Friday, May 29, 2009

Making your Photos larger in Blogger

I had someone ask me how I got my pictures to be larger than the norm, so I thought I would share that info with everyone, just in case you were wondering too.

First of all, to create my blog posts I use a free program that I downloaded called Windows Live Writer. When using it, you have to put in your Blogger user name and password and then it actually downloads your specific site setting so that you can see exactly what your blog posts will look like.


It will allow you to make the photo larger by either dragging the corner of the photo or specifying the width and height you want the photo to be in pixels. It also has a few photo editing tools.


You can publish your posts directly from this program or you can save the posts to your blog as a draft.

But to really take advantage of this program to have larger photos, you will also need to increase the width of your post column. To do this, from your Blogger dashboard click on “Layout” then click on “Edit HTML” and then your screen should look like this:


You will need to scroll through the HTML code until you get to the portion that looks like this:

/* Header

#header-wrapper {
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:1px solid $bordercolor;}

Now you will need to decide how wide you want the header of your page to be. I have mine set at 680 because I like having a little space on the side of my title picture. I have my total width set at 780.

Next, you will need to scroll down a little further and find the section that looks like this:

/* Outer-Wrapper
----------------------------------------------- */
#outer-wrapper {
width: 780px;
margin:0 auto;
font: $bodyfont;

#main-wrapper {
width: 560px;
float: $startSide;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */

#sidebar-wrapper {
width: 180px;
float: $endSide;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */

I have the total width (outer-wrapper) for my site set at 780 pixels, but you can make that number whatever you want it to be, just know that most computer screens are set at an average width of 1280 pixels, so you will probably not want to make it larger than that or there will be some people that won’t be able to view all of your content, in fact it is probably advisable not to go over 960 because there are many people that have their screen set at even lower resolutions. The main wrapper is where your posts are published. I have the width for mine set at 560 and the sidebar at 180. You’ll notice that the total of those two don’t add up to 780. That’s because there is a little “padding” written into the code to go around each wrapper.

After you change the numbers to be what you want for your site, you can click on “preview” to see how it looks and to make sure that you like it. If you do, click on “save template”, if you don’t, play around with the numbers some more or click on “clear edits” and it will make the code go back to the way it was.

Have fun! If you do decide to try this and run into any problems, just let me know and I will try to help you out.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Beach Bums

When we first woke up on Memorial Day morning it look all cloudy and yucky outside. We had made plans to spend the day at the beach with some of our friends and after looking at the sky were afraid that we might not be able to go. Gladly our friends called us and said the sky was looking a little clearer and they were going to take a chance and go anyway. And so we went. And we were so glad we did. It was perfect. Really perfect. Beautiful clear blue skies. 87 degrees. Light breeze off the ocean. Cool water. Soft waves. Perfect.

Mandy and Dallin were ecstatic at being able to run into the water and let the waves chase them back up to the shore. All the kids found little sand crabs. Layton even held one. He loved the feel of the sand in his toes and loved to watch his fingers sink down into it. He loved the water so much that he kept wanting to walk out further and further into the waves. He even took a wave right to the face and it didn’t even phase him. He just wanted to get right back in.






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IMG_4410After a fantastic time at the beach, we came home and had a little cookout, just the five of us. Last week I came across a recipe for Mexican Grilled Corn. Nathan served his mission in California and one of his very favorite things about California was the Mexican vendors who would stand on street corners and sell corn on the cob that had been covered with a sour cream sauce, parmesan cheese, and sprinkled with chili powered. IMG_4417 He has mentioned them to me over and over during our married life and always gets a little starry eyed when he talks about them. You have to understand, both he and I are passionate about food. That’s probably one of the reasons we are so perfect for each other:) So you can imagine how excited I was to find a recipe that sounded just like what he described. I will have to admit that I was a bit leery of the idea of putting a mixture of mayonnaise and sour cream on corn, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It was fantastic! Definitely something that we’ll be eating quite often from now on. IMG_4421Layton quickly became a big fan of corn on the cob too. But who can blame him. Even without the toppings, grilled corn is delish.


And it just wouldn’t be a summer time cook out without watermelon. So sweet and juicy. MMMMMmmmm my mouth is watering right now.


It was such a fantastic day that at the end of it Dallin decided that he thinks that we need to have Memorial Day more often. He also told us that we need to have corn, watermelon, and steak for every Memorial Day. I think we may have just started a new family tradition :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Middleburg Talent Show

Last Saturday we enjoyed a fun evening of entertainment put on by all the people in our ward. Some of highlights were a pretty darn good rendition of the famous Caesar Augustus speech.


A couple of fun songs from the children. Can’t you see how happy they were to get up on stage and sing?

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Dallin loved it when one person played the Pink Panther song on the piano. He went slinking all around and under the table just like Pink Panther.


Layton pretty much stole the show though. He spent most of evening right up at the stage showing off his talent – the ability to be extra cute!


Our favorite part of the night was the dance number put on by the Thompson family.


They even invited the Bishop up on stage to dance with them. He really got into it and even did the worm himself!



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lost in Translation

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Pinkalicious is now Mandy’s new favorite book. Recently, I have taken to quoting the book because it has this awesome parental one-liner in it that I love. “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” Perfect attitude for a child to learn, right? Somehow though, in quoting that line back to me, for Mandy it became, “You get what you like and you don’t get upset.” Can you tell that she always has her very best interest in mind? That’s my Mandy girl for ya!


Monday, May 25, 2009


I like to read from the Deseret News website sometimes and I noticed an article on there about a new show on CMT called "World's Strictest Parents". Apparently two troubled teens from different families are dropped off for a week with a family of strict parents in hopes that they will learn some life lessons from it. I guess one of the "strict" families on the show will be a Mormon family. The episode with that family, the Corks, will air on CMT Thursday May 28th at 1:00 p.m. I have my DVR all set to record it. I am really insterested to see how the family is portrayed and if it actually helps the teenagers. We'll see.

P.S. Happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cookie Dough Truffles

As promised, here is the recipe for cookie dough truffles. I love this recipe because it is so versatile. You can turn it into any type of cookie dough truffle that you want. You just start out with a basic mixture of:


1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup of flour and 1 tsp vanilla. One little note about the flour. You will want to either use self rising flour or use all purpose flour and add 1/4 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp baking powder. Sounds odd I know, but you need those things in there to give it a truly cookie dough flavor. With out it, it will taste rather bland.

Anywho – after you mix that together, here is where a door to pretty much endless possibilities is opened. You could go with classic chocolate chip cookie dough


by adding 1 cup self rising flour and 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips.

Or you could try out some white chocolate almond cookie dough


by adding 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate, and 1/2 cup chopped almonds.

Or you could go peanut buttery


and add 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup peanut butter.

Or why not just go all out and make some cowboy cookie dough by adding


1 cup oats (instead of flour), 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and 1/4 cup shredded coconut.

Just go wild!

After deciding what kind you want to make, mix it all up and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to an hour, to make it easier to roll. Then just roll into little ball shapes. Place it on a cookie sheet lined with either parchment paper or waxed paper.


Pop them back in the frig for another 30 minutes to an hour to make it easier to dip them. Melt a package of chocolate candy coating according to the package directions. Then just dip away.


You can decorate them as you like or just leave them beautifully plain. Happy eating!

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Click here for a printable copy of the recipe.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Itty Biddies

While visiting our family, we went to see the little baby chicks at my brother David’s house. As I was telling Dallin about them, I referred to them as biddies, and somehow from that moment on they were christened by Dallin the “itty biddies”. He loves rhyming words :)

The little chicks were so cute and chirpy:


Dallin was even brave enough to hold one by himself.


Layton thought they were very cute too. At first he was nice and gentle with it and touched it softly with a single finger:


But then the boy in him came out and WHACK, he tried to take the little chick’s head right off:


I’m telling you it really is a boy thing. All the girls gasped, but just look at my brother’s smiling face. And I thought Dallin never would stop laughing:


Then they gathered a few eggs:


And showed off their lovely harvest:


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Judgment Day

Mama Doris was always told by her seminary students that she would be able to sweet talk her way into heaven by presenting the panel of judges a plate of her gooey congo bars. That may be true, but I think she would be able to sweet talk her way even further and obtain the highest degree of glory if she present them with a heaping plate of her fried turkey breast.


I don’t think there is a word in the English language that can describe how good it is. It is beyond delicious. See, check Layton out. He know what’s up:

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He carried that piece of turkey around with him while he played for more thirty minutes while he slowly chewed it with his 6 little teeth. This is a picture of him taking a little break on the soccer ball. Notice he still hasn’t let go of that divine little piece of fried turkey breast. He was in heaven. Good food and a ball to play with and that boy is just about as happy as a boy can be.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Visiting Family

It is always nice to visit with family. Good company plus good environment plus good activities makes for an excellent weekend. Who wouldn’t consider a day that started with blueberry picking and ended with kids asleep as a day well enjoyed?


Fresh plump blueberries. So delicious right from the bush.



Walking with Granddaddy to feed the chickens.


A hen patiently sitting on her nest. Even through all the craziness of a 5 year old and a three year old throwing corn all over the place to their little heart’s content.



And who doesn’t love a fun ride on Daddy’s shoulders or walking through tall green grass picking up sticks and digging in the dirt?


And a visit with Granddaddy just wouldn’t be complete with out a nice long ride on the tractor.




You know it’s been a good day when you can fall asleep with your juice cup still in your mouth!