Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Tree Bags

Friday, December 26, 2008
Last year, the day after Christmas, I made one of the best investments ever - Christmas Tree bags! Year after year, on the day after Christmas, I struggled to shove my artificial Christmas trees back into their original boxes. What a pain! Even after the tree was back in the box, the task often involved two people - one to hold the box tightly together, while the other taped the box closed, praying the oversized tree wouldn't burst through the box. Last year, as I was perusing the day-after-Christmas sales, I found these bags for 75% off. Perfect! They are large bags with zippers, handles, and even wheels on the bottom. What a great invention! I bought three bags - two for my large tree (who ever said a tree needs to be stored with all its parts together?) and one for my smaller tree. I have to tell you, cleaning up my Christmas decorations is a lot easier now!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

More Traditions

Thursday, December 25, 2008
Over the last month or so, I have talked several times about traditions surrounding the holidays. I thought I'd post one last time about Christmas traditions in my family.
  • We each open one present on Christmas Eve. Last night my present was a new Office calendar. I love that show!
  • We get up and ready for the day before opening presents. That means showering, brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc. I think it stems from the fact that my mom didn't like the messy pictures of us Christmas morning having just rolled out of bed :-)
  • We take a "stair picture" before heading downstairs to open stockings and presents. We used to do this so that we would all gather before going to see what Santa brought... but the tradition carries on! Here's our 2008 stair picture.
  • After opening presents, we have creamed egg on toast (a white sauce with boiled egg pieces, served over toast). It's tradition in my mom's family - something my grandma would make on holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions.
Today was really nice. I enjoyed spending the day with my family - opening presents, playing games, talking, lounging, eating... I was super excited to get Season 4 of The Office and Season 1 of Chuck :-) I was also stoked about my new 19.2 volt Craftsman cordless drill. Wahoo! I've been needing one of those! I got lots of other great things from my family and friends - thanks everyone! I also lucked out from a present my mom got... Because she got a new Bosch for Christmas, I got her 6 quart KitchenAid Mixer :-) Time to start baking!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Smelly Shoes

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Remember this post? Where I talked about how I hate WalMart, but went shopping there anyway? Well, I thought about doing this follow-up post, and after hearing the story, my family convinced me to blog about it. So here ya go.

After braving all the holiday shoppers and lines two weeks before Christmas, I went to work the following Monday excited to show my office what we had purchased for the families we were sponsoring. I took over our conference room, proudly displaying the clothing, books, toys, gift cards, etc. on the conference room table so that everyone could see what they had contributed money toward. As I was setting everything out, one of my coworkers came in to admire all the gifts. She noticed the shoe boxes and wanted to see the shoes we had purchased. I immediately told her how we had tried to find shoes that would be considered "cool" for a 13 and 14 year old and opened one of the boxes of shoes. I was astonished to see that the shoes inside the box were not the ones advertised on the outside of the box, but were dirty, holey, SMELLY, used shoes. I almost vomited from the smell. Just my luck. I've never purchased a pair of shoes without trying them on, let alone not opening the box, but WalMart only had like one or two options in size 10 1/2, so I just put the box in my cart. I know, I know, it wasn't exactly WalMart's fault that I bought used shoes (they were the ones that got ripped off by another customer), but they didn't open the box either! Needless to say, I had to go back to WalMart to exchange the shoes. I sure am glad my co-worker wanted to see what the shoes looked like - can you imagine if we had just wrapped the box and sent it off to be opened on Christmas morning??? Just one more reason why I hate WalMart!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Little Laugh

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I saw this on YouTube last week and laughed my head off. Thought I would share!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Gardens Aglow

Saturday, December 20, 2008
Every December, the Idaho Botanical Gardens are decorated to the max with Christmas lights. The gardens are so pretty during the spring and summer, but I just LOVE the lights at Christmastime. Tonight Jen, Jami, Andrea, and I walked around the gardens (in the freezing cold!) admiring the lights. We topped off the night with a stop at Starbucks, where I enjoyed a white peppermint hot chocolate. Mmmmmm.... It's like drinking melted peppermint ice cream. Gotta love those Christmas drinks!

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22 Degrees and Smiling

This morning was the annual Christmas Run. This is my third year of doing this race. It is definitely one of the most fun races of the year because people dress up in the coolest costumes... Santa, reindeer, presents, Christmas trees, the abominable snowman, Charlie Brown, etc. This year there was even someone who dressed up as Jesus!

So I was kind of dreading how cold it was going to be for the race this year. We've had some unbearably cold weather lately, and the forecast called for the temperature to be between 2 and 9 degrees this morning. Can I just tell you how happy I was when it ended up being in the low 20's instead!?! I actually got kind of hot during the run and wished I had put on one less layer! Anyway, it turned out to be a good run, and I was happy with my finish (even though I walked a little when I got a side ache). Here's a picture of me, Beki, and her friend Bryce at the end of the race.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kettle Corn

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A few weeks ago, Val and I were talking about what gifts to give to neighbors, coworkers, etc. for Christmas. She mentioned that she was making homemade kettle corn for her neighbors this year. Perfect! I decided to try my hand at making kettle corn (using Val's recipe). So last night, Camille and I made up 8 batches of kettle corn and I was so happy with how it turned out. Of course, we had to try some of each batch to make sure it tasted good (all the while watching the Biggest Loser finale)! I even bought gourmet popcorn kernels from a local popcorn shop, and special popcorn bags :-) Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try:

vegetable oil
1/4-1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup popcorn kernels

Cover the bottom of a large, heavy pot with oil. Put three kernels in the oil, cover with a lid, and then heat over medium-high heat. Once the kernels pop, you know the oil is hot enough. Then, pour in the sugar, mix it around to melt it a little bit, pour in the rest of the popcorn, and then cover the pot again with the lid (I used a pot with a glass lid so I could see the kernels pop). Shake the pot constantly over the heat until the popping slows to every 2-3 seconds. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and sprinkle with popcorn salt (popcorn salt is finer than regular table salt). Mix and enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Luncheon

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I took the day off work today to host a Christmas luncheon and ornament exchange with my good friend Katrina. We invited several ladies from my old ward to join us for a festive lunch. We had a yummy spinach salad, crock pot chicken, homemade rolls, ribbon jello, and cranberry cake for dessert. It was so nice to see my old friends again - I miss seeing them at church every week! We had a great time eating, talking, playing a Christmas trivia game, and doing the ornament exchange. Thanks everyone for a fun afternoon!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Sunday, December 14, 2008
We have had freezing cold weather over the last week or two, so I wasn't surprised to hear that we were going to get snow this weekend. In fact, I woke up extra early this morning to shovel the walks. Unfortunately, that was over two hours ago, and it has been snowing constantly since, so you can't really tell I shoveled! Oh well. As much as I don't like the cold, it was kind of fun to wake up this morning to this winter wonderland.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Help

Saturday, December 13, 2008
Most people who know me know I hate WalMart. I hate the lines, all the people, the layout of the store, everything. Well, almost everything. They do have some of the lowest prices in town. Regardless, I try to avoid WalMart at all costs. The only time I really ever shop at WalMart is when I am spending other people's money and am trying to make it spread as far as possible. Today was one of those cases. Each year, our office buys presents for a student family who needs a little extra help at Christmas. This year, we banded with a couple other offices and were able to raise enough money to help give Christmas to two families. I was excited to be able to take the money we raised and go shopping! Jami and I braved our way through the pre-Christmas WalMart crowds to get shoes, clothing, underwear, books, hygiene items, toys, music, etc. for the families. We also had enough money to purchase $50 gift cards so they can purchase food or other necessary items. Shopping for a cause like this sure makes it easier to shop at one of my least favorite stores!

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What's on the Top Shelf of Your Closet?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I finally got around to switching my bedding this weekend... out with the fall, in with the winter. The only problem was I needed to find space to store the fall bedding. I remembered I had a shelf in the top of my closet that wasn't being used - perfect. I have to stand on a chair to get to the shelf, and even then, I can hardly reach the shelf, let alone see what's on it. As I reached to put the bedding on the shelf, I felt something already on the shelf. That's weird - I hadn't put anything there. I proceeded to pull down these two really old knives that must have been left by the previous owner. Kinda creepy, but kinda cool too. Both are sheathed and one looks like a bayonet. My dad has agreed to research for me to see what kind of knives they are and to see if they are worth anything :-)

3 comments

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Another Perfect Season

Sunday, December 07, 2008
Well, my Broncos had another perfect season... for the third time in five years if I'm not mistaken. Unfortunately, our 12-0 record and a #9 overall finish didn't land us in one of the BCS bowl games - something about strength of schedule. Bummer. Well, I'm glad to see us heading to the Poinsettia Bowl to play #11 TCU. It should be a good game, and I'm hoping my Broncos whomp them to show the nation we are the real deal. I'll definitely be partying on December 23rd!

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Christmas Fondue

As you probably know, I love fondue. It is definitely one of my favorite things. I started a tradition several years ago to have friends over for dessert fondue after the First Presidency Christmas devotional. I had a couple year hiatus, but started up my tradition again this year. Not only was the food delish, but we had a great time together. We talked and laughed for over three hours, and I was sad when everyone left to go home. That's one thing about the Christmas season... I love sharing my fun traditions with good friends!

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For Stephanie

Look who I ran in to :-)

Of course we talked about blogging, so your mom suggested we take a picture (with the camera I always carry for just such instances) and post it here!

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Nativity

Saturday, December 06, 2008
For several years now, the Hickories subdivision has put on a live nativity for the community to enjoy. I attended last night for the first time and it was amazing! Everyone was dressed in character and played their parts perfectly. We had guides walk us through a village... there were different tents set up where people made bread, sold their goods, worked on carpentry projects, etc. We were then led to Bethlehem. Along the way, we saw the shepherds watching their flocks (live sheep!) and an angel appeared and told them of the birth of Jesus. We then came to the different inns that were too full and had sent Mary and Joseph on their way. Finally, we arrived at the stable, where Mary and Joseph sat with the baby Jesus, and angels sang to commemorate the birth of the newborn baby. It was a beautiful production, and I could tell it was a lot of work to put on. I thank all the people who volunteered their time to make the nativity a success. It really got me thinking once again about the true reason for Christmas.

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Another Tradition

I have been making gingerbread houses every year at Christmastime since I was just a little girl. We used to make one large house as a family, but have each made our own houses for several years now. My mom seriously is the greatest. A couple weeks ago, my sister Beki had 17 people over to make gingerbread houses - yes seventeen! And my mom made enough houses for them each to decorate their own. Not only that, but my mom asked if I wanted to invite some friends over to make gingerbread houses with me! I decided to invite a couple coworkers and their kids to enjoy our family tradition. Jacob, Noah, Mandy, Justin, Jami, and I had lot of fun decorating our houses! I thought my house turned out pretty cute, and will be submitting a picture of my beautiful house to the Bossy blog gingerbread house contest :-)

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Wesabe

Friday, December 05, 2008
Earlier this week, Jen told me about this really cool budgeting site - wesabe.com. The cool part about it is that it pulls in both my bank account info and my credit card info, so all my spending/income information is all in one place. The site then allows you to tag each transaction and then it groups the data together so you can see where you are spending your money. I am really trying to be better at spending & budgeting, so I'm excited to see how this tool will help me. If you have a minute, check it out!

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Team Building

I know, I know, my mom spoils me. People tell me that all the time! Here's the latest example (but stay tuned - tomorrow's post will have another!) Anyway, a week or so ago I mentioned to my mom that I needed to make a bunch of sugar cookies to bring to a team building activity I was organizing at work. The next thing I know, my mom calls and has already made the cookies! Not only do I benefit from not having to make the cookies, but my office benefits because my mom's cookies are way better than mine (well, I'm sure they would be if I ever made any!) Thanks mom!

This afternoon we got to enjoy the fruits of my mom's labor :-) We (the systems group in the Registrar's Office) thought it would be fun to decorate cookies as a team building activity and then share them with the rest of our office. I seriously work with the best group of people. We work well together, accomplish a lot, and even know how to have fun together. Here we are (Terri, Diana, Ross, Jami, and me) with our finished cookies!

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

First Thursday

Thursday, December 04, 2008
There is a party downtown Boise the first Thursday of each month. Downtown businesses allow local artists to use their stores to feature their paintings, ceramics, jewelry, photographs, and other artwork. I was excited to go to First Thursday tonight because I knew two people who were displaying their art. Krista, a fashion designer in my ward, made these cool dresses from everyday materials. My favorite is the paper plate dress.I was also able to visit a display put on by my co-worker Aubry. She is in her final semester as a graphic design student at Boise State. She and several other seniors put on a really great portfolio show. I really liked Aubry's work, and know she'll go on to have a successful career.

Overall, I had a great time perusing the art at the galleries. It's hard for me to appreciate all the different kinds of art (seriously, how can gluing some fuzz on a paper be real art?), but I love the passion behind each of the artists. Tim, Jen, and I topped off our great evening with a trip to Costa Vida!

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Williams Sonoma Kitchen

Sunday, November 30, 2008
I think it would be so cool to have a Williams Sonoma kitchen one day. I love almost everything in that store... the pans, appliances, utensils, linens, etc. The store can be a little pricey, so I don't know that will ever really happen, but in the mean time, I'll be happy by stocking my cupboards with some of my newfound favorite spices, sauces, etc.

Chili-Lime Rub - Rub this on some chicken and it makes some of the best fajitas ever! Then marinade the meat in the Tequila or Margarita marinade... seriously divine!

This year for Thanksgiving, we let Williams Sonoma help out... We brined the turkey in their brine and the turkey was so flavorful and moist. But the best was the gravy. I seriously don't think I've ever had better gravy in my life. So delicious! They're on sale right now... I'll be stopping by the store tomorrow to stock up!

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Cookies 'n Cream

One thing I love about the holiday season is seeing old friends. Val came to Boise for Thanksgiving, and I was so excited that we got to spend some time together while she was here. We decided to go out for dessert last night... Val knew of a place in Meridian called Cookies & Cream that serves ice cream and cookies, and I was excited to try a new place. It was so much fun! We got to pick out two cookies and then our favorite ice cream to go in between the cookies, making a delicious ice cream sandwich. I chose a chocolate chip cookie and a double chocolate cookie with cookies and cream ice cream :-) Talk about rich! Anyway, it was yummy, and we had a great time just chatting and catching up. Can't wait till next time!

4 comments

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Cards

Saturday, November 29, 2008
I have enjoyed scrapbooking since probably middle school. It's kind of funny to go back and look at old pages that I have done. My scrapbook style has definitely changed over the years. Sometimes when I look at those old pages, I cringe at how ugly they are.. you know, the pages with the the star or heart shaped pictures, 30 pictures on a page, etc. I have even thought about re-doing some of the pages, but I stop myself, and remember how much fun I had putting those pages together.

A few years ago, I got into card making... not the kind where I have to use a lot of stamps, but more scrapbook-type cards (I'm still not much of a stamper). I started making handmade Christmas cards three years ago, and have just really enjoyed sending them out. My friends Mandy, Jami, and I spent the morning working on this year's Christmas cards. I thought mine turned out pretty cute, so thought I'd post a picture here!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Continuing with Tradition

Friday, November 28, 2008
Last year I decided to start a new tradition - attending the Idaho Food Bank's Empty Bowls event the day after Thanksgiving. Empty Bowls is a really cool fundraiser to help Idaho's hungry. For $10, you can purchase a hand-crafted bowl, and you receive free gourmet soup from a local chef. Beki and I attended the event this afternoon, perused table after table of unique bowls, picked out our favorites, and enjoyed some fabulous soup. My friend Sally wasn't able to attend, so she gave us vouchers for free soup that she received from making bowls for the event (I totally want to make a bowl next year!). Because of the vouchers, Beki and I each got to enjoy two cups of soup :-) We had potato bacon and tomato lentil... they were both delicious.

So I've been thinking lately that I need to get more involved in my community. I think I might go talk to the Idaho Food Bank to see what kind of volunteer opportunities they have on an ongoing basis. Any other suggestions on great places in Boise to volunteer?

3 comments

The Lights are Hung, the Trees are Trimmed

It's the day after Thanksgiving... what does that mean? Time to decorate for Christmas, of course! Holiday decorating is a lot of work - packing up the previous holiday or season's decor, getting down new decor from the attic, actually decorating, cleaning up after decorating, etc. Because of that, I like to get up my Christmas decorations immediately after Thanksgiving so I can enjoy them as long as possible.

I have two Christmas trees - one "pretty" one that goes in my front room... It has white lights and I only decorate it with red and gold ornaments. The other Christmas tree has colored lights and is decorated with all the fun ornaments I have gathered over the years. It is tradition that I get (at least) one new ornament each year, typically representing something special I did that year. For example, I have a NYC taxi ornament from the year I spent New Years Eve in Times Square & I have a BSU football ornament from the year I started both my Masters degree and my job at Boise State. I got this year's ornament in Alaska - Santa driving a dogsled team!Besides my trees, I set up my nativity set, decorated my dining room table, hung Christmas lights on the outside of my house, and decorated my front porch.
Now I'm busy wrapping presents. No, I didn't do any Christmas shopping today - I have had almost all my gifts for a while now :-)

2 comments

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Changing with the Seasons

Saturday, November 22, 2008
I love the fact that Boise has four distinct seasons. I don't necessarily love everything about every season, but I do enjoy the change itself. I love hearing the birds chirp on a crisp spring morning. I love the fact that it stays light outside in the summer until 10:00. I love crunching through the leaves in the fall. I love the winter holidays. So along with the change in the weather, I feel the need to change other things... Take my dining room table for example. I have posted before about how I love to have my table decorations match the season and am always gathering new items to add to my decor. I can't have spring decorations on my table in November! These are a couple random table pictures I pulled from my photo archives over the past few years. Each year the table gets better because I'm always adding to the decor.
This was my January table... I needed something after Christmas but before Valentines.

My November table setting - I decorated for Halloween for the first time this year but forgot to take pictures... You'll have to imagine it. It was super cool.

This was my very first table setting for Christmas a few years ago... I jazz it up more now, but you get the idea!

I also have a couple different bedding sets (and am thinking I need another one that is more spring-like). Sometime this week I plan on putting on my "winter" bedding.
Dark chocolate and red - this is my winter bedroom decor

My summer/fall bedding - I love Pottery Barn bedding!

Another thing I change based on the seasons is my hair :-) I go lighter in the spring and summer and darker for fall and winter. My hair right now is actually darker than it has ever been. It's a dark brown with some red in it. It took some getting used to, but I love it!
My hair this summer - my natural brown with some blond highlights

Kickin it with my baby sister - notice the dark hair and bangs!

So since I am a nut about changing things for the seasons, I decided I needed to start changing my blog for the seasons. Watch for a new blog theme coming after Thanksgiving!

6 comments

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh How Sweet

Monday, November 17, 2008
Last week at work I got a new computer. My computer was a few years old and was kind of slow, so I was pretty excited to get it. The BEST part of getting my new computer is the fact that it came with an extra video card so I can have dual-monitors. Oh happy day! Isn't this just beautiful!?!
I have dual monitors at home and just think it is definitely the way to go. I can have two programs open at once and see them side by side, and I think it makes me more productive. Gotta love the extra real estate. Wahoo!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Breaking a bad habit

Sunday, November 16, 2008
My entire life I have had the bad habit of biting my fingernails. In fact, if anyone asks, I say I have bitten my nails ever since I had teeth. I honestly don't remember a time when I didn't bite my nails. After I graduated from college, my dad paid for me to get braces to help close the small gap between my two front teeth. I remember it being so frustrating because the braces made it so I couldn't bite my nails. I just knew that after having braces for a year that I would have kicked that bad habit. Well, unfortunately that wasn't the case. I don't think I had even had my braces off a week when I started biting my nails again.

Anyway, this year as part of my Halloween costume, I painted my fingernails black. Because I had parties two weekends in a row, I just left the nail polish on and touched up before the second party. Something must have triggered in my brain not to bite my nails because of my fingernail polish... A couple weeks ago when I took the nail polish off, I was so excited to see white tips on each of my nails. That is so rare! And not only that, but I could actually see the tips of a couple of my nails peeking up over the fingers when looking at the palm-side of my hand. Wahoo! Granted, the white on my nail starts down lower on my finger than most because I have consistently bitten the nails down so low, but I'm excited nonetheless. (I know it's kind of a funky picture, but I couldn't figure out how to take an attractive picture of my hand!) So I wonder if I can keep this up? Guess we'll see. In the mean time, I think I'll just keep putting nail polish on my nails, and maybe even use this as an excuse to get a manicure :-)

2 comments

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Splash of Color

Saturday, November 08, 2008
I know I've been saying this for a couple months now, but I'm almost done with my house projects for the year (I'd better be since there's less than 2 months left in the year!). My most recent project has been painting! I decided (along with my interior design friend Meiken), that my dining room needed a splash of color. My house is mostly decorated in warm, rich colors, so went with a red. It is beautiful! It also really ties well with the red sectional in my family room.

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Green Thumb?


I have planted a garden for the last 5 years, and have always had pretty good luck, especially with tomatoes. Well, this year just wasn't my year. I planted my garden a little late because it seemed like we had 3 winters... whenever it started to get nice, it would get freezing again. Anyway, my tomatoes took FOREVER to ripen, and even a few weeks ago when we pulled the plants out of the garden, there were still tons of green tomatoes all over the vines. I also tried something new this year - watermelon. This spring when I bought my plants, I really wanted cantaloupe (I've had some success with cantaloupe in the past), but the store was out so I bought watermelon instead. Hmmm, I'm not quite sure what happened. I got two watermelons, but they were both the size of apples. Hopefully I'll have better luck next year!

I love fall, but with it comes loads of yardwork. Um, now that I think of it, it seems like I do tons of yardwork all year long. Oh well, it's definitely worth it to have an entire yard of mature landscaping. Anyway, this weekend, we filled 11 of those big paper lawn and garden bags, along with 5 more black trash bags... all full of wisteria clippings and leaves from all my trees. I even cleaned my gutters this week - I hate that chore! The bummer part is that my trees and wisteria haven't dropped all their leaves yet, so I'm not finished yet, but the majority of the work is over!

1 comments

Thursday, November 06, 2008

8 Things

Thursday, November 06, 2008
I was tagged by a couple of people for this one, so here goes!

8 TV shows that I love to watch:
  1. The Office
  2. Chuck
  3. BSU Football
  4. CSI
  5. Law & Order
  6. Greys Anatomy
  7. What Not to Wear
  8. House Hunters
8 favorite places to eat:
  1. Costa Vida
  2. Melting Pot
  3. Mona Lisa
  4. Smokey Mountain
  5. Dong Khanh
  6. Yokozuno
  7. Bangkok Thai
  8. Whitewater Pizza
8 things I did yesterday:
  1. Attended a conference session on Humor in the Workplace
  2. Listened to an inspiring speaker at the closing session of my conference
  3. Went shopping at Nordstroms (gotta love shopping in Portland!)
  4. Took the Max from my hotel in Portland to the airport
  5. Flew home!
  6. Changed the time on my watch for the 3rd time this week
  7. Did some cardio, abs, and yoga at the gym
  8. Ate a late dinner at Costa Vida
8 things I am looking forward to:
  1. Getting my spare bedroom painted & back in order
  2. Finishing my fall yardwork - raking, trimming, and cleaning the gutters (not that I like doing this, just that it is hanging over my head)
  3. Seeing family over Thanksgiving and Christmas
  4. A relaxing weekend
  5. My cruise to the western Caribbean this spring
  6. Warmer weather so I can ride my motorcycle again
  7. My next massage... guess I better get it scheduled!
  8. Getting Christmas cards and letters in the mail from all my friends :-)
8 things on my wish list:
  1. Paying off my mortgage
  2. A new car... still figuring out which one!
  3. Remodeled bathrooms - I've updated the rest of my house, but my bathrooms are stuck in the 80s
  4. Someone to magically shovel all my snow this winter - last year was a killer!
  5. Season 4 of The Office and Season 1 of Chuck on dvd
  6. A project table for my office - I love the one at Pottery Barn
  7. Traveling to visit all my college buddies - New York, Virginia, Utah, Texas, etc.
  8. A ceiling mount for my projector
Wow - that was harder than I thought! The first couple under each category were easy, but then I struggled to fill almost every one. Hmmmm.... Anyway, here's the last one:

8 people I tag:
  1. Mandi
  2. Mandy
  3. Nancy
  4. Liz
  5. Courtney
  6. Colette
  7. Katrina
  8. Val

6 comments

Laughing in My Sleep

I have known for years that I talk in my sleep. I have always thought I only talked when I'm super tired, but I don't really know that for a fact. I attended a conference in Portland this week and shared a room with my co-worker Mandy. The first morning, she told me that I had been laughing in my sleep - well she actually used the words "cracking up". Wish I could remember my dream! What funny things do you do in your sleep?

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

History in the Making

Wednesday, November 05, 2008
On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the first black President in the history of the United States of America. Regardless of my own political beliefs, I am proud of how far our country has come, that we can look past race in electing the leader of our nation.

I do, however, have something I just need to vent about. I believe that we should vote for whomever best represents our viewpoints and beliefs on key issues. I have been frustrated over the last couple weeks as I have heard person after person indicate that they were voting for Obama because he is black and that is so inspiring, or they were voting for him because he is young and charismatic. While I agree that it is inspiring to elect a young, black, charismatic president, I was disappointed when people based their decisions solely on these elements instead of the main issues.

All in all, this Presidential election was definitely an exciting one to follow. I think that we need to pull together as a country and stand united, especially during these tough economic times. I will do my best to support and stand by our newly elected President.

4 comments

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Appreciation

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I have been working out at the Boise State Rec Center now for almost three years. I am definitely a social exerciser, so I enjoy the group exercise classes. I typically take classes over my lunch break - usually lift, spin, step aerobics, or circuit training. I decided to try something new tonight - yoga (Stephanie - aren't you proud of me?!) I am one of the most inflexible people I know, so this class was quite interesting! It's probably a good thing I didn't have a camera with me :-) It amazes me how random unnatural poses can be such a good workout - I can tell I'm going to be sore tomorrow! Take this pose for example - the Eagle Pose:Yeah, I know, she makes it look easy... but I dare you to try it! You wrap one leg around the other, hooking your foot behind the opposite leg, sit back a little, and then wrap your arms up. Try standing still without wobbling and stand there for a while. Not so easy, huh! Here's another:
This one looks even easier, but it's actually kind of painful :-) I think it's called the reverse triangle or something along those lines. Once we held this position for a while, we had to keep the one hand on the ground and straighten the front leg. I am pretty sure that with some of these poses I stretched certain muscles for the first time in my life! In any case, I gained a new appreciation tonight for yoga, and I'll definitely be going back to try and perfect my skills :-)

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To Die For

I LOVED the downtown crepe restaurant The Square and was so sad a couple of years ago when it went out of business. Not only were the crepes fabulous, but the tomato basil soup was amazing. Ever since then, I have been on the lookout for a replacement tomato basil soup. Well, I found it! I bought this creamy tomato basil soup at Albertsons this week, and it is to die for... I didn't realize how literal that was, though, until I looked at the nutritional information. Unfortunately, now I realize why this soup is so yummy - one cup of soup is 52% of my daily fat! Yuck! Guess this is the last time I'll enjoy this creamy tomato yumminess.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Punk Rockin' It

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Jen and I went shopping a couple weeks ago for our Halloween costumes. We both have two Halloween parties to attend this year and wanted something cool. We loved all the wigs at the Costume Shop, so decided to put together costumes around our hair styles! What I thought was going to be a simple costume turned into quite the ordeal... I not only had to buy the mohawk, but had to buy a bald cap, toupee tape to adhere the mohawk to the bald cap, spirit gum (and remover) to make the bald cap stick to my skin, latex makeup to blend the bald cap to my skin, plus my clothing, shoes, cool pink eyelashes, black lipstick & fingernail polish, etc. Tonight was the first party, and it took about an hour to put my entire costume together. Guess that's a good trial run for Friday night!

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Under $3.00!

I have hated watching the gas prices climb over the last couple of years. This summer was horrible, with gas well above $4.00 a gallon (this picture was taken near the end of June). I remember when gas was 97 cents a gallon! I was stoked, however, when I filled up for $2.99 a gallon yesterday... even if that was with a 10 cent per gallon sale Albertsons was having. Gas prices are finally coming down! I have noticed on other people's blogs and facebooks accounts that gas is even cheaper on the east coast and midwest (generally), so I'm hoping that Boise's gas prices will catch up (or down!) soon :-)

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Weekend in Rexburg

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I have totally missed my baby sister Beki since she went off to college in August so I decided to go on a quick road trip to visit her in Rexburg last weekend. My Blazer was PACKED with food, clothes, blankets, toiletries, etc. for not only Beki, but also for several of Beki's friends (thanks to each of their moms). I guess everyone had been making their lists and I was the lucky delivery girl :-) Anyway, I had a blast visiting Beki. I got to attend one of her soccer games (she plays competitive soccer at BYU-I), go to dinner, decorate Halloween cookies, go shopping, and more. I forgot to take very many pictures, and the couple we did take didn't really turn out, so I just grabbed this one off her Facebook page. I think Beki is a total babe!

And I couldn't go to Rexburg without visiting my college roommate Sunny! Sunny & Steve were gracious enough to let me stay with them one night. I had fun going to their ward dinner and activity on emergency preparedness, playing with Sunny's adorable kids Ruby and Jack, and staying up late talking with Sunny. We also had dinner at a Thai restaurant (I love pho!), and had a fabulous dessert from a cupcake store. I got a pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake and it was so yummy. Thanks for everything Sunny - hope to see you again soon!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Voted

Sunday, October 19, 2008
It's that time of year... my mailbox is filled with political postcards, the presidential and vice-presidential debates are a common topic of conversation, and it seems like every other article in the newspaper has to do with one candidate or another. It is our civic responsibility to research and vote for the political candidates who best represent our beliefs. This year I requested an absentee ballot and was able to vote early without even having to wait in line at the polls. I won't get my "I Voted" sticker, but I know that my vote counts!

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reba & Kelly

Thursday, October 09, 2008
Earlier this week I was offered two free tickets to see the Reba & Kelly Clarkson concert. How awesome is that!?! I felt even cooler when I found out the tickets were $60 each, so I scored myself $120 in free tickets. Jen & I went to the concert tonight and had a blast. The music was really great. Kelly & Reba sang every song together - it's amazing how well their voices blend, even when they have such different styles. I not only loved the concert, but loved the people watching. It is amazing how much some people get into concerts! I loved watching these two girls who were sitting near us - you could tell they were HUGE Kelly Clarkson fans as they sang along and waved their arms to each of her songs. I had to keep reminding myself to watch the stage and not them :-)

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fourth Album, Fourth Picture

Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I saw this on Liz's blog and thought I'd play along. You are supposed to post the fourth photo from the fourth album on your computer... So here's mine! It's a picture of me and Allison. This was taken in September 2002 - I had graduated from college and was on a campout with my single's ward in beautiful Garden Valley, Idaho (notice the camping shirt!). I look kinda young - I think it was the braces! So, like Liz, I think I'll tag anyone with a little time on their hands who wants to play along. Can't wait to see your picture!

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Oh What a Difference!

Saturday, October 04, 2008
This is a picture of the giant ugly florescent light box in my kitchen that I have hated since the day I moved in. Yes, it is hanging by chains from the ceiling. While it has always been ugly, I seem to notice it more and more as I do upgrades in my kitchen. Ever since I got granite counter tops and new appliances last year, that light box has stuck out like a sore thumb. Getting beautiful hardwood in my kitchen was the tipping point. This morning an electrician came out and replaced my box florescent light with recessed can lights. I love them! Removing that light box has totally opened up my kitchen and it is not only brighter, but looks bigger too. Here's the end result. I still have to fill in the holes where the chains hung, but the major work is done!

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Thoughts on the Bailout

Friday, October 03, 2008
In case you didn't know, I love Google Reader. I get all the headlines from all my favorite sites all in one place. It saves me loads of time, and I like to think that because of Google Reader, I am pretty well informed about what's going on in the world. With the exception of my friends' blogs, I typically just skim the headlines (a lot of times the headlines tell me all I need to know), and only read the entire article when the topic jumps out at me as interesting or important. So imagine my surprise when at dinner on Monday, Jen started talking to me about the Bailout plan. Um, I think I had seen this in the headlines somewhere, but was ashamed to admit that I had never actually read the articles and had no idea what she was talking about. I immediately went home and started reading and reading about the plan. Both sides of the argument (for and against the bailout plan) were pretty convincing. No, as a taxpayer I don't really want to have to help pay for irresponsible home buyers who bought more house than they could afford (I'm sure it will come back to the taxpayers somewhere along the lines), but I also don't want to have the next Great Depression. Regardless of my thoughts or opinions, though, the Bailout plan passed yesterday and was signed into law by President Bush. What does this all mean you might ask? I came across this article that explains a little more about how it might affect us.

One interesting side note - As part of the bailout (not quite sure how they relate), it looks like insurance plans will start better covering mental health issues. I know several people who suffer from some sort of mental health issue (depression, bi-polar, etc.), so I am happy to see this legislation passed.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

We Did It!

Sunday, September 28, 2008
Here's the picture of Jen, Jessica, and me at the end of the Women's Fitness Celebration last Saturday. We are all soaking wet from running the entire distance in the rain, but we were proud of reaching our goal! We did it ladies!

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I Broke Down...

... and got cable television this week! I have been in my house now for 4 1/2 years and have always used bunny ears to watch tv. I have this awesome projector so my tv is GIANT, but usually it's pretty fuzzy (I can't seem to get the bunny ears in a position that works for all channels). I even have one television in my front room inside a beautiful armoire that I've never been able to watch because there is no way I am putting bunny ears on top of the armoire. Unfortunately without the bunny years all I get is gray fuzz! Anyway, I debated and debated before I actually got cable. I don't watch a whole lot of tv, so was it worth the extra cost? I decided it was, based on these two facts:

1. In a few months, I was going to have to purchase 3 converter boxes so that my tvs would work at all (because of the digital tv transition). Those run between $40-$70 each, so that's $150 I don't have to spend. Plus, I don't even know how that would have worked with my projector...

2. I love Boise State football. I decided this year I really wanted season tickets, so I got on the waiting list, and was stoked when they actually called me telling me there were tickets available. The down side was that the tickets were $283 (I get half price, so I would have been able to get two sets for $283), but they were pretty good seats so I would also have to pay a $625 BAA (Bronco Athletic Association) fee in addition to the tickets. In a moment of weakness I agreed to buy the tickets, only to get home that night and freak out. What was I thinking? I was seriously going to spend $908 on football tickets??? That's over $150 per game!!! Thankfully, I called the next day, and I was able to get out of it. Needless to say, I saved myself almost $1000 by not getting season tickets, but I still wanted to be able to watch all the games. How was I supposed to do that without ESPN? :-)

So... there's how I justified to myself that it was okay to get cable, even if I'm not a huge tv watcher. Sounds to me like I'm saving myself a lot of money!

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Free Money!

Friday, September 26, 2008
Thanks Sally for telling me about a way to get 1/2 price gift certificates today. I got online first thing this morning and scored myself some fabulous deals. I even picked up a couple as Christmas presents :-) I love free money! If you live in Boise, check it out, but hurry because today is the last day of the gift certificate sales and some of the best ones are already gone!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Women's Fitness Celebration

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Today I was informed by my coworker Mandy that I was going to lose my blogging fan base if I didn't post soon about the Women's Fitness Celebration, so I figured I had better get right on it :-) The truth is, I would have blogged on Saturday immediately following the race if I had taken my camera with me instead of relying on someone else. So I have semi-patiently been waiting for almost a week now for a picture so I could post. Guess you'll just have to wait a little longer to see me looking like a drowned rat. Why a drowned rat you ask? Well, because it POURED the entire race! I woke up Saturday morning to thunder, lightening, and pouring rain. Ugh! If I hadn't been training for 3 months for the race, I am pretty sure I would have just gone back to bed. But there was no way I was going to give up what I had worked so hard for.

We were told to arrive at the start of the race 30 minutes early, but this year that meant getting soaked before the race even started. I'm sure that was lovely since we were all wearing white race shirts :-) I felt pretty good the entire race. I felt like I was running at a good pace and not once did I think I wasn't going to be able to run anymore. I am super proud of myself because I accomplished my goal of running the entire 5k (no walking!). I also accomplished my secondary goal - I ran the race in exactly 30 minutes and zero seconds (the clock at the end of the race said 29:35, but my official time was 30:00). Hooray! That's under a 10 minute mile. I thought that was pretty good for barely being able to run a mile 3 months ago. I'm still not to the point that many of my friends are - I don't just love running, but I definitely don't hate it as much as I used to. I have a few more short races planned between now and the end of the year, so I guess I'll have to keep up the training!

Here's a picture of my team the Cutler Crew. This is before the race and before we were soaking wet!

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