Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunset in Rocklin

I wish my phone got a better picture of the sunset tonight. It was beautiful. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Custom "Vinyl" Tiles

I really love the tiles you can find at LDS bookstores that have cool / inspirational quotes or images like this one I found at Deseret Book:

Beautiful, right? It costs $29.95. Which is fine, if you can afford it. I can't. So I made my own version. And it only costs about $5.00 to make, and just takes a couple of hours. And makes a beautiful wedding present. And it is easy so when you have 6 weddings to go to in the same weekend, you can have something thoughtful and beautiful to give. (Seriously, this actually happened. Oh the joys of living in an LDS singles ward!)

Ok, here is how I did it.

First, you need to have a Cricut, or access to one. Fortunately, I was able to convince encourage my sister to buy a Cricut Expression so we could have joint custody share. I also got Make the Cut, a separate program that allows you to use your computer to cut any kind of svg image using the Cricut. And I can use whatever font I have on my computer. L.O.V.E.!! (To me, this is what made the Cricut worth the expense. I don't have to spend $90 on cartridges. And there are free programs that allow you to convert almost any image into an svg file.)

Anyway, using Make the Cut, I designed my tile. I've found that if you join the letters together, it makes it easier and quicker to line up on the tile. Now, you can cut it out in vinyl, if you want, but I use textured/colored cardstock. Best part about using cardstock? If you mess up or the cricut doesn't cut right, it's okay! You didn't just waste $5 on vinyl.

Then I found a tile I like at Lowe's (I've found that, locally, Lowe's has a much better selection than Home Depot). 12x12" tiles cost anywhere from 50 cents to $2.50/tile. My favorite ones have been on pink or blue marble.

Next, I lined the lettering up on the tile and picked the layout and then painted on a thin amount of mod podge-I like the matte version--on the back of the letters. Then I positioned it onto the tile. Once all the wording is glued down, you can finish by carefully painting mod podge over the top of the lettering to seal it. (If the mod podge gets on to the tile, try to scrape it off before it dries. Once it dries, it is visible.)

But before I paint the top layer of mod podge, I like to use colored pencils (I heart my Prismacolors!!!) and accent the letters using coordinating colors. To me, this helps the letters stand out a little more and it gives it a little something extra. Then I paint on the mod podge, being careful not to get it onto the tile. Once it is dry, the colored pencil looks painted.

This is one that I used colored pencils on. Its hard to see it in the picture, but in person its obvious.
Best part of this? You can make it to say or be anything you want! Your imagination is the limit!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ward Birthday Party

The non-existent activities committee threw our ward a Birthday Party to celebrate everyone's birthdays. We even had a piñata! This is why I was at the Dollar Store yesterday. I ended up getting a Tinkerbell coloring kit, some random hangers, and some other stuff I found in my boxes in the garage. I was really hoping a boy would get it, but a girl did and she actually kinda liked it & said she needed hangers. :)

I think everyone had great time. Here are some pictures.
Birthday Cake!!

Jyl was really excited about her chocolate syrup she got in the present exchange.
Bro. Shumway & Amy setting up the creepy clown piñata. Yeah! For beating it up.
A swing & a miss!
The mad scramble to get all the candy once the piñata exploded.
I love ward activities!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dollar Tree "Finds"

We're having a ward birthday party tomorrow so I needed to run to the Dollar Store for a little something special for our $1 white elephant gift exchange.

There was so much to choose from!

So that gave me a great idea to put on my blog all the GREAT things I found at the Dollar Store.

This poor little dog looked terrified.

Yes, this is a Dora Flashlight, and Yes, it does have a big crack in it.

Um, Who wouldn't want a set of these? This came in a close 2nd for the gift I was going to get for the party tomorrow.

Lisa Frank is back! All my childhood fantasies and memories came flooding back to me when I saw these! Love!!!

This ballerina kinda freaked me out. It was completely posable. Ummmm...

Extensions. The Dollar Store sells extensions. In un-natural colors. In case you're interested.

Books to help you determine if you are psychic. I've always wanted to know. Who doesn't want to know?
Puzzle Eraser anyone? My favorite part? The caption at the top: "Making writing fun!" I'm sorry, but if you don't like writing--a funky eraser just isn't going to do it.

One of my favorites: Pregnancy Tests! I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean about our society or science, or whatnot. Oh and they have ovulation predictors--um didn't even know that exists!! But I do think it is funny!

The pièce de résistance?

Potted Meat!! Bwahahahahahahaha!!! It's America's Favorite! It says so on the label--which means it must be true. Made with chicken and beef. If that's true--which parts?? It looks disgusting. Blech!! EWWWWWWW!!!!!!! :)

I did find something special for the gift exchange, but I don't want to give it away right now. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spring is in the Air

I LOVE SPRING. I think I've said that before here. Well, its true. I really do. I think its my favorite.

I remember as a kid wanting to get married in the beginning of March because that is when our fields were at their most beautiful! The buckeye trees were all green, as was the grass. Flowers were everywhere. It was magical! I could just picture myself at the top of the "Big Rock" (a rock that covered several acres) in my beautiful white wedding dress and my husband in his black suit taking pictures under the buckeye and oak trees. Or by the corral & barn under the walnut and cottonwood trees. Or leaning against the ruins of Great-Uncle Art's house (he was the original owner of our property). Or sitting on the bridges over the creek. And then having a big BBQ reception down in the Park area where the BBQ pit, shooting range, and our favorite swimming hole is. It kinda makes me sad that this won't happen now, but its okay. It was a great fantasy! :)

Anyway, I'm not sure where that random memory came from, but I do love spring. I love the flowering trees and the green grass. I love the freshness and new-ness of everything. I always feel invigorated when spring arrives.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My "Office"

So I was drawing a blank about what I should write about today, and my city co-worker suggested that I write about my cubicle, "office." (I want to optimistic about it.) :)

My home away from home
This is my desk--clean. I'm pretty happy with it. The cubical wall you can't see has my personal pictures and my notary certificates. And yes, those are pink Minnie Mouse ears on the right side of the picture. My boss brought them back from a vacation to Disneyland with his family  a couple of years ago--AND they have my name embroidered on them! :) Right now I am doing research on a case, thus the fat binders. Gosh, this picture makes my desk look like a disaster. It really isn't. It's quite organized and pretty-ish (at least as much as a small cubicle can be). I also have a fake orchid plant up on the shelf on the right side--which you can kinda--not really--see.
My view to the outside world--and my boss's office.
Sometimes I turn around and stare out the window. That's where all the "nature things" happen.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my desk and all things I accomplish at it. :) And that is the end of this random post. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crazy Thoughts

Can I do something crazy? I want to do something, (almost) anything off the wall and unexpected, something out of the ordinary.

I don't know what though. I'm kinda jealous of my roommate who is going to Sri Lanka for the month of June. Wish I could do something like that. I think I need an adventure.

Last year when I got this way, I got to go to Alaska to visit my BFF, Monica. That was pretty fantastic. And so beautiful. And amazing. And I saw wild killer whales and moose(n). :) And I read Harry Potter, again. :)

The view out towards the Gulf of Alaska from some state park above Anchorage.

Monica and I on our road trip to Seward, Alaska to go whale watching for her birthday.

A Killer Whale we saw on our cruise--we saw a whole bunch--but we didn't see any actual whales.

Stellar Sea Lions on our cruise
Resurection Bay at Seward, AK

The mountains that surround Resurection Bay

I want to see a wild something...and no, wild turkeys and crows don't count. A grizzly bear would be kinda cool...

Hmmm...what to do...

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Epic Saga

We have this beautiful field behind our building (where the sheep were last week) and lots of "nature things" as my co-worker says happens (she's from the city).

Today was no exception. It was a soap opera.

This morning we found a dog eating a rabbit pretty close to our building. There was also a flock of Canada Geese (Did you know they are not "Canadian" but "Canada" Geese?) there as well.

Then came the vultures. (*imagine crescendo-ing music here*) The BATTLE OF THE BIRDS was on!

My co-worker practically cried she was so freaked out...that is a true story. Apparently she hates birds of any kind. She says they frequently try to attack her. Ummm...

Anyway. At some point the dog left-and no it wasn't a looked like the sheep dog from last week.--so it became the battle of the birds...

Two vultures were going at it with each other, but kinda in slow motion. It was a tad strange.

My city co-worker asked me if the geese would get upset about the vultures. (She asks me questions like this all the time--like because I lived in the country most of my life, I know all there is to know about animals and plants and stuff). I told her (in my infinite wisdom), "Uh, probably not. Its not like the geese will want to eat the rabbit." The stare down between the two vultures and the geese went on for probably an hour or so.

Then suddenly, one of the geese went for one of the vultures! My co-workers happen to be looking out the window just at that moment and freaked out. It was just like one's favorite teams had just won a big game or something. The other (from the city) shrieked and practically cried, again. We laughed about it. Then the geese went away.

Wouldn't this make for riveting TV? No? Oh. Well, it made our day at work a little more entertaining. I only wish I had pictures to go with the story.

The End.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weird Dream

So I had a really wierd dream this morning. And I kinda liked it!

I started out at Wal-Mart (which looked like Target) and was walking up to check out. Then this lady that had 2 items and 4 very big sons tried to run in front of me so she didn't have to wait. She didn't make it. I offered to let her go in front of me because she only had a couple of items. She got all offended and her sons looked like they were going to pummel me. So I quickly checked out and left.

As I was driving home, I decided to drive through old town Folsom (not sure why--seeing as it is way far on the other side of the valley and completely opposite direction of home). The town looked like it was still a dirty, 1840's gold mining town, complete with tack stores, wood sidewalks, blacksmiths. Seriously. As I was driving through enjoying the scenery, I saw 3 men standing in the middle of the road. They were dressed in overalls, and no shirts. :) They looked dirty, like they were miners or something.

Just as I pulled up to them and stopped--because they were in the middle of the road--one turned and looked at me. To my surprise it was Matthew McConaughey! mmmmmmmm...

He stared at me for a couple of seconds and then climbed in my car! Um, okay. Then he kinda gets after me about abandoning my dreams of becoming a fashion designer! Whaaaa?! I had dreams of becoming a fashion designer??!?!

He said that he had his heart set on having a suit done by me for the big upcoming awards ceremony. He said that is wife also wanted a dress done by me. I told him that I don't do that anymore--that I had failed and didn't want to do it anymore. He told me too bad because he was commissioning me to do it anyway. And I only had 48 hours to do it.

And I did it. His suit was a dark charcoal color with weird seam lines. I wish I could draw what I drew in the dream. It was kinda wierd. And I had some mad drawing skills in the dream.

Then came his wife's dress. It was so beautiful. It was white and flowy (not tight, but not frumpy either) and had a grecian flavor to it. It covered the right shoulder and had a long open sleeve. On the top of the shoulder there was a diamond square buckle/brooch thingy (that's the technical name). I loved it! It was simple and very elegant. I wonder if you can see the same picture I can in my head. I'm having a hard time describing it. Maybe if I was actually into fashion design I could. But I'm not. :)

Anyway, just as I was watching my famous clients walk down the red carpet for the awards show, I woke up.

Weird, eh? I guess this is fairly normal & low key when it comes to the dreams I have.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Spring Haiku

Today I am waxing poetic.
Love beautiful spring
Flower blossoms, new growth, life
After winter's cold.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Today may or may not have been a highly productive day.

This was the problem...


I loved the little baby sheeps! :) There were also little black twins, so precious! You can see them in this picture, a little below the center
There was one large black ewe on the far side of the field all on her lonesome and the sheep dog was working the herd, but completely left her alone--then suddenly a little tiny black blob stood up! I think the ewe just had a little baby! I wish I had been closer.

Anyway...the entire office may or may not have been slightly distracted this afternoon... :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Random Facts About Me!

Here are some random facts about me. I know how much people LOVE reading feel free to skip this post. :)

1. My dream vacation: A three week cruise around the Galapagos Islands (they're off the coast of Ecuador). Preferably one that allows you to help with research. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING! Why do I want to go here? Well it's beautiful...and the scientific term is: "Freakin' Awesome!" Oh and the other thing? They have these:

Blue-footed Booby---yes it is real!
Adult Galápagos tortoise
Galapagos Tortoise--can grow up to 6 feet wide and weigh up to 880 pounds
Marine Iguanas--These bad boys (and girls) dive in the ocean to feed! Google them--they are sooo cool!
2. Lost was my favorite TV show. I heart Charlie. *sniffle*

3. My first job was working at a party store and I really enjoyed it. I only worked there 3 months in the fall of my Junior year of high school, but I did get to dress up for Halloween at work--as a convict--which wasn't my choice. Little kids were scared of me. It was kinda sad.

4. My favorite food as a kid was shrimp scampi (only how my parents made it), but now un-breaded shrimp grosses me out.

5. Speaking of food--I've taught myself to love tomatoes, avocados, spinach, pumpkin, and CALAMARI!! Mmmmmm!!!! Funny, those are all things my mom despises. She gets grossed out whenever I say something about how delicious they are. And it may be possible that I bring these foods up just to get a rise out of her. :)

6. My favorite calling I've had so far is probably Gospel Doctrine Teacher for Old Testament. I did this my senior year in college and loved it. I've loved all my callings, especially serving in Relief Society, but I think Gospel Doctrine edges out. I really love the Old Testament!! Which brings me to my next random fact...

7. I love old things...the older it is, the more I love it! I really enjoy history and learning. I've always been a big subscriber to knowing where I've come from to know who I am and where I'm going. And this has spawned a great love for my family's history. And butterflies. (Maybe I'll explain that in another post.)

8. My favorite pets have always been dogs. They love unconditionally. Some day I want to get a Maltese (or maltese mix--preferably black). Cats are okay, as long as they are outside and mouse chasers and don't claw me.

9. I love art and color. When I was in college I was so excited to sign up for art classes--but a pre-req was required: Drawing 101. The first day of class I found out that there would only be pencil and charcoal allowed. No color! In order to get to the classes that I wanted to take (painting) I had to take a boring pencil drawing class. And I had to walk almost all the way across town to go (it was off campus). I made it to two classes and dropped it. That is how much I love color. Don't get me wrong; I have a great appreciation for greyscale drawing--but it is not my forte and so I leave it to the professionals--and those that think they are. I know I am not. :)

10. I love board & card games. I love getting together with friends and family to laugh and be goofy. Balderdash is a fav, as is Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. I always lose (except at Old Maid--that honor goes to Cait), and I don't have a problem, ummm, with making the games difficult for other people to win. I want them to have to earn their win. I don't usually cheat and if I do, I own up to it--but I sometimes I might play a little dirty aggresively. :) he he he. ;)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Need a Vacation

I want to go on vacation. I want to do something big. The longest vacation I've been on in the past 5 years was 6 days.

So I've made a plan. I've also adjusted my plan. (I was planning my trip for the first part of April, but it's not going to happen, so now I am shooting for the second week week of October.) And it will happen in three parts!

Its something I've always wanted to do. Go explore the East Coast! :) The trip will be 12-13 days (depending on plane ticket prices). I'm planning to leave Oct. 6th-ish and come back Oct. 18th-ish. (I like to be flexible.) The plan is to stay in each city for 4 days.

The first part is CHICAGO! Yeah!! I'm really excited. I'm going to visit my dear friend Lisa and her little family there. So I'll get to see them and kick it around Chicago. My boss is from there and is really excited for me. He's been recommending all sorts of things to do.

The next leg of the trip is a hop, skip, and jump over to ROCHESTER, NEW YORK to visit another dear friend, Rachel and her little family. And yeah! She's having another baby next month! Yeah! She wants to take me to Niagara Falls and Palmyra. It'll be really cool to see the Church History sites there. Its been something I've wanted to do for years!!

The last leg of the trip is WASHINGTON D.C. to visit my cousin and her sweet family! Conveniently they live someplace that I've dreamed of visiting since I was a kid. I have so many places I want to visit and so little time. The Smithsonian, Arlington Cemetary, the Capitol, etc.

Each could be it's own vacation, but I'll take what I can get! I'm trying to get a bit of layover in New York City so I can get a peek at it--at least from the airport, but I'm not sure if that will happen.

I'm so EXCITED!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


My co-worker surprised me with breakfast this morning! Yum!!

In case you can't tell, that is egg, cheese, and sausage on sourdough bread--all in 900 calories of deliciosity!

My co-worker loves me! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Heart the Rain

Today is rainy and windy and cold, unlike last week--which was PERFECT! But it's okay that today is rainy and windy and cold because it lets me appreciate the perfectly beautiful weather when it is here. Which won't be this week according to the forecast.

My boss describes today's weather as "dreary." I say the dark clouds allow for the grass to appear brighter green and the flowers to be prettier.

I don't mind the rain and the dark and the cold. It means that I get to wear my winter clothes--of which I have a ton from living in Rexburg.

I especially love the rain when I have a good book, warm fire in the fireplace, a blanket, and a window to watch the storm. The living room in the house I grew up in was perfect for this. Conveniently the kitchen was also close by. MMMMMmmmmm warm food! :)

Oh, and it's valentine's day. I guess I should recognize it somehow.     :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Heart My Friends

I love my friends!! I've been blessed with so many friends in my life. Here are a few of them:

Me & Monica
Dan, Brady, Amy, Me, & Caitlin, July 2006
Crystal, Me, Carol, Andrea, Jeff, Adam, Lisa, Caitlin, Avery, Carrie, August 2006

Rachel, Me, Jennifer, Nicole, Amy, Lisa, & Natasha, Fall 2005
Lisa, Lois, Ruth, Jared(?), Me, Josh B., Josh C., Rosalina
Lauren, Monica, & Me.
Our fabulous FHE group, Fall 2005
My 21st Birthday: Rachel, Mo, Me, Phil, Monica, Amy, others
Kelly, Trulie, & Courtney at Six Flags, August 2010

Rocklin 6th Ward at Half Moon Bay, Summer 2009
I am so greatful for all my friends I've had and the ones I will have!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Heart Spring!!

I LOVE spring!!!

This is why:

The tree in the front yard. So pretty!
My bulbs are starting grow!!

Bekah & Jyl raking leaves in the backyard.


First, the challenger:
Before I attacked it

The rose did get a few points. But eventually I did win. :)


 The branches after I cut them all off. I WIN! :)