Nov 18, 2007

This is for you, Sunny!

My friend Sunny "tagged" me, which apparently means that I have to say 7 interesting things about myself. We'll see if I can come up with that many! ;)
Ok, now I tag Carolyn, Sarah Hoagland, Beth, Emily Curfew, Ally, Robyn & Mandy! You're it!

1. My claim to fame is that I met AC Slater from Saved By the Bell (otherwise knows as Mario Lopez). Ladies, I know you're all jealous! When I was in high school I went to Las Vegas with my friends. We were walking through a casino (when there was a Oscar De La Hoya fight going on) and we saw AC Slater. We were freaking out. We were pushing each other towards him and giggling like school girls, wanting to take a picture with him. We didn't even know his real name, but he thought he was really cool that all these high school girls wanted a picture with him! Who has those pictures? Robyn? Ally?

2. Lake Powell is one of my favorite places in the whole world! My family got a boat when I was in high school and we've been going ever since. Dan and I even do a 13 hour drive from Southern California each summer just for a few days of boating and wakeboarding at Powell.

3. I looooooove peanut butter. I love anything with peanut butter. I even made my mom send real peanut butter while I was on my mission in England (I say "real" because they have something called peanut butter that is a horrible excuse for peanut butter!) I think the only person who loves peanut butter as much as me is my husband Dan! (That's when I knew it was meant to be...)

4. I love the sunshine & I love the beach. That's why I absolutely love living in Southern California. There is nothing better than taking a walk or a jog on the beach on a sunny day or sitting outside reading a book or taking a nap, feeling the sunshine on your face. Being outside on a sunny day immediately puts me in a good mood (And let's be honest, girls, tan fat is way better than white fat! Admit it, you know it's true!)

5. I'm a gamer. I'm not afraid to say it. I'm a game nerd. I love playing games and I might just be a little bit competitive when I play games. I married into a family who loves to play games, which has been fun. And in recent years my family has really enjoyed playing games as well. We love playing Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. Give them a try, you'll get hooked!

6. I'm a bit of an accessory addict. I feel naked if I'm not wearing jewelry. I'm a sucker for a great purse or some fabulous shoes! I think the reason I like them so much is that even when I gain weight, they still fit. ;)

7. I competed in (completed is the more appropriate word) my first triathlon last year. It was alot of fun (in hindsight, of course) and I'd love to do another one. My right knee has been a little messed up this past year, but hopefully I'll be able to do another one this coming year.

Nov 16, 2007

I just found this really cool website FreeRice works with in efforts to
end world hunger.
The organization has two goals:
1. To provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
2. To help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.
It give you a word with 4 definitions and you have to click on the right one. For every definition you get right, they will donate 10 grains of rice to
United Nations World Food Program.
It's really cool.
Check it out when you have a few minutes.

Nov 15, 2007

The art of Thanksgiving is
It is gratitude in action.
It is thanking God for the gift of life by
living it triumphantly.
It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them
as obligations to be invested for the common good.
It is thanking God for all that men and women have
done for you by doing things for others.
It is thanking God for opportunities by accepting them as
a challenge to achievement.
It is thanking God for inspiration by trying to be an
inspiration to others.
It is thanking God for each new day by living it to the fullest.
It is thanking God by giving hands, arms, legs, and
voice to your thankful spirit.
It is adding to your prayers of Thanksgiving,
acts of Thanksliving.
(Wilfred A. Peterson)
I love this poem, so I thought I'd share. It's so appropriate this time of year. I love the first line "the art of thanksgiving is thanksliving". So true! You have to walk the walk. We show our gratitude in the way we treat others, in our attitude, in the way we live our lives. I am so grateful for the many blessings I have been given. I'm not quite sure why I have been so blessed. I definitely don't deserve it. I have an amazing family, a wonderful husband, supportive friends, the gospel of Jesus Christ, good health, and I live in a free country with so much wealth and so many opportunities. I am extremely blessed in so many cup truly runneth over. I need to do so much better in thanksliving.

Nov 14, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

My friend Amber Sim invited me to go to a cooking/holiday gift ideas class tonight. It got me excited to try out some new holiday recipes. We tried a couple of tasty cheese balls, which I'm looking forward to trying. (We also were 0 for 3 on the drinks.....chocolate cappucino, and two different kinds of tea drinks. The teacher was pretty offended we didn't want to try her delicious creations!). Anyway, I got this recipe today and think it sounds divine. I can't vouch for it yet, since I haven't made it, but it's got chocolate chips and cream cheese in it....can you really go wrong!? I'm going to try it out one of these days, but if you beat me to it, let me know what you think!

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
Enjoy this recipe from Christmas in the Country Cookbook (M970).
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. powdered sugar
2 T. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
Graham cracker sticks, pretzels, Nilla wafers, etc...
Directions: Blend cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugars; beat just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Place on a large piece of plastic wrap; shape into a ball. Refrigerate for a least one additional hour. At serving time, roll ball in chopped nuts. Serve with graham cracker sticks, etc... for dipping. Makes about 2 cups.

Nov 6, 2007

Homemade caramel to die for

This is my friend Kelly's recipe for homemade caramel. Due to multiple requests for the recipe, here it is. It's perfect for dipping apples or for caramel corn.

Homemade Caramel
Mix together and bring to a boil:
1/2 cup butter
2 cups of brown sugar
3/4 cups corn syrup

When boiling, add:
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Boil on medium (I stir it constantly) for 15-20 minutes or until the caramel forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water. Make sure not to cook too long!

Remove from heat and add:
1 tsp vanilla

Let cool for about 5 minutes before dipping apples.

The best tomato soup ever!

So, I never thought I'd be one of those bloggers who took pictures of the new boots they just bought (although I did just buy some new boots that I'm in love with!) or of a great recipe, but here I am! This soup is so tasty, I just had to share. Anyone who lives near a Trader Joe's has to try some--it's their Organic Creamy Tomato soup, and it's delicious! And the best thing about it is that you just open the box, pour it in a pan, heat, then eat!
Dan and I love it with a grilled cheese sandwich. Enjoy!

Nov 4, 2007

Halloween Party at the Lombardi's

On Halloween we went to Ladera Ranch for a Halloween party at our friend's, the Lombardi's, house. We had a great time. I always love seeing the costumes people come up with! As you can see, I went as a boxer and Dan was my punching bag...sounds about right! Here's a few more pictures of the rest of the gang!

The Brian & Dawn Lombardi clan....I love the cage!The Adams/Lombardi Family (with an adorable little chicken!)
I loved what the Koch's came up with--Little Charlie was so stinkin' cute as a hotdog!
I still need a picture of Steph, but here's a couple of Jeff Jensen.

He came as a transformer....and even transformed!
Steph was the cube that he was protecting! So classic!

The Sim's came as K-Fed and Britney Spears and their 2 boys. I missed getting pictures of them while they were in costume...I only got this one of little "Sean Preston". I love this kid!
Amber, send me some pics so I can post them of the whole Federline/Spears fam!

Happy Halloween!

For some pre-Halloween festivities we went over to the Baltzer's for a little Halloween pumpkin carving. They turned out really cool. It's alot of work, but alot of fun as well. Amber and I had a hard time really capturing how cool they looked since the flash always ruined the pictures! Even though Tad ditched us halfway through for a softball game, he made us some delicious pumpkin bars, so he's forgiven! ;)

Happy Halloween!