Saturday, March 31, 2012

Welcome my first guest blogger ~ Esther! :)

Hi everyone! My name is Esther, and I’m so excited to be guest-posting on Tiffany’s blog. A little over a month ago I saw several bloggers who had participated in a Foodie Pen Pal exchange coordinated by Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean. I am a big fan of food and also a big fan of meeting new people (even if it’s a virtual introduction), so I thought it would be fun to sign up.

A few weeks later we were assigned pen pals, and I got my first email from Tiffany! She is awesome, and I’m so happy that we were connected. If you’re reading this post then you probably already know her, either in real life or as a blog reader, so I don’t have to tell you how sweet she is. She asked me lots of questions about what I enjoy eating and my favorite/least favorite foods. I told her that my favorite food was peanut butter, that I love to cook, especially spicy foods. She asked if I like tea - and indeed, I have a bit of a thing of teas (I won’t admit to how much space by tea collection takes up on my counter). Being a friendly person, we also got to chatting about non-food things. Turns out we both like to run and love going to farmers’ markets! (P.S. Tiffany, I’m not sure we discussed this but I also knit :) )

Finally, Tiffany’s package arrived in the mail. Even though I had gotten home late that night from a choir concert and was really tired, I didn’t wait to open it. Inside were a whole plethora of goodies! I was perhaps a little over eager to break into the stash, because I forgot to take a picture of the assembled treats. In the box were: a box of jasmine tea, a jar of honey (a “must” for any tea drinker, or at least the non-vegan ones), a jar of creamy peanut butter, a jar of hot chili oil, a bag of True North almond-pecan-cashew clusters, and the big winner...a bag of chocolate and peanut butter dipped pretzels. Basically a box of everything I love.

I had never tried the True North clusters before, but they. are. awesome. They were naturally sweetened without being overly sweet, you got bits of each kind of nut in each bite. They also proved to be an excellent post-run snack (or pre-run). I planned to take the bags of clusters and dipped pretzels up on the train with me to New York, but my fiance and I were not able to resist opening the bags up. Although some did in fact make it onto the train in New York, they were all devoured shortly thereafter. Both items will be making an appearance on my shopping list in the near future.

Several days after receiving the box I had to work late at the office. My fiance and I both really enjoy cooking and we were planning to have thai red tofu curry leftovers for dinner. When I got home starving, he had used some of the chili oil to make spicy bok choy as a side dish. And knowing that I would be writing a post to share with Tiffany, even remembered to take pictures! :) I LOVE spicy foods, and the chili oil paired perfectly with the curry flavor in the tofu and the sesame oil with the bok choy. I can’t wait to find more recipes to experiment with the chili oil.

I drink tea almost every night before going to bed, so the box was opened the night after I received the pen pal package. Jasmine is one of my favorites, because it’s already got a sweet essence to it (also it reminds me of Chinese food restaurants). Just a little honey makes it perfect, and the jar of honey came with me to work for my afternoon tea breaks.

This morning, I woke up to find that our previously half-full jar of creamy peanut butter was now empty, due to a delicious peanut soup that my fiance made for dinner. Luckily, I had the new jar at the ready, so I didn’t have to go without my morning peanut butter and banana fix.

In short, my first foodie pen pal exchange was a huge success! The only thing that Tiffany and I were disappointed about was that since it’s still relatively early in the growing season here in D.C. and in Utah, there wasn’t much in the way of locally produced treats to be found. So, we decided that we’ll continue our foodie friendship and send each other more treats as we come across them. I can’t wait to try out some Utah-an (Utah-ian?) foods and to get to know Tiffany better!

*****Esther~ Thank You so much for this fun post and all of your kind words! It has been great getting to know you! So glad to know you knit as well.
I sure do love meeting such amazing people in blog land!
Happy Weekend everyone!*****

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Color Fest 2012 ~
They hold this festival every year but this was the first time I went~ My friends and I had so much fun!
...Before we entered the festival...


After...with an attempt at wet wiping our faces...

Monday, March 26, 2012

So true...

Now if I could only remember this in the middle of the night!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Zucchini Bread...

It is kind of embarrassing how easy some things really are ~ And that I never knew how easy it could be.
This was my first attempt and zucchini bread and it was so easy that I decided to make 2 different recipes.
I'm happy to say that they both turned out great.
My friend Rachelle gave me this recipe~
Zucchini Bread
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (I use applesauce)
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour ( i do 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white)
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Blend all ingredients together. Baked in greased loaf tin at 350 degrees for 1 hr or until done.
(Makes 2 loaves)
And that made this bread...

And the other recipe I found here, from the one and only Martha.
And it made this bread...
(Makes 1 loaf)

I had my friends try them to see which one they liked better, but it was pretty much a tie. Both were good!
Do you have have great recipes to share? Have you tried something that is so simple that you wonder why you have never tried it before?
I would love more ideas!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Foodie penpal swap!

Last month I found out about a foodie penpal swap from Betsy that Lindsay hosts each month.
I thought it would be fun to try it out this month.
Jen sent me a package ~ (she does not have a blog to link to).
I love all of the fun things she sent to me! Everything was so perfect!
Thank you Jen~
(What Jen sent to me)~

I sent a package to Esther ~ she has been so fun to get to know.
(What I sent to Esther)~

I really loved this swap and will sign up again!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I have entered....

The world of cycling and I am so excited! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Try again...

I went skiing today with my sister and her family. It was the first time I have been skiing in 8 years. I have never been good at it but haven't really thought much of it. And I have never even skied with my sister.
Today was incredible in so many ways. Although my first few runs were snow plowing the entire way, I improved after each run. It made me feel great to be able to ski better than I ever had. It meant even more that I was able to ski with my sister and her wonderful family. They were so patient and encouraging~ I am truly so lucky to have such an amazing family!
It was a beautiful Spring day~ Here are a few cell phone pictures~ I did not take too many since I was more focused on not crashing :)

If you may not be good at something, it never hurts to try again! I am so glad I went. I cannot wait to go again soon!

Friday, March 9, 2012

11 things ~

Ruthy tagged me in a post... 11 things...
Here are the rules...
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them.

11 random things ~
~I wish I would have gone to college.
~I love to dance around my house.
~I want to just take off and travel the world but I think that I need to have a job and health insurance (most importantly health insurance) :) (Oh and I could not really afford to do that anyways, but I WANT TO!)
~I don't sleep in past 6:30 in the morning, but sometimes I wish I could.
~I love taking naps.
~I am embarrassed that it took me so long to try cooking because I thought it would be really hard.
~I want to buy a road bike this year, but I am also scared of getting hit by cars.
~I don't have kids and probably wont, but I love kids and I LOVE being an aunt~
~I use a lot of exclamation points!!! And smiley faces :)
~I turn into a pumpkin at about 10:00 pm.
~I wish I could write something or do something that would make a difference to someone, somehow.

Ruthies questions
1. What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?
Equal rights~ especially in this state.
2. Which activities make you lose track of time?
Reading, because you get lost in the story.
3. Would you rather be good looking or rich? Why?
How about rich so that I could travel!
4. What was your favorite book as a child and why?
"Hope for the Flowers" because my mom took me to see the play and bought me the book.
5. Have you ever been on tv and if you have when?
6. Would you rather see a movie at the theater or at home and why do you have that preference?
Both! I love movies in theaters! But a movie in the coziness of home is always awesome too.
7. What is a dream you have or something you’d like to accomplish in your life?
I would like to write or do something that makes a difference to people. I want to take the last few years of my life with the loss of my beautiful mother and help someone, or do something that matters~really matters!
8. If you were a monkey what type of monkey would you be and what would your day be like?
Howler or Spider Monkeys! I would live in Tikal in Guatemala and enjoy the jungle and watch the funny tourists!
9. What would life be like if you had no computers or internet?
Probably more productive ~ You would be forced to reach out to people in person more and send letters in the mail and meet face to face with your family and friends.
10. What’s your favorite true story that you enjoy sharing with others?
Hmmm... let me think about this one....
11. If you could go back and change something about your high school days what would it be? I would have worked harder at school and applied to college and just gone! Not cared so much about the random teenage things and really focused on school.

I tag Amanda, leslie, Andy, Kelly Ann, Charity, Janet

My 11 questions to them are...
1~ What is your favorite childhood memory?
2~ What song is playing in your car right now?
3~ Do you sing out loud when you drive?
4~ What is the one place on earth you would travel if money was no object?
5~ What is your favorite book?
6~ What is your favorite movie?
7~ What seems more scary to do ~ Scuba Dive or Sky Dive?
8~ What is your favorite thing to do with your spare time?
9~ What are you passionate about?
10~What are you afraid of?
11~Are you Happy?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Are you addicted too?

Follow me on pinterest :)
I am sure that I am one of the last people to venture into the land of pinterest but in the last month since I signed up I am just loving it.
There is so much to find and share!
Beautiful photographs~
Creative projects~

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Inspiration from pinterest....

I love all of the amazing things you can find on pinterest ! I am addicted ~
Some of my favorite things so far are the amazing inspirational quotes that come across just when you need them!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Today my beautiful grandmother on my dads side is celebrating her 101st birthday!
She looks the same as she did when I was a child. She is so amazing!
I cannot imagine what she has seen and experienced in 101 years of life!
Happy Birthday Grandma!
The photos are taken with my phone a few weeks ago when I went to see her. She was making cross stitched panels for a quilt!


Sunday, March 4, 2012


"Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.[1][2] The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt'." ~Wikipedia

I have been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately...
I have been wondering why it is so much harder to forgive yourself than it is to forgive someone else. I wonder if this is true for everyone...
Have you been able to forgive yourself for things?
How do you move forward from this ~
I always love the thoughts and ideas that all of you share with me here~
Would love your input!