Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A New Calling

I find it interesting and facinating that most of the time I get a new calling, I know I'm going to get a new one, sometimes I even know what calling I'm going to get. This has happened to me lots of times in my life. The only time I was actually really surprised was when I was released from the Relief Society Presidency (and in that case, the Bishop was even surprised. :) )

For example, last month I was asked to substitute teach in Relief Society. I love teaching Relief Society and had missed doing it since I was released from the Presidency a couple of years ago. When I was preparing, the thought came to me that I would be called as a Relief Society Teacher. I kind of laughed it off and thought that there was no way I would get called to that because other people need that experience more than me (in a good way). There are lots of girls that are newer to Relief Society that should be able to have the opportunity to teach and lead. I've had that opportunity lots of times.

Then this month I was again asked to substitute for Relief Society. The impression that I was going to get called as a teacher came back stronger than before. It was like scrolling banner going across my mind as I was talking to the RS counselor the Wednesday before I taught. I love teaching, especially in Relief Society, and so I was excited, but not 100% if it was the Spirit preparing me for the calling, or if I just wanted the calling.

Sunday, as I was getting ready for Church, I got a text to meet with a member of the Bishopric before Church. I went early and got extending a new calling, yep, you guessed it: Relief Society Teacher! I laughed when they told me. Then I realized that wasn't the best response and so I happily said yes. And I found out that I am going to still be the Compassionate Service Leader. Apparently I still haven't learned to be compassionate yet. ;)

I love serving in the Church! I feel like I'm actually contributing to something positive and worthwhile (not that I'm not in other aspects of my life, but this is more substantial and significant). So I'm excited to study and teach about the Gospel. I always learn so much and get so much from the discussions in class.

So two callings and two jobs. Fortunately, both callings are pretty low key, particularly teaching--I only teach one Sunday a month. I'm pretty sure this is the easiest calling in the Church. :)

So anyway, back to my point...after I was extended and accepted the calling, I was talking to Trulie (the current RS President) about it. I told her that it was funny because I had known I was getting the calling days (well, weeks) before I was told. She said that they had only decided the day before I was called! She said they hadn't even thought of putting me in that calling until then. It's amazing how the Spirit works! I'm not a big fan of surprises, so I'm glad that I have some kind of "warning" that changes are coming. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Jello-Stapler Conundrum

There is a classic story of a boy that gives his co-worker a present:

Jim pranked Dwight in an episode of "The Office" by putting Dwight's office supplies in Jello.
This is my ode to the classic prank. :)
My co-worker was on vacation last week and so I wanted to have a little welcome home present for her too.

Lesson learned: Use a lighter colored jello so the stapler is better seen. Unfortuantely I was thinking what would taste better so I went with Strawberry.
Alright here's the breakdown of how I accomplished this amazing feat of practical jokester greatness.

Because I was new to this, it took me a couple of trys to get it right.  First, I found a pot (I didn't have a mold) that would fit the stapler and lined it with plastic wrap so the Jello wouldn't stick.

Then I made the jello per the directions for 7 boxes (the pot held 14 cups of water). Then I threw in an extra box of gelatin in for good measure.

This is what 8 boxes of Strawberry Jello Powder looks like--just in case you've ever wondered. Because I know you have.

Here is the Jello all made up and chilling in the pot. I realized that I should have waited for the mixture to cool before putting it in the pot becuase the plastic wrap didn't really do what I wanted it to.
So here is take two. I put it in another bowl lined with plastic wrap once the jello juice was completely cooled, but not set.

Once the jello was set a little bit, I put the stapler in. Note: I didn't actually use my co-workers' stapler. I used my stapler that I had at my house, that way I didn't destroy office property. They just won't know it until I return the real stapler. ;)

Oooooooooh, Pretty!

I let the jello set for two days and then flipped it over on a plate once I got to work. The plastic wrap did it's job and it came out very easily. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that the stapler was hard to see because of the color, and that the plastic wrap wrinkles left indentations on the Jello.

Melissa loved her "surprise"! And so did the rest of the office. :) We laughed about it all day.

Now we just need cool whip so we can eat the jello. And get the stapler out.


Melissa took out the stapler. And we ate the Jello with cool-whip. :) And then Melissa realized that it wasn't even her stapler in the jello. She thought that was the funniest part.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall at My House

I love Fall. I love the weather and I love decorating! Here are some decorations around my house.
A little garland on my beautiful coffee table
My "Spooky" letters that we made for a Relief Society Activity last year.

I made these wreaths a couple of years ago. I love them! The top one is on my front door and is one that I made with a friend for her wedding decorations. As a gift for helping, she gave it back to me. I love it! The bottom one I made because I fell in love with the ribbon and wanted to use it on on something.

I love how cozy my house feels now that it's fall. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yummy Cream Puffs

Tonight  I made homemade cream puffs using an old family recipe. I have no idea where my Nana got this recipe, but she made them for us almost weekly growing up. She even made hundreds and hundreds of mini cream puffs for my parents wedding. I learned to make them by myself in college--while on the phone with my Nana to guide me through the process. 
I've been craving them and it's been a long time since I made them. So I caved and made them. They turned out so yummy that I want to share the recipe. :)

Because it's a puff pasty shell, some people are scared of making them, but the great thing about these is that even if the pasty doesn't puff up all pretty, it will still taste delicious.

Another hard thing about these is that they are a bit time consuming. Each recipe makes 12-16 (depending on the size) cream puffs per batch. And you can't double a recipe. If you want more, you have to start over and make another batch. Sorry. 

One nice thing is that if you use sugar free/fat free pudding and cool whip, it's actually a *fairly* healthy-ish dessert. Unless you're counting calories. I bet there's a lot of those. But if you're not, you're as golden as the cream puffs!

Alright here is the list of ingredients:

Puff Pastry Shell:
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs

1 large box Vanilla Instant Pudding 
2 1/2 cups Milk
3 pkg. of Dream Whip or 1 tub of Cool whip or 1 pint of Heavy Whipping Cream (I used Whipping Cream this time because I had it on hand. I've decided that Dream Whip is my favorite, but I usually use Cool Whip (off brand) because it is cheapest and easiest.)
1 1/2 cups Milk (if using Dream Whip)

Chocolate Sauce
Or Whatever You Want :)

Ok. Here's how to make the pastry shell. The first part went so fast that I didn't get any pictures, but here's what to do. 

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (Very important--oven needs to be hot when the pastry goes in.)

2) Boil water, butter, and salt together until butter is melted. 

3) Add flour all at once (but be careful not to splatter the water/butter mixture--it burns--not that I would know from personal experience or anything...). Stir until mixture until it pulls away from the sides of the pan--Do not over mix--once it sticks together, stop mixing. Let it cool slightly.

4) Beat eggs in 1 at a time, beating vigorously--by hand--until smooth.  (CAUTION: Do not over mix it. Once it is smooth, stop mixing. If you do, it won't puff up and be as pretty.) 

Note that each egg will become progressively harder to mix it and it will take longer to mix. That is okay. Just keep mixing, but don't over mix!
What it looks like as you mix in the eggs. Just keep mixing.
All smooth and pretty! 
5) Drop onto an well oiled cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Lightly shape the lumps into more ball-like shapes. Try to not touch the dough too much at this point. 
It's totally cool if they are oddly shaped. :)
6) Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Even if it doesn't look like it's done, it's okay. 

7) Turn down the oven to 300 degrees F and leave the shells in the oven to cook for another 20-30 minutes or until dry. 

8) Cool completely. If I'm only making one batch, I usually just turn off the oven and let the pan just sit in oven until the oven is completely cool. This helps the pastries dry even more. Usually this is another 20-45 minutes depending on your oven. The longer the better. You want the pastry to dry out really well.

9) Once cool, split the shells in half and empty the middles--the soft part that is through out the middle of the pastry. Eat the middles--or save them to eat with the extra pudding mixture.

10) Mix up the pudding according to directions on the box, and let set (5 minutes in the fridge). Once the pudding is set, mix in the Cool whip/whipping cream/ dream whip completely. Spoon the filling into the middle of both sides of the shells and refrigerate until ready to serve.

11) Drizzle chocolate sauce and any other toppings.  Unfortunately I didn't have any chocolate sauce this time. Still delicious though!

12) Eat. Enjoy. Love. Crave more. Eat more. 

When eating, try eating each half separately. It makes it easier. Trust me, I know. :)

One of my favorite things growing up was that Nana would make WAY too much filling and then she would let us eat it for breakfast the next morning. Best breakfast EVER! :)

Be brave. Try the recipe. Love the creamy puffiness. Best of luck!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I was Funny!

So there is a story in my family (ok. lots of them) that say I wasn't very funny as a kid. I had a sense of humor and laughed easily, but between my brother and my sisters, I was not the clever, witty one. I think my label as a child was the "oldest" (fine. "bossy"). I would try to funny and clever, but would usually epically fail.

Not today, er yesterday, friends. Not yesterday.

And Bekah Hanson, this puns for you. :) (Another one! Bwahahaha!)

So I was talking to my friend Lauren who was home for the weekend. Here is our IM conversation:

           me:       "So why did you come?"
           Lauren: "Because my mom threw a party for a house.
                        "For our house, I mean.
                        "For it's 21st bday
                        "he he hee"
           me:       "oh wow. I've never heard of that. lol! Did the house get totally plastered?
                        "Bwahahahahaha! I'm so funny!"
           Lauren: "LOL!!!!!"

So there you have it folks! And yes, I'll be here all week. Er. Year. Whatever. :)

Best part is that I thought of the joke, well really bad awesome pun, all on my own and right on the spot! Mom, you'd be so proud.

The thing is that when I came home for the summer after my first year of college, I can remember that I told some joke and everyone laughed and my mom said, "Megan! You were funny!" It was such a shameful moment in the humor of my family. :)


In a completely unrelated event, but nonetheless hilarious, someone in my office (not me!!!) fell asleep while on the phone with a client yesterday!!! HIL.ARI.OUS!! And they were out for like 20 minutes and the client talked most of it!! We're going to blame it on the fact that the room the person was in was very warm and didn't have any fresh air. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Holiday Tree: Fall Edition!

I've been a slacker and didn't make a holiday tree for the summer (maybe next year?), but I did make one for fall this past weekend.

Here it is:

 I was going to make little fabric pumpkins like I did for my table, but that got tedious after three. So I didn't. Then at Michaels, I found these adorable little pumpkins for half off!

So I threaded a bit of embroidary floss through the base of the stems and hung them up. And it only cost me 5 bucks!

I also got these acrylic acorns that were super cute. I wanted to hang them on the tree, but come to find out there isn't a hole to put thread. So I'm not sure how I'll do it yet.

But I now have a Fall tree!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy News!

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! Talk Like a Pirate Day has nothing to do with this post, but thought I would recognize this auspicious day. :)

A few weeks ago I heard that my local scrapbook store (Green Tangerines) was hiring staff members and was having open "auditions" for their Design Team.

I thought I would be brave and apply for the design team. And for a second job. The money could come in handy, as well as an employee discount. ;)

Last Monday I got a call from the store saying that they wanted to schedule an interview and they were kind enough to schedule it during my lunch.

So I went in last Tuesday and had my interview. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be so cocky, but I nailed the interview. :)

(Remember how before I said if something is true, that means your not bragging--see picture below as proof for my logic--I found this sign at a local froyo shop!)

 So there you have it. I'm right. And proud of it. :) Moving on...

The store manager, Kelly, told me that they'll call in a couple of weeks to let me know either way, after they've talked to all the people that applied. I figured that was the end of it for a couple of weeks.

Then on Friday afternoon, they called. I'll be honest, I was really nervous. I was so surprised that they were calling me back already. I didn't know what that meant. I was worried that they decided they wanted someone that didn't already have a full time job.

And then I heard this, "Hi Megan! We want to offer you a position at our store working on data entry!" We chatted for a moment and Kelly said, "Do you need some time to think about it?" Um, No! :)

I accepted immediately and start next week. Yeah!!

Regarding my design team application, (which was the Missing Piece scrapbook page I made) I made it through the first round! Look see there's my page! Just waiting for people to go in and vote for it. So go in and vote for it--It's #9! :)

There were some pretty awesome layouts, so I don't know if I'll make it on to the design team, but I'm really happy I made it through the first part. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Night with NieNie

We had such a great time at the BYU Alumni Dinner/Party Thingy! Trulie and I got tickets and then found out that Rochelle was going too, so we went together and we got to meet one of our favorite bloggers-Stephanie Nielson. She was the guest speaker and it was sooo cool to hear her story in person. I loved her talk about hope. It was beautiful. She was beautiful. I'm so glad that we got to go (even though I had to pay! Grrr!) And we got to meet her after her talk. Awesome! :)

Me, Trulie, Stephanie, Christian, and Rochelle

Friday, September 16, 2011

No-Sew Fabric Pumpkins!

My house is full-fledged fall already. (But no halloween yet (ok, maybe a couple of halloween things).) YAY!! I love fall. I love the colors, the weather, and the decorations!

So I found these adorable no-sew fabric pumpkins that I wanted to make on another blog. The blog has super easy instructions and no sewing is required! My kind of project.

I loved them and went out to pick up some fall-flavored fabric (they're sparkily!) and some poly-fil. Here is what I came up with:

They need to be re-shaped a little, but they turned out really cute! I'm going to make some little ones to go on my holiday tree. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Lesson in Humility

As they say, "Pride goeth before the fall."

Today I found out that it's true. Dang it. And now my finger AND my nose both have an owie. Owwie? oowwwieee? How do you even spell that??

Anyway. Moving on.

So here is the lesson I learned.

At work our office was dropped by a client, and in this particular case we are quite happy about it. So I was telling my co-worker how glad I am that my work was impecable in this case and that nothing bad can come back on me because I did my job correctly. I then commented on how it saved me a lot of stress today because I did my job well. My co-worker laughed at me because I had no problem bragging about it. (Is it really bragging if it's true?) So my co-worker and I bantered for a little bit about my bragging and laughed, all in good fun.

Then came the lesson.

In order to finish up the last couple of things on the file to get rid of it, I had to remove a couple of staples.

As I was pulling out the first staple, my finger got caught in the remover and smooshed (technical term) my finger leading to a large and rather painful blood blister on my ring finger on my right hand.

After a moment, I got over the tragic and sudden loss of use of my finger and tried to remove the second staple. This time the staple came out and flicked right into my nose with the sharp pointy ends stabbing (yes, stabbing!) the end of my nose! Another owie. Boo.

I told my co-worker and she laughed again and said, "Pride goeth before the fall."


Monday, September 12, 2011

Jesse Reid!

Welcome to the World Jesse Reid! My BFF, Monica, had her beautiful baby boy, Jesse on 09/10/2011 at 12:00 noon. :) He was exactly 9lbs!

There were lots of miracles. First was Monica's husband, Steve has been stationed in Afganistan and his two leave began on Friday, the 9/9. He surprised Monica and showed up at 7:30pm and Monica went into labor at midnight that night and at noon on Saturday, precious Jesse made his debut!

There were some small complications and so he's been hanging out in the NICU for a couple of days. He's fine, they just wanted to monitor him. While I was there last night, Monica went to go see him. So her mom, Cindy, and I went with her.

Monica is doing REALLY well. I can't believe how quickly her body is recovering.

 Isn't he sooooo cute? I love all of his hair. He is such a big baby! He looks like he is already 2 months old!

 I loved this picture of Jesse's hand with Monica and Cindy's hands.

First time I saw his dark, pretty eyes! Sorry for the terrible picture. The room was dark because babies were sleeping, and I didn't want to use the flash and hurt his eyes.

So there he is! I'm sure I'll have more pictures soon. :)