Easy Baked Lemon Coconut Salmon, Coconut Jasmine Rice and Microwaved Lemon Asparagus

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Baked Lemon Coconut Salmon

Salmon is one of my favorites. Healthy, easy to cook, and tasty! I think this is my new favorite way to cook it!!

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 15 minutes (Adjust to thickness/preference) 

Ingredients:

  • Lemon
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Butter
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Pepper
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • Garlic Powder

Materials:

  • Baking Sheet
  • Foil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place your filet salmon in a sheet of foil, make sure there is enough foil to wrap around salmon.
  3. Season salmon lightly with garlic powder, pepper, lemon pepper & Lawry’s seasoned salt.
  4. Lightly sprinkle shredded coconut onto salmon.
  5. Cut a few slices of lemon and lay them on top of the salmon.
  6. Then I just lay a couple of pieces of butter on top of each piece of salmon.
  7. Fold up the foil to wrap around each piece of salmon. Make sure the bottom is folded up enough like a little bowl so none of the melted butter comes out.
  8. Place in the oven on the middle rack for about 15 minutes. I do 4-6 minutes per half inch thickness of salmon. (6 min. if you want to make sure it is thoroughly cooked.)
  9. Take them out of the oven, plate it, & enjoy!

 

Coconut Jasmine Rice

I was craving rice.. but wanted it to go nicely with my salmon. This is the best that I could come up with!

Prep Time: 2 minutes / Cook Time: 17 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Success, Jasmine Rice – Boil in Bag
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Butter
  • Water

Materials:

  • Non-Stick pot
  • Fork
  • Mixing spoon

Instructions:

  1. Follow the instructions on the box from the rice.
  2. Drain rice in bag, drizzle oil at the bottom of the pot, & place rice back in pot- Reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Mix in butter & half a cup of shredded coconut into rice & cover for 2 minutes.
  4. Serve & Eat!

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Microwaved Lemon Asparagus

I normally bake my asparagus but I wanted something quick and easy. My sister-in-law, Jami, showed me this recipe, but I added my own twist & added lemon to it!

Prep Time:  5 minutes / Cook Time: 6 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Raw Asparagus
  • Lemon
  • Butter
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • Pepper

Materials:

  • Microwavable bowl or deep plate
  • Saran Wrap

Instructions:

  1. Wash/clean Asparagus. Break off bottom white pieces. Normally a bend them & they snap in the best place.. no need to cut!
  2. Place Asparagus in microwavable bowl or deep plate, sprinkle pepper to taste and lightly add Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (Don’t need a lot, it’s strong!)
  3. Squeeze a little lemon on top.
  4. Add a few chunks of butter.
  5. Place saran wrap on top, poke a couple of holes on top.
  6. Cook in microwave on high for 5 minutes (1 min. more if they are thicker!)
  7. Serve & Eat!

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I really enjoyed this meal! It was quick, easy and so good! This was a 20 minute meal!

I like my meals to blend together.. Each side to compliment each other. So you’ll notice in a lot of my recipes I use similar ingredients in each side. Notice how I used coconut in my salmon AND rice.. Then Lemon juice & Lawry’s seasoned salt on the salmon AND asparagus. To me it makes the whole plate flow together instead of feeling like I’m eating 3 completely different foods. Just a personal preference!

Enjoy!

Katie Higgins / Written Restoration

 

Making a House a Home… WHEREVER you are.

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We bought our very own home right before we got married in 2015. For some reason it was a goal of ours to have our own place to come home to after our honeymoon. We didn’t want to come back and have to decide where we were going to stay, especially since we had never lived together before & were both currently still living with our parents. In 2015, the market had started blossoming again. It seemed like every home in our budget either needed an insane amount of work, the location wasn’t right or they were pending contract the day after it listed! It was a frustrating time, not to mention stressful with all the wedding planning going on.

With that being said, at that time our town-home was great for us. It was just the two of us with our two dogs. It was bank owned and they went in and put all new carpet throughout the house, put in a new AC unit, & put some fresh light beige paint everywhere in the home. The outdated light fixtures, popcorn ceiling, decent kitchen, and tile floors all seemed so small compared to the major fixer uppers we looked at. So we went for it! I loved it at first, it was OURS. Our first real purchase as husband and wife. But with anything in life, that feeling started to fade. I slowly started finding things I didn’t like the longer we lived here.  I nitpicked every little thing and the more I came home to it the more stressed and unhappy it made me. The outdated light fixtures, popcorn ceiling, decent kitchen, tile flooring all started to stand out more and more. In fact, it was basically all I saw when I looked at our house. All of the issues. All of the needed updates. All of the little repairs. How much work it needed and the little time and help we had to do it.

I had SO much planned before we moved into this house. But life has other plans! We decided 2 months after being married we were ready for a baby (I know, we are a little crazy.) & Obviously, you can’t exactly paint, get on a ladder, trim trees, or do much when you are pregnant!

I let the current stage of our home get under my skin and despise it rather than doing something about it. You don’t have to be in your dream home to make your house a home! There are some changes you can make to start loving your home more and more. This is not our forever home, in fact, we will be attempting to get a new home in 2018. BUT, for the time being, this is our home! So instead of being ungrateful and ashamed, I decided to make little changes to help that feeling diminish. This could be for anyone, if you are renting, in a fixer-upper, or just waiting to move onto better or bigger things!

Here are some of my tips that made my House feel more like Home:

  • Scents

Every Christmas I get so excited because I love the smell of cinnamon. Bath and Body works has HUGE sales & I usually spend an entire paycheck on candles (exaggeration lol.) I usually try to have scents that match the seasons, and try to have candles lit often. Plug-ins are also great! Something about good smells really makes me feel at home.

  • Lighting 

Depending on the room and time of day, lighting plays a big part in the home-like feeling. If it’s day time and all our blinds are closed, I feel like the room is dark and closed in. At times, I even feel more lazy. Open your blinds, let the natural light in! If you are not in a huge space, or don’t have much natural light, there are tricks on using mirrors, or using LED light bulbs that really brighten up the space!

  •  Clean it! 

Seems silly, but if your house is always a mess, your life kinda feels like a mess! (Or at least mine does!) This can be stressful and make you look at your surroundings differently. One thing that helps me is making lists. I set days of the week for laundry, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, cleaning out the fridge, etc. Life gets hectic, but if you keep your house tidy, it will help!

  • Plants/Flowers

This one really helps me, simply because I love plants. Every week when I grocery shop I buy a bouquet of flowers, usually Hydrangea. They’re usually $4.00 & they last a week or longer, and it makes a big impact. I trim them and stick them in a tall mason jar and put them in my main living areas (Kitchen/Living Room) which is where I am the most. I also have Succulents, which are great because they don’t require much work! Just passing by them everyday kinda brings the outside in & I personally love them.

  • Organization 

I consider this different from cleaning. Organizing can be done in any room, whether it be your closet, kitchen cabinets, kids toys, cleaning supplies, linen closet, etc. Chaos can cause you to feel a little crazy. Get rid of what you don’t use/need, use storage solutions, give everything a designated place. Spend a weekend organizing & you will feel accomplished & more at home!

  • Design 

I will be posting another blog soon on styling your home while being money conscious, but styling your home has a HUGE impact on how it makes you feel. When we first moved in I used what I had, which wasn’t much. I went to every discount store you can think of to style my home. You can get everything need at discounted prices!! You don’t have to spend a fortune! Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Ross, Thrift stores, Craigslist is where it’s at! Almost every piece of our furniture in our home is from Craigslist (except our mattress & couches.) I almost never buy anything full retail, unless I LOVE it. Go on Pinterest, get some inspiration, shop around, make the design your own!! If your space isn’t huge, be mindful on the furniture you choose, bulky and dark furniture tend to take up a ton of space and make rooms feel and look smaller.

  • Pictures

Nowadays we take so many pictures on our phones and they just sit there till you look back on them every few months. Having family photos and pictures with friends makes me feel happy! You can order large canvas prints from Staples and Walgreens for a decent price, have a new look, and feel right at home. Plus gallery walls are gorgeous!

  •  Updates

This one is kinda obvious.. But I’m adding it to the list because I feel like people think of updates as something like knocking walls down or completely redoing the kitchen. If you’re on a tight budget, I guarantee you can find some DIY ideas to improve your space. Changing outdated light fixtures, updating bathroom mirrors, painting your cabinets are so simple but make such a huge impression.

  • Make Memories

Ah, last but not least. As much as I don’t love our home, I will honestly be a little sad when we move. It’s our first place. We brought our son home for the first time here. We’ve prayed here. We’ve fought here. We’ve struggled here. We’ve laughed here. We’ve dreamed here. We’ve made this house a home, even though it’s temporary. Making memories and spending quality time with loved ones in your house definitely makes you feel right at home.

 

I’m honestly still struggling with this myself, and of course I am ready for the next home. But I know that’s God’s timing is never wrong! So for now, we will continue to make updates, make memories, pray and expect great things in our future!

I will be sharing some DIY updates as I attempt to bring this house up to better standards! Follow along for the journey!

“By Wisdom a house is built, and through Understanding it is established; Through Knowledge it’s rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4

My Top 10 Date Ideas

When you think of date night, is your first thought dinner & a movie? While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it’s nice to change it up every now & then! I love food, so dinner always sounds awesome.. but let’s be honest, going to a restaurant doesn’t give you many options. You’re basically there to eat, drink, and talk! & If you go to a movie, you stare at a screen together. At times, that can be nice & definitely enjoyable – but for those of you that want a little change, keep reading.

My husband and I are 24 years old, but still kids at heart. Not to mention, now that we have a baby of our own, we take any chance we can get to go out on a date night! We have been together for a total of 7 years so we enjoy changing the pace and making things more memorable. It’s really nice to get out and have some fun!

My Top 10 Date Ideas are:

  • Mini Golf 

Jariah loves to play golf.. I on the other hand really enjoy putt-putt. It’s nice to get outdoors and let our fun competitive sides come out!

  • Bowling 

Living in Florida, any date inside is a good idea.. Bowling is a lot of fun, especially when you do double dates!

  • Arcade Games

We love any type of games, so playing them is nice just to feel like kids again! There’s plenty of options like Game Time, Dave & Busters, even Chuck E Cheese.

  • A night at home

To some this may sound crazy, but you really can have fun and change it up at home! You can start with a board game of your choice, OR if you’re like Jariah and I, we have Nerf Gun wars in the house. Maybe make it interesting- Winner picks the movie, loser makes/buys dinner! There’s so many creative ways to make a night at home more fun.

  • Physical Activities

Yes.. I said Physical Activities… NOT the kind in the bedroom!! (lol) What I mean is, there’s plenty of ways to get out and explore. Depending on where you live, this could be a hike outdoors, paintball with friends, a trip to the beach, indoor skydiving, real skydiving, jet skiing, or maybe a bike ride. I must say, the BEST memories I have with Jariah are of us doing outdoor activities together. GET OUT AND HAVE SOME FUN!

  • Gun Range

Ladies.. we all know, lots of men love feeling manly. But I must say, something about shooting is invigorating for me too! This is a cool date idea, especially if you want to surprise your man! Indoor ranges are great, but if you’ve never been clay shooting – it is a definite must!!! They usually have everything you need there to rent/purchase.

  • Billiards Hall

I might not be very good at playing pool, but I sure do enjoy it! You don’t necessarily need to go to a Billiards Hall to play, normally your local bar or bowling alley will suffice. Usually there’s other games like darts, so there are multiple options for a good time.

  • Go see a Live Show

That’s right, a live show. Not a movie! We love seeing movies, but sometimes that gets boring. Buy tickets to a concert! Go see a local comedian! Go see a celebrity comedian! Go see a Performing Arts show! One thing I find myself doing every few weeks is checking up on Ticket Master for what’s going on in my City.  I always tend to look for bands, artists, or comedians coming soon & even local shows going on!

  • Amusement Park or Water Park

Technically this isn’t a “Date Night” idea BUT you can make an entire day out of it & have the time of your life. This one is obviously on the pricier side, but totally worth it. Living in Tampa, we have multiple options as far as Amusement Parks go & if we are willing to take a little drive to Orlando, the options definitely expand. This is a great idea to do with friends! Tip: Try to steer away from summer, holidays, and weekends.

  • Sports Games

Even if you don’t enjoy watching sports, something about being with a crowd of people who are yelling & cheering is tons of fun! I remember Jariah blindfolded me and surprised me by taking me to my first hockey game back in 2012. I was shocked, especially not knowing much about hockey, but I had the time of my life!

 

So many times I hear “Hey, what do you want to do tonight?” with a response of: “I don’t care, whatever you want to do.” Personally, I think an important part of being in a relationship is keeping things fresh. I never want to feel bored or “content.” A lot of these dates are from personal experience & just what Jariah and I happen to enjoy most. But no matter how long you’ve been together, whether it’s been 40 years or 6 months, you should always make time for one another. Some nights I feel like I just want to sit down to a nice dinner and talk to my husband. Other nights, I want to whoop his butt in some putt-putt! My advice: Keep your relationship fresh & never stop having fun together!

TIP: A lot of these date ideas are great for surprising one another. You don’t always have to make the plans together. I personally think any guy or girl would love an unexpected date to any of these places! A simple “I’m picking you up at 6pm, dress casual & be ready!” text will go a long way! Also.. Girls, don’t always let your significant other take YOU on dates, any guy would be thrilled to have you surprise him and take him out for a fun evening!