Sunday, December 19, 2010

Books Under Your Belt

So, I'm a book nerd, to no one's surprise. Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt.

How about you!?

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy [a favorite!]
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens [favorite]
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo [another favorite!]

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Cards, Take 2

I finally ordered my "holiday cards," since they'll arrive in mailboxes a little after Christmas!

It was a hard choice, choosing between 3 of my favorite designs,
but Ty liked this one [below] the best.

So, here's a holiday card for all of you in Blogger land!
Happy Holidays!

[ps - If you want one, send me your address!] 

Hopefully they'll run another promotion like this next year - that way I'll be able to make this a tradition. I really hope our generation sends greeting cards. I loved getting them growing up. Here's to hope for the future!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

[pss:  for some reason, I could not post the description under the card. The formatting hated me. So, my friends, that is why you get 2 holiday card posts. Kind of obnoxious, but we'll get through it somehow!]

Holiday Cards

Joyous Noir Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly for beautiful photo Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Morning Routine

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankful for my Niche

My thankful post is a little late - but I've thought about it a lot lately, so I hope you'll find a bit to be grateful for within it, too.

I'm grateful for not being perfect. 

While this might not be something we're in love with all the time, recently I've come to appreciate this fact. You see, I've spent the last little while looking at others and their amazing talents. I started to feel a bit down. I can't do that, I'm not as good at this, etc. [enter tiny portion of self-doubt] That's a pretty normal cycle for all of us to go through, I think.

Then gratitude stepped in.

I have to say that I'm thankful for people who are willing to share their talents. Whether its through blogging, picturesque inspiration, or great recipes that they've contributed, I am thankful that I get to learn from them. I learn more about beautifying my home; more about whipping up edible morsels; more about capturing the joy in the moment. 

I am very grateful for the gift of "self" that others contribute to a selfish world.

Through those gifts of "self," I believe that we come to know ourselves just that much better. I still stress about not decorating my home to Martha's standards, but I am grateful for affordable housing + sturdy cinder block walls + limited space. I'm grateful to be young and daring. I'm grateful to have a spouse that encourages my every attempt. I'm grateful for free furniture from in-laws, friends, and the dumpster [haha]. I'm grateful that my marriage started out as humbly as it has. I'm grateful for those who've picked us up along the way, and shown us their faith through kind acts. I'm grateful for being able to still learn - I'm so grateful that I don't have to have it "all-together" yet. And, I'm grateful for those who have gone before, I'm grateful for those who are traveling with us along this road, and I cannot wait to help those that find themselves where we once were.

Its going to be a good ride. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Wish List....

 This bed...

The brown boots....


Kate's White coat. Seriously, I love it!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


[peanut-butter + chocolate = heaven]
It all started out with a trip to Smitten Kitchen + a BOSCH.
Pretty sure I love that site more than life.
She featured these delicious treats a while back!

This is how you feel after eating more than 2.
Gloriously swirly! They're my new fav for Christmas treats!
Seriously, so easy, so divine!

You should check out the link, and try them out!
I'm excited to give these away for Christmas presents to the neighbors this year!
What are you going to make for holiday treats!?

Thank you Smitten Kitchen.
You are the staple of my kitchen.
I cannot wait to buy the cookbook!
Thank you Jenny & Andrew Shadel!
I definitely BOSCHed it today!
Heaven, indeed!

ps: when I made these a 2nd time [aka the last half of the batch] I used milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet. I think I'll use semi-sweet from now on :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Cards + Thank You Dilemma

So, I have a dilemma that I'll start out with. Its a bit swirly, so read it and feel free to share advice!

When Tyler and I were married, we flew out that same night on a red-eye to Atlanta, and then after a 5 hr layover, flew to the Virgin Islands [haha, I know]. Then, after a week in paradise, we flew straight to DE, spent 2 days there, and flew straight back for my first day of classes.

When our family helped move the presents from the receptions to Ty's parents house, the cards were all mixed up. So, unless the gift came with a packing slip, we never knew who got us what.

I've been debating on what to do for a while. I really wanted to thank people not only for the gifts that they gave us [because we never would have made it through our first year of marriage without them], but especially for the gifts of "self" that they gave us throughout the years. Seriously, I never would have made it through my teenage years without the people in my home ward, my college experiences, and of course, my YW leaders. How do you thank someone for that type of gift without being cheesy?!

Well, I've composed a Thank-You card that expresses that. We really wanted to use a wedding photo, but b/c our original photos [sucked] weren't delivered until Nov of that year, and I cried over them, I couldn't send them out. Now that Jalene, bless her heart, has given us beautiful wedding photos, I have the poem over-layed on a photo, making a card. I'm thinking postcard, but I do want to thank the people whose cards remained attached [Mrs. Swift for the beautiful glassware, Wade Haus + family for my favorite dishes, and Aunt Sue for the beautiful china from BBB, etc]. So, maybe a 2 panel card for those who I know gave me specific gifts, and postcards for the general thank-yous?

Now, there's nothing that I can really do about it. I feel like its better to be generally grateful than never grateful at all. So, I'd like to send them out during the holiday season [bc its soon, and I've already waited a billion and a half years to do it].

What do you think???

And, while you're musing over that, here's a great promo! Shutterfly is giving away 50 free Christmas cards for bloggers! Click here for the info! I'm so excited, because I've never sent Christmas cards and these are actually dang cute.

 Here are the options they sent me in an email:

·         Christmas photo cards to
·         personalized mugs to
·         Christmas invitations to 
·         Choose your favorite product from our Cards & Stationery pag

This is my favorite today:

I would upload all of my pictures, but its slightly odd in the sense that you can only upload JPEG, not JPG files, which means I'd have to "re-save" all of my pictures to JPEG. So, be aware of that when you try and upload pictures! [I cooked my chicken a little too long today b/c of this craziness...go figure.]

Check out the deal, and send your advice my way!!!!

Enjoy :]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sounds of the Day

She is my entire playlist today. Enjoy!

ps: I think my Thank-You cards are in the final stages of construction...from my WEDDING.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sounding Off - HP

 [image from]


For those of you who are all jazzed about the new HP movie I just have a poll I would like you to take, considering the following information:

-There is a nude scene. Not one, but TWO.

-Harry in one (that kid is so into that right now; broadway, etc.), and he and Hermionie in another.

-Those parts, obviously, aren't in the books.

Now I'm all angry. I loved the books and want them as unadulterated [yes, I meant it] as possible. Boo. Really? Do all good things have to be ruined with some 'new-modern-twist?' What if I liked it the way it was?

Someone will undoubtedly say, "Well, its not like its full-frontal nudity!" Regardless, its lame. I was mad in every single HP movie up to this point because they left out the best lines, funny situations, etc. I know you can't write every single line into the movie, but I have the books memorized, for Pete's sake. What else is a girl to do?!

So, I want to know. What will you do!?
[and, if you don't feel comfortable sounding off via comments, just vote! --- see r-hand side of blog]

ps: try and keep your comments PG. haha

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanks Rach!

Rachel posted her famously easy headband tutorial! And I stinkin' love it! I hate headbands b/c they kill my brain! Esp right behind my ears.

Now, pain-free, easy-peasy headbands are here!!!!!!!!

Click here to enjoy the masterpiece!

ps: i used interfacing b/c i didn't have any felt. works great :)

T-shirts + quilting = need advice!

Random musings have led me to this thought:

I love t-shirts. Seriously. I cannot get enough of them. Not the cutesey ones that you can wear out to dinner. I mean the ones you work out in, mow the lawn in, clean your house in [enter my activity this morning]. So, I have acquired quite a few, and have loved them to the end of their existence. Almost. I also have t-shirts that are WAY too big for you to wear [insert every t-shirt given at BYU-I activities] and Tyler has a bunch too.

So, I want to make a t-shirt quilt. Except that I'm a pattern person. With no pattern.

My mother-in-law let me borrow her sewing machine and it comes with a quilting-pedal foot. Its pretty rad looking. I need to have a project that takes a few minutes longer than the others, and now that its snowy [etc], I would love to start this!

Anyone have advice?!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



Gives me chills every time. 

Tyler bought me his 1st album for Valentines' Day when we were dating. 

This week, I'll be spending time at Primary Children's Hospital in SLC. 
My friend's 5mo. old little girl has just been diagnosed with leukemia. 
On Friday, I'll help and hold her in my arms. 

If you could spare a moment to pray for the LeBarca family, that would be tremendous. 

I'm planning on making a "Care-Kit" for my friend, 
so if you have any suggestions [candy, dvds, games, etc]
that would be fun for a hospital visit/extended stay, 
please leave me a message. 

Enjoy the video. 
Then, make someone else's day by sharing a
pick-me-up with them.
Smiles and hugs are appropriate :)

Thank you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Frenzy.

Mondays are my "Get-things-done" days. So, everything I think about doing, I do. Please enjoy my fall frenzy!!!

Dinner: I made a delish dinner, sponsored by Jalene. Her Taco Soup was divine, and so easy to make, and fast! [all of my favorite things in one recipe!] I used white beans since I didn't have kidney, and added sour cream, shredded cheese, and diced green onions. Tyler had 4 servings. Thanks Jalene! 

Miniature Pumpkin Cream Pie:
[disclaimer: I really do not like pumpkin anything. At all. I don't believe that veggie type things should be desserts. So, don't be as skeptic as I was. This amazes even the worst critic. Ahem. Me.]

For the recipe I used, click here!

I crushed my graham crackers in a ziploc bag and smashed them to bits using the pumpkin pie filling can. There is definitely not room in my tiny kitchen for a food processor yet, but I'm willing to make room for it! [hint, hint Tyler!] I used 1 individual package and another graham cracker plank or two in order to get 1 1/2 cups. 

Combine the melted butter (6 tbs) and 1/3 cup sugar and get ready to scoop them into your tiny mason jars!

Next, scoop graham cracker crust into the mason jars, about this full. I would love more graham cracker crust the next time around [thanksgiving]...cause I'm like that. I used 1.5 large spoon-fulls. Very technical, I know. 

The directions I used said to press the crust with your fingers. Well, the jars I used didn't allow for my hands to fit inside, since the neck narrows. So, I improvised and used a plastic cup instead! It mashes well. 

 Should look like so:

Next, I wanted to press down the edges, so I used that same large spoon and pressed around the perimeter, until I was satisfied :) Next, let these chill, since you won't bake this crust. [I just let mine sit at room temp while I prepared the rest.]

 Prepare the pumpkin pie filling! I used the whipping cream and made my own pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin pie spice was my favorite thing in this recipe by far!

Pumpkin Pie Spice:
1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ground cloves [they smell divine!], 1/4 tsp ground ginger. 
Mix and this will = 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice. 

Adding the dallop of whip cream was fun. I would really let it thaw for a minute or two before you try spreading it all around kingdom come!

I spruced it up by making the button-magnets, leaves, etc. The lids came like this with the jars I bought! I bought Better Homes & Gardens jars [they were the same price as all the others!]. The other neat thing about these jars is that the ribbons are made especially for the jars, and since I didn't have any ribbon, this was perfect. They were an amazingly good deal too! [Yes, I checked. haha]

These chill for 3 hours. OH MY.  They were seriously the highlight of the evening! So delish! [Can you tell that I love that word? Yeah, me neither.]

These will make great gifts for friends, family, VT, etc. I am so excited to make more for my work friends! Who will you make them for!?

Pumpkin Carving:  

We didn't carve pumpkins last year since Ty had started school again and I had just started my job. Its funny how happy Tyler gets when we celebrate the holidays, traditionally. So, this year, WinCo had pumpkins on for 8 cents a pound. How could we say no?! 

So, with a little patience, laughter, and a dull paring knife, we set to work:

Yep. Pretty sure I love him. 

While Tyler finished cleaning up the guts from the pumpkin, I decided to try and roast the seeds! It was so easy and they turned out so well!

Boil 2 cups of water + 1/2 tbs salt + drained/rinsed off seeds for 10 mins.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread seeds in 1tbs olive oil on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-20 mins until brown. Cool, enjoy!

Happy Halloween! 

What are your fall frenzies!?


What is a Pirate's favorite letter?



its a P. 

Looks like an 'R,' but its only got one leg!

You're welcome. Happy Monday :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Comparing the Change

 Here is me....last week. 

 Here I

 Cheesing it up for the 'booth!

I am really enjoying this change!

[don't you love our awesome cabinetry??? we do. lol]

When my hairdresser finished, he said, "You know...sometimes when I do people's hair, I look at them at the end and think: this is what you should have looked like all along." haha
Tyler said, "Do you think he was talking about you?"
I don't know for sure. I love having orange hair 24/7, but this deep red is definitely a keeper!

Yay for Fall!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Changin' it Up

 Wendi, Me, Janine

Notice anything????

I know. Its crazy. But I love the change. Its semi-permanent, so it'll be back to my natural color by Christmas. For now, I'm dying over the colors! I can wear red lipstick now! haha [i still don't, but red-lip-gloss is finally making its appearance].  The bangs I love - I can wear them straight down or swept (thanks to the wind lol) and I'm not going to lie: I'm excited for them to get a little longer! 

What do you think?!

[sorry about the crazy pictures. just look past it! haha]

Saturday, October 16, 2010


 Ok. First things first. 

1: I am feeling so much better. No more BC = no more sickness.
2. Got 40.5 hours in at work within 3 days. Nice. 
3. Tyler took a trip to the store and bought me this:

-Intuition Razor: I tried them long ago, and now I'm back, baby! 
Pomegranate flavored. Ooooo. I smell like heaven. 
Try it!

4. A first: I washed my hair with baking soda tonight. Since I left my straightner in Logan, 
my hair has been fighting me. So, I tried it. Used conditioner still, since my hair is unruly. 
Amazing. I cannot say enough. 
My hair feels amazing, and it behaved well! haha 
(2 cups water, boiled [i have hard water] + 1/4 cup baking soda.
turn burner off. wait for effervescence [or bubbles] to stop.
cool. put in bottle [old shampoo, etc that's been rinsed out]. apply to hair. 
use the mantra "lather, rinse, repeat."

5.   Looking forward to Tuesday. But not really. End of work, yes!
Tyler leaves for St. Louis [bro's wedding], boo. Not the marriage, but to being lonely on a week off. 
- hair cut / dye 
[maybe i'll go dark!?]
I had some more.... Hm. 

6. Reading a really fun series right now: Garth Nix [author]
Mister Monday
Grim Tuesday
Drowned Wednesday
They're all after days of the week.
Obviously, there's 7. 
I'm on Tuesday.
7. Tyler is dressed up as a skeleton tonight, performing at an event. Who knew breakin' was so lucrative? haha

Now...time to find something to eat! Cookie dough, anyone?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homemade Bagels

Hello all!

Notice that I'm typing this at 5:50pm on a Tuesday. I'm supposed to be working.

Long story made short: Sick last Wed-Friday, went to Logan Sat night-Mon morning, and Monday night = sick again. I think it has something to do with the new "BC Pill" I'm on. Bleh. Have any of you ever taken Yasmin? I did years ago. Now, I think its slowly poisoning me. But, great job + great boss = finish all of my work in 3.5 hrs --> go home.

Now, I feel like there's a pit in my stomach and a trail of tortuous acid from my throat down into the pit. Hence, my new-founded love for technology :) Thank you bloggers for keeping me entertained while I've been conscious today!

Onto the topic: Homemade Bagels. I couldn't believe that making these could be so easy! I would take pictures, but 1: made them last night before going to dinner with fab friends, and 2: they're practically gone - they're the only thing I've been able to eat lately!

I found the post on Jessica's blog, and she linked the recipe from Hubpages. Click on the baking section of Jessica's blog and search for the bagel pictures! So many varieties!  I cannot wait to make more. And what Jess says is so true - homemade = way better than store bought!

ps: Tyler was so much better at actually rolling out and forming the bagels. Who woulda thunk? I'm loving this discovery! He now has a new calling in life - making the bagels!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Sickness.

Yesterday, I felt like this:
(except that I had straight hair). 

Last night at 3:13am, I felt like this:

During the hours of 3-6am, I participated in the Bill Cosby skit of  "Oh Toilet Bowl, oh Toilet Bowl." (See below, minus the drinking, around 4:50?)

Then, I took a shower or two. Felt dizzy again, and looked like this, so I laid down on a bunch of towels I've laid on the floor. Looking like so:

Then, at 6:30, all of the reverse gears had stopped, and I appeared like this:

 Today, I was exhausted; nauseous; etc. The day looked as follows (except my hair was much curlier)!

Now, off to the store for 7Up. My favorite flavor - Pomegranate. Delish. On sale this week!
Today has consisted of Harry Potter (#7), Visiting Teaching, Ocean's 13, Honey Toast, and finally, chocolate chip cookies. Oh, so good. Now, off to the store for 7Up.

Bleh. I'm never going to look at chili the same way. -sigh- I love chili. (And, I made Jalepeno + Sour Cream + Cheddar biscuits. Delish.) Oh well! Here's to a much better night!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In the Eye of the Beholder....

Tyler does this when he knows he's being silly/in trouble. hahaha So typical. 

Thanks Jalene - We are extremely grateful!

You like?!