Wednesday, June 29, 2011

San Francisco *Mini* Date

Remember this post about how I kidnapped my husband
and took him to San Francisco for the weekend??

Well I decided to do a little walk down memory lane with
a mini San Francisco recap date.

Since San Fran has one of the biggest China Town's
in the country I decided to take him to one of the biggest
Chinese Food Chains for dinner... PF Chang's China Bistro. yumm!


This was our dessert... Banana Spring Rolls.
Talk about delishhhh.
I'm pretty sure they serve it with Coconut Ice Cream too.

 Since I strategically planned for us to eat at the PF Chang's in this outdoor shopping mall
called "The District", we were within walking distance for our next adventure.

After dinner we walked across the street to this little sign:

They offer *free* Trolley rides around the District Shopping Mall!
Pretty perfect for San Fran huh??

Waiting at the Trolley Stop.


The Trolley we got to ride on.

A little peak to the inside of the Trolley- they had the cutest little
two seater benches. So romantic right?


Just a fun little date idea!
xoxo

Photobucket

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Husband.

I needed to give a little shout out to my main squeeze, Grant.
I'm always blogging about me & the things I'm doing, so I figured
I would feature a little highlight on him so you can get to know my other half.
{after all, this blog is called amy&grant}

So here's a little about my husband...


He LOVES to fly.
He'll find any excuse for not keeping his feet on the ground.
{his first paramotor experience}
{his first flight lesson}


He LOVES surprises.

video
{to see what that surprise was see here}


He LOVES surprising me.
{to see more of that surprise see here}


He LOVES his little brother.
...who's 15 years old & officially taller than him.


He LOVES the little things.
{to that little surprise see here}


He LOVES getting dressed up


He LOVES our little kitties.


He LOVES hunting with the boys.


He LOVES playing the piano.
He's got this God-given talent & can play by ear.
{he even played the piano & sang for me at our wedding}


He LOVES fast cars.
video

And last but certainly not least....
He's my best friend.


Grant-
Thank you...
For never letting me take myself too seriously... For being my biggest fan everrr... For always being at all my races to cheer me on while taking tons of videos... For letting me be a brat {sometimes}... For being my little guinea pig & trying all the new recipes I make... For letting me take the "good pillow" at night... For the sweet dance moves you bust out randomly that make me laugh... For teaching me the value of relationships... For letting me see the world through your eyes. What a beautiful world that is too. I can't wait to continue our life adventure together. It's definitely not going to be easy but I know without a doubt it'll be so worth it.

Thank you for being you. I love you.

Photobucket

WINNER WINNER

And the WINNER of the


is

Chelsea at THREE BIRDS

Comment #3 selected by Random.org

CONGRATS!

My little kitty Rexy is soo excited for you... see?

Well actually she was so excited that she passed out from all the fun. 
Such a party animal!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cupcake Secrets & a Patriotic Giveaway!

Sparklers, BBQs, warm fresh air.... just a few reasons why I love the 4th of July.
And of course I love any excuse to whip up some festive cupcakes too!

Last year we were invited to a neighborhood BBQ to which I immediately
volunteered to bring some of my little creations.
This is what I came up with:

Windmill Cupcakes


Red, White & Blue Flag Cupcakes

 

They were a hit!


This year I plan to make these for any BBQs we're invited to...

Corny Cupcakes


Now aren't these just the cutest thing you've ever seen?!
They're little cupcakes that look like corn on the cob & it even uses
a starburst as the "butter"
I.could.die.

I'll let you in on a few of my little "cupcake secrets" ...

1- My recipe usually calls for 3 large eggs.
To make it a little healthier I substitute the 3 eggs for 4 egg whites.

2- When baking (not cooking) and the recipe calls for vegetable oil,
you can swap the vegetable oil for regular apple sauce 1:1
Example: 1/3 cup vegetable oil is 1/3 cup apple sauce.
This makes a lot less calories and they turn out more moist too!

But shhhh... it's our little secret {wink}

Feel free to start throwing out those invites this way... you know you want
some of those cute corny cupcakes! Kidding. But that'd be cool.


Annnnnd because I'm feeling especially patriotic{and the fact that I made an extra one for fun}
I've decided I'm going to spread the love and do a little giveaway!

Remember that Patriotic Wreath I made last month? You know, like this one...


Well I'm giving it away my friends!
Wouldn't this look fabulous in your kitchen, entry way or front door??

Here's how my {first} little giveaway is going to go:
{leave a separate comment for each item you complete}

1. Follow my blog {amy&grant} and leave a comment saying so.
{check to see if you already follow me so that it counts too}

2. Leave a separate comment of what you love about the 4th of July.

GIVEAWAY closes on June 26th at midnight
WINNER will be announced June 27th, 2011

XOXO

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Triatha-Fun Event

Soo I'm proud to say that Grant did his first triathlon this past Saturday!!
I signed us both up for this Triatha-Fun event hosted by this local tri company the Friday before.

The distances were: 400 meter swim - 13 mile bike - 2.5 mile run

It's a great little starter race where you can work on transition times and just overall fitness.

Minus the 4 times he hurled during the run + the nausea after the race...
My little home skillet didn't really train for it & still survived!
(for the record, 94 degrees is a little too hot for running)

Overall though, he loved it & can't wait for the next one!

Just a few pictures of the event...

Our transition set-up before the race.

Me & the hub before the start.

My cute little friend Dilyana/newbie triathlete decided to join in the Tri-Fun
for her first event too! 

Love this girl. She's such a go-getter!

A last minute picture before we wet-suited it up!


The best part about the race was being able see people that are completely new to triathlons take on the challenge and end up absolutely loving the sport. I'm tellin' ya, it's that feeling of achievement that I talked about in this post that is SO rewarding. It's knowing you tried something new & accomplished a challenging goal that makes it all worth it!

An extra bonus for me was being able to catch up to Grant at the very end of the race
and cross the finishline together.

You can do it too- set a goal & make it happen!
**Great place to look up races/events is Active.com and just do a general search {wink}

Friday, June 17, 2011

i {heart} breakfast.

Actually I just *heart* food in general
...but breakfast is most definitely my favorite meal of the day.
 I even love breakfast food when it's not early morning.
How fun is it to make waffles for dinner? Or eat cereal at midnight?

Not saying that those are the best meal choices but it's fun.

Maybe I'm the only one that gets that excited about breakfast...
and then to add to it, I have a soft spot for all things mini.
(hence the love for cupcakes, smart cars, and my little kitties)

So it's no surprise that when I saw these mini breakfast delights
on my favorite SkinnyTaste.com site, they were calling my name.

Hash Brown & Egg Whites


And what's even better is that you can have little leftovers saved for breakfast the next few days!
Now who doesn't love knowing you've got one less thing to do in the morning?? 

You can find the recipe --> Here


So I'm pretty proud of myself.
Last night I successfully made homemade Chicken Enchiladas from scratch (!!!)
What makes it even better is that they were the skinny version AND Grant loved them!
Double whammy status: cha-ching!
He even said it was one of his Top 2 favorite dinners that I've made!
(extra wife points!)

I picked up a few tips from Gina at SkinnyTaste.com
She suggested that if you're cooking a recipe that only calls
for a few ingredients, use high quality ingredients
to bring out the best taste.

So with that bit of advice I bought Kosher Salt.
That stuff is great for cooking! It has a lot of flavor.
I used it in this recipe & it was fab. Highly suggest!

Skinny Chicken Enchiladas
If you're thinking/craving/loving Mexican food, this dinner is.a.must.
It has a ton of flavor & let me reassure you,
if I can make it anyone can make it.

**Tip: Always remember that you can modify recipes to fit you're taste too.
For example- this recipe called for garlic, cilantro, & oregano.
Since these are not highly favorable in the Cropper home,
I left them out and it still tasted SO yum.

Here's the recipe --> Enchilada Yumminess

PS- Great idea for a Fathers Day dinner too!
Guarentee it'll impress!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Life List

So I wrote a list.
It's a listy list of 100 things I want to do in my life... so far.


I saw this idea on one of my favorite blogs recently
& being that I love lists anyways, thought it would be neat to do.
No matter how silly, small, or random they might be,
this is a list of things I want to do, accomplish, or achieve in my life.
It's a little bit like a bucket list but less morbid.

And ya know what?
While making my life list I've even learned a few things about myself.

Kind of fun. Here we go:


1. Be a momma
2. Run through Central Park
3. Be able to do a flip on a trampoline... again
4. Sew my own apron {a cute one}
5. Speak Spanish fluently
6. Learn not to say yes when I really mean no
7. Build a piece of furniture
8. Run a marathon {Preferably this one... thank you Kelli!}
9. Overcome my phobia of needles
10. Serve a church mission with my husband
11. Attend a blog conference
12. Hike the Narrows at Zion National Park in Utah
13. Take cooking classes
14. Ride in a sailboat on the ocean
15. Become a personal fitness trainer
16. Teach my future children to be confident and kind
17. Grow strawberries and tomato's in my own garden
18. Stay in a castle
19. Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey {by myself}
20. Learn to change oil AND a flat tire on my car
21. Attend General Conference in Salt Lake City
22. Raft through the Grand Canyon
23. Learn how to surf
24. Own a pink pistol
25. Become a Registered Dietitian
26. Start an Esty shop
27. Ride on a gondala {in Paris}
28. Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef
29. Win a contest
30. Do a Century Bike Ride
31. Cook everything from my favorite healthy-food website
32. Stay in an exotic hut over the water in Fiji
33. Anonymously pay for someones groceries
34. Read the entire series of a book {Hunger Games maybe?}
35. Go on a Disney Cruise
36. Teach a child how to ride a bike
37. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
38. Be a spokesperson for Crystal Light Wild Strawberry Energy
39. See a fashion show in New York City
40. Have lunch with Fitness Model/Writer Jamie Eason {who I follow on facebook. shes.so.fab}
41. Go skydiving
42. Send everyone in my family a homemade birthday card with cupcakes for their birthday
43. Travel to all 50 states
44. Be a volunteer in the NICU at a hospital
45. Acquire some "Moon Shoes" like the ones I had as a child {remember those??}
46. Go whale watching in a kayak
47. Take a photography class
48. Bake my Grandma Jenkins's famous southern biscuits (from scratch) successfully
49. Meet Bakerella
50. Read the Book of Mormon in 24 hours
51. Attend the Tomatina in Spain (food fight)
52. Spend an entire summer at our cabin in Utah fishing, BBQing, and star gazing
53. Go paddle boarding
54. Spend a whole day cuddling in bed with the hubs
55. Plan and coordinate themed parties with festive favors and fancy foods like this amazing blog
56. Cover my whole bathroom mirror with my favorite inspirational quotes
57. Have a star named after me
58. Be on the cover of a fitness magazine
59. Can my own jam
60. Finish a Triathlon
61. Ride a horse while it's running
62. Go Paragliding
63. Work for the Make-a-Wish Foundation
64. Be a Disney Princess
65. Attend the Olympics
66. Color coordinate my whole closet like a rainbow
67. Work for a Police Department
68. Graduate from college
69. Have a camp out complete with a tent & smores in my backyard
70. Get paid to do what I love
71. Bake cinnamon rolls that rival those of Grandma Thrift
72. Hike an active volcano in Hawaii
73. Decorate and furnish my bedroom
74. Walk the Great Wall of China
75. Scuba dive to the remains of a sunken ship
76. Run a marathon
77. Fly an airplane
78. Learn to tap dance
79. Get a massage once a month for a year
80. Acquire 50 stamps on my passport
81. Get up-to-date on a Cropper Family scrapbook of our life adventure
82. Have a foster home for kitties
83. Cross a glacier on foot
84. Get a Masters Degree
85. Compete in a figure competition
86. Go backstage at a concert
87. Take a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower
88. Be someones mentor
89. For 365 days, write down something different I am thankful for
90. Leave a tip for $1,000 to a very deserving waitress
91. Go back packing through New Zealand
92. Master an entree from every different cuisine
93. Dive with a whale shark
94. Have a 2 year supply of food storage
95. Visit Machu Picchu
96. Travel on a Train
97. Ride a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge
98. Eat Alaskan Crab in Alaska
99. Have naturally thick hair
100. Tell someone my life story, sparing no details


These really are things I want to do too.
They're are my wishes, hopes, dreams, & aspirations.
It took me a couple of weeks to compile it all and I really put some thought into it. It just means more to physically write it down, commit it to memory and actually make it a goal to accomplish.

100 things really allows you the chance to dream big.

Highly suggest doing this... like you should probably do it right now.

What are some things on your life list?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Getting "the itch" again...

So it's been over a month since my Iron Girl Triathlon and
I'm starting to get the itch again... 

You know the itch, right?

The one where you feel the urge to tap into your competitive edge... the one where you want to do a workout that leaves you sucking wind then on a euphoric high... the one where you get super pumped to wake up at 4am during the summer to do your long run... no wait, scratch that last one.
That kinda sucks. No pain no gain though, right?

I think the only cure for this "itch" will have to be signing up for another race.


Honestly though, I've sort of found myself becoming a challenge addict,
I need something to keep get my motivation rolling,
and I thrive on that accomplishment feeling that I talked about in this previous post.
PLUS, I don't know about you but my life can be chaos central
sometimes and I need something to keep me sane.

**Just for the record I did NOT start out like this. In fact I was the girl that would go to the gym & be more concerned with how her hair looked in the mirrors lining the gym wall than actually working up any sort of perspiration. I would walk around the gym aimlessly and meander over to a treadmill where I'd run at a zero incline, 12 min pace, and if I could squeeze out 20 minutes I'd be happy. Then I'd do a few crunches and call it a day.

Truth is, I didn't know where to start or what to do?

That all started to change when I did my first 5K race
I was SO intimidated by the distance and I couldn't sleep the night before.
I got super anxious for the event that I didn't even get a chance to take the whole experience in.
The last mile was the hardest but then I crossed that finishline!

That's all it takes... one race... one time!

Lately I've had a few people mention how they want to do a race
and have asked about different events...
I get so excited for these people because I feel like
they're about to embark on some life changing experiences.

Well, my friends the time is now!
 I am personally inviting you to join me...
Anyone who wants to step up to a challenge & accomplish a new goal! 
Whether it be a new race distance, a new PR time, or just crossing the finishline,
The invite is extended for the Police & Fire Department 10K, 5K, or 1 mile walk
on Saturday, August 6th in Las Vegas... Even better that it's for a good cause!
Think about it! It's 2 months away and it could be your perfect
motivation for summer fitness.
And don't just say you'll sign up later either...
that gives you an excuse to slack off and not follow through.
Sign up, pay the $28 race fee and commit!
You can even follow a training schedule to help
take some of the intimidation factor off and keep you focused.
Here's a few training schedules that I have found helpful:
*Just guidelines. Tweak to fit your schedule/life*

My favorite 5K training schedule is HERE

My favorite 10K training schedule can be found HERE

Annnd here is the website to sign up....

See look at that! I've almost done all the work for ya... now all you have to do is run!

If you're interested here's a few neat
fitness & nutrition articles I've come across recently...





Now let's get running!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wood Block Display {Tutorial}

I could spend dayssss blog hopping around on all the
fabulous crafty blog sites. I definitely have an endless list of things
that I want to create. I came across this idea about a year ago
and finally got around to trying it out.

Remember how I said I'd share the little crafty tutorial?
Well, here ya go!

2x4 Wood Block Display


Supplies:
-2x4 Piece of wood
*You can get at a hardware store & even have them cut it for you
-Sand paper
-Scrapbooking Paper
-Vinyl Lettering or dye cut letters
-Mod Podge
-Paint brush
-Ribbon


I used my Cricut cutter for the flowers and leaves.
I wanted it to resemble flowers in a garden for springtime
so I chose green for the grass and pink flowers.
You can choose any combination depending on the season/occasion.



I know there are different types of Mod Podge... Matte, Gloss, etc. 
but since I'm pretty new to Mod Podge I just picked up whatever I found at
our local craft store.

Here's an easy little video tutorial on
"How-to Mod Podge"








I used Oreo Pops for this (tutorial of Oreo yumminess found here)
but you could use cake pops, brownie pops, or even fake daisies to fill the block.
Possibilities are endless. 

Then put the pops in the block and there you go... You're done!


Enjoy!
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