Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This Christmas I have managed to indulge myself in more food than I can handle! Going on a cruise for a week and then coming home to big dinners every night the week of Christmas.  It's ok, we like our pants tight around here!   I have found a new love for cooking.  I have always liked to cook, but living on my own it's hard to cook for one person and I didn't have many cooking tools.  Now that I can cook for two and my kitchen tool collection is well off to a good start, I am one happy girl!  Here are a few things and some staples that I have made this month that we love...

Yummy salads.  The thing I love about salads is the more crap you put on, the better.  This salad was made with an organic spring mix, grilled chicken breast, seasoned in olive oil, salt and pepper, and  a little garlic salt, black beans, corn, mango salsa, and avocado.  I didn't even need to put dressing on it because I used the salsa as dressing--didn't need the extra calories!  Very healthy and filling!

We live on these apple sausages.  They are so yummy and packed with protein.  A few weeks ago we put them on a salad with pomegranates, feta cheese, and for dressing I love to mix  BRIANNAS  strawberry and pomegranate dressings together to create my own dressing.  So yummy!

On the sweeter know how you wander through the mall during the holidays and there is that sweet cinnamon sugary smell that fills the air?  I have the recipe to make those nuts.  Last Monday we had a candy making day at my sisters and I made at least 10 batches of nuts.  They are great gifts to give people and everyone loves them!  There is a little trick to making them though...

I made this beauty for a dinner party at Jake's aunts house last week.  Poppyseed bundt cake.  It was to die for!  Jake's mom asked me to bring it to their friend Christmas party the next day and I made it again on Monday-3 times in less than a week--I'm kind of bundt- caked out for today.  Here is the recipe to on the link, or copy and paste it to your browser. Beware: It's very addicting!

I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate.  On Sunday, I made some hot chocolate with the Cocoa Latte maker, topped it with whip cream and drizzled this on top.  Sooo yummy and no baking involved!

Last but not least, I got this beauty for Christmas.  Unfortunately, my blender is on back order until Feb. Thank goodness we have the magic bullet--no I have never used it!  My mom has always had a Bosch and she loves it.  Can't wait to start cooking up some goodies in this lil' guy.

If you have any recipes you'd like to share, please do!  I always love getting wind of a new recipe!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


*I know this is long, but it's for me, so I can remember our honeymoon!
When we first got married we went on a "mini-moon" to Stein Eriksen lodge in Deer Valley because we couldn't take time off work.  We went on our "full-moon" on a cruise in the Caribbean.  We had so much fun, but it was quite a fiasco getting there.  Sunday night, December 12, we were supposed to take the Red-Eye to Atlanta. Then the next morning Atlanta to Miami.  We got online around 5:30 to print our boarding passes only to find our our flight to ATL had been cancelled.  Delta automatically re-booked our flight DIRECTLY to Miami.  WELL, when we got online, it said our flight had been cancelled, click here to reschedule.  My dear husband didn't know they had already put us on a direct flight and he clicked the button to reschedule, only to cancel our flight.  Poor guy felt so bad.  We were on the phone with Delta, only to find out there was nothing we could really do that was easy.  Since so many flights got cancelled and delayed, they told us we could go to Portland at 9:30 because that flight was supposed to leave at 7:30 and had been delayed.  We quickly ate dinner at Jake's parents, and rushed home to get our bags (thankfully already packed and ready to go).  We made the flight to Portland and our next flight to ATL was supposed to leave 20 min after we landed-but that had been delayed an hour too.  We finally made it to ATL at about 6:30 a.m.  When we were in SL, we put our names on a standby list on an earlier flight from ATL to Miami hoping we could get on.  Our cruise ship left at 4:00 that day so the earlier we could get the better.  The ATL airport was a complete cluster.  We weren't the only ones trying to get out of dodge.  We were on the standby list with the 30 other people.  We kept getting bumped lower and lower.  Sooo we decided to try and get on another standby; 9:30 flight to Miami.  The lady at the check-in desk in her strong southern accent yelled at us and said you guys are stupid!  You should have never left the first place where you were on standby!  There are so many cancelled flights.  You don't leave that terminal until they close the airplane door!  We both looked at each other dumbfounded and a bit scared.  Ok well, let's go back to the first gate.  We were standing there nervously with all the other standby guests.  We kept watching the screen hoping we'd be the next to get called.  The check-in people kept saying 2 more seats open, 7 more seats open, etc. etc.  Needless to say, we were the last two people boarded on that plane! We were so excited! We thought, we are going to make it to the boat on time!  We asked the people if our bags would get to Miami on this flight and they said yes.  Long story short, we get to Miami, no bags.  At this point, we'd had it. I almost started to cry I was so frustrated and exhausted.  They told us our bags would be on the flight we were originally supposed to be on that got to Miami at 2:00 p.m. They lady at the baggage claim desk gave us a voucher to go get some food.  She was so nice. I definitely wouldn't ever want her job.  She gets a lot of crap from people.   We patiently waited in Miami for 4 hours, got some lunch and people watched.  2 o'clock rolled around and we walked down to the baggage claim.  2:05, no flight.  2:10. no flight.  2:15 comes and there, blinking on the baggage claim screen  appears "New Arrival Time 4:20 p.m."  I thought NO, how could this be happening! We have to get on the ship right now! We have no clothes, no underwear, no swimsuit, no make up, nothing but the clothes on our back!  We were supposed to be on that flight too! We got lucky to make the earlier one. We went to the baggage claim lady and told her the flight had been delayed.  She took down our info and told us our bags would be delivered in Nassau tomorrow.  There was nothing else we could do. She gave us a small kit with a few things to get us by for a day.  We rushed in line to get on the shuttle to take us to the ship.  We at least made it to the ship on time!  We went straight to the front desk to tell them our situation.  They said they'd call Delta and let us know what was going on.  We went to dinner that night and at 10:00, they were still on hold with Delta.  The next morning they said they finally talked to Delat at 1:00 a.m. and said they weren't even sure if there was a flight to Nassau the next day.  Oh well, we thought.  We can survive!  We'll go on a shopping spree courtesy of Delta tomorrow!  And we did.  We bought swimsuits and flip flops.  At the end of the day, we were going back to the ship and I said, we need to go straight to the front desk to see if our bags came!  Sure enough, right before we stepped on the boat, there was a pile of bags! (ours weren't the only ones lost either).  It was like Christmas morning.  I was so happy to see our luggage.  We ended up having an amazing time and we met great new friends!   My words of advice:  if you ever go on a cruise, fly out a day early!! You never know what can happen! Times like these are always so stressful, but I am so grateful for them because you will never forget the memories!

First stop: Nassau, The Bahamas.  I know I look awful. No make-up. No clean clothes. And it was a bit chilly!

We are such nerds! 

Half Moon Cay

Grand Turk.  So beautiful.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

~3 More Days~

3 more days until Christmas. I can't wait! I love this time of year. The smells, the lights, the decorations, the company, the music-just about everything! This will be the first Christmas Eve away from my family in my entire life! I'm sad, but thank goodness I love the Larsen family too! Our tree is up, all the presents are wrapped. Now all we need is Santa to come!

Jake posted this video on his facebook and I wanted to share it. It's amazing. It's just what I needed to get me in the right Christmas spirit and why we really celebrate Christmas. I am thankful for the birth of our Savior and to be able to celebrate this special time of year. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did.

A Social Network Christmas from Igniter Media on Vimeo.

Here are a couple pictures of our tree :) I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

(P.S.) I will post pics of our Honeymoon soon. I left my camera at my sisters.

I took the pic with my phone.  Kind of hard to see. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

~Wouldn't it be nice~

(I know I just posted, but I'm having a minor Rihanna obsession right now. )  Wouldn't it be nice if we could all pull off cherry red hair?  I love this song and I sing it all day, because I listen to it all day.

LOVE it!

~The Best Time of Year~

I love this time of year so much! Birthdays and Christmas = lots of celebrations!  Last Thursday was my birthday.  Between Jake, my family, and the Larsen's, I got spoiled big time!  Thursday, I went to lunch and did a little shopping with my mom.  Then I had to go to school (the only bad part of my day), then Jake took me to dinner at Cheesecake Factory that night.  I hadn't been there in a while and it was extra yummy!   He gave me tickets to the Nutcracker that we went to tonight.  It was a lot of fun!  I hadn't been in a few years.  I grew up taking ballet and I still love to watch those long-legged dancers flaunt their bodies.   Then Friday, we went to Porcupine Grill with the Larsen clan.  Sunday we did a little celebration with my family.  The fun never stops-and yes it's still going.  I'm lucky to have such amazing friends and family who spoiled me on my birthday.  I love you all!

This is how I feel about this nasty beard!  He hasn't shaved since we got married because for his work Christmas party, everyone is growing a beard and shaving it in a "creative way".  Jake just got done shaving his and I don't even think he is the same man I married? 

The crew at Porcupine Grill

Adorable mini-cake

Jake's adorable grandma

We went to the lights on Saturday

Jazz vs. Spurs game

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


We had a wonderful time in Island Park for Thanksgiving.  We almost didn't go because of the weather, but we decided to go for it and glad we made it there and back safely.  Growing up, I always thought the days of outgrowing our cabin would be years and years away, but with two weddings this year, six grandkids and one on the way, we are outgrowing it pretty quickly!  Despite the close quarters and crazy kiddos, we had a great time in our cozy cabin!  We brought a satellite dish up to watch the BYU/UTAH game, but it didn't work so we went to The Pines to eat lunch and watch the game.  I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!

A few more tid-bits of the past couple of months...
Park City for our "Mini-Moon" (We got to stay at Stein Eriksen Lodge!) 

My mom made these delicious carmel apples. They look way better than the ones you buy at the store! 

Jake the creeper

Jake has the cutest grandparents ever.  Grandpa nerd and Queen Elizabeth.

I win for having the coolest mother-in-law ever! 

Black-out game

Monday, November 22, 2010


I know I shouldn't be admitting this, but it has been hard to think of so many things I am grateful for.  I can always think of a million things I'm "ungrateful" for-- like certain hellion children in my class, cold weather, etc.  BUT I am grateful that I challenged myself to think of at least one thing I'm thankful for every day.   I know some of them are materialistic things, but hey, there are just some things I can't survive without!  So here goes another list...

15.   Tomorrow is my last day of work for a whole entire month!! These are the perks of teaching year-round school.  It's the best Christmas present ever!  I love teaching, but it definitely wears me out! So ready to relax, celebrate my birthday, get ready for Christmas, go to Christmas parties and go on our real honeymoon  Crusie in the Carribean!!!

16.  I am thankful for my cozy cabin in Island Park.  We will be feasting together here on Thanksgiving with my family.  NOT looking forward to the -3 high temp on Wednesday though.  Yuck!
 17.  Minnetonka Moccasins.   The first thing I do when I get home from work is put these little guys on.   I don't really like wearing socks and I hate it when I have to walk on the cold floor.  These moccasins are so soft and comfy inside and I love the rubber sole so I can wear them outside too!
18.   Target.  Target is honestly the best store in the world.  They have EVERYTHING here!  I could go here every day and be happy; and I don't even have to buy anything.  Now that's true love!

19.   The Utes finally won another game! They had a slow start but at least we had a real game to watch in the end!

20.  Hip and Humble.  I LOVE this store.  Everything about it.  You can buy me anything in this store and I would be a happy girl!  My favorite is the Meyer's dish soap in the Basil flavor.  I swear I would drink that stuff if I could! And good news for me, they actually sell this stuff at Wal-Mart now and it's cheaper! Who knows, maybe it's a little watered down or something but it goes in water eventually anyway so who cares!

22.  My clock that shines the time on the ceiling.  I know you're probably thinking this is a grandma thing to have, but I have had this clock since about 9th grade I think and I can't sleep without it.  I hate waking up in the middle of the night not knowing what time it is.  The clock shows the time on the ceiling all night, but the good thing is it's not bright so it doesn't bother me.  Love it.  Ya'll should invest in one too.   This isn't the one I have, as mine is a little dated, but I would like this one if mine ever breaks?

22.  My husband who likes to cook with me.  I don't think many women can say this.  It's our "bonding" time and we have fun doing it.  We are both learning, but thankfully no horrible meals yet! (knock on wood).  Two brains in the kitchen are better than one right?  We made yummy sweet and sour chicken the other night and it was so delicious!  Here is the recipe:

Sweet and Sour Chicken
from My Kitchen Cafe (

*Note: if you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients - pour half over the chicken and follow the baking directions in the recipe and pour the other half in a small saucepan. Cook the sauce on the stovetop at medium heat for 8-10 minutes until it simmers and thickens. Serve it on the side of the chicken.

*Serves 4-6

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.

¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes so it is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve the chicken over rice. 

This was our final product. It was very tasty!

I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!