Friday, July 29, 2011

One Upon a Weekend {Link Party} #3



Buttons are up for grabs below!

Here are last week's top 3 hits, congratulations, and thanks for linking!!! 








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Thursday, July 28, 2011

this kind of amazed me!

It may appear as though I am out of artsy things to blog about, hence I post this random you tube clip of a Korean girl dancing. I assure you two things- she is amazing, and I have not run out of things to blog about. haha. I've been busy this week working on our girls bedroom, and I can't wait until its finished! It will be done by this weekend! Sadly, I am beginning to feel that we will never be settled in to our house. We've been here for a whole year now. Our upstairs basically feels like it did the day we moved in. (I guess its not really that bad). But I haven't hung one thing on the walls, and our closets are mayhem. I'm pretty much out of excuses for things not being all tidied up, which is why this week I decided I'd better get busy. Stay tuned, next week will be much more exciting on this little blog!

Ah, this makes me miss my dancing days. Not that I was ever this good. But still, doesn't it make you want to dance (while no one is watching)?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

kevins pics

You might remember the "Vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota" series I did in June. I had fun with it. I was going to wrap it all up with these funny pictures, but I kind of forgot, so here they are now. 

So my little sister has a friend from Utah, who made a recent trip to South Dakota. I asked him if I could use a few of the pictures he posted on facebook because they were cracking me up. He is hilarious! I loved his perspective of random things he found in the Black Hills. (This might only be funny if you've ever been there).


I used to be a tour guide at these caves. Too bad he didn't get to go visit!




Storybook Island. I painted that Mary Had a Little Lamb house when I was in high school for a service project.
I hate these signs they have posted all over SD. They are so depressing.
This is where I grew up. I miss those open skies!

This is at the airport security. Seems pretty serious, right? haha

Monday, July 25, 2011

alfredo sauce from scratch

Back in college, I had the opportunity to teach Basic Food Prep 110. I learned so much from taking and then teaching that class! I was clueless to terms such as roux, slurry, denatured proteins, calibration, and marbling, or how to shape a yeast bread, how to prevent my quick breads from funneling, the science behind leavening agents, de-veining shrimp, etc before this class.

I want to share one of my favorite, super easy recipes from the cookbook we used. It's a "low-fat" alfredo sauce from scratch, and is so much better than anything you'd ever buy in a jar. Any time I make it for dinner guests, they always want the recipe, so now, here you go!


Alfredo Sauce from scratch
(recipe from Janet Stocks, my cooking mentor at BYU)

2 TB butter
2 TB flour
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (I like to use white pepper if I have it on hand)
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese

Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour. Cook 1 minute (this is called a roux, which is how the sauce thickens). Whisk in milk, cream, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. (This can boil over very quickly if you're not watching it, so be careful! I have done this so many times). Remove from heat, stir in cheese, and heat through. Do not let it boil.

Roasted Veggies
Cut your favorite veggies (I like a combination of broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, potatoes, onions, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes) into bite sized pieces and layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle in olive oil. Sprinkle some seasonings (I use Lipton onion soup mix) and parmesan cheese on top. Roast in the oven at 425 for about 30 minutes.

Serve with fettuccine pasta, grilled chicken, and your favorite bread!

Linked here!

Friday, July 22, 2011

{Once Upon a Weekend} Link Party #2


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Last Week's Features
Thanks to all who played last week! I was really excited at how many people participated!
Here were last week's top 5 hits! Congrats!















  















































Be sure to display a button on your blog!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange

One of my philosophies in life is to
do one random thing a day.
So when I stumbled across the handmade gift exchange on Craftoholics Anonymous, I did what any craftoholic would do, and signed up.
I'm glad I did, it was really fun! 
Here's the link to see all the gifts that were sent and received. 

Here's what I got:
I don't know the gal who made these for me, but I wish I did! Seems like my kind of girl! How nice are all these things she made for me? (flower pin, flower ring, and zipper bag). I felt so special opening the beautiful package she sent to me! She even customized all the gifts with my favorite color, turquoise! Thank you so much Stacy!!!

Here's what I sent:
A crocheted necklace. I feel so silly, my gift wasn't quite as grand as hers. But, I did have fun learning how to crochet! A while back my cute friend taught be some basic crocheting. I just bought myself come crochet hooks, and I'm hoping to get a little better at it this winter!

Monday, July 18, 2011

hungarian goulash and a video

When my husband sets his mind to something, he does it. Last night, he was craving Hungarian food, so he made it. He lived in Hungary for 2 years, serving a mission for our church. It's such a fun part of his life, he loved his mission. Ten years later, he's still fluent in Hungarian, and making traditional Hungarian food to keep the influence of the special culture alive in our home. I have several really great recipes that I'd like to share in the near future. 

For starters, Hungarian Goulash. I don't really know how to make this look appetizing in a picture, but believe me, when made the right way, it's amazing! Every family makes it different, so here's my husband's version. Any Hungarians who read this blog (szia!) please feel free to leave any variations in the comments!

Hungarian Goulash (Gulyasleves)

2 lbs stew meat or beef chuck
1 tsp salt
2 onions
2 TB shortening
2 TB Hungarian paprika
2 bay leaves
1 quart water
4 potatoes, washed and diced
3 parsnips (or carrots), washed and diced
1/4 tsp pepper
*optional: tomaotes and peppers (we don't use these in our goulash but some people do)

Cut beef into 1 inch squares, and add salt. Chop onions and saute in shortening. Add beef and paprika. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour on low heat. Add water, potatoes, parsnips. You could peel your vegetables, but I like to scrub mine really well and leave the skins on. To me it seems more authentic. Cover and simmer until vegetables are done. You might want to add more water. It's supposed to be more of a soup, (but I like it thick). 
Serve with egg dumplings.

Egg Dumplings (Nokedli)
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients well. Let stand for a few minutes. Drop by small spoonful into goulash, or run through a hand held cheese grater and let dumplings fall into goulash. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
(You can also drop these into a pot of boiling water, then drain them and serve goulash on top of nokedli).

Here's a picture of what I mean with the grater. Just put a spoonful of batter on the cheese grater, and squish it through into the boiling water or soup.

This is really good served with this easy no-fail french bread recipe!

Jó étvágyat!
And just for fun....
I about died laughing when I saw this video that his mission president showed at a mission reunion just after he returned home. This was all filmed in Budapest on their "prep day."
(he's gonna be embarrassed that i'm posting this)!



Linked up here!

me and my facebook issues

Does anybody care? NO! Of course not. I'm such a dork. Please ignore me sometimes, mmmm k?

So last week I made a new facebook page for Family Ever After. The reason was because when I created the original page, it wasn't connected to my personal facebook account, making it very frustrating to sign in to different accounts. What I didn't realize before I froze my previous Page and made a new one, was that all I had to do was invite myself to be an administrator of my original Page, and it would show up on my personal account. The reason I don't like the new account is because I'm having issues connecting it to the application that automatically updates whenever I publish a blog post.

Aaaanyway, I'm going back to my original Facebook Page now that I've got it all sorted out. I'm sorry for stringing many of you along.

Here is the link to my once and for all FACEBOOK PAGE, so if you'd still like to follow along on facebook, updates will be published here.

You knew I'd do this, right?

ps- If you recently followed the new page, you don't need to do anything- I already deleted it, so you won't have two FamilyEverAfter pages in your Likes and Interests.

such a dork... and just wasted an hour of my life...

Friday, July 15, 2011

{Once Upon a Weekend} Link Party #1

Hi!!!
Welcome to my first ever LINK PARTY!
A link party is a place for anyone, including you, to display the projects/crafts/recipes/ideas you've been working on. I have found so many amazing ideas and blogs by perusing Link Parties on other blogs. I am so excited to now host my own. I hope that if you've been working on something, you'll feel free to share it!

I have no required rules, but if you'd like to participate with an entry or just as a reader, there are a few things I would love for you to do!
-Follow my blog!
-Like my new facebook page
-Add my button somewhere on your blog (perhaps at the end of your entry post or to your big list of link parties)
-Include my party to your list of Friday or Weekend link parties

This is a great way to get hits to your own blog and to share your awesome ideas that you've been working so hard on! Thanks for participating!

Once Upon a Weekend Link Party will be held weekly starting every Friday morning, and ending the following Thursday at midnight. I will feature the entries with the most views at the beginning of the party.

In order to submit your project, just scroll to the bottom of the picture showcase, and click on the blue button that says "Add Yours." Then fill out the form with your project name, URL that directs to your exact post or picture, and your email. (you won't receive emails from me or inlinkz.com). The next step is to choose your picture thumbnail. Then you're done! Your entry should show up in a few seconds.

Linking up to these other link parties!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Memories {Digi-Scrap Software} Giveaway!!!!!!

Have you heard of this company yet?


 I'm hosting a giveaway for a digi-scrap software program, and I am so excited,
that my head just might pop off!!!

Do you love to digital scrapbook? Are you just starting to get in to it? Do you wish there was someone who would teach you how? Do you just want a few awesome templates to play around with? Did you know you can do much more with digital scrapbook software than just scrapbooking? Oh yes you can... there's invitations, announcements, calendars, photo books, cards, website headers, pretty much whatever you can think of!

I am not a digital scrapbooker {yet}, but I've been wanting to learn forever. I was sooo excited when they contacted me and let me try their product for free. I sat in a hotel all weekend, (see here), and played around with the software. Before I tried it, digi scrapbooking totally intimidated me and I didn't even know where to start. Now, I feel like its something I can do, and I am really excited to get started organizing all my families pictures. I love this company because everything I need is in one spot.... plenty of great scrapbook kits, a blog with video tutorials, helpful customer service, even a bunch of cute free kits!  I don't know how they found my blog, but I am so glad they did because they also found a loyal customer.

Everybody should enter to win, even if you don't think digital scrapbooking is your thing! There is so much to learn and play around with if you have this software, and you don't need any other expensive programs to run it. It's so user friendly, I couldn't believe it!

So here's a little something I created. I didn't have a lot of pictures to work with at the hotel, so I pulled some pictures of my husband's violin off his laptop. I know there's so much more I can do, and now I have all the resources I need to improve my digi skills! Yeah!!!


Now, on to the fun part...
 
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN ENTER TO WIN: 
a digital scrapbooking software called
(A $39.97 value)


HERE'S HOW: 
{required}
leave ONE comment on this blog saying you did the following THREE...
 example: Congradulations Kit, I follow, youraddress at email dot com

*visit their website (here) and tell me the name of your favorite kit

*follow this blog (click the FOLLOW button in the left sidebar)

*include your email/contact info


MORE WAYS TO ENTER:
{leave a separate comment for each of these actions}

*follow the MyMemories Blog

*follow MyMemories on Twitter


*blog about this giveaway

*update your facebook status about this giveaway

*tweet about this giveaway



OTHER INFO:

*You can have up to 9 entries!

*Giveaway ends Thursday, July 21 at midnight MST.

*Winner will be chosen by random.org.

*(Sorry, only open to US citizens).

*Winner will be announced on the Family Ever After Facebook Page!



WHAT IF I DON'T WIN?
You're in luck!

*MyMemories offered my readers a $10 discount on MyMemoriesSuitev2. (you'd pay $29.97).

*Purchase here


*Enter this code: STMMMS6050

*Expires 7/22/2011


A great big huge THANK YOU to MyMemories for providing such an awesome giveaway! 
ps- My Memories allowed to me try out their software for free so I could have a change to review it.I fell in love with it all on my own, nobody told me what to think or say. I recommend this software to anyone!




Tuesday, July 12, 2011

when you're bored at a hotel....

JUMP!!!







photos taken with our Nikon wireless remote. we love it!

i know we're a bit immature... we were stuck in a hotel for 2 days... we didn't break anything, promise!

Monday, July 11, 2011

the story of a strawberry

they planted you. 
they grew you. 
we picked you. 
we washed you. 
we admired you. 
we even photographed you.
then we squished you.
we cut you.
we ate you.
we enjoyed you.








the end.

tips: i used this pectin and recipe for my freezer jam. i also threw in a handful of raspberries to each batch. it gives off a wonderful flavor! instead of mashing by hand, i put all my berries into the blender because i don't like chunky jam :)



ps- giveaway winner of the tutu from kadydid designs was announced on my facebook page!

{Linked to these parties: www.linksiheart.blogspot.com }

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mommy by Day, Crafter By Night

Last night I told you about my friend who brought my family a "just because" dinner. It was so thoughtful, and so greatly appreciated. And, so. delicious. (pineapple and chicken skewers, grilled corn on the cob and baked potatoes)! 

My friend Ashley is one of the sweetest and most talented people I know, which is why I'd like to introduce her new craft blog to you. Be sure to scroll down and check out the guitar she re-vamped for her husband, it rocks! :)



ps- The tutu giveaway from Kadydid Designs ends tomorrow night! Be sure to enter for a chance to win!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

friendship

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words." 

Just as things have started getting really crazy with my husband's job, I can feel so many blessings from heaven reaching down to touch my life. I can't stop thinking about how grateful I am for those blessings, especially in the form of friendships. I keep thinking back on today and the wonderful friends who touched my life, then I reflect on yesterday, the day before, a week ago, two weeks ago, a year ago, years and years ago. There are so many people who have shared their friendship with me, and at this very moment, I am so grateful. I really hope I am a friend back.

Today, I got to spend the most wonderful afternoon with the wife of one of my husband's co-workers. Later I went to teach my first clogging class, and the only person to show up just happened to be a former college friend who I danced with on the folk dance team. We sat on a park bench and just chatted. What a treat. Meanwhile, my amazing neighbor, and example to me in so many ways, a comfort to have just next door, babysat my children. Then, a dear friend brought by the most delicious "just because" dinner. This is just one day! Not to mention the impromptu park invitation, dinner date, and babysitting offer I received just in the last week. 

Little thoughts can make such a difference.
I am filled to the brim with gratitude for such amazing people in this world.  

Just for kicks, I'm posting one of my favorite country songs ever. The video is a teeny bit cheesy, but the message is so great!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

clogging schtuff

A few weeks ago, I was approached by the local summer free lunch program to see if I'd do a clogging performance for the kids. I offered to do a little workshop instead because I don't have a group here, and I really didn't feel like dancing all alone. So I did a little demo, and then taught a few steps like the outhouse and walk the dog, which they thought were funny. It was a great opportunity for some community service, something I feel I don't do enough of!