Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas in Arizona

Jason and I were able to fly to Arizona the day after Christmas to spend time with his family. We had a blast just visiting and laughing together. I love being able to spend time with both of our families and look forward to many more memorable visits!

We were spoiled with amazing Christmas presents including my super-cute blue coat and this awesome picture frame with pictures of Jason and me.

I love this picture Tom took of us!

Our cute niece Carys. Many of you may remember her as my adorable shadow at our wedding.

The whole gang! (Clockwise starting from back left) Mike, Stacey, LeGrand, Matt, Jana, Jason, Jessie, Carys, Tom, Madison, Cheryl and Emily.

The Evans kids, their spouses/fiancees and the two darling girls we all adore.

Yay! More pictures!

The boys!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A very Elder Christmas -- in picture book form

'Twas the night before our Cabin Christmas and Carlie had arranged our gifts oh so nice.

And come Christmas morning, Mom Elder didn't have to wake us up twice.

All decked out in her Christmas P.J.'s (these are what we wore for days) This teenager doesn't like the paparazzi craze.
But sugar and spice and (almost) everything nice still remains with this happy slice.

It's a Christmas Miracle! On Jason's Christmas list was 2008's most desired gift. (Thank you eBay.)

Daddy Elder indulged Jessie in two of her greatest loves, books and newspaper. She is now the proud owner of the first page of every New York Times newspaper from 1851 to 2004.

And for a surprise gift, one we could all enjoy, Daddy Elder unwrapped the final toy.

Carlie rocks hard, playing screamin' tunes on the Rock Band guitar.

And when her fingers tire from strumming, she takes her turn belting out classic melodies like "I think I'm Paranoid" by Garbage.

Exercising his vocal cords, Jason croons the notes that are too low for Carlie ....

While Geoffrey plays that funky music. White boy.

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Yummy Christmas Caramel

When I made this caramel, we all just devoured it. It so simple, and such a hit!

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup butter
1 16-ounce package (2 1/4 cups) packed brown sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. line an 8x8x2 inch or 9x9x2 inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter the foil. If desired, sprinkle walnuts over bottom of pan. Set pan aside.

2. In a 3-quart heavy sauce pan melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup. Mix well. Cook and stir over medium-high heat heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently until the thermometer registers 248 Fahrenheit, firm ball stage (15 to 20 min).

3. Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Quickly pour mixture into prepared pan. When firm, sue foil to lift it out of pan. Used a buttered knife to cut into 1-inch squares. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Store up to 2 weeks- if it lasts that long!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lights at Temple Square

On Tuesday night Jason and I doubled with Geoff and Stacy. We drove up to Sandy, hopped on TRAX and rode until the last stop, which is Gateway Mall in SLC. We then had a most delish meal at Z'Tejas (my personal favorite is their Wild Mushroom Enchiladas). Then we scurried ourselves back onto TRAX where we rode east for two stops, hopped off again and there we were at Temple Square.

I've always loved Temple Square, but last year during this blessed winter time is where Jason and I had our second first kiss - so as you can imagine, it holds a special place in my heart. Plus, that's where he proposed with my real ring half-way through our engagement. (The first proposal was at the place we first started dating the first time, neat hu?)

Anyway, the lights were beautiful and it wasn't too cold. Stay tunned tomorrow for some yummy (and easy!) holiday recipes.

Don't the trees look beautiful all lit up?

Geoff and Stace make a pretty good-lookin' pair.

This is near where Jason popped the question with my real ring.

Jason and Jessie on TRAX

My husband's so hot, he's on fire!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday tag

My mommy tagged me

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Wrapping paper!! I love wrapping gifts. I think a great holiday job would be a gift-wrapper. Plus, opening a bag is SOOO boring compared to tearing into paper.

2. Real tree or artificial?

Artificial, for many reasons. First, it's sentimental, I always had one growing up. And you can re-use it for years and years without killing a tree every year (even if it is their Christmas Destiny). Plus, now they come pre-lit, who doesn't love that?

3. When do you put your tree up?

Well. I put our 3-footer up a while ago. It may have even been before Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take it down?

Whenever. No set date really, just after Christmas in general.

5. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?

Apple cider. Sometimes hot chocolate can be a little too much for my taste buds.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

My Samantha doll. I loved her and wanted her for so long. I think it was because I had to wait for so long to get her, it made it even more special.

7. Do you have a Nativity scene?

Yes, I think I got in Young Women's when I was a beehive.

8. Hardest person to buy for?

Jason. He already has everything he could ask for (me!) But all kidding aside, he really is just hard to buy for.

9. Easiest person to buy for?

My mom. She's always happy with whatever we give her so it's fun to think of new surprises.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received?

I don't think I've ever received a bad Christmas present.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?

I agree with my mom on this one, mail with a picture!!

12. Favorite movie?

A Muppet Christmas Carol. It's just such a fun twist on a classic.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

No. I recycled wedding gifts, but I think that's a little less taboo.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Potatoes. And popcorn. I love the cheddar and butter flavors out of those tin things.

15. Clear or colored lights?

I love all lights and LOVE to drive around and see all the lights on people's houses.

16. Favorite Christmas song?

O Holy Night. Love it.

17. Travel or stay home?

They say there is no place like home for the holidays, but I may have to disagree. One of my best Christmases was spent in Australia, and the other in Disneyland.

18. Can you name all the Santa's reindeer?

Yup (are you all singing the song in your heads too?)

19. Angel or Star?

I like stars, but right now we just have a bow.

20. Favorite Christmas memory?

Ah, so many. Spending time at the cabin ... going to Australia ... Disneyland. I suppose anywhere with my family is a good Christmas memory.

I tag Betsy, Elizabeth, Emily Kate, Cheryl and Emily Evans!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree!

Merry almost Christmas everyone!! Here at the Evans' household, we've been counting down the days until we get to spend time with our families (both here and in sunny Arizona). We've been bitten by the Christmas bug and have had fun buying Christmas gifts and bursting out into random Christmas songs-always accompanied by a dance.

It's such a wonderful time of year, and for us it's been full of joy. It's our first Christmas together and I couldn't be happier. Jason has made this year the best one yet, and I'm looking forward to many many more happy years with him by my side.

And now ... drumroll please ... our Christmas tree!! Yes folks, this is our 3-foot Christmas tree complete with two ornaments and strand of lights of which only 2/3 works-YAY!

Friday, December 14, 2007

10 loves


Online Christmas shopping. Once you have the perfect gift in mind, it take mere seconds to have it heading to your home - no fighting crowds or struggling to find a parking spot!!
2. Photoshop. I've been learning so much and having such a blast with it.
3. When people bring home-baked goodies to share with the office.
4. Escaping the cloud of work with a hot pizza and good conversation.
5. The view from my window at work. The mountains are beautiful all dressed up in snow!
6. My Granny. I always have such a good time when she comes to visit.
7. Non-online Christmas shopping. I guess I just get a kick out of buying people stuff that I know they're going to love.
8. My in-laws. I really am a lucky girl, and I'm counting down the days to Arizona!!
9. The glowing report Rebekah Westover gave Utah Valley Bride.
10. Doctors who make my job easy by returning phone calls and e-mails.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Ballet

Last night the family came together to watch my talented sister Rylie perform in Rocky Mountain Repretory Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. My sister gave a stunning performance and we were all quite proud. Because there is not a huge company, Rylie was able to dance in several dances.
My granny came out to see Rylie perform, and it was great being able to spend time with her. She leaves tomorrow, but will be back for Christmas. It's always a joy when she's in town.

She's even beautiful when she's crying! Rylie's dance friend moved after their last Nutcracker performance.

The whole fam-damily (as my dad would say) after the performance.

Aww (collective sigh) we're so cute!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It snowed!!

It's snowy here in Utah!! We got quite a storm over the weekend, and it's been cold enough that most of it has hung around. This fresh fallen snow has started me thinking, what is my favorite season? I really couldn't say, so I turn this question to you dear readers, what is your favorite season?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Group Date

A couple weeks back Jason and I went on a group date with my old roommates Careen and Rachael and their significant others. We went to a Thai resturant in American Fork. It was quite yummy, but still not nearly as good as our favorite Thai Ruby in Provo.

Friday, December 7, 2007

10 loves


1. Playing awesome Scrabble with friends.
2. When doctors approve their medical profiles.
3. Judith Rasband, shoulder pads and chicken wing arms.
4. Mitt Romney's speech yesterday.
5. Warm fuzzy socks, sweat pants, an oversized t-shirt and a blanket.
6. The anticipation of Christmas break. It's going to be so great!
7. When my husband's alarm doesn't go off at 6 a.m. and he stays in bed and cuddles me.
8. The smell of popcorn popping in the microwave. My all time favorite is Orville Redenbacker butter. YUM!
9. The 100 lights I just added to my Christmas tree. Now it's even more sparkly.
10. Fresh fallen snow. We don't have any right now, but I love it just the same.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happiness =

One California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza (5 cheese tomato)

Two bottles IBC rootbeer

Three hours cuddling with my handsome husband while watching a movie

Sunday, December 2, 2007

California Fruit Salad

This is a recipe my family got from our great aunt Shirley. It can usually be found on our table most Sunday dinners. Not only is it delicious, but it's so easy!

California Fruit Salad

2 large cans pineapple
1 can mandarin orange
1 large package cook and serve vanilla pudding
Maraschino cherries (optional)

Drain pineapple juice from can into a sauce pan. Add the vanilla pudding to the pineapple juice and stir occasionally until thick. Meanwhile, drain and discard the juice from the mandarin oranges and put drained oranges and drained pineapple into a serving dish. Pour pudding mixture over oranges and pineapple. Let set in fridge for several hours or overnight. Add other fruit right before serving.

Friday, November 30, 2007

10 loves

photo by me!

1. Blogging and those who do it. Seriously, I love seeing what people are up to and finding out what's new in their lives.

2. Singing to Christmas music while driving in the car. I'm sure the people around me think I'm completely nuts. And they are probably right.

3. Working for Utah Valley Magazine. Besides being a top-notch publication, everyone I work with is so likable and friendly.

4. Brilliant "ah-ha" moments like the one I had today for the cover of the medical profiles section.

5. Photography. Doing it, looking at it, thinking about it ... everything about photography.

6. Real Simple magazine. Seriously, every page is so pretty and the articles are great too!

7. Cute finds like these great measuring spoons from Beehive Kitchen.

8. The unsolicited back/neck rub I received from my husband last night when I had a incapacitating headache.

9. Going to dinner and the movies.

10. Clean sheets. There's seriously nothing like going to bed in freshly washed sheets, especially when they've been washed with this great detergent I just bought. It's Tide pure essentials with baking soda, white lilac scent. Seriously splendid.
photo by me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend was so wonderful! We were able to spend quality time with family and loved ones and do what I love best, EAT!! We had such delicious food that lasted all weekend long. After the initial Thanksgiving Day celebration, my family headed up to the cabin where we enjoyed solitude for the rest of the vacation.

Geoff, Jason, Carlie and my dad played Axis and Allies, a game that took them eight hours to finish. Clearly, it required some heavy concentration and strategy.

Jason and Geoff (the Allies team) were the ultimate victors.

So some of these uploaded a little bit out of order, but here's me and Jason being all in love while waiting for the rest of my family to meet us at the gate to head up to our cabin.

We played tons of games up at our cabin over the weekend. My favorite is "Ticket to Ride," or as my family calls it, the train game.

Carlie is very good at games

The moon rising over the mountains, this is the view from my cabin.

Kissy kissy...

Me and my sweet sister Rylie

Jason and Rylie jumping for joy!!

P.S. you can't really tell since I'm wearing a hat in all these pictures, but my hair is now a beautiful brunette color!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

10 loves

Yes, I realize it isn't Friday, but I spent this Friday at my parents cabin with no Internet ... which leads me to my first love of the week:

1. My parents cabin.
2. Thanksgiving Day foods, and leftovers that last for days!!
3. My new hair (pictures coming soon!)
4. The four foot massages my sister gave me this weekend.
5. Our beautiful 3-foot fake Christmas tree with too few lights and three ornaments.
6. Paid vacation days :)
7. Christmas shopping ... and I'm almost done!
8. Watching Christmas lights pop up all over the place.
9. That I don't have to drive in the snow yet!
10. Knowing that tomorrow will be productive.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I absolutely love Thanksgiving and all it entails, but especially the part where I get to help make a delicious feast!! This year, I'm making the cranberries and some of the potatoes (and probably more.) I made some yummy apple spice cranberries last year, so I wanted to try something new and yummy again this year, and here's the recipe I'll be using!

Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce

1/2 orange
2 cups water
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, pippin or
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Squeeze the juice from the orange and set the juice aside. Remove and discard the membrane from inside the orange rind and cut the rind into small dice. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Peel, core and quarter the apple. Cut into 1/2-inch dice and place in a saucepan. Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones. Add to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the cranberry sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for 1 hour before serving. Or cover and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before serving. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a sauceboat and pass at the table. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 cups.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series,Thanksgiving & Christmas,by Chuck Williams (Time-Life Books, 1993).

image from snagwire

Friday, November 16, 2007

10 loves

(sorry I missed last week!)

1. Cutting delicious apples with my new apple corer/cutter.
2. Eating delicious apples :)
3. Elizabeth Karen Brown - aka, Betsy.
4. Seeing Adam Garcia on TV randomly after hanging out with him in Disneyland.
5. Knowing I don't have to cook dinner tonight.
6. My new Mickey Mouse ears.
7. The lack of snow on the ground, really, the weather has been swell for a Utah November.
8. When doctor's offices answer their phones and are ready and willing to do their part for their medical profiles.
9. Pampered Chef parties with chocolate cake
10. Hearing positive feedback from people, about anything. I'm the kind of person that needs constant validation, that's why I love when people write little things like "love your magazine!" on their bills when the send them in.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


We left our camera in the backseat of our car in the airport parking lot, so we don't have many photos yet, but here's a sneak peek of our amazing vacation!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

No surprise here. . .

Your Inner European is Italian!

Passionate and colorful.
You show the world what culture really is.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

Our Halloween week started last Saturday when Jason, Carlie and I went to the pumpkin patch and picked out our pumpkins. Then we went back and carved them. Well, Carlie and I started ours then Jason finished them for us. We roasted the pumpkin seeds and they were soooo yummy!! I never did get a picture of the finished pumpkins, sorry!

On Halloween, Jason and I passed out candy at my parents house while my dad took Rylie and her friends trick or treating. When they got back to the house, they dumped out their pillowcases and began the trading. McCall ended up with 53 Reeses peanut butter cups, and Katie collected Crunch bars. It was pretty incredible to see all their candy. Rylie and the gals were Newsies, and Noah was an army man. They were so cute!

Carlie went out with a huge group, and she refused to let me take her picture. She wore an OHS cheer uniform and looked great!