Apr 30, 2012

airplanes and youtube

Saturday was take-your-wife-to-work day. Ok not really, but for us it was. Ryan was working the saturday shift AGAIN (can you hear the resentment in my voice?) but it was still a nice day, just the two of us hanging out in a work trailer. Plus, their office is set up right next to the airport runways so they have planes landing pretty dang close-by. He didn't seem too keen on going out and watching them, probably because he sees a plane land every five minutes all day long. I, however, took full advantage by getting as close as I could- but not too close where security would come tazer me. That would NOT have been a fun Saturday.

As I watched these massive planes descend, I thought of this video. Which pretty much gives a friendly but straight forward reminder of being grateful for all the comforts we enjoy this day in age.

Apr 28, 2012


Summer before getting married '08
Last night we played the newlywed game with some friends. We didn't win 1st (and we didn't come in last might I add) but it was fun to see how our marriage has grown and how far we've come since dating. It was surprising because even when our answers didn't match, I realized it was because he knew me better than I knew myself!"Yeah, you're right! That is what I do huh!" :) It's crazy how well he knows me and picks up on little things I do. We may have lost the game, but we're still winners in this marriage (awwwwww, so cheeeeeesy!) But that's how I like it.

Apr 27, 2012

T.L.C for the S.O.U.L.

This is going to be a venting post because a lot is on my mind this Friday morning. Although this is not going on in my personal life right now, someone very close to me is going through a trial and it has made me reflect on my own experiences and how poorly I've responded to a majority of them in my own life.

There will be times in all of our lives where someone will wrong you or extremely disappoint you. There will also be times where we face trials that's beyond anyone's control. Regardless of what situation we face, it's really hard not to get caught up in the issue and let it affect you negatively. It's our human nature to be hurt, mad, upset, or sad.

It's easier when you're the outsider trying to give advice and support to that someone who needs it, but when it's your turn, oh man, a lot harder to see the eternal perspective of things.

For me, this is what it all comes down to: life is too short not to be happy. I need and I WILL do better with seeing the good in every situation. The other day I was talking with an elderly woman from church on the phone and was telling her how hot it was outside. She replies, "oh no no no. It's beautiful. Just think of those who are in snow and who have to scrape the ice off their windshield. We have it so good here!"

I was taken back. Here's this 80+ year old lady being grateful and seeing the blessings of the Arizona heat and here I am complaining. "No more!" I say to myself. See the good in all things because like I said before, life's too short to not be happy.

"..men are, that they might have joy." 2 nephi 2:25

God created us that we could have joy and gosh darn it I'm going to have i! Hence the commencement of my gratitude journal because let's face it, everyday we have something new to be grateful for. :)

Apr 26, 2012

Thursday morning

Its SO PEACEFUL & BEAUTIFUL outside. Birds are chirping, an overcast day with expected rains, a slight breeze..... Oh, and my juice and trash magazine. I'm mostly interested in the story found at the top right! It's going to be a pretty terrific Thursday! :)

Apr 22, 2012

Brian Mickelson Half

Saturday was our (mom, brother, and me) half marathon up in Cottonwood, AZ.
Of all the weekends to run, it was an extremely hot weekend and the sun did not cut us any slack.
I wish I could say I enjoyed the scenery, but really, I was just trying to survive. I do have to pat myself on the back for running the whole thing without training. I've been doing the Insanity videos which is the only thing that saved me--- and the prayer I was saying the last 4 miles in my heart to not let this be the day I die.
And to toot the horn for my older brother, he got 6th place overall and 1st place in his division. He's pretty much amazing.

Apr 20, 2012


I made dinner for a sick friend and her husband last night. This was their dessert and I'm laughing because it looks as though it was their anniversary or something. (Im also laughing because I realized I'm posting a brownies recipe on 4/20. Don't be getting any ideas now!) She isn't able to keep any food down so it was mostly for her husband, but they sure are pretty to look at even if you can't eat them.

Ever heard of the black bean brownies? My mom had made them forever ago and they were surprisingly moist and very good. I know it sounds disturbing, but I promise you do NOT taste the black beans at all. If you're daring and want to at least give them a try, here's the healthier black bean brownie recipe. Come on, don't be scared! The flavors here just work people, I promise. :)

Healthier Brownies Recipe

(16 brownies)
1 15.5 ounce can black beans
1 package brownie mix (20 ounces)

Rinse and drain black beans very well and then refill can with water. Puree in food processor or blender until smooth. Mix in with brownie mix and bake following package directions.

Apr 18, 2012


It's April and by tomorrow we will hit the 100• mark. Today I will try and avoid getting heat exhaustion and try to get some sun on my white feet. Making the best of this weather :)

On another encouraging note, I decided last week to run in a half marathon tomorrow. Its pretty sudden and i didnt want to commit unless Ryan would be able to have the day off, which he does. And it also turns out my brother and mom are running the half as well! You would think living in the same city we would have discovered this sooner than tuesday but oh well....Perfect timing to escape the 100• and enjoy Cottonwood, AZ! Happy weekend!

A little nutz

Here's a snack for you to spice up those raw plain almonds you bought, trying to be healthy, but are left abandoned in that dark pantry of yours. I can't bring myself to eat them completely raw, so this is what I did...

2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbs warm water

Mix all ingredients and bake at 350• for 10 minutes. Much better. Now they're out of the pantry, onto my counter, and into my belly.

Apr 16, 2012

family photo

 So we got family pictures forever ago  (ok, in January more like it) but I finally saw them and loved this picture because well, i'm sure you can see why. Could my husband stand out anymore in this average height family????

Apr 13, 2012

chocolate chip banana bread

No one, and i mean NO ONE, would not like this bread. It's moist and light and yet still satisfies a sweet tooth with dark chocolate chips. This bread doesn't want ANY butter on it because to be frank, it just doesn't need it. And if you're making fun of me baking my bread in a small caserole dish, I make-do with what i have because apparently i don't have a bread pan. It is now on my next shopping list. Now you really know i'm an amateaur baker.... or maybe just an uncoventional baker. Yea, i like the sounds of that better :) Enjoy!

Chocolate chip banana bread
3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tbs softened butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large egg whites
½ tsp vanilla
1.5 oz mini dark chocolate chips

325 degrees
In one bowl mash bananas very well and set aside
In second bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt and set aside
Third bowl- mix butter, sugar, egg whites, vanilla and then add banana mixture.
Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and fold in chocolate chips.
Place in greased bread pan (or small side caserole dish if you bake like me) on center rack. About 35-40 minutes.

cranberry lemon scones

Happy Friday! Here's a recipe to use on your Saturday morning!

I've been in the baking zone all week. I've been compiling recipes from healthy cooking blogs and here's one I found for cranberry lemon scones. They smell delicious, they look delicious, and with lemon glaze and consumed while warm, it's deliciousness is all up in your mouth. I'm going to keep experimenting with scones. The texture of this one wasn't quite up to par with "scone" standards, but it tastes great so i'll eat it regardless.
Another funny thing about these pictures: I took them out on our porch to take pictures (when taking pictures of food, natural light is always best didn't you know?) and a neighbor came out and saw me. What a funny sight to see-- some girl crouched over with a single scone taking pictures of it. Oh well, I gave him some and he loved them. I guess from now on if I'm taking food pictures and he's outside on his patio, i'll have to throw him some food his direction in hopes of him not judging me. Enjoy!
Cranberry Lemon Scones
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup agave (you could probably use honey as well)
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
2 tbs melted butter
¾ cup fruit
½ tsp lemon zest
Juice from half a lemon

350 degrees

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl.
Pour wet ingredients over dry. Fold in cranberries and lemon zest.

Bake 20 minutes on greased pan.

* The recipe called for scoops on a cookie sheet, but I saw another recipe saying to place dough into an 8 inch circle in the middle of the pan. After it's cooled you can cut the circular scone into wedges... not wedgies, but wedges! :) Top with some lemon glaze with juice of the leftover half lemon and powdered sugar.

Apr 10, 2012

sometimes you have to stop and enjoy the sunsets

easter dinner

i had so much fun making Easter dinner. I had my biff Karn to help me with all the cooking. Couldn't have done it without that girl. Our menu consisted of:
1. Honey lemon carrots
2. Steamed asparagus
3. Corn
4. Strawberry pineapple banana fruit salad
5. Apple Pear Salad
6. Rolls
7. Deviled eggs
8. and steaks grilled by daddio

and for dessert.....
We aren't professionals and we aren't food photographers. But we were sure dang proud of our creations and they tasted GREAT. That's all that matters right?

happy spring

This tree screamed spring to me.
This is the best time of the year, even though we hit the 90's this week....

Apr 5, 2012

working hard or hardly working

Ryan's job requires a lot of time. His company is a great and I know his hours could be so much worse. So I'm grateful for that. However, if I were to vent about something, it would be the fact our last few Saturdays have required him going to work. The project is wrapping up very soon and I guess going in on Saturdays is usual towards the end of projects. But come on now, that is OUR time they're stealing. You can have him Mon-Fri but Saturday and Sunday, forget about it. Oh well. Not much I can do about it. Or is there? :)

Saturdays they require one of the field engineers to be on site so the subcontractors can get more work done. This past Saturday Ryan had a short afternoon shift so I tagged along. Ryan gave me a wonderfully exclusive tour of the project. If getting to spend quality time with my husband requires this of me on a what-should-be a relaxing Saturday, then so be it.

Apr 4, 2012

la grande orange

It's Saturday morning and Ryan doesn't have to work until 12.... What to do? We're going out for breakfast!

This is my ultimate favorite breakfast eatery. ULTIMATE people. La Grande Orange cafe/grocery/pizzeria. Cafe by day, pizzeria by night. All i can say is their homemade english muffins.... mmmmm.... nothing can even compare. I've gotten the commuter sandwich both times i've gone. It's similar to an egg mcmuffin but not even close in standard. This place makes mcdonalds egg mcmuffin look like rubbery dog food..... no joke. You must go. Super fun environment and superb food. :) I will go back and try the pizzeria some night if it's the last thing i do people! Who knew I could get so excited over a place to eat.