Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our Final Summer Trip

We got to go on a final, kind of spur-of-the-moment, trip this last weekend. All during the spring Trent and I talked about going to California, but once we moved down here we decided against it b/c we didn't want to spend money on a hotel. Well, it turned out that my cousin and his wife, Tiersha, who were here a few weeks ago, invited us to come stay with them while they were there. Tiersha is from California and they were headed there to babysit her little twin siblings for several days. We were so psyched for the invitation b/c now we could make our trip to California without paying for a hotel :)

We had a great time! We headed there Wednesday afternoon after I got off of work. I was not feeling good so Trent drove the whole 6 hours. He's so good to me!

The sunset on the way there!

We made it to Tiersha's parents' home around 10:30 or so, chit chatted for a few hours, and headed to bed.

Thursday Josh had appointments to meet with 2 different accounting firms so we headed to the Irvine Spectrum, which is basically just an outdoor mall, with Tiersha and the babies. We had some lunch and then Trent and I headed to The Great Park Balloon. It is a tethered helium balloon and they give rides for free! It wasn't all that exciting and it was only up for maybe 5-10 minutes so I was glad it was free. But it was still fun!

Here are some facts about it:

I think this is a cool picture, if only the light pole weren't in it!

Trent, on our way up!

Trent's artsy picture :)

The next day, Friday, we did a whole bunch! Josh had another appointment during the afternoon so Trent and I headed to Laguna Beach on our own. It was pretty foggy and chilly down by the beach so we just strolled along looking in all of the cute shops and art galleries/stores.

You can tell how foggy it was!

My artsy picture :)

We headed back to Tiersha's parents' and had some lunch, and soon Josh was home. Then we all headed to Balboa Island. This was a highlight of our trip :) We definitely plan to go back there next time we're in California (I'm sure we'll be back to California often now that we're so close!) There were such cute houses everywhere. I just loved them!

I took this picture from the ferry.

On the pier!

Tiersha and Josh with the twins, William and Lillee :)

After a bit, Tiersha and Josh headed back home with the twinsies and Trent and I headed to Corona del Mar to check out the tide pools. The tide pools were at Little Corona so we had to walk a little bit to find them, but not far.

I love this picture with the flowers.

The houses here were all beautiful and HUGE! I took a few pictures of them (I hope it's not illegal or anything..haha)
One home had dolphin bushes in front!
What can I say?! Fancy!
This home had a water slide attached..haha

We found the tide pools and I was psyched! This is actually something that I had on my bucket list. Such an easy one to check off :) I was pretty excited!

In this picture all of those little shells are hermit crabs scurrying around! We saw a lot of them!
Pretty purple coral

Sea urchins maybe?

I have a lot more pictures from the tide pools, but I'll refrain! We headed back to the house for dinner and later went out to Golden Spoon for frozen yogurt. It was our first time and it was so good! We'll definitely go again (we have one here in AZ so that's convenient!)

Saturday morning we packed up and headed to a swap meet before the drive home (a swap meet is basically a flea market). We had fun looking, but didn't buy anything. I had specific earrings that I was looking for :) Afterward we got on the road.

We had so much fun on our final little trip of the summer! A big thanks to Tiersha and Josh for inviting us to come stay with them :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Crazy Read

A few days ago I finished reading this:

Some of you may remember hearing about this guy in the news back in May 2003 after his right forearm became trapped by a boulder while he was hiking. After a few days of being trapped, he ran out of food and water and had to start drinking his own urine. On the 6th day he knew he would die there if he didn't get out so he resorted to amputating his own arm with his pocket knife.

I have always been so impressed with the fact that he cut his own arm off to save himself! I don't know if I could have done it! Definitely a fascinating read.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Our First Visitors!

My cousin, Josh, and his cute wife Tiersha came to stay with us this past weekend. There's a possibility they may move here once they're done with school so they figured they better come check out Arizona. Here are some pictures from Saturday of some of the fun things we did while they were here!

First we took them to see the Mesa temple. It was a beautiful day and we saw 3 wedding parties while we were there!

I think this picture is funny b/c I'm the third wheel..haha. Obviously Trent was taking the picture :)

Tiersha and Josh

And Trent and I.

We spent most of the day in Scottsdale and did some shopping. Then we got cupcakes at Sprinkles. It was me and Trent's first time and we were not disappointed :) We tried the Red Velvet cupcake as well as the Black and White. You can check them out at the Sprinkles website.

That evening we had dinner at my parents' place with all of my sisters. We went on a walk after dinner with the dogs. Arizona always has beautiful sunsets!

The three puppies :) Whoops! I think Buddy is taking a potty break here..haha

The group! None of the dogs were cooperating for the picture.

This is just a short video from our walk. Sorry, it's not great quality.

Then we went back to our place for some games. Jenga first.

Jill about to topple the whole thing over!

And there it goes! I think this is a cool picture! We played Nerts after this. Always the intense game :)

We loved having Josh and Tiersha here and would be thrilled if they moved down here (no pressure guys!). All of my sisters, except Amber, will be heading back to college in the next few weeks and we'll definitely miss them and everyone in Provo. We would love to have more visitors! Come stay with us!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Great Find!

This will be a short post, but yesterday we picked up this nightstand for 15 bucks from a lady selling it on Craigslist! We needed one for our guest bedroom and I am so pleased with it! We'll probably spray paint it black to match the bookcase that is also in the room. Don't you just love a great find?!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cream Cheese Brownies

I had a friend ask for the recipe for Cheesecake Brownies when I mentioned them in the survey I posted about a week and a half ago. It turns out I got the name wrong. They're actually called Cream Cheese Brownies, but I think they may as well be called Cheesecake Brownies :) Anyway, they are one of me and Trent's favorite treats! We got the recipe from eatbetteramerica.com . We love this website and try their recipes all the time (I'm on their email list)!

The website has a section of "healthified" recipes. This is just where small, simple changes are made to a recipe to make it more healthy. These brownies are "healthified" in that the recipe calls for 1/3-less-fat cream cheese and only egg whites (not the yolks). Most people can't tell that these are "healthified" and love them. Anyway, I've posted the recipe below.

1 package (8 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 box (1 lb 2.3 oz) Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix
1/4 cup canola oil or unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup water
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom only of a 13*9-in pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in remaining filling ingredients until well blended.

2. In large bowl, stir brownie mix, oil, water, 4 egg whites and 1 teaspoon vanilla with spoon until well blended. Spread in pan.

3. Spoon filling mixture over brownie batter in pan. Cut through filling mixture and batter with knife several times for marbled design. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

4. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until toothpick inserted in brownie 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean. Cool completely, about an hour (this is the hardest part for us!). Store covered in refrigerator.

Enjoy! Let me know how they are if you try them. And I apologize if you really don't care for them :) My sisters have all liked them, but my mom said she could definitely tell they were "healthified."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Critter in the Bathroom

Last night as I was getting ready for bed I discovered a gecko in our bathroom. I wouldn't say I'm scared of geckos, I actually think they're quite cute, but it did freak me out how fast this little guy could run! I screamed a few times and had my sweet husband come in and capture it!

Here is our captured critter!

I'm grateful Trent is always there to capture critters in our home. This gecko was definitely a first, but he's had to take care of many spiders since we've been married. I even have him take care of the tiniest spiders. Yes I could just kill them myself, but I always prefer that Trent do it for me :) I just think spiders are incredibly creepy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mancos Dude Ranch Family Reunion

About a week ago we got back from a family reunion at Mancos Dude Ranch in Colorado with my mom's side of the family. It was too fun! In the very beginning we each got assigned a horse for the week. My horse was Blitz and he was so good to me! There were about 2 optional rides per day as well as many other activities throughout the week. We did some archery, team penning, one day we went river rafting down the Animas River, we had a Bingo night, went to Mesa Verde one day where we got to see a bunch of old cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people, and had a karaoke night. Unfortunately I didn't get too many pictures, but here's what I did get!

Meg, Jill, myself, and Jen looking cute in front of me, my parents, and Trent's cabin.

Sisters (except Amber) on our horses.
One of the gorgeous views during a ride. I wish I had gotten more pictures from the rides!

My mom brought a puzzle for us to work on during our downtime :)

Trent on his horse, Crockett, and me on Blitz!

This was during team penning where we were assigned 2 bulls to try and get into the holding pen as fast as possible. You can't tell, but I'd say there were at least 15 bulls we had to work with.

Mom really doesn't like this picture of herself, but I wanted to point out the pen in the background. I am there making sure the bull stayed in there.

This was just a lunch break during a ride.

My love and I :)

After my last ride with Blitz.

I was really unsure going into this reunion how it would be (just with the horses and outdoorsy stuff), but I can honestly say it was a great experience :) I definitely miss it! And of course, it was wonderful, as always, to be with so much family. I love them to death!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tag, You're It!

My good friend Emily tagged me and I'm finally getting around to answering the questions!

1. What is the color of your toothbrush? Pink & White

2. Name one person who made you smile today. Trent, of course

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Waking up

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Reading friends' blogs (I've done other things since then, promise!)

5. What is your favorite candy bar? Probably the basic Dove milk chocolate bar

6. Have you ever been to a strip club? Nope

7. What is the last thing you said aloud? "Okay"

8. What is your favorite ice cream? Probably Rocky Road

9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Water

10. Do you like your wallet? Yes, it's a Vera Bradley Zip ID case

11. What was the last thing you ate? A cheesecake brownie - I made them yesterday!

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? I bought my cowboy boots from the dude ranch! They were used, but they were only 20 bucks! What a steal!

13. The last sporting event you watched? The Suns vs. Lakers game..I don't watch too many sporting events!

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? Just buttery

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? Jen

16. Ever go camping? Yes

17. Do you take vitamins daily? I try to

18. Do you go to church every Sunday? Yes! We just got called as Primary teachers!

19. Do you have a tan? I'm definitely starting to get one now that I live in Arizona!

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? Ooh..it definitely depends on my mood, but I'd say they're pretty even.

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? Not usually, but I don't drink much soda.

22. What did your last text message say? “Trent is lying on the couch. He's too tired to do P90X tonight.”

23. What are you doing tomorrow? Working and maybe going to the pool with my sisters. Oh and watching "So You Think You Can Dance"!

Where's number 24?!

25. Look to your left, what do you see? The t.v. and speakers

26. What color is your watch? I haven't worn a watch for years b/c they all need new batteries :/

27. What do you think of when you hear Australia? Hot! and the accents!

Where's number 28?!

29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? We rarely get fast food, but when we do I usually like to just go through the drive thru

30. What is your favorite number? 12

31. Who's the last person you talked to on the phone? Jen

32. Any plans today? Well it's almost 6:30 so we'll have dinner and then I'll watch "So You Think You Can Dance" from last week. I missed it while we were at the dude ranch.

33. How many states have you lived in? 3 - Virginia, Utah, and now Arizona

34. Biggest annoyance right now? The heat I guess

35. Last song listened to? An EFY song :)

36. can you say the alphabet backwards? I used to be able to! I bet I still could!

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house? Nope. Trent keeps the house cleaner than me though..haha

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? Flip flops for sure, I'm in Arizona after all!

39. Are you jealous of anyone? I don't think so.

40. Is anyone jealous of you? Maybe?

41. Do you love anyone? Oh yes!

42. Do any of your friends have children? Yes, a few

43. What do you usually do during the day? Work and enjoy time with Trent

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? No!

45. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? Yes

46. What color is your car? We have a purple Pontiac Bonneville..haha

Where's number 47?!

48. Are you thinking about someone right now? Trent b/c of his car! I sometimes make fun of it but it really is a great car!

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags? Oh many times! I have some great memories from Six Flags!

50. How did you get your worst scar? I had my appendix taken out in first grade, but it was healthy! I don't think that's my worst scar though. Probably the scar behind my elbow from when I had my baby sister (well she was then!) riding on my bike's handlebars. She had her little fingers in the way of my brakes so I couldn't brake and we crashed :/

I won't tag anyone, but feel free to take it if you want to :)

And I'm hoping to put up pictures from the dude ranch soon!