Backyard Transformation: DIY Paver Patio

Our house continues to become a home, one project at a time. Since buying the Apple House in October 2018, we have demolished walls, refloored the entire upstairs, gutted the bathroom, changed windows, and painted every wall and ceiling. With warmer weather and COVID keeping us home, Spring 2020 was the perfect excuse to complete another project as well: designing and constructing our own backyard paver patio.

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Coping With COVID, Murder Hornets, and Closed Wineries

Coronavirus, murder hornets, economic instability — oh my! What an odd time in which we are living. 2020 has not been the start to a new decade that anyone expected. In the United States, the majority of the country has entered into some sort of “quarantine mode” with many businesses closing their doors/offices and forcing employees to work remotely. Restaurants have shut down, stores have limited access, and (gulp) all the wineries have closed in an effort to force the population to stay home and stay safe.

In my state of Michigan, quarantine has been implemented since March 16th. There is unrest among Michiganders as the weeks move forward with no change in circumstances; restaurants are struggling as delivery and curb-side are their only options to continue service, lay-offs and furloughs are being carried out by numerous corporations, and unemployment numbers nearing those of the Great Depression. Many of G’s and my favorite local stops may not be reopening as the economic stability of our home state teeters on the edge.

Though I fully understand the government’s urge to keep residents safe, my heart hurts for those who will be effected by this pandemic for years to come. Everyone’s safety is important — health-wise, financially, emotionally, and mentally. As every week passes, it is amazing to me how divided my state grows… and how desperate people seem to be becoming. You could not pay me enough to be in our governor’s shoes right now.

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[Super Simple] Overnight Oats

Servings: 1

Time: 5 min (prep), 8+ hours (refrigerate)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Chobani Greek yogurt cup (any flavor)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix all ingredients in a seal-able bowl. Mix well so oats and seeds are covered in yogurt.

  2. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Enjoy a quick, nutritious meal! Keeps in the fridge up to four days.

My “Why” For Walking Up To The Starting Line

Everyone has a starting point. They are different for everyone, but we all have one.

My current “starting point” began in December 2019 and took several months to inch my way to that actual starting line.

After attending several get-togethers where my sole focus should have been the festivities of the holiday, I was having a difficult time being unselfish. Unselfish in the sense that my mind was always recirculating to myself. My body. My weight.

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Strawberry Salsa

Servings: Depends…
Time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp honey

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice

  • 4 cups strawberries, diced

  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced

  • 2 Tbsp cilantro

  • 1 jalapeno, diced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix strawberries, onions, cilantro, and jalapeno in a seal-able bowl.

  2. Pour honey and lime juice over the mixture. Seal with cover and shake to combine.

  3. Serve over fish or chicken.