Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Soap Gifts

Here is another little gift that we made for Christmas, these ones were for family. We got one of these from a neighbor last year and loved it so much, we still use ours! We just get the softsoap refills and keep using it. It is SUPER easy to do:

Create the words you want to say on the insert in a Word document, with the last name of the family at the top, ex. NYGREN HANDS. Then get some acetate paper (overhead paper) and print it out. You can get at least two on a page. Then cut it out with the edges and sides rounded a bit so it fits nicely into the bottle. Roll it up and stick it into the soap bottle and use the dispenser wand to push it up against the front of the bottle. The soap will help it stick to the front.

Youc an buy the bottles of soap anywhere and just use a blow dryer to heat up the sticker covering and just peel it off. Make sure you heat it up long enough to get it all off when you peel because if you dont, it is hard to get the excess glue off.

It is an inexpensive and unique gift that people will love, especially because it is personal. This is a great Christmas gift, but can be given at anytime really. Have fun!

The Candy Factory!!!

Every Christmas I turn my kitchen into a candy factory with my sisters and mom. We always make chocolate and caramel covered pretzels. It is so easy to do, and so much fun! And may I add, delicious! By the time we are done, I am full because I cant stop testing out everything we dip! We get all of our supplies at Orson Gygi to do this project. They have this great block of caramel and these big bags of chocolate disk/chips. I love these things and they make great gifts, so I thought I would share how we do it:

You start with the caramel: cut off a good sized chunk into a microwave safe bowl and add a spalsh of water. Then melt it in one minute increments until the caramel is nice and smooth...almost a bit runny. Then stick the pretzel rod in the bowl and with a spoon or spatula, pull the caramel up the pretzel, leaving enough room at the end to hold onto when you eat it.
Let them dry and harden completely on parchment paper. Depending on how warm it is in the house, we will sometimes stick them outside on a cookie sheet to cool off faster.

Next comes the chocolate. Pour about a cup or so into another microwave safe bowl and add a small spoonful of regular Crisco to it. Then microwave in one minute increments, stirring throughout. Take the caramel pretzel and do the same thing, stick it in the bowl and pull the chocolate up the sides and completely cover the caramel. For our oreo, butterfinger, candy cane, cinnamon sugar, etc. toppings, we add those on right after we dip the chocolate so the toppings stick. But if you want just a regular stick then let it dry, and you can add a drizzle of chocolate of another color to add a nice touch. We also like to dip cinnamon bears as well. Then, we get those cute, decorated celophane bags and fill em up with deliciousness. ENJOY!

Back to Bethlehem

For our ward Christmas party this year, Andrew and I were asked to be on the Activities committee...the decorating team. We always get asked to do these things. So, we are thinking that we will need to get some colored table cloths, some fun entertainment, and a ham or turkey type dinner. Boy were we wrong. Our ward decided to go all out and transform the gym into Bethlehem! With only $100 we got really creative and did our best. Here is how it turned out...

All the families were asked to dress up and bring blankets to sit on to eat dinner. They were also asked to bring canned food (their tax) to enter the city. There were some great outfits!

A couple in our ward just had a baby boy so they did our nativity scene. The "stable" was put together by our bishop. Now, when I say put together, I dont mean with nails or anything...it was literally just leaning against each other. During the prayer, "Mary" accidentally moved her foot and the whol thing came crashing down on them! They were all ok, and it was hilarious!

One of our main duties was to make all the signs. Here is our beautiful artwork!

Our dinner was very simple, just like it would have been back then...pitas and bagels, some meats and cheeses, olives, relish trays, hummus, etc. But we did throw in a few modern delicious Christmas desserts :)

We borrowed pop up tents from people in the ward and covered them with sheets for the shops. Then we strung lights across the top for a nice added touch. It was a lot of work, but it turned out great, and it was fun doing something different!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The holiday season is my favorite, and always seems to be a busy time for everyone, and this year is no different for us. We are constantly on the go with something different planned every day! And, now that it snowed, well dumped, it really feels like Christmas! Here is a glimpse of what we have done so far this month...

For those of you that do not know, the Kurt Bestor concert is a tradition in my family, and is also an important part of mine and Andrew's life, whether he likes it or not! The Kurt Bestor concert in 2005 was our first date! I did not think it odd at the time to ask Andrew to come with me, I had just met him again three days earlier and I wanted to have him come, so I got an extra ticket and invited him. I think I forgot to mention to him that my whole family would be there, even my Grandma and Rex! I do not think he even knew he Kurt Bestor was until that night, but he came anyway, and apparently that sealed the deal cause here we are three years later, and three concerts later, and happily married and in love. Anyone that wants to get married...go to the Kurt Bestor concert!!! Andrew is such a good sport and comes every year, even though his love for Kurt is not as strong as mine...yet :)

The girls...and the crazy red statue thing at Abravanel Hall

We get a picture in front of this odd thing every year

Our tree! This is our favorite one yet! We went with a country theme this year, I love it! And our house smells divine!

Norman and the tree! When we first go it, he was so confused at why there was this large outside object in our living room, but he is used to it now. Luckily he does not try to pee on it!

Our Annual Ugly Sweater Party! We had it at Amber's again this year...she is such a great host. We did breakfast for dinner...crepes - thanks to our reborn French friend January, cinnamon french toast, egg casserole, orange rolls (Cassidy made our DG house mom's recipe - SO GOOD!), yes it was pretty much gourmet!
Oh,in case you were wondering about the mountain man standing next to me...Andrew and the other managers at work are doing a beard/mustache contest! Kinda cute, eh!

The Group! January won the contest this year with her international christmas sweater and ornament earrings! We played a few intense rounds of mafia and I discovered that I am a horrible liar and cant ever be mafia because I always get caught!

Silly Norman

Our crazy pup always has to be in the same room as us no matter what we are doing...except vacuuming...he is deathly afraid of the vacuum and Andrew likes to torment him with it. I have to admit, it is really funny. When I am getting ready in the bathroom Norman loves to sit in the bathtub! Sometimes he will hang out in there even without me. On this particular day I could not find him. I heard a peculiar sound coming from the bathroom, so I snuck in and found him lounging in the tub!

When he is not freshening up in the bathroom, we are likely to find him playing about in the blinds. He likes to run through them and then watch them swing around. He really is like a little kid. By the way...look at how BIG he is getting!!!

Babies All Around!

My good friend Jenny is pregnant with a little girl so we had a shower for her a few weekends ago. Erin as pregnant as well so here are the two mothers to be as well as a few other shots
from that day! I am so excited that everyone is having babies! Its weird how we have moved from wedding showers to baby showers...time goes by way too fast! Good thing we are enjoying it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hi All! I am now a rep for Scentsy. I love their fabulous candle warmers and use them everyday so I figured it would only be natural that I become a rep for them. So if anyone is interested in getting one, or already have one and want some new scents, shoot me an email at brynnbills@hotmail.com. To see some ideas of what they have to offer, visit www. scentsy.com or give me a call and I can let you smell all the different scents they have!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


As you may know, I work for United Way, and this is a new campaing we have launched to help those in our community that may be struggling and in need due to the current economic crisis.

United Way of Salt Lake is taking a proactive role in response to the serious challenges presented by the current economic crisis by coordinating donations of cash and products to distribute to our community's frontline nonprofit service providers. These increased resources will not only shore up those families and individuals who are struggling during this difficult time, but also create hope for a brighter future for us all. We are calling on individuals and organizations to get involved to help our neighbors from falling into further crisis.

If anyone is interested in helping or would like to contribute, you can click on the picture above and it will take you to the United Way website, or just let me know and I can direct you where to go. We are trying to reach our goal of 5 million dollars in cash and goods by December 15. You can help by organizing a product drive in your family, church, neighborhood, school, social group, office, etc., or by making a financial contribution. It is so easy to get involved, and the effects will reach more than you will ever know.

In my job, I have seen the effects of this crisis more closely, and it is just heartbreaking. It makes me realize how blessed I am in all aspects of my life!

A Look Back at Fall

My life has been a whirlwind lately, and I realized that now that Christmas is around the corner, I never posted anything about our Fall activities. But, now that I am home ridden with a nasty cold, I finally have some much needed time to rest, and blog! I have not had a cold this bad ever in my life, but that did not stop me from doing my Black Friday shopping at the outlets in Park City! Which is probably why I am not getting any better :) The plan was to go at midnight with my sisters (a new tradition we are starting) but i did not even get to attend! I had to go the next morning. Halloween and Thanksgiving were wonderful...both full of family, friends, and FOOD! My waistline can attest to that! But hey, its the holidays, who cares!Here is a look back at the past few months...

The cutest niece and nephews in the world!!!

Juno and Bleeker at my friends party...being pregnant is going to be so weird!!!

Polygamists at Andrew's friends party...so ulgy!!!

My first attempt ever at making a pie...including the crust! It was a peach streusel pie and I have to admit that it was fantastic! We ate the whole thing in one day! For thanksgiving I made a berry streusel pie, also pretty delicious. I love baking!!!

Pumpin seeds, with a cajun twist!

Our happy pumpkin

GO UTES!!! What a great game by the way! I was the only U fan in my home the day of the game, but I prevailed!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


This past month has been insane for Andrew and I...with the market flip flopping everyday, and my big event at work, The Power of Your Purse, we needed a break from everything. So we packed up and headed to Las Vegas with my friend Cassidy and her husband Matt for a few days. The weather was gorgeous and we were able to really relax and enjoy! We layed out, did too much shopping, and ate A LOT! But for some reason we were never able to get ourselves to a nice restaurant. We planned on it and even made reservations, but for one reason or another we never quite made it and ended up eating at places like Taco Bell and CPK...places we have here in Salt lake City...We are very original. One thing I love about Las Vegas is seeing all the fabulous hotels. After working for a hotel I have a better appreciation for them. Some of my favorites are New York New York, The Venetian, and Mandalay Bay!

New York New York

That's amore!

M&M World...Andrew and Matt really wanted to buy these jackets :) Hot stuff!

We went to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay and it is awesome!!! If you are even remotely interested in fish and the ocean, you have to go. There were so many crazy sharks, gigantic turtles, and this big tuge thing full of jellyfish! Did you know that jellyfish do not have a heart or brain?

Check out the shark above our heads!

Cassidy petting a stingray!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's a Boy!!!

I would like to introduce you all to the newest member of our family...NORMAN!!! Or Stormin' Norman as he is sometimes called. We got him about two weeks ago and he is already growing so fast! He is about 10 weeks old and loves to bite/chew everything in sight. He hates his leash but is learning to love his daily walks, and he is learning to conquer stairs. Sometimes he will do the Superman down them on his stomach when he gets going too fast, but his clumsly legs are starting to catch up to his body and he is getting much better at it. We now have a small glimpse of what being parents is like! Here are a few of the pictures so far...

Brand new puppy!

Learning how to deal with his leash

First bath! He actually really likes the water. I cant wait to take him swimming!

Isabel and Norman

I love this look, his little face is so cute!

All tuckered out and taking a nap with dad

Angel's Landing - Zion's 2008

Andrew and took a much needed weekend getaway to Zion's National Park. It is GORGEOUS! We climbed Angel's Landing which took us about 4 hours round trip. It was not just your nice saturday stroll, it is quite intense, but worth every step. There is one point where it is so steep and narrow that you have to hold onto a chain to get up...I know I know, I live dangerously!

View from the top!

The view was amazing from every direction... from one angle it is red rock,
and the other it is white.

Once we got to the top I did not wan to come down!

These two show the narrow section where you have to hold onto the chain

The city of Sprindale is known for their magical berry...the bumble berry. So how could we visit without having a slice of bumbleberry pie and vanilla ice cream? Quite world famous!