Day Tripping: Bryce Canyon

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This has been a pretty harsh winter with very little activity. I wish I could say that no mater the weather we still get out and adventure but that really isn’t the case. My husband and I used to pride ourselves on how we could just get up and go. No destination. Just a car full of camping gear and a desire to explore. I feel like with each child the number of spontaneous road trips has lessened but I don’t think it needs to stay that way. After sitting indoors for days this winter, the moment that snow let up I was ready to hit the road. My husband was all for it of course. We chose Bryce Canyon as our destination. Its only 3.5 hours from our house and it really is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The kids had so much fun looking out at these amazing structures and also learning about the National Park in the booklet we received on our way in. The only down side to visiting places in the winter is that a lot of the roads are closed. I cannot wait to go back in the spring when more roads are open and we can camp and stay for a longer period of time. But this definitely put our minds back in that place and time when a day trip or over night camp trip was no big deal and happened almost every weekend! Living in Utah means that we are surrounded by beauty and now that our youngest is a bit older I think this summer is going to be filled with adventure. Kids shouldn’t mean less trips. In fact it should be the opposite. I want them to see the world!!

Timeless Love with Jord Watches

Love is timeless. It’s the memory of yesterday, the happiness of today and the promise of tomorrow.IMG_1913watch IMG_2483watch IMG_2488watch IMG_2491watch IMG_2503watch IMG_2538watch

We usually don’t go crazy for Valentine’s Day but this year I really wanted to give my husband something that represented our love and our life together. I racked my brain for ideas on what the perfect gift would be. My husband works hard, he doesn’t really care for material things like clothes or shoes. He loves nature and all things outdoors. Ive mentioned a watch to him in the past and he didn’t seem to excited about the idea of them. But then I came across these beautiful watches made of wood and instantly knew that this was the perfect gift that I had been searching for. It not only had the sentiment I was hoping to express but it is made from natural materials which is always a plus for a nature loving man!!

This watch that I chose for my husband has a beautiful walnut band with a jet black face. I love the deep chocolate brown color of this wood and mixed with the black it can be worn with anything. It is so modern but classic at the same time. Jord offers a variety of styles for men and women. There is literally something for everyone for every occasion.

To check out their women’s shop click Here

To check out more from their mens shop click Here

For the watch pictured above click Here

Thats not all! Jord was kind enough to offer my readers a gift! You have the chance to win a $100 gift code toward your own unique watch. But we want everyone to walk away with something so every entrant gets a $25 gift code just for entering the giveaway. All you have to do is follow this LINK and fill out the form. Thats it! This contest ends February 19, 2017 and your gift codes will be good until April 30th 2017.

Good luck guys! My husband loves this watch more than I (or he) ever thought he would. This is such a great gift for any holiday, birthday, or even a “just because” for any special person in your life…even yourself!

Have a happy Valentine’s Day my loves.

xo,

Brittany

 

Rice Love: Buy A Bag, Feed A Family

“Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to protect and care for it.” David Suzuki .

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We are an adventurous, nature loving family. For the past month or so we have all been experiencing a longing for the outdoors. As much as we love the snow, this has seemed like one of the longest winters. Much more snow than last year. A lot of days spent indoors staring out our living room window willing the sun to come out for just a moment. When its not snowing we take full advantage. Although our options are slightly limited this time of year, we still try to take our drives up the canyon to hike and explore.

During the warmer months you can always find us camping, hiking and taking as many day trips as we can fit into our schedule. We are literally counting down the days until we can experience all of our favorite outdoor activities again.

As a mom and adventurer I am always on the look out for a good bag. One that can fit everything I need, is comfortable and also  fits our style. So when I came across Rice Love Bags I was ecstatic. These bags are gorgeous beyond words. The colors bring warmth to the coldest days. I was first drawn to the bohemian vibe of their appearance but as I read more about the company I knew that this was a brand I could get behind.

Their Mission:

Rice Love is working to provide for families in need. In India 37% of people live below the world poverty line. This leads to poor health, disease and death. So, for every item purchased from their site, one kilo of rice is given to a family in need. If 100 pieces are sold, that means 100 kilos of rice are donated! They give 20 kilos of rice at a time which will last a family about a month. They are currently giving to India and Nepal but plan on expanding very soon. The coolest part about all of this is that with your bag you receive a tag with a number on it. That number is linked to the family that you have helped by making that purchase. I have really enjoyed sharing this with my children. They were so interested to know where the bag came from and loved the idea of helping another family. They instantly wanted to hop online and buy more bags.

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About the Bag:

Each bag is a unique, handmade piece of art! As the name states, these bags are made from rice bags and then transformed into something so beautiful. When I first received my bag I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to fit in it. Well it turns out that I can basically fit my entire life in it. I have actually made this my diaper bag and take it with me everywhere. I can fit diapers, wipes, spare clothes, food, books, toys. Literally everything I need. There are also side pockets that allow me to carry both a bottle and a cup for my younger children. The draw string makes it easy to open and close and keeps everything secure. Ever since this bag showed up on my doorstep it has come with me everywhere. It was my adventure backpack on our recent day trip to Bryce Canyon and also my carry on when I traveled back east this past week. I don’t know how I ever managed without it.

Make sure to follow Rice Love on:

Instagram

and head over to www.ricelove.org to get yourself one of these beautiful one of a kind bags and support a wonderful cause!!

 

xo,

Brittany

 

Magnolia Roots Co.

Where is my money going? Who am I supporting? These weren’t always questions that came to mind when making a purchase. It has really been within the past year that I have become more conscious about these matters. Making it a point to shop small as much as possible and shop thrift stores to recycle goods rather than increase the demand. Finding a small shop that also donates to a good cause is just icing on the cake.

About the shop:

A T-shirt is just a T-shirt right? Wrong! Not when the company behind the Tee is on a mission to spread the word about sustainable living, a slower way of life and an organization called The WFAN (Women’s food and AG Network.) I say t-shirt but thats definitely not all Magnolia Roots has to offer. They make mugs, totes, sweatshirts. Each one with a wonderful message! Support your local farmer, Save the bees, Go outside, Live the simple Life. So much positivity in each and every piece that is produced.

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These shirts fit perfectly, wash well and are the most comfortable shirts we own. The sizes are unisex but as you can see both my husband and I were able to find a size that we are comfortable in. I love the fit of the small and my husbands XL was perfect. He likes his shirts a bit longer so they don’t ride up while he is working and thats exactly what he got with this shirt.

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(wild+free mama print no longer available)

What is the WFAN?

Women Food & AG Network is a community of women in sustainable agriculture. Their Mission? “To engage women in building an ecological and just food and agricultural system through individual and community power.” They exist to give women a voice in agricultural policy. To learn more about this amazing organization go to http://www.wfan.org/about/

Make sure to follow Magnolia Roots Co. on:

Instagram

facebook

and check out the shop

xo,

Brittany

The Library

Every time I step foot inside of a library (not going to lie, its been a while) I instantly become nostalgic for a time when the library was our only source for information. A time before computers, iPads, phones and kindles.When, in order to complete a school project, you needed to check out multiple books on the subject and do the research. I attended a Catholic school (K-5) with a giant library inside. The librarian was a really old woman with grey hair piled high in a messy bun on top of her head. Everyone thought she was a witch but she would smile when I walked past and I thought she was lovely. I remember being so excited on library day. It was always dark in there. Dusty, quiet and mysterious but filled with a certain magic. I recall there being an entire day dedicated to how to properly look for and check out a book. Something I’m pretty sure kids aren’t taught these days. These are things I want to keep alive. I want my kids to use these resources and not rely solely on technology. Since we have had so much snow lately, I thought what better time to take them and teach them and allow them to explore. This ended up being more fun than I could have ever imagined. My boys bonded and interacted like I have never seen before.My oldest took his brother around and showed him how to look for book. Once they both found books that they were interested in, we headed to the children’s area so that the baby could get out and crawl around.There were a ton of wooden toys and he enjoyed taking the books off of the shelves! The older boys found a Theatre box and put on a puppet show for their baby brother and some other little babes that had gathered. Cove also found this awesome coloring table which he scribbled all over but had a blast doing it. We were there for a couple of hours and there was never a moment of arguing or complaining or begging to go home (which with 3 kids is usually the case with at least one of them) When I said it was time to go, thats when I was met with resistance but after some coaxing, we made our way to the front desk. Cove (our 3 year old) felt really important when I told him that he could take the library card and check out the books. He also thought the receipt that magically appeared from a slot in  the middle of the desk was the coolest thing he had ever seen. On the way home we talked about how we have to take care of the books because they do not belong us which in some way makes them more special. We came home and read instead of turning on the tv. This definitely needs to become a more frequent thing in my house. Trips to the library I mean. Its great on snow days but I want my kids to enjoy this all year round.

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xo,

Brittany

Thrifted: Creating A Space We Love

Thrift stores take me back to a time when fitting in seemed necessary for high school survival but also never exactly felt natural to me. While most of my friends opted for trips to the mall for designer clothes, sunglasses and handbags, I was drawn to the wild, artsy streets of venice or the then always exciting 3rd street promenade. There I felt more at home. A crazy, young teen with hot pink hair and tattoos (that I got way too soon and with very little thought behind them) Rather than wearing Juicy sweat suits or whatever else was popular back then, I could be found wearing a bowling shirt with the name “Bob” or “Frank” stitched on the left pocket, a pair a Dickies, and some funky retro sunglasses. 

These days thrifting has taken on a completely different meaning but still brings me the same joy and excitement. Although its not at all new to me, it has now become something that my husband and I enjoy doing together. It has become a weekly thing that we look forward to when he is home from work. We look for unique items for our home and usually come across really cool classic toys for the kids (far better quality than most toys made today)  Since these stores receive new merch daily, the hunt for something really cool becomes the driving force behind all of our early morning trips. You don’t want to miss that ONE thing! It never ceases to amaze me what we are  able to find. Could be a vintage piece or something brand new that has never been opened. Really brings meaning to the saying “One mans trash is another mans treasure.” Oh and while on the subject of “trash” that is a misconception that Ive found comes up in discussions about where we get our “really cool things.” Just because they are pre owned, the items we take home are not dirty or stained or gross in any way! Although they are cleaned before they are put out on the shelves, we are very selective in what we buy and we also re clean these things again once we get home. Also like I said before a lot of the time we are able to find things that have never even been used! 

If you read my December Declutter post you may be thinking to yourself that weekly trips to the thrift store seems a bit counter productive if we are trying to clean out our home. Our efforts although focused on simplifying are also motivated by us wanting to create a space that we love. As we remove things that no longer serve us, our needs, or our lifestyle, we are bringing in items that we find beautiful, that we know will be used and that serve a purpose.We also like the idea of shopping second hand for environmental reasons. We donate things back into the community. Rather than buying new and throwing out the old we are keeping it in circulation.Which means less waste and less support for large manufacturers. From a financial stand point its more affordable than trying to redecorate your entire home with items bought in mainstream stores. It would be taking us a lot longer to finish!!

Check out some fun finds from our last haul. 

Padilla Ceramic Mugs worth $15.00 each paid $.75 each

Ceramic dish $1.00

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Wicker $1.00 each

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(my favorite!) Super cool mounted Beatles poster $1.00 for our sons hippie/music bedroom

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Herbal Medicine Book $2.00

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Wood U.S.A puzzle worth $15 paid $1.50

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The Wind in the Willow/Scholastic text books @ $2.00 each

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Dr. Seuss 4 puzzle set (brand new never opened ) worth $20.00 paid $2.00

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xo,

Brittany

 

Vanilla Matcha Latte

My husband bought me a giant bag of organic green tea matcha powder for Christmas. I started making this latte as an afternoon pick me up in place of a second (or third) cup of coffee. I get the boost of energy without feeling jittery and without the caffeine headache that I would sometimes get from too much coffee. Matcha is high in anti oxidants, boosts metabolism, provides vitamin c and magnesium and is said to lower cholesterol. So I feel good about drinking this every day. Heres how I make my latte!

Ingredients:

1 cup Almond Milk or milk of your choice 

1 tsp Organic Matcha Powder

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2-3 tbsp sweetener (sugar, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup all work great!)

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Instructions:

In a small sauce pan, warm milk on low heat. Allow the milk to warm for a minute or so before adding ingredients. If you add the matcha when the milk is still cold it tends to clump more. Add your vanilla, sweeter and matcha powder then whisk.

Note: If you are using an unsweetened milk, you may want to add more sweeter. If you are using something like a sweetened vanilla almond milk, 2 tbsps should be enough.

Whisk until everything is combined. You may still be left with some small clumps of matcha. If that happens just pour through a strainer into your mug.

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Enjoy!!

If you have any other fun ways for me to use this giant bag of matcha powder I have, comment them below!

Brittany

looking back on 2016 and December Declutter

This year has been intense. We were rocked by an election and lost too many talented souls. It was filled with extreme highs and lows with very little grey area in between. A lot of changes were made that at the time seemed overwhelming and scary but in my opinion those are the ones that produce the biggest reward. This year has proven that broken links weaken the entire structure of your life and removing those links creates strength. There is something to be said about the law of attraction. The energy you put out into the universe is the energy you will receive. I removed a lot of toxic energy from my life this year. That includes people and situations that were no longer benefiting me, my life and my purpose. In removing these things I opened up space for new amazing friends and wonderful experiences. Once I made the room, the good came flooding in. Change can be frightening but is necessary to move forward on a positive an productive path.

“Coincidence is Gods way of remaining anonymous.” Albert Einstein

Amidst all the crazy that happened, this year gave us our third son. So for that it will go down in the books as  a great year for our family. Its also the year I started this blog! February 1st marks one year for Bohemian and Barefoot. So crazy!! I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people, bloggers, photographers  and businesses. I can wait to move into a new year with this blog.

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I have been feeling the need to purge all of my belongings and start fresh. I have felt the sudden the urge to declutter mentally and physically. This has actually been my focus for the past few months. Getting rid of unnecessary clutter. Ive filled bag after bag of households items and clothes in an attempt to clear out and keep a minimal mindset. Its crazy how many articles of clothing you accumulate over years and I end up wearing the same few basics everyday. As far as home decor, I have only recently found an interest in it. I have always appreciated others ability to create a wonderful space but up until the past few months I never connected with any particular style so I just didn’t bother to focus on it. Lately, I have found myself drawn towards more neutral tones and natural materials. I am really embracing a more simple and minimalist lifestyle. I am looking forward to continuing the process of removing and creating a more fresh and open space.img_0651

We created so many amazing memories this year. We explored, ventured out and really saw what Utah has to offer which is a whole lot of magic!! This is a wonderful place and this year I found a new appreciation for it. We have always been big time crunchy, granola,nature loving people and we found some amazing places to wander. We spent our summer camping and swimming in ponds. Utah in the fall is something that everyone on the planet needs to see at least once. We fell in love with Cascade Springs and hiked long, beautiful trails. iIn the spring we spent Sundays driving through the canyon and having picnics n the mountains. And this year was by far best Christmas of my life. The snow held off. Kept us anxious in anticipation. Until we woke up that morning in a thick blanket of snow. Surrounded by white in all directions.

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This year we got serious about providing our own food. Of course we still rely  on the grocery store and farmers markets but we cut out a good amount of store bought items that we now just make ourselves. Our chickens started laying eggs, we expanded our garden, made kombucha, almond milk, bread, butter, pasta and my husband started his own little mushroom farm! Which i will also elaborate on in a future post.

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Seeing as blogs are basically like big online journals, I thought it would be fun to document some things that impacted my life in one way or another this year. It will be interesting to see what I was enjoying in 2016 a few years from now.

Photography:

I have always been a person that loves to create and loves every art form. Whether I am dancing, cooking, painting, or recreating characters with makeup I NEED to be creating something. Purchasing our professional camera this year really brought my love for capturing moments to life again. I remember walking around Rhode Island during a summer visit snapping photos of old churches with my polaroid. I was probably around 14 at the time. This year has reignited my passion for photography. Of course my kids are easy to photograph because they are beautiful but I really enjoy capturing natural elements. And the editing process is all new and exciting to me.

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Books 

I didn’t read as much as I would have liked this year as I was swept back into the late night netflix routine but I did read  a few.

`A Course in Miracles (I have revisited this many times and have yet to complete it but it is always good when I need a spiritual reboot)

`The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion – Many tears were shed but really gets you thinking about life, loved ones and time.

`The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls- Family dysfunction always makes for a fun read 😉

Music

My playlist was pretty folk heavy this year. Soft, unoffensive music. That just made me sound mega old! But really when you have 3 boys you just need to put on some chill music to mellow the vibe in the house.

`Fruit Bats

`Alt J

`Xaviar Rudd.. have to get my reggae in there 

`Jake Bugg

`Bob Dylan ….always Bob Dylan

`Simon and Garfunkel…. a forever favorite 

`Angus and Julia Stone

`Wake Owl 

`have to add that our 3 year old has developed a love for Dave Matthews that makes us so proud! His favorite song is “Crash” and he sings every word.

Television:

I hate to admit that I was sucked back into the black hole that is Netflix but… it happened. I don’t sleep and this is what I do at 12am.  I got hooked on a few shows and they were all really good!

`Bloodline- That family dysfunction again. Makes for great TV

`The Crown- More Family drama but of the royal variety!

`Black Mirror- This show makes my head explode!

`Gilmore Girls…..I admit itThis is my guilty pleasure. I can’t stop. Its involuntary. I am so sucked into the word of Rory and Loralai that I sometimes forget its not reality!!!

There ya have it. My 2016.  Have  Happy New Year Folks!

 

 

A Slow Approach to the Holidays and StoveTop Potpourri

 

 

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My goal this year was to focus simply on creating memories and enjoying moments.  Every year I become so worked up and stressed out trying to make sure things are “perfect” what does that even mean?? I vowed to take a more laid back approach this time around. Turns out that you can get far more done when you remove the pressure. Nothing was forced. We did things spontaneously and everything turned out to be more prefect than if I had sat down and wrote out list upon list (like I usually do). I took things  as they came (not something that comes naturally to me). We attended parties with friends, we put together our own version of the classic gingerbread house with things we already had in our kitchen, we hopped in the car on a whim and went to see the most magical Christmas lights display I have ever seen. All of this creating memories that our children will remember forever. Rather than memories of mom running around frantically trying to check off ridiculous items on a meaningless “To Do” list. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of organization, lists and schedules but not when they come at the cost of your happiness. Because at the end of the day enjoying time with your loved ones is really all that matters. Did I slack on some things? Sure! We haven’t taken the obligatory family Christmas photo, we haven’t even wrapped presents but Im not stressing about it. My kids have experienced so many wonderful things this holiday season and its not over yet. Tomorrow morning we will wake to wrapped presents under our tree because it will get done. We will put on Christmas music, make mom a huge pot of coffee 😉 and open gifts without a single care of the mess in my living room.

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I made play time a priority. And rather than stress about spending a ton of money on decorations we made most of them at home and found a ton of unique items at the thrift store. I prefer thrift stores over mainstream stores for the simple fact that I can find higher quality items and ones that I know everyone in the world doesn’t already have. Like these beautiful stockings!!

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And of course made sure our home smelled like christmas.  I love candles. Especially holiday scents but they aren’t so great so to burning and breathing in all the time so instead I made with this easy stove top Potpourri.

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I just added about a 1/2 cup of cranberries, a few orange slices, 3 cinnamon sticks, a few cloves, some ground nutmeg and a few teaspoons of vanilla to a saucepan with 2 cups of water and turned the burner to low. Allow this to simmer for as long as you want just add water as the liquid will reduce over time. Hope everyone has had an amazing holiday season so far and Merry Christmas!!

xo,

Brittany

 

 

Smoked Salmon and Mushroom Tortellini

I am sure everyone has a restaurant that they frequently visit for one particular dish. A dish that can not be done the same anywhere else.  I know I do. Or did. In our case this restaurant happened to be one that my husband worked for when we first started dating and for years after that. They had the best seafood dishes I had ever tasted. In fact it wasn’t just this one dish that I loved, I loved everything on their menu. Well like most amazing businesses these days, corporate came in, took over and decided that the menu needed to be revamped. Horrible idea. They ended up removing every single one of our (and everyones) favorite items and replacing them with things that weren’t half as good. Not even close. Customers left, employees left and my husband was one of them. Long story short we had to try and replicate these dishes at home since we could no longer get them. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I actually enjoy this dish much more when I can control the ingredients that are going into it (grass fed butter, organic pasta and so on) and dare I say I think its better!!

 

This pasta dish is rich and filling. Not a low fat meal by any means but such a treat when you are in the mood for a decadent meal. The combination of salty smoked salmon, savory mushrooms and creamy sauce is unbelievably comforting. I can’t really explain how amazing this is. Sometimes, the morning after I’ve made this for dinner, you can find my husband and I eating it cold, straight out of the leftovers container because we wake with such a strong craving that we don’t want to wait the amount of time it takes to reheat it. There’s a pretty mental picture for you!

Here’s what you will  need:

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Ingredients:

1 lb bag of your favorite tortellini (I use a four cheese)

3 tbsp butter or favorite cooking oil

8 oz sliced mushrooms

3 tbsp flour

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups milk

1 cup grated parmesan

1 smoked salmon filet

Instructions:

Boil water and prepare your tortellini according to instructions and set aside.

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Melt your butter in a large pan. Add your mushrooms and sauté until tender.

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Toss in the flour and stir to coat the mushrooms

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add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Once this starts to thicken I add the milk.

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Let this simmer on med heat whisking every so often to prevent clumping. Once thickened add the cheese.

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At this point I lower the heat and if you feel that your sauce is too thick you can always add more milk. While that continues to simmer, chop you salmon. We like ours in bigger chunks. Add it to the pan.

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Add the tortellini, salt (not much is needed with the salmon and parm both being salty additions) and pepper to taste.

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Stir to coat you pasta and serve!! Always with fresh shaved parmesan, pepper and some fresh herbs on top!img_9919-1 img_9923

Enjoy!!

xo,

Brittany