Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Recipe Round Up

I love the posts at the end of the year where they list the top favorites things from that year. I've decided to do a recipe addition. Here are some of my favorite recipes from this year. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

This Chicken California recipe is easy to make and delicious. It has become a new family favorite in our house.

This Lemon Cake Mix Cookie is simple to make and delicious. It's a nice change from the chocolate and sugar cookies.

We LOVE these Black Bean and Brown Rice Burgers at my home. I am so glad I found them. They are fast and easy to prepare and a nice healthy change from a regular burger.

I think the title says it all. I LOVE these cookies.

We can not get enough of this Thai Peanut noodle dish. I love the flavor and that it isn't spaghetti, again.

This is the best pizza dough recipe if you want it think and delicious. You cook the pizzas in cake pans instead of of a cookie sheet or board. It makes it thick, chewy, and delicious.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Free Shipping Today

If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping today is the day to do it. Over 700 stores are giving away free shipping today. Plus it will be here by December 24th. Click
Here for a list.

Pretty Earrings

I love the look of these earrings from Down East Basics. Can't wait until they're in stores.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Photography Week 6

This is what you find looking through your window when you live on the mountain.

Wish I could have taken more closeups but I guess I make too much noise.

Week 7: Shooting Outdoors

Giveaway Winner

The giveaway is over. Thank you all for entering. The winner was choosen by using

The winner is.......


Stay tuned for the next giveaway that will be coming up. I'm REALLY excited about it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Easy homemade gift bows

Have you been wrapping all your gifts? I've started and I'm about half way done, now I just have to wait for the rest of them to arrive. My favorite tip about wrapping presents is making your own bow for the top. My mom has made these bows for as long as I can remember and her mom before that. It is one of those things I just kind of thought everyone did, until people started asking me how to make them. So here is the easy bow tutorial.

First use a scrap of wrapping paper that you have left over. I always use a square and fold it in half.

Now just start cutting strips, you can make them as wide or as thin as you want. Making them thicker or thinner will change the look when you are done.

When all of your strips are cut, open the scissors up and glide the paper across the blade. I always start in the middle and go in opposite directions. As you glide the paper it should curl the paper. You may have done this with ribbon, its the same thing. Don't push to hard because you could rip the paper.

Now group all of the strips in the middle.

Secure with a peace of tape with the edges hanging over the paper to attach to the box.

Tada! You're done. Easy, beautiful, and inexpensive.

Click Here for more DIY projects from A Soft Place to Land, and Works for me Wednesday. Click Here for more frugal Christmas ideas of Life as mom.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Menu Plan 16th week

Click Here to enter my giveaway. It ends Monday night!

My favorite meal from this past week was this Thai Peanut Noodle dish. We love to eat this in our house because it is a little different from our normal and very delicious. I always wish I had more the next day so I'm going to start doubling the recipe.

Monday: Breakfast for dinner

Tuesday: Christmas Party

Wednesday: Beef Enchiladas

Thursday: Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup

Friday: Guiltless Fettuccine Alfredo

Saturday:Date Night

Sunday: Shepard's Pie

For more Menu Plans visit I'm an Organizi
ng Junkie.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Coupon Codes

Are you still doing Christmas shopping? I know I am. Here is a list of some coupon codes that I have found very helpful in saving money. Also if you do shop online don't forget to use Ebates, to get cash back for each purchase. Click Here for more info about Ebates.

  • Old Navy: Additional 20% off with code ONSAVE20 valid until 12/15
  • American Eagle: Additional 15% off with code 96852031
  • Barnes and Noble: In store only, 25% coupon Here
  • Bath and Body Works: In store only, Free item with any $10 purchase Here.
  • Express: $15 off of $30 purchase with code 4493 valid until 12/13
  • Ann Taylor Loft: $25 off $30 purchase with code 106020084 valid until 12/24
  • JoAnn Fabric: 40% off one item with coupon Here valid until 12/31
  • Gap: 20% entire purchase with code GAP20 and Here for in
  • Borders: 30% off one item with code BSL7021A valid until 12/14
  • REI: 15% off one REI brand or Novara item with code GPMSN9
Click Here to enter my giveaway! It ends this Monday night!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Delicious Thai Peanut Noodle

This meal has become one of our family favorites. I love the taste of the peanut butter sauce and lime. Sounds strange but they taste so good together. I usually don't add the cilantro because I don't like the flavor and we usually don't have peanuts but it is good without them.

This is also a very easy meal, and most of the ingredients you probably have on hand. It is also awesome the next day for lunch.

Thai Peanut Noodles

1/2 c. chicken broth
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1-2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce (I use WAY less of this stuff, it Spicy. I only use about 1/4 tsp.)
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
8 oz. Udon or linguine noodles
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
2 limes, cut into quarters
Chopped peanuts

Cook noodles in salted water. In the meantime, combine chicken broth, peanut butter, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat. Toss cooked noodles with sauce and divide among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and garnish each serving with 2 lime quarters. Before eating, squeeze lime juice over noodles and stir to combine.

I got this recipe from Our Best Bites. I love their blog, they have tons of great recipes.

For more quick recipes visit Life as Mom for the Ultimate recipe swap.

Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Photography Week 5

Did you all read last weeks lesson? I think it had some great information that everyone can use, with any kind of camera. The lesson was all about composition and how to frame your subjects in the picture. Here is a picture my husband Reed took of his two favorite ladies. If you missed that lesson click HERE.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Menu Plan 15th Week

Have you tried the Brown Rice and Black Bean Burgers yet? They have become another family favorite in my house. They are easy to make and a lot healthier than a regular burger.

Monday: Thai Peanut Noodles
Tuesday: Church Christmas Party
Wednesday: Potato Soup
Thursday: N0 Bake Mac and Cheese
Friday: Yummy Sandwiches
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday:Chicken and Rice something

For more menu Plans visit Organize Junkie. Also make sure you enter my first giveaway!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FIrst Review and Giveaway

I'm really excited to post my first review and giveaway. I hope to do a lot more of these in the future.

I was really excited when the Eco Store USA contacted me about trying some of their products.
The Eco Store USA makes plant based, non-toxic Household Cleaning, Baby and Personal Care Products that contain No Nasty Chemicals. You can purchase their products at any Meijer store or online at

The Review
I decided to test out the Citrus Spray Cleaner and the Baby Body Wash. They have so many great products I want to try in the future, however, I decided these two products I use anyway.

Citrus Spray Cleaner:
I loved this product. Right before I used this all purpose cleaner I was using a different cleaner and I almost passed out from the fumes. I literally had to step away and breath some clean air. I then tried this one and loved the clean lemon scent. It cleaned as well as other cleaners and I didn't have to leave the room. As minor as this may be, I also loved the packaging. It sprayed really well! You know when you get those bottle of stuff that get clogged or just don't spray evenly, I hate that. This one was perfect.

Baby Body Wash:

This is a very mild baby wash that worked really well in getting my toddler clean. She was able to splash and play as long as she wanted with no eye discomfort or any other problems. She also has sensitive skin but this cleaner didn't bother her skin at all.
The only thing I didn't like about this was the smell. It says on the bottle that it is aromatherapy. I have never really liked aromatherapy smells so I should have known I wouldn't like the smell, but it didn't seem to bother Addie at all.

Now for the GIVEAWAY! The Eco Store has been gracious enough to give away a $25 gift certificate to one reader! To enter the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment on this post! You can get up to three more entries by doing the following:
  • Sign up for the No Nasty Chemicals newsletter which can be found at their blog, and leave a comment here telling me you did this.
  • Follow them on Twitter @ecostoreusa, leave a comment here telling me you did this.
  • Follow them on Facebook, leave a comment here telling me you did this.
The winner will be announced on Monday the 14th. For everyone else that doesn't win you are still in luck! For the rest of this month the Eco Store will be selling their products for %40 off.

Update: This Giveaway is now over.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Photography Week 4

I'm back! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of food and family. I didn't really feel like blogging last week, I didn't even feel like reading blogs. I'll be posting the giveaway this week since I was a slacker last week.

Here is the lesson for the next week. Have fun taking picture and practicing. Reed and I took Addie out during the weekend for a fun photo shoot. I think we came away with some really fun pictures. The one above is my new favorite.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Photography Week 3

The lesson this week is one that everyone can read no matter what camera you have. It is all about using the flash on your camera. I always hate using the flash indoors because it makes everything look yucky. I'm really excited to lean when to use it correctly.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Menu Plan 14th Week

This week is going to be super easy. We will have two Thanksgiving dinners and I am not in charge of ether of them.

Stay tuned this week because I will be hosting my first giveaway!

Monday: Sloppy Joes
Tuesday: Black Bean and Brown rice burgers (didn't get to them last week)
Wednesday: Spaghetti
Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner with my family
Friday: Thanksgiving family with Reed's family
Saturday: Eat out (date perhaps.....hint, hint hubby)
Sunday: Lemon brown sugar chicken and Quinoa

Fore more menu plans visit I'm an Organize Junkie.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some Favorite Things

Today is My Favorite Things party over at one of my favorite blogs 320 Sycamore. Given the name of my blog I thought it would be fun to participate. So here is a small list of some of my favorite things at this moment. The list continues to grows and change so I'll keep you updated when I find more favorites.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is seriously the easiest way to have home baked bread everyday. Seriously. I love this book. All you do to make the recipes in this book is add the ingredients to a bowl, stir, let rise, and put in the refrigerator or use right away. It is that simple. There is no kneading and you don't need special equipment. We love the recipe for white bread, full of butter, yum.

Johnson's Bedtime Moisture Wash. I love this baby wash. After Addie has had a bath in this stuff I can't stop smelling her./.

Gold Bond Ultimate Lotion
I have really dry skin, especially in the winter. My legs get so dry that they start to look like I have scales. This is the first lotion that has actually helped make my skin softer, and kept it that way all day!

Jamberry by Bruce Degen. This was one of my favorite books when I was little. Now, it is the only book Addie will actually let me read before she turns the page. It has a fun rhythm that I have memorized and full colorful pictures.

While you were sleeping. Still one of my favorite moves of all time. I love to watch it even more around this time of year.

Burt Bees Lip Shimmer. I love the minty smell, light feel and find of color. This feels like you're wearing chapstick but it looks more like a gloss.

That's the beginning of my list. I have a lot of other favorite things but I also have a toddler crawling all over me begging for attention. What are some of your favorite things?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photography Week 2

Well I didn't get to take pictures this last week because my camera battery charger has walked off. I guess that is what happens when you only have to charge the batter every 6 months or so. This week was a great lesson though so if you want to see the pictures that go with the lesson click here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bookcase Face Lift

I decided it was time to organize all of my craft supplies. I wanted a small bookcase so that everything would be easy to reach and organized. Whenever I organize something it has to not only be functional but pretty. That night I made my husband go to Ikea with me to find some shelfs that would work. We found this bookcase that had the perfect measurements but it was too plain. So I ran to the store and found some cute drawer lining paper.

If you find paper that is self-adhesive this is all you need. The back of the bookcase, scissors and paper.

Here is the finished product. I love to do this with all different kids of shelves, you can use just about anything on the background and it gives your furniture a lot of color and personality. Here are some picture of it up close with my ribbon organizer.
Here is the hutch I redid with fabric covering the back.

For more DIY products visit A Soft Place to Land.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 13th Week

Well I'm back to menu planning this week. Last Sunday I just didn't feel like trying to figure it out and we suffered last week. We definitely went out to eat more and didn't have very good meals when I did cook.

Oh and by the way, my husband made my new favorite cookies last night and I think we ate the whole batch in a matter of hours. SO GOOD.
  • Monday: Breakfast for dinner
  • Wednesday: Christmas Concert with family. I can't believe I'm going to a Christmas thing already.
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Tacos
For more Menu Plan Monday visit Organize Junkie.

And don't forget, if you are interested in learning to take better photos, you can learn along with me. I'm starting a 12 week photography extravaganza. My husband and I are taking the challenge, and so should you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Old Navy Coats for CHEAP

If you need coats in your family head out to Old Navy today! Today is the last day for 50% off all outerwear plus you can use this coupon for an extra 30%!! I went in today and got this coat for Addie for only $13.82.

The 30% coupon is good for Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic from November 12 - 15.
Thanks Baby Cheapskate!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Organize Ribbon

I've been organizing all of my crafting supplies this week. It was time to do something new because they were scattered all over the place and I could never find what I wanted.

I found a bunch of ribbon spools that I didn't know what to do with until I remembered seeing a box like the one above. I didn't want to actually make anything so I decided to improvise. I found this little container lying around and all I had to do was pull some of the ribbon through the slits. Simple! I think I got this container at Walmart for a few dollars and it came in a pack of three.

I know I have some more ribbon lying around, now to find them and put them in their new home. Works for me! For more works for me Wednesday click here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 1 homework

Well week one is complete. I had a lot of fun going out in the little garden area next to my apartment to test out what I learned from last weeks lesson. In this first week I learned about aperture, or how blurry your picture is.

Here is the first picture. Straight out of the camera, set on automatic.

Here is the next picture notice how the background gets fuzzy.

Here is the last picture with my aperture set as low as my camera can go, it is almost all blur.

Here is the link to this weeks lesson. If you haven't started yet you have plenty of time. The lessons only take a few minutes to read and you learn a ton from them.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scrapbook Sale!!

If you are a scrapbooker and you live in the Salt Lake Valley you need to go to the great warehouse sale We R Memory Keepers is having. My sister and I went this morning and I got a TON of great stuff. They have patterned paper by the pound, stickers, rub-on, brads, books, and a lot more. The patterned paper is a great deal at $3.00 for 25 sheets. When we went it was not busy at all and they have a ton of stuff so I don't think they'll run out soon.

Novemever 5th 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
6th 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
7th 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Click Here for directions and to get a coupon sent to your email. (the coupon is for 10% off ONE item, not entire purchase)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week 1 first try

Here is some of my homework for lesson 1. This is the straight out of the camera shoot. Look at that blurry background, I love it.

Click Here for more Wordless Wednesday.


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