Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Five: Valentines Day, Soccer, a Gala

My kids have no school today, so I took full advantage and slept in and so now just getting my Friday 5 up.  Every Friday I use 5 thoughts and 5 pictures to recap the week.

5 Thoughts

1.  We had a fun weekend, starting on Friday night when Eric I went out for not only our Valentine Dinner but for the next letter in eating the Alphabet.  It was a yummy dinner and the fries which had duck, mozzarella cheese and gravy on them (sounds weird I know) were to die for and the best part of the meal.

2. Then Saturday we did our fancy family Valentine's Dinner.  Sunday night we fed the missionaries and then the rest of the week was full of soccer.

3. Alex had her last indoor game of the season, they won 9-7 it was an awesome high paced game as indoor games always are.

4. Tuesday I helped in Ryder's class for their Valentine's Day centers, I have become the designated photographer for class events, which I don't mind as that means I always get a spot even if a lot of other parents sign up.

5. Last night we went to a fundraiser Gala for a local children's hospital.  Always fun getting dressed up and helping with a good cause.  The food was really yummy (at $1,000 a plate you sure hope so), and the entertainment was awesome.  William Close was there preforming on his Earth harp, so fascinating to watch.

5 Pictures
soccer Saturday

pretty sunrise

Helping at the grocery store

Valentines Day flowers
All dressed up

What are your weekend plans?


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Family Valentine Traditions: Fancy Family Valentines Dinner

Valentines Day is all about love, and the best people to celebrate love with is your family.  Several years ago, rather then go out and fight the crowds on Valentine's Day we began a Fancy Family Valentine's Dinner.   This tradition has carried on for many years now and the kids still love it.
Fancy Family Valentines Dinner
Here is 2017's Fancy Family Valentine's Dinner.

This year we actually had our dinner a few nights early as we knew our Tuesday night was full of soccer and trip to the Temple for my son.  Most of the decor is either from the dollar store or the Target Dollar section.  Some things I save over the years, like the vases and rose petals; it really is not an expensive ordeal.
Table Setting
We did something new this year but bringing all the kids with us to the store when we bought the food and let them pick out their own special treat to put in their box.
Valentines Dinner Table Decor

I always love doing easy clean-up decor, disposable plates, napkins, etc.  Just because it is disposable doesn't mean it can't look fancy.
Heart plate

The Menu
This year for dinner we had: heart shaped ravioli, sushi, lobster crostini, crackers with spinach artichoke dip, chocolate covered strawberries, quinoa salad, crinkle cut carrots, and sparkly drink.
Valentines Day Dinner


Heart Shaped Ravioli
It was a great meal,  even if we did lose half of the sushi when someone's elbow accidentally knocked the tray on the floor. It is a tradition we will definitely be continuing for many years.
Fancy Dinner

Do you have any Valentine's Day Traditions?

See our past years dinners here:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Day Instant Pot Giveaway

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope your day is filled with love and maybe it will get a little sweeter if you win an InstaPot!

I got one of these for Christmas, and I love it!  I have just used it a handful of times, but it is definitely a favorite go-to of mine now.   If you have used an InstaPot and have a favorite recipe, I would love for you to leave a comment with your favorite recipe!

Enter for your chance to win an InstaPot of your own.

Giveaway ends 2/18.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Five: State Cup, Twin Girls, Muffins

It's Friday! Anyone else ready for the weekend?  Recapping the week with 5 thoughts and 5 pictures

5 Thoughts

1. Alex had State Cup soccer this weekend.  They tied two and lost one, so that is the end of that.  It was a fun but kind of weird weekend all around. The weather, her games were down near San Diego, was perfect though for Soccer.  Spring League will be starting up here soon, it never ends.

2. I had a newborn shoot this week, twin girls!  At the end of the my shoots I often feel this let down, like did I get all the pictures I wanted, I always have been able to provide a great gallery, but I am always wanting to a do a little better, improve a little more.

3. We will be having our fancy family Valentine's Dinner on Saturday.  Tuesday both Lucas and Alex have things in the evening and there just won't be time, so Saturday night it is.

4. Had a totally fun girls night at Panera Bread.  It is a monthly night with women from church, and we always have a wonderful time visiting, lots of laughs, great conversation and just tons of fun.

5. This week was also with Muffins with Moms, fun little event the PTA does, they also do a Donuts with Dad.  One of my friends keeps trying to convince me to come be part of the PTA, I tell her technically I am, I paid my dollar for my membership, I would rather just help in the classrooms.

5 Pictures
Strike a pose

State Cup Soccer Game

Girls night

Muffins with mom

newborn twin girls

Monday, February 6, 2017

Some Dating Advice

It has been many years since I was in the "dating market", sometimes those days seem like another life, so when Zack Oates asked me if I would like to review his book Dating Never Works Until It Does,  I thought, that really isn't a great match for me, but as I read some of the other reviews, I decided to give it a go and I am glad I did.

The Book:
So…what’s this book about?
Why does dating never work? Because it’s not supposed to—that is, of course, until you meet the last person you’ll ever date.

It took Zack Oates over 1,000 dates to find his wife and he has 100 pieces of advice to help you do it in less time with more fun. Dating Never Works…Until it Does will help you get from first contact, to great dates, to overcoming heartache, and all the way to a happy marriage.

It is full of practical steps, crazy dating stories, and hilariously accurate pieces of wisdom to give you a boost at any stage of dating.

Pull up a chair, grab some ice cream and come have a chat with a guy who has been writing about dating since 2008. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and in the end, you’ll realize that for the single, dating isn’t broken it–it just hasn’t worked out…yet!

About the Author:
Zack Oates is an entrepreneur, husband, hot tuber, and author (but not in that order, necessarily). He went on over 1,000 dates with hundreds of women before he met his wife—and would appreciate any advice on how to make sure that his next 1,000 dates are with the same woman.

He grew up in New Jersey in a home with rockstar parents who showed him anything is possible—even a happy marriage. His dad is a three-time Super Bowl champion and his mom is a model; but admits that he was given his dad’s looks and his mom’s athletic abilities.

In addition to earning his MBA, he has started six business, voted Top 100 Entrepreneurs, rung the NASDAQ bell, and has been featured in numerous major news publications (Wall Street Journal, NYTimes, Wired Magazine, Mashable, etc.) for his ventures. He is currently a management consultant for fortune 100 companies. He has also started an international nonprofit working with victims of domestic violence. He has written hundreds of dating, relationship and inspirational advice to hundreds of thousands of readers at

My Review:
Right from the start I could tell I was going to like this book.  Zack's quick get to the point style of writing mixed with his wit and humor made it really enjoyable to read. There were a lot of great quotes throughout that I just loved and can be applied in my life now, I loved this one "The process of falling in love with someone is simply understanding them.  That understanding doesn't come through knowing what they they do/don't do or like/don't like, but through a deeper appreciation of why they do/don't do or like/don't like."   If people in general just really tried to understand why people do what they do, the world would be a lot better place.
   The book is written for both men and women with a lot of great insights into how the opposite sex thinks.  He writes in a way that both men and women can learn and enjoy the book.  As I was reading, I kept thinking I am definitely saving this for my kids someday as the advice really is spot on.  If you want a switch in the usual type of books you read, or know someone who could really use some dating advice, I recommend this book.

Find the Author:

Buy The Book:
  Amazon//Barnes and Noble//