Saturday, March 24, 2012


In the five and a half years that I lived on my own, I had my share of roommates. Among them, my more than fair share of awesome roommates that I believe were heaven sent, 
perfectly timed to help me.
I lived with the same three girls for three years before I got married.
Three years is a lot of time to get to know each other, but it didn't take that long to form very strong bonds of friendship and sisterhood.
I felt that they understood me better than almost anyone.
One day, in a crafty mood, Whitney from as luck would have it and I decided we wanted to paint. Well, Whitney can paint...I can't. But I so badly wanted to paint my very own masterpiece. I decided I wanted to paint a "family portrait" that we could frame and put on the wall.
And this is what I came up with.

Each stick figure is painted, showing something unique about them.
I'm the one in the green dress wearing oven mitts.
Whitney is the tallest in the pink dress, barefoot.

The plan for this painting was to be put in a sort of shadow box with a few little trinket things that meant something to all of us.

This is as far as it got.
I bought the shadow box. And made the background with a flower I cut out with my Cricut and chalk rubbings. I won't lie, I think that part turned out really cute.

 Notice how it is all cloudy? Its because of the months and months of dust that has collected on it.

When I got married and started decorating our little apartment I came across my unfinished project and thought what am I going to do with this?

Today I finally found my answer!

 This is what I used: our wedding announcement pictures,
a frog that my high school friend drew for me during class
and three wishes we received at our wedding.
You can't read them so I will tell you what the wish cards say:
~"We Wish You Hop-ply Ever After
~"We Wish You Many Babies
and my favorite, written by one of my little nieces (spelling and all)
~"Dear Ness, I wish you fun Joy Happynis and a Grate time with Jasone"

*Going on a Tangent*
Jason and I got married July 2011. It was the most amazing day ever!
Or reception was frog themed...probably no surprise there. I had two goals: to have a party, not a reception and to have a frog pond/wishing well. I met and surpassed my goals. The party was a complete blast and I got my frog pond/wishing well. It was perfect! We had these cards for people to make wishes for us and we had a bucket to collect them in. One brother-in-law made the well and another brother-in-law painted the plain green bucket into what you see. It was amazing! And so super fun to read all the wishes we got from the people we love.

And so an unfinished project, way past due is finally complete!
I can't wait to get it hung up on our wall!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wire Crochet Earrings

About a month ago I made this pretty wire crochet necklace.

I really love wire crochet. I think it is so pretty and simple and my favorite part is that it doesn't have to be perfect...I think the un-even loops add a lot of character. Probably the only thing I wish I would have done differently with this necklace is to make it a bit longer. Also, I wish I would have made a pair of earrings to go with it. So here I am, finally getting around to it.

 All you need for these earrings are:
~Crochet Hook - I have a size G here...but I or J works best if you want to incorporate beads into your work. If you just want wire earrings or necklace then you are going to want to use a smaller hook.
~26 or 28 gauge wire. You can use all sorts of different colored craft wire, which looks really pretty. Just remember that this gauge of wire is thin, don't work with it too much or pull to hard, it will break. Just be gentle and it will work fantastically. Anything bigger than a 26 gauge wire will be too difficult to work with.
~Beads - Really the sky is the limit to which beads you use...but I would say nothing bigger than 8 mm. My crystals that I used for my earrings are 4 mm, a perfect size for the G crochet hook. I used 9 beads for each earring, so a total of 18 beads. I wouldn't do any less than this or your circle will be too tight, but you can easily add more if you want bigger earrings.
~Mug - The mug is used to hold your wire so it isn't rolling all over the place
~Earrings - any style you want
~Wire Cutters and Round Nose Pliers

Sorry, I know it is hard to see the beads. Normally I would choose a bead that you could actually see, but I wanted these little crystals to go with the necklace. Next time I will have darker beads so you can see them better.

To make the earrings you are just going to do a simple chain stitch with your crochet hook, incorporating a bead into each stitch. Be sure to start and end with two loops without beads and a good three inches of tails. When you've used up all your beads cut it from your spool of wire and gently twist the two ends together (making your circle).

Make a loop with your twisted tail using your round nose pliers to connect to your earrings.

Ta Da! You are all done!

Monday, March 19, 2012

For My Poppy

Christmas and Fruit Cake. Easter and Colored Eggs. Thanksgiving and Turkey.
Halloween and Candy Corn. March 18 and Oatmeal Cookies.
You are probably wondering what the connection is...well, let me tell you.
Everyone associates some kind of food to holidays or special events.
March 18 happens to be my dad's birthday and my dad makes
really good THE BEST Oatmeal Cookies in the world!
So naturally I connect the two things...the best dad and the best cookies.
The two together make an excellent day, don't you think?
An excellent day to make cookies and celebrate! We were with Jason's family yesterday (WELCOME HOME SARA!!) and so I am making these delightfully,
never-get-tired-of-them cookies a day late.

But First...A Story (as always)



I have always been a Daddy's Girl...
For most of my life, my dad owned a print shop and some of my earliest memories are being there, helping him with whatever he would let me do. One of my first "when I grow up I want to be" was a mechanic, because I was always "helping" my dad fix the cars. And every chance we get we always have a dance...
I'm not good at it, but they are all treasured moments.
These cookies are something else that we have shared together...I remember when he was working on this recipe, trial after trial I told him I wanted the recipe when he got it finished. One day I came home from school and there was a copy of it taped to my bedroom door. I'm not sure why it was such a huge deal to me, but it was. I felt so cool to have my own copy! Since then, I have been super protective of this recipe. In my mind it was a sacred family recipe that needed to be hidden from the world. But really...if you have something good, shouldn't you want to share it? This is the conclusion I came to, just recently. So in honor of my Poppy and his aging awesomeness I am passing this delicious gift on to anybody who is lucky enough to be reading this.


 Okay, Okay! I'll stop talking...Behold! The Cookies!

This is what you need to get started:
Butter, Eggs, Sugar, Brown Sugar and Vanilla.


Cream it all together...

Next, add:
Flour, Oatmeal, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Cloves and Ginger

Now, do yourself a favor, pick up a chunk and eat it...yum! Taste those spices!
Next, lick the beaters clean...that's what I did

Scoop it out on your cookie sheets,
throw it in the oven and inhale its baked goodness.

Enjoy! Enhance the cookie with a cold cup of milk

Poppy's Oatmeal Cookies

Cream Together:
1 1/2 cups Butter
2 cups Brown Sugar
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 Eggs
2 tbls Molasses (I omit this...I don't really know why.)

2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cloves
1/4 Ginger
4 cups Flour
4 cups Oats

Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let them sit on your cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. (My oven hates me, so I have to bake mine at 375 degrees for about 11, just in case your oven hates you too). Makes about 4 dozen 2 inch cookies.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3.14 = Ice Cream Pi

Happy Pi Day!

Now I'm not really into the fruit pies, but I love the cream kinds...
chocolate cream, coconut cream, banana cream (without the bananas)
...I don't do fruit chunks.

While contemplating my choices and looking through my recipes I was taken back to Sundays of my childhood. Coming home from church and being hit with the delicious aroma of roast beef. I have three older sisters, so when I was younger food always seemed to magic. My favorite magic trick was looking inside the freezer and finding pie pans covered in foil. Seriously I must have been oblivious to the kitchen when I was younger because most of the time it really was a surprise. Now, as I have grown and made this delectable treat I know their secret. Do you want to know it too?
It is super fast and easy, with minimal ingredients.

So here it is, our family recipe for Ice Cream Pie
(I don't know where it came from)

 This is what you need to perform this magic trick...
Corn Flakes, Vanilla Ice Cream (any kind will work, but I like vanilla best), Coconut, Brown Sugar and Butter

Cream the butter and brown sugar together

Add the coconut and crushed corn flakes and mix it all up.
(This is where you would add walnuts if you wanted them.)
Yum! Go ahead, take a sniff. Good stuff!
(I put the corn flakes in a zip lock and
crush with the bottom of a cup or just my hands.)

Press the crust into the pie pan with your fingers or the back of a spoon.
Make sure to get it up the sides. Good and crumbly!
Remember to save some for the top.

Now time for the ice cream!!!
Just scoop it on there...I usually pull the ice cream out when I start the crust so it softens. It's a lot easier to spread that way. Also, squish and spread the ice cream carefully so you don't pull the crust up.
Just dump the whole quart on there, you'll be glad you did!

 Once you get the ice cream spread out and pretty much even,
then sprinkle the remaining corn flake goodness on top
...oh man my mouth is watering!

You'll want to put the pie in the freezer for a good 4 or so hours so it can re-freeze. It's easier to serve that way.
Trust me. Patience is your friend.

Enjoy straight out of the freezer or
go crazy and try drizzling chocolate or caramel syrup.
It's good, but really you don't need anything extra.
This stuff is amazing all on it's own.
You'll wish you made two pies!

Ice Cream Pie
2 c. Corn Flakes (crushed)
1/2 c. chopped Walnuts (optional)
1/3 c. soft butter
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. Coconut
1 qt. Vanilla Ice Cream

Cream together butter and sugar. Add crushed corn flakes, coconut and walnuts (if desired). Pat into bottom and sides of pie pan, leaving some for the top. Add softened ice cream.
Top with remaining corn flake mixture. Freeze.
*Double recipe for 9X13 pan*

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

My mom's birthday was this last Saturday, so Jason and I
drove down to Ephraim to celebrate with the family!

For anyone who doesn't know, this is my mom.
My best friend and hero. This is the woman who taught me
through example "If you are going to do something make it big!"
among many other, more important things.
Things like; endurance, optimism, faith, being a good listener, the importance of making memories and using humor and fun to get through tough times.
Through her amazing example and teachings,
she prepared me for the end of the world.


My mom passed away 5 years ago (in June).
Remember that "end of the world" story I promised? This is it.
But today is a happy day so I will save the rest of the story for another time.

Mom always had a way of turning bad things into something good.
A trait I have tried to develop. And so each year on March 10, I have a party
so I can remember and celebrate the life and memory
of this amazing woman.
Each year has been different, but there has always been
cake and ice cream... mom loved ice cream!

The first few years started out pretty quiet.
Just cake and ice cream with the family.

(This picture was actually taken a few days after...see the sad deflated balloons?)

And then I moved up to Orem to go to school. I couldn't always drive home on her birthday, so I just did a little party with my roommates...I had good roommates. They didn't always understand me, but they played along. Thanks ladies! 
I started out small. Just a little bit of decorations and cake and ice cream.
But after a few years living with the same girls, we really got to know each other so I went a bit bigger...okay I really got out of control! There were games and prizes and yes, I invited the neighbors, invitations and everything.
Neighbors (an apartment full of the coolest guys): "You're having a birthday party for your mom? Is she going to be here? That's pretty cool"
(but really they thought I was crazy)
Me: "Yeah, it'll be really fun, games and cake and ice cream.
Well, I'm sure she will be here in spirit...she's dead"
slightly awkward silence
Neighbors: "We're in!"
*They were such good sports and they had lots of fun!*

And Holy Cow was that a party! Seriously so fun! Major decorations. Games that you would find probably at a 5 year old's birthday party...there were balloon relays and a donut-on-a-string eating contest, a Get To Know LeAnne memory game, and the coolest, most fun dance party ever in existence! And lots and lots of silly prizes for the game winners.
We ended with cake and ice cream with candles that had colored flames...way cool!

HAHA she doesn't like donuts...but she played anyway!

Last year was lots smaller but still fun.
Same group of friends, so it was fail proof.

This was my only picture, taken on my phone

We fished for compliments from LeAnne (I wrote down nice things mom would say to people on little foamy fishes and each person got a turn to hold the fishing rod and get a compliment.)
There was also a clothes pin hunt. I just hid about 50 clothes pins around the apartment and everyone tried to find the most. Clothes pins were popping up for months after that. So fun!
We also played "What If, Then" Everyone wrote a question starting with "What if", then they got mixed up and passed around so you answered a different question starting with "Then".
Really hilarious, if you haven't played it you should...right now. All you need is a good fun group, some paper and pens.
Oh and don't forget the cake and ice cream!

This year we started with some bright, happy decorations...for the grave


The grand kids. So Cute!

We didn't fit as good, but we tried!

Ahhhh...That's better!

We couldn't help but enjoy the scene while we were there.
Mom was pretty picky about that. She wanted a good view.

From the cemetery we moved over to the park to enjoy a nice warm day!

And at the end of the day we finished up with cake and ice cream.
I volunteered and decided to experiment. Oh my! It was delicious!


I just used a Golden Vanilla cake mix. After pouring the batter into the pan I chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I used the entire family sized bag and just sprinkled them on top of the cake batter. It completely covered the batter. I was a bit worried that there was too much, but it was perfect! After adding the Reese's I put it in the oven and baked it according to the instructions. While baking, the peanut butter cups sunk to the bottom so you couldn't even tell they were there, perfect for a little surprise! I didn't wait for it to completely cool before I frosted it, so it was still a bit warm but I think that made it taste even better! I just used a can of chocolate frosting. It was a bit on the rich side, but so yummy.
Imagine the possibilities!
Snickers, Rolos, KitKat...its never ending!

It was a really good day spent with my family. As we celebrated the life of the most amazing person ever I was reminded of how truly blessed I am. I always wondered why Heavenly Father thought it was a good idea for my mom to die so soon. I still wonder that sometimes, I'll be honest. But, even though she is gone, she did a really good job making sure that she would still be in our lives and I am so grateful for that! She prepared us for these times when we would miss her so much.
And I am so blessed to know that one day I will be with her again!
Families are Forever!
There is nothing in this world I would trade for that knowledge!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Meet Archie

This is just a quick note to tell everyone that I have
Did you notice my cute little frog? Everyone, meet Archie.
Archie was born through the creativity and amazing talent
that is my husband!

I watched with fascination as Archie began to take shape from
(what looked to me) a series of random lines.

And this is me trying to suck in some of the creative flow.
But mostly I think I was being distracting and annoying.

If anybody wants to comment and tell me how awesome my husband is
or how cute me little frog turned out, I won't complain!