Showing posts from September, 2012

Free Museum Day Hooray!

Hooray for a free day at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Yep, that's right. It was Museum Day on Saturday so Joe and I took advantage of that and brought Russell out to his first Museum. Museum Day is put on by Smithsonian magazine. This is what they say about the free day:
In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free. There were an assortment of museums that were participating but I had heard good things about the Natural History Museum so we decided to go there. I must say it was a great experience. The museum itself is very beautiful and has an assortment of exhibits. I loved that there was plenty there for adults to read and appreciate but there were also kid friendly exhibits to help keep kids amused. I can see this as a great place to bring Russell once he…

Saturday's Supper - Pesto Chicken

It's time for another yummy and easy meal. We made quite a few tasty dishes but this one was by far Joe's favorite for the week so I'm sharing it.

Pesto Chicken
from 365 Days of Slow-Cooking by Karen Bellessa Petersen 


4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1/2 C. prepared pesto sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. tapioca
Hot, cooked fettuccine


1. Cut each thigh into 4 pieces. Place chicken in bottom of slow-cooker.
2. In a small bowl, combine pesto, pepper, garlic powder, and tapioca; pour over chicken.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-5 hours.
4. Serve chicken and sauce over fettuccine.


* We used two of the small sized prepared pesto sauce tubs because Joe likes a lot of sauce for his pasta. I'm pretty sure we used more than 4 thighs too so this was a good call or there wouldn't have been enough sauce.
* We bought tapioca flour to use as a thickener instead of straight tapioca. It seems to work f…

Baby Mac Update - Yoga Baby

I wanted to share an update about our sweet little Russell for those who have followed his story. Back in August he turned 1. We're so pleased that he's doing so well and that he seems to be developing on track. I think he does some things a little slower than the milestones but I am ok with that. I know that boys do tend to develop slower than girls and I know with his rough start he may not do everything right on time. I'm happy he eventually figures stuff out and sometimes he'll do some things ahead of schedule so I guess it all events out.

Lately Russell's favorite thing to do is yoga. Well, not really but he sure looks like he's got some yoga poses going on. I wanted to share a few we were able to catch on camera. I swear he knows when I'm trying to take his picture and he quickly moves on to something else.

Russell is doing great with his walking. He loves to try and run around and usually does pretty well. When he's tired though he trips and stum…

Couch to 5K

I had a moment this past week where I just wanted to cry because I was so tired of being out of shape. I lost a little weight after having Russell but since then I've probably gained back up to my max pregnancy weight. Maybe more... I'm not really sure. I just know that in that moment I was tired.

Tired of feeling out of shape.
Tired of feeling winded all the time.
Tired of feeling my heart race going up the stairs.
Tired of seeing the fat and the flab that makes every outfit selection a matter of how well it would hide my post baby body.

That and I was tired...

My friend Andrea had sent me some info on a Couch to 5K program and I decided at that point I'd give it a try. I'd seen info about something like that before and just made excuses for myself.

... but I have bad knees.
... but my feet have been hurting since having the baby.
... my sciatic nerve keeps acting up.
... I'm too tired to wake up early to work out.
... I don't have time to work out.

Enough of …

Fondue and coffee and jewelry OH MY!

After finally getting past our biggest volunteer event of the year Day of Caring I took off my Friday and enjoyed some time with the family.

On Friday Joe and I went out for a date night to the Melting Pot. They are doing a special deal for Dine O'Round which was great. We enjoyed some tasty food and some time together. I love Melting Pot but there is no denying it's expensive. It's one of those special treats we like to enjoy every now and again. It was our pre-Russell dinner before I went in to get induced. Ah the memories. HE HE HE.

We went out on Saturday and checked out the 21st and Twenty First Business District Arts Festival to see the little sister of my friend Amy. Amy and I went to high school together and when I found her sister was in business making some pretty awesome jewelry I knew I couldn't miss this. The Festival itself was actually pretty cool. A lot of different jewelry options but I was there for Marskii's. I wanted to buy so many things but I …

Saturday Supper - Beef and Barley Soup

Ok today's Saturday Supper is something we actually made a couple weeks ago but it was really good so I wanted to share. I'm sorry I didn't get any pics but it's soup so it's not that exciting to look at anyway. If you give it a try come back and let us know!

Beef and Barley Soup
from 365 Days of Slow-Cooking by Karen Bellessa Petersen 


1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 C. beef broth
1 C. chicken broth
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 C. pearl barley
1-lb. boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. dried parlsey
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine oil, onion, tomato paste, and thyme; cook for 1 minute, stir, and then cook for 1 more minute. Pour into slow cooker.
2. Stir in vinegar, tomatoes, broths, carrot, soy sauce, barley, and roast.
3. Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours, until beef…

I'm Hiring!!!

Yep, it's true! My department is expanding and I'm hiring a coordinator to help with volunteer events, database management and volunteer management training. You'd be working directly with me and our AmeriCorps VISTA member most of the time. For certain events this position would also work with the Events Director and 2-1-1 Director and staff. It's an awesome opportunity for someone who is interested in non-profit work. I love what I do but I also know it's not for everyone. Believe me I know this. Volunteer coordinators tend to have a relatively high turnover rate and I have heard from more than one person that they would NEVER do my job. Then again there are plenty of other jobs I would never want to do too so I guess there's always something for everyone. :)

I'm looking for someone who is creative, thinks on their feet, who is detail oriented but able to make decisions on the fly and work in an ever changing environment. This person should have very good…

Day of Caring Recap


Saturday's Supper - Thai Beef Curry

I've decided that each week I'm going to share something we've made and enjoyed in the last week. Sometimes it will be something we come up with and other times it will be new recipes we try. I'm also going to highlight recipes that Joe put together because I know there have got to be other guys out there who are stay at home dad's or just looking to improve their cooking skills. (Yes guys, ladies do like it when you can cook something more than a steak or burger.)

Our lives are busy and a lot of times it's managing to cook something while Russell naps or after he's gone to bed so anything I feature will likely be very easy to make. So, here's the first recipe for my weekly Saturday's Supper feature. Enjoy!

Thai Beef Curry
from 365 Days of Slow-Cooking by Karen Bellessa Petersen


2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-lb beef chuck roast, cut into bite sized pieces
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1 tsp.…

Dine O'Round 2012

Who's ready to try some good eats at a great price? It's time for Dine O'Round 2012! I haven't taken advantage of this culinary delight in the past but since I work downtown you bet I'll be giving some of these a try.

Starting today through September 30th you can visit a variety of restaurants and enjoy a two-item lunch for $5 or $10 or a three-item dinner for $15 or $30. This is the perfect opportunity to try something new or enjoy a great meal at a rather expensive place that you might not otherwise try.

The Downtown Alliance even has a Facebook contest to win dinner for a year. So why not get out, enjoy a date night or family night out and enter to win dinner for a year!

Check out the Downtown Alliance page for the full list of participating restaurants and links to their websites.

I'd like to try Cedars of Lebanon (my co-workers say it's good) and Wild Grape Bistro (it's close to work and looks nice) for lunch. I also like Martine Cafe so I may hav…

UWSL Day of Caring 2012

Today's the big day! United Way of Salt Lake's 20th Annual Day of Caring. I will be working my butt off all day along with a great team of folks from South Salt Lake City and UWSL.

The day starts off with an awesome breakfast and entertainment at The Gateway. Many of the volunteers for the day come and enjoy breakfast before heading off to their projects. I'll be one of those people heading off into the community!

More than 3,855 volunteers from 100 local companies will volunteer giving 35,000 total hours of service to the community. There will be more than 115 one-day service projects in Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, and Tooele counties. These volunteer efforts help save our communities $615,000.

My focus for the day is in South Salt Lake City. I'll be bouncing from project to project making sure things are going well, taking pictures and helping ensure the volunteers have a positive experience while being engaged in the work our partners are doing in the community.


Summer of Service Recognition Event

Last Saturday after the walk we did our last project for United Way of Salt Lake's Summer of Service program. Summer of Service is meant for kids aged 5-18 to participate in service throughout their summer vacation. The kids and their families helped to sort and count the school supplies that are going into the 5,000 backpacks we unloaded last week.

After the kids helped to count and sort they enjoyed some yummy boxed lunches and a simple recognition event. I had to speak during the event which does kind of make me nervous. I think it's only because I'm still so new to everything that I don't feel totally prepared to wing it. Normally I am great at talking about my work but being so new I always fear the questions I can't answer. Luckily at this event I just had to talk and recognize the kids who had served. Even better was the fact Christina got up super early to write me a script so I'd have something to follow.

There weren't a ton of folks there but it w…

Workout in a Week

So this past week we've been collecting donations for United Way of Salt Lake's Stuff the Bus drive. Kim, Christiana and I have been manning a storefront location in the Gateway where people have been dropping off school supplies they collected.

Most of the time went well with pleasant folks excited about the drive dropping off all the great things they collected with their co-workers and friends. We spent time counting and sorting some of the supplies since the storefront didn't have internet access or really anything else for us to do while we were waiting.

The one day that was truly hard was when our backpacks were supposed to arrive. We were told they would show up between 8 and 9 in the morning. Well... 9 became 10 and after a bunch of calls and texts we found the delivery wasn't showing up until around noon. So we waited around for the backpacks and even with a noon ETA the backpacks still didn't arrive until 2 in the afternoon.

By then we were already hot an…