Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stupid and Innovative!

Kam and I once had a conversation in which I tried to convince him that I was a creative person, because I do things that other people think are stupid, but they turn out to be really innovative.

So he said, "Like what?"

And I said, "Uh... Well... I can't think of anything right now. There were the times I went hitchhiking."

He said something along the lines of that just being stupid, not innovative. And he's probably right...

But I came up with something stupid but innovative today! And I'm nerdily excited about it.

I have very dry, sensitive skin, and I've always had a really hard time finding an exfoliant that doesn't just kill my skin. Either the fragrance makes it sting, or the scrub is too rough and I feel like I'm scratching my face off. But if I don't use an exfoliant, dry skin builds up and my face looks all flakey and gross!

I'd been thinking for about a week or two about getting a new exfoliant, but I was afraid of buying a whole tube of something I'd end up not being able to use. So I just kept putting it off and putting it off, until this morning when I was about to put my makeup on and I was just too grossed out and I thought, there is no way I'm putting makeup on top of that. And then I realized, I already have great face washes. All I really need is something to scrub it with.

So I pulled the sugar down from the cupboard, mixed two spoonfuls with a little water in a mason jar, and scrubbed my face with that. It totally worked! It didn't sting, and it didn't leave any scratches. My face was pretty red right afterwards, but it didn't hurt. Then I just put a little lotion on, and some makeup (which stayed in place way better!), and my face is super soft!

So if anyone else is in the same boat I am, you could try a little homemade sugar scrub (and none of that, 18 recipe DIY with ingredients you've never heard of crap). And if not, well, I might be the only one that loves this so much, but at least now I can say I did something stupid that turned out to be innovative! Whoohoo!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cheater Chicken Cordon Bleu

Kam mentioned to me once that he likes Chicken Cordon Bleu. So I looked into making it. Dannng. That is no small feat. But somehow, I stumbled across some hopeful recipes that made it look not entirely impossible. So I thought to myself, "Self, there's a recipe for easy everything. There's got to be a recipe for easy Chicken Cordon Bleu somewhere out there." And there were. There were a few actually. But to save you the pains of sorting through all of the hits and misses out there, I have adapted my own version of this recipe to make the easiest, cheatingest (read: inexperienced) chicken cordon bleu ever. Now, of course this doesn't compare to the real thing. But Kam said it's good, and I liked it (and I'm my worst critic, usually), and I know I'm not the only one who feels a little less than experienced in chefery (that's a word now).

So here it is:

Ok. Not the most attractive looking picture, I know. But remember? I don't take pictures of my food? It took so much self control not to eat all of this before I got a picture of it. So that mess on my plate is from the piece that I already ate.

(When I say piece, I mean each chicken breast wrapped up. Kam and I each ate 2 (Our chicken breasts were on the small side), so plan your servings accordingly.)

For each piece you'll need:

1/2 - 1 chicken breast

Note: If you already have flat chicken breasts, great. These usually make larger pieces. You'll need to either pound these with a meat tenderizer or work them with your hands (what I did) until they're about 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick and are malleable enough to roll. If you have fatter chicken breasts, you can cut them in half lengthwise and get 2 pieces out of them. You'll still need to massage them a little so that they'll roll up. Tip: Don't let them start to cook when you defrost them. It makes them less bendy.

1 slice of ham (I just used lunch meat ham.)

1 mozzarella cheese stick (I know you're supposed to use Swiss cheese, but remember? Easy. And I think I liked the way this tasted better, honestly.)

Butter (just enough that you'll be able to roll the pieces in it)

Breadcrumbs (Same idea. Just enough to cover your pieces)


For the sauce:
(Kam said he thought they were good with or without the sauce. This makes a freaking ton of sauce (probably 8 servings) but we have cream of chicken soup out to wazoo so I didn't feel too guilty using a whole can anyway.)

1 can (10.5 oz. I think) of Cream of Chicken Soup

1/2 cup of sour cream

Thyme (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (I actually remembered this time).

2. Work chicken into flat malleable pieces (see above).

3. Wrap chicken around 1 piece of ham and cheese stick (I sometimes folded the piece of ham in half and ripped the cheese stick in half if the piece of chicken was smaller) and secure with toothpicks.

4. Dip pieces in butter, and then roll in breadcrumbs (or sprinkle over it. I found that easier).

5. Place in baking dish and cook for 40 minutes.


1. Mix cream of chicken, sour cream, and thyme in a sauce pan and heat up on the stove.

That's it! For real!

One of the things I loved about this recipe was that it called for pretty regular ingredients. I bought everything I needed for it and Kam never even knew I was planning a special dinner! He actually put all of the cheese sticks in our lunches before I got a chance to try the recipe, and we had to go buy more. I felt pretty clever. I was also afraid they would be too dry without the sauce (and usually the sauce you put on chicken cordon bleu calls for some kind of wine and fancy mustard, and we don't even like regular mustard. Or wine.) so I was happy to find a simple sauce that fit the bill and only called for ingredients I already had.

So let me know what you think. If you hate it, that's ok, too. I won't be offended. I'm happy enough when I can make something I'll eat. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Best Calling Ever

Before this morning it had been about 3 weeks since I last got to help teach Nursery, because one week I'd been sick, and the week before that was Stake Conference. And I'll admit, I was staring at babies on campus all week thinking, "Man, I've gotta go play with those nursery kids and get my cuteness fix."

They did not disappoint.

Last week the other couple we teach with, Robby and Hilary, found out that one of our girls loves bubbles. So when she normally takes a little while to calm down after leaving her mom or dad, this time we got the bubbles out and as Kam put it, "Daddy who?" She was all over those bubbles. I had never seen her so excited before.

She was the only one of our kids who showed up for the first hour, so she was just living in a toddler paradise. Tons of toys you don't have at home and 4 adults who have nothing better to do than entertain you. When she got tired of the bubbles she looked through the toy box and eventually decided Hilary's shoes were the most interesting item in the room. Hilary let her wear them, and it was really impressive how well she could walk around in shoes the size of her entire leg. After about an hour of playtime to herself, one of our little boys joined us and we got snacks ready.

Let me just put a plug in for how good these kids are. They are so well-behaved. We can give each of them a snack and show them a table and they'll walk right over and climb up into their chairs and color and eat and they are completely content. They let us clean their hands and faces and don't whine; (My little siblings hated that. Sorry little siblings, but it's true.) in fact they like washing their hands. So parents, if you're reading this, we love your kids, and we're impressed. (Little siblings, I love you too, even though you didn't like having your faces washed. Heck, I probably didn't like it either.)

One of the funniest parts of the day was when Robby decided to give both of our little kids high fives. They both understood the concept, but this little boy just liked to get so geared up before it. By the time he actually gave you a high five, he was making this crazy intense, "I'm the coolest man in the room, BAM!" face, and we could not stop laughing. What made it even better, was that even our little girl thought it was hilarious. She would laugh so hard every time Robby gave this little boy a high five. At first we thought, "Oh, she loves it. She must want a high five, too." So we'd give her a high five, but she was just impatient for Robby to give the little boy a high five again. If they didn't get back to it quickly enough for her she'd grab the little boy's hand and then grab Robby's hand and try to make her intentions clear. Then this little boy would give another high five (He had no problem with that. He was feeling pretty fly.) completely oblivious to the little girl sitting next to him who was covering her face and drowning in giggles.

After that Kam taught this little boy how to ride the Sit-and-spin. (You guys remember those?) That was another adventure. I can't really describe how hilarious that was without you seeing this little boy's face. He is one of the most expressive little kids I've ever seen. At one point, he got a little tipsy and fell back off that Sit-and-spin. It happened really slowly, so he didn't hurt himself, and he didn't even look that upset, except that when I went over to help him up he had this accusing, "Um, what just happened?" look on his face that made me laugh so hard I almost forgot to help him up.

There's one more crazy image from today that I just can't get over. This little girl can't seem to get enough of Kam. Towards the end of the day he told me, "If you put your arms out, she'll give you a hug." So I tried it, and she did. She'd give a hug to anyone who put their arms out for her. But afterwards she'd look back at Kam and see if he was ready for her to run back and give him a hug again. Once while Kam was on Sit-and-spin safety watch, she ran up and tried to get on his back. It was just so funny to see her two tiny arms barely making it over Kam's shoulders. He could like, eat her. Not that he would. That sounded weird. I just mean, she is so tiny in comparison to him. I sometimes feel like I'm small enough to fit inside Kam, and she only comes up to my knees. But she is so not deterred by that. Kam's just like her giant teddy bear. She figured him out, alright.

So, yeah. We pretty much have the best three hours of church each week. We try to teach a short lesson each week, but I learn a lot more from those kids than I'm sure they learn from me. Our lesson this week was "Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Love You." It's a simple truth, but it almost seems like a paradox for me to try to teach those kids about love. They just love everybody. It kind of reminds you how simple love like that really is.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Are We Cleaning or Making a Salad?

I used to wonder what all the hoopla was about natural cleaners. I mean, I never had any problem with them. They sound like a good idea. But I'd kind of think to myself, "What's wrong with my regular soaps? It's not like anyone's eating them. And I never hear anything about anyone dying from soap poisoning."

Kudos if you get this.
But I can always appreciate finding new uses for stuff I already have. Especially if that means I don't have to go buy other stuff.

So on Tuesday, I was on a major cleaning kick. (*Ahem* read procrastinating homework. Senioritis is kicking in.) I started out by ordering a pizza (which I didn't know this at the time, but it was absolutely necessary to my cleaning spree. No extra dirty dishes, not tired from just cooking or trying to find something to cook before our next shopping trip, trying to kill 40 minutes while I wait for the pizza to get here. It's a recipe for success) and then hit the kitchen hard.

You probably don't care, but I'm proud of it, so here it is:

The To-did List:

Washed dishes (my least favorite thing next to laundry. Well, It depends on the day.)
Wiped down the sink
Wiped down the table and placemats
Cleaned the stove top and counter
Got out our new swiffer mop and took it for a spin!

And then I took all our cleaning supplies over to the bathroom, but Kam told me I had to stop because the pizza would be here in 5 seconds (he'd just gotten off the phone with the pizza guy, who needed directions). I counted to 5 and it wasn't here yet, so I picked up my spray bottle and he said,

"Dang it! Ok, now 5 seconds!"

"No, I don't believe you. You said that last time."

"1, 2, 3, 4"

The doorbell rang. So he was pretty close.

So we ate our pizza, and then I got back to work.

This is where the handy home cleaning ingredients come in.

I pulled out pinterest and decided to look through one of those lists of cleaning tips that I had never actually tried. I wanted to polish the faucets really well, and I had read somewhere that olive oil was good for that. Or baby oil, or turtle wax, or car wax.

Well, all I had was canola oil, but hey. They all sound kind of the same, right?

So I got that out. And then I started clearing off the shelf above the toilet and (wouldn't you know it) someone forgot to put the lid down, and it didn't occur to me to close it since I was just about to clean it anyway. So as I pulled one item off the shelf a short domino effect (also known as bumping something and knocking it over) led to one of Kam's personal items falling in the toilet. Which neither of us was thrilled about (I was really impressed with Kam's response, though. 'Kam... your case fell in the toilet...' 'Why?' 'Because I bumped it when I was getting something else.' 'Why?' 'Because I was trying to clean off the shelf.' *Sigh* 'But I'll go sanitize it!' And after I did he thanked me for it. Pah! Thanked me for dropping his things in the toilet...).

Enter disinfectant! Since this is something Kam uses a lot, I wanted to make sure it was really clean, but I wasn't putting any chemicals on it that could irritate his skin. So I filled up a pot with water and put it on the stove. While I waited for this to boil, I washed the case in white vinegar (It works as a disinfectant, you guys!). Then, (because the case was plastic and I wasn't sure if it would melt) I waited for the boiling water to cool down just a little bit and put the case in the sanitized water and washed the vinegar off (because who wants anything completely covered in vinegar?). Ta-da!

Then it was back to work (after putting the toilet lid down). After my typical mirrors, sink, shelves, and back of the toilet routine, I got the canola oil out. What could it hurt, right? I rubbed it over everything that was silver in the bathroom (I got a little carried away), but it worked! It worked like crazy! The only thing I almost forgot was to rub it down with a paper towel after you apply the oil with a cloth. Otherwise, you will have some slippery faucets.

So as I finished up the rest of the bathroom, I found myself scrubbing the toilet with some Clorox product that worked pretty well, but I couldn't help but ask myself, "Wait a minute, Chloe. You didn't use any ammonia based products on this toilet, did you? I know you don't think you did, but think really hard. You might have used one on the sink, right? Could the chemicals from the sink float into the air and mix with the chemicals in the toilet? I wonder if that's possible. I don't know, I'm starting to feel a little lightheaded. Is that from bending over this toilet for so long or from noxious gases? Quick, turn on the fan! I can feel it getting to my head! Oh, Chloe. You worry about everything. You're such a drama queen." And then the toilet was clean.

My next train of thought came as I was mopping the bathroom floor. It was basically this, "It's probably better to clean the bathroom with salad dressings than to keep worrying if I'm killing myself every time I try to clean." So we'll see what develops in that department. What I think I need most desperately is a really good natural toilet bowl cleaner.

To finish up this insanely long cleaning post, I'd like to offer my short list of Chloe-tried and Chloe-approved alternative cleaning products:

Oils - shine stainless steel and chrome
Vinegar - natural, safe disinfectant
Milk - helps remove dark reddish stains (chocolate, coffee, blood)
Sunscreen - takes permanent marker off whiteboards, skin, and sometimes even walls (not "natural" but good to know)

Does anyone else have any good experiences with crazy cleaning tips they've actually tried out?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

...Walk into a Bar

"You can write about my dream on your blog if you want to." That's what Kam just said. So I am. But I wasn't really there, so I'll tell my version of it.

So, at around 5 pm, I turned over in bed and screamed because Kam was hugging me to wake me up from a nap and I didn't know what was going on. Then he laughed and said, "It's Monday morning! You slept all through yesterday!"

Luckily I was a little quicker than to believe that.

But he told me that he had just had a long dream and when he woke up he sat up straight worried about what time it was, because he was convinced it was Monday morning. A little bit later he told me he had eaten twice in his dream, so he must have been hungry. (It is fast Sunday. I know I was hungry. That's why you nap on fast Sunday, right?) So I asked, "Oh, was it like a dream about what you did for the rest of the day?" Because I thought, if he ate twice, that's like 2 meals, and then he thought it was the next day. That would make sense to me.

But he said, "No, it was like an end of the world dream. It had Godzilla in it. ... And Will Smith."

I laughed, "Was Will Smith trying to take down Godzilla? Because that sounds like something he would do."

Kam said, "He was working on it. ... And the Pope was there, too."

"So, Godzilla, Will Smith, and the Pope walk into a bar..."

"And then Kam wakes up."

I think he topped my dream weirdness scale this week.

To top all that off, I had just watched this super bowl ad. So this is the background I was picturing in Kam's dream. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What You Know You've All Been Waiting For

The Pizza Soup Recipe!

It's super yummy and delicious.

So, my beautiful and lovely former roommate, +Chelsea Hurst, gave me this recipe. Which she got from a family she met in Belgium! (So basically, this is as legit as it gets, folks.)

So if you like it, she did it. If you don't like it, I must have typed the recipe wrong.

(Chelsea made this soup and took this picture. I always eat my food before I think to take a picture of it.)

Pizza Soup

For 4-6 people

1 lb. hamburger
2 onions
1-2 jars of mushrooms (Kam and I skip these because he doesn't like them, but I secretly think it makes the soup)
2 cans of diced tomatoes
3/4 lb. of a spreadable cheese (We use the reduced fat laughing cow triangles and have a lot of fun opening each and every one. But I've heard it also works fine with velveeta if you like that sort of thing.)
generous 1 1/2 cups cream (When Kam asked me how much of this to put in the soup, I just said, "I dunno. There's a pint in there, and we're never going to use the rest of it. Just put the whole thing in.")
pepper, salt, paprika seasoning (We don't usually have paprika, so if you don't have it either, don't worry. :) )
pizza seasoning

Sautee the hamburger. (I always insist that Kam drain the grease.) Add chopped onions until they look glassy. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Season to taste. Serve with a baguette bread (or regular nonfancy bread. Or just eat it).

So there is your legit Belgium pizza soup recipe (and my commentary which probably ruins the authenticity, but it still tastes good!). Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Subliminal Messaging

So, pretty early on in my relationship with Kam I learned that he has a very sneaky method of getting his point across. On the day that we "officially" decided to start dating, we were walking back to our apartment complex together (from the gas station where we'd gone to get quarters to do laundry. Romantic, eh?), and out of nowhere a song started to play in my head. And I thought, where did that come from? I haven't heard that song in a long time... right?

Side story: In middle school I recorded the school news every morning with some friends. After the news one day, we were all talking and I suddenly had the urge to sing the theme song for Felix the Cat. I figured someone else must have been singing it before me, and that's how it got stuck in my head. So I demanded to know who it was. We later found out we had forgotten to stop recording for the news, so we got to rewind the tape and see who had started singing Felix the Cat. It was me. Out of the blue. So naturally, remembering this experience, I'm a little wary to say anything.

So I say, "Kam, were you just whistling something?"

And he says, "Maybe. Why?"

(I should already be suspicious at this point, right?)

"Because I have a song stuck in my head."

"What song?"

"A Beatles song..."

"Which one?"

"... 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand.'"

So he did.

The little sneak! (Truth be told, I had caught him trying this a few days before, but I was too shy to say anything about it the first time.)

So, I had pretty much forgotten about this experience until this morning, when I barely rolled out of bed and put Kam's pajama pants on to drive him to work because I was tired and I had a sore throat and I couldn't breath out of one side of my face, and my loving husband likes to take my blankets off and fan me with them when I don't get up in the morning (which makes me grumpy, but it makes him laugh, which makes me a little less grumpy). So I wasn't in the best mood ever. But as I drove back from dropping him off I caught myself humming, "Beautiful day of peace and rest, bright be thy dawn from east to west. Hail to thine earliest welcome ray. Beautiful, bright, millennial day!"

The little sneak!

In the mood of the day, I'll leave you with this little rhyme. It's one of our favorites.

I wish I were a glow worm poem...haha! This is me to a tee!

Friday, February 1, 2013

One Year

Today marks a year since Kam and my first date, which I interpret to mean we've been together for a year. Which is pretty awesome. Because, Kam and I were pretty inseparable ever after our first date, even if we weren't technically "dating" yet (and that only took another 10 days anyway...).

So, to celebrate this anniversary, I thought it would be fun to post a little snippet out of my personal journal. Phew. Here it goes.


I'm totally smitten. Kameron picked me up at 6:30 and we headed to the Wilk to pick out a good spot to set down our pillows and blankets in the ballroom. The movie (Captain America) didn't start for a little while so we had a lot of time to talk. And we just talked about everything and it was so easy. But Kameron surprised me. He told me he was surprised when I asked him out, because he thought I was dating someone. I said I was, but I'm not anymore. And he said he'd been wanting to ask me out for ages, but I wasn't available. And I asked him who whooped after I left [his apartment after I asked him out], and he said, "Um, probably everybody." Ha ha! And he told me he was really excited and he couldn't stop smiling all day and that if he was going to go out with anyone in the whole ward it would have been me.


He seems like an amazing guy. We agreed that we want to go on a second date. I can't stop thinking about him.

If this develops into nothing else, I'm grateful Heavenly Father gave me tonight to allow me the opportunity to see what I deserve or could deserve. I was stunned by Kameron's character. Oh, and he said he thought it was awesome that I like comics. :)