Monday, July 26, 2010

Big News

Sorry about the long delay in blogging again! You probably thought I'd disappeared. We've been busy this month with vacations and lots of fun family time.

We also finally found our house!!  It's kind of a fixer-upper (which is exactly what I wanted) so look forward to LOTS of house before and after pictures. I'm really excited about trying to fix this house and make it mine. It will be interesting to see how it turns out. I have this kind of strange feeling that I can do everything I'm dreaming off, but I've never actually done any of it besides painting, which means I'll be showing you a ton of disasters along the way. 

Right now we are focusing on moving and finding carpet, if anyone has any ideas or information I would love it! This is the second time we've moved but this will be a much bigger move. When we first moved into this apartment all the furniture we owned was our bed and a bookshelf. I think I'll try this Home Depot Movers thing.  It came and just the right time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Weekend

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Full of family, BBQ's, fireworks, and lots of fun.

We had a blast at my husbands family cabin in Island Park.

Started reading a old, new to me book.

Back home to normal life. Life is good. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Salon Hair Products for Less

If you like high end hair products but don't like the price try going to NPS. NPS is a scratch and dent store that has just about everything. I went there yesterday with my mom to check it out, I'm glad we went because they had a shelf of salon hair products for a fraction of the price. 

I bought this L'Oreal Professional hair mask a few months back off of for $30. I know that's expensive but I was feeling really desperate. Then I chopped all my hair off and I haven't needed a deep mask. Anyway, this bad boy was at NPS for $6.00!!! I couldn't believe it. I can't say if it's the exact same, I know you're only supposed to buy salon products at salons but I tried it today and it smells, feels and works the same. My mom bought some Biolage products to try, I'll let you know what she thinks.  When I was there they also had Redkins, Bumble and Bumble, Kiwi, Bed Head, Paul Mitchell and more.

I love salon products and solely used them before I started caring about how much things cost. Now maybe I can use them and be happy with the price tag. The store is really dirty, the employees are not the most helpful or happy, BUT you could get a good deal. Has anyone else been there? What did you think? What did you buy?

NPS store in Utah:
1600 S. Empire Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84104(801) 972-4132

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bountiful Baskets

Have you heard of Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op? It's a fruit and vegetable co-op where you go online (ether Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on your location) and buy your "basket" of food and then on Saturday you go to your location with your own basket and fill up with produce for only $15! We are talking LAUNDRY size baskets. You can also get organic for $25. My amazing sister-in-law, Kim, told me about this a few weeks ago. She has been doing it and has really enjoyed the produce so far. I think 

I'm going to try it out next week, I'll let you know how it goes. 
Has anyone else tried this? What do you think? I think this is such an amazing way to make sure you eat your fruits and vegetables and to try out some new ones.

If you live in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Texas, Arizona, Nevada or Washington click Here for more information or click Here to see pick up locations.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chalkboard Stickers

 Look at these cute chalkboard stickers I got from the dollar store. You get two on one paper and you can write right on the sticker with chalk and wipe it off. I LOVE finding fun things at the dollar store.


I think I'm going to get a few more of these. I already know what I'm going to do with this other sticker.

Monday, June 14, 2010

BYU Mint Brownies

BYU is my school. I graduated from there, met my husband there and found these brownies. If you have ever been to BYU I'm sure you have noticed these brownies all over the place. They are the perfect balance of mint and chocolate, two of my favorite things. When I was in school there I went on a mad hunt for this recipe because I knew I would want it later. I found the recipe my Junior year in a BYU magazine and saved it ever since. I finally made them, and boy am I glad I did! They taste just like the brownies you get on campus and they are really easy to make.

The only thing I will do differently next time is use about half this amount of frosting. They are supposed to have a thin layer of the mint and chocolate frosting but mine ending up having a TON of frosting on them. I'm not a huge frosting fan to begin with so I didn't love that. I also put mine in the fridge to make for easier cutting, because of all the frosting, and I actually like them better right out of the fridge. They taste almost fudge like, very rich. I hope you enjoy the recipe too!

BYU Mint Brownies


1 C. margarine (I used butter)
1/2 C. cocoa
2 T. honey
4 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
12 oz. Chocolate Icing (use your own recipe or you could use store bought.)

Mint Icing:

5 T. margarine (I used butter)
dash of salt
3 T. milk
1 T. light corn syrup
2 1/3 C. powder sugar
1/2 t. mint extract
1-2 drops green food coloring

Prep and Cook: 90 min. cool 1 hour

1. Melt margarine and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. Add honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add nuts. Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool.

2. Prepare mint Icing: soften margarine. Add salt, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix, add milk gradually until the consistency is a a little thinner than cake frosting.

3. Spread mint icing over brownies. Place brownies in the freezer for a short time to stiffen the icing. Remove from the freezer and carefully add a layer of chocolate icing.

Linked to Tempt my tummy Tuesday. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Dish Mat

 I saw this cute dish mat tutorial around Christmas time on Life in Grace and I instantly knew I had to make one. Of course that "instantly" has turned into almost 6 months but that is actually a lot faster than I get around to doing a lot of things. Anyway, Darby from Fly Through Our Window created the tutorial, which I didn't follow exactly, more just did my own thing but used the tutorial as a guide line. It turned out great! I'm so excited to start using it, I think I'll end up making an even bigger one next time.

Just line all your dishes in a row when you don't want to put them in the dishwasher. I'll probably just be using this for the larger items that don't fit in my dishwasher but I wanted to make the pictures pretty.

When you're all done just roll it up and store in a drawer, so simple. This is a easy and fast craft. I almost finished the whole thing last night when Reed and Addie had to make an emergency fish taco run.
Click here to be taken to Darby's tutorials and then click "Dish Mat". Did I mention how much I love Fly Through Our Window? It is one of my favorite feel good blogs. I could spend hours reading all of her posts.

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Father's Day Food

I made these adorable cupcakes and fries last year for my hamburger loving husband and dad. They are really easy to make and so much fun! Click here for the instructions from the amazing Bakerella.

I might make these cute grill cupcakes this year, found in Family Fun Magazine. I love all of the fun things you can do with cupcakes!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dinner tonight

We are having this for dinner tonight. Perfect for a hot summer day. Yum! 
What are you having?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fun Toddler Ideas

Every day I find myself trying to think of fun things for Addie to keep her entertained. I can never think of anything to do at the time so we end up just driving each other crazy. I decided to make a list of toddler activities so I can just hurry and find something fun to do whenever she starts getting antsy. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a bored toddler so I'm listing it on here in hopes that it might give one of you an idea or two.

This will be a running list that I'm going to keep updating as I find more activities. I would love to hear from you, what things do your toddlers love to do.  

Blow lots of bubbles. We have this bubble set from Gymboree at nursery and it works great. The bubble wand gives you tons of bubbles with one blow plus the bubble solution is the best I've seen. Addie's cute cousins gave her a bubble gun (like this one) for her birthday which is also a hit.You just push the trigger and the bubbles are blown for you.

      Finger Paint. Using regular paints and the edible variety.  
      Make Cookies, or any other treat. Addie loves to stir all the ingredients and "help" pour everything into the bowl. Plus she gets to taste it as we go along 
      Play with Playdough, or the homemade variety.
      Play with Cornstarch Goop. Place 1 cup of cornstarch in a large flat dish (a metal baking pan works well) and add water a little bit at a time until "goop" is formed. It should not be too watery and not at all powdery – the consistency of clay. The goop will feel hard when the child picks it up and then will turn to liquid in their hands. The activity works best when the dish is a different color from the goop. Try adding food coloring to the goop for even more fun! Found Here.
      Have a Dance Party. Turn up the music and dance away. It's not a party unless mom is dancing too.
      Read. Some of our favorite books to read together are: Jamberry, Cookie Count Tails, Napping House, Big Hungry Bear, Peek-a-book, I love you
      TailsJamberryCookie Count: A Tasty Pop-upThe Napping House - 2000 publicationPeek-a-Boo, I Love You! (Messages from the Heart)The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear (Child's Play Library)

      Play with Sidewalk Chalk outside. Or dip the chalk in water and give it a "paint" feel.
      Try out Homemade Puffy Paint. Recipe Here.
      Water time at the sink. Pull up chair to kitchen sink and fill with water and bubbles. Use cups and bowls for water fun.
      Find Colors all around the house and take pictures of them. Print out pictures and create a color book.

      Friday, May 28, 2010

      Cute Storage Reuse

      I had a bag of dried black beans that were spilling all over my cupboard. I decided to find something to hold the beans so I wouldn't have an extra mess to clean up. I found this old yogurt carton just waiting to be used so I poured the beans in and marked the container. I then found three more of the same countainers so I decided I could make them all into cute new storage for the kitchen.

      I Just covered them with some cute adhesive drawer liner I had left over from my bookcase project. I knew I would find a use for it.


      I just cut off a big peace and covered the sides. I then used a sharp knife to trim off the ends. You could use an exacto knife, which would make more sense but I couldn't find mine.

      I then just printed off some labels I made.

      And glued them on with a good old fashion glue stick.

      You could put an extra label on the top but I just decided against it. I think they look cute just like this.

      I see many more of these containers in my future. I started walking around the kitchen just noticing how many things would be prefect inside this size container.  Chocolate chips? Check! Lentils? Check!

      I made the labels into a PDF form so everyone can print them out and use them for whatever you want! Get the labels here. 


      Free label downloads

      Here are the labels I used on this project. Download and print them off here for Free. You could use these for so many projects. I can just see them now, all over my house, everything labeled... what a wonderful dream. 

      To download and print the labels just click on the image below. 

      Thursday, May 27, 2010

      Behold the power of Vinegar

      When I was growing up we used to mop the kitchen hard wood floors with a water/vinegar mixture. I hated the job, it smelled like vinegar (duh) plus I just hated mopping. Still do. Lately I've been reading a lot about household cleaners that can replace all of the products you buy in the store. I've noticed several times vinegar and baking soda are said can clean everything.

      Fast forward to this past Saturday. We have had some major carpet stains all over our front rooms beige carpet. I've been procrastinating cleaning them because I thought I would have to use a real carpet cleaner to get the carpet clean again. Boy was I wrong. I was sick of the spots last Saturday and decided to look up a home remedy, I was ready to scrub my little heart out until these spots were gone. It ended up only taking about 15 minutes to clean every spot from my carpet. I just mixed a bowl of one part vinegar to one part water and dabbed each spot. I was amazed to see the spots disappear before my eyes, but I was even more surprised the next day when our apartment smelled nothing like vinegar. I was already prepared to live in a pickle just to make my floors clean, but it didn't take that at all. I'm looking at my carpet right now amazed at how it turned out. Caution: you are supposed to test on an area out of the way to make sure it doesn't harm the carpet. I didn't do that of course, glad it didn't ruin my carpet.

      After that amazing experience I decided to try a few more vinegar related cleaning. I just poured vinegar in the "Rinse Aid" spot in my dishwasher and it got rid of my gross foggy white glasses. Without making my clean dishes smell like vinegar. I have now started just pouring vinegar on everything. I probably shouldn't do that because it's bound to ruin something.

      Here is a list of a few more favorite uses for vinegar. All of these come from the website Vinegar they lists 1001 ideas to use with vinegar so check there if you want more.  What do you use vinegar for? Have you tried any of these?
      • To clean and disinfect baby toys add a good-sized splash of white distilled vinegar to soapy water.
      • Fabric softener and static cling reducer - use as you would liquid fabric softener.
      • Absorb unpleasant odors by setting a container (shallow bowl) of vinegar throughout the house.
      • Conditions dry hair. Shampoo, then rinse hair with a mixture of one cup apple cider vinegar and two cups water. Vinegar adds highlights to brunette hair, restores the acid mantel, and removes soap film and sebum oil.
      • Soothe sunburn with a spray of white distilled vinegar, repeating as often as you like. Ice-cold white distilled vinegar will feel even better, and may prevent blistering and peeling.
      • Create your own window cleaning solution by combining 1/2 cup non-sudsy ammonia, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a gallon of water.
      • To remove a label, decal, or price tag, cover with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar. Leave the cloth on overnight and the label should slide off.
      • For stained and smelly plastic food containers, wipe them with a cloth dampened with white distilled vinegar.
      • Get stained white socks and dingy dishcloths white again. Add 1 cup white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil and drop in the articles. Let soak overnight.
      • Remove perspiration odor and stains on clothing, as well as those left by deodorants, by spraying full-strength white distilled vinegar on underarm and collar areas before tossing them into the washing machine.
      • Get cleaner laundry! Add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents. Besides removing soap, white distilled vinegar prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew.
      • Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them. This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.
      • Preserve cut flowers and liven droopy ones by adding 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar to a quart of water in a vase.
      • Wash fresh vegetables with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in 1 ½ quarts of water.
      • Stop insect stings and bites from itching by dabbing them with a cotton ball saturated with undiluted white distilled vinegar.
      • Get rid of foot odor by washing feet well with antiseptic soap daily, then soaking them in undiluted cider vinegar for 10 minutes or so. Remember that cotton socks aid odor control more effectively than wool ones.
      • Make nail polish last longer. Wipe fingernails with cotton balls dipped in white distilled vinegar before putting on nail polish.
      • Keep car windows frost-free overnight in winter by coating them with a solution of 3 parts white distilled vinegar to 1 part water.
      • Loosen chewing gum stuck to carpeting or upholstery by soaking it in white distilled vinegar
      • Remove pet odors. After cleaning, cover the area with baking soda. Let it stand overnight. The next day vacuum up the baking soda and wash the area with white distilled vinegar. Rinse and let dry.
      • Remove skunk odors by wiping down the animal with a 50-50 solution of white distilled vinegar and water, followed by a plain-water rinse. Repeat if necessary.
      • Make onion odors disappear from your hands by rubbing with white distilled vinegar.
      • Add moistness and taste to any chocolate cake—homemade or from a box—with a spoonful of white distilled vinegar.
      • If you’ve added too much salt to a recipe, add a spoonful of white distilled vinegar and sugar to try correcting the taste.
      And so many more. I'm going to start buying it in bulk.
      This is linked to Works for me Wednesday. 

      Tuesday, May 25, 2010

      Rite Aid Program

      I love getting good deals. We have a Rite Aid around the corner from our apartment so I go there often. I almost always buy diapers there because they usually have really good deals when you combine with coupons.  That's why I'm really excited about this new Free Rite Aid Wellness+ Program. 

      Click Here to sign up for the new free Rite Aid Wellness+ Rewards Program. It's this new free program Rite Aid is doing which seems similar to Smiths Value Card. They will have sale prices for people with the card, and you earn points by using the card. Click Here for more info.

      Plus if you click Here now you can get a coupon for $5 off 25 or more.

      Monday, May 24, 2010

      Favorite Reads?

      Does any one have any book suggestions? After I finished reading These is my Words I haven't been able to really get into any new books. I need to read the sequel Sarah's Quilt but it isn't available at my library yet. I hate that. I started reading Chasing Lincoln's Killer but I just haven't been able to really get into it. I hate the in between book phase. I like to always be in the middle of a book, that way if I have any free time I know exactly what I'm gonna do. I hate starting and finishing a book, they both make me a little depressed. Anyway, any thoughts? New, old favorites?

      Also, did anyone go to Old Navy for the flip flop sale? I went around noon and found a line around the inside of the store. They only had a few basic colors left, but I left with a new pair of dark blue for me and gray for the hubs. All in about 15 minutes and $2.


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