Sunday, June 30, 2013

Home Tour 2013 {The Living Spaces}

I'd been wanting to do a home tour for quite awhile now, so I'm super excited to share this with you!
I debated back and forth a little about how to go about this... I mean, my house is faaar from designer, and I don't have hours and hours to do projects, let alone keep it spotlessly clean! But, for us, it's home. And we adore it.
We bought our house over 3 years ago, and it was a dump, to put it kindly. :) There was stained glass windows with parrots in them, a fake-shell chandelier and many many other 'personal touches' left here by the previous owners. But we were (are) young, and thought it would be so fun to have a 'fixer-upper'. It was fun for a bit, but I can honestly say, next time we will be buying a new home. ;)
When we got married, the style of décor that was in, at least in Utah, was 'Primative'... black furniture, dark décor, lots of reds, mustards, and brown. So I've slowly been transitioning to the lighter décor, and Ilthought I'm not all the way there, I kind of like the mix of dark and light.
 




 





So there you go! Our home!... Well some of it! ;) Nothing fancy, or over the top... just a normal house with a few crazy people living inside! ;)
 
Be sure to keep watching for the next posts in this series! I'm going to do the Master bedroom, my sons bedroom, the bathroom and a REALLY fun post with my Daughter's nursery along with a few surprises! You wont want to miss any of them!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

{Easy} Crockpot Chicken Tacos

I am always looking for an easy weeknight meal that doesn't require much thought! We have tacos a lot in our house, and this has to be my favorite variety!! The filling could actually be used for a lot of dishes; enchiladas, burritos, taco salads... but the tacos seem to be our favorite!
4 chicken breasts
4 cups chicken broth
Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, parsley...
Throw your chicken into the crockpot and cover with broth, sprinkle with seasonings and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8
 
When then chicken is almost done cooking, add 2 TBS of Taco seasoning, 1/2 sup salsa, a can or beans (I chose red kidney) and a can of sweet corn. Stir and allow to heat all the way through.
 
We like these on corn tortillas, with lettuce, spanich rice, salsa, and sour cream.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Menu Monday

Wednesday: Asian lettuce wraps
Thursday: Grandpa spaghetti
Friday: date night
Saturday: cashew chicken 
Sunday: shredded steak tacos and Spanish rice 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Trailer Camping :: 6 tips for Meal Planning


So... we bought a trailer! Ok, so we bought it over 6 months ago, but we haven't gotten to use it until this summer! So I'm pretty excited! Like I had mentioned, my husband and I spent the night a few weeks ago for our anniversary and although we've been up since, this will be the first time with the kiddos overnight! Yikes! :) Anyways, I've spent the week planning meals and I thought I'd share a few tips with you!
We are no strangers to cooking in the wild outdoors, we stay in cabins many, many times during the summer, and most of the time it's not too different than cooking in our trailer. We do have a generator, thankfully, that runs our microwave, but most of these tips are for no-heat or outdoor cooking.

PLAN!-- I am a self-proclaimed OCD planner. And in this case, it works to my family's advantage! ;) I have an extremely detailed list of the meals we will have, snacks and drinks.

PREP!-- Prepping what you can ahead of time will be a huge help when you are up on the mountain and all you want to do is relax with your family! For instance, I am cooking Broccoli Cheese Soup this morning, and after it cooks and cools, I'll pack it up and keep it in the fridge until we pack the cooler. Then tomorrow, all I'll have to do is heat it up on the stove (or camp-chef) or throw it in the microwave! I'm also pre-baking some rolls, and I'll just throw those in a bag to have with the soup.
But whatever you can do; chop veggies, pre-bake potatoes, make sauces, assemble tinfoil dinners... anything helps! You'll be SO grateful later!

Have Emergency Meals on hand-- Sometimes things don't go as planned. That's just how life is! What if my soup spilled in the cooler? What if it's 10 billion degrees and the mere thought of hot soup sends us into a heat coma? ALWAYS have a backup plan. a can of refried beans and a package of tortillas doesn't take up too much space, and may save your butt! I always keep cans of chili, salmon, boxes of 'suddenly salad' and a few other go-to's in the trailer cupboards, just in case!

Appliances can be your friend-- If you do have a generator, or solar panels, or some form our power hookups, I suggest bringing a few small appliances. We don't have much room in our trailer, but I bring a sandwich (grilled cheese) maker (use for grilled cheese, calzones, stuffed French toast, ham and cheese pockets, etc.), a small crockpot (for freezer meals, meat and/or soups), other good ideas are a small toaster oven or waffle maker.

Single servings are the way to go-- If we can afford it, and if it's available, I always buy single servings! I love juice boxes, small boxed cereal, and my personal favorite... mustard and mayo packets! I have yet to find somewhere to buy those (any ideas?) but whenever we eat at subway, I ask for an extra, or grab one or two extra at the gas station. Grabbing just one more than normal can add up and it's SO much easier than packing big containers of everything, and bonus, you can leave them up on the mountain!

Don't beat yourself up-- Camping is not the place for gourmet food. Since we do camp so much, I try and keep most of our meals as healthy and 'home-ey' as possible, I like to fix grilled chicken, raw veggies, fruit salad, lean red meat, and things like that. But sometimes, hot dogs for lunch, and doughnuts for breakfast just have to do. And that's okay! As long as you're not feeding your family that every single day, there's no harm in my mind!

Here's a look at a few things I'm taking up with us this weekend (all these things will stay at the trailer, none of this is for my planned meals)
I have:
Tortilla chips (I already have a jar of salsa up there)
pizza crust mix
cornbread mix
baked beans
peanut butter
garlic powder (I already have a few spices up there)
hot chocolate mix
canned chili
box pasta dinner
spaghetti sauce
pizza sauce
spaghetti noodles
cooking spray
pringles (our family favorite)
packaged salmon
fruit/veggie juice boxes
muffin mix
 
Hopefully this gives you a little help next time your family is headed out into the great outdoors!
I'd LOVE to hear all of your ideas for camping food and recipes!! I'm always in search of new tips!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Foto Friday

A few photos from our Anniversary trip!

And of course, a couple of our cute kiddos!

 



Monday, June 17, 2013

Menu Monday

 
Monday: Chicken Taco Salad
Tuesday: Homemade Pizza and green salad
Wednesday: Soft Tacos and Spanish rice
Thursday: Cowboy Lasagna
Friday: Camping:: Sandwich-maker Calzones
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Roast Beef and Baked potatoes

Monday, June 10, 2013

Menu Monday

Ha! You though I'd forgotten! ;) Haha, well... actually I did, until tonight!
 But Here's this week's menu!
 
Monday: Sad to say, we hit up Micky D's on the way to the mountain! Shame on me.
Thursday: Cinnamon Wheat Pancakes and bacon
Friday: Spaghettti and Meatballs
Saturday: Date night

Sunday, June 9, 2013

HP Photosmart 6520 Printer {Review}

So if you've read this blog long, or even if you haven't, you've probably noticed that I am completely obsessed with photos! Which leads to quite a few trips to Costco to get them all printed! It always ends up being a whole big ordeal, ordering them online, making the trip into town, waiting around until they are done... with two kids, it doesn't necessarily make my like easier! So when Staples contacted me with the offer to receive and review one of their HP photo printers, I was ecstatic!
The HP Photosmart 6520 e-All-in-one Printer is seriously amazing! I could not believe the quality photos it produces, along with the amazing regular printing! It is so nice to be able to get high quality prints, and not have to leave my house! I am in love with this printer!
 (Dont mind the flash... our office has horrible lighting!)
 
Here is what Staples website had to say about this printer...
Experience premium photo printing with this e-All-in-One's 3.45-inch (8.7 cm) gesture-enabled touchscreen & automatic photo paper tray with peek window. Print from virtually anywhere with HP ePrint, share wirelessly, and scan & copy with ease.
  • 3-in-1: print, copy, scan
  • Prints up to 12 ppm black, 8.5 ppm color (mfr specs)
  • WiFi 802.11b/g/n and USB 2.0 connectivity
  • Up to 1200 x 600 dpi print resolution; up to 2400 dpi scan resolution
  • 80-sheet input tray, 20-sheet photo tray and 20-sheet output tray
  • Monthly duty cycle of 500 pages
  • Tap and swipe the 3.45-inch (8.7 cm) color touchscreen to easily print, copy, scan, and access Web content
  • Create lab-quality, fade-resistant photos without borders, as well as archive-quality documents.
  • Easy photo printing-keep paper loaded and ready, plus use convenient memory card slots to walk up and print
  • HP ePrint-now you can print from virtually anywhere
  • Print photos and documents, make quick copies and scans, send faxes without a phone line, and access apps
  • Scan photos and everyday documents to your email account, and scan multiple files to a single document
  • Automatically print and copy on both sides of a single page
  • Print up to 8.5" x 14" and scans up to 8.5" x 11"
  • Up to 6.5 cpm black, 5.5 cpm color
  • Dimensions 6.3"H x17.32"W x 21.73"D, 13.67 lbs.
  • One-year limited hardware warranty

For small businesses that rely heavily on images to sell products, a printer like the HP Photosmart printer is a must. This printer produces high-quality images, as well as crystal clear lettering, to help show potential clients your company's worth.
  • Multifunction
  • With the necessity to multitask becoming more and more popular, your company needs a printer that can keep up with the demands. This printer not only prints documents, fliers, and other materials, but it is also a scanner and a copier. With all three functions in one machine, you can save valuable space to spread out the information for your project.
  • High-Quality Prints
  • Incredibly high print resolution ensures that pictures are sharp and easy to see. Whether you scan an image to use for your fliers or take a photo with your camera, this printer gets that life-like image onto the paper. You can use either photo paper or regular printer paper in this printer to get the look you want for your fliers, brochures, documents, and presentations.
  • Moderate Capacity
  • This HP Photosmart printer features a printer paper input capacity of eighty pages and a photo paper input capacity of twenty pages, so you can get the job done easily and efficiently. With print speeds of 8.5 pages per minute for color prints and twelve pages per minute for black-and-white prints, you can get other work done while the print job completes.
  • Easy to Use
  • You can connect this printer to your computer via a USB cable or via a WiFi connection. Features like automatic duplexing and HP ePrint make this printer incredibly easy to use for daily reports or more complex presentation materials. It also has memory card slots to facilitate quick printing right from your card.
     
    amazing, right!? A few of my favorite features so far are the wi-fi printing, it's SO nice not to have to carry my laptop across the house to print out quick documents! I also love the touch screen display! It made the printer SO easy to install! and printing/scanning/copying is a breeze! With my old scanner, I had to search my computer for the program, but now I just tap the screen a few times!
    I am SO excited to use this printer for projects ALL over my house! A few I already have in mind are; the kids scrapbooks, flashcards, re-doing my photo wall, and a few 4th of july printables!
    ::Staples provided me with the printer for this review, but all comments and opinions (unless noted) are 100% my own... I REALLY love this printer!)::

    Friday, June 7, 2013

    Foto Friday -- Our 5th Anniversary!

     
    Happy #5 to us!
    Oh man! 5 years! It probably seems like a bigger deal to me than it actually is, but I'm pretty excited!
    I filled out this tag YEARS ago on my personal blog, and I though it would be fun to re-do it for you all! Just to give you a little insight into us!
     How long have you been together? We started dating in Nov of 2005... so almost 8 years!

    How old is your husband? 25

    Who eats more? It used to be me, but after I had kids, I mellowed out. Now were about the same.

    Who chooses the movie? We like the same kind of movies, with the exception of a few, so we usually decide together.

    Who said "I love you" first?  i did... and i was SO emberassed!

    Who is taller? He is... by a long shot! ;)

    Who sleeps more? Him for sure. But only because I'm still up with the baby.

    Who cant take a joke? Haha... me.

    Who sings better? I cant sing to save my life, and he wont sing loud enough for me to tell.... sooo?? neither?

    Who is smarter? him, but dont tell him i said so ;)

    Who's temper is worse? mine! He's always been the mellow one in the relationship

    Who does the laundry? i hate laundry... i told him that that is his one chore when we get married

    Who does the dishes? by hand, me. dishwasher, him.

    Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Him.

    Who is better with the computer? I'd like to think I am.

    Who mows the lawn? Him for sure. But I do know how!

    Who cooks dinner? I do. But he is a really great cook!

    Who drives when you are together? we switch, but on trips, he does

    Who has the nicer vehicle? me :) but to be fair, he does have a really nice truck. Mine is just newer.

    Who had more kisses before your relationship? Haha... should I stop and count? I bet him. He was a totaly ladies man.

    Who pays when you go out? If you mean who's debit card do we use? Mine ;) Haha, we dont do the whole "your money vs. my money" thing.

    Who is most stubborn? that would be me

    Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? umm...not me

    Who brings home the bacon? ha HIM! although I try to help with my photography. But I am SO glad his job completely supports us!

    Whose parents do you see the most? my mom, and his mom, we dont get to our dads as often as we'd like

    Who kissed who first? he kissed me, in a church parking lot, long story... well not really, that's about it!

    Who asked who out? i dont think anyone ever asked, we just kinda assumed when we started spending every waking moment together

    Who proposed? He did. He made a movie of all the photos we'd taken since we were together, took me out to an overlook of the lake and we watched it in the back of his truck.

    Who is more sensitive? can I say me?

    Who is more likely to lose it in public? Ooooh dear. me.

    Who has more friends? we have pretty much the same friends, so I'd guess it's even.

    Who has more siblings? Him.




     
     

    Thursday, June 6, 2013

    Salmon Burgers with homemade tarter sauce

    These burgers remind me of my childhood! My mom used to make salmon patties for us all the time and my favorite was when she would make extra, and for lunch the next day, we would have them as burgers! Yum!
    So now that I'm in charge of the meals, sometimes we skip right to the burger phase! Although I still do love them plain!
    ::Salmon Burgers::
    Makes 2 thick burgers, or 4 thin
    5 oz salmon (I use two 2.5 oz packages)
    1 egg
    1/4 cup breadcrumbs
    1/4 tsp parsley
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp black pepper
    1/4 tsp onion powder
    1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
     
    In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well combined. Spray a hot skillet with cooking spray and cook burgers on medium for about 5-6 minutes (turning 1/2 way through) or until the burger seems firm and the outside is browned.
    Place your burger on a bun and top with *tarter sauce (or 1000 island dressing) and lettuce.
     
    *Making your own tater sauce is really easy! All you need is
    miracle whip (about 1-2 cup)
    lemon juice (about 1 TBS)
    sweet relish (a few TBS)
    spicy brown mustard (optional-- about 2 tsp-ish)
    onion powder (a dash or 2)
    salt and pepper (a dash or 2)
    mix well and chill until ready to serve.
    

    Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    Menu Monday & Foto Friday... all on a Tuesday!

    Sorry! A day late! My darn computer decided just to stop working all weekend! Dont you just love when things like that happen! I was a mess all day yesterday trying to figure it out! HP wouldnt even talk to me because my warranty is up
    So you get a double whammy today! Menu and photos!
    Monday: Dinner with family
    Tuesday: BBQ chicken, grilled zucchini and corn on the cob
    Wednesday: Stuffed Shells (I gotta get these out of the freezer!)
    Thursday: Crockpot Chicken Tacos and spanish rice
    Friday: Our 5th anniversary! Out to eat!
    Saturday: Camping for our anniversary (I'm such a good wife! ;))
    Sunday: Hamburgers, potato salad and fresh fruit
    Our family pretty much LIVES on Kolob mountain during the summer! We go up at least 2-3 times a month and this year it will be even more because we FINALLY got a trailer! It's going to be so nice to have a place to stay while my in-laws are building their new cabin! I mentioned in the menu that we are camping for our anniversary! ;) I'm such a loving wife! Haha, actually, it was my idea! I really do enjoy camping however! Not 'tent' camping so much, but give me a trailer or cabin and I'm good to go!
    We went up over the weekend to stake out a spot for the trailer and fish with friends. It was so nice, and suprisigly relaxing, even with 2 kids! Haha!





     
    Does your family have a favorite summer retreat? Are you a tent family, a trailer family, or a cabin family? Or does the mere though of the great outdoors make your skin crawl!? ;)
     

    Use the code STMMMS84668 to get $10 off instantly!
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