Entries from February 28th, 2014

Lime Basil Chicken // a recipe



These tiny hands are always so willing to help around these parts. Especially in the kitchen, whether it’s helping me cook, wipe down the counters, or do the dishes. L is always full of such enthusiastic energy that I want to capture it for myself! I try my best to honor it, so with this recipe she had the best time picking the basil leaves off the the plant that Addie gave me for Valentines day, plus she also loved juicing the limes and whisking up the marinade.



This chicken is a definite family favorite. I usually need to double my batch so we can at least try to have a little left over. Its super juicy and limey..which we all love! Plus its paleo approved!

Lime Basil Chicken

You will need:

3 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts
3 whole limes
5 cloves garlic minced
6 green onions
a cute handful of fresh basil (approx 4-5 Tbsp chopped)
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp avocado oil
1/4 cup evoo
1/4 cup coconut aminos
real salt and pepper to taste

Fillet chicken breasts in half, then cut in to smaller strips so the marinade can soak in easier. Whisk the zest and juice of 2 limes, 3 cloves minced garlic, 3 chopped green onions, 3 Tbsp avocado oil, dijon mustard and the coconut aminos together in a bowl. Place chicken tenderloins and marinade in a gallon sized baggie and marinate for at least an hour.

Grill chicken or cook on a stovetop in a cast iron pan. I used my built in griddle on my stove. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. When done let rest for 5 minutes then slice in to pieces.

While chicken is resting mix 1/4 cup evoo, the juice and zest of one lime, 2 cloves minced garlic, 3 chopped green onions, and your chopped fresh basil. Pour over sliced chicken, toss and enjoy!

recipe adapted and made paleo from here

Valentine’s Dates // and Us



Valentines is one of my favorite holidays. I can remember waking up in the morning and racing down the block to my Grandmothers house to open my gift. It was usually a new outfit picked just for the day with some rad 80’s vibe of hearts or lips on it. I have carried my love for the holiday through to my children and usually get them some fun little gift related to it as well. But this year I thought it would be fun to have a little valentines date with each of my children alone. And, because we all start somewhere, here’s a little introduction to each of us too.

I started my dates a little later than I had originally planned. Tuesday rolled around and all of a sudden I realized that Valentines day was on Friday and I had better get moving. So, first up. My oldest daughter, Taylor // 18. She is currently finishing off her senior year in high school while also attending a local college. Working on getting her MA (Medical Assisting) degree everyday for part of her school day as well as two nights a week so that when she graduates and heads to college this fall she will have a good stable job to pay her own way through. In her very limited spare time she currently works at our “second home” teaching kids how to snowboard.

Tuesday evening is one of the two nights a week she is free so I jumped right on it. I had remembered her casually mentioning to me a few weeks ago that she was in need of some new under garments (is that the politically correct term?). So off to VS we headed. We found what we were in search of plus had fun trying on all of their lipstick colors. Bonus…we ended up spending just enough to get ourselves a “free” (not free at all) box of chocolates which I couldn’t partake in because I am in the middle of a whole 30 cleanse (I know, what was I thinking doing one over Valentines…but really I was thinking..thinking I’d save myself from wearing leggings as pants for the rest of the month. Oh, wait. I do that anyway.) But, my sweet girl saved half of each piece for me to have when I’m done. She’s really one of my most thoughtful children…children..can I still type (or call her) that even though she’s 18…sigh.


After realizing that it was already just two days away from Valentines day I started mapping out how I was going to cram in 5 more individual dates. Every other Wednesday morning I volunteer in Liam’s first grade classroom and read with each of the kids individually. While I’m there L gets to spend time with her Grandpa whom she adores, but who also lives near a quaint little local bookstore/coffee shop and bam! I had her date scheduled and figured out.

Liliana aka Evie (that’s another post) // 3. The baby. She’s sweet and fiery all at once. Loves books, puzzles, pink, and princesses. But also can’t get enough of ballet, skiing, riding her bike and jumping on the trampoline. She’s always busy, but most of all is always (like literally 20 times a day) telling me how much she loves me. However, with all the things she loves, books and puzzles everyday all day long would be her happy. So, after picking her up from Grandpa we headed to the little bookstore around the corner and I let her choose her very own book. But not before she spent a good 20 minutes following the giant shop dog around and petting it so much that her hand was hairier than my legs during winter. I was beyond surprised by her book choice. I thought for sure we would end up with one of the pink (because this girl loves pink) glittery princess fairy books…but after she carefully flipped through about 10 different books we ended up with the most perfect Valentines book ever. “I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love” by Nancy Tillman.

After leaving the bookstore she asked if we could get a pink cookie. Of course! Even though I get to spend a lot of alone time with L, it usually consists of running errands and helping me take care of whatever chores or things I need to get done. So it was especially nice to have this little date and simply focus just on her.


When L and I returned home from our little date it was nearing lunch time and that meant I was going to get to head out for my second date of the day with my second oldest Addie. She is also a senior in high school and is also getting her MA degree. Plus she works part-time as a customer services rep (so be nice to them) and thankfully Wednesdays are one of her days off. I’m telling you it’s hard to schedule time with teenagers!

Addison (Addie) // 17. My most health conscious child. She exercises daily and is very aware of what she puts in her body like me. She likes to eat good healthy food which seems unlikely for a teenager. So I knew immediately what I wanted to do for our date. There’s a newer earthy/gluten-free/hippie restaurant and juice bar that opened up in our downtown area and we both had been wanting to try it. We had a yummy lunch consisting of a vegan carrot ginger soup, and lettuce wrapped sandwiches. After lunch we browsed the attached store and took a peek at their yoga studio. It reminded me a lot of the studio I used to run and made me miss teaching yoga terribly..but that’s another story. We then headed to Target to pick her up some new headphones for her and Taylor’s upcoming trip to Haiti! It was so nice be alone and just talk about all of the fun things that are in store for her. It’s still so crazy for me to think that in just about 5 and a half months she and Tay will be living in a dorm and going to college! It sure makes me cherish this time. I just really love this girl and had such a fun afternoon with her. And at 17, she’s got her head on so straight she makes me proud.


Oh, Mathew // 15. My sweet boy who is about to get his drivers license…wahhh! This kid will do anything to make his Mama happy. He is our most musically gifted child. I don’t know of anyone who has never played or had any lessons on an instrument and decides that they’re going to try out for the most sought after spot in and ensemble and gets it…that’s exactly what he did with winter drum line. He’s never played the drums before and just walks on and scores one of the best positions on the line…wtf. He also plays the guitar, piano, and saxophone…plus he just makes me laugh. He’s fun, lighthearted and appreciates life.

With his drum line schedule his only free night is on Wednesday so that slot was dedicated to him. We headed out for some shopping because I realized that it had been a while since I purchased him any new clothes…(like since the beginning of the school year) He’s not really a complainer…so it just didn’t really cross my mind until recently I had been noticing that he was starting to sag his pants..and we don’t generally sag in this house. Then it was like a bright light went on in my head. Bingo! Hey, Miko. Maybe he’s sagging because he’s grown like 4 inches since you bought him those pants…oh, uh..whoops. We closed down just about every retail shop around and picked up some In-n-Out somewhere in there too. I had so much fun hanging with my boy and we laughed a lot of the night away together.


Thursday came around and up first was Aden // 13. Freestyle skiing extraordinaire and my part-time home schooler. He’s bad ass. That is all…I mean, just look at that rat tail. He is in 8th grade but since I home school him for his elective courses he only attends school every other day. And this week Thursday was a home school day. Which meant we would skip our normally scheduled “skiing class” (which is me dropping him off at the mountain first thing in the morning and picking him up when they close) and do our date instead. At 13, Aden is trying his luck with competitive freestyle skiing this year. He is competing in both slopestyle and rail jams. It has been fun (and scary) to watch him grow and push himself. He’s also known as the “other Dad” around these parts. He’s super close and always helpful with both Liam and Liliana. Children have always loved him and he loves them too. For as long as I can remember he has said that he wants to be a pediatrician. I just know he’ll be amazing at whatever the future holds for him.

I always block out the time for one of my kids to get their hair cut with me at my hair appointments. For the past month Aden had been somewhat jokingly (or from what I thought) saying he was going to cut his hair off when I had my next hair appointment. I didn’t really think much of it as whenever this has happened in the past he has backed out at the last minute. You see this boy has been rocking the long hair Justin Bieber do since before Bieber was even Bieber. But while I was getting my greys baked out under the dryer, Weston (the best hair dude ever) pulled out the buzzers and went to town. I literally was choking back tears. It has been years since I have seen Aden’s head with just buzzed hair on it. He decided to leave a rat tail for fun and now it looks like I’ll be braiding whats left of his luscious locks for him on a daily basis. After we were done getting our hairs did we headed to the mall to pick up some new kicks for his ever growing feet and picked him up a frozen yogurt treat too.


And rounding up the Valentines dates is my youngest sweet boy Liam // 7. My new years baby. Literally the first one born in Utah for the year. He came in with a bang and fireworks and has been amazing ever since. Once anyone meets him they never forget him. He’s got more friends than all of us combined. Just last week Will was at Costco with him and he comes home and says “Liam is like a celebrity, seriously like ever person working at Costco said “hi” to him, or “hey Liam” as we walked by.” He just leaves an impression.

Little did he know, but he was what prompted my thought on doing these individual dates. The kid adores his big brother Aden and for months has talked about wanting tall white Nike socks just like Aden’s. So when I received my Sports Authority rebate last week I knew right then and there what I was using it towards. I wanted to surprise him, so I was trying to figure out a way to do it when the idea of the individual dates popped in to my head. This boy of mine is easy to please and is always smiling and happy. He just has such an amazing presence about him that it truly brings me to joyful tears. So white Nike socks is what he wanted and white Nike socks is what he got! Plus a slice of Costco Pizza and a root beer to enjoy in while sitting in the cart as I shopped just like he used to before he was in school all day. He was the perfect one to wrap up my individual Valentines dates with and we had a wonderful little date.

Last but absolutely not least. My Man, the Hubs, Will // (age not disclosed;)). He is what makes it all possible for this family to go round. Works hard for us and still makes time for each one of us. And on Valentines night he surprised me with a date. We normally don’t do anything too big. As he would say “I’d rather focus on making you feel special everyday not just once a year” But this year he did it a little different. He called me around 3 o’clock on Valentines day and told me to be dressed and ready by 5pm, that we had reservations at 5:30. When we arrived at the restaurant he didn’t know that the only menu was a special 5 course valentines menu with no deviation. We sat down, looked it over and realized that there wasn’t a single thing that I would be able to eat on the menu (remember..whole 30) so…we up and left. I always feel bad leaving restaurants after being seated, but when they offer nothing that will work what do you do? Now being prime dinner time on a friday night and Valentines day we knew we weren’t getting in anywhere. So we headed to a place where we knew we would be able to get in and where I would definitely be able to eat. A super yummy burger joint that is also a bar. But the awesome bonus for the night was all food was 50% off! So we seriously spent $15. And we ate two amazing lettuce wrapped bacon burgers and a big ole basket of sweet potato fries in our best dress duds. After dinner came the biggest surprise of all. He gave me a Macbook!! Seriously. He’s my favorite and my everything. And I mean it. xoxo

A Simple Valentines Box



Through all of the many (and by many, I’m talking like over 30) Valentines parties I’ve prepared for and attended with my 5 older children, this is the first year I have ever had to make a valentines box. So, that being the case, the week before L’s valentines preschool party was to be had we set out on a first ever adventure together creating and crafting one up.

We rummaged through the recycle bin and found a Costco sized goldfish box, pulled some butcher paper, card stock, stencils, paint, washi tape, and bakers twine out of the craft drawer and set to work with no particular idea in mind.

Immediately upon seeing the paints L got right on top of painting some white card stock while I wrapped up the old goldfish box and sealed it with washi tape. Before long, My little painter had moved on to stenciling the box with xo’s and we finished it off with a handle @Liliana for her name…because Instagram of course.


It was seriously so simple to make and I think it turned out pretty cute. Really, she couldn’t have been more excited and proud of her work. When I set her up on the counter to snap these shots she said “My friends will put treats in this hole for me?!” Ahh..this little girl…her excitement and love for everything that comes her way just keeps the biggest smile on my face.



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