Monday, October 21, 2013

My favorite fall soup

This is my favorite fall soup! It's easy, delicious and it's a crockpot recipe.. which makes it a winner in my book. This recipe is also vegan!
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16 oz.) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 5 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. tabasco sauce
  • 1 (20 oz.) jar Prego traditional spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz. pasta (I usually use whole wheat rotini noodles)
 Add all ingredients (besides pasta) into a large crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Cook pasta according to directions and add to soup before serving.

Recipe adapted from this one from Favorite Family Recipes.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bella at 4 and 1/2

Bella is our little beauty. She has a heart of gold, a soft spot for animals and is polite as can be (most of the time.) She is ecstatic to start preschool next month. On top of everything else, she is brilliant. She is going to excel with preschool and that is part of the reason we chose a kindergarten prep class for her.

 Bella at 4 1/2:
- Likes to make forts.
- Likes to solve problems.
- Loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates. She also likes Dora, Spongebob, Doc McStuffins, 
- Loves going to the park.
- Loves sleepovers at her cousins house.
- Shes obsessed with rainbows.
- Still loves mac & cheese.
- Loves playing dressup.
- She's finally likes playing with Barbies, My Little Ponies, etc.
- She likes to help load the dishes and has affectionately named our dishwasher "washy." Which I think is a silly name for a dishwasher who doesn't like to wash. Our new one is being delivered soon and I'm afraid she might cry!

Funny things she has said lately:

She says she wants to be an "art girl" so that she can paint zombies, rainbows and all the other things you can paint.

She loves the song "Can't hold us" by Macklemore. Part of the lyrics say "So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us" and she sings it as "So we put our hands up like the silly jam-o does". I asked her what a silly jam-o is and she told me it's a wolf. Like, "duh mom."

She sneezed and I reminded her that she needs to cover her mouth. She asked why and I told her so she doesn't give her germs to someone else. She said "Well why do I want to sneeze them on me then?" Good question!

Kate at 15 months old

Kate is so much fun right now. She is running, climbing and getting into everything.Her hair has gotten SO curly. I keep hoping that it will eventually grow down instead of out. She rocks curly hair like no one else!
 Kate at 15 months old:
- Climbing on everything. Chairs, the kitchen table, into the bathtub, she climbs up on the step stool in the bathroom and into the bathroom sink. Heaven help me.
- Loves monkeys!
- Loves everyone, waves to strangers and loves animals. She isn't shy.
- She loves flies and little ants (gross!) Lucky for her we don't have a shortage of bugs out here in farm land.
- She is really into dancing lately. 
- Loves any toy that plays sounds or music.
- Loves bath time!
- She doesn't say many words, especially compared to Bella at this age, but she definitely communicates and gets her point across. She is getting good listening and completing small tasks (hand me the toy, help mom shut the door, sit down, etc.)
- She likes pulling hair and bites!
- She is really good at getting off her pants and diaper! Not good!
- She loves to play with big sister and tries to imitate everything Bella does. She thinks her big sister is the funniest person she has ever met..

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tree of Wind Chimes

At the Ogden Cemetery near my dad's grave is a huge old tree with a dozen or so wind chimes. It's one of the first things we noticed when we went there for the first time. Every year we try to find the perfect wind chime to hang in the tree. I love the sound they make. I found one today to hang in the tree for his birthday next month.

 You always hear that time eases the pain of losing someone but I don't find that true. As the years go by, all that changes is more time lost. Birthdays, holidays, graduations. My dad didn't get to meet my girls, not on this Earth anyway. But I guess time does soften the edge of the pain you feel. Some days are harder than others still. I could use his advice today. I miss him but I know he is always here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Independence Day 2013

This year for the 4th we went to the Kaysville parade & then to a BBQ at my sister's house. The parade was fun but HOT! Bella loved it this year and did really good catching candy. Kate was more interested in trying to find rocks to eat and batting her eyelashes at people for sips of their drinks.

The kids & guys swam at the BBQ and then we lit fireworks afterwards. Kate liked the fireworks as long as I held her the whole time and Bella ended up spending the night with her cousins. We love the holidays and spending time with family!

Dirty Dash

I'm attempting to catch up on blogging! Sadly I've fallen way behind and it makes me sad.

Last month me & half of my family participated in the Dirty Dash. I've never laughed so hard in my life! We named ourselves the Piggy Posse, made matching t-shirts and truly embraced the mud. It took us several hours to waddle our way through the mud and the showers were freezing at the end!

The entire Piggy Posse

Top Row: Tia, Jaden, me, Skye, AJ, Gretchen, Siara, Carolyn
 Bottom Row: Bella, Tayzhia, Aspen & Emma

We all got separated during the dash and this was our little group at the end.

Seriously the most fun I've had in a long time! I loved every second of this event and I can't wait until the next one!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Katelynn's 1st Birthday!

 My little princess had her 1st birthday!

Kate at one year:
-Everyone who meets Kate comments on her sweet personality and notices how happy she is
-She walks more now than she crawls
-LOVES her dad. She has since the second she was born and hasn't grown out of it.
-She plays peekaboo, claps and plays pat-a-cake
-Says mama, dada, ny ny (night night), hi, na na (banana)
-She loves trying new foods. Bananas are her favorite.
-She is very friendly and smiles at everyone that she can. She gets a lot of attention when we go shopping.
-She loves to snuggle.
-She likes climbing and can get up onto the couch, stepstools and little chairs.
-She is very ticklish 

 Kate's party was held at our house with all of the family and cousins. Kate loved all the attention!

 I had little crowns and wands for the girls.

Kate's cake was so cute but the shimmery frosting was so hard to photograph!

We love you Katelynn!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Going Plant Strong - Part I

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw that I've decided to go vegan..forever. I've been thinking a lot today about what led me in this direction and I can't really pinpoint one thing. Part of it is health reasons and the other part is ethical reasons. 

I've always been an animal welfare kind of girl. Plus I've never really liked the taste of meat but I've always considered it healthy and necessary. I was always afraid of becoming a "junk food vegetarian". I didn't ever think I'd go completely vegetarian but last September I had a moment when I just decided that I couldn't do it anymore. For over 6 months I've been completely vegetarian. It has not been hard at all for me BUT I realized I had become the exact kind of vegetarian that I was afraid of. Plenty of fruits, vegetables and junk. It's easy to do. It's easy to make excuses and not have the time to make a good dinner or plan out healthy meals. I had really good days.. and I had really bad days.


A couple of weeks ago I decided that I needed to do something drastic. In the past year or two I've seen tons of food documentaries (Food Inc, Fork vs. Knives, Hungry for Change, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead) and I've read quite a few books (The China Study, Eat to Live, The Unhealthy Truth, The Engine 2 Diet). and it's been really eye opening. There is some scary stuff in our food supply, people..

Almost 4 weeks ago I decided that I could commit to a vegan diet for 28 days. I really thought about it and decided that after the 4 weeks, I'd add back in dairy but not as much as I had been eating. Right after Easter I decided to add back in some dairy and it made me so sick! I've always thought I was a little bit lactose intolerant so it could definitely be that or it could have been from not having it for so long. Whichever it was, it made me decide that plant strong was the life for me. The comparison between how I've felt the last couple of weeks (lots of energy, weight loss, glowy skin, not feeling sick) to how I normally feel (tired, sick, bloated, not losing weight no matter what) was the biggest factor for me.

If your on the fence at all, you really need to watch this and you'll change your mind in a heartbeat ;)
Justin Timberlake - Bring It On Down 2 Veganville (VeganShake) - SNL 3-9-13 - Video Dailymotion

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bella's Rainbow Birthday Party!

Bella is 4! This year we decided to host her birthday party at our house. She loves rainbows right now so a rainbow party is what we had!

On the menu: Lil smokies in BBQ sauce, potato salad, chicken salad, meat & cheese trays, rolls, pistachio salad, chips, orea balls, and of course Bella's favorite.. mac & cheese!
My mom also brought her chocolate fountain & for dipping there were rice krispie treats, vanilla waffers, brownies, peeps, bananas, strawberries, & Bella's pick.. chocolate licorice.

The birthday girl!
The guests..
Bella and her cousin Emma

Aunt Skye was a customer in Bella's beauty boutique :)

Unicorn pinata!
Hello Kitty cake miss Bella picked out herself and it just happened to have a rainbow!

 Katelynn decided parties are a blast and found her fair share of treats from the kids table.
 Grandma gave her a bath in the sink after she spilled a couple of drinks and decided to play in them :)

Bella is at the perfect age to really enjoy her birthday parties! And we will be having a birthday for Kate in 2 months!