Friday, December 14, 2012

Remember the Fudge

Remember that one time I said that I pour my fudge into a pan lined with tin foil? Remember how I said it makes it sooo much easier to take out of the pan?
I found something even better.
Parchment paper. Do it every time now. It is more expensive than tin foil but you can re-use it :) and it doesn't leave little squiggly lines on the bottom and outside edges.
Parchment paper + fudge =
 Awesome, smooth, pretty and delicious.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Whenever I go to Costco I buy ham. I buy two packages and separate it into 4 baggies. We go through ham pretty quickly cause Zac likes his "ham-burgers" but freezing them ensures that we don't have anything go bad. I used to just freeze the pieces how they came packaged, flat on top of each other. This meant some more intense thawing time or the microwave if I didn't notice we needed a new bag out.
So, once, I tried rolling the individual pieces.
I'm never going back. 
Even when the ham is frozen it's easy to pull out one rolled piece.
This rocks. It does take a tad bit more time in the initial phase but is so worth it.  

Monday, November 19, 2012


So, I make a lot of the bread that we consume. Whole wheat bread, rolls, bread sticks, pizza dough, bread stuff. I love having homemade bread things for dinner but baking them while cooking dinner is so stressful. So, I'm sharing an AWEsome trick I learned when I was younger. You can make your bread in the morning, or the day before, form it into loaves or rolls, whatever, and then stick them on the pan, covered with saran wrap, in the fridge. This prevents them from rising. This means I don't have to worry about timing the rising of the bread just right with when dinner will be ready. BEST thing ever! It makes for super yummy, homemade meals and less stress :)
One time I tried a whole wheat roll recipe. It was good but I still like white rolls better.
I used Active dry instead of Instant yeast. So, this is the initial rise.
Punched down! I LOVE doing this part!
I grease my pans with butter stick wrappers. I like it better that way.
I stuck the rolls in the fridge and took them out several hours later and this is what they looked like.
 This is after they warmed up and rose.
I used half of the dough to make a spaghetti braid for dinner. Though I didn't adore the whole wheat rolls. This was awesome with whole wheat.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fudgy Fudge Fudge

I love fudge! It is so yummy and oh, so, easy to make!

I've used several recipes and threw together my own because nothing was perfect. This still isn't perfect but it's so close that it's okay.
  • 3 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C butter
  • 1 C semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 C milk chocolate chocolate chips
  • 1 C chopped walnuts (optional)
Cook the sugar, milk, and marshmallows in a large saucepan on meadium high. When it comes to a rolling boil (must actually be rolling!), set a timer for 10minutes and keep stirring. Make sure it doesn't burn! When the timer goes off remove from heat and add the vanilla. Then add the butter and chocolate chips and stir/beat it for 5 minutes. You wanna make sure the chips all melt.

Line a baking pan with tin foil, pour the fudge in and stick it in the fridge to cool. Once it's cooled, pull on the tin foil lining and the fudge will pop right out! This makes a much easier clean up and your fudge won't stick to the pan. Cut and enjoy!


Monday, October 22, 2012


I've said this before but.....I adore Taylor Swift's music. She had a new CD come out today. On my birthday :) It's entitled Red.
I Love some of these songs. I am such a Swiftie (an eternal Taylor Swift music fan).
I haven't listened to all of the songs yet but so far I love Stay, Stay, Stay, Starlight, State of Grace,22, Holy Ground and The Lucky One. This made me one happy birthday girl.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Yucky Bath Toys

My kids love their bath toys. They both try to bring them out of the bathroom to play with them when it's not bath time. They particularly love the animal kinds that squeeze, suck in water and then you can squirt it out. I didn't used to like those toys because they get mold inside of them because I can never get the water all the way out.
It makes me wonder what other people do. Do they throw them out? How do they clean them? Do they care?
Anyway, my husband and I figured out that if you suck up bleach into the toys and then squirt it out, it cleans out all of the mold! Sometimes we let it sit over night in the sink just to be extra bleached. This is the best thing ever cause now we don't have to throw away and replace bath toys and they stay sanitary. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Yummiest Sandwich

In April during General Conference we threw together a sandwich with random ingredients from our fridge. Best Sandwich Ever! My 2 year old ate his whole sandwich. He's a picky eater so this was very impressive.
First, set the oven to broil and then lay out sandwich bread on a baking sheet, slice some  tomatoes and lay them on the bread.

Then, you slice up an avacado and lay the slices on top of the tomatoes.

Then, you put a generous amoount of mozzerella cheese on top of the avacado and tomato.

You can skip the step with the meat or not. It's good both ways. The first time we made these sandwiches we used bacon. When I was taking these pictures we used ham. Both versions are good but with bacon is the best.

Then, you sprinkle some seasonal salt on the sandwich. This makes all of the difference! So good!
Lastly, put your baking sheet with your yummy sandwiches in the oven to broil. Broiling goes really fast so watch the sandwiches carefully. I took pictures of this side because the other side of the sandwich is a bit more crispy because I didn't watch it closely enough.

Anyway, broil on one side for about 3 minutes then flip the sandwiches - the cheese makes it stick together - and broil for 2 minutes on the other side.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I've been raised on music. I always make up songs and sing them to my kids. I love to sing. I love good music and I love music that isn't necessarily great but still makes me feel so good - think Hilary Duff. I really absolutely adore Taylor Swift music and found out about Charlie Puth because he did a cover of her song  We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. It's fun!. Charlie is your classic cookie cutter voice but it's still good. Sometimes he duets with Emily Luther and she has some power. Their voices blend incredibly well together in this song.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Green Smoothies

I started doing green smoothies when my 10 month old daughter with no teeth refused to eat baby food anymore. Basically, she wanted to be just like her big brother and parents. She wouldn't eat our food if it was blended up either because it didn't look like ours. She wouldn't eat soft things off of her tray; it had to come from our plates. Just for a little while I would chew up food from my plate, take it out and put it in her mouth. Sounds so disgusting. It was gross but when it's your baby, you don't minds as much - though I did still mind. So that's why I started doing green smoothies. I love it and so do my kids :)

One recipe I've developed is the

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Green Smoothie

Place in blender and let soak for 15 minutes:
4 Cups Water (you can do milk)
4 Tbsp Chia seeds
4 Date frozen and pitted

Then add
1 Cup spinach
2 Cups pitted frozen cherries
1 Cup vanilla or plain yogurt

and one of these three options
about 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
Two Carnation Breakfast Packets
1 Cup Chocolate milk powder mix

Then you blend it all together. You can't even tell it's green. Sooooo good. Also, you can do this without the Chia seeds and dates.

I buy my greens when they're on super good sale. I wash it all, wrap some up in a towel for salads that week (it stays fresh longest this way) and freeze the rest. I freeze it cause then when we don't have fresh veggies we can make green smoothies and still get the nutrients. Because it's blended you don't have to blanch it. Just wash and then freeze. I like putting four portions in a gallon freezer baggie or two portions in a quart freezer bag.As I press out all of the air I make  sure the four portions stay separate. Once the bag is zipped up I push around the lettuce to make the four portions distinct and make sure they won't freeze together. When we make a green smoothie we just take out one of the portions and drop it in the blender. I love it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Scripture Power

So sorry I've been M.I.A. for a little while. My husband had a business conference in Atlanta and I got to go with him!!! It was so fabulous to be able to go running whenever I wanted and shower for how long I wanted. We had the most amazing real Southern food at this restaurant of which I can't remember the name, All I'll say is Pot likker is soooooo good! Anyway, directly after that my husband's side of the family had a family reunion. It was so much fun to have our kids play with their only cousin. They all loved each other and my son keeps asking for his cousin.

We're all busy right? I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I like to study the scriptures everyday. Some days this seems impossible because I have so much else to do. I might be able to read a verse but not study it and become closer to God. That was how I used to feel. Now, I feel differently.

Per my mother's suggestion, I got scripture mastery cards and put them in a jar on my kitchen counter. On days when I haven't been able to study scripture by 9AM, I pull a scripture mastery card out of my jar and work on memorizing it and pondering it all day long. This might sound intimidating but it really is so easy! I just leave the little card in my pocket and pull it out when I remember it/when I'm going to the bathroom and the kids are banging on the door. It helps me focus on Christ all day long. Not just for 10 minutes in the morning while reading the scriptures.

I have two jars: the white has my unmemorized scripture mastery cards in it and the black has the ones that I've already memorized. Every once in a while I pull the already memorized ones out and review them. I feel so fulfilled and proud of myself when at the end of the day I've memorized a new scripture. It helps me so much

Richard G. Scott, an apostle to the Lord serving in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said:
"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

The scriptures provide the strength of authority to our declarations when they are cited correctly. They can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar. They are always available when needed. Their use provides a foundation of truth that can be awakened by the Holy Ghost. Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.

Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change."

My favorite part is when he says, "To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change." I have experienced this. There have been numerous times when I'm feeling down and I think of a scripture I've memorized and it helps me change my perspective and I'm able to remember to choose to be happy. There have even been times when I've been able to share a memorized scripture with someone I'm talking to and it helps them with a problem they're facing. I appreciate it and they appreciate that I am able to help them because I memorized scripture.

Seriously, this has been such a blessing and help in my life. I love how I'm able to actually study and ponder scriptures because of this idea. Now, if you live outside of Utah, finding scripture mastery cards can be hard. They have them on the website but they're itsy-bitsy small  and that doesn't go great for reading them. I eventually ended up asking a seminary teacher if she had any extra and she was thrilled that I wanted to have them and gave them to me. Try it. It is sooo awesome!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Yucky Potatoes No More

You know how potatoes go brown if they're cut up and not used right away? Guess what, it doesn't have to happen. 

All you have to do is put your cut up potatoes in cold water and they stay nice and starchy white. Supposedly, it works fine if you just use cold water but I like to doubly make sure that mine stays cold. So, I put mine in a bowl of water in the fridge. Once, I left them in the fridge for 2 days and when I took them out to cook with them they seemed like I had just cut them up. 

This is so awesome for me because I make my freezer meals a-step-a-day style. One day I cut up the veggies, then I cook the meat and shred it, etc. Anyway, this works great for me! Also, I bet this would work for apples too. That way you don't have to put lemon juice on them and make them taste sour. Eww.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2 Things about Lava Soap

For about a year now I've used Lava Soap as my stain treater. 
It works better than ANYTHING else I've used. 


I've tried a couple of the Pinterest stain treatments and they didn't take out stains that my Lava Soap took out. It seriously rocks! My daughter had Thrush several times in the first portion of her life and we had to give her lots of different meds. One of the medications is called Gentian Violet; it's a purple anti fungal dye. It being a dye, and me nursing, I got a lot of purple stains on my clothes. Nothing would take this stuff out of my clothes, except for my Lava Soap. I love lava soap. I will use this stuff forever because of the price, ease of use and results. There are two other best parts:

1. I have always sweat a lot more than most people. This soap dries out my hands so that they're not clammy. Awesome. I'd use it for that purpose alone; this is kind what it's actually made for; as well, getting grease off of hands after working on cars.
2. Each bar cost less than 99 cents at Wal-mart and each bar lasts about 6 months. For stain treatment, that is an awesome price!

 To use it I get the clothing wet and then rub the Lava Soap bar on the stain. I rub it in extra well with my fingers or rub the clothing against itself. I use a toothbrush to rub it in if it's an extra stuck in stain.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Coat Rack

A girl I knew in high school lived in Italy for a while. On her blog she posted about finding a house to rent and that this coat rack may have been a selling point. Beautiful, huh?

I was sold. I wanted to make one just like her coat rack.  As I've said, I love organization. The coat racks from Wal-Mart and like stores are dinky and unattractive. This is much, much better. Even though mine wasn't what I originally wanted, I love how it turned out and love that it's big enough to accommodated a lot of guests' stuff.

During the warm seasons it usually has hats and bags, but during the cold months it collects all of our coats and all of our guests' coats. My. Goodness. This was one of the easiest and best projects I have ever done. Sorry that I don't have step by step pictures but I did this a long time ago.

So, I searched Craigslist and the Goodwill in town for months trying to find a good deal on a headboard. This one came up on Craigslist for $40. Can you say awesome! I definitely did several times when I first got it. I squealed lots too.

So, then I had to find fabric. Joann's was closing one of their locations in our town and so I waited until the last week when basically everything was 70% off and bought my fabric. I originally wanted fabric more like the fabric the picture my high school mate posted on her blog but this is what I ended up with and I love it. Also, I bought batting at 70% off to go between the fabric and the wood.

Then we bought the hooks from Wal-mart. I bought my fabric first so that I could match the style and color of my hooks to my fabric. It was around $16 for 8 hooks.

So, then I used newspaper as my pattern. I laid it down inside of the molding and cut out the square or rectangle. Then I put the newspaper on the fabric and cut it with a 1/2 inch allowance. I cut the batting from the pattern with no allowance. I put the fabric face down and put the batting on the wrong side of the fabric.

I then used Gorilla Glue to adhere the batting to the fabric. I only put the glue on the edges of the batting and folded over the fabric to cover the batting. This was kind of like wrapping a gift with wrapping paper but not having enough wrapping paper to cover the bottom side.

Then I measured out and marked where I wanted my hooks and then drilled holes in those places. Then I screwed in the hooks.

We hung it on the wall with some heavy duty screw and Voila! We have the most fabulous coat rack ever. The total cost was around $80. I say that's a steal. And if you make one smaller than mine it would be less expensive.

Also, you can see that there is something on top of the coat rack/headboard. Those are my keys. I'm one of those people who always loses my keys and phone. Now that I have my fabulous headboard, I just put my keys and phone on the top ledge and they almost never get lost now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I bite my nails. It's this horrible, unconcious, anxious habit I have. I hate it sooo much. When I was pregnant my body was so super efficient and my nails didn't chip and I only bit them to trim them. Now that I'm not pregnant or nursing my nails are weak. And they chip. And I bite them. Worst habit ever. So, I bought this stuff called Mavala Stop. It's nail polish that tastes horrible! I haven't bitten my nails in a week. This is huge for me. Every time I put my finger in my mouth I am disgusted by the taste and I am aware that I was trying to bite my nails. It really rocks. Hopefully, in a month my habit will be completely broken and I will have rockin hot nails.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Freezing things

I do freezer meals. I love them. It means I can buy bulk and then freeze it into several different meals. I don't have to cook every single day. All of this equals me less stressed, husband less stressed, kids paid more attention to  - because I can just put the meal straight into the oven and spend the used to be cooking time playing with them - and healthier eating.  Also, half the reason I started this blog is to share with friends and family who have requested freezer meal recipes and tips. So, this topic will come up frequently.
I freeze lots of things. But I NEVER freeze in bulk. Freezing in bulk means that you spend more time thawing and making and refreezing. And that is too much effort for me. So, I make things into meal sizes for family, meal sizes for family and company, and usable sizes.

For example, I freeze heavy cream.

I originally got the idea here. Who ever uses the whole jug of cream? I never do. But I don't freeze it in the jug. I freeze it in ice cube trays. I measure out 1 Tablespoon and put it in one portion of the tray and do this for the whole tray. Sometimes I do a tray with 1 teaspoon portions as well.

Then I freeze it. Then I "crack" the ice cube trays and the cubes of heavy cream come right out.

Then I put it in the freezer bag and write the date. I also write this on the freezer bag: 1 cup = 16 Tablespoon and 1 Tablespoon = 1 teaspoon. It helps when I pull it out to cook with.

 Sometimes I do this with buttermilk as well.

Awesome, huh?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Favorite Pictures

One of my best friends has introduced me to photo books. She documents her blog and life through these picture journals. Let's just say, I'm gonna follow in her footsteps. She recently gave me a code to get a free 8*8 20 page photo book from Shutterfly and I'm loving it so much!

I've decided that for every year of life we're going to make a family year book. Basically like high school year books but much, much, much more cool.

So, with my free photo book I'm making a Courtship book. It is a record of Nathan and I dating. Then I'm going to make a wedding book. Then I'm going to start on the year books. I haven't figured out how I'm going to document everything so that when me children are moving away they can have their own photo books to share memories with their spouses and kids. Hopefully I'll figure it out soon so that I can get a move on.

I'm really excited about this because we will remember events and be able to refresh our memories by just grabbing a book off of the shelf or coffee table. I love organization and photo books are the Perfect way to organize.

I'm thrilled beyond reason. Soon this picture will be the front cover of a book sitting on our coffee table.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hot Friday Night Date!

This date wasn't actually so hot. Monsoon season has started here and so we've been nice and cool recently. This evening Nathan and I finished changing our driver side car seat belt. That's a mouth full. Our old seat belt looked like this. We needed a new one.
 The cheapest seat belt we could find online was $109 + shipping for two. That was the least inexpensive. Nathan did a bit more digging and found out that we have a UPullNPay car lot in town. Awesome. It was $2 to get in and $9 for our seat belt. We also had to buy some new ratchets for the process. Nathan about died of happiness buying new tools. This is what we did:

We took off the sides and this is what it looked like inside.  

We unscrewed these three bolts

Then the old one fell off and we put the new one on. 

Now we can feel safe driving. Future safe hot date night, here we come!