Thursday, November 13, 2014

Grocery Challenge

I had a good friend post a link from this site (www.5dollardinners.com) a week or so ago, and I decided to try out the "20 Meals for $150" with options for 2 lists for Sam's Club and 2 lists for Costco.

We started out with the first one for Sam's Club.

The recipes so far are yummy and simple, but the 4 servings that most the recipes make are too much for my family of 4 as two of the mouths are three or under. 😃  So I took it into consideration when I made my initial list. I already had a few things, like rice and canned tomatoes, but after making my list and comparing it to the one the site had, I found it was missing a pricey item: quinoa. Once we went to the store, I found that our Sam's didn't have some of the same things that were on the list, like the spaghetti sauce and salsa; the prices were also different, which i expected. Plus (as stated above) two of our four mouths are very small, So I didn't get as much meat as on the site's list. Then I didn't get the avocado (only my hubby eats it) or mango (that's one I just gotta do fresh 😉) or bakery rolls (I got frozen Rhodes rolls instead). Oh. And we got bacon.

That being said, (before taxes) we spent $137.

And by my estimates, not only will we have the 20 meals plus leftover food, we'll a few extra whole meals and maybe enough to 'create' a whole new meal!

As of right now, I believe I have dinners planned thru Dec 14, but that is taking out most Sundays as we're usually with extended family... We'll see if it works out to not have to buy much for dinners in the next month!

Here's a secret though, I just copied and pasted the recipes from the listing she had, and didn't buy the printables, (being the designer I am, I will make my own printables). However, (the site changed since I last got on it) the links to the recipes aren't in the meal plan page anymore, but i bet the recipes are still on the site.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cake crumble


Ok, so not really crumbling, just ditching, as a few weeks ago, we finally threw away the rest of our wedding cake. We only ever pulled it out for our one year anniversary (and it wasn't very good then...). It was sent to its doom a month after our 4 year anniversary when I was cleaning out the freezer. But not before, of course, I snapped some pics!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween VACATION!

The Monday before Halloween we were able to Trunk-or-Treat at our church, and my little ones were, I think, adorable. Brynna requested to be a 'ballerina fairy' so this is what we got.
And I had to dress Brooklyn in the same costume that Brynna wore when she was about this size, and isn't this the cutest pumpkin ever?!?!?!?!
Then to top it all off, we were given an early Christmas present- plane tickets to California!!! It was a blast! We went to a 'pumpkin patch' to get the pumpkins for carving,
 then carved the pumpkins,



      
then my girlies went trick-or-treating with no coats or hats or gloves, and Grandma Shauna made the cutest costumes!!! Look at these adorable things!!

Then (on Grandma Shauna's BIRTHDAY (: ) Brynna went on her first (and second and third and wanted to go on more, (they're in the very last car)) roller coaster ride at Disneyland,

and Brooklyn went on her first park ride too (she was too little last time we came.) She didn't like the first one -Buzz Lightyear. Then she slept through the Haunted Mansion. But she did like the others after that. And there are so many pictures I'll go through them in depth later and publish them on my website! :)

And then we heard that friends and family were getting snow whilst we were considering going to the beach... And we did!

Brooklyn exploring the sand for the first time:

And the water:
 And daddy stopping her from running back out to the ocean...
My other beach beauty:

and cousin Star surfing! (Uncle Ryan (Darren's half-bro) never quite got up for a pic!)





Thursday, October 23, 2014

I'm a Photographer - but sometimes I don't feel like it...

So here's the thing, I'm going to try to keep up on this blog more for me and my creative side than for anything else.

See, I'm a professional photographer, and I'm good at what I do. But I don't get enough photos of my own family except on birthdays and holidays. Its a cycle if found I'm stuck in:

I feel if I pull out the camera, I'm working. That's not a problem as my 'work' can be completely intertwined and submersed with my family. But I know that after the pictures are taken, I've got to get them all to the computer, organize them, tweak, edit, design, etc..... And this isn't a problem either, and I actually like this part even more than taking the pictures, but then that in itself can be a problem, once I sit down to work, I really like to get all I can done, and it really doesn't take too long compared to others, but I have two growing daughters that love to 'help' or need my attention. So over time I've stopped pulling the camera out for quick little things.

Then there's another facet, the cell phone. I know how easy it is to snap a picture with one, and I know most cell phones and tablets have much better quality than even just a few years ago, but I have an amazing camera! I am a professional photographer, and am almost embarrassed to post or publish photos that aren't the best quality, as I know what my best quality looks like. So over time I've stopped taking pictures of quick little things.

Then there's the extended family situation. Do any other photographers feel this way? That since there's a photographer in the family, they're (I'm) just expected to pack their equipment along with out any spoken consent, and take care of all the photo needs? Recently this was shown again to me when my husband was asked to make sure I brought my camera to an event. Maybe I'm just being picky, but I'm part of this event too, and A)  would like to enjoy it just like everyone else in the family, and B) could you have talked to ME about it??? I have ears, I can speak, and yes I really do have an opinion...... And then there's the fact that for anyone else I would do this for $XX amount while I'm not charging you a thing as your family.

OK enough of that soap box. Conclusion, I'm going to pull my camera out more often and take more pictures not only of my wonderful little family, but of other random things as well, like this awesome lasagna I made, and is one of the meals I can ALWAYS count on my girlies eating every last scrap off their plate - I'm pretty sure they're half Italian, half Mexican, but only in their stomachs.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tall and Quiet..... oh you mean Brittney?

So I decided recently that I'm going to use this blog to become Quiet No Longer.  Some of you know that I have always been pretty shy, and I in fact was given a nickname by one of my college photo teachers, 'Quiet One'.

But that's OK, that's me. Now, though, my amazing hubby gets the brunt of the opposite as I keep my opinions to myself until we are alone and I won't hurt anyone's feelings... So he gets what's truly on my mind.

Anyways, here I'll be posting randoms tidbits of my mind and life, mostly just to keep myself entertained and also to have a record of some random things that I can't find a better place to record/stow away for later use. Like this!

WallFlower Juniors 37" Inseam Basic Legendary Bootcut Jeans in Britney:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EB0ZYRO/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_Fhfpub0SP19Y7

I just got these jeans in the mail today - I don't usually buy clothes online cuz its hard to find the right size. Well, I got two different brands, two of one brand and this one that is 2-3 inches than normal LONG jeans, and all 3 pairs fit great, and the long ones are so long, they brush the ground when I'm wearing my only pair of 2 inch heels!!!

So any of you that have a constant battle to find jeans that are tall enough (especially after you wash them and accidentally put them in the dryer) I would have told you 'shop at Vanity, they have great long jeans, I've been buying them for years' but these from Amazon are normally $20!! I shopped at Vanity cuz I could usually get a pair on sale between $25-$40 (which as you tall ladies know is a great deal for Longs in any jeans), but Amazon is my new fav!

Oh and if you notice the color choice... Britney (it's missing a T but the color is my favorite jean color too!! )

OK, enough rambling for now. Until next time, the Quiet One 😉

Monday, June 23, 2014

Its Time for My Story

I’ve been putting this off for a while now, but I decided it’s time for me to tell my story.  It keeps being brought to the front of my mind by the many other people sharing, commenting, and posting on the subjects of the extremely publicized excommunications in the LDS church, and some of the movements involved. Take a look here.

My story in relation to this begins years ago, when John Dehlin and his family moved into my home ward.  I love this family! They are amazing. In fact, John’s wife was one of my very favorite young women leaders, and to this day, I think often of her and the impact she had on me. I am a very shy person and she (probably doesn’t know this) helped me be more comfortable in my shell. It was later that I finally got out of that shell, but she’s the one who helped me find the confidence to be comfortable being me, just how I was.  And the Dehlin children are beautiful, talented, incredible children, and good friends to my sister.

Fast forward to September 2009. I met a guy who was pretty cool. Fast forward to April 2010. This same guy finally asks me on a date. This happened to be on the VERY SAME DAY that he was excommunicated. I found that I needed to get to know him before making any rash decisions on his status in the church and the fact that if things went well, we couldn’t be married in the temple like I wanted. Well, to keep this story from dragging on, I’ll just say that things went well. So well, that we were married that August! And now Darren and I have two beautiful daughters and we are indeed sealed for time and all eternity in the temple. Darren was RE baptized just over 2 years after he was excommunicated. Our oldest daughter had the unique experience to see her daddy baptized. She doesn’t remember that, as she was barely a year old, but she does remember going through the temple with us to be sealed for eternity. And now we love life!

So what’s the connection between these two? The fact that Brother Dehlin is facing excommunication, and Sister Kelly was excommunicated yesterday (which I do, in fact, agree with as I disagree with the “Ordain Women” movement, but that’s a rant for another day). This is what I know:

1.       Excommunication is not the end of your time in the LDS church. It is a chance to start over. To right the wrongs you’ve committed against the PERFECT GOSPEL, but remember, the PEOPLE in the Church are NOT perfect.

2.       Everything happens for a reason. If Darren hadn’t been excommunicated, there is a very likely chance we would not have ended up together, as the events leading up to his would have helped in a different decision, I believe.

3.       The verdict seems harsh, I know. The reason for Darren’s excommunication was seemingly too harsh, yet looking back to number 2, everything happens for a reason. Darren’s biological father, Dave, was disfellowshipped from the church before finishing high school. Taking to him about this, it seems extremely harsh and even unnecessary what happened. Yet if it hadn’t have happened, he wouldn’t have ended up in California, Darren’s biological mother wouldn’t have wanted her best friend to go out to get the rights waiver papers signed after Darren was given for adoption, and said best friend wouldn’t have married Dave and have had two great sons and still be together today!  (and no, they are not active members of the church but are still some of my favorite people in the world! And I have only known them since December of 2013!)

4.       If the Lord feels like his purpose will be done without excommunication, he will prompt the leaders of the disciplinary council to rule in disfellowship.

Now keep in mind, this is all just my own thoughts and feelings as I have made it out of a similar situation for the better!