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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chaos And The Chocolate Factory

Last month during the UEA school break I surprised the girls with a little family field trip.  After having lunch with Daddy at work we headed to the Utah Truffles factory.  Oh yes, we got a tour of the inner goodness of the local truffle paradise.  Go ahead and be jealous.  But don't feel too bad.  I'm pretty sure that was my Super Mom moment of the weekend and things went downhill after that.

But, seriously, look at how cute these girls are!
We had a great time on the tour, even if we did have to stop about 5 minutes into it for a potty break.  We got to see each step of their truffle making.  So amazing.  They had this huge, beautiful copper pot where they melt all the chocolate (sorry, didn't get a picture) before adding the coconut oil and flavoring for the middle of the truffle.  It was really interesting.  I'd take you on a virtual tour with pictures, but someone was a little too distracted by all the chocolate and forgot to take out the camera until the very end.  *ahem*

In their lobby they have a chocolate wall of chocolaty goodness where they show off all their yummy truffle flavors and other chocolate goodies like chocolate dipped pretzels, orange slices, cookies and cinnamon bears.
And of course, the golden boxes of truffles.  They would make the perfect hostess gift for the upcoming holiday season if you happen to actually get invited to Christmas parties that require hostess gifts.  Or the perfect gift for your super skinny friend.  Or your in-laws.  The possibilities are endless.  Plus you can stock up on them and hand them out when needed, if you're the organized prepared type.  You can pick them up in person or order them here.
The boxes of chocolates range from $9.50 for 12 to $32.00 for 48.  Plus!  You can buy their amazing chocolate for your own home-dipping needs if you enjoy making chocolates for the holidays.  It's only $5 per pound (sold in 10 pound blocks) and is way better than anything you would get at your average grocery store.  It's better than you'd get even at high end places, but a lot more affordable.  And did I mention yummy?!

So if you're looking for a fun, easy activity with your kids head on over to Utah Truffles for a tour.  And be sure to eat a truffle for me.   

**Although I was generously compensated with chocolate for this post, I honestly just wanted to take my kids out for a fun field trip and this did not disappoint.  The chocolate was a bonus and also did not disappoint. ;o)  **

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Sweet Potatoes or Yams

Rumor has it that there is a difference between sweet potatoes and yams.  But I don't know what it is.  And this particular recipe that my wonderful sister in law gave me last year refers to both sweet potatoes and yams.  So I'll just let you make an educated guess and enjoy.

This recipe is actually pretty amazing.  I'm not a fan of yams, but I really like this recipe.  But I am still firmly against canned yams and putting marshmallows on them.  That's just so wrong.  On the other hand, these sweet potatoes/yams will me making an appearance at our Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes
3 cups yams, mashed
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

For topping combine:
1 cup Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal, crushed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter

Sprinkle over the top and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kind Of Here But Not Really

In lieu of an actual, real live post, I'm going to send you to an article someone else posted that has got me thinking some thoughts. 

It's from the Huffington Post....right HERE.

It's about gaslighting.  I found the article fascinating and fairly accurate.  Plus it made me feel all snooty because I read the Huffington Post, which is always an added bonus.

SO.  What do you think? 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

From Our Chaos To Yours!
In case you can't tell....Babs is Dorothy, Lolly is Glinda, CG is the yellow brick road and I'm the house that fell on the witch.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Has it really been over a month since I last posted?!  Why, yes...yes it has.  The last month has been a blur of canning and various other craziness.  I'd love to share all the details, but frankly, I can't really remember them right now. 

We've been getting lots of goodies out of our garden.

And then I've been doing lots of canning to keep said goodies good for the winter.

And yes, the bottom of my canner is starting to rust out.  But as long as it gets me through the next few weeks, it's all good.  Plus, my cupboards are starting to look like this!
I've even tried drying some basil from our garden.  Yum!
There was a pajama party at Lolly's school that Babs even got to participate in.  I loved her jammies so much that I had to document them with a picture.  And then share it.
Spent some time at the farm enjoying the last of the beautiful weather for the year.

I've also been spending lots of time bonding with my sewing machine the past week.  It will all make sense by Halloween.

Hopefully this is not the last you hear of me for another month.  Or maybe a once a month posting is good?    

Friday, September 23, 2011

This Is The Cat's Meow! (Ba-doom-ching)

To start your weekend off on the right note!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chaos at the 2011 Utah State Fair

Last week we went to the Utah State Fair (wahoo!) and attended the Taste of Utah Event.  Local companies that make all sorts of wonderful goodies were there sharing their stuff and telling us more about their company.  It was perfect for us because my kids love samples and I didn't feel like making dinner.  A winning situation all around.

They had everything from yummy bread to fancy cakes to flavored milk to handmade soap.  And cheese.  Don't forget the cheese.  Even though I don't actually have any pictures of cheese.

The root beer milk made a lasting impression on my family.  Such an impression, that when CG was in Logan, Utah last week for work he may have just stopped by the Gossner Foods Factory to get some squeaky cheese and ended up coming home with cheese and a case of both root beer flavored milk and cookies and cream milk.  All of which is very yummy.

And of course, we hung out at the Utah Truffles table.  A couple of different times.  Not only are they the BEST truffles EVER (I think dark chocolate mint is my favorite), but my wonderful friend Brinda was there. She was on my team for Tour de Donut and still likes me even though it took me forever to finish.  We won't talk about how someone can work for a chocolate company and still be that skinny.

The one thing that struck me the most about this event (besides the yummy food) was how heartfelt they were.  The people there were not just another faceless employee.  This company is a part of who they are.  The business success is their personal triumphs.  It's so endearing.  And so rare.

I even got a little side of public humiliation as I rode the blender bike at the Walmart booth.  Thankfully, CG did not get any video of that, but cute Lolly got a chance to ride and had a great time!  Also, I want one of those bikes for my house. 
As a side note, I learned that night that Walmart buys all of it's in-season fruit from local growers.  I'm a big fan of buying local whenever possible but shopping at Walmart helps me out with my budget so it's nice to hear they're making the effort to give business to local growers. 

And of course we had to make a stop at the Little Hands on the Farm!  My girls loved it and even remembered it from the last time we were there.

And, really, where else can you get such fabulous photo opportunities with large farming equipment?!  Without getting in trouble, that is....

These girls even make farming equipment adorable.

**We were given tickets to the State Fair by representatives of Utah's Own.  All opinions, flavored milk love, chocolate obsessions and cute children are my own.**

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Children's and Maternity Consignment Sale!

This weekend is the semi-annual consignment sale at the Hilltop United Methodist Church in Sandy, Utah.  The sale is on Friday, September 23 from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.  And Saturday, September 24 from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. 
I went to this sale last spring and found some great stuff for my girls.  I actually found quite a few things with the tags still on them.  After learning the hard way, I would recommend taking a laundry basket and finding a spot in one of the hallways for it.  That way once you get an arm full, you can drop it in your basket and keep looking.  This is one serious consignment sale!

If you'd like more details, head on over to Adrian's blog

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Book of the Week! All Of A Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

This book is the first in a series of truly adorable books.  It chronicles the daily life of a young Jewish family living in New York at the beginning of the 20th century.
It's a chapter book that I'm guessing is on a reading level of about second grade.  It has been a great first chapter book for us, although when we tried to start the third book in the series Babs started crying and kept saying, over and over again, "no more all of a kind family".  From what I can tell she enjoyed the stories but was more disappointed in the lack of pictures that I had previously realized. 

Although some children's books can be a bit mind numbing, I really enjoy these stories and have to keep myself from reading ahead.  And they're not allowed to be read if Mommy isn't home for story time.  I have enjoyed them that much.  I'm sure Babs has too in her own little way.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do Nice Guys FInish Last?

Recently I read an article on CNN that got me to thinking.  And I've decided that if I'm going to obsess about something then the least I can do is pass it on to you so you can obsess with me.  What fun!

This particular article is titled "Not nice guys, but cowards, finish last" by Robert Kiyosaki who is also the author of (I think) several books including Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  Which I haven't read.  Have you?  Did you like it?  Anyway......

The article talked about a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "Do Nice Guys -- and Gals -- Really Finish Last? The Joint Effects of Sex and Agreeableness on Income," by Timothy A. Judge of the University of Notre Dame, Beth A. Livingston of Cornell University and Charlice Hurst of the University of Western Ontario.  The study talks about how they have found that men who are "nice" or more agreeable tend to make less many than their more aggressive counterparts.  The article was a summation of four different studies that seemed to have found similar results.

In this particular article the author talked about what communication skills and also what defines a "nice guy".  He also talks about a business experience of his from the 80's where communication and constructive criticism greatly influenced his life.  Although he didn't finish the story about what happened to his wallet business, which I kind of found annoying.  He did share some good thoughts though.

"The world is full of people who make excuses, people who are cowards and people who use the term "nice" to cover up their inability to make a hard decision, say what needs to be said or defend themselves, their position or other people because they're afraid of how they'll be viewed or that someone won't like them anymore.
This is cowardly.
In my experience, many people confuse being cowardly with being nice. It's easier to aim to please and say what others want to hear than to form an opinion and fight for it, even if it means taking a risk or losing your job."
 The author seemed to focus on the ability to communicate relating to financial success.  And this is what got me thinking.  I'm a big fan of healthy communication skills.  Most likely because I seriously lack them.  I can express my opinion, both verbally and written.  And possibly excessively.  But expressing my feelings verbally is a real struggle for me, especially if I'm upset.  I have a fester and rot style of communication.  I can usually get my feelings across by writing them down, but how often do you have the chance to do that in life?  So teaching my girls healthy communication skills starting at a young age is really important to me.  We communicate a lot around here.  Feelings are talked about and expanded upon.  Whenever there have been hurt feelings we talk about it.  When there is tattling (can you imagine?!) the expression of feelings is encouraged instead of whining.  There are days when healthy communication starts as early as 5:30 and doesn't stop until the girls are in bed over 12 hours later.  At which point, I do sometimes appreciate a lack of communication for just a few minutes.                   

Now, I've been thinking about this article quite a bit in the last week.  Honestly, I don't know from personal experience if nice guys/gals finish last, first or middle.  But I do think there is something to be said about communication skills effecting your life.  I think that having good communication skills in a variety of situations can make for a more contented life because you're not festering and rotting over things that you should have said.  Or maybe shouldn't have said when you finally, completely lost it.

So, tell me, do you think nice guys finish last?  First?  Not at all?  Do you really think that good communication skills are essential to success, be it financial or not?  And is the only measure of success financial gain?  (I think not)  And, most importantly, do you think my fester and rot style of "expression" is making me age faster than healthy communicators?  I think that's a strong possibility....

**And today I learned that if you push control + p it will not, in fact, paste something.  It will post your unfinished blog post.  So don't do that.  Ya learn something new everyday! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Babs' First Day of Preschool!

It seems like just yesterday she was my tiny baby just home from the hospital. 
And now she's such a big girl!

Time sure does fly by.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from her first day.  Lately she won't let me take her picture but she humored me a bit for today.

My baby is growing up just way too fast.  I blink and she's two inches taller and a year older.

But she sure does love preschool.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Book of the Week! The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

This weeks book selection is a book I recently read for our family book club.  It was such a great book that I couldn't put it down.  I actually read this book in a day.  While on vacation.  I stayed up late to read this book!  And I don't stay up late since I get up early and I need my beauty sleep.  Lots and lots of beauty sleep.
First of all, I just have an irrational love for novels that take place in the South.  Sometimes I think I should live there.  But I've never actually been there outside of a book so it might be a bit of an irrational statement.  This book really has it all....Southern charm, mystery, romance and a little superstition.  It really is a great read and fun escape from the dishes. 

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