Thursday, December 30, 2010

Homemade Hamburgers

My hubby and I don't get to cook that often together, so when we do, it's extra special. Yesterday, we ventured out into the terrible snow storm to go to the grocery store for some needed food. I passed these jalapeno cheese hamburger buns and thought "hamburgers!" So, we decided to make them at 9 pm last night. (It wasn't really our decision, it was just when we got home.) I had lots of fun taking pictures and goofing around while cooking. Did I mention I have the best husband ever?

Here's his favorite apron, once again...

I think he looks cute.

This is our way of toasting our buns.

If you don't know what that contraption is, it's a S'more maker! I got it for one of my showers and we like to use it for everything.

This is Daniel's finished product:


But what's cooking without a big mess? That huge bottle in the background is the delicious BBQ sauce we had left over from our wedding lunch. We still haven't used it all up. It's a little hard to pour...hence the mess.

Here is my baby!
Mmmm. It really was good.

The reason why I'm posting this next picture is because of that little pink bottle that resembles pepto bismol next to the burger. This is Daniel's drink of choice. He calls it "melted strawberry ice cream" - I call it "gross." I don't know why he loves this stuff, but he does. It's little differences like that that make me love him even more.


Hey, if it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face.

I think I'm going to find something to eat. This post made me hungry.

Our first married Christmas

...was absolutely wonderful. This year, I felt that I didn't need any presents. Just the fact that I was with Daniel, in a warmer place (St. George) with loving family, and enjoying no work, no school, and no stress, was the best gift anyone could have given me. Daniel and I have expressed to each other how blessed we were this Christmas season.

Regrettably, I didn't take many photos. I need to get better at that before we have kids.

This is our miniature Christmas tree that fit our little apartment perfectly, and didn't take a whole lot of time to put up.



Daniel cooked me breakfast - with my apron on. It was a dream come true. Look at this handsome man!

On Christmas eve while we were in St. George, Daniel took me to visit my Grandpa P's grave that I haven't seen in a couple of years. And to make Christmas Eve even better, we headed over to the St. George temple with Daniel's parents later that night and were able to hear my Grandpa P. narrate the nativity. Apparently, they've replaced the recording at the Salt Lake Temple, but kept the old recording at the SG Temple. I was so grateful I could hear the nativity story told by him one more time before they changed it. I sure miss him! His voice has always been a comfort for me.



Here's the Spear Christmas tree with flash on:

Flash off:
The point is, it was extraordinary with flash and without.
My mother-in-law had been wanting a Wii for awhile now, and finally, Santa granted her wish. We had so much fun playing together and I've never seen Daniel's dad laugh so hard.

Daniel received a huge tool set and I was graciously given something I've always wanted:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_M1jGZ9zIwmk/SxPXE9rQs-I/AAAAAAAAAIg/qgJrEKoerAg/s1600/kitchenaid.jpg

That's right, I finally got my Kitchenaid! I was super surprised when I got it, but so grateful. We also received one of these:

http://toilettent.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/41O9UaiOc2L._SL500_AA280_.jpg

That's right. A portable toilet. Daniel was more excited about it than I was, but it really is a great idea. Now when we go camping, we won't have to go to the bathroom in the wild. Best. Gift. Ever. (sarcasm? maybe...)

We were blessed by parents, grandparents, and siblings this Christmas season. We are fortunate to have such thoughtful family members who take care of us. Thank you to all! We hope your Christmas was just as relaxing and wonderful as ours.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snow day

Wow. Have y'all looked outside lately? It's like a winter wonderland, except not so wonderful. We had to have some of our neighbors push us out of our parking lot today because our car couldn't handle driving through the fresh foot of snow. Man. It's crazy out there.I think it should have been a snow day.

All this snow is really making me in the mood for desserts I shouldn't be eating. Like this:

Chili's Paradise Pie

or this:
REE_4394
Pioneer Woman's Molten Cake

Anyone else salivating after looking at these photos? Oh my goodness. On top of this craving of mine, I'm supposed to be off sugar until Christmas, and I've been doing a pretty good job...until today. I'm so tempted to go home and make something delicious! Who else is with me?

I just hope all this snow doesn't prevent us from driving to St. George. That would be a real tragedy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What to do now?

Finals are over! Yes, we survived them. It has been a crazy last couple of weeks, but Daniel and I are still alive and kickin'. I'm particularly proud of Daniel because I know he had it harder than I did (I mean come on, Tax finals vs. Advertising finals. There is no comparison for difficultness).

Anyways, now we have the problem of not knowing what to do with ourselves. Crazy, right? But, I'm sure all of you know the feeling. It's not that we aren't grateful for this long awaited break we've been working so hard for, it's just that we don't know what to do with ourselves. Both of us only work part time, and without homework, study groups, and tests, we have no idea what to do. Oh sure, yesterday we enjoyed shopping (Daniel got my Christmas present!) and even a movie!

By the way, everyone should go see this new one. SO good. We have been waiting for it for a long time, and we weren't disappointed. Daniel was actually excited when we walked out. That's rare. As much as we enjoyed the movie and shopping though, I've realized we don't have the money to go out to eat, shop, and go to movies all break long. Plus, it would get boring. So now what?

It's a little sad, but I still haven't been able to get into the Christmas spirit. I think it's because when I'm in school, I'm so consumed that I don't have time or the brain space to think about anything else. Now that it's all over, I just don't know where to even begin getting into the season spirit. I want to help someone, I want to make cookies and sweets (but I can't because I'm off of sugar until we go to St. George again and I can't have that temptation around, even if I am giving it away), I want to do a service project, I want to decorate, I want to do CHRISTMAS! I feel like singing the song from the Grinch, "Where are you Christmas," because frankly, I miss the old day Christmas-es with my siblings and parents. I feel a little lost. Daniel and I have expressed this feeling of having a deep void. Hopefully it will go away soon.

The one thing I do know and can accomplish is remembering what this season is about and focusing my life on Christ. It is because of His miraculous birth that we even celebrate this holiday. I am so grateful for my Savior and for His sacrifice for me. I know the Atonement is real and I have felt its healing power. And, I love getting up and having all the time I need to read my scriptures and ponder.

So, maybe this whole not knowing what to do, won't be so hard to figure out after all.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Momma Terri

Mom,

Today I was talking with a friend about her mom in Arizona, and all of a sudden it hit me how much I miss you. Now that finals are over, I can think of other things, and I desperately wanted a hug from you. I'm lucky to have had a mother like you who knew how to be a mom and a best friend. I know I didn't become exactly what you wanted me to be (I regret not playing my violin more and becoming a world-renowned musician), but I hope you know I appreciate all that you sacrificed for me to have lessons for those 14 years. To know how much you gave up for me, leaves me in awe. Thank you.

Love, Love, Love,

Your little Amie


Friday, December 3, 2010

Whining

So, I'll be honest. I've been whining a lot lately. I don't know how my husband lives with me sometimes. Actually, it's kind of become a joke. Whenever I whine, he just starts having fits of laughter. Which I guess is good. At least one of us is finding something humorous about it. I've really O.D. on my whining privileges. Why is Amie whining you ask? Let me tell you.

You know after you come home from the Thanksgiving break and you are like, "Yes, two more weeks of school, I can totally do this." But then that burst of energy and motivation lasts all of one class period before you start freaking out, realizing how much you actually have to do? Well...that happened to me, multiple times. Actually it happens to me about every night I come home from work and school around 7 or 9 pm and I'm too tired to do all that stuff I'm supposed to be doing in order to get a good grade, internship, reputation, etc. So what do I do? I whine and stuff myself with food.

I'm such a baby. I figure it comes with being the youngest child. My husband is a better person than I am because he's the youngest and he NEVER whines. He's like the golden child every mother wanted. Yes, I am praying my children will be like him, and not me.

Good for you, babe. Maybe one day I'll learn. Until then, I'll always look like this before finals:

http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070623170354/starwars/images/8/87/Luke_whining.jpg

Laugh away. Good luck to those who are studying for finals! My heart goes out to you...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A frozen bed

We got back from the Thanksgiving break a little early last night. We wanted to miss the snow storm, since my car doesn't do well in the cold white stuff. I forgot how cold it gets here in northern Utah, and we came home to a freezing apartment. No, really. I pulled down the covers to our bed, and our bed was was almost frozen. We have one of those memory pads on our bed and it was completely hard. It took a couple hours for it to warm up and act like it should. We laughed about it, and slept with tons of covers.

Our family reunion was wonderful! We didn't really have a strict schedule to go by, so we mostly just enjoyed each others company, which was alright with me. I thought I'd document some of the highlights. Such as this:

Food! This is my uncooked Pecan Pie. I know now why Pioneer Woman didn't have a picture of the cooked pie...it doesn't look very good at all. But my goodness, it tasted delicious. So don't be fooled by looks. I served my pie at Grandma's to eat with cousins, aunts and uncles. We had like 15 different pies. It was wonderful!

The star of the party, Turkey!

What is a Purles reunion without music?





Sometimes music time turned into chaos time, like this:



Lots of technology. You can't tell, but this is an iphone.
The ipad.
We're an Apple family. Can you tell?
I caught the boys in the movie room...
watching this:
Yes, it's what you think it is. That my friends, is Princess Barbie, escaping some sort of bad guy. Imagine my surprise when I walked in to find not one girl in that room watching the movie.

And of course, at every reunion, there is lots of love.









All in all, it was a fantabulous reunion. I hope all your Thanksgivings were full of love, family and friends, and lots of food.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pie!

Okay, I promised I would write a post to make up for my bad one yesterday, so here it is!

While Daniel is slaving away at work today, I'm in the kitchen making my first Pecan Pie. I have fond memories of this particular pie. My Aunt Lynnie used to make it for our big family get togethers during Thanksgiving, and I've been hooked ever since. I don't know what makes a good Pecan Pie, so I tried a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. It's called The Pie That'll Make You Cry. Take a look! But the only reason that I'll cry over it is because I'll be thinking about how my body is going to react to all the sugar and fat. Oh well, Thanksgiving only happens once a year!

Daniel and I are heading down to St. George in a few hours to join my family for our reunion. I'm very excited. I love it when my family gets together. I'm so grateful for them, and that they are so close to me and Daniel. If only my parents could sell the chocolate factory for millions and get up here again. :) Speaking of being grateful, I have a very long list of things I am grateful for, so I thought I would just mention a few:
  • My wonderful husband. I know that I was prompted to move to St. George a little over a year ago so I could meet him. I didn't know why I felt so strongly about going, because believe me, I did NOT want to go, but I did, and I will forever be grateful for following that gut feeling. I love him dearly, and couldn't imagine being with anyone better. He keeps me sane, and on the straight and narrow. I always wish I could do more for him.
  • Family, of course! And not just any family, the best family on this planet. I was blessed with a new amazing family when I married Daniel - which makes me doubly grateful. I'm grateful for my siblings who follow the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth, because I have lots of kids to have fun with! (By the way, did everyone know we have two additions to the family come this April? Congrats to Amber and Kristin!)
  • Cooking. Yes, I love to cook and I'm grateful that I can. I guess food would be added to this bullet point too - because as all of you know. I LOVE food.
  • The clothes on my back, a warm shelter, and enough money to survive on more than potatoes and oats.
  • BYU! And the fact that I'm graduating soon. I especially am grateful for the wonderful professors I get to work with everyday, and their influence for the better.
  • UVU! So that Daniel can graduate too.
  • Can one be grateful for wonderful smells? Because this pecan pie is making me awfully hungry. I can't tell you how good it smells. I'm grateful for smell.
  • Our car. We abuse it, and it still shows us love. I'm grateful that it still works and gets us from point A to point B.
  • St. George aka warmer weather.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May we all count our blessings this season. I promise that once you do, your eyes will be opened to see more blessings in your life. Eat lots of food, and enjoy your families and friends.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soap Box

Can I just vent for a second? I apologize if this next post offends anyone, that isn't my goal. I just want to get out some of those feelings I've held in for the past week out there in cyberspace. I'm hoping it will make me feel semi-better.

I love BYU. I don't know where I would be with out it. But when we finally get some college school spirit, do we have to apologize? I feel like I can say a little bit on this one because I've been both an Aggie and a Cougar. So what's with the Y student being punished for this little number?

http://www.ksl.com/emedia/slc/2488/248854/24885439.jpg

I don't see anything malicious or rude. I can't tell you how many posts I've seen on Facebook saying something like "classy, cougs." Come on. I've seen the posters USU fans hold up for basketball games, and they are vulgar, rude, and totally uncalled for. Most of them don't even have to do with sports. But when we say one thing that hints to a competitive spirit, the news is ALL over it. I understand BYU is a Church school, but does that mean we have to take kicks in the face all the time without enjoying a little harmless school spirit too? I mean we are college kids who just want to have a little fun too. I guess I just don't see why we are criticized so much for such a small act. I personally, enjoyed it.

GO BYU!

That's pretty much it. I will repent later for this post by writing something awesome about Thanksgiving - because that is what I'm supposed to be thinking about. I LOVE Thanksgiving!

And I'm especially excited to be able to see my family.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yummy

That's all I have to say about how delectable this weekend's recipe adventures were. I decided to make Sundays my new recipe experiment day. It's working out quite marvelously. Yesterday while listening to a Christmas Pandora play list, (which we NEVER do, because somewhere there is an unwritten rule about no Christmas music before Thanksgiving, but I couldn't help it), I made Chicken Pot Pie and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I decided to share the cookie recipe with you. I got it off the Food Network website, but changed it up a bit to make it better (and because I didn't have all the spices...so I improvised. That's the one bad thing about cooking on Sunday...)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips
Nonstick or cooking spray or parchment paper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes.

ENJOY!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Morning

This morning Daniel kissed me and said, "you're so scrum-diddlie-umptious."

Yep. That's who I married. What a goober.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Therapy

Over the last couple of weeks I've realized that cooking has become a sort of passion/obsession of mine. Not only is it something I crave to do, but it's something I find myself thinking about all the time. I love looking up new recipes, watching cooking shoes, trying out new flavors, and slaving over a hot stove and oven. I especially love cooking for others.

I think I may just love food a little too much.

Anyways, I find that if I can cook when I come home from a stressful day, all my fears and worries melt away. As long as I can cook, I stay sane. It has become therapy for me. I can't wait until I graduate so I can have more time to cook and we won't have to eat dinner at 9 pm anymore.

I think the realization of this love was awakened by my watching Julie & Julia a couple of weeks ago.
(LOVED the movie, but sad that it had to throw an "f" bomb in there. I mean, come on!)

Last night I stayed up until midnight making my Grandma's recipe for banana bread. Boy, was it delicious! I was glad to have something fresh for Daniel when he woke up this morning for breakfast. I'll post the recipe soon to share with y'all.

My new dream is to become famous like the Pioneer Woman. (Did you know she's going to be on Throw Down with Bobby Flay?! AWESOME.) I just want to cook, teach my kids, know everything about photography, look beautiful, and be a great story teller. You watch, I'll be famous for something someday.

I CAN'T wait for Thanksgiving. I'm going to be making a pecan pie for the first time. :) Mmmm. I can already taste it. I'm also grateful for this time of year!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh look!

I was looking through the Mormon Messages on Youtube and there was one on Pres Uchtdorf's talk that I posted about last week. So I thought I would share that too. I'm still working on patience...

Monday, November 1, 2010

This is school work?

I love my major. I know I've said this multiple times, but despite the deadlines, stress of putting presentations together all the time, and teachers with high expectations, it's pretty dang awesome. One of my professors is encouraging us to blog about advertising. So, I thought I'd share a few of my absolute favorite, creative, out-of-the-box ads. Some are for good causes, and some are just good because of the genius behind it. You may not appreciate it as much as I do, but just try to enjoy.






This commercial is the one that made me fall in love with advertising. I just love it.



Now, this one, I just love. Call me a cat lover, whatever, but I think this idea was a really good one. Why not let 100 cats roam around your store to show how cozy your furniture is?



Don't worry. I'll have more for your enjoyment later. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On a lighter note...

I know my previous post was a little heavy. I was super emotional and worn out. So here is something that cheers me and my husband up. I hope you all enjoy it!

For happiness, click here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Patience

It's much more than waiting in line with a cool temper. Now a days everything is about being on-demand, at your fingertips, fast, and easy. We live in a world obsessed with instant gratification. I think everyone understands when I say that it's hard to be patient, and I don't mean patient about the old lady in front of you who drives like she has nothing in the world to do but drive slowly. I mean true patience. Like when you're poor, surviving off prayers and faith, wondering what the future holds because you don't think you can take much more of where you're at in life. Or like when you pray for an answer, but never seem to get one. Or when you are in school working your tail off, but still have yet to see some of the work pay off, while others around you are thriving. Or when you lose a loved one, and you wonder when the ache will disappear. To this day, I still ache for my Grandpa and his sweet voice, even though it's been 7 years since he passed away. I can't listen to his "Impossible Dream" on my ipod without bawling my eyes out (which is why I try to avoid listening to it sometimes).

The fact is, I'm having a hard time being patient right now. I'm so close to finishing school, but so scared of what the future holds for me. Where am I going to get an internship? What if I don't find a job? What if I don't get a job because I want to have a family? What if we can't afford to pay for a family? I want to go 10 years into the future when Daniel and I are both done with school and can actually spend time together. I want answers. I want solutions. I want. Want, want, want.

But this morning I woke up and started thinking about President Uchdtorf's talk on "Continue in Patience." I felt a little better thinking that maybe this is all for our own good. One day we'll look back on these days and think "Wow, we had it pretty good. Those days when things were simple." I looked up Pres. Uchtdorf's talk and this really hit me:

"Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.

Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace."

Isn't that beautiful? He spoke right to my heart this morning. It's always hard when you are going through a particular trial or set of trials to see hope. Or to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I get so selfish, so stuck on my own problems that it makes me sad. Sad, that I would even do such a thing. I have so much to offer if I only would stop being so selfish sometimes. I need to offer words of encouragement. Say thank you, not only to my Heavenly Father for what I have, but to thank those around me who make every day worth living.

How grateful I am to have such inspired leaders! For those who have traveled down the rocky path already and who can look back and help others with their wisdom. I'm grateful that I belong to such a great Church and have a testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for the truth that has been restored. I'm grateful for the scriptures, the Temple, and for eternal families.

So for those of you who are going through a situation that is trying your patience, don't lose hope. Tomorrow is a brighter day, and the future is even brighter. Keep doing your best. Everything will work out. Maybe not how you wanted it to, but better than you imagined.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pirates and Doughnuts

I absolutely love this time of year. I could be having a rough day and all I would need to do to make it better is walk outside and hear the crisp fall leaves crunch beneath my feet and look up at the flaming mountains. Seriously. Fall is my favorite time of year, yet it seems to be the shortest season. Go figure. I also love Halloween, although Daniel doesn't. I'm not big into the gory, terrifying, haunted Halloween though. I mostly love it for the caramel apples, apple crisps, falling leaves, kids in costumes, and cooler weather. So to enjoy this time of year, my parents came up to visit and as a big Purles family, we all bought tickets to go on the Provo River Pirate Boat Cruise. I'm glad we all had two-for-one coupons, otherwise it would have been a rip-off. (I don't suggest doing it unless you get a good discount). I enjoyed it though, despite the complaints my family had. Thankfully, there was at least one person acting as a pirate the whole time, which made it highly entertaining.


Gracie was so excited to be around the family and see all the excitement and lights. I love this little girl! I mean look at this face!:

This next picture was taken on the way to the dock to load the boats. It's about the only good picture I have of the whole trip.

Afterwards, we headed to Kenzie's for my brother's birthday celebration and also a little Halloween party. We had a doughnut eating contest for the little ones and ate delicious chili, cornbread, and hot chocolate. Some of my favorite fall foods.




Here is the cat that wanted to come home with us. It was so cute and fuzzy and friendly, but we kicked it out of our car. One day, I want a big orange cat, just as friendly as this one was.

There was a fun-filled weekend! We spent all day Saturday going grocery shopping and doing homework, which felt wonderful because we haven't been able to just have a day for homework for months! Now we have food too!