October 24, 2014

Copycat Recipe: Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice

I'm a huge fan of all non-caffeinated Starbucks drinks. In the summer, their cream based frappuccino's hit the spot every time. In the winter though, I absolutely LOVE their Caramel Apple Spice. I mean, how can you go wrong with apple cider that is topped with whipped cream and caramel?! You can't. So, instead of going to Starbucks every day in the fall and winter and going broke on their delicious drinks, I decided to make my own version. And it is the easiest thing you'll ever make. Promise. (Probably because I use Starbucks secret ingredient!)

Go to their store and ask to buy a bottle of their Cinnamon Dolce Syrup. I bought mine a couple of years ago and for the life of me can't remember how much it was. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $7-$10. It will last you a long time, I promise!

Now, get some apple juice. Any old brand will do! I use generic store brands. Take 1 TBSP of your Cinnamon Dolce Syrup and add it to 1 cup of apple juice. If you have a nifty cocoa maker machine, put it in that and let it mix and heat it up for you! If not, throw it in the microwave until it is the right temperature for you. Once you've pulled it out, top it with whipped cream and some caramel sauce and BOOM. You've got your own version of Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice. It's soo good.


Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Copycat Recipe

1 TBSP Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
1 Cup Apple Juice
Whipped Cream
Caramel Sauce

Mix 1 TBSP Cinnamon Dolce Syrup to 1 cup Apple Juice. Stir together, heat and top with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Enjoy!

July 24, 2014

Finding My Inner Beauty

My 8th Grade School Picture. Yikes! ;-)

8th grade was a rough year for me. I had braces, bushy eyebrows, and well, my friends had all started getting their curves and I was about as straight up and down as they come. I felt like the ugly duckling surrounded by swans.  I remember on more than one occasion telling my mom that I didn't feel pretty at all.

One day though, I heard something that gave me hope! In church one Sunday, we had a guest come in to the young women and give a lesson. At one point she talked about inner beauty and how if we would read our scriptures, say our prayers, treat others with kindness, etc. then we could develop a beautiful spirit and that inner beauty would enhance our outer beauty. Unfortunately, what I heard was something like this though, "if you make good choices, you'll end up being transformed into a super model!"

I was SO on board. I was already a pretty nice person, I read my scriptures once in awhile and I joined my family for family prayers, so I was well on my way, right??

So there I was, short haircut, bushy eyebrows, braces and no curves, bound and determined to become a knockout by being good. As most of you reading this can guess, I would end up being slightly disappointed at the end of this little experiment of mine. I didn't become a knockout beauty by being nice, but what I did learn a couple years down the road was this: inner beauty truly does shine through and make you a beautiful person, but not in the way the world defines beauty. It's a wholesome beauty, and for those who are like-minded, a sought after beauty. Having the spirit in your life gives you this beautiful glow that people notice. And being happy, good and kind are the most important things we can be in this life. Audrey Hepburn hit the nail on the head when she said, "happy girls are the prettiest girls". 

As I've grown older, my eyebrows have been plucked, those curves finally came {although they're still a little small. We can't win em all, can we?} I feel pretty and a lot of times I feel beautiful! But now, more than ever, I am less concerned with my outer appearance and more concerned with how my inside looks. I want to be known for my love of fellowman, my love of the scriptures, being the best mother and the best wife I can be. I don't much care if I am known for a rockin' body or gorgeous glossy hair or eyelashes that go on for days. If I'm doing ok in the eyes of my Savior and I am helping to show His love to my fellowman, then that's what matters to me.

So, here's to all of us finding our inner beauty. And letting it shine through our beautiful faces. 

July 18, 2014

Life With 3

Adjusting to 3 has been, well, an adjustment. Things have been neglected (take this blog for instance!) and I am learning how to let go of the unnecessary in order to make my life easier. Lucy feels like she has always been apart of this family, much like Claire felt like she was always here and Declan felt like he was always here. Life before kids is a distant memory, almost like a dream. But this reality we are currently in is so much better than when it was just the two of us. Though the sleepless nights are short and the days seem far too long at times, I am learning to find joy and happiness in this stage of life.

Last night the house was finally picked up and {somewhat} clean, the kids were fast asleep and Dallin and I sat awake talking about this crazy life we have at the moment. I really am enjoying where I am and what I am doing, and I really am not wishing it away or wishing it would go faster, because heaven knows it's already going fast enough (Lucy is almost 4 months old!)

My happy {almost} 4 month old, fresh out of the tub.

I am, however, looking forward to the days when we can go on bike rides and fun vacations together as a family.

I look forward to the day when the kids will come talk to me about homework and friends and confide in me their fears and misgivings.

I look forward to the day when I can tell them how important they are, that they have such infinite worth and they start to glimpse their true potential.

I look forward to the day when I can cheer them on in their sports, music, theatrical performances, etc. and when I can let them know I am their biggest fan.

I look forward to all that the future has to offer for this growing family of mine, but oh how I am loving the simplicity of the life we lead right now. At times it seems mundane (and to be truthful, it sometimes is) but I am finding the beauty in it. Never again will life be so simple. It will be filled with sports practices and piano recitals and homework and church activities. So for now, I am finding joy in this particular stretch of my journey and hoping I can look back on it with fondness and no regrets. Because I know one day I will miss these piles and piles of laundry.

I attempted to get a picture of my 3 kiddos and this was the best we got. To be honest, it perfectly captures these 3 little personalities!

July 17, 2014

Henry Family Reunion 2014

So, the last time we had a Bill and Carolyn Henry Family Reunion, it was in 2009. In 2009, I had no children and I was very much a newlywed. Dallin was only able to come for less than 24 hours of the reunion, due to it being summertime and having a crazy farm work schedule. Unfortunately, he once again was only able to come for a day and a half of this reunion, but hey! It's better than less than 24 hours, right? :)

We had the reunion at the Oregon Coast again, but didn't stay in the same house. We've grown significantly since then! 7.5 more grandchildren have been added to my parents ever increasing posterity (Marcus and Ash are expecting their first, hence the .5) The house we stayed in this time was awesome. It had 10 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms and we all fit perfectly. It also had an infinity pool with an attached hot tub that was constantly being used by my nieces and nephews and my kids. 

The weather was incredible. We had heat advisory's while we were there! It was 80 degrees and sunny with hardly any wind! Anyone who knows the Oregon Coast, knows that is pretty much unheard of. Everyone got sunburned, despite our liberal sunscreen applications, my poor nephew William getting the worst of it. His shoulders and back had blisters on them, but he was such a trooper about it all! 

Our Little Mermaid :)

Boogie Boarding!

Building a sandcastle

These crazies were out in the water for the majority of the time we were at the beach! The weather was warm, but holy smokes, that water is still COLD!

More boogie boarding! :)

Lucy was totally digging the beach!

Nate brought wetsuits, but Chad just braved the frigid water.

Nate in full wetsuit regalia (including gloves and footies, ha!) He kept us all laughing the entire time!

And even MORE boogie boarding!

Rachel and Chad, Frisbee throwing extraodinaires!

I think Sarah was the one to ride a wave the longest, way to go Sarah!

We also had crafts (no pictures, whoops!)

 We went crabbing

 My mom and dad did a great family home evening lesson on our heritage

Trying to guess who is who in the pictures my mom and dad laid out

 The kids did cupcake wars

I think Andrew just wanted the frosting. ;-)

  We enjoyed Italian Sodas, debuted our awesome VideoStar movies we had made, had an adults only bonfire on the beach

Ok, Lucy got to come too. But she was the only kid!

And ate ridiculously good food the entire time. I think Claire was in heaven the 4 days we were there. And I don't think I took care of my kids the entire time. Yay for family watching each others kids!

19 Grandkids and counting! :)

The WHOLE crew! All 33.5 of us!

Yay for Fun Family Reunions!

The Original 8

The Original 8 + Spouses

Let's not wait 5 year before the next family reunion, k guys?

Declan loves his Aunt Jen. And being swung in the air!

"Chaddy Boy" as Claire calls him. He's the Declan whisperer. :)

And no trip to Lincoln City is complete without a trip to the outlet mall. Tax free shopping? Yes, please! And yes, she's holding the mannequins hand.

I'm thinking the next reunion should be 2016 in Hawaii. Or Disneyland. Any takers? :)

For more pictures (because, you know, there aren't very many in this post, ha!) Check out my sisters blog! You should probably just read it anyway, 'cause it's awesome.