Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shopping at Costco is not for sissies, lol!

You all know that I love my children dearly, I mean I sacrifice my own wants, desires and sometimes needs so I can stay at home to raise them. And I wouldn't trade it! However, shopping with my dear children is not one of my favorite things to do! I try to avoid it at all costs, especially if I need to try anything on! But today, hubby needed me to bring him some tools to a job site in Provo (about 20 minutes from our house) where he was working. (My other job title besides mom is gopher, I go fer this and I go fer that, I'm pretty good at it.) So I thought I really need some things at Costco so I should just continue on into Orem since I'm already so close. What was I thinking? I usually make hubby go with me to carry all the giant, heavy boxes, but I figure, I can do this...On the way onto the freeway I hear from the backseat, "mom, I have to go to the bathroom!" (Mind you, we just left home where she just went), but when nature calls it's usually not a convenient moment. I say "can you hold it?" "Yep, she says. We drop needed stuff off to hubby and venture to the giant box store! Once we get scanned through the door we make a run for the potty, where my oldest gets herself locked in the stall. I almost had to crawl underneath to rescue her, so glad I didn't have to do that. She finally got the jammed lock to release. Now we are a baby in the front seat belt, 2 girls hanging off the sides of what they call "the Kalmar express", they pretend it's a train. With all the noises of course. And I don't know what provokes children to jump off the moving train trying to dodge the oncoming traffic, but it seems fun! With every isle the train gets loaded down heavier, and heavier. Should have eaten my Wheaties today! There are no lane restrictions or rights of way, it seems it's every man for himself! After answering no about a zillion times to "mom, can we get this", we are ready to check out. Of course there is a long line and my baby has had enough of the cart and is screaming, so I'm holding the cute little guy. Who is getting really heavy about now. I enlist the girls to help unload the cart, they are very good helpers! We made it through and that berry smoothie I get on the way out makes it all better. Yes, shopping at Costco with children is not for sissies!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

Yesterday was Memorial Day and as I drove through small towns on our way to the lake for a day of fishing I couldn't help but feel patriotic as I saw so many flying the red, white and blue. The flag is beautiful as she waves in the wind. Got me thinking of the many who have sacrificed their safety and lives to protect our great country. A memory came to mind of a funeral I attended of an old friend years ago. He was an elderly gentleman, who had served in the military in his youth. At his funeral there were other veterans present dressed in their finest uniforms. In their aged state still took so much pride in their opportunity to serve. I mention this funeral service because it left a lasting impression on me. I have never heard Taps played live on a real bugle. The tune was piercingly beautiful and the military rifle salute breathtaking. Every time I see the flag I think of this sweet experience and all those throughout history that have given so much to create the great nation we have today. I saw a Facebook post that stated something to the effect that Memorial Day is not just a day off to bbq, but that we should remember the true meaning. So as I was fishing with my family know that I have a true appreciation in my heart for those many veterans who have paid the price for our freedom.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


So hubby and I went on a date last night, (first date in months, hallelujah!) It was fun to escape for a bit. We went to see the Avengers movie. I liked it, it was entertaining. Hubby loved it! Got me thinking, which member of the Avenger team is my favorite? Hmmm...Is it the old fashioned, clean cut, not a hair out of place, chivalrous, Captain America? Or maybe the ever self-centered, spoiled, technologically gifted, playboy Iron Man? How about the rugged and regal Thor? Or the out of control, raging green guy? I think my favorite might just be Natasha Romanov, that chick can kick booty! Wish I had those moves! All in all it was a fun movie worth seeing! I think my favorite part was definitely when the Hulk flips Loki around like a rag doll, that is funny stuff! So who is your favorite Avenger?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Garden...One of my Happy Places!

They say Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, and I have been there, it's great, but I have lots of other places that make me happier. One of those places is just out my back door. My garden is a place I can connect with nature, appreciate the beautiful things in the world God created. Work my guts out trying to keep the weeds down while pondering the mysteries of life! Gain satisfaction from putting work into something and then reaping such bountiful rewards. Today as I was watering and doing a my daily inspection of my plants I saw that my beets had been really growing so I decided to thin them a little. I found some precious, little 1-2" beets that were screaming to be cooked up and eaten for lunch. So I picked them, parboiled and then sauteed them with some butter, garlic, mushrooms and the beet greens, served them over some simple creamy noodles. Mmmm! I love the fact that I can walk out my back door and find delicious, healthy food! When life gets hard go to your happy place!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Check out Cache Valley Dairy's winning contest recipes

I entered Cache Valley Dairy's Signature Recipe contest a few months ago. I heard about the recipe contest on the radio and thought it might be a fun challenge. And the winner got $5,000.00. They had to be original recipes that you came up with and I didn't already have one that contained the necessary ingredients which were their products, like cheese, butter etc. I had a week to come up with something original so I went to work! Tried lots of different things and I came up with what is basically a batter fried mashed potato puff with melted cheddar in the middle. My kids loved that one the best out of all that I created so we went with that entry. It ended up being one of the winning recipes to be featured in their Signature Recipe Cookbook which is now down loadable from their website or facebook page. I encourage you to check it out. I wasn't the big winner ( I got a smaller cash prize, but it was super fun and definitely worth the effort!) My recipe is featured on page 9. If you are a local to Utah/Idaho consider getting a recipe in next year's contest!! I posted a link to their website if anyone wants to down load the recipe book.

Cache Valley Dairy website

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shirred or Smocked Headband Tutorial

Instructions on how to make Smocked/Shirred Headbands:
Cut strip of fabric, I used a 4 X 44" strip, hemmed both edges using the rolled hem edge machine foot.

I did the smocking/shirring baste stitches down the length of the strip using the silver plate on my machine as my guide (to keep straight line), then when at the bottom I turned and went back up the strip with the baste stitch, using my previous stitch line as my guide this time, keeping the fabric pulled tight/flat as the machine stitches. I did 4 lines of stitches so there was space at the sides for a ruffled effect. When finished smocking stitches it looks like the ruffled piece above, then I used my spray bottle with water and hot iron to press it, then it tightens up quite a bit as shown below.

Then I stitched ends together (using regular thread, not elastic bobbin thread). I zigzagged the edges because I hate fraying. Then I folded hem to one side and stitched it down,so it would lay flat on the head and not be uncomfortable. Because all heads are different sizes before stitching your ends together measure the person's head whom you are making it for and trim to size if needed.

This is what you end up with.

Then I added a rosette flower using a 3" strip of fabric sewn with right sides together, with one end open and one end sewn closed.

Then using my "grabber tool" I turned it right side out, tied a knot in the end, and using hot glue I glued the end around the knot until I had a rosette. Then I added 3 pearls for embellishment and hot glued the rosette to the headband and wah-lah!


Smocked or Shirred Headbands, tutorial on it's way.

I love headbands on my little girls but from the time they were little my husband has called them "brain squeezers" and basically banned them, not really, but he would always remove them given the chance! He always thought they were too tight and uncomfortable for the girls. So my new favorite way to make headbands is using shirring or smocking. If you aren't familiar this technique, it's using regular top thread and elastic bobbin thread, on a baste stitch, to create stretchable gathers that make everything cute and comfy too! (I am not going to give a tutorial on smocking or shirring as I have seen many good ones already floating around the internet, so if you want to learn the technique, google it and then come back to this for how to do a cute headband using the technique.) I'm not into re-doing things that are already being done well somewhere else. Here is my cute daughter sporting one I made her. I must say they are darling and the first one they have not complained that they hurt their heads and they keep them on all day!

Friday, May 18, 2012

To Risk or not to Risk...that is the question.

Today's blog posting is dedicated to all small business owners who have ever taken a risk for their dream. I have always loved to sew and create and have had a small business selling my wares for about 3 years now. I have decided to take a big risk and manufacture my dress designs. (This is a big change from me sewing and selling one dress at a time, this is 6 designs, multiple colorways, and about 1,400 dresses to be made in all. I won't be doing the sewing just the designing and choosing fabrics.) I write this post after having visited the bank  and feeling like they want everything but my kids as collateral to secure the loan for manufacturing costs. Can't blame them, they are taking a risk on me knowing what women want to buy and wear. But I keep thinking "you have got to start somewhere." If the bank won't loan me the money I will find another way. I won't give up on this dream. I put an email in to the "Shark Tank" hoping they need a stay at home mom that needs $30,000.00 to manufacture dresses to be on their show, but they haven't called yet. I won't hold my breath on that one! I have applied for women in business grants and such, I'm sure something will pan out. Doing something like this is such a financial risk with no guarantees yet I'm excited to do it! (What is wrong with me?!) I guess "I'd gladly take 10 seconds in the saddle, than a lifetime of watching from the stands." Chris Ledoux is one of my favorite country singers and that is a line from one of his songs that I happened to be listening to the other day when I was in my design studio (which happens to be my unfinished basement, so don't go all pinterest picturing in your head, it isn't that glamorous!) When I heard that song I thought to myself I would rather risk failing than to never risk at all and wonder what could have been. I would rather give it my all and hope for the best than to never try. I know so many friends and family struggling with self employment and dreams of success, this is dedicated to all those who are willing to risk everything to follow their dreams!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thank God for Country Boys!

I was having a conversation with a friend of ours who happened to be down in a small trench with a shovel helping my hubby to back fill an irrigation line they had just installed. I jokingly mentioned that I was my husband's first employee and it used to be me down in the trench with the shovel. And that hubby was probably really happy to have this friend helping instead of me. Well this friend said something like "good thing us farm boys know how to do stuff!" After the trench conversation and a short ride around with hubby in the backhoe for old time sake, I headed home. On the truck ride back to the house I pondered what my friend had said about farm boys knowing how to do stuff and it is so true. And worthy of a blog posting I think! Farm boys are a breed all their own. They know how to work hard, they are super good at fixing things even if the only tools they have are duct tape and baling twine. They aren't afraid to get dirty or break a sweat. They are good problem solvers and were taught to do the job the right way the first time, even if it takes longer. So with the old John Denver song Thank God I'm a Country Boy playing in my head, I say "Thank God for Country Boys!" Glad I snagged me one!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Never thought I'd have a "kid car"!

In the past few days I have been getting to some of my least favorite jobs around my house. One of which was cleaning my truck. I tackled this duty this afternoon. Wowza! I never understood why people with kids had such nasty cars (this was before I had children). I'm afraid I am now one of those people! My truck looked like we could have lived for a week on what food was under the car seats. Did we go places naked? Because I swear we undressed and left all the clothes on the floor. Milk from sippy cups dripped down the seats. Finger prints on windows. Gum stuck to the drink holder, seriously? One of the mom's of my 4-H group said something like "please don't judge me", as I walked toward her car tonight. Obviously her's looked something like mine! I always thought "I won't have a gross car when I have kids!" All I can say now is "yeah right!" I spent many hours today making my truck look like it should. Wonder how long it will stay like that? (Well one trip somewhere and my kids already had shoes off and left in there. Drink bottle on the seat. I can see how it adds up. Each trip somewhere and at least one thing seems to be left behind. So like the boy scouts, I too, now have a "pack it in, pack it out rule". After each trip somewhere I am going to try to get my mess makers to get all their stuff out of my truck so it doesn't end up looking like what I just cleaned! Hope it works!! I now understand why people with kids have nasty cars. I have a nasty kid car!

Friday, May 11, 2012


The rest of my blog postings this week just might be about Mother's Day and Moms. The reason, Moms are so darn important! Sometimes as Moms we might not feel important or validated because we often don't leave the walls of our own home. We do diaper changes, get spit up on, clean up messes; sometimes the same ones over and over again! (This is so funny, as I'm typing this, I hear "Mom, can you wipe my bum?") She has impeccable timing what can I say? So there was a pause for me to help out and yes, I washed my hands. As moms there may seem to be lots of unpleasant duties to attend to, but there are also some of the world's greatest joys and blessings! I heard someone talk about motherhood the other day and they said something like; there is nothing else in the world that can make you feel more humble or more proud, more tired or more full of life, more unappreciated or more loved, more sad or more happy! As with all things in life there is good and bad. As we find ourselves in those hard times or difficult days, let us try to remember those sweet moments and remember "this too shall pass." I am so grateful for the opportunity to have children of my own and to be able to stay at home and care for them. All moments may not be perfect fairy tales but real life isn't a fairy tale. It's real, sometimes really stinky and sometimes really sweet. I'm glad I get to ride the sweet Mom roller coaster of life! If you are a Mom, never under estimate the importance you are in your child's life, even if that child is 35 years old. (I swear I need my mom more now than I ever did as a kid!) What you are doing is important and don't let anybody else tell ya different! (Some important Moms in my life, My Mom and my Grandma).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Idea

Mom's Day is just a few days away and we all want to get mom something special. I have the hardest time buying my mom a Mother's Day gift because I never feel that what I get her shows just how much I love and appreciate her for all she did/does for me. So this year as I pondering what to do to show her I love her I thought of this idea. Get a clear plastic canister (the paint jug size). I got mine from a local copy/scrap booking shop, but I'm sure you could find them at any hobby, craft or scrap booking store. Then fill it with little gifts. The gifts I chose are things that represent something I love or appreciate about my mom or things she has taught me.  And then I enclosed a note that goes something like this....

Mom, as I was pondering what gift I could get you that would equal the love and devotion you have shown me over the years. Or a gift that would show you how much I love and appreciate you in my life I could not think of just one gift worthy enough. So I thought of a gift for each thing you are to me so here goes...
*A new pair of earrings because you've always been willing to lend an ear.
*A massage certificate to rub those shoulders you have always let me cry on.
*A new apron because you taught me so many of your domestic talents.
*Kleenex because you have always wiped my tears.
*Sunblock because you have never failed to protect me.
*A sleep/eye mask to rest those eyes that gave up so much rest on my behalf.
*A pack of gum because you are "Extra" special to me.
*Band aids because you always fixed my "boo-boos"
*Tylenol for all those headaches I must have caused.
*A lint roller because you always taught me to look my best.
*Hand sanitizer because you taught me it's a good thing to be clean.
*Mouth wash because you were always able to "Scope" out problems in my life.
*Lip gloss because I have always admired your beauty inside and out.
*And a candy bar because it was a real "Skor" when I got you for a mom!
So Mom, when you look at these simple gifts think of the ways that you have touched my life. And know that I love you for who you are and what you have taught me in my life.

(You could change any of the gifts or things you want to say to mom to make it more personal.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ever have "One of those days?"

Wow, crazy day for me! It's after midnight and my day was a whirlwind! In between my normal mommy duties and feeding lambs, a friend and I were asked to make all the desserts for a church function that we attended this evening. I love big baking/cooking projects and I usually perform pretty well under pressure. I pretend I'm on an episode of chopped and and it's down to the last second and sweat is about to drip from my brow and the dish is perfect. Well... not so much today! I felt like I was living my dreaded cheesecake failure all over again! If you aren't familiar with this epic flop, visit an earlier "explosive cheesecake" blog post! You know when you have made something a zillion times before and never had a problem, but when you have to make 100 of something, everything seems to go wrong? That was my experience today. I made macaroons, for some reason today they wanted to crack and my butter cream wanted to separate! Ran out of butter and decided to try "food storage butter" on the eclair shells, yeah...not the same, they came out like sponges instead of cream puffs. I finally just decided for my own sanity and those around me, to put the spoon down and just walk away from the kitchen, LOL! What I ended up making was enough, and tasted yummy, it's just funny how sometimes no matter what, things just don't go your way and you have to just laugh, (or you might just cry!) The reason for my burning the midnight oil... I dirtied about every pan, bowl and mixing spoon I own. That was a lot of dishes to wash!

Monday, May 7, 2012

My favorite bee facts!

This year will mark our 4th honey harvest, we have learned so much about bees and how to do our best to keep them! We love having them at our house, they add so much to our yard, garden, and of course their sweet contribution to our diet, lots of yummy honey! Today I am sharing a few of my favorite facts about bees that I think makes them pretty amazing creatures.
Did you know.....
*Honey bees communicate to each other using dance and chemical scents?
*The honey bee hive is one of the cleanest and most sterile environments found in nature. Honey bees are meticulous housekeepers. (Wish I could train them to clean my house!)
*All worker bees are female.
*In the summer time 60,000 or more bees can live in a healthy hive. (I have 10 hives at my house currently)
*A honey worker bee has a stinger that has a barb and when it stings a mammal, (like a human), the barb sticks in the skin.When this happens the bees stinger, venom sack and part of her abdomen detach, this is why a bee dies if it stings you. This is only true when they sting mammals, they can sting other insects repeatedly without the barb sticking in.
*The only male bees in the colony are called drones. They don't contribute any work in the hive. They don't clean, care for young, collect nectar or pollen, they have only one job in life. That job is to mate with virgin queens. This occurs outside the hive in mid flight. And because the drones sex organ is also barbed it stays with the queen and when mating is done he falls to his death. Poor drones! What a way to go I guess!
*At the end of the summer season the worker bees will make the drones leave the hive as their job is now done and they will just eat all the honey over the winter. The queen will lay new drones for mating next season.
*Bees must visit 5 million flowers to produce a single pint of honey! Busy little bees!
*The queen is the center of her hive. All things revolve around her. Her main job is to lay eggs which she does non-stop! She also guides the hive with her scents that she gives off to stimulates other bees to do things. Let me tell you, if they sense danger they put off a scent that tells them all to sting! So watch out if you are that threat. The queen is so busy laying about 1,500 eggs per day she can't even groom or feed herself, or even leave the hive to potty! She has worker bee attendants that perform these duties for her.

The more time I spend around our bees both in my yard, garden and out at their hive, the more I am amazed at these special creatures. The next step I want to make is to build a observation hive to be able to take to different locales for others to be able to witness their magic!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mini Skirts!

I have two little girls and we love "hand me down" clothes! However, I am not a huge fan of mini skirts on my little girls, so what do you do with the many mini's that seem to be around? I say, add a ruffle! I am in love with ruffles on just about everything! I have a Bernina sewing machine that is one of my best friends! About a year ago I purchased the ruffling attachment that is made for the machine, but comes as a separate purchasable accessory. I must say, "I love it"!! Because I seem to love to add ruffles to every possible thing, it makes my life so much easier, faster and oh so enjoyable!! So if we inherit a mini, we add a ruffle. I Just cut a strip of fabric, hem the bottom and serge the top, ruffle the strip on the attachment, sew to the bottom of the skirt and wah-lah, skirt I feel good about! These are some pics of ones I have done for the girls, I also make a belt in the same or coordinating fabric to tie in a big bow, cuz I'm also a big fan of big bows! Don't get me wrong, I've worn my share of mini's in my lifetime, I'm not against them, I'm just not ready for my little ones to don one!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Recipe: Salmon Patties and Cream Pea Sauce

What are your favorite meals that are healthy and if served, you know your family, including picky kids will go away from the table full? Well this is our family favorite, may sound strange, but even my pickiest eater gobbles these down. In an attempt to get more Omega fatty acids into their diets we have these once a week and they never seem to tire of them! Crazy! This recipe comes from my sweet Grandma who always fixed them for us and we loved them too! We call them Salmon Patties, they are made using canned red salmon you can find in the same section of the grocery store that you would find canned tuna fish. I would love shared comments on what your family's favorite healthy dinners are!
Salmon Patty Recipe:
2 cans red salmon, drained,bones/skin removed
2 eggs
5-7 soda crackers, smashed fine
1/2 stick butter
4 Tbls flour
1/2 Tsp salt
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cup frozen peas

Drain salmon, and remove all skin, bones and any other undesirable thingy's. Shred salmon apart with forks until not too chunky, set aside and start on cream sauce. Melt butter in a sauce pan, add flour and salt into a roux, slowly add milk and stir with wire whisk until thickened, about 10 min, then add frozen peas and cook until tender, about 5 more minutes. Add eggs and smashed soda crackers to salmon and mix until holds together in a patty. Spray a non-stick fry pan with Pam or a pat of butter melted,add patties to hot pan and cook for about 10 minutes, turning once during cooking. Serve with fresh lemon juice squeezed over patty and topped with cream pea sauce.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Today's blog is prompted by walking past my bulletin board on the way to throw in another load of laundry. On this bulletin board I put things I want to read often or things I don't want to forget. And this is the real thing people, I know crazy concept, a real bulletin board that I "pin" things on! Our world has gone so Pinterest crazy lately! Let's not forget to really live our lives, not just virtually! Don't get me wrong I like Pinterest and I waste lots of time looking and pinning, but lets keep the balance in our lives to what's really important and prioritize. So back to today's subject, I walked by my bulletin board and on it I had pinned a plain piece of lined paper that I had written the words all so long ago. By Naomi Wolf:"A mother who radiates self-love and self acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem". I think I got this from an episode of Oprah a very long time ago, but I thought the words profound! I have always felt pretty confident in myself. I feel I have talents and gifts and also weaknesses and failures. But having 2 little girls has made me ponder what causes or contributes to low self-esteem as I want them to love themselves and appreciate their God given gifts and talents. I know children often learn by example, not always what we try to teach them but what example we are showing. In what tone and with what words do we speak when we talk to ourselves? Are we loving ourselves? Are we forgiving of our failures or short comings? Is our evaluation of our own worth positive? What is our evaluation of ourselves and what are we saying or doing while our children are at our feet? Do we stand at the mirror and say how fat we look in this outfit? Do we say I look so ugly today? Do we say how dumb we are? I hope we don't, if not for our own self-esteem, do it for your kids! They need to see you loving and accepting yourselves so they can learn to do the same. Remember self-esteem is not based on facts, it is our own overall evaluation of our worth, and what we believe to be true about ourselves! I've always loved the use of "vaccinate" in that saying because it is an action word, something that you can do to help your children learn to love themselves! I often wonder if my girls "get" what I'm trying to teach them, so the day after I wrote this post my 1st grader brought home her writing journal from school, in it she says she likes and loves herself, this made me smile from ear to ear!