Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tag, $15 and Halloween Treats!

Okay Tiff... Here's my response to your tag.
Here's my kitchen sink...
the fridge...here's my bathroom...

here's my self portrait (my friend Sarah from High School painted this from a photo of me. She's amazing)...favorite room (my room 'cause it's where I get sleep! I also love the chaise long my mom's friend recently donated to us (it's in the back left corner). It's so comfy and I would sleep in it every night if I could)...here's my closet...shoes ($0.25 at Target. Can't beat that!)...my messy kids (I included the picture of Lilly because you can see her goofy smile. She has her two bottom teeth and one of her top side teeth. She's currently working on getting the other side one and both of her top middle teeth right now. The poor girl is dying!)...Laundry room. It's pretty boring and full of Doug's ironing that I need to get done! It's only been sitting on the ironing board for 2 weeks now...

Dream vacation...
I tag any of my sista's or cuz's who thinks this looks like fun.

Here's proof that I am still continuing with my thrifty ways. A friend in our ward was getting rid of this and I snagged it for $15! Mattress and all. I thought it was quite the deal. It's one of those converter ones too and I totally love it! Lilly loves having the room to stretch too!

Here's some bonus Halloween fun things. We made these paper cats from this Halloween activity book I got a Seagull Book. Let me know if you want the instructions. They were fun to make.

And here's a Halloween bonus treat recipe. These are seriously the best pumpkin cookies I've ever tasted. They're really light, moist, flaky (I think it's the shortening) and sooooo yummy! IT uses a whole big can of pumpkin so it makes about 1 million cookies. Feel free to half the recipe. I did and still got about 4 dozen out of it!Yummiest Pumpkin Cookies Ever!
1 can (29 oz.) pumpkin
2 1/4 c. shortening
3 c. sugar

Mix together and add:
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Mix together and add:
6 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon

Mix together and add:
1 bag milk chocolate chips

Drop by spoonfuls onto cookies sheets. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes or until fingertip doesn't indent.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Okay, first off, please disregard the irony of this post.

Now that that's out of the way, Doug and I recently signed up for this 13-week course that his company is offering called "Financial Peace University" (FPU). It's a course designed by Dave Ramsey and we pretty much go to Squire every Wednesday night and watch a video of him lecturing. In case you haven't heard of him he was a millionaire by age 26 through real estate in TN and then lost it all and went completely bankrupt. It's a pretty fascinating story. Needless to say, he's recovered and is doing well for himself by offering financial advice and through founding FPU. His whole concept is based on the following baby steps:
1. $1,000 emergency fund
2. Pay off all debt with the debt snowball
3. 3-6 months of expenses in savings
4. Invest 15% of income for retirement
5. College funding
6. Pay off your home early
7. Build wealth and give!
Nothing new but good advice.

Anyway, here's where the irony comes in. Last week, the day after our first class, I already had some errands to run and knew that I would be spending money and was feeling guilty about it. I came away with some pretty awesome deals though so I felt justified. My first stop was the Provo Craft Outlet in Lindon. If you haven't been, you much go. It's just off of State Street past Kneaders. Anyway, I got a big ceramic Easter candy dish, a weird bunny in a cage (that Sophia just had to have), cute wooden eggs to hang on the wall, 4 plates, 2 bowl, 1 scented oil thing, 1 1' Christmas Tree, 1 6' Christmas tree, 4 boxes of mini lights 2 6' pine garlands, 3 sets of velvet Christmas bows, and 1 bag of cinnamon pinecones for $22 - total! No joke! The 6' tree was only $8 and I'm pretty sure I'm going to sell it on Craigs list. Anyway, I was quite proud of myself.

My next stop was Target to pick up the girls pictures. I perused the awesome $1 bins for some cute Halloween stuff. One section of the $ bins was 75% off - therefore, everything was 25 cents! I got a bunch of photo albums, note pads, a pizza cutter and a giant plastic football platter
all for 25 cents each. I was truly amazed.

So anyway, that was one of my last shopping sprees for awhile now that we're building our emergency fund to make Dave happy. I just love a good deal (or two)!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Turbine Yukon Palin

What would your name be if you were Sarah Palin's child?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy First Day of Fall

The first signs of fall actually showed up at our house a few weeks ago. Acorns anyone?
I don't know if you remember this from last year but I will definitely be making another one of this wreaths and will be taking orders (or you can come get your own acorns and make your own creation. Anyway, we raked piles and piles of acorns on two different days last week and our garbage can is filled to the brim with them (we can barely roll it down the sidewalk).
After all of that our yard once again looks like this. Will it ever stop raining acorns!?
Here's one of my sweet Lilly Bean. Thanks for the cute poncho Cakes! We hope you love your squeaky shoes!
Here's what Sophia did while we raked. She's got to practice up for her driver's test. Think she'll pass? Finally, thank you again to my fabulous sis. You are too kind and the flowers are too lovely. I can't believe how big their blooming. They remind me of you - just bursting with joy and happiness! Thanks again.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Follow up on the artiste

I think I was a little too quick to gloat about my artist in training. She did a few lovely portraits on the walls, carpet, and closet doors in the basement so after making her clean it up with magic eraser (how would I live without those) I made her pick up all her crayons and throw them away (don't worry, I'll get them out later). I asked her if throwing away her crayons made her feel happy or sad and then cried for a few minutes about how much she loves crayons and how she misses her crayons. I'm just the worst mom ever huh? Hopefully this will finally drive the point home!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Sophia has been so into drawing people lately. After doing a fabulous job with our family portrait, she has moved on to individual portraits. I've found these pictures scattered all over the house. I've asked her who they're pictures of and she said (clockwise in the 1st set of pics starting on the top left) Brad, me with Brad, Kate, and my sister Lilly. I think it's so great. I just love to see her little personality grow and talents develop. It's fun to see all the details she puts into each little picture. It's so great. (Did I mention I think it's so great?) She drew these pictures with a pencil (minus the one drawn with the blue crayon) so sorry they're so dark (I think if you enlarge it you can see it better).

She definitely gets her talent from Doug. Here's what I was drawing at her age (the second picture was actually done in 1st grade).

Here's what Doug was drawing at her age. Okay - not really. He did this one on his mission. I'm just not sure where his preschool drawings are.

Here's some pics I had taken of my girls recently. I love the one of Lilly with the flower.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lovin it

I had to include the token picture of Sophia on her first day of preschool. She has loved it so far and I hope that continues. I found out they do Show and Tell every day so that none of the kids feel left out and they can do it when they want to. The teacher said it's funny because usually every kid finds something they want to share. We weren't prepared for this and the only thing in Sophia's bag was a change of clothes in case of an accident (see more about that here). Apparently those clothes were her Show and Tell item for the day. We'll make sure we have something packed from now on. Sorry this isn't the best picture of her. She recently chucked our camera across the room and broke the screen so we can't see the pictures we take anymore. The view finder is also a little off so pictures never turn out quite the way we'd like them to. Last Saturday we went to the Kids Class at Home Depot (1st Saturday of every month from 9 - 12) and they made these football goal posts complete with a paper football. It was pretty funny. They also had the option to make these cute peg boards with a football shape. I brought one home and painted it and then hung Sophia's blessing dress on it. I thought it turned out pretty cute. You totally wouldn't know it's a football shape either. I'm going to try and get one for Lilly next month.In other news, we're totally excited for Halloween! I was thinking of what Sophia could be and found this Care Bear's costume at my mom's house. This is the same costume that my nephew Bruce use to put on and it would scare the pants off Sophia. She would scream and scream until he left the room. I guess she forgot all about it because she thanked me repeatedly for getting her a "postume". She's pretty excited about it. We already know what Lilly, Doug and I are going to be but you'll have to wait and see about that one!
P.S. This ones for my sistas. I put this little shelf up on Lilly's wall the other day and found this perfect little framed picture to go on it. The picture on the right says, "Be kind to thy sister...Not many may know the depths of true sisterly love". I though the little framed pic on the shelf was fitting to go in my girls' room (you might have to enlarge the picture to see the little frame on the shelf).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Quick note about things I love!

I've found my new best friend. Let me introduce you... I was telling a lady I visit teach about the issues we've been having with our dishwasher. We've only had it for a year and it was brand new when we moved in but it has not been cleaning well lately. I thought it was because I was using the Electrasol tabs instead of the Cascade ones (that I love). We took our dishwasher totally apart and couldn't believe how much nasty hard water build up we had. It was incredible. I've tried cleaning it with vinegar, lemon juice, and even Tang but nothing worked. She recommended this stuff and it seriously works wonders. You know those commercials where it has the two glasses side by side and ones all nasty and filmy and the other one is crystal clear. That's is totally how it is in this case. No exaggeration. For the first few times I put it in my main detergent holder and the regular stuff in the prerinse like it says to but it's in a small container and it's kind of pricy so I didn't want to use it up so quickly. Now I just put it in the prerinse side with the regular stuff in the main part and it seriously is amazing how well it works! Anyway, their website is www.lemishine.com. I've seen it at Walmart and Target but I haven't looked anywhere else. I love that you can use it for other household things. We have serious hard water issues in our house and I can't wait to try in out on our toilet and shower heads - I live such an exciting life huh?

In other news, here's a few more things I love. I cut this little cutie's hair the other day for preschool. It's a little shorter than I had planned but I think it's still cute! Speaking of preschool, we went to the orientation yesterday and she kept asking me when I was going to leave. She kept saying things like, "mom, when are you going?", "mom are you going to go yet?", and finally, "mom, you need to leave now." It was so funny. I think she's just a little bit excited for preschool!Here's my other cutie looking so cute today! I love that it's getting colder outside and that sweater season is almost here!
P.S. I'm almost embarrassed to post anything anymore after seeing this hilarious site www.seriouslysoblessed.blogspot.com. (in case you're a little blond like me, it's totally fiction which makes it even more hilarious. It seriously caused me to take a step back and examine myself to see if I come across that way. Too funny)

Monday, September 1, 2008

And The Winner Is...

What a funny little day. P-town has the awesomest Labor Day Celebration in Utah called Golden Onion Days. It's your typical small town celebration with the carny and parade and everything. Last year they held the first bake off competition. I got the flier for it this year and thought that I should enter something. I hadn't thought about it again until yesterday. I was looking around at what the prizes were and saw the top prize was $50 and everyone else got gift cards or whatnot so I thought at least I wouldn't come away empty handed. I also realized that it's a small town and it's only in it's second year so I probably had a pretty good chance at winning something. I'm not trying to boast or anything but I really do like to bake a little too much. Anyway, I decided I wanted to enter this recipe I have for some yummy Swedish bread. I called the person in charge to see if they were still taking entries and she took my info over the phone. Doug and I baked the bread around 10 last night and I took it to the drop of place this morning around 8:30 along with my $5 entry fee.

I came home and did some more canning (apples - I'm finally done with the 2 boxes I got) and cleaned the house and whatnot and then we went back for the awards ceremony this afternoon. It was funny because there really were only about 2 or 3 entries per category so everyone literally walked away with some sort of prize (even if it was just a blue ribbon). This sweet old lady in my ward entered about every category in the super senior age division and I think came away with three top prizes. It was cute.

So they get to my category - Adult Yeast Bread Variety - and there were about 6 of us that had entered something. I thought for sure I didn't have a very good chance because there were so many more entries than just the 2 or 3 in every other category. For some reason the judges liked the bread and it got 1st place. I was a little excited. It was fun to get a little medal and a little $ for doing something that you love to do. I also lucked out and the bread did turn out pretty good. We decided to add a little almond extract to the dough to give it a little something extra. It was tasty. The presentation looked much better at the event than it does here. I have to give all the credit to Doug though because he's the one that did all the mixing and without that it may not have turned out the same. He told me later that he was proud of me because at least I beat someone and didn't just get a prize for submitting something. Anyway, I'll probably enter something (or two or three) next year now that I know how easy it is to win! I'm not one to keep secrets so if you want the recipe I'm including it here.

Swedish Egg Bread


1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground Cardamom
1 tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. almond extract
2 eggs
4 c. flour
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. water


1. Dissolve yeast in approximately 3 tablespoons of warm water. Let it foam up for 15 minutes.

2. In the meantime, place butter or margarine and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it boils turn off heat and set aside until it cools to a lukewarm temperature.

3. In a large mixing bowl add sugar, salt and cardamom. Then add simmering milk to the sugar mixture. Add eggs, almond extract and yeast to milk and sugar mixture and mix well. Add approximately 4 cups of flour to milk and sugar mixture until mixture begins to pull away from sides.

4. Cover and let rise in warm area until it doubles. After it doubles, take dough out, knead it and divide into halves. Then divide each half into 3 parts. Roll each part into balls, and then roll balls into even strands. Place 3 strands on greased jelly pan side by side and braid strands together to make two separate loaves. Cover and let rise until loaves double.

5. Lightly brush on a mixture of egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water on top of loaves. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves