Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November menu #1

I have completely neglected my blog over the past few months. Now that I'm working on our family yearbook for 2014, I'm realizing that I need to get back into blogging--it makes compiling a book for the whole year a lot easier! I am a busy woman now, with four kids, two in school (and oh, how I hate the never ending cycle of homework and lunches, lunches and homework!) and three part time jobs that I do from home. And yet I still find time to binge watch Gilmore Girls... 

1. Cheesy Italian sausage bread, creamy tomato soup
2. Tamale pot pies (the recipe calls for ground chicken but I used ground beef), black beans
3. Creamy spinach linguine, garlic bread
4. White chicken chili, cornbread
5. Three cheese pizza, tomato and cucumber salad
6. Leftovers
7. French onion soup with quinoa (the recipe calls for barley, I'm using quinoa instead), brussels sprouts salad
8. Pecan chicken, roasted carrots, twice baked potatoes
9. Baked oatmeal, biscuits, bacon
10. Sweet and tangy chicken, tortillas, lime cilantro dressing
11. The Pizza Factory: We won best costumes at my brother's Halloween party and were awarded a gift card, wahoo!!!
12. Leftovers
13. Steak with blue cheese crust, mashed potatoes, crusty bread
14. Chicken noodle soup, homemade rolls (Juno's birthday dinner!)

I'm also spending a lot of time working on our Thanksgiving weekend menu. We are spending the weekend with my parents and siblings at a ranch house in New Harmony, Utah, near St. George. I love Thanksgiving. It's such a wonderful holiday, the family, the food, the pies... I love planning our Thanksgiving feast!

Monday, October 20, 2014

October Menu #2

1. Chicken paillards with romaine Caesar slaw and French bread
2. BLT pizza
3. Leftovers
4. Shrimp and corn chowder, cornbread
5. Lemon poppy seed pancakes with mixed berry compote, scrambled eggs, bacon
6. Quick sausage rotini, French bread
7. Sweet and tangy shredded chicken, tortillas and fixings, lime cilantro dressing
8. Three cheese pizza, apple slices
9. Leftovers
10. Classic lasagna, salad
11. Grilled cheese bar
12. Chicken noodle soup, homemade rolls
13. Vietnamese caramel pork and rice
14. Frozen mystery soup, cornbread: there is a bag of frozen soup in my freezer that I neglected to label, oops!
15. Make your own pizza bar
17. Cheesy broccoli and quinoa casserole, salad with apples and pecans

  • Slow cooker ooey gooey chocolate pudding cake
  • Halloween sugar cookies
  • Pumpkin rice krispie treats

Saturday, October 11, 2014

September goodness!

This girl loves her toes!

It's great to be eight!
Tempe turned eight in September--I can't believe my baby is getting so old! To celebrate, she had a really fun glow in the dark birthday party with a water blob--that glowed! I made it by dissolving B50 vitamin complex in water and adding it to the water blob. The B50 glows under a black light. I don't think I need to tell you how much of a success this glow in the dark water blob was! 

We also decorated plain white tshirts with highlighters, ran around the yard like crazy banshees with glowsticks, and ate a glow in the dark birthday cake, decorated by the birthday girl herself! It was a very fun party and every single one of the girls came up to me and told me how much they loved it.

Tempe's baptism

My darling girl was baptized the same day that Pearl was blessed. I can't believe it, I didn't take a single picture of Pearl in her blessing dress. It was a very special day and we were so happy to have so many of our friends and family there with us--even in the pouring rain!

I started a new project--staining my master bathroom cabinets. An after picture will be up soon! I'm psyching myself up to tackle the kitchen cabinets in the spring.

This baby is just too hungry for plain old milk now. She tried bananas this month! It took a few tries but she is better about swallowing now.

Grandpa's Cash Store

The girls love going to the "cash store" (a little general store) near the cabin with Grandpa. When we were there at Labor day, Grandpa made his own little cash store for all the grandchildren. It's a really great store--he gives you the money to spend in it!

Sweet little Juno is terrified to go outside at the cabin now because of the moose attack in August. (Did I write about that? I can't remember) She just wanted to cuddle with Daddy the whole time.

Pearl with four of her buddies--there were 13 babies born in our neighborhood in 12 months!!! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Curves ahead--be prepared!

The only thing predictable about life is... it's unpredictable!

You can't always control what happens in life... but you can control the resources you have to deal with it! One of those resources is health insurance. We all know how important health insurance is, especially because illness or accidents rarely come at financially convenient times! With open enrollment approaching, I've been thinking about health insurance a lot lately. It's one of the biggest "purchases" you'll make this year--have you put enough thought into it? Did you know, that on average, most people only spent about 15 minutes researching health plan options last year during open enrollment? People took several hours (on average) researching family vacations, computers, even television sets!
Researching health plan options isn't really fun. In fact, it can be really confusing. Aflac found that many employees didn't fully understand what exactly is covered by their policy or what might have changed since last year, yet many are still using auto-enroll to keep the same benefits year after year!
When you're comparing health plan benefits, think about what your needs are. Are you planning on a new baby in the next year? Do you have any recurring health problems that may need attention? If you haven't taken a look at your benefits in the last year, you might be surprised to find out that what has been adequate in the past no longer meets your needs!
So how can you make sure you're making a good choice during open enrollment this year? First, take a look at Aflac Workforces Report. There's great information there all about open enrollment! Next you'll want to think about your health needs for the next year and the budget you can spend on health needs each month. Research all your options and you'll be sure to find something that works for you during open enrollment--and enjoy the feelings of peace that come from knowing you're prepared for all of life's curves!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

October #1 menu

Here's another 2 week menu plan! If anyone has some great ideas of what to serve with BLT pizza, comment please! I fail at side dishes, especially for pizza!

1. Egg stuffed baked potatoes, Greek yogurt bar
2. Chicken paillards, crusty french bread
3. BLT pizza
4. Baked oatmeal, banana bread, smoothies
5. Breaded garlic chicken, fettuccine, salad
6. Sweet and tangy chicken, rice, beans
7. White chicken chili, cornbread
8. Date night
9. Leftovers
10. Tuscan garlic herb pork chops, bean salad, crusty bready
11. Make your own pizza bar
12. Roasted garlic mac and cheese, roast asparagus
13. Sausage and potato skillet, smoothies, biscuits
14. Chicken noodle soup, rolls

Breakfast foods

  • Scrambled eggs and toast
  • Granola
  • Oatmeal
  • Pancakes/waffles
  • Yogurt parfaits
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Smoothies
  • Biscuits
  • Popovers
  • Muffins
  • Pumpkin bread
  • Popcorn
  • Graham crackers
  • Yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Fruit/veggies
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Cinnamon chips
  • Apple nachos 
  • Raspberry white chocolate chip cookies
  • Slow cooker ooey gooey chocolate pudding cake
  • Homemade doughnuts

Thursday, September 4, 2014

August goodness!

Summer is over, fall is beginning, here's what we did in August!

My kids have been wanting to go to Lagoon for a while now. We told them they had to help earn the money, so we took them weeding at Grandpa's house a few times, before I found a really great deal at a local dentist. They were offering one Lagoon season pass voucher with a new patient exam. I took the girls for exams, got our one-per-household season pass voucher, and then promptly sold it for enough to pay for two day passes. Then we decided to go on a Saturday evening when tickets were BOGO, and then we went back a few days later to use our $12 bounce back tickets! So yeah, our first family Lagoon trip(s) = success.

Gilgal Sculpture Gardens and International Peace Gardens
The International Peace Gardens are an old favorite for us, but the Gilgal Sculpture Gardens were a new place for us to visit this summer!

Psychedelic playroom
Yes, I replaced our playroom lightbulb with a blacklight and it. is. awesome. What do we do in there? Color with highlighters, put neon stickers on the wall, play with a glow in the dark/neon rice bin, play with the LiteBrite, play dominoes (they are white so they glow under the light!), and look at objects we've collected from around the house to see what glows best! Also listen to the Thursday Night Psych-Out on KRCL.

Ellison Park
If your kids constantly ask to go to Cherry Hill, or Seven Peaks, or the cool pirate ship splash pad at the Rec Center, but you are too cheap to take them, I have a great alternative for you! Ellison Park in Layton is the coolest FREE splash pad around. The secret is to get there early (water turns on at 9) because it starts getting really crowded after lunch. We went twice in August and stayed for three hours both times!

Summer of reading
Every season is the season of reading at our house. This summer we did three reading programs: Barns and Noble, our local library, and a reading bingo chart I printed up. We also read most of Fablehaven together (didn't quite finish it!!)

Pony rides at the county fair
We usually go to the county fair as a family, but this year we spent a fun afternoon there with the cousins. Tempe had fun talking to this very friendly boy working at the pony rides ;)

Cabin getaway
We love having a family cabin that we can go to when we need a little getaway!! 

Science projects
We didn't do as many science projects this summer, but this was a favorite (especially of Helena and Juno!) Vinegar, baking powder, glitter, food coloring, medicine droppers, and a funnel.

Lemonade stand
Something else on our summer bucket list: a lemonade stand! I "advertised" on Facebook and texted all my friends and our wonderful neighborhood really stepped up. We made $25 and sold out in an hour!!

End of summer family Disney dinner extravaganza!
This year our end of summer/back to school family dinner was DISNEY themed! I made Monte Cristo sandwiches, bacon wrapped asparagus, mint juleps, and PB graham cracker chocolate sandwiches. Jason and I gave each of the girls a "ticket" book with one-on-one dates with Mom and Dad and cute little buttons that we got at the SLC library store (Tempe's says "To read or not to read, that is never a question!" and Helena's says "I read banned books")

This year's theme is "The Happiest Place on Earth", meaning our home!

First day of school!
My cute girls on their first day of second and first grade!

We always have a giant cookie that says "Happy first day of school" to celebrate the new school year. This year, I had three extra kids with me for the first week! It was a fun, busy, kid-filled week at our house!

Big girl Pearl!

 Cute kid Helena!

Fix it Juno (and Braxton)
Juno had fun playing with her friend Braxton last week--here they are "fixing" their scooters with Juno's tool set.

Last weekend my awesome brother got married, yay! I spent down to Provo the night before the wedding to get my nails done with my sister and my new sister-in-law and then we went out to the trendiest place in Provo!

Mint lemonade....

... and chicken and waffles. Soooooo good. Really, so delicious.

And here we are at my brother's wedding!