Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rachel + Jesse

Last night Monica, Cait, and I got together and hung out and played with the babies. Yay! I haven't seen Jesse (Monica's baby boy) in over a month and so it was fun to see how big and fun he's gotten. He is a super smiley baby and giggles a lot and he's starting to get chubby! So cute!

I love the smug look on Nick's face. He's all, "Yeah, I got her to fall asleep. Take that Momma!" And it was funny because Cait pointed out that Rachel sleeps just like Nick, with her hands up above her head.

It was fun to compare Jesse & Rachel's sizes and their personalities (so far). :) Yay for babies!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Amazing Skills

In my recent obsession with Pintrest, I've discovered a new artist...Yulia Brodskaya. She is so amazing!!!! Seriously. I am in awe at the things she does with PAPER! The actual technique is called Quilling, an old art form that twists and curls thin strips of paper. She makes it look so simple and effortless. I know that it's not, but I can't help but think it is so easy. Here are a few pictures from her website. Definitely go to her website and see more examples of her awesome-ness.






This definitely inspires me to kick up my quilling skills. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Delicious Fat Free Dessert

It's really true! This dessert is fat free. And it's really delicious!! It does have a fair amount of sugar, but it's a dessert so that is expected. Oh, and it's super easy!

Angel Food Cake with Cream and Strawberries

1 box Angel Food Cake Mix
    --water per the cake recipe
1 large box Vanilla Sugar Free/Fat Free Jello Pudding
2 3/4 cups Milk
1 small tub Fat Free Cool Whip
Strawberries, chopped up

Make the cake per the directions on the back of the box.  I didn't have a bundt pan and so I used two loaf pans, it worked perfectly. If you do loaf pans, the cooking time is a bit shorter. I think it took about 30 minutes to cook. Once cooked, let the cake cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, mix up the Milk and Pudding mix. Add cool whip to taste. I used only half of the container, but should have mixed in more. :) Set in fridge to chill.

Add a bit of sugar the chop strawberries and mix. Let this rest in the fridge till the cake is cool. This will create a bit of strawberry syrup. So yummy!

When the cake is cool, chop into squares.

Put a generous amount of pudding on top and sprinkle with strawberries and a little of the syrup.

Here's another variation, with slices of cake:

Eat and don't feel guilty about having a divine dessert! :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter is Finally Here!


It has been so dry here that I thought my skin would turn to dust! Oh wait, it did. Seriously. One day I put lotion on 6 times! And I HATE lotion--that's how dry my skin has been! I don't think it was even this dry in Rexburg. We haven't had any rain since the beginning of December and so today's weather was a very welcome change. Too bad I couldn't go outside and soak it up. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fun Facts

Last night I hung out at Cait's house and Nick fed me dinner and I fed Rachel dinner. It was awesome. And I didn't have to change any poopy diapers. Even better. :)

Oh, and let's be clear, I fed Rachel using a BOTTLE. ;)

Also, I have clean clothes. Cait was generous and let me do laundry at her house because my dryer is still broken. I learned a fun fact about her washing machine: It can hold up to 187 baby clothes items. Apparently Caitlin was so bored that she actually counted the number of items she put in the washing machine.

Yep. That's my sister. :)
And here is precious Rachel last night. Totally passed out.

Another fun fact: Rachel makes awesome angry faces when she is asleep. Especially when Caitlin decided to wake her up using Nick's cold hands. :) Last night we were quite entertained. I wish I had been able to get pictures of them.  Rachel has Cait's chin, my grandpa Bryson's nose, and Cait's attitude. Awesome!! :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Paint Chip Mural

Let me just start by saying that my favorite thing about this project was it's price. FREE!

And this week, or at least until payday next Monday, Free is my BFF.

Let me also say that I RARELY come up with my own cool ideas. It's true. I'm sorry if I just crushed someone's heart. Usually I just take someone else's idea and adapt it a little so it works for me. This project is a prime example.

So I came across a really cool project here quite awhile ago. It's a paint chip mural. Here's a pic from the blog I found it on. 
Awesome, right? Color inspires me. I love having lots of colors around me and so I thought this would be a fun way to incorporate some into my bedroom, which is mostly blacks and whites. Oh, except for my quilt. That has lots of bright, fun colors. Anywhoo...I thought the idea was sooo cool and wanted to do it, but it had been relegated to the "some day, maybe" pile.

Not anymore. [insert mischievous laugh here] ;)

I've had these three canvas panels for several years. I got this really cool idea for doing a three panel painting and hanging it up to take up a large spot on my wall. Problem is that I lost steam with it and am not happy with the way it's turning out.

Seriously, the painting has looked like this for almost two years and has mostly sat in the back of my closet. I'm not too proud to admit that it is awful looking. I've worked on a bit here and there, but I'm just not happy with it. The colors are drab and I hate how the rocks turned out (my roommate aptly put that it looked like a large pile of poo. Gee, Thanks.). So now it's time to do something with them. I've had a few ideas here and there, but nothing that just screamed, "YOU NEED ME!" to me.
Hey, guess what?! This mural thingy does! Except with different colors. And in a 3 panel painting kinda way.

So here are the materials:
  • acrylic paint (a custom blue color that I mixed up)
  • TONS of paint chips that I picked up at Lowe's. I calculated that I would need 108 2"x2" squares. Now, this is evidence that my math skills, ummm...leave something to be desired. I actually needed 216. Good thing I got over 250. (Now what to do with the leftovers?....hmmmm....)
  • Mod Podge
  • 3- 12"x24" canvases
  • spray adhesive

The first thing I did was cut the paint chips down to 2"x2" squares (which took hours). Then I laid them out in a pattern I liked. The cool thing about the paint chips I used is that some of them have different textures and finishes and some are metallic. I like the variation in the colors/textures. :)

I numbered the backs so that I made sure I put them in the right order when I put them back on to the canvas. Not that it really mattered though; the pattern was random.

So then I I thought I could just use mod podge to adhere them to the canvas. Then I discovered that it wasn't really sticking very well to the canvas (the corners wouldn't stay down) so I just used the spray adhesive. It worked better. 

For the edges of the canvas, I tried to "wrap" the paint chips around it, but when I tried it, it didn't really work. So I painted the edges using a medium blue with a bit of white.

Here's how it looked when all three were covered:

Once all the paint chips were adhered, I decided that I wanted more of a distressed look. Well, I really wanted to throw glitter all over it, but then I didn't want to turn my bedroom in to 1) a giant snow globe with glitter flying everywhere, or 2) a six-year old girl's dream room.

I decided against the glitter and found this wood stain in "Red Mahogany." I wanted a darker color than a dark red, but since this was in my garage and it was free, I rolled with it.

I forgot to take pictures of the staining process, but it was easy. All I did was paint on a layer of the dark red layer. 10 minutes later when I wiped it off, I decided that one layer was enough. All the lighter cream chips had turned a bit pink.

When the stain was completely dry (I let it dry overnight, just to be safe), I put on 3 layers of mod podge. On the last layer, I tinted the glue with a bit of silver paint to make it bit sparkly.

To hang up the canvases, I discovered that the 3M removable hooks (the small metal ones) were exactly the right size to hook on to the back of the wood on the canvas. Brilliant! Best part is that I could move around the hooks without putting tons of holes in the walls--obviously I don't own a level and so this was necessary. And still necessary... :)

Huzzah! Lovely, isn't it?! (P.S. The right answer is yes!) This is the view of my room when you stand in the doorway and look to the left.

I like it. The only thing I would probably change is the red stain (I would use something darker) and using not as much silver. I think the silver clouded up the colors too much. But it was free, so hey, I can't complain. :)

All in all, it was a fun little experiment with some new materials and techniques. And I finally did something with the canvas. Yay!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Saturday Afternoon...

Today was odd and productive. I didn't have anything specifically planned which was nice. I knew that I wanted to clean up the front yard and prune the roses since it's been so warm. And since it's been so warm, we had tons of roses blooming. I cut them and put them in my house and now my kitchen smells lovely. :) Yay!

Anyway, back to my misadventure of the day.

As I was going in and out of the garage as I was cleaning the front yard, I kept noticing this odd smell as I would walk into the garage through the house. At first I barely registered it and brushed it off. The second time I smelled it, it was a bit stronger, but not enough to prompt me to figure out what it was. It smelled a bit like gas or like something had died in the attic--but it wasn't really strong enough for me to know absolutely like it was gas. I kind of shrugged it off and went about my business. The third time I smelled it, I figured I should probably figure out what it was, and if anything make sure it wasn't gas.

I just knew that if I called PG&E and reported a gas leak, they wouldn't find anything and I would feel like an over-reactive idiot.

I called my mom to see what she thought. Yeah, she kind of freaked out. Then I felt like more of an idiot. I promised I would call PG&E and at least have them come check it out. I figured it's best to be safe than sorry.

I reported the possible leak and was told to evacuate the premise immediately. Great. That was not how I wanted to spend my Saturday afternoon. :( The thing was that I had to stay nearby. I couldn't go anywhere fun. double :(. So I packed up the important stuff in my car (heck yes my scrapbooks were loaded up) and I suddenly wished I had a 72 hour pack so I could feel cool and prepared--even though it was completely unnecessary.

So I grabbed a book and an apple and waited in my car for about 40 minutes. The PG&E man came and checked it out and said that there was a leak (YAY! I wasn't imagining things!) and that it was so minor that it wasn't even a hazard (so I did over-react...bummer). Apparently the "leak" was through the pilot light in our heater not shutting on and off correctly. Then he tested the heater and it wouldn't even turn on. GREAT. Not. :( At least I didn't have to be evacuated anymore.

I was a displaced citizen for only 40 minutes. Lame.

I tried to convince the PG&E guy to condemn our heater so that we could get a new one (this is the third time it's broken in a year) but he said he couldn't, that the problem isn't even a hazard. All he could do was turn off the heater and turn off the gas line. So now it's going to get really cold in my house.

After I called the management company to have someone come fix our heater because the temperature is supposed to be in the upper 20's tonight. Yeah, that's cold when you don't have a heater, in case you didn't know. They told me that maybe Monday it'll be fixed if the guy is available. And that's how they roll. :/ Hopefully Monday we can have our heater again. Which would be nice because the temperature tomorrow night will be in the low 20's.

All in all it was a mixed misadventure. Somewhat hilarious that we had to be evacuated, and somewhat embarrassing because, despite there being a minute leak, it wasn't enough to be a hazard. Oy.

At least we're all safe. So that is a good thing, right? Yeah, ok. Probably. ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Deserve M&Ms :)

Why do I deserve M&Ms? Well, I had a Missionary Moment today! And it was awesome!

As way of background, I'm the only LDS person in my particular office, but the firm I work for is owned by guy who's LDS; we'll call him BossMan.

So we recently hired a new receptionist who is cute, nice, and a quick learner (yay!) and I've had a lot of time to talk to her while I've been training her.

She recently discovered that I'm LDS. So she's been asking me casual questions occasionally.

This morning BossMan gave our new receptionist a project to work on. Copying a bunch of family history information.

Working on this little project brought up several questions. Including this one, "Why do Mormon's name their kids Bible names?"

Um. I laughed when she asked me. It was cute. I told her that I figured it was probably because the scriptures are important to us and parents want their kids to be like their name-sakes. She followed up by asking me if we were supposed to. I told her no. We can name our kids anything we want (and some certainly take advantage of that!).

We talked a little about family history work and how to do it. Later she came across a 12 generation chart and asked me about how it works. I briefly explained it to her. One of my other co-workers came into the copy room and then asked me why Mormons were so big into genealogy.

For a split second I almost panicked. Sometimes I don't know how to explain things simply (have you noticed??) and so I wanted to keep the conversation casual and simple. Then suddenly I started talking before I had even thought about what to say. I explained that we believe that everyone should and does have the opportunity to learn about the Gospel and that the people that have died before us are learning about it in heaven. I emphasised that everyone has a choice whether or not they accept it, here or later. I then explained that because bodies are necessary to become members, we do work in proxy for the people that have died, and that is what we do in Temples. I again said that just because the work is done for them doesn't mean that they are required to accept the Gospel.

Both girls listened and thought that it made sense. I explained that I personally love family history for that reason and that I love learning about my family and where I came from. It was a fun conversation and I was surprised that the part about the temple went over so well. As I was talking about it I felt the Spirit prompting me and I got goosebumps. I hope they felt the same way--whether they recognized it or not.

Later, my new co-worker expressed sincere interested in learning more about her family. I told her that I could get some info about a local family history library so she could talk to someone who could help her with it. She was really excited about it.

The only bummer was that when I tried to get the info from, I couldn't get the address to come up. :( But I'm going to find it some other way. :)

I've loved sharing the gospel with my fun new co-worker. It makes me so happy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Favorite Picture

Last night was our little hang-out goodbye party for Steven. He is moving to Utah later this week. I'm sad for me, but very happy for him. I think it will be great for him. :)

We hung out for a few hours watching Nick play video games and playing with Rachel. Okay, she is too little to really play, but it's kinda funny to watch her make angry faces when we poke her and tickle her...while she is asleep. Hey, Caitlin starts it. :)

Oh my gosh. We are terrible people. Poking and prodding a sleeping baby that isn't even 2 weeks old. Wow.
Yeahhhh...I don't feel bad anymore. She's just so squishy!

So I caught this picture of Steven while he was holding Rachel for the first time. He's been pretty sick the last couple of weeks so he hasn't touched her. But now that he's feeling better, Cait let him. :)

He even tried to sing her to sleep. Talk about melt-your-heart sweetness! Though the singing didn't really help, it was cute.

And then she pooped and the moment was over and Steven handed her off. It was awesome. :)

And yep, that is how we roll.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Family Photo-Op

So Erin and I were working on a project while she and Mom were home last week. And by "Erin and I working" I mean, Erin working on it and me bugging her the whole time and being a terrible sister.

Oh, this post isn't about that project.

This post is what we FOUND while "we" worked on that project.

Oh. B.A.B.Y. It's awesome. I had forgotten about this "event". :D

So here's the back story: A few years ago, Mom desperately wanted updated family pictures. We children reluctantly agreed. And we were very obnoxious at the little studio. At least the photographer thought we were hilarious. Mom didn't really agree, per say...

So we took a couple of nice pictures...

See, aren't they lovely?!

And then I'm pretty sure I heard the photographer say that we should make a funny face. Apparently no one else got the memo...

What's even funnier than my face (yeah, yeah...laugh it up) was that NORMALLY, I'm NOT the one to be suddenly goofy like this. That right is usually reserved for any of my other siblings.

I love this picture. I really do. I laugh hysterically every time. Like right now. :)

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

Friday, January 6, 2012


Last night I went to go visit Caitlin, Nick, and Rachel. I was having baby withdrawals. I hadn't seen her in two days. :)

I also picked up our friends, Michelle and Alyssa, who wanted to see the wee babe. Alyssa had never held a newborn, especially one that was 5 days old so she was pretty excited.

It was super fun getting to hang out with them and little Rachel. Even better was when Cait texted me about 4 minutes after we left and said that Rachel had a poopy diaper and we had gotten out of changing it. Yeah, buddy. ;)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Productive Day

I had today off of work and so I was able to get some stuff around my house done. I did a pretty deep clean of my bedroom because I wanted to start the year off clean and organized. We'll see how long it lasts. :)

I was also excited because I had time to hang up my super awesome ribbon holder that I got myself for Christmas this year. Not only did I hang it up, but I also fit most of my ribbon in it! Yay!

Looks awesome, right?

Yep, that's part of my little crafty area in my bedroom. I love it. :)

Then when I was done, I went and spent the rest of my day with my family. Mom and Erin are headed home tomorrow and so we hung out for the night. Such a fun time having them here. :) And only a few months till I see them again, though Erin will be married at that point. WEIRD!!!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goals for 2012

Personally, I'm not convinced that the world is going to end this coming year--unlike the Mayan calendar which apparently ends in December of 2012--which NATURALLY means that the world is going to end too. Duh. Obviously that's how it should be interpreted.

I thought this little gem was

So, since I figure I should plan ahead, I'm going to go ahead and make some goals for this next year. Resolutions, if you will. (oh, and I will.)

1) Study my scriptures more often and more effectively. I figure if I have time to read a book for leisure, then I probably have time to read my scriptures. I found this great printout and think I will use it to help me stay on track of reading everyday. I love the chart because it also has spots for FHE and going to the temple every month--another one of my goals.

2) Print my blog into a book. Since this has been a bit of a journal for my adventures (mis-adventures?) for 2011, I want to print it into a book. Besides, who wouldn't want to see their words printed into a hard back book? That would be (will be) so cool!

3) Spend more time with my family. Okay, let's be real. When I say family, I really mean my super adorable days old niece, Rachel. I know I've already shared tons of pictures, but let's recap how freakin' cute she is...

Ooooohhhh yeahhhh! That's right. She is p.e.r.f.e.c.t! I want to hold her and kiss her and love her. Ohmigosh! I just want to squeeze her little cheeks! :), Alrighty, moving on...

4) Stay out of the ER. And, yes, I feel kind of pathetic that this is even an issue. But the last couple of years I've had dumb things happen to me (usually my fault) which lead to me going to the ER and so I want to curb the trend. Here's me crossing my fingers. Anyone have a piece of wood I can knock? Caitlin, you have a hard head. Can I hit it for good luck? ;)

5) Be happy and Be Awesome.
Yeah, I can't get enough of this sign. I L.O.V.E IT! :) Sometimes I feel like I'm an epic failure at everything I do, say, touch, or look at, and so I feel better when I look at this. I can start being awesome.

6) Finish Caitlin's Wedding Scrapbook. Good thing I don't have to make Rachel a scrapbook. Oh, wait. I already did. Caitlin better freakin' love me. ;)

7) Plan the most awesomest wedding reception EVER for Erin & Jim! Or at least die trying. :)

8) Re-do my blog so it's all pretty and shiny.

I've got a couple of other goals too, but I'm not going to put them here. So there you have it, friends. Hopefully this time next year, I'll have accomplished at least one. (I have such high expectations of myself....hahahaha!)