Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick post to say how excited I am for this weekend.  It is one of my favorite holidays, and also means that the Christmas season is upon us.  Today I am making all of my pie crusts and tomorrow I will do 2 pumpkin pies, an apple pie, and yam souffle for our dinner at my mom and dad's house.
Then onto shopping for 24 hours with my sister in-law.  It seriously ticks me off that stores now open on Thanksgiving--I can't even relax and enjoy the post dinner bloat/nap.  But we brave the crowds anyway.  Black Friday seriously brings out the crazies (I guess including me), but we have so much fun and I seriously get soooo much done.  As in pretty much all of my Christmas shopping.  I hope I get all I want--even though I NEVER do. I'll never forget last year when I was trying to get a kitchen for my daughter and the crowd literally was like a pack of wildebeests going after the kill.  It was one of the scariest moments of my life.  So I never go for the big ticket items on these sales.  It's just not worth the possibility of being trampled.
And on that note, I hope you all have a safe, enjoyable holiday!
Photo via.  I printed this out and have it in my kitchen.  Isn't it cute?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weird Food Habits

This week we had Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for dinner...not once but twice.  How pathetic are we?  And I don't know about you but I cannot eat mac and cheese without mixing ketchup with it (only kraft though, not the homemade kind).  I thought this was normal, but the reaction from my hubby told me it was in fact not normal.  But you should try it, the ketchup makes it tangy.
Another one I used to LOVE as a kid is grilled cheese in the waffle iron topped with strawberry jam.  Yes, you heard right.  Grilled cheese and jam. (I only had grape on hand--which I do not recommend.  It has to be strawberry or raspberry.)  And grilling it in the waffle iron gives it the holes to hold lots of jam. Try it you will not be disappointed.

So that got me wondering, do you have any weird food habits?  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why Do I Blog?

Awhile ago I was reading a blog post (surprise surprise, I can't remember where I was reading) that asked readers if they tell people in the "regular world" that they have a blog.  My answer, for some odd reason, was a big fat NO.  I just feel like either you are a blogger/blog reader person or you are not.  Most of the people in my life are not.  So I'm not really out there sharing that I have a blog.  In fact one of my sister in laws almost pokes fun of me and asks me if I'm going to blog about something.  (Maybe I will.  Sheesh.)  Do you share your blog with others?  I guess most of it boils down to the fact that I'm a tad embarrassed about my blog.  I'm not inventive, or creative, and have no real pizzazz for writing.  But I know one thing for sure: I enjoy it.  I enjoy connecting with others while I'm at home making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and diffusing toddler arguments in my sweats pants.  And while I don't have a huge readership, and just in general have no real direction in this blogging world, I'm going to keep doing it.  It's fun.  And it can be done in glorious gray sweat pants.

Also, I think I am finally out of my post-vacation rut.  It has literally taken me months to get over this post-paradise depression.  In fact when we got home, we were so down, we tried to see if we could swing another trip out there before the year was through.  It didn't happen, but that's ok.  We'll survive.  And plan a new trip somewhere else. :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

What to do With All of That Halloween Candy

We had a great Halloween, and as usual my kids got tons of candy.  And guess what do we do with all of it?  Make a Christmas countdown chain!  We did this last year, and I cannot for the life of me remember where I got the idea.  But it cut our Halloween stash down so much that I knew it would be something we do year after year.  And the kids loved doing the countdown each day in December.

Just start by rolling out a reallllly long piece of saran wrap, add pieces of candy, wrap them and tie a ribbon in between.

I just did it for the month of December (25 pieces), and it cut my kids Halloween candy stash down to 7 pieces each.  Now that I can handle.

And of course, save the best for last:

Thirty Handmade Days

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A New Look and Our Halloween

Before I talk about Halloween, have you seen the new blog?  It is amazing!  Colleen of Paisley Boulevard did a redesign for me and I love it!  Don't you? :)  I cannot thank her enough for all of the time she spent on this little tiny blog and want her to know how grateful I am for it!

What a great October we had!  First up was the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago to pick out our pumpkins.

Next up was the Halloween party last Saturday.  I did my old standby vampire costume, and my hubby was a Peruvian since he had a few authentic pieces--but I didn't get a picture of him.
Scary!  The hubs ended up winning both the chili contest and the pumpkin carving contest.  I might have to post the chili recipe here some day, it really is delicious.  And here is the winning pumpkin:
Along with our other non award-winning pumpkins:

Trick or treating with the kids is always fun.  They both get so excited and their excitement is infectious.  Every time Bud got a new piece of candy he'd say his bucket was getting heavy, or that he was getting "lots and lots" of candy.  Here's our kitty and football player:
Hope you all had a great Halloween!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hawaiian Vacation: The Final Days

Time to close this baby out already!

Day 5
Well I woke up that morning and felt awful.  From not having put sunscreen on my face, it literally felt like it was just a burned pile of mush.  We had a very slow morning, made some breakfast, and I felt like I was done having any sun.  I was even feeling ready to go home and just done with the trip (looking back, what on earth was I thinking?).  Obviously it was because I was feeling awful but I really hate it when I am to blame for my own misery.
A bit later we headed to Haleiwa Joe's for lunch.  It was good seafood but a bit pricey.
We headed down to the east side of the island and stopped at the Laie LDS temple. It was so beautiful, and different than the last time I had been there.  They had totally changed the landscape (I could be wrong on that, but I swear it was different).

And of course where did we head next but the Polynesian Cultural Center.  I had never been to this place before so I was excited.  When we first walked in we decided to get temporary tattoos.   My hubby got a big one on his shoulder and I got one on my foot.  Sooo much better than the real thing!  No pain, and it goes away when I get sick of it.

Then we went and watched the Canoe Parade.  Of course we got a seat directly in the sun and were both dripping wet by the end of it, it was so hot!  But it was pretty cool, we enjoyed it despite the sweat.

Gotta love the facial expressions.

Then we did all of the shows we could until the Luau: Samoa, Aotearoa (aka New Zealand), Tonga, and finally Tahiti.  Each show had demonstrations with music, or food, or hula dancing, and very entertaining (Tonga was our favorite, those guys were hilarious).

We headed to the luau for dinner and got treated with a lei and ate buffet style while they entertained with singing and dancing.  My favorite was the pork (holy yummy!) and the purple sweet potato rolls, my hubby's favorite was the teriyaki chicken and Hawaiian style beef jerky.
Finally, we went to the big evening show called Ha: Breath of Life.  It was a beautiful show that showcased each of the islands of Polynesia and I really enjoyed it.  Also, for those of you that know it, it was basically the Plan of Salvation put to music and dancing.  :)  The PCC is very beautiful and well kept and I thought all of the staff was really friendly.  It was a great experience and I highly recommend it.  Having said that, both my hubby and I agreed, we probably never need to do it again in our lifetime.  It's just a lot to take in...and a lot of the same stuff over and over again.
We drove home in the pouring rain, totally exhausted and happy from the day's experiences.  And despite a car alarm going off outside the condo all night, we slept pretty well.

Day 6
Our last full day in Hawaii.  We went straight to Hanauma Bay that morning and enjoyed beautiful snorkeling for a good few hours. We saw tons and tons of fish, it was pretty cool.
After that we were ready for some relaxation so we decided to go and see a movie.  At first I thought it weird to see a movie while in paradise, but then it totally made sense.  We never go to movies because of the kids and now we were kid free!  So we saw The Dark Knight Rises.  I have to admit, I was a complete wreck the entire time.  I was paranoid, and kept noticing everyone that got up and left (the guy in front of me left like 3 times, I was like DUDE you are giving me heart palpitations), not to mention the fact that the movie is so dark and evil I just could not handle it.  But I really enjoyed the last 15 minutes of it!  I love a good happy ending.  We got some dinner on the way home and ended up playing games and going to bed.  I really missed my kids at this point and wish that future me would've gone back and told past me to relax and enjoy it, it would be over before I knew it.

Day 7
Got up early and did our favorite spot, Waimea, one last time.  We had our snorkel gear and it was so amazing to watch two sea turtles eating their breakfast right by the shore.  We followed them for awhile, I absolutely loved it.  There were even some rainbows for us right before we left.
We were sad to leave the beach and had to force ourselves to go.  We stopped in Haleiwa to get some Matsumoto's shaved ice (soooo worth it!).  We got there right when they opened and that is the only time the line isn't completely around the building.  It was good, but here is a tip: don't get the huge one.  The regular size is PLENTY.  Then the hubs just had to get some shrimp (gag!) so we stopped at Giovanni's shrimp truck and got the most garlicky smelling stuff ever.  Seriously, he smelled like garlic shrimp for days.  Blech.  This girl is not a shrimp fan.
Anyway, we stopped by the Walmart to buy some things to replenish the condo, (toilet paper) and it was time to clean and pack.  I hope we left the condo better than we found it, we were so grateful to have had such a nice place to stay--that was free.  We left my brother and sister in-law a little gift on their kitchen table, so I hope they enjoy it.  Before we knew it, we were back on the airplane heading home.   The red eye is MISERY for me.  I do not sleep, I get claustrophobic, and I just want to get up and run around (of course the hubs slept almost the entire time. sigh). I barely made it out of there sane, and then on the LA to SLC flight. I was a complete zombie.  The landing barely even woke me and I was glad to have gotten some shut eye.  Seriously, the red eye is horrible awful misery that should not be inflicted on people that suffer from insomnia.  Unfortunately that's pretty much all you get coming back from Hawaii.
I could not believe how excited I was to see my kiddos.  When I saw Bud in his car seat I just hugged and hugged him and his feet were kicking so fast he was so excited to see us.  And it was the same with my daughter, we were all so excited.  It was weird how for a few days it was like I forgot what they looked like or sounded like, but then once we were back it was like we had never left.
I learned a few things about myself on this trip:
1-I am a germophobe.  I mean have no idea how many people I saw walk out of bathrooms without washing their hands.  It kind of made me a little crazy thinking about it...
2-I really am not a people person.  They all kind of drive me crazy.  There was this girl talking during the first hour of the red eye (you know when the lights are off and people are trying to sleep) and I was like seriously?  Look around you idiot, we are all trying to relax!  We don't care about your life plan.
3-It is ok to leave the kids now and then.  They did great while we were gone and didn't spend all day wondering if we were going to come back to them.
4-Vacations are a must.  I don't care if we only go an hour away, I need to get away without the kids more often.  Every seven years is not enough.
5-Finally, I need to relax.  Obviously, look at the first two points.  But really I need to try to chill.  Although I will say being on an island totally helped contribute to that.  Then we get back to real life and all of that gets sucked away.  But for the sake of these two munchkins, I need to relax and not worry so much.

And if you made it to the end of this post (hi babe!) great job, you deserve a medal.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Around Here

Let it be known that I actually cleaned my crock pot on the same day that I used it.  The old "it needs to soak awhile" is always my stand by excuse.  But not today people! I think this means I'm making strides in the cleaning department.  Ok, I haven't vacuumed in a week, so maybe not.  Anywho, I had made a roast with potatoes, carrots, you know the typical pot roast meal.  A very comforting, autumny type of meal and it was delicious.  I had piled my plate with all of the above and left it sitting on the counter.  My little Bud, who had been helping me set the table, took the entire thing and dumped it on the ground.  And  I couldn't freak out because he was only trying to help.  So I took a picture. I think that is the answer to all of life's problems.
Also, each day I have a couple of killing sprees with flies and spiders (seriously, our fly problem this year is baaad).  Walked through the kitchen there was a GIANT, HAIRY spider on my KITCHEN COUNTER. Then later that same night my son brought me a dead giant, hairy spider in his BARE HANDS...I about died on the spot. I kill about 5-7 flies PER DAY.  And the fly paper in the garage?  I can't walk by it without gagging. (Enough CAPS LOCK for you?)  My point? Bring on the snow.  Mounds of it.  LOADS of it. So much that I can't get out the driveway. I am done with bug season.

Oh and I got a haircut.  After one long year (yes I went a year without a haircut--out of cheapness really, not trying to make a statement) I finally chopped a good 3 inches off.  It should have been more...but baby steps.  Here is a horrible "after" photo and no my hair is not purple.  Not quite sure how that hue got injected into the photo but there it is.
Hope you're having a great October like we are!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I was trying hard to be a good blogger, I really was.  Then my Mom asked me if I wanted to go to Moab with her and my Dad.  So yeah, we left for 4 days.  We had a blast.  But let me back up a bit.
My Dad got home from Afghanistan about 10 days ago.  We were so excited to see him.  I cried (and it reminded me we still have 4 months until my brother is out of harm's way.  It seriously cannot come fast enough).  Here's some pictures of our reunion:
Waiting patiently....
My niece sees him!

So a few days later my Dad wanted to go down to Moab to ride his dirt bike on some trails.  Thus leaving my mom back at the hotel.  So she asked me and the kids to go and keep her company.  We had lots of fun.  Moab is such an awesome town, I love it--and they put in a new (to me) pool and aquatic center.  It was hands down the kids' favorite thing.
And the morning runs were my favorite thing:
We also made a stop at Arches on the way home, and my kids hiked the Upper Viewpoint to Delicate Arch.  I was so proud!  They kicked butt.  (Delicate Arch is top middle in the below picture)  Next time I hope the kids are older so I can take them all the way to it.
Double Arch
And finally, what happens when a toddler gets a hold of lipstick:
Thanks to my parents for including us, it was a great getaway.
I still want to finish detailing my Hawaii trip, so that is coming up.  Aren't you so excited?  It's the never ending travelogue. :)