Thursday, December 6, 2012

Patience is a Virtue

I must be super virtuous after waiting for Trader Joe's to come to Utah for over FIVE years.  Here are some of my favs (among others) that I have been importing and now can purchase within my own state lines!!! My husband gave me a $22 dollar budget. Ha! I only exceeded it a little (by about $100.) Budget, smudget. The good news is that our pantry is fully stocked (as well as our bellies.)

Thanks Trader Joe's for making my life as a "label reader" just a little bit easier and humoring my endless location request emails. (And, just for the record, I realize that some of these labels may not be virtuous. Maybe they are just the lesser of the evils.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Windy City

For six months, I planned my trip to Chicago for November. My husband would be in meetings for 3 days. I would sleep, read, eat, photograph, and shop. It would be three entire, glorious days to do whatever whenever. I was mostly excited to dine like an adult. No leftover bread crusts, no worries about allergens, no spilled milk.

Flashback to Halloween.... Dex gets a horrendous case of the stomach flu. It lasts for 6 days! Followed by Maddie. Then, Millie. I managed to escape the dreaded disease... Or, did I?

Oh no, I did not! Twelve, yes 12, days later, while on my long-awaited sabbatical, the symptoms manifested themselves violently. There was no dining, no reading, no photography, and very little shopping (much to my husband's pleasure.) However, there was plenty of sleeping.

I did manage to take 4 random photos with my phone which don't really even resemble the vacation.
I do have to admit that it was better than the trip I took to San Francisco a few years ago when I had the swine flu. And, the saving grace of the trip was the restaurant we visited just before we flew home. Slurping Turtle was delicious. Since I was still adjusting to consuming food, I ordered "Slurping Noodles" which turned out to be perfect.

I tried to recreate the dish and came pretty close. It was a quick and easy dinner and all the kids like it. 


Slurping Noodles
Copy Cat from Slurping Turtle, Chicago

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup carrots, match stick or thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup napa cabbage, shredded
½ cup broccoli florets
8 ozs straight cut rice noodles or vermicelli
Shrimp, use your preferred size
3-4 green onions, greens only slice on diagonal
¼ cup cilantro,
French Fried Onion, garnish

In coconut oil, sauté carrots, mushrooms, and cabbage for 3-4 minutes over med-hi heat.

Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add shrimp, broccoli, and rice noodles. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until noodles are soft. Stir in green onions and cilantro.

Garnish individual servings with french fried onions. Slurp away.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Summer Memories

With winter quickly approaching, I thought I would reminisce about summer. We had a pretty great one and made so many fun memories. Here are just a few...

Las Palmas Pool in St. George

Dex's 1st season of baseball
Maddie at the Spanish Fork Rodeo in Papa's box seats.

Millie and Maddie on a hot, lazy summer day.

Sunset on the 4th of July.

 Bear Lake in July.

 Morgan County Fair in August.

 Maddie and Jesse showing off at the Duncans.
Millie's 1st Birthday.

Avery and Dex on the 1st day of school.

School shoes on, summer ends.
 The end.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Miss me?

I really enjoy sharing updates and ideas within cyberspace with willing and interested readers. I've missed updating more frequently. I hope to rededicate myself to spending a little more time emptying my brain onto my computer screen.

I snapped this photo this morning on a nice, brisk run. It's the first bundled run of the snowy season. I LOVE the mountains!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Subway, Yoga, Coconut, Family Recipes

One of my favorite things about Pinterest are the quotes, both inspirational and humorous. This is one I came across the other day and felt that it justified my unpredictable conversational and blog topics ;)

So, now I will explain how all the items in the title of this post relate, or at least I'll try.

Last weekend, I attended a yoga retreat. I would like to say it was relaxing, but rejuvenating would better define the experience. To start the weekend, we hiked "The Subway" in Zion National Park. It was simply incredible.

While on the yoga retreat, I had time to flip through some of my old, neglected magazines. I came across this recipe and made it for breakfast this morning. It was a very welcome change to our regular oatmeal. I used fresh peaches and skipped the sautéing. I think toasted, slivered almonds would be yummy on top.

A few months back, my sisters and I started working on a blog to share some of our favorite recipes with each other. I've posted a few things, but intend to keep adding my favorite recipes to the collection. Some are healthy, some are quick and easy, and others are just tasty. Sometimes the photos aren't always beautiful, but that doesn't mean that the food isn't delicious! If you have a recipe request, let me know and I'll post it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

1 year old


Lots of fun summer stuff came and went. I have so many images to share later. My baby turned one. I have lots of cute shots, but these capture some of her best features and personality. Black and white photos really speak to me. This may sound silly but, I feel that they have so much depth.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Crazy Fun

Here's a fun little project. I had never tie dyed until recently and now I think I might be addicted! 

 BEFORE _MG_2288.jpg


P.S. Look OVER HERE for a little project my sisters and I will be continually working on. If you have something you'd like us to include sent us a note.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Maple Syrup and Waffles


Around here we are total Maple Syrup snobs. We haven't bought a bottle of Aunt Jemimah in at least 8 years after discovering "real" maple syrup. Trader Joe's got us hooked with their real, honest to goodness Grade B Maple syrup. Then we moved away from TJs :(

So, we started buying Maple Syrup from Costco. It's Grade A. Not the same. Grade B is dark and thick and rustic. So, we turned to or an occasional Trader Joe's import when we can get it. I think we are stock piled enough to last us until the Salt Lake City grand opening.

Now, I'm not ignorant to the fact that maple syrup is EXPENSIVE. I have a couple of ideas to help alleviate some of the extra financial burden that this may cause.

1. Buy a small, olive oil bottle (small because they tip over easily and you need to store it in your fridge.) The spout helps just a small amount drizzle out and doesn't leave a mess or waste dripped down the bottle. Even the smallest waffle-eaters can handle the drizzle. (P.S. I got this idea from Pinterest. Someone recommended coffee syrups in olive oil bottles. It's revolutionized breakfast time at our house.)

2. Use Grade A for baking and for the kids. Hoard Grade B as an adult-only condiment!

3. Bake the maple syrup into the waffles and convince your kids that it's already in there.

Here's our favorite waffle recipe and don't forget about these delightful Whole Wheat Oat Buttermilk Pancakes.

Maple Bran Waffles
adapted from the Joy of Cooking

Preheat a waffle iron. Whisk together in a large bowl.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup coarse wheat bran or wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Whisk together in another bowl.
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/2 cup butter, melted*
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Combine with a few swift strokes of the whisk.

*I often reduce this or sub with coconut oil. However the butter, makes them really tasty.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Relax and Create

Since I'm getting ready for a weekend getaway with my family, I am feeling like I'm drowning in laundry, packing, cleaning, etc. (I'll feel like this again when we get home.) So what am I doing? Wasting time on the computer.... Actually one of my favorite sayings goes something like this....
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
How could I not enough looking at this yummy little face?

How do you prepare for a vacation? Do you spend a few days getting ready? Are you last minute? Do you leave your house clean? Do you swear that you are not going on vacation again because it's so painful getting packed/unpacked?

Monday, June 4, 2012

summer night at the lake

The weather couldn't have been more perfect for our first outing to the lake this summer...

We ate yummy snacks....these.

We played in the sand.

The baby ate a lot of sand.

We went paddle boarding (and fell in love!)

Just like all of you, we have been busy, busy, busy during this past month.

We've been playing soccer.
We've been growing.
We've been pirates.
We've been learning to wave bye-bye.
We've been pedaling our wares. (Let us know if you are in need of a duct tape wallet, we are currently taking orders.)
We've been playing new sports.
We've been silly.
We've been building fairy/ninja houses.
We've been crossing our fingers that these hives are not food allergies!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


This little cutie pie really loves curly hair.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baby Love

_MG_1201.jpg by Mountain Light Photography

This little darlin' is so delightful. Such a fun little one to have around. Eats well (obviously), sleeps well, plays well. After three girls, I'm finally happy that I've gotten a photo with one of them wearing this little sweater. Just in time too, because the buttons are almost popping! My Grandma Mary knitted it for me when I was little and now I get to share it with my brown-eyed girl.

On a side note, she is a very serious baby. Getting her to crack a smile is quite a feat. She's a little unsure around strangers (which is anyone but me.) So most of the shots turned out like the one below. But, thanks to my neighbor anyway for trying and thanks for letting us stage our shoot on your porch.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Clean as a Whistle

Since we finished our basement, cleaning the house has been no small feat. But as of this very minute, my entire home is clean from top to bottom. I do have to admit that I spent a couple of hours last night getting started. And now, voila! Toilets scrubbed, mirrors shined, floors mopped, furniture dusted. Let the weekend begin!!!! (and, the cleaning will start over again on Monday morning. boo, hoo, hoo :()

A special thanks goes out to my sweet 3 years old, Direct TV, a wonderful napping baby, and an after- Kindergarten playdate.

How and when do you clean your house? Chunks, bust it out, a cleaning service, or who cares about clean?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sugary Easter Weekend

After a fun Easter Brunch with some friends, I taught the kids to play Annie-I-Over. They thought it was hilarious to yell, "Annie come back!" When I was a kid, my dad told me that he made up the game. Turns out, google knows all about it ;)
For the brunch, we had Baked French Toast. It was a big hit. So delicious, but definitely packed full of sugar.

Baked French Toast
  •   1/4 c. butter
  •   4 eggs
  •   2/3 c. milk
  •   1/3 c. sugar
  •   1 tsp. cinnamon
  •   8 slices bread

Melt butter in cookie sheet or 9 x 13 pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly into pan. Mix eggs and milk; dip bread into mixture, soaking well. Arrange in pan. Bake at 400 degrees at 10-15 minutes. Lift out sugar side up on platter.

BTW, I've started what will be a bi-annual sugar detox; the day after Easter and the day after Halloween! This is timely since I came across THIS today.

Speaking of sugar... Here is a photo from our annual Bleggi Family Easter Egg Hunt. Isn't this a gorgeous view? It's near Woodland Hills, Utah. Turns out that my little niece wants to join our family. Sorry M, as cute as you are, five kids would send me over the edge. The baby is happiest when snuggled on Papa's lap.

We dyed eggs. For years I've been meaning to used natural dyes. This was the year to live and learn. The kids helped me brainstorm colorful foods. We used grape juice, beets, spinach, paprika, turmeric, and blueberries.