activities, adventure, animals, Dates, Family, Uncategorized, Utah

Living Planet Aquarium

For the last weekend before school started again, Tyler and I wanted to do something fun and exciting and adventurous! We actually debated an epic-ly short road trip to Disneyland, but our practicality won out (stupid practicality).

Instead, we made a much shorter trip to Draper, Utah to visit the fairly new Living Planet Aquarium, and we had a WHALE of a time! (cue bad aquatic puns).

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Photo Credit: Deseret News

Admission is 14.95 for students (17.95 regular price), which I thought was reasonable.

We started first with the “Journey to South America” exhibit, which was a giant multi-level jungle-y room full of free-flying birds! It was so warm and humid, my camera lens kept fogging up. We got to see the parrot and the macaw up really close. The toucans were caged in, and they were LOUD. There was also a “river” running through the bottom with lots of different fish and turtles. Featured along the walls in their glass habitats were bugs, reptiles, and amphibians. And everyone wanted a turn walking across the rope bridge.

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Next, we headed for the “Antarctic Adventure.” The star of that, of course. were the penguins. There were windows to view them both above and below. The below window curved inward to the tank, so that you *almost* felt immersed in the water with the penguins. I honestly could have spent quite a long time there.

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“Discover Utah” was our third stop. As could be expected, this exhibit featured wildlife native to Utah, including otters, scorpions, snakes, frogs, ducks, fish, and the like. The otter habitat had a little glass box you could pop your head into. It was really good the day we went because two of the otters were sleeping right up against that glass.

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The final exhibit was “Ocean Explorer.” Featuring touch pools and a shark tunnel, this one, I would guess, is a favorite. Sea urchins, harmless rays, starfish, and other small aquatic animals were available for “petting.” I will say that the tunnel was very cool. It wasn’t particularly large, but it was cool to watch the sharks, fish, rays, and sea turtles (they had sea turtles!) swim all around you. Lots of people just sat in this tunnel, and I did too for a bit.

We spent a little over 2 hours exploring the aquarium, and I probably could have stayed longer, though I’m pretty sure 2 hours was perfect for Tyler.

All in all, a very pretty, interesting, and exciting aquarium. For an animal lover  like myself, it was pretty great.

A new exhibit, “Expedition Asia,” is expected to be added sometime this year, and I will for sure be returning to check it out!

breakfast, crust, eggs, pie, Quiche, Uncategorized

Brunch Quiche

I was reading this book yesterday and the main character has quiche with her grandma and then I couldn’t get it out of my head. I had to have quiche!

Now, I have never made quiche, but Sally’s Baking Addiction made it look easy enough…and it was!

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What’s great about quiche, too, is that it is TOTALLY customize-able (<– not a word haha). You add your favorite cheeses, veggies, and breakfast meats, per your own preference.

You can also do a crust-less quiche, though I recommend using the crust.

You will need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 C milk (I used 2%, but any percentage works)
  • 1 pie crust (try a half recipe of my easy pie crust)
  • 1 C cheese (any blend works – I just used colby jack, but get fancy of you desire w/ parmesan, swiss, feta, and so on)
  • Desired veggies, chopped small (I used yellow onion, spinach, and bell peppers. Tomatoes, mushrooms, and broccoli would also be delicious! You could also add crumbled bacon or sausage – not veggies, but yummy all the same!)
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare your pie crust, then bake on 350 degrees for 7 mins.

Meanwhile, whisk together everything else.

Once the pie crust comes out of the oven, pour the egg mixture into the crust and return to the oven. Bake for 45 mins to an hour (mine took 45 mins). Quiche is done when center is solid.

beginner, Canon camera, DSLR, photo a day, photography, photography tips, Uncategorized

Jan. 2 Photo

My dad, my brother, and my husband went shooting on Saturday and I got this pretty picture of my brother shooting. I love the blue sky!

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Whenever I shoot outside, I often forget to switch the white balance to daylight, but it makes a huge difference! It allows for the nice sunny, golden tones to warm up the picture.

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aperture, photo a day, photography, Uncategorized

Jan. 1 Photo

Featured in my very first photo a day post is my golden retriever Sparky.

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I was playing around with the aperture settings, which I’ve decided is actually my favorite thing. I’ve always wondered how some photos get the nice clear subject in the front and the blurry background, and guess what> It’s SO easy! It’s the aperture settings!

Basically, from what I’ve gathered, the lower the aperture number (for example f 4.0, which is what I used here) the more it’s going to blur the background and focus on an up-close subject. Not ideal for taking scenery pics, but great for a portrait of your puppy.

Chocolate, Desserts, fudge, holidays, snack, Uncategorized

Homemade Fudge

To accompany my lovely sugar cookies on my goody plates, I made some nice, rich, homemade fudge.

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BTW, don’t my plates look pretty?!

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You will need:

  • 1 C evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 C sugar
  • 1 C butter
  • 10 1/2 oz mini marshmallows
  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg milk chocolate chips
  • opt: chopped nuts (walnuts are my favorite!)

In a very large pot, combine milk, vanilla, sugar, and butter over medium heat. Stir until mixture boils, then boil for 8 mins, stirring regularly.

Meanwhile, put your marshmallows and chocolate chips in a very large mixing bowl (and nuts, if desired). Set aside.

Once you sugar mixture has boiled long enough, pour over marshmallows and chocolate. Stir until marshmallows and chocolate have completely melted.

Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Let cool in the fridge (this will take a couple hours. Cut up into small squares.

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cinnamon, Cookies, Desserts, snickerdoodles, Uncategorized

Snickerdoodles

I don’t have a story for these guys. I just really wanted to make them. I love them, maybe only because they have the funnest name ever. Snickerdoodle. Hee hee 🙂

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Just look at all that soft, crackly, cinnamon-y goodness.

You will need:

  • 1 C softened butter
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 C flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cinnamon and sugar

Cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs. Slowly mix in dry ingredients. Roll the dough into small balls and coat generously with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 8 to 10 mins on 350 F.