Today I am thankful, very thankful indeed. Since my very first trip to New York at the age of 14, I have dreamed about the day that Salt Lake would get a Crate and Barrel! Today it was announced. I remember the pandemonium that broke loose when Krispy Kreme, The Cheesecake Factory and IKEA came. I also remember thinking that we had nothing until we had a C&B! What a great day!
Sorry I have been slacking, Birthday Weekend Extravaganza was a blast! A blast that left me tired and exhausted. Every night when it came time to blog about my thankfulness, it was all I could do to take out my contacts and collapse into bed, watching reruns of House. So thankful for Big E! I love making a big deal out of Birthdays, I really feel like the Birthday person should feel loved and special. We had a great time together and so much fun. Eric is one of the kindest people I know, how I got so lucky I am not sure. Just one example to illustrate the kindness: When we got married, we bought a top of the line pillow top mattress. Big E loves our bed, like as much as I like my Cricut. He came into marriage with an amazing pillow that had traveled to college with him. I came into marriage as a very needy sleeper. I had to have a fan blowing air onto me, and it had to be loud enough to drown out any noises in the house. Eric preferred silence. But of course, he acted fine with the fan thing, even though it dried his sinuses like the Sahara Desert. With the crap back, I couldn't sleep in our lovely bed anymore, so sure enough Big E flips the mattress to the awkward hard side and is fine with buying a memory foam topper. That favorite pillow of his? Yup, now mine. He is amazing and so much fun! I love him with all of my heart, and I am so glad we found each other. As tumultuous and dramatic as dating was, marriage is awesome and couldn't be better! To Big E, I love you and thank you for all of your sacrifices for me and our growing family!
I have to say that I am really grateful that I decided to do this whole "Thankful Blog" thing. With being so limited, sometimes I have gotten really discouraged. Then, when I sit down to blog at night what I am thankful for I am overwhelmed at my many blessings. Usually when I used to blog I would look to see how many comments I had received. This whole thankful thing has really changed that, it's been awesome. Like absolutely awesome to blog just for me, not for anyone else, not for comments and reactions. This has been a great thing for me! Probably won't hear from me tomorrow. Big E and I are spending his BIRTHDAY alone together. That's right we are going on a hot, steamy date (even the Tom Selleck pics are staying home).Wish us well as we stay at a great B&B and celebrate 32!
I am so glad that Big E puts up with me, he must be in love, he even thinks I am funny. It is pretty fun to get in bed every night and laugh together. He also puts up with all of my older men and little boy crushes (i.e. the cute little Yogurt Stop boy and the man of all men Mr. Sellick.) So for tonight's giggle, I taped a couple of pictures of Tom Sellick to the ceiling over our bed. I love that Big E. got a kick out of it!
I am so thankful for the Mr. He really is the best little boy ever and I love that he is such a snuggle bug. I love him so much and he brings so much happiness to our little family. I especially liked that during snack time in Nursery today, he asked for a Coke!
Remember how a few posts ago I mentioned all of the awesome, generous people we have around us? Well,I am thankful for all of them, but my cuz Janie has done so much for us! She is such a giving person, she would help anyone, anytime. She has been taking such good care of Mack, and he loves her so much. Today when I told him she was coming up, he actually tried yelling her name. Last week, it was Papa J's big 60th party, I texted Janie and she spent all day with us setting up. Today I really wanted to make something but I would have had to go to the grocery store. Unfortunately, not being able to lift the Mr. I am really not able to go anywhere because I can't lift him into baskets, strollers and his car seat. I texted Janie and sure enough she came and helped me all day. Janie, you don't hear it enough. YOU ROCK!
Water, Colace, Zofran, and Phenegrin, in that precise order. Because let's face it, if you are not drinking enough water and not taking some form of fiber, you have a problem A LOT bigger than just puking your guts up.
I totally dig Fall. I love everything about it! One thing I really love about it is making warm yummy soups. The pregs in me has been craving Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana, but I pretty much have no interest in going there. (Way overdid that restaurant on random dates in college.) So when I saw this recipe on Studio 5, I thought I would give it a whirl and make some of my own changes. I must say it was darn-tootin' good (well not literally), but honestly I liked it better than the Olive Garden's (as did the whole fam). Here it is, try it!
* 1 (12 oz) Jimmy Dean hot pork sausage (I actually used 1 (12 oz) reduced fat and 1 (12 oz) hot. * 1 yellow onion, chopped (2 onions is the only way to go) * 2 tsp minced garlic * 2 cups chopped collard greens (I used Kale, I liked the texture better and I probably used about 3 cups total, next time I will probably still use more.) * 1 (49 oz) can chicken broth, plus 1 (14 oz ) can chicken broth (Trying to cut down on sodium I used the large can and then water instead of the smaller can) * 4 russet potatoes, chopped, skins left on (5-6 large russets) * 2 tsp red pepper flakes (I did 1 1/2 tsp, but in making it again I would only use 1 tsp, the soup turned out a little bit spicier than I thought) * 2 tsp Italian seasoning * salt and pepper to taste * 1 pint heavy cream (Use milk, I am afraid the heavy cream would make it way too rich to eat.)
1. Heat wok or large soup pot. Add sausage, onion and garlic. Fry until sausage is cooked through and onions are tender. Break sausage into small pieces as it is cooking. (DRAIN THE SAUSAGE and pat with paper towel. I honestly don't know how you could eat it without draining the fat!) Add chopped kale and stir fry 3 minutes. 2. Add chicken broth, potatoes and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes are tender. Stir in milk and warm through. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 6-8 as a main dish. Even with draining the sausage grease, I suggest skimming the grease off the top if there is any!)
Enjoy! You might like her version better, but try one of them. It was SO yummy. I am especially thankful that I was able to cook, it's been a long time and this soup was pretty quick prep. Wow, three days of blogging in a row, I rock!
Today I am thankful for where I live. What a great nation we live in and what an awesome opportunity we have to vote! Big E, the Mr. and I trudged down to our voting location and stood in line. I am pretty sure the Mr. and I looked mildly homeless. I was wearing sweats, along sweater that's actually pretty nice, a T-shirt stained from dinner, threadbare slippers, hair in a bun and glasses. The Mr. was decked out in the ever fashionable outfit of jammie pants, stained sweatshirts, sandals WITH socks, and the ever present snot encrusted nose (the poor guy is fighting a bad one). Even though we looked a site, so glad we went and so thankful for where I live!
Every time I make a goal to blog more, I always fail miserably. Who knows, maybe I will this time too. But I really don't want too! Because I have so much to be thankful for, I am attempting to blog everyday about one thing I am thankful for. Here is day number one: I am thankful for The Mr.'s laugh. It makes me smile immediately. It has grown into more of an adult laugh and it is so cute!
Strange week here at the L household. Not necessarily bad, just odd....
SO we go out with some weirdo agent to look at homes this week. We saw an awesome bankruptcy and needed someone to show it to us as soon as possible. (We pretty much knew it wouldn't last long. Great house, Great Neighborhood). Well, it didn't last long at all, but onto the weirdness. So we actually saw two houses, the first one was the vacant bankruptcy, and the second was still occupied by homeowners. At the second home, we go into the Master Bedroom and Mr. McCreepo Real Estate Agent actually started opening dresser drawers. Um... excuse me? AND, when he noticed that the dressers were still full, he kept looking. Weird, creepy, total boundary steeper.
Second oddity: I lost my Chuck-A-Rama V card. It's true, I have never been until last night. It's perfect food for the Mr.: Pizza, cottage cheese, fries and raspberry lemonade. Honestly, it wasn't that bad. Way too many people though, and not the best idea to go while prego. I can't stand seeing genres of food mixed on a plate. Who eats lasagna, a taco, fried chicken and deep fried scones on one plate? That's right, Big E.
Not so much odd, but different. Sporting blackish/purplish nail polish. BFF M tells me I look emu, Big E says it's kind of hot. I think I will go with Big E on this one.
Here is my final weird, Glee. Let is be known that we have been followers from the VERY beginning. We saw the pilot when it was originally aired. Loved the music and laughed hysterically for the first half of the first season. Started to not love the second half as much, but we still enjoyed it. This season is really pushing it for me. Don't get me wrong, I don't think of myself as a prude (maybe I am just getting old, I mean how many years have I been 23 now?) but honestly what was the point of Santana and Brittany getting it on? Way disappointed. Come on Glee, let's get back to great story lines and music. I can feel myself drifting. I knew when I was looking forward to Parenthood more than Glee last week, that Glee would have to get much better and stop pushing the envelope for me. Now last time I blogged about something totally trendy and something that people are somewhat obsessed with (Twilight), I received the most comments on the blog. Might be interesting to see the response is this time (of my five readers ).
ITS' A GIRL, IT'S A GIRL, IT'S A GIRL!Oh my flippity flippers! We are so excited to have a baby girl! Bring out the bows, flowers, clothes, ruffles, pink, purple, and brain squeezing headbands! I love her already. She is VERY active, so much more then Mack. I already feel like she is quite the little survivor. I started bleeding at 5 weeks and went in for blood draws to see if the pregnancy hormones were rising, and they weren't. We were told to go home and prepare for a miscarriage. Thankfully, that never happened. The back was at it's worse from about 8-12 weeks, then we were told that abortion was always an option. What? Really? We were not comfortable at all with this Dr. and quickly found THE BEST Dr. in the world. Seriously, Dr. Porter is the best. How thankful I am for such a great man that also happens to be a great Dr.. I am so excited to be her Momma, for Big E to have a little girl and for Mack to have a new baby. I have already started dreaming about her. She totally rocks. I do love being pregnant, but March can't come fast enough, we want to meet her already!
Big E and I couldn't be more excited to welcome Larsen Baby #2! I am 13 weeks along and the due date is March 27. We will be able to find out the sex of the baby in three weeks. Big E believes it is a girl, I think that we might have another little boy on my side to complete our Jones basketball team. We have been incredibly blessed with this baby. I re-herniated my stupid back before I found out that I was pregnant, but already two weeks along. It has been an adventure for everyone. We are so thankful for such great people around us, we have been so blessed. I am pretty much stuck in bed due to the crap back and a tear in the placenta (it's healing nicely though). People have been amazing. Two wonderful ladies in the ward take Mack two days a week. I had a cousin come clean my room, multiple offers to take Mack during the day while Eric is gone, people visiting and bringing books and yummy food. My brother comes up to watch Mack on the afternoons he doesn't work. It has been amazing and I have been in awe of the willingness of people to help. THANK YOU! My family is the best! It really is pretty great that we are living with my parents right now, I don't know how we would do it without them. Big E is the love of my life. I couldn't ask for a more kind, loving, generous and understanding husband. Once again, thank you so much to everyone who has helped us so far. At the end of the night Big E and I often talk about how lucky we are to have such amazing people around us, we can't begin to thank you enough!
So Big E and I had a huge row last night. (Well, we actually didn't, but I have been reading Brit Chick Lit while stuck in bed and this is my latest word to incorporate into my vocab.) I kinda forgot about Fav Things until I saw this draft that I wrote quite awhile ago... so here are some more. Best Place to Buy Yankee Candles: TJ Maxx, I really love Yankee Candles, really I do. But I am not willing to fork out $27.99 for them. TJ Maxx has full size jars for just $9.99. They don't have a huge selection, but most of the time they are the seasonal flavors. Best Fries: I am not a huge French Fry Gal, but I really like Red Robins fries and Smash Burgers rosemary and olive oil fries. Favorite Date: Well, one of the many, but it's seasonal so look into doing it soon. Deer Valley Concert Series. I usually see the Broadway one, and it is fantastic. You can bring chairs and a picnic and watch the concert. SO much fun! Window Shopping: Home Again is one of my favorite places to browse and get ideas on furniture and decorating. However, go to the one in Midvale and not Sugarhouse, the selection is much better. Favorite Recently Read Book: Mullberry Park. Charming, happy and all around feel good book. So anybody have any other good books for me? I NEED IDEAS. Oh and I need happy ones, no sad, murderous nightmare inducing ones. Favorite Maternity Jeans: Buying jeans is like delving into the 7th Circle of you know where to me. Since I am kinda still keeping my bed company, I sent Momma J out to buy me some Maternity clothes. She came back with jeans and I laughed and thought "No Way." Tried them on and kazaam! They fit! Motherhood Maternity Secret Fit, STRETCHY denim. Awesome. They feel like Jammies. I think I might wear mine not pregs. Favorite Onion Rings: The Philadelphian. I am shocked that the County Health Department hasn't closed this place down yet. When you go in, make sure not to look at anything: ceiling, floor, tables, cooking stove, anything. Order your onion rings and promptly leave before you barf. It's really that bad, but the rings are really that good.
So I have decided to list a few of my favorite things, mostly because I love when other people do this and give me ideas. So here goes Segment One:
Cleaning Product: Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser. Amazing. Seriously this little rectangle will last forever and works on everything. I loved using it on my flat wall paint and moldings. Frozen Yogurt Joint: This has been debatable for quite awhile, but I am ultimately going with the Yogurt Stop. Here is why: I like the feel of it, I love the little boy who doesn't balk at seeing me three times a week, and the Red Velvet flavor is to die for. TV Shows I could watch over and over: Of course Glee is on the list, but I am forever grateful that my brother James made me watch Arrested Development. Love it. Hysterically funny. "There is always money in the banana stand!" Frasier, Cheers and MASH as well. Vacuum: Dyson, you can't go wrong. I know it is expensive, but it is an investment. It is so satisfying to empty that canister out, and plus Big E. look super hot vacuuming with his shirt off. Book: A Girl Named Zippy. If you read it and don't like it, don't tell me... I might cry. Mascara: I am a MAC girl, born and raised. My Mom took me to the MAC counter when I first started wearing makeup to have a professional teach me how to put it on, (mostly so I wouldn't look like a hooker). BUT, MAC's mascara makes my eyes water. I love Covergirl's Lash Blast Volume. Root Lifter: Gotta go with Paul Mitchel's Extra Body Daily Boost. I did use Big and Sexy's Root Pump, but it made my hair stiff. My hair is so thick and heavy that it is weighed down, Daily Boost is essential for me. Best "Deal" website: I have gotten so many things for free or amazingly cheap from this website. Check it out: Freebies2Deals.com, I guarantee you will get hooked. Diapers: No, not for me, for The Mr.. I really liked Pampers Swaddlers when he was a newborn. Not because it had a pee line that changed colors when he was wet, I could figure that out on my own. But I liked how soft they were. Now that The Mr. is chowing down real people food, we go for durability and blow out protection. Huggies all the way.
Okay, there you have it, segment one. Hopefully you got some ideas, and I totally think you should do this on your blog, all three of you!
It's true, I totally lucked out with the Mr.. The other day I was sitting in a chair and Mack brought me all of his bottles one by one. Interesting, but I didn't think anything of it. Later that night, wouldn't take a bottle. Ever more interesting. Nap next day.. No bottle. Yup the kid rocks, weened himself off of the bottle. I don't know why I feel strangely liberated. I kinda have "Free Momma" moments, this was one. First one was when I was done nursing. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed nursing. Eleven months was a long time though. Second one was when we moved our bed out of the Mr.'s room. A whole nights worth of uninterrupted sleep was bodacious. Lastly, the bottle. Diapers here we come! I know this is a sappy parent post, but hey it is my blog right?
Wow the Larsen clan has been so busy. On Friday night we had a delightful BBQ with some friends in the backyard. Might I just say, that I had one of the best smores in my life. White chocolate (which I don't like) with coconut in it (which I also don't like.) Seriously amazing. It was so much fun but I was a little frazzled. What's new right? I got some frustrating news about a project I had been working on, I was working on multiple projects for Father's Day, Big E's work Lagoon Day was on Saturday, and the horror of all horrors.... my underwire snapped. Yup, right in half. It hurt. I didn't have a replacement, that meant big roomy baggy sweatshirts and much slouching. Oh well. Lagoon was a blast. The Mr. did so well and pretty much owned the "Bulgy the Whale" ride. He thought he was pretty much the schiz-niz, which he was. Did you know the Lagoon makes pregnant women buy a full priced ticket now? How cheap is that? You can't even go on the rides and have to pay 44 buckaroos? Nope, not prego just tried to get tickets for the sister-in-law. Cheap, like stealing ketchup and jelly packets from restaurants cheap. Father's Day was great. I actually woke up early with Big E and made him breakfast. The Mr. and I made him a shirt with his hand prints on it, a huge candy jar for work, and a calendar with pictures of him and Daddy. It was a great day, I have an amazing father and I was lucky enough to marry one of the best Dad's ever. Big E rocks. Well, enough ranting for now :)
The Birthday in Jackson Hole was pretty much perfect. We had such a great time and Big E planned things out so well. It was a great relaxing trip, full of well relaxation. We took naps during the day, went to see Robin Hood, shopped, hiked and ate... a lot. Big E is quite the man and I love how he indulges my childlike behavior when it comes to birthdays. We did miss the Mr. though. In fact the day we got back we had quite the scare. I swear that kid has so many guardian angels. Even at his delivery I am pretty sure he had extra help, but I digress. So all of the older kids are outside in my parents yard and Eric can't find the Man. He ran outside and sure enough he was in the MIDDLE of the pond walking across it. How in the world? I am not sure how he did not slip on the rocks, and keep in mind that the pond is two feet deep. We counted ourselves very lucky that day. And the worst part? He sobbed and was so angry that he had to get out. The kid is a maniac with no fear. Here are a few random pictures from the trip and then from the "boys" what cute nephews I have! Obviously I am not the best at posting pictures in order. Don't you love the Mr.'s "Rocky" look?
So when we moved into Casa Jones we knew we would definetly have to make sacrifices. Probably the biggest one was sleeping in the same room with the man. MISERY. Really I am not over-exagerating one bit. So months and months went on with me getting about two to three hours of sleep a night. To make MISERY even more miserable, when the man would wake up and "cry it out" I was two feet away. The couches became our new beds. We were in bed pretending to sleep about a month ago, and Mack starts to laugh. Hysterically. Belly laughs. This was super cute and made me smile. However, I was not smiling at 2:54, 3:19, 4:30... well you get the idea. That was the last night sharing a room. Our bed is now out in the "front room" and it is a thing of beauty. Mack transitioned so well. He doesn't wake up in the night at all anymore and has extended sleeping hours fro 8:30 to 9:00 in the morning and then takes a two hour nap. Brilliant! I am sleeping better then ever. Mr. L and I can finally talk in bed and make noises. This is great. We are giddy now to go to bed. Like I said, best decision. We are off to Jackson Hole this week for my Birthday Extravaganza Week! I can't wait! Hopefully I will be with it and actually blog about it!
So, in past posts, I may have mentioned that I used to be somewhat of a shopper, or maybe a compulsive-non-thinking-have-to-have-it-now shopper. I am not sure how I got this way, but as I think back it might have been the fact that I lived with my awesome rent-free parents and had golden jobs that paid me too well. Maybe. Anyway, I loved to shop, I shopped anytime I could get a chance. I went on fantastically fun vacations with the best girls ever, and when we got there I shopped. But I like to think that I have grown up and even matured a little. (Nothing helps you to fiscally mature like marrying an ACCOUNTANT. Yup, someone knew what he was doing when he put Big E and I together.) And seriously, aside from the accountant husband forcing me to change my ways, I am quite proud of myself. I am pretty dang financially responsible. I shop ads, I love bargains, thrifting and KSLing. I think that I have one piece of furniture that is not used. (Used mattress? I think not.) I am good. I am really good. I manage to find great used things and change them into my own. I no longer compulsive shop. I no longer shop to make myself happy, well maybe sometimes. I am a rockstar..... Except for one tiny little thing. My little girl's nursery. Forget that she isn't even conceived or that I might not even have a little girl (now that would be blasphemy!). I can't stop buying things for her nursery. Big E is aware of this, I am not quite sure he knows exactly how much has been purchased... but he is aware. BUT, in my defense it has all been fantastically priced things. So that brings me to my story. I found little girl the most wonderful CLEAN hot pink 5 x 7 rug at the DI. It was darling and went along with her nursery so well. I found it last night. I didn't buy it. Honestly for $10 why didn't I snatch it right up? It helps that I was with Momma J and she talked me out of it. Even though in my heart of shopping hearts, I knew I should buy it I didn't. I didn't sleep at all last night. I just visualized the hot pink rug with the white crib and dresser and how smashing it would look. I went back first thing this morning. Some old bat stole my baby girl's rug!
I can't stop eating fruit snacks, I love them... every flavor and every shape. While growing up my Mom never bought crap like fruit snacks. I never knew what a Lunchable, Capri Sun, Squeeze It, or anything Little Debbie tasted like, our "sugar" cereal was Honeynut Cheerios. This was probably a good thing because well, I was fat. I used to feel like I missed a huge part of childhood, now I am grateful. I actually have tasted a Lunchable and honestly how much more disgusting can you get? I, like Momma J probably won't buy all the crap listed above. I have a hard time buying Potato Chips. But... oh my goodness, I LOVE me some fruit snacks! I love The Blind Side. It was fantastic. Did I mention that it had Tim McGraw in it? He definitely belongs in the "Yummy, Fantastically Good-Looking Older Man Tom Sellick Club". Wow, this was a random post, but the man is taking an afternoon nap and I am sick of browsing at the Utah Real Estate web site. It's funny, now that we have been looking more and more at houses, I have changed my requirements a bit. I swore I did not want to move to West or South Jordan, way too windy and far. But who knows now? This house stuff is stressful. I know it will all be worth it when The Mr. gets his own room back and Big E and I can have a conversation in bed not whispering into each others ear! Oh and seriously, I can't believe Renae died! Just when Jack had some glimpse of happiness. I would be lying if I said that I didn't cry when the Dr. came out of the ER and told Jack. WATCH GLEE TONIGHT!
So here is the new facial regime. I got it from the most best friend imaginable M, and she picked it up from acne.org. If you are interested in trying it out, for sure go to the website. Anyway, I first use Johnson and Johnson's Clean and Clear Daily Gentle Cleanser. I REALLY like this cleanser, it is non abrasive and not harsh at all. And it lathers, I love the lather. Second, I use Neutrogena's On-The-Spot Acne Treatment, on the website it says to use a lot. I felt like my skin wasn't that bad, so I think it just kinda depends on your skin. Then finally I use a moisturizer called Complex 15, M got it somewhere online for me, but it is the best I have ever used. It is not overly greasy, but the on-the-spot-treatment dries out your skin and this lotion made it so I didn't even peel at all. Part of the whole concept is not to irritate your skin at all, ya know patting dry instead of rubbing and that kind of thing. But anyway, check out the website, I really have noticed a huge difference, especially in the overall even-ness of my face. I credit M with saving a precious commodity, my face. Everyone needs a friend like M, she really is the greatest! Have I ever mention how much I love Kristin Chenoweth. Really, I love her. I am re-reading her book and I think she is wonderful. Random, I know but true. Big E was sick with the 24 hour stomach flu on Easter. Major bummer. I even made Easter Brunch and all. Oh well, at least he is better now. We hung out with some friends from the old ward this weekend, it was so great to see them and laugh. I love these nights, even though they bring out massive inappropriateness. Speaking of old ward, Carrie, I totally can't believe you didn't tell me You were pregnant at Jenny's shower! Congrats my dear!
So I just got out of a fabulous bathtub/tweezing session. Yup, it's 2:27 pm and I took a long hot bath... and now I am in my sweats and Mack is still in the PJ's. Seriously my eyebrows look smashing. I thought about taking a pic, but I am way too lazy.
The Mr. finally took a few steps! Yea! A few as in like four or five, but hey it's progress. Yes the Man is 15 months old and no he doesn't walk yet, and no I am not concerned or worried at all. He is taking his sweet time and I am down with it. I do love the constant questions I get about if I am worried or not. Other then the walking he is finally sleeping a bit better. Now that is a Hallelujah moment!
I have decided that I either need to get way into blogging or not blog at all. I have no idea why I made this decision. And I hate to say it, but goodbye to Tasty Tuesdays and What's for Dinner Wednesdays. I just can't handle the commitment. Ridiculous huh? But alas, it is true. I will keep posting yummy recipes but not at any given time.
Remember when I solemnly swore that I would never drift away from ProActive? I did it again, to great results. Truth be told I had kinda had it with spending so much money, and my great friend M had tried a new regime and her skin looked fabu! So I dropped it like a brick, cold turkey. Now I use over the counter, buy in the grocery store products. It is the right combo and so much cheaper. The next sentence might be a little TMI, so read at your own risk people. So a couple of days after I switched products, I pushed my nose back and holy smokes white head erupting galore. Disgusting I know, but oh so satisfying.
Ah crapper, I totally jacked up the back again. This bums me out big time. It is slowly getting better though and of course I blame it on that cursed place, the gym. I was just really getting into the grove of exercising and I was all about the bike. What's better than burning calories, sitting on El Tushie and watching TV? Sitting and exercising, I am all about it. But that was to much bouncing pressure on that blasted disc and I am back to the boring old treadmill. I hate the gym... and sweat.
So Glee starts in 12 days, I am so excited. How I love thee, Mr Schue!
Okay peeps, here is a bargain for you! Here are some directions for printing out $20 Gift Certificates for $2. Yup, true story $2. They also have $10 certificates for $0.80. Go to Restaurants.com. (This is a website where you can buy Gift Certificates for %50 off). Find your state/region and search restaurants. (Even you out of staters can do it.) Add the Restaurants to your cart and on that page enter the promo code: BITE. I think that this expires tomorrow night so hurry and do it, they are selling out fast. Also pay close attention to the limitations, some you cannot go on specific days, and on all of them you have to spend a certain amount before applying the G.C.. Still it is so worth it! We just got back to Tres Hombres and it was EL Fantistico! One of the best parts is that you do not have to wait for it to come in the mail, you just print it on your printer, Let me know if it works for you, and don't forget to hurry!
I haven't been into blogging at all lately. Number one reason, I detest thinking of post titles and then trying to connect all of my random thoughts to it. I am seriously debating doing away with post titles. Take today, I don't have anything overly important to say, and my thoughts are most certainly not connected, but can I really do a 67th post title with "random" in it? Anywho here they are: 1. Totally bummed I missed the Jet Blue sale where tickets from SLC to JFK went for $10 each way, yup you heard me. It would have been oh so great to go with Momma J, I sure do love that women. 2. Teething stinks. I hate it, not as much as the Mr. though I am sure. The poor thing looks like he is getting four teeth really close together. Cheers to sleepless nights folks. 3. Speaking of nights, the other night I woke up to a HORRIBLE smell. I was pretty sure it was Big E's breath that was blowing in my face. I kinda gagged and then rolled over. The stench was still surrounding me. It wasn't too long before I realized that the smell was coming from my own mouth. Sometimes Farsen is disgusting. 4. Why don't they make sitcoms like they used to? Really, where are the Frasier's, Cheers and Golden Girls? I had a serious dilemma today when Frasier and the Golden Girls were on at the same time. 5. I miss my Sorority officer group. Kristina, Melissa, Amie, Mindi, Gretel, Bethany and Maureen you guys rocked and were such a blessing in my life. Really, I had never needed solid friends so badly when you all entered my life. Thank you a million times over. For the giggles, the fun and the richness that you added to my life. I miss you all! I think that when we finally find a home, I am going to throw us a reunion party! 6. Hate the gym and I still hate sweating. I have been going pretty consistently since January, thinking it would get better, but alas, still hate it. 7. I love 24 this season, but Jack and Renea need to hook up already. 8. Cooking today? Well, I have totally slacked off with Tasty Tuesday so here is a recipe, once again super yummy! This one comes from my Grandma Jo, and it is seriously the best fudge ever!
Microwave Fudge ½ c butter 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream 2 c sugar 1 tsp vanilla 1 (5 oz) or 2/3 c evaporated milk 1 (12 oz) chocolate chips 1 c chopped nuts
Place butter in large bowl and heat on full power for 1 minute or until melted. Blend in sugar and evaporated milk, mix well. Cook on level 8 for 8-10 minutes, or until soft ball stage is reached stir mixture frequently during cooking time. Blend in chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla and nuts. Stir until smooth, chill until firm. Cut into 1 inch squares, store in airtight container.
Wow, it has been awhile and I must say it is good to be back! Eric and I went on our trip to Orlando and it was fabulous, fraught with adventure. (Is fraught a word? It is now?) Our first two days were spent mainly in the airport hotel. I do have to admit it was a fun airport though, good restaurants, shopping and people watching.) I relaxed, slept in, and finished two books. I went out to go to the pool but Orlando was having an unusually cold month. The high the whole time we were there was only about forty five, so my vision of me reading and lounging by the pool sipping fruity drinks was quickly headed out the window. After Big E's conference was over, we headed to DISNEYWORLD! Amazing, seriously that place is huge. Our first night we strolled around Downtown Disney and had dinner at Earl of Sandwich. Eric and I looked into opening an Earl franchise, it is that good! The next morning we got up and went to the Magic Kingdom right in time for opening. We did the "Give a Day, Get a Day" service program and it was awesome. Really if you are planning any type of Disney trip Do it. It saved us $160. We went crazy and hit all of the good rides. I was sorely disappointed that the Magic Kingdom doesn't have Indianna Jones. By eleven o'clock we had hit all of the rides about three times, so we upgraded our ticket to a parkhopper. We went to Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Epcot as well. We went all day and only sat down for one 10 minute break. We stayed until the park closed at one o'clock in the morning and headed back to the hotel for a "nap". An hour and a half later we were up on our way to the airport. I flew standby and the early morning flight was my best bet at getting home. (This was the week that snowstorms slammed the East Coast and all of the airports were closed.) Well I got to L.A. and then I was stranded. Flight after flight I never got on. By the time the last flight left I would either have to get a hotel for two nights (I wasn't allowed to fly on President's Day) or stay in the airport. After my hour of sleep I broke down and we bought a ticket home on another airline. It was an adventure! We are so thankful for my Aunt who gave us the buddy pass (we saved a lot of money) and my Mom for watching the man. By the end of the trip I was missing him terribly! The pictures are of us and our Mickey Mouse pirate ears, and on Harleys at the Harley Davidson store.
Okay, I have slacked off.... quite a bit really. But, I do have fabulous reasons that I will go into in the next post. But seeing as though I have missed three Tasty Tuesdays, here is What's for Dinner Wednesday. Thanks for the title Jill, you are the best! This is a great and easy recipe, not to mention amazingly good and even better for leftovers! To cut some of the fat, we very rarely put the cheese on top and if we use sour cream it is the no fat kind (ya know the carton that looks like a cow) and it still is very good.
Tacoritos 1 lb hamburger 1 onion, chopped 1 can refried beans 8 8-inch flour tortillas 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup ½ can water 1 can enchilada sauce 1 can mild chopped chili peppers 1 c Monterey Jack cheese, grated 1 c Cheddar cheeses, grated
Brown meat and onion in pan. Add refried beans. Spoon mixture on to tortillas and roll, placing in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Combine soup, water, enchilada sauce and chili peppers and pour over rolled tortillas. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Yup my friends, I made it to week three. So week 1 was salad, week 2 was a main dish... so this week let's make it breakfast. This first recipe comes from Big E., and I must admit it has become a favorite. Last week we made this with freshly ground whole wheat flour and they were SO good. (Wow, that last sentence makes me sound so domestic/homemakerish, but don't be deceived Momma J ground the flour for me.) I am sure that many of you have had this before, it's an oldy but a goody!
German Pancakes 3 egg whites 3 whole eggs 1 c flour 1 c milk ½ tsp salt ½ cube margarine or butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, spray 9 x 13 pan with Pam. Take ½ cube of margarine and put into pan. Place pan in the oven while preparing the batter. In a blender combine egg white, eggs, flour, milk and salt. Mix for 2-3 seconds on a low setting. Use a whip to mix as you pour into the pan leaving some lumps. Bake for 25 minutes.
This next one is a simple granola recipe. I love granola and always wanted to make it but soon found out that I didn't have wheat germ and dandelion oil in my cupboards. Really good granola recipes have such things. But this is a simplified granola, and it is so yummy. I like it best with cold milk in the morning. If you make this remember to keep it in an airtight container. I know I got this off of some website, but I am not sure which one.
Cinnamon Raisin Granola 5 c old-fashioned oats ½ c honey 4 tsp ground cinnamon ½ c packed brown sugar 3 tsp vanilla extract ½ c vegetable oil 1 c raisins or crasins
In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, oil, honey, and cinnamon; bring to a boil. (I usually double the syrup) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture, stir to coat. Spread in a large shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes. Cool and add raisins. Store in an airtight container.
I don't know why, but lately I have been bombarded with the simple fact that I am aging. I don't know if I actually have issues with aging, or more the idea that I am running out of time with people. Does that make sense? And okay, in all honesty I DO hate the wrinkle that is now permanent between my eyebrows. Mostly for the fact that if I forget to pluck my unibrow, my wrinkle highlights it and I look like Sam the Eagle off of The Muppets. I have been telling people that I am 23, for about three years now, why? Not sure. I liked 23, but I like now too. I love that I have Big E and The Mr. now. It's all very complicated. However this hit me last night. Big E and I were watching an old Warren Miller movie, I remember back in the 23 days I thought these people were exciting and I took cues from them to be more daring... and maybe stupid. I wanted to become the skier that did amazing jumps while looking totally stylish while doing so. (Forget the fact that I have never skied). I was watching last night and the only thoughts that came to my mind were these: What complete idiots, just asking for back and joint injuries. The aging thing hasn't been helped with the realization that if I wear orthopedic inserts in my New Balances, I am a new woman. This combined with the second realization that if I ever lost Farsen, pretty sure I would lose it. I also saw on one of my old young women's Facebook that she was a fan of the group, "At your age I knew Shia Labeouf from Even Stevens NOT Transformers". What in the crap is Even Stevens? Well, I am tired while writing this post. I am not even sure if it made sense. But maybe it has brought me some comfort, and maybe tomorrow I will actually wake up a 24year old. Maybe.
Well, Tasty Tuesday made it to week 2. This recipe sounds really gross, but it is oh so good. I kinda have an aversion to hamburger, there is nothing worse then the smell of cooking hamburger (actually there area a lot of things that are worse... but I digress). So even WITH the smell, this is an amazing reciepe. Try it out.
Sweet and Sour Meatballs Meatballs: 2/3 c milk Flour or breadcrumbs 2 lbs ground beef 1 tsp salt, pepper 1 egg ½ onion
Sweet and Sour Sauce: 13 oz canned pineapple chunks ¼ c white vinegar 2 TB cornstarch 2 TB soy sauce ¼ c brown sugar 1 green pepper
Combine all meatball ingredients and separate into 1 inch balls. Cook on 350 until brown throughout the middle. Separate Pineapple chunks from juice, add enough water to the pineapple juice to make 1 cup of liquid, add all other ingredients stir until not lumpy and then heat over the stove. Pour sauce over meat adding green pepper and pineapple. Serve over rice.
In other happenings, it was our anniversary yesterday. Three years, and what a great three years it has been. I got Eric a wedding ring (better late then never right?) and he gave me a beautiful bouqet of white roses, and COUNTRY ROCK BAND! Love it, love it, love it! In complete cheesiness, Eric is such a great hubby and an amazing Dad. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. What fun we have together. How glad I am that I asked him to ask me out on a date five years ago!
Wow I am impressed with myself, two posts in one week! For all of you that want to know how to do your own customize banner and become a technological genius as well, go to www.cutestblogonthebolck.com. On the right hand side you will scroll down until you see "free blogging secrets", click on that. I think the third one down is How to customize your own TCBOTB banner. Just follow these directions, they will be MUCH better then the ones I could attempt to give. By the way, Glee won a Golden Globe and I loved Kristin Chenoweth on Idol last night! Back to the title of the post, Photographers. Eric and I have not had the best of luck with photographers. It might have started out with our wedding photographer who was an hour and a half late, or the chick who brought her dog on the shoot, or perhaps it was the one that said, "I don't really make kids smile, your the parent so it's pretty much up to you." We have been LONGING to find a confident, fun, creative photographer for years now. One that doesn't ask you how you want to pose, one that just does everything for you. I was initially interested in Melinda because she did these amazingly cute one year pictures that included baby getting a go at birthday cake. So we booked our appointment, and she was amazing! Talk about everything we wanted... creative, fun, confident, and very reasonable. Really if you need a photographer she is great! I would recommend her to anyone and will definitely be going back. Check out her other work at www.melindabryantphotography.blogspot.com. Below are some of my favorites!
I am kinda debating about having a weekly recipe post, (seeing as though the family cookbook was such a hit, don't you want to try some?) but I am not quite sure yet. So here is my first attempt, please also note that this might be my only attempt. But welcome to Tasty Tuesday. My sister-in-law Merisa, invited us over to her house on Friday for Cafe Rio salads, not the bought kind, the homemade kind. (Some of you might remember that I was extremely allergic to cilantro, tomatillos and bunch of other crap. Like throat swell shut allergic. But the oddest thing happened, after I got pregnant allergies turned off. So bring back Cafe Rio!) ANYWAY, Merisa is one of those cooks who claim that she can't cook, but yet EVERYTHING that she makes is super yummy. You should try this woman's banana bread and sweet and sour chicken. I tell you what... she can cook. So here is the recipe for yummy cafe Rio salads:
Cafe Rio-Like Chicken 1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing 1 TB chili powder 1 TB cumin 3 cloves garlic, minced 5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast Cook all ingredients in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred the meat and cook 1 additional hour.
Cafe Rio-Like Dressing 1 buttermilk ranch-dressing packet 1 c mayonnaise 2 tomatillos, husk removed and diced 1/2 bunch cilantro 1 clove garlic juice of 1 lime 1 jalapeno (w/o seeds makes it milder) Blend all ingredients well in food processor. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.
Cafe Rio-Like Rice 3 c water 4 tsp chicken bouillon 4 tsp garlic mixed, minced 1/2 bunch cilantro 1 can green chilies 3/4 tsp salt 1 TB butter 1/2 onion 3 c Minute rice Blend cilantro, chilies, and onions together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
So there is a lot of food processing, but it is worth it! Enjoy!
Hallelujah! After two years after naming the blog Larsen Living and HATING it every time I saw it, I have found a new one. The Mommy Monologues, I like it and I am not even sure why. I think that it no longer screams enrichment night, and really I just love being a mom. I have also found some great new blogs and websites that are full of yummy food, great bargains and creative projects so check them out on the blog list to the side. I am a Technological Genius! I finally figured out how to customize my own banner! I feel so accomplished. Granted many of you have been doing this for years, but for me this was a huge step. I feel like my blog is getting a makeover. I had a friend who I had not seen for a long time that looked at my blog and noticed that I don't have any pictures of me. This is one of my resolutions. I don't want to be that mom that is never in any pictures. On to more important things. THE MR. So as promised here are some pictures from Mack's Finding Nemo extravaganza. Thank you so much to everyone who came and made it a special occasion. We have the best extended family, thank you so much for loving Mack. He loves his new toys, clothes and books. He is all sorts of big boy now. Four teeth and close to walking!
The following are completely random, unconnected things that have entered my mind lately: 1. Mack totally pooped in the tub last night. Nothing could have prepared me for this. At the first sign of floaties, I gagged and fled the room. (Big E was there, I wouldn't leave my one year old unattended, would I). Maybe I am not so great at this Mom stuff. 2. Praise be for night guards. I love my night guard. Yup the big hunk of plastic to keep you from grinding and clenching teeth. Best thing I have ever done for improving my sleep. In fact I love it so much that I named him: Farsen. Sick aren't I. 3. Why whenever I turn on M.A.S.H., it's the episode where Colonel Blake dies? I hate it, but can't stop watching. Have I mentioned that BJ Honnicut is totally hunkalious to me... in that Tom Sellick way? 4. I am starting to think I might do this whole Facebook business. Not quite sure I can take the plunge yet though. 5. I have a new calling. Sunday School again, but this time it is the 16-18 year olds. I taught last week and they ate me alive. Not sure what to do now. 6. The Family Recipe Book rocks. So far I have cooked three new things and they are delicious. 7. My life is pretty dang great and I am really lucky and blessed. The Mr. and Big E are the best! Even though sometimes I only see the things that I want to improve about my body, I am so grateful for it. I am thankful that it works and there isn't constant pain in my back anymore. I am thankful that I can exercise, even though I loathe sweating and stinking! 8. Big E has a conference in Florida next month. I should go, it would practically be free. I think I might really, seriously need to go to Disney World.
Whew! December was crazy busy! It just flew by, but was filled with great things! Unfortuanately some projects had to go to get other ones done, hence no Christmas Cards. Sorry peeps. Instead the monster three year project of the Blake Family Reciepe Book was finished! Hallelujah! I finally finished with probably two hundred or so tried and true yummy family recipes.
We also went driving around to look at lights, with the Mr. in a FORWARD facing carseat. (Can NOT believe he is so old!) We weren't able to celebrate his Birthday on his actual day of birth due to some family stuff. But in two days comes the big "Finding Nemo" party! The poor guy did pick up croup for his Birthday, that was pretty awful and I felt so sorry for him. At least I was prepared that he was going to get it though.
Christmas was sensational! How fun it was to celebrate it with Eric and the Mr.. It could not have been better. The Mr. got a TON of toys, his favorite being Sillytown. A few days before Christmas, I decided to take everything that I had gotten for Eric back and get him a wii.... I know I totally caved. He loves it though and I might mention that I pretty much kick trash while playing the guitar on Rockband 2. Big E gave me a Cricut! Yeah!! Holy smokes, that was really exciting, now I am just not sure what to do with! We got to spend time with both families, which is one of the things I love most about Christmas. Eric's sister Christie's wedding was on December 26th so we also spent time up in Idaho.
As for New Years resolutions, the ones that I am serious about, I keep to myself. Ya know, don't want to jinx them. But there are a few that I can share. 1. Wash our sheets more. Don't think us disgusting... I mean we do wash them, just not as much as we should. 2. Stay in touch with people better. I really need to improve in this area. Do I dare venture into Facebook. I guess I should blog more too. 3. Having more fun with the Mr. during the day and not worrying so much about keeping a clean house. 4. Language. Need to improve. Have to stop using some of my favorite phrases. Afterall Mack is going to speak something other than whale one day.
Anyway, Best wishes and Happy New Year! By the way, if you read the blog and don't see your name on my blog list, please leave me a comment and link to yours!
We have been married for almost five years and have an energetic, darling two and a half year old Mack (also known as The Mr.) and a smiling happy four month old Katelyn (also known as Baby Cakes.) Eric is a cross fitting, hunky accountant while Annie is a decorating, cooking and crafting fool!