Thursday, December 22, 2011

Finally ready, and a silly story

Hey all! Sorry it's been so long since I posted. But between a whirlwind trip to Utah, hand making 70 ornaments for the Relief Society, teaching the Christmas lesson, and figuring out just what the heck I'm giving people, I haven't had much time to blog.

But I'm finally ready for Christmas! 

Yup. Everything is bought - even stocking stuffers. Everything is wrapped. Baking is done.  I do have to run a couple presents over to people, but that won't take long. 

Let's all breath a huge sigh of relief, shall we?


Now that feels better!  This has been a super crazy season, but with school getting out today (hooray!), and now everything being ready, I’m going to spend a ridiculous amount of time being silly with my kiddos!

So, since this will most likely be my last post for the year, I thought I’d leave you with a super silly story, as told by ‘Lil

*and yes, I know she can’t talk. So just pretend that this is the way she’d tell it!

There was this really BIG doggie that I love and I just can’t stop following around.


But wait,


there is something else to follow over there – it looks much more my size!


Just what is this thing? It keeps walking away from me!


Look! There’s a bunch of them now!


Come back! I want to figure out what you are!


Uh-Oh! You weren't supposed to come that close!


Too many birdies! Why are they following me? Go somewhere else!


Akk! No where else to run! What should I do . . . .”AHHHHHHHH Ma Ma Ma!!!!”*


So much better!

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*actual quote when we found her cornered by the ferocious chickens.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The great chicken experiment

I still remember the first time I ever ate Chinese food. I was a junior in college, working at an ice cream shop.  We also sold soups and sandwiches, which as workers, we also got to eat every day. But anyone who has worked in foods KNOWS how sick at tired you get of your own food. 
One day our manager decided to try a food swap.  Basically, one food place calls up another food place and asks if they want to trade meals.  The Chinese place got 5 1/2 gallons of amazing ice cream, and we got 5 lunch specials.
It was DEVINE!  I couldn’t believe something could taste that good. Despite the name, Tiny Spicy Chicken was not spicy at all. It was just pure bliss.
Hubby, on the other hand, ate Chinese food about every other week growing up. He’s a real connoisseur of the stuff. Every rainy day he turns big puppy dog eyes on me, pleading for some egg drop soup.
So I’ve been on a quest to actually make really good Chinese food at home.
Of course, Pintrest was my friend for this!
Contestant Number 1:
Found HERE
I only put the source there to credit it. DO NOT GO AND TRY TO MAKE THIS ONE!!!
This was my first attempt. Mostly because I already had all the ingredients, and I’m a huge fan of recipes that require little more than dumping things in a crock pot.
But this is what it ended up looking like:
Not exactly appetizing is it!
It was more like soup. And the flavor! Ugg! It had the most unbelievably bitter, almost metallic aftertaste.  I tired HARD to salvage this.  LOTS more sugar. Tons of cornstarch to thicken it up.  Salt (to cut the bitterness).  While there was some improvement, I still  will never make this again.
*but it did photograph rather pretty!
Contestant Number 2:
Found HERE
I was very hesitant to try another crock pot version.  But I was pleasantly surprised at the results.  While nothing like what you can get at a restaurant, it was actually edible – enjoyably so.  There was a little bit of fuss with the frying of the chicken first, but still, worth my time.
I forgot to get a shot of this one looking all pretty. But let me tell you, I was super excited it didn’t look like soup!
However, it still wasn’t that AWESOME orange chicken flavor that I was craving.
Contestant Number 3:
Found HERE
I saved this one for the last. It was MUCH more involved, and I was pretty sure it would end up being the best of the bunch.
Oh BOY was I right!  THIS is the recipe I wanted. This is the chicken I crave on rainy days.  This one, THIS ONE is making it into my permanent collection.
The whole family thought it was perfect. (ok, so Buddy didn’t really like the sauce. But he did  love the fact that I let him dip the plain chicken in ketchup!) In fact, I had to scrape together the very last bit in order to take a picture of the thing!
So, if you’d like a FABULOUS homemade orange chicken recipe, don’t waste your time with #1 or #2. Just head strait for #3!
*I guess I should mention the changes I made. I’m a total cheapskate, so I didn’t buy  everything I needed. I used just white vinegar, left out the orange zest and pepper flakes completely, used ground ginger instead of fresh. And I was somehow completely out of soy sauce (and yes, I did spend a very long time wandering around saying “SOOOOOOY SAAAAAUUUUCCCEEEEE!” from Thoroughly Modern Millie), so I ended up substituting teriyaki sauce instead. It was awesome!

Monday, November 28, 2011


What I thought I bought:
The bestest happy treats ever.
What I actually bought
Just plain! I was SOOO flippin disappointed! Why on earth put them in the same color bags?!?!
*and no, this was not to blow my get healthy plans. This was to fill my awesome advent calendar. So, yes, it's just my kids that will be eating them. But I really wanted to snitch some leftovers and now I can't!

Monday, November 21, 2011


5:21. Alarm goes off.  Just enough time to snooze once.
I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to move. I’m cozy snuggled up under the covers.
5:30. Beeping fills the room again. Sigh. Shoes on. Hair up.  I can do this.
Movie on – with captions, the sound is so quiet.  I do my best to keep the rest of the house asleep.
And I run.  A very old treadmill insists that I – not it – sets the pace.  I have to force it to keep going as fast as I’d like.  But I run.
Not far. Not fast. But for 30 minutes my heart beats faster, sweat beading along my hairline. 
I hate getting up early.  But I hate not doing something about my weight more. I watch the time tick closer to that thirty mark more than I read the captions on the movie.  “60 more seconds” I chant. “You can do this!”
40 now . . . just 19 more. . . 3 . 2 . 1. YES! I slow to a walk and begin a cool down.
I feel more awake than three weeks ago. I feel confident, capable, like I can actually make a difference this time.
I will not be down 10 pounds by the first of December.  Too much baking and not enough will power. But I can be down 5.  And 5 is a beautiful number.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Ok all, it’s time for some confessions.

I’m fat.

Whew! I said it.

I currently weigh 30 lbs more than when got pregnant with ‘Lil. Actually, I weigh about 2 lbs less than I did when I DELIVERED her. Even more disgusting, I weigh 13 lbs more than when she was 8 weeks old. Yup. I lost 15 pounds, and then gained most of it back. And since then I’ve just been playing with the same 3 lbs.

And I’m done. I’m tired of feeling just gross and big. I’m done making excuses. I’m ready to really change.

Last time I felt this way, I lost 25 pounds in about 4 months. (this was just before my last pregnancy). Part of that motivation was the idea of “well, if I can’t get pregnant, at least I can make my body healthier to prepare it”.

And here I am, 3 years later, in the exact same situation.  It’s just dumb to weigh this much AGAIN!

As of today, I have 21 days until I head to visit family. My goal: 10 lbs off by then.

*in true confession mode, I thought I posted this when I had 25 days left. I’m already down 1 pound!

I know that’s a big goal – especially considering Thanksgiving is in the middle of all that. But I also know it’s really easy to loose 5 lbs the first week or so of trying, and 7 just is hard to remember (I’m at a nice round number now – in more ways than one! and 10 is easier math to figure out!)

A few weeks ago, I ran a 5k. My time was much better than I thought it would be, especially considering how much I ended up walking due to the world’s biggest charlie horse.  Now my goal is to actually RUN the whole 3 miles.  This week, I’ve run four mornings out of five.  I’m up to running for 30 minutes (plus 10 more walking). According to my little ticker up top, that burned 400 calories. I also threw in a 25 minute bike ride to the grocery store with ‘Lil in the trailer behind me, for another 150 calories. If I keep this up, and stop snitching all the leftover Halloween candy, 10 lbs should come of without much of a problem.

I promise I’m not going to turn this into a weight loss blog. But being accountable to someone is such a HUGE motivator to me! I won’t post every day, but I am going to try to check in several times a week. I re-did my ticker at the top of my blog, and this time – THIS TIME it’s going down!


and staying there!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

keepin busy

Hey all!

So, I’ve been MIA for a little while. Nothing big, just a very full, crazy life.  Want to see some of what I’ve been up to?

Frist off, remember that bag I made?

Well, I was hired to make three more.


Yup. People actually paid me to make bags.  Now, two of those . . .






And they are not at all what I would have chosen. But, my friend wanted them, and so, there you go.

But that last one,


I do like.


I got to pick it out, and it was very fun! (and Em, I’ll try to stick it in the mail soon!)

Next up, I’ve been working on a website! Hah! like I have a clue how to do a website!  But I DO know how to blog.  I have a couple of friends who own a craft business.  They wanted a blog type website so people could see all they offer. 


(aren’t those gourds so fun!)

Only problem – it was a Wordpress blog.

I know, EVERYONE says wordpress is the place to be if you want to grow a business, and it’s so much better, and blah blah blah. But let me tell you – it’s freakn’ annoying to use! I can’t find anything, adding pictures was a nightmare, and it was literally taking me over an hour to do a single post.

So instead, I spent 5 hours figuring out how to change it over to blogger. It’s not an easy process! But I finally got it to work! (If anyone wants details for how I did this, just email me). I still have a lot of work to do on it, but at least now I CAN work on it!

Then, I’m in charge of a big progressive dinner for the ladies at my church this Thursday. That’s been another HUGE time spender. I think it’s going to be awesome. . . as long as people actually show up.  Everyone is out of town this week! What’s up with that! But, I’m very excited about it, and I’ll be sure to post pictures when we’re done!

So that’s my life right now (along with being a mom and cleaning and helping my sister’s kids out and digging up 239473 lbs of lava rocks and planting and all that!)

What are you up to?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Not too scary

One of the blogs I follow makes the most A.MAZ.ING! costumes for her kids every year.


I don’t.

I’ve never actually made a costume for my kids. Either someone has given one to us, or I bought it on clearance after the holiday.

Last year, she made THIS costume



I filled it away, hoping that I could be a pregnant skeleton this year.

Well, that’s not happening (grumble grumble stupid ovaries grumble!), so we did the next best thing.

Buddy gets the skeleton this year.


For her husband, she put his favorite food in his belly. Buddy originally thought that was great, but then changed his mind and wanted it blank.


The only problem I had was finding a solid black long sleeved t. Lots of navy. Lots of already decorated. No actual T’s. I did finally find some men’s shirts. So I took one of his shirts for a size guide, cut down the man’s shirt, and sewed it back together.

Some freezer paper, paint, and patience later and. . .



He LOVES it. It is a bit big, but will also fit him next year that way.

And his favorite part . . .

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It glows in the dark. I picked up a bottle of this


at joann’s for $3. One very cramped hand later, we had a glow-in-the-dark skeleton boy.

Costume breakdown:

men’s t-shirt $6

thrifted pants $2

glow-in-the-dark paint $3

Freezer paper, white paint, brushes, ect: on hand

Total cost: $11

Girly-Lou gets a $10 garage sale queen costume:


And ‘Lil, I think this year she gets to be a skunk.


the little stinker!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall decorating

. . . I’m just a little late on this one!

I’ve wanted to really decorate my house for fall for months weeks now.  I just haven’t gotten around to actually DOING it. Last week, however, I had a book club at my house. Finally, a reason to get my act together and make it look cute!

I had way too much fun getting everything ready.


First off: food. Do you think I’d waste a good excuse to make super yummy food?


Mmmm – you can almost taste these Oreo truffles!


And a yummy pumpkin roll (thanks, Happy Mom for letting me borrow the plates and platters!)IMG_7411

I’ve wanted to do some kind of tray for my coffee table for quite a while. What’s stopped me, you ask?


Oh yah. I have a 21 month old!  But I did pull one together fast: just a spray painted frame with some fun fabric (hooray for having supplies!), a candle,  SUPER easy wire pumpkins, and of course, dollar store silk leaves.


I don’t have a mantle – but I do have my awesome sofa table.


The runner is a $3 clearance scarf I found a few months ago. I don't get anything new this year for my table (well, except the pumpkins – you have to buy new mini pumpkins!). The dollar store leaves and pumpkins really make it look pulled together (something I’ve NEVER achieved before!)

This ghost I made 10 or so years ago – still looking good!


Pretty candles make my life happy.


And my adorable 2x4 creatures.


I also have my tp pumpkins (made 6 or 7 years ago) up on my bookcase along with a leaf garland I’ve had for 8 or so years too.


And that’s my room! Of course, Halloween is almost over, but still – it looks good for a bit anyway!

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