Thursday, April 28, 2011

feeling springy.

It just takes one beautiful spring day to get my happy going.
That, combined with a visit to the Springville Reams grocery store,
{in jelly sandals, no less}
and I was high as a kite.
Ah, and how I love their gorgeous produce.
In the interest of full-disclosure,
I don't get free things or money from Reams for saying that.
{I wish!} 
I DO, however, get the royal treatment every time I go there.
As for this time?
Yeah, um, pretty sure that right as I came through the front doors,
there was a bag boy standing there.

{I don't like to call Reams bag boys
"bag boys" though.
I prefer to call them:
customer-service-specialist-executives/wonderful-chipper-and oh so helpful manchildren...
It's simply just more fitting.}

and what did the CSSEWCHMC say to me?

"Welcome, to Reams.
Can I wipe down a cart for you?"

You heard me right.
He offered to CLEAN my shopping cart for me.
 Yep. Totally happened.
Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton.
You're officially no longer the only princess on the block!
{Isn't this purple-y garlic gorge?
I know, I know, I totally took pictures of garlic... nerd---y.
But I was just so darn tickled with them... Pretty, pretty.}
Amidst all of the cold storminess that IS April in Utah, I have been craving hot chocolate, spice cakes, creamy potato soups, and all sorts of fall-ish foods. But today, my cravings were influenced by blue skies, 70 degree temperatures, and the promise of a much anticipated spring.

I sliced up fresh zucchini and yellow squash
and sauteed it in butter and fresh garlic,
then I sauteed some chicken breasts in
garlic, olive oil, and Italian seasonings.

Then we melted fresh Parmesan Cheese on the top, and voila!
A light, simple, summery meal.


We spent the rest of the evening sitting on a blanket in the backyard
eating Smoked Gouda and Ritz crackers,
while I read "The Boxcar Children" aloud to my boys.

Kort threw a toy airplane around the yard while our
neurotic Border Collie harassed the neighbor dogs
through cracks in our 20-year-old fence
and Tennyson squealed with delight at
all of the various antics. 

Now the wind is throwing branches against the side of our house
and rain is tinkling on the tin roof that hangs over our back deck.
Yep. My blue skies are already a thing of the past as
another wet April storm gets set to come barreling through.
It's a little depressing,
but I can't help but lay in bed tonight and smile.
Because those summer days are drawing ever nearer.
So close I can taste it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Wake to the happy sounds of an 8 month old chatting away in his crib.
Look at the clock.
6:45 a.m.
Think to self: I'll get get a few more z's while he plays in his crib.
Wake again.
It's 7:15
Look at baby monitor and see that a 7 year old has now
climbed into the crib and is playing peek-a-boo with baby.
Baby is giggling.
Think to self: I'll just get a feeeew MORE z's while they play together.
Wake again to a cold little finger poking my bare arm.
It's the seven year old.
He is holding a big soggy diaper.
"Baby's diaper was REALLY big," he says.
"He needed a new one, so I took this one off,
but now I can't get a new one on.
I need your help."
Leap out of bed.
Hurry into the nursery.
Find a half-naked baby,
still perfectly content,
kicking and squealing
in a huge puddle of fresh pee.
But wait, there's more...

Pee on the walls.
Pee dripping from the crib bars.
Pee soaked into his jammies.

Laugh out loud.
Did I really think that those extra minutes of sleep
wouldn't come at a price?
{Answer: no.}

Seven year old says:
"Oh wow, sorry mom."

Laugh even louder.
"That's okay, bud.
It was time to change Ten's sheets anyway.

{We don't call him Catalyst Kortland for nothing.}

It's so nice having a big helper around.
Get baby cleaned up.
Put baby into his high chair.
Dump a generous helping of Cinnamon Burst Cheerios onto his tray.
Make breakfast burritos.
Serve breakfast burritos.
Talk at the breakfast table.
Try to deliver believable laughs as 7 year old tells bad jokes.
Ask seven year old to please stop kicking his chair.
Ask seven year old to please stop tapping his foot.
Ask seven year old to please stop clinking his glass.
Ask seven year old to please stop slapping the table top.

Seven year old starts asking:
"Can I tap like this?"


"Can I tap like this?"

I'd rather you didn't.

"Can I tap like this?"

Ignore him.

"Can I tap like....this?"

Keep ignoring him.

"Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?

"Kortland James Dugovic, you'd better watch it."

Seven year old laughs.
So glad SOMEONE thinks his is fun.
I threaten to ground said seven year old.

Go to the bathroom.
Comb his hair.
Coat, backpack, kisses, prayers.

Remind him to be good for his teacher.
Send him out the door.


{Sans the free-for-all-peeing and incessant pestering, yes?}


How was YOUR morning?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I noticed that I was a WHOLE lotta fun to dye Easter eggs with the other day. So I thought I would share the parental wisdom gleaned from our little dye sesh so all of y'all can be a fun mom like me. So, without further ado, I give to you:

Ten things 
you can say to your child 
to help make egg-dye-ing 
much less fun.


"Hold on bud, it's not ready yet."
{Because kids love to wait.}


"Not yet.... Not yet..."
{More waiting. JUST what a seven year old wants to do!}


"Wait! Not like that!"
{Because there is only ONE way to dye an Easter egg. Obviously.
Besides, art should be restrictive and anal...didn't you know?}


"You're dyeing your fingers. Put on these gloves."
{Because, yeah, purple-y blue fingers practically ='s end of the world. Who's with me?}


"You're dripping! You're dripping everywhere!"
{Again, end of the world. You have to... *gasp* ....wipe. drips. up.... and stuff!}


"Don't mix the colors."
{Cause kids shouldn't make their own colors... heavens no.}


"Be patient. Just let it soak in there for a minute"
{Cause arts and crafts time? ALL about micromanagement. That's what makes it creative... and fun.}


"It's getting all over the table."
{If you care so darn much about the table, then maybe you should have put newspapers down on said table. It is a table, woman. A TABLE!!}


"Don't get it on your clothes!"
{Maybe you should have had him change into clothes that could get messy. Just a thought.}


"If you keep dropping them in all of the different colors, your eggs are just going to be poop brown."


"Hold on. I need to wipe this up."
{Yes. Right now. In the MIDDLE of our project, I need to wipe this up. Who cares that it will just get dirty again? Who cares that there are at least a million more drips to come before this egg dye-ing process is complete? I sensed that you were having fun for too many consecutive minutes and might even be getting into some sort of happy groove. So we need to pause and get the table all sorts of spotless before you continue to make your mess.}


Yeah, we ONLY like the good CLEAN kind of fun at our house.
{Does clean fun constitute an oxymoron? Perhaps.}

I think we need a do over.

So, this weekend,
I'm gonna take a xanax,
and we're gonna try this again.

And I'm gonna let that kid
take a gall dern BATH
in egg dye if he wants to.

Because I'm a fun mom, dang it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

easter nests

I was looking for something fun and Easter-y to do with Kort this afternoon,
and turned to the trusty Miss Nigela Lawson.
I wasn't disappointed.
{Neither was he.}
These were so much fun to make.
All you need is this:
1. Shredded Wheat. I LOVED going to the supermarket and locating the big biscuit versions of these. The nostalgia was all but overwhelming. I was instantly 8 years old again and transported back to my grandparent's home in Marysvale, Utah. I remember Papa {my grandfather} eating them for breakfast. I also remember ME eating them for breakfast because I wanted to be grown up, and sophisticated like Papa was. Mine, however, had about 4 tablespoons of sugar sprinkled on top to make those icky biscuits palatable.

So, I guess I wasn't so distinguished after all.

Flash forward twenty-two years later and you'll find, I'm not much better! Now, instead of a few spoonfuls of table sugar, I'm saturating them in milk chocolate.

2. Milk chocolate chips. {Of course, you can go with semi-sweet or bitter if you're all grown up and such, but as for me - I like my chocolate as sweet as it can get!}

3. Cadbury's Chocolate Eggs.
{Oh be still my heart, how I love those little pastel delights.}
Okay, listen up, this is where it gets complicated...or not so much:
1. Melt the chips {via microwave or stove top, whatever floats your boat.}
2. Smush up the shredded wheat biscuits and sprinkle them into the chocolate. {I used a bag of choc. chips and three biscuits, but you can just play around until it's the consistency you prefer. Not a big fan of rules up in here.}
3. Stir.
4. Plop by the spoonful onto parchment and shape into little nests.
5. Decorate with lil' eggs {Having tried your darndest not to have eaten all of them already by this point.}

I think they are just so darn kitschy and charming.

These were so easy and rewarding, but I gotta be honest.
Chocolate? Not my fave.
So we decided to play around with some other options.

Like peanut butter. 

So we took these:
1. Chow mein noodles
2. Peanut butter chips
3. Cadbury eggs.
and made these:

The peanut butter melts kinda funny.
You have to just let it sit in the pot
{on low, low heat}
and NOT stir and just let it melt.



Then I dumped in some chow mein noodles
{totally just eyeballed it}
and stirred.

These were a little more dry and crumbly,
but man are they delicious.
{Says the peanut butter lover}.

I am going to try a different peanut butter recipe that I have used for peanut butter rice crispy treats, and see if those aren't a little more gooey and mold-able. I will let you know if I try...and if they are... and such...

And finally, for my absolute favorite of the nesty test kitchen experiments,
My own personal Arc Du Triumph....


Pretzels with white chocolate and cinnamon!!!!


These make the most chunky, random nests of the bunch, but they are also the yummiest. I crushed some of the pretzels and left others whole to give it some different textures, and sprinkled a cinnamon/sugar mixture into the pot as I stirred.

These are sinful.

I ate almost all of them all by my lone.

Aren't they just so twiggy looking?
Kinda fun.


So anyway, it was fun to try some new spins on an old favorite.
Let me know if you make them with your kiddos!

If you liked this article or found it fun or helpful in any way, please pass it along by sharing it on facebook, twitter, or even your own blog! {The tools to share are right below.} Thanks!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Okay, so my very first couponing trip was not really so great.
Since then, I have had a few mild successes and gotten a few freebies along the way.
However, for the most part, I have simply wasted a ton of time
{like 6 hours somedays, people}
and organizing
and scouring the ads
and putting together deals
and matching up coupons
and scouring the internet couponing sites for tips
and great coupon combos

I really just don't think it's for me.

1. I think it is just a talent. Plain and simple.
Some people have this talent, and the rest of us just DON'T.
Sadly, I fall squarely with the "don'ts"

2. I live in UTAH.
Have you been to Utah?
Do you live in Utah?
Cause Utah is NUTS, yo!
We Utahns are suuuuper frugal.
{Present blogger included}
We can sniff out a deal anywhere.
There is no "too early" time to get up for a deal.
There is no such thing as "too many" of anything when it's FREE.
By 10:00 Monday morning, the deals are GONE.
And I am still clipping coupons at 10:00 Monday morning,
so I don't stand a chance.

3. {and probably the most important one}
I am a moron.
{No, not a Mormon...well, that too, but that's not what I'm talking about in this particular instance...}
And a little bit ditsy.
And I'm not saying that because I want people to write in and say -
"NO! You're not a moron! You're smart and wonderful and such!"
or anything like that,
I'm writing it because it is the gospel truth.

Today, I went to Walmart because they do double coupons on Tuesdays.
I just got SOME things, but was excited about the double coupon concept.
{P.S. Don't get too excited bout double coupons at Walmart,
they only double coupons up to a dollar.}
I have never done the double coupon thing at Walmart before.

So I get all of my stuff on the counter,
hand the girl my coupons
and we are off and running.
She gets to the end and tell me the total,
and I see that I haven't saved as much as I thought I might.

I ask her if she has doubled the coupons yet, and she is like, "Huh?"
{At this point I realize that it would have been NICE
if I had asked her about the doubling BEFORE we started the purchase!!!!!!!
Yeah, ya think?}

And I say, "Oh, don't you do double coupons on Tuesday?"
And she says {very nicely} "Oh, I have no idea. Let me ask."
So she goes and asks, comes back, and sure enough, they DO.

HOWEVER, since I didn't tell her this BEFORE she started ringing up my order, she has to VOID OUT all of the coupon-ed items, enter them back in, scan the coupon, double it, and re-bag the product.

She is super nice about it.
I am super nice about it.{Which is fitting since this is all my fault.}
The guy waiting behind me in line is pleasant and nice about it.
The girl behind him, not so much.

It seems as though she is trying to stab me in the face via her eye balls.

It's working...on an emotional level.

You may not know this about me, but I almost never get nervous.

Do live T.V. in front of thousands of viewers?
So much fun.

Sing a solo in church?
No prob.

Botch a couponing transaction and make a line full of busy, tired people wait?
Get hot
and sweaty
and titchy
and nervous,
and basically want to crawl into a hole and die.

We get done,
I thank the girl and say {again}
how sorry I am that I didn't give her a heads up first,

It's official.
This is not one of my talents.

Sure, I may go to Walgreens for the occasional free item, because there is a coupon expert there who knows what to do and I can just hand her my stuff, save tons of money, and be on my way, but I don't think the mega deal grocery store style stuff is for me. There is just way too much that can go wrong, and in my case, {being flighty as a spring bird} it usually ALL will.

So, big old FAIL for me.

I really can't justify spending this kind of time on coupons when I am this bad at it!

It makes ABOUT as much sense as me:
taking piano lessons,
or running foot races,
or trying to become the first Killer Whale trainer at Sea World
who totally has to plug her nose when Shamu tosses her into the water.

So I wish all you other crazy couponers out there the best of luck.

There will be one less girlie out there
trying to clear a hoard-worthy stash
of Nivea body wash from the shelves.

I will likely be stinkier for it,
but that's something I'm just going to have to live with.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Before and After {a.k.a. make-over!!!!}

QUITE some time ago, I started the process of re-thinking the form and function of our living room and dining room. As you may or may not know, we purchased and moved into our house on something of a whim. We also {embarrassingly, and much like MANY other people at the time} purchased the house with the intention of living there temporarily, fixing it up, and selling it at a profit. Yeah, we thought we were sooooo "Flipping Out."

Well, we moved in, got to work, and really just designed the house based on what was popular, neutral, and safe so that it would be appealing to future buyers. And wouldn't you know it, by the time the house was half way remodeled, we had fallen head over heels in love with the neighborhood. We loved the school, the neighbors, the huge yard, the neighbors, the quiet and safe street, and did I mention how much we loved the neighbors?

We also learned {mi-i-i-ighty quick} that having doting grandparents one street over was WORTH OUR HOUSE'S WEIGHT IN GOLD.

{Why hello there
"rebirth of a regular date night
with FREE babysitting,"
where have you been all our lives?!}

We soon realized that our
terribly grand
{not to mention OH so original}
"flipping" plans were over.

We had officially burned out on the "do it yourself" renovations once we got the top level semi-finished, so our basement remained an utter mess until last month. We FINALLY got that finished {woo-hoo!} so now we just have to completely redo the top level again and design it for OURSELVES rather than imaginary potential buyers and ...oi.

So, after much waiting, and even more work, I have finally completed a few re-do projects that are finished enough to be worth sharing.

So, I give to you...
My dining room and living room before and after.

{Pictured above.} See the cluttered baker's rack? Yeah, it has plagued my existence for the last five years. Talk about a broken window! Actually, that sucker was worse than a broken window. It was a black hole. Nothing could resist it's gravitational pull. I would spend 2 full hours tackling it's ginormous piles of clutter, then spend 5 minutes neurotically threatening the very lives of my husband and children if they set so much as a paper clip on it's pristine surface, only to have it look just as awful if not MORE SO two days later. Well guess what? It's gone. It can't accumulate clutter if it isn't there, and honestly, I am kicking myself for not giving it the boot earlier.

Moral of the story?
If you have a broken window that won't stay fixed,
SHATTER IT, and move on :)
Now, I know this looks just AWFUL, but in my defense, we were in the throes of finishing the basement and every room in our poor lil' home was feeling the effects at this point. You can kinda see our living room too - big, heavy leather sectional, huge red armchair, huge ottoman... not loving it.
So I  got all sorts of gangsta {yes, once again.}did a little bit of this:

I especially love the shot below because it includes the hubs' "Valentimes Truck" {see #21 on that thar post}
Isn't she a beaut?

And this is the final result!
I love it.
I know I'm weird for loving a collage of empty frames,
but I just do.
I love them.
And please note the beautious new {to me} table.
{Thanks Kristen!}
And the newly sprayed chairs.
{Thanks Krylon "Castle Rock" cans of spray paint!}
And here's a lil' sneak peak of what's going on in the living room:
I love spending time in this room already.
It isn't finished yet, the hubs and I are scouring craigslist and KSL DAILY in search of the perfect couch, but I am sure tickled with the pristine leather chairs that we scored for $75 a piece! Woot woot!

We still have a ton to do, but wow it is fun to finally see some of the pieces coming together! So that's what I've been up to, but the girls at communal global want to know what YOU are up to today.
Link up and share!