Monday, June 22, 2009

Packin' in the Fun

This weekend we got to go home to South Jordan! I haven't seen my family since Mike's graduation party so it was nice to go down to celebrate my dad's birthday and Father's day. In addition, we really packed in the fun. On Friday we drove straight to Orem to meet Marisa, Dustin, Jeff and Lexi. We picked up some yummy sandwiches at a place called Ernie's, took them to their house and packed up our bikes. We rode "caravan style" to one of the most beautiful parks I've ever been to. We ate on the grass and then rode our bikes around the park. We found "The Swing" as its called and had fun pushing each other. It was a giant swing that you got pushed on as well as turned as carousel. The ride back (all uphill) was interesting considering we all had full tummys. Bleh!!
On Saturday Mike got up early to go play in a grass ball tournament with his friend Josh. So of course, it rained. It rains every time he plays. I stayed in bed and came and watched him play his last 3 games. It was cold and rainy but it was fun getting some good pics of him playing.

On Saturday Jay invited us to a group date/BBQ he was having at our house. It was good food and fun to meet some new people. They went to play volleyball after the date and since we'd (as in Mike) had done that all day, we stayed at the house. Instead we played games with mom and dad (one of our favorite things to do). We played our new board game "Pandemic"... which is pretty cool and had a great time. Game time turned to talk time... till 1:00 a.m.

On Sunday we had an AMAZING day in church at my dad's Legacy House branch. I cried, again. As I do every time I attend that branch. The family came over after and we had a delicious meal for Father's Day and to celebrate my dad's b-day!! It was such a nice weekend. Happy Father's Day to all you fabulous Dad's out there!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Check On My Bucket List

So I had no idea yesterday I would do something that would make me oh so satisfied with myself (I haven't felt this good since I won the "good behavior" placemat in second grade!). Yet it happened... I, Megan Mansfield, have learned to make bread! Although it may seem like a small accomplishment to a majority of you (I know, some of you have been making your grandmother's famous recipe since you were like 36 months old... ya, ya), it is something I've always wanted to do. I don't know why I think making homemade bread will somehow make me a better wife, housekeeper and future mom- but hey, I do.
So here is my first breadmaking adventure. I found a recipe for light wheat bread on Annie's Eats (which I love!). Did you know bread only has like 5 ingredients? Almost all of which I already had in my cupboard. I always had the impression that bread was difficult and lengthy. Besides the raising parts (which are lengthy) this was actually very simple. That's a major appeal. I did have to buy yeast though, which I will admit was the most difficult part of the bread making process.

*Here is my yeast soapbox, if you're not interested, skip to the next paragraph.*
Active dry yeast? Bread machine yeast? Fast rising yeast? Instanst yeast? Three words for you.... WHAT THE HECK?! Did the pioneers have 4 different kinds of yeast?? Well after remembering that I only had bread machine yeast, buying active dry yeast, not knowing you had to put active dry yeast in water first (ya ya, I know), researching yeast online, deciding people that know nothing at all can post anything online about yeast, going to the grocery store again, stopping some poor woman in the aisle to ask her about yeast who had children who looked seriously annoyed I was delaying their mom, buying the only "instant" yeast I could find in a package I probably wouldn't be able to use in a year... I came home and had two different doughs rising-- one with active dry yeast (not dilluted in water first-- just thrown in) and one with instant yeast (just thrown in). Why am I telling you all this useless information? Well because at the end of the day and after that sweet lady in the grocery store giving me a sad, pitying look that I was pathetic enough to put yeast in my bread without allowing it to bubble in water first... both loaves worked out great! Given, the instant yeast rose much quicker and ended up being bigger (which was my doing since I waited for both to be done so they could go in the oven at the same time). So if no one knows, at least for this recipe, yeast was yeast.
This is the instant yeast batch just before it's second rise
(Notice the cute green Kitchen Aid my
sweet Aunts gave me for my wedding-- I love it!!)

This is the instant yeast batch after it came out. It's bigger than the one below and bigger than I'd normally want. Hey, it's not perfect but I'm not going to be picky my first time.

I was pleasantly surprised, if not shocked, at how well my first bread-making adventure went (maybe the Lord was just having mercy on a wanna-be homemaker). I have decided that I am going to attempt (very noncommittal) to make this bread every Sunday for Mike and I to eat throughout the week. Mike and I are trying to save money and every week we buy some local Spelt bread that costs $5. We'll see how it goes when school starts up again but I like the idea of saving money, being domestic and knowing what's going into my bread!

This is the active dry yeast batch. I don't know if you can tell but it's smaller and looks more like what I envision it should look like.

Mike cutting up the bread. We ate it with freezer jam or my favorite, just butter and a little honey. Mmmm!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And the winner is...

A tie?!

Two weeks of checking back and forth and this is what we end up with. 11 to 11. Kind of anticlimactic huh? I would just like to say that earlier today the polls were considered done when picture B was ahead by two votes. Picture B--- MY picture! Woohoo, right? So we took our victory and not-so-victorious photos this afternoon and then I logged on to post the results... and what happened? Two people voted tonight to make it an even tie!! I can't believe it. Mike is next to me laughing (Mmwuahaha!) and saying I can't take the earlier results. Which I find ironic considering today when I told him I pulled ahead in the polls by 2 votes he said (I quote), "Well, I wasn't in it for the competition. Just for the fun..." Uhhh... yea right. Spoken like a classic man who was about to get his pride publicly handed to him by his wife. =)
So here's the lesson here, making a gift into a contest only ends up in one thing... a lousy tie! What's the fun in that?! Just kidding! Well, I guess we were an even match and both get to have one hand on the "I-was-right-trophy" at least for now... ;)
Thanks all for playing along with us!

(Just for fun... here are the victory photos)

Picture A taker /Picture B taker

(This just proves that pride cometh before the fall...)

Friday, June 12, 2009

2 days left...

So in retrospect, I gave WAY too long to do this poll. This is probably the most fun we've had with our blog so far but we want to end this poll and move onward and upward. (As in continuous checking of the blog-- Mike has never looked at this blog as much as he does now!). So over the last week when discussing to end this poll there's been a question that if I end early I might do it when I'm ahead on the polls. So Mike and I decided the arbitrary day is Sunday. Sunday the poll ends and the winner is announced. I think I'm going to have to make a prize of some sort since this has been more fun than I originally thought. Thanks everyone voting-- it's been so much fun to see your votes and comments! So hurry and vote if you haven't!! It's all going down on Sunday! =)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sweet Surprise Turned Photo Contest

When I came home from Costa Rica, Mike told me he had a surprise for me. I came home and found this beautiful pot full of gorgeous flowers on the front porch. I had wanted to plant flowers but could never bring myself to buy them. Mike went home to Vernal, where his mom and sisters picked out and helped him plant these adorable flowers. I especially love the Gerbers... which they included because they know they're one of my favs and were in my wedding bouquet. He's the sweetest!

So here's the competitive part. Mike and I took some pictures the other day of the flowers while they're still so beautiful (or before they fry on our front porch)! In looking through our pictures we jokingly debated about how we each enjoyed the picture we took better. Just to make it fun (and cause I secretly love polls!), I've decided to let the blogging world decide! So cast your vote on this totally inconsequential question to resolve a fun-loving debate (and allow the "I was right" card to be handed off) Thanks for participating in our crazy they are! =)

Picture A

Picture B