Saturday, September 24, 2011

Peach Blueberry Jam

Want me to share my latest recipe? If I can make it then you know you can. This is the most simple freezer jam recipe and it can be made with any sort of fruit combo that you can imagine. Here is the recipe:

2 cups crushed fruit ( I used 1 1/2 cups peach, 1/2 blueberry)
2 cups suger (I used between 1 and 1 1/2 cups)

Bring to a boil and then add:

1 3 oz. package of jello (I used peach)

Dissolve jello and remove from heat. Let cool and pour into containers and freeze.

Super simple, huh?

Double it, triple it and it still comes out the same. I love the purple-ish color that the blueberries add to the peachy-ness. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Those Summer Days...

Where did they go? It is hard to believe that we are already past the half way mark in September. We had a fun summer full of lots of little adventures and first's. Here is your Riquelme Family recap:

July started out with the Campbell Reunion in Idaho Falls. Pablo learned how to dutch oven cook and assisted my dad with some delish Jambalaya. Nice cooking Pablo!
We then spent the 4th of July with my family doing our traditional things--a movie, picnic and fireworks. It was Pablo's first Independence Day here in the US and it was our first without my Aunt Sandy to celebrate with. The 4th is also my brother Tim's birthday so we decided to make him some patriotic red, white and blue cupcakes.
Sometime in July we ended up buying a new car which was a fun thing to do with Pablo. After researching and test driving we fell in love with this Pontiac and added him to the family!
Pablo's 29th birthday came around the end of July. Man, he is old! His work celebrated with a giant soccer cake (Thanks Homeseekers!) and we spent the weekend in Island Park and West Yellowstone camping. We had a great time with my parents cooking yummy food, breaking in all of our camping gear and we got to see the play Joseph at the Playmill in West Yellowstone.

Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ Potatoes Dutch Oven Style Yum!
Our Summer Days ended with the Eastern Idaho State Fair. Pablo had been here a WHOLE year and so this was his first second....his second time to go to the Fair. We had a good time and even worked a shift at the Aberdeen Education Foundation's Trout Booth!
Pablo and Boston at the Fair Parade (it was Bo's naptime...)     

Friday, June 17, 2011

3 for Thurs...I mean, Friday?

This was supposed to be 3 for Thursday but I obviously didn't get the memo. I took the prompts from my cousin Katy's blog, The House of Estrogen. It's the ins and outs of raising 4 girls--and it's pretty entertaining! Check her out by clicking HERE.

1. Three things I accomplished this week
1. Slept in on Monday until like 8:23.
2. Deep cleaned half of our apartment. (Hey I have the rest of the summer to do the other part...)
3. Mowed my grandpa's lawn.

2. Three things I want to do this summer

1. Go camping!
2. Go swimming at Lava Hot Springs (anyone wanna come?)
3. Exercise, exercise, exercise!

3. Three colors used at my wedding
1. Eggplant purple
2. Lime
3. Spring Green

4. Three things I find repulsive

1. Puke. Ewww.
2. Moldy food in the fridge.
3. Spiders--icky!

5. Three chores I make my husband do
1. Take the garbage out.
2. Make the bed.
3. I don't make him but he always does the dishes after I cook.

6. Three recipes
1. Baked Ziti
2. Baked Jambalaya from Betty Crocker
3. Anything from A Busy Nest

7. Three pictures

Due to a lack of time to upload pictures from my camera you will have to settle for a few of my favorites that my friend Emily took of me. Check out her work HERE.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Have you heard of this group? I thoroughly enjoy their music but I mainly enjoy their videos. AND they are never edited--one shot only. Can you imagine the patience and redundancy of filming a perfect music video.

I saw this one last week and thought I would share--it still amazes me how it all worked out in one shot. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 14--Almost half way there!

I just spent the afternoon with these guys and it was pretty great! Blake (the older of the two) has recently informed me that he is MY nephew while Boston (his younger brother) is Pablo's nephew. Blake and I have had some pretty great times together throughout the years.

My oldest nephew was born while I was on my mission so I didn't get to have a special new born moment with him. But I will never forget when Blake was born. I had gone on a blind date that night, doubling with my now sister-in-law Abby. (She wasn't with my brother though! haha) I waited and waited for the phone call to know that Blake was born. I then drove to my parents house in Blackfoot and got there a little after midnight. It was so hard to sleep knowing that my new little nephew was just miles away. Finally at like 4:30 in the morning my sister Laura sent me a text telling me that she and Blake were awake if I wanted to come meet him. I threw on the nearest clothes and raced to the Birthing Center to meet him.

The moment I met him I feel in love! I had never seen a baby so tiny and so special. The tears came to my eyes and I knew that I would love this guy forever! And now, four and half years later I still love this guy. He never forgets to tell me thank you, he remembers every gift I have ever given him, his hugs are unlimited and so is his love. We have such a grown up relationship sometimes that I forget how young he really is.

Now, don't get me wrong--I have some PRETTY cute nephews and one adorable niece. I love them all so much and they have been wonderful fillers since I don't have any children. They each are special and unique to me in their own way. In just a few days I get to spend some time with my PA nephews and that is a trip I look forward to every year. Being an aunt gives me a small taste of the love that my Aunt Sandy felt for me and my siblings. It really is something special.

Monday, June 13, 2011

5 Fav's

5 Fav's to start off my summer just right...

Have you had Spicy Nacho popcorn? It is super yummy and spicy!

Did you see the FREE coupon in Parade magazine a few weeks ago for one of these? Yum. I could have one every day that the sun comes out.

We bought a grill a few weeks ago and let me just tell you--best investment ever.

We are Wii-less so no Netflix but we are pretty grateful for the next best thing--Redbox. What was life like without it? Does it get any better than online reserving your $1 rental and picking it up at your convenience?!

Phineas and Ferb = Summer Vacation.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

4th Year Relay-er

If you have ever read my blog you have read about Relay for Life. This year I was so busy and stressed that I didn't have time to come up with a personal fundraiser. So, in a last minute (or last week) attempt I wanted to talk about luminarias. These are white bags that give you something back for your donation to the American Cancer Society.

Here is the idea: You donate $10 to Relay for Life. You get a white paper bag to decorate (or I can do it for you) to put in memory of someone who is or has suffered from cancer. On the night of Relay we will put a candle in every bag and walk a lap of silence for those people. It is one of the main reasons why I go back every year to Relay--for those names on those bags.

If you are at all interested in buying a luminaria, please let me know! This is a great way to make a small donation and honor someone you know and love!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Need some new dinner ideas?

Day 8

Have you ever been to this website?
It's one of my new favorites. Not only is it jampacked with amazing recipes but they are all with stuff you already have in your pantry.

Okay, try out my favorite feature. Click on RECIPES. (It's up on the left hand side, at the top. I know it will come with a drop down menu but just click on it.) Now look at the Easy Meal Finder. Type in two or three items you have right now and it will you plenty of recipes you can make with those ingredients. I love this tool! Just thought I would share my new favorite with you--good luck with dinner tonight!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day Siete

Have you seen this yet? Swoon my aching heart. Best 3 hours I have spent recently. Even Pablo loved it. Yes, loved. This is BBC's Sense and Sensibility and it is wonderful.

You want to know a true confession? I have yet to read this book. It is currently on the top of my To Read This Summer list. I have read Pride and Prejudice twice now and LOVE it but I think I am ready for another Austin book and I really want to devour this one as soon as my Conference *yawn* is over.

What else needs to go on my list? Please leave me some of your favorites to add to my list!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 6

I spent my first day of summer vacation learning about this--Total Instructional Alignment. Let's just say that today was a LONG day and I still have 4 more days ahead of me...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day four-five-ish

Today I had the opportunity of going to YW and speaking with the girls about my mission. It made me just a little homesick for that name tag and skirt and my tiny waist. But mainly it made me homesick for the things I experienced and the way they changed my life for the better.

Meet Inez--one of the poorest yet happiest people on the earth. One night my companion and I were feeling kind of down because we had knocked doors for days on end without much success. We were both brand new in the area and we decided we would visit some members in the ward to try to get to know them better. We picked Inez's house thinking that we would be able to cheer her up.

She let us into her home which was a one room apartment she rented. It was spotless and every inch was used to it's fullest. Her couch was actually a bed rolled under a back rest and her tiny kitchen was also the living room/bedroom. She offered us all she had, strawberry banana milk made with powdered milk. This sweet sister worked in the feria (street market) and was so poor. Yet that night she taught us a huge lesson about love and happiness. She shared her testimony with us and I will never forget how strong the spirit was as she shared her simple words. I will never forget her though she may have long forgotten me and that delicious milk she made us.

Do you want meet someone else? This is Andres. I am now unofficially a part of his family. Andres has been a faithful member ever since his baptism. He has been a member 5 1/2 years now and he is currently serving on the high council in his stake. A few months after he was baptized his brand new home caught on fire while the family was at church. Many people would take that harshly and have a hard time staying in the gospel. Not Andres. His ward turned the damage into a service project and within a week they had repainted, re carpeted, and repaired all of the damage. I was able to attend their sealing as a family and they were able to attend my sealing to Pablo. What amazing examples to me they are!

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to serve a mission. It has truly changed my life for the better in so many different ways. If it hadn't of been for one particular elder who had the patience to teach an 18 year old, I wouldn't be married for time and all eternity to the man of my dreams! I heart missionary work!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 3

Yes I'm a day late. My brain just did not function well enough to connect my fingers with the letters on the keyboard.

BUT if I were to have written, I would have written about this:

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am NOT crafty. I can try but it just is not in my genes. So my sister Laura invited me to make a project of her creation. Her friend Misti gave her some vinyl cuttings for her b-day and I got in on the projects! I will say, these blocks do brighten up my living room!

So here's to another attempt and being crafty! Now I don't have to try again for a few years, right?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 2

Last day with students today and I will just admit it...I cried. Well, to be technical I just got a little choked up. I was doing just fine until I looked out at my class, minutes before the bell was to ring and half of them were crying. So I decided to join them.

I have really been blessed with an amazing first year class. These kids have stuck with me and dealt with everything just great. They are polite, respectful and easy to teach. My next year is going to be rough--mainly because I won't have these guys. I could not have asked for a better class or team of teachers to work with.

As part of the Awards Assembly for the kids today, my 6th grade teacher just happened to be there to present some awards. She told the whole school that I was one of her favorites but to be honest, she was one of mine. I really try to pattern my teaching after some of the greats in my life and there have been a few.

So, it's time to end this Teacher's Ramblings and let my kids grow up and move on. But a part of them will always be mine.

Just look at them--how could you not love them?

(Picture taken at American Falls Dam on our field trip, June 1)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Are you READY?

30 Days of Blogging

Do you think I can make it? I need something to motivate me with this space I have here so hopefully this will do the trick. (Idea taken from my friends blog who stole it from her friends blog so feel free to steal it from my blog...)

Day 1: 15 Facts About Me

1. I love being a teacher! Of all the jobs I have ever had, it is definitely my favorite.

2. The first sunburn of the summer feels so good to me. I think it is my skin getting reacquainted with the sun!

3. I love trying new recipes for anything from dinners to desserts!

4. I also love exclamation points!! (Can you tell?)

5. I could spend days on end reading books.

6. I like living in SE Idaho but there are many days when I get homesick for Santiago.

7. I only brush with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and Peroxide toothpaste.

8. Every Sunday I try on 3.5 dresses before deciding what to wear.

9. I still think about my kids from Ecuador and wonder where they are today.

10. I like living close to my family and really miss my family in Pennsylvania.

11. I could eat popcorn for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

12. I really enjoy blogging but sometimes feel like I don't have enough time.

13. My current calling of teaching Sunday School is one of the hardest I have ever had!

14. I have had my plant Dinah for 7+ years now!

15. I really, really miss my Aunt Sandy.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Quilting Bee

Pablo and I made a quilt for our bed over Conference weekend. My mom and sister helped me tie the quilt and then we brought it home to bind by hand. I was about half way down with the quilt when Pablo said to me one night, "Can I work on it tomorrow?" Um, YES. So he sat down, popped in Pride and Prejudice and hand sewed the quilt. Who knew I married such a talented guy? So here are a few pictures of the end result. The fabric I got for 40% off at JoAnn's opening celebration and had to wait in line for almost 2 hours to get it cut and paid for. But so worth the discount!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Some Baked Ziti for your weekend...

I know I haven't posted in a long time. And now what do I post? A recipe? Seriously, Becki, c'mon. But this has become one of our absolute favorites recently and I thought I would share. Between ISAT's, state visitors, Parent Teacher Conferences and trying to find a balance in life this Ziti has kept our bellies full. Enjoy!

Becki's Baked Ziti (adapted from The Biggest Loser)

1 box ziti (or penne if you want but I prefer ziti)
1 (15 oz) container fat free ricotta cheese
2 egg whites
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
2 cups grated Pepper Jack cheese
garlic powder
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes or other seasonings
One jar of your favorite Spaghetti or Marinara Sauce
Parmesan Cheese

Cook the ziti until al dente. In a separate bowl mix egg whites, ricotta cheese and 1 cup Pepper Jack and 1 cup mozzarella cheese with seasonings. Add the cooked pasta and mix together. In a 9x13 pan (sprayed with cooking spray) add half of the pasta/cheese mix. Put a nice helping of sauce on top. Add the rest of the noodles and another layer of sauce on top. If you want a little more spice you can add a few pepperoni on top but not essential. Add the remaining cheese and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top of that. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Take foil off and let cheese melt. Yummy!

Per serving: 350 calories

For just the two of us, I usually cut the whole recipe in half and bake it in a 9x9. That usually lasts us several days!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

5+ months

Just want to talk about this guy a little bit. He has come LEAPS and BOUNDS in the last 5 months. When he first got here, I was nervous for him. I'm not gonna lie. He left his food, culture, family, friends, language, etc. to be with me. That's a huge sacrifice. But he has done amazing.

The other day we had spent time with my family--my siblings and their spouses and their children. Pablo turned to me and said, "So, this is what being in a family is like." Pablo is an only child so I was worried that he would be overwhelmed by all of my crazy family. But he loves each of them so much--especially his nephews. Blake can't find a better instant-ninja/jedi/animal/warrior/transformer friend.

Pablo has done really well with his English. He basically spoke NOTHING before he came. Now he has a calling with the 11 year old Scouts. Yesterday he had his first job interview as a Graphic Designer--all in English and he did amazing! They loved him and they loved his work so now we just have to wait to see if they can offer him a job. Even he doesn't get the job I'm just so proud of him for not being afraid to try.

Man, I love this guy! He was so worth the wait! Gracias Pablo por ser el mejor esposo que he tenido en mi vida! Te amo muchisimo!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A little warmth for your Monday

So I have been trying to leave comments on blogs and guess google is being weird. Last week I had my google account broken into and now my passwords, etc. are all messed up. So comments will be coming but please be patient.

Meanwhile, Pablo and I tried this new recipe yesterday for Sunday afternoon and it was yummy. It is from a Campbell soup advertisement and it was mmm mmm good! (No pun intended...)

Southwest White Chicken Chili

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes
4 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 can (10 1/2 oz) Cream of Chicken Soup
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn (I used it from a can)
2 cans white kidney beans (I only used 1 can of Great Northern Beans)
shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken, chili powder, cumin, onion and pepper and cook until chicken is cooked through, stirring often.

Stir in soup, water, corn and beans and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with cheese.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Blog, Blog, Blog

I have neglected my blog. One of my friends emailed me the other day and asked me if married life was keeping me too busy from blogging. No. It hasn't. I think it is just a whole combination of things.

I read other blogs. I catch up on your life but most the time I don't have time to comment. I need to be better because when I leave comments I hope it lets you know that I care about what is going on. When you leave me a comment it makes me feel like you care. Isn't that silly?

I was reading a friend's blog the other day and I totally think she was right. Sometimes when we blog we put the best on their--the great activities, the cute things are kids say or do, the vacations, the important stuff. But it gives the appearance that nothing is wrong in our lives. It is easy to compare and say wow, they have more, do more, are more...etc. But that is not real life.

So here is my blogging goal--to give you our REAL life. I didn't blog very much last year because I was down, depressed and sad to be separated from my husband. It was HARD. I'm not complaining, I'm just telling the truth. We are seriously very blessed and I love being able to spend every day with Pablo. He is my best friend and makes me laugh harder than anyone. So 8 months away from him was hard but we did it. I wish I would have put more of that on my blog but I didn't. For now on, you will be getting the REAL stuff.

Pablo and I will be speaking in a Spanish Branch on Sunday--this is our 2nd speaking assignment in the 4 1/2 months that we have been together in the US but not in our own ward. Isn't that funny! We are speaking on goals this Sunday and it has really made me realize how important goals are in our lives. We make jokes about New Year's Resolutions but what a great idea to help us pause and think about what we really need to do and become.

Okay, there you have it. Some random thoughts but all true and real. Happy New Year!

Holly Holidays

So here are a few updates to share. Thanksgiving: We were planning on traveling to Utah to stay with my Aunt Nyla and Uncle Vic but because of some icky snow, we stayed in Blackfoot. My sister's in-law's let us crash their Thanksgiving and it was fun!

Pablo has few good Christmas memories so I decided that I would try to fit in every tradition possible for him to REALLY experience Christmas USA style. We played in the snow.

We made Gingerbread houses.

We left cookies and milk out for Santa.

And he came! He even brought Pablo a real TRANSFORMER!

New Year's: We spent with Doug and Laura and my folks playing Wii and games. That is until Doug and Laura fell asleep at 11 we came home and watched the ball drop while sipping Sparklin' Cider!

Oh and don't let me forget our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Unfortunately there are no pictures of that because I had the stomach flu and spent the day puking my guts out. Don't worry, I am over it but I don't think it was very romantic. And definitely not photo-op worthy.

I hope that you all had a great Holiday and may 2011 bring you plenty of wonderful memories!