hope that you are having a great week thus far.
I feel like ours has been productive.
we have checked things off of our never ending to-do list.
We have been moving along with the job search, house search, and grad school.
And after much debate, thought, and stress
we have officially decided to call Provo our home for the next little while.
And while I never thought that I would ever live in Provo/Utah County,
I am starting to except and like the idea.
It's beautiful here and we have potentially found an awesome Indian food restaurant
that I am super excited about (as long as I can find me some good Indian food, I will be great).

The house search is proving to be more challenging than we thought.
Especially in this area because everyone here is dog haters.
How can you not like dogs? Doesn't make any sense to me.
I couldn't even image life without my adorable Shento.

We are in Provo today. I am actually sitting in the student library typing this. Bear is teaching his class.
I am really hoping he hurries up because my stomach is starting to rumble.
Breakfast is sounding yummy right about now.

Any suggestions on awesome things to do in Provo?
We are going to go exploring today.

Pumpkin Monkey Bread


3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup warm water
2/3 cup pumpkin puree 
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
1 block cream cheese (not softened)
12oz pecan pieces

Whisk together the flour, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, water, pumpkin, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. 
Add wet ingredient to the dry and mix together

Once both wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, it’s time to knead the dough. You can either turn the dough onto floured surface and knead by hand until elastic (about 8-10 minutes) or using a kneading attachment for your mixer. You’ll likely have to add flour a little at a time during the kneading process in order to get the elastic consistency that is the mark of good bread dough.

Once the dough is elastic, transfer to a bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Flip the dough over so that the top is coated and won’t dry out. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until double in size or about an hour.
While the dough is rising you can go ahead and do a little prep work for the assembly process. Cut a block of refrigerated cream cheese into tiny cubes. You’ll need to get 20-30 cubes out of one block so slice small. You can also mix together the cinnamon and sugar for rolling the dough balls and if you feel really ambitious you can melt a stick of butter.
Once the dough has doubled in size, it’s ready to be divided into small balls. 
Pinch dough into balls that are 1 1/2 – 2 inches in diameter and tuck a cube of cream cheese inside. Dip each ball in the melted butter then roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Place one layer balls in a Bundt pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle pecans on top then add another layers of balls. Repeat dough ball/pecan layers until Bundt pan is a little over half full.  A tighter packed pan makes cake-like, sliceable monkey bread whereas a lightly packed  pan (ie just laying the balls in the pan) makes for pull-apart monkey bread.
After layering is complete, sprinkle any leftover butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture on top, cover, and allow to rise again for about an hour. Once the dough has risen for the second time, bake for 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
After baking, let the monkey bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes (no longer or it will get stuck!) then flip onto a serving platter. 
Enjoy this yummy treat. It is really good for breakfast! 
Original recipe found here.


a day filled with baking, music, and laughter is always the best type of day

we had a day date. 
the smell of pumpkin filled the house. 
and Bear entertained with the sounds of his guitar.
I tried to sing along (but that just hurts our ears).
we laughed and talked about our future
and we made dinner together.
these types of days are the best. 
and remind me how lucky I am. 


a little music to start your day

this lovely song came on this morning and i instantly fell in love with it. 
and i hope you will too. Drew Tabor is the talented lady behind this amazing music. 
Go check her out on youtube. She covers a lot of different artists and also sings some her own songs.  
 this was just what i needed for my Wednesday morning. 


Cascade Springs Drive

A couple weekends ago we took a drive with Bear's parents up to Sundance and back around through Cascade Springs and into Midway (personally, I think that this is the prettiest drive to take to see the fall leaves).  It was breathtaking. The bright reds on the tree leaves were covering patches all over the mountains. And yellow was just starting to peek through. This is truly my favorite time of year. And taking drives through the Utah mountains is something that I am grateful that we get to do now that we are back. 


Happy Saturday

Hey Hey.. I never write on Saturday because this time should be used to hang out with the Mr. or to be enjoying the outdoors. However, the Mr. is gone this weekend at a conference and I thought this would be a good opportunity to get some photography things done. Awhile back I did a giveaway on this lovely blog. The giveaway was for a free photo session. Pretty awesome huh! I met and photographed the couple who won the photo session this past weekend. They were pretty adorable and their session was super cute and romantic. You might even know her.. she writes the blog redhead memories.
Anywhoo, to see more of their pictures go to my photo blog. Become a follower and you might be the next person who wins a free photo session. Also, I am offering mini sessions through the month of November. Perfect for your upcoming christmas cards.


outside my window

7:30 a.m 
the moon was still out and the sun was just starting to rise.
 The bright colors have seemed to fade and snow is still on the top of the mountains. 


nothing beats a chocolate malt

A couple weeks ago we had a double date with my adorable Grandparents. We had lunch at one of 
our favorite places in Kamas, High Mountain Drug. The hamburger and chocolate malts are amazing...     
I crave them for weeks afterwards. Thanks to my Grandparents for making our double date so fun.  
Can't wait for the next time. 


Mr. Best Dressed

a little while back Bear played in a woody tennis tournament. 
everyone involved played with the old wood racquets and were suppose to dress the part. 
you probably noticed that Bear pulled the look off like a champ.
 he won a trophy for his awesomeness. Best dressed.. that's my hubby! 
he also did great playing tennis.
 I sat on the side and cheered for mr. best dressed.  


our saturday

the weekend has come and gone, it always seems to happen so quickly. this weekend was a busy one. i'm starting to feel the effects of being married to a grad student once again. luckily, i was able to snag Bear away from his computer and hot beverage for a Saturday afternoon together. we ventured out to the thrift store and local park. we were able to escape the thrift store with only a few items. One of which was a woody tennis racquet that we played with that evening. the park city local park is beautiful and is quickly becoming one of my favorite areas to walk and bring shento. you will always find other dogs eager to play, which makes shento extremely happy. there is a music garden tucked away off the walking path, that is Bear's entertainment (who doesn't love beating on logs and metal things), and the scenery that surrounds that area is breathtaking. 

out my window

I didn't post on friday but I did snap the picture. It snowed.. All the beautiful colored leaves disappeared underneath a thin white blanket. The air was bitter cold and sweaters, a fire, and hot chocolate made their appearance. The snow came too quickly. Although it is beautiful, I am hoping for warmer weather this week. I need at least one more jeep ride with the top down.


Pumpkin Bread


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly bean
  • 16 ounces canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 9x5 loaf pans. Stir together sugar and oil. Stir in eggs and pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Blend dry ingredients and water into wet mixture, alternating. Divide batter between two loaf pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. 

Baking Tip: The bread bakes more evenly if it's baked in a glass bread pan. Get creative with ingredients... Add chocolate chips or nuts to add a little texture and yumminess. 

This recipe made me an awesome housewife. See, recently the amount of cooking and baking has decreased due to our living circumstances.  Husband loves baked bread and used to always ask or beg for me to bake pumpkin or banana bread. The other day I exceeded his expectations and baked scrumptious pumpkin bread.  My mom and I got together (because we can do that now that I don't live across the country)  and decided that a fall cooking/baking party was in order. And whala... that is how pumpkin bread in the Brooks home came to be! 


pumpkin head

I am back and feel refreshed. It was a nice break. I have been working non-stop on marketing and starting up my photography business here in Utah. I was starting to go fuzzy eyed with the amount of time I was spending staring at the computer screen. I had to focus and unfortunately my focus needed to be on photography. But I am recovered and ready to blog.

First off, happy October! I’m loving the crisp air and vibrant colors that are displayed on the mountains. Bear and I have been trying to take full advantage of these fall conditions by enjoying many jeep rides and drinking our reasonable share of hot pumpkin spice beverages. Truthfully, anything pumpkin I have an attachment to. From my little pumpkin sitting outside our door, to the pumpkin bread my Mom and I made the other day, to my pumpkin spice candle that burns almost non-stop because the smell is just so lovely.

Bear and I are attending a Halloween party this year and we have been brainstorming up costume ideas. I think we have come to an agreement. However, Bear is thinking our idea is a little boring, I think the idea is adorable. You see, I love fall but Halloween brings out a fear that I have… Masks! I have a real panic attack when I have to deal with anything that covers someone’s face. Yes, this stems from something that happened as a child but we wont get into that. You see, this is not just a small fear, it makes my heart race and tears build in my eyes. The other day as I entered the market I faced my fear head-on. well, kind of. Upon entering the market I noticed a life-size fake human dressed in all black with a simple white mask. To enter the store you had to walk right past this fake human. I panicked and almost left the store immediately. I looked around to find another way to enter. But to my dismay there was another life-size person on the other side of the store. I stood there. Thinking to myself that this is pretty stupid to act and feel like this. I didn’t know what do I do? I figured I could ditch my cart and grab a basket. This way I could enter in the middle of the store through the check out lane. Yes, brilliant idea! I faced my fear!! Avoidance. It worked, but now you know why I am a little apprehensive about going to a Halloween party, and why my Halloween costume idea is cute and adorable, not scary or abnormal.