Friday, March 29, 2013

Delicious fruit dip! {Pin a week 13/52}

This isn't exactly a healthy snack, but it sure is delicious and easy! :) Original recipe here

It doesn't get much easier than this. Just mix one 8oz package of softened cream cheeese, one 7oz container marshmallow creme, a pinch of nutmeg, and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon together and dip your choice of fruit in it. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Escalante Epicness

Last weekend we went on a fun backpacking trip in Escalante National Monument with some friends and YSA peeps. This is the second time Dallin and I been here together; we went two years ago with the same YSA group. It was a lot more fun this time, probably because being married is fabulous... and single life? Well, it's good, not great. In my humble opinion. :)


This trip was awesome. We started out with Spooky and Peek-a-boo canyons. Lots of fun, much easier than most canyons we do, and non-technical (meaning no rappels) which is nice sometimes. Plus, they were absolutely, amazingly, incredibly beautiful. Check this out!

(Pictures by Dallin)

Limbo time! There were cool arches everywhere in Peek-a-boo!

Spooky Canyon was very, very narrow in parts. I'm pretty slim (although marriage is trying to change that...) but even I couldn't make it through without turning sideways sometimes. 

I wish you could tell how squished I am in the above picture... and this wasn't even the most narrow part!

I like to pretend I am beastly sometimes. ;)

After we played here for a while, we headed over to Coyote Gulch, the main part of our trip. We hiked in here, camped, hiked several miles the next day, camped, and then hiked out and headed home.

There's an amazing view from the place where we drop in. This picture doesn't come close to doing it justice.

We hiked out to this point near our campsite to see this sweet arch. So beautiful.

I love this man. I'm also happy he has trimmed his 'stache since we took this picture. ;)

Just after the sunrise the next morning. It was so beautiful we had to go back to this point one last time before heading up Coyote Gulch.

See the heart? ;)

There were lots of pretty waterfalls, and we took pictures at every one. Just be thankful I am not posting all of them. ;)

There were also lots of arches! This one was unique because the creek is still running through it and we had to walk through it to continue up the canyon. 

My favorite waterfall!

We camped right underneath this arch. This has to be the coolest place I've ever camped, both figuratively and literally. It was COLD, especially in the morning. Brrrr!

The canyon was really undercut right here. Cool, no?

Time for the steep climb out. It was quite the ordeal getting everyone up! It's pretty steep and there is a lot of exposure. Kind of intimidating. This part made me feel really proud of myself because the last time we did this hike I was pretty inexperienced and this scared me, a LOT. I needed a lot of help getting out. This time, however, I pretty much did it all by myself, and I did it with my pack on. BAM.

Hiking back to the truck! 

It was a great trip, but it sure felt good to get home, take a hot shower, and sleep in a warm, sand-free bed. 

P.S. This has nothing to do with Escalante, but this makes me happy.


Be a little kinder to someone today! This world needs it. :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Five things you might not know about me

Because I love lists. And I've got writer's block. ;)

1. I love thrift stores. Some of my favorite articles of clothing, furniture, decorations, etc are from thrift stores. Oh, the things you can find! I might have to do a post on some of the best and worst things I've found. 

2. I have a secret dream of being a fashion designer. When I was little, I would draw pictures of dresses I wanted to make. One of the reasons I want to improve my sewing abilities is so I can create some of the visions I have in my head. I need lots of practice before then. :)

3. My favorite food of all time is Dallin's pizza margherita. It is perfection. Homemade crust with a little rosemary mixed in, sauce made from fresh tomatoes, and basil leaves on top... Mmmm. I think the fact that we pick the rosemary and basil from our own plants makes it even better. ;) I might have to post the recipe one of these days. It's making me hungry thinking about it so let's move on, shall we? 

Picture taken last summer. Looks amazing, right? And the pizza looks good too. ;)

4. I'm a little overly sensitive about the sounds some people make when they eat. I can handle a little bit of noise, but anything else is enough to make me nauseated. When dear Mother Nature is on her monthly rounds it is 10x worse, so I'm kind of worried that I will be eating in seclusion when I'm pregnant. ;)

5. I hate shaving. No really, I do. I've made a goal to do it once a week. We'll see how that goes. ;) When I was in Russia, I decided I wouldn't shave for the 4 months I spent there, and I stuck with that decision... even though towards the end even I was getting a little grossed out. (And that's saying something.)

Monday, March 25, 2013

So I jumped on the Bloglovin' bandwagon

And so far I really like it. If you haven't followed me yet, click on the button on sidebar on the right!

Stay tuned for a post about our backpacking adventures this weekend! :) Here's a sneak peek.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Favorite iPhone Apps: Photo Edition

(Read about my "can't-live-without" iPhone apps here)

One of my favorite things about my iPhone is having a decent camera on me all the time. Like I've said before, I am an avid picture-taker. It's a little bit of an obsession, to be honest. 

Here's the photo apps I use the most. 

I already talked about this one in my last iPhone review post, but this is the app I usually use to share my pictures as well as do some light editing with the filters. Way better than Facebook, although I do share quite a few pictures on there as well. 
(Click here to follow me on Instagram)

Easy to use
Some of the filters are fun
Good privacy settings

It cuts pictures into squares. Sometimes that works, but if it doesn't I use Whitagram (keep reading to learn more about it)
Some of the filters really diminish the quality of your picture. It's a minor flaw that doesn't bother me too much

This app allows you to use landscape and portrait photos on Instagram if you don't want it cropped into a square. I use it a lot.

Free with no ads!
Simple and easy

None that I have found

This app is great for making collages for Instagram. There's some cute borders and such too, although I usually leave mine pretty simple. 

Lots of layouts and ways to customize 

It only makes square collages since it is meant to be used with Instagram
If you choose to just open it in Instagram instead of saving it to your camera roll, it won't save a copy of your collage on your phone. Just remember to take the 3 seconds to save it and you'll be good. :)


This is the best app I have found for editing pictures, and I've tried a few! The filters it comes with aren't really my thing, but the general touch-up actions when it comes to lighting and coloring are really good and don't diminish the quality of your pictures. I really like this one.

Doesn't leave my pictures grainy or cloudy
Once you figure out how it works (which doesn't take too long), it is really simple to use.

It cost $5... that's definitely the most I've paid for an app. I think it is worth it.

I don't use this one as often, but I still thought it was worth mentioning. There's some nice filters I like to use, and I especially like that there are several options when it comes to B&W filters. 

It's nice to have some different filters than the ones on Instagram
Multiple B&W filter options

There's a few extra steps to upload your picture that I think are unnecessary. First world problems... I know. ;)

Well, there you have it. If you have any suggestions of photo apps for me to try out, let me know! :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Ugly Duckling

Just a little Monday pick-me-up.

This is from what might be my favorite talk of all time, a CES Fireside by President Uchtdorf titled "The Reflection in the Water". I still remember watching it at the institute the night it was given about 3 1/2  years ago. I was going through some personal challenges at that time, and the things President Uchtdorf taught were exactly what I needed to hear. 


"You are something divine—more beautiful and glorious than you can possibly imagine. This knowledge changes everything. It changes your present. It can change your future. And it can change the world."
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Crockpot pesto ranch chicken {Pin a week 12/52}

Whoever invented the crockpot was a genius. I need to use ours more. For this week's pin, I tried out this recipe for pesto ranch chicken. 

Click here for original recipe
It really doesn't get much more simple than this, and it turned out really good! I did change it up a bit though. Instead of thighs, I used breasts. I also added some potatoes and chopped onion, and next time I think I'll throw in some freshly minced garlic. 

P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day from your favorite ginger couple! ;)

Dallin busted out his green suit coat for church today... because how often does St. Patty's Day fall on Sunday? ;)

We like each other.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Twist and flip updo {Pin a Week 11/52}

I really got lucky in the hair department. For some reason, the gods blessed me with straight, smooth, red hair that is extraordinarily low maintenance. Unfortunately, I am hair stupid. Rarely do I do anything with my hair besides leaving it down or pulling it into a ponytail or messy bun. And when I say "messy bun" I don't mean the cute kind... I mean the it-looks-like-I-recently-walked-through-a-car-wash messy bun. I've been trying to remedy this. It's not going to so well. So far the only thing I've mastered is the sock bun, but I'm usually too lazy even for this, especially when I'm teaching early-morning seminary and would much rather spend an extra 5 minutes in bed than do something with my hairs.

Anyway. Today I spent longer than I care to admit trying to replicate this hair-do. Looks easy, right? 

Well, I failed. Maybe my hair is too long, or maybe I just need a lot more practice, or maybe a little of both. Either way, here's what happened to me. :) 

(P.S. Excuse the bad pictures... I found that it is rather difficult to take pictures of the back of one's head. Plus, I was just using my iPhone instead of busting out my real camera.)

Take one... Nailed it! Hahaha! :)

When we're rich someday we're getting a new shower. It's happening.

Take two. A little better.

Take three. This is a good as it was going to get today. A little messier than I intended. 

Don't let the flower fool you... it is mostly to cover up some loops of hair I could not straighten out. :)

Bottom line: It ended up cute enough to go out in public, but I didn't like it enough to even leave it in. Also, it didn't feel very secure and since I'm not good at holding still that wouldn't work for me.

Well, there you have it. Anyone have any tips? I need help!

P.S Although this whole thing was kind of a failure, it did help me discover that I've got some blonde streaks at the nape of my neck, and I mean BLONDE. This picture doesn't do it justice. Who knew?? I wonder how long it has been that way... haha! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Warm weather, good books, and daffodils

I've been having some serious beach withdrawal lately. 

I used to go camp on the coast near San Diego every year (at least) with my family and I haven't been back for a few years. I miss it. It also doesn't help that it seems like everyone I know and their dog is at the beach right now for Spring Break and they like to rub it in with pictures of golden sunsets, foamy waves, and sandy toes. Ya'll are killing me.

Thankfully, the weather here has pretty much been perfection all week and that helps a lot. It actually feels like Spring! When we got 6 inches of snow last weekend I seriously wondered if it would ever get warm again, and the very next day it was 25 degrees warmer, the sun was shining, and my warmth-loving heart was happy. Very happy indeed.

Besides thoroughly enjoying the fact that I get to sleep in and will only be wearing Sunday clothes on Sundays  for the next couple weeks (seminary teacher problems...), here's what I've been doing to celebrate Spring Break:

1. Reading, particularly outside in this glorious weather. I even found some green grass! 

2. Tree gazing (also known as embracing my inner hippie). You can't see them in this picture, but this tree is sprinkled with new little green leaves. Makes me happy. :)

3. Bike riding on the cute beach cruiser Dallin gave me for my birthday last year. I would prefer to be riding in on the boardwalk, but you know... a quick trip to pick up some "essentials" is a close second. :)

Nothing says Spring quite like some cheery daffodils. Don't you agree? :) Spring flowers are my favorite. 

4. Playing with my new camera and trying out different ways to edit my pictures

This doesn't exactly show off my mad camera skillz (that was sarcasm) but we're cute and I had to include it. ;)
5. Gettin' my crafty on (or at least attempting to do so)

Making an insert for my purse so I can use it as a camera bag... so far so good! I've also been experimenting with different ways to make bows/headbands but I don't have a picture of that. 

I have a secret dream of becoming a graphic designer... I need lots of practice. ;) Oh, and some rather expensive software that I will probably never have... :P I'm not a huge fan of how these two turned out, but it is still fun to play around and I did print off the first one to frame.

6. A whole lot of wearing sweats and doing nothing. 

And boy, does it feel good.