Friday, April 30, 2010

Chop Chop

This is a yummy chop chop salad, romaine lettuce, red onion, tomato, mozzarella & genoa salami, cucumbers & black olives:
3 oz olive oil
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
less than 1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp Parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake to blend. Allow flavors to marinate together for at least 1 hour. Prepare 1 day in advance is best =)
I sprinkle a little more Parmesan cheese over my salad after I put some dressing on it. Yum!
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Count How Many

Can you see how many Doves there are in this photo - care to take a guess:
This was taken on my back deck - it's a record high for us ;) There are 3 more on our other feeder, but I was lucky to get this many in a photo without scaring them - had to take the picture through the window. I circled them - there are 17:
There were 20 doves in all at once!
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

VT Message May 2010

I loved the message from President Uchtdorf 'You Are My Hands' so I made a handout for visiting teaching in May:
You can find the handout here and the flower embellishment here.
A similar message is 'Helping Hands, Saving Hands' by Elder Koichi Aoyagi.

My husband just noticed the dirt under the fingernails - LoL He said 'they could have cleaned the dirt out of their nails before taking this picture'. It just means these hands have been working, right? Makes it more realistic . . .
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Mother's Day for YW

Not only do I want to encourage my YW to make their moms Mother's Day special, I wanted to share this quote with my Beehives:
Handout found here. I'll attach this to a heart shaped cookie, brownie or rice krispy treat for the girls.
And then they can give this tag to their mom:
It says 'Mom, your example is extremely important to me - even if I don't always acknowledge it.' Then there's room to add their own sentiment and name.

With this handout for their moms:
All of these sayings are taken from the April 2010 General Conference talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard - Mothers & Daughters.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Temple Blessings Handout

Here is a 4x6 handout for Temple Blessings, Young Women lesson # 14, Manual 2:
Handout found at - only have to purchase it once and then print as many as you need after that - but please do not share or redistribute the file - thanks!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A dandelion! (with Sid's accent)

Driving to golf . . .
Keaton: Mom, why don't we have any dandelions in our yard?
Me: It's a weed Keaton!
Keaton: I know, but who cares.
Me: Uhhh, I do!
Keaton: Look how awesome that yard looks (full of dandelions)
Me: That does NOT look awesome, do you realize how many more seeds each one of those are going to produce?
Keaton: I know, that's so cool - all that yellow - it's so happy!
Me: We are not having dandelions in our yard.
Keaton: Well, admit it, dandelions are your favorite weed then.
Me: Actually, there is this cute little weed that has the tiniest little purple flower . . .
Keaton: (cutting me off) whatever.
Stopped in traffic . . .
Keaton: (looking out the window) Mom, there's a Pringles can down there (on the side of the road)
Me: Maybe you should pick it up (Keaton is a member of RAK at Cedarcrest - Random Acts of Kindness - and they pick up litter year round)
Keaton: I'm pretty sure it's empty Mom!
Me: Uhhhh, (laughing) when I have EVER asked you to pick up something to see if there's something left in it so we can eat the rest?
Keaton: (basically ignoring what I just said and still looking out the window) Oh, yeah, I'm positive there's nothing in there. No one would waste that flavor.
Who's child is this? No, Keaton did not say these phrases when he was 5 . . . it was only last week! LoL
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nice Save!

Here is Brady's best save for the season:Brady is crazy for hustling his energy for saving balls! A few times running into the bleachers - ouchee! And once fell right into a bigger spectator who cushioned the impact . . . for Brady ;) Photo compliments of Brady's teammates mother =) Thanks! Yeah, my camera not so great for moving objects . . . okay, I'll read the manual to test the settings ;)
Brady is #32
Brady is now playing Spring League for 4 weeks, games on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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Monday, April 19, 2010

It's a bundt cake - a boont? No, a bUNt!

Happy 17th birthday Brady =)
Wow - times flies as your kids age!!
Brady's favorite food - prawns - so I made alfredo (from a jar! don't look so shocked - hehe) with prawns & garlic bread:
Brady's favorite cake is chocolate, so I made a bundt triple chocolate cake:
1 pkg devil's food chocolate cake
1 pkg chocolate fudge pudding mix
1 cup chocolate chips melted
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups water
2 tsp vanilla
Pour in all the ingredients and mix for 2 minutes. Grease & flour bundt cake pan & pour in batter. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes and remove cake onto platter.
(I know I didn't frost the center - and it would have looked better for this photo - ha)
Frost with (mousse like):
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar corn syrup (or whatever you have on hand)
1 cup melted chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Melt chocolate chips with cream, stirring until chips are melted. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool. Add corn syrup, vanilla and butter, mix well. Mix in sugar - might have to add in a touch more powdered sugar or milk to get it to the right consistency.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thumbprint Cookies

So for my lesson on Preparing to teach others, I made a handout using the girl's own fingerprints and for a treat I made thumbprint cookies - kind of had a theme going on ;) They each got 4 cookies after reading this quote about cultivating good manners: Every day we represent not only OURSELVES, but our FAMILIES, our CHURCH, and the LORD.
I made these from a shortbread cookie recipe:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
Mix butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour gradually and mix until dough forms. Roll into balls, smash centers with thumb, bake ungreased cookie sheet on 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Easy, but still yummy!
Then instead of jelly I made a mascarpone filling and spooned some into each cookie:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
Beat cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Fold in mascarpone.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Instant Winner of an iPod!

No, not really . . . because 'somehow' our survey online produced a fraudulent winner. Really? How does that even happen AND how many people did this happen to? LoL Of course this is the response we get - I mean who even wins these things anyway?
I copied the 'Instant Winner of an iPod web page' when it showed up on my computer screen and sent it to my husband in email. Why? I guess I doubted that we would really be winners ;)
Here's the email I received:

Thank you for your submission of a winning iPod notification. Upon further investigation, we have identified that you are not on our winner records generated by our system. Therefore, I have now forwarded this issue to our Fraud Detection Department to determine the cause of the issue, and we will require the following information from yourself:


Phone #

Confirmation of claimed date of win

Email Address

Store location from where purchase receipt was obtained (used for your entry into the online survey)

Any other record/ printout you may have

Upon receipt of this information, our investigation will take 7-10 days to complete and we will follow up with you via a phone call at the contact details provided above. We thank you for your patience in this matter and we hope you can appreciate our need to properly investigate this matter.


Romie Damle

Contest Administrator

Empathica Inc.

2121 Argentia Road, Suite 200

Mississauga ON L5N 2X4


Tel 905.542.9001 ext. 215

Fax 905.542.8170

Check out GoRecommend, Empathica’s new social networking application. Click here to contact Empathica and find out how to turn satisfied customers into thousands of positive recommendations for your brand.

Update 4.23.2010:

Guess we did win an iPod . . . nano . . . after all =) Someone did not like my blog about NOT winning one when the survey online already flashed I was a winner ;)
I seriously can't believe that for $150 retail Empathica & Red Robin tried to tell me my 'instant winner' ticket was a fraud - I'm sure this prize didn't cost them $150 - so what was the big deal in the first place?? Cheapos ;) I'm not being ungrateful, just saying it's pretty pathetic that I had to blog about not being a winner for them to honor the prize.

1st: Email:

We appreciate your patience as we checked into your winning notification. Congratulations, we would like to award you the winning iPod!

Kindly print, complete the required consent document and send it to me via email or fax or mail at the address below. Following receipt, we can ship out your prize. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Once again, I do appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this issue.

2nd Email:

Thanks for sending the form. Your iPod will be dispatched this week. I would also like to request to you to kindly take your blog down as this may cause fraud as your blog has a live link. As Empathica & Red Robin have now resolved the issue, I would appreciate if you can kindly so the needful. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hope you have a 'Mice' Day!

My friend Christina made these - cute idea, huh?
Chocolate covered cherries and a Hershey kiss with little pieces of almonds for the ears!
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mother's Day Idea

The YW are making the Mother's Day handouts for after Sacrament meeting this year:
We will mod podge a small floral patterned paper on a clothespin that has a magnet on the back and add a big flower (actually 3 layers of flowers held together with a brad) with ribbon behind it. The cellophane bag holds 3 Lindt chocolates from Costco (chose those chocolates because the wrapper sort of matched). Then made a little saying that has to do with the clothespin part - 'holding on' and steered away from the saying 'mother' (trying to be sensitive for the women who don't have children but who are still motherly to us and our children). It says 'YOU are an influence that is worth 'holding on' to':
We will make 4 colors:
After we finish these I'll post one of each color so you can see how they turned out =)

And on the backs of these cards we will be adding questions and answers from the Primary kids like:
My mom is good at sharing:
After my mom puts me to bed, she likes to:
My mom loves me because:
My mom is as pretty as:
The smartest thing my mom tells me is:
What kind of little girl was your mom:
One thing I will let my kids do that my mom won't let me do is:
What's the worst thing your mom makes you eat:
How did your mom meet your dad?
My mom wants ______ for Mother's Day.
My mom is good at:
One thing I would change about my mom:
One reason I really love my mom:

We'll probably just choose 1 of the funniest answers per kid and print them out for the backs of these craft handouts.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Preparing to Teach Others Handout

The next lesson I teach is on Preparing to Teach Others and this is the handout I made:
I had the girls give me 2 (just to be safe) fingerprints (which represented 'impressions' in this quote) each at the activity before I taught this lesson so I could individualize their flowers. They thought it was pretty cool. The handout above has clip art fingerprints, but you could always scan in your girls own fingerprints and just place them above the original generic fingerprint.
At the bottom it says 'Every day we represent not only ourselves but our families, our church and the Lord.' Quote taken from the lesson.
I made thumbprint cookies too and they each got 4 cookies to represent the above 4 categories: ourselves, families, church & God.
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Clothes Dryer Eats Only 1 Sock

Yes, a long time joke to all - we put both socks in the washer and by the time we get them out of the dryer, 1 sock to the pair has mysteriously vanished!
One day while at a street fair when Brady was 6 and Keaton was 5 and we came across this 'toy':
This was not a $8 (yes, highly overpriced, but a had-to-have item at the time) purchase for the kids (but I didn't bother explaining that to the salesman) - this was a 'mommy toy' I clarified to the boys and that they must never, ever play with it and I actually made them pick something different for their souvenirs. I'm sure they picked plastic swords or something and loved them more than they would have this anyway =)
So, anyway I use this device for grabbing the laundry that falls behind the washer and dryer and find MANY missing socks and boxers and mittens and t-shirts - it's great! It is over 10 years old and still going strong - this is an amazing tool, probably one of my favorites!
So, socks do not really disappear, they're just hiding!
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup fat free milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp baking powder

Mix all together for 3 minutes in Kitchen Aid or knead by hand 5 minutes after mixing together. EASIEST dough to work with =) Roll out 1/4'' thick and cut into shapes and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn off oven and let them cool inside the oven to make them crunchy - let them cool off outside the oven to make them more soft.
Cannella LOVES peanut butter!
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fried Rice Recipe

I used Shrimp this time, but I've also added chicken, pork, beef (sliced from a roast) and barbecue pork and they're all tasty.
2 cups cooked rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp ginger (fresh is best) or if using the powdered use 2 tsp
10 cloves diced garlic - we like a lot and so will you ;)
1-2 tsp thai seasoning (for spice)
1 onion, sliced
3 eggs
Sesame seeds, optional
Heat the olive oil and add the rice, stir fry for at least 5 minutes. In separate bowl, add sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, seasoning and stir together. Add onion to rice and stir fry for 8-10 minutes depending on how you like your onions. Pour sauce mixture into rice and fry for 3 minutes or so, make space for the eggs and scramble those babies up in the pan and then stir together in your rice. Add prepared meat of your choice (which should already be cooked and ready to eat). Top with sesame seeds if desired.
You can totally add more veggies - I'm mostly a fan of raw veggies that are usually great with fried rice, so I just don't add other stuff.
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Make your own door hanger

So, I couldn't find my wreath/door hanger and decided to construct one myself.
A roof shingle is a workable metal material for crafting =) I drew out a 1 1/4'' x 12 piece and cut it with my tin snips (which I got in my stocking last year - my very own pair - must have been because my husband had to go searching for his tin snips too often? hehe I love them!) Then I bent it over my front door with about 3 inches on the back side and again at the other end the opposite direction just about an inch.
I cut 2 pieces of paper about 1 1/2'' longer than my hanger, one piece went directly into the smaller bend and one piece was for the smaller bend. I used mod podge to adhere it and for the finish coat. I cut in the corners of the paper so I could fold it over neatly.
If I make another one, I would do the smaller section FIRST.
And I didn't want a wreath for my door, I wanted something a little different. So I made a 8x8 picture of a lot of sayings that I love - perhaps the ones people use on their walls as vinyl wording ;) I saved the image link as a PNG so you can work with it and any digital scrapbook paper. The white lettering does show up better once you have a color under it.

Link for sayings here.

And on my front door - the completed projects:

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Eggs dyed raw

Oh yes, you can dye all your eggs without hard boiling them first:
I've been dying raw Easter Eggs for 10+ years and it really just makes more sense to me - I mean how many hard boiled eggs can you eat in 2 days before they start tasting funny? I remember only getting like 4 eggs to dye because there were 5 kids. If you dye them raw you can dye all the ones you usually buy at a time. No, I've never hidden these eggs - that's what plastic eggs are for =) And the best part is opening your fridge and seeing all the happy colors for weeks because they just keep longer than the hard boiled ones ;) I've used vinegar coloring tablets and they don't make the eggs taste funny nor do they ever get colored on the insides.
Yup, sometimes you lose one or two because you drop them and they crack, but lower the eggs with a spoon and it should work beautifully for little helpers.

General Conference afternoon session on Saturday:
Better to do it at home than at the church building for Priesthood session I suppose ;)

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
Heat oven to 350 degrees
1 box cake mix (white or yellow)
1 cube butter, melted
1 egg
Mix and press into bottom of lightly greased 9x13 pan on bottom and sides
8 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cube butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
Mix cream cheese until fluffy, add eggs and vanilla, then butter and last powdered sugar - beat until smooth. Pour into crust.
Bake 45-50 minutes

Add Sliced Strawberries:

Whip Cream:

Add some fat free half & half and devour ;)
Ummmm, yummy!
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Friday, April 2, 2010

VT Message April 2010

I made a key chain (surprise, surprise {wink}) using scrabble tiles instructions here of this quote:
Lock & Key digital graphic. Tile graphic in green, pink, blue and purple.

Visiting Teaching message for April 2010 is Seeking & Receiving Personal Revelation.
One message is on one side of the scrabble tile and the other message is on the other:
Or a handout:
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