Wednesday, December 30, 2009

hairogaphy.

The stuff on my head has had a colorful history. Some cuts that made me cry, color that just couldn't keep, and everything in between. I was looking at some old pictures today, and thought I'd do a little head history, in photos.

Age: Maybe 12?
Occasion: Visiting the Temple with my future bff. (This friendship wouldn't solidify for another year or two.)

Notice the dress? A hand-me-down from my older sister's bff. The hair? Slicked back and full of chlorine. At this time I had half grown out perm, I believe, that I got in sixth grade.


Age: 14
Occasion: Best summer trip ever, between 8th and 9th grade.

Visiting Trisha's sister in Colorado, where we became best friends. I think the 15 hour train ride helped. Here we are taking some glamor shots, with disposable cameras, at Garden of the Gods, wearing matching shirts, stick on fake nails, and platform flip flops. It was this occasion that made me realize I am not very photogenic. (But was I skinny? Oh my yes!) Here I had shoulder-length hair, no bangs no highlights, in the process of growing it out from a chin-length 8th grade cut.


Age: 15
Occasion: 9th Grade Winter Dance

Can you tell which awkward teenager is me? Yup, in the pink, sort of in the middle. Look how long my hair was! This is also pretty much my natural hair color, there may or may not be some highlights in there, I don't quite remember. Also, this was pre-bang

Age: 15
Occasion: Playing at the beach while visiting my sister in California.

I think I may be confusing this trip with another, so I'm not actually sure where it fits in the timeline, but notice that my hair is much longer than in the last picture. Okay, maybe not that much longer, but I like these pictures and wanted to use them.


Age: 16
Occasion: Going through a personal identity crisis and feeling a bit impulsive, I chopped my hair off on my 16th Birthday. It was a flippey-outey style, 8 inches shorter than the last picture. Yikes! I don't have a picture of that exact style. Sorry.

Shortly after that, I cut it in an A-line, and had it that way for quite some time, all through high school in fact. Here are some pictures to prove it.

Age: 16
Occasion: Homecoming, junior year.

Age: 16-17
Occasion: Jr. Prom, in the blond phase. I believe it was a lot more blond than I had wanted.


Age: 17
Occasion: Choir Tour in NYC.

More of the blond, I think my skin is too red to be a blond.


Age: 17
Occasion: EFY

So toward the end of my Jr. year, I got a really bad hair cut. I think I asked just to get rid of my layers, and came home with far too many bangs, like halfway back my head, and a really short cut, like almost too short to tuck behind my ears. Sort of like Twiggy, but not cute and sort of jagged. This is the only cut that has ever made me cry. Mostly because it wasn't cute, and wasn't what I asked for. At all. That's hair trauma. For the first long while, I would only wear it pulled back, as pictured, because I thought it was so ugly.

Age: 17
Occasion: Senior Pictures

While I was still embarrassed of my hair, and double mad that it looked bad just in time for THE most important pictures of my life (or so I thought at the time,) I finally felt comfortable enough wearing it down. It was still super short, after 3+ months of growing! I had also colored it at the beginning of the summer, dark brown.



Age: 17
Occasion: "Photo Shoot" at Haight Boutique, my old (and probably favorite) job.

Yet more proof that I am awkward in pictures! Here is my Trisha hair, the first time I had her do my hair ever, this is what she did. I think we were both pretty scared, but I LOVED this hair. Vibrant red with white blond peek-a-boos and a drastic A-line. So cute. I had this hair for a long while, till I realized I was probably going to get married and should normalize my hair color for pictures.

Age: 18
Occasion: Teaching a modestly fashionable class to some young women.

Here's the in between. My head underwent a bleach cocktail, making for some orange hair! But these are the things we do. I actually like this color, sort of brown-blond-red. Notice it is also getting longer, also for the wedding.


Age: Too Young
Occasion: My Wedding!

Yes, I was only 18.5, but I maintain that it was the best decision I have ever made. Here' my hair, long enough to do an up do, and pretty darn close to my natural color.


Since that day 2.5 years ago, I've had an asymmetrical A-line, straight-across bangs, red hair, brown hair, blond highlights, and everything in between.

Age: 19
Occasion: Getting my hair done! This style has straight bangs, slight A-line, brown along the hairline and part, and blond everywhere else. A few days later I added more brown.


Age: 20
Occasion: Hiking around Pfiefer Falls in Carmel. Still have the blond, it is super fun to style because depending on how it is worn, people think I have a new hairstyle.


Age: 20
Occasion: Halloween at Disneyland! Here I've gone back to brown with blond highlights.

Age: 20
Occasion: Pointing at my giant head, as if it needed more attention drawn to it. Actually, pointing to my new hair, it is red! Also, I am trying to grow it out, it is now just to my shoulders.

Age: 20
Occasion: Christmas party with old friends. So fun. Here I'm in the middle again, wearing electric blue.


So what will 2010 bring in the way of hair? We'll just have to see.

Note: Sorry for the random picture sizes, a lot of these are from facebook, my cell phone, or a web cam!

jell-o, the sequel.

TADA! The (in)Famous jell-o bundt. It went down the disposal after being seriously butchered. (Let's just say the layers look stable-ish here, but they WERE NOT.)



You can see here the blue layer starting to ooz.


This is the the spread, one jell-o creation to represent each branch of the family. Discussion for next year's ingredient for the competition has begun. Some have suggested beans. I think Chocolate.

Monday, December 28, 2009

call me crazy.


So, I may have just spent all afternoon applying for an internship at the White House. I mean, THE White House. I'm not expecting anything, so that I won't be disappointed either way, but I am pretty excited. It would probably foul up my graduation plans, and I don't know if A could come, and if he couldn't I don't know if I would want to go, and I don't know where we would live or how I could afford it, since it is unpaid, but it would be so awesome. Plus, I think I nailed the essay questions.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

pick up the phone and say "jell-o?"

That's not actually how the joke goes, it is supposed to be "pick up the phone and say yellow," but I needed a jell-o related title.

So here's the down low on the competition. We decided to try a layered jello, but with a spin. First we (read I) tried it in this awesome castle bundt cake pan my sister-in-law gave us for our wedding, inspired by this. Here's how it turned out.



Somehow the layers didn't stick together, so there was some structural failure. I got it into my head that if I just used a regular bundt pan I wouldn't have this problem, so that was what we ended up doing. I hoped it would turn out like this.

If you've made layered jell-o, you know that it takes FOREVER, because the previous layer has to be completely set before the next one is poured, or else it will be a disaster. I seriously have been making jell-o for two whole days. I would be fine if I never had to see jell-o again.

Anyway, this is the recipe I used, for the "cream" layer. Now, I'm going to leave you in suspense as to the rest, mostly because I need A's bro to email me the pictures he took! (Hint, hint...)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

it's Christmas Eve, and I'm still here.

I've noticed that many in the blogosphere signed off yesterday, taking a Christmas hiatus. Well, I'm still here. I actually have more time than usual now that finals are over, and A has to work today. It's okay though, I'm enjoying myself. Here's a list of exclamations.

1-Finals are over, woot woot!
2-The Christmas program I was in charge of is over, and went pretty well!
3-I did some sewing with my mom on Tuesday, and made a cute skirt! (Pictures to come.)
4-I have done some house cleaning!
5-I've started a new knitting project and taught myself how to knit on four needles!
6-I'm making jell-o! The in-laws side is having a jell-o creation competition, and we're going to win!
7-I got my hair done, now it is red!
8-Last week my Germany class had a party, we made vegan pizza, it was delicious!
9- Monday we went to the sing along at the ESA, and got free Jazz tickets!
10-Monday I also went with my friend Chelsea to go see Coco Before Chanel, it was sad and fascinating!
11-It's Christmas Eve!

Okay, so the exclamations are getting a little obnoxious now. I'll stop. So, our plans for today? We're going to A's sister's house, where I think we'll be treated to a fancy dinner and carry out our usual traditions (telling the nativity story, playing pass the candy bar). Tomorrow, We'll have Christmas breakfast at my parents' and exchange family gifts. In the afternoon we'll to to A's parents' house for a late lunch, exchange family gifts, and judge (read win) the jell-o competition.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas, filled with good food and good company. I know I will.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the list.

This post on WIW inspired me. I think that all too often I go for getting lots of little (not so nice) things instead of a few expensive things of higher quality. So I've decided to make a list, goals of sorts, of quality things to get.

1. Warm Coat. I got one for $50 at Nordstrom during their big sale. It is a wool blend, and not warm in the least.

2. Nice Jeans. I have gotten two pair lately, both from Jr. sections because I like the cut (better pocket placement and such.) I like them, but since Jr. sizing is 3-5-7-9 etc., and I'm in between those sizes, they fall off. Also, they shrink up! My stinking long legs!

3. Boots. These are more of a someday, since I actually have 5 pairs of boots. Granted, I only wear maybe 3 of them on a weekly basis. My goal is to get some that are solid leather, not bonded, which is a lofty goal indeed. I tried last Christmas but settled for bonded in the end.

4. Flats. I would love to find some comfortable and cute black flats. I currently have three pair, none of which are very good. One has an extremely pointy toe, so are only appropriate in some circumstances, the other are sort of a satin fabric and haven't held up well at all, and last are some regular ballet flats that are pretty worn out and fraying.

5. Cardigans. These don't actually have to be expensive at all. I just want more of them, one in black, on in brown.

6. Basics. Long and short sleeve shirts, black and white, not of the Shade/Downeast variety, since those don't seem to wear terribly well.

Now I guess I just have to start saving. Boo. It is so tempting to go thrifting and get some random pieces instead of waiting for some I could really use.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The $6 dress.


The $6 dress.
Originally uploaded by the hipster thrifters
As promised, here's the dress. I did wear it yesterday, but this is actually today. Here it is worn with the vest I found at savers, a belt of my mother's, orange tights, and brown riding boots. Yesterday I wore it with black tights, black boots, and a black belt. I'm loving this dress. (For more pictures, check out my flickr!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

vintage finds

Hello, Friends.

First of all, thank you, to all you comment-ers. You know who you are. There is nothing more gratifying than to see that people actually read what I write. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Second of all, here's what I did with my ebay money. I went to Savers and Target, and found some grrreat things.

At Target, I got a pretty little dress on clearance for only $6. I plan on wearing it tomorrow, and will definitely take a picture.

At Savers, I picked up two sweater vests and a purple silky shirt. One of the vests is brown with a bone toggle, and I gave it to my dear sister, because it fit her better and I totally owe her for recently snagging me some awesome floral tights, a Mad Men-esque dress, and an awesome tie front button up. The other vest won me over the minute I read the tag. It says: Hand Knit by John Rasmussen. It is off white with brown buttons all the way down, and nice big pockets. Sort of bulky, but in the good warm sort of way. I'm wearing it now, belted. The purple shirt will go great with some black leggings, it is sort of a jewel tone.

Third, we went to Green Papaya tonight. I had the veggie tofu pho, it was heavenly. I usually have the steak pho, but after reading about the cattle lots in Omnivore's Dilemma, I just couldn't face it. The tofu must have been fried, it was delicious. They were out of broccoli, and very apologetic about it, so they just gave me more tofu. Also in my delicious soup? Cute little mushrooms (I spared them, don't worry) bamboo shoots, thinly sliced carrots, the usual vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, basil, and sriracha. I don't think I'll ever go back, the veggie tofu pho was that good.

Fourth (and last,) we have acquired yet another vehicle. Now, don't laugh or be scandelized when you hear what it is. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite about it. It is a Cadillac Escalade, with a blown motor. The plan is not to drive it or be permanent owners of this hunk of unnecessary-ness. The plan is to fix it, clean it, and sell it. Meanwhile, we have 4 cars in our driveway, and another project car at the shop. (The four cars are: the Escalade, A's truck, the BMW which is currently out of commission because it leaks trans fluid and because my last attempt to drive it ended with being stuck in my own driveway in the snow, and the Summit, which I am now driving and have a new appreciation for. The project-ish car: A's brother's diesel Jetta, not really ours, we're just trying to sell it for him. But, until we picked up the Escalade, it was in our driveway.) How crazy is this? Two cars for every person in this house! Anyway, if you know anyone that wants an Cadillac Escalade, BMW 328i, or '86 diesel VW Jetta, let me know!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

new directions

I have had class every Wednesday night this semester, and consequently have had to watch Glee after the rest of the world, on Thursdays, on Hulu. Is it really over for now? I am so disappointed. I like having all loose ends and ties tied up, not the suspense of love between Emma and Will, the unresolved drama of Quinn and Finn/Puck's baby, the everything. Those writers didn't need to do that, they had already sucked me in with the whole show. No more sucking necessary. Anyway, I LOVE Glee and am very excited for next season.

Next, cookies. My mother hosted a cookie exchange tonight. I went, it was lots of fun. I love cookies.

Lastly, I have a little bit of money from some ebay selling (not as much as I'd like, but isn't that how it always goes.) I am trying to decide what to do with it.
Should I...

A. Go to Savers and find some cool stuff. Perhaps some belts/jewelry/sweaters/skirts/dresses/grandma blouses.

B. Find some navy blue or purple suede booties. (Or would black be best? Lately my woredrobe has taken a turn toward the blues.)

C. Find some patent oxfords like the ones from Need Supply.

D. Get a long boyfriend/grandpa cardigan, in black. Or blue. Or brown.

These are all things that could greatly add to my overall look. Decisions are the worst.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

what's in a name?

So, I may not be having a baby, but I think about baby names. All the time. I've heard my share of made-up names that I do not like, so I figure if I'm thinking about in now, I'll have scouted out some traditional (ish) normal sounding names for when that time comes. Let me tell you about one.

Have you seen the movie The Holiday? I love that show. Jude Law is a dreamboat, Kate Winslet is beautiful, Jack black is charming in his seriousness, and Cameron Diaz is actually tolerable, which is unusual for her. Jude Law's name in the movie is Graham, but when I first saw it, it sounded like "Gray-um." I loved that name. I think about it often. Today, I looked it up. It is spelled Graeme. I don't much like that. Would it be torture to name a kid that? Or Graham pronounced Gray-um? I have a feeling it would be, but I just like it so much! A likes the name Lewis, after Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 driver. Lewis is okay with me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

looks like christmas

Here's some of my Christmas decorating this year.



First, a hammered aluminum lazy-susan tray with a big triple-wick candle in the center, surrounded by some vintage Shiny Bright glass balls. This is my holiday table centerpiece.


You can also display those vintage Shiny Brights right in the box! I chose just a few that have the neatest boxes and are in the best condition.


I also wanted to feature a few of my favorite ornaments. My mom (who is an amazing thrifter) found a few of these pretty icicles at Deseret Industries. I love them!


This little wooden angel is from a set of three that I bought in Germany this past October.


I love this Santa. A former and favorite coworker gave this to me, it is Danish glass.

Finally, this is what I'm most proud of. I usually have this gold mirror on my lime-sherbet colored coffee table, and around Christmas I love to pair it with glass balls, because of the reflection affect. This year I pulled out my two-tiered hammered aluminum serving tray and filled it with glass balls. I love how the largest ones are almost pink! (Plus, can you see my awesome green chairs in the background? I intended to paint and recover those, but they have totally grown on me. Now I have a red and green living room. I love it.)

What are your favorite Christmas decorations?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

did you know?

Remember daisy-doo-das? Well, they are for sale, online, for reals this time!

Here's where you can find them, and lots of other great products:

bumblelady.com

This is a great site, started by my best friend Trisha Simon. She is an amazingly talented cosmetologist, who owns Striking Image Salon, with locations in South Salt Lake and Ogden.

bumblelady.com is also accepting applications to sell on the site, so if you have a great product to sell, let Trisha know here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

madeleines

I have had some madeleine adventures this week. I volunteered to make these French cookies for my Relief Society Christmas party, which has a "Christmas Around the World" theme. They passed around a clipboard of cookie recipes from all different countries, taken from Christmas-Cookies.com, and asked that people volunteer to choose a country and make the corresponding cookies. I figured I may be the only person with access to madeleine pans, so that's how I got stuck with them.

Here is the recipe I was given:

Cinnamon Madeleines

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 t ground nutmeg
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 t almond extract
1/2 t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray madeleine molds with non-stick spray. In a double boiler, heat eggs and sugar stirring constantly; whipping in as much air as possible. Remove from heat, let cool. Stir in flour, then add remaining ingredients. Fill madeleine molds with a generous amount of batter, but don't spread it out. bake until lightly browned, approximately 15 minutes. Cool one minute, then remove to racks to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or dip in chocolate.

I followed these vague directions as best I could, since it didn't say how long to heat the egg and sugar, and "fill generously" isn't exactly a helpful description. Here's what the final product looked like:



Terrible! Cooling one minute, yeah right. Even though they were the greasiest buggars ever, they would not come out of the pans! They tasted like butter and snickerdoodles, not like they should have. After cursing and thanking my lucky stars that I tested the recipe before the event (this was Saturday, the party is Tuesday) I looked for another option. I went with America's Test Kitchen, and made their madeleines today. Here's the recipe:

1 c cake flour
1/4 t salt
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1 T vanilla extract
10 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Adjust oven rack to middle and heat to 375. Grease madeleine mold. Whisk flour and salt together.

2. In large bowl, beat egg and egg yolk with electric mixer on high until frothy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in sugar and vanilla until very thick, 3 to 5 minutes. with rubber spatula, gently fold in flour mixture, followed by melted butter.

3. Spoon half of batter into prepared mold, filling to the rims. Bake until golden and spring back when pressed lightly, about 10 minutes, rotating mold halfway through baking.

4. Let cookies cool in mold for 10 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool completely before serving, about 1 hour. Cool and re-grease mold and repeat with the remaining batter.


Here's what this recipe yielded:



They actually look like the real thing! The ingredient list is almost the same, but the drastic difference in preparation can made a huge difference in the end result. And don't worry, I tasted one and they are delicious!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

improv

I like to improvise in the kitchen. A compliments me on being able to make something out of nothing occasionally.

Tonight I realllly wanted something carbolicious, like pasta. Spaghetti is one of my most favorite foods. Since we're pretty well off red meat, I had to improvise.

I started with a veggie burger (classic variety) in a frying pan with some olive oil spray. Meanwhile, I started to boil some water.

Once the burger thawed a bit, I chopped it up into bits with my spatula, a la ground beef, and added a small can of tomato sauce. (At this point I started my whole wheat angel hair, which cooks for 7 minutes.) Then I spiced it up with my usual Italian herbs, oregano and basil, and added some garlic powder and fresh black pepper.

Once the noodles finished up, I dumped the sauce on, gave it a stir, and topped it with some parmesan. It was super fast, super easy, super vegetarian, and super delicious. So YES! Veggie burgers can be used as a substitute for ground beef, just so you know.

for Amanda.

You requested the recipe for Tuscan Soup, so I say, in my most Wesley-like typing voice, as you wish.

I used a recipe from All Recipes, found here.

I believe I used some chicken bullion as a substitute, only one Italian sausage that was lonely in the freezer, a lot (I mean a lot) of spinach, white pepper, garlic powder (I wish I had done fresh in with the onion) and chili flakes for a kick. If your sausage is super spicy, you could omit the chili flakes. gnocchi would also be a delicious addition.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

new friends

We met some new people today, they are young (very young) newlyweds and live two doors down across the street. This is good, because EVERYONE I KNOW IS PREGNANT. Okay, not everyone. I've just heard news recently of 7+ people I know being knocked up, and at least one trying. That is a lot! Don't worry, if you are part of that group, I'll only dislike you for 10-20 seconds.

I feel very lucky that no one gives us a hard time about not starting a family yet. Mostly when people find out how young I am, I hear more good-for-you's than nagging questions of why not. Reality is, I still have 1.5 years left of school, and A is about to go back and will be another 3-4 years. And I'm still just 2 years into adulthood anyway, not in any hurry.

It is hard though. I know kids are hard. I know your life changes forever when you have them. I know that they cost a lot of money. I know they are non-returnable. I still looooove babies. And kids. I think being the youngest and not having any younger siblings has magnified this. I'm excited for when I'm at that point in my life. I'm excited to see A as a daddy, and excited for the whole experience. This is why it is hard to hear that exciting news from friends, because it is (sometimes a little) hard that we're not quite there yet.

That being said, I love where we are at right now. I love going to Disneyland on a whim, I love being able to go out without having to pay someone to stay at home with kids, I love not having clean up poop/drool/throw-up/toys/other messes, I love going to school and working, I love having A all to myself. I just have to remind myself of all of these things regularly. I also have to persuade A to get me a puppy despite my allergies, and make some new friends who are not married yet/just newleyweds/anyone without kids. Any volunteers?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

tuscan soup



I made this soup a week or so ago. It was pretty good! Basically, it involved onion, potato, chicken broth, spicy Italian sausage, Spinach, s&p, chili flakes, and garlic. I think Olive Garden has a similar soup.

Banana Bluberry Muffins for a Doofus.



I made some muffins today. They were supposed to be based on this recipe. See if you can guess what I left out!

Ingredients

1 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white flour
1/4 milled flax
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup milk
1 mashed bananas (use very ripe fruit)
1 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup blueberries (frozen)
streusel topping, I used leftover from this recipe.

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the oats and milk in a small bowl; let these sit while you prepare the other ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients (including the cinnamon and nutmeg) together in a medium mixing bowl.

Mash the banana until it's nearly smooth.

Add the applesauce and vanilla.

After stirring those together, add in the oat-milk mixture.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry, along with the blueberries, stirring just until the dry ingredients are absorbed and no large lumps remain.

Refrain from over-mixing.
Grease a mini-muffin pan with melted coconut oil, my pan makes 24.

Spoon the batter in, filling the cups evenly to about 2/3 or 3/4 full. Sprinkle generously with streusel.

Bake about 12 minutes, until the top is slightly springy when gently pushed with a finger.

Did you guess what I left out? I realized when my first batch was in the oven that I had forgotten THREE THINGS! If you guessed oil, egg, and sugar, you are most definitely right. Before altering my remaining batter, I waited it out and tasted one. Surprisingly, they are pretty good! I think the flax I used (instead of oat bran) counted for the egg, the applesauce I subbed because I didn't have enough banana counted for the oil, and the streusel on top (plus the apple sauce, banana, and blueberries) added enough sweetness to count for the sugar. Despite this, I felt like a major doofus.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

how i did it.


March, 2009


October, 2009

I've had a request for how A and I have lost the weight we have, so here it is. I feel sort of bad, like I've been rubbing in this small feat all over this blog and facebook. So for that, I am sorry.

I'm going to talk about my story. I have lost a total of 14 lbs. A has lost 35 lbs, but he exercises vigorously for 45 minutes, 6 days a week.

Here are some things that worked in my favor, so hopefully people who have different circumstances won't feel discouraged with different results:

1: I'm only just shy of 21, so my metabolism hasn't gone off the deep end yet. I am fully expecting this to happen someday, maybe even soon.

2: I haven't had any children. I think this made a big difference.

3: I wasn't eating very healthily before, or at least avoiding unhealthy things, so that small change made a big difference.

4: My total weight loss goal was fairly small, it started with just wanting to lose about 13 lbs, but then once I lost that, 5 more didn't seem too difficult. (In other words, I didn't have that much to lose, which I think made it easier.)


Here's another big secret: Exercise didn't do it for me.
I tried it at first, but grew impatient and quit. I do walk around campus at a brisk pace for about 20 minutes a day, and sometimes ride my bike, but that is about it.

So now you know what I didn't do, here are the things I did do:

Secret #1: Figure out what food is "worth."

I started with a calorie counter, recommended to me by my sister-in-law. Here's the one I used. I also initially tried to eat 6 small meals a day, instead of 3 large ones. My theory was that I would be eating when hungry, not when it was dinner time. This only lasted a little, but the principle stuck, to only eat food when I felt hungry.

The calorie counter is beneficial, because even healthy things can be high in fat (like almonds), sugar (like grapes), and calories (like everything). I suggest try calculating a normal day for yourself, just to see what you are currently eating so you can know where to cut calories and what substitutes you can make. 3500 calories equals one pound, so if you decrease your caloric intake by 500 calories a day, you will lose a pound a week.

I don't use the calorie counter anymore, but it gave me a good idea of what food is "worth." It helped me decide portions better, and make better food decisions. For example, if you want to eat a quarter of a pan of brownies, that is your breakfast (and your lunch). Fill in the cracks with things with low food "worth" like fruits and vegetables.

Secret #2: Eat a lot of fiber.

Another thing that I have tried to do is increase my fiber intake. For breakfast, I measure a quarter cup of oatmeal, quarter cup water, quarter cup blueberries, and half a banana mashed into a bowl. Microwave it for 2 minutes, sprinkle with a scoop of milled flax and add a small glug of milk for creaminess. This is what I try to eat ever day, with either a small glass of OJ or skim milk. Flax can be added to baked goods, and used as a substitute for eggs or oil.

I also try to get fiber from fruits and vegetables, and from whole wheat any and everything. You will notice some changes the next time you site on the porcelain throne, but just remember that when you lose fat, it has to go somewhere, and that is where your body gets rid of it.

Secret #3: If you don't buy or make treats, you won't eat treats.

Stop making cookies/brownies/cake/anything bad for you! Don't buy candy or treats unless they are good-ish for you. Examples are rice cakes, redvines, skinny cows, healthy choice bars, frozen yogurt, and fat free sugar free pudding. Adapt recipes you want to indulge in by using whole wheat flour, adding oats, subbing applesauce for oil, flax for eggs, add nuts, etc. Share your treats, if you can't stop eating them, give them away.

Secret #4: My list of what not to buy.

I say what not to buy, because I did consume some of these foods, usually at family dinners and other such occasions. However, most of my friends and family now know that A and I are trying to eat healthily, so they are very accommodating. Anyway, here's the list:

-Red meat, unless fat free (like fat free beef franks, which I likes, I do not)
-Ice cream (Look for frozen yogurt)
-Cheese (costco has a jarlsburg that is super lowfat. you can also get fat free american cheese, which I do not like.
-Butter (we use the alternative brummel and brown yogurt blend spread or olive or coconut oil, which is supposed to get rid of belly fat.)
-White flour (go all wheat, all the way.)
-Sugar (use agave or honey when possible)
-Anything fried

Secret #5: Check labels!

You would be surprised at what junk is in some of the things we eat regularly without a thought. Did you know a lot of cake mixes have trans fat? Yuck! Compare labels, because some say reduced fat but still have more than another brand. Always go for the fat free option, because pretty soon you'll forget what the real thing tastes like and you won't even care anymore. Be sure to look at serving size too, since often one package is not the same thing as one serving.

Secret #6: Check out your options.

Look for a low fat alternative to your favorite food or recipe. I really like America's Test Kitchen Best Light Recipes, they have a great chicken parm. Another good book is Eat This, Not That.

Secret #7: Indulge a bit.

It's okay to indulge sometimes. If you don't, you'll feel deprived and binge. Like I said before, if you're going to add calories somewhere, look where you can remove them elsewhere. Just remember, moderation in all things!


Other random stuff:

We try to eat fish twice a week. We also eat vegetarian a few meals a week as well. Keep frozen veggies and chicken on hand at all times. Eat brown rice. White rice is the candy of grains. Eat quinoa too. It is a grain and a protein! Eat in, restaurants can be deceiving. When you do eat out, look at a menu ahead of time and scope out the food "worth" online.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

10 good things

1. I am so glad to have found a major that I really and truly care about, that excites me, that will make a difference.

2. I'm fewer pounds than I was in high school, and feeling pretty good. My secret? For now a change in diet (no butter, no red meat, no cheese, no fatty/sugary/good stuff, with occasional exceptions, of course.)

3. I finished reading Wuthering Heights, for the first time. It was fascinating.

4. I have an amazing husband who does dishes, cooks, and builds toasty fires, fixes my car and the elliptical, and is too good to me.

5. I have new motivation to wake up early and do things. Today I did dishes, packed a delicious lunch, checked email, and read a little. Exercise will soon be part of this routine.

6. I was invited to a charette to make the Architecture building at school "net zero." This is sort of a big deal.

7. I have big plans brewing. Some involve replacing church lawns with gardens.

8. My Germany class exhibit on the second floor of the Architecture building turned out amazing. Everyone should go check it out.

9. Good things are happening for friends and family, you all know who you are.

10. Today I just have a renewed hope. I feel like everything is going to work out. And that is a good thing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

stupify

So, It has been forever! I haven't posted since before I went to Germany, almost a month ago. Wow. Now so much has happened, I almost don't want to post, because I'm so far behind.

For now, I won't back-log. That will have to wait. (If you want to see pictures from Germany, most of them are on facebook.There is also a super cool exhibit we made of our trip on display in the Architecture building, so go check it out!)

Let's just say, things have been pretty crazy lately, with news and drama, vacations and homework, Christmas music and class. It has been a little overwhelming, and either I don't know what to write or can't write about it at all. I'm just so glad to be married to A, he is so amazing, and always knows the right thing to say to make me feel like everything is going to be okay. I don't know what I would do without him, he really does make me a better person. Here's to him.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A's Birthday was on Monday! Anyway, we celebrated simply, and I hope it was still a good day for him. Sunday we had dinner with his family. I made a fat-free trifle, with angel food cake, vanilla pudding, mixed berries, and fat free cool whip. Monday, I had two classes, so we had a nice lunch at home together. Tuesday, my parents took us to Aristo's, a delicious Greek restaurant. A had salmon, I had something that started with a B and involved potatoes, zucchini, cheese, and mint. For dessert we went to Bellisimo Gelato, which just happens to be the best. Anyway, Happy Birthday on Monday to A, I love you and you are the best!

In other news, I'm going to Germany, tomorrow! It is crazy how quickly this trip has come. Here's what I'll miss:

A.
His warm toasty fires.
Saying morning prayers and reading at night together.
Cooking and eating together.
Snuggling.
Being able to call just to chat anytime.
The other usual things.

There are more things, but now I have to go pack. Anyway, farewell for now!

Friday, October 2, 2009

mozy.

I'm signing up for a free account today, and contemplating a paid account with mozy, the computer back-up company. Anyway, for a great testimonial, see my cute cousin's wife here. If you want to join too, click here! If you input MUAYRM as your referral code, I'll get more free storage space, and so will you!

Monday, September 28, 2009

So, I have these pants from American Apparel that don't fit me anymore, since I've lost almost 15 lbs (woot woot!). A put them on, as a joke mostly, since he's lost almost 40 lbs (!!!) but they actually look good! They are the kind that are not specific to any gender, just grey denim pants, sort of slim, but not necessarily skinny. I'm trying to convince him to adopt them, but he's not totally into it. It's just funny, that I'm handing down pants to my husband. Ha.

i'm going to jackson

Actually, I just got back, from Jackson Hole. It was the annual trip for A's family. Only about half of us were there, but it was still great. Usually we go in June, and it is almost always cold an rainy. September in Jackson is beautiful. My only complaint is that there were multiple fires going on, which sometimes made it hard to see the Tetons, and made the air smell and taste yucky in the mornings.

The weather was perfect, cool in the mornings, toasty in the afternoon, and chilly at night. The leaves were changing color, and it was just all-around blissful. We always stay at this place called Moulton Ranch, about twenty minutes out of Jackson Hole, and next door the the most photographed barn in the world. It was amazing to wake up, look out the window, and see nothing but golden wheat, sometimes a few buffalo, and the Tetons. Marshmallows by the fire, hikes to secluded lakes, stunning views... I almost wish I lived there. Then I think about the insanely high cost of living.

I just thought of another complaint: mice. We caught three mice while staying at the Moulton Ranch. The first day, a mouse got into our bag of food we had just brought in, and ate through a bag of chips. I was up all night to the sound of mice, or maybe just one mouse. It was bad. The second day we set three traps, baited with chocolate. We promptly caught a mouse, or at least A did, reset the trap, and caught another. We found the last one this morning. It was tiny, and very sad.

On a side note, we got some fresh Idaho potatoes (for free!) in Jackson. Right when we got home, I chopped some up and made some delicious oven fries, complete with fry sauce. Here's how I did it:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees,
Wash and cut 4 medium potatoes,
Soak them in water for 10 minutes or so,
Meanwhile, mix some mayo, ketchup, and barbecue sauce,
Pat the potatoes dry, and toss with some crushed garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper,
Spread on a baking sheet with a silicone mat, I used a Silpat, and try not to overlap the potatoes,
Bake for 15 minutes, then give them a turn, then bake for another 10 minutes.
Dip in your fry sauce, and enjoy eating your delicious and almost guilt-free fries. Yum.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

just say no.

So this week has been busy, stressful, and just hard. I hardly got any hours at work, spent most of my time at school, and have been trying to get this whole church choir thing together. When the Bishop asked me to be the director, he asked me if I had time. How do you say no to the Bishop? Well, I guess "I'm just a girl who can't say no," and I think it comes from my mother, who is always busy serving others.

Today I found out the the usual pianist is having surgery next week and will be out of commission for 6 weeks. All the other possible pianists are people I was counting on to sing. I finally gave in and asked one of them. She was very kind, and agreed, even though I am asking a lot of her at very short notice.

Now, I'm making phone calls, reminding people about the practice. Half of them don't answer. I just got off the phone with one woman who told me that she's decided to simplify her life, and that she's decided that ward choir is one of the things she's cutting. "I'm sorry, but no." I thanked her and hung up the phone, and broke into tears. A few are still leaking out even as I type this.

My first reaction is, well how hard is it to give a half hour on a Sunday morning, singing praises to the God you love? I'm the one doing all the work, all you have to do is show up! My second reaction is, why didn't I say no? Why am I killing myself over this? Am I spreading myself too thin, trying to do so many things that I end up just doing a mediocre job at all of them? I'm having a bit of a crisis, and I'm not even half done with phone calls.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

marta's "healthy" cookies

I was craving a treat tonight, so here's what I whipped up:

1/4 cup Brummel & Brown yogurt/margarine spread
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour*
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 scoops milled flax
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks**
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Preheat oven to 375, and line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone liners.

Combine butter, brown sugar, and applesauce in a large bowl. Add vanilla, egg, and egg whites, beating till combined.

Add flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, and flax. Fold in chocolate chunks and almonds.

Scoop dough onto cookie sheet using a number scoop. (I made mine extra big to be almost meal-worthy, or at least two cookies worth, because seriously, I'm going to eat two at a time anyway.)Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and eat several while the chocolate is still melty.

*I actually use plain whole wheat flour, but remove two tablespoons per cup.
**I used less than two cups simply because that was all I had. By all means, use as much chocolate as you want!

Note: This cookie dough is sticky, be aware! Also, they taste like healthy cookies, but if you are trying to eat healthy and dying for a treat, they will taste delicious! Let me know if you make them, what you think, and any adjustments you make, enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

christmas music in september?

I may have mentioned, but I am the new choir director at church. We were scheduled to perform this upcoming Sunday, but through a series of events (namely, not having access to the library of music, not having a time or place to practice, and not having the list of interested members) that is not going to happen. Instead, our first practice will be on Sunday morning.

I am very scared. This is a lot of pressure, doing something totally out of my comfort zone. I can wave my arm around, and even direct a cutoff, but have no idea how to do the fancy directing, or bring people in and stuff. Luckily, it is for church, so hopefully I'll have some help from up top in this new calling.

So, as far as music selection, I've jumped right into Christmas songs. This is because while I'll be in town this upcoming Sunday, we'll be in the Tetons the next week, General Conference is the next week, and then I'll be in Germany the next two weeks. I already feel like a slacker for being so absentee, but what else can I do? I may have to call an assistant to run rehearsals while I'm gone. Hopefully it will work out.

During church last Sunday, I sneaked into library and perused the music. Most of it I had no idea what it was, or I knew for sure it was not what I wanted. I came out with Set II of the Alfred Bert carols, with "Jesu Parvule" in mind, as well as "Were You There." Tonight, I went to my parents' house for advice on music and the order of the Christmas program. It was great! I love sitting around the piano with my dad, and both my parents have a lot of experience with Christmas programs, so their advice was very helpful. Here is the tentative plan for the program:

What are the Signs
Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus
The Angel Gabriel
Once in Royal David's City
In the Bleak Midwinter
The First Noel
Jesu Parvule
Away in a Manger
Mary's Lulluby
Silent Night
Were You There?
Oh Come All Ye Faithful


I know this is a lot. Some of these will be congregational, some small groups, some by the choir, some solos. Also, I haven't decided for sure on any of them.

What is your favorite Christmas song?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I want

a puppy.
to be done with school.
to go on vacation.
a house of my own.
to relax.
more time.
to read.
new duds.
to live.
to be.


Yes, that is what I want.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In which we DIY a table...

A bought a tile table very similar to this one at the DI at the beginning of the summer for around $30. We had been in search of patio furniture for awhile, but hadn't found anything inexpensive and nice, so we came up with an alternative: we would paint and re-tile this table. Now, I forgot to take any before pictures, so you'll have to deal with during and after.

Here's how things went down.
We completely disassembled the table, removing the middle tile piece. A sanded the top part that was a light colored wood, and stained it a dark brown. We then painted the side pieces and legs a bright royal blue, and chose coordinating blue tiles from Lowe's. The tile cost between $70 and $80. We wanted accent tiles that looked like the beautiful ceramics you can get in Mexico, so we went to a fancy tile store and asked about them. Turns out most tile is 4 1/4 inches, and we needed 4 inch to match the pre-existing tile size. Luckily the fancy store had a whole bunch of sample tiles, in groups of two and three, that were 4 inches and exactly what we were looking for, and they let us take them for free since they were from discontinued lines!

So here are some pictures of the progress. I laid all the tiles down just to get an idea of what it would look like. The table pieces that are grey are just those that I had primed but hadn't painted yet.





For chairs, we have three library chairs that my mom has collected from the DI. I want to paint them yellow, and make some cool all-weather cushions for them. I promise to post the end product!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

American Falls and Round Fries

Yesterday I went on my first business trip, ever. I was pretty excited about it. We went to American Falls, Idaho, which is about 20 minutes outside of Pocatello. We were supposed to leave the office at 5:45 a.m., so I was going to have to leave my house at 5:00. Well, I woke up at 3:30 a.m., then slept through my 4:00 alarm not to awaken till 5:18 a.m., at which point I jumped out of bed, showered as fast as I could, but left my hair dirty in a ponytail, threw on some clothes, and left. I got out into my car, turned it on, and the gas light was on. I ran back inside, asked the sleeping A if I could take his truck, to which he sleepily agreed, adding that he hoped he wouldn't need anything from it that day. I hurried all the way from Murray to Kaysville, a trip that takes 45 minutes. I think I made it there around 6:05 or so. Luckily my boss had been getting things together and wasn't all the way ready to leave when I got there anyway.

So when we reached American Falls, we met with some city staff, the mayor, and a councilmember. After our meeting and getting some lunch at Lucky's, the local diner, we then went on a walk through town. (For lunch I had a chicken ranch pita with round fries, which are like cottage fries.) I'll have to post some pictures later, since I don't have any on my computer. In the future, when I don't have an impending 6 page paper on Descartes to (put off) write, I'll give some details on American Falls, its history, current condition, and ideas I have for what would make it great.

After our walk through, we went back to Lucky's and did some brainstorming over dinner and ice cream before heading back to city hall to meet with a citizen's advisory committee dedicated to Downtown American Falls. (For dinner I had spaghetti and meatballs, with a garlic pita. Dessert was rocky road on a sugar cone. I'm still thinking about that sugar cone.)That meeting went really well, and we discovered some good ideas among the people there. Like I said, when I have more time, I'll post more details for those interested.

The meeting ended around 8:30 p.m., at which point we headed home. I rode with my boss in her snazzy BMW convertible, and we munched on licorice and chatted to stay awake for the 3+ hour drive. I got home around midnight or so, very tired from a long day. The whole day my pants had been falling down, perhaps the only pitfall of having lost some weight, plus got a little sunburn on my neck, and then it was chilly the whole day, inside and outside, and I hadn't brought a jacket. I mostly just felt ill prepared since I had overslept so much. I'm also a bit concerned I have a blood clot from sitting so much, but I'm not sure. Other that that, the trip was great. I can't wait to post about the project!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A week in review...

So the week really picked up on Thursday. We went to the football game, it was great! A smuggled in some hot dogs (fat free)and we were all decked out in our Utes gear. Long story short, we won!








Friday was also great, and probably my favorite day of the week. (Pictures Above) I had to work in the morning, but came home a bit early so we could get ready to head up to the canyon. We put together some tinfoil dinners of chicken and brown rice, with a side of seasoned vegetables. The vegetables were far better than the chicken. Dessert was the usual dutch oven peach cobbler, cake mix and sprite included. It is often snubbed, but is in reality delicious. Millcreek canyon was beautiful. It was cool and even sprinkled a little bit. We played cards while our food was cooking, and just had a good time in general. We had such a nice time that I think we'll be doing it a lot more often.

Saturday included some of our usual routine, mainly going to Costco for samples. Unfortunately I think they are phasing out the key lime pie, my favorite. We also spent a long time out in the garden picking tomatoes. We are in the process of drying all the cherry tomatoes, and we blanched and froze all the roma, cream sausage, and amish paste tomatoes. Saturday evening we went to the Desert Star, a theater that does spoof comedy shows. We saw Snooty and the Beast and had some surprisingly delicious pesto pizza. The show was funny, and the company (A's parents) was great. It was a good night.

Today we went the baby blessing of our latest niece. She slept the whole time and was so cute in her poofy white dress. Lunch after was great. We then enjoyed a leisurely nap, and then went out with A's brother and his cute wife and little girl. We drove around this cool neighborhood in West Valley, where all the houses were designed by the same architect and are very modern. Some of them are a bit rundown, but others were really well maintained and had neat features like interior courtyards and "conversation pits." Now we're just relaxing, looking forward to a holiday tomorrow with my family.

Life is (still) good.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

our laid back anniversary

Yesterday was great. We started off the day standing in line to get tickets to the University of Utah vs. Utah State game on Thursday. Yes, it was waiting in line, but it was great, especially because we got tickets!

Around lunch time, A had to work, and I had a little homework to do, so we took a break from our anniversary for that. In the afternoon we went and saw the movie Up! at the dollar theater. We couldn't have picked a better movie. I cried almost the whole movie, tears of sadness, of "oh that is so cute!" and of happiness. It was a wonderful story of life's adventures, relationships, love, and marriage. Really, the perfect anniversary movie.

After the movie, we did a few errands, and actually went to look at a project car. We probably won't get it, but we just had fun laughing and joking on the way to and from West Valley.

Dinner was at home. I made some teriyaki-pineapple pork roast with brown rice and green beans, served up on my fanciest dishes, which happen to be pink depression glass. Thanks to my mom, I even have some matching pink stemware. We even splurged and had Coke, which we never do. Dessert was meh, I whipped up some banana cream pudding and served it with sliced bananas on top. I sort of forgot to plan dessert.

Now, we may have had a laid-back anniversary day, but we plan on celebrating all week. This weekend will include one night of dutch oven in the canyon, one evening at Desert Star, and we'll be going out to dinner sometime this week too, along with the football game on Thursday. In other words, we're trying to do something fun everyday this week.

Today's adventure? A leisurely bike ride. Well, I rode my bike. A rode his little electric scooter; goggles, helmet and all. It was no Disneyland, but it was delightful.

Monday, August 31, 2009

squeaky clean.


Saturday I scrubbed my Chucks and bleached their laces. I used a green scrubber on the rubber toes and soles, and it worked like magic. I am rather satisfied with the results. They almost look new, which is saying something, since I purchased the black ones just before my sophomore year of high school.

brains.



I convinced A to wear a helmet today when he rode his little electric scooter to work today. He was hesitant, but I told him I would be very sad if he died on our anniversary. He says the Jr. High kids taunted him as he rode by. I think he looked slick, but I am a huge fan of helmets.

fruits of my labor.

Well, fruits of my labor plus the labor of A and my Mom.



Don't you just love the jar toppers my mom illustrated? I know I do.



These are the frankenstomatoes in bottles. I love the red streaks.

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