Sunday, July 29, 2012

In the End, Only Kindness Matters


Life is short. Life is challenging. Our life's journey is beautiful ~ if we take the time to see it that way. We are all so busy. CRAZY busy if you will. And yet everyday I meet people who take the time to help, inspire, and lift others.


Photo: B <3


There are many times that I am too busy to thank or even acknowledge another's kindness. It is sad, but very true. And I don't think I am alone in this. Having the need to feel appreciated is a universal longing and is extremely important in everyday life. In my own life I feel as though I overlook many opportunities to thank those who are most important to me ~ my family and friends. This is something that I want to focus on because my family does so much for me and they deserve to be loved, acknowledged, and appreciated. I am also very blessed to have loyal and caring friends that have been there for me though all the good AND bad times. I want to thank you all for the gift of love that you have freely given to me.


Because

Photo


and I want to live my life in a way that I take the time to acknowledge and appreciate all the goodness that surrounds me each day.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Memories Found

My heart is overflowing with gratitude. In April we took a trip to CA to visit my Grandma and go to Disneyland for the first time. We were also able to go the the mountains, go to an amazing national park, and go to the beach. It really was the perfect trip until......we got home and couldn't find our camera with our 550 CA pictures. We were heartbroken and I was really depressed. Even though my kids are 10 and 8 I wanted desperately to have photo memories of my Grandma, Aunt, and Uncle. I so wanted them to remember the trip and all of our firsts. It made me physically sick to even think about it. We looked EVERYWHERE in the house and couldn't find the camera anywhere. Well, this morning Zander was looking for a flashlight on the shelves in the nook and all of a sudden hands me the camera. THE CAMERA!!!!!! I couldn't believe it and could not have been more happy! As we were talking about this Erick and I realized that we had both emptied out the exact same shelf numerous times and had failed to find it. Our happiness turned into pure gratitude and I am so thankful to have these beautiful pictures. Memories are so precious and having pictures to remember them by are priceless. Here are some of our favorite highlights.

 



Joshua Tree National Park with Palm Springs in the background.






Rocks in Joshua Tree.





My happy place!







Classic.








Fun day at Huntington Beach.







Out for a walk in Big Bear.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Survivors


This song is dedicated to all families who have dealt with cancer. May this give inspiration and peace to those who have survived and to those who have endured the loss of a loved one.


"Survivors"

You've been dropped like a dream to the floor
You've been told not to try anymore
But you're wakened from yesterday's war
Cause you're a survivor

And your strength has been stolen away
And your faith has been worn to a fray
But you live to live on one more day
Cause you're a survivor

And nothing can stop you now
Nothing can back you down
You never give up
You never give in
You're a survivor

For the phone call that tore you apart
For the fear that gripped your heart
For the moment you saw who you are
And what you're made of

For the cancer that stole all your hair
For the smile like you just don't care
For your hope in midnight prayer
You're a survivor

And nothing can stop you now
Nothing can back you down
You never give up
You never give in
You're a survivor

I'm convinced neither death nor life
Neither demons or angels of light
Shadows present a future bright
Can separate us

From the love that will lead us on
To the hope when all hope is gone
Til the day heaven calls us home
We are survivors

And nothing can stop us now
Nothing can back us down
We never give up
We never give in

And nothing can stop us now
Nothing can back us down
We never give up
We never give in
Cause we are survivors

We are
We are
Yeah
We are survivors
We are survivors

May Grammie know that she amazes us every single day with her strength and grace. We love you and will always be rooting for you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's a SNARKY sort of day!





It is just one of those days. This hot weather is definintely not my favorite and the past week just added to my frustration. My happy place was on my porch looking at my beautiful flowers. Now, because of the heat and my lack of experience, my colorful flowers look like this.




To which I reply:


Couldn't have said it better myself!


And guess how many houseplants I actually have? None, because I can't keep those alive either. :)


As long as we are being honest, I really would rather do ANYTHING than clean the house. In the summertime this becomes even more true. So my nook (that should be my relaxing spot) looks like this.





To which I reply:

story of my life lately!

This goes for organizing also!

My exercise regime this week has been pretty simple, just walking with friends and yoga. :)



So true

It is actually sad how true this really is!

Last but not least, how do my kids have a never ending supply of energy and I have none? I have found the answer:

,


I believe this is totally true, however when I showed this to Aven and Zander they told me that just wasn't fair. And this was their reply:



Humm... point taken. :)





**These ecards that have been showing up all over the internet and I am so grateful for the hard core laughter they always provoke!**  Have you laughed today?





Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nails and.........catfish?

Okay so...Aven and I aren't girly girls. At all. But we went out on a limb and decided to paint our nails for girl's night. We had so much fun together! I love spending time with my A.



We painted her fingernails with Flirt Alert by Pure Ice. Pure Ice is our favorite cheap nail polish. It dries quickly and stays on forever! Our favorite more expensive line is OPI because, well what's not to love? Anyway, we didn't love the way Flirt Alert looked in the bottle, but really liked it once it was on A's nails.


While we were in Ulta the other day we picked up some Piggy Polish in three colors, Blink (neon pink), Mermaid (green), and Make Waves (blue). They were on sale and we thought the colors were pretty. As the name implies they are supposed to be just used on your toes (not sure why).....but Aven wanted to try them ALL and so we did.


The colors were vibrant, but the nail polish was watery and we had to put 3 coats on which was time consuming and lame. No more Piggy Polish for us!

I used Make Waves on my toenails and Taupe Drawer by Pure Ice on my fingernails.







We decided that Taupe Drawer is a beautiful fall color and we'll put it away until then.

Meanwhile.............. this is what the boys were doing for their night out.


video

Yep, fishing at Willard bay with Steve. And they caught the ugliest fish known to man...the catfish. Boy were they proud! :) And we have cute nails. The End.



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hike #1~Above Ogden Canyon Waterfall


This is a picture of the Ogden Canyon waterfall from the road below. On our 7/6/12 hike, we went on a trail that Erick's dad thought we would enjoy. It actually takes you right above the waterfall which was super cool! There are videos after the pics. Enjoy!










In this picture the top of the waterfall is right above our heads. It was breathtaking!

















                                                                         Here is our family with the Canyon in the background.


                                                






                      Steve, Aven, and Zander on the trail.

















                                                         



                   Part of the trail along the waterline.






                                          
                                                              Jack rabbit along the trail.

A special thanks to Steve for being our fearless leader and giving us info about the Ogden Canyon trails that he has experienced! We had so much fun!



video
                                                                                         
                                 Directions to the waterfall after hitting the Bonneville Shoreline trail.                                                                              
video
                          
                                                 Family commentary of the beautiful views! :)



video
                     
                          Footage of where the fire burned at mouth of the canyon earlier this week.

Friday, July 6, 2012

3 Cool Summer Treats You NEED To Try

We are loving the summer and having cool treats to take to the pool and our sports activities is a must. HERE ARE OUR TOP 3 CHOICES:




Healthy Banana Split Bites

We got this idea from Pinterest (well, actually ALL these ideas...yes we LOVE Pinterest!) and want to thank Heidi at Food Doodles for pinning it.

First, put a piece of waxed paper on cookie sheet. Next, cut 24 bite-sized pieces of both pineapple and banana and cut 12 strawberries in half.  After this, stack them and secure together with toothpicks and place them on the covered cookie sheet. ~Popsicle sticks are better than toothpicks for younger children.~


After the fruit is prepared, place dark chocolate chips in a small bowl with 2 tsp of coconut or vegetable oil, then microwave. Take the mixture out every 30 seconds and stir until completely melted. Now comes the FUN part!


Pour the chocolate on the fruit with a spoon. For a crunchy twist, roll in crushed peanuts. Add white chocolate or coconut for added flavor!




Honey Yogurt Frozen Blueberries

This treat is my personal favorite. All you need is a small box of blueberries and greek honey yogurt. We prefer The Greek Gods brand ~ it literally tastes like CHEESECAKE, oh so good!


Prep a cookie sheet with a sheet of waxed paper. Then dip a spoonful of blueberries into the yogurt and spoon them out onto the cookie sheet. If you don't want to make a mess, use a toothpick to swirl blueberries around the yogurt and use another toothpick to plop on the cookie sheet. For us, that lasted for about 2 minutes and we changed to the spoon technique. :) We are all about messy!!!


Put them in the freezer for about an hour, then put into zippy bags and freeze until ready to munch.







**Side note: As I already mentioned, I LOVE this yogurt ~ so I had a great idea......why not freeze little, tiny blobs of just yogurt! It is so good and just melts in your mouth. Give it a try!
A special thanks to onegoodthingbyjillee.com for pinning this!


Sour Patch Grapes





This is such a simple, yet yummy recipe. All you need are grapes, Jello, and gallon zippy bags. Aven loves Sour Patch Kids, but she can't eat them because it spikes her blood sugar. We were so excited when we saw this..... to find healthier versions of our favorite candy is great and this is a KEEPER! Here's a shout out to Kristy from Sweet Treats and More for pinning it.

If you are going for the Sour Patch version, green grapes and lime jello is perfect.  If a sweeter version is what you are craving, go with red grapes and cherry jello.

Take the grapes off the vine, wash, and keep them wet. (Or if you are Z wash and THEN take them off the vine! :)



Pour the Jello powder into a big zippy.


Put the wet grapes in the zippy.


SHAKE IT UP until all the grapes are coated with Jello.


Put them in a quart zippy and chill for at least 2 hours. We put them in the freezer for an hour and then took them to the pool. This worked, but we think they are better chilled than frozen.


** Side note: If you choose to use sugar free Jello and have a lot of grapes, you might need more than one box.  If you are using regular Jello one box will be plenty.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Grilled Ham and Mozzarella Sandwiches

Happy 4th of July all! We figured this is as good of time as any to start our blog! We created a yummy dinner and would like to share it with you. Okay, so none of it is red, white, and blue, but it is amazing none the less! :) 




Looks good right?

We adapted our Grilled Ham and Mozzarella Sandwiches from marthastewart.com. Martha just has way more time and ingredients than we do! :) So this is how we built our super easy AND delicious sandwiches. Grab slices of your favorite bread, butter both sides and grill them up.





While the bread is grilling, sizzle up some ham (or pepperoni, canadian bacon, sausage, etc. basically any topping you like on pizza ~ we are going to dip the finished product into marinara sauce.) Erick put the moz cheese on top of the ham while it was cooking.






When toppings are hot and cheese is melted, combine into sandwiches.
 


Oh by the way, while the boys were grilling Aven was cutting up the cukes and avocado and I was heating up the corn and marinara sauce. 


Put your dinner together and enjoy!




Grilled Ham and Mozzarella Sandwich Recipe


8 slices of your favorite bread, butter to taste
4 large slices of mozzarella cheese
4 large slices of ham (or optional topping)
12 oz of your favorite marinara sauce

Serve with whatever your heart desires....we liked summer veggies.


ENJOY!!!!