Friday, October 9, 2015

Loaded Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

This is the sandwich I never stop craving. It was never in my life until I was 20 and first discovered it. I was a student at BYU-H and it was the middle of summer.  Everyday, I would walk through the Seasider, which was a small cafe/ice-cream station, and smell fresh bread popping right out of the oven. It was this thick, light, hearty whole wheat bread that just melted in your mouth in texture.

Right along the ice-cream booth, there was a small area where turkey cranberry sandwiches were made daily around noon. They were an extra cost and I never bothered to order one since I was on a room/board plan at the school and I got all meals in cafeteria. But I really wanted one and I would dream of what they tasted like.  I would watch the employees make these sandwiches like a work of art they were. It was a cream cheese/cranberry mixture slathered thickly on one slice of bread, then piles of deli turkey, sliced tomato, a bed of rommaine letturce, and a pile of sprouts. The sandwhich was so thick a toothpick would hold it together.

I continued to dream of this sandwich and walk by that station daily.  One fall evening, I walked myself down to the cafeteria to eat. I expected the usual that was all you could eat cafeteria food. Lots of rice, a salad bar, and a rotation of different items I never seemed to impressed with. Then I spotted this sandwich. Was I really seeing it.  Behind the glass window, cafeteria students were asking me if they could make me one. I asked if it was included in the cafeteria food and they said it was. It was as many of these as you wanted, unlimited goodness. Oh my, I think my heart sank.

Every Monday Wednesday and Friday, this sandwich was in the cafeteria at dinner. I think I started attending dinner earlier for that sandwich. And you better believe I went back many times.

If I have any good memories of my year in Hawaii, It was this sandwich.  Since cranberry sauce is typically is cheaper this time of year, I stock up on cans or I make my own. I love my cranberry sauce with just the right of tart and sweetness.  Do me a favor and try this sandwich, you might just crave it all the time.


Two slices of thick bread of your choice
Romainne lettuce
Cranberry Sauce (either a dollop of cream cheese or mayo mixed with about 1/4 c. sauce
Turkey meat (ham is good too)
Tomato slices
(avocado slices, optional)

Spread the sauce on one side on bread and then add your meat, lettuce, tomato and sprouts. Cut in half and serve with a crisp pickle and chips. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ginger Hair & DoTerra Event

 Look at how big this boy is getting. I just can't seem to get enough of him and that gorgeous ginger fur.
 Speaking of ginger, I just became one.  I usually only go this dynamic of auburn in the fall because of my love of olive green and red together.  A fall color match made in heaven.

 Tonight was awesome Do Terra Event hosted by Kami. She made pumpkin spice foot shrubs for everyone there. It is basically the Do Terra oils of clove, cinnamon and a few more. There are so many benefits and uses of essential oils from Do Terra.  I dilute peppermint and lavender with water in a spray bottle and spray my pillow before bed, while doing oga, or as an air mister.  Mixing oils with sugar and oil also makes the best exfoliater.
                         These foot massages were heavenly! You can also diffuse oils with water in a diffuser to purify the air. So many uses,  so many benefits. I now can't live without these oils.  Go to Do to learn more.
 And no party is complete without key lime easy bars.  Yum! To try a delicious treat you'll love, go to

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sunny Lately, Halloween Traditions & A Breakfast Timesaver

Sunny is always changing, developing, and surprising me. However, lately, two new developments have really kept me on my toes. The first one is not nearly as terrifying,  but more aggravating.  She has learned to strip her clothes completely off. She loves showing anyone she can take anything off and as soon as she is dressed,  off it goes. It is a repeated cycle and reasoning with her is not easy. My only solution: Onsies.  She hasn't figured those out yet.

The second development is she is starting to hide. And when she hides, she hides good. Our house is not that big and the fact it took me close to two minutes to find her tonight, really freaked me out. And worse, she fell asleep while hiding behind our thick gingham curtains. A place I would never think to look. Yesterday, she hid behind my dresser. When you can't find your own child, it's the most terrifying feeling ever. I just wasn't prepared for this hide n seek game to start this early.

Anyway, I can't believe October is here. The air has that crisp I love. This has to be the best time of year. One tradition we have for this month is watching scary/suspense movies.  I love suspense,  but I always feel so guilty watching them. However, this month,  I feel I can justify my scary movie fix.

Another tradition is we make one fall treat once a week with either apples, ginger, or pumpkin.  Of course, incorporating all things pumpkin and ginger is not hard. Lately, I have been using my crockpot and this overnight crockpot oatmeal is such a time saver for busy or lazy mornings. All you do is throw everything in a crockpot the night before and there you have it. Easy.

2 c. Steel cut oats ( can not use regular oatmeal,  will not work. You can find steel cut oats next to oatmeal section)
8 c. Water
1/4 c. Brown sugar
1-2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ginger
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Salt
Throw it all into a crockpot 8 hours before you wake up.
In morning, top with more brown sugar, diced bacon, chopped pecans, and dried or fresh fruit variations. Add milk and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Decisions Decisions

Last week we headed up to Layton to visit Rodney's family and to make a decision about what we wanted for our townhome. We bought our townhome in Oct. of 2012 when I was 8 weeks pregnant with Sunny. As we watched it built, we were able to choose our paint and carpet choice. This townhome has a lot of sentimental memories because it was the home we brought Sunny home from the hospital as well as the place she reached her first year milestones.

Renting it out was a tough decision. Rodney wanted to sell it right away, but I felt this could be good investment property and talked him into renting.  Selecting who would live there was the toughest decision.We had no problem getting people interested. Within 24 hours of posting an ad for it, we got numerous phone calls. It came down to several people wanting it and us making the decision of who. Because Layton is next to the Hill Air Force Base, there is a huge population of military, especially who always need rentals.

This month, the decision came down to either putting it up for sale or renting it out again. We wanted to meet with our realtor before we made that decision, so after hours of cleaning our townhome top to bottom, we met with the realtor the next day. That night, Rodney and I discussed the pro's and con's of selling. I kept asking him, "What would Trump or other top investors recommend."  Our decision came down to, we would continue to rent for as long as needed until we felt comfortable selling. One lesson I have learned with our first year as landlords, is to always go with your gut instinct and pray very hard about who you select as your tenants.  I will spare all negative details of situations we were in with our tenants, but I do know one thing, we have learned and we are extra cautious.
 Our trip was short and I was extra bummed that I missed some conference, besides listening on radio here and there. On Saturday, when most work was done towards the end of the day, we took Grandma Patti out to Olive Garden for her babysitting services she gave. I must mention that it is never easy to take Sunny out to eat, but Olive Garden is the top place for kids. First, they supply crayons and coloring books, a take home reusable cup with lid/straw and every table comes with a mini laptop with different apps for kids to play games. Sunny was so entertained that we were able to eat and relax. There never ending soup is only 6.00 and have some of the best soups.
 After Olive Garden, Rodney went to Priesthood with his brothers. Grandma Patti spoiled us with some pretty good cooking.

 Sunny may or may not remember playing at this playground her first 15 months of life. I remember walking her down to the playground and and watching her tiny body play. Now she seems gigantic. How she has grown!
Sunday, we headed over to the townhome one more time to finish up last touches and detailing. We totaled over 18 hours of labor on our townhome.  We didn't get on the road until about 3:30 and Sunny would not fall asleep until Cedar. It took us 6 hours to get home due to weather, lots of stops due to bored Sunny drenching her sippy cup all over her, and food fuel. On the way up, Sunny was a dream child. She was so content and slept an hour and was different then I imagined, but I guess I can't expect the same coming home.

I hope everyone felt extra spiritually uplifted during our Prophets and Apostle's talks and felt peace and comfort within. I know I always do, and I know each Apostle is given direct revelation from God as to what to speak of.  I always love treating General Conference as a special day, much like Easter and Christmas, because it is. One thing we missed due to traveling, is cinnamon rolls right out of the oven, conference morning. Good thing we are making up for it this Saturday so we can re-watch what me missed.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Quick Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

This pizza crust is the perfect solution to  nights like this because it doesn't need to rise. It is nights of exhaustion from toddler who still doesn't take naps. Who is very very active and still goes to bed between 9:00-9:30 pm because of no nap. Sigh.

  We are home, finally! I am still in recovery  mode from our trip up north and a decision we had to make once up there (I will include details on that tomorrow). Tonight, I ventured out to store to get basic necessities like milk and cheese. While I was gone,  Rodney made the pizza crust and had me promise to hurry back. I am notorious for taking forever when I go to the store, but most of that is calculated into never being able to find my car when I walk out of large parking lots like Walmart or Costco (car beeper doesn't work), and usually wasting way too much time walking the parking lot looking for said car.  Once I even had an employee help me. Seriously? Tonight that didn't happen. Instead I ran into my sister who I hadn't seen in ages. We talked for at least 40 minutes in the isle.
     Poor Rodney, waiting yet again. BUT, it was a productive trip because I saw my sis and I got a new watch battery so I can know the time.
     Once I got home, the pizza was assembled and ready for oven. Quick and easy. Even Sunny ate some, now that is shocking!

1 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dry active yeast
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour ( we prefer King Arthur flour).

Make sure that the water is about 115 degrees and dissolve the sugar into the water and add the yeast. I usually stir it in to mix it better. In a mixing bowl put in the flour and salt. Start with the least amount of flour and add more if necessary after the water is added. When the yeast is all foamy add the oil to the water and then pour it into the flour. Kneed till moderately stiff then let it rest for 10 minutes. Roll it out to the desired shape. Either add the toppings if you want a thinner crust or let it rise to your desired height. Add sauce and toppings and bake at 400 for 20 - 24 minutes.

Easy Granola

 This is the best recipe for granola. We go through tons of cereal and this is such a cheaper alternative.  We buy oatmeal in bulk and use it in more then cereal. Cookies, breads, apple crisp, etc. This cranola has the perfect amount of texture and crunch. It makes the perfect yogurt topping or late night snack with milk.

1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbs Oil
5 Cups Oats
Flavors, we love anise, almond or coconut extract. (optional)
Nuts (optional)
Fruit (optional)
Chocolate chips, opt.

Preheat the oven to 425.  Put the oats into a bowl.  On the stove warm up the water and the oil. Combine the sugar and salt with the water.  Let it heat up and get thick, but don't boil it.  If you want to add flavor extracts like almond or vanilla do it now.  Combine this with the oats in a bowl and mix together.  If you want to add dry flavors like cinnamon or peanut butter, this would be the time to add.  You can also add other things like nuts, dried fruit and so on at this stage.  Place the mixture onto a lightly greased baking sheet, or use a silicon mat :)  Bake in the oven for about 20 - 30 Minutes, stirring/checking every 10 minutes to ensure it isn't burning.  If you want it real crunchy like my husband does, another 10 - 15 minutes is all you need, but watch it so it doesn't burn.

Let it cool and enjoy.  Store it in airtight containers for future consumption.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Financial Advice For Those Over 18

As we get older, we grow in wisdom and experience. I have learned and made so many financial mistakes in my life, but I have learned from all of them. While I can't change the past for some of mistakes, I definitely can try to steer others on the right financial path. With an uncertain stock market in the near future, making financial decisions now while you are young is smart. I want Sunny to know a few things one day when she is raised.

First, I am a huge believer in having whole life insurance. Term insurance is great too, but whole life insurance is better because the primary advantages of whole life insurance are: Protection for life – It will not expire or go down in value. Level Premiums – The rate you pay for your policy will not ever increase. Cash Value – A portion of your premium builds cash value which can be borrowed against. So essentially, you are earning a lot of money for yourself which the longer you wait to cash it out, the better advantages (assuming you get a insurance plan at 18, highly recommended). The biggest downfall is it is pricey.

 Rodney and I both decided to get it almost 7 years ago. And getting it locked into a price is dependant on your age. My goal is to have it for Sunny when she turns 18. Her monthly payment will be much cheaper because of her age and the rate will be locked in. I realize the last thing an 18 year old wants to do is pay for something like this, so Rodney and I feel the importance of offering this to her on her 18th birthday and paying for it until she can afford to on her own. She will be earning money for her future one day, and is something I wish I could of taken opportunity of. Another word of advice for Sunny is to buy a home when she or her husband are ready and have a stable income. Purchasing a first home should not be taken lightly. Rodney and I bought are first home after we were married and we rushed it because we were under pressure. Huge mistake. I was never happy with the choice and regretted it later. Buying a home when the market is good and interest is low is the best time, and possibly being able to flip or flop a house for equity is always smart. I love older homes personally because they seem better built and have custom features that modern homes often lack. Buying a home and being able to build equity is crucial for home investing and making money. Another smart investment choice is choosing between a money market or CD. But each are different with how they earn interest. A money market account usually earns a variable interest rate and a CD comes with an interest rate that often does not vary over a term. So if earning a great annual percentage is your only concern, a CD might make more sense because in a money market vs. CD comparison, an individual will find long-term CDs give you the best APY. However, the drawback is there is a penalty for taking money from a CD if it hasn't reached it's life span, and there is no penalty for investing in a money market. And of course investing in a 401K which is offered with most jobs. When I was a teacher, I was able to have money put away for my retirement one day, however, since I have stopped teaching and don't know when I will return, I am not earning any points toward future retirement at this time. Last, having a rental property or more. Renting has it's benefits and disadvantages. But it's a great way to invest. Depending on how long you want to rent your home out for depends a lot on how much you are willing to invest in wear and tear on the property that comes from occupants. There are many books out there on how to invest in your future. Suzzie Orman (Financial Planner) and Donald Trump have some great tips in their books and offer suggestions as to where to start. The main purpose of this post is to one day guide Sunny to one day make proper financial decisions and learn how to budget her money wisely. There are so many other financial investment paths out there, and I don't plan to talk about anymore. My hope is to just emphasize how important it is to invest our money wisely and teach our children about the value of money. I plan to do a second post on how we budget in the next week or so. *, were sites that I got legitimate info from.


Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)