Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Treats as easy as 1...2...3!

When kids and hubby sit with you when you're enjoying Pinterest, they many times "spy" yummy things and beg you to make them.  This recipe was one of those.

Treats as easy and 1, 2, 3
Treats so easy,  
your kids can help you every step of the way!
3 Ingredients
3 Steps
and you end up with a whole bunch of yummyness! 

While not the most frugal recipe, it is yummy and easy and sometimes you need that kind of a treat as life gets hectic.

Rolo Pretzel Turtles 
1 bag of Rolos
Pretzel Snaps
Pecan halves

Heat oven to 250 degrees
Unwrap Rolos
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper 
Put Pretzel Snaps on the parchment paper
Put one Rolo on each Pretzel
Bake in oven for 5 minutes
Pull out and top each with a Pecan half and "Smash" the pecan down when you top the Rolo/Pretzel 
Refrigerate for 5 minutes and then remove from sheet and store in Rubbermaid container in a cool place.  
Great lunch option 
(send 2 or 3 in a small container 
for a yummy lunch treat)  

The perfect combination of salty and sweet!
I can guarantee they won't last for long...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Egg and Pea of our favorites!

One of the things I love about Easter Time 
is boiling up and decorating eggs.

 We usually boil up 12-18 eggs and so we always have PLENTY to make up Deviled Eggs and one of our FAVORITE salads...

Just 5 ingredients, but LOTS of flavor.
This is pretty much a complete meal in one.
I usually send a bowl of this salad,
 plus an apple and some kind of a muffin in our lunches.

This is also a great filling for croissants as well.
yummy, Yummy, YUMMY is what this is!  
Egg and Pea Salad
(the perfect salad to make at Easter to use your “Hard boiled eggs”)  

2 cups frozen peas
6 hard boiled eggs (peeled and chunked) (sometimes I add in 8)
½ pound bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
½ cup “Miracle Whip” Salad Dressing
grated cheese (optional) 
In bowl layer peas, eggs and bacon--Stir in Miracle Whip—let stand for 8 hours before serving. Sprinkle with grated cheese if you like.  Stir before serving.  
(sprinkle with salt and pepper if you like)

Enjoy some boiled egg 
yummy-ness today!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies!

 This is what happens when dad helps out in the kitchen  
and makes us a Sunday afternoon treat...
We get YUMMY 
Sour Cream Chocolate Chip cookies 
to enjoy!

He originally found this in a Martha Stewart Living Magazine
when Ethan was just a wee babe.
These are the only cookies he bakes...
these are his specialty 
and since I never make these up they are always
a much WELCOME treat to enjoy!

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies 
1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 cup REAL butter (1 cube)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 Tbsp. sour cream
3/4 cup chocolate chips (we use semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Whisk together flour, salt and soda.
Beat butter and sugars with mixer on medium for 3 minutes
Beat in egg and vanilla 
Reduce to low speed and add in flour in two batches, alternating with sour cream.
Beat until just combined.
Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
COVER and FREEZE for 10 minutes.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto well greased cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes.

WOW, Sunday afternoon cookies just can't be beat!
Especially when lovingly made by the best dad and hubby in the world!
(and when we enjoy them as we watch re-runs of  
"Little House on the Prairie" together as a family)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flax Seeds...make wonderful energy!

Tis the time of year for...

 and backpacking!

And with these two events, 
it means we need GOOD energy snacks!

I have been seeing Energy Ball recipes all over Pinterest and I decided to tweak the recipe to things we had on hand and I can honestly say my family is LOVING these! 
We have been making them weekly for the past month so Jade has plenty of good energy snacks for his running practices for Track
(I've loved them on my early morning runs as well!)
Also, they have been wonderful to add to lunches instead of sending cookies for a treat.

  I actually like them much better than my homemade granola bars...they are more "hearty" and not as sweet...
 and they go together SO quickly and you don't have to bake them...
just mix basic ingredients together, 
let chill 45 minutes to an hour, 
roll into balls and keep chilled until ready to serve.

 BTW...I was given some "mini- chocolate chips" from one of my good friends and the first batch I added in some of those...

 However, I just like taking my 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips and breaking them into chunks to add in instead. 

 What I love about these energy balls
 is the ground Flax Seeds
I always try to add ground flax seeds to many of my baked goods, because flax seeds are high in 
 Fiber, Phytochemicals
AND Omega-3 Fatty Acids...
This energy ball recipe uses 1/2 cup of them.  

 I just buy whole flax seeds in bulk and then I grind them with a coffee grinder and store them in my fridge.  

Energy Balls
1 cup rolled oats (OLD fashioned, NOT quick)
1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
1/3 cup RAW honey
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, OR, dark chocolate chunks
1-2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Mix altogether and refrigerate 45 minutes to an hour
Roll into small balls and keep refrigerated...

BTW....I'm sure you could add in whatever other things you would like...the sky is the limit!  I bet dried fruit or different nuts would be yummy as well!

 Enjoy 2 balls for energy before or after running
Perfect for kiddos to take in their lunches instead of cookies for a treat
OR, for an after school snack,
OR, the perfect thing to bring instead of granola bars 
for energy when hiking or backpacking!

Happy running, hiking and
backpacking energy to all of you!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

22 years of bliss...

 22 years ago,Tracy and I started the RIDE of a lifetime 
as we drove to Logan, Utah, to be married...

I still remember the drive as if it happened yesterday!
We watched the sun come up on our three hour drive,
we talked about our dreams, and we couldn't stop being excited about the events that were to happen in the next few hours.
(photo on the left is the last photo taken before we got married
photo on the right..."Mr. and Mrs. Tracy Smith") 
I've always loved this saying...
"Choose Thy Love... 
 ...Love Thy Choice"
And this is something that I have reflected on daily because I truly cherish and

I'm married to such a hopeless romantic
and I get LOVE notes on a weekly basis.
This year, Tracy made me such a priceless treasure...he printed out an old fashioned looking post card and then spent the next 2 weeks writing love notes and thoughts all over it.
I LOVE this so much...
I can't stop picking it up and reading and cherishing all of the sweet, heartfelt sentiments!  
This is a collection of thoughts I gave to Tracy for his 42nd birthday in 2010...these feelings still ring true today and so I'm preserving them in my journal...

My Dearest, husband, love and best friend...
Happy birthday 2010!   
42 wonderful reasons why I am so head over heels in love with you!!
-- Gorgeous eyes and smile I LOVE your bright blue eyes and your electric smile.

-- LOVE your gap in your front teeth!!  I know you don’t enjoy the gap in your teeth, but I LOVE it!! Your smile makes me melt and get weak in the knees!  I couldn’t imagine a better smile than yours!
-- I love your sense of style in the way you dress. Even if you are mechanicing on the cars or working in the yard you like to be dressed nice. I still remember seeing you for the first time in Pearl of Great Price and how nice you were dressed…striped turtleneck, white V-neck sweater with burgundy and navy banding around the collar, tapered pants and your black penny loafers with the beefy sole.
-- You have the BEST sense of humor! I love that my everyday is filled with laughter because of your awesome personality and sense of humor. I know that you fill many a life with laughter and humor as well.  I just can’t believe that I have YOU to spend my life and every day with. I AM LUCKY!!
-- Love all of your doodling and drawings that you do when you explain things. I love how visual you make everything when you describe or explain something to me. This is such a wonderful strength you have!
-- I LOVE my notebook and all of your sweet love notes you leave me. I get SO excited to walk through the kitchen door each day and I am hopeful that I will see a notebook lying on the counter with notes and thoughts from you!!  They are such treasures to me!
-- Kindness...I love how kind you are to everyone you meet. I don’t think there is a mean bone in your body.
-- Curly hair. I always dreamed of marrying someone with blonde highlighted hair. I know you don’t like when your hair gets long, but I LOVE your curly locks of hair. I get excited thinking of growing old together and having you be a spunky old man with grey curly hair!
-- Facial hair! I love that you are a manly man and that you can grow facial hair. My favorite thing is when you have your “Goatee”.
-- I love that I am married to capable man!! It doesn’t matter what task you have to do, you are always capable of doing whatever comes your way and you always do a wonderful job as well!
-- Make people feel comfortable!  What a blessing it is to be married to a man that makes people feel comfortable. From co-workers, to your scouts, to ward members and family, people LOVE to be around you because you make them feel comfortable with your “put people at ease” personality you have!

-- LOVE that you love to talk and speak what's on your mind. I never have to guess what you are thinking. I am SO lucky as there are many a woman out there that would love to have husbands that would talk to them!
-- I love your zest for life and your desire to be healthy!!  How lucky I am to be married to a husband that takes care of himself physically and strives daily to make conscious choices to be healthy!
-- You love the outdoors!! I am SO grateful that our sons have a dad that has such a great love for the outdoors and I love that you so willing take us to the outdoors to enjoy hikes and nature every chance you get.
-- You are the most incredible LOVER!!  I am completely fulfilled in my sexual life and you know how to make me feel incredibly good!!  What’s amazing is that our sex life just keeps on getting better and better!  It is like an aged wine…it just gets better with age!
-- Patient...I can't believe how many people you deal with at your work and you are always patient with them.  I know that you work with many teachers and co-workers that say and do dumb things, but you are always patient and nice with them!
-- I love your desire for knowledge and learning!  It doesn’t matter what the subject is, you are constantly, learning and gaining knowledge! It is such a blessing to not be married to someone that thinks they know it all! You are never too good to learn from others.
-- Smart!  I sometimes don’t know how you got stuck with me, because I am far from being as smart and intelligent as you are!  I am daily amazed by the intelligent words that come out of your mouth and you know and teach me things that I never knew, but, you knew everything about!
-- Creative! All I can say is WOW to your creativity! You are a dream husband and you are one of the main reasons that I don’t choose to hang out with other girls, because we craft together, decorate the house together and I get all of my JOY from doing all of these FUN things with you!

-- Eloquent speaker!  You exude talent in this area. Anytime you talk you use such big words, but you can relate to anyone on any level and they can understand you!
-- Sincere!  You are always SO sincere. Even when someone bugs you, you can be sincere and give them some kind of genuine compliment!
-- Adventurous!  I love that from the moment I started dating you, you took me on adventurous and unique dates! I will forever always remember our FUN date to the bat cave and our discovery of “Calli-delight” (along with some other FUN moments in the cave as well)
(and in your mess of things in your "Man-cave", you have an 
"I love my wife" sticker amongst all of your things...)

-- Jack of all trades!  I’m sorry to admit it, but I sometimes take you for granted, because in our 20 years of marriage you have been able to figure out and fix anything you touch!
-- You’re my make me look good! I love that you proof-read all of my posts and catch and fix things so they read and post well on my Blog, because sometimes I use the wrong homonyms. 
-- You are the BEST dad!  I know that being a dad is not always easy, but you are SO wonderful to our sons! Even though they both are unique, you try to bring out the best in both of our sons. I love that you take time for them and you always want to make sure we have FUN in our home each and every day!
-- You have a great body! I love your body and you have the most sexy butt!  You look amazing for being 42 years old. I love everything about your body and WOW you know how to make me feel oh so good!
-- You take care of yourself! I am SO lucky to be married to a man that clips his nails, picks the black heads on his nose, showers, washes his hair and brushes and flosses his teeth daily. You are clean and always smell good and that is a blessing as there are women that have husbands that aren't that meticulously about grooming. You are yummy!!
-- You're mine! I truly have to someday pinch myself to make sure I am in real life!  I am SO lucky that YOU are my hubby!

-- You are SO thoughtful!! I am always finding thoughtful things from my sweetie! I have treasure boxes full of 20 years of thoughtful notes and gifts from you.  I LOVE THEM ALL!!
-- You are a great teacher!  You teach me so many things as well as our kids, but I am really enjoying watching your teaching skills with your scouts. They are learning SO many things because of your great teaching abilities!
-- People feel safe around you!  Your boys in your Scout Troop are so fortunate they have a leader they can feel safe around!  I love that people that are the “underdog” can feel safe because of your kind nature!
-- You have filled my life with FREEDOM!  I love our freedom that we experience in every area of our life! Thanks for giving me butterfly wings!
-- You are a Thinker! I am SO grateful to have a husband that thinks for himself and that doesn’t lock step to everything that everyone says to do. I love our conversations about the Cosmos and Truth and I am SO blessed that you aren’t afraid to question things. I love your honesty as well.
-- You Radiate JOY and Happiness…when I think of these 2 words YOU come to my mind!

-- You mend our clothes and can create masterpieces out of nothingyou truly know how to make a silk purse out of a sows ear!

-- You're my mechanic, my artist, my carpenter, my tailor, my landscape artist, etc....

-- you are PERFECT for me!! 
Love, Kimmie
Happy anniversary to my sweetheart! 
I hope we ring in at least another 50 together!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This is what a perfect day looks like to me...

 I go to nature to be soothed and healed, 
and to have my senses put in order.  
~John Burroughs

The mountains have been calling me, 
actually they've been calling our family!
When trying to decide what to do for Spring Break, we knew that we wanted to head to the mountains, that we wanted to be together as a family with NO interruptions, no technology, of any sort,  
just us and nature and TIME 
to enjoy the simple things of life!

Sunday after church we loaded our car with camping/hiking gear and a cooler of goodies and piled in our car and headed towards Salmon, Idaho. 
It was actually serendipity that we kept driving instead of camping at the main campground along the road, because we found a hidden gem up Williams Creek Road, and camped in the high mountains and we were the only people camping in that particular spot.
It was peaceful, no noise of society, just us and the excitement of a 10 year old boy SO excited to run and jump over every rock and climb every hill and pick up every stick in sight as we were setting up camp.
We enjoyed a campfire, dinner and great conversation around the fire and PEACE... the only noise we could hear was an owl "hooting" TV's, no generators, just the sounds and smells of nature...(our CELL PHONES didn't even work) 
It was solitude!

The next morning we awoke early,  
got our camp taken down, enjoyed a little granola for breakfast and headed to mile marker 282...we parked our car, unloaded our gear, loaded up on water and put on our packs and headed up the trail on a gorgeous hike!
This hike is my favorite hike because there is a reward at the end... 
HOT water...

Goldbug Hot Springs has natural pools of ALL different temperatures, mossy rocks, water falls, (HOT water falls that feel like a hot shower), water that pounds through the rocks and gives you a nice back massage.  
The serenity up there is something that can't be compared to anything else in life.
Stunning, breathtaking beauty, peace and solitude and warm, hot and cold water abundant to enjoy! We were entertained watching all kinds of butterflies, flying around and landing near us. I could sit and watch them all day long!

We spent the majority of the day there and had the whole place to ourselves...not another soul around...
taking in the water, engaging in wonderful conversation and enjoying lunch while we soaked. HEAVEN on EARTH is what it was.
It was sad to have to come back to reality and pack up hike out and head back home so we could be back to work and school on Tuesday.
The kids promised us to take them back there once a month all through the summer as they LOVED it and so do I!
Here is our perfect day in photos!
Setting up camp...
For me, a room with a view, 
will always be that of looking out the door of my tent, 
with some kind of nature beauty to see and enjoy!  

around the campfire...
 Little bit of pouting going on in this photo...
Ethan kept getting a little too crazy 
with lighting sticks on fire and 
"waving them around".
 Heading out...
and now the HIKE begins!
 Ethan leads the pack...
WOW, quite the ominous views we enjoyed...
 UP we go...

We made it!

 Crystal Clear, HOT water!

The most amazing view...
Hot Water, gorgeous canyon...
we all took our turn enjoying!!
 Getting an awesome 
back massage from pounding water!

 Just relaxing and enjoying the day...

 Feet are NOT pink from sunburn...
the water is SO hot...
it's pure heaven!

Amazing Textures
and Colors...
 WOW, amazing waterfall 
to take a hot shower....

Jade is enjoying some
 Solitude and Peace

 I could have sat and watched 
the butterflies ALL day long!

 Relaxing and enjoying 
one last soak before heading out...

 Sad to say goodbye to a PERFECT day!!  

 And down we go...

The End!