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 -

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!

Monday, August 08, 2011

No Texting During the Movie

So, I really wanted to see Thor and it came out in the dollar movie theater. We finally went one night to the late showing. I liked it, Bear thought it was cheesy. But I'd rather have it be a little bit cheesy with an overused theme and plot than something dark and disgusting that's supposed to be so shocking it "moves" you. Anyways, this dollar theater is kind of ghetto. Especially at the late showing. But hey, I'd rather pay $5 for the both of us than $18, right?

Well...Bear left his phone in the cup holder and went right back for it, but it was gone. He went back to the theater 2 more times after that and asked them to call my number if they found anything. We texted asking them to give it back. We threatened that it had GPS tracking (yeah, we lied).

It made sick to my stomach. I had bad dreams all night about the nasty things the thiefs were doing with his phone. I was also afraid it had important bank information or something on it. Bear has a bad habit of leaving things behind, but has always been lucky in getting it right back. I was hugging my purse to me the whole time and even checked the floor as we left, but not the cup holder.

The good news is, he did have some insurance on his phone, so we get the same new phone for half the price it should be. It should be here Tuesday. So the moral of the story is, if you're going to go to a ghetto theater, don't let your phone leave your body. Or else that $5 movie ends up being $50. Baha

And now I can't find my camera. Gah.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Eat the Right Thing

So, I was talking to Bear the other day about eating. About how there's a happy medium in everything. I believe in reading food labels to check for calories, fats, sugars, and sodium and for weird ingredients like MSG, high fructose corn syrup, or aspertame. But I'm also not a health nut either.

And so I was talking to Bear about how I don't like to drink diet soda because of the kind of sugar that's used. It actually raises your appetite and is a toxin used in rat poison, so our body rejects it and that's why it doesn't register as a calorie, but it's still a toxin. And I told him I explained what I was talking about to someone who drank diet soda all the time a couple of years ago. And in response they said, "we're all going to die some day, one way or another."

I went on to vent to Bear about how much that offended me. I took all that time to warn them about the dangers of diet soda, and that's the thanks I get in return? And I think that's the worst philosophy in life - "it doesn't matter what I put in my body" (eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!)

And THEN I also talked about the people who are so organic and health foody that you invite them over and they won't eat any of your food or have that awkward moment of "you cooked my food in what oil? That's strictly against my personal food code." Now, I'm not talking about people with legitimate food allergies.

But as we were talking about this, we were going into In and Out for lunch. Which we hadn't been to in a little while, but because of a weird happening, we ended up going there for dinner too. Let me warn you...don't ever do this to your body. Okay, maybe Bear and men in general can get away with it. But let's just say that happened on Monday, I was in pain Tuesday, finally resorted to buying this for the first time in my life:

And then enjoying the effects on Thursday. Sorry to get graphic, but it is what it is. And then it hit me. How hypocritical I was being. Maybe I'm not drinking diet soda, but I've had plenty of regular soda, lots of fast food and chips...and even after flushing myself out, I still weighed the most I ever have in my life yesterday. So I really have no room to talk. And then I realized, I don't know that much about aspertame or sucralose - meaning I haven't done my own research but only relied on what I've heard other people say. So I'm just as bad as the rest of them.

I think it's time for me to go run now.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Save Yourself

Sometimes I wish I could make a book about all the things Bear says without thinking. He's learning, but sometimes I have to wait for him to catch himself. I can't remember all of them, but here's one example:

Me: Do you think I'm cute? (jokingly)
Bear: If I didn't think you're cute, who would?
Me: ..........
Bear: I mean....if anybody should think you're cute, it should be me.

There you go. At least he saved himself a little. And of course he makes up for it with the times of "you look pretty when you sleep" and such. Men. Bahaha.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Blue and White

I bought the above towels from Target. I'm in love. I can't wait to use them. I guess it's because of the way my mom decorated, but I love the Japanese blue and whiteness.

And I got this ^ to go along with the towels. I didn't get the full white pineapple bathroom set from BB&B like I wanted on my registry, but luckily they're white so they'll match this soap dispenser and the towels.

I'm saving up to buy this koi bathmat ^. It's from and it actually a lot longer than it looks (55"L). I LOVE IT.

I'm not going to buy a shower curtain until we get to school and I can actually look at our bathroom. The problem is, I like white frilly ones, but then I think there will be too much white in the bathroom. So then I think I should get a blue one. But it's boring. We'll see.
I love these kitchen towels. Of course they're from Target again. I'm not too happy with Bed Bath and Beyond. They have nice appliances and stuff, but their kitchen towels and decorations are ugly (in my opinion).

And another one from Target...this dinnerware set. But I can't have my whole house be blue and white! Gah I need to be a little more creative.