Saturday, March 31, 2012

Snuggling with Grandma

Today my Grandma took me, my mom, my aunt and my cousin to lunch for Japanese food for an early birthday treat. We had a great time, and for baby's first time at a restaurant he did so well- he slept the whole time! After lunch of tempura, tofu and various forms of chicken we headed back to grandma's house to hang out.

She scooped up little man and aside from a diaper change (Which I made my mom do, I'm mean like that) snuggled him the whole time. He is usually really fussy during that time and he slept the whole time and enjoyed being snuggled by grandma. It was such a sweet moment and was enjoyed by all... well except for grandpa, who didn't get a chance to hold him before we had to go.

The Anti-Candy Easter Treat Bags

I have a LOT of nieces and nephews, and that means that we have a LOT of treat bags to make for holidays and parties. I really don't mind it because I have learned the art of the dollar store gift bags. For 10 treat bags, I spent $7 - including the ribbon used to tie them up and the bag itself.

What is the trick? You buy in packs of multiples. I LOVE Dollar Tree because they sell bubble packs in sets of threes and fours. They also sell glow sticks year round and for cheap.

We decided not to do any candy for the kiddos this year- instead we decided bubbles and glow sticks would be a fun thing to add to our family party. We did add a box of Yoohoo, but mainly because my husband insisted on it.

$7 for 10 treat bags? Works for me!

What are you doing for Easter treat bags? Any ideas of what we can add that isn't candy? Share your ideas below!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Things I'm Learning From My Baby

The best part of being a mommy so far is figuring out my little dude. He's got such a big personality and I am learning a lot about the basics of life from this little man. After a few days of thinking about all the things I'm learning, I compiled a list. 

Things Baby Boy Has Taught Me:

  •  Smile before you go to sleep, you'll wake up less cranky.
  • Stretch REALLY REALLY big when you wake up.
  • Smile at the people you love, it makes them happy. Heck, smile for no reason at all. 
  • Take care of yourself. Feeling sick and sad makes everyone else feel sick and sad too, and thats just no fun. 
  • Sometimes you just need to be cuddled...and you know what? Thats okay. 
Photo courtesy of my mommy! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Side Effects Include... the munchies?!

I hate being on medications. I'm not sure if its the not feeling like myself, the weird side effects, or simply because I forget to take them - either way, I hate them. All throughout my pregnancy I refused to take anything except for tums and Tylenol, and it drove my OB crazy. (I had severe heartburn and migraines.) Now, I have to be on medications again and I am going insane.

Mainly the drug that is driving me nuts is the Reglan. I was put on it for milk production, which I don't mind. What I do mind is the side effect - the munchies.

I kid you not, I didn't crave anything throughout my pregnancy...but on the reglan I crave EVERYTHING. Taco Bell. Chips. Peanut Butter. Crap food. I took to the drugs website and looked into the side effects to discover this one wasn't listed- just my luck.

So until I can go off of it I'll just enjoy trying to have the healthy munchies and work out a little bit more.
Oh, and I'll also enjoy a trip to Taco Bell.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Colic - What I've Learned So Far

Babies get Colic- its just a fact of life. Its a hard fact to accept at 3am when you just barely got your family back to bed and the little one is up crying again, but it is just something you have to deal with.

Today I had to do what I hate to do the most - I had to let the little man cry it out. He had been fed, clothes changed, given a bath (sometimes the warm water helps), snuggled, rocked, bounced- nothing was soothing him. After a phone call to the grandmas and the husband to make sure there was nothing more I could do, I put him in his swing and let him cry it out. He really doesn't have a loud cry, but this annoyed a neighbor we rarely see or hear from enough that he felt the need to come down and say something about it.

"You know your baby is crying, right?" He asked. I was already worn out and annoyed and sighed loudly at him.
"Look, he's got Colic, I've tried everything and now the only thing I can do is let him cry." He sighed in return and I was annoyed - he shares about 1/3rd of a wall with our apartment, but that 1/3rd of a wall was on the other end of the apartment- nowhere near the crying baby.
"You need to shut that child up." He replied with a grunt.

"Do YOU want to come in and try?" I offered, more than annoyed. He told me he'd call management if I didn't make him stop now, I told him the truth, that he could but management couldn't do anything. He then told me he'd call the cops, to which I told him again, he could, but they wouldn't be able to do anything either. He stormed off, clearly upset, but again, times like today there is nothing you can do.

This really was an eye opener for me because it let me know how little people really do know about Colic. I didn't know a damn thing about it until I was pregnant, and even then all I knew was that if I didn't stay calm, if I slept a certain way, the most bizzare things could make a baby get Colic.

I don't know much, but I do have some tips that have helped our little one, and I wanted to share those with you guys, mainly because I'm not finding many tips online via google.

Tips for Our Colic-ey Baby:

  • The Night Routine: We do it every night - right after dinner baby gets a warm bath with the bedtime wash and lotion. We then put him in a sleeper - preferably the fleece ones. We keep the lights dim and the noise to a minimum, only Bubba and I talking for the most part. 
  • After the bath we give him a bottle and snuggle him up like a burrito. Something about the snugness helps him feel better. After dinner we give him formula instead of breast milk. I didn't want to do it at first, but it helps stick to the ribs better, so he sleeps better, longer. The other benefit is that I've been able to store the extra breastmilk and freeze it, so we have some just in case and when I return to work. 
  • Lay him on his belly. I noticed this after Bubba was snuggling him a bit, he would hold him in a chair or on the bed against him, but Baby Boy was on his belly and really calmed down. I laid him in his boppy on his belly, like the packaging shows you you can, he settled right down and laid comfortably on it for a little bit before getting fussy again.
  • Car rides and Stroller trips. When he hits his fussy time we've found it is the perfect time for a family walk. The weather's been fantastic, so we bundle him up and go out for a walk for about 20-30 minutes. He doesn't pass out, but is settled and comfortable and seems to enjoy the trips. We try to plan any errands we need to run around that time because he loves the carseat and the car - one of us will stay in the car with him if he's fussy still, but usually he just enjoys the trip. 
  • The Swing and the Bouncer have saved our lives. He loves the movement and it seems to help with the fussiness. Also, microfiber blankets are his favorite. He falls asleep that much faster and better when wrapped in it. 
  • Patience and asking for help. Bubba and I sometimes get frustrated because we don't know what else to do and the crying won't stop. Grandmas have been awesome for taking him from anywhere from a few hours to even overnight. We had a really rough few weeks because we weren't asking for help, but now that we're more willing to, its better for all of us. He's happy because he knows his family and is well taking care of, and mommy and daddy can take care of themselves for a few hours, making it easier to deal with fussiness at 3 a.m.
Do you have tips for a Colic-ey baby? What's worked for you? I'm always looking for tips and tricks and know others are too! 

Broccoli and Fettuccine - A Rich Dinner for a Poor Man

Confession: the kitchen we have is way too small for my tastes. We have a teeny tiny apartment with a teeny tiny kitchen- and at first it was fabulous because I was just figuring out how to cook. Now that I'm getting better at it and found more recipes, I really need more space!

Tonight's recipe is the result of a teeny kitchen- but it works because it seems as if most of my blog readers are young like I am, so I feel like it is still worth blogging about.

I LOVE Fettuccine, and any time I eat pasta, I prefer that over all others. To be honest, I may not have even been willing to TRY other pastas since I've discovered Fettuccine.

How to:

Pour noodles into a pot of boiling water and cook until firm on stovetop.

To cook Broccoli, you can either bring to a boil and cook until firm on the stove, OR pour into a microwave safe bowl and add a cup of water. Cook for about 6-8 minutes. I did it in the microwave to prevent my house smelling (I really love broccoli, but I HATE the smell!).

Once cooked, dump the noodles into a strainer, shake the water out and place back into pot. Add one can Fettuccine sauce (available at every grocery store) and add a tablespoon of butter (this helps the noodles not stick to each other- a trick I learned from my Oma!). Add salt for taste if needed and mix in the broccoli.

Serve and enjoy!

Pssst - this is one of the tricks I use to get my spouse to eat veggies- and trust me, I'll be using it with little man too!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Soccer Sunday

Today we packed up the car and went to watch Bubba play soccer today. It was a double-header (meaning two back-to-back games) and we were so excited to go watch him play!

I wanted to snap a few photos of the day- but unfortunately the photos I wanted to take didn't work out at the soccer house. I ended up taking a few photos of us before we left the apartment for the day. However, I finally snapped a photo where you can see my new red hair!

In this photo, Bubba looks SO MUCH like his brother Steve (and his dad!) Look at that red beard- no wonder baby boy has red hair!  For you thrifters (and wives), the jersey Bubba is wearing is Adidas, and up in Park City they have an outlet store- they are always selling at buy one get on 50% off, as well as the jerseys are already cheap, between $5 to $10 dollars each!

The last photo is of baby boy and his bear. His uncle Kanoosh (my brother) gave him this bear that was bought at IHOP for Diabetes awareness. The bear has a University of Utah hoodie on it and is tiny- just like baby boy. Yesterday we put the bear in the carseat with him and  when he started fussing a little bit later peeked in to see how he was doing. He had wrapped his arm around it and was snuggling it. He keeps doing it, so we keep giving it to him, and it is absolutely ADORABLE!

I cannot believe he is going to be seven weeks soon! Where the heck is the time going?!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Why didn't you crave this when you were pregnant?"

Last night was wonderful... until I had the brilliant idea that I wanted chocolate covered kettle corn and couldn't go another minute without it. I took to the kitchen and like the failed wife I am put the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl, set the timer and excitedly watched...waiting for it to finish. The house filled with the aroma of chocolate... it was heavenly.

Until we got a whiff of something... else.

Folks, I managed to burn through the microwave safe bowl somehow. The chocolate hadn't even considered melting and there I was, suddenly engulfed in the smell of burnt plastic and wanting to cry. Bubba, being the wonderful man that he is gave me a hug until the smoke cleared from the microwave, then helped me clean up the mess and made the chocolate on the stove. He even pulled out my spoonchula (the greatest thing in my kitchen, I kid you not) and scooped me a huge spoonful of leftover chocolate.

We retreated to the couch and tried to laugh about it. I'm still depressed that I couldn't manage something THAT SIMPLE, but I am so glad I have a husband that loves me, even when I am attempting to be a wonderful woman and fail.

However, the chocolate covered kettle corn?

I dare say it was worth the catastrophe.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Crockpot Ranch Chicken

This recipe is SUPER easy. Literally, the hardest part of it was waiting for it to finish cooking!

What you'll need:
Chicken Breasts
Ranch seasoning packet
Cream of chicken soup

Dump into crockpot (you can do two cans of cream of chicken soup if you'd like, or add a can of water- I did the water and wasn't the biggest fan, but it still turned out really well!) and cook on High for 4-5 hours or Low for 6-8 hours.

Serve over rice or over mashed potatoes (I did instant potatoes, it was delicious!).


(Told you it was easy!)

Finally Friday

It's FINALLY Friday! Here in SLC it has been a beautiful week and I've really been struggling with how busy we've been, between doctors appointments, meetings and keeping the baby indoors because he's so little. I'm stoked to get outside and to just hang out in the sun!

What has happened this week? Lets check it out...

Our life has been so crazy this week! We got our taxes done, Bubba had a soccer game (and a great one to boot- they won 10-4!) got extra paperwork for work filed, copies made and picked up from the correct place, I had my six week OB follow up, visited the doctors for my sinus infection and found out I have a kidney infection to boot (from lack of drinking water, who knew?!), throw in another set of doctors appointments for Bubba and I today and finally, our day of rest tomorrow. Sigh. Brayden is so lucky to have grandparents that adore him and took him overnight last night so mommy could rest with this infection and daddy could get over his cold. We are definitely a sight to be seen- thats for sure!

Blog Posts To Check Out

  • Gala Darling talks about the Spring Equinox and letting go. Beautifully written, as always. 
  • Over at Harley and Jane there is a hilarious blog post titled Lunch Date with Myself. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who does things like this! 
  • Over at i Believe in Unicorns she blogged about a wedding (SO BEAUTIFUL!) her dialogue is adorable and totally worth the read!
  • Over at Love, Meg she shared her talent of music with us- she's awesome. 
  • Check out this awesome DIY Stuffed Owl tutorial. 
  • Over at a Pretty Penny, she answers the question of how to balance it all.
  • Little Chief Honeybee shares the perfect answer
Did I forget to link your blog? Shoot me an email or leave me a message in the comments section so I know to add your blog for next time! 

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Gift of a Clean Slate

There is something about a notebook that makes everything feel new. I'm not a student at the time, I'm not writing anything, but my husband, knowing the struggles I've been having decided that I needed the gift of a clean slate, so he went over to Wal-Mart and stood looking over the notebooks until he found one that he felt was fitting.

When he returned home he gifted it to me. He told me that he wanted to get me a gift I'd use, one I'd adore. He wanted to give me the gift of a clean slate and the gift of starting over and starting fresh.

Nothing means more to me than this gift, the gift of starting new and fresh. Thanks Bubba- I love it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Super Easy Stir-Fry

Chinese food again! What can I say, my husband loves the stuff. This stir-fry turned out easier than expected.

How to:
I used a steak that I had left over from another dinner earlier this week. (They come in packs of three, I don't need to use all three and there is always the one left over in our freezer). I thawed it in the microwave and cut it into small chunks, and fried it in the skillet.

I then added veggies from a Wal-Mart stir fry ($1.25). We usually buy them to give to the bunny, but in this case, I hadn't cracked it open yet and it looked SO good!

Fry them together and add rice. I added some Grub Rub to the whole skillet and let it cook into the meal before putting it on top of rice. There was no need for soy sauce or any other additives and it only took ten minutes to cook!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Love Is Not A Fight

I will never forget the first time I heard this song, how powerful the lyrics were, and how strong the message was. Ever since then, I listen to it when I need to be reminded. That's the thing I wish people would've told us more about before we got married, how difficult it could be at times. The other thing I wish people would've mentioned is how often we'd need to ask god for his help.

If I could give anyone marital advice in advance, it would be to listen to this song and the lyrics, and take it to heart. It is spot on. 

{If you think it sounds familiar, it is from the movie Fireproof.}

Love is not a place to come and go as we please,
It's a house we enter in and then commit to never leave,So lock the door behind you throw away the key
We'll work it out together let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in a raging storm 
Love is peace in the middle of a war
If we try to leave may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word that they can fall into
But when they're falling out, Keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter in a raging storm, 
Love is peace in the middle of a war
If we try to leave may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us, if we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us, but demand we give our all

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
If we try to leave may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for
I would fight for you, would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for. 

The Floor Gym

This last week I took our gift cards to Babies-R-Us and bought little dude a floor gym. My sister in law originally found it for us and showed me an online video about it from the manufacturers website, and since I had seen it I was SO excited to get it for my little man!

We picked it up and set it up and let the little dude lay down in it, being pessimistic about it since he was only five weeks at the time. Much to my surprise, he started batting at the toys dangling and kicking away at the piano keys. He made new noises as he played with it. He LOVED IT!

Since then he's been in and out of it, but the family keeps asking me to snap photos of him enjoying it. An odd request, but sure, why not. After I took the photos and went to upload them I fell in love with them and how cute they are because I knew my little dude was happy. Who would've thunk a six week old baby could love playing so much already?!

*Sniff sniff* He's growing up already!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

There's a Basket for That

If your family is anything like mine, the changing of seasons means that there is a LOT coming up. For example, we have 3 babies being born, about 12 birthdays (immediate family only, not extended!), weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, and so much more! Also, if you are anything like my family, you can realize that being supportive can really put a dent in your budget.

Well today I am going to share how I scored two gift baskets (wrapping included) for under $10- and shared what they were for and what was inside them!

In the photo above I put together a wedding present for my cousin who got married. After searching her registry a few weeks ago I noticed she did the same thing I did when I registered - I registered for the items everyone told me to, but forgot those odds and ends that I REALLY needed and that no one got me. Luckily for me they were cheap items and I could afford to buy them myself- but why buy them if you don't have to? I found from her registry the colors she was going for in her kitchen (yellow and green) and headed over to Target.

At the moment Target is selling dollar items for Spring Cleaning. I was able to get her a notepad for grocery lists, a spray bottle (a MUST for cleaning!), dustpan and hand broom and sponges for $4. The basket to put it in was an extra dollar and the tissue paper I used was about .25 cents. Total cost? $5.25. Average cost of an item purchased off of her registry? $45.00. You can do the math on the savings.

The second basket is for my mother in laws 50th birthday party. She is a woman who refuses to sit down and pamper herself, and who never buys anything for herself unless it is absolutely needed. I was so excited when my husband suggested that we get her pink, girly items so she can pamper herself. We got her two boxes of Goobers (her favorite treat!), a loofah, socks, mani/pedi kit, lint roller (she always looses hers for work) and hair clips for about $4.00. The basket to put it all in was a dollar and the tissue paper was also .25. We added odds and ends as the week went by (she buys her glasses from the dollar store and found two pairs we knew she'd love, and added photos of her grandbabies), but only because my husband couldn't help himself.

Both gifts were loved and received well. Now to plan for the next set of adventures with our family!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Family PSA

Little background on this photo:

We had been covering the house in photos of Bubba and I to annoy my brother and sister in law (pictured below). The house was covered, the front windows, the piano, in the shower, the mirrors, covering other photos, the fridge was covered. We even ended up taking a photo of us and blowing it up PAST poster size and put it above the bed in the guest bedroom. They then decided to retaliate.

Their photo wasn't hidden like our big one was... theirs was in the living room, right above the stairs that lead to the basement for all to see.

Leave it to the Workmans to turn every moment into a teaching opportunity!

BTW - my sister in law was WAY cuter than she was pregnant than her fake pregnancy in this photo.

Feeling Thankful for the Little things.

I still will not go into details, but I'd like to thank my online family and friends who prayed for my little family over the last few days. Your faith and prayers not only have comforted me at a time of serious need, and for that I thank you.

This weekend was spent putting my faith in the lord. I asked for blessings, for prayers and for inspiration from heaven. I asked for so many different things, but the big thing I asked for was a miracle. I didn't know if the lord would answer such a vague prayer. If I didn't know what I wanted- how could he provide me with the support, love and reassurance I so needed? I kept my mind focused on the lord and kept praying, telling him "lord, I am putting this in your hands."

When the time came for to see if my prayer had been answered, I was shocked at how calm I had suddenly become. After days of trembling, sobbing, shaking and being a total mess, I suddenly was calm. All I could do was thank the lord for this feeling of peace during such a scary time. The hymn "Where Can I Turn For Peace?" ran through my head and I focused on breathing, feeling peace and just being.

Things are not totally better as of yet. I'm still trying to heal and trying to get back to where I need to be. The stress alone of this last week has dropped me 15 lbs, ten of those being lost since Friday. I've been struggling to eat, to drink, to do anything besides tend to the situation at hand and my baby.

I've been on my knees still, praying for everything. I've been searching the scriptures, searching for peace. Pinterest has some amazing bible verse chases for when you are stressed, lonely, scared, worried, anything you may ever think.

All I can say is that I had a moment that increased the testimony that I already have for the lord, and for that I am so very thankful. I am so thankful that he has blessed me with those temporary moments of peace and mental clarity. I'm thankful for my family, active, inactive, online and offline, my friends and my acquaintances that have offered the support and love I so needed during this time. 

I am so thankful that the internet has opened up a world where I have an online family I can ask for prayers from, that has been through their own messes and recovered, and has provided their own testimonies and faith in the lord for me to find comfort in.

 Thank you all. I love you and appreciate all you've done.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In Need of Prayers

I won't go into details, but if you could take a moment to pray for our little family that would mean the world to us.

Thank you.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Making a Quilt

I found these photos amongst my mother-in-laws photo stash. Apparently my nephew was the only one who tied the baby blanket at my baby shower! I immediately wrote him a thank you note and told him how impressed I was with it- because I had no idea this little man single-handedly made our quilt!

BTW- Isn't my nephew adorable?! Love that kiddo!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Meeting the Workmans

After a month of colds, flu bugs and sniffing and sneezing the Workman house is no longer under quarantine and they got to meet the baby. CJ was so excited to meet his cousin and spent almost as much time (if not more!) than Grandma Terrie holding him. He got to feed him too and was so good about it!

Also pictured, my brother in law Cory Jr, my sister in law Amanda and my father in law Grandpa Cory. If you look at the photo, you'll see that Brayden is smiling as Grandpa kisses his head.

So cute! I'm glad he got to meet his family finally!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Little Facts

If you haven't been over to See Me Rwar and checked out her blog, do it NOW.
 1. Pet Peeve: People who chew with their mouth open. I was a nanny for a couple of teenagers who did that and I nearly quit my job over it. It drove me nuts! I tried to ask them to chew with their mouths shut, but they didn't realize they were doing it, and so they never thought of NOT doing it. Also, they chewed A LOT of gum! Ahhh!
2. Food: Anything German basically makes my life complete. Roladen, Spetzel, Saurkraut and Dumplings, mmm....
3. Guaranteed happy: When my baby smiles at me. He hasn't learned to smile quite yet, but those little fluke smiles make everything so wonderful and make me so happy. :) 

Baby Boy is a Month Old! (Lots of Photos!)

 I know these are a long past due, let me explain. I took NO photos at all the day he was born. My mother and mother in law did, and when she gave me her camera the other day, I stole ALL her photos for my own uses! (Bwahahah!)

I got so excited to see how cute these are, I love em!

Look how cute Bubba is with his baby boy! He is such a great daddy and absolutely loves his little man. Snuggles are by far his favorite (his is both Brayden and Bubba). I love that Brayden has his eyes open in this photo! Such a rare thing with newborns!

Look at those young grandmas! Grandma Terrie is on the left and Omie Janel (our German version of Oma, since my Oma is still alive!) is on the right. Both were very excited to meet the little man!

We had lots of visitors that day, but unfortunately not many got to meet him because of all the tests, baths, nursery to-dos and more. To those who did come- we are so glad you did! It meant a lot to us!

 This next photo is of Aunt Carebear (Carrie), who came to see Brayden later that day. She was so excited to meet the little man and it was nice to see a familiar face that evening after such a crazy day! So glad you were able to come up and see him!

Funny thing is, after his birthday the Workmans ALL got sick, and weren't able to see him again until he was a month old! I felt so bad, but was glad they kept their distance for the baby's sake!

This last photo is my favorite (gee, I wonder why). This was taken the second day he was home. Grandma Terrie hadn't gotten sick yet and stopped by to see how we were doing and after a diaper change snapped this photo of the two of us. I absolutely adore it and I love that she was able to capture such a sweet, but normal moment.

French Bread Pizza

Once upon a time, I worked at a Pizza Place. After a few months I got really good at making the pizzas and was given permission by the manager to start creating pizzas for the crew (for dinners/parties, whatnot).

After seeing that Reams had a sale on French bread (99 cents for you Utah folks!) I went back to those days of working at a pizza place and knew it was what we had to have for dinner.

What you'll need:
French Bread (I only used half the loaf and it was more than enough for us!)
Tomato sauce (the small can)
Cheese & Pepperoni - or whatever you'd like to put on it!

How to:
1. Cut the bread in half, then take the half you are going to use, and cut it in half again. Tear apart and lay open on the baking sheet.

2. Spread the tomato sauce over the bread using a spoon. Using the bottom of the spoon is best, because you can then spread it without creating a mess. Dress the pizza with a light layer of cheese, and with whatever else you'd like to have on it. I did two layers of Pepperoni and Cheese.

4. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes- or until cheese is melted. To brown the cheese, broil for 5 extra minutes.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes

Let me begin by saying this... when you're blogging about food and recipes you tend to want to take photos of the food. I mean, come on, people won't click on the link on Pinterest if you don't have a good photo of the food. Guess what I did?

I forgot to put my SD card in my camera after the last venture, and all the photos I have taken since then are for not. They're lost.

Oh well...the only photos that were on there were of this dish. Frankly, this sucks for you more than me, because I know how good these potatoes looked (AND SMELLED!).

What You'll Need:

2 Potatoes
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt & 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Cheese

* I love cheese (as I have stated MANY times on here), so I added more than normal. The usual recipe calls for 1/4th cup cheese.

1. In a saucepan, add butter, flour, salt and pepper. Stir. Add milk and stir again. Boil until thickened (with as little as this mix is, it takes no time at all to boil). Stir in cheese until blended. (I did 1/4th cup at a time of cheese).

2. Spray dish with cooking spray and add the thinly sliced potatoes (the thinner the better, just don't chop off any fingers!). After adding half the potatoes, add some sauce, then add more potatoes. Cover with the rest of the sauce.

3. Bake at 350 for 30-50 minutes.

Lets talk honestly here. Not only did I forget the SD card, but I didn't cook this long enough at first. I only cooked it 15 minutes instead of the 50 I ought to have. Not being sure what to do, I cooked it for 15 more  minutes and it was great. That's why I put 30-50 minutes, as well as potato slice thickness will determine how long you need to cook it for.

Serve with your dinner and enjoy! We had it with Steak and Green Beans.

Hope you've had a fantastic Tuesday- here's hoping I'll find my brain by tomorrow!

Take the MLS Challenge with me!

I had seen on twitter that someone had challenged himself to what he called the "MLS Challenge," and that it helped him loose weight while not compromising his television time and his favorite sport; soccer! Anyone who knows us knows we are HUGE soccer fans and this idea seemed brilliant to us!

How does it work?

For every goal scored that week in the MLS, you walk or run a mile.
It's that easy!

You might be thinking that it seems too simple...well, when you consider how many teams are in the MLS, and how high scoring some games can get, it becomes brilliant! For example, last years Real Salt Lake season opener the final score was 4-1. That means that that is five miles alone!

There are other benefits besides weight loss. Usually I walk for stress relief and energy, so this is going to be fun for me to try out!

Join me!

Post this image to your blog if you are going to join us with this challenge and then shoot me an e-mail (or comment below). I'll be posting every Sunday the miles that need to be walked that week, as well as any updates from YOU that you send in.

At the end of the season I will be doing a giveaway for those who participated!

Have fun, and don't forget. . . 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Failure or Genius? You Decide


I attempted to make baked Mac-N-Cheese cups. Not sure WHY they didn't bake into the cup shape like the recipe said it would (actually I can think of several reasons why it didn't work, but lets not get into that right now)... but I did come to discover something.

It's totally and completely portion controlled!

Was this an epic failure or sheer genius? I'll let you decide!

7 Things to Do to Better Your Life

If you haven't read this post by Rachel Sayumi, do it first. This is the post that inspired me to jot down some ideas and write this blog post. (It's brilliant, really.) After reading her post I had to ask myself- how do I live a happier life? What are some things I do that help me find (as Lisa Bearnson would put it) Joy in the Journey? So I took some notes and decided they were worth sharing.

Bubba enjoying his favorite meal of the day
1. Eat Dessert. Never say no to something we all know you want. Depriving yourself does not create a happy enviroment and there is really nothing better than something sweet at the end of a day. My husband and I are BIG fans of dessert and always keep something sweet in our home.

2. Shower, Get dressed, makeup, daily. I do not go a day without these things- even with the brand new baby. I make sure that I am feeling good and that makes me feel like I am looking great (even if I'm not). It also makes life so much easier when things come up unexpectedly, like family stopping by, trips to the store or even impromptu dates.

3. Food heals. Learn to cook or bake and do it for others. They joked on Grey's Anatomy about "Widow Casseroles," being borderline offensive, which is a total truth, but there is seriously something magical about food when you are going through a tough time. (Or an awesome time, but with no time to cook!)

4. Have a clean space. Even if it is only one space that is clean. I take time every day to clean one space. Whether it be my kitchen, my car, my bathroom, or simply washing my sheets, something gets cleaned. Having accomplished something feels great and having that one space cleaned keeps the house looking decent during a time that I really cannot keep on top of it all.
Disconnected at an RSL game with family

5. Disconnect. I used to call it analog Sundays. A while back (Before everyone got smart phones and gaming systems and family time got awfully quiet), we used to go to my in-laws for dinner almost every Sunday. I turned off my phone, put it in my purse and gave my family my whole attention. Lately I've been letting my phone die nightly, and I hide the charger and the phone while it charges and spend the time just talking to my husband. It gives us forced time that most of the world doesn't take anymore.

6. If you need a nap, take one! Up until I got pregnant, I HATED naps. I didn't see the point and by the end of the evening I was mean because I was tired. This led to my husband and I having vastly different bedtimes, sometimes not even sharing our bed and even a few arguments. I learned quickly when I got pregnant that a nap fixes that problem, gave me the energy to clean, cook and be a good wife and even got us on a better life schedule.

The fur baby, Taz.
7. Adopt a pet (if you can of course!). One of the most theraputic and wonderful things we have ever done was adopt a bunny. He has been wonderful for therapy (I suffer from depression and anxiety), which has been a huge shocker, but also a fun addition to our little family before the baby came. It helped having a pet when we were going through the rough patches and we love that little fur ball so much! The pet stores are awesome about providing information about adoptions and rescues, and here in Utah there are lots of places to get animals that need you.

These are just a few things I've done in the last few years that I feel have seriously bettered my life, and if I would've seen this list a few years ago.. I would've kissed myself. Thanks for the inspiration Rachel!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mock Chocolate Mousse

This dessert only wishes it was Chocolate Mousse, but when you're craving something lighter and delicious (and are a chocoholic like my husband and I are) then this is the treat for you.

It is ridiculously simple to make.

You will need a box of pudding mix (they cost 50 cents at every grocery store, there is really no excuse not to have a box in your pantry), and a container of Cool Whip.

Make pudding mix like the instructions tell you to on the side of the box. Once set, mix with Cool Whip. It doesn't really matter how much or how little you use, do it until you like the taste. (YES! That means you get to taste it as you go!)

Serve in a cute dish or container. (We got these martini glasses when we got married and haven't used them yet, they worked out perfect!)

I covered it in sprinkles for the sake of making it look cute. Yes, those are Christmas sprinkles, because that's how I roll, yo.
Bubba devoured it and really enjoyed it. The proof is in the photo.

Grandma's Have the Neatest Things

Today my mom and I took the baby to my grandmothers house as a surprise. She has been on dialysis for quite awhile and every Saturday my mom picks her up from the dialysis center and takes her home. They'll pick up lunch on the way and enjoy time at her house together. We decided that since she hadn't seen the baby since he was born it'd be a nice change of pace for her. Also, her house is super sterile due to her dialysis, so I knew it was one of the safe places I could take the baby at his age. 

While there, I got to peeking around her house and really admiring those items in her home. She'd always had fun furnature and interesting pieces around her home, but I hadn't really gotten a chance to admire those pieces. Since I had a camera handy (I was planning on taking some photos but grandma didn't want her photo taken today), I took photos of the neat items in her home. 

Like this couch. Isn't it fabulous? I LOVE it and always have. She bought it in 1976, and it is in a room with matching yellow walls and green carpet. She refuses to change the room, despite it being out of date (her words, not mine) and calls this room her "70's room". Believe it or not, she has yellow arm chairs to match! I LOVE it. (and yes, because I am selfish and because grandma often asks what I want in the will, I did ask for this couch. My husband is going to KILL me.)
This next piece is actually a glass case inside of a table top. Inside of it are pieces from our ancestors that my grandma has actually tracked down while doing family history. Those glasses belonged to a great great grandfather of mine, as well as the spur. The earrings belonged to her grandmother, and that crappy shadow in the glass? Well, that's goofy me thinking I could snap a photo of it without my reflection appearing in it 

I wish I could go through and photograph her whole house, because seriously, my grandma has the coolest things in her home! A chair that depicts a fairy tale (and it is super comfy!), a life sized pencil drawing of the human muscular system, a collection of gemstones displayed beautifully and so much more. Grandma's have the neatest things!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekend Links

I wanted to introduce the Weekend Links blog post to this blog. The basic gist of it is that I take my reading list and blogs that I follow and post the best blog posts of the week. Basically, if you're going to read anything, read these.

Go check out these awesome blogs! If you didn't see yours listed, shoot me and e-mail and chew me out and send me a link to your blog so that I can follow you and get it on the books for next week! 

Have an awesome weekend! 

Pizza Roll Ups

I am a fan of Pizza, but can be awfully picky on the kind of Pizza I eat (it happens when you worked at a Pizza place for over two years). This recipe is perfect - it is light, homemade (made my apartment smell delicious), and actually REALLY good!   My husband and I enjoyed them as a dinner, but they are much more fitting as a snack. I cannot wait to make them for our next family party or get-together!

What You'll Need:

Crescent Rolls
Pepperoni (or any toppings you'll like on yours)
Shredded Cheese

How to do it:

Unroll your crescent rolls onto a baking sheet. Prep your oven according to the instructions on the roll (ours said 375 for 8-10 minutes).

Place your ingredients on the roll. The colder the ingredient, the harder it will be to roll. Once your ingredients are on there, roll the crescent roll up tightly. I sprinkled the cheese on the top of my rolls, but you don't need to.

Bake. Because your rolls have things inside of it, it doesn't need to be cooked as long as the rolls say to. I cooked mine for about 6 minutes and they turned out perfect.

Enjoy them! Make sure you wait for the sheet to cool down first! I didn't with the first two and it left bits of roll on the baking sheet. Once it was cooled down they popped off very easy and clean!

What would you put in your pizza roll ups? I'd like to consider ham and pineapple next time! Or pepperoni and bacon!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

11 Things

There are five rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them.

My Random Things: 
1. I can lick my elbow. No joke. How do I do it you ask? My shoulder dislocates, making it possible to dislocate my shoulder, pull my arm forward across my chest and TA-DA! Elbow successfully licked.
2. My favorite food is German food. I make some awesome Saurkraut and Potato Dumplings, and am working on perfecting my Oma's Potato Salad Recipe.
3. My eyes change color with my mood. When I'm happy, they're blue, when I'm sad they're green, and when I'm angry, they turn a scary light-blue that looks almost white. My dads eyes do it too. It's kinda cool.
4. I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Not sure what life would be like if I didn't write. 
5. When I was a kid I was a mushmouth. Coke Cola was "Coka-la-la", Magazines were "Maza-gines" and I couldn't say "Liver Lips" (my dads nickname for me) to save my life, it was "Wibber Wips." Since then I've learned to speak...or so I think. 
6. I am the oldest child in my family. I am also one of two children, and one of three grandchildren (yes, both sides). My family is TINY. 
7. My husband is my best friend. Even when we fight he makes me laugh. Fights don't last. 
8. My pain tolerance is kind of scary to doctors. I have a history of breaking bones and not realizing it. So far I've broken my foot in three places, my collarbone, and my hand (three bones in two places) without knowing it. We found out when it was starting to heal. Also, I've torn my left shoulder to the point of permanent dislocation that needed surgical repair. 
9. My favorite TV show is Grey's Anatomy. I watch it every week- even if it is a rerun. I also own all the seasons on DVD and on Itunes. I'm addicted.
10. Craft stores make me feel awfully zen. I don't know if its the smell of the fake flowers, or the possibilities of creating whatever I'd like, or the fact that I can thrift REALLY well at craft stores, but I LOVE em. When I am stressed my husband hands me a $20 and sends me there for an hour. Even if I don't buy anything- it's awesome. 
11. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I've considered everything from Journalism to Nursing, to Floral design to Doctor. I hope that one day I can finally make up my mind and go back to school. People with degrees are proven to live a more successful life...and successful people are awesome. 

Here are the questions that Susannah asked me:
1. Who's your celebrity crush? I have a thing for the super-dorky, unattractive male actors. Seth Rogan is my favorite, but between you and me, I think it is because he reminds me of my husband. 
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a writer. I spent hours on the computer writing novels and short stories and spent my days carrying a notebook around. It was up until I got into high school that I got "realistic" and started looking at other options.
3. What's your favorite flower? Daisies. They're such a happy flower!
4. If you could only drink one thing for the rest of your life besides water, what would it be? Coke Cola. I suffer from chronic migraines and aside from taking meds (Which I hate to do), I use coke as my medication to help me get by.
5. Do you believe in ghosts? Yep. The stories I could tell you from working in a hospital and nursing home at night shift would make you believe too. 
6. What's your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant? I love Chili's Half Turkey Club and Cup of Broccoli Cheese Soup. They don't have it anymore, but it is SO GOOD.
7. What was your favorite cartoon as a kid? Pokemon ruled my life.
8. What's your favorite thing to wear from your closet? My Grey's Anatomy steel grey scrub set. I cannot wait to loose the baby weight and get back into my Grey's Anatomy scrubs.
9. If you could wake up tomorrow with the knowledge and ability to do something that you can't do now, what would it be? I'd like to be able to understand the total workings of my car and how to fix anything that needed to be with it.
10. What's your favorite song of all time? The Fray's How to Save a Life. Its "my" song, so to speak.
11. What's an annoying habit or quirk of yours that people probably don't know about? When I don't think someone is listening to me, or they don't respond to me, I repeat myself. I know it's annoying, I'm trying to quit. 

Here are my questions for YOU:
1. If you could have one blog post published in any publication- what publication would it be?
2. If you could keep one piece of clothing forever, what would it be?
3. What inspires you?
4. If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
5. What is one thing you cannot live without?
6. Favorite food as a child?
7. Worst habit?
8. What is the best thing about you?
9. What do you waste your time on?
10. If you could hang out with any fictional character- who would it be?
11. Why do you blog?

I am tagging...
(Yes Susannah, I stole your idea! Sorry!) 
If you take the challenge post your link in the comments below so that I can see your answers and questions!

How to Make Homemade Wontons

I don't know about you, but my family LOVES Chinese food! My mother-in-law is the best white Chinese food cook I know, and that makes for a spoiled husband who is quite picky about how I make Chinese food.

That is why this recipe is AWESOME. Not only is it easy (TWO STEPS!), but it only takes three ingredients and tastes great! Want to know how to do it? Here's how:

What You'll Need:

Cream Cheese (Plain flavored)
Wonton Wrappers - You can buy them at almost any supermarket - but they are found by the produce.
Vegetable Oil

Step One: Prep your Wontons

Take a wonton wrapper and scoop with a spoon a dollop of cream cheese into the center of it. Using your fingers, dip them into water and seal the wonton in half by pressing it together. Set aside on plate. You can fold in half (pictured), or fourths by folding it in half again.

Set aside and let dry. If there is any excess cream cheese peeking out, wipe it off. If you do not, when they are cooking they will pop the oil everywhere (which can be chaotic in a small kitchen such as mine where you cannot escape).

Step Two: Cook!

Take a frying pan or skillet (or wok for that matter, any will work) and fill the bottom with the vegetable oil. Turn the stove onto half heat - I promise it will be warm enough to cook your wontons (any hotter and you risk oil splatters - OUCH!).

They only take a moment to cook, so stay close! Flip after a moment and let the other side cook. Place on a plate with paper towels (to absorb the oil) and let cool.

They look browner when removed from the oil, so make sure you aren't overcooking them. It is quite easy to do. When they are cooling off, they will darken up.

Step Three: Once cool- ENJOY YOUR WONTONS! Whether it be with a meal or just a snack. I usually serve with a stir fry or Cashew Chicken.

Of course you can add to this recipe. Some people have added crab with the cream cheese, others keep it plain like I do. What would you add?


An Update and More

Hey there!

Sorry for lack of posting lately. Basically I'm an irresponsible blogger and have forgotten that I can schedule blog posts, instead of posting four in one day. I've been blogging on the days that I have extra help with the baby or when he's sleeping really well. On the rougher days I refuse to blog and dedicate my time to the little man.

I have lots of plans for the blog and am working on figuring out how I want to go about doing them. Since I am my own webmaster, writer, graphic designer and all the other odds and ends, it sometimes takes me awhile, but trust me, good things are coming your way! 

Things are going well and he's getting so big so fast! Since I have nothing else to offer, here is some babyspam from Saturday. I cannot believe he is going to be a month old in just a few days! Where on EARTH did the time go?!

Hope you are all doing fantastic!