Friday, February 29, 2008

Sam's Famous Carrot Cake

This is by far the best carrot cake I have ever tasted!

3 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup raisins (optional if you don't like raisins)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x12 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix well.
In a medium bowl, combine shredded carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins.
Using a large wooden spoon or a very heavy whisk, add carrot mixture to batter and fold in well.
Pour into prepared 8x12 inch pan (I use two rounds or squares), and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour (less 15 minutes for rounds) Check with toothpick.
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.
A few tips:

Try soaking the raisins in orange juice it makes them softer in the recipe.

Citrus is really good with this cake, try adding some grated orange peel to the frosting, it will give it a little kick!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Room Inspiration

I love these two pictures designed and photographed by Sam McAdam's. He is an Australian designer and photographer.

Monogramed Linnen Dinner Napkins

I would love two orders of these beautiful napkins! At $80.00 for six, I might have to just look!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Easter Menu

I have been talking to my mom about our Easter Menu, I have decided to come up with the menu and then make assignments. Here is my first try:

Easter Menu 2008

Deviled Eggs
Coconut Shrimp w/ Lemon Chipotle Sauce
Glazed Baked Ham
Anne's Strawbery Spinach Salad
Roasted Asparagus with Holindaise Sauce
Ginger and Honey Glazed Carrots
Creamy Potatoes Au gratin
Coconut Cream Cake with Lemon Curd Filling
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Banana Cream Pie

Building a Stronger Family

I went to a class last night , the class was taught by a Mom with 6 children. Jamie and I know this family and have many times said to each other, "what an amazing family" those are incredible kids, if Ryan turns out anything like so and so, we would be thrilled".; And so I went to learn her secrets. I was telling a friend and she suggested I post my notes:

We all want Harmony in our homes, we all hate to nag and pick at our children, we don't like it when there are meltdowns, or when our kids fight. This Mom Swears that most of those things never happen in her home. (Its true we are witnesses)


From the time our kids were small we have emphasised that we are a family and we are all in this together.

1.The number one responsibility: We respect everyone in the family. That means when they are young teach them that they pull for each other, and help and love each other. That they all know what is going on in each others lives. That they might pray for each other. Each person should feel respected and loved by each member of the family.

She said she stopped any fighting the second it began, before it could esculate. Even though it was hard and took los of consistency,they don't ever have fights. She said it might seem like she is too involved, but after a while they just don't even try.

2. Everything has a consequence: Instead of nagging or being on her kids, she tries to keep things positive, and work with them. Sometimes a task might seem overwhelming to a child. She suggests breaking them down into smaller tasks that are more attainable. The first few times do it with you kids, that way they learn the correct way to (clean).

They have to fix their bed every morning before school. If they don't, that night before prayer, they are kindly reminded that they will be making every ones bed in the morning. She said it only took a couple of times, and everyone makes their bed. There is no fighting, they just know what the consequence is.

Make sure to be consistent with your consequences!

If their room is a disaster( she said it is not OK in her house) then she kindly lets them know that they need to do a disaster room job(like clean out a closet, or wash baseboards) Problem solved they would rather keep their room up then have to add another chore.

3. The 10 minute clean up: each night before family prayer, she says its time to do a 10 minute clean up! Everyone pitches in and helps. She sets the timer, and everyone picks up what has accumulated during the day(shoes, backpacks, books,) And then she doesn't have to take a hour before bed to get everything put away. It keeps the house form getting to messy.

4.She makes a chore chart each week, it had boxes for the kids to check off. She picks a day of the week, usually Thurs or Friday. That is when they do the chores. Once the boxes are checked they are done.


She keeps a family calendar with all the lessons and other events to remind her. (I'm sure most of you already do this). She posts it in a common place so that the kids can know what is going on with each other.

How to teach your kids to work: It is so important to get down and work with them. When you work together, it isn't so hard. After dinner everyone takes 10 minutes to clean up dinner. So easy! For other jobs, they say "Ben, I need you to help me for 2 hours to clean the garage. By setting a time limit, they seem to have better attitudes, and not complain so much. Make sure to only do it for the time set.

She says when her kids start to throw a fit or get upset, she questions how she is handling the situation. Is she being positive? She tries to keep things calm.

Each morning the children take turn unloading the dishwasher before they eat. This teaches them to get up early enough to do it. then it is unloaded ready to load for the day, each child has one day a week.


One parent meets with the kids Once a month, remind the kids to come with some short term goals. Things they want to work on for the month, this is also where you might ask them what is going on at school, or with friends. But make sure the goals are age appropriate, for a younger child it might be
1. keep room clean
2. No whining
3. Be nicer to brother...
4, Be happy

The older kids would have more personal goals. The goals are taped on the inside of each kids closet, and the next month they review the last months goals.


Have fun together, healthy competition, games, planned activities, that kids can look forward too.

She closed saying that if her kids leave home saying I had a great childhood and my family really loved me! Then she will feel like she has done her job!

Of course these are only ideas, but I really liked the concept. I am hoping to implement a few in my home.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ivory Egg Shells With Lemon Cream

I thought this might be a fun dessert to make for your kids! It would be fun for an Easter dinner too.
For the lemon cream:
9 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room
temperature, cut into table spoon-sized pieces
2 cups heavy cream

For the "eggshells":
6 small, round balloons (size 5)
2 bags (12 ounces each) white chocolate morsels
nonstick cooking spray

For the "egg yolk":
Lemon curd or lemon pie filling
To make the lemon cream, combine the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a heatproof bowl placed over (not touching) simmering water. Whisk continuously until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer to a cool bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

To complete the lemon cream, pour the cream into a chilled bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until it starts to thicken, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and continue beating until firm peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap from the lemon cream base and fold in one-third of the cream to loosen it up. Fold the remaining cream into the lemon base just until no white streaks remain. Cover and chill until ready to fill the chocolate shells.

To make the "eggshells," line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Blow the balloons up until they are approximately 4 inches high and 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Knot the balloons and rinse under cool water. Dry thoroughly. Set aside.
Place half of the chocolate morsels in a heatproof bowl over (not touching) barely simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth.
Spray 1 balloon lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Hold the balloon by the knot and dip and roll the balloon in the melted chocolate until it is evenly coated. Hold the balloon upright over the bowl and allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Position the balloon firmly, standing upright, on the lined baking sheet and refrigerate. Repeat with the remaining balloons, melting more chocolate morsels as needed and immediately placing each balloon in the refrigerator. Refrigerate until the coating is very hard, 1 to 2 hours.
To remove the balloons, grasp a knot firmly and pierce the balloon with a pin. Hang on to the knot and carefully pull the deflating balloon away from the sides of the eggshell. Discard the balloon. Spoon the lemon cream into a large pastry bag fitted with a large, plain tip. Carefully pipe the lemon cream in the eggshells, filling to within 1 to 2 inches of the top. Place a round dollop of lemon curd or lemon pie filling on the lemon cream in each cup to simulate an egg yolk (see photo). Using your fingers, carefully break and pick at the top of the shell to give it a just-cracked look. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Kitchen Inspiration

These Kitchen's were found on a new interior design blog I found. Simple,Bright, and Clean! Susan Serra is the designer.

I would love a fire like this in my kitchen~

I would add some color on the walls but the floor is spectacular!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Easy Easter decorating ideas

I love the springtime, the soft pastels, or bright bold colors, and fun patterns. I was looking for wheat grass to use in a few decorating projects. My friend Harmony found large flats of wheat grass at Wild Oats, they also have pussy willows! They are so beautiful. I just simply put them in a large vase. Eventually I will hang some Easter eggs on the branches. (I need to make some blown eggs first). I am also looking for a large crate or basket to put the remaining grass in, I didn't find what I was looking for. Here is what I have done so far:

Take some Easter eggs or Easter candy, put them in a glass jar, it looks festive!

Simple Pussy willows

Wheat grass in fun containers, I put a few eggs on top, later I will post the larger wheat grass project.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ode to Boyz II Men

Jamie and I have been listening to Boyz II Men and watching their old videos. I know you might be thinking how random, but actually they were on the show "dont forget the lyrics" tonight, and Jamie decided to check them out again . It brings back so many memories, like:

It's hard to say goooodbye to yesturday, Boyz II Men ABCBBD , wahhh wahhh ohhhh ohhh ohhh ohh, Why dont we go......... to the end of the road,I'll make love to you like you want me to, lots of falsetto, slow dancing at dances, The years 1993-1995, going to highschool...

Jamie has been singing the songs to me and I have been laughing , I had to start dancing for a second, I definitly suggest doing this, it is awesome! Maybe I need to go peg my pants, and curl my bangs just for old times sake!

We love you Boyz II Men!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's Bedtime

Puttting Ryan to bed tonight started out as a nightmare. He has had trouble sleeping latley, and usually ends up in our bed early in the morning. He screams and kicks and throws quite the fuss. We struggle and fight each other at bed time, and I lost it tonight. Exhausted and frustrated I sat in his rocker and within minutes he calmed down and fell asleep. I found myself feeling guilty for losing my temper, especially because he was so content just having his mommy quietly sit in his room.

I learned a lesson- I had things to do, and all I was thinking about was the toys on the floor in the front room that needed to be picked up, the kitchen floor that needed sweeping, and the laundry that needed folding. I learned that sometimes those things can wait, because one little boy just needed his mom to sit in his room for a few minutes. It was peaceful, I smiled as he peeked over his bumper a few times just to make sure I was still there. And 15 minutes later when I creeped out the door, I realised that it really wasnt so bad after all.

How Sweet!

I am so making these for Easter, especially because they are REAL eggs, with chocolate inside. Wouldnt you be so surprised to get a real chocolate egg in your basket?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thanks Martha


Its time for Spring

I have been wanting to make a tablecloth for spring. I want it to work for Easter too! In the picture below dont you just love the gingham tablecloth and the napkins with rickrack? Should be super easy to make, and maybe finnish with some pretty ribbons? Anyone know how to grow grass? I want to start growing some for centerpeices, a perfect place to put some decorated blown eggs!

Dont these carrots look amazing? I would love to make them for Easter, Ginger and Honey Glazed, Yum! And so fitting for the holiday!

Weekend Update

  • Friday night Dinner at Market Street, Halibut, Crablegs and chowder...mmmm

  • Movie called Definitely, Maybe made us both tear up and was really good

  • Saturday Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Bowling (so much fun), a quick visit to TJ Maxx to find the perfect Easter decoration.

  • Sunday Family dinner (mom's pot-roast and mashed potatoes and gravy) after church and a long game of Oh Heck with all your siblings is so much fun!

  • Monday is a good day to regroup, but instead I worked, and Ryan had a playdate,grocery shopping, company for dinner, California Pizzas, and some homemade Apple Galettes.

I love a good weekend! We are attending a dinner party on Friday. I am in charge of dessert. I want it to be amazing! I was thinking of doing a chocolate fondue, but would love any suggestions!

Friday, February 15, 2008

What a lovely V day!

Valentines day was a really nice day. The day started with friends dropping by with valentines and sweets, wrapped up so pretty, valentines for Ryan too! A box of chocolates on the counter, I might have eaten at least two!
Jamie came home from work early, I had worked on his gift, and had the pictures framed, and a few kind words exchanged. He came back in with the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen! (I love unusual flower arrangments), the picture does not do them justice! I picked up a pizza and we watched No Resevations. It was a nice way to spend Valentines Day!

Tonight is our Date, we have a babysitter and I am really excited to spend some alone time!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ryan and Mommy

My friend Raquel takes amazing pictures, I thought why not have her take some of Ryan and I for Jamie for Valentines day? That might be fun! So even though I have a double chin, I have decided to embrace it. If something happened to me and there were no pictures of Ryan and I, that would be so sad. I am sure he would care less about my double chin right? I am so glad I did it, because I love the pictures, and I especially love this little boy of mine, and think he is just beautiful.




Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Weekly Update:

1. I really love making heart shaped cookies for family and neigbors! They turned out really pretty. The recipe I have been using reminds me of cookies by design cookies! YUM

2. Sending valentine packages to Jamies family takes effort, Ryan colored some pictures!Ups wanted to charge me $80.00 to send two medium sized packages to TN and NC, the post office only charged $18.00 I love the post office!

3. Working from home is great, I love the flexibility!

4. Still need my car washed and oil changed, there were 18 cars waiting at the car wash (ugggh)

5. I heart Jane Austen, I watched Jane austen book club with my friend last night! Loved it!

6. Making cookies and not eating them takes willpower, I wrapped them all up ready to give out, problem solved

7.Ryan's Kisses are the best! He is in a kissing stage they even have sound! He sometimes makes a fishy face, It cracks me up!

8. I need to make a hair appt...It is way to spendy, but I am a loyal client! Ally Rocks the hair color!

9. I am excited for Valentines day, I need a little romance!

10. Took really cute pictures of Ryan with a huge heart sucker, I want to post them, but the camera cord is MIA!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Workin Momma

My agency is up an running. I am placing my first Nanny this next week! I am so excited! It is now a reality that I am running a Nanny Agency. I have recieved loads of applications from qualified girls, wanting to be placed. But I need more familes. Any adivice? I think I just need to get the word out and the families will come. I have only been in buissness for 5 days, so I might be a little too eager! But it has been a sucessful first week. I also made my first 40 dollar application fee, from a client! Should I frame it? (you know Im joking right?) Now you know why I have been slacking in my posts! Hopefully I can learn to balance my time!

I want to thank my friend Sadie who helped me with my Logo and Applications! They look great! I am writing up my first contract today and hopefully will have is signed by Monday!

So, If any of you have friends who hire Nannies make sure to let them know that there is a Hip, Modern, Agency out there. I am only taking the best of the best applicants, and so far I have found some quality girls!

Workin Momma has got to go! LOL


Friday, February 8, 2008

Valentine Reservations

Jamie has asked me for some ideas on where to go to dinner on Valentines Day. So I have compiled a list of some incredible restraunt ideas. If you don't know where you are going you might want to give one of these a try! We might see you there!

The Bambara at the Hotel Monaco in SLC is always amazing! Grilled meats and Game, lots of unique choices and still simple enough to please those picky eaters (jamie)... Decor is Beautiful , and every year wins as one of Salt Lakes Best Restraunts.
Itallian, and Romantic, and I can't say enough about Tuscany , The food is really good. Great location for weddings and events too.

Contemporary American cusine, beautiful romantic location Log Haven Is worth trying!

Hearts of Tiffanys


Etoile Heart Pendant

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Friends are the best!

My friend and neighbor Amelia knocked on my door this afternoon with this box:

Doesn't it look fun?

Then I looked inside the box and all thoughts of trying to eat healthy flew out the window. You can't not try a little taste of anything Ameila makes. She is amazing! Remeber my post about the cake tasting? She hosted that event. Here is what was inside:

Chocolate cupcakes with carmel buttercream and a chocolate dipped carmel heart! Yum!
Thanks Amelia!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I need this!

This microplane grater for zesting citrus is something I really need! I love the bright cheery color! I am excited to make lemon curd, come spring! I will post the recipe soon! It is amazing with long stemed strawberries!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sweet Ryan

This is how I found Ryan during his nap today. He likes his feet elevated and sticks them out of the rails of the crib. He also is fond of his stuffed lion that he had in the hospital the day he was born. He holds his green blankie, it is really soft, and he hates blankets over him, he kicks them off. He is getting so big. It wont be too long before he sleeps in a big boy bed!

For your toast lover...

Wouldnt any toast lover be surprised by this toast on Valentines Day? The perfect way to say I love you!


I enjoy baking, and I love Interior design. April Reed, has take both of the things I love and created April Reed Cake Design. Her desings leave me speechless, they are simply beautiful. I decided if I could have any job, hers would be one I would really enjoy. She meets with Brides and designs a cake to coordinate with the style of the wedding, or event. Her cake flavors are unique and refreshing! Check out her web site

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Superbowl Sunday!

* Recap on last nights game: It was awesome, I dont think I have ever enjoyed a game like yesterdays. The Giants beat the Patriots! Those in our party were on their feet and cheering, the last few plays were so exciting! Jamie has been excited for this game for weeks. In the past I would watch the superbowl, but end up chatting with the girls on the side lines, not really paying attention! But this year I was actually into it!

I woke up really early this morning. Ryan has a cough and has been waking up during the night. So he slept with us off and on last night. I really didnt sleep much. So since I was awake anyways I decided to get up and make these football cookies. I think they turned out really cute. It is snowing and there is at least two new feet of new snow this morning. The weather says we should expect the snow to continue throuought the day (boo). It really is a winter wonderland outside. So I enjoyed the beautiful view and quiet time this morning. Now Jamie is outside digging out the neighbors, I hope we make it to our superbowl party at my parents. If the snow continues I might have to invite my neighbors over to consume the food I have prepared!

Have Fun Watching The Superbowl!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

My Heart is Full

Many of you have previously posted on the recent death of our Beloved Prophet Gordon B Hinkley. Those of you who are not of my faith may not know much about him. Today was his Funeral and I have been watching the Funeral and a beautiful documentary about his life. I have felt so many feelings today, I have laughed and cried, and pondered the many wonderful teacings and the legacy he has left to those of my faith, and to many others. I am resolved to be a better person, cherish those who I love and share my faith with others. I am proud to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

There are so many things I would like to say about the latter Prophet, but one thing I will always remeber was his work and dedication to bringing the gospel and its teachings to the entire world. He traveled more than any Prophet has before him. I am amazed by all he has accomplished. The funeral was beautiful and I will always remember the feelings I felt and the spirit that was there.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask. I would love to share more with you!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Blog Alert!

STYLE ME PRETTY, you must check out this blog. It is just beautiful! Here is a sneak peak!
A White Affair


This will be the hit of any superbowl party! Especially with the Men in your life! They love this stuff!


2 pounds Velveeta Cheese, cubed ( I buy these at costco)
2 cans Rotel tomatoes (tomatoes and chiles)
Milk 1 cup
1 1/2 pounds of browned, drained ground beef (sausage works too).
Melt together in a crock pot untill all melted
You can add: salsa,taco seasoning or a can of progresso enchilada soup. Really whatever you like!
Serve with plain corn tortilla chips or blue corn chips!
Have fun watching the super bowl!