Friday, December 31, 2010

The Skinny.

We're stranded.

Well, not really. We arrived safe and sound in Vancouver, got our keys to our apartment, and then discovered that our truck STILL hadn't left Salt Lake City. 


We had spent 2 days driving through snow storms and treacherous conditions in our small 2-wheel-drive vehicle, only to have some weak-sauce professional driver decide to stay in Salt Lake City!? 
The irony is that because the truck waited, as opposed to leaving when we left, it probably had a harder time of it--the storm in the blue mountains only got worse. The morning after we passed through it was completely closed off. It made for very empty roads for us, since there was no one else getting through west-bound I-84.

Okay--to be fair, I don't know the whole story. But considering they were originally estimating our truck would get to Vancouver on Thursday, I feel like my frustration is justified. The lady on the phone told Kirby that they would do all in their power to get our trailer to us this weekend.

Our truck is in Portland now. It arrived late this afternoon. Great, we thought. We'll be able to unload tomorrow morning. Just a day later than we'd planned. Not too bad. The panic of not having anything to wear to church on Sunday subsided. 

Kirby called the company to try and arrange a specific time for the truck to be dropped off tomorrow. And apparently it can't be dropped off until Monday? Oh wait, maybe they can get it to us on Sunday? Call on Sunday and they'll see what they can do. 

...resume panic about Sunday...

Admittedly, it's not as bad as it could be. We could be staying in a hotel, dishing out a good chunk of money for four nights hoping and wondering if we'd actually get the trailer on Monday. Instead, we are at the in-laws.

Have I mentioned that Kirby starts work on Monday? We're going to have to do all the unpacking AFTER his first day of work, most likely. Another hard thing is that Kirby's family were all prepared to help us unload the truck this weekend--but it's unclear who will be able to help once Monday comes.

One good thing has come from the delay. I have had nothing to do besides read the entire first book of the Hunger Games series. Loved it. Although there were times I wanted to slap Katniss upside the head. Clueless.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It Really IS Christmas!

I love me a good smoothie. A lot. 

While we were in Florida we discovered a smoothie shop called Tropical Smoothie Cafe.


I mean Jamba Juice is good, but there isn't really a comparison to TSC.

Lemme 'splain. 

My favorite flavor is called Bahama Mama
First off--AWESOME NAME. 
It has strawberries, pineapple, white chocolate, and coconut. Oh. My. Heavens. It is divine.

Oh. And then there's the Cranberry Truffle. It's not on their normal menu, but you can pretty much get it year round. I believe it has cranberries, strawberries, and white chocolate. Probably some other stuff, too. I like to throw in some coconut every now and again. It is also sent straight from heaven. 

What does this have to do with Christmas, you may be asking yourself?

There is a Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Portland!

I googled "smoothie vancouver, wa" to see what kind of options I was going to have when we got there and the TSC website was the first on the list! There aren't any other locations nearby--just the one in Portland--only 10 miles away from our apartment!!! It is an east coast chain, so I was shocked and giddy to find out I no longer have to mourn the loss of TSC.

Merry Christmas to ME!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vancouver--It's Coming.

One week from right now we will be getting the keys to our new apartment in Vancouver, WA. 

Happy and sad feelings.

What I will miss:
Zumba with Adriane. 
I don't know if Zumba will be the same without Tanya, either.
All the wonderful friends I've made through my photography.
(But no snow can be nice, too, depending on the season.)
Free rent.
(Hopefully we'll still be able to watch football games.)
The sun.
My primary kids.
The young women in my ward.
Our huge pantry. Where will be put our food storage!?
Did I mention my FAMILY!?

What I'm Looking Forward To:
The adventure.
A much younger ward.
No state income tax.
No sales tax across the border in Portland.
Starting fresh with my photography. New Pricing. New clients. New locations.
Milder summers and milder winters.
Fresh start with the design of our home. 
I liked what I did to our place in Orem, but a lot of my tastes have changed. Plus it's always fun to try something different. :)
A salaried job.
Cheaper health insurance.
All the greenery.
Getting to know Kirby's family better.
No preconceived notions about who we are, or what we're like.
Half of the people in our ward right now knew me and my family when I was born and growing up. 
So a lot of them think they know me really well, even though they haven't actually spoken to me in 10+ years...

Our apartment is at least half packed already. We successfully sold both of our office desks. The corner of the kitchen where Kirby's desk used to be is now piled high with boxes. Food storage is packed. Emily's room is packed. All our books are packed. Journals, photo albums, board games--all packed. I'm typing from a makeshift desk in the corner. All the photos and artwork is off the walls. Curtains are down. It looks so sterile in here. 

But I am so thankful right now to have a husband who loves to pack. Seriously. I have zero motivation to do anything productive, and yet half our house is packed brilliantly. I'm sure I'll be much more helpful when it comes time to unpack. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chicken Marsala

I LOVE Chicken Marsala. If we go out to eat somewhere and it's on the menu, there is a very good chance I'll be ordering it for dinner. So when I found this recipe, I had to give it a shot.

Chicken Marsala

¼ c. all-purpose flour for coating
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves—pounded ¼ inch thick
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 cup sliced mushrooms
¾ cup Marsala wine
Heavy cream

1.     In shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.
2.     In large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Make sure to cook it on both sides!
3.     Remove chicken from pan.
4.     Cook mushrooms and add heavy cream as desired to make the sauce.
5.     Reduce the sauce (add the wine, and then let it simmer for a while so all the alcohol cooks off.)
6.     Add the chicken to the sauce, and serve. (Can be served over pasta.)

When I made this, I thought the Marsala cream sauce would have enough flavor to serve as a pasta sauce as well, so I served the chicken with some penne. Turns out the sauce was delicious over the seasoned chicken, but was kind of bland over plain pasta. I would recommend maybe some garlic and basil pasta? Something with some good flavor already, that will be enhanced by the Marsala cream sauce.  I'll post an update to this once I find a fabulous pasta option.

White Chicken Chili

PERFECT for those cold, wet, and dreary winter days! Kirby loves this stuff. He ate it for three or four meals in a row--out of choice, not out of lack of options. :) And then once he ran out, he wanted me to make it again. 

White Chicken Chili


3 cans (15½ oz) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups cooked chicken (shredded is best... 
I'm thinking about using canned chicken next time I make it. It would save a lot of prep time!)
1 jar (15 oz) alfredo sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1-2 cans diced green chiles
1½ cups frozen corn
1 cup shredded Monterey jack
(At Walmart, the shredded Great Value cheese is actually cheaper than block. But they didn't have plain monterey jack in the shredded variety, 
so I just used a blend. It was Monterey jack and cheddar, I think?)
1 cup shredded pepper jack 
(I have to buy block and shred my own... Couldn't find it pre-shredded.)
1 cup sour cream
1 small sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


1.     In a skillet, sauté chopped pepper, onions, and garlic in a tablespoon of oil until tender.
2.     In a 5-6 quart slow cooker add all of your ingredients and stir until combined. Let cook on low for 3-4 hours or until heated through.

**Top with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips!

Pretty darn easy. It can take some time if you need to cook the chicken beforehand. The lady I got this recipe from cooks a bunch of chicken up at the same time, shreds it all, then freezes it. Once we have a bigger freezer I'm planning to do this, as well. Shredded chicken can be used in so many things!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We would be doing this all day long if Emily had her way.

p.s. I'm thinking about going private. If I do, and you'd like an invite, leave me a comment with the email I should send one to! :)

Sometimes life is just more fun in the nude...

She likes to "drink" everything. Plastic... air... lotion.
Side note: No, I am not announcing a pregnancy with the test box on the floor. I stashed the extra test in our bottom drawer with hotel samples and other random junk. (Which is also where Emily got the hotel lotion bottles from.) This drawer is raided on a daily basis while I'm doing my hair, and it's contents are strewn about the entire room. Once Emily tried to put the extra prego test in the toilet. I think she's trying to tell me something...

Oh. And she really doesn't like my boots.

I wish I made these. Truly I do. Kirby some some girls making these on BYU campus on his way to the testing center. They were so impressive he had me go find them when I came to pick him up.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just Call Me TRUBBLE.

Love it.

Saw these shirts while shopping at Harmons. 

I'm totally going to make my own. How darling would "iPood" be on a newborn's onesie? 
You know... When the pooping is all too often catastrophic? 


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vancouver, WA

 A week ago today, Kirby and I went to the temple with nLight in mind. That's the company located in Vancouver, WA. We were heavily leaning towards them, and felt really good about it overall. We did sealings and then asked to be taken to the Celestial room. We sat down, and before I'd even started my prayer an incredible feeling of peace and joy flooded through my body. It was SO powerful. I said a prayer anyways, even though I knew I'd already received an answer, and got hit with another wave of emotion. Kirby had a similar experience.

Vancouver, here we come.

I couldn't actually find any full-city pictures of Vancouver. Only pictures of people's homes that are (or were) on the market. Oh yeah. And a bunch of a skate park. Cool.

But here's Portland. We'll be just across the Willamette river from it, and will spend lots of time there, I'm sure. It will be really nice living close to Oregon, because we can make big purchases there and not have to pay sales tax. :)

We'll be packing the moving van on the 28th of this month, and we are planning to take off as soon as that's done. We'll be making the trip in 2 days. 

And then our new life begins. 


This is Why I Coupon

It makes building food storage a possibility for those on a tight budget.
Yes, I know we are lucky to have space to put all this. I just hope we'll have room for it all when we move!

After I took the picture of our pantry, I realized there was a another cupboard in our home bursting at the seams thanks to coupons.
The bathroom cupboard!

Toothpaste :: free
Kleenex with lotion and aloe :: .69 each
Olay soap and body washes :: free
Floss :: free
Toothbrushes :: free
Chapstick :: .50 each
ThermaCare neck thingy :: 1.00
Stayfree pads :: 1.00
Renuzits :: .69 each
Tide :: free
Johnson's baby items :: can't remember, but somewhere around 1.00?
Deoderants :: 1.35 (?)

PHEW! I just hope I can do as well when I'm on my own once we move!


It's a good thing Adriane is on top of it. She already posted her savings, so I can end your suspense. :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Geeking Out Over Coupons.

So. Here's the deal, guys. I used to think clipping coupons was lame-sauce because really--how much of a difference can saving 25 cents on a normally $3 item make?

Ummmm... a lot.

Especially when Smith's is having their double coupon event. But it's even better than doubling. Every single coupon that is less than $1 is rounded up to $1.

Every. Single. One.

Oh baby, oh baby. 

In my haste to put my groceries away, I neglected to preserve my haul for time and all.... time. 
But my sister didn't. My load was similar in size to hers. Check it out HERE.

And holy goodness--watching a receipt that size print out of the machine is the best feeling. And saving an average of 77% on everything I bought comes in at a close second. :)

Plus--you can't really beat FREE Krusteaz cookie mix. Their snickerdoodle mix is DIVINE.

I'm not going to say how much I spent, or saved--just yet. I would hate to spoil Adriane's guessing game. So I will bide my time. 

In the meantime, though (cause I know you'll all be checking google reader every 5 minutes to see if I've told you about my incredible savings), you can check out the website we use to find these screaming awesome deals.

Feeling overwhelmed? Think it would be totally awesome but sounds too confusing? It's not. And here's an even awesome-er thing--Amy (THE savvy shopper) will be doing a FREEEE seminar in Provo to show just how easy it is to save money and stock up your pantries. 

Pure genius. She is lots of fun and is very easy to understand. And she gives out prizes. :)
If you are in the area and are even remotely interested in this--GO. I was reluctant because I didn't want to be an epic failure at something that seemed too awesome to be possible. But I got all fired up and love being organized with my coupon, not to mention saving hundreds of dollars!

Oh yeah. And it's all 100% FREE.
Besides the monthly subscription to the Daily Herald (or Deseret News, if you live in SLC).

©2009 DAV.I.SON. | by TNB