we can to make sure Elvis can have the best years of his life

So any prayers and support are welcome! And if you know of anyone in the PNW who is interested in a motorcycle, let us know! It would help us out a quite a bit 😉

I also had some minor surgery myself, but without going into too much detail, I’m glad to be myself again and marching forward after a rough couple of months.  In an effort to keep getting better–possibly even better than before–we decided to do a 10-day green cleanse, based on a book recommendation from a friend. If you’re ever curious about drinking yummy (like Ryan-approved yummy) green smoothies as your daily meals, check out the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by J.J. Smith.  It made meal-prep super easy, the grocery list pretty short and efficient for a busy schedule, and it resulted in clean bodies and better sleep, something we both benefited from over the course of the cleanse.  The nutritionist author did warn that social events were to be avoided in some cases. Getting hangry for the bad foods we crave is bound to happen, especially when you go out to dinner with the whole family. While everyone is eating burgers, pies, and drinking beautiful beers, you’re having to peck through rabbit food and praying the pre-made smoothie in your car isn’t getting warm.

I’ve sold you on this idea, I’m sure. But I swear it’s worth a try!

Also, with the recovery I’ve gone through, I was very thankful for getting spoiled by a great husband who has taken the “Honey-Do List” to a whole new level.  Our cozy little home is getting a lot of love!

1. The Firepit

One afternoon, I looked at the excuse of a firepit that was there before, which is the view from our bedroom bay window. Not a fan of the lack of aesthetic appeal in our backyard, I mentioned doing a new firepit in passing. Fast forward a few weeks later and this pops up! Cost us about $200 for everything including chairs ($15 @ Lowe’s), blocks ($120 @ Lowe’s), sand (free from our sandpit), pebbles ($30 @ Bremerton’s Soil Factory), leveler+spray paint for perfect leveling and circle cutting ($20 @ Home Depot). Full blog post on this to come, authored by the one and only beard himself!

Add s’mores, string lights and Billie Holiday Pandora… and you have a summer evening with the Wills!

2. Front yard cleaning

From jungle…

to oasis!

3. Gardening. Y’all. I GARDEN now. Here’s my pretty rhubarb that makes for a delicious crisp.

So that’s it for now! Like I said earlier, Ryan will breakdown how to do a fancy firepit on a budget. We will also introduce some images from a new camera we purchased. Stay tuned!

❤ MW


O Come All Ye Hungry!

For the last three years, we’ve spent Christmas in Maui. While I’m not complaining, it is somewhat of a juggle to make sure we celebrate the birth of JC with both sides of the family. We started a tradition two Christmases ago (after we bought our house) of having an early get-together with the Wills before leaving town. Since then, it’s become a favorite tradition of mine to prepare for.

Now that we have a house with room for an actual dining table, I’ve been more inclined to cook big meals for our family and have them over for get-togethers. Who knew it was quite a production? Cooking until 5am the night wore me out, but it was worth it.

Ryan has a big family with different tastes. While I grew up eating lechon, pancit, fried rice, bangus, and any other salty/fatty Filipino dish under the sun, Ryan didn’t. I am slowly easing him into such dishes and accustom his palette to the cuisine that tastes like home to me, but for the sake of his whole family, I thought I go outside both our boxes and try something different.

Here is what was prepared:


[Plates: Courtesy of my mom, they were wedding gifts to her and my dad almost 30 years ago! Menu template: Found on Etsy, through PaperAndPartyLove]


It took some time for me to narrow down easy, yet wholesome recipes that would please everyone’s tastes. On top of creating a grocery list and making sure no one interrupted my kitchen, I’d say it was worth the sheer exhaustion I had after everyone had eaten and presents were opened.

I really have to thank Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, for her recipes. As much as I would love to have her kitchen, four well-behaved kids, hounds and a huge farm in Oklahoma… my small  ‘burb life in Bremerton will work for now 😉 She’s kind of my go-to when it comes to making food for others, especially my picky husband. While most of it isn’t paleo/clean/super healthy, it’s ok–it’s Christmas!

Broccoli & Wild Rice Casserole \\ A little twist on traditional casseroles. I also managed to sneak in mushrooms and didn’t have to use and cream of something soup. Simple ingredients, big taste.

Cornbread Stuffing \\ Stovetop can just quit now. This is too easy to make and doesn’t have all the extra nasty sodium. Making cornbread from scratch is also a cinch!

Whiskey-Glazed Carrots \\ A complete hit. My Filipino kin isn’t really keen on sweets with dinner. We never understood why people ate marshmallow yams or cranberry anything with their dinners! But this was a great balance of flavor and was a HIT side dish. I felt like a badass splashing in some Jack into a skillet. I also knocked back a couple shots while cooking 😉

Turkey \\ Compliments of a guy I found on Google years ago who has probably cooked more turkey in his life than anyone else in existence. Butter-massaging, ftw!

As for dessert, my sweet mother-in-law made a delicious strawberry trifle. I’ll have to have her guest-blog sometime. Until then, check out her cake business 🙂

Lastly, I found time to whip up peppermint fudge and a pumpkin pie, Sara’s Silky Pumpkin Pie, to be exact. If you know Ryan, you know he loves Costco pumpkin pie more than he loves me. Any other pie is mediocre and untouchable. HOWEVER, I found this gem from a Good Housekeeping magazine I perused while making coffee at the office. The family annihilated it! The key ingredient to both my EASY desserts: sweetened condensed milk.

So now that I’m hungry after writing this, I’m going to go eat an unfulfilling salad and dream up the next family dinner menu.