Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Favorite-Happy Anniversary!

Okay, so I'm still sick. *cough, cough* But, I wanted to get this weeks Friday Favorite in anyway before my "sick day" begins.....the moment that CG walks through the door and gets the kids, house, dog, etc. for the next 24 hours so I can rest and get better.

Recently CG & I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. And that makes it, like, 7 years and 2 months that we've known each other. Just kidding. ;o) We've known each other a little longer than that. It's actually pretty funny how much our lives intersected before we even knew each other.

Anyway, we've had an adventurous 7 years. We've had some "exciting" home improvements, adopted a giant mutt dog, had a couple of kids, bought a Mormon assault vehicle, tried to move but didn't and the list could go on and on . And after all that, through the good and the not so good, we still choose, every single day, to be together. And that's what makes our life so great. We still keep choosing each other.

Happy anniversary CG! Here's to millions of more days of our choosing.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Redneck Kleenex

What do you do when you run out of Kleenex? Why, you grab a big ol' roll of toilet paper and a grocery bag and settle in. Classy.

And, yes, I am talking about us. Because we're sick. AGAIN! @#$%&*!

But don't worry. CG is picking up real Kleenex and cough drops on his way home from work. There is hope.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Chinese New Years

Since it's been a long, long time since I did the last recipe swap, today it's going to be a recipe extravaganza! Three recipes for the price of one!

Cold Sesame Noodles
For the Sesame Sauce:
3 tbsp. Asian sesame paste or peanut butter (I used peanut butter)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. hot water
2 tsp. red wine vinegar or cider vinegar (I didn't have this so I skipped it)
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dark soy sauce (optional)
1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1 tsp. Hot Chili Oil (which I burned) or another hot sauce ( I used a few drops of Tabasco...I'm fancy)
1/2 tsp. salt

For the noodles:
8 oz. Chinese egg noodles or thing spaghetti noodles
1/3 c. thinly sliced green onion
1/4 c. finely chopped Szechuan preserved vegetable (optional)
3 tbsp. chopped roasted, salted peanuts
1 c. cucumber slices-1/4 inch thick (didn't have this either)

To make the sauce: In a medium bowl large enough to toss the noodles with the sauce, combine the sesame paste, soy sauce, water, vinegar, sugar, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil and salt. Stir to combine everything into a smooth, thick sauce.
To make the noodles: Follow package directions
When the noodles are tender but still firm, drain well and place them in the bowl over the sauce. Toss well to coat the strands evenly. Add a little more hot water if needed to soften the noodles and spread out the sauce.
Add the green onion, Szechuan vegetables, peanuts and cucumber and toss one last time to mix everything well. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

Ham And Egg Fried Rice
4 cups cooked rice, cold or at room temperature
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 c. chopped onion
4 ounces ham, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
3 well beaten eggs
3 tbsp. green onion (about 2 stalks)

Crumble the rice so that it breaks up into individual grains for easy stir-frying.
Heat wok or large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onion and cook, tossing often, for 15 seconds. Add the ham, salt and sugar and toss well.
Add the eggs and then tilt the pan to help them cook. Life the edges and turn the pan to expose as much egg as possible to the hot pan. When the edges have set, scramble them into soft lumps.
Quickly add the rice and toss to mix it with the ham and eggs evenly and well. Cook, tossing often, until the rice is hot and tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the green onion and toss well. Serve hot or warm.

Chicken With Cashews
2 tbsp. dry sherry or Shaozing rice wine (skipped this...I don't have a very well stocked kitchen, apparently)
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (left this out....on purpose)
2 celery stalks
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
1 cup dry-roasted, salted cashews (I bought what was on sale)
3 tbsp. chopped green onion (about 2 stalks)

In a small bowl combine the sherry, water, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and salt and stir to dissolve the dry ingredients and mix everything into a smooth sauce.
Chop celery into 1/4 inch pieces. Chop the chicken into bite-sized chunks.
Heat a wok or a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and toss well until they are shiny and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Scatter in the chicken, spreading it out into a single layer. Cook undisturbed until the edges change color, about 30 seconds, and then toss well. Cook, tossing often, until most of the chicken has changed color.
Add the celery and cook, tossing often, until the celery is bright green and the chicken is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the sherry mixture, pouring it around the sides of the pan and toss well. Add the cashews and green onion. Toss to mix them in evenly and season well. Serve hot or warm.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All Things Good Giveaway for January!

As some of you may or may not now, it is time again for the Quarterly Bloggy Giveaway Carnival and I just have to do a giveaway too. Because I'm a follower and all that! ;o)

I'll be giving away TWO gift cards to my mom's fabulous on-line store, The All Things Good Store! Each card will be worth $25 to use on anything you want. Plus, there just happens to be a couple of store promotions going on right now that you can take advantage of even if you don't win. Everything in the store, and I mean everything, is currently 50% off! Wahoo! Also, if you sign up as a new customer, you get a $10 credit to use. It's fabulous. The prices are so great that even if you don't win, you totally win just by shopping there!

Here are some of the great things that we've tried. These Bible Puzzles help keep my kids entertained during church and are also popular with the kids sitting around us. And I love this bird feeder. We keep it up all winter....when it's not in storage. I've also been toying with the idea of getting this rhythm set and bongo drum, but I'm not sure if I can take the heightened level of noise around here that they are sure to inspire!

So, here are the rules:
*Leave a comment here telling me how much you love me. Just kidding! You can just leave a comment telling me what you would order if you win. I'm not picky.
*Make sure that I have a way of contacting you or I'll have to draw a different winner
*Head on over to the All Things Good Store and order something anyway because everything is such a good price!
* US only.

For additional entries:
*You can blog about it on your own blog, making sure to link to my blog and the store's site.
*Sign up as a new customer and get another $10 to use in the store. Be sure to check your junk mail folder and add the store's email to your contacts so you can get your gift card.
*Let me know in a separate comment if you do any of these things so that you get the extra entry.

I'll pick a winner sometime this weekend and announce it sometime after that. Good Luck!

***This contest is now closed. I will be posting the winners as soon as they are drawn.***

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Years Celebration

In honor of my new Chinese cookbook we decided to have a little New Years Celebration. It was pretty fun and involved a lot of chopping and distracting of the kids. I had wanted to dress the girls in their cute little kimono outfits for the occasion, but by the time I got dinner on the table I just didn't have it in me to get the girls dressed. Again. And do their hair. Again. But, let me tell you, it was a pretty shnazzy affair none the less!

The Meal!
Cashew Chicken, Cold Sesame Noodles and Ham & Egg Fried Rice. And home made grape juice.

Me and My Girls!
Dinner Is Served!
The After Dinner Carnage
She looks like a pretty happy customer to me!
Maybe now that it's the Chinese New Year I'll finally get around to making my resolutions....

Chats With Babs

I've had a few interesting chats with Babs lately. The kind of chats that you can only have with a not-yet-two year old. Or maybe someone who has been drinking.

As I sat finishing up my breakfast, Babs was walking back and forth on the bench and chatting with me. She decided it would be lots of fun to put one hand down the front of my shirt to aid her in playing with the Superman logo on the front of my pajamas.
Me: "Babs, this is what we would call invading someones personal space."
Babs: "K".....and continues doing exactly what she was doing before.

Another time I was sitting on the couch with the laptop when she came walking up to me with something to say and her binky in her mouth.
Babs: "Eee-ooo."
Me: (thinking she's saying thank you) "You're welcome sweetie."
Babs: "No, eee-ooo."
Me: (not sure what she's saying thank you for, but going along with it) "You're welcome sweetie."
Babs: (pulling her binky out of her mouth & throwing it on the floor indignantly) "NO! Pee-A-Boo!"

Me: (laughing) "Oh, peek-a-boo!"
Babs: Smiles. Nods. Walks away happily.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Favorite-Baby Fi

Today's Friday Favorite is my cute little niece Baby Fi. She's my sisters' first baby.

Welcome to the family sweet baby!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shoe Love

It is a well known fact that I love shoes. Seriously love shoes. I enjoy them immensely and the purchase of new shoes always perks me up. There are few things in life better than a new pair of shoes. What could that possibly be, you may be asking. Besides the usual finding true love, having children, family, friends, a fulfilling life, blah blah blah. It's getting a fabulous pair of shoes on SALE! Even better....CLEARANCE!

On Saturday we went to Famous Footwear in order to purchase a new pair of athletic shoes for CG. But, honestly, I really do surprise myself thinking that I would leave a shoe store empty handed. As CG was searching for the perfect cross trainer, I did my duty as a bargain shopper and perused the clearance racks. And I found a couple of treasures, of course.

Springy Polka Dot Slip Ons (From last year no doubt, but I love them so who cares?!)
And super cool running shoes....for all of my running around and spinning needs
Total cost for all this shoe fabulousness: $25! Plus tax.
It's a gift.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


blog readability test

New York, Here I Come

You Belong in Soho

Although you may not be a professional artist, you do dabble in one form of art or another.

And you indie culture of all kinds - from little boutiques to art house films.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fun & Easy

I'm all about being fun and easy. ;o) Especially when it comes to kids. This weekend as we were getting ready to have dinner, Lolly was trying to drive CG and I absolutely crazy by turning the dining room light off and on repeatedly. It gave me a great idea. Let's have dinner by candle light! It was not a fancy dinner, eggs and hash browns, unless you figure that CG making dinner is fancy. It was lots of fun, the girls loved it and it was super easy. Plus, everyone looks better by candle light so CG couldn't really see my make-up-less face, crazy hair or ever increasing wrinkles.

I do recommend using candles in glass containers. Some nosy fingers attempted, more than once, to touch the candles. Best quote of the night: after CG had told Lolly for the 100th time not to touch the candles, she said "But I just can't help myself, Daddy!". Classic Lolly.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pink Eye & An Ear Infection

This is what pink eye and an ear infection looks like around our house.
Poor little Babs. She's had a rough couple of weeks, but she's still in good spirits. I, of course, went in to full Mama Mode and have been feeding and nurturing our cute little family during our quarantine. There were cinnamon rolls, pigs in a blanket, cinnamon apple cider & a lovely Italian influenced meal. On a side note, I happened to have a bag of Rhodes Anytime Rolls in the freezer because the store was out of the regular kind and they were a breakfast saver this morning. Seriously, keep a bag in the freezer for cinnamon roll emergencies in the future. That's my handy dandy tip for the day.

Anyway, Babs looks to be on the mend and her eyes are no longer oozing green goo. Now I'm just keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Lolly doesn't get it. This entire house will be Lysol wiped and/or washed in warm water, depending on the nature of the item, in the next 24 hours. Just in case you were wondering....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Favorite-These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

The winter blahs have hit hard around here. As in show no mercy, hard. So, in honor of thinking positively yada yada yada, I've decided to compile a list of some of the little things in life that I normally take so much pleasure in. Please feel free to add your own. Or tell me I'm crazy. I'm open to anything at this point. We're all about acceptance around here.

Therefore, I give you a bullet point list!
  • one of my babies, freshly bathed and in a clean white onsie
  • a brand new bar of soap
  • the smell of the dishwasher as it washes my dishes for me
  • a really, really good book
  • the perfect chocolate chip cookie
  • warm cement on bare feet in the summer
  • red headed babies, of course
  • CG
  • bedtime
  • a a theater....with grown ups, popcorn, drinks...
  • my aloe vera plant
  • any plant that I can keep alive, actually
  • footy jammies
  • Mountain Dew
  • freshly painted toe nails....especially red
  • clean sheets
  • the smell of clean laundry
  • holding hands
  • a new hair cut
  • Christmas lights
  • sleeping in
  • bubble baths
  • making bread
  • Bear may not be little, but it is a favorite
  • my new pink ipod
  • taking pictures
  • getting those pictures printed & in albums
  • folding clean baby laundry
  • talking to friends that are far away, but always in your heart
  • email
  • getting comments on my blog (I know! I'm so vain!)
  • hot chocolate
  • snow....before January because after that it's pointless
  • watching my girls dance
  • the smell of a new season coming
There are many, many more but that's all I can think of for now. If only I could smell the next season coming....

If I were a shoe....

You Are Flip Flops

You are laid back and very friendly.

Cheery and sunny in disposition, you usually have something to smile about.

Style is important to you, as long as you can stay casual.

It takes a lot to get you to dress up!

You are a loyal and true person, though you can be a bit of a flake.

You tend to "play hooky" and blow off responsibilities a lot more than most people.

You should live: By the beach

You should work: At a casual up and coming company

What Kind of Shoe Are You?

I seriously live in flip flops every summer and towards the end of each pregnancy. I think I have at least 3 different pairs of flip flops. I wonder if it's accurate.....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Recipe Swap Wednesday-My Domestic Goddessness

Baking Bread
I mean, forgetting that I was Baking Bread.

Monday, January 12, 2009

CG's Favorite Wife



And that is why I'm CG's favorite wife! Because even when I have a million other things to do, I will stop them all in order to organize a few shiny things. It's all about priorities, ladies.

Friday, January 9, 2009

30 Ain't Bad

A few weeks back I turned 30. Yes, I know, can you believe it?! I thought I would have been far more mature by 30 as well, but what can ya do. In honor of this momentous occasion, my darling husband planned a wonderful day for me. Warning! This post will make you insanely jealous of my fortunate choice of husband.

First of all, he took the day off work and I got to sleep in! Wahoo!! Then he and Lolly made me breakfast in bed. I didn't actually get to eat it in bed because Babs just would not hear of it, but it was the thought that counts. Especially when you realize how much CG cooks. ;o)

Then it was present time. A pink Ipod shuffle with all the fabulous accessories. Babs especially loved it.
Then I was off to get my hair done. As you can see from the above picture, I really needed it!

That evening we were off to paint the town red while my sainted sister-in-law watched our girls for us. There are just sometimes when you need a date night and this was one of those times.

First we went on a romantic carriage ride to look at the lights downtown. This horse, Tony, was huge! At least 18 hands. If I remember right, I was actually standing on the curb and Tony was on the street when this picture was taken.
Then we went to dinner at The Garden Restaurant. This is the view from the lobby and also from our table by the window. Lovely.
After a wonderful dinner our waiter was kind enough to snap a picture of us to prove to the blogging world that this really did all happen.
It really was the best birthday I've ever had and a great beginning to the next decade of my life. Who knows what to expect. After all, I did use "ain't" in the title. I'm a wild woman!

And today's Friday Favorite: CG, without a doubt.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008...A Year In Pictures

I've read several blogs highlighting the events that took place during the previous year and other various odes to 2008, but I have decided that it would take more brain power than I currently have to accomplish that. So instead I am picking a favorite picture from each month last year and sharing it all with you. Yes, most of the pictures will be of my girls because, frankly, I'm just not that photogenic. And it's my blog so I can do things like that. So, without any further adieu, I give you.....

This picture is from when Lolly painted her own finger nails while I was in the other room. The day before I hosted my sister's bridal shower. And got it all over the hardwood floor, rocking chair and herself. But she did a pretty good job so I couldn't punish her too much.

Babs very first big girl bath. She didn't have many teeth then, either.

Princesses on Ice, courtesy of Papa and Grandma Van. They were the loveliest princesses there, in my oh-so-humble opinion!

Babs first birthday. Of all the gifts, I think she may have loved that plastic dinosaur that decorated the wrapping the most.

Babs very first ice cream cone. She totally inhaled it. Lolly hadn't even finished eating the ice cream above the cone before Babs was done.

The ward hike to Ensign Peak. Daddy helping out his tired girl.

Okay, so there's one of me. Babs and I at a camp fire party at Bear Lake.

CG and his girls in the bounce house at the family reunion.

This picture doesn't even need explanation.

Halloween, of course. One of my most favorite holidays.

Lolly's 4th birthday. She has become such a big girl. Where did my baby go?!

The end of a crazy year. And the beginning of another....

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas 2008...a little late

Well, I've been meaning to post a few pictures of our holiday but I've been a, busy/traumatized...but I figure better late than never. And Babs has all of her teeth in these pictures.

One last look on Christmas Eve to make sure Santa was really on his way.
Christmas Morning in new Christmas jammies
Baby Baskets made by mom. They didn't turn out how I envisioned, but Babs tried to climb in hers immediately so their purpose was clear.
And, of course, the princess helicopter that Lolly insisted, to everyone who asked, that Santa would make special for her. Santa had to work some serious last minute moves for that one.
I hope everyone had as merry a Christmas as we did!
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