Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Suze Orman's Money Book for the Young Fabulous & Broke

My sister Danielle got this audiobook a long time ago, and after she did she told me she'd gotten it for me. Well, of course, I rolled my eyes and thought, "Lame. I don't need that." Well, I finally got around to listening to it years later. I've gotta say that I thought it was really relevant and full of great information. It was nice to have it as an audiobook so I could listen to it when I took my kids on their morning walk, but I wish I had a copy in print so I could highlight and make notes in it. Here is the description of the book from Amazon:

"If you are tired of struggling to make ends meet but don't know a 401(k) from Special K, this book is for you. Aimed specifically at "Generation Broke"--those in their twenties and thirties who are working yet buried in credit card debt and student loans--this user-friendly guide offers a clear introduction to practical investing and money management techniques that can turn even a dismal financial situation around. Bestselling author Suze Orman has a knack for taking the fear out of money matters, and in The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous &: Broke, she shows readers how to set priorities and achieve goals, whether it is to buy a house or save for retirement or pay for a child's education. She also offers inspiration to readers to face their financial problems and get started on a solution. After all, there is good news: young people still have the time to correct problems so that they will never be broke again. Readers who find terms such as diversification and IRA rollover scary--or worse, unimportant--will learn much from this book.

In these pages, Orman clearly and succinctly explains what a FICO score is and why it's so important, offers the lowdown on stocks and mutual funds, provides career advice, and offers lots of tips on dealing with student loan debt, saving money even when times are tight, debt consolidation strategies, and the safest way for newlyweds to merge their finances. She also offers information on credit cards, including why canceling cards is not a good idea, when it makes sense to use them, and the best strategies for paying them off. It may not be the only money book you'll ever need, but it's an excellent place to start. --Shawn Carkonen"

I'd always known about Mutual Funds and IRA's and stocks and things like that, but I'd never really understood them. Suze breaks down the mountain of information and gives you a very organized and easy to follow guide to help you get started. While her book is (obviously) geared toward the young, it gives helpful information for people from their 20's to people who are getting ready for retirement. If you're looking for some information to help you fine tune your finances this is a great book to pick up!

You can get the paperback from Overstock.com for $8.79 here

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Recipe Box: Baked Chicken Fajitas Recipe

Tad has dubbed this meal his favorite! He must of told me 10 times how much he loved it. It's fairly simple and definitely easy to make. I even found a can of diced tomatoes that had diced green chili's already added to it. It reheats really well too. I will say that it is very heavily seasoned, which Tad loves, it gives it a little more of a real mexican food style. While I did like this recipe a lot, I wouldn't rank it in my favorites just because I like my food with a little less seasoning, but since Tad loves it so much it has gone into our regular rotation. I found it on Six Sisters' Stuff and here is what they had to say:

I love Mexican food! This recipe was easy, healthy and tasted great!

Who knew "baked" could taste so good?!

The best part was being able to throw everything into one pan and toss it in the oven! I even made mine in the morning and kept it in the fridge then put it in the oven around dinner time.

Baked Chicken Fajitas Recipe:
(Recipe from Eatin' on the Cheap)

(Serves 4-6)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 T vegetable oil
2 t. chili powder
2 t. cumin
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. salt
12 flour tortillas, warmed to serve

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13×9 baking dish. Mix together chicken, tomatoes, chilies, peppers, and onions in the dish.

In a small bowl combine the oil and spices. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and toss to coat.
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Serve with warmed tortillas and enjoy!

I hope you give this great recipe a shot, it's a good simple dish to add to your recipe box.

Friday, April 20, 2012

10 of Wes & Scarli's Favorite Things to Do

Do you find yourself constantly trying to find something for your kids to do? I know I have that problem! Well here is a list of some of Wes and Scarlett's favorite things:

Going to college basketball games with Dad
We're lucky because Tad can watch the games from his office so Wes has a space to be crazy. Wes LOVES it when the mascot comes out and greets the crowd.

Having Picnics
What could be more fun than making a nice meal and sharing it with your friends?

Playing in the sand with daddy
(because mommy hates the feel of sand in her toes)
We have a volleyball sand court a block from our house and they love it when we pack up some buckets and shovels and let them get dirty.

Playing Superheros
You would think that Scarlett would want to be a princess or something, but no, she wants to be batman! Or Captain America, or Wolverine, or Darth Vadar. Half of our masks have come from yard sales, and the other half from Walmart, but they love them all equally.

Watching Videos on Mommy's Computer
They like to watch just about anything if it's on my computer, but the ones they like best are the videos of them playing. They can literally sit there for hours watching themselves.

Going to the park
I've started taking them for a long walk 3 or 4 times a week, and to make it a little more fun for them we stop at a park half way. If we go around lunch time I pack food.

Riding their bikes
Wes has a Lightning McQueen bike with training wheels that he has mastered.
And Scarlett borrows a trike someone left in here at the apartment. But both are happy. Scarlett reminds me of the opening sequence to Bobby's World when she rides around.

Grandma Cinda has a great indoor pool that we've been to many times. It might just be their favorite thing.
The kids wear Puddle Jumpers, and I've gotta tell you that if you have toddlers and you've never used these then check them out! They are cheap, awesome, and there's no threat of the kids getting top heavy and tipping forward in the water.

I got some great robot cut outs from Michaels for Wes's birthday last year and they love it when I give them one and some washable paint. Plus Scarlett looks good in a green mustache.

Training for the Rodeo

Wes will be roping steer

And Scarlett will do tricks on horse back.

I bet you had no idea my kids were so talented?! So tell me, what do your kids like to do?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hart of Dixie Gives Me One More Reason To Watch - Justin Hartley

My favorite Archer from Smallville has made an appearance Hart of Dixie!

I was a little shocked, but extremely happy to see Justin Hartley playing Jesse across from Rachel Bilson. I had almost forgotten how dang cute he is! He shows up in Zoe's office needed some medical attention on his hand. Of course, he quickly asks her out!
While they have a good time around all of the drama they hit a wall when they discover.....

he is Wade's brother!
Now I am torn between my growing affection for Wade, and my endless attraction to Justin Hartley. Oh the choices I have to make!!!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stephenie Meyer's The Host is Going to be a Movie

The Host is Meyer's adult novel, and it's not as well known but it's very good.
Here is a review I did on the book a while ago:

The Host

What's it about? The Host has 2 main Characters, but the twist is, they're both sharing the same body...did you get chills? The world has been taken over by the Souls. Alien beings who attach themselves inside of their hosts and take over their lives. Melanie who was one of a dwindling number of free humans left has finally been captured. Wanderer, a soul famous for the number of planets she's lived on is placed into her body. Wanderer expected Melanie to be gone when she woke up, but Melanie had other plans. Melanie tries desperately to hang on to protect her little brother Jamie and her boyfriend Jared while Wanderer fights to keep control. When Melanie's strong feelings for her loved ones start to overlap to Wanderer the game changes and things get interesting. Especially after Wanderer is being followed by a Seeker who's determined to prove that she's hiding something.

Why do I love it? 1-The love triangle get's a little more complicated when there's 4 people and only 3 bodies! 2-I love the idea of a world where money doesn't matter and all of our illnesses are curable. 3-Ian (who turns out to be Wanderer's love interest) is my awesome.

Extras? For more info on The Host click here.

It's no surprise in the wake of the Twilight Series taking to the screen that Stephenie Meyer is taking the leap with The Host as well. I'm intrigued to see how they adapt it to film. It's a really interesting story that could be really cool.

Here is the trailer for the upcoming movie:

I haven't heard of a lot of the actors they've cast but here's a rundown of them for you:

Saoirse Ronan as Melanie Stryder/Wanderer
(The Atonement, The Lovely Bones, Hanna)

Diane Kruger as The Seeker
(Troy, Wicker Park, National Treasure)

Jake Abel as Ian O'Shea
(I Am Number Four, The Lovely Bones, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Supernatural)

Max Irons as Jared Howe
(Red Riding Hood, Dorian Gray)

Frances Fisher as Maggie Stryder
(Titanic, Unforgiven)

William Hurt as Jeb Stryder
(The Incredible Hulk, Into the Wild)

Chandler Canterbury as Jaime Stryder
(The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fringe)

Boyd Holbrook as Kyle O'Shea
(Milk, The Reunion)

Scott Lawrence as Doc
(Avatar, Jag, The Social Network, Cloverfield)

So you tell me, do you think it looks good?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I am Me

I am a Mormon.

I am a Romantic.

I am a Mother.

I am Politically Undecided.

I am Fashion Impaired.

I am a Wife.

I am too Frightened of Scary Movies to Actually Watch Them.

I am Addicted to Smores.

I am a Dreamer.

I am Uncomfortable in Large Crowds.

I am a College Student.

I am Dorky Dancer.

I am Funnier Than You Are.

I am Someone Who Cries Over Commercials.

I am a Sister.

I am Obsessed with Books and TV Shows that are Meant for Teenagers.

But most importantly, I am so much more than any one of these things.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Let your clothes shrink your stomach

I don't know about you but I'm always looking for ways to minimize my waist line. Here are some great ways to help your clothes help you. Thanks Oprah!

"We're driven to believe that it's not possible to have a beautiful body with fat hanging over your waistband," say Trinny and Susannah in their book What Not to Wear. "This is terrible for any of us who have so much as looked at a doughnut or even thought about babies, let alone heaved them out. … So, if you can't beat it, conceal it."

Here are some of Trinny and Susannah's top tricks to camouflage excess tummy fat and give the illusion of a flat stomach.

Tip #1Wear trousers that cut across the middle of your belly. Your stomach will look half the size! And low-waisted pants also help cut the size of your butt down, too.

Tip #2
Wear gathered or ruched shirts. No one will know if it's the fabric or your flesh that's making the waves.

Tip #3
Wear wrap dresses and tops. They keep your boobs separated and create a more defined waistline.

Tip #4
Wear low-waisted skirts and your stomach will look half its size.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Recipe Box: Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Happy Easter! Now if you find yourself frantically searching through your cupboards tomorrow afternoon looking for something to make for Easter dinner because you forgot to hit the grocery store DO NOT WORRY. This recipe is the answer to your problems! It's simple, delicious, and quick! Tad gave this recipe rave reviews, and my one-year-old daughter loved it too! I found it on Jane Cooks It Up! and here is what she has to say:

Crispy Cheddar Chicken
Time: 15 minute prep + 35 minutes baking
Yield: 7 servings
Recipe from adapted from What's Cookin' Chicago via Pinterest

4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 C milk
3 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 t dried parsley

1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 T sour cream
2 T butter

1. Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks.

2. In a small food processor grind up the ritz crackers.

3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.

4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk...

then the cheese. Press the cheese into the chicken with your fingers. Some of it will fall off when you add it to the cracker crumbs, don't worry about it.

Press the cheesy chicken into the cracker crumbs and press it in. By the time you are coating the last piece of chicken, the dish you are using for the crumbs will be full of cheese. Don't let it get you down. Once the cheese melts in the oven it will adhere nicely to the crumbs and the crackers.

5. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan.

6. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.
7. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.
8. Into a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken.


Good luck!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Harry Potter Parody Music Video: Firework becomes Firebolt

I'm not sure how why never seen this video before because it is AWESOME! I saw it in an article from Deseret News, and they said this video was: "Capitalizing on the arrival of the final Harry Potter movie, the Divine Comedy troupe at BYU has released "Firebolt," a Harry Potter-inspired music video parody of Katy Perry's "Firework." On YouTube, the video is giving the group national attention and tapping into nearly 100,000 hearts of Potter enthusiasts."

I am most definitely a Harry Potter enthusiast, and this video makes me want to jump up, grab my broom and dance! All I really know is that I have to go watch it again right now.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Caught My Interest On Pinterest

Here's my next set of awesome things I've seen on Pinterest:

It IS pure genius! from Taste of Awesome
Check it out here.

from Shanty 2 Chic
Check it out here.

Free Printable Scavenger Hunts for Walks from Smashed Peas and Carrots
Check it out here.

Dorky Accessories from The Berry
Check it out here.

17 Tips To make Your Life Easier
Check it out here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Glee + Matt Bomer = Amazing

Are you a Glee fan?

Are you a White Collar fan?

If you answered yes to either of these questions then you will love this video! Matt Bomer makes his Glee debut as Blaine's older brother, Cooper. I am SO excited for this episode, it looks awesome. There is something about Matt Bomer that makes me smile. I think it might be that huge smile he has. Anyways, here's a sneak peak at 'Big Brother'


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