Another recipe...

I came across another WW recipe that I am in love with. They do such a great job at developing yummy, healthy recipes. I changed a few things so it isn't exactly like the original. It is a light, easy dinner and made for 2 servings so it is small. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Pint-Size Paella
2 (1/4 lb) boneless, skinless chicken thighs (halved)--[I just use a couple chicken breasts cut in cubes]
1 small onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
3/4 tsp smoked paprika [I don't have smoked and just use paprika]
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c chicken broth
2 fresh baby artichokes trimmed and quartered [I use 1 large can artichoke hearts in water--only because it is what I have]
1/4 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
1 1/3 c brown rice, cooked
1/3 c roasted red bell pepper, cut into thin strips [I make my own--see note below]

1. Spray skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken; sprinkle onions around chicken. Cook, stirring onions, until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika and salt. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Stir in artichokes; cover and simmer 10 minutes. [skip adding artichokes if using canned at this point] Stir in green beans; cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 6-8 minutes. Stir in rice and roasted peppers.

*Note: Roasted Red Peppers are pricey to buy jarred so I like to make my own. They are typically pickled in the jars so you can add some vinegar to your dish if you want more zing. You can roast any type of pepper.
Rinse your pepper and poke a small hole in it. Place it on a baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes. Turn over and broil for another 5. You might need to keep rotating to get all sides of the pepper. The skins should be black and slightly charred. The pepper will be soft and flimsy. Take it out of the oven and quickly wrap in saran wrap. This will steam off the skins and when they cool you can peel the skins off easily. You can also do this on the stovetop and just turn it over and over in a hot skillet.



Yesterday we went to our first Rockies game this year. It was perfect! The kids behaved, the sun was shining, and they won! They actually had THREE home runs back-to-back. It was a blast and felt so good to be at the ol' ball game.

It was pretty hot and sweaty so I was thrilled our seats were shaded. Elise had a hard time staying awake and took a little snooze somehow during the mid-3 innings.

pre-snooze Elise--so tired

much more invigorated after a little nap

A boy at a baseball game--nothing better than that!

A perfect start to a long weekend.



Pam came over a couple days ago for me to take pictures of baby Colin (who by the way I am in love with!). It was a little too quiet upstairs and Ryan came to tell us that Greyden & Addie had locked themselves in the bathroom.


Yeah they got into my makeup. It was bound to happen someday I guess--although I was hoping it wouldn't be my BOY and expected it more with my girl.

I must take pictures and document these moments. Too funny. Here is a close-up in case you missed it. He was just so happy!



I am really excited about this... so I apologize if I bore you! But I thought I would share with those that are interested...

In an effort to make my life a little easier I have decided to buy diapers off diapers.com. I typically buy the huge box of huggies at Sam's Club or Costco. But the prices online seem comparable and quite a bit less in some cases. If you place an order over $50 you get free shipping.

Soooo... long story short. I have a referral code and if you use it, you get $10 off your first order and $5 off your second order. Plus then I get $10 off! With those discounts it is quite a bit cheaper than it would be for you to buy them at the store. And you don't have the deal with the hassle of driving and shopping with little munchkins.

Enter CHRI400885 when you check out if you want to give it a try.


Planting Seeds

We are finally (hopefully) over the freezes here. Come on spring... I had started some tomatoes and peppers a while back from seed and they were starting to wither from lack of space and enough soil. Jared built me a lovely raised garden with a drip line and a small fence to hopefully keep the dogs out this time. Last time I planted my garden in the corner and watched the dogs pee all over my pretty zucchini plant. That was the end of the growing season for me!

Grey has loved watching our little tomato and pepper seeds become plants. So I had him help me with the rest of the planting in the actual garden. It will be fun if I don't kill them and actually get food from it this summer. Wish me luck!


Seven years ago I made a promise.

Today I am somehow even more in love with that man.

I spend my days waiting for those quiet, little moments I get with him.
I find satisfaction looking back at how we've tackled the ups and downs together.

I look forward to the next FOREVER with him.
How grateful I am that we will be together forever...

Thank you Jared for loving me!

ps. thanks for the early gift--made me smile.


Almond & Flax Crusted Fish Sticks

I found a recipe using ground almonds as a coating on fish and was inspired to make some fish sticks based on this concept. For once my made-up recipe turned out amazing! Jared has never been so excited about anything I've made and Grey loved it too. It is super healthy and a great way to add fish into your diet without tons of added oils and chemicals from store-bought fish sticks. We ate them too quickly so I have no pictures. This is a perfect recipe to double or triple and freeze the extras for lunches or quick dinners.

Almond & Flax Crusted Fish Sticks

3-4 tilapia fillets (I use the frozen, bagged fillets from Costco-thawed)
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 egg whites or 1 egg  beaten
4 tbsp bread crumbs
4 tbsp finely chopped almonds (I put mine in the food processor until blended to a consistency of fine bread crumbs)
3-4 tbsp ground flax
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp minced onion
salt & pepper to taste (I didn't measure--sorry)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Cut tilapia fillets into fish stick size--I cut mine into fourths. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Set up a "dipping station" with the remainder of ingredients. Place flour on a small plate. Put eggs into a small bowl. In a third dish combine bread crumbs, almonds, flax, garlic powder, onion and salt & pepper. Coat the fish sticks in flour first, then dip in the egg mixture, lastly dip in bread crumb mixture to coat.

Place fish on cookie sheet and either spray tops with cooking spray or drizzle with a small amount of canola or olive oil. Bake until fish begins to slake when tested with a fork. I flipped mine halfway through so it would be nice & crispy on both sides. It took about 10 minutes. Serve with tartar sauce or even just a squeeze of fresh lemon. Enjoy!


Happy Mother's Day

I am sure everyone has seen this by now, but if not--you must!

Motherhood is divine! I am learning that fact bit by bit. I had a realization last week that taught me the importance of keeping a home. I sometimes feel that my wifely and motherly duties of taking care of a home are dull and meaningless. It is draining, exhausting and downright mundane to cook, clean, do laundry, iron (for some women!), run errands and chase after little ones.

But I realized that through these tasks I am making our home a nice place to be. A place where my family enjoys each other and where we like to spend our time. The home is the most sacred place on earth besides the temple. What an AMAZING responsibility we have as mothers to keep our homes clean and comfortable. Imagine if we viewed our homes the way we look at caring for our church buildings or temples. I think I would find much more satisfaction in my day-to-day tasks.

On another note, I am so grateful for my own mother. She has taught me so many things and inspired me to be a better woman. She has taught me so many things from cleaning and laundry to budgeting and saving to relying on the Lord through trials. She has taught me to keep on going... I love her so much!

Happy Mother's Day to all the other women in my life! Each and every one of you inspire me and teach me every day!


First of the Season

I got by bike and bike trailer all fixed up for our first ride of the season. Grey obviously loved it as always--Elise wasn't too sure. She did not like being buckled in and cried pretty much the whole ride. Ugh. I sure hope she learns to love it. I need to be able to get out!!!


One more left

Around 1983

One more year of my twenties that is. Today I turned 29! The day could not have been more perfect, but my mood for the last few months--not so much. This has been a hard age for me. It might be more the fact that I have two kids and I am living the part of my life I looked forward to the most for so long. Kind of like when Christmas Day is almost over... Or that I'm starting to really notice the wrinkled, dry hands and spotty skin on my face. Oh-or my balding hair that is still terrible from having Elise. I'm talking serious bald spots. Or the aches and pains that are apparently only just starting! I really, really want to be the kind of person that is excited about getting into my thirties. So I guess I have a year to change my bad attitude around!

I will stop whining now because I know it isn't THAT old. :) Plus I did have a wonderful day. My step-dad came and watched the kids while my mom took me for a delightful pedicure. Why don't I do that more often?!! Then we all went to lunch at Cafe Rio. *bonus: I filled my card up so the next salad is free!* I can't remember what I did the rest of the afternoon. I did however refuse to do any laundry or cleaning. Then I got ready for my surprise date with Jared. He wouldn't tell me where we were going but to dress up. I love surprises!!! He took me to Del Frisco's for an amazing steak dinner involving steaming bread, blue cheese wedge salads, mashed potatoes and the free jelly beans we kept scooping out by the front door. Oh my hubby knows me all too well. It was so nice to have some alone time with him and to feel like Christina and not Mom for a couple hours. He is so good to me!

I guess growing up is hard because I am realizing how quickly life goes. It feels like if I blink, I am going to miss it! Having kids accentuates this "can't catch up to life" feeling. They grow so quickly and now I am getting close to the age that I remember my MOTHER at which is really strange.

Apparently I am getting wordy in my old age. ;) I will leave you with the only picture I took on my birthday to email my sis!


Rite of Passage

Elise's First Experience at the "Breakfast Foods"

Pretty scary as a "crawler" with the crazy big kids knocking her over. But as a mom I don't care as much the second time around.

A happy girl + a worn-out Grey = one thrilled mom


80th Birthday (part 2)

I am sure I made everyone bored with that last post besides my family--but hang on for one more post to finish out our fabulous weekend.

Saturday morning, my lovely aunts hosted a lingerie shower for my cousin that is getting married next month. It was so much fun to have just the girls together. She got some pretty fun stuff... (wink, wink)
Little Brenna enjoyed the gifts too. ;)
Emily (the bride-to-be) and Jess

Caitlin, Mindy and Auntie Colleen

Aunt Kathlyn and Grandma
Grandma had us giggling a bit too...

Grandma, Sarah, Emily, Jess & Brenna, Aunt Gloria

Elise & Christina

All of the girls

After the shower, the whole family met up for more food, a quiz on my grandpa's life and a slideshow.

My grandparents with their five children
Mike, Kathlyn, Laura, Colleen, Shaun

It was an amazing weekend and I am so glad we were able to be there. We sure missed the family members that weren't able to make it! But I am pushing for a beach reunion summer 2011--who is in? :)

80th Birthday (part 1)

I have soooo many pictures so I must break this up in two parts. My grandpa turned EIGHTY last week and almost the entire family went out to St. George for a long weekend to celebrate with him. He is a wonderful man and I am so grateful to be in his family. He has passed on so many amazing qualities that I hope to pass on to my children. I respect him so much for ALL of the things he has done with his life including with his job & education, church service and especially for our family.

Jared & I packed up the car full of snacks, lunches and lots of activities. The kids did amazing considering how it could have been.

(Grey thought he was a pilot when he wore the headphones)

The first day we were there we went to the fun rec center pool to play. I will be honest---I spent most of the time going down the huge slide by myself! I am such a kid. It was also the first time Grey has put his head under water... finally... and by accident. He sat down on a step and ended up being completely underwater. When we pulled him up, instead of freaking him out, I made it all exciting and told him to go tell daddy he put his head under. He went over to Jared and said, "I did this dad!" and dunked his head under. I know it is lame, but I was proud!

Day two started with the 3-mile walk my grandpa does 5 days a week. Grey ran with my Aunt Gloria the first mile and a half then begged us to carry him the rest of the way.

Then we met back up at our house for dinner, presents, cake & ice cream.
When you turn 80 you get TWO birthday cakes!

My child always has to be a part of everything--helping blow out candles

Sarah, Josh, Mindy, Lorin

Grandma, Jess, Caitlin

Jared & Grey

Opening one of the gifts--this was a book I put together filled with old photos and letters written by the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

My mom, Grandma, Christina & Elise

Oh I love my cousins! We had such a great time together.
Jess, Mindy & Christina

I pulled out an old picture of us--just because it was too funny. This was about 20 years ago and we are in the same order here:

My cousin's band (We are Blackhounds) happened to be starting their tour in St. George that night, so my sister and a few of my girl cousins went to watch. It was a blast and so much fun to see him play!