Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just In Time For Christmas!

I am off track in December this year (yay!) so I have had lots of time to craft and to shop. I am alomost done with all of my holiday shopping which is a first. I usually have to teach until Decmeber 23rd so I end up being one of those last minute shoppers out on Christmas Eve. This week I have been slowly wrapping all of my gifts and I remembered one of my friend's special gift wrapping tricks. My friend Katie over at favorites and things makes bows for her presents out of wrapping paper...genious!!

For the tutorial on how to make these fabulous bows go here. Who doesn't have a little extra scrap of paper while they're wrapping...I know that I always do! This is a great way to spruce up your gift for FREE! Speaking of free I also got onto google pictures and typed in "printable christmas gift tags" and found this little jewel. I hat buying gift tags because no one really looks at them and then just end up right in the garbage.

I found this adorable picture and went into word to make it all fit on one page. After I printed them out I colored them for an extra touch...They would look cute even without coloring but hey I had time;) This is the finished product!

Aren't my gifts beautiful with Katie's bows and the free gift tags? I love the double sided wrapping paper that I found this year at Sam's...the bows look great with the other side of the paper!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Modest Proposal

I loved this book. It was another easy read. I love LDS romance novels. The writing is clean and the messages are top notch. This book was about a yound woman living in New York trying to make her place in the fashion world. She is in a (what she thinks) steady relationship with a man. She goes home for an annual meeting with her high school friends in St. George. It's there that everything changes for her. This is an exciting read with a great message about modesty and sticking up for what you believe in even when it isn't the popular thing to do.

What's The What

No I didn't die...I have been using my phone for most of my internet needs so I haven't had motivation to sit down and blog. This summer Mike and I were able to go on some fun hikes. We went with our friends Katie and Reed and their little girl. Our first excursion was to Timpanogous Cave. It was such a blast. I earned some nasty blisters from that hike. I felt really stupid because I almost died on the way up. My face was blood red and I felt like barfing. Pretty embarassing when a two year old walked it and was just fine. The next weekend we went to Zion's National Park for a weekend and had a blast! Mike had never been there before (he had never been to St. George either) so we went down and did some hikes and showed him some of The George.

On the trial up to the cave.

 Is Addie not the cutest little girl you have ever seen?! I am in LOVE with her!

Inside the cave. Yes that is my awesome bright red face. And this was after cooling down for 20 minutes.

 Mike took some pretty cool pictures of the cave formations. These are a few of my favorite.

 This is the view on our way back down from the cave. Beautiful if you ask me.
Our original plan was to camp the first night and to stay in St. George the second night. The first day we got there we hiked the narrows. I have always wanted to hike the narows and it was a blast! I wish we could have gone farther up the canyon but it was late by the time we got out and there were no camping spots. We ended up spending the night in St. George which was fine after a long day driving and hiking.

The Abbot's on the bus ride up the canyon. Addie was so cute she called the bus a train. I think that was all she wanted to do the whole time we were there. So CUTE!

A short stop and the point of the patriarchs.
 We saw this wild turkey on our stop.
We got to the trail head for the Narrows and these little guys were all over searching for food. Addie was kind enough to give them a taste of her granola bar when she dropped it on the ground.
The rest our some of the pictures take when we got to the actual Narrows trail.
 Mike climbed a crevass in the rock...happy guy. He got his shorts really wet in the process.

 Addie loved playing in the mud.

 I love this picture. Mike has developed an interest in photography...now to get him a better camera.

Our second day there we hiked to the emerald pools. I had gone on this hike a long time ago with my parents so it was fun to revisit it. I had some narly blisters from the Timp hike the week before and they had inflamed from the Narrows hike so I decided to sport my flip flops...LOVE. It was so wonderful. I did get a lot of weird looks and comments from people who passed us...oh well I was happy and that's what counts.
 Yes, I know Mike and I are in awesome shape.

Because we didn't camp our first night I didn't have the opportunity to cook our dutch oven meal that I had been so looking forward to. So Sunday when we got home I cooked it up in our backyard.

Chicken and potatoes with ham chunks

This is the pinapple upside down cake. It was so delish!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Goal Check-Up

This is my personal grade for the half year mark of my goals. Pretty sad...but it is time to remotivate myself.

Spiritual Goal: Reading the scriptures D- I was really good at the beginning...not so good now. Pray C I do pray throughout the day but I don't give myself time to think and meditate.

Mental: Read 27 books. I have read 8 out of 27. I am not counting the books that I have already read and have read again this year. That means I have 19 books left to read.

Physical: C- We got a gym membership and I was really good for a month we went everyday...then as usual I stopped...life happens and I got stuck. Time to remotivate myself.

Emotional: A+ I finished a quilt in January and have finished a few other crafts since then as well.

Personal: Get out of debt. B- we are still working on it. Budget is in place now we just have to take it one month at a time:)

Book Reviews (This is going to be a long one!)

Because I haven't blogged for so long I have a lot of book reviews that I need to share. I have read some great books!

I loved this book best out of the five book series if you ask me. I thought that it wrapped things up pretty well. My favorite part was that it had a little bit of a romance in it to. Great fantasy story perfect for all ages...well mabey not the little ones:)

I loved this book. No wonder it won a Newberry Award. I loved the mix between romance, adventure and history. It wasn't a long book but definatly worth the read if you have the chance.

This book was GREAT! It was interesting and very short. I loved being able to think about living in this world of "sameness" it made me grateful for the world we live in even with all of its imperfections. My husband and I are going to read the other two books that follow this same type of story line. The second is called Gathering Blue and the third is called The Messanger. Neither one of these stories are about the same character but my mother-in-law tells me that it connects to the story in some way. I will let you know when I finish reading them.

I am a sucker for LDS romances. This book was such a fun read! I finished reading the whole book in 24 hours. If you know me it takes me awhile to get through a book because either I lose interest or I just don't have time. You know that I truely love a book when I make time to read it. This is a story about a girl who has graduated from college and is moving away from home again to start a new job. Many exciting and interesting things happen to her along the way. Read it I know you'll love it!

I LOVED this book. I read it to my kids at school. One of the ladies that I teach with said "this is the kind of book that they will remember forever and it will change their lives." I thought that those were some pretty powerful promises. She was right! I bawled my eyes out but it was one of the most powerful books I have ever read. This book is based on a true story...the life of the author. It isn't considered a biography or nonfiction because there are fabrications to the story. After we read the story we watched the movie. The movie is not as good as the book (typical) but it is still worth watching:)

I read this book twice this year. Once to my class and once with my husband on a road-trip. The book is SO much better than the movie. If you saw the movie and thought "hey that was okay" READ THE BOOK. It is different than the movie (I almost prefer it that way. I think thats why I didn't love the Harry Potter Movies they followed the books too closely but were forced to take a lot of it out) In the book there are different things that happen that would have been hard to put into the film. The parts that were left out were some of my favorites. My husband and I plan to read the rest of the series together. I am excited to see where it goes from here!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jewelry Frame

For years I have been packing all of my jewelry into boxes and placing them in a drawer or on a shelf. I was sick and tired of digging through all my jewelry to find what I wanted. So I asked my wonderful husband to make me a jewelry frame. I drew him a picture, went to Home Depot with him to get the supplies and he made it for me. It turned out wonderful!! If you would like to see my another adorable jewelry holder follow this link. This is where I got inspired to have my husband make me one of my own.

Measurements: 2 feet tall and 3 feet long
(I could have gotten away with a 2x2 frame but I still love it.

Materials you will need:
10 feet of 4x1
6 feet of 2x1
1 roll of square chicken wire
3/4" hooks
hooks to hang it with
Acrilic Paint
Dark Old English Polish

Chop Saw (to cut the wood)
Staple gun (to staple the chicken wire to the frame)

I painted the entire frame black. Then to give it an antique look I took sandpaper and sanded the edges and corners until the wood was visible. Then I sanded the center part of the wood to give it some scratched texture (in some parts you could see through to the wood). Then I took the dark Old English and an old rag and wiped it all over the frame.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Man it has been awhile since I have even touched the computer...besides at school for grading. I have been so busy getting everything ready to end the year. I have had a terrible time being motivated to do anything. My wonderful, sweet husband has been so wonderful and has taken care of me. He recently graduated...I am so proud! He changed majors three times so he has been a student for 7 years. about a month before he graduated he found a job in his field which I we are so grateful for and SO blessed. I will be doing my half year update on my goals soon. I was going to do a quarterly update but didn't. So here we are halfway through the year and I still need to do my first update. That is one of the most important things in goal completion is goal check-ups to see how you are coming on your goals, revamp, change, or make them more realistic. Hoping to get out of this mid-year funk soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The 13th Reality

The weekend of Easter Mike and I were able to go visit his family in Spokane. Because it is cheaper to drive, and had to bring our dogs we packed our bags got a book on tape and left. This is the book that we got to listen to on our drive. I love that my husband will read/listen to juvenile fiction with me. Because I am a school teacher I am constantly reading books that I can recommend to my students.

Mike and I both liked the book. We thought that it was a great set up for the series. There were some parts that were kind of slow but we felt those parts were important to the set up of the book. I loved the clues and mystery of the book. I often found myself wishing I had the book so that I could stop reading and try to figure the clues out for myself. One thing both Mike and I loved about the book was that Tick (the main character) confided in his father with his problem. We also liked that Tick's dad wasn't oblivious to what was going on in his son’s life as is often the case with a lot of books where strange things are happening to children. I asked Mike what genre he thought the book was and he said Fantasy...I thought it would be better defined by three genres; fantasy, science fiction, and mystery.

                                                       Good Read's Description and Rating
Rating: 3.93 out of 5
What if every time you made a choice that had a significant consequence, a new, alternate reality was created — the life that would’ve been had you made the other choice? What if those new realities were in danger? What if it fell to you to save all the realities?

Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is an average thirteen-year-old boy until the day a strange letter arrives in his mailbox. Postmarked from Alaska and cryptically signed with the initials “M.G.,” the letter informs Tick that dangerous — perhaps even deadly — events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. M.G. promises to send Tick twelve riddles that will reveal on a certain day, at a certain time, at a certain place, something extraordinary will happen. Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues M.G. sends to him? Will he be able to solve the riddles in time? Will Tick discover the life he was meant to live?
The first volume of an outstanding new children’s fantasy series, The Journal of Curious Letters is filled with adventure, humor, riddles, and, oh, yes — danger... As M.G. warns Tick, Very frightening things are coming your way. Will you join Tick and his friends on an amazing journey through the Realities? What will your choice be? 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Best-Ever Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake

I got this recipe a long time ago and have made it a coupld of times but there was always something about it that my husband didn't like. The original recipe is from Kraft and they use a tub of Cool Whip for the fosting and it gave the frosting a waxey texture that bothered my husband. On my next attempt I tried just making a regular chocolate frosting and I didn't like it because it turned out too sweet. This is the final attempt and the best by far. I ended up making it twice in one week and both times it was a huge success!

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box (8oz.) Bakers semi-sweet chocolate
1 box (small) chocolate pudding (the instant is fine)
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 pint whipping cream

Preheat your oven to 350. Mix cake mix, pudding, sour cream, oil, and water together until well combined. Cut up 2 of the ounce blocks of semi-sweet chocolate (I am lazy so I just added semi-sweet chocolate chips) and add to the cake batter. Stir to combine. Place cake batter in 2, 9 inch round pans. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. (I live in a high altitude area and I didn't need to change anything to make it turn out.) Take cake out of the oven when a toothpick come out clean when poked into the center of the cake. Let cool in the pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from the pans and let cool completely before adding the frosting.

Whip the entire pint of whipping cream. Add the sugar and vanilla to the whipped cream to taste. Melt 6 oz. of the semi-sweet chocolate (either in a double broiler or in the microwave). Add the chocolate to the whipped cream and mix together.
**I have made this frosting twice and the first time turned out wonderful. I used a hand held blender to mix the cream. The second time I used my kitchen aid mixer and the cream came out lumpy. I did another variation of this frosting for another cake and I used the hand held mixer again and it turned out smooth again. I think when I used the kitchen aid I over whipped the cream so be careful if you decide to use one.

New Craft Project

So my sister-in-law is making my niece a blanket to go on her bed in her bedroom. She is going to make the same rag quilt that I showed you a couple of months back. She asked me if I would go to the fabric store to help her pick out fabric. Of course I said YES! So this weekend I went and my other niece from Denver who is becoming an avid sewer came as well. I ended up buying some material for a fag quilt that I will be making for a little boy and my niece Sydney decided to make a rag quilt as well. I am so excited for this quilt I am going to be making.
My husband says that the material isn't very "boyish" but I will show him when it is done.

Sydney chose the cutest fabric for her quilt! She is going to be quite the little crafter one day. She doesn't like flowers very much so we changed it to stars. Look at what a wonderful job she did choosing her fabric and sewing this square!

A frugal tip for all of you sewers out there. Most fabric stores have bags of fabric that is too small to be put on their remnant table. I bought this entire back of fabric for $1.99!

Makin Cascarones

This year my family had our Easter erly because my mom will be visiting my dad for Easter and my brother Merlin was in town with his kids. I have been saving my eggs shells since my last post and I was able to get a few dozen saved up for the event. I decided to make my own die for the eggs because I didn't want to spend money on this project!

Step 1: What you will need.
Cups for the die
Food coloring
1 Tbl.
Put 2 Tablespoons of vinegar in the bottom of your glass. Put 1t.-1T. of food coloring in the vinegar and stur. Then add enough water to completely cover the egg.
I tried to do purple but it turned out really ugly :(

These are the finished eggs

Step 2:Finishing
Once all of the eggs are died you will need all of the following:
Dyed eggs
Confetti (go to Kinko's or Alphagraphic's and have them empty their hole punchers)
Tissue paper (My mom saves all of the tissue paper given to her in gifts)

Cut the tissue paper into squares big enough to cover the opening in the top of the eggs
Fill your egg with confetti (this is paper from the shredder which doesn't work as well)

Put glue around the opening

Place tissue paper over the opening
Ta Da! You are done...Now you and your kids can have a blast smashing them on eachothers heads. Even my little 3 year old nieces joined in!