Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Do You Shower with Your Husband?

photo by Matthew Trow
A year or two ago at church, I was talking to a friend who is married to a deaf man. She was telling me how they spend time together and embarrassedly admitted they like to shower together, where they talk (sign) to each other after being separated all day. I assuaged her anxiety by letting her know my husband and I do the same.

I can understand her embarrassment, though, especially in talking to a church friend. Many people assume couples who shower together are really doing something else. I grew up with parents who showered together and didn't see it as anything but a practical thing to do while also spending quality time. I don't even know when I was first exposed to the idea of showering together equalling sex. But apparently that's what most people associate showering together with.

For example, a childless couple in one of our former church congregations was always late. I jokingly inquired how they could be so late when they didn't have any kids to get ready. He said because they each had to shower and his wife took a long time doing so. I said they should shower together to cut out some time, and she said no as if I had suggested something crazy.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because he's wet. And naked," she replied, giving her husband a sexy look.

Talk about TMI, lol.

For us, showering together means a few minutes of private time away from pestering kids. A time for us to talk about important things and just enjoy each other's company before or after being separated all day. And to get clean that spot on your back you just can't reach by yourself, of course. ;)

Do you shower with your husband?

Friday, January 9, 2015

"Girl" by DateNight, with Lyrics by My Brother!

Musical talent runs in the family. My dad sings and was in a band for many years. My cousin also sings and is in a band with her husband. And my brother is a rapper. But what I didn't know about him was that he is also a songwriter and wrote the lyrics to this cute love song. Enjoy!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Asparagus & Mushroom Risotto

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe, so here is one of my favorite quick meals. You can make it with or without chicken.


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup chopped asparagus
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces (optional)
Directions
  1. If making with chicken, brown the chicken pieces first. 
  2. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Pour in the rice and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix in the asparagus, mushrooms, and basil, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
Super easy and very delicious!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Our First Thanksgiving without Family

This was the first year I didn't spend Thanksgiving with my family. It's a big deal for us, and I was a little down. And overwhelmed: it was also the first year I had to make the turkey! Since I would be cooking by myself with no one entertaining the boys, I got started two days before by making my mom's Puerto Rican stuffing. It was my first time making that too, and it came out just like my mom's! I was so proud of myself. It ended up being a huge hit on Facebook and at Thanksgiving dinner.


The next day I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, rice pilaf, and broccoli casserole, and let the turkey marinate overnight. I had Justin put it in the oven in the morning before leaving to play football with all the missionaries so I wouldn't have to wake up extra early.

Once up, I cooked the cheesy mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes with orange zest while the boys watched a Thanksgiving cartoon. When the popper popped up on the turkey I checked the temperature, which wasn't where it was supposed to be, so I kept it in longer. I was more scared of serving an underdone turkey than a dry one. It ended up dry but not terribly so. There weren't much drippings, but it still made a great gravy! Last thing to make was Justin's boxed stuffing (yuck!) and then putting out the rolls, peas, canned cranberry sauce, and green salad.


The missionaries showed up first, and then a sister from our ward came just as I was finishing laying out the food. I had everything ready by 12:30, something we never accomplish at my parents' house even though there's more help!

Dinner was delicious, if I say so myself. Afterward, Sister Mathews washed my dishes before leaving (which made cleaning up later so much easier!) and I put the boys down for a nap. The rest of us watched the LDS movie The RM.


The past few weeks, the missionaries had been training me and put me on the 12-week program that new missionaries do. I had questions for them, and they offered to teach the first lesson on the Restoration as an example of how to use the principles I was learning. They asked me to play the role of the investigator (person learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ). At the end they asked me to pray if what they taught was true, and I was like, seriously? They told me to play along, so I did. It ended up being one of the most spiritually powerful moments in my life. Let me tell you--it's true! Those two young men have so much power and authority because they are so close to the Spirit due to their studying, praying, serving, and keeping high standards. I hope my boys become as strong of missionaries as they are.

The boys woke up toward the end of the lesson. We made the missionaries do the turkey wobble with us and then we had dessert. Sister Mathews had made a pumpkin pie-like dessert, I brought out the cookies, and I mixed together a quick fruit salad. We played the game Balderdash and had a blast! We also learned that one of the missionaries is an exceptional liar, tsk tsk. ;)

Our friends the Turbees came over so the hubby could taste the food I posted photos of on Facebook. I ate the turkey heart in front of them all but didn't get the reaction I usually do. I was surprised to find myself more disappointed than grateful for their politeness. After the game, everyone left and we put the boys to bed. Justin and I enjoyed some leftovers before going down ourselves. It was a much better Thanksgiving than I had anticipated! I am thankful for the wonderful people here who made it so fun and memorable!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Lakeside Collection Gift Basket Giveaway

Have you always wanted to give a gift basket but couldn't find one with the right gifts inside? Or the price was too high? The Lakeside Collection offers gift baskets that you customize, so you not only can put in whatever you want but also spend how much you want. There are five categories to shop from to please your outdoor friends, foodies, fashionistas, little princesses, and pet lovers.


The Lakeside Collection sent me the Curious Cook gift basket to review. Everything was wrapped superbly, so that although my package arrived a little banged up, the contents were safe and sound.


The gifts included were perfect for my family, too! I loved them all, and my husband was most excited by the bread dipping set. He wanted to go out that night and buy bread so we could use it right away!


The gift basket comes unassembled so you save on shipping and can arrange the basket however you want,  based on what you bought. Or, if you want to split the gifts among people, then you don't have to worry about undoing a fancy, pre-wrapped basket. Either way, there are assembly instructions online for a sample basket of each type so you can get a general idea of how to compile the gifts. This is how I assembled my basket (you can finish it by wrapping it in cellophane, though I prefer it without--better visibility and less waste).


Smiles
*Customization of gifts and price with a variety of items and prices. 
*Low shipping costs.
*Gifts are high quality.
*Comes with return instructions and shipping label.
*If you're not into gift baskets, they have a ton of other unique gifts to choose from!
*Excellent customer service!

Frowns
*Not the type of gift basket you can ship to a distant friend since it isn't pre-assembled, unless your friend is like me and couldn't care less about the presentation.

One of you lucky readers will win any gift basket of your choice! Enter in the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to the U.S. only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 28, 2014

"I Want to be Baptized" Book Review

For those of you who are LDS, I have a fantastic book for you to help prepare your children for baptism: I Want to Be Baptized by Annalisa Hall. This book is excellent in every way possible!


Smiles
*Thoroughly explains why we need to be baptized.
*Great format. For younger children, you can just read the major points, and for older there is an analogy and explanation for each point.
*Includes scriptural and musical references for each point at the end of the book.
*The illustrations (by Corey Egbert) are beautiful, fun, colorful, and detailed.
*All of the above make it very kid friendly. My 4-year-old loves it!
*Makes a great lesson aid for Family Home Evening or Primary.

Frowns
*None.

Annalisa and Corey have also published The Holy Ghost Is like a Blanket, which I really want to get now! It even comes in a board book for little ones. For more information about or to buy the books, visit annalisa-hall.com.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"95ers: Time Runners" Movie Review

I am a huge fan of clean filmography. However, many family friendly films can be too family friendly. Sometimes I want something for adults but without adult material. The independent film 95ers: Time Runners delivers just that. It has suspense, action, and deep themes without gore, language, and sexuality.

War rages in the distant future. Millions have died and cities lay in ruins. But the most feared weapons are the time machines. Final victory can only be achieved by manipulating the past…

In our day, FBI agent Sally Biggs is obsessed with investigating unsolved cases involving paranormal activities—especially the bizarre disappearance of her scientist husband. She suspects that the mysteries have something to do with the destabilization of time, since she herself has a strange relationship with time. She has the power to rewind it—to go back a few seconds, whenever she wants, and remake her choices.

But she had no idea that her power was connected to the cataclysmic war in the future, and that she, her husband, and their unborn child would become its most important targets. Assassins with terrifying technologies are hunting her, and her own timeline is unraveling. Her only hope is to follow her husband’s ghost to the awesome truth that ties all the mysteries together—before the ones she loves fade out of reality.




Smiles
*High-quality, impressive graphics!
*Mild action violence with no gore.
*No language (though there is one use of bastard if that bothers you).
*Unique spin on time travel.
*I love how it connects to Dickens's A Christmas Carol and emphasizes the power of choices.

Frowns
*I was confused the first half of the movie; I wish it had revealed more in the beginning. Also, although some have praised its use of real scientific theories and terms, I didn't understand any of it, further adding to my confusion.

Visit 95ers.com to watch this cool sci-fi movie today!
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