We’re Engaged!!

What a crazy, amazing, love-filled few weeks it has been! On April 25th, 2017 I said yes to the love of my life. We have not stopped smiling since! We are so grateful to everyone who has been so supportive, excited, and happy with us. Every text, phone call, like, comment, hug, etc has been SO appreciated and this exciting time wouldn’t be half as fun without being able to share it with our friends and family. Since we have so many special people in our lives that live all over, we haven’t had the chance to see and share the full story with everyone. But oh hey, I have a blog! I figure this is as good a place as any to share the details and pictures of our engagement with our friends and family near and far until we get to see you soon, we hope!

The beginning of dating, August 2012

How We Met 

Jono and I met in college at the Belk Library when I was a sophomore and he was a recently transferred junior. We had biology 1801 together and became friends while studying. He kicked my butt on tests, taught me the Kreb Cycle, and I immediately had a secret crush. We were friends for two years before we started officially dating in October 2012, the beginning of our final year at App. He asked me out while looking at stars on his front porch swing & listening to Hootie and the Blowfish Pandora. After graduation, we did 8 months long distance until I couldn’t stand it any longer and moved to Asheville where he had gotten a job and I had applied for my dietetic internship. We have been here ever since (over 3 years now) and are so happy with the life we have built and amazing friends we have made! We are hoping to get married in this beautiful, fun, mountain town that we are so in love with.

The Engagement

Apparently I messed this one up a few times  But finally on a random Tuesday, on the way out of the gym, I noticed the bright blue sky and the wispy clouds and said “The sky looks cool, we should go see the sunset!” Jono, a little too enthusiastically, said “YES, let’s do that!” Not noticing much, I get in the car and look up the time of sunset and start rambling off places we could go to see it. Little did I know, he already knew the sunset times for the whole week and exactly where we were going. He had the whole thing planned out already for Wednesday but now, I had given him the perfect cover up to do it today because it was MY idea. So we go home “to change” (aka get the ring) and head out.

Sunsets are my absolute favorite thing in the whole world. There is nothing more beautiful, humbling, or peaceful to me. I decided awhile ago that my dream job would be a “sunset chaser”, photographing this phenomenon all over the world. (If anyone has any leads, let me know ) So the fact that Jono was telling me about this new place I had never been to before, was surprising. I thought we had already been to most of the good places around town. But he had found this new place not far from downtown, went and scoped it out already, and took me there with only a little bit of suspicion. We parked the truck and made it just in time. The sun started setting into an explosion of color and contrasting clouds but I missed the main event because at that point Jono whispered in my ear “Hey babe” and I turned around to him on his knee!! I honest to goodness have no idea what happened after that. I was in complete shock, despite the fact that I had been anticipating, wishing, waiting for this moment extensively for months. (Come on, we’ve been together 4.5 years!) We sat in the bed of the truck with the afterglow of this amazing sunset while he he told me the story of the ring, all the times he had planned that I ruined, took pictures, and tried to just soak it in despite our nerves going CRAZY.

So, not knowing what the heck you are supposed to do after one of the most important moments of your life, we of course… went to the bar. Ha! Is that the appropriate thing to do?? We had no idea, but in our defense, it was our favorite quiet and cozy cocktail lounge where the Mixologists know our drink orders as “the usual” and we have been enjoying for years. So it was really fun to be in a familiar place with these new aliases of FIANCE () that no one knew about but us. I couldn’t even muster up the words to tell our bartender who has been serving us together for years. “WE JUST GOT ENGAGED!!” is all I was thinking (actually screaming) in my head but to actually say it out loud just seemed way too surreal.

After that, we went home to our pups and started calling family! I called, facetimed, and texted our closest friends and family all day the next day (how does anyone actually get work done the day after?!) and the reactions were so special. All the responses just added so much more love in my heart that was already so so full. All my best girlfriend’s excitement was something I’ll never forget. That weekend we went to Louisville and celebrated with my family and my childhood best friends threw us the sweetest engagement party!

The Ring

It’s been 3 weeks and I literally am STILL so in awe of how insanely perfect my ring is. I had no idea what I wanted and somehow Jono turned that information into the absolute ring of my dreams.  Not only is it beautiful, unique, and sparkly () but it has soo much meaning to it. Jono had it custom designed by one of his friends, a fellow App State grad . He was able to design and choose what he wanted every step of the way and I truly don’t believe I could have done any better myself. Most of the stones in my ring were from Jono’s sweet Oma’s wedding ring who passed last June. Oma and Grandad were together for 40+ years and Grandad’s blessing to let Jono not only have the ring but then change it to fit “us” means more to me than I can express. I cry about it all the time! (Like now ). Not only that, but the two sapphires that begin the band on each side were also a part of her ring to represent their wedding anniversary, September…. which also happen to be both Jono and I’s birthstones, one for each of us. SO amazing! I am completely in awe and we both tend to just stop and stare at it frequently. Whenever I show it off I feel so obligated to tell the story because as beautiful as it is, the story makes it 10x more beautiful to me.

If you’re still here, then wow, thanks for sticking through all that! We are so beyond blessed and can’t wait for this new stage of life together. We have done absolutely zero wedding planning at this point but I see lots of spreadsheets and Pinterest boards in my near future. Please send all advice/ideas/insights (and hashtags) this way! I am a terrible decision maker and have significant FOBO (fear of better options) so this should be interesting. No date yet, but we’re thinking next fall of 2018. Plenty of time to not worry about it just yet and enjoy this time! We can’t wait to celebrate. Thanks again to everyone who has made us feel so special and loved now and since the very beginning 🙂

(( How cute is my mom?! ))

Homemade Ramen

Those 10 cent packages of ramen noodles are sooo college. We are adults now! Or at least, that’s what people keep telling me. I may have been forced into adulthood but I still eat ramen at least once a week. Fortunately, it is a MAJOR upgrade. This Homemade Ramen recipe is still inexpensive and so so easy to make, but is also much more nutritious and WAY more delicious!

Homemade Ramen - so simple, so delicious, and packed with veggies and topped with a runny yolk egg, this is a major upgrade from the ramen you lived off of in college! | Flexyourfork.com

I am not kidding when I say we make this once a week at my house. It takes 15 minutes, uses convenient ingredients that we always have on hand, and is seriously sooo good. Plus, you can put an egg on it. Anything that gives me an excuse to “put an egg on it” is my kinda meal. Soft boiled, over easy, hard boiled, semi scrambled… I’ve done it all with my ramen and it all works. (If this egg obsessed life is also your life, then I highly recommend you check out #putaneggonit on instagram… food porn for dayssss).

Speaking of…. this is me and my egg/ramen obsession in action last week.

Perrrrrfection! I only recently accomplished the soft boiled egg and have been obsessed ever since. The amount of joy I get from watching that gorgeous yoke spill out is embarrassing. I was super intimidated at first but come to find out, it’s not so hard! Big shout out to Ali at Gimme Some Oven who helped me over my fear with this blog post. 

Full of veggies and lacking that packet of sodium and MSG… there’s still major flavor and way more variety in every bite. Not only can you change up the veg, but you can add dumplings, rice cakes, tofu, avocado… Is it making sense why we make this ramen so much yet? Am I validated yet? It’s near impossible to get bored of. Our go-to is egg and a few of Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyozas– which I highly recommend. They are super delicious and easy- just throw into the broth and gently boil for a few minutes. Explore your local Asian market for all kinds of goodness to add. We buy our ramen noodles there instead of using the traditional curly noodles, but the 10 cent packages are fine- as long as you throw away the seasoning!

The ramen trend is in full force at our house with no intention of slowing down. I know there are plentyy of ways to make ramen and this one is probably a less authentic, more convenience version, so pleaase send me all your expert knowledge on all things noodles, veggies, and broth! Oh, and of course, any runny yolk food porn pics 

 

Print Recipe
Homemade Ramen
Homemade Ramen is so simple and so delicious, it will quickly become one of your favorite go-to recipes. Packed with veggies and topped with a runny egg, this is a major upgrade from the ramen you lived off of in college!
Course dinner, Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course dinner, Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat sesame oil (or olive oil) in a large pot over medium heat. (Boil water or heat separate pan for soft boiling/cooking any eggs at this time too.)
  2. Add minced garlic and ginger to the oil and stir to coat for a minute or two, cooking just until fragrant without browning.
  3. Add broccoli, carrots, and mushroom to the pot and stir to coat with the oil, garlic, and ginger. Let cook for 2-4 minutes.
  4. Add 4 cups of broth and 2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a slow rolling boil. Once boiling, let the veggies cook and flavors develop for about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add noodles and kale and let boil for just a few minutes, until cooked through. (Add dumplings, rice cakes, etc per instructions.)
  6. Finally, scoop lots of veggies and noodles into your serving bowl, ladle broth over top, and add all the toppings of your choosing! Enjoy!
Share this Recipe

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe

((Hey stranger! First blog post in awhile… it’s a good one!))

Sloppy Joes are a meat lovers dream… And now a flexitarian’s reality! One of my favorite nutrition education topics since I was in undergrad is how to “sneak in” more vegetables for picky kids. One of my tricks was a sloppy joe recipe change: Halve the ground beef called for and add finely diced bell peppers, zucchini, and onion for the extra bulk. Camouflaged in delicious sauce, the kids would be none the wiser. If sneaking in veggies isn’t a problem in your household then treat this as a salvage meal! Any veggies going bad at the end of the week, leftover lentils or quinoa, or any imperfect produce would find a happy home in between these two buns slathered in homemade sloppy joe sauce.

vegetarian-sloppy-joe

Dreamy right? And to answer your question- Yes, I am still totally vegetarian (picky pescetarian to be exact)… And that is NOT meat on that bun. Fooled ya, huh? It’s actually the miraculous goodness of MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles. (Is miraculous too strong a word?) I am blown away by the taste and texture of their imitation products even years after first trying them. That story: I worked for a Seventh-day Adventist hospital during my internship so the cafeteria served a lot of vegan/vegetarian options. One day at breakfast I chose a MorningStar Sausage Patty, sat down at my table, took a bite, and then abruptly stood back up and went back to the tray line to re-read the sign to make sure that this was actually vegetarian. Still unconvinced, I then googled the product to make extra sure. The taste and texture was just too real. But it was. And I was hooked.

Whole wheat bun, homemade sauce, and avocado top this bad boy off to make a childhood favorite a sustainable staple in your home. Homemade sauce because #highfructosecornsyrup in everythaaang. (Make sure to check the ingredient label on your ketchup or choose organic!) Avocado because #yummmmm. I honestly don’t even understand sloppy joe sans avocado these days-it was just too good of a combo to ever go back. And don’ttt leave out the sweet potato fries on the side!

vegetarian-sloppy-joe

Check out my next post to see what I’ve been up to since I last blogged! (Spoiler: puppy pictures are involved!)

vegetarian-sloppy-joe

Print Recipe
Vegetarian Sloppy Joe
MorningStar Meatless Crumbles, bell peppers, onion, homemade sauce, and avocado make this childhood classic into a sustainable and healthy staple.
Course lunch/dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Sloppy Joe Sauce
Other
Course lunch/dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Sloppy Joe Sauce
Other
Instructions
  1. 1. Combine all ingredient for the sauce into a bowl and stir until combined
  2. 2. Sautee onion and bell pepper with a greased pan over medium heat until tender
  3. 3. Remove veggies from pan, re-grease, and cook crumbles as directed on the package in same pan.
  4. 4. Add onion and bell pepper back into the pan with crumbles and turn down the heat to medium-low.
  5. 5. Add the sauce into the pan and fold together until combined and warmed through.
  6. 6. Toast the buns as desired, slice the avocado, and assemble sandwiches.
  7. 7. Don't forget a napkin (or five)- enjoy!
Share this Recipe