Sunday, October 30, 2011

I hear the bells...

Well... Halloween was good while it lasted. And yes, I know Halloween does not actually arrive until tomorrow, but I'd be silly if I didn't say I've already been listening to Christmas music the past few days. We were fortunate to take our nephew, Everett, to trunk or treat this year. It's always more fun when you have a handsome little person with you. I probably laughed for a good 30-60 seconds when I saw his cute little monkey costume. Love those chubby cheeks!

 I was also finding a way to use up all that Halloween candy corn (since Halloween is over and all)... My husband and I aren't real candy corn fans. I'll have to remember NOT to buy a bag next year... Candy Corn Bark!

  1. Pretzels
  2. Oreos
  3. Candy corn
  4. Candy melts
  5. Sprinkles

  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Great for gifting... perhaps our neighbors?

Other than aching for a more appropriate season to listen to Christmas music, I've been planning my little sister's wedding. I hardly did anything for my wedding because I had wonderful women helping me out while I was in Utah... So going through it with Alexis is a bit... crazy. Did I mention they are getting married on December 23rd? That sound's familiar... Looks like Max and I started a little Christmas wedding trend :)
Utah sure does have some beautiful landscapes. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

White Bean and Chicken Soup

1 white onion, minced
(small or medium depending on how much you love onion)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
 (this stuff makes it smell divine)
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
(a little bit of spice is nice)
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 cans chicken broth
2 cans white beans (14 oz each)
2 or 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 
(i like using fresh chicken breasts, but i've read of people just using the canned version as well)
pinch of red pepper flakes
shredded monterey jack cheese 
(I'll usually just grab any bag of white cheese at the store--this time I got a bag that had 6 different white cheeses in it.)

In a big pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add cumin, oregano, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Saute for about a minute. Stir in chicken broth, beans, chicken, and the pinch of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes for all the flavors to mix. Add a little cilantro too.

For individual bowls, add cheese and cilantro for garnish. Serve with toasted, garlic bread. mmmm.

SO good. And just from coming home, the aroma of the soup still lingers and it is fantastic. This recipe was a combination of others I had found online. The suggested portions of each ingredient always changes when I make it, sometimes I add more garlic, or less onion... Just feel it out! Soups are great because they last forever in the fridge. Soup leftovers are also great because they always taste like they were made that very day. Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

To Draw Closer To God

While I wait for books at the library to become available, I'm going to devout my free reading time to this book. I bought it from the Deseret Bookstore just because of the title alone. Life is kinda crazy, and something about Church literature is just inspiring and motivating. Makes me feel lighter inside, even if it's only for the moment.

Artwork Page Updated

I've added some pictures of previous artwork I've done in the past to my Artwork Page. I know that the more I practice and develop my talent (yes, I'm saying it's a talent--I'm not being self-centered! Heavenly Father gave it to me...He told me so), the better my art will become. Hopefully I'll be willing to share it with people in a bigger way than through Blogger. This is a big step for me! I'm very private about my art because... I'm so critical of it. Alas... Enjoy!

Sometimes, you just need to take a day or two...

For yourself. 

Max is out of town and I love having just me time. Tonight, I went on a "date." Just me, myself and I. I bought new jeans and a couple of new tops, grabbed some Chipotle, and a Redbox movie... I did this art project last night. And I plan on doing some more artwork this weekend. It's cathartic.

Good for the soul, you know?

Sometimes we just need a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life! Am I right or am I right? ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Are Mormons really Christians?

I've never been one for politics. I don't watch the news, I don't read the news paper... I really don't know much of what is going on in this world unless a friend brings up some disaster or controversy that happened that week.

We had a mini-FHE (Family Home Evening) one day and I read outloud the The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and towards the end it reads: 

"WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."

It's clear we have a duty to uphold as Americans and part of it is knowing the candidates, the propositions, to be active and to vote. I told Max we should be more Patriotic and what better place to exercise our Patriotism than with the upcoming Election. 

Of course, the second I turn a little more attention to it, I'm hearing things like "Mormons are a cult" and "I'd rather vote for Bugs Bunny than a Mormon." Really? Whenever I hear people make such statements, my heart aches. I love my faith and it has grounded me in a world of moral chaos. My heart aches because these individuals do not know our faith, they do not know of it's goodness and of it's truth. 
The big question posed is, "Are Mormons Christians?"

Here's your answer. Yes

I don't want to persuade people if they have no intention of really knowing the truth, pulling their resources from people like Robert Jeffress, the Pastor making current headlines. The most I can do is tell you to read the Book of Mormon. It complements the Bible and is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is one of the key elements that makes our faith unique and different from all others. A verse from it's pages:

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” 2 Nephi 25:26.

I am a Mormon and I am a Christian. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I know it is only through Him that I can achieve salvation and true, eternal joy. He guides me, uplifts me, and motivates me to be more than I am. He is the center of my very existence and I know He has provided a way for me and my family to return to Him one day.

For more articles and videos, see the following:

Are Mormons Christians? by Joseph Trevor Antley. 

Jeffery R. Holland:

John F. Kennedy:

For additional information regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visit

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Printables

I'm just now experiencing the awesome-ness of free printables. And. I. Love. It. Thank you, Pinterest.
Such a great way to decorate and for very little $. We're talking pocket change people.
Our mantel was very minimal before. And it kinda grew exponentially from there... I like the look of layering, and, if you didn't notice, symmetry... I'm weird that way. Plus, I just like stuff.
From this:
To this: 

Here are some free printables I came across:

Click on the image. 
Double click to enlarge. 
Save to your computer to print 
send it off to Walmart, Walgreens, etc... 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wreath and Apple Hill

Oh I love it. So easy. All you need:

1. Burlap (a couple yards)
2. Wire hanger
3. Ribbon

And this is what you do:

1. Open the hanger and shape into a circle. 
2. Cut strips of burlap around 4 or 5 inches in width. 
3. Fold, accordion style, and feed the hanger through the center of the burlap strips. 
4. Keep going until you reach the desired fullness. 
5. Close the wire hanger back up, and attach ribbon to hang it!

I bought some Fall-ish ribbon from Michaels to decorate it. I'm already stoked about the Christmas ribbon I can switch it out with. REMEMBER, Home Depot burlap is CHEAPER and just as effective as the "nice stuff" people buy on Etsy or at other craft stores.

Max, my mom, and I took a trip to Apple Hill this weekend. It was PACKED, but so fun regardless. I kinda like the busyness of hanging with the crowd, chowing down on all the goodies up there and browsing the craft tents. I made it a point that we take pictures.

I can't wait to go again, next time Christmas fun :) 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hello, October!

It's SOUP weather!!! And I got a yummy white bean and chicken soup you'd love.

The cold came quite suddenly, but I LOVE it. 
I just unpacked my scarves. Mmm. Love layering up. And we all know that my "grandma" slipper socks will be making their debut in no time ;) Poor Max.. Haha. If you don't remember from last winter, go read this post on my stylish Fall/Winter apparel...

My obsession with crafting has also been taking off while I sit all cozy at the kitchen table in the evenings: 

And I'm just finishing up a burlap wreath. It's looking good so far! I was nervous about sturdiness because it's on a coat hanger... Pictures to come. P.S., it's burlap from Home Depot. WAY cheaper than buying the "nicer" stuff. And it works just as great. Bonus.

I got a library card the other day! Which.. I don't know why I did that. I don't have time to read for pleasure! (But, she has time for crafting, you say? Yeah, don't know what happened there...). But I am going to research some good ones for Christmas break. I know it's a ways out but...hey, I got Micro to tackle here and it ain't easy! Any good reads? I DID pick up a vintage-like book of "The Gingerbread Man" for $.50 though! You can tell I'm totally gearing up for motherhood when everything I want, get, or "pin" is revolved around children. I figure its better to start buying little things here and there so that when we do get a little peanut, it's not this huge wave of bills. Though I'm sure it'll be a rush no matter what I do.. every little bit helps, eh?