Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Treats

One of my favorite things about fall is yummy fall food...especially treats. One of my favorite sources for ideas is Our Best Bites. If you haven't been to this site yet, or seen the cookbook, you should definitely check it out. 

First I tried their Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. These beauties. 

(I stole this picture from their blog since I didn't take a picture of mine...and now I am giving them credit for it)

BUT...I didn't make muffins. I made a cake. I used the same ingredients and the same recipe, but I baked it for about 40 minutes. It was delicious...it just didn't photograph well. I highly recommend it though!

Next I tried some candy corn sugar cookies

Again...their picture.  

Now for mine. 

I took this picture before I added the sprinkles to the yellow part. But I did that too. For some reason this picture is really yellow...but I promise part of the cookies were white. 

I turned some of them into a treat for our primary kids. 


They were a big hit. 

Now...on to thinking about Christmas treats! I already have a lot of ideas. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Carson the "Projecter"

It has already been documented that I do a lot of "projecting" around our apartment. Recently, Carson has been getting in on the action. Thanks to his job at BYU he has access to all kinds of tools and welding materials, so his projects aren't the sewing, paper, or plant type like mine are. They are man projects. 

His latest - a weight rack. 

Remember a long time ago when I posted pictures of our apartment? And how I didn't show you most of our second bedroom because it was a mess? Well, part of the problem was a pile of free weights, gym bags, resistance bands, and an easy bar. Carson doesn't do well with piles. Or anything that isn't organized in general. So, he made his own weight rack to hold the free weights and bar. Everything else has a place underneath it - a perfect solution. 

Carson also put his new found engineering education to work as he designed the weight rack.

First he designed it all in CAD (computer aided design). 

Then CAD gave him this nice picture of it. 
Now all he had to do was make it look like this. 

I think he succeeded. 
What do you think? 

Much better than a pile of stuff.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween

I love decorating...and Carson loves Halloween. Put the two together and you have a fully Halloween decorated apartment (or at least main room). The only problem is that our decorating styles are completely different. Carson likes his Halloween decorations to be scary, and I like mine cute and happy (and mostly homemade). Putting the two of them together is...interesting. 

I'll show you.

My idea of decorating.

Carson's idea of decorating. (I find this guy super creepy...except for the fact that the position of his left hand makes it look like he doesn't know the answer to my question)

My idea.

Carson's idea.

Mine.

Carson's. 

Get the picture? So all together our apartment is just a mesh of styles. Something like this.

Carson's on the top and mine on the bottom.

Even though it totally doesn't go together, I like it. It makes me get into the mood of Halloween (a holiday I have never really liked to be honest). Now I can't wait for Christmas. Who knows what the two of us will be able to put together.

From the Bookshelf

I recently finished this book.

The biography of our church's prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. 

I really enjoyed this book. I loved reading stories from President Monson's childhood and learning about all of the work he has done for the church. I feel so much closer to him after reading this and so blessed to have him as the president of our church. I know that he was divinely chosen for this time and that he leads us through inspiration from God. 

If you haven't read this book yet I highly recommend it. 

Up next...


I know...totally not even in the same literary category.


BYU vs. Utah

I have said before that Carson and his brothers are huge BYU fans. So of course they had to do something epic for the first home game of the season. I'm not trying to bring up bad memories of the game, (it is still a touchy subject in our house) but the dedication (insanity?) of these boys needs to be documented. 

The event started with a tailgate party at Ryan and Jess's house. 

The girls.

After dinner the boys began painting themselves.

Carson and Collin making sure their hair was as white as possible.

After a while they needed some help.

What would these boys do without their wives? 

The finished product. Not creepy at all. Right?

Even though the game was a disappointment, their hard work (and our awesome seats) got them several appearances on ESPN that night.


Carson says it was a fun experience but doesn't know if he will ever do it again - especially because of the outcome (he is more than a little superstitious when it comes to football).

P.S. I thought this guy was awesome.

Can you see the Y with the cougar on top shaved into his head? Talk about dedication.




Monday, September 19, 2011

BYU Subway Art

Football season means football decorations. Check out this subway art I made to celebrate BYU football. 



I have a frame (thanks Mom) with a bunch of different subway art prints that I switch out  on holidays. Now I can add this one to the rotation.


I just order mine through Costco and they turn out really well. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall TV

The only good thing about summer ending is the start of fall TV shows. It almost makes up for the whole back to school thing. Around here we quite enjoy our television time. We don't have a lot of free time, and of course we don't spend it all in front of the screen, but it is something we both enjoy. 

Shows we are enjoying now...

Hell's Kitchen (anyone else miss Master Chef?)
Take the Money and Run
Project Runway (okay, mostly me on this one but Carson watches if he is in the room)

Shows are are excited for...

Bones
How I Met Your Mother
Parks and Recreation
Psych
Parenthood (mostly me)
Glee (again...mostly me)
Castle
New Girl (probably all me on this one)
House
Anything football (mostly Carson)

Like I said, we don't have a lot of free time, so the likelihood of keeping up on all of these shows is low, but thanks to the miraculous technology of the DVR we can try. 

Have we missed any good ones?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

BYU vs Ole Miss

For the next four months Carson will be in heaven. Why? The next four months bring football, football, and more football. Of course, we will be watching the New York Giants and BYU, but we will also watching the University of Utah games (to cheer against them) and probably any other football game that is on while we are home. Yeah, a lot of football is in my future. 

I don't mind though - one, because I like football, and two, because football games mean parties, and I love parties. We kicked off the first BYU game of the season with a little party at our apartment. To show you how serious Carson is about his football, here is the email he sent to those attending the day before the game. 


"The game starts tomorrow at 2:45 with the BYUtv pre-game show starting at 1:45. I say we get 3 or 4 Dominoes pizzas and some paper plates and eat at 2:15. Bringing extra candy and megaphones is also encouraged. We can watch the pre-game and eat cause eating during the game is too distracting. Sam will have BYU mint brownies for half time and I will be recording the Boise State and Texas games as well. Those who are not wearing blue will be asked to leave. Tell your wives. This will be awesome."

We got some pizza and, as promised, I made the brownies. If you have never had mint brownies from BYU, you should definitely try these. Delicious!

Of course I had to add a BYU touch. 

Our guests...

Collin and Jess

Ryan, Jess, and Carson (not a guest, but in the picture)

Jacob (Carson's cousin), Kelsey, and their baby Hannah

In the end BYU came out victorious, but it looked a little scary there in the middle. My favorite quote was from Jess (who was taking a break from her anniversary celebrations with Collin to watch the game). After the fumble recovery touchdown she yelled, "Yes! You saved my anniversary!" Which is totally true. A BYU football loss ruins these boys' day. 

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Ingredients:

Brownies
  • 2 cubes butter, melted
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup coca
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
Mint Frosting
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 Tbsp evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • Green food coloring
Glaze
  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 5 Tbsp butter
Directions:

Brownies
  1. Preheat oven to 300°
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Add melted butter and mix well.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. 
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Pour into greased jelly roll pan. 
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool.
Mint Frosting
  1. Cream together powdered sugar, butter, milk, and peppermint extract.
  2. Tint with green food coloring.
  3. Spread over cool brownies. 
  4. Chill in freezer before putting on glaze.
Glaze
  1. Melt chocolate chips and butter on low heat.
  2. Spread over chilled brownies (the easiest way to do this is to drizzle to glaze over the brownies and smooth over with your fingertips - using a spoon tends to mix the frosting and the glaze).
  3. If the glaze needs to be thinner, add another Tbsp butter. 


Sam Tested, Carson Approved

I love bread. It is my favorite course in any meal. Homemade bread is of course the best, but sometimes it takes so long to make. These rolls don't take too long and they are super delicious. 

Grandma Claudia's 90 Minute Rolls


**I chose to make rolls out of this recipe (it makes about 30) but it can also be used to make two loaves of bread**

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5-6 cups flour
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400° for rolls or 350° for bread loaves.
  2. Combine the first three ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients, kneading for 10 minutes.
  4. Let rise until double.
  5. Punch down, shape as desired, and let rise until double again.
  6. Bake 10 minutes for rolls or 40 minutes for bread loaves.
  7. Cover the tops with a little butter if desired. 
Enjoy!




Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back 2 School

Yep. It is that time again. Time for the books, the highlighters, the studying, the tests, the papers, the stress, and most important, the learning. I don't have a classic first day of school picture because Carson said it was cheesy and I couldn't take one of him, and then he had left for the day by the time I was ready, or I totally would have done it. Oh well. We both looked fabulous. Just trust me. Ha. 

Wondering what we are studying this semester?

On his quest for a manufacturing engineering degree, Carson's line up includes: 

Chemistry
Trigonometry
LDS Marriage and Family
Manufacturing Leadership
Material Removal


My line up:

Psychology of Human Development
Nutrition 

If some of you are thinking wait, Sam, didn't you just graduate...what are you doing back in school, I will explain. No, it is not because I am a nerd and I need school in my life and I thought these classes would be fun for my spare time. Even though I am a nerd, the real reason is that I am now applying for both PA school and the accelerated nursing program at the University of Utah (I know... I know...) for next fall. The only problem is I still have a few prerequisites for the nursing program. Hence, more school after graduation. 

Along with school we are both still working so we will definitely have a busy semester, but so far things have started off great. As tough as school is sometimes, I am excited to see what this semester will bring. 


Monday, August 29, 2011

From the Bookshelf

With school on a little break for a few months, I have revisited my love for reading. I started with this book.


I knew this book was really popular in the business world, I had heard it was life changing, and I read the teenage version (written by Stephen Covey's son) when I was in high school, so I decided to give this book a try. 

Verdict: I loved it. I know it is cliche to say that a book changed your life or something, but this book really did influence me and has changed me. This book is one of those that I plan on reading every summer or something because I know I can get so much more out of it. I know that if I apply the principles taught in this book I can live a fulfilling and successful life. This book is not just for business people (even though it has a lot of that in it) but it is for families and individuals. Anyone can apply the principles in it.

My recommendation...read this book. Open your mind to it and just try it. If you don't agree with the author, it will at least make you think. But maybe it will influence your life in the positive way it has influenced mine. 

Next on the list...


Stay tuned for what I thought (if you care...ha!)

Family Filled Summer

Okay, since I am behind on blogging and I wasn't very good at taking pictures this summer, I am combining all of the family events we had this summer into one super post. Sounds exciting huh? Oh, it will be. 

Carson's sister Emily and her five children spent the whole summer at Carson's parents house and it was a lot of fun to have them close. I didn't have any nieces or nephews before I got married so it is still fun to hear little voices calling me Aunt Sam. We spent most Sunday dinners with them and got together for special events like the Fourth of July. 

 Our nephew Andrew at the Fourth of July festivities. 

Big Carson and nephew little Carson cuddling on a Sunday afternoon.

A few weeks ago all of Carson's siblings and their families got together for the Forrest Flake family reunion. It was such a fun weekend - thanks to Dallan, Bethany, Jess, and Ryan for planning it! Photo credit for this section goes to Dallan (thanks!)

We started the weekend off with a hot dog/smores roast and games at Uncle Lawrence's. I told you this was a popular Flake Family activity. 

Flake Football.

 We went to a tumbling gym and had a blast jumping off all of the trampolines. Even my mother-in-law got in on the action.

The tumbling gym also had a rock climbing wall with a pit at the base so once you climbed to the top you just let yourself fall. I loved climbing up, but letting go was always scary - it was higher than it looked from the bottom!

Of course the boys (men?) took some time out for paintballing. This picture doesn't look white trash at all. Nope.

What summer pool party is complete without a little chicken fighting? Collin and Jess, I have to say that Carson and I won this one. Ha. 

 This little guy - my nephew Oliver - and I bonded big time that weekend. Sometimes it was hard to get him to leave my side, not that I minded at all because he is dang cute. 

Not all of our family fun this summer came from Carson's side. My family came to visit a few times as well. 

My sister Danica spent a weekend with us between EFY and volleyball camp at BYU. She asked me to teach her a skill and to help her make something for her future home (part of her young women personal progress) so I decided to share some of my recent sewing knowledge (the little of it that I have). We started simple and made a pillowcase and then went on to make a simple skirt. I hope Dani had as much fun staying with us as we did having her, even though she had to sleep on the couch all weekend. 

 Working hard. 

Showing off one of her finished products. 

The rest of my family came to visit as well, along with two of my aunts and their families. We tried out the new-ish water park in Draper, bowled at BYU, ate a lot of good food, and of course visited the BYU bookstore. 

Matthew - already a Cougar.

One of my favorite parts about summer is going on trips but since we are poor newlyweds we didn't really get to go anywhere this summer, so it was nice to have people come to us. We loved it. If you didn't come to visit...shame on you! Just kidding. We still love you. 


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Being a "Projecter"

When I was little I loved coloring, painting, drawing, scrapbooking, cross stitching...just creating in general. I called them my projects and I was always busy working on at least one of them. When my mom asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would always say a projecter. You know...someone who does projects...duh. And that is all I wanted to do. My mom thought it was funny and would encourage little me, knowing that eventually I would grow out of my projecter phase (little did she know that now, thanks to the internet, people can make a living by projecting...etsy for example)

Well...I grew up and my interests changed. I still like doing projects but I also found a love for science and the human body. This summer I  have finally had a break from school, so I tapped into my old projecter self and got some things done. I have many more projects in the back of my mind (I really should write them down) but this is what I have so far. 

My mother-in-law and some of my sisters-in-law gave me a sewing machine for my bridal shower. I have never really been into sewing, but I got together with Jess and we made skirts. My first official sewing project. I have to say I am really excited about how these turned out. Let me just brag a little and say this skirt has pockets and belt loops. Not too bad for a first sewing project if I do say so myself. 

Focus on the skirt, not my face. Thanks. 

Next on my sewing list was repurposing some fabric I had leftover from covering some bulletin boards. I wanted to make a microwaveable rice bag. That was easy enough. Just a rectangle. Then I got a little creative and made a rice bag in the shape of glasses. I stuck this one in the freezer and let me tell you, it is amazing for headaches or after getting home from a hot run. I love this little guy. 


Thanks to my mom I have a lot of wreaths and other decorations to hang on my door for a variety of holidays, but I didn't have anything for the Fourth of July. So, I got some fabric, some felt, and a glue gun and made these flowers.


I used my trusty glue gun to attach them on to a twig wreath, added a patriotic bow and presto - a Fourth of July wreath. I gave some extras to my sister and she made some really cute Fourth of July headbands.


My final project so far stems from my love of cooking. I love using fresh herbs in my recipes but I don't have the money to buy them fresh at the store, so I decided to grow some of my own. Now, this is just the beginning and I am planning to expand to all different types eventually.  I started these plants in a small pot that would always tip over when the wind blew and then Carson surprised me with a large homemade, sanded, sealed, and stained planter box. I love it. It has plenty of room for a lot of plants and it doesn't tip over in the wind!

So far I have a tomato plant (that desperately needs one of those circle stands so it will stop falling over), oregano, basil, and a cayenne pepper plant. I don't have any tomatoes or peppers yet but I love the herbs. I can't wait to plant more. 


I am also impressed with myself on this one. I was always the kid in elementary school whose stupid bean plant would never grow right, so the fact that I grew all of these plants out of seeds is impressive. I still have a lot to learn about gardening and I am definitely a novice, but I am learning. 

Unfortunately, back to school means not so much time for projecting, but I will try to squeeze some of my ideas in here and there, so stay tuned.

Monday, August 22, 2011

6 Months

So I though that I wouldn't have a problem keeping my blog updated over summer, but I was wrong. Very wrong. I'm sorry. I will try to be better. 

In June Carson and I celebrated our six month anniversary. We didn't make a huge deal out of it or anything, but we went out to dinner and then up to Uncle Lawrence's house to ride horses. It is always fun to spend summer nights up the canyon where it is nice and cool.

We went to dinner at Carson's favorite - Outback. When I asked him if we could take a picture I got a look of disgust. Yes, my husband hates taking pictures. Just take my word for it, we were there. 

We have had a few dates at Uncle Lawrence's place but I never get tired of going up there. We usually bring hot dogs and smores to roast in the fire and of course the rope swing and zip lines are fun. If that isn't enough there are also horses. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of pictures because we took most of them (including videos) on Carson's phone and they got deleted. grrr. Here is what we do have. 

 Carson on the rope swing. I don't think he was as scared as he looks. 

 The horses had some brand new colts that followed their moms around everywhere. All night Carson was trying to catch this one so we had to take a victory picture when he succeeded. 

It is funny to me to see grown men so infatuated with a baby horse. Kinda sweet actually. 

Even though it isn't well documented at all, we had a good time and are always thankful to Uncle Lawrence for letting us crash his yard.