Thursday, March 29, 2012

YUMMY recipe.


Peanut Butter + Chocolate is one of my very favorite combinations.  Ever.
{Chocolate + Mint is a close second}.

Last night I held a presidency meeting at my house which was the perfect excuse to make something SWEET to serve.  I turned to....my Pinterest  'RECIPES TO TRYboard and stumbled upon this DEE-LISH recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything. {That blog bytheway... is pure yumminess!}.


Enjoy!!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
by Greta White
1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.
3) In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.4) Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly. 
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

* Note: I used a slightly smaller pan than the 9x13.  It turned out perfect!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Nine.


The hubs and I celebrate NINE years of marriage today.  NINE!  
Here are some things you should know about us:

* We laugh at EVERYTHING.  And EVERYONE. 
*We have nicknames for EVERYONE. 
*We can't keep secrets from each other.  It's impossible.  Even when we're not 'supposed' to tell the other person something.....we do.  
* We LOVE to go on trips. 
*Our very favorite thing to do on Sunday nights is watch America's Funniest Videos with the kids and make cookies.
* We see more of each other...than most couples.  And we STILL love each other.
* We {kinda} have a secret made up language.  For example...if we say the words TACO BELL...we mean that someone around us is talking WAY too much. {It doesn't always necessarily make sense!}
* We have three of the best kiddos a husband and wife could ask for.
*We like to eat out.
*We like to entertain in our home.
* We like Disneyland WAY too much.
* We wanna go somewhere BIG for our TEN year anniversary.
* We're laid back.
*We don't take things too seriously.
* We go on late night SODA runs for each other.
*He ALWAYS lets me sleep on the side of the bed closest to the bathroom. No matter where we are staying.
* We DIE laughing at:  Modern Family, The Middle and Up All Night.
*We get teary watching Parenthood.
* We have the exact opposite taste in movies and music.
*THIS is our song.
*Every night before bed we 'snuggle' our kids and talk about our very favorite things from the day.
*He likes to sleep with the fan on.  I do not.
* We go on date nights every weekend.
* We love going to the movies.  Even if we don't always agree on what to see.
*Joe's cousin Kami {my bff} introduced us. At the Macaroni Grill.
*We were friends BEFORE we started dating.
* We like to stay up late.
*We die laughing at Saturday Night Live.  Even if it's dumb.

If I could sum up our relationship in just one picture...it would be this:


Thanks for NINE of the best years of my life babe.  You make me happier than I could've ever imagined. Click HERE to see an example of what I'm talking about {excerpt from my old blog}.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

General Conference Handout.


Joe has nicknamed me the 'Queen of Puns'.  
I don't mind.
I love a good pun.

I handed these out to my sweet young women today to encourage them to prayerfully watch General Conference next weekend.

After all, it is one of my most favorite weekends of the entire year.



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Easter decor ala Coombs.


My house is finally bursting with bunnies and eggs!  Here are some of my most favorite spots:




I FINALLY bought egg cups.  Scored these cute polka dot ones at Fry's {local grocery store} for only 74 cents each!



LOVE the detail on my new Easter banner.  
Purchased at TJ Maxx for $5.99



Last year AFTER Easter my friend spied this Pottery Barn Easter tree for 75% off!  She was nice enough to pick it up for me {she knows me all too well} and I LOVE it!

Still working on my kitchen table centerpiece.....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Random Wednesday {posted on Thursday}.

Technically...since cupcake batter has EGGS in it...it classifies itself as a BREAKFAST food, right?


* If you're at the play place with your kids and you THINK that one of your kids may have a dirty diaper....please do us all a favor and take them OUTTA THERE to change them.  Please don't change them IN the play place for the rest of us to watch and smell.  Plus....that bench that you just changed your unruly child on... is SCREAMING {ecoli bacteria} now that your son's dirty bum has skidded across it. It takes a lot for me to lose my appetite...however this recent incident at the mall....definitely did it in for me.

* Hands down my favorite show on TV right now is THE VOICE.  But does it freak anybody else out watching Cee Lo  stroke his white cat every time he gives a commentary?!?  Isn't it just a tad weird?

* I think that Pandora Radio is pretty much the greatest thing ever invented right now.  You want a good station to listen to?  Program in the Natasha Bedingfield station. BOTH Joe and I agree...it's gooo-oood.

* Joe and I celebrated our anniversary this week....a week early actually...{thank you mom and dad for taking the kids overnight!}  We stayed at a swanky resort for the evening and if I were a hotel exec....I would have a shop next to the gift shop of every hotel....that sold ONLY their pillows and comforters.  They could make a fortune doing this, no?  Joe and I fell in LOVE with the pillows at our hotel.  And it left us wondering...where on earth can we ever buy anything as comfy??


* Speaking of celebrating....Joe and I's 'evening out' consisted of:  eating dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, checking into the hotel, laying on the bed watching tv until 10:00, falling asleep and not waking up until 10:00 the next morning.  Now thats true love.  Who needs a fancy night out on the town?  Not us...that is for sure.  It's funny how the word 'relaxation' takes on a whole new meaning once you're married with kids.  Watching TV without kids interrupting for a sippy cup, or a bum to be wiped....PURE. BLISS.  

* It kinda bugs me that at places like Wal-mart and Kohls....they have an 'Associate Carpool Parking' spot.  Right. Up. Front.  Seriously?  Who carpools to a place like that?  My dad carpooled when we lived back in Fairfax, VA and his commute was 20-30 minutes INTO Washington, DC. Now...that's a need for a carpool. Me?  I intentionally park in these 'Associate Carpool Parking' spots because lets be honest...I'm carpooling my kids everywhere I go these days...especially with it being Spring Break.  That's a good enough reason to park up front, right?

* I'm kinda over Siri.  Why can't she ever get anything I say right??  Yesterday I asked her to TEXT JOE - Ask Grant if he wants a breakfast burrito.  Her first attempt was: 'Ask Grandma if he wants a burrito.  Her second attempt was: ' Ask Karen if she wants a burrito'.  I honestly don't think I even have anyone named 'Karen' programmed in my phone.  You gotta step up your game Siri girl.  Because yes...sometimes I'm too lazy to type out my texts.

* Remember the band THE FORMAT?  They remind me of Joe and I's newlywed days living in an apartment.  Good times.  The lead singer has joined with a new band called FUN and I can't get enough of their new song 'We are Young'.  {LOVE!}

* What the heck is a hash tag and what does it even mean?  I know I'm like the only person left on the face of the earth who doesn't know how to 'twitter'....but....should I know what a hash tag is?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes.


While attending June's Fiesta last week...I tasted the most amazing strawberry flavored cupcakes that I have EVER tried, thanks to my sis-in-law Jenny. Lucky for me...she shared the recipe so I was able to make them up for my young women on Sunday, as it was my counselors birthday.  Perfect reason to celebrate, right?! 

The recipe comes from Paula Deen {LOVE!} and includes a package of dry strawberry Jello mix and frozen pureed strawberries in syrup.  Did I mention...they're TASTY?!?  


Ingredients

 

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix 
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed 4 large eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup water 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

As for the frosting...I made up my favorite Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.  It complimented the strawberry flavor, perfectly!  My sis-in-law used a Vanilla Buttercream recipe for her frosting...and it was equally as mouth watering!

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 - 8 oz. packages of Cream Cheese
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Blend on slow as you add vanilla, salt and powdered sugar.  Once blended, turn mixer on high and blend until nice and fluffily.  Use immediately or refrigerate.  


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

June's Fiesta.

London & June.

London has a cousin that she's pretty much obsessed with.  Her name is June.  
June turned ONE last week and her mom threw her the cutest FIESTA I have ever been to.  The details were deluxe.  To see for yourself click HERE.

{I'm almost to 300 followers.  Whoa.  I smell a giveaway for all of my following peeps in the near future.....}

Monday, March 19, 2012

Family Unity Handout.


*Update 8/2014 - - I now offer this tag as a 
FREE printable HERE!

Today I had the privilege of teaching my Young Women a lesson about 'Supporting Family Members'.
I LOVE the quote from the manual:


I saw an analogy on Sugardoodle  where they related building FAMILY UNITY to LEGO BLOCKS.  When we build a tower with legos...we need EACH block in place to make the tower work.  Once we pull just ONE block out...things start to fall.  I likened this to our FAMILY.  We need EACH member of our family on board...moms, dads, brothers, sisters....to make a successful family work.

Lucky for me...I have a super fun candy store called Sweeties located close to my house.  
And guess what?  They just HAPPENED to have in stock....LEGO CANDY!  
I couldn't resist!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patty's round-up!


Here's how our DAY o' GREEN went down:




The kids woke up to a special breakfast table...GREEN GATORADE {their favorite!} and Lucky Charms!  Lucky Charms is a treat when I buy it.  And {when} is the key word.  I usually don't buy it much because when I do...my kids JUST EAT THE MARSHMALLOWS out of it and nothing else.  Waste!  Needless to say...they treated themselves on Saturday morning! 

Idea from A Differentiated Kindergarten.

We were visited by Leperchauns....Grant swears he's setting out a trap next year!


Grandma Marilyn and Grandpa Scott took the boys and their cousins BOWLING...


....Carson said it was the 'Best. Time. Ever!'...

And we ended the evening by having some of our most favorite friends {The Buchanan's} over for a special little St. Patty's Day dinner.

London and her inseparable BFF Jane.
I cooked a corned beef brisket...first time ever.
Good thing I didn't add any salt ....those babies come flavored to the max!
I tried to serve {mostly} green food like:


and my favorite:


I'm all GREENED out.  
Tomorrow we decorate for EASTER!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring is in the air...

Since St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow and will be over SOON...I've already got my mind set on SPRING and EASTER!  I'm busting out the decor this weekend.  It's 80 degrees, our windows are open, and pink, green and purple EVERYTHING are at the stores.  I am in love.  Here are some beauties I've spied here and there:


In love with the daffodils and eggs in a basket idea.


If I ever host an egg hunt...I'm buying this set of colorful signs to stick in my yard.  So cute!

I'm such a sucker for place settings with name cards.


Glittered bunny garland

LOVE the Peter Cottontail theme they have going on here.  Especially the treat boxes!

Cost Plus World Market

Bunny treat boxes.  Would be so cute filled with pastel jelly beans!


I've wanted white egg cups for forever now.  By darn...I'm buying me some this year!  So much you can do with them!!

Loving this 3 tiered wire stand. Could be used for SO many different things! 




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This n' That...

We're going on day 3 of Spring Break over here.  Spring break lasts 2 weeks and 1 day to be exact.  I {might} just be ready for it to be over.  {Smile}. 

Here are some random happs/inspiration in my life as of late:



My darling and ever so talented friend Kristen was put in charge of making gifts for the girls who have received their YW medallions in our stake this year.  She came up with these and aren't they adorable??  She found the lanterns at Hobby Lobby for $4 I believe.  What girl wouldn't like one of these on her night stand or dresser as a reminder for what she has accomplished this year PLUS the counsel to ARISE AND SHINE FORTH! {Yes...that's a pic of our in-progress Gilbert temple that is being built.  So excited!!}


I attended our Relief Society Birthday Party last week.  Have I ever mentioned that we have some serious talent in our ward?  Cause we do.  Ashley Muller created this masterpiece.  Isn't it GORGEOUS?  Yes..she cut into it and yes...we ate it!!!  She said it took 24 hours to make.  AMAZING!!!! 


Grant's been putting the Tooth Fairy outta business....losing teeth left and right....



London PRETENDS she's got 'wiggly' teeth....


And thankfully...our good pals the Buchanans hooked us up with a new basketball hoop!  Joe had the brilliant idea of putting it up next to our trampoline so the boys could shoot hoops AND jump and....it's been the best. thing. EVER!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

St. Patricks YW BREAKFAST!

This morning one of my counselors and I held a little {early} St. Patty's Day breakfast for the cute Young Women in our ward.
We handed out THESE invitations and asked the girls to wear GREEN.

I prepared a short little devotional based around the word LUCKY.  
Still to this day...when I say that I am 'LUCKY' about something around my mom...she corrects me and says...."You're not LUCKY...You're BLESSED".  
I wanted to instill this same message with our Young Women.
  
We talked about the 'difference' between the two words: LUCKY vs. BLESSED and we came to the conclusion that we indeed...are very blessed and that every good blessing {not just what we think could be a chance of luck} comes from our Heavenly Father.  We then watched THIS clip together.  

Care to see things in detail?


I love using 12 x 12 scrapbook paper as 'place mats'.




I made little Shamrock hats out of clay pots and put each girl's name on one.


We filled vases with split green peas {you can buy them super cheap.....88 cents for a bag at Wal-mart!}....and then made paper lollies out of scrapbook paper and THESE TomKat Studio party circles.  


We served:





{Straw Printables from HowDoesShe}.



...and Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with GREEN frosting.

As for our party favors {because every party needs them!} we found something that fit PERFECTLY with our LUCKY vs. BLESSED theme.




I Should Be Mopping the Floor created this cute dry erase printable for FREE.  We printed off 8x10 copies at Costco, framed em and tied with a tag that read "We are over the RAINBOW in love with you. - Love, Your YW Leaders".  {Tag found at Thoughtfully Simple}.

We challenged the girls to write ONE NEW THING in the blank spot EACH NIGHT before bed...something that they were BLESSED with for that day.  We encouraged them to truly look for ways that they had seen 'God's hand' in their lives whether it be at school, work, with their family, etc.


My counselor Rachel made up these DELICIOUS {and I MEAN DELICIOUS!!!} shamrock sugar cookies to go along with the frames.  


Isn't this banner that she made darling too??


I am LUCKY to be BLESSED with a calling that allows me to serve these SWEET Young Women on a daily basis.  My testimony grows each time I am around them.  I love em dearly. I do indeed!