I am...

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Orem, Utah, United States
I am a lover of my husband, adorable children, and last but not least food. I first started baking when I was just a little girl. My mom always had an amazing home-cooked meal on the table and she always encouraged me to help. Much of what I know has come from watching her in the kitchen. I used to love to pretend I owned a restaurant and cook things up for my siblings and their friends. Not much has changed :) Now my sweet husband and kids get to be my taste testers. I love exploring new ingredients and am always looking for the best of the best when it comes to recipes. I hope you enjoy the site as much as I do. Through this blog I will share just a few of my favorite things- my passion for child development, my wonderful family, and my love for food :) Happy blogging!

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Yay for Spring!

It's been a while, so I thought it was time for a little update :) Spring seems to be here in North Carolina (as far as I can tell...) It seems more gloomy here in North Carolina than in Utah (more rain, less sunshine), so we are happily welcoming the weather change! (for now :) We have whipped out our fire pit and the kids are in heaven. Now I just need to convince Kale that we can't roast hot dogs EVERY night :) We have had lots of 60 degree weather, so it has been nice to get outside again.

I am now 29 weeks pregnant! Most days I am not experiencing as much pain with walking the neighborhood as I was before. Most of my back pain has gone away as well. So let's just make it at least another 8 weeks :) Baby is measuring a week early as of now. Right in time for the week of Flint's Final! My mom is awesome and is flying in to stay for a week, so that relieves a lot of stress.

Other exciting news in our house right now is that we get a great tax refund, and are surprising the kids with a trampoline.. yay! (It has been a long awaited thing on the wish list, which is quite large :) We have tried hard to keep the faith, having received a couple thousand dollars less this semester for financial aid. We are counting our blessings, which are many.

In a couple weeks we are taking a family trip to Tampa while Flint attends a Sports Medicine conference. We are all SO excited for the beach, and even a hotel swimming pool! There are not many public pools around here.

School is still controlling our lives :) But we have a lot of other stuff going on to keep our minds occupied.
We recently bought a van (yes, Flint finally happily gave in), and are in the process of selling our car. Us poor students have to survive on one vehicle :)

Allie is still doing preschool a couple days a week through the co-op I am involved in with our ward. This fall we plan on her attending a preschool through the presbyterian church closeby a few days a week. It has been really fun to watch her learn and grow. She has FINALLY mastered potty-training which is in and of itself a MIRACLE. (That is one stubborn girl). Her ballet recital is coming up. At the latest observation day, she seemed more concerned about smiling at all the parents than performing the actual dance.... :) Although her forward rolls are olympic-worthy.

Kale is still Kale, but his behavior/mood are really improving. He is talking a lot more and we are able to reason with him, which has really taken a load off my back (literally). He has had a chronic cough since we moved here that seems to be really bad lately, so we are looking into allergies/asthma. Hopefully we get it figured out, as it has started to keep him up at night.

As for me, I just planted my very first herb garden, which I am ecstatic about!!!! It was a cheap thrill :) If I overload you with recipes now, don't be alarmed. I also just started creating my own recipe book. I haven't decided how far to go with it... so I'll keep you updated :) It started as a small project, but is becoming quite involved. I also just got back into reading, which I have missed dearly. So Flint and I's nights consist of sitting together on the couch while be both read (me for pleasure, him for pain). We both just received new church callings. Flint is now the Sunday School President and I am the Primary Secretary. The change has been good for us. Things are good!

Flint is and always will be the best husband and dad ever. He is loving watching Kale grow up and they already love venturing into the woods together. It cracks me up :) Here are a few snapshots of our days the last little while :) Until next time...


Kale enjoying storytime for the first time :)

Fun with color sorting

One of my attempts to get back into sewing :) We made "the girls" matching skirts, which Allie was really excited about.

Nail painting of course.

Feeding the seagulls and ducks on a chilly day

Kale later decided to chase them with our stroller.....

Such an artist :)

Fun with vacuum attachments.... (swords)

Our second snow storm! YAY!

We were determined to build a snowman for Allie, so we ended up constructing in the dark when Flint was home from school. He is so sweet.

Kale getting to work on our yard.

Exploring the woods behind our house with Dad

Visiting the fire station

Baking yummy treats :)

Having WAY too much fun helping me plant my little herb garden

It's a start!

Allie being the amazing  big sister that she is when Kale was not feeling well. Love those two.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Decided to experiment with a combination of a few recipes today. SUCCESS! Anyone who loves cinnamon swirl bread will be in heaven with this one.... so much better than buying at the store, or from an expensive bakery (which I  happen to miss having around... :( ) Enjoy!

1 1/2 T. active dry yeast
2 c. warm water
2/3 c. sugar
4 T. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. salt
5-6 c. bread flour

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam. (About 10 min.)
  2. Mix salt, butter, and flour into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time until smooth but still a tad sticky if picked up. (I used 5 c. bread flour) Knead in standing mixer about 10 min. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
  3. Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half of dough into 10" squares on a lightly floured surface. Moisten the top of each half with 1/2 T. milk. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of milk, leaving about an inch on all sides without the cinnamon/sugar. Roll up each half so the cinnamon/sugar creates a spiral. Turn side edges under and pinch dough to seal seam as much as possible. Place dough seam-side down in greased 9x5" loaf pans. Cover with damp cloth and allow to rise 1 hr. more, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Apple Pie (NEW FAVORITE!!)

I will admit that I am somewhat of an apple pie snob.... or just a dessert snob in general. A few years back I came across this apple pie that changed my life. I was never before an apple pie lover. Till I ate this pie. Anyone who had this pie was asking me to make it again. So so delicious. WELL. I am also a huge lover of apple crisp. Who isn't? And so I decided today to combine/tweak two recipes to make them one. Can I admit that the pies I was making to give away almost ended up in my mouth instead?? So so perfect and delicious. Enjoy! This pie will definitely be making a grand entrance at our Thanksgiving next week :)

Ashley's Apple Crumble Pie


1 pie crust
1 egg white
6-8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 c. unsalted butter
3 T. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. minus 1 T. water
1 T. vanilla


1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg


Melt butter in saucepan over med. heat. Stir in flour to form paste. Add brown sugar, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low to let simmer. Peel, core, and slice apples. Brush bottom of pie crust with egg white. Place apples onto crust. Stir vanilla into syrup and pour over the apples. Combine crumble ingredients by mixing dry ingredients and cutting in the butter in small slivers till nice and crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. You may want to place a cookie sheet or foil underneath pie while baking to catch drips. Enjoy!! (And don't forget the vanilla ice cream. Always a must :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Appetizer Winners!

After much thought I have definitely settled on having these two dips on our table before Thanksgiving dinner. Both are tried and true. Simply to die for. Hope you enjoy. These are great to have at any holiday gathering. The first comes from my sister in law Codee at readableeatables.blogspot.com. This has become a family favorite. It gets devoured instantly. I prefer to eat it with baguette slices, but it's up to you :) It's like an upgrade from restaurant artichoke dips. The second recipe is super refreshing to me and on the healthy side of things (minus the tortilla chips :). It's got everything- beans,corn, avocado, tomato, you name it. It is so delicious and addicting. ENJOY :)



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Ideas

Got a little ahead today and was able to freeze my roll dough, my pumpkin roll, and my mom's famous raspberry slush (which I am more than excited about!!! I hope it makes it till Thanksgiving without me drinking it all...) All three recipes are some of my very favorite. Hope you enjoy. It is so nice having as much done as you can before a big meal like Thanksgiving. I don't know about you, but we go all out. So there is lots to be done! So fun though :)

I have yet to find better rolls than my Sweet Dinner Rolls listed on this blog. I raise the dough the first time, then punch down and freeze in a big ziploc. When ready to use, I thaw the dough for about 6 hrs. roll out, and raise for an hour before baking. They are always wonderful.


This pumpkin roll is super easy and delicious. Just make sure you follow their instructions and use parchment paper when baking. I never seem to and always end up struggling to get it out of the pan... I sprinkle a few chopped pecans on top before baking.


As for my mom's slush! I have never had better slush in my life. It comes from her grandmother who has never failed to pass on the tastiest recipes. Give it a try. You will not be disappointed and it took me like five minutes. Enjoy!!

Grandma Rose's Slush
3 packs frozen rasberries (12 oz. each) 
1 small frozen orange juice (thawed)
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 cups water combined with 1 cup sugar (bring to boil to dissolve sugar)

Cool the water a little and combine all ingredients. Freeze. When ready to serve, thaw a little to break into pieces and serve with sprite in a punch bowl.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What's New?

So I'm great at doing quick mindless posts... not so great at documenting what actually goes on in our lives. NOT GOOD. This last little while has flown by since my last post. It is now hesitantly transitioning from fall to winter. Depending on who I talk to...... that is not normal for North Carolina. Apparently (according to most...) it usually stays warmer longer. I guess the summer wasn't as harsh as usual either. (no complaints here. the bugs were enough for me to handle...) The cotton is in full bloom. Although I have not quite figured out when they harvest the crop. Sure is fun and pretty to look at though :)

Now that the tobacco plants are nowhere to be seen, this is what covers large areas of the land surrounding us.

A quick update on the fam.... Flint is still in the grind of school. The work doesn't ever let up much. This week has been particularly rough because he and Kale were both sick with pink eye. Flint ended up catching something else along with it and is now experiencing terrible pain in the back of his head (a reoccurring problem over the past two years), along with uncontrollable nose bleeds. We are a little concerned. Hopefully we will be able to get things figured out soon. It helps that he is with doctors all day :) Pressures him to go see someone. Other than that, his grades are good and he has two more exams to end the semester. We are ready for a long break in about a month. Our schedule goes a little like this- Everyone is up at 6. We take Flint to school around 7:30 (lucky to live about 10 min. away). We pick him up around 5pm. We have dinner, get the kids to bed around 7 or 8. Then Flint goes back to studying either at home or at school.

I am busy with everything and nothing exciting :) Getting ready for Christmas. Reluctantly preparing my mom's famous Christmas candy...(I'm terrified.) Preparing for Thanksgiving. Patiently awaiting the visit of my sister Paige and niece Hadley! My days consist of trying to stay upbeat amidst a very stubborn potty-trainer, a very moody 18 mon. old (both very cute and sweet :), making meals, driving to and from preschool, ballet, taking Flint to and from school, cleaning house, attempting to nap (which rarely happens), attempting to give Allie a nap (which sometimes happens, but is ALWAYS needed :)....you moms know the drill :) Life is pretty good. Flint and I don't get much quality time, but the time that we do is wonderful. My pregnancy is going well. Haven't completely gotten over my many food aversions yet, but I have enough options that I don't get too sick too often. My back pain has subsided for a moment as well.

Allie is attending a preschool co-op twice a week for a few hours. Myself and a few other moms in the ward switch off weeks teaching. Allie really loves it. It's so good for her and has really helped her get to know the other kids in the ward. She also attends ballet once a week and enjoys that too.

As I said, Kale just got over pink eye. His eyes were a lot worse than Flint's and required an antibiotic. He was a sad sight. Lucky for us we were able to catch an ear infection accidentally when we took him in for his eyes.... Yes he has been one sad, mad boy. Meanwhile he biffed it down our driveway. His face looked pretty beat up. It was a rough week :) Right now he has a very intense horse obsession. Gratefully, his love for horses allowed me to FINALLY get him to love books! We were really struggling to get that active kid interested for quite a while.

So nothing too exciting! We found out this week that my mom will most likely need no chemotherapy which is more than a blessing. We are so grateful to Heavenly Father and the answering of our prayers. We also found out that my older sister Katie is expecting a baby as well at the beginning of July. Looking forward to a visit from Flint's parents right before Christmas, and a visit from my parents right after Christmas. We are planning to make a trip to Utah in July with the new baby. So lots of fun things to look forward to :)

Here are a few pics I captured this week. Have a good one :)

Kale's First Ice Cream Cone (I don't know what was more fun to clean up- Kale or the carseat...)

Allie's First Stick Figure Drawing

Followed by an addition of me and my mom carrying bags (A fabulous shopping spree? I will pretend... :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yummy Jello Salads (Thanksgiving is near!!!)

Getting really excited for Thanksgiving with great family and friends. I will start posting a few of my very favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Hope you will all share some of your own as well :) Have a great day!

1. I love this jello. Always have always will. I sub raspberries for the strawberries, and rasp. jello rather than straw. if you can find it. But it's up to you :)


2. This is an old family favorite. We skip all the other fruit and just stick with the pineapple. So yummy.


3. My sister-in-law has me addicted to the most delicious and easy salad ever.... Just mix frozen berries with a can of sweetened condensed milk. It's amazing.

4. This is like the famous family green jello. We don't use the pecans.