it's beginning to look a lot like christmas!

i'll never outgrow the excitement of looking out the window and watching the snow fall...

"the first fall of snow is not only an event,
it is a magical event. you go to bed in one kind of world
and wake up in another quite different,
and if this is not enchantment
then where is it to be found?"

oh, the beautiful the red rock canyon...

as much as i am a sconnie girl at heart and love the 4 seasons here in wisconsin, after a trip out west... i think i could be a desert girl too! mother nature has yet ceased to amaze me. same feeling of wholeness, different landscape... but nonetheless, still definitely my kind of wanderful! :) divide, conquer, exhale. repeat. i continue to look forward to the rest of my life!

you find yourself in the
middle of nowhere.
it's in the middle of nowhere
you find yourself."

a grand canyon adventure!

how and why it's taken 30 years for me to get here, i have no idea :) while visiting nevada with no real plans other than to spend quality time with some special people i love the most, we ended up making the drive to arizona to explore the southern grand canyon rim. it was absolutely breathtaking! these photos don't do justice for how incredibly amazing it really was to take in... and i would've been perfectly at peace getting lost here. yes, i'll be back.

"a mind that is stretched by new experiences
can never go back to its old dimensions."

wild is the music of aumtunal winds amongst the faded woods...

"come said the leaves to the wind one day. come o'er the meadows and we will play. put on your dresses, scarlet and gold, for summer is gone...
 and the days grow cold."

...took a little road hunting detour on wisconsin's old logging roads in north country; don't let the dress fool you. today was a good day! ;D where else can you hunt partridge, have it breasted in a matter of minutes and have your protein all set for dinner? #sconniegirl #sconnielife <3

FALL... in love.

my kinda eye candy :) this kaleidescope of autumn colors against the bright blue sky was too beautiful not to share! after a scenic trip via the old loggin' roads in north country to visit a friend, i got to spend an afternoon digging culverts... who knew dora the explora was also bob the builder!? hah. yes, any excuse to spend outside is fine by me; heavy machinery is a plus!

a long weekend at the cabin on the lake..!

...yet another fabulous and fun weekend with my favorite people up north! during this long labor day weekend, it was really nice to enjoy some r&r, fun on the water and cold beers (with a side of LAKE) under the northwoods sun in lac du flambeau, wisconsin! i really do love unplugging and enjoying the company of great friends; there may be no wifi, but i find a better connection. :)

who needs takeout when you can master the simplest chicken padthai, ever!?

i think everyone should be able to make a good chicken padthai from scratch! i'm always trying to imrpove my own recipe by trying others and tweaking it to my own personal preference... and here's a super simple and balanced rendition!

sweet, sour, salty, tangy, delicious! it's a tamarind-based explosion of traditional southeast asian flavors in every bite... and definitely one of my favorite dishes to try when exploring a new restaurant because seldom do you find them made exactly the same.

note: i improvised with the ingredients i had on hand (as i usually do) - so instead of bean sprouts and roasted peanuts i threw in fresh chilies and cilantro! nonetheless, the sauce is what makes/breaks the dish and this one's delicious!

soak your rice noodles in warm water. in a small bowl, combine all (pictured) ingredients to make the sauce. once your rice noodles are al dente, strain them and set aside. mince some fresh garlic and shallots. slice your chicken... and have eggs and chilies on hand. also, chop up your herbs and vegetables. it's important to have everything prepped and ready to go before the actual cooking because it's quite fast once you start! :)

in (preferrably) a wok, heat up vegetable oil and add in the garlic, chilies and shallots - until aromatic. add chicken and once it's almost cooked, move it aside in the wok and scramble your eggs. once the eggs and chicken is cooked, throw in the noodles (it's important to keep stirring to avoid sticking) - heat should be on high. drizzle in your sauce to preference; the more you add, the stronger the flavor! once your noodles are cooked through, take the wok off the heat and add the green onions... making sure they steam in the heat from the noodles. garnish with cilantro (and roasted peanuts + bean sprouts) and enjoy!

trust me, it took longer to type this out than it actually does to whip this baby up! :) enjoy!

camping with my favorite people!

with 4 brothers and 4 sisters, it's not an exaggeration when i say i have a huge family! throw in all the nieces and nephews (nancy, cassandra, elyjah, annabella, kassie, jadeleen, dominic, madison, aviana, nalana and hazel) and it makes for... very expensive christmases, to say the least! haha, jk. :)

as each and every one of us is growing up, moving away and starting new chapters in our lives... we still try our best to make it a point and get together for our annual family camping trip (as well as all major holidays). this year's destination was high cliff state park - on the northshore of wisconsin's largest inland lake, lake winnebago. we spent 3 days and 2 nights out there and, like always, the trip mirrored my family's personality exactly; great times, serious eats and lots of laughs! i'm blessed.

during our family nature hike, my niece maddie and i started collecting a "rainbow'quet" for her scrapbook! the goal was to put together a bouquet consisting of elements of each color of the rainbow representative of wisconsin foliage - and what an accomplishment it was! <3 i love that it's these little experiences i can have with her that her big heart will always remember!

...we even spotted a leaf bug, whoa! such a neat little creature! ;D