Friday, July 29, 2011


Since our little brother got married a little over a month ago we thought we would make a printable to celebrate their big day. 

Many times when you go to a bridal shower they have you give the bride and groom marriage advice.  I always give the same, boring advice .  But this past April, the prophet of our church, President Thomas S. Monson, gave one of the greatest pieces of advice I have ever heard.  He said, "Choose your love, Love your choice."  Isn't that the best advice for any married person whether you be a newlywed or married 50 years. 

In today's world it seems that marriages that last seem to be fewer and fewer.  Yet if we all took this advice I know that the divorce rate would be lower.  Making the choice to marry is the easy part, it is  loving that choice that can be difficult at times.  When your husband leaves his dirty clothes on the floor or watches too much sports or plays the Xbox too much, just remember that you chose them and that you love that choice.  Its amazing how once you start only looking for the good in someone it eventually becomes easier and easier to see more good in them.  It's when we start finding fault with one another that it becomes harder to see the good or why we fell in love with them.  We all have our faults and most can be dealt with and still be happy. 

Because I loved this quote so much I decided to print it out and hang it in my bedroom.  It will be a great reminder to me when I have those days that I become a nitpicking wife.  I made it in a variety of colors.  If by chance none of the colors work for you let us know and we can personalize it for you.  The size of the prints is 8X10 but can be printed in 5X7 as well.


yellow/teal     teal/orange    mustard    sage    blue   red


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spicy Romano Chicken

Alfredo sauce:
1 cube butter
1 pint cream
4 oz cream cheese
1/8 tsp minced garlic

Melt above ingredients together stirring with whisk to break up cream cheese pieces, then add:
1 cup parmesan cheese

Stir until smooth

2 tbsp butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup sliced sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup romano cheese
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
bowtie pasta, cooked

In skillet, melt butter and saute chicken, mushrooms, green onions, and sundried tomatoes until hot.  Add alfredo sauce, romano cheese, artichoke hearts, and cayenne pepper.  Simmer.  Serve over bowtie pasta.  Enjoy!

A very good friend of mine always finds the most amazing recipes and she scored this little beauty for me when she found out that my favorite meal at Johnny Carino's was Spicy Romano Chicken.  This is an incredible copycat.  I've never found an alfredo recipe that I like better than this one and when you make it yourself you can omit the things that would make your children utter the words "Ooooh (or ugh, take your pick), what's THAT?!".  I personally hate hearing that phrase so I leave out the things (aka artichoke hearts) that would provoke it.  Plus I have a "no-fungal-matter-in-my-food" policy so I also omit the mushrooms. 

The recipe starts with the alfredo sauce but I prefer to start with the chicken first.  That way I can have that done ahead at a time of my leisure (oh sure, leisure, what's that) and make the alfredo sauce closer to when we're ready to eat and once I add it to the chicken and simmer for a bit, it warms it all back up.

I always toss in my chicken (I prefer tenders) whole and saute it alone for awhile.  Once it starts to cook through, I then use my cooking utensil to chop it into smaller pieces.  You could cut it up into smaller pieces before cooking and I guess it's sixes.
Once the chicken is to my liking, I add in the green onion and sundried tomatoes.  I have used dried sundried (it sounds like a redundant phrase, I know, but I promise they come dried) tomatoes before and reconstitute them before adding them in.  I prefer the ones in oil as their color is prettier but both work.  And who doesn't love a sundried tomato with all their concentrated antioxidants and that power-packed tomato smell that bursts out of the bottle when you take off the lid - my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Once the chicken is cooked through and you feel the onions and tomatoes and fungus, if you choose to add this, are sauteed to your liking, you can set this aside, put it in the fridge for awhile or proceed forward.  None of this takes too long so that's another great thing about this recipe - easy and quick, not to mention flavorful and amazing.

For the alfredo sauce, I melt the butter in the saucepan, then add the cream cheese, garlic, and cream.  I have caught myself by surprise before and found that I didn't have cream like I thought I did and substituted just regular old milk instead.  It all works.  If you like feeling sinful and guilty when you eat, then use the cream.

Once this mixture is relatively smooth (it will take awhile to get rid of those cream cheese chunks) then add in the parmesan cheese.

Generally while I am cooking the alfredo sauce, I also have a pot of bowtie pasta cooking.


Once your alfredo sauce is smooth, add it into your chicken mixture.  Then add your romano cheese (mozzarella substitutes just fine and is much easier to find in the grocery store), artichoke hearts (if you are not feeding humans under the age of 15), and cayenne pepper (you can omit this if you have an aversion to tasty spices but I feel you would regret it.  1/4 tsp is not that much and is hardly noticeable.  If you like heat, add more).  I drain my pasta and then add it into the pan as well and toss it all together.  So tasty!  I love you Johnny Carino! 


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blog/Blurb Book Pricing...

I have been asked about printing my blog into a book using Blurb.  Click here to read about how to take your blog and turn it into a blog book.  I am often asked how I can afford to print off these books every year.  Many assume they are pricey.  For the prices click here.  Remember this link shows prices for the classic portrait book (8X10).  These books can be pricey depending on how big your books are, and mine are always 200+ pages.  But I have 2 reasons to why the price shouldn't matter.

 1) I don't scrapbook so I figure the money I save in scrapbooking supplies and printing pictures probably equals or is more than I would spend in these books.  Plus these books are nice and compact (not big and bulky like a scrapbook). 

2) I almost never pay full price for my blog books.  I will wait to print them off until I find a coupon on them that Blurb will usually do such as free shipping or 20% off your order.  And keep your eyes out for Groupons or Jasmeres.  I am completely caught up on printing my blog books out because of an amazing Groupon deal that happened last year where for every $20 you spent you got $60 worth of Blurb books.  I of course scooped up 4 of these babies because that deal was too good to pass up on.  Just be careful with buying these since they all have expiration dates.  Don't buy 10 thinking you can slowly use them.  You usually have a few months to use them all up.  And save up to buy these books.  These are a very great investment.  My husband does not mind one bit any money I spend on these books.  He realizes the value of these books and enjoys them so much and appreciates me greatly for doing them.

At the end of each year I will download my blog into Blurb, spend the time formatting it to my likes and then print out 1 family copy in a hard bound book.  I do my family copy in the more expensive hard bound image wrap.  I like to have a nice copy for myself. 

Yep that is right I have 4 volumes so far.  My 2010 was so big I had to split it up into 2 volumes.

I then print out a copy for each child that was alive during that year in a cheaper softcover book.  So my 2007-2008, and 2009 blog books I only had to print 2 copies out since I just had my boys.  But in 2010 I had to print 3 extra copies out since we added a little princess that year.  My hope is that my kids will each get a blog book (journal) every year that they can then take when they move out and they will have not only their journals but our families journals as well.  In 2010 I decided to print each kids book out in their favorite color.  My oldest is obsessed with Orange so his books cover is in orange.  This way he will know that in 2010 his favorite color was orange (since our favorite colors can change throughout the years). 

Although I printed my hard bound family copy into 2 volumes for 2010, I made the kids 2010 books into 1 volume still.  It would of been too much moo-lah to have to print 6 extra books for 2010 instead of just having to do 3 copies.

Another question I get asked is if I delete posts and make each kids book just about them.  Absolutely NOT.  I don't do this for 2 reasons. 
1) It would take forever to individually make each kid their book.  Instead I can format their book and print 3 copies of it (of course I do change the color of their cover for each but that takes 2 seconds to do).
  2) The second reason and the most important is that I think the kids will enjoy not only reading about themselves but reading stories about their siblings.  And if by some chance they aren't interested in reading about them, then they can skip over their stories.  But many of their stories involve a few of them and when they get older and they have kids they might read in their books and realize their kid acts a lot like this or that sibling.  I just overall feel strongly that they will love reading about their siblings as well. 

 Lastly I consider their books as a late Christmas gift every year for them.  My boys are only 5 and 3 but they already love the books.  In fact I catch my 3 year old looking at them all the time.  And I have to admit that I love to look back at them and reminisce.  They truly are priceless and I hope my children will treasure these books as much as I do. 

My 3 year old looking through a blog book.  I promise I keep my house heated.  You just need to know my 3 year old to understand why he is wearing a big jacket in the house :) And most likely he is shirtless under that jacket :)

My family history shelf in my living room.  It contains my blog books as well as ancestors histories.  I truly cherish this particular shelf.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Fitness Plan for Anyone - Steps 1 & 2

"We can do anything we want as long as we stick to it long enough."
-- Helen Keller

Sounds easy (because who doesn't have a desire to be more in shape), but this is a critical step. If you don't want this with all of your heart, then guess what? You won't get it. You have to be ready, willing & determined to get your body back into shape. You have to be willing to make time for yourself every single day to work on this goal. Time to focus on your goals, your eating and your exercise. Most days, I spend 30 minutes working out. Seriously guys? Who can't fit 30 minutes into their day. Wake up earlier, wait till the kids go off to school, wait till the baby goes down for a nap, do it before bed . . . whatever it takes! Make that time EVERY DAY! We usually find the time to fit in food in our day right? So it should be just as easy to focus on the other things our bodies need just as bad.

I firmly believe that most things are 90% mental. Getting into shape is definitely in this category! If you are strong mentally, you will succeed. This is seriously one HUGE mental game. YOU get to tell yourself what you can do and how your body can change, not your body! Your body is always going to tell you it's tired and can't go on. You have to tell that weak body, that nobody you know has croaked during a workout video and so the chances are pretty high you won't either! You also have to recondition your mind because it will be quite effective at trying to throw all kinds of excuses to you that are cleverly disguised to seem rational. You all know what I'm talking about because our minds throw them at us constantly --- the "I don't have any time for that", "I can't do those kinds of exercises because {insert excuse here}" or my favorite which I'm still constantly fighting in my own head, "my body can't ever look like those bodies. It's not in my gene pool." All irrational crap people that you MUST conquer and throw out of your mind if you want to have any success.

Before I jumped whole heartedly into my exercise routine, I spent a month or two focusing on drinking more water. I really tried to postpone the inevitable and tell myself I had to take all these baby steps first. I realized I hardly drank at all each day and knew it was a good thing to do. 64 ounces doesn't sound like that much really, but boy did I really have to focus to ever achieve it. Drinking enough water is still something I struggle with all these months later. It's not that I don't love water. It's just that I don't think about it enough. So when I do, I sit there and force way more down than I really want at the time. And don't even get me started on how much I hate running to the bathroom every few minutes! My sister claims your body eventually gets used to all the water and you don't have to go as much. I obviously never get to that point, but again it's because I don't sip it all day long - I do it in big giant gulps at a time. I'm working on it though. I heard it said that you should aim to drink at least half your body weight in water ounces each day. So if you weigh 120 pounds, then you should try and drink at least 60 ounces each day. Just a rule of thumb that might be helpful.

Let me preface this, by pointing out that I DO NOT DIET!!! To me, dieting has a negative connotation to it. It makes people think they are missing out on something or that they "can't" eat certain things and if you think you're missing out on something, then you either cheat or when your time is up, you will go overboard trying to make up lost time with whatever you missed. Also, dieting implies it has a start and an end date. I don't like this idea at all. Eating healthier (or in my case, just eating more consciously) is something you want to do and CAN DO for the rest of your life. Not just for one month or until you reach a certain weight, etc. So with that being said, I am not a fan of diets at all. I've never done one, I will never do one. Thus, why I decided to call this step "accountable eating". That's all we really have to do right? Be aware of what we are eating, how many calories we are bringing in, what nutritional value we are giving ourselves, etc.

My sister Tenille (who was my big motivator & inspiration to start my journey) started hounding us all to eat healthier late last year. She would show us easy lunches to make that were healthy or easy substitutions to make in our every day cooking. Now I have to confess I am not a health nut and I don't know as much about nutrition as I should. This is something I'm really trying to learn more about now, but for someone like me, I just simply started paying attention to what I was eating. It's amazing how much 'ghost eating' you do sometimes that you aren't even aware of. Keeping track of your eating each day and learning how many calories are in things helps you be accountable. And switching out whole wheat pastas or breads, and trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies is something we can all do. I amazingly have to confess that I still have a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies in my cupboard from the beginning of February. I love Girl Scout cookies, but once I had to write down each one I ate, they somehow lost their appeal and I kind of forgot about them. I should probably hurry & open them up before they go bad. See though . . . if I had dieted and couldn't eat them, then I probably would have eaten a whole box at a time once I was done with my diet.

And now to close, I want to share my favorite app that has helped me so much with my 'accountable eating'. I never had a clue as to how many calories were in things. This app has been amazing in setting up how many calories it thinks I should eat each day & helping me see how many calories everything I eat has in it. You can also enter in your exercise and it gives you positive calories for that that work against your negative ones! It's an eye opener to see how many calories your workout burnt and how easily you can totally negate all that work with snacks or treats! Definitely makes you think twice before doing so.

What is this awesome app? It's called My Fitness Pal (click on it and it will take you to their website). I have it downloaded on my iPad, but it's also a website that you can use on your computer or any device.  It is 100% free!   I love it. It charts your goals and progress along the way. You can link up with friends and stay updated on their progress as well. My sister and I have been using it for awhile and it will definitely let us know if one of us has been slacking and not logging in for too long. It will say something like, "Heidi hasn't logged in for 5 days. She might need some encouragement!" I love it. It has TONS of restaurants and fast food and brand names in it. It's so easy to enter ANYTHING you eat. Even better, you can enter in your own recipes when you eat something that's not in there. So bookmark the address on your own computer now or download it on your favorite device. It's seriously a great, FREE tool that will help you on your journey.

*Stay tuned for Step 3 in the next installment!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Birthday...

Yes, you read that right...ANOTHER birthday is here at {Junk in their Trunk}!!

Today we are celebrating our 3rd sister...TIFFANY!

We thought we would share some funny facts about our sis Tiff.

Tiffany is child number 4 out of 9.

 She has always had LONG BLONDE hair.

And she plays the piano, amazingly.

She was a feisty little kid.  Never played by the rules.
We have story after story of her rebelliousness in her own way.
*She really wanted a puppy from the neighbors and mom she snuck it in, hiding it up on her top bunk bed until finally she was apprehended!

*We weren't allowed to wear shorts as kids...when Tiffany was about 9 or 10 she put on a pair of bermuda shorts from a recent beach trip and walked rebelliously to school despite my moms commands.  BUT she won the fight for us all and we were allowed to wear shorts after that!  =)

Told ya...this girl was FESITY!

She had the classic 80's style that we all adored and tried to copy!

Don't you love the big BOW??!!  
Well, you will LOVE this pic...her favorite of all time!
Of course it is more classic if you could see the REAL picture that shows their fronts and faces!!
But oh no, she has hidden that picture from the world so this back shot will have to suffice!
The big HUGE bow on the back is classic...SHE was meant to  be a part of {Junk in their Trunk}!!

She was the master of the high wave bangs!

It lasted for years...

And you gotta love the overalls...
Especially the trendy one strap up, one strap down look...

Haha you have to love the classic school dance pictures with the matchy matchiness!
And the good 'ol white socks that we all rocked back in the day!

Tiffany has always been someone us younger 3 sisters have looked up to.
Not only for her trendy styles  through the years, but for her friendship and example.
And I know the older 2 look up to her now as well.
I am the only lucky one who gets to live in the same town as her (haha)
but we all agree...having Tiffany as our sister is a blessing.
She is talented, a wonderful mommy, super wife, serves faithfully in her church callings, a true friend, funny, smart, gifted in technology and the BEST sister we could all have ever asked for!

Happy Birthday Tiff!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Giveaway Winner...

Sorry we are late at posting this, but we do have our winner from our T.G.I.Friday's gift card and movie passes giveaway.  
It is the person who left comment #62.  And that is.............

Congrats jenorme and we hope you enjoy your dinner and movie.  Please email us at to claim your prize.  And thanks to all of you who entered our giveaway.  It was our best giveaway so far.  We hope to continue to have more and more fabulous giveaways in the future. 


Friday, July 22, 2011

Peaches and Amaretto

The other night I was craving a yummy snack at 9pm.  Please tell me I am not the only one who gets cravings late at night?  Of course this might explain why I have gained weight lately. 

Anyways I couldn't find anything that met my desire so the next day I went grocery shopping and noticed that the peaches looked really good that day.  So I quickly snatched me up a few and headed over to the milk aisle where I grabbed a bottle of Amaretto cream from CoffeeMate. 

Now for the most delish snack ever.  All you need is 2-3 ingredients.  And it takes no more than 2 minutes to make.  Yet it will satisfy those late night cravings you might get.

Peaches cut up into bite size pieces
Amaretto cream
Vanilla Ice Cream

This particular time I didn't have vanilla ice cream with me.  It is still as good with just peaches and Amaretto.

Simply cut up the peaches and then put on top of Vanilla ice cream (optional) and then pour desired amount of Amaretto cream over the top.  The last step is to just enjoy:)

***Sorry for the less than stellar pictures.  Remember my camera lense broke in our wreck and I am still waiting to get a replacement.

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Re-runs and Re-Reads!

Some people like re-runs on TV. I like re-reads! My husband will ask what I want for my birthday and I’ll tell him a book I’ve read from the library that I want to own. He’ll frown and say, “But you’ve already read that!”

“I know!” I say. “That’s why I know it’s good and am willing to spend money on it.”

With all the reading I do, my long-term memory doesn’t hold onto all the plots and characters though. Within a year or so, I can usually only tell you whether I’ve read a certain book or not, but don’t ask me for any sort of plot summary.

So for any of you out there that want book ideas, here are my top 10 suggestions. I’ve read and re-read these babies and enjoyed them just as much the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time around (They aren’t
in any order; I’ve rated them all a perfect 5 on

1. Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites series by Chris Heimerdinger: This is LDS young adult fiction. I read these as a teen (there are 11 or 12—can’t remember exactly; that’s long term memory), and then read them to each of my kids. Still, as an adult, I thoroughly enjoy them, and am biting at the bit for the last (final?) book so I’m not left hanging.

2. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Can’t say enough good about this. I like them better each time I read them. Rowling’s attention to detail throughout all 7 books is incredible. She must have a lot more long-term memory than I do.

3. The Scarlett Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy: The 1st time I almost gave up and didn’t finish this treasure because of the old English. So I listened to it on CD and was captivated. Then I read it again and found it easier to understand. Now, when I don’t have a book to read, I’ll pick up this familiar friend and sigh as I re-read some of my favorite romance scenes of all time—no kissing, yet romantic tension out the ying yang. Love this one!

4. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: Now I won’t lie. This isn’t an easy read, but it is one of my favorite books of all time. Jean Valjean’s character is my hero. The symbolism of justice and mercy depicted by the story always touches me. Fantastic, yet heartbreaking!

5. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis: This author is one of my favorites. This isn’t fiction, so if you want to be entertained, don’t pick this up. If you want to be enlightened though by a mighty mind and spirit, this is a must-read.

6. Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe series by C.S. Lewis: I love the symbolism of every character in this story. I read this to my little sisters when I was a teen, because I was fascinated by how Lewis taught of Christ through fairy tale animals and make-believe.

7. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls: Can’t read this one without crying every time, no matter that the story—unlike some others—is firmly entrenched in my long term memory. Still, the way he writes and tells the story gets me every time.

8. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer: Don’t you love this title! I do, and I think the book is charming. The story is revealed through countless letters and telegrams written back and forth between many characters.

9. Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins: This was such a unique and gripping plot. Some of my book group members said they hated that they loved this book. It’s violent, but has great lessons about the value of freedom.

10. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom: If you ever feel down and want a pick-me-up, read this book. The author is the most Christ-like person I’ve read about. Her life was affected cruelly by WWII, yet her attitude saved her and many others. This woman and her whole family were amazing!

Here are some honorable mention; I haven’t re-read them, but only because I haven’t got to it yet. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is incredible! It's narrated by death (how unique is that?).

 Another one, This Voice in my Heart: A Runner’s Memoir of Genocide, Faith and Forgiveness by Gilbert Tuhabonye, is a memoir of the Burundi/Rwandan Genocide; I liked it because it was horribly awful, yet uplifting because the victim prevails through forgiveness.

 And lastly, I loved The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It’s set in the deep South in the 1960’s. The character voices suck you into their world like a whirlpool.

What are some of your favorite re-read books??

And today is the LAST day of the GIVEAWAY!!!

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