Our Life Is Here- April 2014

This month I’m joining some of my good friends in a blog circle.  Warning this post is picture overload:)

Recently Jim and I had the opportunity to see Jillian Michaels as her Maximize Your Life Tour came through Omaha, which I wrote more about here.  She was very inspirational and far more down to earth than I expected. She acknowledged the fact that we are creatures of habit and gave some easy suggestions that make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle. She also encouraged everybody to let go of fear and the need to stop letting it hold you back from greatness. I would totally go see her again.  This was the first time we had been to the Holland Performing Arts Center and it was beautiful!

Jillian Michaels Maximize Your Life

Lizzie has been helping around the house and hanging out with friends lately.  She is always a great cook and chips in often:)

Positively Angel: Our Life is Here

I’m sure this is a site I will see many times through the summer.  As soon as it warmed up Colten was washing his truck in the driveway.  It’s still amazing to me that my “baby” is a 16 year old driver.  His truck looks so nice after my bother helped him paint it.

Positively Angel: Our Life is HereColten also interviewed for the Iowa 4H State Council.  Interviews were held at ISU which was great because it gave him a chance to see more of the campus.  If he is selected he will learn more about the 4-H program and be a part of the planning committee for the State 4-H Conference which he is really excited about.

14-03-29 4H Council

It is that time of year again where we purchase our 4-H livestock for the fair.  We just got in our pigs this past week.

Positively Angel Iowa 4-H

Positively Angel Iowa 4-H While we were out on the farm getting pics of the new pigs we went out to the field to look at Colten’s cow and her first baby calf.  It happened to be feeding time so as we went in to the field all of the mama cows were very curious.

Positively Angel Iowa 4-H

A few came up to us to really check things out..  I think the white faced one was ready to look in my pockets or something:)

Positively Angel Iowa 4-H

But we finally found Colten’s cow, the black one on the left.

Jepsen Show Calves

And it didn’t take too much more looking to find the baby calf.  It’s spring and things are muddy so his calf was a little dirty, but still cute:) The weather was gorgeous while we were out and all of the calves were running around playing.  Many had their tails in the air while they ran about, just like a puppy:)

Jepsen Show Calves

As we were leaving Jim’s brother was coming into the field with the feed wagon for their supper and we quickly became old news as they followed the tractor.

Jepsen Show Calves

Check out what my talented friend Seija  has been up to in the frozen tundra of Michigan here.  


To see more of my photography go to Angel Jepsen Photography {Denison, IA Family Photography}

April 10, 2014 - 7:32 pm

Rub Some Dirt On It » Emily Poston Photography - […] of the “Our Life is Here” blog circle.  Be sure to click ahead to check out the exciting times in Angel’s world!  You can also keep up with her latest work on her Facebook page.  And if that’s not […]

April 11, 2014 - 4:52 pm

Jana - Angel these are fantastic and sounds like you and the kids have been busy busy! I especially love the pics of the pigs :)

April 11, 2014 - 8:53 pm

Heather - I love Jillian Michaels! Good job!

April 11, 2014 - 11:48 pm - Thank you Jana! It seems there’s always something going on :)

April 11, 2014 - 11:49 pm - I must say I’m a big fan too now Heather, she was so neat to listen too. Thanks :)

April 13, 2014 - 12:17 am

Emily Poston - I love these pictures Angel! The livestock make great subjects. :) I can’t wait to watch them grow.

Positively Angel on KTIV News

Hi!  Some of you might be seeing my blog for the first time today because you saw me on KTIV this morning.  Here is the original post for The Best Chocolate Cake EVER!  Positively Angel Cake


If you didn’t get a chance to see me on KTIV but still wanted to you can watch the video here.

Cake Recipe, Iowa


The Best Chocolate Cake


1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 small pkg Jello instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together everything except chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into cake pan, like Amanda I prefer to use two round cake pans. Bake for as long as recommended on the cake box then add 5-10 minutes until toothpick comes out clean (although you might get some melted chocolate chips instead of cake batter on toothpick) it usually takes me about 30-35 minutes.  Let cake sit for 10 minutes then wrap in Press’n Seal wrap and freeze for a few hours or a few days.  Pull cake out of freezer, let thaw a little bit if it has frozen completely, then frost.


Chocolate Frosting


5 sticks butter, softened
8 oz powdered sugar
1.5 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
a pinch of table salt
1.5 cups light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz milk chocolate chips


Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring well every 30 seconds. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt and mix until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape bowl as needed. Add corn syrup and vanilla, process until just combined, about 5-10 seconds. Scrape the bowl again, then add the melted chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, about 10-15 seconds. Be careful not to whip the butter too much!:)

Cake and Frosting recipe from Kevin & Amanda, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

April 13, 2014 - 12:12 am

Rub Some Dirt On It » Emily Poston Photography - […] Facebook page.  And if that’s not enough, she was just on her local news show, featuring her family’s favorite chocolate cake recipe!!!  I can’t wait to try it […]

Taco Salad

I am so ready for spring!  The 60 degree weather we had the past two days really made me want it more so we grilled and made foods that make us think of summer.  One of my favorite things to make through the summer is Taco Salad.  This is the salad that friends and family ask for and it’s one of the easiest salads to make. Ground Beef, Salad

Usually when I need browned ground beef for anything I make extra and season it for tacos then throw it in the freezer.   That way we have a quick and easy meal when we are too busy to make it and I always have frozen taco meat in the freezer for this salad.

Ground Beef, Salad

Lots of people add tomatoes, beans, or olives to their salad but with all of our picky eaters this is our favorite way to make it.  Also, if you don’t have Dorothy Lynch salad dressing in your area you can find a recipe for it here.


Taco Salad

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min.
1 pound cooked and seasoned taco meat, chilled
1/2 head of lettuce, chopped
1- 2 cup pkg Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 bag Doritos, crushed into large pieces
10 oz Dorothy Lynch Salad Dressing


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and serve.  This is best eaten right away because the chips will get soft.

Trail Mix

As Lizzie is getting ready for winter church camp we are making Trail Mix.  Several years ago I looked through lots of recipes for trail mix and we started experimenting with different things.

Trail Mix (1)

Eventually we found the best mix and it has become our favorite thing for camping, road trips, kids camps, etc.

Trail Mix (2)

Trail Mix

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min.
4 cups Rice Chex
4 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
2 cups Cocktail Peanuts
1 cup Sunflower Seeds
3 cups M & Ms
2 cups Raisins
2 cups Chocolate Chip Teddy Grahams


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Save in a sealed container.

March 4, 2014 - 10:28 pm

Tessa - I have been looking for a good trail mix recipe. Olivia would love this. THank you!! You always have the best recipes! :)
Tessa recently posted…Olivia’s Second Birthday!My Profile

March 7, 2014 - 8:54 am - Thanks Tessa! Hope you guys like it:)

Tater Tot Casserole

Winter is the perfect time of year for casseroles.  After scooping snow it’s nice to come in to a hot filling meal.  As a meat and potatoes family Tater Tot Casserole fits the bill perfectly.


When I make Tater Tot Casserole I always like to mix up the meat, cream soup, and veggies.  Also, other than our home grown corn I only like canned veggies in my Tater Tot Casserole.  There’s just something about the texture of other frozen veggies that doesn’t seem to mix well in this for me.

We always try to make this as an extra big batch because we like this as a leftover for lunch, which is unusual for us because as I’ve said before we have a lot of picky eaters in our house.   Just pop it in the microwave and hit reheat and it’s perfect:)



Tater Tot Casserole

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min, Bake: 30 min.
1 package (16 ounce) Frozen Tater Tots
2 pounds Ground Beef, browned
1 (10.75 ounce) can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 (14.5 ounce) can Corn or Green Beans
12 slices American Cheese


  1. Mix browned ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, and veggies.  Spread in bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
  2. Layer with slices of cheese, then layer evenly with Tater Tots.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°. Bake 30 minutes.
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