Friday, March 13, 2009

DS Review

This is my Nintendo DS review. I love it!!! You should buy one too! :)

The end.

P.S. I'm totally into The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass right now when I have time to play it. And, I sound like a 10 year old...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Be healthy and happy

One of my goals I have this year is to be more healthy. I'm not one to diet and I've had trouble in the past working out because I don't see results immediately. This year I decided to take a more healthy approach. Although I'd like to lose a few pounds, it's ultimately about feeling good about myself. My doctor shared a few tips with me that I'd like to share:

1. It takes 30 days to form a habit. (I've known this for a long time, but only recently has it really sunk in. This means I actually need to workout 3-4 times a week for AT LEAST a month. I usually quit after the first week.)

2. Don't eat after 7:30 pm. (This one is a little more difficult, but I've been doing pretty good for almost a week now.)

3. Drink the biggest glass of water you can handle before each meal. (Sometimes your body tricks you into thinking your hungry when you're actually thirsty. I've tried this the last couple of days and I find that I don't eat as much.)

4. Don't eat to be stuffed; eat to NOT be hungry. (This makes complete sense. I think we've taught ourselves that it's bad to not eat everything off of your plate. My eyes are also bigger than my stomach MOST of the time. I've started eating off of salad plates to help me with my portions.)

5. 45 Minutes of rigorous activity at least 4 times a week. (If you can carry on a conversation you aren't working hard enough. I sleep better at night when I workout.)

I've committed to myself to live by these for at least the next 30 days and see how it goes. I've also signed up for my first 5K!!!! I'm very excited to do this for myself. I don't really love running, but I think once I make it a habit I'll feel better about it. The 5K is on May 16th (I officially start training on March 22nd). Until then, I've started this workout program:

This really works!!! As my cute friend Allison said, "It must be called 30 Day Shred because you feel like a piece of shredded chicken!". I've been sore every day I've done this workout. What amazes me is that you are doing simple exercises with only hand weights. I'm excited to see the results after day 30. I'll keep you posted on the progress of my NEW healthy lifestyle. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HUGE sewing project

This is my second year as the Girl's Camp Director in my ward. As soon as camp was over last year, I started thinking about ideas for Girl's Camp this year. All my friends will tell you that I'm pretty much obsessed when it comes to camp. Just the other day I did a service project for Relief Society Enrichment and the whole time I was there I kept asking myself how we could do that same service project up at Girl's Camp.

This year our Stake Girl's Camp Theme is: "I Strive to be G.R.E.E.N. (Grateful, Respectful, Energetic, Example, Nice). We'll be incorporating ways to be environmentally friendly along with all of the other qualities that G.R.E.E.N. stands for. I was so excited when I first heard about the theme, my wheels immediately started turning...

Unfortunately, I can't give you the details about the project until AFTER Girl's Camp because the girl's don't even know what I'm doing (My girls look at my blog to see if they can find out what's going on). They have seen these green strips of fabric, in fact they got to pick out which one they wanted, but again they don't know what it's for. This is what I spent hours and hours on the first weekend I got my sewing machine. My wonderful MIL helped me sew and even came down this last weekend to help me finish the first half of the project. It's always so rewarding to see everything fall into place. :) I'll keep you posted on the project and I promise I'll post the whole thing in just a few short months!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'd like you to meet....

Nina, my new sewing machine! :) (Yep, I name my possessions kind of pathetic I know, but when you don't have children or pets what else are you supposed to do with all the names you like that you'll never use!?)

I love her!!! She's seriously amazing! I opened her up the day I got her and sewed for about 18 hours that weekend. The best part is that she came with sewing classes, so when I feel I have a little more free time I can go and learn a LOT more about sewing!!! HOORAY!

Monday, March 9, 2009


It's only taken me 4 weeks to post this picture. I thought I'd post a before and after pic, so you guys can actually, maybe tell the difference.

Before-Blunt Bangs and VERY dark brown

After- Side swoop bangs and a few shades lighter.

See!? Not drastically different. I've actually had more people notice a month after than I did when I first got it done. I would like to grow my bangs out to the length of my hair and just grow my hair out a few more inches. I can fit about half of it into a ponytail right now. Maybe it's just the pictures, but I think the "after" hair makes my face look thinner. Sorry the lighting/quality isn't the best. I'm liking it!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 8 Recipe Week: Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

I had to end on a high note with another cookie recipe! These cookies are so simple to make. I love that the recipe only makes 2 dozen because I don't have to spend hours in the kitchen. They are delicious and super soft. If you are a chocolate lover you HAVE to try these!



Makes 2 dozen.

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  3. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe found here

I hope you've enjoyed recipe week and have found some recipes that you'll try. I'd love to hear about some of your favorites too!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 7 Recipe Week: Angel Chicken

This recipe originally found here, but adapted to taste. Great for Saturday afternoon or Sunday.

Angel Chicken

Serves/Makes: 6
Ready In: 2-5 hrs


6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter
1 envelope (0.7-ounce) Italian salad dressing mix
1 can (10 3/4-ounce size) condensed golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 tub (8-ounce size) cream cheese with chives and onion (or plain cream cheese)
hot cooked angel-hair pasta

Place chicken in a 3 1/2- or 4-quart crockpot.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the dry Italian salad dressing mix. Stir in mushroom soup, white wine, and cream cheese until combined.

Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Serve chicken and sauce over hot cooked pasta.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 6 Recipe Week: 7-Layer Dip

This is a favorite for parties! I got this recipe from my sister several years ago. I love to make this, it's easy and tasty!

7-Layer Dip
I usually make on a normal dinner plate
1st: Refried Beans (I mix 1-2 tablespoons of mayo in with the beans to make them a little creamer).
2nd: 1 12 oz. Dean's Zesty Guacamole (has to be Dean's it's the BEST!) Put on top of bean layer.
3rd: Sour Cream (I mix about half of a taco seasoning packet into a 16 oz. thing of sour cream, I use most of the sour cream but not all of it.) Put on top of guacamole layer.
4th: Cover with cheese (I use a mexican blend).
5th: Chopped black olives
6th: Chopped tomatoes (We like a lot, usually only takes 2-3 romas)
7th: Chopped green onions

Best to make a few hours before and put in refrigerator to chill.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 5 Recipe Week: Beef Scewers

I've mentioned this recipe here and here. I love it every time we make it. The marinade is ah-mazing!

Asian Beef Skewers

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame seed
2 green onions, chopped
1 pound sirloin steak, cubed
20 bamboo skewers

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except sirloin to make marinade. Add sirloin, cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Thread diced sirloin steak on bamboo skewers. Grill until cooked to desired wellness!

*I recommend soaking bamboo skewers so they don't burn to a crisp. Also, we've wanted to try creating a sauce with the marinade and serving over rice (If you prefer make a little extra marinade and set aside so it doesn't mix with the raw meat. Heat in a pan and use flour or corn starch to thicken).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 4 Recipe Week: White Chicken Chili

I mentioned this recipe here. Definitely a recipe I'll have around for a long time! Delicious and great for those cold, long winter months.

White Chicken Chili

I call this a chili, but it's really a soup consistency.
If you want it thicker, just reduce the amount of broth.

1 T Extra virgin Olive Oil
1 lb boneless chicken, cubed (about 3-4 boneless, skinless breasts)
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans Great Northern Beans
1 3.5 oz can green chilies
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t oregano
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 lime
1/2 C chopped cilantro

1 32oz box chicken broth

Condiments: (in addition to measurements above)

Sour cream
Chopped cilantro
Pepperjack or Jack cheese, shredded
Tortilla Chips or make your own tortilla strips

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add chopped onion and cook for about 2 minutes- just until it starts to become translucent. While onions are cooking, drain beans and rinse with cold water and set aside. Sprinkle chopped chicken with a little salt and pepper and add to pot. Add garlic as well. Cook until there's no more visible pink on the chicken, probably 3-4 minutes.

Then add green chills- along with all of the juices in the can. Add beans, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, and a few turns of fresh cracked pepper. Stir to combine and with your spoon smash some of the beans up so it will thicken the broth. Then add chicken broth.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the juice from one lime and the 1/2 C chopped cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and top with sour cream. Serve with condiments. If you don't have all those condiments- at
least have sour cream! But honestly, it's best with everything :)

Makes about 8 cups of soup.

*Oh, and this freezes well. Sometimes I make a batch and when it cools I put single servings into zip-locks and pop them in the freezer. Makes a great quick lunch.

Recipe from Our Best Bites

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 3 Recipe Week: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

This recipe is one I received from my sister-in-law. Very delicious and healthy for you. Probably the only way I will ever eat Zucchini!

Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 to 2 medium zucchinis, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 package Uncle Ben's Ready Rice- Long Grain & Wild
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Black Pepper to taste
3 Green Bell Peppers, halved lengthwise, cores and ribs removed
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium Italian-style stewed tomatoes, finely chopped
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cups Italian Style Bread Crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine the beef, zucchini, onion, rice, egg, oregano, salt and pepper and bread crumbs. Mix like meatloaf until thoroughly combined.

Arrange the pepper halves cut side up in a 9x13-inch baking dish and fill each pepper with the meat mixture (it may be over-flowing depending on how big your peppers are). Pour the tomatoes over the peppers (pour one juice from canned tomatoes over peppers and into the bottom of the pan). Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the meat mixture is completely cooked and the peppers are tender, about 25 minutes longer (I usually add a little extra cheese after I remove the foil).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 2 Recipe Week: Dinnertime Quesadillas

I found this recipe on Kraft Foods, one of my favorite recipe websites. This is a fast and easy meal that my husband loves! The best part about this recipe is you can put whatever you like on it.

Dinnertime Quesadillas

Prep Time: 10 Min
Total Time: 16 Min

Makes: 4 servings, two quesadillas each

2 Cups shredded cooked chicken (Our favorite is to buy a Rotisserie Chicken from Costco and use that)
1/2 cup drained canned whole kernel corn
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup drained black beans, rinsed
1 cup salsa (your favorite kind)
1 cup shredded cheese of preference (I usually use a mexican blend)
8 flour tortillas

Directions: Layer chicken corn, onions, beans, salsa and cheese evenly over one half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half to enclose filling. Cook one or two quesadillas at a time in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 3 min. on each side or until quesadillas are lightly browned on both sides and cheese is melted.

We like to add fresh cilantro and avocados to our quesadillas as well.

Come back tomorrow for Stuffed Bell Peppers!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 1 Recipe Week: White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

I thought I'd start off recipe week with a dessert! I found these cookies online one day when I was craving the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from Subway. I thought they turned out pretty good.

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
10 oz. white chocolate chips
5 oz. chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 375*

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the white chocolate chips and the macadamia nuts. Drop cookies by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. When cool, store in an airtight container (I always store with a piece of bread. This helps keep cookies moist).

Tomorrow: Dinnertime Quesadillas- Fast and Delicious!!!!