Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Like father, like son

Two of my three most favorite men in the world!
(Yes, Dad, you're the other one!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

RMMB: "Who said anything about sleep?"

I will admit I have thoroughly enjoyed my time away from the computer for the holidays. In fact it was easier to step away from the keyboard than I thought. No withdrawals, no post-traumatic Facebook disorder, nothing...just more time to spend with family and less time feeling my butt go numb.

I did spend a little bit of time writing my latest post over on Rocky Mountain Moms Blog and would love for you to check it out when you have a minute:

I have a feeling many of you will relate to my latest thoughts on the joys of parenthood!

I plan to get back in the blogging saddle next week, though I may continue this newfound love of less time online and more time "in real life." We shall see... --Emily

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

To quote my friend Kalli...

I'm not sure I have this totally correct but apparently my friend Kalli sent out a new holiday sentiment with her Christmas cards this season and I'd like to pass it along to my readers. It's not only priceless but echoes my feelings for the holidays:

Wishing you the freaking best holidays ever!

And to make the holidays even "sweeter" watch this video from JibJab. My kids had me play it over and over and over again (at least 5 times in a row). And while writing this post they're watching it yet again...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bite-size brownies with peppermint frosting

I'm all about easy when it comes to the holidays, and that includes holiday treats. Don't get me wrong, I love a made-from-scratch spinach and artichoke dip, tomato bruschetta or chocolate trifle, but sometimes you need something quick, easy and tasty. That's how I came up with these simple yet sweet (both in taste and presentation) treats that would work easily for both neighbor plates and holiday parties.

Take the idea and run with it! You could use white frosting with green and red sprinkles, or I even thought of making a peanut butter-flavored frosting and using semisweet chocolate shavings instead. I started experimenting with different designs, including a Christmas tree shape (middle). You can't beat Costco's brownie bites for quick and easy and they taste yummy too!

Bite-size Brownies with Peppermint Frosting
1 package Costco brownie bites
Mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 recipe peppermint frosting

Peppermint frosting:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
2 16-oz. packages powdered sugar
2 teaspoons peppermint extract (not oil)

For frosting, beat cream cheese
and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar and peppermint extract and beat until thoroughly combined. Use a piping bag with your favorite tip (I used the small circle tip in the photos) and pipe the frosting on top of each brownie bite. Sprinkle with semisweet chocolate chips. How easy is that?!?!

My little ones loved helping sprinkle the chocolate chips and then they had to sample their work:


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Climbing Back: Stephanie Nielson's story

If you feel like you're somehow missing the point of the holiday season amidst the shopping and hustle and bustle of last-minute preparations, then take a moment (a lot of moments) to read the story of Stephanie Nielson, wife, mother, writer and airplane crash survivor. Journalist Jaimee Rose has beautifully captured her amazing story with its struggles, triumphs, heartaches and sweet victories for the Arizona Republic. I'm not through reading it yet and I've already grabbed a box of Kleenex. I might even need two:

The intro page also has links to audio slideshows, Stephanie's family tree, info about Doug Kinneard (the pilot) and the staggering costs of her medical treatments.

This season try to take more time to count your blessings and less time counting the check marks on the Christmas wish lists. --Emily

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Pretty, pretty princess

Someday I will find a handsome prince who will love me just the way I am...

Monday, December 14, 2009

'Tis the season for too many blog posts and too little time

I am starting to feel the time crunch that often hits less than two weeks before Christmas Eve. Anyone else feeling it? I want to enjoy the holiday season as much as possible this year so I'm doing a handful of things to help me maintain the holiday spirit amidst the crazy shopping, frigid weather and over-committed schedule:

  • Worrying less about exercise {I burn enough calories meandering through holiday crowds.}
  • Caring less about how many holiday treats I've eaten {How can you enjoy Rolo-filled peanut butter cookies or homemade fudge when you're counting calories?}
  • Losing count as to how many "seconds" I've had {Some dishes you need to try at least two or three times to make sure they're still you're favorite.}
  • Reading less blog posts {Sorry, girls, if I'm not commenting nearly as often.}
  • Writing less blog posts {When it's a choice between my sanity and posts for this blog, sanity wins every time. Okay, it wins 95% of the time.}
So with that I ask beg you to take some time off yourself. I'm giving you one less blog post to read so you have a couple more minutes to do some last-minute shopping, polish off that plate of neighbor goodies or sing "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" one more time. But don't stay away too long or you'll miss a random post here and there AND when I announce my new site is up and running. No better way to kick off the New Year than with a fabulous new site! --Emily

Image by Darwin Bell, shared via Flickr.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Recipe wrap-up, part 2

Last week I went through and put together a list of ten bookmarked recipes in an effort to get through the extensive collection of bookmarked pages in my browser. This week I'm giving you ten more...and it looks like I'll have enough for a part 3! Hopefully you'll discover some new recipes to try, new blogs to read and new indulgences to, well, indulge in. Happy browsing!

After part 3 next week I'll be posting some of my favorite recipes from this year's church progressive dinner. You can find all my faves from 2008 here:

And here's one from 2007:
If you have any tried and true recipes perfect for the holidays I'd love for you to share them in the comments below. I always need new ideas for holiday potlucks and parties!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Resourceful Mommy's take on blogging conferences

I have yet to attend a blogging conference. I was all set to hit BlogHer in Chicago with Daria from Boutique Cafe but our sponsor had to pull out at the last minute. Because of the high price tag (conference plus flight plus hotel) neither of us could attend. We ended up moving right around that time so it all worked out for the best, but I was still a bit sad I couldn't go. Then I heard about all the swag drama and how many gals didn't even attend sessions because they were up too late partying the night before at one of many VIP events. I ended up feeling rather glad I didn't fork out the money--if I want to stay up late with girlfriends I can easily do that locally and I get to sleep in my own bed!

With the plethora of blogging conferences out there it's hard to know which ones to attend. For many of us it's not in the budget to attend more than one or two a year. Not only is money hard to come by but also babysitters, and if I'm going to finagle a babysitter (my mother-in-law) and spend my family's grocery money on a conference it sure as heck better be worth it.

That's why I love Resourceful Mommy's recent post: "The End of Blogging Conferences?"

Someone a few years back invented the first blog conference and likewise the blog conference format, not realizing, of course, that the format would be repeated over and over and over. ..."

She goes on to highlight what makes a typical blogging conference and why it needs to change. Plus you simply MUST check out the photo she includes in the post. I am still laughing! I feel her post is spot on and definitely worth a read. And if you're not following Resourceful Mommy on Twitter, follow her here: @ResourcefulMom. In my opinion she's one of THE women to follow.

What's your take on blogging conferences, and even conferences in general? High quantity but low quality? Do you have a favorite conference you make sure to attend?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Did the Griswolds move in?

Hear that? That's the sound of the power meter spinning like it's never spun before!

This home is just a few blocks away and we love driving by it whenever we're out and about. Nothing like a gazillion colorful lights and animated decorations to put you in the holiday spirit! --Emily

Monday, December 7, 2009

RMMB: "Let's hear it for the boys"

Anyone else finding the holidays are well under way, which means something going on every night plus twice as many errands during the day? I really want to enjoy the season rather than survive the season so you may find my posts a bit more random than usual. Someone's got to play Santa around here!

Because it's Monday and because there's snow on the ground I'm feeling the need to snuggle a bit more with my little ones today, so today's post is what I consider a cheater post: the mention of a post I've written somewhere else. But that's all you're going to get today. If you have an issue with it you can take it up with the little elves running amuck in the house. Over on Rocky Mountain Moms Blog you'll find my latest post:

Wherever you find girls, you find drama. I learned this for myself in elementary school when I pretended to not be friends with one girl so another girl wouldn't get mad at me. My girls are learning this now. I believe it was the second grade when one daughter was invited to a New Year's Eve party only to be told she was there because another girl couldn't make it. ... The point is, girls are a crazy, emotional, nutty bunch no matter the age. I've heard about drama in kindergarten but it seems to hit critical mass during the pre-teen, teen and college years. That's a good 12 to 15 years of glares, gossip and grudges. My solution? Steer clear of girls and make friends with boys. {click here to read the full post}

Anyone else dealing with the drama? Head on over to Rocky Mountain Moms Blog to read the full post and share your thoughts on the subject. Happy Monday! --Emily

Friday, December 4, 2009

Speaking of something yummy...

I pulled this off the Avon website.

No, I'm not asking Santa for Patrick Dempsey for Christmas but I do think he's extremely yummy and so I'm deeming this post totally appropriate for food for thought friday. If you feel differently then you need to watch Can't Buy Me Love a few hundred more times... --Emily

Recipe wrap-up

Like many of you whenever I come across a great blog post or tempting recipe or wonderful online resource, I add it to my browser's bookmarks (in its appropriate folder, of course). Because Friday has typically been food for thought friday around here I have more than my fair share of food-related bookmarks in that folder. I'm starting to crumble under the weight of them all so today I thought I'd simply choose ten, which you can click on and browse at your leisure.

Sure, it's the lazy way to do things but with my holiday schedule--and new website's layout itching to be designed--it's all I've got. Next week you might be lucky enough to find ten more. (I collect online bookmarks like my daughter collects stray insects for pets.) By the way, I am still anxious to post those laundry tips and the photo of Mr. Maytag Repairman and hope to do so on Monday!

Do you have any bookmarked recipes or food-related links you'd like to share? I'd love to add more to the list!

Image by Muffet, shared via Flickr.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tune in tomorrow...or maybe Friday

Today I spent far too much time online doing some Christmas shopping (and personal shopping) and now I have heaps of work to do before I can lay my head to rest tonight, so instead of a super deep, super thoughtful post I think I'll leave you with this timely quote:

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." ~Bo Derek

Tune in tomorrow (or with how my week is going so far, sometime in the next few days) for what might actually be a life-changing post, at least when it comes to laundry. Thanks to a service visit by my Maytag repair man (Merry Christmas to me...) I learned a few new facts about doing laundry. I will try to remember all the tidbits he threw at me just in case you haven't heard them before. And yes, I even snapped a pic of Mr. Maytag Repair Man! --Emily

Wordless Wednesday: Biting the hand that feeds you

"I know he followed you home but the answer is still no. In fact, it's 'snowball's chance' no!"

My girls had the chance to visit the Utah Museum of Natural History as part of a family review day. Can you tell they had a wonderful time? You can read more about what they had to say--I can guarantee you'll smile if not emit a chuckle--over on You'll find the Preview here and the Sassies' (and my family's) take on it here.

The group also visited the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and had lunch catered by Red Butte Cafe so check out those reviews on over the next couple weeks! --Emily