Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recipe round-up

In an effort to find some really good vegan recipes, I decided to try this one out from The Conscious Cook.

It has some amazing flavors - I love the sun dried tomatoes, but I didn't really LOVE it as a wrap, but I reheated it the next day and threw it on my salad for lunch - great! I love the heat you get from the red pepper flakes. I wanted to try this one because I actually have most of the ingredients on hand on a typical day, the only thing I didn't have was the sun- dried tomatoes. The kids wouldn't touch it, which didn't surprise me. So it was good but the jury is still out whether I will make it again...

Next up on my list from The Conscious cook is Corn chowder - I mostly want to make this because I want to try making the cashew cream, and he has a quinoa dish that looks yummy.

I also tried a DELISH recipe from good old Betty Crocker.

Hazelnut- Parmesan Asparagus

SOOO good, I made it two nights in a row. The kids were scarfing it down, Jake liked the mushrooms because they look like cowboy hats :)

I substituted walnuts for the hazelnuts.

Lastly: Pretzel bites!from the food blog Two Peas and Their Pod

They taste exactly like the ones you get at the circus (or in the frozen food aisle) They were really good! I dipped some in butter and cinnamon and sugar and the kids really liked those too. I had to freeze a couple of bags of them because the recipe made so much! It was really easy and definitely something I'll make in the future!

Monday, January 24, 2011


So we took a little trip to Las Vegas this weekend to see WEEZER at the Hardrock! It was AWESOME!!!! I couldn't take my camera so I took a couple blurry pictures from my phone.

Luckily a picture of us made it on to the Weezer website -

We got there early so we were able to get right up front. It was so much fun, dancing around screaming our lungs out. The performances were so good.

At the end of the concert we walked away with this! A Weezer drumstick - used!! It's a crazy story I'm not sure I want to tell - lets just say I wrestled a guy for it. Yeah, that's right, a GUY.. don't mess with mama. The funniest part, Marshall got it on video!! And I'm really sure I don't want to post that. Pretty much one of the craziest things I've ever done.

That was pretty much the highlight of our trip. There's a rumor that they will be doing a video of the concert because it was their last concert on the Memories tour, so we may even make it on to that!

As for the rest of our trip we did all the touristy stuff, walked the strip, went to the top of the Stratosphere (where we were staying) ate some amazingly yummy food, saw the fountain shows, relaxed. It was nice to get away, but even better to be back home away from all the craziness of Vegas.

Chris and Marshall at the top of the Stratosphere.

Crepes and "potion" at the Bellagio

A trip for the {family} history books for sure!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

I heard about Bountiful baskets coop when they first came to Idaho. I was dragging my feet because I tend to plan my meals pretty specifically and I didn't want to be overloaded with fruits and veggies that I wouldn't have room for in my menu or fridge! Last Saturday I picked up my first basket at the hardware store down the street. I was pretty surprised at just how much produce there was! They give you a small basket of vegetables and a small basket of fruits for $15. I'd say it was worth the money, HOWEVER I shall wait to see if I can actually get through all of it. I still ended having to get quite a few different produce items at the grocery store and went over my budget. I really wanted to try it for the experience, and also because they sell more local, in season produce and because they also have an organic basket for $25. Next time I am going to get the organic basket and see how it compares in size to the regular basket, I've heard you do get LESS produce.

We also got five loaves of bread for $10 and my family loves it. It's whole wheat with lots of yummy grains in it as well.

Nashville Part 3

Photo shoot - Sorry it's taken me so long to post this Kimberly! We went downtown to the train station turned Hotel, I think it was probably the coolest thing I saw there! While we were there we saw another photographer taking photos so it must be a pretty good spot! Unfortunately the lighting was terrible that day, very dark and rainy, I really don't like using flash in this type of circumstance and I didn't have my tripod which made natural light VERY hard to catch without being blurry, but we still got a few great shots. Here are some of them, enjoy!

These last two were from the night we spent TRYING to find the Grand Ole Opry, you'd think it'd be pretty easy! Unfortunately it was still blocked off for repairs from the big flood over the summer.

I needed a sign telling me how stupid I was for trying to go down this road.

This is a sign of the speed limit in the parking lot. Who makes a speed limit of 24?!?


I can't believe Claire is 5! She looks so old in these pictures. We celebrated her birthday on Saturday since Chris and I will be gone for her actual birthday, we took her to Leo's place. We ate pizza, did rides, and games and Claire redeemed her tickets for a little wand.

She got a new barbie, and a horse and carriage for her barbie. Then Jake proceeded to fight Claire over the horse (it does have a saddle and everything). Then grandpa made a saddle and stirrups for Jake's horse from the wires that came in the packaging. Grandma and Grandpa got Claire a Hello Kitty suitcase for all the times she sleeps over. SO cute!

Claire blowing out candles - she really looks old in the picture. I was going to crop out my awesome birthday cake, but whatever, the back fell off, so I didn't even try frosting it, it looked pretty good from the front, I guess I should have taken a picture from that angle.

Happy Birthday Claire, we love you!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The day of the Deals!

So I have to preface this post with the fact that it's kind of lame, but I feel like now that my blog is private I can post more of my everyday stuff without worrying too much about random people reading about what we do during the day. So hopefully I don't bore people too much, sorry. But, it's my blog I can blog what I want to- and I kind of have an obsession with getting a good deal, so there you go!

So today was the start of the Old Navy sale. Me and my sister have been shopping this sale for the last 4 years I think. It's when all of their clearance goes on sale usually 50% (it was 40% this year). We call back and forth to see if there's anything the other wants that they didn't have in the right size. You have to go there early because the good stuff goes fast. I was worried because we had heard the sale started earlier at some stores, but when I got there today there was line, waiting for the doors to open, so I knew that my store's sale hadn't started yet! This is when I buy most of the kids clothes for next year. I got the kids coats for next year for about $6. Shirts, pants, sweaters, even a few things for me, most of the stuff averaged out to less than $4 a piece, plus there was a $10 off $50 purchase coupon on top of that!

Then I headed over to Target and a few other stores with my giant stack of coupons. I've been figuring that most times I go to Target I have a stack of coupons worth about $20!

I got all this stuff for 68 cents! Plus, I still have a few more coupons for "free" stuff that I haven't used yet. Lots of deals going on right now! I love Kashi cereal, but it's $3/box on sale so I love when I can find a great deal. It's organic, the box is made out of recycled material, and it's made with lots of different whole grains, and it's super yummy - doesn't get much better than that.

I love Target!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


It seems like Claire has just exploded in her desire/understanding of reading and writing the last couple of weeks. I wanted to show you a picture of some words she tried to spell all on her own! Chris and Claire have been working in the evening on sounding out words and reading these old reading books that Chris had when he was learning to read. I think she did pretty great ( I really like YLO :) This was her "homework" she told me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On my night stand...

I've been kind of a bookworm lately, I thought I'd share what I've been reading:

Change your Brain Change your Body, and The UltraMind Solution both written by doctors: These were super good! I highly recommend them, both great books. I couldn't put them down! They have actual brain scans of brain damage from vitamin deficiency and from poor diet, very interesting. They are about how the body and brain go hand in hand and how we MUST and CAN take care of our brains, and the effects it will have on our bodies, behaviors, everything! The Ultramind has an actual diet plan with it, it's pretty stringent and it pretty much suggests a mostly vegan, non-sugar diet. I just wish someone would teach me how to cook that way!!

These next two are basically about organic, simple living. I've really been trying to simplify things. The first book, had some good statistics, info, but it spends a lot of time trying to convince you. The Organic housekeeping gives you detailed ideas on how to live simply and organically. LOVE IT!

Life in Year One: I was hoping this book would be mostly about Christ, but the author insists it is not, though it does reference Him quite a bit. Kind of a slow read, TONS of footnotes which make it hard to get through, but he really gets as many sides of the story as can be written, which is good and bad, there's just not as much speculative writing coming from the author as I would have hoped.

The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen: I am in LOVE with the beauty of this book! It's a Vegan cookbook from one of the most widely renound Vegan chefs, known for making meatless meals feel meat-full. I want to eat everything from this book! It's clear and concise, unfortunately it's a lot of ingredients that are hard to find and probably expensive. It really brings out my "Chef side" and I am planning on trying out at least a few recipes. YUMM

The Speed of Trust: Chris' brother Marshall markets for this book, so I wanted to read it, I am still working on it, I don't think it's as much for me because I don't work outside the home, but there are a LOT of things I can take from it.

Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey: I love Dave! I have read most of his books, this one is pretty redundant, but still inspiring. It keeps me thinking about my financial goals.

I have a few more on the list that I can't wait to read, including "Decision Points" President George W. Bush's memoirs, and Michael Pollan's "In defense of food". Let me know if there are any you have been reading that you recommend!

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

I saw this recipe on Moneysavingmom and immediately wanted to try it. It doesn't have any dairy in it, so I consider it a great Vegan recipe. We eat a vegetarian canned chili in lots of different recipes, but homemade is of course better. It was easy, but it took a LONG time to get the beans cooked all the way. I think I'm going to have to use a pressure cooker next time. I think it may have something to do with the altitude here? I would suggest the overnight method that she has on the recipe. It was SO yummy and the kids were even begging for it :)
Instead of the tomato soup, I used home canned tomato sauce. It also calls for cocoa powder and cinnamon, I was too nervous to try the cocoa, but I did put in a bit of cinnamon, and it really did add a great flavor.
I love crock pot recipes, and this one is nice because it has ingredients that I usually have on hand. Beware: it makes a TON.

And I just had to post this picture:

The kids have been playing really well together lately and playing a lot of make believe. I thought this was cute, they had the kids in the back, and Jake was "driving", Claire was yelling "hurry", and Jake would say, "okay honey" and then they would go back and give the "kids" a kiss. Hmm, I wonder how much of this I should compare to our own family? It was cute nonetheless.

Friday, January 7, 2011

This 'n that

I had a few random things I wanted to post about. First off - there were a few things from Christmas that I wanted to remember that I hadn't written down yet.
*Jake running around singing "you'll shoot your eye out, you'll shoot your eye out"
* Claire got a harmonica from Nana and Papa Ray and she calls it her Hanuka, she's pretty good at I think :)
* When we got home Christmas eve, we put Jake in his bed, he had fallen asleep in the car, and he turned and said "Is santa coming tonight?" I said "Yes" then he asked "Are santa's reindeers coming tonight?" "yep" "Wow, that's cool" then he smiled, turned over and went to bed.
* After Christmas Claire was being super quiet. We asked her why and she said "it's part of my new plan, to be softer and kinder so Santa will bring me more toys next year." I love santa.

A few weeks ago Jake got his finger slammed in the door. It was pretty bad. He screamed bloody murder, amazingly it didn't bleed, but I think he hurt it pretty bad, he may have even broken it, he wouldn't let anyone go near it for a while. So now his fingernail is falling off, it's still hurting him and I don't know what to do? I guess we just have to wait it out. Poor boy!

This morning Jake did all 4 of the puzzles he got for Christmas by himself, with no help!

Claire's beautiful coloring job, she's learning to shade.

And I did a few things to Claire's room. I made her a Valence for her window. I found a super easy tutorial online and it only cost about $10. I also painted her back wall. I've been wanting to do a chevron design, it turned out more like arrows, but Claire likes it, she thinks it looks like hearts. I'm not really sure about the color either, so we'll see if it grows on me. I also found her this adorable vintage print at D.I. and a clearanced mirror from Ross for $6.50! I was SUPPOSED to be getting stuff for Jake's room, because we are putting him in a big boy bed and I still haven't done a thing to his room, but girls are just so much easier to decorate for!

On the agenda for this month - potty training, I'm still not sure I'm ready but I think Jake is getting there. The other day I asked him if he wanted to go on the potty, he said "no, it's too much work" I guess he's been talking to Claire!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


We had a merry Christmas, it was quiet and small and perfect. I really felt like I was truly able to feel Christ's spirit more this year by not focusing on the presents. We spent a lot of time together as a family. We went and saw Megamind and Tangled, both were awesome! We made our first Gingerbread house and it was also our first attempt at carmel, and it went well. We drove and looked at lights. The kids saw Santa, and Claire wrote Santa a letter. It was a really good Christmas. Claire asked for a Dog that walks and has a leash, wich Santa was VERY nice to get her since he had already gotten her something else, that he will now be sending her for her birthday. Jake got an airplane and a rocket ship and a new train for his train set. Chris got me a gift certificate to a spa which I'm excited to go to on my birthday and I also got a new pressure canner which I'm really excited about. Chris got new basketball shoes and a couple CD's that he's been wanting for a while. For Christmas eve, we did the usual, playing of the chimes, singing of Christmas songs, and reading of the Christmas story. We sang the "12 pains of Christmas" and giggled like crazy! That will now be on the traditions list. We also played white elephant "pass the present" and laughed hysterically again because Jake was getting fed up with having to pass his present and just started chucking them at people. Oh fun times! It was also a special year because Jana invited her friend Gloria over for Christmas eve. She had such a neat life story and really brought a new perspective to Christmas this year (she was raised Jewish and converted to Mormonism).
It was our first Christmas in our new home and it was great!

I am sad to see 2010 go. We had a wonderful year, and I hope I will never forget my children at this age. We moved into our new house, Claire started dance, Jake is learning like crazy and adding words to his vocabulary everyday. Best of all, it's been PEACEFUL! It seems like we haven't had too many quiet years in our married life, we've always been crazy busy. So it's been weird but I'm trying to enjoy it and I hope that 2011 will bring just as much peace and joy.
I don't know why I want to post this, but New Year's resolutions: nothing too huge this year. The biggest one, to get up early- early as in before my children wake up. I think my entire life would change if I did that. Jake has always gotten up so early (between 6-7) that it's always seemed like a daunting task. So that's kind of embarrassing that I'm admitting that, but there you go. The second one for me, is just eating better food, more local, more home grown, more fresh real food, more organic, better meat products, less dairy, trying new healthy foods and recipes. I also want to put Jake on a Gluten-free diet and see if that helps him.
That's really all I have in the way of resolutions. Happy New