Friday, September 26, 2014

Got a minute....

Fall is officially here! Time to get to work! True to fashion, or blog style. I have looked around the house to come up with this quick inexpensive decorating idea! My cost was $0.00! Using some imagination and what you have laying around, is hands down the best way to begin your Fall fun! Next time you are tossing out recycleables... give them another look! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pita Pockets from scratch!

    We have all heard the news! How our store bought, over processed foods are making us sick and causing an obesity epidemic. How scary! When I look around the dinner table each night at my family I yearn to provide the best for them.

    Processed foods are convenient, quick and over purchased. It is overwhelming to imagine eradicating every processed food in the pantry! In fact it was so overwhelming to me that I could not fathom where one would even begin! Many of the foods we create in our own kitchens become "processed" but at home we do not possess many of the harmful components big brands are adding to our foods. 

    I began to realize that little by little, step by step... we are very capable of learning new ways to provide nutrition for our families. With a little bit of time and effort, which is hard to come by at times... we can teach ourselves to be less dependent on convenience foods. 

    In an attempt to cut down on the lunch meats my family consumes I had chicken on the stove ready to be used for chicken sandwiches. Then my mind wandered to the bread. Grabbing the pita bread out of the fridge I glanced at the nutrition information...Yuck! After a little research and a few experiments the following recipe delivered pita bread gold! So easy! So basic! Great for a family on a budget!

1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons yeast
2-3 cups AP flour (you could also use wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons olive oil. Plus a little more for coating a mixing bowl

Mix the warm water and yeast in a medium size mixing bowl. Allow the mixture to set until the yeast is nice and foamy. About 10 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups flour, salt and olive oil and mix until combined. Turn dough out unto a lightly floured surface, adding flour to hands and surface as needed. Knead dough for 5-7 minutes. Until it is soft and stretchy. Form a ball and let the dough rest as you rinse out the mixing bowl and dry thoroughly. Coat the bowl in a little bit of olive oil and add the dough turning to make sure the dough is coated. Allow the dough to rise in a warm area covered until it is doubled in size.

Once dough is doubled, punch down. Pre heat oven to 450 and place a baking stone on middle rack, you may also use an inverted baking sheet. Divide the dough into 6-8 even pieces and set aside under a dish towel. Take your first piece and roll it out on a floured surface. Roll until it is about a quarter inch thick. Place it on the warm baking stone for about 4 minutes. (I only baked one at a time but feel free to place as many as will fit on your stone.) While one is cooking you can prepare the next. You will notice the pita has puffed. That means it is ready! The bread is meant to be light in color. Do not cook until golden, or you will have a crunchy flatbread! While the pita is still warm slice in half and use a small paring knife to gently separate and open the pocket. Store in an airtight container until ready for use!

It was an instant hit! Soft and chewy! Warm and salty! Whip up your favorite salad and feel good about knowing what your family is eating! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Vintage desk upcycle and milk paint!

    Baby Keeg, Ab and I loaded into the car and hit the local Deseret Industries! Living in a DIY valley, finding treasures is a rarity! We lucked out! I found this great desk, a matching head and footboard, and fantastic set of shutters! My mind was racing as we crammed our prizes into our small car! We were certainly a sight! 

    Milk paint is making such a comeback! I was just about to hit the checkout button and purchase milk paint over the web.... then me, being me thought "I have to try to do this on my own!" I try everything once! It was amazing! I highly recommend the following recipe! I started out with the Martha Stewart recipe, but after 24 hours had few curds. I did a little experimenting and was very pleased! Not to mention I saved so much learning how to create my own!

1 quart skim milk (must be skim!)
1 cup white distilled vinegar
acrylic paint

Allow skim milk to reach room temperature. In a large bowl combine milk and vinegar. Let the mixture sit overnight. The next day cover a strainer with cheesecloth and pour milk mix in to separate the whey from the curds. Rinse well and place the curds into a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Add a few drops of color and continue adding until you reach the desired hue! I got about 2 cups from this recipe. enough for three coats on the desk. Do not mix until you are ready to use. It is important you use it quickly, as it will not store.

    If you have never used this type of paint before.... Be patient take your time and figure out how to apply it. The first coat is very nearly transparent. Making sure your surface is properly sanded and prepped is crucial! It will begin to lift itself off as it dries. So it will just fall off of any unprepped surface. It will not stick to a varnished surface real well. I promise you will love it once you figure it out! If you love that chippy, vintage paint look... this is the paint for you! I used to spend hours painting, sanding, and distressing! This paint does it for you!

       I was able to keep a reasonable budget with this project by using what I had on hand! Using a little spray paint and spare buttons, I covered unsightly areas. The original hardwood seat was upholstered. This desk is solid wood. Very sturdy! It has a functioning book rack, and desktop! Made even more fun with a few chalkboards! Perfect for any corner in your home! The desk was finished and sealed with several coats of polyurethane and furniture wax! 

AND.... she's for sale! Available for pick up in Cache County Utah! Asking $100 If you would like more information please email:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tar paper fireworks!

I love the 4th of July! 

 Back and refreshed from a vacation I was ready for some cute outdoor decorations! A set back from being "back and refreshed" is my wallet now needs to be refreshed:) I pondered for sometime trying to figure out what I wanted...

 and on a next to nothing budget!

I was just about to paint over my Halloween pumpkin logs, to transform them into fire works when I saw the roll of tar paper in the back corner of the shed. I admired the shape of the roofing paper and had an idea....

I cut a piece and then secured the top and bottom with a staple to create my cylinder shape.
Then used hot glue along the seam.

Grabbed a few buckets of leftover paint! Spray paint would work fine, but I liked the instant thick coverage I was able to achieve with the latex paint. 

Once my tubes dried I cut a square of the paper, poked a wire through the center and secured the inside end with hot glue...

Then trimmed and painted the top. Twist the wire around  a pencil for a fun look!

I used a stencil to decorate my fire works and then created the "fuse" by tying several strands of yellow ribbon to the wire.

My total cost for this crazy cute DIY $0.00 I simply used what I had around the house!

Share your fun 4th of July ideas!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

A step back.... Before moving forward

    My teenage step daughter just finished "The fault in our stars" late last night. I awoke to a lengthy hand written note on my bedside. How I wish I had not been so very tired, and had passed out the minute my head hit the pillow. On the other hand she is a talker and we would have been up all night discussing life's injustice! She wrote "It has changed my life!"

    It has been quite a while since I last visited my little corner of the web world! A lot of events and... Life have transpired the last few months. Frustrated emails from "Pinners" brought my attention to my long neglected blog hobby. My domain name had expired and in the mix of small tragedies, and momentous victories I had toyed with shutting everything down. My tutorials and project pictures unavailable from a parked domain. I simply did not have time to sit down and give any more of myself. It has literally been eons since my last project, and I am feeling it. I long to feel my own identity again. Indulge in favorite past times. Relax and breathe... All the little things we give up to serve and care for others.

    Life has changed my life!

    As I read over the words that my step daughter had written regarding her feelings, one line stuck with me. "They did not focus on the negative! They knew they were dying. Yet they chose to focus not on how they were dying, but on how they would live until they died!" Apparently she bawled in her room for a good while grasping to understand the new understanding she had found. 

    Isn't it funny how in the least expected ways we become "aware" 

    In a way we are all living in the same predicament as Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. We are all living until that fateful day. Service to others has changed my life. Embracing friends who have lost all. Encouraging family members who are so close. Will you be happy with your decisions?

    I miss blogging. I miss the community. I miss the inspiration. I miss the freebies! I want to be an inspiration, to share what I learn... I am ready to reclaim that stupid old dresser in our bedroom. Ready to gain my clarity and courage again. Feel as if I can breathe again. Ready to live out the summer of 2014 with all its intent. Chasing little blonde pigtails through soft green grass. Watching from a safe distance as a young lady gains her confidence.This little family has been hard at work. Together and individually. We are ready to get back to "normal"

    New perspective, lessons learned and love in our hearts. It is time to move forward to whatever the next chapter holds!



Friday, March 28, 2014

Where have you been...

    Do ya miss me? I have been busy! With Spring Break, and more importantly, summer break looming! The days hardly seem long enough! Getting ready for Nicole's run has been a blessing and a great diversion. I cannot believe the support and compassion of this amazing community!

    When I look around and count my blessings, they are bountiful! Peter Pan and its frantic preparation has come and gone! I will post a fairy dress tutorial soon! I have only been asked for a pattern a few hundred times:) A wonderful getaway for four days to a snowy paradise, just me and my amazing husband has come and gone. Leaving me feeling fresh, renewed and in "wuv, true wuv!" Ready for the world! Spring Choir concerts and bouncing blue eyes! A toddler in a red cape running a muck in the spring snow belting out "Let it Go!"

 How are things in your neck of the woods? Happy Spring!

Nicole's Color Me Orange Fun Run: Yet another reason why you would be crazy to not j...:     Big news on the raffle front!    Icon Health and fitness will be providing a elliptical or treadmill for raffle at Nicole's r...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nicole's Color Me Orange Fun Run: More amazing donors!

Nicole's Color Me Orange Fun Run: More amazing donors!:      We here at Nicole's Color me Orange are over the moon! Special thanks to a wonderful member of our outstanding community! Cynt...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Nicole doll!

    This adorable cutie was created by my wonderfully talented mother! Proceeds to go to Sweet Nicole's medical costs! Get yours at Nicole's fun run May 3rd! For more info visit:


Monday, February 17, 2014

Nicole's Color Me Orange Fun Run

Nicole's Color Me Orange Fun Run: Nicole's Color me Orange fun run!:          
  Head over to Eventbrite to register now!

Come out and show your support for an amazing family whose daughter Nicole is entering her second battle with cancer. Nicole was born July 18, 2011.  Dec. 8, 2011 she was life flighted to Primary Children's diagnosed with AML and ALL leukemia.  She spent 10 months at Primary Children's hospital with a bone marrow transplant. Nicole was doing awesome the doctors have been amazed that she was doing so well. On February 11, 2014  Nicole got the heart breaking news that she relapsed with ALL leukemia.  She will spend all treatment at Primary's with another bone marrow transplant.
    Join us for a colorful 5k walk/run as well as 10k to raise funds to go to Nicole's medical costs. Not a runner but would still like to donate? Come out and help us color the race participants with orange! Orange is the color for leukemia awareness! After grab a bite to eat, browse local vendors and visit with old friends and make some new! Enjoy the mountain view! Great for runners and walkers of all levels!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Salted Caramel Sticky Rolls...

    It has been snowing here for three days straight! For our family this is not bad news, unless you have to survive work, school and all the other responsibilities of the week before you can play! We are chomping at the bit to get out and ride! Patiently waiting for Saturday to arrive, I decided to appease my crowd with a warm ooey gooey treat!

    I often try out new recipes and experiment with rolls. I have yet to find one my heart is set upon in my quest for bakery perfection. For this batch I found a pretty tasty recipe at Lost Recipes Found. The name of the recipe? Giant Glazed Cinnamon Rolls! YUM! You too can try this amazing recipe here. I substituted half of the AP flour with whole wheat flour and used applesauce in place of the butter in the filling!

    While these were rising I reached for the cream cheese. Realizing it was fat free, I had a problem! You see I do not mind fat free cream cheese and in fact prefer to indulge in healthy options. My husband however would never stand for this! I was already pushing it with the whole wheat flour and apple sauce filling! LOL!


    I have been learning how to make salted caramel. My kiddos eat it up! If you have tried your hand at salted caramel you know it can be a pain! I have actually had to throw a pan away! By the time I had removed the hardened sugar crystals from its surface the Teflon was flaking off into our food! "Wow! You put a lot of pepper in the soup!" Bleh! It was not pepper!

    So here is my salted caramel recipe. Along with a few beginners tips! 

*First: While heating, do not stir your sugar water! I learned this the hard way! Stirring causes the quick evaporation of the water and you are stuck with a hard dried up chunk of sugar, even if you add more water you will have a difficult time achieving the right consistency, and it will keep drying up. Combine your water and sugar in a saucepan and stir until dissolved over low heat until dissolved. Once dissolved do not stir again!

*Second: Every time I remove my amber colored sugar from the heat and add the cream, no matter how slowly I whisk it in, it still sets up too quickly! Again making hard clumps. Once the sugar is colored a deep amber simply turn the heat to low and add the cream, and butter. I like to keep it over heat because it will keep it warm enough that your caramel will stay nice and smooth! I am no pro! Just a few tricks I have learned that have kept me from pulling my hair out!

Salted Caramel

1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 t salt

     In a large saucepan combine sugars and water. Stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Do not stir during this phase! Boil the sugar water until it is a deep caramel color. Usually 5-6 minutes. Turn heat down to low and slowly stir in the heavy cream. The mixture will be hot so be careful! Keep stirring to prevent any clumping, gently crushing any lumps that may form. Add butter and salt. Keep stirring over heat until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a glass container and allow to cool. To reheat simply microwave in 10 second increments.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The gift of service.

    I was running around frantic! Somehow in between my other daily responsibilities I had found myself overwhelmed with the "task" of service. Several hearts were in need of mending. There were dinners to be made. Babies to hold. A run to be ran. A pile of laundry to the sky. An after school play. Somewhere in the madness and anxiety I found peace. I felt that even though my load was... well, overloaded! Everything would be fine. Silently praying I began to reflect on the wonderful gift of service. I began to really focus on how and who I was blessed with serving on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon...

    Nearly eight years ago I took a leap of absolute faith! With nothing to lose and everything ahead,  I packed up the sparse items my daughter and I owned and set on a grand adventure. Thirty miles away from home our new life began to form. These were tough days. Going back to school in my late twenties with a baby in tow was nothing short of a miracle. We were able to qualify for housing, and I was not allowed to hold a job at this time because I was the recipient of a generous state program that paid my tuition in full. We had to survive on a government stipend that was under $400.00 a month.  My objective was to complete school as quickly as possible and become employable. At times I felt as if the weight of the world was upon my back. I knew however this was the only way to make a better life for the two of us.

    Not long after we had moved into our apartment we began to experience the humble service of others. I would often return home late in the evening, sometimes just long enough to give my sweet girl a bath and kiss her goodnight. On our porch I would often find small packages of toddler clothing. Or bags of food items, blankets and toys. Twelve days before Christmas a baby doll and a hand mixer, the first I had ever owned and a dolly she has to this very day. We had nothing, yet because of the kindness of others we had it all! The gifts continued throughout our time in that apartment and I learned a very wonderful lesson from our angels. I may never know who these silent angels were. Keeping watch over us, but I vowed when I could, when I had enough to give....

 I would! Not once. Not twice. Every chance I got. I would serve those in need. I would show my gratitude.

    Fast forward several years, my husband and I are sitting close together fidgeting on our couch. Across from us the Stake President! In our home to commend us for an act of service we had just completed. "We just did what anyone would have done." I offered meekly. Knowing in my heart of hearts that is simply what we are meant to do. Take care of one another...

    Back to the eye of the storm within my kitchen. I felt a warmth spread through me as I recounted the many times I have been blessed by service. Knowing that I posses the power to serve. That it is indeed a gift. Understanding the power of being a blessing in someones day. The blessings that come back three fold.

    We are all capable of great service. As mothers we serve our families daily. Its the warm batch of cookies awaiting school children. Their arms around your waist. The prepared dinner for the returning husband, a kiss upon his cheek as he teases you about your yoga pants. The clean house full of love. Or perhaps a disastrous house that you didn't get to because you were too busy playing peek a boo and painting tiny toe nails.  As friends we serve as a patient heart willing to listen. Help me to understand. Let me take your kids...

Sisters, Brothers, Aunts and Uncles, Neighbors, cousins...

    Service does not require an invitation, but rather intuition. Who will you bless today?

Friday, January 24, 2014

heart songs...


    Wednesday I had a good laugh, a few actually! My ten year old baby sat next to me wiggling uncomfortably in her seat. Cheeks red with embarrassment. Poor thing! I giggled and wrapped my arms around this beautiful girl who is fast becoming a young lady. Maturation will do that to a pre teen! A first for both of us I wouldn't have missed it for the world! Sigh! I feel like I say this every post, "Where does the time go!"

    What does maturation have to do with a bedroom canopy? Not a thing! Last summer she started pestering us to redo her bedroom. We agreed. On the condition she chose colors and decor she could live with for a good long while. Over Christmas break while away with her grandparents, we worked like slaves to pull off the ultimate "big girl" room. I will never forget the teary little blue eyes that took it all in. 

    I've known her from the moment of conception, the two of us have been through so much together. I remember just trying to survive and make it from one day to the next. It was her and I against the world for a long time. Being a part of her journey is heaven sent. Sitting beside her Wednesday I couldn't help but marvel at who she is. This kid has been through so much. I know she will conquer the world! I know I need to be the best me I can be. A role model and parent she can rely on. I'm not perfect, far from it....
     So anyway an amazing afternoon led to an amazing evening! My little girl is growing up! Every big girl needs a canopy;)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Start off right!

     As I look ahead to the many races in the upcoming season my excitement is mounting! I hope to participate in Top of Utah again, my goal is to shave 30 minutes off of my finishing time! I would also absolutely love to do Ragnar! I learned so much about my body and its capabilities last year. I learned that I am a better distance runner than short distance. My friends schooled me in Color Vibe and various other 5K's....but where they pooped out I could keep going the distance, and my overall time averaged out evenly.

      I also learned that while training for long distances I am unable to lose weight! In the latter part of June I was logging nearly 30 miles a week and the scale refused to budge! Concerned about possible thyroid implications I visited my doctor. Turns out I was low on the sunshine vitamin! Even after vitamin D supplements the scale still refused to move. I was in shape, but yearned to see a smaller number! Luckily I have access to health professionals that helped me understand the process that was taking place. Either focus on weight loss or distance running.... that is what it came down to. 

    With the dawn of a New Year my focus is first on overall health and weight loss as well as HIIT training for 40 minutes daily. So I get to have my cake and eat it too! I have found an amazing meal plan that suits myself, as well as my family! Which is even better! We are an active family and making small changes here and there to the foods we already eat has made a major improvement for us all! My amazing husband and I have even set a long term fitness goal! We want to run an ultra for our 10th anniversary! We have a few years:) I want my kids to have a healthy attitude about food. When you are the role model to young girls there is no other option. 

    Everyone should own a Nutribullet! They are amazing! I love to experiment with smoothies! Plus they are tasty and satisfying! Baby K and I are gearing up for an outstanding day! Here is our recipe for today!

!/2 cup organic baby kale (be sure to rinse!)
1/2 large naval orange in segments
1/2 large red apple sliced
3 medium strawberries
1T water
1/2 cup Silk unsweetened Pure Almond Milk
6 ice cubes

Throw into your blender, mix and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Faux Fireplace!

    As usual I am about 10 miles behind. Keeping up with my crew can be daunting at times. With the holidays finally behind us! What an amazing time we had! A fresh New Year full of possibilities is upon us! How exciting is it that each year we get to start fresh! It is wonderful and amazing! 

    So for my first post of the New Year I am happy to share my newest prized possession! With a little imagination you to can create a simple mantle! This piece was built for me by my amazing little brother. After pouring over other tutorials we combined a few ideas into one! 

   Using MDF and my specific measurements, also knowing my intention was to draw the "fire" this is what my lil brother came up with! Did I mention he is an amazing craftsman:) It has also been tapered so that the weight of the mantle will rest upon the wall, which is great if you have little ones and your husband has forbidden you to attach it to the wall. My husband is a great sport when I'm in Martha mode! MDF is fairly soft so you have to be gentle when filling and sanding. Also a few coats of primer will help smooth the appearance of your final coat!

    Using chalkboard paint I created the back drop. Carefully measure and cut out the shape of the fire box. I used a thin paper to first hand draw the fire and brick. do this with pencil, followed by a sharpie. Coat the back of your design with a heavy, even coat of chalk. Do this by simply rubbing a stick of chalk over the surface. Once the chalkboard paint has cured apply your drawn design face up and with firm yet gentle pressure trace with a fine tip pencil. The design will transfer onto your chalkboard!

   Once all the lines have been traced remove the paper and then use chalk markers or a piece of chalk that has been sharpened and is wet to really finalize your design! Wet paintbrushes in various sizes work excellent for touch ups and removing excess chalk! When you are pleased with what you have done coat with a clear sealer and enjoy!

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