Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat – Scrapbook Layouts

Happy Halloween!

Until I snag some pictures of the kids as they go out tonight, here are some scrapbook layouts from years past that I did over the weekend. Yep…I’m still pretty far behind on these. ;)

Trick or Treat Brady

The story: Brady absolutely loves Nascar and Jeff Gordon and has since he was a little boy. He decided that year he wanted to be Jeff and this costume was perfect for him!

The layout: I used all sorts of papers and embellishments from the American Crafts BOO line and used a sheet of blue cardstock to anchor all the photos.

Tip to Note: This layout came together super fast after layering bits and pieces of extra strips of papers that were leftovers from some other Halloween layouts I’d been working on. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but if I can work on a lot of Halloween or Christmas, (or same type of photos/events/layouts) at the same time it cuts down on the time I spend digging out those supplies, etc.

Trick or Treat Gwynie 1

(Page 1)

Trick or Treat Gwynie 2

(Page 2)

The story: Capturing yet another year of Halloween! This year Gwynie found a “ghostly spider” witch costume and asked us to paint her face to be dead and ghost like. ;)

The layout: I again used more of the American Crafts BOO line with stickers, embellies and felt pieces.

Tip to Note: These pages were inspired by a challenge at Soul Scrappers to combine a bright background, three patterns (stripes, spots and chevron) and some dimension. I loved the challenge and even did a few other Halloween pages with these same patterns since everything was already out.


It was so fun to finally get back to scrapbooking last weekend!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Well, since October is almost over, I better share the photos from our visit to Snow Bird for Oktoberfest! We had gone right after one of Brady’s football games one weekend at the end of September. Gwynie had decided to hang out with a friend and go to the movies (oh how teenager-ish of her!) so it was just Brady joining us as we met up with our friends Jen and Doug.

By the way, I feel like I’m neglecting Gwynie on the blog-o but she’s been reluctant to pictures as of late, so I guess I need to force her to get in pictures now and geeezzz spend time with the family! Teenagers…. ;)


Jake’s pumpkin beer and Brady’s Root Beer! :) Cheers!


I enjoyed some white wines…no beer for me, blech!


There was a full band that had been taking a break while we were eating our lunch, but it was fun to see the stage all set up.


We had fun with the wooden prop cut-outs!


Jen and I


Jake and Doug


Since Brady was solo during this trip he got to do the tramp jumping!




Look how high he was getting with his flips! He loved to just flip and flip and flip!


To end the day Jen and I did “ski shots” where they have shot glasses affixed to a real ski! You would think it would be a crazy mess, but it was actually really fun and we didn’t spill a drop! :)


Look how pretty this is! Gosh, I do love the mountains..more so when they aren’t covered in snow!;)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cheesy Shrimp Linguine

I was so excited to share this recipe and incredible meal Jake made a few weekends ago and I finally find some time to do just that!
It all started with this Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp from The Pioneer Woman. I suggested to Jake that we do the shrimp with a pasta so he combined the shrimp with a garlic pasta sauce recipe. After looking through a few sites we can’t find the exact one he used, but basically it was combining parmesan cheese, olive oil and garlic along with some reserved pasta water and parsley to make the pasta. He also added some mushrooms to the mix just because we like them. I asked him what he’s calling this dish and he replied it’s Cheesy Shrimp Linguine.
OH MY GOODNESS!!! This was one of THE BEST pasta dishes I’ve had! The shrimp was so flavorful and the pasta had the perfect garlic taste without being too overwhelming. Baguettes toasted in the oven with mozzarella cheese on top were the perfect little slices to scoop up any extra sauce juiciness.
It has been at least three weeks since he made this and I’m still salivating over it just by looking at this photo. Jake plans on tweaking the pasta sauce to yield a bit more juice, but overall we loved it and cleaned our plates! I’m so lucky that the kids enjoy seafood as well and they devoured this too! Now…just to convince him to make this again sometime soon . ;)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Blaze Practice


Brady’s football team has done so well this year, and the practice before a really tough game last week they had two players from the Blaze, Utah’s Arena Football League team, visit.

I bet you can guess who the Blaze players are in the team photo above. Brady is #21 in the first row and Jake is in the back right.

The positive energy and the techniques and drills the boys learned must have helped because they defeated the other 7-1 team in our league last weekend! We’re so proud of all of these boys! Their team has made it to the playoffs, and with the win last week they are the #1 seed!

The only loss our team has had was in double over-time!! Jake loves coaching and has really enjoyed getting to know these kids and having them open up and kid around with him.  We have one more regular season game tomorrow, wish them luck!

I had shared some scrapbook pages awhile back of a Blaze game Jake and Brady had gone to, you can view them here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Brady’s Lizard Diorama

I wanted to wait and share pics of Brady’s lizard diorama project until he got his grade back, and since he got it back yesterday I can now show you his hard work! (Gwynie will be starting her science fair project next week…when will the projects end, haha.)
His class is learning about Utah studies for 4th grade, and they had to do report on a Utah animal. Brady wanted to do his report on a lizard so we found a lizard that is native to Utah, the Short-horned lizard. He did a lot of research and we all learned some way interesting facts about this little guy!
In addition to doing the report portion they also had to build a diorama and would earn extra points by depicting different elements in the diorama. Those included the animal itself, the environment, food, shelter, predators and plant life. Of course we helped like parents do, but Brady did a lot to put everything together and had a great time setting everything up!
We are so proud that he got 4/4 on his diorama and 4/4 on the oral presentation! ($20 in supplies later…hehe)
To make the diorama, I printed out an 11x17 picture of the Utah dessert for the background and then added in sand for the environment, and moss pieces and mini Christmas trees for the plant life. We took clay and shaped it around little plastic dollar store figures to make them more realistic rather than just plastic, and then used tags to label everything.
One of the facts he learned about the Short-horned lizard, also known as the horny toad, is that this lizard can squirt blood out of it’s eyes to ward off predators. So of course he had to put bits of red by the eyes! ;)
Good job buddy! We are so proud of you and had lots of fun working on this with you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Trailers

Have you ever heard of book trailers?  Think of them like movie previews but for books. If watching a preview entices you to watch a movie, do you think you would be more apt to read a book based on a book trailer?

I thought I would share some book trailers of books that I love, and that are good trailers. Sometimes I find that the book was amazing but the book trailer was utterly disappointing. Good thing I don’t rely on these “previews” before reading the books. ;)

I’ll start off with a book that was absolutely incredible, and the trailer could be an actual movie preview. The trailer for the second book is awful though…but both books are fantastic. The third and final book doesn’t have a release date yet other than sometime in 2013, but I’ve grown to love these characters and am hoping for a happy/nice ending for them.

 Enclave by Ann Aguirre

The next is a series that I’ve been recommending left and right to anyone that says they liked the Hunger Games. It has that edgy feel to it and has an excellent lead female with a mysterious and tough leading male. The second book Insurgent is out already, but it’s a whole year before the third book is released. I highly recommend this for anyone wanting something new and fun to read!

Divergent by Veronica Roth

This next book has been once of my most recent favorites, and the trailer, despite the acting (ha), was done well in my opinion. The second book is due out next year, so excited!

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi


One book that I loved but thought the trailer didn’t do a good job of showcasing was Possession by Elana Johnson. I just didn’t love the trailer but really enjoyed the book.


There is a playlist that has just over 100 book trailers of some popular releases. I’ve read several of these already, and had a few of them on my to read list before I watched the trailers, but I want to watch a few more of these in case I find some that I could add to my reading list. I definitely have a long enough list, but it’s always fun finding something new to read!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Decorations!

I’ve had my Halloween decorations up for about a week now and the kids are loving it, at least Brady anyway. :) We haven’t decided on costumes yet, and by we I mean me. Everyone else has their costume picked out, but now I can say I have one Halloween item checked off my list!;) I switched out my fall decorations on my console table and also changed out my centerpiece tray on the dining room table.




I also have this glittery Boo! sign on my entertainment center in the living room.


And on the dining room table….


PS – My poor sad little pumpkin. Ryker managed to somehow get ahold of it and left a few teeth marks after gnawing off the stem…

Jake: I’m not even mad, I’m impressed!

I wasn’t impressed…. ;) And name that movie!



I’m excited to have this all done and am already planning what’s next for Thanksgiving. ;)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Brady & the Giant Peach

Brady’s class recently finished reading James and the Giant Peach, and they had the choice to do an extra credit project based on the book. Brady choose to make a 3D peach so we created a giant paper mache peach complete with the ramshackle house and tree next to it like it describes in the book.

Brady absolutely LOVED doing the paper mache part while I held the balloon in place. It was a messy job, but he had a blast and then he had even more fun painting it!


Mixing the flour and water together for the mache paste



We let it dry overnight and painted it the following day.


The shoebox was filled with dirt, grass and rocks and the giant peach was topped off with some insects like in the book.


I can remember reading this book around his age, so crazy that it’s come full circle! :)

Up next for Brady is a report on a native animal in Utah, along with a diorama of the animal’s habitat, food, etc. Wish us luck! ;) Brady has the report part pretty much done, it’s just the crafty-ness that we need to work on over the next couple days!