Sep 24, 2018

Update on the Land(s)

Well, I am hoping to clear up some confusion about recent posts on instagram regarding our current land situation and catch up on the last year since writing this post about putting the house building on hold and pursing a different dream.

I posted something on my stories a while back when we were out walking around some land and mentioned that it would be our future driveway. Then the messages started pouring in asking what was going on and realized I hadn't shared about anything that's happened in over a year. Oops. Sorry, didn't mean to leave you guys hanging, there's just been a lot happen since then and it's hard to share those snippets on instagram - too much to tell. So here we go.

First time driving around the new land.

I'm going to try to condense everything to make it quick.

First, update on Eric's job as a Land Agent.

He loves it and it's the perfect fit. His office is the outdoors and I couldn't be happier for him. Don't get me wrong, the first 4 months were super had as we all had to adjust to a whole new way of life.  Our routines were tossed out the door and the financial burden of starting a new business, ugh - it was all so much and so fast. I cried. A lot. But it didn't kill us and any dream worth chasing is worth walking, crawling and fighting through the hard times. It's now been over a year since we took that leap of faith and God has been so, so good to us. Good beyond anything I could have imagined!

We recently decided to walk through another open door where he left the agency he was with to start his own Land real estate company, "Zellers Land & Home"! Pretty sure he's a 3 on the enneagram because he is so brave, confident and just goes after things! I'm so proud of him and excited for this new opportunity and I'm learning to just throw my hands up and enjoy the wild ride of it all.

Next, the land.
Well, first things first, we are not building on "Our Land" after all. We still have it and love it but will not be moving there. And I'm actually pretty okay with it.


Because next up, we bought new land.

Crazy, right. I won't go into a whole lot of details but it was a total answer to prayer. Eric's high school buddy mentioned he saw some land for sale, Eric looked at, his crazy engineering brain started whizzing and before I knew it, we were the proud owners. It was originally 80 but he split some of it up and we'll actually build on 20 of it and sell the other tracts. I mean, it's just crazy even typing that. Our Pond Land, is just under 12. You guys. Go back to my 2013 post when we first bought the land.

It is CRAZY to look back over the last 5 years. 5 years of dreaming big, saying yes, WAITING, walking through doors, taking new risks, saying yes, WAITING, putting dreams on hold while dreaming new dreams, WAITING, saying yes and you guys, maybe this time we'll actually build on some land. haha. We're actually going out next week to lay out where the house will go! This new land, you guys, it's so beautiful. I'll share more as we move forward but wanted to let you know what's going on.

So far we have cleared all tracts, cleared the area for the road, had rocks brought in for the road and asphalt millings put down. The waterline is happening now and next up clear the home site. A lot can happen in a year. haha

And a lot can happen when you choose one little word for your year. Read where it all began here.

As for our Pond Land, we'll likely sell it as we get closer to building. It will be bittersweet, I'm sure but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Next up, I'll update you why I closed my Etsy shop and didn't tell anyone.

Apr 25, 2018

Instant Pot Quinoa Bowls 6 Ways

Happy Wednesday, friends!

I've been making these tasty quinoa bowls the last couple of weeks and shared some on instagram (@lesleyzellers) and recieved several requests to share the recipes, so here goes.

First off, I make quinoa in my Instant Pot. Most of you know my love for my IP but for those new to this blog, an Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker.

What does that mean? I'm not sure but for me it's like a speedy crock pot or sorts. It can cook just about anything, oatmeal, meat, pasta meals and the easiest peeling hard boiled eggs ever - but fast. I use it weekly, if not daily.

So when I found this recipe for "1 minute quinoa" in the Instant Pot I had to try it. I will never make quinoa any other way. I like Trader Joe's Organic Tricolor Quinoa. Granted, the "1-minute quinoa"  takes more like 12-15 from start to finish because you let it depressurize for 10 minutes but it only cooks for 1 minute it's SO easy and the quinoa comes out perfect every time.

I use bone broth to make my quinoa - yet another thing I make in the Instant Pot ;) Seriously, as I type this, I have a batch of bone broth cooking away. I also like to add fresh herbs from the garden to pack in a few more nutrients and flavor. The recipe I use calls for 2 cups of quinoa, but after making it once and having 8 cups of quinoa to eat for a week, I now half the recipe.

So what do you do with 8 cups of cooked quinoa? Make all the quinoa bowls you can think of before it goes bad. These are quick bowls I made with ingredients I had in the fridge.

Now the recipes, which aren't really recipes, just the quinoa topped with different meats, veggies and cheeses. I found by making little changes meals because totally different and I was able to prep several for quick lunches for the week. Just assemble, put in microwave safe containers and microwave when ready to eat.  

First is a breakfast quinoa bowl but also works great for lunch.

1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed broccoli and spinach
2 Tbls reduced fat feta
fried egg over easy
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for a kick

1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed zucchini, onion and spinach
2 Tbls reduced fat feta
1/4 cup shredded carnitas
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for a kick

1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed spinach
1/2 chopped avocado
1/4 cup shredded carnitas
2 Tbls homemade queso
salt, pepper and fresh salsa

1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed spinach
1/2 Cup roasted beet slices
1/4 cup shredded carnitas
2 Tbls reduced fat feta
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed spinach
1/4 Cup chopped tomatoes
sliced globe onion
2 Tbls tzaziki sauce (I used Trader Joe's prepared sauce)
2 slices cooked gyro meat (again, Trader Joe's to the rescue)
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 sliced avocado
sliced green onion, white and green parts
1/2 cup buffalo chicken (I pan simmered cooked chicken in Frank's Red Hot Sauce for about 5 minutes)
2 Tbls "dump ranch" (recipe here)
salt and pepper to taste

There are SO many more ways to change up the quinoa and I'd love to hear from you on what your favorites are. Or even your favorite ways to eat quinoa? For more instant post inspiration check out my pinterest board: Instant Pot Recipes.

Mar 26, 2018

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette

About this time of year I get a lot of questions about what my favorite salad dressings are so I'll be sharing some I like over the next couple of weeks.

Today I'm sharing my favorite balsamic vinaigrette recipe. It's quick, easy and my go-to for nearly any salad.

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons canola oil, or avocado oil
1 tablespoon spicy mustard (I like Jack Daniel's no.7)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs, I like basil, oregano and chives (if using dry, use about 1-2 teaspoons)
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake to mix. Drizzle of you favorite salad or pizza. Trust me, it's really good on pizza. Refrigerate any leftovers.