Friday, April 25, 2008

Chew on This!

Did you ladies know that the TWISTY-TIES on the BREAD from grocery stores are different COLORS for a reason??? It lets you know what DAY OF THE WEEK the bread was made. So, obviously...if you're up on the color code you can always pick the FRESHEST bread!

Here it goes...

Monday = Blue

Tuesday = Green

Wednesday = NO DELIVERY

Thursday = Red

Friday = White

Saturday = Yellow

Basically, if you go shopping on Friday you would not want to buy bread with a yellow twisty-tie because it would already be nearly a week old.

A great way to remember the colors is that they are in ALPHABETICAL order (just remember Monday through Saturday and no delivery on Wednesday).

So, we're off to Hawaii for the week...it's really sad. I would MUCH rather be updating my blog, doing dishes, changing diapers, and running carpool. But, ya do what ya have to do...
See ya soon!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Katie! I Miss You!

This post is dedicated to my best friend, Katie...who's up in heaven. I miss her so much, all the time. I never like to get to personal on blogs since lots of random people come across them, but when I spoke at Katie's funeral, 8 years ago, I completely bombed it. I was so flustered, confused, sad, etc. that I didn't say ANYTHING that I really wanted to. I regret that SO much. So, do me a favor, and let me tell you a few great things about my friend...cause it's her birthday and I love her.
The most important lesson I learned from Katie was what a TRUE friend really is and how hard they are to come by. When I first moved to Utah my sophmore year, I didn't know a soul...and obviously was slightly uncomfortable. I went to my first church activity in a new ward and everyone was about to play a game. I was worried cause everyone was supposed to team up and I didn't know anyone. Katie...who didn't know me at all...came and linked her arm through mine and yelled to everyone, "She's with me! I get the new girl!" That meant SOOOO much to me. Wouldn't it be great if we could all be so welcoming to others? I know it's hard for me. I always feel shy when it comes to introducing myself to new people...but I try.
Within a few weeks we were attached at the hip! We would have sleep overs night after night. Our favorite thing was to go to Taco Bell at midnight and have contests who could eat the most (I think my record was 9 tacos). We loved to climb out my window, sit on the roof, look at the stars, and talk about boys. We shared clothes, vacationed together, laughed until we peed and did a lot of nothing. We got engaged right around the same time and were supposed to be married within a couple months of each other. It was so fun. But obviously, there were other things in store for her. Things that I can't wait to hear about!
(Our trip to my grandma's house in Southern Utah)
I always knew Katie was a true friend because she was ALWAYS there for me. If I called her and said I felt like crap, she would say, "Don't say anymore, I'll be right over". I loved that. She was truly sad if I was sad. She was truly happy if I was happy. I always knew that she was on my side. She brought me Flinstone Push-Up Pops when I got my wisdom teeth out, she wrote me super kind letters for my birthdays, and picked me up in a convertible that she "test drove" just because she knew I always wanted to ride down a steep hill, really fast, in a convertible. What a friend! A thoughtful, compassionate, real friend.
She really knew me inside and out. She could accurately predict my feelings and responses to situations before I even had to tell her. She would always stand up for me, never gossip about me, and I trusted her 100%.
I want everyone to understand, SO BAD, that a really true, best friend is such a blessing to have. Because of the lessons she taught me and the lessons that losing her has taught me, I strive (note the word "strive) to always be a real friend to my friends. She was such an example to me.

(A poem she wrote in Creative Writing Class before I left for college.)


I wish so bad that I was always checking her blog, sharing hubby and children stories with her, double dating, watching nerdy reality shows together, traveling, shopping, and bumming around. I miss her! Can't you tell? Always have, always will. I can't wait to see her again! Happy Birthday Katie!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cancer Cautions and Urban Legends...From the Source

There has been lots of emails going around, claiming to be information from John Hopkins, regarding water (plastic) bottles being a cancer causing agent. Here's what the real John Hopkins University has to say...


Question: What do you make of this recent email warning that claims dioxins can be released by freezing water in plastic bottles?

Answer: No. This is an urban legend. There are no dioxins in plastics. In addition, freezing actually works against the release of chemicals. Chemicals do not diffuse as readily in cold temperatures, which would limit chemical release if there were dioxins in plastic, and we don’t think there are.

Question: So it’s okay for people to drink out of plastic water bottles?

Answer: First, people should be more concerned about the quality of the water they are drinking rather than the container it’s coming from. Many people do not feel comfortable drinking tap water, so they buy bottled water instead. The truth is that city water is much more highly regulated and monitored for quality. Bottled water is not. It can legally contain many things we would not tolerate in municipal drinking water.

Question: Water bottles aside, are plastics products for daily use a potential concern? What are phthalates?

Answer: Having said this, there is another group of chemicals, called phthalates. Phthalates are sometimes added to plastics to make them flexible and less brittle, although they are not typically found in plastics used for water bottles sold in the United States. Phthalates are environmental contaminants that can exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine disruptors in humans and animals. If you heat up plastics, you could increase the leaching of phthalates from the containers into water and food.


Question: What about cooking with plastics?

Answer: In general, whenever you heat something you increase the likelihood of pulling chemicals out. Chemicals can be released from plastic packaging materials like the kinds used in some microwave meals. Some drinking straws say on the label “not for hot beverages.” Most people think the warning is because someone might be burned. If you put that straw into a boiling cup of hot coffee, you basically have a hot water extraction going on, where the chemicals in the straw are being extracted into your nice cup of coffee. We use the same process in the lab to extract chemicals from materials we want to analyze.
If you are cooking with plastics or using plastic utensils, the best thing to do is to follow the directions and only use plastics that are specifically meant for cooking. Inert containers are best, for example heat-resistant glass, ceramics and good old stainless steel.


Question: Is there anything else you want to add?


Answer: Don’t be afraid of drinking water. It is very important to drink adequate amounts of water and, by the way that’s in addition to all the coffee, beer and other diuretics we love to consume. Unless you are drinking really bad water, you are more likely to suffer from the adverse effects of dehydration than from the minuscule amounts of chemical contaminants present in your water supply. Relatively speaking, the risk from exposure to microbial contaminants is much greater than that from chemicals.
And here’s one more uncomfortable fact. Each of us already carries a certain body burden of dioxins regardless of how and what we eat. If you look hard enough, you’ll find traces of dioxins in pretty much every place on earth. Paracelsus the famous medieval alchemist, used to put it straight and simple: it’s the dose that makes the poison.--Tim Parsons

Thank you, John Hopkins for setting me straight! Now, I'm feeling rather disturbed wondering what kinds of nastiness is lurking in the bottled water I am drinking right now...seeing as how it is LESS regulated. Gross.

Needless to say, I was hoping they would address the BPA deal about it being a toxin in baby bottles and sippy-cups. Either way, to play it safe...you don't have to order expensive, foreign, glass or stainless steel sippy cups for your kids to avoid BPA. The following sippy cups do not have BPA in them...




(Born Free's baby bottles are safe as well)

For a great list of BPA-FREE bottles and sippy-cups, visit...


In a seperate article on their site, they did address using saran wrap as a cover in the microwave. They essentially said not to FREAK-OUT, but sure...you might as well use plain white paper towels to cover food instead...since it's super simple to make the switch.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I'm Dying To Know...(the question of the week)...




What is the WEIRDEST thing that you eat???

It seems that everyone has something they like to eat that other people think is totally weird...

My mom melts sliced cheese on glazed donuts. Sick.

My grandpa eats mayo and banana sandwiches.

Dan totally grosses me out by eating a candy bar with pop. Ugh. I can't stand the thought of mixing sweet with sweet.

So, I disturb Dan by eating pork rinds all the time. (Pig skin that has been fried...) I grew up on them and they have like 0 carbs. They are a great replacement for chips! I feed them to my kids but I'll tell them what they are when they get a little older. (I think there's a lot worse things to eat than that!) My daddy raised me to eat boiled peanuts, grits, black-eyed peas, okra, and all sorts of Southern weirdness. It's my favorite food-style!

Let's hear it!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

General Conference

“Vision without effort is daydreaming, effort without vision is drudgery; but vision, coupled with effort, will obtain the prize.”
- President Thomas S. Monson -
I LOVE when General Conference comes around! I love staying in my jammies, cuddling up with the family, and listening to some inspiring leaders remind and teach me how to live a better life.
Needless to say, sometimes the kids get antsy and irritable...so, my Dad emailed me a really cool activity packet to help some of the tots get involved. If you still only have babies...save it for later. I think it's a great one! It has this one activity where the kids color the ties to match the tie that each speaker wears...and there is tons more. Thanks Dad!
Happy Conference!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hawaiian Haystacks - A Dinner for the Tired Mom

I don't know about you but...I'm pretty much too tired to cook...ALL THE TIME.
Dan was making fun of me the other day because I put a frozen meal I had opened back in the freezer because I saw that it had more than 2 steps. If there's more to it than cut an air vent in the plastic and put in the microwave...forget it. That's how NOT in the mood I am.

I make Dan take me out to eat both Friday and Saturday, and we try to eat at our parents on Sunday! Needless to say, I cook roughly twice a week. So, one of my meals of choice is HAWAIIAN HAYSTACKS. I've always loved this stuff and when it's made the super easy way it still very comparable to making it a really complicated way. I even had this at my wedding dinner! (made the complicated way - thanks, Mom.)

Here's how you make it... feeds about 6 people.

Dice and cook some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I cut up about 4 big ones...but, it looks like less because I perform surgery on each one, removing veins, arteries, strange colors, and all flubber.


When the chicken is done, pour in about 2 FAMILY SIZE cans of Cream of Chicken soup.


Then put in about one of those cans full of milk. Stir it all together to make it nice and gravy-like.


While the gravy is heating, get your rice going. Use your rice-cooker or do the instant thing, like me.


To make the gravy even better...saltier and chickenier...add some chicken granules until the taste is just right!

That's pretty much it. So, you start with a pile of rice on your plate, then a pile of gravy on top, then a pile of toppings. It's so easy. Dan and I are rather picky...so the only toppings we want are grated cheese, olives, Chow Mein noodles, and pineapple. However, there is a wide variety of toppings you can use...peas, beans, mandarin oranges, carrots, celery, coconut, almonds, etc.

Sorry, but my final result picture of Hawaiian Haystacks turned out blurry and I was too embarressed to post it. So, you'll just have to imagine how lovely and enticing this would look once put together!