Thursday, April 17, 2014


I came across this scripture earlier this week and it has been on my mind a lot. We are asked to do so little and yet offered so much. How grateful I am for a kind and loving Heavenly Father who wants nothing more than our happiness and for us to return to Him. As a mother, I have a small idea of what that feels like. I hope that throughout my life, I am able to be a better daughter to Him and to constantly keep in mind what is truly important. Keeping my heart and mind focused on my Heavenly Father and Savior is what will bring me true and complete happiness.

Therefore treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love.
Doctrine and Covenants 6:20

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Olive Garden Salad

I don't consider myself a food snob. Usually if it's good, I will eat it without much complaint or comparing. However, with this salad, I am a total food snob! Recently, my husband and I went to The Olive Garden and ordered their salad which has always been my favorite thing there. After taking a couple of bites we both looked at each other and agreed that my version of their salad is much better!! Their salad is not as fresh as it used to be-lets be honest, it's from a bag. Kinda disappointing. 
I got this recipe years ago from a cooking class that I attended and it has been on of my very favorites ever since. So if you are ever craving Olive Garden salad, make this instead!
Olive Garden Copycat Salad
1 head iceburg lettuce
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced
1 can chopped olives, drained
Grated parmesan cheese, 1 cup or a handful or two

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 small red onion, or to taste
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

For the dressing, combine ingredients in a blender and mix on high until smooth. Cover and chill at least an hour before serving.
For the salad, cut lettuce into desired bite size pieces. Combine all salad ingredients in  large bowl and serve with the dressing on the side.

Serves 6-8

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Easter Countdown

I love holiday countdowns and have been doing them for years with my kids. We usually do the 2 weeks before the holiday and each day we do a different craft or make a fun treat or do some kind of activity for whatever holiday is upon us. With Easter quickly approaching, I have been preparing our countdown for this year. This first picture with the eggs on the door is our "Fun" countdown. These activities have nothing to do with anything religious. Lots of Easter egg and Easter Bunny fun. I'll share those ideas another time. 
 Now that my kids are getting older, I was feeling like we needed to not just focus on the fun this year, but really spend time focusing on the Savior and the real meaning behind Easter. I came up with this idea less than a week ago and thankfully was able to pull it together quickly. I still have things I will improve on throughout the year to really get it how I want it in the future, but for now, this will have to do.
 I made this countdown with supplies I had on hand (mostly). I had to go get some paper and the picture of Christ, but everything else I had. I used a 16x20 frame and put the paper and picture of Christ behind the glass. Then I reassembled the frame and glued magnets onto the glass and the eggs (that way the eggs can come off to open.) I used sticker numbers on the eggs. Easy peasy! It took me like 30 minutes to make. 
Inside of each egg will be a different story or event from the life of Christ, leading up to His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. This is what I need to work on compiling in a more presentable fashion before I can share it with all of you, but if you want to steal my idea, there are a million resources to use. 
Each day we will learn about a different event or story from the Saviors life, sing a song to go along with that topic, include pictures from each event, and watch one of the Bible Videos from (Those are amazing learning and teaching tools. If you haven't checked those out, I would strongly encourage you to do so.)
For example: Day 13 is Jesus As a Child
                                             Read: Story from The Friend (the article shares a few stories of when Jesus was a child)
Song: Jesus Once Was a Little Child
Bible Video: Christ is presented at the Temple
                      Young Jesus teaches at the temple

Some stories that we will be reading I just summarized myself so the kids would understand them a little bit better. But I also found many from The Friend magazine. I just searched "Stories of Jesus" and found several that I was able to print out. I printed and gathered everything for each day (stories, pictures, songs and what videos to watch on what days ) and made an Easter binder. That way it's all in one place and organized. 

To give you an idea of what I did, here is what is inside each egg-
Day 14: Jesus Christ is born
Day 13: Jesus as a child
Day 12: Jesus Chooses His Disciples
Day 11: Jesus is baptized
 Day 10: Jesus Works Miracles
Day 9: Jesus heals the sick
Day 8: Palm Sunday-Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem
Day 7: Cleansing the Temple
Day 6: Parables and Teachings-Sermon on the Mount
Day 5: Rest in Bethany
Day 4: The Last Supper, Prayer in Gethsemane, Betrayal and Trial
Day 3: Crucifixion and Burial
Day 2: Jewish Sabbath
Day 1: Easter Sunday and Resurrection of Christ

 I am so excited to start next week! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I tried typing this with a two year old crawling all over me, so I'm sure something doesn't make sense.