Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 8 Holiday Baking: Mormon Chocolate Chip Cookies (MONSTERS)

These cookies are MONSTERS. And they are delicious. My dad got this recipe years ago from a woman he worked with and she called them Mormon Chocolate Chip Monster Cookies. She was a Mormon as well, and said she made them for every Youth conference and Stake Activity. My dad tried one at a work function and said he was walking away from the potluck table with like 6 cookies in his pocket.

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks pre softened butter
1 TBSP Vanilla
2 eggs

In a separate bowl, combine the following:
3 cups flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda

Add this dry mixture to the creamed butter little by little.
Dough will be HEAVY.

Add :

3 cups Chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Drop Large scoops onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until done.

these need a large, COLD glass of Milk.  And when I say they need milk, I mean like 2%. Skim milk wont cut through these babies!!
Santa will really appreciate a nice hearty chocolate chip cookie like this one!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 7 Holiday Recipes: CAKE MIX COOKIES

3 ingredients. Thats it.  You choose your flavor, you choose your toppings. These are so easy, yet delicious.


  • 1 box of cake mix. (You choose flavor.  White, Yellow, chocolate, they all work)
  • 4oz Cool Whip
  • 1 egg.
Mix everything together until it forms a ball of sticky dough.
Using powdered sugar on your hands, roll dough into balls and then roll them in the topping of your choice.(powdered sugar, chopped nuts, coconut, cinnamon sugar, sprinkles etc). Or you dont even need to roll them, they are good plain as well.
Bake at 350 on a greased baking sheet.  10 to 12 minutes.
Cookies will look soft, they will continue baking off the sheet. Cookies are chewy.

Great combinations:  Chocolate cake mix rolled in chopped pecans
                                 yellow cake mix rolled in powdered sugar
                                 strawberry cake mix in powdered sugar
                                 chocolate cake mix rolled in coconut and pecans
                                 White cake mix rolled in Andes peppermint crunch baking pieces
                                 carrot cake mix rolled in white sugar


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 6 Holiday Recipes: BEST EVER BROWNIES

This recipe is courtesy of my sophomore year at USU. We were looking for some brownies and kind of followed a recipe on the back of a generic chocolate chip package. It was good, but after a little tweaking, this is what we came up with. YUM!

Semi Sweet chips work best, but you certainly can substitute the milk chocolate if you choose.


1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips, melted
1 cup chocolate chips, whole.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In mixing bowl beat together softened butter,  and sugars. Mix until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, beating well.
Add melted chocolate and mix. Gradually add flour mixture. When all flour is incorporated add the whole chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until edges have set and knife test comes out clean.

Dust with powdered sugar.

HOLIDAY VARIATION:  A great Holiday variation is to stir in 1/2 cup  whole chocolate chips and 1/2 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips.  It gives it a nice minty zing to it. Or you can do 3/4 cup of the Andes pepperming baking chips only.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 5 Holiday Recipes: Peanut Butter blossoms with hershy Kisses

This is a recipe that everyone knows and loves. These are the Thumbprint Peanut Blossoms with Hershey Kisses. These are my brothers favorites. My mom makes them just for him every year and gives him the Lions share of them.

These are pretty simple, the unwrapping of the kisses is the hardest part of the whole process.
Actually the hardest part is keeping my kids form eating the unwrapped kisses before I even get started baking.


1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 TBSP milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

You will also need a small dish set aside with a few TBSP of granulated sugar in it AND a bag of Hershey Kisses, unwrapped and ready to go.

Beat together shortening and peanut butter until well mixed and smooth. Add the sugars, beat until likght and fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla, beating well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt, gradually add to the Peanut Butter mixture. When all the flour is incorporated, roll the dough into 1" balls, and roll in the white sugar you had set aside.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  you want the edges to be golden brown. Immediately upon removal from the oven, press an unwrapped Hersheys Kiss into the center of the cookie.  The edges will swell up around the kiss slightly and crack.

Cool Completely.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

day 4 Holiday recipes: PB and Butterscotch deluxe krispie treats

This is a recipe my grandmother made EVERY CHRISTMAS.  These were the treats that got devoured first. they are so delicious and addicting.. Not your traditional Krispie treats, as there is no butter or marshmellows. Trust me when I say there will be no leftovers and people will be licking the pan trying to get the last few crumbs.


1 cup corn Syrup
1 cup white sugar
1 cup creamy peanut Butter

6 cups rice Krispies

In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine the corn syrup, sugar and peanut butter. Stir until melted and smooth.  Heat until boiling, , let boil for 2 minutes only, stirring constantly,  then remove from heat and pour over  the rice krispie cereal. Mix well until all the cereal has been coated evenly.
Press into a greased 9x13 baking dish.

On top of this sprinkle chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, place in oven set at about 250 or so.
When these chips melt enough to spread, remove from oven and spread the chocolate/butterscotch over the top It will all swirl together, creating a most delicious topping.
Cool completely and then cut into squares.
prepare to not be able to resist these.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 3- Holiday recipe: Sweet Potato Bread

This delicious recipe is a variation of Pumpkin Bread that I found in the Lion House Cookbook. I used their bread as a base and "tweaked".
Thanks to excess rain, courtesy of Mother Nature, there was actually a pumpkin shortage this year. No biggie, just substitute sweet potatoesor squash for the pumpkin.
Cut sweet potatoes in syrup make a nice hearty bread, and it isnt the vegetable you use, it is the spice you use to season it. the sweet potatoes are a little sweeter than pumpkin, so you dont need as much sugar as regular pumpkin bread.  Your can will say Cut Yams, but they are sweet potatoes.
This bread is so moist, and stays moist thanks to a secret ingredient. The crust kind of carmelizes a tiny bit, making it even better. It goes exceedingly well with walnuts (nuts are optional. Some like them, some people dont or are allergic. It is up to you)
This makes 2 loaves.


1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 eggs
15oz can of  cut yams/sweet potato (drained and mashed. If you want, you can even rinse the potatoes)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large box Vanilla instant pudding (about 6 ounces or so)
1 cup chopped nuts(optional)

Mix together oil, eggs and sweet potatoes. add flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and baking soda. Mix well. Mix in the vanilla and  vanilla pudding. If adding nuts, do so at this time as well.

Put into 2 greased loaf pans.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Dont let it get too dark. If the knife comes out clean, take it out. Let it sit in the oven too long and the crust gets really dark and chewy. So just watch your loaf. All ovens are different and I start checking mine at about 45 minutes.
Let bread sit for a few minutes before dumping out of pan.
It is VERY moist, so be careful about cutting it to quickly after removing it from the oven.
after cooled, wrap in Plastic or foil to store.

If you arent adventurous enough to try the sweet potatoes, remember you can use pumpkin and increase the white sugar by 1/4 cup.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 2 Holiday Baking- 7 Layer cookies

Day 2 Holiday recipe-
These are a hit ANY time, not just the holidays.
7 Layer Cookies

Crush a 1 block package of Graham crackers to make crumbs (about 8 or so)
melt 1 stick of butter and mix with cracker crumbs.
Press this mixture into a 9x13 pan, making a bottom crust.

On this crust evenly distribute the following, in the order as listed:
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut

Take 1 can eagle Brand condensed Milk and pour over entire pan, making sure everything gets covered evenly.

Bake at 300 degrees for about 30-45 minutes until the milk has become a golden caramely brown.
these will be bubbly and sticky when you first take them out, so let them cool!

Cut into squared and enjoy!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

2 weeks of recipes. DAY 1 SNICKERDOODLES

It is the Holiday Season and so  this is the time of year I do a lot of baking.  I like to make a large variety of treats and put together goodie plates and take them around to friends and family.
This recipe, I believe I posted it last year, is always a super duper hit.  These are the most delicious snickerdoodles. They are just the right amount of sweetness, without being overly so.  They are puffy and crackle the right way on the top. They are moist and buttery and the cinnamon and sugar is just perfect.

Try them for yourself.

So for the next 2 weeks I will be posting various Holiday goodie recipes, please check back for more and let me know if you make anything and how they turn out!!


1 cup Butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Put flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.
gradually stir in flour mixture. Your dough will be stiff, yet slightly sticky.

On a plate combine 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 TBSP ground cinnamon.
Flour your hands and take heaping tsp of dough. Roll into balls and roll in the sugar mixture.

Place on baking sheet 2" apart. (I usually spray my pan with Pam first)
Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges have set and bottoms are a golden brown..

To keep these soft I place them in a gallon size ziplock with a slice of white bread.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lafayette, LA Day 2

So Saturday morning we met at a place called T-Coons for breakfast. It is called "zydeco cooking".
We had Beignets. Then i had a sweet Potato Pancake with pecans and a local syrup, which was a brown sugar and molasses concoction (called Steens). It was delicious.
We then went to the conference and with the Legers told our story, and thanked the coroners who "said yes".
I was crying, the Legers were crying, the coroners were crying. It was really a great experience. Hopefully this will be something they will remember when they are faced with organ donation possibilities.

We went to a place called Incredible Pizza for dinner.  It was kind of like a Cici's Pizza buffet mixed with a dave and busters/chuck e cheese.  They had bowling and mini golf and bumper cars and go carts and a zillion games. It was fun.

This morning we are meeting the Legers at Meches Donut King for some donuts and they are sending us home with a King Cake.  We are heading home this morning.
I am sad to leave. I always wish we could stay longer when we see them.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Lafayette, LA Day One.

Long Story Short: We are in Lafayette, Louisiana right now at an Organ Donation Collaborative.
Today we went to Lafayette General hospital and awarded them with a National Medal of Honor.
We did a little interview with several news stations, and this was the first story to air.

ugh stupid double chin. And Finn INSISTED on having that d*** balloon with him the whole time. I feel like I spent half the interview pushing it out of the way. he is lucky I didnt pop it...but I didnt want a meltdown of epic proportions on camera for the world to see.

After the meeting at the hospital we went out to Lunch at Prejeans  we had fried Crawfish(yum), Frog Legs (it DOES taste like chicken) and Alligator. It was delicious. A very cajun meal, complete with Boudin balls, etouffe, and gumbo.

We finished off the night going Bowling. It was so much fun and the boys LOVED it.  We stopped off at Whattaburger on the way back to the hotel.

right now it is snowing and sleeting outside. Tomorrow morning we are meeting everyone for breakfast and heading over to the collaborative.

a busy, emotional day today but I am so glad we are here doing this.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


so perhaps I'm an enabler, but I cannot stand watching the withdrawl anymore. The shakes. The irritability, the whining and crying. The constant trips to the store., the hunting high and low...
My husband is ADDICTED to the Dollar Tree Wintergreen mints. We have only been able to find them at Dollar Tree.
They are called Icy Breeze wintergreen breath mints.  They look like tic Tacs.
We can no longer find them anywhere around here. They are very hit or miss. They come in a 4 pack and are in a white and green packaging.  We can find the orange flavor and sometimes the peppermint, but the elusive wintergreen is making me crazy. If I have to stop by the DT one more time "just to check" I will kill myself.
I was hoping to find some for christmas to give to him. They dont sell them online, trust me I have googled everything. I have gone to various websites, ebay, candy companies, even to dollar tree online. They are not to be found. Of course the employees at DT dont know when they will get them in either.

So if anyone happens by a dollar tree and sees them, please pick up 5-10 packs(depending on what is available) and I will reimburse you for everything plus shipping and send you some lip balm as thanks as well.
Shoot, if there is only 1 or 2 packs available I will take what I can get. 
I need all the help I can get. I want to get him like a year supply.


Monday, November 30, 2009

WARNING! addiction to soon follow

This weekend I was working on some recipes for my yearly Christmas goodie platters/food gifts.
One of my very favorite snacks in the whole world is Harry and David Moose Munch. AHHHH It is to Die for.
So I decided to make my own Generic Sarah Version of it. I searched for a great caramel Corn Recipe, which I found> This stuff is amazing just on its own. I made mine with Cashews, you can also use almonds, peanuts, pecans etc.


1 cup popcorn Kernels, popped and set aside in very large bowl. (or two large bowls if  you dont have one big enough for it all) You can mix in a few cups of nut of your choice. The salty nuts really do go so well with the sweetness of the popcorn. I like nuts, so I added about 2 1/2 cups of cashews.

In a sauce pan, combine:
1 cup BUTTER (yes, butter. Margarine is the devil)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt.

stir just enough to blend. Once it starts boiling, cook for exactly 5 minutes over med-hi heat. STIR CONSTANTLY.
Once it has boiled for 5 minutes, remove from heat and stir in
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla.
It will foam and bubble, it is supposed to. It is supposed to look like a fluffy shaving cream type consistence.

Drizzle this over your popcorn and toss well to coat.  Each piece does not have to be completely coated.
Spread out over greased cookie sheets or jelly roll pans etc. 
Bake at 250 degrees for about an hour, turning every 15 minutes or so.

After an hour, remove from oven and spread on wax paper to cool. Once cool, break into clusters and store in tupperware or ziplock baggies.

This is the best caramel corn I have ever had. It is so delicious. You do have to bake it. If you dont the caramel will get super sticky and hard.

You can eat it plain like this, or you can use some of it to make an extra special treat...
Now to make the Sarah's Moose Munch.

Go to Michaels or other craft store to their candy section. Get a package of the melt and pour chocolate caps and a package of the white chocolate caps.  Melt these in your microwave, according to the directions.
Drizzle each kind over the popcorn, as heavy or as light as you want.
THEN take HEATH CHIPS (you can find them in your baking section of the grocery store) and sprinkle over as well.  It will stick to the melted chocolates.

Let it dry and enjoy.

Just a warning. This is addictive. The caramel corn is just soooo good. Add a little chocolate and heath chips and voila.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Recipe- Corn Souffle

This is a FABULOUS and easy recipe. Prep time is 5 minutes. Honestly.
It is so delicious and will be a family favorite. It isnt just for Thanksgiving, you can make it any time. This is one of MY family favorites, and I hope everyone else can enjoy it as well.

5 ingredients. 1 stick of butter and a round casserole dish.  That is all it takes. But when you taste it, you will be amazed at how EASY it is. Yet people will think you slaved all day.


1 box Jiffy corn muffin Mix
1 egg
8 oz Sour Cream
1 can creamed corn
2 TBSP sugar

You will also need a medium sized ROUND casserole baking dish.
.melt 1 stick of butter in the casserole dish.(And yes, it really works better with butter than with margerine. )

In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the sour cream, corn and egg. Add the jiffy mix and sugar. Mix well.
Pour this batter INTO the melted butter, but DO NOT STIR.  yes, it is supposed to look that messy.

Bake at 350 for 35-50 minutes, it will be done when it has puffed up, the edges are golden and a knife comes out clean.
If you try this recipe, please leave me a comment!!

EXTRA NOTES: **This doesnt work very well doubled. If you are feeding a large group, make two separate batches instead of putting it into One giant casserole.
**If you use a corn muffin mix other than jiffy, add an extra tablespoon of sugar.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I love her

I Love her...I truly do.

when I grow up(HAH) I want to be just like her.  she is amazing.
she has brains, tenacity(read:balls), business acumen, no nonsense attitude, and SERIOUS mad skills. Yet underneath it all she is a kind and caring person who wants to help people.

Tabatha Coffey, you are my Hero in the beauty Industry.  I have learned so much about salons and hair dressing, just from watching salon takeover. I feel I am a better student and stylist because of you.  You inspire me to work as hard and as smart as I can, because someday when i own my own salon, I dont want you coming through my door(unless it is to interview me for a job...)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Insomnia Strikes again

My body and brain KNOW that I have appointments all day today PLUS I am staying late.
WHY oh WHY did my eyes fly open at 3am and refuse to close again?
I need all the sleep I can get.
It was as if all the forces in the universe converged at that moment in my bedroom to screw with me.

1. 3am. I wake up to my husband rolling over and taking blankets with him, leaving my butt exposed to the cold air.  So I pull some of the covers back, taking too  much blanket and immediately feel hot.

2. I start hearing "things" in the room.  I SWEAR I heard krinkling paper, like something was crawling on plastic.  I immediately think of blood sucking spiders and the giant big bad voodoo daddy of spiders from Arachnophobia.  I hear crinkle crinkle crinkle...then I PROMISE I heard something fall or jump or something. I yelled "What was that?" Poor Charles "huhhhhmppppphhhhhh".   WHAT WAS THAT!  He said "What? I explained what was going on and said "Turn on the light!"  so he did and asked :What am I looking for?"  Of course nothing was found. Just my over active imagination playing tricks on me again...or it is my insect arch enemy come back to haunt me from his watery cock-roachy grave.(We get these Palmetto Bugs, which are basically cockroaches. With winter coming they are looking for a way in and with a dog who likes to open doors by himself and leave them open sometimes we get some that sneak in.)(heebie jeebies)

3. The one lone cricket left alive in this cold weather starts playing his sad song right outside my window.
Not excessively loud, but just enough to be irritating and keep me from getting drowsy again.

4. The owls...yes we have Barred Owls and the one night I wake up it starts its crazy un-hoot that sounds like a chihuahua being strangled by a goat. I cant even explain the sound it makes, but it is NOT the calm and soothing who who you hear in the movies or on cartoons.

5. Husband.  I try to get comfortable and his shoulder is in the way of my arm. Or he is breathing in a way that it isnt QUITE a snore, but pretty darn close. I cant punch him and say "Hey roll over" since technically he isnt snoring...just breathing loudly. Annoyingly and Irritatingly Loud. (grammar?? eh it is 4am. deal with it)

6. Pillows.  I have a wierd habit. I have to sleep with like 4 pillows.  I have a feather pillow on the bottom. It is nice and smooshy and I can have the lumps and bumbs where I need them. On top of that, slightly towards the bottom of the feather pillow, I have one of those small memory foam pillows. THEN on top of that, aligned with the feather pillow, effectively making a memory pillow sandwich, I have a regular poly fill pillow, a little thinner, not too fluffy.  Then I have a giant King Size fluffy pillow that I "hug" or throw my leg over.
Well my pillows were being big fat jerks.  My feather pillow kept getting lumps and bumps in all the wrong places.  The memory Foam pillow was not in the right place so my should ger hurt and my arm kept falling asleep. The poly fill pillow kept shifting. I just couldnt get comfortable.

so I spent over an hour fixing blankets, pillows, forcing my hubby to look for ghost bugs, tossing and turning. I decided to get up to try and clear my mind, stumbling around in the dark, trying to find a sweatshirt or something. charles says "Are you up for good?"
I get out of bed for 10 seconds and he is trying to steal my spot.

OK 437am. Perhaps I can try and get back to sleep after clearing my mind a bit.
wish me luck.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Hair Bows

So I have discovered the joy of Bow Making.  I made a bunch for a girlfriend at school and she loved them so much. I have several more orders come in and am thinking about listing them on Etsy for Christmas.
I went to Michaels and their Christmas and Holiday ribbon was on sale for 50% off. I bought several kinds, all coordinating and went to town. Here are the ones I have made so far.

I really like the Loopy hair bows. I did make a few of the pinwheel type bows in various colors as well.
The backs are single prong clips:

All bows are made by stitching AND re-enforced with hot glue. I then sealed any visible ends with a flame, keeping it from fraying.
I have recently discovered Korker Bows:(I did not make this. This is from

I have a lot of grosgrain ribbon on the way to me. I will make the Korker ribbon, and if it is as easy at it sounds, I will make a tutorial. It SEEMS easy enough. I tried the redneck version using a candle, instead of a stove. It didnt work too well. The ribbon stayed Korkered, but there were scorch marks on it.
So I am thinking I will follow the correct directions and see how difficult it is.

Not that I have a ton of time on my hands, but I have lots of ideas swirling around. I have missed crafting and making these bows have been a fun thing for me to do while I watch TV at night when the boys go to bed.
 I can pull up my little table and just work away.

Happy Crafting!

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Crafty weekend

Whew I was a crafy gal this weekend.
At school I am in a group, making a window display for a competition. Our group is doing a Nightmare Before Christmas theme and I was in charge of making Jack. Here is our inspiration:

We have snowflakes that will be hanging down from the ceiling and one will be in Jacks fingers as he looks at it in wonderment. do you make a model using very little money? Like this:

Here is Jack in his Glory. (Obviously he is naked and will be dressed at a later date)

Once he gets dressed and in the scene he will look so good.
I am really proud of my little model.

Then a few months ago at school we had a going green/recycled fashion show.
I made some hairbows with recycled ribbon and next thing I know I had orders!
So, this week a woman in my class ordered 10 in various pinks and purples and reds for her granddaughter.
I sewed loops in various sizes and colors and secured them with thread and hot glue. Then for the center I took about 2 inches of ribbon, sewed a running stitch along the bottom edge and then pulled to make a rosette type thing and attached it to the middle.
If anyone is interested they are $3 each.

So that was my weekend.  Then of course Finn thought Jack was the COOLEST thing ever and wanted to have his picture taken with him.

So that was my crafty little weekend.  It was fun!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Its the Final Countdown...

I have about 5 weeks left of school...let the countdown begin.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Burning the candle at Both Ends

There are just some weeks that I feel SOOOOO worn out and defeated.
I feel like my calander has SOMETHING on it every day, apart from school or clients.
It is finally calming down. I need to learn to schedule things better and not try and take on too much.
I dont know why I feel the need to over-extend myself.  i CAN say no, but I dont.

At school our class is coming up with fundraisers. Well next week we are doing Funnel cake Monday. I came up with the idea and pitched it to a few others and they all said "yum", so we will be making and selling funnel cakes to the students and clients, and all the proceeds will benefit the Local Battered Womens shelter.  There are like 16 of us in the class...but do I delegate? No. I do not.  I take it all on myself, so I know it gets done the way I feel it should be done.  I have only delegated responsibilities to 2 other girls, who I trust implicitly, as I feel their standards are up to mine. I feel that if you are going to do it, then it should be done right and if I trust others it wont be done right.  Isnt that awful? I just dont trust anyone with this stuff.
Why do I insist on doing this and not ask for help when I really need it? Pride, perhaps. I guess when it turns out a success I want to be able to take a lot of the credit...which is selfish and horrible. (but then again, I AM a Cancer, which  makes me endearingly eccentric, yet insecure about how others perceive me. I want them to perceive me as being an organized person, who knows how to put together a hell of a fundraiser and can make a mean funnel cake) . I HATE delegating out to others, but I love helping people out, so they dont have to take so much on themselves. I know, I know a huge contradiction...but again, I am a cancer.

So how can I stop over extending myself? Am I able to say no? Probably not. I dont want people to think I cant handle everything that has come my way.  I had a daughter that passed away. I have spent months and months and months in hospitals with Peter. He had a heart transplant and has required so much care. I am in school full time, and a mom full time. For the past 12 years my life has been inside out, upside down and all ways, shapes and colors. Surely I can handle a dozen cupcakes for a bake sale. Surely I can squeeze in one more client for some extra pocket cash. If I can handle all the other crap(errr, blessings? lessons?) that has happened, then I certainly should be able to take Peter to get new braces for his feet, get to the grocery store before we use up the last 1/8" of milk in the carton. I certainly should be able to read my scriptures every day and read 30 minutes with my kids every night. I certainly should get them to the dentist, and fulfill my church callings and exercise.  I can make lip balms, homemade salsa, jewelry, scrapbook, make my own christmas cards...right???
But please ignore the pile of neglected laundry...or the kitchen sink full of dishes...or the rug under the kitchen table in sore need of vacuuming.

I guess I need to figure out what is the most important and quit worrying about what other people think. Maybe I have to let other people do a little extra work every now and then. Sometimes I just have to say no.
But can I??


Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Top 5 Skin and Beauty MUST HAVES

I get asked every day "What do you recommend". 
So I sat down and thought long and hard about it.
What are the top 5 things every woman MUST have in her skin care/make-up arsenal?
What do I use every day?  What would I recommend to others? What should EVERY woman have for her skin/make-up routine? 

So here we go:

1. Skin Care Cleansing products.  Your skin care regiment is so important. Your skin is the canvas. Dont take care of it, the painting will not be as vibrant. I use Mary Kay 3 step cleansing system, formulated for my skin type.  Twice a day I cleanse, tone and moisturize.  Once a week I add a masque.  If anything, clean, tone and moisturize once a day. MK is not for everyone, I understand that. Find a system that works for you and USE IT.  Your skin will thank you.  MOISTURIZE MOISTURIZE MOISTURIZE.  Try and find a moisturizer that has SPF in it. Oily Skin? Try a formulation specifically for oily or blemish prone skin. Even if your skin cleansing is as simple as a washcloth and water, DO IT.

2. Mineral Foundation.  I was always a cream/liquid foundation girl. Always. You couldnt change my mind to the contrary. I Like them. I Do. But then I had "a moment"...I discovered Mineral make-up.  I use Mineral foundation in my skin tone and blend until I get the coverage I want.  It stays put. It is a natural SPF. It makes my skin look airbrushed and flawless.  I use Bare Minerals. It is AMAZING.  And fork out the money for a proper Buki brush to go with it. regular powder brushes are too loose and wont cover like a mineral brush will.  find a good mineral make-up. You will never look back.  Try Bare minerals. For $60 you get a ton of stuff. I absolutely SWEAR by mineral foundation. Dont just get the cheapest crap you can find off the shelf.  All Mineral Make-ups are NOT created the same. find one that works for you.

3. MASCARA!! If you get out of the house with ANY sort of make-up, it NEEDS to be mascara.  Mascara can turn you from blah to ta-da. A good mascara can make all the difference. It can transform you from looking tired and worn to looking alert and perky.  I recommend Avon Astonishing Lengths  or Avon Super Shock.  You wont believe the difference in your lashes.  i also LOVE Lancome Definicils.  Any one of those will give you excellent results.  Start applying on your bottom lashes first. Then move up to the tops. This will keep you from looking up too much and keep the mascara off your eyelids and on your lashes where it belongs.

4. A good set of Make-up Brushes.  Invest in a set of make-up brushes. They will last you forever and you can apply your make-up so much more smoothly, evenly and professionally. It REALLY makes a high difference.  I got a set of brushes at Sallys Beauty supply. You can get them at Target and Walmart as well. Clean them once a week with warm soapy water, let them air-dry and fluff them up, your brushes will be your friends for a long, long time.

5. Tweezers.  Get a GOOD set of tweezers. Sallys Beauty Supply carries Tweezerman, they are 3.99.
Keep your eyebrows tweezed. Make sure you get those hairs between your eyebrows. Get those hairs that stray from your eyebrows and turn your arches into caterpillars. Your eyebrows should follow the natural bone along the eye. The brow should arch naturally around the middle of your eye. Also, invest in a good brow liner in case you go too long between tweezing or waxing. It can make your eyebrow a little more pronounced and draw attention away from those stray hairs hanging around.
The best time to pluck your brows is right after a hot shower. Make sure you are in good lighting. Pull the skin taut and pluck in the opposite direction on the growth. use an aloe vera gel to soothe afterwards and ward off the red puffies (tell tale pluck symptom).

so those are my top 5 skin/make up must haves. what are yours? What can you not live without?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Honey...we need to talk

My husband and i have been married for 12 years. TWELVE...LOOOOONNNNGGGGG....YEARS.
I thought I knew everything about him. His wishes. His desires. All his secrets.
Our is a happy marriage. ..or so I thought.
Imagine my shock when i found THIS in the cruise photos.

Charles, you have some 'splainin to do.

**** for those of you who DONT know, this is my Husband and his brother Daniel.
Apparently one night after I went to bed they decided to sneak out and visit all the photographers on the ship and make comeplete jackasses of themselves.  There were at LEAST 10 pictures of them.
This was by far the best.

Looks like they finally found true love.

My two favorite pictures

Charles and I took several pictures together throughout the ship. On every deck they had various photography stands set up, so every night we would go visit them and have our pictures taken together. There was a marble hall, romantic sunsets, garden benches, grand pianos and more. Surely I could take a least ONE good picture, right?
The following night I would look through our photos and just be SO disappointed.
my face looked fat. I blinked. His smile was velveeta. he blinked. there was a glare. my slip was showing. my mascara was raccooning under my eyes.  Just a host of problems.  I had given up hope on taking any good pictures together that I could frame and put on our wall.  Our final night we decided to give it one more try.  None of the stuffy formal poses. We went for something fun. I think that made all the difference.
I was thrilled when I saw the results. I immediately bought both.

The ONLY pictures Charles and I have together in our house(on display) is
1. Our wedding photo from 12 years ago
2. Our engagement photo from 12 years ago
3. the family photo of us on the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios where Finn is screaming so hard his eyebrows are straight up and down.

So I am thrilled to have another one to add to the collection

Our Towel animals

Every night we would come back to our stateroom and find a towel animal.
Our room steward made some really great animals for us. 
One night we had a comedian as entertainment.  He asked how many of us liked the towel animals. We all cheered.  he then asked "How many of you have taken pictures of the towel animals?" 
again, a bunch of us cheered (including me).  He then said "People...they're towels!"  I then found out we could purchase a book of towel animal tricks and tips for the low low price of 24.95.

I dont care if they are just towels, I think they are cute. So here is the week of towel animals, the carnival menagerie


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 6- Cozumel

Day 6 in Cozumel SUCKED. We got off the boat to a slightly overcast sky and sprinkling.
As we walked around sightseeing we found that the shops in the port area were full of overpriced trinkets and really pushy salespeople. Apparently In mexico my spanish name is "Hey Lady"
We took a cab down to the Aqua Safari pier about 10 minutes away. There we found souvenir stores MUCH more to our financial liking. It was SO much cheaper away from the port.
port: 1 litre mexican vanilla was $14
away from port: Same litre (exact same) was $6
port: T-shirts $8 each
away from port: exact same shirts 3 for $10
port: biodegradable sunblock $14
away from port: exact same sunblock $8
In cozumel you have to wear special biodegradable sunblock. It helps protect the reefs.
We bought Finn a Pan Flute (now he has his own instead of always trying to play with the ones Charles got in Peru). Peter got a wallet. They each got a big shell with a picture of chichen itza carved into it. I got my parents a bottle of pure mexican vanilla and I also got myself a GIANT bottle of Mexican vanilla. All in all we only spent like $25.
We then went to Tanzanite International. I picked out a BEAUTIFUL Tanzanite ring. It was a thick white gold band with channel set diamonds down each side. On the top was a rounded rectangle 1 carat tanzanite stone. It was a beautiful bluish purple. It was just gorgeous. I talked them down to $275, including free sizing AND it would be ready in 2 hours. We went to pull out the Visa card and realized it was still in the safe in our room on the boat. We didnt have enough cash on us to buy it. And with our tour starting in 30 minutes there was no way I could have gotten back to the boat for the visa and then gotten all the way back to get the ring. I was bummed. It was just so perfect for me. So I was a little sad.
We then went on a Glass Bottom Boat Tour. And by Glass Bottom I mean a little boat that had a strip of foggy plexiglass on the floor, surrounded by a wall type structure. It actually made me seasick to look down over this wall into the plexiglass.
We stopped in several locations to snorkel. The snorkeling itself was really cool. Lots of great coral. Deep water, big coral with lots of tunnels and drops and twists and turns.I think I would have enjoyed it more if it were sunny. But the rain picked up, and it started to thunder and lightening. It was really overcast so a lot of the pictures didnt turn out. the colors were murky and blah.

This was just a cool picture. It is me underwater in Cozumel, but the rest of me is above water.So as the rain started to really pick up and the lightening started to strike all around us we were herded back into the boat and headed back. We had a serious Gilligans Island moment. It was raining so hard and the boat was getting tossed around. It was COLD. I almost wanted to grab Charles cell phone out of our bag and text my mom and dad and say "take care of the boys when we die". But the person driving the boat did a great job of getting us through it.

When we got back to the pier, of course, it stopped raining and the sun started to come out again. We were SOAKING wet. So we went to McDonalds to change and to eat. Let me just say I think they are deep frying their fries in some sort of beef lard. The fries were a nice dark yellowy brown color, just like they used to be here in the states before all the health people went apesh** about our heart and cholesterol and nonsense like that. THEY WERE SO GOOD!!!! I dont know what they are frying them in, but it is a heck of a lot better than what we've now got going on with our french fries here in America.

Yes...we ate at McDonalds. You knew it was bound to happen. Plus the bathrooms were for paying customers only.

After McDonalds we took a cab back to the pier and did a little more shopping, I got an outdoor plaster aztec calander to mount on a tree or wall, or use as a garden stone.

we then got back on the boat,and took nice hot showers to get the chill out of our bones.

I was really disappointed in Cozumel. I think I would have enjoyed it more had our tour been better, had the weather been better etc. Oh well. Cant win em all.