Heat of Summer

Hello friends!

I hope you’re staying cool and safe in this hot summer! This morning at 830 it was already 80 degrees, so I’m guessing it’s gonna be a scorcher again! I have a black car with black interior and it’ll be a little toasty when I get off work!

How do you stay cool in the summer? I work most days but on Saturdays I am usually outside earlier in the morning to do yard work while it’s relatively cool. I try to get a bike ride in the morning too cause in the afternoon it’s over 90 degrees and zaps all my energy.

But on July 4 we went as a family (my hubs, kids, and grandkids) to Lagoon (Utah amusement park). It’s usually pretty hot but it being a holiday is less crowded than usual (maybe cause other people are at parades or other big Independence Day events. The thing that keeps us cool there is Rattlesnake Rapids! It’s a water ride and you usually get pretty wet. By the time my shoes were dry again we were going on last rides of the day and almost ready to leave. That’s how we stay cool! We are soaking wet! But it’s really a fun day, I’ll share pictures below 🙂

(For the first time, I went on the Skyscraper! I’ll share the video of us screaming as we (me, daughter, and daughter in law) pull the cord and drop!)

Have a great weekend friends!

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Holiday Adventures

Hello friends!

How was your Memorial Day weekend?? I hope you had a wonderful time!

I had a good day on Saturday and Sunday, even Monday was technically good but unexpected.

Saturday hubs and I went zip lining down Provo Canyon which was an amazing experience. We went with Provo Canyon adventures and went on five zip lines (did the first one twice) just to get the hang of things. It was a beautiful day and we had great time. I tried to spin a couple of times and almost ended up coming into one platform backwards which kind of freaked me out, but it all ended well. Afterwards we drove into Heber City and dined at Granny’s Drive In which was soooo good. I might have been really hungry but it was very good LOL!

Sunday was kind of laid back; we went to church and then some of our children came to visit. We then took a trip to the cemetery to visit the grave of my youngest son, he would be 20 in October of this year. It was a somber visit but we talked about him and how old he would be and how my daughter probably wouldn’t be as spoiled because she wouldn’t have been the youngest. It was nice despite the situation.

Then yesterday started out wonderful; I woke early and got ready for a morning bike ride. I rode down Provo River Trail to the lake and around the trail on the east side of the lake. I then decided to ride up to the University Parkway underpass because last year it was closed due to the road construction and I wanted to see if it had been completed. Amazing, it is completed and if I wanted, I could go farther but I already had gone about five miles so I turned around and headed home. On the way I crossed a wood bridge with a sharp 90 degree turn off the bridge with a fence on one side and a drop off to the river on the other. A young woman and her son were at the turn (stopped) with his little bike/training wheels; I didn’t want to run them over and almost stopped, but they completely blocked the trail and I fell off the edge, flipped over my bike and fell down into the weeds and rocks. It really hurt, no lie- my right knee is scraped pretty bad, I pulled the hamstring in my left leg and I managed to smash my face into my handle bars. It was no fun and I had to ride my bike all the way back home with my hurt knees (waaaaaa) I spent most of the day icing my knee although I’m still sore today and a little annoyed that some people on the trail do not know the rules of the “road” so to speak.

Later in the day all the (adult) children came over and we had a BBQ which made the rest of my day fun! I sure love spending time with all the kids and grandkids!

Ups and downs for the holiday weekend but I think this is life and normal. Usually the positive outweighs the negative in my experience.

Thanks for reading friends and enjoy your four day work week!

Biggest Easter Weekend Ever

Hello Friends!

How are all of you doing this fine Easter Sunday afternoon? I just finished the funnest, biggest, and busiest Easter Weekend Ever! I’ll tell you all about it.

Friday afternoon (4pm) our two oldest grandchildren came to sleep over, they are seven and six. We took them to A Wrinkle in Time (which btw, is a super boring movie….boring at the beginning and hard to understand, boring and odd, boring, and then terribly horrifying (our granddaughter was cowering in her seat and I could hear other children in the theatre crying-we almost left) and then it was odd/weird boring ending??? I wished we had taken them to something else.

We recovered the joy of the evening by painting 36 eggs that I had boiled previous to the disastrous movie event (we had paint and eggs and all kinds of crazy in my kitchen!) I made quite a few funny videos and will post a couple, they just crack me up. So by the time we were done painting eggs, it was (i’m sorry to say about 10pm) and the kiddies were still wired (it must have been the 28 oz slurpee we bought them at the theatre?? Let me tell you, that sugar lasts foreverrrrrr…..

It was somewhat difficult to get them to switch gears to sleep but eventually they did around midnight and up again at 7am! (I don’t have nearly that much energy, wish I did) LOL

Then we spent the early part of the day playing and listening to General Conference. Sometimes the children listened and sometimes they played, that’s normal 😉

At four pm, the rest of my children and grandchildren (the two- three year olds-missing the children and grandchildren out of state) came over for my two youngest children’s March birthday celebrations. Their birthdays are so close together, now that they’re adults we combine the celebration (they’ve said they don’t mind). I had made a chocolate cheesecake that morning to top it all off. We had a great time talking and laughing. The grandchildren enjoyed the great weather on Saturday, seriously a beautiful day.

FUDGE TRUFFLE CHEESECAKE (from Hershey’s recipe book)

CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST (RECIPE FOLLOWS)

2 cups (12 oz package) Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

3 packages cream cheese, softened (8 oz each)

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Prepare chocolate crumb crust. Heat oven to 300
  2. Place chocolate chips in microwave safe bow. Microwave at high (100%) 1 1/2 minutes; stir. If necessary, microwave at high an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating just until chips are melted when stirred. 
  3. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add melted chips, eggs, and vanilla; mix well Pour into prepared crust.
  4. Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until center is set. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool completely; remove side of pan. Refrigerate several hours before serving. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. (makes 10 to 12 servings).

Chocolate Crumb Crust: Stir together 1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/3 cup melted butter in bowl. Press firmly onto bottom of 9 inch springform pan. 

Then today everyone came over again and we had Easter/General Conference brunch (we always make a big breakfast with specialty hash browns, tons of bacon, monkey bread -Rhodes rolls in a bundt pan with special carmely sauce- fried or scrambled eggs and juice) and sit down and watch conference. When everyone is done eating, we commence playing Bingo (laminated bingo boards with gospel ideas on each square-playing pieces are M&M’s) and when each person gets a Bingo, I’ve purchased dollar store prizes to promote listening to the speakers.

I’ve done this Bingo since my children were young, they always seemed to love it (I think the best prize we ever got was “Fart Putty” that we found in the dollar section of Target-it’s this silly putty type of stuff in a little plastic toilet and when a person sticks their finger in, it makes a farty sound)! You’ve never seen adults laugh so hard for so long. I’ve never found anything yet that was a bigger hit. A couple of years ago, I thought everyone was too old for Bingo and tried to do away with it, you’d think I cancelled Christmas there was such a protest! I guess it’s one of those family traditions that everyone has come to love.

During sessions of conference today we played a game my son owns, it’s called “Sequence” and is super fun. Our family loves to play games together, we are pretty competitive and the outcomes are usually hilarious especially with spoons, UNO, and Phase 10. We’ve always played games from the time they were little until now including the grandchildren; the 7 and 6 year old are great UNO players 😉

It was somewhat unusual to have the birthday dinner, grandchildren sleep over, General Conference Bingo and Easter all in one weekend but that’s how it happened and I think everyone had such a fun time. I’ll share some pictures below, I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter weekend. For me, it’s all about family  (LOVE)

December Traditions

Hello Friends!

How has your weekend been? Mine has been superb! Really it’s been very nice and I can’t believe I’m saying, the only thing that would have made it better is SNOW! Usually I don’t say stuff like that, but hey it’s December and it’s been 60 degrees…that is weird but didn’t dampen my weekend!

On Thursday (Yes my weekend has been ramping up to fun since Thursday!) my husband and I drove to Salem with family members (mother, father, sister, brother in law, and niece) to look at the lights at Salem Pond and Spanish Fork Golf Course. These communities create some fun light displays that we enjoyed. At Salem Pond, we parked and walked out on the bridge to get a different view of the lights. (I’ll add pictures below) In Spanish Fork we drove through the displays with our windows down and headlights off, it sure is fun and the city adds more lights every year. We drive through that one at least once a year, usually picking up a mug of hot chocolate on the way because its cold (not this year though, I mean yes it was about 40 but seriously that is nothing compared to last year when it snowed early and was below zero for most of December…brrrrr). This was a fun evening.

Friday evening we met family members (aforementioned, along with another niece and her two children and one more niece with her bestie) at the Sandy Expo Center for the Festival of Trees. I have only been once and hubs has never been so we were in for a treat. If you don’t know what the Festival of Trees is: Many people decorate and donate a tree to be sold and profits go to Primary Children’s Medical Center. My husband looked up their history online while we were there and they’ve made millions for the hospital since the event began. I love a benefit like this event; my son Connor spent more than a week at Primary Children’s when he was one year old. He was severely ill and they were the only place able to treat him. Our local hospital did not have the resources or personnel, so he was life flighted (helicopter) and we were so blessed to have the care he needed in that emergency.

Some people donate trees in the names of people (loved ones) recently deceased and the trees are a kind of memorial to the person and things they liked. I’ll add some of my favorite trees from that night.

We visited the fudge and divinity vendors which was fun. Have you ever tried to make divinity?? My sister reminded me of a time when we were young and determined; we tried our hardest to make divinity and it would never set up, so we poured it into a 9×13 pan and set it in the fridge but it still didn’t set up. Divinity is so tempermental! The divinity vendor was sold out when we arrived and they stopped making it so they told us that at 8:55pm (five minutes before closing) we could come back and see if anyone had not picked up their order. So when we heard the “closing announcement” I reminded my sister “Let’s get to the divinity aisle”! and we all booked it down there where our persistence was rewarded and I got a wonderful bite of the heavenly treat. Divinity is divine…. 😉

Then for our big day Saturday (first I slept in til 830, such a wonderful thing) and we discovered a boutique in Salem where my sister got a darling “baby beanie” so cute. We then hit ULTA which is always fun sampling new makeup items. We discovered some gorgeous lip shades and I bought one for myself. We then met up with the whole family; everyone listed above along with our son and two grandchildren and rode the Frontrunner (train running north and south between Provo and Ogden) making our way to downtown Salt Lake to see more lights and visit Temple Square. I love visiting Salt Lake Temple Square, it’s so beautiful and with the lights it’s just magical. There were so many people, we crowded on to the train, then traxx was crowded, and lots of people at City Creek Mall along with Temple Square but we all managed to stay together and get some fun pictures with almost no injuries (little Venna fell and bumped her head, poor little thing; Emily fell two or three times but no bruises or goose eggs)

These are all part of our December traditions; enjoying beautiful light displays, spending time with family, and remembering the birth of our Savior. Merry Christmas everyone.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday Fun

Hello Friends! How was your Thanksgiving?? I hope everyone enjoyed their day! Hubs and I had day off. Seriously it was lovely, just the best day ever! Well until today and then today is wonderful! And can you believe the weather here in Utah?? Oh my goodness, yesterday and today are above 60 today. No need to wear coats while Black Friday shopping 🙂

So we went to Zermatt Resort and Spa for Thanksgiving dinner and the drive up Provo Canyon was beautiful, although it feels like September and not the end of November. We had a wonderful dinner, the turkey was tender and tasty. I tried three different desserts and my favorite was a chocolate mousse type of thing, it didn’t have a label but was very pretty and so I took a picture of it before I took the second bite. I believe it is covered with chocolate ganache, it was very rich.

Then we came home and relaxed until family came for snacks and crafts! We really had a lot of fun! My sister and her husband came and she brought a hot spinach dip and her craft is a snowman made out of glass bowls. Oh my goodness, it turned out so cute (my niece made one exactly the same last year, it was very cute too). My daughter in law and I made large colored (soccer size) balls into outdoor ornaments with cute tin pails as the top of the ornaments. (My treat was white chocolate covered popcorn, white chocolate pecan caramel maple fudge (in my previous blog) and paleo coconut oil fudge). My daughter modge podged glitter onto styrafoam balls and cones for decor’ for her new home (She is recently married and enjoying decorating her own home).  Two of my nieces are working on a special layered t shirt project that they did not finish last night and my other niece has a project but chasing her two little ones kept her from getting it out (she brought a cranberry-jalapeno cream cheese dip and crackers).

After completing our crafts and sampling all the treats it was getting near 9pm and we discovered that Ulta and Old Navy were open! Hmmm what to do??? We were dressed and awake with a Christmas list that needed checking; it sounded like a good idea to head out now instead of getting up early and going shopping. (You know there’s no way I’m getting up that early if I don’t have to work…interestingly enough I did wake up at 7am anyway-who knows why, I hadn’t near enough sleep)

So myself, hubs, daughter and her hubs (my sister went to the Ulta closer to her home, probably a good decision as we got back around midnight) headed out to brave the 5,000 other women at Ulta! Ok there weren’t 5,000 but it seemed as if! I got some great deals there for the cuties on my list and then we found out that Old Navy was open til like 3am (we thought they closed before we got there) and we hit Old Navy too, 50% off man! So at midnight last night I had about 1/2 my Christmas shopping done which is real nice because then I can spend all of December just enjoying the season, putting up Christmas décor, visiting friends, making treats and taking them out and focusing on the reason for Christmas- The Birth of Jesus Christ. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas as we all enter this wonderful time of year. I hope you and yours are well and safe.

The Big Week

Happy Thanksgiving Week my friends!
I thought I’d write to help prepare you all for Thanksgiving and Black Friday fashion. Yes there is such a thing as Black Friday Fashion! You know how you get up early to catch smoking deals and it’s 25 degrees so you bundle up and then get in the malls and it’s 95 degrees, there are hundreds of people and you wish you were wearing shorts?? Yes this is what I’m speaking about.
Things start out on Thanksgiving of course; I’m usually up cooking a storm and only at the last hour or so get to relax, so I normally wear a cozy sweater or sweatshirt and jeans while most of the time wearing one of my many full coverage aprons! You never know what might spill, sizzle, or flip on your clothes and I want my clothes to last forever! LOL But this year is different and by different I mean it’s a new tradition. Most of our adult children are married and have in laws who live in our same area. Yes Connor, I know you aren’t married, although I don’t think you will be awake for Thanksgiving 😉 My son Connor works grave yard shift.
Earlier this fall, my sister Michelle and I were talking about Thanksgiving and usually we get together, but this year it is her husband’s family’s turn to gather, so I found myself in an odd predicament. It’s difficult to expect married children to be with us for the whole day when they have other family close by and I didn’t want to cook a big dinner for me and the hubs so I thought we would go out for Thanksgiving dinner. There are many restaurants/resorts nearby that do a big shindig for Thanksgiving and it sounded like fun to try that out! Me and Hubs are going to dinner up beautiful Provo Canyon to Zermatt in Midway and then that evening our children are coming to have snacks, football, and a Christmas craft. I think that will be a lot of fun and to me sounds more relaxing than cooking for a couple days and doing dishes for hours. Doing dishes is not my favorite holiday tradition FYI….
Since I’m not cooking and cleaning up a storm, you guessed it, I can wear something fun for Thanksgiving. I’m planning on wearing my “Amore” Old Navy sweater, with my curvy Old Navy jeans (dark wash), and my gorgeous new heels from JCPenney! I’m super pumped about being able to dress up a little bit and kick back. Remember fashion really feeds my soul and getting dressed up for a holiday and going somewhere is super fun and makes me think of Cinderella getting dressed up for the ball! I’m a fairy tale girl at heart!
Then the hard work (?) of Black Friday! Don’t be scared, here is what I’ve learned: Take a coat in the car just in case but don’t wear your coat into the mall/Target/Walmart/Costco/BedBathandBeyond/BathandBodyWorks etc… Leave your coat in the car (I know that sounds counter productive, but it’s gonna be warm in most places because of all the people, you will only need your coat in the car and maybe not that cause I think we all have heated cars!) LOL I usually wear a sweater or sweatshirt with some jeans or joggers and comfortable shoes or boots depending if we have snow on the ground. Even a vest would be better than a coat if your climate is super cold, but it’s always super heated in stores (more ways than one right? I’ve never seen anyone get angry on Black Friday, but I typically am not up at 4am either. Maybe the people that get angry are just hungry and tired? I’ve usually got eight hours of sleep AND breakfast, so I’m pretty cheery 😉 Remember to eat before heading out IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP! LOLOL
I’ll be heading out with the hubs and we have really so much fun he and I. It’s the only time of year that he will shop with me (he’s not a big shopper) and we have fun going from place to place and planning our Christmas. We usually make a list ahead of time and only buy the things on our list if they happen to be included in the big sale. We’ll grab some lunch somewhere and it will be a fun day listening to Christmas music and feeling the fun of shopping for our loved ones 🙂 Just remember to be prepared to say hello to many people! Try to smile? (I wonder if I took snacks if that would cheer people up?)

Extended Halloween Weekend

So…I think this is my most exciting weekend EVER! Seriously! I’ll list some reasons why:

  1. Stranger Things came out on Netflix today…can you say binge watch weekend?
  2. Halloween Dinner (family tradition)
  3. Dressing up like (?) can’t say yet
  4. Giving out candy to the cutest kids (costumes) ever!
  5. Work Halloween party and potluck

I don’t know if anyone else is into Netflix series of “Stranger Things” but it’s awesome and I get to start watching today! Last season was super intense and fun and I’ve had to wait all year to watch more! Thing 1!

Every year my sister and I have a family tradition of a Halloween dinner, oddly enough always on Sunday…BUT anyways…we each try to create some creepy disgusting version of food (actually is food but looks gross) to creep each other out! Let me tell you, there have been some winners! (but left over food cause no one can eat it LOL) I am shopping for my dishes tomorrow and preparing some tomorrow. More pics to follow! Thing 2!

Dressing up! I’ve loved to dress up for Halloween forever and this year I finally talked the hubby into dressing up. So on Halloween I will post our pics! Thing 3!

Did I mention how much I love Halloween?? Really, love Halloween! I adore handing out candy to children of all ages and specifically get good (mucho chocolatey!) to hand out. I’m a therapist and I think it’s always better to have a 16 year old out  trick or treating instead of doing drugs and ending up at my facility. Who cares if I buy candy for someone if it gives me so much joy? Thing 4!

My employer is having a work Halloween party/potluck next Tuesday so I get to dress up and stretch out the fun before I go home and stretch out the fun! Thing 5!

Everything starts tonight and ends four days from now! Let the fun begin! I thought I would add a couple pics from years before family dinner so you know what I mean 🙂