Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Birthday 2013

This post is so I'll be able to always remember my second best birthday ever (because, let's be honest, nothing is ever going to top a last minute flight to Cancun and being proposed to on the beach at sunrise with the prettiest diamond ever).

I had to work from 5 am - 1 pm, but my great co-workers brought me delicious mint brownies and a GC to the ever-fabulous Lululemon, and my boss got me flowers and another GC. When I got home, my cute neighbor kids had written me a happy birthday message on the driveway in chalk. The Husband had more flowers waiting, along with presents from him and my parents. I then got a long footrub as my sister drove over, and we went to Orange Leaf to get frozen yogurt and then went slacklining in the park. The Husband and I then drove up to Salt Lake and went to The Roof (which I've dreamed about going to ever since I was a little kid and would see my parents go when we visited Utah on trips) and it was everything I'd hoped it would be and more. Then we went and got pedicures (his first!) and watched PS I love you...... dang that man spoils me.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Smash Book!

Ok, let's be honest, when I heard the name "Smash Book" for the first time, I thought of the elementary-drama, hate-filled insult books from yesteryear... however, these little scrapbook-cheats are nothing of the sort... in fact, they are only filled with joy and wonder.

I love scrapbooking. There, I said it. It's just so... fun! I guess everyone needs a creative outlet, right? The thing is, scrapbooking is SO time-intensive, and time is something I don't have a whole lot of at the moment. So these Smash Books are a great option.

They're basically a little spiral-bound scrapbook whose pages are already colored/decorated/designed (eliminating the step of doing it yourself!). So this means every little detail won't always match your theme... so I wouldn't use them for like, my wedding or anything. But they are SO great for several reasons - they are perfect for capturing memories as you go. Each book comes with a pen/marker, and the other end is a glue stick (I also keep colored tape handy) so you can attach movie stubs, receipts, autographs, or whatever else you want to put in there to remember your trip by. You can also buy little envelopes and other details to stick in there to keep your memorabilia. It's also fast. By the time we got home from our cruise, all I had to do was print the pictures and stick them into the spaces I'd allocated for them. So rather than waiting months for the project to be done, we already have the scrapbook of memories from our awesome trip.

A few tricks and tips I've picked up - carrying all the supplies in a gallon-bag makes them easily accessible but self-contained. I keep tape, mini scissors, various smashbook accessories, an extra pen/glue stick, and whatever else I need. Plus it's a great place to keep the stuff you want to stick in there but don't have time to address yet. I love to use it as a trip journal as well - both Kip and I would write entries throughout the week, so that will be cool to go back and read. Some pages merit multiple picures but don't have the space (note: I used a mini-smashbook for the cruise, but I have some in bigger sizes) you can layer them.. basically tape the top of a picture down, then tape another, and you can lift the top ones to see the bottom ones.

Overall, it's a fun, simple way to capture memories... as long as you don't mind it being a little random and haphazard!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Equal Partnership in Marriage

So my husband had me read an article in the latest Ensign about the equality of men and women in a marriage partnership (as the whole gender equality is something of an issue for me - I think men and women DO have equally important roles and, and while they are different roles, I don't think being an eternal baby-making machine is the end-all divine role of women and they are subordinate to men in every other way because that's the way God intended it... and I don't think Motherhood ~ Priesthood because that's stupid) and I thought it was worth sharing:

Equal Partnership in Marriage by Valerie Hudson and Richard Miller

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Amazingly Delicious Bran Muffins

Ok so it's no secret that I love to bake. Every once in a while, I come across a recipe that I will keep forever and ever and ever and I want the whole world to know about it because it's so freaking delicious.

This is one of those.

These bran muffins cure cancer, make your hair long and your nails strong, and instantly make you lose 10 lbs. Not really, but they taste good enough to make you think those things are true.

They also freeze well, I've eaten them months later and they were STILL amazing.

Amazing Bran Muffins

1.5 cup wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup natural applesauce
2 egg whites
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

-Pre-heat your oven to 375F, and spray muffin tin liners (yes, spray the liners).
-Mix the wheat bran and buttermilk, let stand for 10 mins.
-Beat together applesauce, egg whites, b. sugar, and vanilla
-Mix with buttermilk mixture.
-Stir dry ingredients into mixture until just blended.
-Fold in craisins and walnuts.
-Bake 14-15 mins until toothpick comes out clean.
-Brush with honey immediately out of the oven.

And voilĂ ! Delicious, amazing bran muffins!

This is a frozen muffin. Yum.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Ok, so running.... it's never really been my thing. I've never run anything longer than a 10k, and even that wasn't my favorite. Love to ride bikes, swim, and get my cardio in lots of other forms... but I've just never been able to love running the way that so many other people do.

But I've decided that it's within my power to change that. Not only do the health benefits and "runner's highs" appeal to me, but I like the idea of overcoming something that I've always viewed as a weakness in myself.

So that means it's time to invest in some running shoes and get to work.

Any advice for me? Cause I could sure use it.

I liked this list, it seemed like some good tips for beginners.

I also think I'll probably sign up for a race so I can keep myself motivated.

Anything else?