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.

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 after 9/1/14. Last few years my kids got a free happy meal from McDonalds for doing it.

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 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.

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