10 random things about me

Hey! It’s Friday and reading all the time gets hard! I love to read, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes you have to have a break. I’m currently trying to figure out what would make things easier on myself schedule-wise. But for today I have a post about 10 random things about me. I’m not sure I’ve ever really introduced myself, so consider this an introduction.

I got an email from an author last week talking about how she was introduced to this idea. It was a fun idea, so I sent my list back to her. And now I’m posting it here for you to have fun with as well. So…you’re welcome to leave your list in my comments. Or you could hop over to my Facebook page or Instagram and leave your random things. I’d love to see them! Just look for the picture with this post.

10 Random Things About Me

1. I think my hair is as long as I’ve ever had it right now. I have thin hair that seems to turn out better shorter. But I am having fun braiding my hair.

2. I grew up in the smallest place and I was thrilled to move to somewhere bigger. 

3. I like to exercise. I know I’m probably strange. 

4. Reading is and has always been my favorite thing. I remember when I was in kindergarten and sick one time and my mom wouldn’t let me read. I was so mad!

5. I’ve worn glasses or contacts for as long as I can remember. The eye doctor told me last week that my eyes were the worst he’d seen in a long time. 

6. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. 

7. I want to visit all 50 states. I think I’m around half right now. 

8. I didn’t have braces as a teenager. I won Invisalign last year and currently feel like a teenager. 

9. My favorite flower is a hibiscus. 

10. I hate the feel, smell, sound of chalk. 

Good luck on your list. This was harder than I thought it would be!

It’s no secret that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. One of the things we believe is that our ancestors are part of our family forever. As such, we do things like research about them. Thus the Family History Library.

I live near one in Salt Lake City and also one in Layton. These are really neat places. It used to be that you went there to pore over old microfilms or books looking for the names of your ancestors. Now that isn’t the case though.

Now you can go and find all sorts of fun and entertaining ways to make your ancestors a part of your life. I love finding connections to them through all the little things. Things like how much a movie would have cost when they were alive. Or a gallon of gas. To me it’s a little bit crazy to remember that they would have had to worry about many of the same things that I do. I think that to me, it just makes them a little bit more real.

Family History Library

There are so many things to discover at the Family History Library. I’ve actually already written a whole post about this topic on Tips for Family Trips, so I’m not going to say a whole lot more here about it. Make sure to click over and learn all about it.

Have a great weekend!

I grew up in a very small town in Idaho. We didn’t have a lot of things near us. And I can’t say that Christmas wasn’t great there. But I have noticed that the magic of Christmas in Salt Lake City is just amazing!

I love heading downtown and being able to see all the lights, the Christmas windows made of candy or just whimsical decorations. There are many places in Salt Lake City that you can find decorations and lights. And bonus…they’re mostly free to view.

I love being able to go to Temple Square several times in the Christmas season. The magic of Christmas in Salt Lake City reflects in our children’s eyes as we do this and all of our other traditions.

The Magic of Christmas in Salt Lake City

I’m not going to tell you all of our Christmas traditions here. If you’re interested to see what our family enjoys doing at Christmas time, click over to my article on Tips For Family Trips that posted this week and you can see them. I also wrote a blog post last year about some of our favorite traditions.

There doesn’t seem to be anything that brings family bonding quite like family traditions. I find other people’s family Christmas traditions interesting. Would you be willing to tell me some of your family’s favorite traditions? You could leave a comment on this post, or on my Instagram or Facebook pages (links at the top of the page). And if you live in the same general area that I do and have suggestions for new traditions for our family, please let me know! I’d love new suggestions!

I realized the other day that I haven’t really written a Favorite Friday post in a little bit. So, I was going back through some of my photos from the summer just trying to figure out something to write about. We have had some little adventures that I’ll probably talk about sooner than later. But I ran across a picture of the dinner I got from Crust Club and thought that might be a fun thing to talk about.

Crust ClubCrust Club is a little pie shop in Pleasant Grove, Utah. There are several really unique things about Crust Club. They make pies. But not only sweet pies. They make all different kinds of dinner pies and pan dinners. They also do have a few sweet ones, usually in a “Baby” form. The flavors they have of both the sweet and savory change quite a lot, it might even be weekly. You can either get your pies ready to bake or flash frozen, meaning that they’d need to sit in the fridge for a day or so before baking. Then you pop the pie in your oven for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size and wallah, you’ve got dinner!

Another unique thing is that you can either order them for pick up in Pleasant Grove, or for delivery. For me, they offer local delivery. They bring the pie to my door in a refrigerated box, the day after I order it. I loved that when I opened the box, I found my pan dinner inside in a state of refrigerated readiness. We had planned to have someone be home when it arrived. But life happens and it didn’t work out that way. The pan dinner, we had the Mac and Cheese was still perfect. I put it in the fridge and it made a perfect Sunday dinner that week.

I don’t think they are currently offering delivery country wide, though I know they did for a while. It looks like delivery is currently local only, so if you live in Utah, check them out!

The Mac and Cheese was so great! Our whole family enjoyed it. I enjoyed not having to spend tons of time in the kitchen cooking, or cleaning up after it, while still having a hot meal. 

So, honestly, is this something you couldn’t make yourself at home. No, but it’s convenient and who doesn’t love to get a delivery! Next I need to try out some of the sweet babies!

This post is not sponsored in any way. I ordered and paid for the pie I got. This is my own honest opinion.


Invisalign with Bountiful OrthodonticsHey, it’s Cathy. Today I want to tell you about one of the most exciting things that happened to me this year getting Invisalign with Bountiful Orthodontics. Back in February I signed up for a contest to win Invisalign through our kid’s orthodontist Bountiful Orthodontics. We’ve had the best experience with Bountiful Orthodontics, and I’ve wanted to have braces since I was a kid. It was a no brainer. 

Well…fast forward to April 17th. That’s when I got the news that I was the winner of the contest. No. Way! I think they could probably hear my screaming all the way up at their office. I was so excited!

I’ve had my Invisalign for about 8 weeks right now. I’m really happy with the way my teeth are moving. And I wanted to take a minute and talk about a few things about Invisalign because I’ve had a few people ask me questions.

Invisalign is basically a retainer that goes on your teeth, called trays. You change it every week to two weeks. Currently I’m changing mine once a week. At the beginning, I changed it every two weeks. 

Invisalign patients have appointments at the orthodontist about every 6 to 8 weeks. They send you home with the trays you needInvisalign with Bountiful Orthodontics during that amount of time. You just change them when you’re supposed to. You also brush your teeth a lot. I’m brushing my teeth every time I eat. It’s a really great diet tool. Sometimes I really think things like, “Do I really want to eat that and have to brush my teeth AGAIN afterwards?” If the answer’s no, then I don’t eat it!

One of the main things I’ve been asked is if it’s painful. I would say, it’s not overly painful. I notice for a day or two after I put the new tray in, I feel a bit of pain then, not too bad. The worst was after they put these dots all over my teeth to help the trays push the teeth where they’re supposed to go, but even that was only bad enough to use ibuprofen for one afternoon/evening. Sometimes if I’m eating something really hard like carrots, my teeth might hurt for a minute. 

That brings me to what you can and can’t eat with Invisalign. The answer is…you can eat anything you want to! I love that! If you’re a kid with braces there’s a whole list of things you aren’t supposed to eat. That’s always fun as a parent. But since the trays are removable, there’s really nothing you can’t eat. I love that! 

So if you’re looking into getting Invisalign, it really is a great option for adults! And I highly recommend Invisalign with Bountiful Orthodontics. The doctors and staff there are some of my very favorite people!

Grilled Cheese Grill CopyCat

If you’ve been thinking that I’ve been a bit quiet this month on my website, you’d be right! Our kids got out of school for the summer at the beginning of the month and we went on an amazing summer vacation. We flew from our home in Salt Lake City to Seattle, then we went back to Victoria Island. We’ve been twice and it’s just a beautiful place. After that we headed back to Seattle and flew down to Portland. We spent a few days on the beautiful coast. Then about a day in Portland itself. That’s where we tried the Grilled Cheese Grill

Grilled Cheese Grill CopycatWhen we travel with our family, we don’t like to eat at places that we have locally. We always try to find fun, family friendly places to eat. The Grilled Cheese Grill was one of those we found and it was so much fun! The Grilled Cheese Grill has a couple of locations. One of them is a stationary food cart. The other is the one we went to. You order at a small Airstream camper trailer and then you eat in a school bus. Who doesn’t love the idea of eating a grilled cheese in a school bus? This was one of our family’s very favorite places to eat on our trip!

I ate the BLTGC when we went. It’s a BLT in a grilled cheese. I added avocado. The other sandwich that I wanted to maybe try when we were there was the Hunter. It’s a bacon, egg and ham grilled cheese. That’s the one that inspired the sandwich I made last week. I’ve actually made a few fun grilled cheeses since we got home, but I only have a picture of one of them.

Grilled Cheese Grill Copycat Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Grill Copycat

2 slices of Grandma Sycamore’s white bread

Chef Shamy Garlic Butter (or you could use regular butter)

Good Foods Tableside Chunky Guacamole

Slice of bacon (I use the pre-cooked kind from Costco) cooked

egg, cooked (I pan fried my egg)

2 slices of Tillamook cheese (I used medium cheddar, but it would be fantastic with whatever kind!)

Butter the bread with the garlic butter. On the inside of the slice, spread the guacamole. Place 1 slice of cheese on top of the guacamole, followed by the bacon (I cut my slice in half or you could use 2) and egg. Place the other slice of cheese on the egg and cover with the other slice of bread with guacamole on the inside and garlic butter on the outside. I used my frying pan to cook it, but I’ve also used a griddle or a waffle iron on the flat side, if you happen to have one. Enjoy!


family travel

Family travel is very important to us. It’s a thing that our kids remember from year to year. It’s a time we get to spend together doing fun activities, bonding and decompressing. Where we’re planning to go is a big topic of conversation for us. Until we figure out where we’re going to go. And then we spend the time planning the places to eat at and things to do.

family travel

Last summer, we went to Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada. This has become one of our very favorite cities and we’re actually going back this summer. It was what our kids voted to do. We also spent a few days in Vancouver, Canada and a few days in Seattle, Washington. Of the three, Victoria was by far our very favorite.

family travel

We’re very excited to go back to Victoria this summer. We’ll also spend a couple of days in Seattle and then a few days in Oregon. We’ll be on the coast as well as in Portland. This will be really fun, because we’ve been there before. We went when our 12 year old was 4 and she really doesn’t remember much about it. Going here was a specific request from her.

Do you have a bucket list of places you’d like to travel? One of our family’s goals is to visit every state in the US, but we’d also like to travel internationally. We’ve been to Canada and to Mexico once. But that’s the extent of our foreign travel. Mexico seemed very foreign, but Canada is very similar to the US. 

family travel

I don’t know how many of you knew that I write a small feature on a family travel blog once a month. My article for this month posted just the other day and it’s about our time last summer in Victoria at Beacon Hill Park. I’d love it if you’d take a minute to click over and check it out


Proper Romance Soiree

A few weeks ago I was able to go to Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance Soiree. I went with a group of good friends and we had an amazing time! When the Proper Romance Soiree was announced, I knew I wanted to go. I was amazed by just how fast the tickets went.

Proper Romance Soiree

The Proper Romance Soiree was held at Gardner Village in The Gathering Place. Gardner Village is such a fun place to have an event. I loved that we took a few minutes to wander through the quaint shops before The Proper Romance Soiree started. Right now Gardner Village is having a fairy festival. There are fairies hiding everywhere you look. There’s even a fairy parade for kids. It’s just a fun place for an outing!

As we were getting checked in at the Proper Romance Soiree, we entered a magical place, a place full of my favorite things…books! I loved that Deseret Book had set up a bunch of books to sell by the authors of their Proper Romance line. And that the authors were willing to take the time to sign them.


I’m not sure what you all know about Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance line. I’d like to take just a minute to explain. The whole premise behind the Proper Romance line is to have books that are great reads, full of romance, yet be clean enough that everyone will enjoy them. I have handed my books to my daughter, she’s currently 17. She’s read and loved so many of these the last few years. I could hand them to my own grandma and not be at all embarrassed by what she would find in them. These books are simply my favorite. I love that there are more and more authors writing for the Proper Romance line. So there are more and more books being added to this line all the time. 

Proper Romance Soiree

First on the agenda at the Proper Romance Soiree was lunch. Very important! We had salad, bread, beef in gravy and the most amazing chicken ever! I need to figure out what the chicken was and learn how to make it myself. We also had dessert, there was a chocolate option as well as a lemon or vanilla option (not quite sure, I had chocolate!). One thing that was really fun was that the authors of the Proper Romance books sat throughout the dining area. We happened to have Becca Wilhite at our table. She was the nicest. I loved getting to talk with her and learn a little about her. Everyone loved her so much!

Proper Romance Soiree

The question and answer session with the Proper Romance authors was fantastic! I was sad that Julianne Donaldson wasn’t able to attend. But she sent a video greeting to us. We got to hear from Josi Kilpack, Becca Wilhite, Julie Wright, Nancy Campbell Allen and Sarah M Eden. I’ve read and loved books from each of these authors. They are all fabulous! I’ll add links to some of their books at the end of my post so you can check them out!

Proper Romance Soiree

And then it was time for the authors to sign books. I had at least one book for every author to sign. I made sure to talk to each of them individually. And I loved the clever way Becca Wilhite signed her latest book, Check Me Out. It’s probably my favorite thing ever! We waited in line the longest to talk with Sarah Eden. She stayed a very long time signing everyone’s books. I’m grateful she took the time to do that, even though I know she wasn’t feeling the best. 

Proper Romance Soiree

It was really fun that people were willing to dress up to attend the Proper Romance Soiree. Aren’t these costumes so much fun? It wasn’t surprising when I learned that they are the owners of a historical dance group.

Proper Romance Soiree

I loved that Shadow Mountain threw the Proper Romance Soiree for all of us who love the Proper Romance line. It was so fun to get to talk with all of the authors, some of which I’ve known for awhile and some of which were brand new to me. And it was fun to get to talk with others who read almost as many romances as I do! 

Proper Romance Soiree

As promised, here are some links to books by these authors. These are all part of the Proper Romance line as well.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click my link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission from your purchase.  


Mint Chocolate BrowniesHey all, it’s Friday! I haven’t done a recipe post for a while, so I thought I’d throw one up for today. These are my very favorite brownies to make. They are fabulous, I love the way the mint and chocolate flavor combines in your mouth, so yummy! I’ve heard that this is the recipe they use for the BYU Mint Brownies, but I really don’t know for sure. 

I made these brownies for a wedding shower a couple of months ago and they didn’t last very long. Everyone loved them! One note though, don’t make these in a pan that you can’t use a metal knife on. I made these in my USA Cake Pan, and while I completely love the way it’s non-stick, you really have to use a metal knife to cut through the ganache layer on the top of these brownies. That’s why you see broken chocolate on the top of my pictures! Next time I’ll be making these in my glass cake pan! One other note, these take several hours to make because of all of the cooling and setting up they need to do in the fridge, so plan accordingly.

Mint Chocolate Brownies


1 cup melted butter

2/3 cup cocoa powder (works with Dutch Process or Natural

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

Mix butter, cocoa and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add eggs until completely mixed. Mix in the flour. Spread in a greased 9X13 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Mint Frosting

1/2 cup softened butter

1 pound powdered sugar

1 to 3 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoons mint extract

green food coloring

Place butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together. Add milk, but just enough to make a smooth, thick consistency. Add the mint extract and enough food coloring for a light green color. Spread over cooled brownie layer. Refrigerate until firm.

Chocolate topping

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

Melt chocolate chips and butter in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir and put back in for 30 second increments, stirring each time until melted and combined. Pour over the frosted brownies, I like to spread it to the edges, you want to cover all the mint frosting. Refrigerate until the topping is set and hardened. Allow the brownies to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting.

This post contains an affiliate link, which simply means that if you click on my link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission from your purchase.

Hey everyone…it’s Favorite Friday Day! My favorite day!

Last summer I told you all about my favorite new make up by Maskcara.

I still love it and I use it every day, in fact, if you see the pictures that I post of myself on my Instagram page, I’m wearing it in every one. I can’t believe how many people compliment me on how young I look and I’m sure that has a lot to do with the make up. Even I love the way my face looks. I actually like how I look now. That is kind of a huge thing! I love that something so simple can give me an extra boost of confidence.

I’ve actually started using even more things than I talked about in my post. I have a couple of eye colors that are fabulous. And I even have the eye brush. Oh. My. Gosh! Best brush ever! I may eventually get the other brushes as well. 

Anyway…I’m excited to let you know that I’m working with my friend  and Maskcara Makeup Artist, Jaime Chidester, to get a bunch of you matched and trying out their makeup. And what’s super fun is that someone who buys make up from her or gets matched is going to win a Black Cherry lip/cheek color! I love the way the lip/cheek color works for both lips and cheeks. It’s just fun and it makes things so simple. And Black Cherry is the color that everyone is talking about this year. I don’t have it, but I wouldn’t mind having it!

Getting matched sounds a lot harder than it is! All you have to do is take a picture of your makeup free face in natural light and send it to my friend Jaime, either on Instagram or Facebook. She’ll let you know what colors would compliment your face best, then you order them here and try them out. I also love that there’s a 30 day money back guarantee, that way if something happens to not work just right for you, it’s fixable. 

This might be the perfect gift to either buy yourself or ask for for yourself for Mother’s Day next month!