Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pinner Dinner Winners

Raise your hand if you like making new recipes!

In case you're wondering, my hand is raised. I make TONS of new recipes. Probably too many. I'm going to say about one a week. That's slowed down from when we first got married, mostly because I've made specific, intense efforts to come up with "regulars" since these things called children have come into the picture.

But still - lots of new recipes.

As you can imagine, Pinterest has only made my obsession with new recipes worse. The good news is that a lot of it is great. Most of it is great. But some...some are just amaaaaazing. So amaaaaazing that they have joined the small yet powerful ranks of things I make "regularly." So amaaaaazing, in fact, that they are worth sharing right here, on my blog. Whoa.

As I searched through my "Recipes" board on Pinterest, I realized just how many of these recipes I had tried and loved. Consequently, it was pretty darn difficult to narrow it down to these seven. But here they are:

1. Baked spaghetti with cream cheese and french fried onions by Let's Dish.


This is probably the pinned recipe I make the most often. It's so-o-o good. We love it around these parts. And it is very easy to make. Good news all around!  I usually half the recipe and it's more than enough for our little family.

2. Spicy sausage pasta by Kevin and Amanda


I was afraid this would be too tomato-y (We don't like tomatoes! Actually, Maddy does...) with the Ro-Tel, but it really wasn't. It also wasn't too spicy; the spice comes from the green chiles in the Ro-Tel, but it really wasn't bad at all. The recipe calls for mild Ro-Tel, and I just used original, and it still wasn't too spicy. But it WAS cheesy and delicious, and easy (you'll probably notice "easy" becoming a pattern...). Also, I'm usually a leftover snob (i.e. I won't eat them) but this stuff is awesome as leftovers!

3. Avocado chicken salad by Becoming Betty


I have only recently come to terms with avocado. I decided that what I don't like about it is the texture of slices/pieces. But when it's all mashed up, the taste is actually pretty good! So I'm discovering a whole new world of avocados. And I love chicken salad but despise mayo, so this little number really called to me. The flavors were excellent (lime and cilantro, anyone?) and I used canned chunk chicken so it was (say it with me now) EASY. We eat it in pita pockets with Sun Chips on the side. Yummm.

4. Guiltless alfredo sauce by Our Best Bites


We love us some alfredo around here, and this stuff is divine. I don't want to go back to the bottled stuff. And, okay, this isn't as easy as the bottled stuff, but it is still easy to make and seriously just delicious. And apparently it's low-cal or something? Awesome! P.S. Our Best Bites has TONS of awesome recipes. Click around over there - it's good stuff.

5. Buffalo chicken pizzas by Baked Bree


So I've actually only made these once, but I need to make them again. They aren't necessarily "simple," since there's some chopping involved to get everything ready to go on the pizzas, but they are relatively easy. And they're good! The sauce gives a little kick, though, so make sure you're using a hot sauce you can handle.

6. Honey lime chicken enchiladas by Let's Dish


Unique but delicious! We loved these. I halved the recipe and we still had leftovers (which were also good). Also, she says the cilantro on top is optional...but it's not.

7. Revolutionary Mac & Cheese by Macaroni and Cheesecake


So, macaroni and cheese is probably my favorite food ever (yes, I'm 5 years old), and this is one of the best homemade versions I've made. I kinda sorta love the blue box stuff (the three cheese shells variety, please), but I feel kinda odd serving that for dinner (not that that stops me sometimes). Also, why is macaroni and cheese often treated as a side dish? I don't get that. It's the main event! Anyway, this stuff gets my stamp of approval. You can taste the mustardy tang in it, but Dallin doesn't like mustard and will still eat this, so it can't be too bad. I looove it.

Well, that's it for now. Let me know if you've tried any of these, or share any others that you think are worth trying! Have a splendid weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What I Like About Me

Here's the thing: I've kind of been struggling lately.

It's not easy to admit; it's pretty embarrassing, actually. But we all have things we struggle with, right? Somebody say "right." Right.

Well, right now, I'm struggling with my confidence. In kind of a bad way. No, not in a "depressed" way. I'm not in therapy or anything (not that that's a bad thing; I'm just saying I'm not at that point). But it is affecting my happiness. On a daily basis. It's also morphing into other issues - issues about loving and trusting others. How can I love others when I'm constantly comparing myself to them and being jealous of their lives, talents, personalities, etc.? And how can I trust others when I think that they must be always looking down on me (because I deserve it) and are therefore never acting out of friendship or love? It's been something of a slippery slope, and I could see it getting much worse without some action. 

So I'm taking some action. I'm reading a book on the subject; I'm constantly reminding myself that I am in charge of my happiness; I'm recognizing and documenting small victories and things I "do right" every day; I'm trying to recognize that when things don't go perfectly, it's not necessarily because of something I did wrong. And I'm trying to be aware of my strengths, which is where this post comes in.

Here's what I figure: it's one thing to say to myself, "I guess I'm not so bad at (blank)." It's quite another to proclaim what I like about myself to the world. Somehow, it makes it seem more like I actually feel this way, like I'm confident enough to not only recognize my strengths, but to tell you about them. It makes my confidence seem real. And, well... I really need it to be real.

So, in an effort to realize (understand) -- and realize (make real) -- my confidence, here's a little list of some things I like about myself.

In no particular order:

-I'm a good listener. Dallin often says I missed my calling as a therapist, and he might be right. I enjoy listening to people - letting them express themselves, learning about them, and, if possible, helping them out just a little bit. I think my listening skills have actually helped me learn a lot about people in general, which has made me more empathetic, which I hear is a good thing.

-I'm patient. Not Job-esque or anything, but I'm generally pretty patient, with people and situations.

-I'm smart. Or maybe well-educated. Or does realizing that those are two different things make me smart, so I should stick with that? Hm. Anyway, I like to learn, and I like to think. Result: I don't think I'm an idiot. Unless, you know, chemistry is involved.

-I'm good with money. I don't think I'm a cheapskate, but if something is a want, rather than a need, I have to want it really, really badly to justify actually buying it. I think I'm smart and realistic with our money; I don't hoard it, but I'd say I'm definitely more frugal than frivolous. I think I have a good balance, and I like it.

-My weight. Am I allowed to say this? It seems very taboo nowadays to actually like how much you weigh. I hope it doesn't rub anyone the wrong way, but if I had to choose one thing I liked about my physical appearance (and I kinda feel like I do for the purposes of this post), it would probably be my weight. Not my body - there are plenty of things I don't like about that. But I'm at a healthy weight and I feel good about that.


Well, there they are. A few things I like about myself. I realize that I'm by no means perfect at these things, but I think they are characteristics that I have that can help me become a better, more confident person. And I also think that recognizing them is a good start.

Thanks for hearing me out, friends. This was actually a really difficult post to write and I'm just a little bit proud of myself for actually writing it. And you know what? Being a little bit proud of myself feels good.

i have confidence
(a picture of me being proud)

I'd love to hear the things that you guys like about yourselves. Write them down, why don't ya? Forget about your weaknesses for a moment, and just show yourself some love. Deal? Deal.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Eight months

Well, hi.

Charly would like me to make it very clear to you that she was suffering from an awful, teething-inspired runny nose during her 8 month old photo shoot.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


So I guess you'll get another one of these in 2 weeks...lucky you.

Also, I'm seriously entertaining the idea of actually writing a post one of these days. I won't make any promises, but gosh, wouldn't it be awesome?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

35 Things Update: March 2012

Holy macaroni, it's APRIL?

I kept up with my recurring goals in March. I also:

5. Put up a picture of the temple in every room of our home. Okay, so not EVERY room. Specifically, not the bathrooms. But our bedrooms now all have pictures of our beautiful Mesa temple, and we already had some in the family room and one in the kitchen. Groovy.

10. Organize memory boxes. Ha. This was a fun one. Let's just say I kept a lot of old notes from high school. Let's also say that I inspired quite a bit of poetry in my high school days. Now let's say "Bahahaha!" So I now have all my memories condensed (hint: a large chunk of it, including all of the poetry, went in the trash) and stored away for my kids to laugh at later.

12. Create a cleaning calendar. I only did this two days ago, so I haven't really had a chance to implement it yet, but I'm really excited to use it! I basically made a long list of all the chores that need to be done on a regular basis around here, and then tried to divide them equally throughout the week. I think just 20-30 minutes a day will keep me on top of my house cleaning. Hooray!

13. Clean master closet. This actually ended up being quite the overhaul. I PATCHED DRYWALL, PEOPLE. No, seriously. There were three holes in the drywall in our master closet that have been there since we moved in, and we've just kind of ignored them because, hello, they're in our closet so who the heck cares? But I decided I care so I patched them, then painted the whole thing, stored away all the cold weather clothing, sorted through my clothes and pulled out stuff I don't wear anymore, etc. I'm SO happy with how the whole thing turned out. I also might be just a little bit proud that I PATCHED DRYWALL, PEOPLE, even if the overall result is probably a 6/10 at best.

30. Read 32 books. Gosh dang it, I'm a little behind. One book this month:

True Colors by Kristin Hannah, which I hereby and forthwith give 2 stars. If I were you, I probably wouldn't bother reading it.

I would have read more this month, but the book I had planned to read next was a nonfiction book that I'm having a really hard time getting into. I've since started something else and, let's be honest, I probably won't finish that nonfiction one.

All righty, thanks for putting up with my little update. I know it's kind of boring and such but it really helps me stay on track. Those of you that made "to do" lists for the year, how is it going? If you're behind, no time like the present to revise and restart! Ta ta.