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Saturday, March 31, 2007

i'm a sucker for red shoes...

and Nordstrom's makes it way too easy! I don't even have to leave the house. I can simply search by color... and voila! Three new pairs of adorable red shoes that I just have to have (it doesn't matter that I already have about 10 pairs of red shoes!) The first is a pair by one of my favorite shoe brands Me Too. Next we have a classic wedge, and finally a cute little ballet flat. Well I better go to bed before I find something else I just have to have.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

seriously, check it out!

Okay, I've loved Cottage Living, the magazine, for years. But recently I've been checking out their website, and it too is INCREDIBLE. The website has tons of informations, ideas, photos, etc. But the best thing ever, is their Design Assistant. In their own words:

Get ideas. Get it done.
Find design inspiration you can apply at home. Browse thousands of beautiful photos from the pages of Cottage Living, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Sunset, Southern Accents, and more of your favorite magazines!
This is just a wealth of knowledge and ideas. They cover everything: kitchens, bathrooms, entries, halls, living areas, dining rooms, bedrooms, workspaces. Heavens... they have photos and ideas for window treatments, storage solutions, flooring options. Everything you need in one place. And don't be fooled by the name. It's not all cottagey, country-ish. The styles range from traditional to contemporary. It's way too much fun. Maybe you'll have as much fun as I am.

too big to ignore!

What a great idea! You would never forget an important date with a calender this prominent. Want to make one for yourself? Go HERE for the instructions.

i heart chicken curry!

Honestly, it probably my most favorite food, ever! I LOVE CHICKEN CURRY! So here's a recipe from my mom that is both good & easy... my favorite combination!

1 Tbsp butter
1 cup finely chopped pared apple
1 cup slice celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp salt
2-3 tsp curry powder (sometimes I keep pouring until I get the flavor I want)
3/4 cup cold chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 cups diced cooked chicken
13-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
Cooked rice
If you choose to, you can top with any, all or none of the following condiments:
raisins, shredded coconut, chopped peanuts, slivered almonds, chutney

In a pan melt butter, then add apple, celery, onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is tender. Combine cornstarch, curry, salt and broth. Stir into onion mixture, then add milk. Cook and stir until mixture thickens and bubbles. Stir in chicken and mushrooms. Heat through. Serve over hot cooked rice, and top with desired condiments.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

can you believe owen is 5 months?!

Wow! Time really does fly by! It seems like just yesterday that I was pregnant, and already he is so grown up. I have been truly blessed with wonderful and awesome kids! I'm the first to admit... that first month and a half was really hard. I had such a difficult time adjusting to life with two kids, much harder than I ever expected. Luckily I have a very supportive and understanding husband, mom, in-laws, brothers & sisters, cousins & friends - without them, I don't know how I would have made it. But here we are, five months later, and all of that is such a distant memory.

Owen is such a joy to have around. He is so dang cuddly, I love it! These days he is doing lots and lots of smiling. He is quite the hit with the ladies. All he has to do is flash his baby blues, show them a smile, and they are crazy for him. As I've mentioned in previous posts, he is doing lots of rolling. He doesn't exactly LOVE his "tummy time", but he is getting there. He has started to interact with his toys, which is fun to watch. He likes to grab for the balls, and he loves the musical ones. He is also starting to follow Gavin with his eyes. I can tell that he is already pretty entertained by his older brother. He squeaks and sequels like a beached whale... talking up a storm. He doesn't have the thumb suck down completely, but he is getting there. Whether it's the tub, shower or pool (he started swim lessons this month!), he loves the water!

All in all, we are having lots and lots of fun. I can't wait to see what's in store for us this next month! Although, I must admit, I am a little sad... He is only five months old, and yet he seems like such a "big boy."

go... cougars!

Recently I was shocked, thrilled and surprised to learn that one of my sister's best friends, Shannon, was applying to BYU. Why was I so surprised? Because Shannon isn't a member of the church. Unfortunately, she didn't get in.

Okay, I get that BYU is a church school. So they can't admit every non-LDS person that applies. But Shannon is definitely "the one" that should be admitted. Her grades are awesome... they've never dipped below a 3.5, but I think they around 3.9 these days (she's been on the honor roll all four years of high school). She participated in swim team, works a part-time job (nearly 30 hours/ week), and has been involved in girls scouts and meals on wheels. She is truly a very genuine person, who has always been kind and extremely grateful. Watching her grow up has been an inspiration to me. At several points in her life she has had the opportunity to make some very bad choices, but she has always risen to the occasion.

Shannon has applied to several other schools (including Cal State Long Beach & San Diego, Cal Poly & UC Santa Cruz). Every other school has offered to accept her. But, the only place she truly wants to go is BYU. I know BYU has like a bizillion applicants. And I am sure that they are all well qualified: good grades, great test scores, seminary graduates, extra curriculars galore, and service to boot. But this would be good for Shannon, probably great for her, in fact, it would most likely be life changing. I just wish there was something I could do to change the situation. Part of me wants to write BYU admissions, another part of me wants to call them up, I just need to do something! There has got to be a way to get her in! I've heard several stories from people about being rejected from BYU, and then later getting a letter saying "come on down!" Any suggestion out there on how to change Shannon's fate?

the cure for what ails you!

I've got a case of the sniffles... and there is no better cure than Grandma's Home-made Chicken Noodle Soup. I just LOVE the noodles!
Yum! Yum! Yum! Lucky for me, I had some in the freezer for just such an occasion. For those of you who aren't so lucky, here's the recipe so you can make your own! (Hopefully this wasn't supposed to be a "secret" family recipe...)

1 cup flour
1 egg
½ eggshell of heavy whipping cream

1. Boil chicken in water. When cooked, shred chicken and save water for stock. (I usually add canned chicken stock to the soup to enhance the flavor). (If you are being lazy or just need to make it super quick, you can also just shred up a rotissere chicken.)

2. Mix flour, egg and cream... with so much flour & very little liquid, it's best to use your hands to mix. After you've mixed it all up, roll the dough out flat and cut into strips to make noodles. (I LOVE the noodles, for me, they are the best part. So, I usually triple the noodles. As Jeff says, "it's best when it's dense with the noodles" and I most definitely agree!) *on a side note... because they are homemade noodles, they aren't going to taste, look or feel like your typical noodle. The thinner & flatter they are, & longer you cook them, they will get more "done". But they'll always be a bit doughy. Personally, I love them fat... they're best that way. Don't expect them to turn out like your typical "egg noodle", they'll be way better.

3. Add noodles, celery and carrots to boiling water (and additional chicken stock), and boil for one hour.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

the affair

I'm feeling a bit a guilty, so I think it's time to confess: For the past couple of months I have been having an affair. If you want to get technical, it's probably more of an occurrence of "two-timing"...

You see, I love to run. That's right, I actually enjoy exercise! And for me, running is where it is at. I love being out on the open road. Feeling the pavement under my sneakers, the wind in my face. Running is "me" time. It's my opportunity to be selfish. As one of my favorite running shirts reads "it's cheaper than therapy." Now that you have a little background, let's get back to explaining the torrid affair.

For Christmas I got a bike. It had been on my list, but I hadn't really put much thought in to it. I'm not a cyclist. I took up spinning that last month or so of my pregnancy, and I thought it was fun. But that was the extent of my cycling experience. Struggling to come up with a Christmas list, I simply listed a bike. There was no make or model described, so you can imagine my surprise when I actually got one. But there was no mistaking it. Bright and early Christmas morning I woke up to a beautiful new bike.

I got it home, and didn't really know what to do with it. I was already running almost daily. When would I ever have time to ride this beautiful bike? Plus how would I ever be able to accomplish this? At least with running I can take the kids in the jogger. Owen is still way too little for a bike trailer. So I decided I needed to get a bike trainer so I could set my bike up indoors and take it for a spin.

Jeff set the trainer up, and for an entire week I couldn't bring myself to get on. I can't explain it, and it sounds totally dumb, but I was nervous. Finally one Saturday, while the boys were napping, the bike and I had our first "date." Boy, what an awkward experience. But I kept at. At first, I was only seeing the bike a couple times a week. But as we became more comfortable with one another, it became a daily experience. Suddenly 3 months had passed. I was still running everyday, but I was also biking everyday. Sometimes it's hard juggling the two, but they are both so much fun, I didn't think I could give up either.

As much fun as I was having, I still didn't feel like I had totally "committed" to the bike. You see, although I was riding nearly every day, we had not gone "all the way." After 3 months of riding, I still had yet to ride the bike outside, on the actual road. So today, I took the plunge. And I am proud to say, I am no longer a virgin biker. This morning (yep I know, chastise me all you want, I admit... I broke the sabbath) I took the bike on a 12 mile loop, and it was awesome! I was scared to death the entire time. Dozens of questions and fears continually ran through my head: What if I fall? What if I can't unclip fast enough? What if I stop on a hill, and have to get going again? What about stop lights? What about going downhill too fast? What if I can't keep up with the group? I am proud to say I encountered, and overcame every single one of fears, including falling. Yep, I fell, but not until the last five minutes of the ride. By then I was feeling confident, maybe too confident. I took a corner too quickly, got stuck in the ridge between the street and the curb, hit the curb and flew off. Luckily I landed on grass. No major injuries, just a bruised ego, and some aches and pains.

All in all, I think this will be an affair to both remember and continue.

Friday, March 23, 2007

my brush with fame...

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful! So we (meaning me, the boys, Mama Jo, my sister Kerry and our friends Shannon, Kathy & Taryn) headed down to Malibu to do a little shopping at the Malibu Country Mart. While the girls shopped, I watched Gavin play at the little playground at the center of the mall. Seeing as it was "Malibu" we were bound to see "somebody." Of course I ended up pushing Gavin on the swings, next to one of Hollywood's hottest moms: Denise Richards! At one point her little girl even offered Gavin a bite of her ice-cream. Seeing the paparazzi stalk her at the park just reaffirmed that I would never want to be famous. Her kids were having a total melt down (at least my kids aren't the only ones throwing tantrums) and the paparazzi were catching it all on film! Maybe someone sold one the shoots to Us Magazine for their feature "Just Like Us." If so, look for me. Although I'm sure I'll be cropped out, maybe you'll catch a glimpse... I was wearing cropped jeans and white shirt with blue and green stripes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

in search of a flat tummy...

Next month we are off to Hawaii, yeah!! I've been working hard trying to get rid of this baby weight, but I've got to take care of my problem area. I would absolutely LOVE to get rid of the "love handles." I'm running almost daily. Which is definitely burning the calories, but it just doesn't seem to be enough. Any suggestions out there? If I don't get help quick, I think I may have to resort to sucking that gut in! But I don't think I can do nearly half as good a job as this little girlie...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

band practice

Gavin was ready for church with a little time to kill. So, he decided he'd learn to play an instrument. His choice? The curling iron.

beauty secrets revealed

I don't know about you, but I have an entire drawer full of makeup. Makeup has always had this magical allure for me. I am always so quick to purchase the newest thing. I'm always excited to get it home, because it looked so beautiful on me when "they" put it on. I paid special attention to exactly what "they" did, the order, where to apply what... So then I try to replicate it, and I can never get it right. So, it sits there in my makeup drawer with everything else I'm not using.

But, I do have some tried and true favorites. Things I never travel without. Makeup that is so easy and basic that even a beauty novice like me can get it right...

benetint & rush hour for rosy cheeks. bad gal lash, the greatest mascara of all time. I've tried everything from brand name to generic grocery store stuff, and this is the bomb! In their own words "it's like wearing a set of false eyelashes without the glue." Stila lip polish in sheen. And finally bobbie brown's, bronze shimmer brick compact. It's great on cheeks, eyes... just about anywhere. It's easy to use and fun to play with.

So what beauty secrets do you have hiding in your drawer?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

go owen, go!

For all those non-believers... here is video of Owen rolling. This was actually taken a couple of weeks ago. He has had lots of practice now, so he's a pro! He is also becoming quite the little chatterbox...

a new site to stalk...

Calling all you Foodies out there... you know who you are.

Whether you like to cook, eat, collect recipes, or just dream about food, then this site is for you. It's Lindsey Johnson's Just Recipes. I found the site thanks toDesign Mom who is featuring Lindsey as a guest blogger this week. Just Recipes is full of beautiful pictures, and awesome recipes. Be sure to check out the post on making home made ice-cream, it will definitely put you in the mood for summer. One of these days I'll have to take the jump and actually TRY some of the recipes... I'll let you know how it goes!

problem, solution, problem?

The day I feared, but knew, would one day come, has arrived. Gavin has finally climbed out of his crib. I put him down for his nap on Saturday, and a few minutes later I heard a jiggling of the door. I thought, "No way... he hasn't even tried climbing out of his crib." I went upstairs and his door was closed. But then, I heard the giggling from Owen's room, so I checked, and there he was climbing in Owen's crib...

He has been climbing out of the pack and play at my mom's for months so I knew the solution was easy... just get a crib tent. Doesn't he look thrilled? I'd put him in a real bed, but I know he'd never stay put. At least this way I don't have to worry that he is downstairs walking out the front door in the middle of the night.

Now we have a new problem... he think the tent is a playground!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

i find things on etsy that i never knew i needed...

Etsy is one of those sites that can just swallow you whole. You may go for a specific reason, but you always end up looking at more. With just a few clicks you are hooked. Suddenly your "quick visit" can turn into an hour before you know it. On one such visit I came across a few cute things for the kiddies.

First these candy-coated sugar cookies, from Willing Hands, look good enough to eat... and they come with their very own take out box! What fun!

Next we have a beanie made by The Portland Beanie Company. It is just too cute. I love the daisy... it just puts a smile on my face. Every little girl needs this hat on her head!

And finally we have Doodlebug Finery's Milton the Long-Limbed sock dog. He is just so dang cheery with all of his colorful stripes. I'm sure he could make any child (or adult) happy!

a little mascara would really bring out those eyes!

I walked into my bathroom to find Gavin playing with my makeup. He has obviously been paying attention to what I do in the morning... he had the mascara wand out & was applying it to his eyelashes!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

blonde moment

I usually wear contacts, but today my eyes were bothering me, so out came the glasses. At one point in the day I finally got around to showering (I don't dare admit what time it was!) Anyway, I'm sudsing up when I realize I can't see very well... it seems I had forgotten to take off the glasses. Duh!!!

just call me "the modern june"

Lately I've decided that I really need to embrace my domestic diva, and become the "not-so-desperate" housewife I know I am. And what domesticated goddess would be caught without her apron? Most of you could have probably whipped one up from a few scraps of fabric. Not me! I took the easy route and ordered it off the internet. Thanks to Etsy and Annie's Attic I have my own vintage apron. Cute, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

owen update!

Little "O" is doing great! I can't believe he is already 4 months old! He loves to roll all over the place and stand up, if you help. Already he is talking up a storm (maybe he'll talk before Gavin!) He squels and shrieks all day long! Everyday is getting a little bit more chunky, and very attentive. He loves to watch Gavin run around the house. This past week we set up his jumper, and he is definitely loving it! Already he has a couple of teeth popping through. Hopefully they'll recede, though. Otherwise he will have a nice set of fangs going. He sleeps about 10 hours, almost every night. Although he definitely prefers the Love Sac to his bed. He loves to chew on his hands and fingers, who knows, maybe we will have another thumb sucker. And not to be outdone by his older brother, Owen started swim lessons last week. It is so much fun to watch him grow and learn new things. It is so much fun having two little boys, I can't believe how fast the time is fling by!

i guess i'll be getting a new lock for the front door

Monday, March 12, 2007

mmm... home-made granola

This weekend Mama Jo and I slaved over a hot stove and oven to make the most delicious granola. I don't know what I love about it... it's just the perfect combination of crunchy and sweet. There are lots of nuts, and other healthy things, so I feel like I'm eating something good. And I never put in raisins... yuck! Hope you enjoy it, I think it's the best!

10 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 lb. shredded coconut
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
3 cups chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or combination
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
Raisins or other dried fruits, if desired

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl combine oats, wheat germ, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and nuts. Blend well. In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, oil, honey, molasses, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Heat until sugar is dissolved, but do not boil. Pour syrup over dry ingredients and stir until well-coated. Spread into five 13" x 9" baking pans, or cookie sheets. Bake 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Bake 15 minutes longer for crunchier texture. (I love a mixture of crunchier, and not so crunchy.) Cool. Add raisins or other dried fruit, if desired. Put in airtight containers, use within 6 months.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thursday, March 8, 2007

good mail

So I read a blog the other day that got me thinking about the mail. Not something I usually spend a lot of thought on, but she said some things that really hit home!

"I think that one of the reasons that I love to shop online is because I love getting things in the mail. Who doesn’t? Especially in our age of instant gratification communication (e-mail, crackberry, cell phone cameras, text messages. . .) I appreciate something tangible. Nothing is as good as ripping open a package in the mail and wondering what is inside.
A few months ago I ran across a blog that talked about “good mail.” Kristi explains in a post that a friend of hers started this. It started as a circle of friends that went to college together who would send each other things in the mail. Sometimes it was a book or a cd compilation. Other times the recipient was the beneficiary of a wonderful creation. The point was to send an “I am thinking of you” type package. Soon Good Mail expanded to their friends from various grad schools. Then, as they all moved across the country and settled into life, the circles expanded even more."

So, to make a long story short, I checked out "good mail" for myself... and I think I'm hooked. It just sounds fun. Who doesn't like getting something in the mail, especially something totally unexpected! So, I think I'm going to be joining the "good mail" movement. If you're lucky, you might be one of the recipients!

if only i had a little extra cash lying around...

The spring Sundance arrived today, and it contained so many pretty things! Unfortunately, I don't have the space or money for most of them. But, I thought I'd share them with you... maybe something will strike your fancy!

Aren't these "Original Kork-Ease Sandals" great? The catalog describes them as "the sandals coveted by rock stars, glamour queens and other 70s-era goddesses are back, and they're hipper than ever..." I wasn't around for much of the 70s, but I can see why they might have been a hot item. The only question is, which color?

I absolutely LOVE this Taos Studio Table. I don't know why. I love the simplicity. It just looks sturdy, like it can handle anything. And it seems to ooze creativity! I can feel myself becoming more creative just by looking at it!

Or what about these chairs and stools? They just scream "buy me!" Right now they just wouldn't work in my house, it's too little to accomadte chairs that make such a statment, but maybe one day. I love the industrial look. I don't know, maybe I'm crazy! But I have this vision of my future kitchen... big farmhouse sink, butcher block island, rustic kitchen table, and these chairs!

These bowls are beautiful. I want two or three in each color. But do you think they are dishwasher safe? I really wouldn't want to spend $85 dollars on a bowl, and then have to wash it by hand!

Lately, I've been on this kick, in search of a good belt. No, scratch that, a really great belt. Thanks to Sundance, I think I'm actually in love... meet the Mesa Belt. It's everything I've dreamt of, and more!

Now this last one isn't from Sundance, but it fell under the same category: things I love, but possibly can't afford... enter Hammitt's "Suzy" diaper bag. I'll confess, I'm a sucker for diaper bags. I've got an addiction, that I really need to learn to control. But this one is an absolute beauty, & it comes in nine colors. And anyone who is anyone has one. Angelina Jolie, Denise Richards, need I say more? I think I have to have it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

mmm... tastes like candy!

Well, it doesn't exactly taste like candy as Jeff said, but it's pretty good. So, I thought I'd share my recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken. It's quick, easy, and you probably have everything on hand!

Honey Mustard Chicken
boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix butter, honey, mustard & salt and pour over chicken.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Hope you like it too!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

a new site to stalk...

Some days I feel like I spend hours on the Internet just searching for something fun and new. Today I came across it in mere minutes!
In her own words Marieke Berghuis describes her site as her

"journal-playground-laboratory-portfolio" where you "will find pages of (her) paper journal, notes & doodles (for what eventually will be a book), designs (she has) made and references to merely anything that (she) finds too pretty not to pay attention to..."

I fell in love instantly, and I think many of you will too! Check out Treats & Treasures today!

Monday, March 5, 2007

another find!

Yet another fun little discovery, courtesy of Martha Stewart. This is the perfect little kitchen helper for both novices and gourmets alike. It contains "91 shortcuts & smart ideas" covering prepping, cooking and baking, with a few recipes thrown in the mix. Hope you enjoy it!

coca-cola roast

1 beef roast
1 can of coke
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg of dry onion soup mix

Place roast in pan, or in a crock-pot. Mix all other ingredients together and pour over roast. If your cooking in the oven: cover tightly with foil and bake at 325 degrees for about 3-4 hours. In the crock-pot you can cook it on low all day long.


monday blahs...

Nothing big to report today, it's just Monday. I hate Mondays! Partly because they are so busy, and partly because I really don't do all that much. Total contradiction, I know... but that's how it is. Mondays are when I recover from the weekend. The house always seems like a total disaster because we had so much fun over the weekend, we didn't have time to pick up. So that's what I do... clean, laundry, figure out meals, plan my week. Some Mondays I'm even able to squeeze in a shower! Although I must say, this Monday is off to fine start. This morning the boys and I went running, I've almost finished cleaning the house, and dinner is started (we are having a "Coke" Roast - I'll let you know how it turns out!) If I can hit all the major stuff, maybe I can do something fun, like quilt! We shall see... By the way, don't I look cute, all ready to dust and mop!

Sunday, March 4, 2007 your life

This weekend we ventured out to Barnes & Noble, and I stumbled across a new magazine...
Well it isn't exactly new, they are on their third issue, but it's new to me. Anyway, I loved it. If you haven't read it yet, run out and get yourself a copy. It's kind of a Martha Stewart meets Real Simple. Lots of fun articles covering all the gammets: decorating, fashion, beauty, entertaining, & DIY projects. The articles are both applicable and well-written, the pictures are beautiful... overall a fun read. Here are some of my favorites things:

I wouldn't mind a little rain now and then, if I got to wear an outfit like this! I love everything from the red trench coat and polka dot dress, to the rain boats and umbrella. And I wouldn't mind having that cute polka dot tin to hold all my umbrellas!

What a great idea! Temporary framing... using job jackets. Rotate children's art, frame vintage magazine covers, cut apart calendars or children's book, or display favorite digital photos. When you get tired of the current picture, just swap in something else. Brilliant!

Ever since I've had kids, I've been drawn to flats... I can chase after my little terrors much quicker, and with less chance of falling. And who wouldn't fall in love with any of these? They just scream SPRING!

And for those of us who need it... a little tutorial. As the page says "Somehow, the idea of fixing his tie before he heads off to work is sort of sweet."

somedays my boys just look really cute...

Friday, March 2, 2007

happy birthday to you... abby

You've always been the older sister I never had! You may not realize it, but I have always been so impressed by you, and have looked up to you my entire life. Here are some of my favorite memories:
1. disneyland
2. playing hide & go seek in grandma's big house
3. ice skating on the TINY pond in grandma's backyard
4. roller skating in grandma's downstairs playroom
5. making crank calls from the yellow pages in grandma's study
6. sleeping outside at grandma's (at the new house)
7. the year you came to "baby-sit"
8. going line dancing
9. hearing about all your adventures in HS
10.and most recently, quilting with you

thanks for all the fun memories, I look forward to even more!

Thursday, March 1, 2007