Friday, August 29, 2014

Make Your Own Bread Crumbs

Ever wonder what to do with the ends of the bread. Or have your kids left the bag wide open and the bread started getting hard? You should make your own bread crumbs with it. I love how expensive bread crumbs are. Really? It crumbs! From bread!

Its really pretty easy. I leave the bread out on a plate to dry out for a day or 2. Then I crunch it up to fit in my magic bullet and I pulse it. Then I add some Italian seasoning, shake it up and store it in a mason jar. Done, see not hard at all!



Next I need to make some of my own meatballs and freeze them. Tweet me your favorite meatball recipes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Year of Firsts- Vaseline Head


I was having a rough "mom" day recently when I decided I needed a nap so I could wake up refreshed and a happier mommy. Although while I was resting this little girl decided she needed to bathe in the Vaseline. I mean the entire Costco size tub all over her! Her Legs were coated (and drawn on), her entire dress was coated as if made of Vaseline, her arms, neck, face and last but not least her entire head of hair. Now I have had kids get some Vaseline in their hair before but not like this. Not an entire mask of it. So I called my hair dresser mom friend, asked Facebook for advice and googled it. Here is what I found based on top ideas and suggestions.
 
This was OK, but not the best. Baby oil helped but wasn't thorough enough for my liking.


This (and Peanut Butter) is what I have used for gum in the hair issues. It also helped some, but wasn't a winner of all what I tried.


Corn starch was my #1 favorite. I went through a whole box. I sprinkled it throughout her hair let it soak some up then squeezed tons out. I did that 2-3 times. Then washed it with dish soap. Dish soap is meant to help cut and fight grease. I did that twice before washing it.

.
My hairstylist mom friend recommended a clarifying shampoo as well. This also helped out when I was washing in between all the different household products I found.

In the end I must have washed her hair a dozen times, because she laid there for almost an hour. Even then her hair was still pretty greasy over the next 2-3 days till after a few mores wear and washed it finally came clean.



Queen of Chaos Year of Firsts

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guest Blog Post on Some Fun Road Trips

I am in denial that summer is over. There is still some fun weekends and Labor day weekend to squeeze in some fun adventures. If you want to plan something fun for your family, then today's guest blog post is perfect. Whitney has some fun places to visit all within a 6 hour drive of Salt Lake City.

3 Fun Summer Road Trips You Most Likely Haven’t Enjoyed Yet
Author: Whitney Hollingshead

Utah is home to some pretty incredible natural and manmade attractions. If Utah is also home to your family, you don’t have to venture far to find adventure. This year, however, you may want to consider venturing out into some of the nearby states to explore some unchartered territory. Here are three great family friendly destinations that may be new to your family. All three locations are within a six hour car drive from Salt Lake City.




Destination: Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho
Hours from Salt Lake City: 5
What to Do:
Sandboard on the Dunes - bring along your snowsled or rent a sandboard from the visitor’s center at the park. You can also hike on and around the dunes and play in the sand. Keep in mind that the sand will most likely be hot on a hot summer day so plan accordingly. Everyone will be covered in sand afterward, so have a plan to deal with the sand.
Star Gaze at the Observatory - special events at the public observatory in the park offer some great star gazing opportunities. Check out the park events schedule and check the weather forecast.
Camp in the State Park - plan to stay the night and pitch your tent. Your family can enjoy fishing, swimming, hiking, and bird watching. Bring along some kites and make the most of the Idaho wind!
Road Trip Tip: The drive through northern Utah and southern Idaho has little to hold the attention of children. Pack some extra car games, activities, fun music, and even audio books to keep the whole family relaxed and entertained.



Destination: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Hours from Salt Lake City: 6
What to Visit:
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park - ride up the mountain on the gondola tram. Get your heart racing on one of the thrill rides like the Cliffhanger roller coaster. Take in a 4D movie experience with moving seats and challenge the family to a game of laser tag. You should also check out the cave tours included in some of the ticket packages.
Hanging Lake - take the short, steep, hike beginning in Glenwood Canyon. Hanging Lake was formed by glaciers suspended at the edge of the canyon. This lake boasts stunning waterfalls, a lake full of trout, and crystal clear water.
Glenwood Hot Springs Pool - visit the world’s largest hot springs pool. You can swim in the warm mineral water pool the length of a football field. The kids can enjoy the kiddie pool and two waterslides.
Road Trip Tip: Pack a separate bag to stay in the car at all times. Keep an extra simple change of clothes for each family member, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. This will help you be ready for the unexpected while you are out having fun. You should also consider stocking up on simple snacks to eat in the car. Doing so will save you time and money when you need to stop for gasoline.



Destination: Thermopolis, Wyoming
Hours from Salt Lake City: 6
What to Visit:
Wyoming Dinosaur Center - visit the dinosaur museum showcasing over 30 mounted dinosaurs, hundreds of displays and dioramas, and a modern preparation laboratory. You can also tour nearby dig sites and see actual excavation of real dinosaur bones from the ground. Special programs are also offered that allow you and your kids to participate in real fossil digs! These special programs do require signing up in advance.
Star Plunge Pool Complex - Thermopolis is home to the Hot Springs State Park. These hot springs are used to heat the local swimming pools. Take the plunge into one of the indoor or outdoor pools. Test out your tricks on the diving board or head down one of the three fast-paced water slides. The adults can relax in an adults-only sauna and there is also a separate kiddie pool.
Legend Rock Petroglyph Site - Hike to one of the most impressive petroglyph areas in the world. In order to visit the site, you must first obtain a key form the Thermopolis-Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce in Thermopolis.
Road Trip Tip: Make sure your car is in great condition for your trip. Take care of any needed tune ups or repairs. You may want to consider having your tires checked and rotated before you head out as well. If you have been planning to buy a new car for your family, buying one before your big trip might be the perfect time to make the purchase. Be sure to check out online specials from local dealers to see if you can find what you are looking for and stay on budget.
Summer is the perfect time for exploring. Plenty of time is still available to enjoy a short trip to one of these fun destinations. So clear your calendar, pack the car, and take your family on a summer trip they’ll remember forever.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Easy Dinner Bowtie Pasta Using Leftovers

Now that school  is back in session its time to get on some better schedules and routines. It also means busier days. That's why I like recipes that everyone in my family likes that are quick to make, filling and use things I almost always have on hand. This is one of my favorites because I often throw in whatever left over proteins I have left over from prior meals. My favorite is chicken and Hormel pepperoni. Sometimes we eat it just plain, or sprinkle it with real bacon crumbles. Today I tried it with Hormels cubed boneless ham, and it was so good. My husband said he likes it better than when I do pepperoni. This ham is great to have around because I can throw it on a salad real quick, or my girls will snack on it, sometimes they even dip it in ketchup and eat it for part of their lunch. 



Here is my pasta recipe. Please remember I don't usually measure and sometimes just add random things depending on my mood or what I have. So I tried really hard to pay attention to how I actually made it.

Bowtie Pasta Dinner
Bouillon cubes
Bowtie Pasta
Heavy Cream (or half and half)
Italian seasoning
Corn Starch
Shredded Italian Cheese or Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
Optional: ham, chicken cooked and cut, cut up pepperoni, etc


First I boil a pot off water with 1-2 chicken bullion cubes.  Then when its boiling I add bowtie pasta. Obviously you could use any pasta, but this one seems to be a family favorite.

Then when the pasta is about 75% cooked I drain most of the liquid and add a pint (or so) of heavy cream. I have used half and half before, but heavy cream seems to be best. At this point I lower the stove to medium and stir it often so the milk doesn't coddle. Also add 1-2 T of Italian seasoning.


Then I take 2 Tablespoons of corn starch and mix it in a separate bowl of water. This makes it smooth, versus pouring it straight in and getting all lumpy. Then I add this and my choice protein to the mixture. This time I did Hormels cubed ham.  Stir frequently till the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid and has thickened. 



Once you remove it from the heat add a bag of Italian shredded cheese, or a mixture of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. This is one of the few meals all 6 people in my family enjoy, so we make it often. Enjoy!




In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Easy Ideas for Pioneer Day or Just 'Cause it's Yummy

Only in Utah is the 24th of July a holiday. It's pioneer day. On July 24, 1847 Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley after traveling with many pioneers from Nauvoo, IL. In Utah it's a holiday. They have the Days of 47 parade, rodeo, fireworks at all different locations and plenty of fun things to do. Here are some fun easy idea's to make your day a little easier.

Are you entertaining friends at your house for a bbq and some fireworks? There are several ways you can go. Easy, fast and yummy or you can take your time and make something delicious to impress. When I want something stress free but still can be enjoyed by all I like to get Lloyds bbg shredded beef. It's so easy to cook, serve and eat. Plus it tastes as if I spent hours cooking it.



One of Hormels recipes that I found on their Facebook page was this bacon wrapped cheesy avocado. It has my 3 favorite things, avocado, cheese and bacon. If your are bringing a dish to share at someones house why not impress with this yummy dish?

Click picture for recipe

Last but not least are for those that are going to need to pack some hearty snacks to keep kids full while going to and from parades, ball games, or other fun events. I think our family favorite is apples with with Skippy's new dark chocolate peanut butter spread and celery with Skippy peanut butter. This also is my mom after bedtime treat. 


Hope everyone has a happy and safe Pioneer Day!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Making Your Own Crayons

One of my easy go to gifts for holidays or kids birthdays is a coloring book or printed coloring pages with homemade crayons. It's a great way to get rid of some of those nasty, old, broken and sad looking crayons you have laying around.


Step 1: Break up pieces of crayons into muffin cups. If you have bakeware in cool shapes you could do it straight in them, but I don't so this is how I do it.



Step 2:Put them in the oven on the lowest setting.

Step 3: When they are liquidey then pull them out.


Step 4: Then I pour the muffin cup carefully into the shaped container. These are ice cube trays I picked up at Ikea for a dollar. I have used jello jigglier molds as well, but they don't pop out as easy, but are great for seasonal gifts.


Step 5: Let them cool down.


 Step 6: Then just pop them out and voila! cool crayons!



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Free Summer Reading Programs


One of my favorite things about summer is I feel like I get more reading done. It's a great time to spend more time reading with our kids too. Did you know there are lots of summer reading programs out their that reward you kids for reading? I decided to make a list of all the ones I knew about or could find. Here they are for your enjoyment.



Barnes & Noble has a great summer reading program where you read 8 books, fill out their reading journal and then turn it in for a free book. My kids love this one, and you don't have to wait till the end of summer to submit it. Once you have achieved it go get your free book. Plus the sooner you do the better choice of books you have, since they are first come first serve. Don't worry though, last year we went the last of August and my kids still had a hard time deciding. Click here for more info.

The Utah State Fair gives away a free entrance ticket, soft drink and a ribbon to kids ages 6-12 for kids who read 10 books. You have to hurry up on this one, it has to be mailed in by July 25th in order to receive it. Click here to print out your form and for full details.

summer reading challenge

Scholastic has a summer reading program where you can track your kids reading and enter sweepstakes. It's great for the older kids to do themselves cause they earn badges, online prizes and can even record reading at your school.It's designed for kids to keep track them self, my son navigates it better than I do.



Utah's Governor has a summer reading challengethat is also a popular one. Most libraries usually have forms to fill out on this as well, if not click here for the website. This one you just track your reading time through the summer then either fill out and mail the Family Progress Card or report your summer
reading online at www.governor.utah.gov after 9/1/14. Last few years my kids got a free happy meal from McDonalds for doing it.



Photo: We love how The Doctor's Closet. transformed her son's nursery into a dreamy space to read. Don't miss the reveal on the blog, and ENTER TO WIN a $100 gift card to create a book nook of your own! http://bit.ly/1xIrx8U

Pottery Barn Kids has a list of books that if you ready any 8 of the books on the list, then you can go into their store and receive a book (while supplies last.) This one also expires soon, July 31st. So run to the library and see how many books you can read with your kids. The list has some classics like, Paddington Bear, Olivia, and Corduroy. Click here for a print out off all the books to choose from. Here is the link for more info or for a list of some of their other store events.


Half Price Books wants you to record your minutes read totaling 300 minutes, that's approximately 15 minutes a day for June and July. The cool thing is you get $5 bookworm bucks, the bummer thing is there isn't one in Utah. So this one is or my out of state followers. Click here for locations.



Pizza Hut's Book It program also has a summer program. Just read 5 books then submit online or mail in their form to be entered to win some cool prizes like gift cards, Diary of a Wimpy Kids books and more. They also have some fun Instagram challenges just search #BOOKITSummer and join the fun.



This one I am not as familiar with but it's Sylvan's Learning Book Adventure. After your kids have read a book they can take a quiz earning points. Then those points can be exchanged for prizes. I'm not sure the kind of prizes, but I'll have my son go online today and take a few. Cool thing is that this one appears to be year round! Go to www.bookadventure.com for more information.


If you didn't already know this, than it's your lucky day. Chuck E Cheese has a list of rewards calendars you can use at home, then take in and get free tokens. One of their rewards calenders is a reading chart. Read every day for 2 weeks and you can get 10 tokens. Chuck E Cheese is a great place to run a round on a super hot or even rainy day. You don't even have to order food, just go in get your free tokens and play. Click on the picture above to print yours out.

That's all the ones I can think of or find. Check out your local library as well, sometimes they have fun reading programs, story times and other adventures to support summer reading.

Can't find any close enough to you? Don't panic and just create your own at home. Just use the Chuck E Cheese Calendar or make your own for your kids to trade in for rewards. You could go to the dollar store and buy some tickets and cheap trinkets. For every day they read or book they read they can get a ticket that gets traded in at the end of the week for some of your cheap toys and trinkets. The best way to encourage reading is to do it yourself and in your home!

Did I leave one out of the list? Just leave a comment below with the information.

Monday, July 7, 2014

You Want to What?



I have decided to officially announce a big change in our family's life....
No, I am not expecting! Really was that the first thing that popped into your head? We'll have to talk about that later ;)

Many of you know I have always loved the performing arts. I actually love to be the one performing the arts. That's right I love to act! My husband asked me once what I always wanted to do growing up. Not what I told people I wanted to do, but deep down inside what I really wanted to do growing up. I had to think about it. Really as silly and naive as it sounds I always wanted to be an actress. The logical side of my brain always said that wasn't possible in real life so I had to pick something else.

Over the years through different jobs, going to school and kids in the back of my mind I have still always wanted to act. Every time I get the urge or desire I have prayed about it and always felt the time wasn't right. Earlier this year I got that feeling again and decided to ignore it. After 2 weeks of it almost consuming me I decided to pray and talk to my husband about it. This time I actually got a different personal confirmation, that it was finally time!



Although when I finally decided to move forward I actually lost my voice that week, weird huh? So my sweet husband called a few family friends for me to get some info on acting in the state of Utah. After some research and time I can honestly say I am know an actress. It's weird to say it sometimes, but I am getting use to it. Although as I tell people this there are the 2 main questions I get:

1- Is there anything to even do here in Utah?

Um yes, there is, tons actually. No they aren't always feature films or tv shows, and there is even more than just LDS films as well. Sometimes they are shorts, or documentaries, sometimes even student films or youtube shows. Overall there is always lots of things going on.

2- Is there any money in that?

The answer is for the most part, yes. Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't depending on the job. Although the more I get asked this the more I think, "Isn't it rude to ask someone what they make?" When you tell me you got a new job, I don't ask you what you make? Why is it that because you chose to be an actor that it's ok for everyone to know what you make? I know people are curious to how it works, so I will say it differs greatly. It all depends on the budget for the film.


I do get asked what I have done. I think 16 Stones was a favorite so far. I also did my first voice over job last week for a short on the Batman shooting in Colorado, looking forward to that.

On Set of 16 Stones


The fun part is since I started doing some stuff here or there my son has started to show an interest. I am a little picky about what he submits or auditions for but so far he has had a lot of fun. Here is the link to a promo he did. FYI if you don't want to see anything scandalous or bloody start it 1:24 and you still won't miss him. http://vimeo.com/96359553




So as part of our year of firsts we can say we acted for the first time this year. What have you done for the first time this year? Write up a blog post, add my Year of First button, and add the link here. I will check posted posts to make sure you have my button and that what is posted is legit and a first!

Queen of Chaos Year of Firsts