Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bonfires, Corn Mazes, and Hayrides

Sometimes papers, tests, and projects almost push me overboard, but I'm doing well in school. It's been hard to stay on top of though. Luckily, I have a Bear to love me and keep me motivated. That is the most delicious pumpkin pie ice cream above in Lexington. It makes me very happy.
Bear pretends to hate the cat, but I keep finding them together. He's just such a fun kitty to hold and cuddle. He really is a dog. 
We were lame and didn't go to the homecoming dance this year. We had planned a double date to go on a hayride and to a corn maze, and finally the dance, but Bear had a scrimmage with another school that day, the only one before the season and was going to take up the whole day. I was supposed to sing in the women's choir for the homecoming concert on Friday night, so it looked like we weren't going to be able to do anything fun that weekend.

But the boys surprised us and planned a bonfire up at Panther Falls for us. I love surprises! Photobucket 
And we got to go to the hayride and corn mazelast weekend, as you can tell from the pictures below. The weather was perfect on both Saturdays, so it really worked out. I even got some sun at Bear's scrimmage (which I happened to not take pictures of him playing).
I got an A on my Intro to Music History midterm. I worked hard on that baby so I'm proud of myself. I thought I knew music, but it's teaching me so much. I'm learning to pull words out of my head for papers or presentations easier now.
I have also learned recently to make sure you bought a zucchini instead of a cucumber, and then after you find out it's a cucumber...don't try and bake with it! Bear wouldn't even eat it, and that's saying something...the adventures of a beginner cook. Photobucket 
I am in love with Virginia in the Fall. I wouldn't give it up for anything. The view above is from our hayride. Love, love. And we're also a few days past the half-way mark of the semester. I feel like a weeny because I don't have a legitimate job or play any sports, but my schedule is really wearing me down this semester. So I'm very grateful and looking forward to my easy next semester. And I'm getting so excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas to be with family again.

Last weekend was what I really needed. I was able to catch up on sleep and go have fun on a double date with Rachel and Zach. The date was so much fun! We went to the hayride and corn maze like I said before, but it ended up being more for little kids. We still had fun of course. I put more pictures up on Facebook. Then we went to sushi in Lexington, went back to our apartment to watch "Darkness Falls" (which ended up being very stupid), play Ligretto, and drink homemade pumpkin white hot chocolate. I hadn't laughed like that in a long time.
The picture above is our super awkward perching or "owling" picture. We also took these pictures at a park right by the sushi restaurant while we were waiting for it to open. 
PhotobucketBear turned 23 on Sunday. I bought him some Nike id running shoes with his name on them in school colors. And a baseball bracelet, and a baseball sign for the house (so maybe that was more for me). i made a German chocolate cake, and listened to him complain about how old he is. I love him so much and I hope we have 77 more years together! There was a bomb threat Sunday night, but we were off campus and unaffected by the lock-down. 2 people got arrested, but we don't know who they are. All the buildings on campus had to be searched between 1 and 4 am. Poor students had to be evacuated out of their dorms. The school handled it really well though. Class went on normally on Monday (I think to teach everyone a lesson that pranks don't get people out of class). Even though I got sleep, I was hoping for no class too, but that's SVU for you. The stinky thing was it was right before some important accreditation people were coming to tour the school to see if we've been doing well. Hopefully they'll notice how well the problem was taken care of. And although students mumbled and grumbled about it, I'm glad everyone's safe.

 Sorry I always talk about homework. But my next goal is to survive a book report on a book on Socialism that I'm behind on, and a 8-10 page paper on Mozart's 41st symphony. I can do it. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wool Coat

Bear bought this pink wool coat for me! I'm so excited for it to come in the mail. It's so dressy and feminine. I'm happy that I'll have a coat that I can wear to church. I can take the bow tie off if I want to to. And I'm not one of those people that gets mad if you happen to like the same style as me, so if you want one too, click HERE.

It was hard to choose from all of the different colors, but in the end I decided I wanted a happy color one instead of your typical black or grey wool coat. It just makes me happy looking at it!

This one is watermelon red, and then there's gray, light pink, red, black, beige, and camel. 

Happy, happy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Life has been crazy busy, but has also been very good to us. I've had 3 tests, 2 presentations and a major paper since I last updated, which I thought were going to be the end of me. Tutoring has been coming along. I make $60 a month. And it's just about as much as I can handle right now. 
General Conference was just what I needed. I got my answers and it really helped me through these crazy school weeks. We passed our first cleaning checks too (which were a nightmare!), which is something that makes us very happy. I've also started making dinner every night. I get the ideas from Pinterest.com. Some days I'm too stressed out and Bear says, "let's just have leftovers." Those words are just what I need to hear (even though there's usually no leftovers). But I'm pretty proud of myself knowing that I'm budgeting, eating healthy, and making good food for me and Bear. I'll be sure to post some of the good things I've gotten from that lovely site. 
One of my presentations was in my Political Philosophy class. I was super nervous and asked Bear to give me a blessing. It's an upper division class, and I had to be prepared for the questions and debating comments my classmates would throw at me at the end of the class. I felt like I did a horrible job, but I got 44/45. So prayers and preparation do work. And somehow I've been able to stay on top of my homework. It's kind of a miracle.
 I went to my first drive-in movie last weekend. It was my second time seeing The Help, but Bear hasn't seen it yet. I cried even harder this time. There was something so fun about sitting in the back of our truck bundled up in blankets in the fall night weather that made me really happy about life at that moment.Photobucket 
The leaves are starting to change outside. There's this one particular tree that I can see from our living room window that is absolutely breathtaking. Tuesday was a day off from school for going to the DC Temple. I really wanted to go, but we had just recently been and it's 3 hours one way. I felt so guilty, but I felt like I just needed to focus on me and Bear and to take a breather after our crazy two weeks. One of the things on our Fall bucket list was to go to a pumpkin patch, and I found this one about an hour away from us in Monroe, VA. The whole drive was gorgeous. We drove along the Jame River in the Blue Ridge Mountains with all the colorful trees. Virginia is so beautiful. This little old man owned this pumpkin patch in the middle of nowhere. We were pretty much the only ones there. We picked out unique gourds, along with a white pumpkin and a pink one! Pink I tell you! It's actually more of a salmon color, but I claim it as pink. The little old man with the Appalachian Virginian accent said he'd never seen one like it before. Usually that kind has little brown knobs all over it. But this one was acne free! I'm quite happy. Decorating them has made me quite happy too.
We are very happy. I hope you are too. We're going on a hay ride and to a corn maze this Saturday. I'm really excited!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Birthday Week

The picture above is on our drive last Saturday to the DC Temple. The fog was super pretty.
I gave blood on Tuesday. It was my third time trying, and my second successful time. I gave in September of last year and tried in November, but had a really traumatic experience and had to wait awhile, and I'm glad it worked out. All this time I thought O positive was the universal blood type donor, but found out that day it was O negative. I don't feel as special now. We also got our refund checks from school. That definitely makes a girl happy. We went to Lee-hi's that night to get our blood sugar up again from giving blood.
^ These are our friends Josh and Rachel. They're both from North Carolina.
My birthday was on Wednesday! I'm officially 20. For awhile now I've been excited to get out of my teenage years, but now I feel kind of old. I kind of had a melt down on my birthday because it was such a busy day. Bear kept telling me to forget that it was my birthday, because we were going to celebrate on Saturday. But I love birthdays. So it was hard for me, but I got through the day and we went to Lee-hi's again that night :) My birthday was also my first day of tutoring. I tutor a few freshman football players. It's fun for me because I love history and it helps me review for my Western Civ II class at the same time.
Thursday was my second day of tutoring and I didn't feel as stupid. I went to a very good piano concert that was a student's senior recital that day too. After the concert and a meeting about being a music minor, it just reminded me why I'm not crazy enough to be a music major.
^ This is our silly kitty. I promise we're not animal abusers, but this just shows how he lets us do whatever. He's kind of a dog. And we love him. He doesn't play fetch yet, but he waits for us to come home, he wants to eat human food all day, and lets us totally handle him without freaking out. And we figured out he looks just like Tom from Tom and Jerry. Look it up. The're even gray and white in the same places.
On Friday, I got a duvet for a bed so that we don't have to fight over all my little blankets I've had since I was a little girl all night. And an iron too! Now I can quilt and iron Bear's dress shirts. On Friday night, we got invited to go to Roanoke by Andrew and Brandy, and we went to Red Lobster. It was my first time because I don't like seafood. So I ordered the shrimp linguine alfredo without shrimp haha. I loved the biscuits and I have to admit the coconut shrimp Bear got was pretty good. And then we went and watched Moneyball. Bear and Andrew loved it of course because they're on the SVU baseball team. But it had beena long week for me and I totally fell asleep during the movie. I've never done that during a movie at the movie theater before. I liked the concept though. It was a good date night!
We went to Roanoke again on Saturday because we had been planning it for while. Bear let me go on a shopping spree. We got Bear all new baseball gear too because he really needed it. And we planned to go to Wasabi's, my favorite Japanese restaurant, here was a carnival of some sort downtown and we couldn't really get to it. So we went to Red Robin's - another first for me. We got this fun onion ring tower hee hee. After we got home, I had a small birthday bbq on the Maury River with our friends. The water was the perfect temperature. And this is where I discovered that I don't like brats. I get to choose the meat next time.
^ I took this picture on our Sunday walk today. I've decided that I like green mountains way more than the Rockies. I love Virginia.

Here's to another crazy week!

Monday, September 19, 2011

DC Temple

My poor blog suffers. But not that I'm back in school, it goes to the bottom of my to-do list or my grades die. And I keep realizing that I'm not taking pictures at all. I just keep going going going everyday doing the bare necessities. Yes, I have to plan time to read, quilt, or any such lesiurely activity. I'm not saying I'm busier than everyone else, but I'm back to having to write every tiny thing into my schedule so that I can remember it.

I'm happy because I have visiting teachers again. By again, I mean after 2 years. I've been visiting teaching since my 18th birthday (minus this summer in Cali), but have only been visited once. It's quite nice. Especially when she brings pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. (But it's not okay when my cat is trying to get into them as we're visiting. Oh, kitty).

That poor cat is having an identity crisis. He doesn't respond to his name, he gallops like a horse, but totally acts like a dog, and has bunny paws. He doesn't act like a cat at all. And he gets to lonely because he's an indoor kitty now and we're so busy :(

I'm a tutor! I don't know why I'm so excited, but I just am. It's for a general ed class called America and the Englightenment (history). I had to get recommended by my teacher from last year. And I thought I didn't do that good in that class. I only work 2 hours a week, but I do get paid. Now it makes me feel a little more independent.We'll see how it goes!

This past weekend was Stake Temple Day, so I got to go do a session in the DC Temple for the first time! I did baptisms there last year. It's huge! I lost Bear in the temple because I've only been in the Nauvoo temple with him which is tiny, and when I went to another huge temple (Los Angeles), I was by myself. I was almost in tears. It ends up he had a clothing mishap that took him a while. But I can't explain how happy he was when he walked in the door and sat next to me. I know it sounds sappy, but it was a moment of realization of how sad I'd be if we lost each other forever. But I know that will never happen, because we've been through the temple together :)

It gave me a peace that I really needed. It gave me a good perspectve f the future.

After the temple, we went to Bear's brother Nate and his wife Izzy's house. They live in DC too on a military base and it was good to spend time with them. Yet again, I meant to take pictures, but failed. Bear and Nate had an intense 10 minute session of wrestling where they were both panting and sweating. Silly boys.

Then we drove home and met Rachel at Waffle House. I know it's as disgusting place, but we love it.

I got to substitute for the piano in Primary on Sunday. And we had John and Trisha over for dinner.

It got really cold this weekend. When I wanted Fall, I didn't mean winter.

But I love all I'm learning. College is good. And Bear is good.

My birthday is in 2 days! I won't be a teenager any more!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Curried Honey Mustard Chicken


1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon-style prepared mustard
4 teaspoons curry powder
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts


  1. In a medium bowl combine the melted butter/margarine, honey, mustard, curry powder and cayenne powder. Mix well. Place chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish and pour honey/mustard mixture over chicken. Cover and place in refrigerator. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Remove dish from refrigerator and bake, covered, in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove cover and bake about 10 minutes more, or until done and juices run clear (baking time will depend a little on how thick your chicken breasts are).
You don't have to use that much butter, and the cooking times are too short so be aware!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Labor Day Week

Another college-ful weeks has gone by.
For Labor Day, Bear had to be in the city parade to represent the school through the baseball team. I went and watched him. And he didn't even notice me. Baha. Anyways, can you tell how pretty it is here just by the picture above? I keep meaning to take pictures of how gorgeous the Blue Ridge mountains are, but I keep forgetting my camera. There will be pictures soon, I promise. We went out to a Chinese place that supposedly had Japanese food, but...not really. It just reminded me why I hate Chinese food so much. And I feel like the only person on the planet who feels so. We watched Insidious that night. And I was scared out of my pants. Bear thought it was a stupid plot. But I kept seeing the demon and the old lady all night. 
It's nice to be in a family ward again. And to actually feel like we're not just visiting. To have lots of little kids in the ward, and lots of young, friendly married couples too...I feel better. The Relief Society presidency came to see me along with the Ward Mission Leader. This ward is on top of things. There was a fun Relief Society activity of getting to know each other. It was definitely a good idea. Now I get to take organ lessons from someone in the ward too! Oh, and another exciting thing: I get to be part of the Women's Society at the school because I'm married now! I feel quite big.


I'm settling into my major more. I was afraid that I would graduate in December 2013, but I just went to the Registrar and found out I'm right on track to graduate April 2013! 3 years instead of 3 1/2 or 4! So just 2 more years of school, and I don't even have to take summer classes! I'm quite excited. Taking 19 credits this semester paid off after all (even if most of the classes were just ones I wanted to take, and didn't have anything to do with my major). I just need to take 2-3 upper division History classes for the next 3 semesters, take a science class I was supposed to take as a Freshman, and take 2 more exercise classes, and 2 easy Music classes for my minor. I got to change advisors and everything. It feels so official now. 


We got invited over to some one's house for dinner from the ward this week. I had a lot of fun. Like I said, we have a friendly ward. I love it.

I'm not drowning in homework, mostly because I'm not working and my weekends are free. It gives me the chance to recuperate. I feel bad, because I feel like I should be making dinner every night, but that doesn't happen with all my classes and homework. But I'm working hard to cook on the weekends. And it makes me happy. I feel like I can actually cook now. I will post another good recipe for Curried Honey Mustard Chicken soon.
Me and Bear went to the opening night of SVU's The Wizard of Oz. They didn't change the script at all, but kept spoofing themselves. It was very clever and audiencewas laughing and having fun. The best part was, there were only 8 or 9 actors in the whole show. They were some crazy costume changes. It was definitely worth seeing. We have a talented theater program here.
I've started to workout a little this weekend, and my body is happy, even from that little bit. The world just needs to be rid of soda so that I'm not tempted. But I haven't had it in awhile, and I'm quite proud of myself. And I just realized that I've used the word "quite" too many times in this post.
We tried to go to the football game Saturday, but Bear slept too long. So we just went to downtown Lexington to go to the Museum of Military Memorabilia. It's run by a little old lady  whose British husband opened it. Her husband has passed away, but he served in WWII, and there were some very old things, including from the Revolutionary War. I love little old ladies that love history. Because that's exactly what I'm going to be like when I grow up. And I learned something new. Japanese families wrote prayers on a big piece of fabric, and the soldier would fold it up inside his uniform. When the soldier died, he was supposed to be wrapped in the flag (although it didn't really happen all the time). And there was an actual one at the museum. I'm a history nut. Gah. It was mostly British military items, but also lots of American, and some Asian and other European stuffs too.
Oh, and having Andrew and Brandy S. over for dinner and having a Ligretto/Ticket to Ride game with them completed my week. I hope yours was fun too.

Friday, September 09, 2011

This is Our Favorite Right Now

Thai Coconut Chicken

Prep: 25 min
Cook: 10 min
4 servings

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp grated lime peel
1 tsp grated gingerroot
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 fresh serrano chilies or 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped cilantro
1 can (about 14 oz) coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1 tsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 c. sugar snap pea pods
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium tomato, shopped (3/4 cup)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
Hot cooked jasmine rice, if desired
1. In nonstick wok or 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add chicken; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add lime peel, gingerroot, garlic, chilies and cilantro; stir-fry 1 minute.

2. Pour coconut milk over chicken. Stir in brown sugar, salt, soy sauce, pea pods and bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in tomato.

3. Spoon into shallow serving bowls; top with basil. Serve with rice.

I made it without the peas and gingerroot and it was still delicious. I also squeezed the juice from the lime into it. You'll be happy if you make it :)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Back to College

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I've been dying to blog, but it's been another crazy week. Bustard survived the drive to Virginia. He seemed to be over-heating and wouldn't east, drink, or go to the bathroom the whole way there. And he was breathing hard. So I was a little bit worried, but he seems fine now. started getting sick the Sunday that we drove to Virginia. It was never anything major, just a little throat thing, but it was enough to not make the trip fun or my first week of school for that matter.

And we've finally moved in to our apartment! It took me a whole week because of classes, but it feels good. We have enough storage space which is nice. Our bathroom is a little sketchy and our kitchen is super skinny, and there's built in dressers in the living room instead of the bedroom, but all in all, the rent is cheap, and it came furnished.

I'm not taking an exercise, math, or science class this semester so that takes a huge stress off of me. (Not that I hate to exercise, it's just stressful as a class to me). I haven't been overloaded in homework so far. This is probably partly because I decided not to work this semester. Maybe next semester. We'll see. Bear's working in the cafeteria early in the morning when no one else wants to work, and then he gets it out of the way and his nights are off. He's not working next semester because of baseball, and so I might work...but I want to go to his games...and the money is nice but we can live without it...decisions, decisions.

I'm just happy to have my own kitchen and to use all my wedding gifts. I wrote down all my gifts, but I guess I was making stuff up in my head all summer, because I thought I was given things that clearly don't exist now that I've unpacked, and I've been pleasantly surprised with things I had forgotten about. I just made the BEST Thai coconut chicken for dinner tonight. I had plans to make dinner every night once I got to college. The reality of that is...I really only have time on Sunday. So my tummy is finally happy!

I like all my classes and teachers! I just love Southern Virginia University in general. My heart belongs to it. It will always be dear to me because it's where I met Bear, and had so many unexplainably happy experiences.

I'm taking:
  • Health and Wellness
  • Introduction to Music History
  • Marriage and Family
  • New Testament (for Institute)
  • Western Civilization 2
  • Political Philosophy
  • Bella Voce (Womens' Choir)
  • Group Voice
  • Information Literacy (once a week)
I get to take Group Voice and Marriage and Family with Bear. What's funny, is we both signed up for that Marriage and Family class without talking to each other about it before hand. We were definitely meant to be :)

So, I'll post that delicious recipe next time. The pictures are from the school dance on Friday. It's was 90's themed. We hit up Goodwill of course. I swear my pink Levi's came up to my chest. Bear's pants were straight up purple and awesome.

So it was a crazy but good week. I'm glad to be settled. And we love our kitty because he's super silly, but doesn't scratch things, go to the bathroom in weird places, meow, or shed. He just makes us laugh. And Bear won't admit it, but I know he loves Bustard very much.
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Longest Road Trip Ever

PhotobucketI haven't been blogging because we're on our long trip from California to Virginia - which I wouldn't recommend to anybody unless there is no other option. There have been a few adventures:

  1. The truck seats don't recline and there's no AC so we melt into the leather seats.
  2. I officially hate the desert, especially between California and St. George, UT.
  3. The GPS is my new best friend
  4. Right after we walked into my grandma's house in Fillmore to stay the first night, she got a call from my aunt saying she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nancy is only 35 years old, with 4 kids, ages 8 months-11 years old. She was still nursing the baby. It was not the news my grandma wanted to hear because two years in a row, her husband and daughter-in-law were diagnosed with cancer on her birthday. My grandma is a breast cancer survivor too. It was good that me, Tash, and Bear were there with her.
5. I got to spend time with Tashi and take her college shopping for BYU.
6. I got to see both of my great grandmas Verna Challis and Geneal Smith (ages 87 and 90) while in Utah. I love them!
7. I got to stay at John and Traci (my aunt and uncle)'s house in Grantsville. Traci did my hair as my wedding gift.
8. We get on the road and start having a sputtering engine. The oil was empty and we accidentally overfilled it, which made it still sputter of course. We had to keep stopping. But we finally fixed the problem and finally got to Amber's house late Wednesday night. It was good to meet her new husband and catch up because I wasn't able to go to her wedding.
9. We finally made it alive to Nauvoo and I was finally in my momma's and the babies' arms.
10. I keep thinking that Tashi's going to come home from work or school. But then I remember she's at BYU and I get sad on the inside.
11. I'm getting to eat my favorite foods and play Ticket to Ride to my heart;s content. I love my mommy.
12. Our Bustard kitty is so big now and I can't wait to take him back to Virginia with us.
13. I'm sad that I missed my grandma and grandpa Stout because of our truck troubles.

We take off early tomorrow morning (Sunday) because class starts Monday. Crazy life.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Truck

We are now the proud owners of a white '92 Mazda short bed truck. It's still manual and doesn't have AC, but it's a lot cooler all ready and it will be much easier to pack for the long drive back to Virginia. Plus it has a new engine. But we miss "My Boy Tercel". Even though I had such a love-hate relationship with him. I get so attached to people and things though. Bear is having seperation anxiety because Tercel was his first car and got him through a lot. We might even trade this truck after we get to Virginia. But for now, we have to bond with this guy. I mean, we have get to spend 44 hours of quality time with him. I just feel out of place because it's not a girl car at all. We leave early Monday morning for Utah!

Friday, August 19, 2011

DIY Capes

  • 2 yards of fabric per capem one yard of each color;
  • 1 package of extra wide, double fold bias tape (1 package will make 2 capes);
  • Sewing machine and thread;
  • Chalk or fabric marker;
  • String, yarn, or thread
  • Scissors
  1. Fold each piece of fabric in half. To mark the curved cutting lines, tie one end of a string to a fabric marker or chalk. Hold the other end of the string to the top corner of the fabric at the fold. Pull string taut, and draw the curve of the cape. Do this at the neck line and at the hemline. Cut along the chalk lines. Repeat for other fabric.
  2. Unfold the fabrics and pin right sides together. Using the sewing machine, sew around the outside edges and bottom of the cape, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Clip on seam allowance at the corners. Do not sew the neckline.

  3. Photobucket
  4. Reach in through the neckline and turn the cape right side out. Iron cape at this point to make edges crisp.
  5. Cut the length of bias tape in half, creating two pieces of the 54" bias tape. Mark the middle of the bias tape and the middle of the neckline. Match the center marks and pin the bias tape around the neckline, leaving equal room on both sides for the ties. Sew the bias tape from one end to the other closing the
Please don't judge my outfit. Or the fact that the cape and mask don't fit me. Now go make some capes of your own for a little boy's superhero birthday party. Or for your own personal enjoyment.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Help

The Help was such a good movie. I had to hold back tears. All I can say is go watch it. It's more of a girl movie, but it will touch your heart. The movie is about Skeeter Phelan, a recent college grad and aspiring writer in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who breaks all the rules by collaborating with Aibileen and Minny, two African American maids, on a book about their relationships with their white employers. You'll like it if you like The Secret Life of Bees or To Kill a Mocking Bird. I didn't quite feel closure at the ending, but I guess that's how real life is.

I really want to read the book now. I wanted to read it before the movie, but you know how that goes.

On a happy unrelated side note, my sewing machine is working again. Did I take it into a repair shop? No. I self-reliant-ly fixed it myself. I was threading the bobbin wrong. I was doing it like my mom's. Silly bobbin.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Few Things

A few things:

1. My time in California is coming to a close. We're not excited about the drive, but we are SO excited to be back in Virginia. It calls to me. I've decided that I can learn to live anywhere, but there's something about the green Blue Ridge Mountains and the plantations from 1700's all over. I feel at home there.
2. You know that song by Ingrid Michaelson called Far Far Away? Well I can see my life happening like the lyrics:
I will live my life as a lobsterman's wife
on an island in the blue bay.
He will take care of me,
he will smell like the sea,
And close to my heart he'll always stay.
I will bear three girls
all with strawberry curls,
little Ella and Nelly and Faye.
While I'm combing their hair,
I will catch his warm stare
On our island in the blue bay.
3. I'm addicted to Pinterest.
4. I'm a pro at sewing super hero capes now. I just hate my sewing machine that I have to fix.
5. I'm slowly showing Bear classic movies that I grew up with. That does not mean I'm only showing him Pride and Prejudice. Tonight I'm showing him My Fair Lady. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I'm homesick. I want to be here right now.
I don't know if I can wait another week.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

I keep reading long books with lots of information that are slow and I have to force myself to read them, but I always end up learning so much in the end and I'm glad that I did. My latest read is Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. It was mentioned a lot in the book "Fascinating Womanhood", which I posted about HERE. Kate recommended it to me also.

All I can say, is it helped me a lot. I know that I'm still a little tiny baby newlywed with lots to learn still, and I haven't gone through all the hard stuff that comes along with marriage. But I'd rather read it now and try to apply it instead of waiting til it's too late.

I enjoyed this book because it looks into both genders, instead of just what women should do like in Fascinating Womanhood. It's written by a man, and he isn't blaming women for everything. Of course I didn't feel like everything he talked about applied to our relationship, but there was a lot of stuff that helped me, like how I need to leave Bear alone sometimes to be himself (men are like rubber bands) and that I'm not crazy for having my ups and downs, needing to talk about everything and just have a venting session every once in a while (women are like waves). It helped Bear to know that when I'm venting, I'm not blaming him, and that I feel much better when I just talk.

The other good thing was learning to ask Bear directly. "Would you take out the trash?" vs. "The kitchen stinks." Men and women each have their silly things, but like the author states at the end:

"Next time you are frustrated with the opposite sex, remember men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Even if you don't remember anything else from this book, remembering that we are supposed to be different will help you to be more loving. By gradually releasing your judgments and blame and persistently asking for what you want, you can create the loving relationships you want, need, and deserve."

I'm grateful I had a good marriage example from my parents and both sets of grandparents. Same with Bear's parents. I'm excited for all the fun years ahead. I am very in love.

*Life Update*
I'm supposed to give a sacrament meeting talk based on Elder Scott's talk, "The Eternal Blessings of Marriage" next Sunday, which will be out last in California. Secretly, I feel like a preschooler lecturing to college students how to do their physics homework. So I'm quite a bit nervous.

Also, I though I had appendicitis earlier this week, because I had pain on my right side. Bear's had his taken out and had a traumatic experience, and was really worried. We finally decided to go to the doctor, who didn't help us at all. The next step was the ER because we needed a CT scan to figure out whatever it was. We're trying to figure out our medical insurance mess, and the pain was dull, not sharp, so we decided to wait it out, I got a blessing that the pain would go away, and it did. I'm fine now. I think it was an ovarian cyst. The doctor did give me a pelvic exam though and said everything looked fine. So I'm back to normal after the scare.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Apple a Day

I got this recipe from the new book I got called What's New, Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. It's everywhere. I bought mine at the lovely Target. My favorite. This recipe is only for 8 cupcakes, so you might need to get more stuff if you're making 1 or 2 dozen. I only made a dozen, but 3 didn't work out...anyways, I had enough stuff for 12. I bought the red paper liners at Joanne's, but I know you can get them at Michael's too. You can also use yellow cake mix, and substitute apple juice for the water needed in the cake mix. I however, did not do that. My own notes will be in italics from now on.


8 Vanilla cupcakes baked in red paper liners
1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
Red paste food coloring (Wilton)
8 mini plain or chocolate-covered doughnuts
4 chocolate chews (Tootsie Rolls)
6 green fruit chews (Jolly Rancher, Tootsie Fruit Rolls)
1 cup red decorating sugar (Cake Mate)
3 black candy-coated chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (Sunny Seed Drops)
1. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the vanilla frosting into a small ziplock bag, press out the excess air, and seal (only if you're going to make a bite mark in one of the apples). Tint the remaining frosting red with the food coloring (I couldn't get it all the way to red without messing up the consistency too much, so it was half way between pink and red and it still looked fine). Cut 1/2 inch from the bottom of each mini doughnut with a serrated knofe and discard the bottom piece (or eat it :) )Spread some red frosting on the cupcakes and place the mini doughnut piece, cut side down, on top (see the picture above. Place the cupcakes in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until slightly frozen (it makes them easier to decorate later).
2. For the stems, cut the chocolate chews in half lengthwise on the diagonal and shape each half into a stem (or be lazy like me and don't cut them). For the leaves, roll out the green fruit chews to a 1/8 inch thickness, and then cut into twelve 3/4-by-1 1/2-inch leaf shapes. Make a crease down the center of each leaf with the back of a paring knife and pinch one end (I didn't do this step either haha).

3. Place the red decorating sugar in a medium shallow bowl. Working on 1 cupcake at a time, spread some of the red frosting on the top and sides of the doughnut and cupcake to fill in the gaps and lightly coat, making the doughnut top look like the top of an apple. Roll the frosted cupcake in the remaining red sugar to coat. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

4. To create a bite mark, carefully remove a 1 1/2-inch diameter divot in the side of 2 sugar-coated doughnut, using the tines of a fork or a paring knife. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting and pipe a thin layer if frosting to cover the exposed area inside the divot. Spread lightly with the back of a small spoon to smooth. Arrange the sunflower seed in the vanilla frosting as the apple seeds, pointed ends toward the center (I didn't do the bite mark). Insert the chocolate chew stems with the green fruit chew leaves at the top of the apple cupcakes. Arrange the cupcakes in a basket.

So not healthy at all, but very yummy. Just do you know, Hostess mini doughnuts are not big enough. You need a medium size. And Bear bought me crumbly doughnuts, which made them fall apart when I was cutting and frosting them. That's why 3 didn't work out. So make sure you get smooth, moist ones! I got sick of them falling apart, and put the whole doughnut on some of them, but then that made the frosting less smooth in between the cupcake and doughnut. Anyways, enjoy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More on Sweeteners

So I have a couple of things to point out. Somebody made a comment that they couldn't hear the videos because of the background music on my blog. The music is at the very bottom of my sidebar. You can change the song, pause it, whatever you want to do. I hope that helps.

I would also like to say that I am amused that diabetic people drink diet soda, when Aspartame is what causes diabetes in the first place. It also goes by "NutraSweet" and "Sucralose", just so you're aware. Just stay away from "sugar free" or "calorie free" stuff. That's my motto anyways. You can usually find Aspartame in it when it says such things.

On the other hand, look for Stevia (Truvia), Lo Han, and Xylitol. Especially if you're diabetic or hypoglycemic. I got a lot of information from this site. Click HERE. Even though plain old sugar is a lot of calories, it doesn't destroy your body or make you sick. Anything chemically made is no good. If you're too lazy to look at the site, I will sum it up.

Lo Han

Refined, granulated sugar
Honey (even if it's raw and organic)
Blackstrap molasses

America's addiction to sugar has created an epidemic of health and immune problems including candida, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, adrenal fatigue, diabetes, and obesity.

Now, I'm not saying put Stevia in all your baking etc., just be aware and make your own decisions. Get sugars from fruits! I need to do better too.

I'll post pictures of my dress later today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


So remember how I said I was going to do some research on Aspartame? This is what I found. You decide for yourself. 3 videos aren't really enough, so go do your own research too. I did a couple on high fructose corn syrup also. Enjoy. The last one is my favorite.

Saturday Night Live - Corn Syrup Commercial - Video - NBC.com

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Oreo cupcakes


2‑1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2teaspoon salt
1‑2/3 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (I now cube mine for quicker softening!)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 egg whites
1 cup crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, plus additional for garnish

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in large bowl. Stir in sugar. Add milk, butter and vanilla; beat with electric mixer at low speed 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Add egg whites; beat 2 minutes. Gently stir in 1 cup crushed cookies.Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups (I like to use an ice cream scoop), filling two-thirds full. Bake about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes and cool completely before icing.Frost cupcakes (recipe below); garnish with additional crushed cookies.

YMC’s Favorite Icing Recipe


4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup shortening (or 1 cup butter for buttercream)

3-4 tablespoons water or milk

1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract (or almond, according to your preference)

In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, water and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for a full five minutes. It will take that long to resemble icing, don’t worry!

I got this recipe from Young Married Chic's blog. I'm starting to like cupcakes more and more. It keeps your portion reasonable, people don't fight about how big their piece is, and even if a few cupcakes are eaten, the rest still look good, as opposed to when you cut into a cake and the rest of the cake looks ugly. I guess I'm just trying to justify them. There's a ward cupcake activity on Thursday and so I've practiced with different cupcakes a couple of times. Because I have this habit of thinking I'm better at something than I really am and have the result be crappy because I didn't practice beforehand. So it started with Chocolate cake mix and store bought chocolate frosting last week. And then I found the above recipe and had to try it! I love that it is all from scratch. No weird preservatives. And my cupcakes turned out so I'm quite happy. I'm not gonna lie, I feel accomplished. Because I used double stuff Oreos, they were harder to crush up for the batter and so I wasn't wanting to crush them to sprinkle on top, so I ended up just putting the whole cookie on top. Which is WAY better, right? Please try them. They're SO good. If I do say so myself. Try them and report back to me!