Wednesday, December 31, 2008

winging it...

But not at Wingers. A and I discovered a wing restaurant besides wingers and the wing coop, which is great because I don't much like either one of those. This one is called Wild Wings and Things and I think it is comparable to Buffalo Wild Wings. Their wings are fried to a delicious and perfect crisp, with skin visible but not unappetizing. You won't find any gelatinous, cold, chicken fat or gristle at Wild Wings and Things...
Unlike BWW, WW&T isn't a sit-down place with a waiter, so you don't have to tip. You also have to buy celery, carrots, and dipping sauce seperately. Worst of all is that they only divide their wings into groups of ten instead of groups of six, which is how BWW does it, so you don't get to sample as many sauces.
We ordered ten in chili lime sauce, 10 lemon pepper, and 10 garlic parmesan. The lemon pepper, though not spicey, were by far the best. THey didn't really have any sauce, so the crispness remained intact. The chili lime sauce was disappointing, but still delicious, mostly just tasting like normal wing sauce. Add parmesan to the outside of some wings spun in original wing sauce, and you get garlic parmesan. Again, not outstanding. Now I'm making it sound like I didn't like it, which is completely untrue. The sauces were not as complex as BWW, but Wild Wings and Things has thier wing-preperation system down pat. I would venture to say they are the best in Utah.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa Clause Got Stuck In My Chimney

Well, I had a wonderful Christmas. This was the first Christmas Eve that I've had to work and I was a little bummed about it, but it ended up being pretty okay. At 1:00 the office closed and we had a lunch and white elephant gift exchange (my FAVORITE...not!) I had salmon, which was a little dry, and double lemon cream Marie Calendar's pie for dessert. I was the third to choose a gift, and decided that I probably wouldn't like anything there anyway, so I just chose a really big box. Inside was a bowling ball that said "Lloyd" and the movie Joe Dirt. That was a real winner.
I took the train home, and the minute I walked in the door we had to go to deliver A's aunt, the one who owns the house we live in, a Christmas treat, truffles that my sister M and I dipped this year. So we drove out to Bluffdale, and had a nice visit. This aunt has a LOT of animals. Featured that visit were the two shitzus, Sadie and Stewey, who sat on her lap the whole time licking each other. It kind of looked like they were making out, and was really funny. We also saw her Russian wolfhound, which was really pretty but sheds a lot, her Scottie dog mix that was so hyper it looked like it was having a seizure, her miniature Schnauzer, her munchkin cat with no legs, Scottish fold cat with no ears, and Bob, her bobcat mix with no tail. It's always an adventure there. Aunt K offered us a miniature pinscher named Tinkerbell, to borrow and potentially keep if we liked her, we're still discussing it.
As you can imagine, my allergies were agitated by all those animals. I think I'm more allergic to cats than dogs, since none of the dogs in A's family bother my allergies. By the time we left Aunt K's house, I had itchy eyes, a runny nose, and asthma breathing, not to mention the fact that it was time to go to my sister-in-law A2's house for Christmas Eve dinner. I had to make the choice between being a little late and miserable, or a lot late and feeling okay. I chose the latter, and we stopped at home for some drugs.
Dinner featured Hawaiian ribs with rice, spinach salad, orange dreamsicle jello, pineapple, cooked carrots, and cheesecake for dessert. Delish. When we got home I was out like a light, Benadryl does that to me.
Christmas morning was great. We opened presents around eight, thank goodness for not having kids yet. A is SO thoughtful and creative! He made me a heated seat for my car, I'm on my way to driving a luxury Eagle Summit! He also built a indoor grower, with a grow light, to have a indoor herb garden. Already planted, we have basil and parsley, no sprouts yet. I also got a heated mattress pad, microwaveable slippers with aromatheraputic stuff inside, and these gel-lined gloves that moisturize your hands. I also got some Lindt dark chocolate bars, one infused with red chili, the other wit pear and almond, and some cherry sours, my favorite. Best Christmas ever.
Now we're sitting in our pajamas, watchin Ugly Betty. Who could ask for anything more?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I made you cry on Christmas, well you deserved it.

That is a real Christmas song, look it up.

Can I just vent for a minute? A never reads this anyway...

I've said it before, like right here, but I have the best husband, in the WHOLE world, just so you know. A has been doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen lately, shoveling the driveway, getting firewood from random places, and building toasty fires in our stove. He is so understanding of my shopping needs, see this post on the boots, and even fixes my hair girl's car so I can get my hair done on trade. He's the BEST.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

I'm going to try to post more often, and this month maybe even use Christmas song titles. How does that sound?

So next week is finals week. Most people are already done with everything, I am not. I have two papers due on Monday, and haven't finished either one. I also have a test on Tuesday. I heard someone say once that if it weren't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done. That is SO true for me. I am a major procrastinator.

This Sunday the primary kids are singing in sacrament meeting. I decided to have them sing a non-traditional carol, which is actually a traditional carol, just non-traditional for Mormons. They will be singing the Children's Song of the Nativity. My sister and I sang it as a duet a few years ago, and it is now one of my very favorites. We've only had a couple weeks to practice, so I hope it turns out well!

Last Saturday we went to the concert of the Salt Lake Children's Choir at the Chathedral of the Madeline. I've said it before, but I am so moved by music. If it is good, it will most likely make me teary-eyed. This was no exception. My nephew B (on A's side of the family) is in the Wednesday choir. He's the youngest one, having just turned seven, and did such a good job. I was so proud of him. I hope my kids will want to sing like that.

We drove around to see the best Christmas lights tonight, there's a map on KSL.com of the must-sees. That was pretty fun.

I don't cook lately, especially because school is crazy busy. Tonight I cooked up some cheesey tortellini and smothered it in pesto sauce frozen from when I used to cook in the summer. It was so delicious!

Speaking of school, I'll be done with my department requirements in about a year. That's the good news. Bad news is that I'll still have a lot more hours of random credit to complete. So, a year from now I'll be deciding on either a double major, a minor, or just take a bunch of classes that look interesting. Isn't it silly that we have to jump through so many hoops? Even though I'll have completed the necessary courses required for a planner, I won't have a stinking degree!

Congratulations! You made it to the end. That was a longy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tis the Season of Gift Baskets


I picked the right day to come to work, gift baskets galore. I love Christmas.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

thanks

I am thankful for family that knows how to cook. We went to two dinners again this Thanksgiving, both were delicious. Luckily my family let us take some leftovers since we went there second. A's family provided a fantastic traditional dinner, complete with brussel sprouts and pecan pie. My family went the non-trad route, with bbq turkey, pulled pork, spicy mac and cheese, and Cajun stuffing. Yum. I've been enjoying cold pie for breakfast, which is always my favorite. This year I made pumpkin cheesecake with some controversial whipped cream. It was delicious, and technically had less alcohol content than if I had used the same amount of vanilla.
Friday, A and I went shopping in the spirit of black Friday. A got up at 4:45, and went to Pep Boys to get a gift certificate. When he came back, I got up with him and we headed to the mall. I got two shirts for about $7 each at JC Penny, and A got a present for me there. We then wandered that mall and another looking for some boots for me. I almost bought these for only $80 or so, but ended up with these because they seemed to be of a higher quality.
After shopping, we put up our tree and decorated it with the various vintage glass balls my mom has given us, red and silver. Someday I hope we have more variety, but for now our two Santas, few candy canes, and several little wooden birds will have to do.
We rounded off the night at Wingers, and then saw Ghost Town at the dollar theater. I laughed and then cried, and overall it was very good.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bite Me

I'm going to see the vampire movie tonight. Call me crazy, but I'm excited. Previews look a little buffy, and I know it's not the greatest story in the world, but I think it will be fun. I did hear one NPR review talking about the actor playing Edward, the main vampire that is supposed to be especially hot, as having a horse face with six inches of hair sticking up on top of six inches of forehead. Ha, that made me laugh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

pink water and bob


I got my hair done yesterday.I may have turned my white turtleneck, white pillowcase, and white towell pink in some places. My new hair is very vibrant, almost purple it is so burgandy-red. The water in the shower was pink the whole way through this morning.
Cut-wise, it's a bob, not unlike Catherine Zeta Jones' hair in the movie Chicago. Bob means not a-line, short all the way around. It is cut very blunt, and looks very clean on the edges. This is good, since before I had bad split ends. It's a little shorter than I'd hoped for, but overall I like it. The color is fun, and I really like having a do I've never had before.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

That's my latest library pick, along with more Sufjan.
So, I think I failed to mention that A bought a Wii a few weeks ago. Monday he bought Mario Party 8, which is only fun with more than one person, so I've been playing with him. Hence, we've been staying up too late and so I'm awfully tired.
Last night we went to Arctic Circle, which is usually so delicious, but let's just say that it' not so great the next day. Unfortunately, I took last week off to volunteer at the APAU (American Planning Association Utah chapter) conference, so I really have to go today, even though I'd rather be in bed. Maybe it was the courtesy cone that did it...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mary Kay

So, lately I've been to two MK classes, first color then skin care. I have to say, I'm not sold on the makeup, but the microdermabrasion was pretty nice. The sales rep is really so nice, and also really trying to get me to sell. I was seriously considering it, because of course I can do "3 hours a week" and afford to make "a few extra hundreds" every month. A was even encouraging, thinking that income would be nice. My sis-in-law just emailed me these links, one titled Can you make money with Mary Kay? and the other Pink Truth. Wow, I can't imagine anyone still wants to sell MK after looking at those sites. Meanwhile, I'm watching the dermabrasion on ebay, step one is at $1.04 and step two is going for $.99 with 3 days left.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

want one


I want a puppy. I'm driven to think about this because I'm home alone right now. I was supposed to go to work today, but it is snowing and work is far away on scary roads, especially since I'm in A's truck today which has no back weight. It's cold at home during the day, since usually the house is empty. Anyway, back to the puppy. I was looking up breeds on Wikipedia, and this picture made me laugh out loud. Right now, we could afford a puppy, and Christmas break is coming up, so we'd have time to train it too. Our house already even has a doggy door. Here's the holdup: A needs to go back to school, and if he does, we'll have to move in with parents. Probably his parents, since mine already have a full house. His parents already have a dog, and his mom would not love to be responsible for another one. Plus we would live in the basement where their dog is not allowed to go, and there is new carpet. If we did live with my parents, there is no way they would let us have a dog. No way. So for now, the answer is no. That is sad. I hope you all feel bad for me. Here are my top choices of puppies:
a bug
a basset hound
a doxi
a pug

Peace


I got some Christmas cds from the library. Sufjan Stevens presents Songs for Christmas is among them, as is Nat King Cole The Christmas Song. TO celebrate the first snow in SLC, turn on some Christmas music today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stumble


Today I'm Google Images searching for short hair that I like, I'm feeling tempted again. (Last time I couldn't go through with it, who knows what will happen this time!) I've searched words like pixie, and just searched twiggy for inspiration. I came accross this and was shocked. "Because no one looks good in anything if they're fat."
Watch this. I can't figure out how to do videos, so you'll have to make the effort to click on the link.
I don't really care who you're voting fore, but please, just vote. It's important. I voted last week, early. I was a little disappointed to not get a sticker that proves it, and in my haste to get out the door into the rain I forgot to grab my Obama '08 pin. It's okay though, I voted, and you should too.

almost famous

This is my family. Some of you may already know that I have two gay brothers, a lot of people probably didn't know before the news. In high school, most people didn't know. I would be at lunch or somewhere and hear some derogatory joke or comment, and do my best to stand up against it. I just goes to show that you don't always know what someone else is going through, what their circumstances are, and sometimes the things you say can be alienating and hurtful to those people. My family, being the way that it is, has made me a better person. I feel like I am more sensitive of other people, more accepting, more understanding. Family isn't always easy, for anyone, but I love mine and wouldn't change it for the world.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I can feel it

Am I the only one who already wants to listen to Christmas music? I'm aching for the Singers Unlimited and the Cambridge Singers. Something about the time change, the harvest foods, the almost-bare trees, it feels like time. More than the food and presents and spirit of the season, the music is really my favorite part of this time of year. Ironically, I almost always get a cold and miss out on it. If you are looking for a good Christmas concert, there is one coming up in less than a month. The Salt Lake Children's Choir will be holding their annual concert at the Cathedral of the Madeline, free to all those over six years old on Saturday and Sunday, December 6th and 7th. This concert promises angelic music, cute kiddos, and some fantastic audience-participation carols in a magnificent setting. (It just so happens that I was in the choir for six years, and now my nephew is in it.)
Other random stuff? A and I have been getting movies and TV shows from the library. Here's what we've watched so far: Arrested Development, Hotel Rwanda, Bring It On, (I meant to get Drop Dead Gorgeous, but we watched it anyway to be funny)and Ugly Betty. We're on a waiting list for Pushing Daisies season 1.
Also, my car failed emissions, and A finished his truck. I'm making apple-pear crisp. Yum. In the past two months I've made peach, pear and now apple-pear crisp. I use my sister's recipe, cut in half to fit a 9x9 pan. We then eat it for breakfast for a week, and it's even good without icecream.
The primary program is next Sunday. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a full meeting of solos by me. Pretty much all of A's family is coming, and possibly my parents too, not to mention a member of the General Primary Presidency! That's just a little intimidating.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You're it...

I've been tagged, and am happy for the free blog, I've been super busy and in a blog stupor, so this is nice, thanks Trish!

8 T.V. Shows I love to watch:

1. Seinfeld
2. Arrested Development
3. Pushing Daisies, perhaps No. 1
4. My So-Called Life
5. Ugly Betty
6. Starter Wife
7. The Office
8. Law and Order, all of them

8 Favorite Restaurants:

1. Beehive Tea Room
2. Pho Green Papaya
3. Cafe Rio
4. Roma
5. Bellissimo (Gelato is food, right?)
6. Atlantic Cafe
7. Cafe Trio
8. Market Street

8 Things That Happened Yesterday:

1. Woke up
2. Got stuck in construction 3 seconds after I pulled out of my driveway, even though the train station is only 3 blocks away.
3. Turned in a 6 page paper on 3 buildings from different architectural periods
4. Got 42 out of 50 on a test in that same class, which was a good thing for me
5. Ran into an old heartthrob, felt super akward cause I looked like a bum when I wished to look super hot to be kind of like, "Ha, I'm super hot and married, you kinda blew me off when I was like, 15, so there."
6. Read half of The Thirteenth Tale, so good, by the way.
7. Took a nap at the library and swallowed a bunch of air, as always happens when i put my head on a desk to sleep.
8. Ate KFC (yuck) and watched a whole disc (from the library) of Arrested Development with the hubby.

8 Things I look Forward to:

1. Our "big trip" next year (Europe? Southern Hemisphere?)
2. Being done with school
3. Owning a house that I can decorate and PAINT!
4. Girl's nights out
5. Christmas break
6. Christmas music
7. Someday having the time to exercise/clean my house ever/cook/spend time with A
8. Fridays. Every week.

8 Things I love about Fall:

1. Crunchy leaves
2. Hot food, like tea and cocoa, soups and such.
3. SWEATERS!!!
4. Knowing that Christmas is coming soon
5. Squash
6. Fires in our wood stove
7. Pashminas
8. Not sweating to death in my car, even though it has ac now

8 Things On My Wish List:

1. Riding Boots
2. A new coat, wool and feminine, like a dress.
3. More turtlenecks
4. A mani/pedi
5. Netflix
6. More mineral makeup
7. A job I enjoy more
8. To be less stressed

People I Tag: All you out there who need an easy blog! (you know who you are...don't make me name names!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

te gusta?


I've moved on from booties. They are cute, but decidedly a little bit odd looking. Here's my new project. What do you think? I'm hoping to try it on baby niece Z (there is a toddler Z too, different sides of the family...)this weekend. Since it's just a prototype, made with yarn and ribbon that i just had around, hopefully future cloches will be even more adorable. I may even make one for myself, as well as my now 5 nieces. I may eben take requests...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Minerals



I hinted around my new found love of mineral makeup. Let me elaborate.
It's really expensive, but so worth it. It cost $60 to get a starter kit. It comes with two shades of foundation, "warmth," a.k.a. bronzer, mineral veil, two big brushes, and a concealer brush. It also came with a free lipstick and free eyeshadow, since I bought it at the new boutique at the local mall.
Pretty much it feels like you're wearing nothing, and looks like you're wearing nothing, while still offering coverage. That sounds confusing, but what I mean is that hides all your imperfections, while allowing the beautiful side of your skin to shine through. It looks like you have flawless, makeup free skin. Who doesn't want that? Everyone should find a local boutique and get a "make-under." The brushes are so soft, it's like a mini face massage. Anyway, if you try it, you'll want to buy it. I hear the starter kit lasts for like, a year, which makes the cost not so terribly concerning.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saturday is a Special Day


A actually had a Saturday off last week, and we definitely took advantage of it. After running a small errand for the shop, we headed off to the Farmers Market. We were on the hunt for some delicious fall apples, and came home with 12 ears of corn, some delicious farmhouse Gouda cheese, peaches, apples, pears, and a huge bag of kettle corn that is now almost gone. We tasted some Beehive Cheese that was spectacular. Here's a description:
This is a full bodied cheese with a nutty flavor and smooth texture. The cheese is hand rubbed with a Turkish grind of Colorado Legacy Coffee Company's (The Cheesemakers brother) "Beehive Blend". The blend consists of a mix of South American, Central American, and Indonesian beans roasted to different styles. French Superior Lavender buds are ground with the coffee and the mixture is diluted with oil to suspend the dry ingredients in the rub. The rub imparts notes of butterscotch and caramel which are prevalent near the rind, but find their way to the center of the cheese. The cheese is aged on Utah Blue Spruce aging racks in our humidity controlled caves, and moved to different temperature during the aging process to develop texture and flavor. The name "Barely Buzzed" comes from Andrea at Deluxe Foods in California. She was the winner of the name this cheese contest.

Mmmmmmmnn... sounds delicious, yeah? That's not what we bought, but it was definitely the star of the show.

After the Farmers Market we went to NPS, which arguably stands for "Not Particularly Safe." I found some great primary supplies, like giant autumn leaves and apples that will be great for sticking up on the chalkboard with songs written on the backs. We also picked up some Pastaroni and Riceroni, for only 89 cents instead of a dollar. Over on the industrial side, I picked out seed packets, 10 for a dollar plus 70% off, while A perused the disheveled automotive stuff. (I came out with 31 packets for 99 cents!)

After that we had planned a trip to the DI on 45th, but I had had the hiccups all day and it was starting to hurt, so I just went home instead while A worked on his truck at his parents' house. (The registration for his Eclipse expired this month, so he's hustling buns to finish that thing.)

All in all, it was a great day.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cinema

We've rented three movies in the past week, and two out of three were definitely worth it.



The first was Mamma's Boy, with John Heder, and it was so bad I can't even describe it. For those of you that were sucked in like we were, I feel for you, and for those who haven't watched it yet, stay away! If any of you liked it, you are crazy and have poor taste in movies.



Friday of this week we rented Be Kind Rewind, with Jack Black. This movie was sooooo good. I loved it. The Fats Waller music definitely added to the overall panache.



Last night, we got Kite Runner from RedBox, and it was not disappointing. It did go through the events of the book rather quickly, but all movies-that-were-books-first do that, except Lord of the Rings, but not everyone wants to spend 4 hours in a movie theater. I read the book in my honors junior English class, A hasn't read the book. We both enjoyed it, and agreed that though the story is very, very sad, it is good.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Panio


That's what my nephew S used to call them. We bought one this week, hooray! It's a Strohber Upright Grand, built around 1930. A and I have both been playing it randomly since we got it on Thursday. It definitely is playable, though it needs some serious work. Our bro-in-law D, whose father was a piano expert, came with us at the initial visit. He tested the tuning, the whole piano is a half step flat. When he touched on of the strings to try to tune it up, it broke, so pretty much we have to restring the whole thing. D says it will be easy. We also need to replace all the key tops. Some are ivory with chips, some are replaced with plastic, just the heads, and some have nothing on them at all. Today I'm going to work on getting the beautiful wood looking spic-and-span, and perhaps on getting all the key tops off. Our piano has had some tough love, but it really is beautiful, and despite it being out of tune, it really does have a nice sound.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Girls Night Out


Today is my sister M's birthday. In celebration, Grandpa put the kids to bed, and we went to dinner with Mom. We knew we also wanted to go to REI to check out their Dansko clogs, so we hopped on 33rd and headed east. We ended up going to Lugano, a restaurant I performed at when I was in high school madrigals. I remembered it looking really nice, and I've wanted to eat there ever since. Long story short, we went there and it was phenomenal. For starters, they brought out the bread and butter, the bread was good, but the butter was served cold, which irritating. They also brought these tiny olives that were so tastey. I ate six, M ate five, and Mom at eighteen. They were very small, and probably the best olives I'ves ever eaten. Onto the main courses, I had Pork with Risotto. M had fettuccini with Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms,red onion, spinach and tomato cream sauce. Mom had spaghetti with napa cabbage, pancetta, toasted garlic, cauliflower, olive oil and ricotta salata. For dessert we had lavender panna cotta with berries, yum. I would highly, highly reccomend it. So, happy birthday M! Thanks for making an excuse to go out just us girls, we really ought to do this more often. Too bad the third sister lives in California...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How?

I'm trying to make a better blog, experimenting with a free online photoshop-like program. I can't get the title to center, and it's driving me NUTS. Any advice is welcome :)

cha cha cha changes





Before and afters! Trisha did my hair on Saturday, at her in-home salon. Here are som pictures, though today I had her add more brown-red, that much platinum was a littly too much for my hubby. I also can't do my fringe like that, and nevery get that much volume out of my hair, and mostly do it curled under. The pictures will give you teh basic idea...

Monday, September 8, 2008

DISNEYLAND!







We had a fantastic 2nd honeymoon, a.k.a. our anniversary trip. We spent Friday, Saturday, and Monday at Disneyland and California Adventure. Sunday, we attended a local church meeting and then went to the beach. Highlights were the Hollywood Tower of Terror, the new Toy Story ride, and a romantic dinner at the Blue Bayou, better known as the restaurant inside of Pirates of the Carribean. The Toy Story ride really was so fun, it was much better than the Nemo submarine ride, which we waited for more than 70 minutes to go on. We watched one of the last Alladin shows for the next few months, as VIP's courtesy of the Dream Team, which meant we got the best seats in the house. It was so fun to be there together, and it made us even more excited to go there someday, a long time in the future, with little ones.

1 year


I've been putting this off, wondering how to say it just right. So, get ready for some fantastic cliches.
It's been 1 year, 1 week, and 1 day since I tied the knot with the love of my life. Call me crazy for becoming the child bride, but I couldn't be happier. A is the hardest working, most considerate, funniest, silliest, most understanding, dish-doing, falsetto-singing, money saving, dinner grilling, cheese and milk consuming, most perfect person I could ever have hoped for. Every day I spend with him makes me a better person. He is someone I know will never let me down, who will always be there for me, and who will love me through thick and thin. There is nothing I wouldn't do for him, I'd follow him to the ends of the earth. There were so many things that came up when we were dating made us know that it was meant to be. All I can say is, I'm the luckiest woman in the world.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fall Semester

This is my first semester of no generals. That is a happy thought, and on that note, here's just how interesting my classes are.

Urban Growth Management: This is the numbers side of Planning. So far, I've learned that soon enough condos, town homes, apartments, etc., will out-value single family homes. Now, before you cry out in disbelief, consider this. We, as a human race, are living longer. As such, we only have children for one-third of our adult life, approximately 25 years, instead of having children and then just dying. Once people are finished rearing children, they don't want to live in the suburbs, far from the city where they could easily access theaters, restaurants, and other such places of cultural association. Anyway, to add onto this, there is a shortage of multi-unit dwellings and an over supply of single-family homes. So, according to my professor, it would be wise to move closer into the city and invest in condos.

LEAP I: This is an architecture class where we've discussed everything from the allegory of the cave, to Vitruvius, to Gaudi. Mostly we've just been looking at pictures of amazing architecture, which is very interesting.

Shaping Urban America: Today we spoke about New Orleans, and "harvesting" within cities. In New Orleans, any house with 36 inches or more of water was condemned to be bulldozed and everything sent to the landfill. We talked about how there is embodied energy in all materials, the energy it took to make them and ship them, and that we can salvage these materials and the energy in them by re-using them.

Planning Processes and Methods: Taught by the former planner for Park City, I'm not entirely sure how this class is going to turn out. More to come on that.

Maybe this all sounds boring, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

big day


Today was a really big day. It was the first day of fall semester, and it was so nice not to feel like the new kid on campus as I strolled from trax to the architecture building for my urban growth management class. All my classes are planning (or architecture) this semester, no generals, hooray! So that was nice, to go to school and enjoy it. But on top of the whole first day of school think, I booked a vacation this morning, for this weekend. Crazy! We decided last night in bed, as we discussed our impending anniversary, numero uno, this upcoming Sunday, to go to DISNEYLAND! Freak! So, we're leaving Thursday night, spending 3 days at Disneyland, and the other day at the beach and maybe Universal Studios, and coming back Monday night. So perfect, because the shop (where A works) is closed Saturday (for once) as well as on Monday, and I don't have class on Friday or Monday, so A just has to take off one day for our lovely four day trip! So this weekend, the two happiest people on earth will be at the happiest place on earth.
Also today, on a side note, I watched episode four of My so-called Life. I started an addiction with 30 Rock of watching TV online. The obnoxious thing is that to watch legally, you have to sit through about five 30-second commercials, and they are usually the same commercial over and over again. Anyway, so my family always called Claire Daines "My so-called Life," but I'd never actually watched the show, so I came across it in my search for Ugly Betty, and am now addicted. I'm just dying to know what will happen with Jordan Catalano and with Angela's parents...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

30 Rock


I've been watching 30 Rock on Hulu, and there is something about it that I find so clever and SO funny. Maybe I just like Tina Fey, thinking back to weekend update on SNL. The occasional Walmart commercials are a bit obnoxious, but I think the show is well worth it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

goofballs


I never reported on our DC trip. It was loads of fun. If you want to see all the pictures, check out my facebook page. Nevertheless, here is one of my favorite pics from the trip. The night we got there, we went to see the DC temple. It was dark and humid, and so beautiful. This is in our rented PT cruiser. Being silly.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Primary Olympics!

A and I have been tuning in to the Beijing Olympics almost daily. (Note: it is pronounced bay-jing, with a hard j sound, not to be slurred like the sound in leisure...)Then, at my family reunion in Paris, Idaho, my cousin J, who is the primary chorister in her ward, told me about this idea she had used before and was planning on doing again this year. She made an Olympic torch and had the kids pass it around until the song ended, then that kid had to do something embarrassing in front of the primary. I took this idea and adapted it. I had a torch, made from a paper towel roll covered in red paper, and stuffed with orangey-yellow tissue paper, and had the kids sit in a circle on a blanket on the floor to pass. When the song ended, whoever was holding the torch got to choose the next song from a list I made of a combination of "fun" songs and primary program songs. It was pretty fun, and then I told the kids that this was just the start of our Primary Olympics. This week, we had "training," where I told the kids the primary president wouldn't let me bring my Olympic-sized pool, my uneven bars, and my volleyball net, so we'd just have to play differently. I had pictures taped up all over the room representing different Olympic sports, some well known like gymnastics, some unusual like sailing and judo. I drew the name of a child (I have popsicle sticks with their names written on one end, the other end painted either green or yellow, depending if they are in junior or senior primary) and that child went and found a picture, and then we sang a corresponding song. I didn't plan enough to make them actually correspond, I just had a list of songs, and some ideas of games to play with them, and I just made a choice of what we'd do. One of the funny things I did with Jr. and Sr. primary was the three-headed primary singer. I chose 3 people who claimed they knew the song pretty well, and had them try to say the words, the first person saying the first word, the second person the next word, and so on. Sr. primary was pretty good, Jr. was struggling, so I had them sit down and send up their four teachers. This was even funnier, because the teachers should know them better than the kids. Another game we did was to test their volume abilities was "hide in plain sight," as my family always called it, the kids know it as "find the note." I don't have a note for them to hide, I have cartoons of a little boy or little girl. Probably the funniest game was one I did with the Jr. kids. Someone picked the picture for swimming, so I had them sing "underwater." Usually, in primary, if I ask the little kids to do something funny like whistle or sing underwater, it's a huge struggle for me to not laugh and actually get through the song. This time, I did well till about the last line of the song, when I looked at the sunbeam teacher, who was laughing uncontrollably herself. I lost it. Those kids are so adorable! Next time we're going to have the real games, we three special-guest judges (probably the ward music guy, the bishop, and a funny parent) who will award the kids either a gold, silver, or bronze medal for each song, depending how well they do on volume, words, and tune. So far it has been boatloads of fun, I can't wait for next time!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Random

I went to The Dark Knight on the 24th of July (happy pioneer day!) and yesterday, I went to a municipal forestry luncheon. Did you know that communities with more trees have less crime? Have you noticed that Gotham City has NO TREES?!

A has decided he likes the name Eloise, or Eloisa. This is good for me, since for Christmas in 1999 my brother J gave me the great children's book Eloise, written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight,and I've loved everything about it since (who wouldn't want a pug named Weenie, to live in the plaza hotel, to use the word botto, and to wear an egg cup as a hat?)

Anyone want some zuccini or cucumbers? We've got produce coming out of our ears. Here's one of the things I've done with it...

Fried Zuccini:
1 overgrown zuccini, ask your neighbor if you don't have your own. Mine was 2-3 inches in diameter.
flour
1 egg, beaten
1 package Ritz Crackers
Shredded Parmesan
Garlic Salt
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Butter
Olive Oil


Cut the zuccini into 1/4 inch slices. Dip in flour, then egg, then a mixure of the Ritz crackers crushed up and the parmesan. Then sprinkle with the salts and pepper. Once all your zucc has been breaded, heat up butter and olive oil in a frying pan (I just estimated). Once it is hot, which you can test by flicking a few drops of water in it and seeing if it sizzles, decrease the heat to medium-medium low, and add the squash. I just cooked until they were golden on both sides, and you want to keep the heat around medium or lower so that the squash gets cooked all the way through. These were yummy, even A liked them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lulluby

When I was small, my parents would read and sing to me before I went to sleep every night. I think that these simple things have truly played a part in who I am today. I love to read because I was read to. As early as three years old, I was told the stories of Bilbo Baggins and the Pevensie children. Dad would tell me stories as well, and you could tell when he was falling asleep because they would get really weird.
The songs were my favorite. I remember asking for "just one more." I know that both parents performed this nighttime rituals with me, but for some reason my dad's lullabies stick out the most to me. He sang Stay Awake from Mary Poppins, and Silas Stingy, which I recently found out is the Who. I remember him singing the hymn Come Come Ye Saints, which I knew as Come Ye Come Ye Saints. The Sunday before Pioneer Day, we sang this hymn as a congregational "special number." This means that there were readings in between verses and the men and women sang verses seperate and then all together at the end. Now, some may think this cheesey, and it probably was, but it moved me to tears. I thought about my pioneer ancestors crossing the plains, and I remembered my dad, singing me to sleep.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stress-Free Dinner


Barbeque Chicken on Garlic Toast

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 cups (14 ounces) bottled barbecue sauce
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 slices white sandwich bread (I used the same herb foccacia from the Market, yum!)

Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. In a medium saucepan, cook chicken and barbecue sauce over medium until heated through, 6 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine butter and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Spread one side of each slice of bread with garlic butter. Place on a baking sheet, buttered side up. Broil until golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes, then turn over, and broil until light brown, about 1 minute longer. To serve, sandwich chicken mixture between slices of bread.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

tonight's menu


On the menu tonight:
pesto with organic whole wheat pasta
grilled chicken simply seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil
yellow squash sauteed in butter with parmesan cheese
fresh tomato parmesan focaccia
yum.

*pasta, squash, and focaccia brought to you by the serious food,silly prices of the Sunflower Market.

Sunny Day

It's actually pretty cloudy, but my sister's post today reminded me of something I've been meaning to blog about. At the demo derby, I saw a large and rather gruff looking man wearing this fantastic shirt, and I immediately wanted one. I was raised on the street, and proud of it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

baby girl

Saturday, A's sisters and I threw a shower for our sister-in-law, who now has 17 days left of her pregnancy. I thought it turned out very well, especially the food. We served bagels, cut in fourths, with cream cheese. Deli meats and basil were available, and my favorite combination was the potato bagel with tomato basil cream cheese, basil, and spicy turkey. It was killer. We also served fruit and pink candies, and my sister MJ made a fantastic cake. Anyway, here are some cute pictures.


Friday, July 11, 2008

slide alongside

America Day

I've been putting off writing because A cleaned off the memory card on our camera, and so I don't have any pictures from our 4th of July. All I'll say about it is what more American way to celebrate independence than by surrounding yourself with trashy people watching trashy cars trash eachother. That's the derby for you...

Above is a slideshow of our garden, yard, and some cooking we've been doing this month, maybe I'll get the pictures from A and do a little back blogging.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tribute

As of today, my parents have been married for 35 years. That's a happy thing. My mom always joked about having fireworks on her wedding day, but the temple wasn't open on the Fourth of July, so they settled for the third. I don't have pictures of their wedding on my computer, so here are some of them with me at my wedding. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!




In tribute to my mom, I made a classic, something I remember eating as a kid, and still love today. Here it is, hot dogs, mashed potatoes, and cheese. Sounds gross to most people, but seriously, try it! A gives it a ten out of ten. We paired these stuffed dogs with more kababed veggies and cut up watermelon, a bit of dejavu from last night, but still good.



Instructions for hot dogs with mashed potatoes and cheese:

Slice hot dog in half, leaving just enough uncut so it stays in one piece, but not too much or it will be difficult to get it to stay spread open when trying to fill with potatoes. Spoon mashed potatoes into hot dogs. Sprinkle with cheese, cheddar is the best. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted. This works with leftover hotdogs, which is what we had tonight, and leftover mashed potatoes. Left over potatoes have to stay in the oven a bit longer so they get warm. Delicious with ketchup.

Opposites

As promised, here are pictures of the kabobs. For the chicken, I marinated two boneless skinless breasts cut into kabob-sized pieces for an hour (at most) with a drizzle of olive oil, four pressed cloves of garlic, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. I tossed the veggies, 1/2 yellow squash, 1/2 zucchini, 1/2 onion, and 1 orange bell pepper, in olive oil as well. Along with the veggies, we had a grape-mango-strawberry fruit salad with lemon juice and a pinch of sugar, and some delicious watermelon, provided by Jimmy and Amy, who were nice enough to join us at the very last minute. Dessert was delicious, and I would have provided a picture, but it looked just awful. I've made Cooking Light's lemon-blueberry bundt before, (recipe here, featured on the cover here) just never in a castle-shaped pan. This turned out not to be so good for blueberry bundts, though it is good for scary chocolate haunted houses, and orange chocolate chip cake with ganache drizzled over the top. Like I said, still tasted good.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Veggie Tales


Finally, the day has come, the Sunflower Market is open! Sunflower Market is on State street and Winchester, and close enough A and I could ride our bikes there. The Market carries a lot of organic (they call it serious) food, as well as a plethora of fresh veggies at "silly prices." I spent under ten dollars and got a basket full of produce. I bought two zuccini, two yellow squash, a head of cabbage, one orange and one yellow pepper, a cluster of two brocolli stems, ginger, and a tub of peeled garlic. With all that, I made stir fry (by the time it was done I was so hungry, I ate without taking pictures!). A grilled some chicken, and we paired the stir fried veggies, which included snow peas from our ver own garden, with some steamed white rice. Oh, and keep your eyes open for their ads, on Wednesdays, the ads overlap and savings are double. Needless to say, my new grocery store is the Sunflower Market, and my new shopping day is Wednesday. On the menu for tomorrow: kababs with more fresh vegetables and chicken skewered on the grill. I'll try to remember to take some pictures.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

artsy-fartsy

We actually did things this weekend, it was nice. Friday we went to the Arts Festival, where with a student card we got in two for the price of one. I ate a BBQ pork sandwich from Great Basin BBQ, and A got a piece of pizza from The Pie. We walked around for awhile, and finally settled to watch San Franciscan Chuck Prophet. The most entertaining part was watching the people drunk enough to dance. On our way out we heard Samba Fogo, very cool. I ran into some old acquaintances, and had a lot of fun people-watching. Overall, too expensive but fun.
Saturday I worked on my mother's 1970s orange Peugeot bicycle with brother M and Dad. By this, I mean that I watched while they worked on it. It's almost done, but they took apart the rear chain derailer and couldn't put it back together, so I have to get a new one. Then we went to lunch here, where I had the grilled chicken baguette, with a Thai coconut boba drink. Yum. A's Grandma's birthday party was that afternoon, we mad a huge fruit salad, and now I have more fruit than I know what to do with, I think we'll be having a lot of smoothies nest week. Afterward, we worked in the yard, and then watched 27 dresses and ate popcorn, candy, and drank root beer. I also took some off-brand Zyrtec, and I've been oh so sleepy all day. Sleepiness would be okay, except I still felt crappy, so the meds didn't even help. Anyone have good allergy remedies?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lesson Learned

My car didn't get stolen, though I think someone must have picked it up and moved it. A and I went back to the Trax lot just to make sure that my car wasn't there, and it was there, though not in the spot I remembered. Just thought I'd ease your nerves... Oh and the police officer that I filed the report with was very understanding, said it happened all the time. I felt like a bit of an idiot, but mostly just happy to have a car! Maybe the gods of global warming were trying to give me a sign, that I shouldn't drive the short block to the train station! Well, I think I've learned my lesson.

Dude, where's my car?

Wanna know something so so so sad? My car was stolen today. From the Trax station by my house. That's what I get for riding public transit... I guess it's a good way to reduce carbon emissions... which I was planning to do by riding a bike, I just wasn't planning on starting so soon! I'm really trying to look on the bright side of the situation, but it's hard when we were pretty much only driving my car to save on gas (that puppy got more than 30 miles to the gallon!) since A's car, Suzie, only takes the fancy gas, and guzzles it down. We were planning on keeping my car for pretty much forever, because it is free (no payment) has lots of new parts, is cheap to drive and to fix. This was a sad event for me, *sniff*.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Share


I've been making Betty Crocker's hot fudge sundae cake for as long as I've been cooking. It is so easy for a beginning chef, and the results are delicious and impressive. I had a craving for a treat tonight, and decided it was time to blow the dust off this recipe and try it again, and thought I'd share with you few readers out there.




Hot Fudge Sundae Cake


1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired (I always omit the nuts)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 3/4 cups very hot water
Ice cream, if desired (if you know me, ice cream is necessary, not "if desired!")


1.Heat oven to 350ºF.

2.Mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, the baking powder and salt in ungreased square pan, 9x9x2 inches. Mix in milk, oil and vanilla with fork until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread in pan.

3.Sprinkle brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa over batter. Pour water over batter.

4.Bake about 40 minutes or until top is dry.

5.Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes. Top with ice cream. Spoon sauce from pan onto each serving.

The Thrill of the Hunt

I went shopping with sister M last night. we were talking about how we forget that people go shopping places besides Ross Dress for Less (some call it "Cross Dress for Less"). We both had stories of people expressing their disgust for the store, that it was "dirty" or that they didn't like to have to search for things, they liked the mall-store approach, with every rack displaying a different item in every size. We joked about how more than 90% of everything we have is from Ross, occassionally with stuff from TJ, NPS Market Square (some say it stands for "Not Particularly Safe), and the DI. I'm not ashamed of my Ross wardrobe, neither is M, we feel like we have cute clothes. Besides that, we enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the excitement of finding that adoreable shirt at such a great price. We're simply not willing (nor capable) of paying the price of not hunting at Ross. Anyway, I thought I'd share my finds of last night to illustrate my point.
Playful polkadot: $7.99

Basic Navy Penguin shirt with flattering v-neck: $10.99


Cool button up in a fresh green floral print with a waist-accentuating tie: $5.99

The ultimate find, retro wallet with dandelion print:$8.99

So, if you are one of those anti-Ross people, maybe you ought to give it another shot, think of it as a treasure hunt.
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