Thursday, September 30, 2010

Need an idea for dinner?

This is one of our new favorite meals. Ever since Mexico I've been craving the delicious fish tacos we had there. Well, with a little tweaking of a recipe I found, we found a close runner up.

The fixins - which you can prepare well ahead of time and keep in the fridge
1) Make some homemade Pico. I take the seeds out of my tomatoes first so the end product isn't runny and then dice up tomatoes, yellow onion, cilantro, and a bit of jalapeno. Then toss that all together with some fresh lime juice, salt, and pepper until I like the flavor.
2) Make simple guacamole. Mine is simply smashed avocados, lime juice, salt and pepper. Delish!
3) Shred some cabbage
4) Cut a few limes into wedges (approx a wedge per taco)

The fish
1) Chose your fish. I use tillapia because it is fairly inexpensive, yet tasty. I buy the frozen stuff and thaw out one fillet of fish per person eating. Thaw it simply by leaving it in it's pre-packaged plastic and sticking it in your sink with hot water. They thaw quick.
2) Once fish is thawed, cut into pieces, I like mine cut into fairly small pieces so that they can fit in the corn tortillas easily.

The Batter
1) Mix together about 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 2 Tbsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt. You can change the proportions of these ingredients quite a lot and it will still work out just fine.
2) In a separate bowl mix together 1 egg and 8 oz of beer, apple beer (it's all I had once and it turned out delicious), o'douls, or something else with sugar and carbonation if you want to be creative.
3) Combine the flour and beer mixtures. You may need to add more flour or more beer depending on thickness of batter. You want it to be like pancake batter.

Frying the fish
1) Heat about 4 inches of canola or veggie oil in a heavy pot on your stove top. Keep the heat around medium or a notch above, you don't want it to get too hot so that it burns your batter, but it does need to be quite hot.
2) Rinse fish, dip in a bowl of plain flour, and then put into batter.
3) Once oil is ready, put battered pieces of fish into oil (depending on size of pot and amount of fish, you may have to do more than one batch of cooking), turn them every once in a while and cook until the batter is nicely browned (about 7 or 8 minutes). Remove the pieces of cooked fish and place on a plate covered in a paper towel to soak up some of the grease.

The tortillas
1) Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan on stove top (you can use some of the oil you fried your fish in if you want)
2) Place corn tortilla(s) in the oil and cook until slightly browned on one side, flip and brown the other side.
3) Remove from oil, place on a plate covered in a paper towel, and bend in half to make a taco shell shape.

Assemble the tacos how you want. I find that usually 2 or 3 pieces of fish fit in each taco shell. Of course pico and avocado are typical taco condiments, however do try the cabbage, it really does add a good texture and flavor to the taco. Squeeze a lime over your fillings. Eric likes to add some tarter sauce to the top of his, I think it takes over the flavor too much so I leave it off.

Memories not to be forgotten

At least a year ago my dad went to some sort of training for work and met a guy who is Big Kenny's (from Big and Rich - one of my all time favorite country bands) childhood friend and now works with him (maybe is his manager or something). Big Kenny's friend found out that my dad is a HUGE fan and has invited him multiple times to different concerts. My dad was finally able to take him up on an offer because the concert was in SLC. Big Kenny's friend got backstage and the full works passes for my dad, mom, aubrey, me, and Eric. It was so much fun! They fed us Rubio's, which is delicious by the way, and then we got to go back stage and meet Big Kenny to get autographs, pictures, etc. Next was the concert and it didn't disappoint. He is a GREAT entertainer! And I love his music :) Plus, the crowd was also entertaining - a.k.a. drunk 50 year olds who were dancing around like they were hyper 13 year olds.
A couple months ago me and Aubrey decided to take our kids to Papa's office to visit him. Well he made the trip so fun that the kids probably think Papa's work is the most magical place on earth. He took them over to get lunch at the cougareat, then to the candy store to pick out a bag of candy each, then he took them on a tour of the police station. Next we visited his friend Arnie who gave each of the kids a HUGE teddy bear. When I was little we'd go visit Arnie and he'd give us each a penny, nickel, or dime and then tell us that our dad would go take us to the ice cream shop to get ice cream with the money :) Good trick!
Let's just say Reese is s HUGE fan of her papa. She LOVES his closet and always drags him in there, sits on the big blue chair, and waits for him to bring canisters of candy for her to pick out what she wants. She always picks the little mints - this girl is a mint addict (toothpaste, mints, gum, mint ice cream....)She's now learned that she can take a lot of mints at a time and stick them in her pocket so she has a stash for the next hour or so. Eric went on a bike relay from SLC to St. George with his cousins. Their transportation for those not riding was cousin Micah's bus. I was so excited to go until I learned that the A/C didn't work, no one else was bringing kids, and the weather was looking hot. I decided to stay with my parents because I was pretty sure me + reese + Massive amounts of heat - sleep = no one wanting us to ever join them on a trip again :) It was probably a good idea, although I was sad I missed out on hanging out with such good company. It ended up being quite a rainy weekend and I loved every bit of it. It felt so nice to be cool in the midst of summer.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Causey, Wheeler Farm, and a Big Girl

We went camping with my family a couple weekends ago at Causey Reservoir. The night was freezing cold, I stayed warm, Reese seemed to stay warm, but Eric was cold. Reese decided that as soon as the sun was peaking up (around 6 am) it was time to be up for the morning. Pretty much we were all exhausted still and once out of our sleeping bags, freezing. Reese definitely looks cold and exhausted in this pic.
We spent the day at the reservoir. We kayaked, some of the guys fished, and Eric snorkled around. The ladies and kiddos played in the mud and ate snacks all day. It was a lot of fun just chatting and relaxing. Reese was so happy to be out and playing in mud/dirt, so she didn't complain the entire day, it was relaxing. We had heard that the salmon were spawning up the river so we headed up there before dinner, but we didn't see any. Guess we were looking in the wrong place.

My good friend Terra came up with her girls last week to hang out. I was so grateful. I crave hanging out with Terra and always feel socially fulfilled afterwards. We need to do this MUCH more often. We took the girls to Wheeler Farm where we saw the animals and got rained on. Then Terra treated us to ice cream, yum!

For some reason I love this picture, just the kids (some in womb, some out). Terra is having a boy and is due just a few weeks after me. I'm thinking we'll need to have our husbands take the girls on a campout and Terra and I can relax with our new baby boys for a day. But let's be honest, men providing for their families aren't usually the first ones to have a lot of extra time, so we'll see if we get the chance. I finally got the camera semi-lined up and it started pouring. So it isn't the best or most well centered photo, but it'll have to do.
Cute girls!
After hanging out with Terra I was inspired to move Reese into a big girl bed before the baby comes. I was planning on doing the 2 crib thing. For now we just put a twin mattress on the floor. Once she gets used to that we will bump it up on a box spring and eventually move it onto the bed frame. We started her in it on Saturday. Her first run was for naptime. She cried off and on by her door for an hour then finally fell asleep. Sadly, when I went in to check on her 1 1/2 hours later, she was sleeping on her rug by the bed. That night she slept on the floor as well but slept through the night. On Sunday Eric put her down for bed and layed in there until she fell asleep. Since then she has been sleeping well IN the bed, rather than on her rug. It is weird to see her in the bed because she takes up like 1/8th of it. I thought it would make her seem older to me, but somehow it just makes me realize how tiny she is. Especially when she wakes up and calls my name and I open her door to find her standing next to the door with her blanket and binkie. Just miniature I tell you. I sure am proud of her though!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Loving September

We've been spending quite a bit of time outside, especially on the days it isn't so blasted hot. I know I should be LOVING the extreme heat, but being as pregnant (aka running 30 degrees warmer than everyone else) as I am, I haven't been loving the heat as much as normal. Eric usually makes comments on our ice box (bedroom) at nights, to which I just rollover my large and in charge belly that is lying on top of the covers and contemplate whether I'll be able to fall asleep if the temperature doesn't continue to drop.

Anyway, back to hanging out outside on the nice days. Reese loves playing with the bike and trailer, and I love when she pulls off a crooked smile :) Reese is very into manipulating things open, whether that is screwing lids on and off, using her teeth to pry things open, or trying to figure out how to use a combination lock.
I seriously can't get enough of this cute little body! I am almost tempted to start potty training her simply so she can wear little girl underwear and her pants will form so cute to an undiapered and tiny bum.

Today Reese hit me while I was putting her in the car. I explained that I don't hit her because it isn't nice, so she shouldn't hit mommy either. She got a pouty lip and started crying (she is a sensitive soul when it comes to getting in "trouble"). After the 1 1/2 minute drive home I got the groceries out of the car and then opened the door by her carseat. I asked, "are you ready to be nice?". She nodded her head and said, "nice". I asked, "can you say sorry?" To which she adorably responded, "sorry". I said, "can you give mommy a kiss?" She puckered her lips, like you see below, and when I was about a half inch from her face she unpuckered and turned her face away. I just had to laugh, that is so Reese. Never giving out those kisses freely, except to the pictures of Jesus around the house. I hope she keeps that trait late into her teenage years!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Aubrey and Jeremy invited us to hang out at Jer's family's cabin 2 weekends ago. We had a LOT of fun!

In the picture below, I told Reese to let me see her teeth while she smiled. This is what I got :) It is the same mouth formation she makes when saying "juice", "shoes", or "teeth".

I love how Reese and my dad are smiling at each other in this picture. They are GREAT friends!

Reese wanted to ride on the 4 wheelers over and over. So we pretty much did just that.

On our way back to SLC we stopped at a little reservoir. Dan decided he wanted to jump into the COLD water.

Thanks Aubs and Jer for the fun weekend. It was a BLAST!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I found some stickers in the dollar section at JoAnn's the other day while I was waiting my turn to get fabric cut for the baby bedding I'm making. (This is a daring venture for me!) I thought, "I LOVED stickers as a kid, I wonder how Reese would like them." So I bought a couple packs and she is a fan! When putting them on paper she puts most of them right on top of each other making a stack of stickers. And if they stick to her fingers for longer than just a couple of seconds she kind of goes into panic mode and starts hitting it on the paper trying to get it off her finger...haha.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I'm guessing our baby must be starting to build his fat stores. Because I sure have an appetite for:
-chocolate chips
-sugar cookies
-buttercream frosting
-buttered toast
-whipped cream
And don't worry, I'm good at listening to what my body needs. For lunch I had buttered toast with my eggs, I just ate a handful of chocolate chips, about 1/2 a handful of sugar cookie dough, and my oven is warming up so I can cook my dough and decorate the cookies. I think I have my glucose screening at this week's checkup, hope I'll pass ;)

Monday, September 13, 2010


Eric and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend last week and take a trip down the Baja Penninsula of Mexico. We left Reese with my sister and parents because we were concerned that it wouldn't necessarily be safe for her, nor did we know that we'd be able to find food that she would eat and that wouldn't make her sick. I was SO sad to leave her, I'm VERY attached, but it was a very good idea and allowed us to have a trip without children, which I'm guessing won't be happening for quite sometime again. Plus, Reese had a blast! Daniel, Eric's brother who lives with us, came with us and it was such a fun trip.

We left Wednesday around 3 pm and drove to Vegas. We stayed at Eric's sister Kristen's house and then left from her house early on Thursday morning. We started Hunger Games on our way to Vegas and almost finished it, so we had to make a stop at Wal-mart in Paris, CA to get the 2nd and 3rd books to read on the rest of the trip. I love reading books on roadtrips, it seems to be my only chance to get into a book. I was thinking in Hunger Games language and mindset like the whole trip, it was weird.

We spent a little time in Ensenada, where I got some replacement sandals because the soles in my rainbows finally wore through. We walked through the city and got some delicious tacos and tortas.
We drove to La Bufadora, which is a place where the seawater explodes out of a blowhole in the rocks, but sadly never saw what we went there for, it must only happen when the tide is higher up or something. We did however drive through a street market that was very touristy, but we were the ONLY tourists there so we decided not to stop so we wouldn't be bombarded with people trying to get us to buy their stuff. We did however take a picture from above the market though.
Our destination for Thursday was Erendira, a beach west of San Vicente. We showed up in the evening, talked to some people from CA, who were there to teach a surfing class over the weekend, and then found the owner of the beach, paid him a small amount of money, and he loaded our car up with firewood. I'm so glad Eric speaks Spanish, I really just wouldn't do a trip like that without someone who spoke good Spanish. The owner was this cute old man who didn't care that we pay him anything to stay there, quite the opposite of what I thought we'd encounter.
That night we had a campfire and I got really sick from the lunch we had eaten in Ensenada. Luckily it was quick passing, at one point I thought my water broke, it was that great :) I was nervous I was going to be sick the rest of the time but after an hour or so, I was good as new.

In the morning the guys decided to go out boogie boarding. I decided against it since my belly is rather large. I did however join them to snorkel. The water was FREEZING. At first I was wearing my dad's shorty wetsuit because of my inability to fit into my normal wetsuit. It wasn't cutting it though because the legs, arms, and neck were loose so I had a constant current of ice cold water flowing through. I ended up squeezing into Eric's full body wetsuit with a hood and booties, and then was able to enjoy being out in the water. This was such a different experience for me. I've never snorkeled where the water is murky, there are rather large waves, and it's freezing. Eric and Dan on the other hand are born snorkelers, surfers, etc. They grew up on an island and spent LOTS of time in the ocean exploring. I was nervous, thinking about the hammerheads my sister-in-law had mentioned come around in the fall, so Eric held my hand and then I wasn't so freaked out. I'm a wuss, I know.
Here are my cool little mexican sandals.

And here is our picturesque campsite. There was no one in sight, but sadly I didn't take a pic of the campsite until the fog started to set in.
After snorkeling on Friday we took off to Guerrero Negro, which is quite a long ways away from San Vicente. Especially with all the winding roads and the road work which deverts you onto dirt roads that no 2 wheel drive could make it on. We stopped at the Mercado to get some juice, water, and snacks, and then went to a restaurant where we had delicious food. They started us off with a vegetable soup, then brought out our dinners. Eric had yellowfin, I had chicken tacos, and Dan had fish burritos. I prayed and prayed I wouldn't get sick this time around and thankfully didn't :) We got a hotel for the night and were happy to get showered up, even if there was a little hole in the bathroom ceiling above the shower that made me nervous we were being spyed on.

Did you know that there are frequent military stops on the highways, where you have to stop, the military men have you get out of your car and they check everything for weapons, drugs, and explosives? I was nervous for this, but it ended up being not scary at all. They are more than professional, and totally nice.

On Saturday morning we drove to our final destination: Bahia Concepcion. It didn't let us down. It was beyond beautiful! We drove to some of the different beaches to see where we wanted to stay the most. We decided on Playa El Burro. I would recommend this place if you're headed down that direction. Look how gorgeous!

The campsites are these awesome little palapas with palm roofs. The weather here was SO warm. It was 95-ish and humid, of course. First thing we did was get changed into our swimsuits, gear up with snorkels, masks, and fins and head out into the water. The water was maybe 2 or 3 degrees cooler than the air outside, it was surreal! We headed out into the water, which is completely beautiful and clear and snorkeled for 3 1/2 hours. We saw all kinds of cool tropical fish. We saw rays, starfish, Dori from finding Nemo, tons of different kinds of colorful fish, and many other kinds of cool sea life. Like I previously said, I haven't spent much time in an ocean and this totally blew me away. There were no waves, the water was warm and clear, and there were all kinds of cool things to see, who wouldn't be impressed?
After the above mentioned 3 1/2 hours of snorkeling we decided we were hungry. There is a restaurant at the beach called Bertha's Restaurant. A totally chef-looking, hospitable woman, Bertha, runs it. She cooks, waits, hosts, and cleans up after you. We LOVED her! She even brought a fan over to our table when she saw I was pregnant. She made us the BEST fish and shrimp tacos EVER! We had to get a second round after we were already stuffed because who knows when the next time we eat there will be.
After eating we went back out and snorkled for a couple more hours and collected shells for Reese. Tell you what, that is a lot of fun, especially when there are exotic looking shells.

The plan was to stay overnight, but Bertha told us that it would be just as hot at night so I probably wouldn't be able to sleep very well. We decided to get changed and just start driving, since we had a long drive ahead of us to get back home. We stopped at the Mercado in Guerrero Negro once again to get some more juice and snacks and then we cooked some Johnsonville Brats out in the parking lot. One night we thought it might be fun to buy stuff at the market and make our own dinner. But then I saw the meat section of the grocery store. EW! Totally bloody, warm, and flies all over. We brought the brats along with us from the USA, no worries :)

Eric drove through the night, I stayed awake with him, while Daniel slept maybe 18 hours straight :) We got through the 2nd book "Catching Fire" and part way through the 3rd, "Mockingjay". We took a couple of breaks to sleep for an hour or two. I was grateful for the military checkpoints, because it gave us a chance to get out of the car, walk around, and get a little joking in with the military men. One of them even asked me, in Spanish, if we were carrying any "armas" or in english, guns. I picked up on what he was saying and joked that we didn't have any except my muscles. He told me to flex again and then he felt my muscles. Yep, I felt cool, because I joked with someone who didn't speak the same language as me ;) But like I said earlier, these military checkpoints weren't scary at all.

On our way back to the border we stopped at a town that had a huge swap meet going on. It seriously was HUGE. We walked through it for about an hour. I was hoping to find something for Reese, but it was filled with people's old clothes and then Aeropostale, American Eagle, etc brand clothing. It was fun to walk through though and see what everyone was trying to get rid of.

We decided to take the scenic route from Ensenada to Tijuana. It is the no toll road, and way prettier than the one you have to pay to drive on. We had some mangos in the cooler we had picked up at one of the fruit stands and took a break to eat them before we got to the border.

We stopped in Vegas Sunday evening, hoping to stay at Kristen and Bryan's house again, but they were still gone on vacation and their house was all locked up. So we drove to St. George and stayed at this hotel called the Sands Hotel that we've for some reason always wanted to stay at. We got dominos and just relaxed for the evening, we knew we wouldn't make it to Provo so sleep deprived.

Monday morning we had a hard time pulling ourselves out of bed but were excited to get the driving over with. We stopped at Meadow hotsprings on the way home and snorkled. Not at all close to as cool as what we were doing 1 1/2 days prior. We got back to Provo in the early afternoon on Monday. I was SO excited to see Reese. She was out with my parents shopping when we got to their house, so I anxiously waited until they got home. When they drove up the driveway I ran out to my dad's truck and opened the door next to her carseat. She just stared at me with a huge smile and big eyes. I was so glad to see she hadn't forgotten me and was excited to see me. She even wanted me to just hold her for a few minutes before she was off to dig in the dirt in my parents' backyard.