Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday House

This is late, but what the heck. I didn't do too much decorating this year, but with our little house, a little goes a LONG way. I especially loved our tree this year. I used 3 different garlands and stuck with my red and white and silver theme.

I added letters I embellished to my ikea mirrors that are here year-round. Just used basic tape to keep them up - you can see them peeking around the tree.
I love these ornaments - the clear ball with the feathers. They're meant to be gift card holders that I picked up after Christmas last year and I thought they'd be better suited on my tree.

This is a find from this year's after Christmas sales. glittery ornaments I made this year. LOVE those. I wish I could have found more of the things but hopefully they'll come out with a newer design for next year.

My new nativity! I'm hoping to add more pieces throughout this next friend's mom can get them for me wholesale.

K, that's it. Now time for the take down and installing our new floor.

Recipe: Refrigerator Rolls (and cinnamon rolls!)

I found a recipe for these on someone else's blog but then didn't bookmark the link nor did I remember what kind of blog it was, so I ended up just using a recipe found through Google. I have to say, these are THE most delicious cinnamon rolls I've ever made and although I LOVE my mom's rolls, these are easier for me to make than her recipe (easy and, well, these seem fool-proof).

Refrigerator Rolls:

4 cups of milk, scalded and poured over

1 cup sugar and
1 cup butter

I set these in the bowl of my kitchen-aid and kept the setting on low.

Let cool and then add

2 packages (or for those who buy in bulk - 5 tsp.) yeast dissolved in
1/2 cup water


8 cups of flour(all-purpose), one cup at a time

Cover and let rise until doubled, then add

1 cup flour mixed with
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cover and let rise again.

I took the whole batch and rolled it out on a floured surface, rolled it out with a rolling pin and used a round cookie/biscuit cutter to cut out a dozen rolls. Bake at 425 for 12-15 min. So, after I cut out a dozen rolls I still had a substantial amount of dough left. I made these AWESOME cinnamon rolls. Seriously, if I could share one with everyone, I would, that's how awesome they are (I hate to admit this, but I've eaten 9 of them. OH gosh, that sounds worse when I type it and read it again. K, I'm banned from cinnamon rolls for a month.)

For Cinnamon Rolls:
Mix together

1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon

then spread over rolled out dough rectangle. I then melted another 2-3 tbsp butter (I eyeballed everything) and just kind of drizzled it over the top of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Then I rolled the dough up and cut them into pieces. I let them sit in the pans for 5 min to rise before I tossed them in th oven. Baked on 400 degrees for 20 min or so (may have been less, I just watched them until the tops were brown).

Cream cheese frosting:

Cream together

1 package cream cheese (8oz?)
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla

then add 4 cups powdered sugar, one at a time. If it gets too thick, add less sugar. If that's too late, add milk 1 tsp at a time.

MMM...Enjoy! (and call me if you make some cuz I want!)

Friday, December 21, 2007

A White Elephant

Yesterday was our 2nd Annual White Elephant at work. Probably the best. People definitely upped the ante.

I picked the 4th gift. It was from one of the owners, who did the same thing last year (stuck $10 in an envelope). This was only different in that it was 10 $1 coins. Of course it got stolen from me.

Next I picked up a nice pretty box from ann taylor. Inside contained a license plate. So I said, "oh wow! it has authentic dirt on it!" and then I hear from someone else, "hey! that's MY license plate! what the heck!?" to which i replied, well, unless you steal it from me, it looks like I'll be driving a bmw from now on, huh. One of the girls went and took it off of John's car a minute after he pulled up for the meeting. So funny.

(i'm just giving the highlights of the gifts)

So then I stole the money back. And then I stole this awesome bust and ended up with it.

Seriously, people were emotionally attached to Abe during the game. One of the guys wanted it so badly that he offered me $10 for it. Of course I took it. So I ended up with the $10 afterall.

Other gifts:

Foam Samurai Swords (I brought those in - they were from my DI pile)
some sort of perfumey soap thing that was regifted
a mexican masher/grinder (...molcajete?) thing with dip bowls
a first aid kit
a really really horrible picture of one of the owners that keeps getting floated around the office/packs of gum/jewelry
a post-it note with an I.O.U for Lunch
a TERRIBLE book of poetry called Love Will Come Again (example from book: love can be found anywhere: in front of a college dorm, in the back seat of a chevy...)
a food storage #10 can of powdered fruit drink
a HUGE poster of a picture from our summer party of two of the sales guys in the swimsuit with one guy grabbing the other's chest. (A kid who's only been here a month did that...ballsy)

There were more but I can't think of them. Good days.

Also! Ryan got an interview for the University of Nebraska! hooray! nice work, honey. He'll be flying out in January. Cross your fingers he gets in AND gets financial assistance.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pregnancy Tests

So let me just start off that no, I'm not pregnant. I wish I were, but I'm not.

But peeing on a stick wouldn't tell me that...because the last 3 tests I've used seem to be faulty or not work correctly or human error.

So I got a prescription refill of Medroxy, which I guess is progesterone and will help me start ovulating (which is currently the problem), but I didn't want to start taking it until I took one last prego test, just to be sure.

What does it mean when the last 3 tests you've used don't have the little line show up in the controlled section? Something is wrong with my pee. There's no way there are that many faulty tests, esp. since they're all 3 different brands (first was dollar store, second was walmart brand, then got FactPlus) and I just got a negative in the negative area and a very very faint line (if you could call it a line) in the controlled section. On the cheapo one I, um, kind of screwed that one up myself because it's not as easy as just peeing on a stick. I ended up with the line bleeding through the whole thing. Weird, I know, but leave it up to me!

So, I'm about 99% sure I'm not pregnant and now I get to start another cycle of prescriptions and hope that this one results in either a period or pregnancy...cuz this whole 'you're not getting either' business makes me unhappy. Merry-barren-Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Flurry of Christmas Activities

It all started Thursday night. Every year my office holds a Christmas dinner for the employees and their spouses. Very casual, just a great time. This year was no exception. Although our night started super late (8pm) we all joined up at Carrabbas in Orem (yay for not having to travel!) and I had THE most delicious sirloin marsala, mezzaluna (i don't know if this spelling is right at all), and chicken something or other that had a creamy lemon/butter/cheese sauce with herbs and sundried tomatoes. OH. MY. GOOD! It was awesome and even better as leftovers!

8PM- Thursday --- So dinner with spouses, usually on a Thursday, and then yesterday started at whole day of Christmas activities for all the employees.

8AM Friday --- It's tradition to sponsor a family for Sub-for-Santa. We had 4 kids this year so we headed to Old Navy to find the kids some clothes and then to Target to get them some toys and books.

10:15 am --- head back to the office. Some of the guys decided to get in a few minutes of work, some us of played foosball, and some geniuses hooked up Guitar Hero in the conference room and we got a few games in (fun game).

11:15am --- Headed to Orem for lunch at Jason's Deli and to meet up with one of the girls who couldn't make it until now.

1pm --- Laser Assault in Provo. I will admit I wasn't really too excited about this. I wasn't sure if I'd have fun or I'd be good at it, but holy crud, SO much fun. For anyone who hasn't been before, this place has vests you put on with these guns attached that look like mini dustbusters. You creep and crawl around and hide and sneak and look for people on the opposite team and try to get their lasers to go off via sensors on their shoulders and chest. We played two games, boys vs girls, then mixed it up for the second game. I did awesome the first game and came in 2nd overall (hooray for moi) but then the second game we used the buddy system and my partner Marisha came in second. I got completely sweaty and the fog machine made many of our throats a bit hoarse, but with 17 people, we were able to constantly be shooting and hiding. loved it. OH, so during the second game one of the guys turned the wrong way, smacked into a corner of a wall (which is just sheets of sharp corners) and had to run to urgent care for some stitches. good thing we signed waivers, right?

2:45PM --- Headed to Jump On It in Lindon. This just opened probably 6 or 7 mos ago, maybe less, but it's a huge warehouse with bouncehouses and huge inflatable slides and over 2/3 of the floor is trampoline and they mounted basketball hoops way high up on the wall. They also have some on an angle up on the wall so you can run and jump up against the wall and you just FLY off. I think I sprained/bruised my foot during the course of our game of dodgeball.

4:05PM --- headed back to the office to see what our gifts from the company would be. They always have some awesome games/ways to choose gifts. This year they did it similar to how they did it last year. Survival rules (like the show). They also combined a game we often play for determining where we eat lunch called High Card. For lunch the person who draws the highest card from a deck gets to take off a vote from the options for lunch until there is only one place left and thats where we eat. For yesterday, the lowest card got to pick a wrapped present from one of the piles (more girly gifts, gender neutral, and more manly gifts) and that's what they got....
Well, that's what they got until someone stole it. So as the game goes on and people have gifts in front of them, people who get to choose a gift can either open one from the pile or steal an opened gift from someone. If your gift is stolen, you can either steal a gift from someone else or choose one from the pile.
Certain cards meant certain things. If a joker was pulled, you got to open two gifts from the wrapped pile and essentially choose one. Some gifts had another game called Penalties associated with it. For the ipod, you had to sing a verse of a christmas song to get it. For the 13ft trampoline, the last person to have it and didn't want it had to return it to the store (this was just because it was the largest box/gift and they didn't want to have to return it).
So I ended up opening the second gift and I chose from the girls pile. It was a beautiful white gold tennis bracelet and matching earrings from Nordstrom. I don't wear jewelry very often, so I was hoping someone else would LOVE it, too. Anyways, some of the gifts were definitely boys' gifts, some definitely girls (a pair of UGG boots and a Nordstrom gift card). So I ended up singing my way to this red iPod nano. Hooray! I wanted it for christmas but didn't want Ryan spending that much so we put it off until my birthday....I love my office! some of the other gifts were a Garmin GPS system, behind the seat DVD player car kit, Photo Printer, Digital video camera, digital camera, Portable DVD player (a WAY nice one), camping gear, an iZip Scooter, and a few other things I can't remember.

6PM --- head home. Sore. Sweaty, and probably smelly from all the running/jumping/ducking/dodging I did that day. Everyone ended up with something they wanted and was so grateful for working for some awesome guys.

I was soo tired and wanted to go to sleep, but hopped in the shower, got on some jammies and ran out to run a few errands with my husband.

Today I slept until 10:30am, then got up for only about an hour, then fell asleep again until 2:45, just as Ryan was heading to work.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Questions

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? For Christmas it's wrapping paper. But i'm not fun with it. I just get brown kraft paper (like what's used for shipping) and put all the Christmas ribbon I bought from Costco to good use. Easiest to store, really. So all I need to have is lots of ribbon on hand (which I tend to have anyway) and a roll of brown paper...perfect for any occasion.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. It started when we were younger because of allergies in the family. I just like the convenience of not having to water or vacuum or put lights on my tree every year. With artificial, I can get somewhat heavy ornaments and they'll NEVER break the branch off the tree. I like the smell of real trees, but if I really care enough, I can get a tree air freshener thing...or just a real wreath.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually right after Thanksgiving, but this year it wasn't until the 9th. If it had gotten any later I would have rather just skipped it....although, my tree is Gee---ooorrrr-jus. I did three layers of beaded/jeweled/glass garland and then put the ornaments on.

4. When do you take the tree down? no standing date. Just whenever we get around to it.

5. Favorite gift received as a child? for Christmas? I don't know if I got this for christmas but one year I got a Fussy Doll - she cried until you put her binky or thumb in her mouth and moved her arms and legs. Well, she cried until I put her in the tub with me. Then the wiring gave out. I still have her. She's in my memory box with some other things. OH! I remember this WAS for christmas one year. My mom made us each our own cabbage patch dolls...except they weren't cabbage patch, they were bigger and softer. I'm not sure if they were supposed to be cabbage patch because they were cheaper to make than to buy actual cabbage patch ones, but I LOVED them! each had a different hair color and outfit that my mom spent hours upon hours on (i'm sure) to make. Dang it, I wonder what happened to those...I think we may have given them away. that makes me sad now.

6. Do you have a nativity scene? I just bought one. I don't have it yet, though. A friend's mom was able to get this wholesale for me and I'm so excited!

7. Hardest person to buy for? My husband! oh my gosh, it's almost made Christmas not fun. No wonder he doesn't care for the holidays. I still don't have anything for him, really. It's so frustrating. I told him I might just end up having to get him giftcards or give him money. gah!

8. Easiest to buy for? Girls, really. I know what girls like more than what boys like. My family usually has some sort of wish list. It's easy to work from that.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither. Since we don't have kids, I don't see it as being very important and really, no one really cares yet.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? hmmm...

11. Favorite Christmas Movie? I'm not going to be cliche and say Elf, because everyone loves that movie. I love the old school Miracle on 34th street. The one with Maureen O'Hara.

12. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, just wedding presents.

13. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? HAM! I love ham. and goodies from friends. mmm...nothing like homemade treats! and ham.

14. Clear lights or colored on the tree? White for sure. I never really liked the colored lights. I think they look awesome outside on trees (like, one color per tree) but on the house and in the house, white lights, please. I don't even like the LED lights. they have a bluish tint to them.

15. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night and Carol of the Bells. Oh, and The Christmas song. (chestnuts roasting on an open fire....) Although, Evonne mentioned Jack Johnson's rudolph and now I'm curious. I haven't heard it before. Oh! and a more contemporary song by the Waitresses called Christmas Wrapping (or rapping - i don't know how it's spelled). Ryan hates hates HATES that song.

16. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel to family's homes. We're rotating with the in-laws. First year was with my fam, then by ourselves, this year his fam, next year mine (i think - we might stay at home, depending where we live). Or we might have everyone come to our house. We'll see. Ryan's brother is getting married so we'll try to coordinate with he and his fiance (by next christmas it'll be wife) so we can all be home for Christmas on the same years.

17. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? there anyone who can't?

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning. I never understood friend's growing up whose families opened all their gifts on Christmas Eve. I can see a traditional gift of pajamas, but I don't think I'd wrap those, just say, oh, let's get our new christmas pajamas on.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People have seemed to forget the reason we celebrate Christmas. I think that's why my husband doesn't like it too much, either. It's all commercialism. It should be about Christ and the celebration of his birth. I love that it's turned into family traditions as well, but why not put more thoughts of the reason back into your day?

20. Favorite ornament theme or color? Last year I used leftover wedding decorations, so, pink and brown. This year it's red, white and silver. I think we'll have this tradition for awhile. It's seriously so pretty. I made a lot of my ornaments and repurposed things that weren't necessarily ornaments and made them into ornaments. i love the more playful christmas colors of red, lime green and pink/fuschia, so next year I might try to incorporate that.

21. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Ham, my mom's homemade rolls...oh those are awesome...cranberry sauce. Love it. and leftovers. and my fam makes THE best mashed potatoes - don't even need gravy...but if it's ham gravy - gimme some!

22. What do you want for Christmas this year? I buy myself way too many things to reallllly want peace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pretty as a picture

My final product, packaged and ready for giving. I've eaten so much English Toffee in the last few days. There are different varieties: pecan, plain, and almond. The almond is the prettiest to look at (curse me for not getting a picture...) but I love how all of them taste. I've found the key to toffee is keeping the temperature on medium heat instead of medium-high (which means on my stove i use a 5 out of the 1-9 offered) after slowly melting the butter and sugar together. I think my first and my last batch turned out to be the best, both in texture, color and taste, but it's all pretty darn good.

Think happy thoughts!

Holiday Movies

On Sunday I enjoyed an evening in at home while Ryan was at work. I was invited to his parents (as I am every week) and also to a friend's for dinner, but wanted to get our Christmas tree up and decorated. I ended up making 3 batches of English Toffee (I've made 5 now...well, 7 if you count the ones that didn't turn out) that night and watching Little Women. This version:

While there are many parts in the movie I tear up at, this one in particular made me bawl. I was so glad Ryan wasn't home. I feel silly crying at movies in front of anyone.

I wish they hadn't cut this clip so short. When Hannah spreads the rose petals all over Beth's bed, piano, and dolls, I lose it. I'm such a baby...but you know what? I don't care. I always watch this movie around the holidays. So much of it happens in snow and in the winter and around Christmas that it for some reason screams Christmas Movie to me. and Pride and Prejudice is a Thanksgiving tradition for me. The 5 hour long one. OOH! I want to watch that tonight.

Anyone else have any holiday movies that aren't necessarily holiday movies?

I have a crush on Justin Timberlake

I'm not all crazy about celebrity-hype and whatnot, cuz really, they're just people who make a lot more money than I do...but, I have a baby crush on Justin. Watch how funny he is. Oh, it's not as great without sound.

and I love the Ellen show.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I've finally finished some projects and gotten them added to my Etsy shop. I've been so busy it seems the last couple of weeks and at the end of the day doesn't look like I've gotten anything done. Finally finished sewing the last couple of puppet bags that have been ordered and will ship them out tomorrow.

I got some awesome ornaments in the mail from my ornament swap and will ship out these tomorrow. I'm only going to add one to CheaperbytheDozen because I want to keep at least 3 for my tree this year.

Speaking of my's still not up!!! This weekend I told Ryan it has to get up, otherwise I'm thinking it's not worth it...I'm too lazy to take it down if it's up for less than 3 weeks. freak-ity freak.

OH - do need to mention I found an awesome link for 50-70% off toys at Amazon. Click here for it. I'm not sure how long it's going on. I ordered some Dora dolls for my niece's b-day for next year. I got 4 for a little more than the price of 1. I'm a bargain maven. I was called that at work last Friday. They called me the coupon maven. what a compliment.

Also, a little plug for a favorite sweet shop I've ordered from SEVERAL times: Avenues Sweets. Their caramels and nougat are sooososososoosooo delicious. I believe in them so much that I ordered some for my bosses to give them an idea of something different than the fudge they've ordered for Christmas for the last few years. No offense to the person who makes it, but it's not that good.... oh! for AvenueSweets, if you go to you can usually find a 50% off coupon...It's totally worth it.

I'm trying to start a gym routine, so Casey (neighbor who is 8 mos pregnant) and I are going to the gym after I get off from work. So far we've just gone once (yesterday) but we'll go again on Saturday morning. Probably not a bad thing to exercise as I start baking for the holidays. mmm...candy...wait, bad candy.

K, bedtime!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Flour Girls and Dough Boys Bakery

There's a bakery down the street from my office that has changed owners/names/styles 3 times in the last couple of years. Most recently it was Naborhood Bakery, a second edition of Naborhood Bakery in Gardner Village. Well, they're not there anymore. Instead it's Flour Girls and Dough Boys. And let me tell you. I'm in HEAVEN. This is probably not a good thing I work 2 blocks from a bakery, but this is more of a bistro of sorts. They'll have ready-made sandwiches for lunch, in addition to a beautiful seating area finished with oh so fun chandeliers and eating tables, fresh baked artisan breads, muffin tops, doughnuts. Oh, and steamed milk! I tried it for the first time today and mmm..mmm...good. Today was their opening day. On Saturday, Dec. 8th they're having a cookie day for kids. Sugar cookies to decorate there and even cookies for the adults. For what I'm typing you'd think they paid me, but, no...I just got some foccacia bread and it is SO fabulous. Probably THE best I've ever had. The outer crust is light and flaky and inside is warm and spongy. It's topped with delicious herbs (tastes/looks like Thyme). It was $5 for the loaf. I'm going back tomorrow for their Asiago Cheese Bread. MMMMMM

Friday, November 30, 2007

I just dropped a load

At lunchtime I headed home to help Ryan measure our house for new flooring. On Wednesday I cleaned up the most disgusting mess I've ever seen come out of our dog (twice) and then after that got cleaned up and Ryan got home that night, the puppy got sick AGAIN and made a mess on the floor. Exhasperated, I yelled, 'THAT'S IT! I'm not dealing with this damn carpet and not being able to clean it anymore!'

Ryan said, 'I said you could get new flooring. This is your green light."

I grumbled back something to the effect of, 'fine. I'll look tomorrow."

I ordered $600 of flooring today; a bargain if you really think about it. We only have 420 sqft that we're wanting to replace the carpet for. Not that much.

Also, it's been a REALLY long week. At work, at home. All around. I've sold 4 of my oh-so-cute fingerpuppet bags this week...Which means I need to finish them STAT and get them shipped off to some cute little fingers.

I'm shipping one to Paris! How fun is that?

I'm going to try really hard this weekend to get some major house cleaning and project finishing done. My husband is about to go ballistic from the constant state of mess I leave the house when I'm making things.

Stockings and Glittery ornaments to be added to my shop soon. I'll need to take better pictures of the stockings. They're so much nicer/prettier in person than in the pictures I managed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Few of My Favorite Findings

on etsy. So many talented people, really. These are all things I think I could make by myself, so I just covet them and look at them from afar...sigh...

Except this little toddler doll...I don't think I can make it but I think it's so cute! When I was growing up we'd occasionally get a FingerHut catalog in the mail and I remember little dolls that looked like cute.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


These little beauts are 2/3rds of the way done. A new ribbon for hanging perfectly and a cute little tag for them and viola! Glam for the fam.

I'll be making a few more of these for my etsy shop. I found the most gorgeous red glass glitter online and had some shipped to me with these in mind. I have some silver ones coming.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Working Furiously

To get to an update for my Etsy shop later this week and to make some ornaments for my own Christmas decorating. I've found some awesome unfinished ornaments at Michael's and can't wait to get my hands on them with some glass glitter. I love me some glitter. and RED glitter...even better.

Also, I'm hoping to put some STOCKINGS in my Etsy shop! I am stoked about using some of the luscious wool I picked up the other day and start working it into red and green stockings.

I love the holiday season!

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's not over yet

I thought the stressful months of Ryan's grad school apps were finished. I thought wrong. He received an email today from one of the schools saying he's missing the application fee, a transcript, and a letter of recommendation. All of which he thought he had taken care of. So that started him worrying that he was missing other things. He started looking.

The University of Wisconsin decided that since he hadn't accessed his online application since 9/30/07 (not even 2 mos ago!!) that they would delete it. He mailed in part of the application 2 weeks ago, paid the what's the deal?! All I know is that we were going to start watching Ocean's 13 tonight.

Actually, I need to finish stitching up a puppet bag that was a special order. Finished all the puppets during Heroes, Chuck, and Notes from the Underbelly (LOVE LOVE LOVE this show - so glad it's back) and now it's time to get the bags finished. ta ta for now.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's Official - I'm sick

I'm sick. My first 'winter' cold for the season. It's a tradition in my family that at least one person gets sick during Thanksgiving and one person (or more) gets sick at Christmastime. Well, I think it's a tie for Thanksgiving. Both me and nephew Jack got sick last night (I think his was from eating a pound of chocolate cake and ice cream). I slept terribly last night because I kept rearranging myself on the bed (the mattress was my parents when they got married....time to get rid of it? uh, yes, about 10 years ago - it's rock hard) not only keeping myself awake, but Ryan as well. Both of us are exhausted after driving home but I decided after my Diet Pepsi Max that I had tons of energy and my sniffles had subsided enough to head to Mom and Dad Alexander's house to visit with BIL Nate and his gf April. Cute girl. I think she'll fit right in.

Time for bed. After a 8 hour trip to Orem today and another hour to and from South Jordan, these boots aren't doing anymore's time to take them off and set them aside for the evening.

I hope everyone had as great of a holiday weekend as we did :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Sniffles

Wouldn't you know it that I end up getting sick on vacation. I couldn't wait to get back to normal life to have allergies (terrible, I might add) sprung upon me and a head cold of some sort. So ridiculous.

Today started earlier than yesterday. I was at least showered and ready for the day before 1 (the two prior were 3pm and 4pm, respectively). The boys went out and rode 4wheelers for a good 2 hours and then came home and played frisbee golf at the park across the street from our house for another hour. We girls decided we needed to do a bit of shopping and headed to Maurices. I found a few cute things but really decided it is time to get my cute self back into shape and back into my skinnier clothes. I have 70 lbs to lose, STAT. So, I'm not waiting to start my resolution until the new year -- it starts now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Day After

Black Friday has always been fun to me, even if I don't wake up at the buttcrack of dawn to stand in line....heck, the last few years you've needed to camp out at the stores the day before if you wanted the hottest deals. This year I didn't find anything of too much note, though, and slept until my sister called to let me know everyone is meeting at Cracker Barrel for their hamsteaks...delish.

They'd been up since 3:45am to get coveted purses, jackets, tool sets, tvs, xboxes, etc. Ryan and I strolled into Walmart at 8 and picked up the couple of things we were interested in without crowded lines or freezing our asses off in the cold Kingman wind. It was bliss. The best shopping in a long time.

I think Ryan even said something about the awesome customer service at walmart and it being like a scene from a movie. This Walmart was built just a couple of years ago and is super clean, wasn't really crowded...esp for being the day after fact, I think it was less crowded than a normal day at the Orem Walmart.

Overall good day. Mexican food for dinner, sizzling fajitas, and a stop at Sam's Club to pick up some christmas and birthday presents. Another great day under the belt. Tomorrow will be fun as well. We'll have lunch at In and Out, celebrate brother Ken's b-day, and gorge ourselves on leftovers.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Quickie

I just realized it's really late and I want to get up at a decent hour. I'm a zombie at this point, but not as much as Ryan. He slept 1.5 hrs last night, so technically, he hasn't been to bed since Tuesday night. What a trooper.

Thanksgiving is such a fun holiday. Hillary was drunk on something and didn't make it through the prayer before she started giggling. She was almost as loud as her kids. And then she didn't want the rest of her sweet potatoes, so she plopped them on my plate. I flung them back to hers and decided I'd up the ante by tossing a kernel of corn in her ice water. Apparently that crossed the line. I got mashed potatoes in my ice water in return. Thanksgiving around here isn't a sanctimonious affair. Now that we're older and just get together as our big immediate family instead of with the grandparents, we have a blast and things are so much less stressful. It makes for a happy day. After my turkey induced coma let up we went to Hillary's for pie. yum. Now i'm on a sugar high and plan on falling asleep to last night's episode of Private Practice.

I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and the 5000 calories they each consumed. Burn them off tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving! (almost)

Evonne already posted about our saturday evening last week. And I mentioned some little tidbits about it, but I got my 2nd stocking done this week (3 to go) and wanted to post some pictures. I had grand designs of getting 6 or 7 made and really whipping them out, but I got so flippin frustrated with the darned fabric that I only did one that night...and not even to completion. I ended up sewing on the buttons Sunday and making the other one on Monday. The one with the flower will be mine and Ryan's is the one with the trees. I'm digging the flower, but I think I actually LOVE the Christmas tree buttons I found for Ryan's. I'm not sure if I'll embroider our names on them, either. We'll see. I fell in love with that red cranberry colored wool felt I used, but it was $25/yd...TWENTY-FIVE! If you know me, and you know I'm cheap, I almost fainted when I saw how much it was. I didn't have time to make another stop for a different store and no coupons in hand for this little Quilting Cottage I got it at. The cream pom-pom trim is from Moda and was only $2/yrd. A bargain if you ask me. It adds so much to the overall look.

Yesterday at work we had our monthly company activity. This time we had our First Annual Turkey Shoot (film fest) and filmed a few movies in teams and they rented the theater down the street from us for an hour and had an open concession stand. First time popcorn didn't cost me $5 :)

This was ours: A Napolean Dynamite Trailer/Teaser/Movie in 4 Minutes

Chad is a pretty convincing Napolean. The sound isn't the best, but we had so much fun. I can't get the one that I liked the best to load, but I'll get it.

They had our Film Fest on the marquee at the sticky shoes theater in AF. We work a lot, huh?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Snacks for a car ride

Some tempting chocolate covered pretzels for our Thanksgiving excursion:

I've had those oh-so-cute sprinkles for 3 years now just waiting for me to find some reason to use them. MMM. delicious and cute to boot.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm it

Not about me...
What is his name? Ryan Marshall
How long have you been married? 18 mos
How long did you date? 2 mos? Oh, I just looked it up. We dated 9 weeks. (BUT - we were engaged for over 7 that's respectable)
How old is he? 25
Who eats more? He eats more and he eats faster. At lunch on Saturday we were at Costco (of course) and managed to eat a piece of pizza and a polish dog AND finish before I finished my polish dog.
Who is taller? Ryan
Who sings better? Hmm...when it really counts? probably me.
Who is smarter? Ryan is for sure. This boy graduated on scholarship with honors?! who does that?
Whose temper is worse? I am pretty vocal when I'm upset and then get huffy and close off, he just bottles it in till he explodes...I'm not sure which is worse, really.
Who does the laundry? Usually Ryan, unless I need something done or am out of underwears ("I love black underwears" - what movie?)
Who does the dishes? Me
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Ryan
Who pays the bills? Me
Who mows the lawn? The HOA guys
Who cooks dinner? Me
Who drives when you are together? Usually Ryan.
Who is more stubborn? We both can be. It depends on the situation, really. I usually give in or feel bad and give in.
Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Hmmm...depends on who started the argument/fight. I don't have an answer
Whose parents do you see the most? Ryan's, for sure. They live 30 min from our house (door-to-door).
Who proposed? Neither one of us did. We just said something about getting married and kind of agreed on it.
Who has more friends? He does. I like having a few close friends instead of a huge slew of acquaintances.
Who has more siblings? Definitely him.
Who wears the pants in the family? I'd say Ryan, but if you ask him, he'd probably say me.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Early Holiday Baking

A trial run:

1) I'd make the sugar cookies with less flour. To answer a question about the chocolate vs. cocoa, I'd stick with chocolate. It's really foolproof to melt it. With this stuff, you just put it in a glass (or other microwave safe bowl) and microwave for 1 minute, stir, and return to microwave for another 30 seconds if needed. Let cool til ALMOST room temp (do this step ahead of time to speed up actual process.)

2) The royal icing was great for piping, but I should have made a little thinner of a version for flooding (term used when you fill in the little valley you've created with the piped icing). You can see in the pictures that it's not as smooth as royal icing typically is. dang it.

Overall, I'm happy with their turnout, esp. for a first run. I was going to use couplings and icing tips but I don't have enough couplings for all the colors, so I just used a ziplock bag and snipped the tiniest amount from the corner.

my favorite, me thinks

I love this little guy. This is the only one i didn't ruin with over-embellishing

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A little late

Today was a busy day starting with a windshield replacement at 11(up before 10:30 on a saturday is early. all those with kids, i know, i'm such a baby, but I don't have kids yet so i can relish in it...), lunch with husband @11:30, a baby shower from 1-3, coming home and making a salad for craftnight2 with Evonne and Karen, grabbing my sewing machine and supplies and loading everything up to leave my house by 5:15 to start sewing at 6.

And we got home at 12:15. Long night, involved me swearing a lot and getting really frustrated with the first christmas stocking I was working on, a baby choking and a call to 911, and the other girls whipping out their stuff in no time and totally showing me up.

But today rocked. I love days where I'm so busy that I don't have a chance to be bored.

now...must fit in some gym time. soon. and often. the girls at the baby shower were sticks. they turned sideways and all you could see were their boobs. i hate them.

Friday, November 16, 2007


A little mishap at work yesterday involving a co-worker and my windshield....

First words out of his mouth, "I'm paying for that."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Recipe for You

I love gingerbread men, but I'm not the biggest fan of gingerbread cookies. My solution? Sugar cookies....chocolate sugar cookies. YUMMMMM. They're dark like gingerbread men cookies, but taste divine. And really, you very well can't have Caucasian gingerbread men.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

* 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 3 squares (3 oz.) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder

In large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Blend in chocolate. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until smooth. Cover and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll dough approximately 1/8 in. thick. Dip cutters in flour (I think cocoa powder would be better) cut and transfer cookies to cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove to rack and cool thoroughly.

Makes 2-2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hi My Name is Chelsea

and I'm a blog-a-holic. I could spend hours on end reading the lives of 'books' per se. I found some amazingly talent crafting folk today and not only do I covet their time and studios and goods, but their ability to create outstanding craft that will sustain and entertain them for YEARS. One of my new favorite mediums is glass glitter. I found a fantastic source for it that is TONS cheaper than what I have been paying. Shipping is a bitch, but then again, when is it not? cost is cost. But I found this because of my blog reading. Really, people sharing ideas and resources has saved me loads. And we all know how much I love to shop. When I was skinnier it was a new top or pair of pants every week; now it's fabric. I'm a fabric whore. I don't care if I already have 4 under-the-bed storage containers full of delicious fabric waiting for me to cut it to pieces and refashion it into this and that. When I see fabric I LOVE, I weigh my options, evaluate my budget, and usually get it. And I usually get it on sale.

Tonight I watched Pushing Daisies and became jealous of Ned the Pie-maker. No, not because Chuck is super cute and is a mix of Jenny Lewis and Zoey Dasche-something, but he gets to spend his days doing something he loves - making pies.

I want to be my own pie-maker someday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


One of our friends is a student in the Art Dept at BYU and was emailed an invite. So we scored some great seats to a movie we were going to see after it came out on Friday anyway.

So I have my delicious oh-so-terrible-for-me theater popcorn and gallon of diet coke and settled in. Oh yes, don't forget my 3-D glasses.

I loved this movie. It is definitely adult content. It's mostly cartoonish, well, not really. Think Halo animations and you're on the right track. It was great.

About 3/4 of the way through, after 1 bathroom break, I still had the majority of my soda left. One mishandling of it and before I knew what was happening I was holding only the lid and the straw and the few droplets of diet coke that remained. The rest was on the floor, on my pants, on my husband and, oh yes, COVERING the guy in the seat in front of me. I felt TERRIBLE.

So after the movie I profusely apologized and tried to make light of the situation by telling him it was diet, so at least it won't be sticky. What I got in return was a look of, don't talk to me tinged with utter scorn for movie theater goers that must have a gallon of soda.

So if you hear of anyone who got drenched last night in non-sticky soda, remind him I'm sorry.

Monday, November 12, 2007

How many painkillers did you take?

Ryan threw out his back last night at work moving a couch (reinjured an old problem). So after a night of tossing and turning, he called the HR office and asked how to report a work related incident. Ended up going to the dr. there and they basically told him he can't work. So, being well-loved as he is, one of the ladies said he'd be able to do a project and work from home until his back is better and just to take an extra dose of painkillers.

While making dinner, he drifted off to sleep. He woke up when he realized I was taking a picture of him. The funny thing about this is that he hasn't had any bottles of Coke today. Those are floating around from the gazillion he has previously consumed. I love him. He makes me laugh.

Oh! and you can see how well the pillows match my couch!

Also, almost finished:

I'm debating what to put on them to finish off. I have black buttons to consider and/or a scarf. I think I'm going with a scarf for sure. We'll see.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

dang it!

I can't seem to get my snowmen finished. I need to run up to battle creek canyon tomorrow during lunch to find arms for them. And then I'm not certain if I'll make scarves for them and adorn them with buttons or leave them more plain and simple and just add something down at their base...we'll see. I might do a mix of both.

Thank you to both Evonne and Shannon for their help with an embossing heat tool! Shannon was beyond generous and just GAVE hers to me. What a doll! I owe her big time, especially once you see what I used it for:

These are more than likely going to be for coworker/neighbor gifts filled with truffles or english toffee or cookies. Anyone have a fabulous recipe for english toffee? MMM...I've found a few online but want to know if anyone has any tried-and-true recipes.

And then I got this fantastical seasonal thing made tonight:

I ordered the vinyl from an etsy seller and 3 days later got it. I did have to rearrange some words because the board was only a foot wide and 2 feet long and the image was supposed to be 11.75" by 23.25" but alas, it wasn't. It didn't fit on the board as is, so I had to cut and arrange to make it work. But, I love how it turned out. I think Barn Red is my favorite painting color.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

fall cleaning

I woke up so nice and rested in a big bed ALL to my self this morning (I love and missed my husband dearly, but I don't miss sharing the bed) and decided it was time to tackle the mess of a craft room Ryan's been getting onto me about.

So I didn't even shower until 8pm. progress? spare room is 85% done (needs a good vacuum and a few more things need homes) and I'm spent.

kronk out.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Just a little preview:

(they're fuzzy on purpose--i don't think i have that feature down quite right)

I seem to have misplaced the noses for my snowmen. freak. means I have to either find them or just spend the $1 to get another 4. $1 it is.

shouldn't really count as a post...

but I'm new to stamping/embossing. Does anyone have an embossing heat tool I could borrow for a few days?

If you do, email me! chelsealexander(@)hotmail(.)com

Thanks a gazillion :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

And the Winner Is...

Thank you for all the comments!

So, because of much butt-kissing (which I LOVED, by the way), I decided I wouldn't be able to choose that way and therefore did a random, yet scientific drawing (basically, me putting names in a box and holding it above my head and choosing one...very scientifical) That being said EVONNE will be receiving some greatness from yours truly. I'll get it together soon and drop it in the mail or just make a little trip to you :)



So this afternoon I came home to an empty house. It's been a LOOOOOOONNNNG day and I'm really ready for bed but wanted to get to my blog.

Remember Ryan's car trouble? Well yesterday afternoon I get a call from him just seething with frustration about a new wretched sound his car is making. So I call the mechanic because he's too upset to even talk about it. Turns out, Ryan takes the car over there and the sound is gone. He picks it up tonight and it starts again while he's driving. He's thinking the cold weather is making things tighter and squeakier. Looks like we need to hit up a costco-sized portion of WD-40 and get that thing lubed (that's what she said!) before it drives him crazy.

Oh yes, I came home to an empty house. Ryan's up in SouthJordan babysitting while his mom and dad are at a company event in Cali for the weekend. In addition to the nightly traffic from American Fork to Orem, we have BYU vs TCU game traffic. It was hell. A coworker I was giving a ride to needed to pick up his car in Orem by 6:30. We left at 5:25 and made it with 5 min to spare. AND, we didn't even take the freeway!!! After 10 min of going ONE mile, we got off at the next exit down and went on back streets, only to be held up there as well. Seriously, probably the most ridiculous 8 mile commute I've ever had.

Since Ryan will be gone tomorrow night as well, I'll be finishing some new crafts (which includes Evonne's gift!) and posting them to my shop.

Okay, it's almost midnight. sweet dreams.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Blogiversary Giveaway Time!

It's been a whole year since my first post (well, as of tomorrow) so for the occasion I've decided to give away a prize. I'm not sure exactly what the winner will could be a holiday decoration or something more edible, but either way, I'm sure you'll love it!

So, you have until 11/8 (tomorrow) at 9pm (MDT) to leave me a comment to be entered. I'll post who is drawn (or who leaves the funniest/most-butt-kissery note--I'll see what I feel like) tomorrow night and get something to you!

Also, I have a few new holiday decorations up my sleeve. I was going to post a picture to give a hint, but I didn't remember to take one last night before bed. If I weren't sitting on a baby tonight I'd promise it done by tomorrow. Oh well :)

**This is open for lurkers, too! So come out of the woodworks and you could win**

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Peppermint Swap

I mentioned here that I recently bought some unfinished wood letters from SayItWithLetters. Deb @ Damboise designs is also organizing an ornament swap for the first 10 people that want to participate.

If you are already swamped with christmas tasks, probably not a good thing for you to sign up for, but if not!...well, go to the site, get the details and email her :)

I'm signed up and am thinking I'll get started tonight. I love the holidays!

Monday, November 05, 2007

My Nose is Broken!

No, not in the cartilage-sense broken. Every little smell is making me sooo flippin' nauseous to the point that I want to throw up.

Anyone have any remedies?

Update! I know for a fact I'm not any other ideas?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Deal of the Day

With holiday baking currently the default of my thoughts, I am trying to think of ways (in a list format - to save time in the future) to make life easier.

I've seen Silpats used in many a competition on the Food Network and everyone from Alton (oh how I love thee and your bill-nye-of-food-genii)to Nigella use them. I'm not really wanting to fork out $25+ for a piece of fiberglass and silicon though...who would, right?

But in my last baking adventure I decided I was going to be too lazy to wash the pan after my batch of cookies were baked and I used parchment and of itself isn't cheap. SO, found a GREAT deal on Amazon for different sizes of Silpat mats.

a smallish one here

and a standard sized one here

And since I bought both I received free shipping. who's the shiz?

oh yeah, that'd be me.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I'm bored. And tired. And while I shouldn't be either bored or tired (I didn't get out of bed until noon), I am.

My little dog smells like tortilla chips, which indicates bath time. Maybe I should do that, but really, I'm cozy on my couch watching this past week's episode of Pushing Daisies (possibly my FAVORITE new show this season) and I'd have to unload the dishwasher and re-load it to clean out the sink first. Ooh, I could use the spare bathroom tub. K, off to bath the puppers.

Oh! I have to share that I found a great resource for wood letters.

and this is their pricing and letter styles

Originally I found them on Etsy, but then looked at their blog and realized it's less expensive to order through their blog than it is through Etsy (they have to cover costs of listing and the sale percentage fees), so my letters are on their way! Shipping is a doozy, but I ordered 8 letters/shapes and it was $10...on etsy, it would have been twice that!

I love Christmas crafts.

Friday, November 02, 2007

6 Things of Me (and Day 2)

Tagged by Evonne

The rules of the game should be posted at the beginning of the post. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. I am messy. REALLY messy. Like, to the point where it bothers my husband enough he'll start cleaning. I try...I mean, I really try to clean and maintain picking up the floor and whatnot, but it has to bother me before I do anything about it. It's a WIP.

2. I HATE a dirty kitchen. I can't work in a kitchen that has dirty counters and dishes and I have to clean it up before I can cook or bake. Yes, I know what #1 says...but the rest of the house can be in ruins and the kitchen will be the only clean room.

3. I can't go a day without the internet. I read blogs while the phone is ringing at my office and between calls and during lunch.

4. I love a good deal. Who doesn't, right? But for me it's to the point of being a problem. I can't resist a great deal if it's something I can justify using or gifting within the next 12 months. It drives Ryan nuts!

5. I am a project jumper. If I don't do something start to finish, I have a hard time going back to finish it in a timely manner.

6. I LOVE socializing with food and games and crafts. If someone says, hey, lets get together and craft. I'm already one step ahead and gathering up supplies and planning what I can contribute for snacks. LOVE it.

I tag Hillary, Katie, Leah, Liz, Mandi, and Nat. You're welcome ;)

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Or National Blog Posting Month.

This means you'll get a new post from me each day. Don't start high-fiving each other too soon, though. You'll get sick of it after day 4, I'm shore.

But later this month I DO have a giveaway (hooray for you lucky peeps), so you may want to stay tuned. :)

I've been doing various crafty-crafty projects lately, including one VERY late night a couple of weeks ago, and learning new skills.

I learned how to make this:

to which I've also made this, with fabric for another two awaiting their turns patiently.

The blue/brown/cream combo is already reserved for someone special, but the other has been posted to my shop and is looking for a new home. As much as I love these quilts, they are EXPENSIVE to make and very time consuming. I'd say each one involves between 4-6 hours from start to finish. Oh, but aren't they so worth it?! The brown fabric has tons of pills on's like your favorite sweater that you wear so much and starts balling up...the saddest story. It was my favorite material...besides the cream waffle chenille. I think most of the other fabrics in either of these are from the Moda line.

If you'd like a custom order, let me know...although, i can't promise they'll be the same as the ones I've already made...they're one of a kind and i really don't think I could duplicate them exactly.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Freak Show -OR- All that and a bag of Chips

Happy Halloween! A visitor came to the office today (or should i say solicited the office) visiting with a coworkers husband. just for reference in size...the normal looking guy is 5'11/6' and so we're guessing Trixie is around 7'2" (assuming her heels are 4").

What a frightening sight.

you'll want to click on the image for the full effect