Monday, August 27, 2012

Scaling New Heights:American Fork Canyon

Fifteen years ago, John and Jen fell in love... 
For our 15th anniversary on August 14, 2012, we went up American Fork canyon for our milestone anniversary date!  Since we love the great outdoors, we thought it would be fun to explore some new places and go hiking.  We packed a lunch, camera, sunglasses, sunblock, camel backpacks, etc and headed towards the rocky mountains.
  First, we stopped at The Timpanogos Cave Visitor's Center to purchase our tickets for the breathtaking (literally) 1,092 feet hike later in the afternoon.  Then, we went to Cascade Springs. Wow, what a gorgeous place!  There was a lovely board walk path nestled around the natural springs.  John was most impressed about seeing a brown trout swimming in two and half feet deep clear water.  
Next, we pulled over and ate our sack lunches (sandwiches, carrots, celery, and apples). Around 2:00 PM, we headed down the canyon to the Timpanogos cave entrance (elevation 5,638 feet).  Little did we know, we were in for a crazy HIKE that nearly wore us out! We had to stop a lot to catch our breath several times.  At one point, I didn't think I was going to make the 1.5 miles due to almost passing out. I kept telling myself: "I can do hard things!" Luckily we had a lot of ice cold water to drink from our camel backpacks while hiking up the mountain trail.  Also, many people along the way encouraged us as we reached closer to the cave entrance. 

Finally we made it to the top of the trail 58 minutes later (elevation 6,730)... We refuelled our bodies with granola bars and dried apples while we waited for our tour guide.

We explored the magnificent limestone caves without a jacket, which was okay for us during the summer since we were sweating from the hike, although next time I will bring one just in case I get chilly. There were many interesting cave formations (helicities and anthodites).  My most favorite rock shape was the dazzling "Heart of Timpanogos", which is seen in the bottom right photo below! Hiking Timpanogoes trail and exploring the caves is definitely a wonderful summer bucket list activity to do in Utah!
The hike down the mountain was a piece of cake and I am glad we survived the trip up to Timpanogos Caves! It has been over 18 years since my last hike up there! We had a lot of fun and were extremely sore for several days after our adventurous hike!  We look forward to embracing the future together sharing more laughs, tears, triumphs, failures, joys, fears and so on. "Life by the yard is hard but by an inch, it's a cinch" -Thomas S. Monson 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A is for Apples: Back to School

On Tuesday, August 21, 2012 was the first day of school for the girls!  We officially have an 8th and 4th grader in our household!  I fought back tears after I dropped off little sister to school (we walked together with our dog Jagger). Big Sis recently got contact lenses.  She is very happy to not have to wear glasses to school any more!  They are growing up too fast! 
In the evening, we made dinner plans with the Sleaper family since Pam was in town from Texas. We shared our favorite treat a sweet and sour apple snicker salad!

 Apple Snicker Salad
1 bag of Granny Smith green apples (10-12 apples)
 1/4 c. lemon juice
1 (16 oz) Cool Whip
2 (3.4 oz) packages of vanilla pudding
2 c. milk
1 (11.18 oz) bag fun size snickers

Directions: Chop the snickers into small pieces, set aside. Cut the apples up into bit size pieces and place them in a bag with lemon juice. The lemon juice will prevent the apples from turning brown and add a refreshing lemon"tart" flavor to the salad.  In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, pudding, and cool whip.  Add the apples then fold the snickers in last. Allow the salad to set up in the refrigerator for a couple hours before serving! Yum!

  Although it was the first day of school, we played like it was a lazy summer day by swimming and boating with the Sleaper family on Utah Lake.  What an A+day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Frozen Peach Delight

Are you tired of canning peaches? Well, if you have an abundance amount of peaches making a frozen mixture can be a refreshing treat in smoothies, on ice cream, on cake, in oatmeal, on pancakes, etc.

Frozen Peach Delight
25 or more large peaches (the amount is up to you)  
1 (6 oz) frozen orange juice
1 can of water
1 (6 oz) lemon juice
1 can of crushed pineapple, not drained
6 c. sugar
Peel and slice peaches into a large bowl.  In another large bowl mix together all the ingredients and pour on top the sliced peaches.  Mix the liquid mixture well with the peaches.  With a measuring cup, scoop the peach mixture into  containers or zip lock bags. Freeze the mixture. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School Layouts

Since the kids start school next week, I decided to share some of my favorite back to school scrap pages.
First Day Jitters, 2008
Credits:  The template is by Claudia ?.  The papers and elements are from "Falling for You", "Shabby Shack", and "Simply Irresistible" kits by Gina Cabrera, Shabby Princess (pink an blue bows), Natalie Braxton (brown button ribbon), the alpha and pink glitter elements are by Carol Abram and the font is love you like a sister.  
Preschool Days, 2008
Credits: The template is by Cindy Schneider from the Sweet Shoppe Designs. The black paper is by Karah Fredricks.  The other papers and elements are by Kate Hadfield from The Lily Pad I used kids written for my font.
First Day, 2010
Credits: The layout, paper, elements, and word art are from "Hopscotch" kit and "Hopscotch School Additions" by Shabby Princess. As for the font, I used kids written.
Back to School Junior High, 2011
Credits: The template is a 2011 cookie from the Sweet Shoppe Designs. The papers, elements and wordart, are from "Hopscotch" and "Hopscotch School Additons" by Shabby Princess. I used the following fonts: princess BV, peace, and mareen's print.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Chubby's Cafe

Since hubby and I are serious foodies, we love trying new places! We have a local restaurant called Chubby Cafe that would be perfect on the Food Network show Diners Drive Ins, and Dives!  Looking at it from the street, it may appear "a hole in the wall place!"  In fact, hubby and I never noticed it until recently and became huge fans! 
The T-Shirt and Sign indoors.
The logo found on the wall!
 We have tried several items from the menu, which include either beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp.  Inside it is decorated with vintage items like old bikes, sport jerseys, fishing stuff, a wagon, etc.  There is also big flat screen TV that usually has a sport's station going.

There is a Chubby Challenge (one pound of beef basically three patties with cheese and one pound of fries).  If you eat it within 15 minutes, you get a free T-shirt or a $10.00 gift card).  It is fun to look at the wall of fame and shame (people who have tried the Chubby Challenge).

As for the tasty food, most the food we have tried was absolutely amazing that has a southern flair. I love how they toast the buns and add some yummy sauce to the burgers or chicken sandwiches, mmmmm!   So far everything we have ordered have been fresh and served hot! The beer batter fries with pink sauce are out of this world!  The kiddos love the mac and cheese and hush puppies!  The jambalaya and Coleslaw are excellent.  Our top five picks from the menu are the following:
1.  Chubby's Cheese Steak 
 2. Louisiana Shrimp Po Boy
3. Grilled Chicken with Swiss
4. Strawberry Chicken Salad
5. Reuben Sandwich or Burger
My hubby and I are huge Chubby Cafe fans and look forward to going back!