Thursday, December 31, 2015


New Chair Covers!

When my husband's cousin visited around Christmas time and I offered him a seat, I was extremely embarrassed at how stained the old brown suede swivel bar stools were. I had cleaned and washed and them countless times, but they were stained for sure. So I vowed right then to do something about it. I dug into my material boxes and found a grape/leaves/vine design and some thick plastic to place over it (to prevent any future stains due to our four kids) and then set to work. The seat was attached with four screws underneath, so it was easy to remove. I kept the original material on, but simply covered it with the new layers. Using an insane amount of staples from my husband's staple gun, I attached the new materials and then reattached the seat to the chair. Voila! "New" chairs! Price: $0!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Happy Holidays from the Park's

Photo credit Richard Rees (my dad)

Park Family 2015 family photo. Me, my husband, and our four girls.
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust!

Photo Credit - The Kitchn
How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust! I've always wondered how it was done and have always wanted to do one. The sites below give step by step instructions with PICTURES, making the task seem quite doable for those like me who mess up anything even remotely complicated! That being said, these instructions have given me the confidence to actually try it on my upcoming holiday pies. Thanksgiving and Christmas, here I come! There are some fun pictures of Halloween lattice "mummy" pies at the end of this article, too. BE CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN!

The Kitchn (yes, it's spelled that way), written instructions with pictures
The Kitchn video instructions on making the lattice pie crust
Simply Recipes, written instructions with pictures
How to make a lattice top pie crust (a good instructional Youtube video from Howdini with Lauren Chattman from Pillsbury)
Taste of Home, written instructions with pictures

Here are a few more pictures from The Kitchn in order of the steps:

And here are some cute ideas for Halloween:
Photo Credit - Pillsbury site with accompanying recipe
Photo Credit - Family Frugal Fun

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Paul Harvey: If I Were the Devil (1965)

Photo credit:
The following speech was broadcast by renowned ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965, and now, 50 years later, it still exactly reflects today's issues. Certainly food for thought:

If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.”   To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”.  In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . .

If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.

If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.

Paul Harvey, Good Day.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Religion and Government: They need each other's support

IMAGES: Jesus the Christ by Del Parson 
The Great Seal of the United States, courtesy Wikipedia

       "Religion and government are like a couple who sometimes have a hard time living together but who find they simply cannot live apart. Religion and government both need their independence in order to flourish, but history has shown that a complete divorce is healthy for neither. They travel different but parallel tracks. They are most successful and most effective when they protect and encourage one another. . . .
       "The only real solutions to many of the serious problems facing our world today are spiritual, not political or economic. Racism, violence, and hate crimes, for example, are spiritual problems,and their only real solution is spiritual. . . .
       "Societies depend in large part upon religion and churches to establish moral order. Government can never build enough jails to house the criminals produced by a society lacking in morality, character, and faith. These attributes are better encouraged by religious observance than by legislative decree or police force. It is impossible for government to control the attitudes, desires, and hopes that spring from the human heart. And yet these are the seeds that grow into the conduct government must regulate. . . .
       "Government oversees the conduct of its citizens. It tries to get them to behave in a decent and moral way. Religion, on the other hand, tries to get them to desire to behave in a decent and moral way. . . . While governments enforce the law written on the books, religion teaches and encourages adherence to the law written in the heart. Those who abide the latter will seldom, if ever violate the former." - Wilford W. Andersen "Religion and Government," Ensign, July 2015, 47-49 -

       "Our society is not held together primarily by law and its enforcement, but most importantly by those who voluntarily obey the unenforceable because of their internalized norms of righteous or correct behavior. Religious belief in right and wrong is a vital influence to produce such voluntary compliance by a large number of our citizens." - Dallin H. Oaks "Strengthening the Free Exercise of Religion," address given at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Canterbury Medal Dinner, New York City, May 16, 2013-

       "The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." - LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) "Born of God," Ensign, November 1985, 6 -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Homemade All-Purpose Baking Mix

With a newborn, very little sleep, three other kids to take care of, and dishes/laundry piling up, I didn't have the time or money for a box of Bisquick, so I looked up recipes online for homemade all-purpose baking mixes. I found a few that I combined together and tweaked to create my own. The mixture I came up with was light and tasty, and the kids LOVED the pancakes and biscuits I made with it. Here is the basic mix along with the directions for making simple pancakes, waffles, biscuits and dumplings.

Basic All-Purpose Baking Mix
(can be used in recipes that call for Bisquick or all-purpose baking mix)

6 cups all-purpose flour (use wheat flour if desired)
3 Tablespoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
3/4 cup coconut oil, butter, or shortening
(for a buttermilk baking mix, add 9 Tablespoons dry buttermilk powder to the basic mix)

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut coconut oil, butter or shortening into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles cornmeal. Store in heavy duty ziplock plastic bag or airtight container. I store my mix in the fridge to keep the oil from going rancid.

2 cups all-purpose baking mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Mix and ladle onto hot greased griddle. Flip when tops are bubbly. Cook until golden brown.

2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose baking mix
2/3 cup milk
Mix and knead a little on lightly floured surface. Roll out and cut into biscuits. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes until golden.

2 cups all-purpose baking mix
1 & 1/3 cups milk
1 egg
2 Tablespoons oil
Mix until blended. Pour onto hot greased waffle iron. Cook for 4-5 minutes until steaming stops.

2 cups all-purpose baking mix
2/3 cup milk
Mix just until soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls into boiling water/liquid. Cover and cook for 10 minutes without lifting the lid.

Monday, March 9, 2015

BEAST CHARMING by Jenniffer Wardell


Beast Charming tells the story of Beauty, who works as a temp at an agency run by a high-tempered dragon. To avoid running into her conniving and desperately-craving-for-nobility father—conveniently named Noble—she takes on a peculiar job that will force her to converse with a violent beast named, well, Beast. The rest of the story develops into a hysterical tale of a classic fairy tale romance gone modernly awry.

Find BEAST CHARMING, available March 17, 2015, here:
Barnes and Noble

Jenniffer Wardell is the arts, entertainment, and lifestyle reporter for the Davis Clipper. She is also the author of Fairy Godmothers, Inc. and has won several awards from the Utah Press Association and the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Find Jenniffer Wardell here:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

HOBBIT HIDEAWAYS for your own yard!

I happened upon this site ( after seeing a picture on Pinterest. SO FUN! I love hobbit holes, especially ones you can have in your own backyard.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Scrambled French Toast (a fun twist on classic French toast)

My mother calls it “scrambled eggs and bread,” I call it either “scrambled French Toast” or “French toast bites,” but whatever the name, this fun twist on French toast is a favorite in my family. The bread is broken up before mixing it with the egg, making an easy and fun dish to eat after it’s cooked. My mom always tore the bread into pieces. I prefer to cut it with a pizza cutter. Either way works. The egg to bread ratio is ONE egg per ONE slice of toast. Use as many or as few pairings for your family size.

Basic recipe that feeds my four kids ages 2-12:
6 eggs, beaten
6 slices of bread (any kind)
Pinch salt
Dash pepper
Sprinkle of cinnamon (if desired)
Toppings of choice: Syrup, powdered sugar, jam, etc.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper (and cinnamon if desired). Stack bread slices on cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares with large knife. Add bread squares to beaten egg and mix until all pieces are evenly coated with egg. Pour into medium or large frying pan coated with a little oil or cooking spray. Pan fry on medium heat, occasionally stirring and flipping bread with spatula until browned on all sides. Transfer to serving plates and eat as is or top with your favorite French toast garnishments. ENJOY!