Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Last family picture

Wait, those aren't our children. They're Nathan and Taylor's. Although we've considered stealing (kidnapping if you must) these adorable baby girls, we decided to let them move to Las Vegas with their parents. Sad. Last night Ben and I helped the Kowallis family pack up and clean their apartment. It was so nice to spend time with them and their girls before they left- they've been such great friends!
Even though we miss them a lot already, it won't be too long before we will see them again- we've already planned a trip to visit this summer, whether they like it or not!

ps- please excuse the less than lovely picture posted. I had been cleaning for 5 hours and it was about 80 degrees.

Try this one.

Sausage and Tomato Rigatoni
Prep time: 10 min
Total time: 30 min

Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each

4 cups rigatoni pasta (8oz.)
1 lb Italian sausage, cut into chunks
1 red onion, sliced
1/4 c tomato paste
1/4 c Kraft Sun dried tomato vinaigrette dressing
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package.
Meanwhile, brown sausage in large nonstick skillet; drain.Stir in onions and tomato paste; cover. Cook 15 minutes or until onions are tender and sausage is cooked through (17o degrees F), stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing.
Toss sausage mixture with pasta. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese.

This one was really good- I'd give it 3 1/2 stars. And don't skip out on the fresh parsley- it really adds something to the taste.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Love these.

The Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches are sooo delicious! They're 98% fat free and only 140 calories. They're seriously the best snack ever and I think that I have one almost every day. If you've never had a Skinny Cow you are seriously missing out. My personal fave is the mint ice cream, but there is also chocolate and vanilla. Do the right thing and buy yourselves some Skinny Cow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


As previously posted, my week at work was insane to say the least. This weekend I have been rejuvinated! Graduation parties, baby showers, trips to Target and Roberts Crafts, cleaning my house, doing some yoga, and watching hours of America's Next Top Model reruns have done wonders to my spirit. I'm feeling ready to take on the week.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tag (again)

What I am doing: Putting off cleaning my house
What I’m proud of today: not letting myself get flustered when I realized I was running way late.
What I’m thinking about: why I cannot figure out how to make a cute blog background. I've read the instructions and I still don't get it.
Who is home:me, Oscar, Moo
Plans tonight: relax! I had a crazy week at work and I need to unwind.
My weekend was: still in the middle of it. Super fun so far- graduation party and baby shower. All I need is some shopping for it to be perfect.
What’s for dinner: who knows- probably cereal. I don't cook for myself when it's just me at home.
Thoughts about love:makes life worth living
Feelings about life: too short to worry about everything. You only get one life, so make it good. Spend time with people you love, have adventures, take risks.
What I need: family, friends, cute shoes
What I want: to be independently wealthy
What I have: a great life
My pet peeve: people who talk on their phones when they're checking out at stores.
My guilty pleasure: Hanson, The Hills
What I can hear: the trashy kids across the street screaming
What I can smell: spring air- I love having my windows open!
My style: mostly classic with a few trendy pieces. Banana and Nordstom keep me happy and clothed.
My hairdo: newly brown, shoulder length w/ a few long layers
My outfit: Banana jeans, Banana striped top, charm necklace
My mood: quite content
The weather today: warm-ish, sunny
Thoughts on parenting: eh, I don't want to think about it. It's very important though. I do know that.
Thoughts on marriage: fabulous. Doesn't get better than having your life with your best friend.
Thoughts on politics: I really don't have many opinions about it. Apparently I'm a Democrat, according to an online questionnaire.
Thoughts on celebrity gossip: escapism at its best
Thoughts on beauty: it comes from within. One's personality can enhance or detract from one's looks.
Thoughts on sleep: I loooove to sleep. I need 8-9 hours each night to feel rested.
Thoughts on writing: I don't do it enough. I constantly feel a little guilty for never writing in my journal, because I know that I'll wish I did when I'm old.
My favorite appliance: without question, my Little Green Machine (Bissel carpet cleaner)
My favorite car: Lexus RX 400h.
hMy favorite splurge: clothes, dug
My favorite beauty secret: a good skincare regimen is key. And sunscreen!
My favorite treat: chocolate anything
Ten years ago: Almost finished with the 7th grade. Just got busted for kissing my boyfriend in the hall at school and was probably still grounded for it. Did high jump and long jump on the track team.
Five years ago: Almost finished with high school. No boyfriend, having a blast with my girlfriends. Getting prepared for senior prom.
One year ago: Graduated from BYU, unemployed but on the job search.
One year from now: Probably still working for DCFS, hopefully getting ready to buy our first place.
Five years from now: I'll probably have a kid... can't be just an aunt forever, right?
Ten years from now: I'll be in the thick of raising a family- scary!
I’m famous for: how much I love to shop? Loving to clean?
I’ll never be famous for: being a workaholic
Who I am: a very blessed girl.
Who I hope to be: someone that other people want to be around
What I’m thankful for: lots and lots. My family, my friends, good jobs, the Gospel, living in a free nation, having running water and flushing toilets, Spanx.... seriously, this could go on and on.

Friday, April 25, 2008


I have great friends. That's all.


Oh goodness, I am so happy that the weekend is finally here. This week started out fairly normal- I had some work meetings and home visits to do. I even had a trial to go to. Nothing too crazy.
Until Tuesday.

I learned that as the result of the trial I would be required to make a little work trip to Las Vegas. Before you start thinking, "Wow, Vegas is so fun! Lucky you!"- think again. This was not a cush work trip. It was a work work trip. No cush.

Thursday (day of trip) required waking up at 5:30am, catching an 8:30 flight, getting a rental car for the first time in my life, navigating through foreign Las Vegas (including scary north LV), dealing with some truly difficult people, being seriously worried that I was going to miss my flight back, boarding a 5:45 pm return flight, not being able to find luggage (no, I did not personally lose my luggage... like I would need a suitcase for a day trip... unless I planned on doing a great deal of shopping, which I did not do), and much much more.

When I returned home at 10:30 pm I can say with all honesty that I've never been so exhausted in my life. Really. I got home, managed to eat an Arby's roast beef (my husband is excellent- I called him at 10:15 begging him to have an Arby's rb waiting for me, as well as two Tylenols. He one-upped me: Arby's, Tylenol, AND a Toblerone. What a stud!)

I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and I slept like a rock. I had just finished one of the most difficult days of my life... hopefully things slow down a bit after this- my sanity depends on it.

*sorry if this post is lacking details- due to the nature of my job, I couldn't post any info that could violate any confidentiality agreements... trust me, it was a dramatic day*

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Viva Las Vegas party

Last night Ben and I hosted a "Viva Las Vegas" going away party for the Kowallis family. They're moving to Vegas at the end of the month, so we figured that one last get-together with all the Columbus people (plus a few others) was in order. It was a great party- food, poker, friends... a great send-off for Taylor and Nathan.
*Highlight of the night*
Ben came up behind Katie Clem and slapped her on the butt, thinking she was me. Ben obviously isn't used to my brown hair :)

Here are some pictures from the night:

Taylor managed to dump an entire bottled water on herself in the first 30 minutes of the party. Luckily, she was wearing a black shirt and it wasn't noticeable.

Me and Annalise

Good friends
Me and Ben- no longer the redhead and the blonde

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I actually did it

I dyed my hair brown. A dark, dark brown. Ben is really freaked out- he keeps saying "You've been blonde ever since I met you." and asking me "Are you the cleaning lady? I don't recognize you. Why are you in this house?" He says he loves it but it is so different that it kind of freaks him out. Whatever.

Pictures coming soon!

I stand corrected.

After yesterday at the Scrapbook Expo, I must say I am a scrapper in training. Seriously, there was so much awesome stuff there. My only regret was that I didn't bring more money to spend- my $20 seemed to run out way too quickly :(

Anyway, here's the run-down. I picked Jaime up at 5:30, we met up with Allison at 6 in the Expo center parking lot. We got amazing parking spots, I must say. At 6 am I was #74 in line. Crazy! The first lady in line had been there since 12:30 am.

Anyway, we waited until 9, when we were allowed to go it. It was like sensory overload- so much paper, stamps, kits, etc... it was really fun though. We shopped until noon, went to the Mayan for lunch (gotta love the diving shows), came back and scrapped and shopped some more. I wasn't wanting to scrap much- it would be real expensive to start from scratch- so I made some cute cards, which I loved doing.

Around 5 pm I left (Jaime and Allison stayed- I think they were trying to make it to midnight) to hang out with Benjamin. I had planned to try and sell my amazing parking spot, since most people were parking up to 1/2 mile away. Alas, there was no one around when I got to my car, so no spot selling for me. Here are some pictures of the fun:

Our scrapbooking table

A small taste of the ridiculousness that this expo is- it's huge!

Proud of my 3 super-cute cards

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Scrapper in training?

Tomorrow morning I am waking up at 5 am. Why would I choose tomorrow morning to be the earliest I have woken up in over a year? Am I catching an early morning flight? Am I going to the 5:45 am spin class at 24? No, no. I am going to the Scrapbook Expo. Do I scrap? No. Do I intend to become a full-fledged scrapper? No. Two of my co-workers, Allison and Jaime, are very active scrappers. From the beginning of my time at DCFS, both Allison and Jaime have insisted (A & J: I almost typed reported, not insisted. Looks like I've been documenting too many things at work) that I would make a great scrapbooker. I'm not so sure. Although I do love to look at other people's scrapbooks and I luuuuve the cute paper at Robert's Crafts, I'm not sure if I have it in me to be a bona fide scrapper. Here are my reasons why:

1. I'm flighty. Don't worry, I've accepted this trait. The Color Code affirms this, as I am a super-yellow. Yellows are flighty and have a terrible time committing to any requiring long-term effort. Like scrapbooking.

2. I'd rather spend my money on clothes and shoes than on stamps, die cuts, etc. Seriously, scrapbooking is not a cheap hobby. It's like golf, only it's not considered a sport. Yet.

3. The thought of trying to scrap the past 23 years of my life gives me serious anxiety. It's true.

Despite these reasons, I am willing to give the Scrapbook expo a chance. Really. If nothing else, I will spend my day happy as a clam making awesome cards. You know I love making cards.

In case anyone is wondering, I am waking up at 5 in order to get to the Southtowne expo center at 6. Even though the doors don't open until 9, Allison and Jaime insist that it is hugely beneficial and fun to be one of the first few in line. I'm skeptical, but I'm willing to give it a chance.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sharing the love

Ok, I got this email at work about a Dachshund mom who was taking care of a little piglet who was abandoned by its mom. Cute! The mother dog nurses the pig and all the other puppies have accepted the piglet as a member of the litter.

Not sure how I feel about this one.

I stumbled upon this New York Times article the other day while blogstalking and whatnot. In it, it illustrates how girls are getting older younger. This means that girls are doing older, more sophisticated things at a younger age. For example, I was 17 before I got a manicure or pedicure. I thought that I was hot stuff back then, doing something so grown up. Apparently, it's the new thing for pre-pubescent girls to be having mani-pedis, spa days, etc. What is happening to the world? Not that it is wrong that little girls are doing these things, but it just doesn't seem that right. Opinions?

I may be a hypocrite for this, because although I think that it is ridiculous for a 10 year old to get a manicure (she's just going to scuff it up in 15 minutes... 25+ bucks down the drain), I think that if my 10 year old daughter wanted a manicure I would let her get one. I would feel lame saying, "You're too young to get a manicure!"

Let's just hope I have boys and don't have to deal with all this.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Has it really been a year?

I just received a graduation announcement from a friend and it made me realize that it has already been a year since I've graduated from BYU. Wow! Time has flown! When I think about my graduation days, I get really nostalgic remembering all my fun times as a Cougar. It was so much fun to be able to sit next to two of my closest friends at the general commencement and listen to Vice President Cheney speak as well as see sweet Gordon B. in person for the last time. I'll never forget the roaring cheer of graduates and their families when we saw Gordon B. walk into the Marriott Center. It was so funny, because everyone politely clapped for the Vice President, but as soon as we saw Gordon B. the crowd went nuts. I've never been able to cheer for Gordon B. before, since I've only ever seen him at conference or at a devotional. If I cheered at either of these events I would've gotten the boot. It was great to finally get to cheer!

The next day was great too, because it was my graduation from the School of Family Life. Throughout my time at BYU I was kind of frustrated, because I felt like I didn't have any close friends in my major. I had the expectation that on graduation day I would sit in a chair next to strangers, waiting to walk across the stage. Quite dramatic, I know. It was such a great feeling on graduation day to walk into the graduate waiting area and see dozens of people that I had had classes with over the past 4 years and realize that we had actually become good friends. Even though I only saw them in my classes, there was still a feeling of closeness and friendship. In contrast to my expectations of sitting next to strangers at graduation, I actually sat by a big groups of people I had become close with. It was a great way to end my years at BYU.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Really easily amused

This cracks me up. I know, very immature.

The fact that I find this picture hilarous proves that I'm a bad person. Sorry little kid, it's just funny.

Easily Amused

Yup, that's me. I just got a candle warmer for the my office and I'm so happy about it! Finally, my office smells like something. Not just something, it smells like Lemon Crisp- yum! Anyway, hooray for candle warmers and hooray for a delicious smelling office.

Monday, April 7, 2008

RIP Taffy

Sadly, the dog I have had since I was 10 years old had to be put to sleep today. Taffy was a very good, sweet dog for her whole life. She went downhill very fast with kidney failure, but I am so happy to have had her as part of my life for over 12 years.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Amazing magazine deal!

I don't like to admit it, but I loooove US Weekly magazine. Usually I just go to Barnes and Noble and read it there, but if there's a specific issue that really interests me I buy it for about $4 a pop. Then, I finish the issue in about 30 minutes and feel bugged that I actually spent 4 bucks on it.

But wait, it doesn't have to be this way! My good friend Linds sent me the link to an amazing magazine deal- one year of US Weekly for just $5!

Crazy, huh? A year subscription is like $75, and if you're buying at newsstand price it's about $150 for a year.

I ordered mine... are you going to order yours?

Here's the link, in case anyone is interested:
$5 US weekly deal

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sneaky or just smart?

To continue where I left off on my last blog (it was such a cliffhanger, right?), I did end up getting my new Hobby Lobby items into my house without any bloodshed. How, you ask? Very simple. In order to neutralize a husband's negative reaction from discovering a purchase he sees as pointless or ridiculous, he must be distracted. In his instance I distracted Ben with a golf trinket purchased at the one and only Hobby Lobby. I also included a golf coupon for good measure. Ben was so excited to get a present that he did not seem to mind that I got a few goodies for the house (by that I mean myself). Crisis averted!
My more aesthetically pleasing mantle.

Random wall hanging. When Ben saw it he said, "Why do we have a crown? We're not British." What does being British have to do with anything?

The neutralizing golf trinket and its accompanying coupon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Miracle in Utah

Friends, if you see a building like this, GO IN. I looove Hobby Lobby. Almost as much as Norstrom. For all of those who don't know what Hobby Lobby is, it's the most amazing home decor/crafts/everything you'd ever need store. And cheap! Everything will eventually go 50% off- never ever pay full price at Hobby Lobby. Just wait a week or two- the sale will come. There is one in my hometown of Columbus, Indiana, and I must say that it has enriched my life. And I'm not being dramatic. I seriously am obsessed with this place. Obsessed enough to always bring an extra suitcase when I visit Columbus in order to have a place to put my Hobby Lobby purchases for the trip home.
Anyway, I have despaired over Utah not having a Hobby Lobby. Where would I get my cheap home decor? How could I have a cute house without acquiring a mountain of debt? For the past three years (5 if you're counting non-married time) I have been irritated about this and wished that there was a Hobby Lobby available. I've even thought about opening one in Utah Valley, since I know it would make a killing here.

Until yesterday.

There is a Hobby Lobby in Utah! I was randomly driving in South Jordan with a coworker- and I spotted it. Amazing! We had to go in and experience the amazingness that is Hobby Lobby. Two hours later we left Hobby Lobby with tons of amazing stuff- all 50% off- picture frames, candle holders, vases, etc. Seriously, it was the best find ever.

That brings me to my next dilemma... how do I get this stuff in the house without getting ripped for it from Ben? We are currently on a strict budget, and there is no place for Hobby Lobby excursions. I had to think of a plan.... a really good one.

To be continued...