Happy Easter Series: Part 3- Easter Basket

Friday, April 22, 2011

Growing up every Easter morning my sisters and I woke up to an Easter basket filled with many goodies next to our bed. These were not your typically wicker Easter baskets, these were cute handmade baskets created by our mom. My goal this Easter is to create an Easter basket so my husband and I, who are celebrating our first Easter together, will have that same tradition carried on from years to come.

Here are some ideas of baskets I am thinking about making:

Stay tuned in the next few weeks for the final project that I create!

Angela here, sneaking in to edit Lauren’s post… hehe! Lauren has been a little too busy lately to worry about making Easter baskets. She has been preoccupied with something a little bit more impressive, something like… GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE! Lauren officially graduated from Brigham Young University yesterday! Congratulations Lauren!
lauren graduation
(Lauren is the one on the right.)

Stockpiling 101

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The best way to coupon and get the most for your money is to stockpile. Stockpiling simply means buying multiples of one item when it is at it's lowest price.That way you run out of something, you will never have to run out and pay full price for that item. You can just shop from what you have. So this asks the question, when is it at its lowest price and how much do I need to get? A good way to know if it is at it's rock bottom price is if it 70% off or more. This is when you know to stockpile! Knowing how much you will need of that item is really up to you to decide. All I ask is that you buy only what you need! There is no sense in buying 100 of something just because it is free or cheap. When you do that, that means there are none leftover for others to get the deal and who really needs to hoard that much stuff. Here are pictures from my stockpile. It may look tiny, but it is all that we need.

A Little Easter for my Mantel

Monday, April 18, 2011

I saw these “Happy Easter” eggs in a recent Pottery Barn catalog. I figured they were about $40. Then I looked at the price and they were actually only $19. My mind thought, “sweet it’s like they are 50% off. I must get them at this low price.” I almost did. I went online to purchase them, but they were sold out. Bummer… at the time. Then I decided to try my hand at making some, with a little twist. Mine only cost $0.40. That’s almost like 100% off!

Happy Easter Vase Filler, Set of 11

Here is my version. I like that I got to choose a different font. I also like that they are a little more springy.


Behind the letters I added some butterflies, flowers, and bunnies.


Here is how you can make your own:

DSC03785 DSC03795

Materials needed: (I don’t know why I couldn’t get them all in one picture.)

-11 White Easter Eggs ($0.40 for pack of 12 at Hobby Lobby)
-Glue Stick
-Brown Paper
-Spring Colored Paper

DSC03999Fullscreen capture 4182011 34152 PM
1. First you want to cut out your letters and spring shapes. I had my cricut do that for me. (I used Harrington font.)
2. Next drill a hole into the top of the Easter egg. I am sure that was just what my husband imagined the drill being used for when he purchased it ;)

3. There is no picture for this… but cut yourself a piece of twine, tie a knot at one end, and pull the knot-free end through the hole you just made.
4. Glue your letters to your shapes. Then glue your shapes to your egg.
5. Then hang your eggs and you are done. I just used tape to hang mine from my mantel.

DSC04030 DSC04015 DSC04018

Happy Easter!


Bolder Boulder: My Six-Week 10K Training Plan

Thursday, April 14, 2011

So Memorial Day is soon approaching and I can't think of a better way to spend it than running the Bolder Boulder with my family. For those who are not from Colorado, let me clue you in. The Bolder Boulder is the largest 10K (6.2 miles) road race in the country. It is such a great race because of the beautiful scenery, live bands and tasty post-race food and goodies, and its very family friendly. I have run it once before, but I have decided to give it another go this year. So with the race only being 45 days away, it is time for Six-Week 10K Training Boot Camp! Whether you're running the Bolder Boulder or some other 10K race around the country, listen up because I have some tips and tricks for training for the big day.

1. Get new shoes!
Running shoes, especially for a 10K race, are extremely important. They can prevent injury and ultimately help you run strong and fast come race day. If you have had the same pair of running shoes for the last five years, I hate to break it to ya, but it's time to throw those out! Specialty local running stores are a great place to pick up a pair. Not any kind of running shoes, but ones that are very specific to your feet and your gait. One great thing about many of these specialty running stores is that they will have you run on a treadmill and actually videotape your feet. This way they can analyze any extra stability you might need based on the way your foot hits the ground. Shoes are the place to begin when training for a 10K.

My preferred shoe is the Asics GT-2100 series:

I have worn this type of shoe since I was 15. I LOVE them!

2. Hit the pavement!
If you are starting from scratch, focus more on the frequency of running than the duration. So, run more days in the week than more time per run.

I personally am very simplistic in my training:

Here is my six-week training plan to get me in shape for the big day:

Week 1: 1 mile x 4 days
Week 2: 2 miles x 4 days
Week 3: 3 Miles x 4 days
Week 4: 4 miles x 4 days
Week 5: 5 miles x 3 days
Week 6: 4 miles x 1 day, 3 miles x 1 day, 2 miles x 1 day, and some strides the day before the race

It works for me and helps me build up slow progression in my miles to the race day. When starting from scratch this is a good way to train.

3. Race day!
Make sure you are hydrated. Drink plenty of water the day before the race so come race morning your body is functioning properly and you will have the energy you need to run a great race. Two hours before the race try to eat 2g of carbohydrates/kg of your body weight. This should give you ample energy to get you through the race.

I think it's time to hit the pavement! Good luck in your training endeavors!

Happy Easter Series: Part 2- Easter Dinner

I truly love Easter. For me it is always calming and relaxing and just a great day to remember my Savior. Another great part of Easter is the food. I have not made any of these recipes before so I am excited to see how they will turn out. Along with a spiral ham, here is what our dinner menu will be this year:

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

(source allrecipes.com)
  • 2 bunches baby spinach
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
In a bowl mix together the oil, vinegar, white sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Add in the strawberries and spinach. Mix to coat

Sweet Dinner Rolls

(source: allreipces.com)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (11 0 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

  1. Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start.
  2. When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm pla ce, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes

(source allrecipes.com)
  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 8 green onions, sliced, divided

Bake potatoes for 1 hour at 350°. Meanwhile cook and crumble bacon. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon. Bake for another 15 minutes.

For dessert I will be making my mom's famous strawberry cake. Look for the recipe next week. It is so worth the wait!

What are your favorite Easter recipes?

Beach Bag

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Last week I had two T-Shirts…


This week I have a beach bag.


And next week I am thinking about stenciling a bicycle to the back of my beach bag…


Something like this maybe.

Jan 18th 2010 006


But for now I am going to stick my freshly pedicured toes back into the sand and soak up as much sun and ocean as possible…


While my son tries to soak up/eat as much sand as possible.

DSC03938 DSC03939    

Have a great week everyone… I know I will!


Fat Substitutions

Friday, April 8, 2011

Here are 15 great tips on reducing the fat in your diet which will ultimately reduce the amount of calories you consume in a day. Give some of these substitutions a try!

1. Prepare fat-free marinades and sauces (for meats and vegetables) with fruit and vegetable juices, lemon juice, vinegar, nonfat yogurt or fat-free broth seasoned with herbs and spices.

2. Brown ground beef. Pour hot water over it to remove as much as 50% of the fat. Drain and season the meat. Use to prepare tacos, meat sauces and casseroles.

3. Choose lean cuts and Select or Choice grades of meat. Trim visible fat. Roast
meat or poultry on a rack or any other way to allow the fat to drip off. Serve
cooked poultry without the skin.

4. To prepare lowfat gravy, combine flour with fat-free broth (2 Tbs. flour per cup of broth) or bouillon. Mix cornstarch and skim milk to make a lowfat cream sauce for pasta or vegetables.

5. Substitute lowfat or fat-free mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt for regular versions in dips, salad dressings, sauces, salads and backed goods.

6. In baking, substitute fruit purees or applesauce for some of the oil used in recipes. In muffins and breads, replace some of the fat and liquid with plan, nonfat yogurt. Serve spreads like fruit better or preserves, jam, jelly, “diet” margarine or fat-free cream cheese.

7. Reduce the amount of meat in casseroles, salads, soups and stews, and add beans,
pasta or rice instead. Serve more meatless dishes like wraps filled with vegetables
and lowfat cheese.

8. Replace whole milk with 1% lowfat or skim milk in puddings, soups, sauces, and
baked goods. Use lowfat cheeses in casseroles, tacos, pizza, and salad.

9. Prepare soups, sauces, and stews in advance. Refrigerate and skim the hard fat
layer off the top before reheating.

10. Instead of frying: Bake, broil, boil, roast, grill, sauté, poach, steam or microwave foods like meats, fish, poultry, and vegetables. Use non-stick cookware or nonfat vegetable cooking sprays.

11. Heat cooking oil before adding food, so it absorbs less oil. Cut meat and
vegetables into small, uniform pieces to sauté faster. Do not add vegetable oil to
the cooking water for pasta.

12. Reduce fat or vegetable oil in recipes by one third.

13. Top baked potatoes with lowfat and nonfat cheese or sour cream, plan nonfat
yogurt or salsa.

14. In desserts, replace nuts with Grape-Nuts cereal, lowfat granola, raisins, dates or other dried fruits.

15. Substitute lean ham or Canadian bacon for pork bacon or sausage. Use a mixture of ground skinless turkey breast and lean ground beef to make tacos, meatballs,
burgers and meatloaf. Serve canned fish packed in water, not oil

All of these tips are easy modifiable ideas that can hopefully help you keep off those extra pounds this year.

Until next time!

Happy Easter Series: Part 1- Craft

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Today is part one of a three part Easter series that we are doing for the next three Thursdays. We are going to talk about Easter crafts, recipes, and traditions. It is going to be a lot of fun! Today we are going to get started with an Easter craft.

I recently made some fabric eggs with doily egg stands. Now it may be a sin to use Fall colors in the Spring, but I can’t help myself. Fall colors are my favorite colors. You can use the springiest fabric colors to make your own. Even though I love the fabric, that is not my favorite part. The the doily stand is my favorite. Love it!


Let me show you how to make these:

DSC03689 Materials needed:

1. Plastic eggs
2. Modge Podge
3. Foam brush
3. Doily
4. Fabric
DSC03693DSC03694 1. Cut a 4 in x 6 in piece of fabric.

2. Cut that piece of fabric into 1/2 in strips.
DSC03695DSC03696 3. Cover your egg in modge podge using the foam brush.
DSC03710DSC03712 4. Start laying fabric on top of egg, diagonally.
DSC03716DSC03718 5. Cut three rounded edges from your doily.
DSC03723DSC03725 6. Using your foam brush, put a circle of modge podge around the bottom of your egg.

7. Place the doily over the modge podge.

8. There is no step 8, your Finished!


I can’t help but say the word, adorable, every time I walk by these.DSC03726DSC03730

Next Thursday, Easter recipe from Whitney.


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