Friday, July 13, 2018

stuffed peppers [we cook!]

I decided to switch it up a little and post about a meal that we made recently. We have had our fair share of stuffed peppers in the past and they never turned out well. In true Buckus form, we decided to give them a THIRD try! (because we can never fully commit to saying that we don't like something...) Determined to find a recipe that we liked and one that cooked well, we stumbled upon this recipe and decided to give it a try.

I followed the linked recipe to a T and so I don't want to pretend that this is my own. This was really just an opportunity for me to get my camera out and have some fun in the kitchen with Cade. He helped to do a lot of the photographing when I was cooking and vice versa. 

Without further ado, enjoy our little stuffed peppers adventure! 

Oh, did I mention that this recipe is Keto friendly?! Cause it is. 

Gotta get those peppers good and cleaned out! 

Cauliflower in place of rice! If you haven't had cauliflower as a rice replacement then I would strongly suggest trying it. It's really not that bad at all! 

Also, side note - make sure to cut up all your veggies before you cut up the meats. And even then, I usually cut the chicken last since it's all gross and yucky and can give you diseases. No one wants that... I think.

Also, it's very important to have a cute pup in the kitchen as moral support. He's also willing to do taste tests when necessary. Great dog, will be inviting back.

Sizzle up that meat first and then add the veggies! 

Then you take it from this ^^ to this vv.

Stuff them up nice and tight then you add the cheese! (Side note, I LOVE cheese. I've probably mentioned it before, but it's a big deal with me. So I applied a very, very liberal amount of cheese.)

When it's all said and done, you have to make sure that you take a picture of it on your plate. It's sort of an unwritten rule, but absolutely the most important. 

And now... are you ready for our final synopsis?!

These stuffed peppers were DELICIOUS! I believe in stuffed peppers again and we will definitely be making these a staple in the kitchen. Step aside all other stuffed peppers... these are the real deal.

Have a great weekend everybody! Thanks for reading along in our silly kitchen adventures. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

the diving board.

I recently finished reading Big Magic and boy is it truly life-changing. I'll talk more about it in my July book recap but while reading I remembered something and wanted to share it with whoever will listen... The memory came back to me in a quick spurt and then left me thinking about it until... well, now! The whole ordeal took place over a span of maybe five minutes from a summer years and years and years ago but during the time, it felt like it took at least a few hours (relativity, I tell ya!).

I can't tell you exactly how old I was, but I know I was somewhere between 9 and 12. It was in the deep depths of summertime and I was in Louisiana just as I often was during my summers growing up. The whole family loaded what we needed in the back of the car and we drove off to camp. It was a weekend filled to the brim with fun and I wish I could remember more details from it. (*side note* I've already decided that I will force writing upon my future children. I don't care how naive that sounds... it's something that I wish I would've done more of as a child (regretfully, my parents also bought me many diaries and journals to write in... I did not heed their advice)). Anyway, it was deep in summer and we all changed into our bathing suits and made our way to the seemingly gigantic swimming pool. It was "L" shaped with the deep end and shallow end perpendicular to each other. The swimming pool was equipped with two diving boards, a low one and to my nervous excitement, a very high diving board. I already knew how to swim above water at the time and my dad was teaching me how to properly hold my breath underwater so that I could accomplish swimming both above and below the water.  

While swimming with my brother and sisters, I watched as my dad climbed the dozen or so steps to the top of the high diving board. While at the top he waved to us and then we all watched him jump into a free fall towards the deep end below. It was enthralling! He went from waving, to jumping, to splashing, to being right back in front of me within seconds. It was an entire experience and even an adventure to me. One that had me horrified at the thought of. But, before I knew it, there I was... Climbing those same steps. I got to the top and was immediately filled with regret over my decision. I looked at my dad who now appeared to me miles and miles away and then yelled as loud as I could that I didn't want to do it and that I was going to come back down. I remember very clearly, to this day, my dad looking at me and telling me to remember what he said about holding my breath and to jump. He'd be waiting there at the bottom for me. I turned around to climb back down and to my surprise, there were at least 10 people either waiting on the steps of the diving board, or formed in the line at the bottom all wanting to be where I was. I nervously turned back around towards the pool and with my best, pitiful little girl face I looked at my dad and then the lifeguard. My reaction was fearfully screaming for someone to help get me out of this... Within no time, I had at least half of the crowds attention in the pool, waiting in anticipation to see what I was going to do... If I remember correctly, I think there might have even been some cheering from those strangers. If anyone was annoyed then they surely didn't show it... I walked back to the edge of the diving board and looked down at the water below. My dad, wading in the water and still reassuring me that he'd be right there and reminding me to plug my nose. 

"Just jump, nae!" 

1... plug my nose 2... squeeze my eyes closed 3... deep breath 

I did it. I jumped! 

I jumped and then while under the water I opened my eyes and could see how deep I was... I shot back up to the top and swam over to my dad. It was terrifying and rewarding. I accomplished something in that moment that felt unachievable. I still remember this like it happened just last week. Those are the types of memories that stick with you and this one in particular still brings a heavy smile to my face from a moment of risk followed by celebration.

I want to bottle it up and keep that sensation of pure excitement when I do something I didn't think I could do. Sometimes I think that there's no longer the innocence in taking certain risks where you can't celebrate as much since being an adult is unanimous with maturity, but why would we stop?

Some celebrations are to be expected (getting married, buying a house, having a baby), but we should also remember to celebrate the small victories.

It looks high, and sometimes the water doesn't always look as soft as it is when you're in it... But you plug your nose, squeeze your eyes closed and you jump. Just don't forget to have a moment underwater where you open your eyes and take in what you're accomplishing as the moment is happening. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

june book recap [100 words or less]

Hello, hello! I really can't believe we're already halfway through 2018. I'm currently reading my 29th book of the year and I've gotta say... I'm pretty proud of myself! I've always loved reading, but I never made it a true hobby. Now it's all I want to do in my spare time! 29 down, and maybe another 29 by the end of the year?! We'll see! 

In June I read: 

The Lying Game

After Anna
The Outsider
Something in the Water
The Nightingale

The Lying Game

Thea, Kate, Isa and Fatima were four girls who went to school together at Salten House. Seventeen years later they are grown women who've left the past where it belongs... in the past. That is, until the past comes to them. 

I liked this book as a general story. I did not, however, like this book as a thriller at all. In my own personal opinion, this book would have had stellar reviews across the board if they listed it as general fiction instead of suspense/thriller. The "crime" or issue at hand that causes this to draw suspense is something that I found to be boring and not even remotely close to as big of a deal as they made it out to be. This is the third Ruth Ware book I've read and I know that she has it in her! The writing is phenomenal and the characters are satisfying to read about. 

After Anna

Maggie has always wanted to be a mom… A mom to a daughter, no less. Her daughter. So when Anna reaches out after nearly 17 years of no communication, Maggie will do whatever it takes to keep her daughter in her life now.

This book started out very slow and often made me think “where is the story?”…but then there was a plot twist so un-predictable (to me, at least) that it immediately became obvious where this story has been. I wouldn’t say it’s a favorite book, but I definitely do not regret listening to it.

The Outsider

A young boy, Frank Peterson, has been murdered … Detective Ralph Anderson has this one in the bag. There are multiple eye witnesses who put Terry Maitland as the suspect. They know him well since he’s the town’s favorite coach! But Terry has an alibi... a very, very tight and confirmed alibi… Can he be at two places at once? 

The good: the first half of the book is phenomenal! It’s suspenseful, quizzical and the story keeps your attention so well. It started off at 5 out of 5 stars – amazing! But then it went downhill, and it went downhill fast. They introduce a character, Holly, and I sadly had to force myself to finish it. It's hard to really emphasize how disappointing this book became. King's work will live on for centuries and centuries but anyone who says this is his "best work" must've stopped reading after the halfway point and called it a novel. I really can't believe the praises. 

Something in the Water

Erin and Mark are married and enjoying their honeymoon on the beautiful island of Bora Bora. Living life slow with the occasional adventure they decide to go deep sea diving. But their plans change when they find something in the water…

This is Catherine Steadman’s first book… and I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t read it myself. Her writing strikes a fine balance of not over promising the story or lulling. It builds at a steady pace and then goes out with a bang! I can't wait to see what more she has to offer to the literary world. I became a fan after this read for certain! 

The Nightingale

Vianne and Isabelle are sisters with two completely different personalities. They are forced to find their own way through a Nazi occupied France during WWII. Isabelle is rebellious and very much a risk taker. She will do whatever it takes to keep as many people safe and alive, even if it means risking her own life. Vianne is a mother to Sophie and a school teacher. Her husband, Antoine has just been sent to fight for the war. Vianne does not want to leave France, or her home... even when the German soldiers decide to live there. Read to unfold the miraculous story that is "The Nightingale".


The moment I finished it I was tempted to go back and skim through it AGAIN! Wow. Wow, wow, wow! Kristin Hannah took a gut wrenching time from our history and told it like she was there, first hand. The detail of the locations, the clothes, the breeze blowing through the garden. I saw it all and felt it. Truly magnificent! I fell in love with these characters. My entire body was layered with chills at certain parts and tears fell from my eyes a few times. This book is 550+ pages and I could've read another 550. Wow. Really. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

a weekend in pittsburgh

I wouldn't say that I do anything incessantly... I am a fairly moderate person when it comes to habits or "rituals" but if there had to be a "thing" that I do a little too much - it would be taking photographs and/or videos. Our weekend in Pittsburgh supported this claim tenfold in a way that I am still trying to comprehend. I woke up on Saturday morning and deleted THIRTY EIGHT photos/videos from the concert we went too and I still had a dozen too many. It's the monster inside of me that I can't seem to put to rest. So, this blog entry will primarily be photo's! Maybe this way I can delete a little more from my phone ;) 

When we arrived in Pittsburgh we immediately found a place to eat. Starvation had no place in our fun-filled weekend so it was a top priority. Luckily for us, we did some research beforehand and figured that Southern Tier Brewing would be a "must-go". So, to Southern Tier we went. After we ate we made our way to the park across the street which also housed a Mr Rogers Memorial Statue. 

When we'd had our fair share of the park and the views it had to offer, we made our way to the airbnb (sadly, I did not snap a single photo). After that, we went out to the Church Brew Works and then headed toward the venue where the concert was.

Now, listen. I'm going to be completely honest with you all because that's what I'm all about... honesty. I might have had one too many drinks on this special weekend-vacation-celebratory night. With that being said, by the time the concert was over it was bed time. And I don't mean, "oh I'm tired and going to head back to rest" bedtime... I mean "I'm a threat to myself and humanity if I don't become secluded in my own comfort zone" bedtime. That meant that our first night in Pittsburgh came to a halt. We hailed the Lyft and made our way back to our airbnb (still bummed I don't have pictures. It was beautiful!)

DAY 2: I woke up feeling every mistake I made the night before and as a good joke was once told, I required two breakfasts. Oh to be (not as) young (as I once was on these types of night).

On day two we played it smart - no drinking. Not even a sip... Not even a Bloody Mary or Mimosa. And I mean all day too, not just the early part. It's what my body required and I was ever so happy to oblige (for once).

PITTSBURGH ART. We visited the Mattress Factory as well as the Andy Warhol Museum.

The Mattress Factory was four floors of unique displays which took us about an hour to get through. Very neat and we'd highly recommend visiting if you're in the area.

This was the first exhibit in the MF and in my opinion, the neatest! These were real-life plant varieties under special, multicolored lights. It was extremely trippy and in some parts a little confusing... I have a picture down below of the lights to give you a better idea. Very cool though! 

Not the best picture, but you get the idea. ^^

The walls were covered in this metallic lining that moved around with the air flow... Even standing perfectly still your body would be constantly moving all wonky.

And now, onto the Warhol Museum! This was seven floors and probably took us the better part of 2.5 hours.

This room was by far the best part of my day. I believe it was called "Silver Clouds" and I felt like a kid again. These big silver balloons just float throughout the room thanks to a little bit of helium and some constantly blowing fans. 

There you have it! Our quick, fun-filled weekend trip to Pittsburgh. Obviously there is still SO much more we want to see and explore so hopefully our next trip is sooner, rather than later. With it only being 2 hours away there's not many excuses to wait :) 

Thanks for reading along and I hope you're having a great summer!