La Jolla

Brian and I got to spend several days in in California last week since I was on spring break. It was fabulous. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I want to live in CALIFORNIA. I love everything about it. I'm thankful that my parents have had this opportunity to live there for so long- this was my third trip out to visit! Hopefully it won't be my last. On Sunday we drove two hours south to La Jolla. It was absolutely gorgeous. Here are some pictures from my "real" camera.. I posted a ton from the trip already on instagram. 
 Sea lions!

This was one of the most beautiful places I have visited. I would go back again in a heartbeat! 

we have a niece!!

I still can't believe it. Everyone was certain Joy Lynne and Chris were going to have another boy! They didn't find out the gender this time around, and the surprise was SO MUCH FUN. I screamed and dropped my phone in the kitchen when I read Chris's text, "SHE'S here! Madeleine Elaine Ann!"

She was born around 10:10 last Tuesday night, April 2nd which also happens to be Joy Lynne's birthday! How fun to share a birthday with your daughter! 
Brian and I were ready to jump in the car and go to the hospital as soon as she was born, but hospital regulations didn't allow for visitors until two hours after delivery. So I talked Brian into both of us stopping at the hospital to meet little Madeline before work on Wednesday morning. We arrived with coffee and bagels for Joy Lynne and Chris, and got to meet our sweet little niece!
I was fifteen minutes late to work that morning, but I didn't care. I was on a little "baby high." :) 
Bring on the ruffles and bows and dolls and all things girly! Hooray for baby girls! It's just so exciting! 

gluten free scone recipe!

Ever since I found out back in October that I had a gluten allergy (along with other food sensitivities), I have remained gluten free. I can't believe it's been six months! It's been difficult at times (mostly when tempted with cake!), but overall, it's really easy to follow because I see such a huge improvement in my health. I no longer feel utterly and completely exhausted through out the day, I don't get headaches every afternoon, and I don't feel like I'm constantly in a fog. 

Along with the gluten allergy, I have sensitivities to egg yolk, soy, sunflower, canola, quinoa, and safflower (among others). Unfortunately, most GF baked goods contain at least one of these ingredients. I have been determined to continue baking since I love it so much. But I have also been determined to not let my baked goods suffer in taste. After all, what's the point of baking if it doesn't taste good? 

I hadn't had a scone in at least six months, but a couple of weekends ago, I decided it was time to try a new recipe. 

Lemon Cranberry Gluten-free Scones {adapted from Gluten-free Gourmand}

Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together in a large bowl:
2 cups all-purpose GF flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (if it's not included in your GF four mix)

Cut into pieces and drop in:
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter with a pastry blender, coating the pieces with flour as you go, until the largest pieces of butter are pea-sized. Keep this mixture cold, chilling in the refrigerator if the butter starts to soften.

Stir in:
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Whisk together in a separate bowl:
3/4 cup coconut milk
3 TB egg whites
2 tsp lemon zest

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until the mixture starts to hold together, then gently knead the dough a few times with your hands. Depending on your flour mix, the dough may be very sticky. While this makes it difficult to handle, it is okay.

Put the dough on a baking sheet. Gently push the dough into a flat disk about one inch high. Cut into eight equal pieces and arrange them on a baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 TB milk

Mix together and spread on top of warm scones.

*You can add 1/2 cup chopped nuts to the dough, switch out the dried fruit, or use any zest you prefer. I was surprised with how much I loved the lemon-cranberry flavors together!

Easter weekend

Spring is a rejuvenating season. I love updating our home decor to fit the season. Nothing major, just little changes to make everything feel fresh. 

I had a three day weekend over Easter weekend, so I invited Natalie to come for a visit. It was the perfect time to work on making wedding reception decorations! We also hit the mall not once but twice. We always have fun shopping together. I asked her if she was going to set her alarm on Saturday morning, but she requested that I let Toby in her room to wake her up. It's really the best way to wake up! 
We spent all day on Saturday watching Gilmore Girls, cutting fabric, and sewing. 
When I found out she was coming for Easter, I decided to make surprise Easter baskets for everyone! It was so fun putting them together.
I couldn't leave Toby out! He loves that stuffed bunny. It's so big, it drags on the floor when he carries it around. 

We went to church and then came back for a big lunch with Brian's parents, the Gosey's, and Brian's brother, Evan. I didn't get a group picture, but it was fun to enjoy a meal together! 
We usually get comments from people that we look nothing alike, but we thought in this picture, we actually looked pretty similar! Almost like sisters! :) Thanks for making the trip to visit, Natalie!