Thursday, June 30, 2011


Well this weeks topic is one of my favorite things. I figure Oprah has them, so I can have them too. Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Huckleberries, etc. Yummy!

I love berry muffins too. Here is one of my favorite recipes. It came from allrecipes, but I adapted it a little, so I will call it my own. :)

Blueberry, or any berry for that matter, muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon or so of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon or so of nutmeg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries/huckleberries,raspberries/etc

Crumb Topping
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 or more teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.

2.Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
3.To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon. Mix with fork till there are small crumbles and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
4.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
Try them, you will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


It's that time of year when all the berries are their full glory. I guess strawberries have been on for a while already, but the blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are catching up. And that means stocking up!

Growing up, we had a huge strawberry patch at our house, and it was my summertime household job to pick berries and make freezer jam pretty much every other day. Any time my away-at-college sisters would call home and ask what I'm doing, no matter what time of day, the answer would always be "dishes" or "making jam." I got pretty sick of it sometimes, but we were sure glad to dig a carton of homemade jam out of the freezer in the winter when we were craving a little taste of summer.

Speaking of summer, it's having a hard time making an appearance around here. Our heater kicked on this morning! So, our harvest may be meager at best, which means we'll be visiting our local "u-pick" farms for berries. If you haven't heard of, you must go and check it out. You can search by location and narrow your search by the type of produce you're looking for. It has extras like recipes, canning tips and picking tips. Our favorite is blueberry picking at Canter-Berry Farms. They don't use any pesticides or herbicides, and they encourage you to eat as much as you like while you're picking.

If you're looking for something delicious and different to make with your berries, try this Rhuberry Pie. It combines FOUR kinds of berries and my favorite - rhubarb. Hurry before the rhubarb is gone for the season! Or convince yourself to break open one of the 6 bags you're hoarding in the freezer for year-long rationing. Not that I do that.

Happy Independence Day next week, everyone! Make something deliciously patriotic with all those berries out there!

P.S. Speaking of strawberries, this is one of our favorite books! We all love the illustrations, and I love that I totally relate to it (although my freckles didn't go away when I got older either!).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Still here....

Well, Jen has been true and faithful...but the rest of us, well, I guess we're lost. :)

We are still here. I'm can't speak for the rest of the women, but I can say that for myself, I have just been anxiously engaged in a few other good causes...namely the Book of Mormon Challenge, and moving! I have not forgotten about this Praiseworthy blog and our Praiseworthy cause--quite the opposite is true! My mind is filling up with thoughts and ideas and things I'd love to share. However, there is a time and a season for all things...

Last week's topic was "sorry."
I'm sorry I didn't write anything.

The topic this week is "white." I didn't want to let this one pass me by completely! There are so many wonderful white things in this world! For example...

wedding dresses
a big, white-toothed smile
new paint
fluffy clouds in a blue sky
a blank canvas
pages in a book
sea shells
clean socks
fresh whipped cream

The other day my daughter asked me if I knew what her favorite part of her body is. Then she proudly declared "My teeth! Because I like to take care of them."

Clean. White. Smile. :)

My sister is getting married in August. It has been fun to help find a unique and beautiful dress for her to wear to the temple. It has a bow. It has a train. It has been fitted just for her.

Clean. White. Smile. :)

There is just something comforting in the beauty of white in this world!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In bloom

I'm loving this one right now:

And this Japanese variety is pretty spectacular too:
This soft pink one smells like a sweet breath of fresh air whenever I walk by:
But you know which is my favorite? The white one. Look closely and you'll see tiny flecks of bright red in a few spots.

It's a reminder that something doesn't have to be perfect and pristine to be beautiful.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Have you ever heard the saying "Love means never having to say you're sorry."? It's actually a line from a book and a 1970 movie, and I've heard it here and there in various contexts. Two years later, the phrase was repeated by Barbara Streisand's character in another movie, to which her costar Ryan O'Neal responds, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard."

I have to say I agree with his answer. Since being married, I've learned that "I'm sorry" is one of the most important, and necessary, things I can say to my husband. I don't think I say it too much because I think overusing it just becomes a trite cure-all phrase, and because I try my hardest to not do or say too many things in the first place that I'm sorry for. But there are definitely times where I have to put my pride aside, get a little perspective on the situation, and turn on the empathy. It might be easier to just disregard the situation, and when the bad feelings subside, just go back to life as usual as if nothing happened. But, as I'm sure you all know, that doesn't make it better in the long run.

I recently read an article titled "Making a Marriage Work" where Elder Pinnock lists ten ideas to not only make your marriage work, but to strengthen it (I highly recommend reading it individually and then as a couple). The seventh idea is:

"Say, 'I’m sorry,' and really mean it. Contrary to a popular saying, love, in part, means learning how to say 'I’m sorry.' So often when we make mistakes, even innocent mistakes, damage has been done and an apology is in order. Along with learning to say, 'I’m sorry,' husbands and wives must learn to say, 'I forgive.' Jesus taught that to be forgiven by our Heavenly Father depends, in part, on our ability to forgive those who trespass against us. Some of the strongest marriages of which I am aware have been between partners who could say, 'I am sorry,' and who forgive each other."

So, if I could re-write the saying based on my own experience, it would say something like "Love means saying you're sorry even when it's the most difficult thing you've done in a long time and it wasn't your fault to begin with and you want to sulk until the other person comes to you and apologizes and you don't want to talk about it and you don't care about being sorry because you just want to be right."

Now that's TRUE love.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

She was born on a Saturday.

I gave birth to her at 3:27 am on a Saturday.

In these short two years, I've seen some of myself in her.

She's a little crafty...

...and a little domestic.

She loves being outside...

...even if it means getting dirty.

She's independent, determined (sometimes to the point of stubbornness) and has a special admiration for her big brother...just like her mom.

But she's very much her own person.

She takes an unconventional approach to life.

And she could teach me a thing or two about finding joy in simple things.

Yep, she was born on a Saturday...

...and I'm changed because of it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hidden Treasures

Oh the joy of a hidden treasure...

I LOVE to come across a blog or photo or item online that makes my scroll finger pause, and then my eyes widen, and then my heart leap! :) There are so many hidden treasures online--well, they aren't really hidden I guess. They are out there for everyone to enjoy, you just have to know where to find them. And that is why I am totally loving Pinterest! Have you seen it yet? Jenni introduced me to this world of not-so-hidden treasures a few weeks ago and it has quickly become one of my favorite online joys!

For any of you who are like me when people say, "Oh, I just got online and found it..." (a tutorial or cute kid's item, etc.), then you have probably heard yourself say, "Why can't I find that kind of stuff online? Where are these awesome blogs and cool websites?" I always feel like I'm the last to know!

Well, now I find all kinds of treasures online--those same ones that I used to think were hidden somewhere in the mommy-blog sphere where I was not invited. Oh, no, we are all invited! And you can invite your friends.

I'm not trying to promote anything here--except the fun and excitement that comes when you do find something that really makes you smile.

Here is the description of Pinterest directly from their website:
"Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.
People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things -- wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment. You name it, people are pinning it."

So, if you want to discover the hidden treasures out there...go to Pinterest and request an invitation. Once you're account is set up, you can find friends, invite friends, make friends, and best of all--pin EVERYTHING and ANYTHING until your heart is content. If any of you have a shopping addiction--this just might kick it. It's like shopping, but without spending any money!  You can add anything you want to your pinboards and look at it as much as you want, so that's almost like having one of your own, right? :)

Happy Friday, all!

ps. The topic for this week is "hidden," in case you wanted to write a little something of your own and link up with us!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's your secret?

OK I need some ideas here.

Let me back up. It's been awhile since I was introduced to a couple of cook books that are all about creative ways to hide vegetables in kids' favorite dishes, and I've tried a good amount of them with success.

I was reluctant at first because I thought, "My kids might not eat many vegetables at first, but I'll keep offering them at mealtimes and eventually they'll try them and decide they like them. If I grind, puree and disguise them in other foods, they'll have a warped sense of what vegetables taste like. They'll think zucchini is supposed to taste like my mom's zucchini brownies or that butternut squash tastes like macaroni and cheese. Then they'll NEVER like them when they find out their green leafy friends really taste like, well, vegetables."

In actuality, I'm the one with a warped sense of reality. The truth is, they each like a few veggies like cucumbers and carrots. But with summer approaching, I'm going to be whipping up all kinds of salads, and I'm not sure how well they're going to go over with the people under 5 years old in the house.

So, what's your secret to hiding a little extra goodness in the meals you make for your family? I've just shared a couple of mine with you (I like to throw in a handful of fresh spinach into our smoothies too), but I'd love to know from you!

Hidden Treasures

I remember while growing up my mom would always have a stash of hidden treasures somewhere in the house. They were things like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, M&M's, Rolo's, Caramello's, etc. My dad had his own too. His was usually Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. We always new if we wanted a treat, we just had to search.

My Dad's treasure was always somewhere in the freezer. My moms on the other hand, well there were lots of places. In the side drawer in her room, or one of the other many junk drawers she had, you could find them in the basket on top of the fridge, in a bowl in the top of the cupboards, and my favorite place, the wheat grinder shelf/cabinet.

Yes, my mom has a shelf with a built in wheat grinder. It is an old antique from my grandparents. It has the grinder inside with the lever to turn on the out side. We always loved to turn it. Imagine our surprise when chocolate candy and chewed up wrappers started coming out! yeah, I think that was the last time they were hidden in there.

I also had my own hiding places. I had 4 older siblings and one younger one. The younger one I did not worry about, but the older ones made me nervous. Halloween would come around and it was time to hide you stash again. And like my dad, there is something about frozen Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Well I hid mine in the ice dispenser. Then I forgot about them. Well, my brother ended up with chocolate, peanut butter, foil wrapper ice. Yeah, that was a mess. Oops!

As a mom, I don't really have a hiding spot yet. My kids are not old enough to steal my favorite treats and treasures. I can just put them up on a high shelf in the pantry, and they are safe. I have not had to worry about them climbing the pantry shelves, yet. I see it coming int the near future though, so I will have to start finding my hiding spaces now. Maybe in the e canning pots at the top of the pantry, maybe in my silver flower vase, maybe even in the unused toilet paper roll holder/stacker thing. Oh the ideas.

Where do you hide your treasures.