Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year End

This year was great filled with trips out the door,
we always had plans for the weekend.
With Moab, camping, and concerts galore,
It’s sad to see this fun year end.

AJ finished his Masters and advanced at work,
He said no to other job offers.
Traveling to Mexico was quite a fine perk,
and running a 5k with others.

Mandy’s cracked the whip on their home repair,
and has time to make a new baby.
She plans fun things and makes goodies to share,
and has fun dates with her hubby.

Soccer and preschool are Treson’s new things,
and Ellie is quite the cute dancer.
With their smiles they know how to pull on our strings
But “thank you” is always their answer.

The Family’s had fun this whole year long,
Reunions and holidays with our small throng.
It’s nice to know that we all get along,
in our little paradise corner.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

26 going on 40?

This last Friday was my 27th birthday and we had a fun celebrating "Birthday Week." Went out to eat, explored the Dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving point, Spiderman movie date night, shopping and scoring some awesome freebies, mini golf as a family, out to breakfast with friends, and an amazing Turtle Brownie Cheesecake. And because my birthday shares the same weekend as labor day, we get to extend the celebration through Monday and stroll around the beautiful Red Butte Gardens.

I definitely had some awesome highs, but some weird lows this week. I woke up on Thursday to my eyes swollen shut and my face itchy and blotchy and doing all sorts of funky things... well it turns out that my nighttime creams reacted badly to a new face wash I just switched too... Lesson learned: don't use salicylic acid with Finacia. I tried icing my face and benadryl... with some help. By Friday my face was still pretty swollen and stiff. that they brought out new wrinkles I defiantly was not expecting at 27!  It was like my face was saying "if you don't moisturize you're going to look like this sooner than you want!" dedicating most of Saturday to "calm my face down" I found the prefect combination!

Blended oatmeal with black tea mask (oatmeal to reduce redness and black tea to reduce swelling)
gentle exfoliation with a soft cloth
and *drum roll please*
baby Aquaphor

the Aquaphor really helped with the irritation and kept my skin from drying out. I put a thin layer on after washing off the mask and another layer after I washed my face at night. I woke up this morning and the results are amazing!

So I hope if any of you find your face in a pickle that this helps!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spy Party

  For the privacy of the individuals and places, only stock photos were used in this post.... (this may or may not be a direct result of our camera's battery dieing on us at the last minute... )


It all started with the invitations, which we placed in manila envelopes and doorbell ditched on our friends door steps.  They read as follows:

Warning order:
Priority one: Secure your location.
If you are reading this, you and your partner have been selected to embark on a Top Secret Mission. The details of which must be treated with confidentiality.
Your eyes only as follows: Your mission will commence south of the nearest ecclesiastical structure, July 20th, 2030 hours. Dress in dark apparel and running shoes. Your Contact will meet you there with further instruction on your mission objective and provide you with the necessary equipment. 
If you choose to accept this mission, signal your handler by listing your names on the paper affixed to the underside of your mailboxes. Do so discreetly and within the 24 hr acceptance window upon receiving this message.

Burn after reading.

When the night came, we surprised our friends with a little treasure hunt where they had to find glow stick necklaces. These were either one of two colors which later were used to separate the group into teams for night games.   
After a couple rousing rounds of capture the flag (or in this case "capture the secrete government document") and sardines we came back to our house for:

 Traitor tots

Chips and Seven Layer Dip-olmatic immunity

lil' smoking guns

and Dead Drop Cookies 
which were actually chocolate chip, but the chocolate was hiding in the center as the secrete surprise) 

Then we had one last twist that went along with the drinks: an idea I found on Pinterest  where clear drinks change color once they are poured into prepared cups.  I had rigged most of them to turn blue and only one to turn red- exposing "the mole" in the group!

Among the snacks, the table top decorations included, old passports, flash light, bullet shells, sunglasses, and black gloves.

The hubbs and I both had a great time- even though we're not as young as we used to be, this definitely took us back to our collage dating days!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A successful made-up recipe

We like pork chops at my house. and the thin ones are super quick to saute up and sauce over. Like many others, if I have a recipe down by heart, I'll play with the ingredient list- substituting this for that or changing things up with what I have on hand. Sometimes, it turns out, and other times.... it kinda "works" (tha'll do pig, tha'll do) but today was nothing short of a revelation!

well without further adieu, let me present to you pork chops in a brown butter parmasan pan sauce:

6 pork chops
salt and pepper
olive oil

Salt and pepper the 'chops let them come to room temp out on the counter while you're preparing your side dishes (our favorite: rice and steamed veggies) oil and butter your *stainless steel pan- 1 Tbs each?- your call... over med-high heat, and once hot, working in batches- add the 'chops- cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and let rest on a side plate, while you do the second batch. once all the chops are nicely browned, start on the pan sauce

2 Tbs of butter
1 smashed garlic clove
1/4 cup of white wine (we use cooking wine at our house)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs of fresh graded Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper

Turn the heat down to med/ med-low and add the butter to the hot pan and swirl until brown. not light-slightly golden brown, I'm talking brown! While the butter is beginning to brown, take a flat surface (I use either the flat side of a knife or the bottom of a glass jar) and smash a clove of garlic. adding the clove still in tact makes it easier to take it out later. (but if you want more of a garlic bite, then by all means mince that sucker up and throw it in there!) Splash in the white wine - and reduce until half- about a minute or two. Add the cream and reducing for a minute or so (until you like the thickness). shave the Parmesan cheese on top, aggressively grate some black pepper, and stir to combine. Return the pork chops(including the juice that has pooled at the bottom of the resting plate) to the pan and turn them to coat. Leave them in the pan on low, turning every so often while you finish the other dishes.

This sauce was so yummy, that even after all the 'chops were gone, I got seconds (..maybe thirds..... and fourths...) of rice and steamed vegges and slathered them in the extra pan sauce! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!!!

*stainless steel is the best choice for making pan sauces- non-stick just won't develop the fond well enough (the flavorful brown bits left over from browning meat)

Monday, May 28, 2012

just blowing off some steam

Communication is a basic need that seeks to be filled by all. Whether these are personal thoughts or novel ideas- everyone longs to be heard. - its human nature.

Communication has always been a big problem for me- ever since I was little I've had a hear-breaking stutter. I would feel rushed with everyone I talked to. In my mind I felt that if I didn't say whatever I needed to fast enough, than I would be lost in sea of words, being carried off by a riptide. but the more rushed I felt the harder it was for me to speak. I felt so embarrassed, cus I was taking up more time than I intended- I was taking time away from others, I was taking up more air.... I rarely spoke up in class, and would try to disappear when the teacher's eyes would scan the room to call on someone. I settled for mediocre grades in HS, but it all started changing when I went to College. It was then that I felt like I was smart, that I could be able help others understand concepts, that what I had to say had value. I told myself not to rush. To pause (with a breath mid-sentence) when I came to a sticky word- and it helped tremendously. I still like to lay low and listen more than ramble on, or talk just for the sake of talking.


Presently, I've had challenging experiences where what I say gets cut off by other's comparable stories. Or where what I'm trying to communicate lands of deaf ears. It makes me feel dumb for even opening my mouth to speak. Their subconscious actions have made me feel unimportant and that my ideas have no value. In some cases I can't even get past three words without the other individual jumping in. I may even be ANSWERING a question they asked, and I still don't finish the first sentence. Have you ever noticed that you take a short breath of air before you speak? I feel so bloated with air from trying to talk to these people that I just want to EXPLODE!!!! So hear I am... exploding all my feelings of hurt and frustration on "paper"


but I'll have to give them some sort of benefit of the doubt right? and just focus on being grateful for the awesome friends that I do have- and for those conversations that come so easily.(- especially with my sister :) -our minds are so silly when they are together, we paint such hilarious mental pictures for each other that leave us doubled-over-crying with laughter.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

down by the banks of the ...Provo river...

Yesterday marked our 5th wedding anniversary (yay!) and since AJ has school on Thursday nights, we celebrated early and had a mid-week date down in Provo- a place were we share many dating and newly married memories. One of which being paper boat races on the Provo river.

We had several rounds with varying paper boat designs and launching styles, but in the end we each had a win with a tie breaker being a dud when they both got caught in the brush- whaw whaw whaw!

After we went to our little hole-in-the-wall place that we love so much for some yummy Italian food. The garlic bread was the same as I remember, but the calzone... not so much (sad day I know!), but even so, we had fun reminiscing over dinner and enjoying each other's company. Even though we decided not to do gifts this year, AJ busted out a little blue box at dinner. It was a Tiffany's necklace I've been hinting at since Christmas, and it was a such a sweet surprise!

I absolutely love it, - that picture doesn't even do it justice!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A week full of birthdays!

By the end of March, we're all borderline diabetic from the back to back birthday cakes we enjoy at our house. First on the calender is AJ's. I had a week full surprises and favors building up to awesome dates I had planned for the weekend. We had a blast on our group date, taking down little kids in laser tag and facing each other off in the arcade games.

and then out to dinner (with some table soccer while we were waiting...) and the Hunger Games movie on Saturday

After renovating Ellie's awkward corner into a reading nook/closet, I wanted to give Treson a room makeover for his birthday.

... and the big reveal:¬if_t=video_processed

and then for Treson's cake: there's a reason why there aren't any close up shots... but I think it was pretty good considering that this was the first time I've tried to carve a cake or made fondant...

Treson thanked me for his "taxi cake" hahahahaha I even put spoilers on the back to make it look cool....oh well...