Bountiful Utah Temple

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Feeling so blessed today. We got to take our oldest son to the temple today as he prepares to leave on his mission.

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Studio 5 and Out & About

Studio 5 Out and About screen shot

Most of you know by now that I have the privilege of doing a monthly segment on Utah’s #1 lifestyle show, Studio 5 on KSL. My segment is called “Out & About”. Each month I feature 5 family friendly activities happening in Utah. It’s been really fun getting to know the hosts, producers, on set people, etc. Honestly, Studio 5 is such a positive place to be. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know new people in community as I do the research and gather info for my segments. I’ve discovered some hidden gems that, even though I was born and raised in Utah, I never knew about. We really do live in a great state!

I wasn’t ever planning to be on TV. Back in August of 2012, I was looking for a part time job and I interviewed with the producer of Studio 5. The job was strictly behind-the-scenes, and….I didn’t get it. I was pretty disappointed but about 2 weeks later I got a phone call. The producer had a new project she was working on and she wanted to meet with me about it. Of course I said yes! A few days later I sat in her office and listened as she explained this new segment on family activities and the fact that she wanted ME to do it. I was floored, but I figured that if she had faith in me then I probably ought to give it a try. (She was, after all, the person who dreamed up and created Studio 5.)

I have to admit that I was scared, really scared, at first. But really, Darin and Brooke are so friendly and easy going that they put all their guests at ease.  It has been the most amazing experience and I am just going to enjoy every minute while it lasts. (Which I hope is a loooong, looong time!) I still can’t believe I am blessed with such a fun job!  When I am preparing for each show, I also write an article that goes on the Studio 5 website each month. So that’s pretty fun too!

Anyway, you can usually catch me on the first Monday of each month. Sometimes it’s later in the month, but I try to post on Facebook when I’m going to be on the show.  I won’t have a segment in June because we covered “on going Summer Activities” in the May 24th show. I’m a little sad about it, but it’s really a blessing in disguise because I will be pretty busy. I have a missionary going out the first week of July. Yikes! More about that later.

Can you believe it? Neither can I.

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BYU Women’s Conference

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Waking up at 0 dark thirty this morning turned out to be a pretty good choice on my part. I don’t love the drive to Provo, but it has already been so worth it.

The day started in the Marriott Center. We heard from Sister Elaine S. Marshall. She spoke about continuing our journey through life and looking all along the way for reasons to rejoice. Some of my favorite quotes from her message are:

Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had been done yet. – C.S. Lewis

Relying on our Heavenly Father is difficult, it requires faith and an understanding that the Lords timeline may not be the same as our timeline.

Sometimes our faith fails and we begin to doubt. Doubt God. Doubt ourselves. It’s easy for us (especially women) to become burdened by all the things we aren’t doing, or aren’t doing well enough. That’s why I love this next quote.

The complete tapestry is far too large for us to see and often too complex a pattern for us to appreciate the importance of our single thread.

I love the analogy that we contribute but a small thread to the overall tapestry, but it wouldn’t be the same without our meager contribution. Others may not notice our efforts, but our Heavenly Father sees it and blesses us because of it. It might not be the color or type of thread that we thought we might contribute, it might not be as long or as strong as we had hoped it would be. The beauty here is explained in Sister Marshall’s next thought.

Through the Atonement, the Savior fills the measure where we are not enough.

We must have the courage to surrender and to accept the Savior and his Atonement. It changes lives. It changes relationships. It changes hearts. I’ve seen it in my own life and in the lives of my family and friends. I am grateful for the many ways the atonement fills in the voids of my works, and my heart.

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Lucky Printable Free

Every once in a while I do something that surprises even me.  Today is one of those days!  I saw a link on a Facebook group from my friend Aly.  She has these fun link-up parties where she makes a printable and lets everyone go nuts with it.  You can make it into anything you like. This time it was a St. Patrick’s Day themed print. Before I knew what I was doing, I told her I wanted in.

If you know me, you know that I’m not a Craft Blogger. I blog about everything BUT crafts. But I figure this is ok because it involves a computer and a free printable. Right?

So here’s where I started. I printed it out on photo paper in a 5×7 size. Then I rummaged through my cupboards and pulled out anything I thought might work.

This is what I came up with:

Lucky Printable Welcome to my chaos

I also found a black frame. (not pictured)

While rummaging, I grabbed my hot glue gun because, hey, it’s not a project if it doesn’t involve some type of injury.

Welcome To My Chaos - luck 2

First I glued together some gold coins (that I bought probably 8 years ago). I wanted to put them on the frame, but I have commitment issues and I didn’t want it to be permanent if it turned looking yucky. Once the coins were glued together randomly I put 3 dots of glue on the back of the grouping and stuck it to the glass of the frame. (Hot glue will come off glass pretty easily.)

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You can see here that I have oodles of expensive ribbon at my disposal. Not. Think gift wrap ribbon people. It’s what I had on hand.

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Again, I have issues and so I scotch taped the ribbon on the backside so it’s not permanent.

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I then mounted the printable on a piece of green cardstock (at a jaunty angle, I might add) and put my frame back together.

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And there you have it folks! My Lucky St. Patrick’s Day decor. And I did it all by myself!

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Speaking of Luck. I think sitting it next to Laughing Buddah makes this EXTRA lucky!

Don’t forget to download your “Lucky” printable!

 

Check out what my creative friends did with this very same printable:


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RootsTech 2013 Early Bird Pricing

RootsTech.org

Remember last year, and the year before, when I was an “Official RootsTech Blogger“? Well 2013 is here and so is RootsTech!  I’m excited to again be blogging from the trenches and sharing what I learn with you.

This year I plan to attend classes on the “Getting Started Track”.  I want to go back to the basics.  Watch for posts from me that are geared toward regular people who have an interest in family history, but aren’t quite sure where to start.

RootsTech , hosted by FamilySearch, is a conference designed to help you learn and use the latest technology to get started or accelerate your efforts to find, organize, preserve and share your family’s connections and history.

Whether you are just beginning and need to learn the basics or you’re an expert and want to enhance your research, RootsTech has something for everyone.

New this year is the Story@Home track. Story@Home is a conference for storytellers and really anyone who just loves to share their story. (Whether it be through blogging, scrapbooking, memory books, journaling, etc.) I think we all fit in there somewhere. Story@Home has joined forces with RootsTech and I’m excited that there will be so many new opportunities this year!

Are you interested in joining me? Register before February 15th and get the early bird discount!

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Posted in blogging, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Conferences, family history, Random Chaos, technology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Getting Healthy with LeanMoms

leanmoms.com

I’ve had a few people (on Facebook, mostly) ask what I’m doing to help with my New Year Resolution healthy life change of eating better and getting fit.  It’s a program called LeanMoms. I know me. I know that I need a plan, a cheering section & accountability if I’m going to make this work.  This program has everything I need. But more importantly, it’s something that is do-able in real life and real families. I want to be able to eat what my family eats.  And I want my kids to learn healthy eating habits.

I planned to start everything at the beginning of last week. But I got sick. Really sick. Like pneumonia sick. I’m talking can’t breathe, gasping for air and coughing up my lungs. I decided it was best to start where I could. With the food part.  Being sick, it would have been easy to use that as an excuse to eat whatever I felt like eating. Namely lots and lots of icecream and chocolate anything. But I didn’t and I really think it’s helping me get better more quickly. (That and the antibiotics I mean.)  Anyway, instead of eating myself into oblivion last week, I followed the LeanMoms meal plan as best I could. And guess what? I didn’t gain ANY weight! I ate healthy, REAL food and I didn’t go hungry. At all.

Remember how I said that I needed 1. a plan 2. a cheering section and 3. accountability?  I’ve totally found it. There is a LeanMoms community on Facebook and everyone shares their good days and bad. They also share tips, recipes and ask questions. Most of the time someone else has already asked the question I had, so the answer is already right there.

So, as far as the meal plans go…. So far, so good!  Last night we had chicken and lots of vegetables and tonight it was fish (tilapia) and lots of vegetables.  Since I’m feeling a little better now (I can breathe), I am ready to begin the workouts and I’ll report on those later.

Here’s a brief overview of the program for those who are curious:

Leanmoms.com is an online strength training and body sculpting program created specifically for busy women and mothers. Each level is a comprehensive 12-week program designed to help you learn proper strength training and nutrition for a female body to yield great results.
Instead of a fad diet that promises quick (but not lasting) results, LeanMoms gives women the necessary tools to make long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes to help them feel better about themselves, be stronger and more active for their children, and have a lean, sculpted body they can be proud of.
The LeanMoms program teaches you how to exercise with effective strength training schedules and instructional videos,  and how to eat right with full, detailed meal plans that tell you what to eat, when to eat it, and how much of it to eat. This type of program is ideal for the busy mother, because it’s much less expensive than hiring a trainer and can be done on your own schedule—either at the gym or at home.
Lacy, the CEO and founder of LeanMoms, and all the other LeanMoms clients will be cheering you on along the way in the private LeanMoms Facebook group, on group calls, and motivational emails. The private Facebook group is like tapping into a fountain of fitness and nutrition gold. The level of support you receive is like nothing you’ve experienced before. It’s hard to fail when you have this kind of support.

There you have it. You’ll be hearing more about my journey, and when I’m brave (and feel better about the way I look) I might even share some photos. Maybe.

LeanMoms has provided me with a membership to the program. All opinions, experiences, and fat cells are my own.
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Dude! Where’s my car?

dude wheres my car

Do you ever have recurring dreams?  I have a few that tend to haunt me once in a while.  One involves me being back in Junior High (or High School) and not remembering my locker combination. There’s a similar one where I don’t know my class schedule and another where I’ve lost my car in a crowded parking lot.  They come at times when I am stressed or overly worried about something.  I hate them.  Apparently when I’m REALLY stressed they aren’t just dreams and they happen in real life. Ugh!

I had a meeting in Salt Lake recently.  The drive down was good. I made great time and I had been to this building before, so I knew right where I was going.  I was thinking about the meeting, and pretty much just feeling really good about things.  As I neared my destination I moved to the right lane so I could make the turn to enter the parking garage and ended up behind a bus.  A slow one. I couldn’t  see much and as I strained to see around the bus, I totally missed the driveway.  No worries, I thought. I’ll just circle the block and try it again.  On my way around the block I came upon another entrance to the parking garage. Bonus! I entered, took my little ticket from the machine and proceeded to drive around and around looking for a spot.  I had parked here before, but this didn’t look familiar. At all.

I circled around and passed a couple of pedestrians. Twice.  Finally, I parked and took the elevator to the correct floor.  Doors open…nothing looks familiar.  Seriously?! I don’t have time for this.  I couldn’t have even guessed at which way was North so I decided the best way to orient myself would be to go outside. I headed to the nearest exit and promptly found myself in an alley.  There wasn’t a soul in sight other than the dude washing windows 10 stories up.  After making a mental note on how to get BACK to the parking garage, I headed down the street to the correct building.

The meeting went well. So well in fact that I was sort of walking on air as I left.  I retraced my steps back to the other building, down the elevator and out the doors.  Did you know all 4 levels of parking look exactly the same?  I was (almost) sure that I had parked on level 3.  I walked, and walked and walked all the while pressing the panic button on my keys.  Stop. Listen. No car.  Walk some more. Stop. Listen. No car.

I went in circles for a good 10 minutes before deciding to try level 2.  Upon arriving at level 2 I  exited the elevator, keys in hand, and hit the panic button. *HONK*FLASH!*HONK*FLASH!* I almost jumped out of my socks! Except that I wasn’t wearing socks.  As I stood there, my first thought was, “I’m about to be run over.” My second thought was, “Hey, why’s that car honking?” duh.  Yeah, it was my car.  Honestly, I don’t remember parking there.  Near there, yes. But not RIGHT there.

I was really relieved that I was not going to be stranded in a sweltering parking structure any longer, but also keenly aware that if anyone happens to see the security camera footage they will certainly have a good laugh at my expense.

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Posted in Random Chaos, Travel | Tagged | 1 Comment

Meatloaf Gets a Bad Rap

Meatloaf eating meatloaf.

Don’t you think Meatloaf gets a bad rap? I mean, it’s pretty simple and easy to make. It tastes good.  But that name! I can’t stand the name! If I were in charge, I would change it to something nicer.  Any suggestions?

(By the way….props to you if you “get” the photo above. And no, it’s not my Dad.)
 

When I was little my Dad would often make meatloaf for Sunday Dinner.  We would come home from church to a house filled with delicious smells. I remember it like it was yesterday. Meatloaf, green beans, burnt-butter-noodles & lemonade.  In my mind those things together remind me of Sunday afternoons.

I don’t know about you, but I LIKE meatloaf. But not just anybody’s recipe.  My Dad calls it his “World Famous Meatloaf”. Maybe that was his way of making it sound fancy. Either way, it was goooood!

My kids request meatloaf more than you would think. I don’t always make the same sides as my dad, but I ALWAYS use his recipe:

Dad’s World Famous Meatloaf
1lb groundbeef
1/4 c. Ketchup
1/4 c. milk
1 egg
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. quick oats (or more)
4 lg mushrooms, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) Italian stewed tomatoes drained & chopped (I only use half of it.)
salt & pepper to taste
 
Combine all ingredients. Place in greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
 
**I have a big family, so I make 3 meatloafs. It’s easy and everyone is happy.
These are the ones I like to make:
~The Works (everything in it).
~No tomatoes.
~No tomatoes & no mushrooms.

Wondering about the egg and the oats? The egg acts as a binder to keep it all together once it’s cooked. The oats are a filler. You can use breadcrumbs instead, but I prefer oats. You can leave out the stewed tomatoes, but be sure to increase the ketchup  little to make up for lost moisture.

Once you have a basic recipe, the possibilities are endless!

 

So… back to the name “meatloaf”. What should we change it to? And that old guy up there..what should we do with him?

 

 

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Delicious Hobo Dinner Recipe

Every year my mom plans a family camp out in her back yard.  My little ones look forward to it all summer long.  We play games, watch a movie outside, have hobo dinners, sleep in tents and then have camping omelets in the morning. (I’ll cover these activities in later posts.)  Today I want to share my favorite recipe for a hobo dinner.

If you grew up in Utah or ever went to Girls Camp, you know that a “hobo dinner” or tin foil dinner is meat, veggies and some kind of sauce wrapped in tin foil and stuck in the fire.  Growing up, we always did: Hamburger, Green Beans & Cream of Mushroom soup.  I was never really a fan.  However, I found (and switched up) a recipe that I think will become a regular part of the annual camp out…. at least for my kids.

Chicken Broccoli Ranch Hobo Dinner

Ingredients:

1 pkg chicken flavor Stove Top stuffing mix

1/3 c. water

4 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced or cubed

4 cups broccoli florets, cooked

1 cup shredded cheese

4 slices of bacon cooked & crumbled

Ranch dressing

Instructions:

  • Tear of 4  sheets of heavy duty tin foil (about 18 inches each) and spray with no-stick cooking spray.
  • Place one fourth of the stuffing mix in the center of each sheet.


  •  Place slices of cooked chicken on top of stuffing mix.

  • Place 1 cup cooked broccoli florets on top of chicken.

  • Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of broccoli.

  • Sprinkle bacon on top of cheese.  Mmmmmm….bacon!

  • Drizzle with your favorite Ranch Dressing.

 

  • Bring the long sides together and fold a 1/2 inch seam with them at the top. Then continue to roll it down.  Don’t roll it tight against the food, you need some space inside for steam.

 

  • Now fold each end (just like you did the top) leaving some space for the steam to circulate inside as everything cooks together.

 

  • Once your packets are sealed up you can place them on hot coals for 10-15minutes to heat it up and melt the cheese.  If you don’t want to cook it outside, just place the packets on a cookie sheet and bake them at 400 degrees for 10-15 or until the cheese is melted.

(Be careful of the steam when you open them up.)

Can you believe that I didn’t take a picture of the finished product?? I promise, they are soooo good!

Grab a fork and enjoy!

(Click here for more recipes.)
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Posted in How To, Random Chaos, recipes, Summer Fun | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

KSL Blogger Event

just a few of the bloggers at the KSL event

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I’m constantly amazed at the fun things blogging brings into my life.  Last week I attended a Blogger Meet & Greet hosted by KSL. The evening was filled with old friends, new friends, yummy treats and a little “on-air” experience.  Totally fun!

Photo of food from the KSL Blogger Event

Each guest was given a KSL Guest Pass and treated like a VIP!  At KSL, they know how to throw a party and get people to step out of their comfort zone all at once!

My favorite part of the night was probably being on the radio. I enjoyed chatting with Ethan and Alex of the Nightside Project. I’ve listened to their show for a couple of years, so it was fun to be in studio and chat with them on the air.

 {Did you know Ethan talks with his hands. Of course you didn’t. It’s radio.}

After visiting the radio side of things, we headed over to anchor the news.  Yes, I said “anchor the news”. That was something totally foreign to me. I’ve never had to read a teleprompter before and it was kind of obvious.  But hey, you only live once!

 {I think I will leave the nightly news to the real anchors!}

We met most of the people you see on KSL on a daily basis.  If you watch Studio 5 you’ll recognize Brooke.  

She is so friendly and sweet. Just like you see on the show.  I think that’s why I like Studio 5 so much.  It’s like a bunch of people just visiting and being themselves. Well, that and the fact that they always have great bloggers as guests on their show. :)

Next to Brooke you will see Natalie from KSL. She is the behind-the-scenes girl who pulled off this amazing event.  It was a great way to spend an evening. But if you know bloggers, they will find a way to stretch it out into the night!  They finally had to nudge the stragglers into the foyer so they could do the 10:00pm newscast!

Everyone was gracious and made us feel so welcome….but I wonder once 9:55pm rolled around if they weren’t thinking something more like this:

A big Thank You to all of the people at KSL for welcoming a bunch of crazy, star struck bloggers into their world!

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