Monday, December 31, 2012

last minute nye party noise maker

if your kids are  bored today (and why would my kids bored with all their new christmas gifts?!?! another post for another time! :/), like mine are, and won't stop fighting long enough for me to clean one room, like mine are, - put them to work making new year's eve noise makers. all it takes is a finely decorated tp roll, staples, and some dry rice. easy peasy. i am hoping our guests don't mind too much, because the boys won't put them down. but, it remedied the above problems wonderfully, AND they even made one for each other instead of for themself, so they can shake the heck out of them as far as i'm concerned! :)
again, happy new year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012


a christmas morning picture. things are usually too hectic to get everyone smiling, to get my camera on the right settings, everyone wearing a shirt, and everyone in the picture all at the same time. but, i snapped this one of the kids at least (and then later, one of all of us - previous post) so it counts. my efforts count.
they don't care too much about my picture efforts, but they loved my super awesome mom efforts when i took them sledding! our sweet babysitter (who lives right across the street!) texted me that her dad was going up to the golf course to make trails and asked if the boys would like to come. it only took 15 minutes to get them dressed (which is like, huge!). little nash was napping and seeing how he is a rotten little toddler right now, i can't really see him feeling like he missed out on something. did i say rotten? i meant ROTTEN. but, oh, he is such a doll and so sweet at the same time! toddlerhood. sigh.
so we trudged across to the golf course and bryce was concerned that he might not make it because the snow was almost up to his knees, but we got there and had a blast. the boys got some tips on how to snowboard from miss abree's brother and sled (slid?) until their little hearts were content. everyone had a ton of fun and i didn't even mind the snow! that is truly the christmas miracle, right there.

what a fun day.
happiest of new years.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

christmas letter?

oh, shoot. it is already almost christmas. i am pretty sure the common theme throughout 2012 for me was, "where has the time gone". someone please tell me how to make it stop?

i had to post a picture of my tree for peace of mind. this was the night i put it up and now, 3 weeks later, half of the strand of lots around the bottom doesn't work and half of the ornaments have been ripped off by a spastic toddler. i can't figure out why the lights don't work, but let me tell you - it is driving me bananas. finally, today, i just took the whole strand off the tree and am planning on replacing it tomorrow.

so here is a run-down of all we've been doing the last few weeks:

travis - work. work. work. young men's. work. and let me just tell you - he is kicking a at all of it. love that guy.

triston - little math-whiz and singer in the house. elite wrestling club is dominating our life, but he loves it and is awesome. spends a lot of time lately reading and drawing. protector of baby bro.

jackson - nose-picker and tattle-tell. school lover and basketball player. reading & doing his big bro's homework. oh, the fights it starts. thoughtful & always has a hug waiting for you (but if he is mad at out).

bryce - new attitude (not a good one) & battle expert. always setting up a battle & knows every super hero ever imaginable and tells me every stat he can think of. eager to tie his own shoes and cries every time i tell him to get dressed. wants to live his life in pajamas & is never going to school. - those were his words.

nash - won't let me feed him at all, but does well feeding himself. fit thrower, mischievious tree wrecker, asks for chocolate milk every morning and cries when he doesn't think i poured enough in his cup (seriously?) terrified of the car-wash & train lover. favorite thing to do is read books and oh, he thinks he is hilarious.

boys overall - constant noise. constant motion. constant crazy.

me: just trying to keep up. primary president, head room mom, home-preschool teacher, and just about any other role you can think of. often exhausted. i spend a lot of time wondering what the heck just happened.

i feel like i just wrote a christmas letter. which reminds me: i have a stack of 60 christmas cards sitting on my desk. i bought them last year and just added a pic of our family and now i just don't want to even send them out. i have no desire to finish them and i especially have no desire to sit down and address every single one of them. so, i am going to be all rogue here and do an internet christmas card. maybe, you know, if i can find some time around here before the big day. AND if the world doesn't end on friday.

but if i don't see you: merry christmas!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the evil witch

my kids play this weird game when we are on the road called, "the evil witch" and it is actually quite clever. the car directly behind us is the evil witch and as it gets closer the kids start yelping and carrying on telling us to  hurry or to go faster. if the car passes us, though - that's it. she ate them.
bryce says he came up with the game and i love hearing them play it. i would definitely prefer for a different character...say, like a mean lion or something, but no matter. it's a good old fashion made-up game between brothers. and those are the ones you remember forever.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

easy advent how-to


i have a giant magnetic board hanging in my foyer. it usually boasts snapshots of our family and friends, but for the christmas season i wanted to do something different. inspired by a pinterest idea, i created a simple {and super cute} advent calendar.

i bought red twine and the small envelopes at hobby lobby for a couple of dollars a piece. i also bought the clothespins there several months ago. i used a red sharpie for the numbers. i'm a "lots of red girl" for christmas time.

it is decorated by a single sprig of berries and greenery and a cute santa chalkboard. when the christmas cards start rolling in, i will tape a long piece of ribbon down one side and tape each card to the ribbon.

the twine is just taped snugly to the back of the frame and each envelope hangs by a clothespin. easy peasy. a large frame or canvas would work in place of the magnetic board. even twine tacked along a fireplace mantle or wall would be fun!

the reason for an advent calendar: obviously, i had to redeem myself from last year's advent calendar. yikes! and it is a fun way to count down the days. but more importantly, i want to keep my kiddos {and myself} aware of  why we celebrate christmas in the first place.

as for our advent activites: we have busy children with practices and travel teams and lots of homework so I kept the activities to weekends but we will read a scripture each day. I only wrote where to find the verse for each envelope rather than the whole verse so they will have get their scriptures out to read from.

Dec. 1 John 1: 1-5 - light parade & christmas tree decorating
Dec. 2 Isaiah 9: 2-7 - read a christmas story
Dec. 3 Isaiah 11: 1-10
Dec. 4 Jeremiah 33: 14-16
Dec. 5 Luke 1: 5-10
Dec. 6 Luke 1: 11-17
Dec. 7 Luke 1: 18-25 - watch a christmas movie
Dec. 8 Luke 1: 26-38 - jump in the car for christmas lights
Dec. 9 Mathew 1:18-21 - christmas craft
Dec. 10 Matthew 1: 22-26
Dec. 11 Luke 1: 39-45
Dec. 12 Luke 1: 46-56
Dec. 13 Luke 2: 1-5
Dec. 14 Luke 2: 6-7 - decorate a gingerbread house & christmas story
Dec. 15 Luke 2: 8-12 - wrap & deliver donated christmas gifts
Dec. 16 Luke 2: 13-14 - make christmas cards for far-away relatives
Dec. 17 Luke 2: 15-18
Dec. 18 Luke 2: 19-20
Dec. 19 Micah 5: 2-5 - christmas caroling at church
Dec. 20 Matthew 2: 1-2
Dec. 21 Matthew 2: 3-6
Dec. 22 Mathew 2: 7-8 - watch a christmas movie
Dec. 23 Matthew 2: 9-12  - make some goodies to share w/ christmas music
Dec. 24 John 1:14 - open a gift & leave cookies for st. nick

 can't wait for dec. 1st!

feel good tip # 1

bake your neighbor some bread just because. and share recipes, muffin tins, sugar, eggs, ect. i even have a neighbor that ran to the store for me once during a dinner crisis. i appreciate our neighbors because they look out for my kids when they are all hooligan-ing it in the backyard. they come to birthday parties and think of us on holidays. they answer my seemingly stupid gardening/landscaping questions and leave starters on my back patio. our kids go to school together and play sports together. and i know if i were ever in need of help, they wouldn't think anything of it to go out of their way to do what they could. and of course, we return the thoughtfulness. bonus: if you are feeling blue, taking your neighbor a treat will not only brighten their day, but it will yours, as well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

thinking of my little son at 7.

oh, this boy. just the other day, i was was observing him at church. he was sitting there in a tiny suit, that was suited for a 7 year old. he had gelled his hair, which is something that the boys only reserve if they feel like "getting ready" or dressing up. so, he must of thought he looked good, and he did. he had one leg crossed over the opposite knee with a hymn book resting on top. he was following along, singing. quite well, too, i might add. and he looked roughly 35.

today he brought home from school a certificate that certified him to marathon reader status. it's a big deal to hit marathon reader, as they have to read and test over specific books. and it is a big deal to me because the written word is just about one of my favorite things and i love that my kids love to read.  AND the best part: they get a candy bar from the librarian.

it is such a joy to watch my boys achieve little accomplishments. for example: triston was having some issues with 'elapsed time' in math and had a test coming up. he didn't say a peep at all when i told him he had to skip wrestling practice to make sure he was prepared for the test and continued to have a great attitude about it even though the work was tough for him. he took the test the following day and got a 100%. i did the lamest happiest dance EVER and then rewarded him by downloading a song of his choice for his ipod.  example 2: bryce and i are practicing reading and it is not the funnest thing in the world for bryce. but, he did it and by the end of our lesson (which was really lesson 5 in the book i am using), he was reading the words "nap" "tap" "map" ect. and was able to spell similar words all by himself. it was sort of a huge breakthrough for him so of course i was jumping around the house and dancing like a lune every time he spelled a word right. which was just the most hilarious thing to him and nash.  and little nash - he is repeating everything anyone says and his big thing right now is playing with "guys" which is any action figure that he uses to battle. and he even makes fighting and shooting sounds. is that normal for an 18 monther? it seems really early for that.

but back to jackson: he has been working hard practicing his shot for basketball and is looking good on the court. he is a little rough around the edges though and fouls like a mother every chance he gets. i guess he has time to work on that. :) and tonight he was walking around in his underwear telling his brothers that his butt stinks. uuuuuggggggh. boys are seriously gross.

love my little guys.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Annual Christmas List - 2012

This perfume. not to be confused with this one, also a favorite - and one i am out of...

These dishes.

This mirror.

Definitely, this.

..and I wouldn't say no to this.

...but really, i can't think of anything better than just sitting at home with my darling little family, all together, and celebrating our savior's birthday. so skip the presents, someone make my kids stop fighting for just a sec, and let's just relax - a christmas movie, board games, hot chocolate, maybe a random dance party and just slowing down. i'm cool with snow, too - just on christmas day, though.

i've got plans for the cutest advent calendar ever. last year i made the most ghetto one ever, but i planned ahead this year. details to come...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

meet the love of my life...

i mean, i love a lot of inanimate things: snl, sparkly christmas decorations, essie nail polish, the new bruno mars song, the limited, ect. but, i'm pretty sure the love i feel for cream cheese is at the top. you can pretty much do anything with this stuff  by way of food and i can pretty much guarantee whatever it is will be awesome. case in point: here are a few recipes i have been banging out of the kitchen as of late:
baked spaghetti - i will never be able to eat plain pasta again!
chocolate cheese ball - an old favorite.
and if you want to hit me up with your favorite cream cheese recipe, i definitely won't say no.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

when is 'too early' too early?

one day we are raking leaves, admiring our pumpkins & mums, and playing outside...

and the next day we are putting up our christmas decorations. i made a christmas wreath and hung it on the mirror over our fireplace mantle just to see how it looked. but the christmas bug hit and i didn't want to take it down! so we are slowly but surely dragging everything out.
this year, i am not taking any chances on mr. nash with some of the glass ornaments i have, so they are going in glass dishes instead of on the tree. i will save the tree for thanksgiving: a family tradition. so am i too early?

Monday, November 12, 2012

my kids {at least want to} look like me.

it is true that not one of my sweet little boys look like me. mayyyybe jackson (on the far left), but that is stretching it.
howEVER, this little one started wearing these mr. potato head glasses around all on his own - just like me! 


and while we are talking about glasses... just an fyi: some people think glasses = fun accessories. not true. people who HAVE to wear them, like restricted driver's liscense have to wear them - HATE THEM. just so you know.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

olive garden fans, check it out...

the best part of olive garden? unlimited soup, salad, and bread sticks. always my fav. and besides the zuppa toscana soup, chicken gnocchi is the best. actually, it might be better. i found this recipe on pinterest, and you can find the original here.  i made this for dinner tonight. i'm adding it to my arsenal of awesome hearty soups. every girl needs one of those.
via pass the sushi

1 c. cooked chicken
1 c. carrots, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1 med. onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 T. butter
2 T olive oil
1/4. c. flour
1 qt. half and half
14 oz. chicken broth
1/2 t. thyme
salt and pep, to taste
1-2 c. of fresh spinach, chopped
16 oz. package of gnocchi

saute your veggies and garlic in the butter/olive oil until onion is soft, about 5 min.  in a separate pot, boil gnocchi according to package directions. once onion is soft, add the flour and seasonings and blend well. cook a minute longer and add the half and half. stir often and once it starts to thicken, add chicken and chicken broth. once the gnocchi is done and drained, add that to the pot along with the spinach and more salt and pepper, if you like. turn heat to low and let simmer until ready to serve. every 5-10 minutes or so, give the soup a good stir and you can add more chicken broth if it gets too thick. (or if you are reheating.) i served it up with fresh garlic bread and my kids LOVED it.

hooray for cold weather dinners!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

what a patriot.

"if i were president, i would make more sweat pants" - jackson
this explains a lot. like, when he cries every time i tell him to get dressed for church.

Monday, October 1, 2012

i love you, october.

breaking out a fall 2009 post today. i'm planning on making these for general conference.
but for today, i'm decorating my house for halloween and snacking on omg pumpkin muffins.

Monday, September 24, 2012

DailyBuzz Moms 9x9: making a fall wreath

this post is in conjunction with dailybuzz moms 9x9 september theme: fall into autumn. you can find my post along with the other 8 posts from different bloggers on september 27th right here. thanks to dailybuzz moms for having me. check it out!
a fall wreath is just about the best thing there is by way of fall decor, right? you have your pumpkins and wheat stalks, pine cones and berries, acorns and leaves and whatever else that will rest on the fireplace mantel or a side table; but the front door wreath is like the holy grail of all the autumnal decorations. yes?
i love wreaths for a few reasons: they can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want or need, the possibilities are endless, and they are extremely forgiving. as in, even if you suck at crafts (like me) you can usually make an wreath that makes everyone else think you are awesome. 
the one pictured above is one that i bought and then added all the fall flowers and leaves. when i bought it, on a chilly day in march a few years ago, it had little pinkish berries all around it. i used it throughout the spring and summer and added some cheap flowers and leaves on sept. 1st (minus the berries, of course) - now i rotate it throughout the seasons (except winter, come on!), changing the look of it as needed. it has become a tradition. (and it only cost me about $30 at jo-ann's)
if you don't have a fall wreath, it's not to late! for a  quick and easy project, do this:
get a wreath form (or something that can be fashioned into a circle): grapevine, styrofoam, straw form, a pool noodle, or cardboard. (for this particular wreath, i suggest a styrofoam form or a straw form, both can be found at craft store for just a couple of $)
use about 1/2 yard of a neutral material: muslin and burlap are great. and cheap. and really trendy, right now.
cut the material into 1 1/2 in. wide strips and wrap around the wreath form, overlapping each piece of material until the entire form is covered. secure with just a little hot glue. and it's okay if it isn't perfect. the neutral material will give it a rustic look, so any reasonable flaws will blend in.
once all of the material is secured, make a small arrangement of flowers as a finishing touch. this can be flowers you buy or maybe something you make. whatever it is that you like, secure it to the wreath with a little hot glue.
simple and fun under $10. hang that sucka up for the world to see - you just made a fall wreath! (and fyi, this one is an inside wreath, it hangs over my fireplace mantel in the center of a large mirror.)
i'm working on a fun halloween wreath right now - a cheap grapevine spray-painted black with a few fun add-ons. i will post when it is ready.
happy fall!  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

my kids are hilarious

Photo: ...or frozen cookie dough.  :)  (image source:
one of my biggest pet-peeves is when one of my children see me chewing and they freak out. and i already know this will happen, so i try to look the other way or chew as slowly and discreetly as possible so they don't notice. but they always do. and i swear they can hear a wrapper crinkling from across the house. which of course, makes me do things like the above e-card: wait until they are in bed and break out all the fun stuff they can't have. i saw this e-card the other day and posted it on facebook. i was laughing about it when my two big boys asked me what i was laughing out and then begged me to tell them. so i read them the e-card. they both looked bewildered and then my six year old shouted, "YOU HAVE SECRET ICE CREAM?!" and then tonight, bless his little heart, he came out of the bathroom holding a container  of clorox wipes and said, "i wiped down the toilet, can i have some of that secret ice cream?" how adorable. but then not so adorable when he attacked me for not giving him ice cream.
little bryce-man  was sitting in church last week with his camouflage crocs on. i don't normally let my children wear crocs to church but, know what? i actually do. normally, i actually do let them wear crocs. because sunday mornings are crazy and in an effort to keep from yelling before we go worship together i just say get whatever the heck you have ON and get in the car. BUT, i don't want them to wear crocs, i want them to wear their nice dress shoes. does that count? anyway, bryce had his camo crocs on and he looked at my m-i-l and said, "hey nana. can you see my shoes?" obviously, she said yes. and he said, "really? you can actually see them?" what a little sweetheart. you know, camo? he thought they were 'hidden from view'.
oh nash - well, he is funny. but today,well, this isn't funny, but he fell out the back of a fold-out chair on to a hard gym floor. just - splat! right on the floor. and then he tried to do it again. do you think something is wrong with him? the poor people behind us (we were at church, stake conference actually) they had no children with them and the young woman looked like she was going to pop (with child). and there were some old people, too. i wanted to first apologize for the craziness that they were about to witness from four kids BORED TO DEATH. and also, i wanted to tell the pregnant woman not to be scared. i didn't do either because i was too busy keeping up with nash. SIIIIIGGGGGGHH. (but he is so cute, it cancels all the exhausting stuff of toddlerhood out)
and my oldest boy, triston the pitt-bull clowers, as he calls himself, told me the other day that he is going to be home schooled starting in the 5th grade. i think homeschooling would be really bad for my relationship with my kids BUT i would and will do it if i feel the public school system is not doing what it should (or shouldn't). my kids don't know that, though, and i am not planning on telling them. triston, however, has already made his mind up though because he says that 5th graders only get the leftovers at lunch. according to him, "it isn't even hot or good - it's just warmed up after all the little kids don't want it"  the boy is serious about his food.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

a mean tuna noodle.

i am having a little blogger's remorse from my previous post. i should have explained better that my tone throughout the whole experience at walmart was light & cheery. even if it was forced. and also, i probably shouldn't use the word douche to describe a person. there are a lot of reasons why i shouldn't say it. i'll just leave it at that.

ANYway, i posted on fb that i made a re-vamped version of tuna noodle casserole and it was a success. i made it on a whim, and let me just tell you something: everything i do on a whim turns out great. but if i plan? nope. crafts, diy house stuff, cooking, diets, anything. it's quite tragic, actually.

so anyway, i knew i had tuna and egg noodles in the cabinet so i did a quick search on pinterest to see what came up. here's the recipe.

as adapted from cooking light.

8 ounces wide egg noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup milk

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 can of peas, drained
grated cheddar or colby jack
cans low sodium tuna in water, drained and flaked
2 T. butter
1/2 c. bread crumbs
in a medium size pan, boil the egg noodles until done, drain and set aside. in a separate pan, saute onion in oil over medium heat. once onion is tender, sprinkle flour over the top and stir constantly for 1 min. s l o w l y add the milk and cook for a few minutes, stirring, until mixture starts to thicken. add cream cheese, dijon mustard, and salt & pepper (to taste). cook over low heat for a few minutes longer, while stirring, until ingredients are mixed together well.
in a large bowl, add the egg noodles, peas, tuna, and however much grated cheese you like. stir well until everything is mixed together in bowl and pour into  a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
in a small bowl, melt butter in microwave and add bread crumbs. mix well until all butter is absorbed. sprinkle over casserole. bake for 15 min. at 350 - just to warm through and then broil for 5 minutes until golden on top.
now, eat that sucka up! and lie to your kids if you have to. my kids think they hate tuna, but i told them it was chicken casserole and they ate every. last. bite. ;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

kill them with kindness

 i really wanted to say, "what's your problem, lady?!"  seeing as the troll behind the counter was clearly offended that i asked which brands of mesquite turkey they carry. i had even smiled at her and asked how she was as i approached - obviously a reply wasn't returned. okay, how do you blatantly ignore someone? anyway, this is why i absolutely loathe walmart - every employee is the most miserable person i've ever met and every shopper is either yelling obscenities at their children or trying to get out of there as soon as possible. am i right or am i right?

but, i wanted to know. did i want jenny-o turkey or did i want sara lee? i don't usually buy lunch meat and it had been awhile, so i wanted to look at both packages and then decide. and it's my freaking right as a shopper, anyway. so the lady sighs heavy and points out where the mesquite turkey is. and i just stared at her.

i am just getting to this point in my life where if you are acting like a douche, i am just going to say it. only, i just said it with my eyes this time because the lady was handling my food. anyway, i stared at her until she looked away and looked back and then had to look away again. it was uncomfortable. i mean, have you ever just stared at someone? you have to force yourself to do it. so i gave her my order and when she was done slicing it, she threw the bag on top of the counter and started to walk away.

she started to walk away! i had no interest in buying cheese, but i didn't want our exchange to be over yet. because i wanted to prove that even though she was bring rude on purpose, i was choosing to not get offended. so i asked for a sample. she sighed again and plopped it up on the counter and i looked her dead in the face, smiled, and said, "thank you. i really appreciate it." i gave the cheese to my cute kids and i started to walk away. i turned back to her and said, "have a great day".

now she probably didn't care either way, BUT, when i turned  back around she had an odd look on her face AND she stuttered, "mam, i can give you another piece of cheese for your other kid, if you want". i told her it was fine, that they could share and she said, "are you sure? it's no problem?"

so in my mind she realized that she shouldn't be mean anymore. and wouldn't that be a such a happy ending?! well, it is the ending because i left walmart. but kill them with kindness, people. the old adage is a gem.

now, if you'd like to read a funny yet could-be psychotic story about my husband, here's one for ya. one time when he was in law school this guy that he didn't like kept looking at him. i don't know if this person was a good guy or bad guy, but he looked and acted like someone from jersey shore and my poor husband just has no tolerance for the type. so this guy just kept staring at him and instead of looking away like a normal person he stared back and showed his teeth! he actually made a scary face at this guy and silently growled at him. can you even imagine? i think about that from time to time and just crack up. i can vouch - law school does weird things to the students. oh, how i love him.

so in conclusion, if you are still reading, the only other good think that came out of my trip to walmart today: vanilla caramel marshmallows. yes!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the perfect day

i thought to myself several times, "today is the perfect day." i did every thing i said i was going to do, which is a rarity for this chick. somehow, i had time to fit it all in. and i was thinking: what is a perfect day, anyway? if i were to construct a perfect ordinary day, what would it look like? here is what i came up with:

sleeping in
working out
taking as long as i want to get ready
book store browsing
catching up with girlfriends
meeting up with my family for dinner
reading or watching whatever i want for as long as i want with no interruptions
and then falling asleep on perfectly washed and pressed sheets (not by me) and sleeping the entire night.
obviously, these are just the silly musings of a housewife. i count myself among the insanely blessed to recognize all the amazingness in my life that i never want to take for granted: a lovely hardworking husband, 4 beautiful children that are growing up way to fast, a warm and comfortable home, health and the ability to serve others, work at home, and have a productive day. so maybe my 'perfect day' that i had today might seem simple, but it really was all i could ever ask for. here's what it actually looked like:
stumbling out of bed at almost 7 (30 min. late) after being woke up several times by scared children
breakfast for 4
 kids off to school
getting all the laundry done: washed, dried, folded and put away.
taking my two littlest ones for a walk/bike ride
preschool time
lunch for 2
playtime - lots of 'airplane rides' and giggles
a 45-minute workout
a shoe organizer put together and put to use
picking up my big boys from school
homework - help with 2 upcoming tests
dinner for 6 and clean-up and a 20-minute catch up with the mr. before he ran back to work
outside play
made a snack and helped the boys pick up
the upstairs vacuumed and quickie-cleaned
baths for 4
reading practice
lights out for the littles
melt on the couch and decide not to move
 my house is warm and tidy and smells yummy, there was little drama by way of fighting brothers, my littles are tucked in their warm beds sound asleep, and my mr. should be home any minute.
like i said, a pretty perfect day.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

super delish: asian broccoli salad


I had been craving something different and my thoughts were lingering on a large container of broccoli salad that i had seen at sam's club a few days prior. since sam's is 45-minutes from my house (and hello, it is the sabbath) here's what i came up with. hint #1 it was great: my kitchen was a total mess when i was finished.

fresh broccoli, chopped (use more or less depending on how many servings you want)
1 romaine heart, chopped
1 bunch of green onion, chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, fried and chopped (or as much freaking bacon as you love)
1 large handful of dried cranberries
green onion, chopped
1 package of ramen noodles
1 T. butter
rice vinegar

maybe i should call this asian broccoli chop salad in honor of all the chopping that goes on? when you have it all done, combine the broccoli, romaine, green onion, bacon, green onion and cranberries into a large bowl; toss together.

next, crunch up the ramen noodles while still packaged. melt the butter on medium-high heat and add the ramen noodles. stir until golden brown and set aside.

 for the dressing (in a separate bowl) start with a cup of mayo, a few shakes of rice vinegar, and a few T. of sugar. i don't give measurements here because there is a lot of flexibility within the dressing recipe. if you like more of a tangy flavor, add more rice vinegar. if you like less, just add a little. same with the sugar. if you like it really sweet, add a little more. and obviously, the more broccoli you have, the more dressing you make. once the dressing is blended, pour over the broccoli mix and with a large spoon or spatula, toss until coated.

add the ramen on top and stir into the salad. refrigerate until ready to serve.

it was awesome. and we ate the whole bowl.

Friday, September 14, 2012

a difference between boys and girls?

we received a disney credit card offer in the mail. you know, the kind with the plastic sample card inside. bryce noticed the characters on the envelope and thought there might be a coupon for a movie inside. i played along with the excitement and told him he had received something even better than a movie: his very own credit card! with eyes wide and a hopeful smile on his face, he exclaimed "you mean, i can buy something with that?!"
i, in a high-pitched tone, told him that he couldn't actually buy something but that he could pretend with it and how cool is that?! his shoulders dropped and the smiled faded. very matter of factly he stated: "ugh. why would they even send that to us?! i can't even buy a piece of gum with it?"
he is four. is there a process of evolutionary thought going on in the pre-k crowd, or what? since when do four year olds not like to pretend play with fake money?
he is a boy, after all, i suppose. the four of them act like they might die if i even mention a store that doesn't sell food. as if the food will make it more tolerable. and there's an exception with nash, of course. he is happy to sit in a stroller or cart and look cute in any store that i please so long as i have a supply of goldfish crackers on hand. and bryce, he is a realist, too. i mean, if it isn't going to actually buy something, why keep it around, right?  i am pretty sure if the offer had come with a cape or a weapon, he would have been all in.
but still, play money?! fake credit cards? i loved that type of thing when i was little. i remember sitting up little stores full of my own toys and acting like i was buying stuff. maybe it's just a personality difference. or maybe i was just destined to be a shopper. yes!
man, if only i could get my husband to buy that.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

the things you learn on a typical tuesday.

  • that your butt looks HUGE in leggings and you were right to not hop on the trend bandwagon.
  • that your 6 year old has a "hooked" molar that is preventing another molar from coming all the way in. so i get to try to console a 6 year old while they put a giant needle up in his gums and shave part of his tooth off. awesome. and my 8 year old needs braces. even more awesome.
  • that the baby i own started climbing out of his playpen, which happens to be dinner prep sanity for me. and he doesn't just climb out like a normal person: he flung himself over the side and plopped out on the floor. and then tried to do it again like 3 more times. his crib is next, i just know it.
  • that i am tired of 2-party politics. and i am also tired of hearing: "the mormon moment" ugh.
  • that you can make butter! out of heavy whipping cream. i suppose i have been under a rock my whole life: i had no idea. bryce and i did it as a science project, and obviously i was way more excited than he was.
  • that i owe 12.95 for a water-damaged library book. darn! the boys left books in the tent overnight at our back to school campout - and since everyone was too chicken to stay out there all night - we came in and then it rained!! grrrr. seriously, i've probably donated close to $100 freaking dollars to the library in the last year.
  • that my little brycer is getting a smattering (?) of freckles over his nose and cheeks like big bro j-man.
  • that our annual halloween party is going to completely rock and i am happily plucking everyone else's great pins for decorations and party treats. how easy! (and crappy? i mean, they won't be there, so....)
  • that it is now midnight and i am a stupid woman. my kids are going to eat me alive tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2012

a haircut.

since we're not the type to save things like hair & teeth (yuck.), this post is dedicated to documenting this guy's first haircut. because 1. he looks really different 2. he was screaming and throwing a fit until i cut his hair, too, because he thinks he should get to do anything his big brothers do and 3. i just learned you can take pictures with your webcam and immediately upload to blogger. plus, nash liked looking at himself. what a cute boy, i have. now only if his toddler personality was sweet instead of demon-like. sheesh.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

super creepy fruit baby: a tutorial

i made this beaut for my dear friend's baby shower. it was a request from my friend's friend who was hosting and i reluctantly agreed because after i saw just a picture of it, i was thinking, " seriously?" but everyone loved it, so i guess she was on to something.

i enlisted the help of my mom who made the head. she just peeled a small cantaloupe, obviously. the watermelon was pretty easy to cut - i used a sharpie to mark how i wanted the "cradle" to look and scooped that sucker out. how much fruit you have should determine how much you scoop out. i scooped less out of the back where the head rests, so it would sit up a little higher. i used some toothpicks sticking out of the back (inside) of the watermelon to secure the head. i used another cantaloupe and a melon baller for the ears and nose and secured them with toothpick and yes, blueberries for the eyes. the trickiest part of the whole thing was cutting a hole for that paci. i cut the hole too big and had to stick a piece of melon in there so the paci would even stay. it is just kind of resting there. really, next time, i would just do a deep X cut and stick the paci in. lastly, just pour all the cut-up fruit inside. i had a lot of extra fruit so instead of bagging it to replenish thefor later, i just poured it around the base of the platter.

it really was very simple. in fact, i didn't think it would work out and my back-up plan was to just bring a bowl of cut-up fruit. if anyone figures out how to make this baby less scary-looking, though, let me know!.

ps. today is the day. even though it is still august and still 85 degrees out, i'm getting all of my fall stuff out and am making zuppa toscana and pumpkin cheesecake muffins. it's time. i mean, i've been wearing deep purples and have had essie nail polish on in "carry on" for two weeks.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

chalkboard crafts

an ugly picture collecting dust in my basement

 a functional chalk board above our computer desk

chalkboard spray paint & white paint on the edges.

i've been writing fun messages on it for the boy and our dinner for the night. so fun.

and speaking of the boys...

i had a couple of old blank 8x10 flat canvases laying around and decided to do something fun for the first day of school. i just used the chalkboard spray paint. 

aren't they the cutest? 

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