Thursday, May 21, 2015

"First, you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then, you roast the mallow."

I've never been a camper. In fact, this is the second time that Ben and I have been camping in our three years of marriage. (The first time was with friends almost two years ago!) After putting our apartment up on Airbnb and having someone book a stay, we needed to find something to do for the weekend. We kicked around the idea of going on a short getaway, but decided to head to a close-by state park to pitch a tent, roast some s'mores, and camp out with friends.

My favorite thing about this past weekend was getting out of the city! I can't tell you how nice it was to get away from people and busy streets, and it was especially nice to get away from the sirens that go by our place all night long. The only sounds we heard were crickets and a few drunk guys one campsite over. ;)

Can't wait to go camping again!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oatmeal Fudge Cookie Bars

This week has been a rather busy and frustrating one as plans have been changing, unexpected things (read: expenses & fees!) have been popping up, and new responsibilities have been delegated. You probably know exactly what I'm talking about - these kinds of days/weeks happen to all of us. Fortunately, there are constants in our lives. The sun will rise in the east, Taylor Swift will continue to sing about ex-boyfriends, and this cookie bar recipe will never disappoint. So if you've been let down at all in the last little while, or even if you're having the best day ever, embrace these cookie bars with arms wide open and let them be a constant in your life.
Oatmeal Fudge Cookie Bars

Cookie Ingredients:
1 c. butter
2 eggs
2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 T. vanilla
2 2/3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 T. cinnamon
3 c. oatmeal

Fudge Ingredients:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 bag of chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350*.
2. Mix together the butter, eggs, and brown sugar. Add the vanilla and milk, and mix. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Grease a 9x13 pan and spread 2/3 of the cookie mixture evenly in the pan.
4. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together the sweetened condensed milk, butter, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Pour over the cookie mixture in the pan.
5. Drop the remaining 1/3 of cookie mixture by spoonfuls on the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
6. Let cool.
7. Top with caramel and ice cream!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

DIY 5 Minute Table Runner

I'm a big fan of anything that makes my home feel more...homey. Candles, throw pillows, picture frames, you name it. (My latest addition to a bare wall was this fun map.) I've had a black and white striped table runner out for the last few months and recently decided that I needed something more colorful and fun as we head into the warmer months. But I didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for it. 

While returning something at Walmart, I decided to take a look through the fabric aisles and was pleasantly surprised at their selection! I found this cute, colorful fabric and knew I wanted to use it right away. This DIY is so easy that it hardly deserves a post of its own, but I've had a few friends ask for directions.
What You'll Need:
1 - 1 1/2 yards of fabric
rotary cutter & mat
sewing machine

1. Fold your fabric hamburger style and continue to fold it that way until it all fits on your cutting mat. (So technical, ha ha.)
2. After making sure the fabric is lined up straight, trim the side edges so they're straight.
3. Measure the halfway point and cut your fabric into two equally sized pieces.
4. Open up both pieces and put them together with the colorful sides facing together.
5. Pin the top and sew them together. Voila!

(If you wanted to turn it into a 10 minute table runner, you could turn all of the edges under so the fabric won't fray easily. I just didn't have time to do so!)

Monday, May 11, 2015

gems heard in Primary, round 4.

As of yesterday, I'm done with Primary. I thought that I'd be a little sad about it, but I'm pretty excited to spend some time around adults and not be responsible for anyone else. ;) 

Without further ado, the last gems heard in Primary post:

For Sharing Time, the group had to act out something for one person to guess. We all started acting out picking an apple from a tree and taking bites out of it. The 5-year old boy who had to guess was confused...
Sister W: "We're picking something out of a tree and taking bites from it."
5-year old boy: "Um, a squirrel?"


A 3-year old girl walks up to one of the counselors in the middle of her Sharing Time lesson, tugs on her dress to interrupt her, loudly whispers "I have two kitties," and quietly walks back to her chair.


5-year old boy: "I wish I was 100 so I could go to class with the big kids. Well, maybe I'd be dead if I was 100."


One of the 5-year old boys in my class was sitting in Singing Time with his feet together on his chair and his head bent down with his eyes closed, not moving a muscle.
I leaned over and whispered, "What are you doing there?"
The 5-year old boy opens one eye and squints up at me: "Yoga."
Another 5-year old boy overheard and stated: "I know 100 yoga moves!!!"


3-year old boy: "My favorite candy is Star Wars!"


Me: "Today we're going to talk about the Book of Mormon!"
5-year old boy: "What's the Book of Gorman??"
(He kept referring to it as the Book of Gorman all hour long.)


Primary-isms, round 1.
Primary-isms, round 2.
Primary-isms, round 3.

Friday, May 8, 2015

10 things I would tell my 16-year old self.

 1. Your parents are actually pretty cool. Before you know it, you'll be calling up your parents every day just to chat because you're best friends.

2. You'll never see your high school friends again. Unless you make time for it. People get busy, move away, and life goes on. Besides a small handful of people that I text/meet up with when I'm in town/follow on Instagram or Facebook, I really couldn't care less about keeping in touch with people from high school.

3. Exclusive dating in high school is dumb. Why tie yourself down to one person when there are hundreds of other people you could get to know? Some people end up marrying their high school sweetheart, but most people could avoid a bunch of drama and heartbreak.

4. Study for the ACT test like your mom tells you to. Or else you'll end up scoring well enough to get into your college of choice, but you'll miss the mark for scholarships by a few points.

5. Take the time to figure out what you might like to study in college. In order to (help) avoid switching majors and losing time, do your research on different careers and narrow it down to a few realistic options.Also, meet with a counselor the first week of college and plan out your class schedule for the next few years if possible!

6. Stop spending money on snack wraps at McDonalds. A) McDonalds will make you fat, and B) what a waste of money that you'll wish you had in college when your textbooks come out to $500 a semester.

7. Wear sunscreen and don't go tanning. You only get one shot at keeping your skin healthy and cancer-free! And orange is an awful color on anyone.

8. Enjoy high school. Stop wishing away the days thinking that college will be so much better (which, let's be honest, it totally is). Enjoy the few responsibilities that you have and go have fun!

9. Do things you know you shouldn't more often. . .but nothing too bad! The worst thing I ever did in high school was climb on an elementary school roof to look at the stars with friends. Needless to say, I'm not a very exciting person because I don't like taking risks, haha. I wish I had more exciting stories to tell my future kids.

10. Sleep, read, cook, and serve more. Work on developing new skills and use all of that free time to do worthwhile things. Chatting with friends for hours each day is great, but it's not going to help you much 5, 10, or 20 years down the road. (Granted, moderation in all things - friends are great and totally necessary.)

 What would you tell your 16-year old self?