SIX new recipes. SIX!

Hey oh hey oh heyyy.

We're still alive and well here at the Bowen household. Life is busy busy busy and I just don't have much time or desire to document every single move we make- hense the radio silence over here.

But I couldn't not share with you all the yummy yummy recipes we have discovered lately! Seriously every  new thing we try is the bomb.com. You all probably already make all of these dishes, but just in case you don't: Enjoy! These are all Pinterest finds because lezbehonest- what else is Pinterest for??

Hawaiian Haystacks
- this has a thicker gravy AKA sauce than usual haystacks. Bart mocked the thickness, but it turned out so yummy!

Berry Salad with Goat Cheese
- we have made some really great stuff on Good Things Utah over the years, but this salad has to be on the top of my list! It was like Zupa's Nuts About Berry salad times a million. The Blueberry Goat Cheese was so creamy and the dressing was perfect. Probably the best salad I've ever had!! I can't wait to make this one at home

Homemade Bolognese Sauce
- I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to spaghetti sauce. Heat up a can of the cheap stuff and I won't complain. But this sauce might have changed my mind forever! The chef made it for zucchini noodles but it works on regular noodles too. Mckenzie loved it too and it was so easy to make!

Crockpot Zupa Toscano Soup
- We like making soup around here. Full of flavor, easy to make and it lasts for a few days and makes tasty leftovers! I asked Bart what kind of soup he wanted and this was his choice. It was pretty easy to find a recipe that we could switch out the half and half and use almond milk instead. There was no taste difference and it was still creamy.

Green Beans, Chicken and Potatoes
I already shared this link on my FB page and several people said they make this all the time. Where have I been?? It was SO good. Bart gave me *the look* when I told him we were going to have chicken and green beans. As soon as he took his first bite he gave back that look and ate the entire pan. We usually don't cook with butter and apparently we have been missing out all this time. It was so easy to make and we enjoyed every bite.

Mustard Balsamic Pork Chops
We had extra pork chops hanging out in the freezer that I wanted to use, but not with  my typical recipe. So I found this online and threw it together quickly after church last week. I really liked the flavor but Bart wasn't a huge fan of this one. The only complaint is that I followed the cooking directions exactly but they were too cooked and came out pretty dry. I think I'll try this again at some point and cook them differently. The flavor is tasty though and it's a lighter way to eat pork chops compared to our typical cream sauce.

Should we talk about how I just shared SIX recipes with you? I know, who am I?? I've started to cook more and more and I *gasp* I'm actually enjoying it! If you have any go-to recipes, I'm all ears!


3 things a retired hairstylist has to say

I just got home from getting a hair cut and you guys! I'm dying. I was a hairstylist for over 7 years and still consider myself one. Unfortuately I don't have a regular person who I can depend on to keep it trimmed which means I get to have a random person cut it each time. Luckily it always ends up OK but I couldn't help and make a mental note of advice/tips/complaints/COMMON SENSE/etc that I had for this girl. Since I'm not a crazy person I didn't say any of this to her face -even though I really wanted to- and to be honest I think she would be come so much better if she listened to me *angel face emoji*. If she had been effing it up I would have said something, but the haircut in the end turned out OK (not great, but I can work with it)

1. TALK TALK TALK. I'm not even asking for small talk, I get that not every hairstylist is chatty but girlfriend, you better be talking about my hair. She asked me how I wanted it cut and then didn't say more than 10 words the rest of the time.
No asking me how I styled my hair, no follow up questions, NOTHING.
I was dying.
She started parting my hair the wrong way and I had to correct her. She then starting cutting it with a very distinct part (that I don't have) and I didn't say much because you never know what kind of groove a hair stylist has. I know everyone has their own way of doing things. I know everyone has their own style and order of operations and all that, so I'm not going to jump in with my "assume I know what you're doing" attitude until it gets closer to the end. But really? It's so important to communicate with your client!
This girl had no idea if I straightened my hair or wore it natural. She didn't ask if I used product, if I styled it a certain way- nothing! At the very end I asked to borrow her comb so I could check it all out. I combed everything all back like a slicked-back guy hair cut and said "this is how I wear it" and haha jk jk'd right after and she didn't even blink *big eye emoji*. I about died right there.

2. Have a system. She cut three sections at the top of my head and then moved to the outline and then worked on the sides and HAS SHE CUT THE BACK YET?? She was all over the place and miraculously it all came out even in the end. I don't think I would have been so nervous (or even noticed) had she actually talked to me through the cut, but since it was radio silence all I had to do was study her style. She had some good techniques and I could tell she knew what she was doing, but it seemed like a hot mess. And seeming is just as scary sometimes!

3. Pick wet or dry. This kind of goes along with having a system. Either cut my hair 100% wet or keep it dry. Don't randomly spray water to just get a third of my hair wet and have everything else dry. Is it all starting to dry up on you? Wet it again! No one's hair is the same wet as it is dry. If you cut half of it kind of wet, a piece of it really wet and then a big chunk of it mostly dry you're going to get out of there with an uneven and crappy looking cut. Take the time to get all of the hair wet or keep all of it dry. (oh, and ASK QUESTIONS! Do you see that my hair is kind of curly? Maybe you should ask if I wear it that way or if I blow dry it straight). This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Even when I was working in a salon and watching my coworkers it would kill me slowly inside every time they cut hair with different wet/dry consistency.

Today my hair cut turned out OK (maybe too long in the back, we shall see!) but I am never going to that girl again. Sorry not sorry but when you don't talk to your client, why would they ever want to come see you again? You might hate your job, but you're working so get over it and don't take it out on the person who is paying your bills! Take it from someone who has been on the other side of that cape, I get that most people are mean idiots but you really can't treat everyone that way. Why be a hairstylist if you don't like people? What's the point??

Okay, there's my opinions for the day. Hair is something that brings out some of my best blogging work- check out fun posts (aka me complaining about work) like THIS, THIS and THIS  to see how I felt when I was actually the one doing the cutting :)


18 and 25

My BFF Sarah stayed at our house this week and it was so fun to see and hang out with her every.day! She lives in St George so quality time is a hot commodity. 

 After leaving our babies home with the best dad ever (aka Bart) we headed to the MAC makeup counter and got ourselves a little makeover and then later stopped by The Cheesecake Factory for THE BEST appetizer ever and a tasty treat. 

As we sat there and talked I couldn't help but think how much things have changed the past 8ish years of our friendship! 

Our weekly Thursday night 80's dancing date where we wouldn't get home until 4am and now our date nights consist of getting out after the babies are in bed and if we're up past 10pm we must really be having a good time. 

Our topics when we were 18 consisted of famy, love and life. Now at 25 we are still talking love, life and family, just a different kind. 

18 year olds 

Love- our latest boy crush aka boy drama 

Family- frustrations and stories about siblings and parents 

Life- hair school, friends and our future

25 year olds 

Love- our husbands (less drama, but more to talk about!)

Family- now we have our own families. Our babies take up most of the chatter
Life- careers, hobbies, finding our own identity and what the future holds 

The more life changes the more it stays the same! Love having my bestie in town! 


Book review: What Alice Forgot

After seeing this book pop up all over the blogging world and on Pinterest I decided to give it a try. I haven't really been on an author kick lately, so anything goes.

The premise of the book intrigued me and for the most part it didn't disappoint once I started reading. The main character wakes up after bumping her head not remembering the past 10 years. She still thinks she is madly in love and pregnant with her first baby. Turns out she has three kids and is getting divorced. 

80% of the book is about Alice trying to figure out what happened to her life. How could so much happen in just 10 years? It was cool to see how her younger personality affected her now older life. It makes you stop and think about all the positive traits you have that maybe society says you need to grow out of. It was disheartening to see a seemingly perfect relationship not make it to the 10 year mark and all the reasons why. Toward the end the author throws a curve ball and as I read the last chapter I was about to be pretty upset. But everything ends happy, even if it's not how you think. 

This was a fun and entertaining book and the Internet reviews didn't leave me disappointed. 

Book review: Global Mom

Global Mom

This book has been sitting on my nightstand and book shelf for over a year. I picked it up a few times and would get into it, but then get bored and put it back down. It's different from what I usually read so it took my little brain a while to switch gears and start enjoying it.

Once I did change my mindset on what to expect, I really liked it. It's an autobiography about a mother who births and raises her 4 children around the globe. Her story and life goes through Paris, Germany, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and more. She tells funny and frightening stories of having to learn the language while living in a whole new world (no flying carpet though). She is honest about being depressed after having to pick up and move her family after a few years of finally feeling like they are home. She goes through the cultural differences that shocked her kids and her parenting style and opened my eyes up a little bit more to that big world out there.

It's so interesting to read about a mother trying to do all the daily things a mother does, but in a totally foreign place. She has to enroll her kids in school, figure out how to get them immunized and even how to find a doctor who will let her have a natural childbirth (which apparently is something most French women don't do). She's a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and while she doesn't mention it very often, there are some things in her life that are helped along by divine intervention. 

As I read through most of the pages I was jealous. It's the kind of life I would love to live. I know the grass is always greener on the other side, but Bart and I have always dreamed of living somewhere far far away and having our own adventure with our little family. It's hard to believe we will ever get to do anything like that, but this book helps me dream a little bit.

There is a heartbreaking point to her story that left me crying for several pages. I tell ya- become a mother and ALOT of new things make you cry. 

I would love to meet the woman behind this book and pick her brain and hear even more stories! Totally worth spending a few afternoons getting lost in someone else's adventure 


S%$@ Bart Says

(talking to his dad on the phone and he asks How's Megan)
B- I think she's dead
(dad says something)
B- Well I put a pillow over her face and she's stopped kickin' so.....

(Walking through the men's department and sees a pair of skinny jeans)
B- What's up with these pants? Where does the penis go?
(still walking through the men's department)
B- What do hipsters wear to formal events? Their grandmas best flannel?

B-People need to stop inconveniencing  the world with their horrible driving 

B- This isn't where my screw driver goes. I bet The Situation doesn't have to worry about this kind of stuff with Snookie
M- Are you comparing me to Snookie? 
B- Well you certainly aren't JWow 

B- I want some chocolate 
M- It's 70% dark
B- Gross! 70% dark chocolate is like eating a vegetable 

Ya know what Megan? Just stay pretty over there. I don't need your help 


Book review: 50 Jobs in 50 States

When Bart texted me and said he was at a meeting and listening to a speech from a guy who had 50 jobs in 50 states in 50 weeks, I wanted to read his book. By the end of the book I was disappointed. My suggestion? Think of how cool that idea is, and let your imagination write the story. This book was written from his (Daniel) point of view. He obviously wrote it himself and I think it could have been better if someone else did the writing. Daniel came off as a spoiled brat during some chapters and a total douche in others.

I got halfway through and stopped reading for a while because I got bored. Each chapter summarized a different job in a different state. It wasn't in depth enough to really grab your attention and sometimes you could really tell he was stretching to find any kind of story to tell. It leaves the reader totally bored and not committed to finishing his story. He mentions a weird love interest with a crazy chick that really didn't need to be in the book, but maybe it's just his weird way of getting back at her? His writing was cheesy and hard to read. I was excited to start, but a few chapters in I was over it. I skimmed the last several chapters and totally skipped over the last two. 

That being said, I love the idea! How amazing would it be to visit 50 states in 50 weeks? I think if I had endless money that is a trip I would like to take. His book made me really want to visit Louisiana!

I think it's such a fun idea, but I was disappointed in the book. 


Big Things Small Things

Big things are happening around here. And by big things I mean small.

 Like Mckenzie weaning herself off of milk and preferring solid food 80% of the time. Like, her 6oz bottles are turning into 2 oz bottles and some feedings include no milk at all. Wah??

It's totally weird when something that is 100% for so long slowly becomes less and less important as other things become the new norm.

-Sleepless nights (months) and obsessing about sleep training turns into a full night's rest and typical nap schedules.
-Constant feedings and hundreds of ounces of formula turns into legit meal times and trying to figure out how to feed a little person.
-Lump-on-a-log tummy time turns into baby chasing and stair climbing.

And did I mention it's only been 11 months?? The rate at which a baby grows, learns and adapts to the world around them is incredible. I have loved being with this little one the last 335 days and watching her learn new "tricks". Today she was playing with a measuring cup and a glass bottle ring for a solid 10 minutes. The ring fit perfectly into the cup and she just sat there and took it out, and put it back in, realizing that something fits into something else. She can now walk if we hold her little hand. Her chubby legs getting stronger and stronger every day. She's also getting really good at throwing fits and smacking things away when she knows she doesn't want something. I appreciate her directness- most of the time!

These little (BIG!) things might seem insignificant and silly to everyone else, but it's my life- and I'm loving every minute of it.


Sweet blessings

I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is always aware of me and my family and our concerns and needs. Today Bart was set apart in his new calling and the sweet blessing he was given brought tears to my eyes. My husband has concerns, and He addressed them today and basically told us it's all going to be OK. I think it's hard sometimes to remember that God cares about what we care about. Even when things seem so trivial and worldly- if it is important to you, it's important to Him. And I'm thankful for that reminder I was given today. 


The crappy part of this health journey

Ugh. Health. It's a &%$@& sometimes isn't it??

I've been dealing with a Hashimotos flare up lately and it's been really hard to stay positive and not just say screw it. At the end of my 6 month treatment I felt so good. The best I can remember feeling my entire life. Not just physically, but emotionally as well. I felt like I was able to find a pretty good balance and I had adjusted to all the changes I had to make. I was good. So good, that I was able to get pregnant! I had a healthy pregnancy and I had a beautiful healthy baby girl. And it's all been downhill from there.

But Megan, you aren't eating as good as you use to. You aren't as strict. You aren't as obsessed. And you're right. I'm not. and I don't think I will ever be able to be that strict again. It's just not worth it to me to obsess about everything that goes into my mouth when I feel like I have better things to worry about. See my dilemma? Obsess and feel good. Or don't obsess, live life and feel not as good. Is there a happy medium when it comes to an autoimmune disease? If there is I'm just not seeing it right now.

I am so happy with so many aspects of my life right now, but my health isn't one of them. I haven't been able to progress in my running like I was hoping to, I still have 10 pounds to lose from my baby weight and my energy level is pretty low. It's hard because I know how good I could feel, and yet I'm not there. Even my doctors have told me that I shouldn't have to live a completely strict original diet to feel good. But I just don't know if I want to keep spending money to figure out all the little details of what might be wrong with me. I know it was worth it before, but it's starting to feel like a never ending money pit.

I have always felt like balance is the most important thing in life and especially in health. What's the point of having a perfectly healthy body if you can't have a healthy and sane mind along with it? I know health is a constant journey. I just don't like this part!


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