Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

welcome to our home for Christmas!

our new flocked tree

nothing says Christmas like candy! runner from here

family room
kitchen tree with kitchen gadgets and goodies

entryway tree~ tea cups, roses and tea pots

living room

living room with new tree

dining room tree~ crowns in pink, silver, aqua on white feather tree
my mom has been helping me collect antique silver, love it!

my non-traditional dining room~ my favorite room in the house

wishing you a very merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dipped Caramel and Chocolate Marshmallows

It was time for the annual cookie exchange! While visiting Disneyland
over Thanksgiving I found a little piece of heaven. Chocolate Caramel Dipped Marshmallows! I knew I had my treat for the cookie exchange!

  1. Sticks found at Michael's.
  2. Dip sticks ends in light corn syrup, put on marshmallow.
  3. Unwrap caramels (this took me 90 minutes!). I totally recommend buying the caramel balls in the bag.

4. Using a double boiler (or a pot/glass bowl on top of pot of water) to melt caramels.
5. Be sure to spray top pot with PAM before beginning.
6. Add a little milk or butter for smooth caramel.

7. I recommend laying them on Silpats. I sprayed my wax paper with PAM and I still had problems lifting the caramel off. But they look so pretty!

8. Repeat process with chocolate (milk or dark).

9. I add a tiny bit of parafin wax (located in the canning section of the grocery store) to harden chocolate and add glossiness while dry.

10. Lay on wax paper to dry.

enjoy! they are so yummy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can I treat you to a peppermint hot chocolate?

Hello fellow bloggers,
As you know I am embarking on a new passion, The Gifted Giver! I would love to treat you to help me spread the word!
I will send you a $5 gift card to Starbucks if you: (if you do both you get $10!)
  • Post about The Gifted Giver on your blog with a link.
  • Post on your Facebook page with a link.
Also, check us out on Facebook here and become a friend!
Just send me an email at with a link and your mailing address. Your gift card will be on it's way!
Thank you blogging friends!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My new favorite kitchen gadget! Lid Lifters

It started out of necessity.
You see I've always just picked up my can openers, used them and thrown them out and bought new ones. This happened far too frequently for my taste, partly due to the fact that someone puts them in the dishwasher all the time and they get rusty.

So I got a gift card for my birthday and I was determined to splurge on a can opener. My rust, easy to turn...that is about it. Well when it comes to can openers they are all metal so the rust factor was a huge issue...

Until I entered the world of LID LIFTERS!

Why a lid lifter? They do not cut your can, they unhinge the lid. This way there are no sharp edges AND guess what? It doesn't even get near the food so there is no washing needed...hence no rust!
Okay, another cool thing is that the way it removes the lid you can put the lid back on too. Bonus!
The one above that I bought is by Kuhn Rikon.
(you don't have to get a whale one).
Do not fret about the price though because I got mine here for $6.99! The same I would spend for "the can opener".
If you have the same can opener dilemma in your house, I strongly urge you to check out lid lifters!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The time has come!

I have always been in awe of talented women who have passion and drive!

We see them all over blogland right?

I've always known I had something inside of me that could grow into something bigger (besides children-haha).

I LOVE to choose just the right gift for that certain someone. And of course I love shopping! I was recently talking with some couples and a husband said, "I would pay someone to help me shop for my wife on her birthday." The wife said, "I would love someone to help him shop for me on my birthday." I knew I had found my new baby...introducing...

The Gifted Giver
your personal shopper for gift giving

Check us out at
You can email me at
Hope to help you be the gifted giver soon!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Style on Target

I usually steer clear of Target, NOT because I don't love it! It's just really hard for me to stay on budget there...extra things just always seem to creep into my cart! Like these below! Aren't they great?

What I do love though is when I find something that I need AND it has great style, two in one! I fell in love with these cleaning and household supplies below.

But beware! Many times they will tempt us with new products by putting them at a special price (like these this week). Then just when the product becomes essential to our being they put them at a really high regular price. It's happened to me so many times!

I can totally see these on an open shelf in my laundry room!

By far Mrs. Meyer's is my favorite cleaning product! I was estatic to see them on the shelf at my local Target. However, they did not supply my favorite scent, Geranium.

Thanks Target buyers for keeping things fresh!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Time Out for Time Out For Me

I was able to go on a getaway for 26 hours with some friends.
It is great to be with the girls to laugh and to be silly, but the best part was the quiet moments of inspiration that are received when attending an event like this.

There were so many incredible moments, reminders, lessons and promptings but this woman below was, by far, the most amazing story of the entire day. Her name is Mariama Kallon. Despite the adversity she has faced she embodies the pure love of Christ and "joy in the journey". From her laugh to her countenance, her Spirit warmed me from head to toe.

"Raised in war-torn Sierra Leone, Mariama Kallon saw many things as a young girl that might fill a person with fear and hatred. Soon after witnessing the violent murders of parents and siblings and spending her youth fleeing from rebels, she was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ and found hope in God and peace in a knowledge of eternal families. She was given a humanitarian kit by the Church, which became a treasured symbol of hope that she used to bless the lives of many as they again fled for their lives. After returning to her town, she was called on a mission to the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission, and wept in gratitude to the Lord as she visited the place where her precious humanitarian kit was made. Today Mariama stands as an example of the divine purposes of humanitarian work and tells her story to numerous audiences, urging them to participate in this work. She currently resides and works in Salt Lake City, where she has attended LDS Business College."

picture and description from deseret her story is available here.

Some of the lessons I learned from her life is so easy! When she wanted to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ she had to walk 3 miles each way! Who am I to complain about my minor inconveniences? I take for granted so many things including shampoo, shoes and my scriptures. Even though my trials may never be as severe as this sweet sister, the atonement that our Savior made is available to each of us. I hope I never forget the joy in her eyes and voice, despite what she had been through, and use that as an example of how I need to be!

There were also great presenters such as: John Bytheway, Ardeth Kapp, Emily Watts, Jill Manning, Amanda Dickinson and Emily Freeman.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Homemade Oreos" are YUM!

This is my kind of dessert! Great presentation, easy and best of all SOOOO GOOD!

Start with a dark chocolate cake mix. I used "Triple Chocolate Fudge" by Betty Crocker. Combine cake mix with 2 eggs and 1/2 C oil. Mix well. A cookie scoop is the perfect size.
Bake on 350 degrees for 10 min.

Let cool.
Easy 5 min frosting- 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tsp CLEAR vanilla, 2 TBLS water, 1/2 C shortening, 1/2 C butter (soft)
Mix on medium for exactly 5 minutes.

Use your cookie scoop to put a dollop of frosting between two cookies and squish together.

Unbelievably good!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I just wouldn't listen!

A few years back when we were in the market for a garage freezer friends told me, "don't get a chest is too hard to see what you have!"
And I just wouldn't listen!!!
So after a couple of years of digging, guessing and more digging I came up with a plan!
Above the freezer, out in the garage, I hung a whiteboard. I did inventory. Whenever I move something to the inside freezer, or cook it, I erase it from the board.

Some items (like frozen pizza) I even put a count buy it, when we use it I can just change the number. It is magnetized so I hung a paper for a shopping list. I then got a little OCD and used different colors for different categories; breakfast is orange, purple is pasta and bread and snacks, blue is meat.

Happy Organizing!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back To School- Doodle Bug

Can you hardly believe it is that time? Our kids went back to school this week.
Whoever came up with this line of school supplies is brilliant!(available at Target)

We bought the Book Covers but there are also notebooks, binders, etc. They are made by Gartner and were reasonably priced.

I LOVED to doodle, I still do, so I just may sneak my daughter's text books to color a bit. How will you spend your back to school hours without your kids?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Up, up and Away

Hello Bloggers!
I just got back from a week in the beautiful mountains! I had the opportunity to serve at Young Women's Camp for the second year in a row. Here is a thought that occurred to me while I was there:
"I'm having so much fun at camp and I wonder if I should feel guilty or that I am doing it wrong because I am having such a blast. The Spirit reminded me that service brings joy. It's okay to feel joy when we serve. So...I will go forward and continue to serve and continue to have joy while I do it."
I will go back to being MIA because I am returning to the mountains, this time with my family...can Summer really be ending?

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Woman In the Orange Gia

I consider myself to be a fairly well-adjusted woman. I haven't really aspired to be someone else since my impressionable college years. However, the other day I was cruising along the main thoroughfaire of my town (in my "swagger wagon")

I pulled up next to this cute little Karmann Gia.

Even though antique two-seaters have always been on my favorite list, it was not just the car that caught my attention. It was the "whole package".

She wore a large rimmed straw, similar to this one.

Whisps of hair blew in the breeze of her partially rolled down window.

On the passenger seat sat an oversized straw basket purse resembling this one.

Was she headed to the farmer's market for fresh fruits and vegetables? Or was she on her daily errand for fresh bread from the boulangerie? Or maybe she was headed to the local flower mart for a bouquet of fresh flowers...

Of course she would soon return to her quaint beach cottage similar to this one.

For a split second I wished I was this woman. She has crossed my mind several times this week because she exhibited the certain joie de vivre I covet. To me, she was the whole package of what I desire to posess. And it had little to do with material items. One day, maybe sooner than later, I will have it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Garden Kitchen Inspiration

What do you have on your kitchen countertops?
I inherited this amazing antique crock from my mother-in-law (on left) years ago. I've always kept my kitchen gadgets handy in it....until my everyday gadgets were so plentiful that it became a sore spot to me!
When I am in problem solving mode I want a solution and I want it NOW! (channeling my inner Veruca Salt) So when I decided I needed to seperate my cooking gadgets from my baking gadgets I was on the hunt for the perfect holder. Needing to fulfill my instant gratification and my lack of budget I opened my eyes and hunted around the house in search for something that would a)be the right dimensions and b) coordinate with the other things on my countertop.


On my back patio, waiting for a use. I was attracted to this pot (found at Home Depot a couple years back) due to the color and the architectural detail. I picked it up with the desire to plant in it, but never did. Although whenever I passed by it, outside, it always reaffirmed to me that I loved those elements of it. That is why it became the PERFECT addition to my countertop!


When you find something that speaks to you- and it is in your budget- BUY IT! Do not make the mistake of saying, "where will I put it, what will I use it for?" If you love it, you will find the perfect use for it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June = Hydrangeas

Some people think of June as Junebugs, dog days and barbecue's...when I think of June I think of hydrangeas!

This season has been the best yet for my hydrangeas!

~In the house~

~In the garden~

Do you have friends that are so good you never know how to thank them? Well I do! I dropped each one of them off with a jar full of hydrangeas with a note that said...return the empty jar for a fresh bouquet!
I plan on keeping my friends supplied all summer!
The more you pick 'em, the more they bloom!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Father's Day Gift Idea

We have already given our dad his Father's Day present. Since that is the case I get to share the gift idea with you just in time for you to pick one up for yours!
My husband has always loved making root beer and really enjoys drinking soda. So when I was at Williams-Sonoma and they were demo'ing this, I knew it would be perfect!
The Sodastream Penguin water cabonator is great! It comes with two Co2 containers that can be replaced at WS when you run out. It also comes with these two glass containers that have amazing caps to keep your carbonation in. It is so easy to use, you just use regular filtered water and pump it 2-3 times. Then you have sparkling water. I like to add crystal light to it...yum!

But since it is hubby's gift, I had to get him the Root Beer syrup. We also got Lemon Lime. Both are really, really good! In less than 2 minutes we have a fresh batch of whatever fizzy drink we like!

Italian Sodas anyone?