Friday, September 11, 2015

What My Soul is Made of

My Soul is made of autumn leaves
And new pencils
And a new backpack.

My Soul is listening to Christmas music
 on the radio.
It’s warmth.

My Soul is my family,
And children
Especially babies.

My Soul is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
And foxtrot music
My Soul is smiles and laughter
It’s charming
It’s twirling

My Soul is lots of hugs
And playing with peoples’ hair,

It’s violin music.
It’s sharing food,
 Sharing ideas,
And sharing love.

My Soul is a home
A home that smells good,
And is peaceful inside.

My Soul pushes against violence
It blocks out contention
And it can’t process some emotions
Very well.

My Soul does not give up.
My Soul thinks nothing can stop it
It continues until
It can cartwheel
And do handstands.

My Soul cries quite often
Due to its memory foam interior
My Soul does not forget
About the feelings of others
Even when they have forgotten

My Soul lives in the kitchen
My Soul spends time by a river
Where you can have a picnic
On its bank.

My Soul reads old novels
And is adorned with polka dots.

My Soul reaches out for other Souls
To hold hands with
To spend time with

My Soul can be a mirror
For others
To see
What they look like
On the inside

My Soul is made of hope

And wings.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Taste of our Tea Party

I am home in beautiful Santa Barbara for the summer, working for my Dad and cooking for mom again. I randomly decided one day, "I am going to throw a tea party." I've always wanted to, and my friends and I have talked about it, but I just decided to make it happen finally! Because there is no time like the present!

It was a blast!

So here is how we (my mom and I mostly) did it. Follow the links for the recipes I used!


I just created this on Word! The teapot is just an image I found on the internet. I printed it out on shimmery cardstock! 

The cutest part of the invitation is pictured below. I used a paper doilie and folded it around the invitation and tied it with some blue twine. So cute and so classy. It takes a plain invitation up a notch and makes it fancy! 
At the bottom of the invite it says, "Fancy Tea Time dress required, hats encouraged." :)

I used a teapot stamp on the bottom corner of each envelope. 

Le Menu:

I was nervous about these because of their crumbly nature, but they were the favorite at the party! I definitely recommend making the lemon frosting to go with them. The dough is great because you can refrigerate the rolls in plastic wrap for several days before you just cut and bake! These cookies are totally the melt-in-your-mouth type. People love them because they are unique and light! 

These turned out amazingly! Definitely best eaten day of (or like how I did, made them late the night before. Turned out great!) or shortly thereafter. I got cute lacy cupcake jackets at Michaels that were the perfect addition to the table. Anything lace goes with a tea party theme! I added simple pink sprinkles to some of the cupcakes. Nothing too showy is necessary for this kind of occasion! 

I did some research on how people make a good cucumber tea sandwich, and I discovered this version that was good! Just don't forget to salt the cucumber and then squeeze all the water out of them! Also, as a side note, I cut mine in coins instead of strips. It's simpler that way. These are relatively bland, so if you like a little more flavor, look up a recipe that uses garlic or mayo. 

(heat up for 20 minutes or so at 375 degrees! right before the party! Keep in warm oven (just turn it off and close the door) until guests arrive!). Link shows you what the quiche I bought looks like. Everyone loves it! 

This was absolutely delicious! These were served in cute little milk jugs (also purchased at Michael's Craft store) with big striped straws in them. *Important side note about the recipe! I added a full extra cup of sugar and a little bit of extra water to the saucepan. I like my lemonade sweet thank you very much :) *

Le Decorations

Tiny Rose Teapot Centerpieces
My parents were kind enough to go to Farmer's Market and get tiny pink roses in two different shades for us to arrange in tiny floral tea pots. These were adorable on top of paper lace doilies from Michaels. My mom sprinkled tea bags between each centerpiece and lit tiny tea lights as well. We used my Nanny Erma's bridal shower plate set with little tea cups that fit into each plate for water. 

Party Favors
I neglected to get a picture of these cute favors, but I put a tea bag into a little organza bag with a honey stick in each as a cute, simple, and cheap party favor. Each one costed us under a dollar! 

I found a pin on pinterest (that sent you to etsy) of a cute picture of the words "It's always Tea Time" and I just free hand drew it on a framed chalk board we already had at home. Of course I changed it up a bit. I set it up on a stand (similar to the ones you display pictures on) and set it at the entrance of the pathway to where the party was being held. 

Le People

Of course the party would not have been the same without my fabulous friends! I have seen many a vintage movie in my day, as well as many movies set in the south, and I decided HATS would be an adorable way to get a cute photo-op for our tea party. I hired my dad to be the photographer for the first 15 minutes of the party :) 

And it turned out ADORABLY if I do say so myself! It was so fun to have an opportunity to dress up for no reason other than it is a fun way to celebrate the end of summer :) 

Happy Tea Partying! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Spring and Summer Stuff

So. For starters, this is the holy grail of cookbooks! I love Six Sisters' Stuff! I honestly just open up this cookbook and browse through all the pictures over and over again. Get your hands on one of these! Thanks to my mom for this (very) early Christmas present :) 

I made these delicious CrockPot Porkchops for dinner one Sunday. Loved them. Definitely a repeater. It's a super tangy recipe and just a little spicy.  

Also this College Girl Cheesy Bread is a popular recipe in the Houston Household. You just turn your oven to broil, slice bread (the Ciabatta Sandwich rolls from Costco are our personal favorite), butter each slice, add spices of your choosing (dried basil, oregano, garlic salt) and whatever cheese you have in your fridge on top. Put slices on a cookie sheet in the oven for no more than 5 minutes or so (don't forget about them! They burn easily!) and there you have the easiest and cheesiest side to any meal. 

I also made a yummy Peach Blueberry Streusel Pie with the leftover peaches and blueberries we had in the fridge before our Girls' Hawaii trip! This recipe is awesome. The lemon juice really adds something to it, but it also helps that these lemons came from our backyard! Nothing like home-grown lemons :) 

Here are my parents loving the streusel pie! It was a real winner.  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Aussie Chicken and Flourless Chocolate Cake

My parents are in town and my family gathered at the condo for Sunday dinner!

I took this opportunity to try out some new pinterest recipes and victoriously add them to my "Tried it" board!

This Sunday I tried Aussie Chicken over mashed potatoes served with asparagus and salad. Special thanks to Katie and Curtis for making the mashed and my Dad for making the asparagus :) We all have our jobs.

For dessert, I tried a naturally gluten free dessert. This Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe is a great one. It's not overly rich and delicious with strawberries as a garnish!

There are only 3 ingredients in this divine creation: Eggs, semi-sweet chocolate, and butter. No sugar, no flour!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Brazilian Stroganoff

My sister Katie made us this Brazilian Stroganoff (she served her mission in Brazil so it's super authentic) and I loooooved it!!!! So I asked her for the recipe and here it is! I added green bell peppers.


*You can freeze cream! I put it in a large mason jar and stuck it in the freezer. I pulled it out when I needed it and let it defrost and voila! It helps you avoid buying a bunch of cream for one recipe and feeling like you need to use it all before it goes bad.*

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tasty Treats!

And the Baking Adventures continue!

Baking just brings me so much happiness. Don't ask me why. I just like it. Like a lot. And just cooking in general.

Back to School Zucchini Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting 

These were very near disaster (I forgot to put in the eggs until after I put them in the oven, the oven got turned off somehow and we thought it was on the whole time, I mixed all the frosting ingredients together at once, we didn't have walnuts), but they turned out yummy in the end! You can't taste the zucchini at all! I am a fan of raisins and so I like this addition but I discovered that a lot of people don't like raisins so leave em out if you must! Also I just didn't put in ginger because I didn't have any. College lyfe. 

I want to make Back to School Carrot Cake a tradition in my life! 

My mom used to make these at Christmastime to put on our plates to give away to people! Just a yummy mixture of caramel and chocolate mmmmmmm! I made these during the BYU football game yesterday and my friends loved them! 

Also, as a bonus, they freeze really well in tupperware! Then you can have these scrumptious dessert throughout the semester. Booyah. I'm all about satisfying the sugar craving. 

Happy Sunday! 

Here is my thought for today:

I had the opportunity to go sing at a rest home with Utah Healing Arts a week or two ago, and I met this sweet old lady who had a really hard time hearing. I could feel the slight desperation she was feeling; she wanted to hear so badly, and she wanted to have a conversation because she was probably lonely. 

I introduced myself to her initially while standing on my feet, but then as her hearing problem became apparent I dropped down a little lower, and as we continued to interact I finally ended up sitting on my knees before her. 

I had this moment of realization as I did so. 

Christ does this for us. He drops down before us in the depths of humility with sincere desire to know us and feel with us. 

I was so, so, so grateful for that opportunity to meet her and to feel Christ's love.

We talked about charity in Relief Society today and a girl brought up the example of Christ when Mary comes to Him saying Lazarus is dead, and when He hears this, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). 

Christ knew everything was going to be okay, He knew that He could and would raise Lazarus from the dead, and Mary and Martha will be happy again. 

But He still wept with them. 

Jesus has a perfect ability to empathize with us. 

Charity is about learning to feel with others, seeing where they come from and understanding, not judging.  

There is always one thing we can count on, 

"Charity never faileth." (1 Corinthians 13:8)


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stuffed Chicken and Cookie bars

Yesterday I finally tried a recipe I've been DYING to try and I finally had all the right ingredients (mostly)!

My wonderful and super talented sister Christina gave me a bunch of veggies from her garden yesterday, and so I used fresh basil in this dish, as well as fresh tomatoes.


I didn't have any Italian bread crumbs, so I put 3/4 of a roll of Ritz crackers in the food processor with some Italian blend seasoning and garlic salt and blended it up! It was fantastic! 

Also, after much Internet research about how to prepare Swiss chard (also from Tina's garden!), I finally decided to cut out the veins/stems and put it in the salad! I highly recommend this. Most of the websites I found said Swiss chard is similar to spinach and kale. I love it! 

The chicken is SO good! and it really wasn't very hard. So much gooey deliciousness all wrapped up in a chicken. 

Courtney and I drove to PG to hang out with Mollie and her cute/hilarious kids! We made these yummy/classic cookie bars and watched Once Upon a Time on Netflix :) 

We didn't make them thin in a jelly roll pan like in the picture on the website, we put it in a 9x13 pan and they come out nice and thick like you see above. I prefer deep dish cookie bars myself! These would be AMAZING with vanilla ice cream on top!

We love Mollie! She's the best! :) We taught her about snapchat last night too and she made a debut in my snapchat story!