Wednesday, May 27, 2009


So I completed my first experimental scrapblog today. It is posted to the left, as you can probably see. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to show the whole thing. It goes from one page to the next just fine, but doesn't show the whole of each page. Quite disturbing. Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hurray for Hobbies!

At the moment, I have two different ceramics projects that I'm working on. The first is just a completion of a school project that I started last semester. I created a language (yes, I know I'm definitely nerdy!) and inscribed some cool writings onto ceramic tablets. After the semester ended, I went and got them fired, so that now I can paint them, get them fired one more time, and stick them in a box ready to be moved to a place that has a yard... :)

I also bought a vase, today, with another cool glaze. It's sortof an experimental project just to see how much I'd want to get into ceramics as a part of my life. I love the things I've learned through ceramics- using different types of paints, painting techniques, brush care, how to make things look good, etc. It would be awesome to be able to share that with people. And now, I have the time and the chance to do more cool things with ceramics! Who knows, maybe I'll create at business with ceramics! :) Thanks for going to Patty's Ceramics with me, Holly!

Also- photography! I may or may not have an eye for pretty pictures, and, thanks to Aunt Lynn, I have found a cool webpage where I can create online scrapbooks with my dear friend Jules who definitely has an eye for pretty pictures! Plus, it's free, and I can experiment with different aspects of each page without the permanence of glue. I like it. I get very excited about craftsy things. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Welcome to Salad Season!

Last year I desperately wanted to lose weight. I worked really hard, and actually managed to get down to a comfortable size 10 for the first time in my life. It was wonderful.

As one of my attempts to lose weight, Ryan and I started the tradition of Salad Season. This was partly to help me lose weight, but it also helped with prep time needed for dinners, and I didn't have to come up with new ideas for food every night, and it's easy to make, cold to eat, easy to clean up... there are all sorts of benefits!

Here's how it works: Put a big bowl of lettuce on the table. Then, in smaller containers, add other things that you can add to your salad. Our typical staples are: salsa, corn, olives, red onions, croutons, chicken, and parmesan cheese. With this, at times we will do cottage cheese, boiled eggs, various vegetables, pasta, chow mein noodles, mandarin oranges or other fruit, and, of course, salad dressings.

Here's the beauty of it:
1. It's easy! You start with a few extra dishes and, as you get new ideas, you simply add things to your table throughout the summer! Each night, put away the various bowls with their little lids (You can buy some cheap ones at the grocery or dollar store, even!) and the next night, if you want to add a different flavor, you only have to prepare one or two new things. The extras almost always run out at different times, and so instead of preparing an entire meal, you chop something, or pour something from a can into a bowl, or boil some chicken... it's so easy, even guys who can't cook can get the entire meal ready in about 10 minutes.

2. There's great variety! Each night, you get different flavors. You can have an asian salad, or a taco salad, or an italian salad... the sky's the limit! You can cater each salad to your own tastes, and when a guy is hungry for something substantial, he can add lots of chicken and pasta and corn, while others who may not be so hungry can go lighter with lots of lettuce and onions such.

3. It's low in calories! One of my favorite salad dressings is actually salsa, which is very very low in calories and has tons of flavor. Add in a little bit of corn, some onions, and a sprinkle of cheese... it's amazing how full you can get with so few calories!

4. Almost any side dish will go with it! We've done rice, bread, meats, whatever. It's another great way to add variety, but not necessarily much prep time.

5. Cleanup is easy too! Slap lids on the bowls and put it all back in the fridge. They're all in small bowls and will be used the next night, so there's no need to consolidate foods or find extra room in the fridge. Clear off the table and dishes are almost done already!

It's fun, as you move through the summer, to experiment with various flavors and salad dressings and such. Last summer we chopped up a bunch of vegetables, added some oil and seasonings, and actually used that as a dressing. Great stuff, and totally guilt free! We officially started salad season last week, but couldn't use the kitchen due to my dresser project. Hence, we started actually eating salads yesterday. It was wonderful. And so, my friends, welcome to Salad Season.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Project #1

So, I mentioned before, I believe, that Ryan and I had gotten ourselves a new dresser set from Ikea several days ago. We now have two of the three of those put together, and our clothes transferred over to them. All of that was for the purpose of these pictures you see here! See, Cara needed a dresser, and so instead of buying her a new one, I took the old wooden one that Ryan and I have been using for the past year and gave it a major renovation. It used to be a very respectable brown wood. Quite delightful. It suited us very well for a year, and Ryan for many years before that. Now, it is quite suitable for a little girl about to be born! I must admit, I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. My next project will be to do the same thing to the little nightstand that is on Ryan's side of the bed. It will be all sorts of girlified, and perhaps we will have an acceptable room for Cara to sleep in, after all.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

For my third post today... :)

Mother's Day was wonderful. I have the best husband ever. He'd been telling me for months that he had a surprise planned for me for Mother's Day, and I loved the anticipation of it. We woke up that morning, and he told me to wait in bed while he got it ready. I finally went out into the living room when he said it was okay, and there I found a large box. Actually, once I got to opening it, I realized that it was three boxes that had been dismantled and taped together to make one box. I started unwrapping, and realized that it was a piano! Wow!

Well, it wasn't a full-on piano. It's a keyboard, which is even better, in my opinion. See, I don't really play yet, but I've tinkered with it off and on during the last few years. I enjoy playing for about 10 minutes at a time, which is difficult to do when the only keyboard you have is only big enough to sit in your lap and there's nothing that will hold your books. Still, I learned a little on that keyboard, and had mentioned that I wanted a keyboard that would enable me to learn a little better. And I got one! He got a fantastic deal on it, too, because it used to belong to his sister. Like I said, best husband in the world.

Beyond that... he made me Eggs Benedict for breakfast, and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup for lunch, and chicken alfredo with green beans for dinner, and he did dishes twice and cleaned up most of the mess from opening and putting together the piano... he kept telling me that I wasn't allowed to do anything because it was my day and I was supposed to relax. I got too excited about everything, though, and started packing up our shelves so we could put together our dresser, and when he fell asleep in the evening (he'd been working hard, poor guy!) I did do the dishes.

Oh! And he bought me a corsage! It was gorgeous. It was an elegant white flower with a big light pink ribbon. I loved it! And I got so many compliments on it. He makes me feel so special. It's amazing. I love you, Ryan!

Baby Stuffs!

Friday night was my baby shower. It was fun! We played fun games, and did cute little baby things, and ate yummy food, and opened presents. Woohoo for presents! Cara got fun little outfits, and an adorable purple frame, and little toys and such. It was delightful. I got a Boppy pillow with homemade covers, and a fantastic tip on saving money on diapers, and some hand-me-down clothes for when Cara gets bigger. It was delightful!

We didn't end up with everything we needed, which was okay, because we also got our tax returns recently. So, on Saturday, we went on a major shopping trip. First stop: Babies R Us. We picked up a little swing, and a diaper bag, and diapers, and wipes, and a few more outfits, and bathing stuffs. All in all, we spent entirely too much time there. It was good, though. We're actually pretty frugal, and quite pleased with our purchases.

But then, we had a problem. See, Cara's room as it now stands is a plastic box. It's worked very well so far. It's portable and fits everything we've acquired so far. However, with our new purchases, she's running out of room. She really does need a dresser, so we went to IKEA. :)

Here's the deal, though. Ryan and I are having issues with our clothes. We were given a dresser and night stand when we got married, and they've been wonderful thus far. However, they don't quite fit everything that we own. Hence, we made the very adult decision to give Cara the things we've been using and buy ourselves a new dresser and a couple of nightstands. We spent FOREVER there! Neither of us had ever been there before, and it was much fun. We ended up with a nice dresser which we'll be putting together tonight, which means packing up our shelving system which is currently taking the space where we intend to put the dresser. It's somewhat amusing that we're rearranging our house a mere 4 months before we move. What can I say? I'm nesting. :)

Anyway... I plan to take the current dresser and nightstand and give them a makeover. I'm thinking white with brightly colored drawers and some little sponged flowers on the top. Yay for home projects!

Sexy About the Torso

This was how my brother described himself after several weeks at boot camp. It's understandable, really, with all the exercise they get there.

However, he recently graduated from boot camp and moved on to the school where he will learn Arabic. With this, he gained a few more freedoms, and was able to go buy himself a phone. He called me late one night and we chatted... even later into the night. He told me about his life as it continually changes, and I asked him about his sexy torso. His voice turned downcast as he told me that he's not getting quite as much exercise, and in as little as 2 weeks, he has noticed a change. His exact words were, "I'm getting a bit paunchy."

I didn't think of this witty reply at the time, but it occurred to me later to say, "I know how you feel."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Way Things Should Be

What's better than finding $20 in your jeans pocket that you'd completely forgotten about? Finding substantially more in your BYU Financial Center that they owe you!

It was great. I went in to pay my insurance for spring/summer, and discovered that there was almost the equivalent of a semester's worth of tuition in there. I vaguely recall sending that in, and it not going where it was supposed to, but then I believe my pell grant kicked in, or something fortuitous, and so yesterday I payed off my insurance and still had... a substantial amount of money left over! I called them today and said, "Um... I think you owe me money." The nice man at the other end of the line said, "No problem, we'll send that to you in a check and you should have it by the end of the week or beginning of next week."

Life, my friends, is truly beautiful.