Easter

Thursday, March 31, 2011

it's easy as 1, 2, 3

did anyone else know that we just hit 123 posts? meaning this is the 124th! exciting (:

if you haven't seen these: you NEED to. two of the funniest videos i've seen all week. and i've seen quite a few..

this first one my friend david told me about. he said it reminded him of "that baby you were with that one time." aka dustin. so it made it that much more funny watching it imagining it really was baby d (:

description: My five-and-a-half-month old son Emerson isn't sure what to think when I blow my nose. Sometimes he's terrified, then he can't stop laughing.


this second one my friend sara showed me. she's a dancer and i think this is the first time she heard about it.. and it's the first time i had heard of it too. even though somehow it's been on youtube for over 2 years and has over 1,000,000 views... but even if you've seen it, you'll know that you want to see it again (:

description: the title says it all..

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Babies Everywhere?

So, apparently everyone wants me to write a post about babies.  Or that's the vibe I am getting from the comments on my post and Anna's most recent post.

Since I do not have a baby of my own to post about, I will post these two pictures of my newest niece and nephew so that we can all bask in their cuteness.  I hope that you enjoy.  I know I think they are pretty dang adorable.
This is Claire.  She is just over two weeks old now.  Don't you love her hair?

This is James.  He was born the week of Thanksgiving.  He is one of the most calm babies I have ever met.
I don't think there is really a try me in this post, cause I know that even if I tried I could not be as cute as either of these munchkins.  So... I will continue the post with my photos that I really planned on sharing.

When we visited family in California a few weeks ago my mother-in-law gave us a bed-in-a-bag set to use for our guest bedroom.  When Jon and I got home and looked at all 24 pieces, we decided that it would look better in our bedroom since it had four curtains and the guest bedroom only has one window.  So... I got to redecorating the two rooms and went a little overboard.  We'll have to take everything down once we paint these rooms, but it feels nice to have everything just where I want it for now.

Guest bed with our old bedding and the shelves I got at BB&B for $4.  On sale for $9 had $5 off coupon.

Close up of the shelves with my Willow Tree figurines.  The picture up top is painted by Sandra Rast and is actually signed.  It's my favorite picture ever.

Curtains in the guest room.

Moved a bookshelf from the office into the guest room.

Awesome new bedding set.  It will look even better when we paint the walls the light blue color we had already picked out.
Other window in the master bedroom.  We finally have full curtains in there!
A shot of the crown molding and fish tank.  I have since switched out a lot of those pictures.
My very little Easter decorating.  We haven't painted the crown molding yet, hence the spots.
And, last but definitely not least, blinds for the front room window!!!  Yay.  Now the room looks complete.
Real try me for the week.... Try enjoying your space.  Loving the little things.  I love that I have a place for my Willow Tree and favorite painting to live now.  I love that I can come home to a place that I really feel is home.   Oh, and try loving pictures of adorable babies, because really, there are babies everywhere right now.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

must. buy. skittles.

i've done a lot of impulse shopping this week.
well...i've done it twice. for me, that's more than usual.

the first time was on tuesday -- on my way to the upper peninsula of michigan (for a story) with my friend / photographer, jack. we stopped at a gas station and i bought two packages of skittles
(wild berry and crazy core -- both delicious) and a bag of cheetos.

then yesterday i went to the store to buy milk and face wash.
here's what i bought instead:
in my defense, they were on sale (less than $2 each!)
and they are WAY healthier than my previous impulse buy.

there should be a moral to this story, but there's not.
except for maybe, "impulse shopping is fun."

Friday, March 25, 2011

dinner for one, please

Even though I am married with baby, I have found more often than not I am dining solo. The Mr is usually working nights, and trying to eat anything other than something that is in bar form while feeding a Baby is pretty much impossible. But then I got to thinking, most people I know eat dinner solo. Or at least make it for just one person. And since we don't have a microwave right now (long story) everything I make takes a little more time and I am usually aiming not to have leftovers.

So, instead of opting for cereal or not eating at all (did I mention I usually get dinner after I put Baby D to bed, so it is usually within 30 minutes of when I fall asleep!), this week I really made the effort to try something new and easy. If I think about a salad, it honestly does not sound appetizing at all... but as soon as I get out some lettuce and start throwing in a few of my favorite things, my mouth starts watering and I can't wait to eat dinner (while catching up on episodes of Teen Mom 2, of course!). In my salad: tomato, cheese, egg, and my favorite...bacon! And maybe we were out of ranch so I had to use poppyseed dressing... I also steamed some asparagus with a dash of sea salt (LOVE that stuff!) but ate more than half the asparagus while cooking the bacon. Add in some melon and two waffles with PB (not pictured, since I ate them too fast) and you have a heavenly meal! Its amazing what you will be willing to eat when you cannot get out of the house and must make do with using up what you have in the house :)
 Also.... this is the reason why I need a microwave to cook my bacon. I get so distracted eating asparagus that I forget about the bacon (!!) and then this happens :( good thing I had extra bacon to make another batch or I would have been REALLY bummed!
My poor poor bacon. Not even the Kevs would go near it.

So this week, even if you are only cooking for one, try to think of some new food combination (with lots of color!) to incorporate into your dinner.

Or at least have something other than cereal for dinner one night this week :)

when i grow up...

i want to be just like her...


NEW DAY ZERO GOAL?!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

disney.. please and thanks.

THIS GUY.
stellar stellar stellar. what is it with our blog's obsession with talented singers!?
not that i'm complaining (:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Make Your Own Pizookie

Jon and I are dessert lovers and one of our favorite desserts is from BJ's restaraunt.  It's called the pizookie and it is a giant cookie cooked on a skillet and topped (while still hot from the oven) with ice cream.  Jon and I decided that we wanted to make our own pizookie for dessert last night and it was AMAZING!

We bought a cast iron skillet 
and Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough.  


I bet they would taste amazing with homemade cookie dough too.  Then when we got home all we had to do was crumble half of the roll of cookie dough onto the skillet.  We baked it at 350 for 14 minutes and it came out perfect.  Rather than eating it right off of the skillet like you would at BJs, we cut it into wedges and threw some ice cream on top.  It was probably the most delicious dessert we've made at home.  If you want to know about the most delicious dessert we've ever made as for our Dutch Oven Cobbler recipe.  It's to die for.

Since I'm being a little bit of a slacker with the camera for this post, you'll just have to enjoy a couple pictures of other people's pizookies.





Give it a try, unless you hate cookies.  If you hate cookies, we might not be able to be friends... JK.

P.S.  I actually did take good pictures this week, just not of a pizookie.  They're from a different project that I will share next week.  Look forward to it.  Hehe.


I started this post at 3:29am

I haven't gone to bed yet so it's technically still Monday? Sorry Ray Ray.

Basically, this is all I have to show you. I discovered these girls...I don't know 2 years ago? They are a family of 6 sisters (and 5 brothers...no, they aren't Mormon) and they all sing together/put their covers on YouTube. Good chance you've seen them before, but I LOVE their harmonies. Individually, a couple of them are really good, but together? Holy crap!

Reminds me so much of my family growing up. ALL our family videos are all of us singing :)
So, here are two of my favorites.




(They only sang with 5 of them, until Danny was old enough to join)




Guess which one my favorite is?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

produce prep 101

I know I was supposed to do this on Saturday (I always forget and then post over Anna's day...sorry!) so go watch Anna's post.

I just wanted to talk for a minute about produce. For about the last month, I've been involved in a produce/food co-op called Bountiful Baskets. It is awesome. I pay $16.50 on Monday, then pick up my random grab-bag of produce Saturday morning. Truth be told, we have had the most amount of quality produce in our home in the last month that we ever have in our entire married lives. Sad, but true. My goal is always to go through all our produce we get on Saturday within a week. We usually go through most of it, but some things, like Coconut, Acorn Squash, Swiss Chard and Turnips have posed an interesting creative challenge. I try to experiment with a new recipe, and if all else fails I just mash it into baby food :)
Here's a look at our fridge right now... thanks to IKEA having an awesome set of 17 piece tupperwares for $3.99, I bought two last week and yesterday morning during Baby D's nap (or while he was standing in his crib, crying with snot dripping down his nose for 30 minutes because he couldn't figure how to lay down and sleep... whatever) I took out all the fruits and veggies that required prepwork and started prepping: I cut up the cantaloupe, mangoes, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, etc. 

Everything is washed and ready to be eaten raw, baked, steamed, boiled, or whatever we decide to do with it this week. And it only took 30 minutes! Since I work full time during the week and feel like I never have time to do this sort of thing on a weekday, I highly recommend it. EVERYONE can add more fruits or veggies to their diet (I'm looking at you, Daniel!).... So go spend a few extra bucks, buy some quality tupperware (and produce to put it in) and get prepping!
 And for your Baby D fix till Wednesday.... here's an oldie but a goodie from PhotoBooth!

thumbs up / thumbs down

i know you've all probably seen this already, but just in case you haven't --
HERE IS THE WORST MUSIC VIDEO I'VE EVER SEEN.
no joke. i almost feel bad for the girl. almost.
thumbs down, rebecca black.

in other news, i got rihanna's new cd (which i HIGHLY recommend)
and am currently obsessed with her music and piano covers of it.
so...thumbs up to this guy.
he reminds me of this kid in my sunday school class and is close to the same age, i think.

...if only i'd stuck with piano lessons...

Friday, March 18, 2011

that's it. I'M MOVING TO NEW JERSEY!

I bet you're thinking 'of all the places to live, you're picking New Jersey?!'

FACT.
I'm picking New Jersey, and here's why.

I'm sure you already heard that though because it happened in September.
Let's look at what, Henry Blodget, had to say about this.

In case you don't feel like reading that. The man praised Mark's incredible generosity.
Don't get me wrong. That was a serious act of kindness, but I'm gonna show you the kind of research Mr. Z should have done before he made this donation.

Funding for schools is a state regulated fund. The federal government chips in a little bit, but for the most part the money comes from the state government budget, property taxes, and small fees that the school requires. As you can imagine, there is a huge inequality in funding per pupil simply because areas that pay more property taxes are going to get more from the state. Also, states that have higher birth rates spend less money per pupil because there are more kids to educate. So here's something to look at.

This is the demographic of the New Jersey school system.

Well would you look at that! New Jersey spends $17,537 on each student.
There are quite a few benefits from that amount of money, wouldn't you agree?
I'm referring to benefits BESIDES HAVING ONLY 12 STUDENTS PER TEACHER.

New Jersey has the highest 'per-pupil expenditures' in the United States.

REALLY MR. Z, REALLY?!?
Thats who you're gonna give your money to?
Now lets look at the state with the lowest per-pupil spending.


$6,579?!
That's 1/3 of what they're getting in New Jersey.
The amount of students to teacher is almost double that of New Jersey.

Take a wild guess at what state that is?

UTAH!

The reason kids in Utah have an average graduation rate is because of parent involvement in schools. Its just part of the Mormon culture.

But there are other states that could us the money too.

Look at Oklahoma whose only dedicating $7,715 per student.
Or Arizona where the students each get only $7,889.
Or Idaho where the per-pupil spending is $7,074.

Now let's be frank here.
The fact is that this multi-billionaire, who is a genius, isn't making very educated decisions.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

revolutionary.

i think you can be talented regardless of how old (or in this case, young) you are.

case in point: willow smith.

i don't know what it is about this girl but i love her songs (whip my hair + that music vid i think is fantastic) and this is no exception. lovelovelove it (:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mysterious Benedict Society

So... I know I skipped last week, but I'll tell you what it would have said.  Try... going to Disneyland!  We were there last Monday and I basically had to go straight to work on Tuesday when we got back to Utah.  So, sorry for the lack of post.

This week I have an exciting trial for you though.  It's a series of books that I have absolutely fallen in love with.  My sister Beth told me about them and per her recommendation I read the first book.  After that I had to have them all so I bought the three book set from TJ Maxx for $7.99 and now I am on pins and needles waiting for book four.  The series is called The Mysterious Benedict Society. (warning: if you hate annoying music, turn your speakers off before pressing that link.)

I recommend this series because unlike other books and shows that have main characters that are only strong or only handsome, this series has a cast of characters that have brains.  It's all about a group of four friends who pass a series of tests that prove they have superior intellect.  After taking these tests they help Mr. Nicolas Benedict in his efforts to protect the world from "the great crisis." The books are charming and addicting, but my favorite part about them is not necessarily the action, but the relationships between these four kids.  Each one has a strength.  Sticky remembers everything.  Kate has her bucket of tools always handy and really knows how to use them.  Reynie is amazing at sorting out riddles and puzzles.  Constance is stubborn and a very matter of fact kind of girl.  Without just one of these four kids, the Mysterious Benedict Society would not have success.  Although each of them has a strength, they all need one another to get along.

Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and little Constance
I am not sure I love these books because I try to relate to each character, or because they remind me of elementary school and my two best friends, Kelli and Marcus.  All I know is that I couldn't put them down and I don't think you will be able to either.

p.s.  It's fun to try to figure out the riddles before Reynie's character explains them.  If you are not so much into the reading thing, I would recommend these books to any 4th though 7th grader out there.  I'm sure they could relate to at least one of the characters.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

making waves.

what a crazy weekend on the other side of the world.
an earthquake struck japan early friday morning (and i watched it all unfold on CNN when i woke up at 3 AM that day) and a series of tsunamis and giant waves followed.
some dead, many injured and many more losing homes and precious memories.

to me, it's simultaneously incredible and tragic that we can watch things like this from the safety of our own homes. more than 6.6 million people have watched this video in the past 72 hours:

in other news, nelly and kelly rowland have another song that should be hitting radio waves soon. the video is on a beach and it makes me feel even colder now that i'm back in wisconsin.
(1.3 million views in the past 72 hours)
personally, i think it's way better than their new one. but still.
nine years later...to come back and make another track together?
maybe it's never too late to bring back an old collaboration?
i don't know.

hah...lots to think about today.
happy sunday ( :

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stan the Homeless Man

These are my friend's cousins in the commercial.
and I love it:)


"why are you putting it in the toilet?..."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

basketball weekend.

'twas a good weekend for basketball.

BYU totally clobbered wyoming, plus there was this awesome flash mob:
then OSU beat wisconsin today by a bunch too.

aaand i bet a rival co-worker cookies based on the outcome of the game and now he owes me. jackpot.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Today is Friday.

I couldn't think of a better title...
and I'm really bad at keeping up with this.

The only reason I'm learning Chinese is so that I can sing like her.


ps. I actually understood some of what she was singing without reading the English subtitles.
and by some I mean I understood the phrases "also" and "eighteen years."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

cells planets.

hi. sorry i have been slacking on the thursday-posting front for the past couple of weeks.
but i am determined to make it up to everyone with THIS:

this past tuesday i went to a concert in the byu hfac and the group chanticleer was performing. they're apparently this huge deal but i didn't really know much about them.. until the concert began. there are no instrumentals, it's just these twelve men and they are a world-renowned a capella singing group. the first half of the concert was a bunch of italian and germanic love songs (not really my forte) but the second half was a little more indie (and in english) and completely took my breath away, this song in particular:


you don't have to watch the music video (even though i am absolutely in love with it and all the boys in it) but do yourself a favor and at least listen to the whole thing all the way once through. i dare you to listen to it just once. i dare you not to fall in love with the soloist. i dare you not to want to listen to this 24/7. lovelovelovelovelove it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Piddle Pad and Strap Covers

Weird title, I know, but I could not come up with a better description for my weekly project.  This project was started a few months ago when I picked out fabric for a carseat canopy for my sister-in-law Aimee.  She is having a little girl this month and when it came to gear for her little one, she inherited a lot of great stuff from her sister who has four little boys.  My favorite piece of the gear?  Her Chicco Keyfit carseat in Coventry.  It's a cute pattern, but the blue and white pinstripe did seem a little masculine.  So... Aimee thought a canopy would be a good thing to girl it up a bit.  I agreed, but wanted to expand my sewing repertoire as well.  So... I decided to try out a few new patterns that I had seen on craft blogs.

Here are the cute contrasting fabrics that I picked out.
A side view of the canopy.  I always make it shorter in the back so it doesn't get stuck when releasing the carseat from the base or stroller.
I made a set of strap covers, sort of following this tutorial, but mostly just going by feel.  I used fleece as the liner instead of batting because fleece is more absorbent.  I also sewed two lines where the fabric would fold around the strap cover so that it looked more "finished."


Thanks to Bitty Baby for modeling the strap covers.  In this picture they are on the floral side.  The one below has the striped side.
The other project I did was the piddle pad.  Having previously worked at Babies'R'Us I had seen these carseat savers often.  They are designed for potty training kids, but also marketed to moms with babies.  When the diaper blows out, rather than cleaning the whole seat pad, just remove the piddle pad and wash it.  So... using their basic design of look and information I found on cloth diapering, I created my own carseat piddle pad.  The top layer is cotton, middle is fleece, bottom is PUL. (water proof fabric)
Here is the piddle pad.  It is larger than the ones online, but I thought it would be good to cover up more of the blue on her seat.
Oh, and notice that cute carseat modeling my latest sewing projects?  That's ours.  No, this is not any sort of announcement.  It was just a super great price ($60) and I can use it for modeling my projects if I ever decide to sell them on Etsy or something.  It did not come with the matching stroller, but that's okay.  I'm thinking I'll probably want this one, or maybe this one someday anyway.
My steal of a deal carseat.  I know it's uber pink.  But I can order new covers from Chicco if I have a boy first.


Challenge of the week you ask? Oh, hmm... Sew something for a baby? No, that seems way to specific. Branch out a bit. Rather than making the same chicken salad sandwich you make for lunch every day, try it with some raisins today.

Or... if you love baby stuff as much as I do, try picking out some fabric that you would want to use to make a set of these yourself. We could do it together! It would be a blast!