Tuesday, April 30, 2013

a lucky find

 We loaded up the car and hit the road Friday morning, dreaming of sun and sand and a weekend full of adventure. We winded our way through the mountains, passing through farmland and tiny towns that dotted the empty two lane road. The green hills slowly rolled themselves into desert and red rock, and we pulled into the campground.

"We're full. Been full for the last two weeks......."



Plan B.

(Plan B is also known as "winging it").

We drove up and down a few roads until we found a faint set of tire tracks that had been left in the sand.

We fired up the 4-wheel drive and made our way back behind the piles of massive rock.

It was the perfect home for the next few days.

We set up camp--tents and chairs and coolers. Kids everywhere you looked--up and down the rocks like mountain goats. We built a fire against the wall where we could laugh and tell ghost stories as the full moon rose overhead. www.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.com
all photos taken at the world's best campsite......somewhere in Southern Utah.......

More desert adventure coming soon!

Where is the best place you've ever camped?

Monday, April 29, 2013

while I was away....

Life is zooming by so quickly! 
It's almost MAY....! 
We skipped town for the weekend and found quite possibly the coolest campsite on planet earth......
.......I'll be back with more soon.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

earth is awesome

take me to the top. the bottom. every corner of the earth
lone peak
It's Earth Day!
What a truly incredible place we have to call home.
There are beautiful things waiting right outside our own back doors.....are we taking advantage of them?  Exploring them? Appreciating them? Breathing their air and dipping our toes in their waters?
What better way to celebrate The Earth than to get out IN it.
Be a part of it.....in whatever way you like.
I have mentioned this quote before.....but can't resist posting again.
I love it. I try to live it.
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul"
-John Muir

Whether you know it or not, you NEED to get out there.
Inhale and exhale the air from the top of a mountain. Or a forest. Or the desert.
You might think you are doing just fine without it.....but once you're out there, it will change you.
You will crave it. Need it. It will become a part of you, and will dance in and out of your thoughts every day. Begging you to come back.
And you'll go, and your body will heal and strengthen.

If I can convince just ONE person to spend more time outside, then I will be so happy--mission accomplished! If I can convince a few of you.....I just might burst.
If you're not out there, you're missing out--I promise. 
I believe it's so important to interact with nature.
And it doesn't matter how.

Take a mountain for example.
Maybe you want to climb it and stand on it's top (I do).
Maybe you want to drive out to it, and admire it from the bottom.
Photograph it.
Walk around it.
Quickly run it's trails while the sun rises over the top.
Spend a day slowly exploring, waiting for the sun to set behind it.
Sleep under it's stars.
A simple picnic.
Splashing in it's rivers.
Climbing it's rock walls.
Flying down it's single track on a bike.
Sitting in the quiet shade of one of it's thousands of trees.
Soaking up the sun from the warmth of a rock.
Alone with your thoughts.
Or laughing by a fire with the best of friends.
ONE mountain offers something for everyone......so what are you waiting for?

I have never traveled far from home. 
But I have found so many places to fall in love with dotting the western half of this country. 
There is a giant fantastic amazing earth out there, waiting to be explored by all of us....it doesn't matter WHERE we live, there are special places we can find and call our own.
Here are some of my favorite places.
 www.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.combryce canyonwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.commoab20 copywww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.comwww.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.com.sl9 copymoab4 copybb10 copysummer+seasidedrive1 copy
crown butte montana, moab utah,  silver lake, bryce canyon, uintas, lake blanche, banff national park, johnston canyon alberta lake louise, trial lake, arches national parksilver lake , delicate arch, big basin, palisades reservoir, humbolt redwood state park, somewhere on the california coast
click on the link for more photos of each adventure

See how awesome Earth is? 
What are you waiting for?

Happy Earth Day.....get out there!

Friday, April 19, 2013

so sweeeeeeeeeet

photo from strawberry and honey jam last year
Cookbook photos are sent!
I just can't believe it.....

It's Friday!
After late nights all week I can't wait to sleep in.....at least a bit.
I was hoping to get a garden area going tomorrow.......but it looks like it might be snowing. again.....
oh well. 
I'll hit the trail anyway. 
We've been re-watching Arrested Development to get ready for the new episodes in May (so excited!). 
We'll probably eat at the little local Mexican restaurant....
And we'll be marking up the calendar with summer campouts.
It's going to be a good one.

Happy Weekend!
tag your weekend photos #howweweekend on Instagram

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

right now....

It's 1:00. 
In the morning. 
Guess what I'm doing?
It looks like this:
Getting ready to turn in the last two years worth of photos for 
Whitney Ingram's The Family Flavor Cookbook. 


It should be in your hands late next month......
we will keep you posted
I should go to bed now

Friday, April 12, 2013

the weekly juice

I've always loved grapefruit juice. 
I think it's one of those things.....you love it, or you hate it.
We've been talking a lot about juice lately....juice gets a bad rap. So many of the juices you buy at the store are full of things that aren't......well......juice.

Take this for example. Here are the ingredients off a bottle of store bought grapefruit juice:
Filtered Water, Grapefruit Juice Concentrate, Grape Juice Concentrate, Apple Juice Concentrate, Grapefruit Pulp, Calcium Gluconate, Calcium Lactate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Red 40.

And here is grapefruit juice made at home....
Not Your Mama's Ruby Red
1 grapefruit, peeled
1 lemon, peeled
2 carrots (more if you want it a bit sweeter)
1/2" piece of ginger

bonus: add in some apple if you're not a lover of grapefruit's bitterness
double bonus: great with a piece of beet thrown in (I love beet in just about anything)

Juice CAN be a part of a healthy diet, as long as it's full of only good-for-you, and REAL ingredients.

What are you juicing this week?

Happy Weekend! 
Let's see what it looks like.....tag your weekend photos #howweweekend on Instagram....maybe we can see some spring!

Want more Juice?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

someday summer

I'm looking out my window, watching the mountains mound with snow.
It melts before it can reach us, so it falls to the ground as rain instead.
The sun is trying to shine, peeking through cracks in the clouds.
It's cold. 
Blankets are piled on the floor in every room.
We'll have curry for dinner. Extra spicy.
Last week we caught a glimpse. Of summer. 
The sun was warm. 
The day, long.
My mind raced with summer thoughts. 
backyard bar-b-ques.
warm evenings under a billion stars.
exploring mountain tops.
dirty feet. and hands. and faces.
swimsuits all day.

It will happen.....someday. Right?

Monday, April 8, 2013


he requested blueberry pancakes.
Eight. Years. Old.
I am such a lucky mama to have spent eight years with this little guy.
He was born with lashes that reached out to his nose.
In his first few months we'd walk and walk and walk around our little neighborhood.
Well.....I walked, and pushed. And he loved it.
Big blue eyes and chubby cheeks. 
Happy and content. Always.
Taught me how to mother. How to truly love.
Barely two years old and the best big brother for our favorite little girl.
Sidekicks. Partners in crime.
He grew.
He loved to learn.
Letters. Numbers.
THE most random facts you have ever known.
He loves them.
Loves school.
So much knowledge hiding in that moppy hair.
He laughs. Teases. Jokes around with us.
He makes friends with everyone, just like dad.
Tiny freckles dot his nose and cheeks....just like dad. 
He has the ability to over think EVERYTHING.....that comes from me. 
His chicken legs and future unibrow come from me too.....you are welcome, son.
A little man. And still, my baby boy.
Love him so.
He got to plan the entire day--start to finish!
He wanted to go exploring somewhere new......so we did!
He requested burgers at the Drug Store (can't argue with that!) with friends.
Followed by cake.....
He actually requested EIGHT layers (I laughed, but then was flattered that my kids think so highly of me), and I told him four was the best I could do.
(Hey--it's eight counting the whipped cream and frosting.....)

And I totally cheated and skipped out on a picture since I knew I already had one (I made this cake a couple summers ago.....)
layer after layer
Chocolate Layer Cake with Whipped Vanilla Cream, 
Raspberries, and Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Cake
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
6 TBS butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line bottom of two 8" pans with a round of parchment paper. Butter paper, and sides of pan.
(I don't have 4 pans, so I did two 8" pans, twice for my four layers)

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with boiling water and cocoa powder. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

In a bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs (adding one at a time) until thickened slightly and light colored (about 3 minutes). Slowly add buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Spoon batter into pans, and bake two at a time until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 12-15 minutes. 

Repeat with two more cakes.
(batter will divide into about 1 1/2c for each of four pans)

Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Whipped Vanilla Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whip cream on high speed for a few minutes until soft peaks start to form. Add powder sugar and vanilla and whip a little bit longer until you have reached a light and fluffy, whip cream consistency.

Chocolate Buttercream
8 TBS butter
1/2+  cup cocoa powder (depending on how cocoa-y you like it)
2 cups powdered sugar
A few TBS milk

Beat butter, cocoa, and powdered sugar, and add milk a little at a time until you reach a consistency you like.

Spread first layer of cake with whipped cream, and add a few small handfuls of fresh raspberries over the whipped cream. Repeat with remaining layers. Spread the chocolate buttercream on the top layer and top with more fresh raspberries.

Take a picture, because that is one big cake you just made.


happy day to my boy!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

how we weekend: march

Oh weekend.
This last weekend we celebrated (and celebrated and celebrated) my boy's eighth birthday (EIGHT!! more on that soon.) 
We had a favorite cousin come to town. We rock climbed. I hit the trail. 
We watched our church's General Conference.  Fantastic April weekend.

So much happened in March......I still can't believe it passed so quickly. 
We moved. Got settled(ish) in this little house. Prepared our old house to rent. Found renters (phew!) Explored new trails. Met new friends.
Robby had a birthday! We celebrated Easter! 
Colder temperatures, snow, and attempting to get unpacked kept us inside (in pjs) for most of our weekend time....
....but March looked like so much fun while browsing through all of 
YOUR How We Weekend pictures on Instagram! 
Thank you so much to everyone who plays along each week--I love going through them all and seeing how you spend your weekend. Our numbers are growing and it's so hard to pick a few.....here are a handful of my favorites:
find all these fun people on Instagram
@natalienorton / @ytzen_handel
@home_sweets / @lovelee8
@haygardi / @abbyroad22
@whitneyingram / @emilyoneal_
@tegyn / @kylieturley
@hancooper / @beri_irving
@ilovejep / @_sheenarae
@jenchamp / @jibnut80
@monniecox / @nessamoments 
@islandfairy / @jenniferhoiyin
@juliafyfe / @allisonschwartz_
@tegyn / @summerharms
@jennywylde / @ytzen_handel
@rachellewilliams / @missenglebright
@mylifeatplaytime / @juliafyfe
@mrshowiepc / @alliefinch
@jasm1na / @edendaygreer
@juliafyfe / @amyrachel

How was YOUR weekend?

for a chance to be featured tag your IG photos #howweweekend

Monday, April 1, 2013

meet the ladies

I have to start out by saying this:
Taking pictures of little chicks is a hilarious event. 
And sooooooo fast.
It was very entertaining.
We are pretty excited about our girls. 
I have been wanting chickens for quite some time, and moving out here finally made my chicken dreams come true. We had the hardest time only leaving the feed store with five....they are just so cute, and I felt like all their "peep peep peeping" were cries of "pick me! pick me!"

It will be quite sometime before we get to feast on their colorful eggs, but in the meantime we will enjoy them as pets and admire their quirky personalities. And they are growing so fast!! I can't believe how quickly their little feathers are coming in. Soon we will have awkward ugly teenagers.

So sweet and mellow. Always snuggled up next to one of her sisters to sleep.

She's an olympian. Ridiculously quick and impossible to catch--even being so little. 

(named by my girl. she is in LOVE)
 So sweet. Loves to be held. Starting attempting to fly out of their box already. yikes.

(named by my boy.....he's realllly into Harry Potter right now, obviously)
Another sweet little girl. Maybe part woodpecker....she is constantly pecking at the side of their home. 
alllll night long, mind you.

Wilma is the loudest little bird I have ever come across. Constantly peeping and squaking. 
Loves to stand on her sisters.
They are currently in a giant box (in our house) with a heat lamp, but we'll be moving them into something with a roof soon, to avoid any escapes. It will be a few more weeks of growing, and warmer weather before they can go outside (oh, and we should probably get their coop ready....)

Things I've learned so far:
They never stop pooping
They never stop peeping....such chatty little girls.
I was prepared for them to grow fast.....but I can't believe how much they have changed in just the few days we've had them.

Are you getting baby chicks this spring?
Do you have chickens? What can you tell me?
I have found this website to have lots of answers to lots of questions.