3/28/16

Easter 2016

Do you ever have those days where you are just unbelievably happy? 
That was definitely yesterday.

Mostly because it was Easter, and I love remembering the Savior.
But partially because yesterday was the first time I haven’t counted calories or watched what I ate and had TREATS in almost two weeks.
(Which is definitely a record for me!)

Hunter and I went and did baptisms on Saturday morning.
It was busy, but we had lots of time to think, reflect, and read my favorite book.
And we ran into a sweet friend!
We honestly haven’t gone in a while, and it felt sooo good to be back.
I’m hoping to do baptisms once a week until my endowments!
If you want to join me, LET ME KNOW!


Anyways, the temple really set the mood for Easter. I hadn’t really been feeling the “Easter spirit” and actually forgot it was Easter weekend until Thursday.

Sunday was perfect though.
Hunter’s dad was speaking in sacrament, Hunter’s little brother was playing piano for a youth song, and Hunter’s mom was giving a lesson in Young Women’s, so we went to the family ward. It was perfect and they all did amazing!

I really just felt the spirit so strongly in every hour of church. I love when I have to hold back tears because I’m just so happy and feel so loved.

Hunter got me a fun Easter basket with a book I’ve been wanting to read: The Infinite Atonement. I’ve only read a page but it already amazing! I love that my church book collection has been growing. I got Hunt a healthy treats basket filled with Kind Granola bars, beef jerky, almonds, a workout shirt, Star Wars thermos, and fresh new socks. He loved it! Camille also got me a sweet Easter basket filled with lots of goodies.


We had a wonderful Easter dinner with Hunter’s family, then afterwards we went to my parents house for Korean food and birthday cake for my sweet niece who turned 13. She’s basically the niece/daughter everyone wants to have. She is crafty, pretty, sweet, smart, silly, generous, and creative!

It was just the perfect day, and I think my favorite Easter so far.  
I don’t need dyed eggs, or Easter egg hunts or gifts,
 I just need my family and my Savior.
The older I get, the more I realize that those two things are the most important aspects of my life.

 & I am perfectly happy with that.

I am in awe that Jesus Christ loves each and everyone of us soo much, that he was willing to die for us. He was willing to give up his life, so we could have ours. Not just for this life, but for eternity. Now that I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I more fully understand my purpose in this life. I know where I belong, which is with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for eternity. Every single day I have the opportunity to come closer to Him, and be more like Him. I am NOT perfect, but each day I can be a little bit better. Because of Him, we all can be perfected and live together forever! 

What a wonderful thing to know :)


Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all had an amazing day!

3/21/16

20 Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals



I posted this picture on Sunday with 20 freezer meals I made for less than $200 dollars! A few of you had asked for more information, so here it is. I bought the meal plan from here. and I am SO in love! I wanted to share a few of my tips for those who are interested. Make sure you read ALL the way to the end, so you can avoid making some mistakes that I did and get more information regarding this whole process! I am so excited about this and so excited to share this with you guys. :) So here are my tips after my first round of slow cooker meals!

1. Take inventory of what you have
I printed out the ingredients list and went through my pantry and fridge to see what I had and didn’t have. There’s nothing worse than starting and realizing you are missing cornstarch or a certain spice because you thought you had them! I ended up saving a bit because I didn’t have to buy a few things because I already had them. Also make sure you have ENOUGH of each spice. I ran out of chili powder and cumin about halfway through. It was sad.

2. Buying in bulk versus single items
If you look at the ingredient list for the warehouse, you’ll see the bulk prices, and down below how much of each item you’ll have extra. I bought almost all of my ingredients at Costco because I know I’ll use everything up, but some of you might not. For example, the bulk package of pineapple chunks at Costco is 8 cans for about 10 dollars. You only end up using 3, so you’ll have 5 extra. It might be cheaper to just pick up 3 cans on pineapples at Fry’s or Albertsons, and save that extra money if you don’t see yourself using those afterwards. There are a few items like that so take a look at the list to see what’s more beneficial to buy in bulk versus just buying single items.

3. Clean out your freezer before you start
20 gallon sized bags of food takes up a ton of space! I deep cleaned my freezer before I even started prepping. I got rid of a ton of old expired foods, and things I just knew I wouldn’t eat. Clean it out and make room before you start, because it will be so annoying afterwards when you have a huge mess and have to make even more mess by taking stuff out of your freezer.

4. Buy bags + liners
I bought a ton of gallon FREEZER bags from Costco. They were on sale so they ended up being pretty cheap for over 100. Don’t forget to buy some! And also these slow cooker liners. I LOVE THESE. You line your Crockpot with them, so the cleanup is easier. No more having to scrub that huge pot thing in the sink. It’s a dream. Also it is sooo much cheaper if you buy this brand on Amazon versus the Reynolds at a store. This pack comes with 25 for $10.99 and at the store the Reynolds ones were almost a dollar each liner (which really isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things) but hey I’d rather pay 44 cents each!

5. Plan for 3-4 hours
Erin Chase (the maker of the meal plans) advised that you can get this done in less than 2 hours, and even has a video where she does it. Well, both Hunter and I were working on this, and it took almost 3 hours plus another hour to clean up. (I made a HUGEE mess). It might be because we aren’t frequently in the kitchen, but it took us a while to do it all. Plan for a time when you have a good 3-4 hours so you aren’t rushed! We started at 9:30am and planned to go to Hunter’s ward at 12 and we ended up having to go to my warm at 1:30pm because there just wasn’t time. Even though it took a while, I am soooo happy with the results and it’s worth every minute you spend! Also I bought the groceries on Saturday and prepped on Sunday because cramming all of it in one day will make you crazy and exhausted.

6. Take out all the ingredients before you start
Make sure you have enough room on your counter for TONS of bowls (I seriously had like 10+ bowls on the counter. I split everything up to make it easier (diced mushrooms were in a separate bowl than sliced mushrooms) but make sure you have enough room to chop and slice and wash. It was soo much easier to have all the cans, produce, spices, etc. already on the counter so I didn’t have to run to the pantry or open the fridge or freezer.

7. READ THE DIRECTIONS!
There are A LOT of steps, and A LOT of ingredients, and A LOT of bags. Read the assembly directions veryyyy carefully. There will be times when you have to make a sauce in a bowl before you throw it in the bag. I made the mistake of not reading and ended up thinking I had extra ground beef when really it needed to go into 2 more bags. Then I had to go back and take some out of the others bags and it was just really annoying. Save yourself the frustration and READ EVERY DETAIL before you start. Double check, and triple check that you are on the right recipe, and the right ingredient, and the right amount.

8. HAVE FUN!
I realize that this post is long and has tons of details that might not make sense. I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of work! But I can assure you that it was worth every single second! I am sooo happy that it took me 10 minutes to “make” dinner today. We’ve only had one of the recipes so far, but oh my goodness, it was delicioussssss. Celebrate when you are done, because it’s such a great feeling! I kept track of how much everything was, which made it almost like a game for me. I got down to $2.19 a serving, how cheap can you make these meals?! $175 dollars for 80 servings of food (each bag is worth 4 servings). You seriously can’t go wrong with that. Hunter and I plan on eating these mostly during the week when we don’t have time to cook. We’ll also eat at his parent’s house some days, so we just plan it out when we’ll need the meals. We also have each brought 1 container for lunch, and saved the other 2 servings for dinner. So basically we have lunch and dinner for the whole month. IT’S AMAZING AND I’M SUCH AN ADVOCATE! Try it and tell me how you like it!

Disclaimers:
- I haven’t tried all the recipes yet, but I will probably make a long post with reviews and extra trips for the second time around. The one that I've tried so far was AMAZING, so I am hoping the other recipes are the same!
-You might need to be liberal with spices. The tikka masala we made was good, but when we added some extra salt and pepper and masala spice AFTER it was done, it was 1000X’s better. The water you add or the juices from the meat can water down the flavor, so if it doesn’t taste the way you want, just add some extra spices or seasonings, or sauce and you’ll be good to go.

Now, I’m pretty sure I can’t post the entire document because I paid for it and there’s some sort of privacy policy type of thing (I’m not really sure if there is or not, I checked the website and didn’t find anything, but I don’t want to get into any trouble for posting it online, so pleaseeeeee email me at ericakwu@gmail.com for more information regarding this;) And also email me with any questions during or after the process! I’m seriously not a pro AT ALL, but sometimes it’s helpful to have someone you can ask questions to who has gone through the process. Also tell me how you like the recipes, the process, or any additions or suggestions for the meals.

Welll, thanks so much for reading this! I will hopefully be able to get back to you within 24-48 hours. 

HAPPY MONDAY!

3/18/16

MARCH FAVORITES

{March 2016}

I'm seriously SOOO in love with this water bottle! It's the best one I've found. I love that top folds down and pops out, and you suck through it like a straw! I always spill when I try to drink out of the really huge mouth ones (ask Hunter!). It stays cold for a while, and doesn't spill if you toss it into a bag, backpack, car, purse, or whatever! I literally use it every day of the week. I highly recommend it. 15 bucks for a water bottle seems like a bit much, but it's worth every cent. I've saved tons of money (and helped the planet) but using a reusable water bottle.

2. GoPro
Hunter totally surprised me and for Valentine's Day bought me a GoPro! I am especially excited to use it on our honeymoon to Mexico, but I'm finding some good use for it now too. It's super small and easy to carry around, I control it with my iPhone which is nice and handy. I bought a cheap accessory kit on Amazon that literally had 15 pieces in it. We've been able to take some awesome selfies and landscape pictures. I can't wait to use it while we're in action! We just went with a basic one since in the past I haven't been huge into video. I'm definitely getting into it more though and will be practicing editing and whatnot. Any tips would be appreciated ;)
I briefly mentioned this place in my post about Spring Break. Hunter lovesss guitar, Fender to be exact. I found out about it online and knew I had to take Hunter. I had been planning on taking him the next time we went to California (it's in Corona) and we decided on Spring Break that we would go. Hunter had zeroooo idea where we were going. He was SO happy when I let him come out of the car and open his eyes!! I love surprising him. Anyways, it's pretty neat and I'm not musical at all! We paid to go on a tour of the entire facility where we saw guitars getting made. It's an awesome process and I have a ton more appreciate for Hunter's guitar. I loved seeing him around something he loves. He got to jam out a bit with a ton of cool guitars! If you're in the area, I highly recommend going. We also got some stuff from the shop area!

Sooo the wedding is coming up and we'll be spending time lounging around in our swimsuits for our honeymoon, so ya know that means SHREDDIN' FOR THE WEDDIN'. This app helps us soo much! We log what we eat, weigh-ins, exercise we do, and it allows you to set reasonable goals and track your progress. If you add a friend, you can see their progress too! It's fun to have Hunter comment on my activity saying he's proud of me ;) It helps keep us accountable and it's totally free in the App Store! 

I honestly have no idea how I found out about this site. I think it was on my Instagram or something. Anyways, I've ordered a couple things from there over the months, and I love them! My favorite purchase has been this dress though. It's comfy, cute, and is long enough for me to feel modest. It's a wonderful Spring dress and I've already worn it a million times. Their shipping is quick and FREE, and they do returns as well. Check their Instagram for promotions + sales! Here's a picture of me wearing the dress on the beach!

Aaaand that wraps up my March favorites! 
Stay tuned next month for some of my April goodies :)


Spring Break 2016

We had the best Spring break EVERR.
It was exactly what we needed and filled with so much happiness and fun!

Here are some of the highlights:
+fun photoshoots
+my cute nephew + family 
+yummy smoothies
+sunset cliffs
+laying out on the beach
+went to the cutest ward (church) for sacrament
+uno and other card games (that I dominated at)
+creme brulee, cookies, and other goodies
+outlet shopping
+yummy breakfast in Coronado
+fender guitar factory tour
+lots of love & snuggles

Tuesday morning was not very fun. I had to work and go to school from 7:30am-9pm. 
Boo.

Our next vacation will probably be in May, and then our honeymoon in June.
I'm so excited!