Wednesday, March 30, 2011


So I turned 31 on Monday but really celebrated all weekend long which is the way I like to roll around here. Tyler isn't quite on board with that concept yet.

Friday started with the highlight of my whole celebration, my own birthday party. You can see more photos here on my other blog. But here are a few teasers and only a few of friends. I am so bugged at myself that I did not get a photo of each group of people from all the phases of my life. Family, Colorado peeps (though, they are all scattered everywhere but here), Murray ladies, Law partners, and a few scattered in from Wymount, Cherry lane and other times of life. Other than that, I have no regrets from the party. Well, okay, that isn't completely true. I also regret not being able to visit with each of my friends individually for longer. That's the challenge with having 30 guests. I could not have pulled it off successfully without the help of my family and friends who help with the last minute details. Everyone kept asking where Tyler and the kids were. I banned them from the house from 6-8 pm. He took them to Carl's Jr to eat and play at their indoor play center. Sweet! They were soooo tired when he brought them back.

Well, it was a girls only party but a few babies and one husband made an appearance. I forgave him though because he was taking his wife, my cousin, Micaela out on a date after!

Just two of my aunts that came. Sherri and Julie.

Some of my Law Partners. These gals are a riot.

Then the next morning Rose, Marci and my Mom and I went to IHOP for a free meal. Um.....I totally forgot that I had a B1G1 free breakfast at Mimi's Cafe and wished we would have eaten there instead. IHOP was pretty gross, even for being virtually free. Oh, well. It was fun to get out and visit while Tyler took the kids again.

Then that evening my mom was still in town so she stayed at home so Tyler and I could go on a real date. We went shopping to Victoria Secret for some non-nursing pieces. I love it when I get birthday gift cards from my favorite stores :) Then we saw The Adjustment Bureau. My choice. I love Matt Damon. Not only is he a great actor but he seems so down to earth. It was a pretty good flick. Then we went to Red Robin for my free birthday burger. I LOVE that place. Seriously, the best burgers around. And the best part of the evening. Tyler and I sitting at our little table until midnight!! They didn't even kick us out or give us dirty looks. We were there at the last of this guys section so we weren't losing them any money, I suppose. I felt like we were in a Parisian cafe again, just chatting it up for as long as we pleased. Bliss. Thanks Mom for watching them!

Then on Sunday we had a nice steak dinner and leftover cake and desserts. Too much, in fact. Like, I need to workout harder before my SIL's wedding in less than two weeks!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! My 30th year was fantastic and I look forward to another fabulous year!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

10 on 10

I wanted to participate in this "10 on 10" blog thingy. One of the blogs I follow was participating and I tried to as well. You were supposed to take a photo every hour for 10 hours on March 10th. But I didn't actually have time to take them each hour and my photos, to be honest, were just fair. So here are some of them. The day in the life sort of feature. Pretty typical crazy day. Oh, except, this was the first day that Tyler was gone (he left us for 4 days while he partied in Vegas. More on that later).

1. Playing with the morning shadows
2. Cecily walking her telephone
3. Having to wake up Cecily to make it to #4. She was out!
4. Puppet activity for law partners at the law school
5. Free lunch at Del Taco
6. Taking in the trash
7. Playing at the park with beautiful weather
8. Samuel and Creigh playing Angry Birds, after eating yummy pizza

Friday, March 18, 2011


Balloons can be a life saver. Cecily was blowing a gasket at the Market and the nice cashier offered all the children a balloon. It immediately calmed her....until her siblings took hers away. Then she got it back and was calm again.

I couldn't decide which image I liked best so I am sharing all three.

Look at this face. Pure joy.

Also, here are are some St Patrick's Day recipe's and ideas that you can use next year! I posted a whole bunch this week on my other blog. Here are just a few examples of how we celebrated this week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Leprechaun Rainbow Pancakes

Alternative to green eggs and ham for St Patty's breakfast? How about leprechaun sized pancakes? Make them rainbow colored for extra enjoyment!

Here is a quarter to give you perspective with how big, or small these little guys are.

Sadly, the purple ones got eaten before I could save them for the photo shoot :)

I didn't think about serving these little pancakes on the play dishes until it was too late. But that would have been fun too, though I really would have had to make them silver dollar sized. Serve with syrup and sprinkle some green sugar crystals on top for the final touch!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rainbow Pots

For family night on Monday night, we taught the children about the biblical symbol of a rainbow. Then they got to paint their own rainbow pots!

Remember these pots from this post? I found this fun idea from Ohdeedoh.

If they went to bed nicely, which they did....well enough, they'd get to search for the pot in the morning. I told them a leprechaun was going to bring golden treats if they were good and he hid them. So after breakfast I got my Irish accent on and led them on a treasure hunt around the house until they found their pot!

I filled the pots with the almond/toffee Hershey's nuggets, but let's be honest, those are for me. They just looked more like gold bars. The kids get the regular miniature candies (pictured in pot #2). In the next few weeks we'll plant some herbs and they'll get to watch them grow,(another great FHE lesson)!

Look at their concentration. It could have been very messy if I wasn't supervising. I recommend lots of newspaper and help. Samuel, at first, didn't want to paint his rainbows because that is "for girls" and reminds of him "ponies jumping through rainbows." But once I showed him how cool it could look and the fact that the leprechauns wouldn't come if it wasn't painted because they wouldn't know which pot to fill, he gave in, and loved it, of course.

Jocelyn quietly worked on hers. Suprisingly, her's turned out a little bit cleaner (hers is pictured in the front) though Samuel loves art. I signed him up for an art class, I hope he enjoys it!

St Patrick's Day Parade

I braved the streets of SLC (because it is such a huge city! ha!) with a friend and brought my 3 kiddos to the St. Patrick's Day Parade. It was fun! Long, but fun. My favorite is always the bag pipes. I LOVE bagpipes.

Samuel took these first group of photos.

Me, probably texting or maybe wiping Cecily's boogers. Poor thing, she had a cold.

Love that smile.

My friend Raylynn.

We sat right at the crosswalk. People still felt the need to use this even though it was the smallest street.

Love that horse with painted "nails!"

Love Irish dancing!

Love tall and skinny dogs. But, to be honest, I'd never want to own one.


Love the bagpipes!

Some more.

And some more.

Don't know what can of beer guy was doing.....

I forgot to mention all of the Catholic schools represented. There were at least 7 plus a Baptist and a Lutheran school. I didn't know there were so many in Utah. If I could afford it, I would consider sending our kids to a private Catholic or Lutheran school because I am sure the discipline and curriculum is good.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Relief Society Valentine's Dinner

I serve as the Relief Society Committee Meeting leader in our ward. I LOVE my church calling. And I have an awesome committee full of talented and willing ladies. We've done some wonderful things together as a committee to unite the sisters in our ward and I feel we've been achieving our ward goals each month we have a meeting. But in February, we had our biggest meeting yet and for the year. We pumped it up for months ahead to get the greatest turn out possible. As is common in each activity, there were a few hiccups along the way and the night of, otherwise it was nearly flawless. We worked well together and from the comments from those in attendance, we know it was a success.

The theme: Enhancing Personal Relationships. We used an Italian theme with the food and for decor we kept it to the month of love with a red, white and pink color palate. Here are some photos and some descriptions. In a budget under $350 we served an elegant dinner to 100 people (including YM servers and YW children's class helpers), took a love language quiz and listened to professional counselor (who happens to be in the RS Presidency) teach us about enhancing our marriages. I thought we did a pretty nice job!

Here is the gym. We only used half of it to make it more intimate. We fit 10 round tables with 8 people at each, on this half.

The entrance.

Carnations from Costco, handed out to each sister (after I remembered) at the end. We had them each wear a nametag. Flower ball on clearance at Michael's after Valentine's Day sales.

Here is Nina and her daughter Sarita. Nina, on our committee, lovingly made all the paper good items including these nametags, with her many papercrafting supplies. Here she is greeting the sisters as they came in.

The buffet table. Rhonda, who has catering experience, suggested we put Christmas lights underneath the tablecloth. I liked the softened look and then the lights don't get in the way or dirty when serving the food.

I made a little fabric garland with fabric donated by my friend Raylynn a while ago. You never know when you'll use your fabric scraps so keep them anyway!

I made these silk topiaries with fabric I had in my stash. I'll share a tutorial sometime. I made the topiaries and garlands myself with my own materials to save money and so that I could keep them, which helped with the budget as well.

One our committee members, Michelle, suggested that we ask for volunteers to decorate individual tables. Each was unique and brought a nice personal touch. I gave them a 12" x12" piece of glittery cardstock as a guideline for how much space they could use. Here are a few examples.

Here is the speaker's table.

Nina made an "events" card with results form the quiz on the back. Notice the goblets? She also donated use of these that she had previously used in her daughter's wedding. When the sisters first entered this was one of the first things they noticed, these beautiful goblets. It added an elegant touch. Nina found them on clearance for $3 a box and was happy to be able to use them again. We didn't break one! She also had battery operated tea lights

We had menu's printed on a tri-fold with a quiz printed on the inside. As the sisters were seated and waiting to start the evening we had them take a version of the 5 Love Language quiz, which unbeknown to me, was part of Marlene's talk. The little red heart was supposed to act as a little cupid's heart. I had specially ordered red golf pencils on ebay but they did not ship on time (grrrrr) so we had to gather regular pencils (including my children's attractive printed holiday ones they get from school and other places) and didn't have time to punch holes in them to make the cupid affect. Minor detail. I used an 8 1/2" x 11" glittery piece of cardstock as a placemat.

One of the highlights of the evening was having a live quartet playing classical music. Nina's son-in-law created a group of his musical friends and they willingly volunteered their time (only in exchange for a free meal) to play background music. They were so good that when Tyler walked through to pick up the kids, he thought it was a cd!

After they took the quiz we welcomed them and invited them to start on their salads (which were placed on the tables beforehand) and warm bread.

Here is the serving line with the food.

Here are some of the committee members slaving away. I stayed out of the kitchen as I was working on decorating and making sure everything was in order. Some of us ran around like chicken's with our heads cut off, especially right at the last minute when everything comes together. I think we all managed to be able to sit down for a few minutes to at least eat a little.

Here I am sharpening pencils beforehand after my ebay glitch.

Here are some of our cute YM servers. They really took their job to heart and were so willing and helpful. They kept our water filled and assisted the many elderly sisters in our ward by serving them their food directly so they didn't have to wait in line for their food.

The Menu. Rhonda came up with a delicious and fairly simple menu. We had a tight budget but wanted it to be delicious. She cooked most of it, hours before, herself. Alicia and Michelle helped in the kitchen as she instructed them.
We had two pastas. Regular spaghetti, with a nice meat marinara sauce. The second was a garlic cheese white sauce that she pre-mixed with pasta.
The salad was a copycat version of Olive Garden's.
She roasted garlic slices and mixed them with olive oil and herbs. We dipped our warm bread (from Costco, the Italian version) in this herbed oil spread.

We simplified our dessert buy purchasing fresh mixed berry Gelato from our Costco (ours is the only in the state who sells this in their cafe!) with a piece of biscotti. Simple, elegant, rich, unique, easy.

Marlene, our upbeat and funny speaker. Sadly, I couldn't listen to all of it but what I did gather was helpful.

It was a wonderful evening with few and simple decorations that made a strong impact, music to add to the ambiance, dimmed lights, delicious yet inexpensive food, a slow pace and the little details all added to a wonderful evening together. I know that each sister was enriched by coming! Some said it was the best RS activity they had ever been too. The greatest compliment to our committee ever!

Thanks again to my committee and to Marianne for lending me your camera and taking some candid shots!