Thursday, December 29, 2011

Flaming Sundaes Tutorial - a special holiday treat!

Enjoy a Flaming Sundae this New Year's Eve!
It's been a Christmas Eve Tradition in my family since I can remember.
Any holiday is a good excuse to light these babies up!

Let Tanner show you how!

What you'll need:
Peppermint Extract
Sugar Cubes
Dessert of Choice

Pour extract in shallow bowl
Quickly dip sugar cube in extract - not too much
Place sugar cube on dessert
Light sugar cube
Turn off lights and enjoy!

Like Magic!

Happy New Year 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

baby {...GIRL...} brown

That's right! A GIRL! We're having a baby GIRL! And we're thrilled. The first 14 weeks I was sure it was a boy, but as the weeks went by and the baby grew I started to think girl. So that was my final vote. (I'm glad I was right!) And so were most of you...

For the ultrasound we invited my parents and Tanner's parents to join us in the room and my sister joined us through video chat on the phone! It was so much fun to have everyone there. I can't wait until they're all in the labor room with me too! Maybe we'll do a live stream here on my blog....  haha. Yeah, right. Everyone, but Tanner of course, will have to wait until she's out and we're both cleaned up a little!

Here's the video of us in the room finding out! (Listen for when Tanner's dad asks, "How do the white lines tell it's a girl?" Haha. :) And hello, belly... just ignore that....

Most of the time I couldn't tell what we were looking at and the nurse didn't say much. Probably didn't help that we were all talking. But at the end I asked, "So everything looks good?" And she said, "Yep, your baby is exceptionally healthy." I wanted more detail, but I guess that's all that matters! And I love that she said exceptionally! Makes me a proud mama!

Here are the pictures of our little papoose!

Her little leg
Profile - I think she smiling!
Bum and "girl parts"
(Will she be embarrassed by this one when she's 16?)
This one is my very favorite! She is covering her face with her arms bent.
You can see her lips and nose. She wouldn't move them for us to see her face!

I'm sure all you moms (and dads) know the amazing feeling that comes with seeing a little baby inside of you- especially for the first time. Before my own experience, I would look at ultrasounds and think, "That's cool." But when I was experiencing it for my self I kept thinking, "Holy Crap! That's amazing!!!" (You can tell in the video how excited we are!) It's amazing that she has a little brain, and liver, and heart, and fingernails. All inside of me!

After the appointment we went to lunch with our parents and who did we see? BYU Basketball Coach Dave Rose! Tanner was so excited. We got a picture with him and told him we just found out our baby is a girl and we are thinking of naming her "Rose." We all got a good laugh. Tanner's mom gave us a Cougar Pillow Pet as a gift just before, so we got it in the picture too! We have affectionately named the pillow pet Rose. But I really don't mind the name Rose, how does Rose Jimmer Brown sound?

I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity and the special blessing that has come into our lives!

(I've seen this on other blogs - expecting moms write to their unborn child - so I thought I'd try it...)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dear Baby Girl Brown,

I'm 22 weeks along now! Before I was pregnant I never could speak in "weeks" like all the pregnant woman did, but once you're pregnant, everyday, and every week is important so you start counting that way. But in other words - we're 5 1/2 months, or 22 weeks or 154 along already!

It has gone by fast and it's hard to believe I'm more than halfway there! Sometimes it's even hard to believe I'm really pregnant and you're in there... and then I feel you move and remember... Wow! You're in there! (and it's not indigestion.)

You are quite the little mover! I don't have brothers or sisters to compare you to, but during your waking hours I feel your little feet and legs kicking my lower tummy. It tickles and I love it.

Now when I see little girls I wonder what you'll be like! I sat next to a little 18-month old girl at church and almost started crying because I was filled with a little glimmer of love that I have for you that's continually growing.

When we found out you are a girl your dad asked, "Will she like building tree houses? I don't know what little girls like to do." It was so cute. But I told him that as long as our little girl is doing something with her dad she will love it! He is so sweet to you. He tells you he loves you a lot and sometimes kisses my belly to send you love!

I have been feeling really good lately. Thanks for being such an amazing pregnancy! I have felt really great the majority of it. Mostly I just need to keep food in our bellies and get enough rest.

I've been eating a lot of sweets lately because of the holidays, but I have greatly reduced my sugar intake as we head into the new year, so you won't get too much of a taste for it and will be so healthy!

I wonder a lot what Type you will be! Thus far I am thinking 1 or a 3 (or a 2 with a high secondary). I've sort of ruled out 4 - because you seem to move so much. But I just don't know. I hope to have a better idea as my mother instincts develop. But whatever you are, you are perfect and amazing and YOU!

You have a lot of people who are excited to meet you and who love you already. Your Aunt Jenny is pregnant with your cousin! Is it a boy or a girl? Do you know?! Either way, you'll be great pals.

We haven't thought of any names for you yet; although we like to tease people we'll name you "Barbara." They get a funny look on their face and say, "Really?" "Yeah!" we say, "We'll call her Babs!" Haha. No offense to any Barbaras, just when is the last time you met a  baby Barbara?!

If there is a name you want, I'm always available in my dreams and while you're at it tell me if you have curly hair. :)

Well, Baby Girl, I love you so much. I'm so excited to meet you, but in the meantime stay cozy and warm.


Your Mom
(Mom? Me? That's weird and exciting!)

Monday, December 26, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas

I love it when I get an amazing idea and then it works perfectly!!! Let me share one of my most recent successes.

I was chatting with my sister one day at the beginning of December and she seemed a bit homesick and sad she wasn't going to be able to join us for Christmas. She lives in West Virginia with her husband and 2 adorable boys! Tony is doing his residency for Ophthalmology. Another year and a half and hopefully they will back in Utah!!

Jenny loves her family and we love her, so when she's not around it's a little blue. So shortly after chatting with her I was doing dishes and I had a flash of inspiration, "Do the 12 days of Christmas for Jenny!" {The flash of inspiration was the Spirit whispering and I am so glad that I decided to keep the TV and noise off while I did dishes so I was ready to hear!}

So I quickly started rummaging up my ideas. And it turned out amazing!!

I sent her 3 packages with 4 gifts each. Most of them were for Jenny or her family as a whole and just 1 or 2 for just the kids. The point was to make it special just for Jenny from her siblings.

I wrote a poem to start it off:

Here's a list of what I sent her each day:

Day 1:  A book about the Christmas tales of old! - A collection of Christmas stories and coloring books for the boys.

Day 2:  Two Cuddly Teddies - When I was little I collected teddy bears and I have quite the collection sitting in a bag in my closet, so I sent each boy a little teddy from my collection to take care of!

Day 3:  Anne’s Favorite Christmas CD’s - I love good Christmas music, much of the music played on the radio is so redundant. My favorites include: Sarah McClachlan, Kristen Chenoweth, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Hillary Weeks, and Amy Grant.

Day 4:  4 Kinds of Chocolates -  Every year we get See's Chocolates from my Grandma Wagner for Christmas, so I selected some of my favorites for her.

Day 5:  Homemade Peppermint Bark - My mom made Peppermint Bark every year growing up so it was only right to send her some!

Day 6:  A fun Christmas movie! - Gotta love a great Christmas movie. I sent her Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas - it's actually REALLY good!

Day 7:  Memories of when we were little  - Click here to see the video I made her.

Day 8:  An 8-piece Nativity Set - A kid's set they can play with while she reads the Christmas Story.

Day 9:  Brightness and Animation - A selection of goodies from our Type 1 shelves at the Dressing Your Truth Store.

Day 10:  A Christmas Eve Tradition - Every year we have "Flaming Sundaes" on Christmas Eve. You dip a sugar cube in Peppermint Extract and light it and voila - magic! Place it on a brownie with ice cream. So I sent her a Flaming Sundae Kit.

Day 11: A Christmas Morning Goodie - A Coffee Cake mix. We grew up with Coffee Cake on Christmas Morning.

Day 12:  The True Meaning of Christmas - A heart felt slide show featuring images and scriptures of Christ. 

*Day 13: All Our Love -  I couldn't stop the amazing ideas! So I added one more day. Check it out. 

In addition to each day's goodies I added a memory from one of us to go along with the gift.

It was so much fun to share these gifts and memories with her! Each day she would call or send a text and share how excited she was! On the first day she called crying, "Thank you so much!" And on the 9th day she said, "This is the BEST Christmas EVER!" 

I am so grateful for such a wonderful sister! She is so sweet and kind! I am so grateful we could share our love with her this year!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Professional Bow Tying Tutorial

Watch my tutorial to learn how to professional tie all your bows so your Christmas gifts look first-class this year! (Consider this my gift to you!)

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

And the song in the back is from my favorite CHristmas CD.
Wintersong by Sarah McClachlan. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Delicious & Nutritious Macaroons (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)

I'm a big fan of food blogs! I find all sorts of great recipe ideas. In my musings I have noticed that most food bloggers write an entire story before they get around to sharing the actual recipe. (They must be writers as well as bakers.) They share the history of the recipe or how it made them feel when they were younger... but I don't really care to do that (or to read it), so I'll just get right to it with my recipe!

This Macaroon recipe is soooo good! I found it in Diet Rebel's Cookbook and have since made my a few of my own adjustments.

I'm not a fan of the classic cooked Macaroons. I find them too sweet, but these are just fabulous and everyone loves them!

They are raw (except for the chocolate on top), Vegan (except for the milk in the chocolate chips) and Gluten Free! (You could use Carob Chips if you want them 100% Vegan.) They are full of good Coconut Oil (a healthy fat) and Almonds (another healthy fat) so I guess they are full of fat, but you need that every once and a while! :)

Here's the recipe:

1 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3/4 Almonds ground into flour 
(Or you can buy Almond Flour at the Health Food Store. I prefer fresh ground Almonds for the thicker texture.)
1/4 tsp. real salt
2/3 cup coconut oil at room temperature
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup Almond Milk

1. in a bowl, whisk together the coconut flakes, almond flour, and salt
2. in another bowl, blend coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla
3. blend dry with wet
4. spoon onto cookie sheet
5. melt chocolate chips and almond milk on low
6. drizzle chocolate on macaroons
7. store in fridge and enjoy