Sunday, October 30, 2011


I don't have a picture for this one, but for one of our activity days, we made some boo bags.  I thought this would be a fun service project.  I was able to pick up some little halloween colored cloth bags for 4/1.00 at Michael's and also a big container of sticky foam halloween shapes.  They decorated the bags, made a card, and then we filled them with candy and little halloween treats I picked up at Target, sticky hands, pencils, spider rings.  We then left a goody bag for each house in our cul-de-sac.  The girls were very giggly and had a great time going out on their stealth missions!  They all took a bag home to boo someone in their neighborhood.  It was a fun time!

Send in the Clowns...

And I just happen to know some!  Look how cute they are!  Daddy and Ellie were the hit of
Bekah's circus birthday party last week.

We did lots of fun games--like the balloon relay!  Bekah is trying so hard to pop her balloon!  I think it took her a while!

Here is one of our clown assistants setting up the Can Knockdown.  She had to do it like 5 million times!  It was a very popular event!

I had to show off my powerpoint skills--I made cute signs for each activity.  I am sure it took me way more time and effort than a lot of other people, but I am happy with the way they turned out!

The donut eating contest was another hit!  It was very fun to watch the girls try to get their donuts into their mouths without hands.

The birthday girl with her birthday cake.  Which you can't see because it was so windy that we went into the garage to light it and then it took so long to light that the litttle paper bunting I made caught on fire.  Oh well. Thank goodness there was a clown around to put out the burning flag with a squirting flower!

A group photo with mustaches, big lips and clown noses!

 Rachel did the face painting--thank goodness she can draw!  I would probably do just smiley faces!

This is the prize table where the girls traded in their tickets for prizes like clown noses, chinese finger traps, pencils, candy, rings, etc.
 Our treat table.  Popcorn, cotton candy, caramel apples, cupcakes, and chips.  And little packs of animal crackers.  Most of the cheetos blew away because it was so WINDY!  So did a lot of the cotton candy.  
The girls got to guess how many pumpkins were in the jar.

Another favorite was the potato sack race!  Here is Vaughn giving the girls instructions--they loved this game and did it several times each.

And once again, our clowns!  Vaughn actually taught himself how to make several kinds of animal balloons!  What a great hubby!

Of course, everything did not work out the way I planned it!  It was so windy we didn't even put up balloons or streamers.  I was doing party prep until the very last minute because I procrastinated some of it!  And the cake caught on fire.  And all the cheetos blew away.  Did I mention it was WINDY!  But overall, we had a good time and it was a great afternoon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Activity Days

So one of my new callings is the Activity Days leader!  I am so excited to work with these great girls.  For our first activity last week, we had an Unbirthday Party!  I made this cute little bunting for the sheet cake I picked
up.  Of course, the icing colors totally don't match, but I didn't have much to choose from.  Just look at the bunting instead!

We also played the white elephant present game.  I just picked up several things from the dollar store.  And we also played hot potato.  That one is always a hit!  Why is it so nerve wracking to think that you will end up holding the object when the music stops?  It was a fun way to start off the year and we also sang to Ellie, since her birthday was just two days away.  We passed out calendars and a parent letter and then played duck,duck, goose until time to go.  I think I sent everyone home on a sugar high!  Hopefully, they crashed as soon as they got home and went to bed!

Things I Cannot Live Without

...well, I could, but who wants to?
(in no particular order, except for the way they came into my mind)
1.  A good mattress--let's face it, we spend a third of our lives there!  It should be good!
2.  Chocolate--in many different forms.  Cheesecake is a good one.  So is a Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bar.
3.  Diet Coke--I was never a soda drinker.  In fact, I once got in an argument with dad p over whether or not Pres. Hinckley meant to say that we don't use any caffeine in a tv interview.  Of course, that was before I had babies 3 and 4, and found myself driving them around in a state of narcolepsy.  Enter Diet Coke.  Now, it is just an addiction.  I admit it.  I don't care.
4.  My husband--Last night for my scripture study I read one of Pres. Monson's talks from general conference.  He talked about how we should be fiercely loyal to our spouses.  (Why isn't it spice?  Mouse/ mice, spouse/spice.  Just sayin!)  I may not be the best wife ever, but I married the best guy ever and that makes up the difference.  And we have a plaque in our room that says, "I chose my love; I love my choice."  Still do.  After 19 years.  
5.  Target--Do I really need to elaborate on this?  I think it is because the whole store is eye candy for me.  It is RED--my favorite color.  They have so many cute things--even ordinary things can make you smile if they are cute!  Like hand towels, or kitchen rugs, or shower curtains, which I use as tablecloths because we have a square table.
6.  Silence--I don't know if I will ever have enough of this.
7.  Clean sheets--Especially if they were dried in the sun.   Mmmm.  That doesn't happen very often out here.  It is too windy, humid, dusty, etc.
8.  The smell of something baking--currently, it is pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
9.  Exercise--If I don't sweat a little, I am just grumpier.  Everyone likes me better when I have gone to the gym that day.
10.  My children, although I hope that one day they won't actually LIVE with us anymore!
11.  Really scary and crazy murder mystery/thrillers--Reading about complete psychopaths makes me feel like not such a bad human being.  Plus, I love the puzzles.  And the twists.  And the surprise ending.  But mostly I love thinking, " well, at least I didn't kill anyone and then mail little pieces of them to their family today."  Sometimes that is the only good thing I can think about myself.
12.  My sister--My mom always said how much she wished she had a sister.  I have one.  My girls have two.  Can you have too many?  I love that I can call my sis in mid-rant and she instantly knows what is going on!  Plus, I don't have to explain my crazy family to her.  Or my kids.  Or my military lifestyle.  And she sends me cute packages.  Always with chocolate.
13.  A great hairdresser--I love it when you can walk in and say, "Just do something"  and it turns out fabulous!  Brandy is like that!  Want her number?
14.  DVR--Seriously.  Who can stand to watch commercials?  I love that I can watch 10 episodes of Frasier in a row.  Or save my crazy murder shows for when my husband isn't home.  He doesn't get as much enjoyment out of them.  Probably because he doesn't need to compare himself to lunatics to feel better!  :)
15.  Air conditioning--I know our electric bill was over 400 for the months of July, August, and I  am betting September.  But we had to live without power/air conditioning for 24 hours.  It is SO worth the money.
16.  Pajamas--I have a fetish.  Or an obsession.  What is the difference?  Psych class was a long time ago.  Anyway, I own a ridiculous amount of pjs.  Yet when I go to Target, I want to buy pjs.  If I don't buy pjs, I buy yoga pants.  Or sweats.  Yep, I am that girl from What Not To Wear.  The one who always looks frumpy.  I just want to be comfortable.  Or I am just tired.

I am sure I have many more items to add, but it is time to feed the monkeys and head out the door to see #13!  

Peanut Butter Cupcakes in a Jar

I thought it would be fun to send college boy some homemade goodies and I came across this recipe online.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes in a Jar

First, you need some 8 oz. canning jars.  These are the wide mouth ones, so they are short and squat.  Grease with shortening or spray with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  
 Then make your peanut butter mixture.  I thought this would be super complicated.  It's not!  It is just peanut butter and powdered sugar.  Mix well.
 Next, make your cupcake batter.  I cheated and just used a devil's food mix.  You can use your favorite recipe for chocolate cupcakes,  if you want.
 Fill each jar with 3-4 tablespoons of cake batter.  
 Then add a scoop of the peanut butter goodness.  About a 2 inch ball.  It should look like this.
 Then add a few more tablespoons of batter on top of the peanut butter stuff.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the top springs back when you touch it. 
And then...
I should have a picture of the finished product here, but I forgot to take one.   When they come out of the oven, you could frost them, or pour melted Dove chocolate over them.  I topped them with chocolate chips, thinking that they would melt and spread.  Didn't happen.  So next time, Dove chocolate it is!  They were still pretty tasty!  And I was able to just twist on the lids, wrap them in bubble wrap and mail in a flat rate box.  That is important, since they were heavy and I didn't want to spend 40 dollars on shipping!

Here is the complete recipe:

12 8 oz canning jars with lids
Canola oil spray
8 oz. peanut butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 recipe cupcake batter
8-10 oz dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray the inside of the jars with oil.  Mix peanut butter and sugar until smooth.  Roll or scoop into 2 inch balls.  Scoop 3-4 T batter into each jar, then the peanut butter ball, then top with 2-3 T. batter.  Bake on cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes.  Remove and put chocolate on top.  Spread.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

yummy treat

We had some friends come for dinner and I made this awesome ice cream cake!  The recipe was from southern living august.
  Yum.  It is 106 F right now. I could sure go for this.
Here is the recipe and the link for southern living.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake


  • Parchment paper
  • Devil's Food Cake Batter ( I used a box cake mix)
  • 1/2 gal. mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
  • 10 chocolate wafers, coarsely crushed
  • Chocolate Ganache 
  • Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, thin crème de menthe chocolate mints


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Prepare Devil's Food Cake Batter, and spoon into pans.
  • 2. Bake at 350º for 12 to 14 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, peel off parchment paper, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
  • 3. Place 1 cake layer in a 9-inch springform pan. Top with one-third of ice cream (about 2 1/3 cups); sprinkle with half of crushed wafers. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining cake layer and ice cream. Freeze 8 to 12 hours.
  • 4. Remove cake from springform pan, and place on a cake stand or plate. Prepare Chocolate Ganache, and spread over top of ice-cream cake. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

my audition for design star!

This is my first attempt at reupholstering furniture!  Okay, not reupholstering, but I made slipcovers for my couch and chair and a half.  I found a great ebook at pink and polka dot that was awesome!

Pay no attention to the bottom.  I am waiting for more fabric to be delivered so I can do some kind of skirt for the bottom.  Love that I can just throw them all in the wash!

What have I been up to?

About 5'2"!  Hee hee.  Seriously, I can't believe how long it has been since I have blogged.  Since this is supposed to be my journal, I feel doubly guilty.  So.  Here are some of my recent projects:

This is a cute flower arrangement we used for a prize at a RS meeting this summer.  We had an ice cream social.  I just used carnations tucked into florist foam and topped them with a red hard candy ball.

 Here is another decor item for the same event--this one is my favorite kind---EDIBLE!  It is made of whoppers, mini marshmallows, and the same round red candy.

Here is another view.  Yum.

This one I am especially proud of.  Why?  Because instead of stalking other people's blogs and stealing, I mean borrowing their ideas,  I came up with this one all on my own!  Maybe there is a little creativity in my tired old brain, after all!  I made a snack mix out of goldfish, white cheddar popcorn, teddy grahams, pretzels, raisins, m&ms, and honey roasted peanuts.  Then I put it in this cute galvanized pail.  Here is the cute factor--this was for a back to school party, so I used alphabet magnets to spell out "snack mix" on the side!  Centerpiece, snack, and food label all in one!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

spring treats

So, since it is spring break, I thought it would be fun to make some spring treats with the girls. Here is my attempt at white chocolatedipped oreos. I tried to say T hearts V, but I don't have a very steady hand. They still turned out cute, though! And Vaughn ate them all. :) Here are some other variations we tried, pink with white pearls, white with pink pearls, chocolate with sprinkles.
Then we did rice krispy balls--and dipped them in chocolate and/or sprinkles. My favorite was the Ghirardelli chocolate melted with peanut butter. Mmmm.

Then we had to try this cute cute idea I saw on a party blog: bacon and eggs! Made with 2 pretzels, a dab of white chocolate, and a yellow m&m. I think I need to have some people over for brunch just so I can make these for favors!
Here is partner in crime #1, Bekahroo!

And partner in crime #2, Ellie!

If you need something sweet, just let us know! We will send you some!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday morning musings

So, did you know that you can have tennis elbow even if you don't play tennis? Or that you can throw up several times a week for almost a month without being pregnant? Or that within one week your husband, son , and daughter can all injure themselves?

Actually, I do not play tennis, but I do have tendonitis. In my left elbow. I am right-handed. Apparently, all the work I do around the house has me doing the heavy lifting ( literally) with my left hand-washing dishes, moving laundry in and out of the dryer, lifting stuff. I think I use my right hand for the fine motor and my left for all the brute force work.

I am not pregnant. But I did throw up and feel nauseated for a long time. After 3 pregnancy tests (and seriously, vaughn had a little surgery right after Bekah was born!) and a couple visits to the doctor, we came up with sinusitis and severe seasonal allergies. Who knows? But I am feeling better and vomit-free for almost a week now!

On to the injuries: Andy dislocated his left elbow at soccer practice (again). After a week in a splint, the doctor pronounced him fit for normal activity and ready to play as soon as his special bionic elbow brace comes in. Vaughn hurt his back shoveling snow for about two days straight. He is much better, but he is no fun on muscle relaxants. Mostly because they knock him right out. Rachel rolled her ankle right before a soccer game, went on and played in the game, and then a couple of nights later in another game, was on a break, streaking down the field, when an opponent slide-tackled her right into the injured ankle.

May I just point out here that I did not go to nursing school? If I have to see another ice pack or administer one more dose of motrin I just might go on strike. Not really, but SERIOUSLY! These people are killing me, what with their needing to be fed and taken care of and their incessant breathing! Did I just say that out loud? Okay, enough ranting.

It's not like a tsunami just swept our whole lives away. (But really, could we all just be healthy for one day, at the same time?)

In other news, Andy has been accepted to BYU! And BYU-Idaho! But not BYU-Hawaii. He is surprised by that. I tried to tell him that BYU-Hawaii is for people who don't live on the mainland, but I think he is disappointed to not spend the next year surfing, I mean studying, in Laie.

Today is the first day of spring break. Check in with me later this week to see if I have lost the rest of my mind!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweet Sixteen Surprise!

We Got Her! Rachel's birthday isn't for a couple of weeks, and since I knew she would be on the lookout for birthday surprises, we had her party on Wednesday night.
She thought she was just going to a regular youth activity--Iron Chef at the community center on base.

Here she is with some of her cute friends!And here are some of the yummy treats we had!

Chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

Chocolate dipped strawberry marshmallows.

Chocolate cake pops. Yum. And homemade oreos.
Here is Rachel's Sweet Shoppe.

Here are the cute water bottle labels I ordered from
It was a fun time! I am glad Ellie is only nine! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What to do on a snow day

I love comfort food. And hibernating. And cooking with my kids. (Okay, maybe not so much the last one, but it is getting better now that they don't throw the flour all over the kitchen.) So I love it when we have a snow day like we did last week. We made homemade chicken and noodles. Yum. Here is my noodle apprentice Bekah, rolling out those morsels of goodness.

Here are the noodles drying on the counter. Andy actually made half of them. Impressive, huh?

Tender noodles and broth.

The finished product--chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes with peas. Mmmm.

Here is the recipe for your next snow day:

Homemade Chicken and Noodles

Place one whole chicken in a large pot with an onion, some large carrots, and half a bunch of celery. Toss in a generous pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, and then turn heat to medium low. Simmer until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and vegetables from broth. Take all the chicken off the bones and set it aside. Discard veggies. Meanwhile make the noodles.

I make a large batch:

5 eggs

4 cups of flour

4 teaspoons kosher salt

4 Tablespoons milk

Mix well with fork, and then with hands until it forms a ball. Roll out about 1/4th of the dough at a time. Roll as thin as you can get it, frequently dusting with flour. Cut into several widths and stack them on top of each other. Start at one end and slice the noodles as thinly as possible. Repeat with remaining dough. Let dry on the counter while soup is cooking.

When broth is ready, bring to a boil and put all noodles in the pot. Bring to boil again and then turn heat down to medium. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until noodles are tender. Add chicken and chicken bouillion or chicken base, to taste. Also, salt and pepper if desired.

Make some mashed potatoes and then put the whole thing together. Put your pjs on before eating because you will go into a carbohydrate coma. This is fabulous with petite peas right in the bowl and with homemade rolls.

Question answered

So I was wondering why my purse weighs so darn much...

Here's the answer! Yes I filled half a jar with change. I am going to the bank tomorrow to see how much was in there!

Friday, January 21, 2011


So lately, I have been avidly following my new favorite blog, . I saw these awesome cheesecake pops and just had to try them! First you start with a cheesecake. I baked mine, but I think it would be just as good with Sara Lee! Then after the cheesecake was refrigerate for a while, I used a small Pampered Chef scoop to make little balls. See! Here they are. I put them in the freezer for about an hour until they were nice and firm.
While those were chilling, I unwrapped some chocolate. The recipe called for almond bark, but I just couldn't do that to my yummy cheesecake. So Dove chocolate it was. I wasn't sure how well it would work.

Here are some naked Doves. I melted them in the microwave for about 90 seconds, stirring in between.

Then, I stuck a lollipop stick into a cheesecake ball and dipped it into the melted chocolate. Try not to "sample" too many. Really. I dare you.
I put them on waxed paper and put them back in the refrigerator for a few more minutes.

Here is the finished product! I was very happy they weren't a disaster, and my tummy was happy, too!
If you need a cheesecake recipe, this one is fabulous! I just didn't make a crust, since I was going to scoop it all into cheesecake balls.
Cheesecake (from
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
3 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined.
Pour in 9x13 pan and bake for about 45 minutes.
Remove and cool.