Monday, February 28, 2011

Books, Boys, and Bakes

 Max is back at school and Ty is back at work. The weekend was grand but we are excited that a new week is here! (mostly because it means we are one step closer to moving into our house! I am hoping for this weekend but Ty thinks it will be next week. A little FYI : short sales are crazy!)
Mia has a very favorite book called "Once Upon A Time". It is a choose your own adventure type story involving a princess and 3 wishes. She could read it all day long. I love to see how her story turns out!
 It has been chilly here in SoCal. Coats have been required.
 My little Zac and his trains/cars. Either will do.
 His little chocolate face! No he wasn't eating massive amounts of candy. He had just finished a container of that chocolate yoplait yogurt. Totally acceptable :)

 In other news we are making these:
 The go to chocolate chip cookie recipe for "She's Becoming Doughmesstic".
It includes large amounts of chocolate, browned butter, and sea salt. Serious stuff here!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


 It rained hard all night and this morning everything was wet and cold. We needed to get out and the great outdoors was not looking so great.
We put on our coats and shoes and went to Target! Don't you love Target? Such a happy place :)
We got 2 carts. One for kids and coats, and one for everything else. We stopped at the Starbucks on the way in for hot chocolate. Hot chocolate makes Target even happier!
I decided to stock up on cleaning supplies and other things we will need at the new house. Ty asked why we would need so many toilet brushes. I just looked at him. There are 5 toilets in the new house. We need many toilet brushes.
We took the little ones to look at all of the toys. Zackary is still very car and train obsessed. I think it is adorable how he has specific things he really enjoys. Max and Mia had fun looking at everything and asking for everything.
After our Target Trek we came home and made peanut butter cookies. I think peanut butter cookies are seriously underrated. Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, as do I, but we rarely celebrate the goodness of a peanut butter cookie. Peanut butter cookies are awesome too! My kids decided the dough was the best part and ate most of it. They pretended to be helping me as they rolled the dough into balls and into the sugar. Then they ate the little cookie dough balls before they could be baked.
Max and Mia are doing puzzles and playing dominoes, Zac is napping, and Ty is catching up on all of his shows from the week. We are having a great little no-frills Saturday together. Weekends are nice :)
How are you making your weekend great?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Granola Girl

I love homeade granola. I always have some around. We eat it for snacks or breakfast, and sometimes for lunch and dessert!

(photo by

Using this recipe from "How Sweet It Is" we have been indulging in peanut butter and chocolate oat-y goodness.
I used just what we had around and came up with this:

4 cups oats
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
chocolate chips

I put the peanut butter and honey in a bowl and heated it slightly in the microwave. Then I mixed the peanut butter combo with the oats to make a granola "dough". Next I stirred in the chocolate chips so that they were evenly incorporated.
Finally I pressed the granola into a 9x13 inch pan and baked it for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Check Please!!??

I have never used a credit card. 
I kind of thought they were taboo. Ty and I never used them to pay for anything and I was always very happy with my checkbook and little debit card.
Ty came home from work today and handed me a little blue credit card. I looked at it.

Me: What do you want me to do with it?

Ty: Use it.

Me: For what?

Ty: Everything.

Me: What if it's a very small purchase?

Ty: Use it.

Me: I don't want to.

Ty: Just bring me your receipts.

What does all this mean? How am I supposed to get up in the morning and start using a credit card? What if I lose my receipts? What will happen when Ty discovers what I am really spending money on?
On the other hand.....maybe I will love it. It is one of those rewards cards that gives you cash back. What do you think? Should I give it a go or stick to my checking account?

Kingsbury Art Fair

 Max's school hosted an art fair last night.
It was in the multipurpose room and the artwork was hung all over the walls. Each class had submitted a different display. Max's kindergarten class chose to share their snowmen. Max pointed out his snowman.
 I think it means a lot to kids when they see something they have done hanging up for all to see.
 On top of all of the great displays there were all sorts of crafts for the kids. Mia made herself a little pet rock complete with googly eyes.
 Max chose to have his face painted. Mia ran out of the line screaming and insisted she would not have her face painted. Oh well.
He picked this out all on his own!
He specifically asked for a curly mustache :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

this moving business.....

This morning after dropping Max off at school in Redlands I took the younger 2 kiddos to Beaumont with me to register Max  for school out there. Hopefully this will be the very last time in a very long time that he has to switch schools. Max will have been in 3 different kindergarten classes by the end of the year. He is doing so well and I hope he continues to do well through this final transition after the move. Our new house is right next door to twin five year old boys who will be in Max's grade in his same school. I am hoping this helps with the change. I know it is hard to make friends and then leave them. When you are five you just have to go along wherever your parents take you!
Mia and Zack were very well behaved while I filled out all of the paperwork. I rewarded them with burger king kid's crowns and french fries. They both fell asleep in the car during the drive home with their crowns on.
While they are napping I am going to melt chocolate and butter for brownies and then maybe plan a healthy dinner around that.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Out and About

We took the kids to see our new house this morning!
The sign out front said SOLD! I can't wait :) 2 more weeks!
After the house we headed to Cabazon. Cabazon is one of those huge outlet shopping centers. It is a great place for little people to run all over and have some fun. It was cold today so everyone was dressed warm.
 Zac especially got a kick out of the running around part of the trip. We bought a few bags of moose munch from Harry and David. We are planning a movie night for this evening!
Ty was looking for a wallet and found nothing he liked anywhere. I can find something I like everywhere. I really enjoyed being out with the fam.
 We had lunch at his little hole in the wall taco place called the Crazy Coyote.
They had these dinosaurs out front. Max got a kick out of them.
The tacos were amazing. The perfect end to our outing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

President's Day

The weekend has flown by, as usual, but tomorrow is President's Day! Max is home from school and Ty is on call. (Hoping we get him for most of the day!)
I was thinking of ways we could make the day a little bit educational for the kiddos. Redlands has an amazing Lincoln Memorial. It would be perfect! I looked up the website and was sad to learn that they are closed on Mondays. On President's Day!? 
I had good intentions.
Maybe we will go outlet shopping.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and it has quickly become a favorite! It makes the most tender and flavorful grilled chicken ever! We are having this for Sunday dinner tonight. I serve it with brown rice and grilled pineapple.

Huli Huli Chicken
  adapted from this recipe

½ cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
1 tablespoon ginger
5 large garlic cloves, smashed

4-5 lbs. chicken (I have been using boneless skinless chicken breasts)

Mix marinade ingredients together.  Marinate chicken for 24 hours in refrigerator.
Preheat grill. (I usually spray my grill with a little pam before cooking so the chicken doesn't stick)
Grill for about 7 minutes per side.


Last night Zackary had his very first ice cream popsicle.
He got it all over himself and he was very happy :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I have discovered the world of ETSY online shopping.
I am having way too much fun.
I am hoping Ty won't notice.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Gameplan

It's Friday :)
This week has been full. I am looking forward to talking with friends. I am planning a trip to Ikea with Ty. I am trying to rein in my excitement about the house, but I can't help the decorating! I am baking up some seriously huge oatmeal raisin cookies for my dad. They are his favorite and I never make them! I got the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer in the mail yesterday so at some point there will be a shopping trip made in that direction. I am hoping a little extra sleep might be included in the mix. The weather has turned chilly so I am sure we will visit the Chick-Fil-A and Mcdonald's playgrounds at least once. 
Good things people! 
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I had to run to the store this morning. Just a few necessary items; butter, dark chocolate, and dishwashing detergent. I was waiting in line when the man in front of me struck up conversation. He asked if I had just come from the gym. I was wearing sweatpants, sneakers, and a hoodie. I didn't feel like explaining that this was just what I was wearing today, so I said "yes." He then asked me what gym I went to and told me where I could buy the best protein powder. I bought my things and quickly ran away. Next time I will explain that I just like to wear sweatpants all day long.

I completely agree

"I can’t think of anything that’s more romantic than some thick, rich, hot chocolate."

Get the recipe:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Little Bookmarking

These are a few of the things I'd like to make and bake this week :

Breaking Dawn

I just love vampire weddings. Don't you?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Max's Class Party!

 I got to help with the Valentine's Party in Max's kindergarten class today. It was so fun to be there and see how excited everyone was about their first round of Valentine exchanging.
The plates were loaded with sugar. Lots of lofthouse sugar cookies and cupcakes and lots of doritos....random!

Lots of cute kiddos! It was a great party :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

 I was super excited for the kids to fall asleep last night so that I could set up the Valentine's fun.
I made a big card for each child and set a special table setting with valentine's plates and napkins.
 They each had a big red bag filled with fun little gifts and a little red bag filled with chocolate goodies.
 We made pink hot chocolate and served it up with pink heat shaped marshmallows.
 Mia loved it. She is my pinky pie :)
 Here is the morning crew waiting for Valentine's breakfast.
I made the usual crepes with strawberries and nutella. It makes for a happy group of people!
Later I am volunteering in Max's class during their holiday party and after that it will be time for some more heart making and chocolate dipping :)
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

For Valentine's!

"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you...."

-Mr. Darcy

A Little Etsy Shopping

Loving this!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Here we go again!

 As of yesterday we are in escrow on another house! This one is also in Beaumont. If all goes well we will close on March 10th. Hopefully we can avoid another setback and just move forward on this one!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Popcorn Popping!

Ty is working late tonight so I got the kids all cleaned up in a nice warm bath. They splashed and made a huge mess of the bathroom floor, but it kept them busy for almost 30 minutes so I was happy!
After the bath it was time for pajamas and then movies! We got everyone cozied up with pillows and blankies and popped some popcorn.
 I tried very hard to get a cute picture of all three of them, but oh well. I think they are cute :)
A movie and a big bowl of popcorn and then hopefully bedtime!
Here's hoping ;)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Special Delivery!

We love pizza! When we lived in Utah we ordered from this great place called Fat Jack's. They had the best cheesy bread :)
While in Tennessee we had several favorites; Roma Pizza and Jet's Pizza.
We moved to California in December and were sad to find a lack of great pizza. I have been making it myself since we got here.
Tonight, however, we found some great pizza! We ordered the chicago deep dish pizza from Romano's in downtown Redlands and it was ooey gooey cheesy deliciousness. We were very pleased. The pizza was huge and we have tons of leftovers for the rest of the week....awesome!

After dinner the kids took turns playing pizza delivery man. Max told us that Mia didn't have enough money to pay for her pizza so he took it back!

If anyone knows of any other great pizza in the nearby SoCal area we would love to hear about them :)


This is one of my favorites:

2 Nephi 5:27

"And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness."

How do you get happy? 
I often write about the little things that bring me joy in my daily life. I talk about my family and chocolate and exciting things that are happening. All of this is great, but really where does happiness come from?

For me it comes from within. If I feel myself falling I can reach inside and pull myself back up again. I rely alot on my Heavenly Father and His tender mercies. When life seems stressful and overwhelming nothing brings me back quite like the whisperings of the spirit reminding me of those eternal truths that keep me focused. 
In our world today it seems that many struggle with happiness. It is a real problem  and can be an almost daily struggle for some. I also recognize that happiness is attainable in this life for everyone. I think the "manner of happiness" spoken of in this verse can be attained with diligence and work. Just like any other virtue or talent worth obtaining it takes practice. How do you practice being happy?
Smile. A simple smile will lift your mood and the mood of others around you. One thing I have noticed as I have become a wife and mother is how greatly my own mood affects the moods and feelings of the entire household. 
Find what works for you. I am happiest when I am striving to obey the commandments and follow the Savior. I feel less stressed when I do my scripture study and say my prayers. After a temple trip with my husband I feel more relaxed about our marriage. Each Sunday when I take the sacrament I feel ready to begin a new week. 
Aside from the spiritual our happiness can depend a great deal on the physical. I am happiest when I make time for exercise and physical activity. I think that exercise builds confidence and helps to melt away stress.
It is important to recognize each persons individuality and find what makes your own self happiest. I love cooking and creating new recipes. Even though most of the time I have little children hanging onto my legs while I cook it still makes me happy to create in the kitchen.
Treat yourself. I love magazines. I like to take health magazines with me to the gym for inspiration. I like to clip recipes out of cooking magazines and I like to read articles out of everything else. Magazines are an expensive habit. The local library has a bookstore where they sell donated books and magazines. The magazines are .25 cents a piece. I like to make a special trip on Saturdays and stock up for the week. I look forward to it! I love chocolate. I have always said that I eat it medicinally. I know it makes me happy and no diet is ever going to take it away from me :)

I am not meaning to discourage those who are struggling or feeling low. I just want to spread a little joy and help you think about how you can be a little bit happier today.

Men are that they might have joy

2 Nephi 9:5

"...remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Eraser Treasure Hunt!

 It is a beautiful day here in southern California! We are enjoying 70 + degree weather and the sunshine is grand :)
I got this idea from the Happy Home Fairy.
 I headed over to the dollar bins at Target and picked up a bag of funny little erasers.
While Max was at school I hid the erasers all over the backyard.
I hid them in the citrus trees and in the garden. Max and Mia loved the hunt.
 They were really all out in the open, but it was still a challenge.

Here they are with there handfuls.
I don't know what we will do with all those erasers now though. Maybe we will give them out with all of the Valentine's on Sunday at church or to Max's classmates on Monday :)

Oh yes we do!

Sweet and Salty Monday

Hurray for a new week!
I am celebrating by making these brownies that I spotted on the pioneer woman's tasty kitchen blog.

In other news: this week I will be busy making valentine's day plans and hoping to hear good news about the house we made an offer on last week!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spaghetti Madness!

My husband hates pasta. He really hates spaghetti.
The kids and I love pasta. Our most favorite is spaghetti!
I actually think I make great spaghetti. I make my own spaghetti sauce and cover the noodles with butter. We have started our own little sneaky tradition. Whenever Ty works late we have spaghetti for dinner! It gives the rest of us something to look forward to while we are missing our favorite man around the house.
Here's to spaghetti madness!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Celebrating World Nutella Day

With Nutella Fudge Cookies!

sorry about the terrible picture. My camera is almost out of batteries and the red background is awful, but the cookies are amazing! Trust me, I wouldn't lie about nutella or cookies :)
Here is the recipe:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup nutella
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream the butter with the sugars. Add the vanilla.
In another bowl mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the nutella and the eggs to the butter mixture.
Stir in the flour mixture.
Allow batter to sit for about 10 minutes and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for about 8 minutes.

Enjoy with lots of milk.

I don't know why.....

He couldn't see why not....

Strawberry Pot

Mia loves strawberries!
My dad is always buying them for a special treat and Mia can't get enough. I took her to Home Depot this morning to look for her very own strawberry planter.
We filled the little strawberry pot with soft moist dirt. Mia told me that she would not like to eat the dirt ;)
We planted the little strawberry seeds and put the pot out to sit in the sunshine. We gave the seeds a little water. Mia wanted to give them soymilk. Now Mia is looking forward to her little strawberry plants. I hope they grow!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Don't Forget!

Tomorrow, February 5th, is world Nutella Day!
Make sure you join in the celebration.
If you have never tried nutella I recommend eating it in abundance. It goes great with strawberries, in a sandwich with bananas, on top of waffles, in cookies or brownies, or spread onto graham crackers.
Happy Nutella Day :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Heart Attack!

Sometimes Max feels like he misses out on fun at home while he is away at school. I want him to know we are always thinking about him!
We moved on in from the door and decorated the bedroom walls.
I made lots of pink and red hearts. I even made some white ones for variety, but I quickly realized that white hearts on white walls looked kind of pointless. (They worked on the bed though!)
A trail of hearts went up the ladder to Max's bed where we left a special treat!

Can't wait to see his face :)