Thursday, February 2, 2017

Delicious Chicken Curry.

It’s time to share one of my favorite recipes.

Chicken Curry

I’m sharing this because It’s cold outside, and I’ve caught a cold that has made me feel awful.  I’m at that point in the winter where I am ready for it to be over. 

This nice little recipe totally warms me up on a cold yucky day. It is full of those yummy good for you veggies, and it’s one that my kids beg for.

This is a recipe that I put together when we lived in the Caribbean.  I put it together because that’s when I discovered how much I loved curry, and I wanted to learn how to make it.

Every recipe that I read was different, so I took several recipes and took what I loved from each and put them all together.

What I love about this recipe is that it is a one pot recipe.  You can make everything except for the rice in one pot.  I hate when I have to dirty lots of pots and pans for one meal, so this one is awesome.

I love making this recipes in this pot.  It is my Pioneer Woman enameled Dutch oven.

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Here is are the steps to this deliciousness:

What you will need:

2 T. olive oil

1 Large onion

2 cloves garlic

4 t. ginger

8 t. coriander

8 t. curry powder

2 t. cumin

1/4 t. turmeric

1/4 t. cayenne pepper

1/4 t. black pepper

3 t. salt

1 can petite diced tomatoes

3 cups water

3 t. chicken bouillon powder

8-12 chicken tenders or 4 chicken breasts

4 potatoes

1 yellow squash

A handful or two of baby carrots sliced in half

1 zucchini

1 sweet potato

3 cans coconut milk

Basmati Rice(must use basmati; this is what makes the curry taste so wonderful)

Chop onion into fine pieces, and heat oil.  Cook chopped onion until brown.  Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.  Add all the spices and cook for one minute more.  It will get really fragrant.  This will look like a lot of spices.

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This is what makes it sooooo good.

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I like to gather all the spices before I begin so that I’m not running around looking for them when it’s time to dump them in.

Add water, and thinly sliced potatoes, with chicken bouillon.  We like to slice the potatoes with a mandolin so they slice really thin, and cook faster. 

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If you don’t have one, just chop them into smaller pieces.  Add the squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, baby carrots, all the same way, and at the same time; and then add 2 cans of coconut milk to it. 

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Cover it for about fifteen minutes and let it cook down and simmer over medium heat until the vegetables soften. 

After 15 minutes, add the chicken.  The chicken needs to be added in small pieces as well.  You can slice it, or I like to use kitchen shears and cut it in to small chunks.

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Cover it again, and let it stand for 15 more minutes.

Once you add the chicken, you should start preparing your rice in your rice cooker.  If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can just prepare this in a normal pot.

Add your last can of coconut milk to the pan, and add  2 more cans of water to the rice cooker or your pot.  Then add 2 cups of rice to the rice cooker, or the pan.  Hit cook on the rice cooker or follow the cooking instructions for the stovetop on the rice bag for the stovetop.

Basmati rice can be found in the grocery store by all the other rice.  It is a little bit more money, but it is so worth it. I promise!!

After fifteen minutes and your chicken is cooked, stir in the can of tomatoes; and serve over the hot rice.

Chicken Curry 

You guys will die this is so good.

It is even better the next day.  It makes great leftovers, and I really don’t even like leftovers.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

One of the prettiest girls I know…

I had sooo much fun a few weekends ago.  My darling sister asked me to shake the dust off my camera, and do a photoshoot.

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I was so excited to take her maternity pictures.

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Right after she asked me, she ended up in the hospital because of her Placenta Previa.

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I rushed down there as fast as I could, and hoped she would be better and feel up to photos.  I prayed that all would be well.

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Luckily they got everything calmed down, put her on a mild bedrest and…

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told that baby to stay put for a while longer.

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He needs to bake a little longer.

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We also did some photos of the whole fam showing their love to the babe in the belly.

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Hank was not showing his love.  He was kinda mad, but that’s a 3 year old

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He was mostly mad about his sweater.

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We finally got him to perk up at the end, after we found a dog for him to pet.

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I am so amazed at the strength and beauty of this women.

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She has been thru many hard things, and always comes through smiling and teaching me how to be better.  I learn to be a better wife and mother from her.

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I am so excited to meet this new little guy.

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I know he is a special little spirit.  He is so lucky to have Kristin as his Mom, and Jared as his Dad.

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I am ready to hold him, but not yet!! He needs to stay put a little longer.

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This was a fun day.  I loved capturing this moment in time.

Thanks for letting me a part of this, I love you sis.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Tour of Valley View Abode(that’s what we call our new house): Our Great Room

I think it’s time to start sharing some photos of our new house.  It’s taken me some time to be ready to share.  This house is our dream home.  We put all our thoughts and energy into building this. 

When we started this process, we started an Instagram account and named this house Valley View Abode.  We named it that because of the great views of the valley that we have.  If you want to follow along with what we did, you can follow us @valleyviewabode on Instagram.  I am still posting fun design ideas, and things that make me happy there.

How did this process start?  I sketched it out on a piece of paper exactly how we wanted our floor plan to be, and then we took that to a drafter.

She drafted it for us, and did an amazing job.  It’s exactly how I sketched it, except with a few of her suggestions that made things better.

Once your house is drafted, then it has to be engineered.  Then you pick or bid builders, and start the process.  That whole process, start to finish, drafting to finish build; took us about 20 months.


All along the way, we made every decision.  We decided where every light switch would be, and which direction our doors would swing.  It was an exciting process.

I am excited to show you some of the decisions we made.  I will just throw little tours of the house in here and there.  Today, I am going to share a tour of our great room:

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The feeling we are going for in our house is coastal.  We are trying let little pieces of our life in the Caribbean leave a mark on this house.  We chose colors for this house that reflect the colors of the ocean, and we did beams to represent driftwood.  We did tongue and groove ceilings because that's what they have in homes in the Caribbean.  I also chose champagne bronze/brass fixtures because they have a very nautical feel to them. You will see some stripes in a few of the patterns because I also feel a sense of being at the beach when I see stripes.  I don’t know why, but stripes also feel very nautical and coastal to me. 

This room is on the main floor, and at the back of the house to the left, once you walk through the entry way. 

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As you can see, we have this beautiful transomed entry way that you walk through to get to the great room.

…and you are welcomed by and adorable Yorkie!

A lot of people have asked me what transoms are.  In architecture, transoms are a horizontal crossbar separating a door from a window.  Most of the time you see transoms above doors.  Sometimes you have transoms in cased openings, or doorways, which is how mine are.  I have four here.  I will do a post that shows more of the entry soon.

You can also see the kitchen, as they are connected.

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We were so lucky to score some old wood beams from an old barn here in the valley that was being torn down.  My builder new I wanted beams in my house.  He didn’t disappoint when he brought me the real deal. 

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Between the wood beams, we did a tongue and groove ceiling out of pine.  I love how it looks, and gives the ceiling another texture. As I said before, the homes in the Caribbean have tongue and groove on their ceilings.  It also defines the great room from the kitchen.  I painted my walls a nice light blue/green color.  The color is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt 6204, but I had the color diluted by 75%.  I hope that makes sense, so it is only at 25% strength.  I wanted it to be very subtle.

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…And the Windows!! This house has a lot of windows. 74 windows to be exact!! I’m so nervous to call a window cleaner. Ugh!!  Natural light is super important to me, like I’m mean without it.  I am also not a huge fan of covering them up so I’m not one to do blinds.  I love these windows, and huge doors.  The big floor to ceiling windows in the great room are sliding glass doors that open up to a massive deck.

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When we were wiring the electrical in the house, I made sure to do three things in this space:

1. put an outlet in the floor here, because I knew I would want a lamp.  The outlet is hidden right under this table. Right behind the cute sleeping dog.

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(Lamp and Pillows TJ Maxx, Couch a local store called 8th & main, Lamp similar, Couch Similar)

2.  put outlets on the side of the fireplace for lamps, and Christmas lights. I also had them switched so I just have to turn them on with a light switch.

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(Lamps from TJ Maxx, something similar)

3.  wire for sconces.  I knew that this space needed some other lighting element.

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(sconces, ottoman-TJ Maxx one similar, Chair- 8th & main, one similar)

This great room light here came from one of my favorite lighting places.  It’s actually a local place here where I live.  It’s called The Valley Home Store.  Follow them on Instagram for some great inspiration. @thevalleyhomestore  I seriously got so many lights from them.  Every time I went in, I got so much design help.

I’m a very symmetrical girl, so having built-in book shelves on either side of the fireplace was a must.  I’m still filling them, and messing around with them, but they are here; and I love them.

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OK!! I know you are dying to talk about my shiplap fireplace.  I am too.  Yes! I do swoon and melt every day that I see it.  I love the design of it!! I love how it is different and unique!!

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(Mirror Hobby Lobby out of this one but this one is fun, Candlesticks World Market, Plants Homemade by me)

 I gave a picture of what I wanted to my builder and he was awesome about it.  I told my builder I wanted lots of shiplap in this house and he was so good to deliver.  In fact, he didn’t know what I meant by shiplap.  He has only heard tongue and groove so he went to a lumber source, and found out about it; and got me the real deal.  I love Shiplap!!

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  I also wanted a very deep mantle so I could put bigger things on it. 

He made it happen, and I am so happy with that decision.  For example: look how fun and awesome it is to put my putz houses on it at Christmas:

Christmas decor at our House at night-0195

I am just now figuring out what to put on my mantle, because for months, it has been seasonal stuff.

….and anyone swooning over the sea green glass tile surround in my fireplace too?  Yes me too.  This was the very first choice I made for my house.  I knew it had to go in my house.

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So the fireplace shape is repeated in the kitchen to keep it flowing.  The fireplace shape is repeated in the hood in the kitchen, and the glass tile is repeated in my back splash.

The piano managed to stay in this space.  The kids practice in here.  I’m grateful I painted it all those years ago, cuz it looks great in here.  I painted it by making my own chalk paint.

Chalk paint:

8oz paint color of choice(buy a sample), mixed with 4 T. Hot water and 4 T. Plaster of Paris

Yep!! That’s it!

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I love this print above the piano.  This scripture means a lot to me. Especially right now, I am teaching Gospel Doctrine in our church.  I’m grateful for this scripture, as I learn as study more about our Savior.

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I picked this print up at Swiss Days in Midway.  If you live in Utah, this is a must; it’s so much fun.

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Let’s talk carpet and hardwood flooring.  This carpet you are seeing in my great room is inlayed like a big rug.  We had it set in and the hardwood picture frames and wraps around it, and then hardwood throughout the rest of the main floor(mostly).  I chose a really fun diamond shape pattern carpet for this inlay.  It is the same color as the rest of my carpet, it’s just a different pattern.


For Hardwood, we did the real deal.  I wanted sand and finish hardwood.  So we picked 6 inch planks, and we picked a maple.  Maple is a really hard hard wood, and has a really fun character to it.  Our intent was to stain it a light gray and then finish it with a matte finish.  Every day when I would come to check the on the floors, I would get sick to my stomach at the thought of staining these beautiful floors.  Jonathan would come and feel the same way, but we were both nervous to tell each other.  When the stain guy came, he said the same thing. 

Just to make me feel better he showed me what it would look like with the gray stain.  I couldn’t do it.  I am so happy with our floors.  I love the look of the natural wood.  I might change my mind someday, but for now we have nice beautiful unstained maple floors.

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I think that’s it for now.  I hope you enjoyed your tour of the great room.  If you have any question about anything you have seen please feel free to email me, or better yet; follow my instagram that is all about our design process and what’s going on now, and leave your question there.

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Follow me @valleyviewabode

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Thanks for stopping by today!!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Currently for January

Praying for: my children(they just need it right now)  It seems as though the needs of our children is always changing, and I almost can’t keep up with it.  We are constantly praying that we do what is right for each of them individually. photo Swenson Family Photos 2016-0011_zpskor0qpf4.jpg

Planning to: blog more and take more pictures

Wearing: anything that keeps me warm.  We have had negative degree weather lately 


Excited to: get back on my exercise routine, It has been a little lost since the move

Using: Elf lip exfoliator to help shed the dry lips this season, and I’m in love

Reading: The Magnolia Story.  You guys!! So inspiring.  Ok.  so I’m not reading, I’ve just read it.  What neat people they are.

Watching: Just finished watching lots and lots of Hallmark movies.  During the month of December I had my tonsils out!! I did lots of Hallmark movie watching.  Now, during January, I have promised myself that I will do less tv watching and more creative ME stuff!!

Cooking:  Soups!!!  It’s that time of year.  This one and this one are my fav. right now.


Eating:  I just finished a month of eating lots and lots of ice cream.  I am glad my tonsils are healed and I can start eating more normal again.  I am ready to get off the band wagon of unhealthy Christmas junk, and start eating some salads or something(right after I link you too some unhealthy soup ideas) wink wink!!


Crafting:  I have enjoyed putting together little pots with succulents in them.  They are so fun to stash around the house.  They can go in any room. I will do a tutorial soon.


Loving: to sit in front of the fireplace this time of year

Dreaming: Of warm Caribbean waters

Feeling: blessed

Listening: to all things Apple Music it is seriously the best. thing. ever.

Celebrating: being settled in our new home


Enjoying: keeping a paper planner, it’s a little place for me to be creative, and plan {2 things I love; creativity & planning}


Do you prefer keeping a paper planner, or are a phone planner; or both?

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