Monday, December 22, 2008

Over and out

After repeatedly checking the weather report we decided that if we were going to miss the big snowstorm a-rollin in we'd have to leave for Utah on Sunday morning. We wrapped all our shiny, beautiful presents in big black bags, tucked them carefully in the back of the ear doctor's pick up and headed out.

About 2 hours into the trip the ear doctor said, "wow, we're really a family aren't we?"

I glanced back into the small back seat and saw our little dog passed out on in utter doggie joy...curly rawhide stuck under one paw and looked at my husband. We were making our first trip over the river and through the woods to get to my grandma's house and I replied, "yes, yes we are."

So now we're here.

Sleeping in the same bed where I dreamt of sugarplum fairies and awaited the jingle of Santa's bells. I ate about a half a dozen cookies because at grandma's they have no calories. And the packages are carefully tucked under the Christmas tree.

Have a great Christmas.

I hope you get whatever was on your list...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Better than Magnum...

Every year the ear doctor and I got on one special Christmas date. We block out one night during the hectic season where we decline the kind offers of friends and shrug off our obligatory attendance of work holiday parties. We spend the time together, just us.

In past years we've seen White Christmas, or the Rockets, or just taken a drive through festive neighborhoods and award someone the "Griswold" award. It's my favorite night of the season.

Last night was our Christmas date. We bundled up in a million layers, bought ourselves some hot chocolate and went down the to the zoo for zoolights. They've covered the entire Denver zoo in a million little twinkle lights. It was awesome.

The air was thick with the festive spirit and the delighted screams of little kids. I don't know if they were more excited to see Santa or Dolly the elephant. Of course, we went and saw the baby giraffe who is getting bigger and bigger all the time.

And I couldn't pass up the chance to pet my favorite quadrapeds:

Do you have any idea how dumb you feel as a 27 year old person crouching, taking a million pictures trying to time the animatronic zebra to capture this image?

Really dumb.

Anyway, it was a great night and a great surprise for me from the ear doctor. See how excited I am.

(please ignore the ear doctor's CRAZY eyes...that's his signature "blue steel" look)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Watchout Ichabod Crane

I LOVE getting Christmas cards. LOVE it. I know a lot of other people get annoyed when they read a 2 page letter about what a genius your little Johnny is, but I don't. Go ahead, tell me how smart baby Suzy is for potty training in 1 day...I don't mind! In fact, I love reading about how happy and great your family is.

However, I'm horrible at writing them. And I know that in order to keep getting cards I have to up the effort level and send some of my own out. I promise, next year, I'll get to it.

It doesn't help that my adorable sister sends out this awesome Christmas card of her beautiful little family:

Although, I have to admit that when I pulled it out the envelope, my thumb was right between Maggie and her husband's faces, covering the bottom of the baby's dress, making it look like this:

A disembodied Christmas baby head.

Creepy, but still, somehow adorable.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Did you ever see the movie Stranger than Fiction? Of course you did.

Well, I loved it. While the story was really great, the part I loved even more was the idea that someone who was Harvard/lawyer bound found her passion in baking. Because, well, let's face it, I'd love to quit this job and bake for people all day.

For me, there is just something magic in making someone a perfect treat. In providing a break in someone's day, a place for them to get away and indulge in a warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookie. To witness a grown, serious adult melt into the 10 year old version of them self over a super chunk brownie just really gets to me.

My mom thinks this idea sounds fun for about a day but after that it would get old. But I really don't think so. Not for me anyway.

For the last couple years this idea of starting a bakery has lingered around dormant in the back of my mind. There are so many things standing in my way, most of which have the face of Benjamin Franklin stamped squarely over the center.

However, when I see photos like this I'm totally overwhelmed by the desire to bury my hands deep in a sack of premium flour and whip out my baking scale:

These photos are of the newest Baked Bakery in Charleston, SC that I saw this morning on Design Sponge.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

They never get dirty

Yesterday I called my mom. She was a bit surprised to hear from me and said that I must be busy because I hadn't called in a while.

And she was right. I've been so busy lately that I didn't even realize that I hadn't called her.


Between throwing the church party, organizing gifts for the family we've adopted, cooking dinner for the missionaries and putting the finishing touches on the Christmas shopping I've felt like I'm just barely keeping my head above water. Add to that the horrible lingering cough that starts every night at about midnight and my life might just be at the breaking point.

I'm pretty sure the ear doctor is feeling the pressure too. Although, he might be a bit past the breaking point...

Love those black socks....

Monday, December 15, 2008


Let's just talk about this product: THE SNUGGIE

First of all, what a dumb name. Snuggie? Clearly, they aren't marketing this product to anyone with any testosterone.

Second, I already made this product. I made a blanket with sleeves about 3 years ago for my brother-in-law for Christmas. It was made out of camo printed fleece and has two sleeves I cut off a Wal-mart sweatshirt. To think I could have been a millionaire if only I'd marketed the thing.



Thanks so much for your fantastic suggestions on how we can help this season! Seriously, the ear doctor and I were totally blown away by all of your contributions. We found a family that we will be surprising with mounds of gifts and all the makings for a great Christmas dinner. We spent all day Saturday shopping for them and Sunday was spent wrapping up their gifts.

I can't tell you how much doing this has impacted me.

It made me stop and think about those who don't have what I've always taken for granted. A lot of people don't have the amazing familial support system that I've been so lucky to have. Without parents who taught me the value of education I would probably not have the job that I do that so fully supports our family.

I whole heartedly suggest doing this to anyone who can. Make it a year long goal. Budget in a bit extra money each month to help someone else during the Christmas season.

It's made all the difference for me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How can I help?

A month ago the ear doctor and I decided to budget some of our Christmas money to help another family in our area have a better Christmas. We both felt so overwhelmingly grateful for everything that we've been blessed with this year. We wanted to give back in whatever way we could. We decided that we didn't need to give each other extravagant gifts when the economy is in the pits and other people are really struggling.

So, we went to the bishop (like a pastor or minister) of our congregation. We asked him if he knew of anyone who might like extra help this Christmas season. He referred us to the leader of our women's aide organization who usually handles this type of service.

When the ear doctor asked this kind woman (who gives more than she ever takes) if there was someone we could help she stared blankly back at him. She was a bit shocked and confused.

He explained that we'd set aside some money to anonymously help someone else in our congregation. Still a bit bewildered she replied back to him, "Well, right now everyone has a job so I don't think there's a real need."

We were both a bit dumbfounded and shocked.

Never in my life have I wanted to help someone and not had a clue who needed my help. I'm at a total loss for what to do. Should we just go to the store and use that money to buy a bunch of kid's gifts and give them to the salvation army? Or buy a bunch of food and give it to a local shelter? Thoughts?

Proud of herself

I have to brag here a little bit because I only have to find 2 more gifts for my loved ones. Check your calendar, it's only Dec 11th and I'm practically done! Not that impressive for my mom since she was pretty much done with her shopping 4 months ago, but a record for me.

Plus, I didn't set one foot into the mall and I got quite a few handmade gifts.


What's that?

You've never won something on a blog giveaway? That's a crying shame. I once got a really awesome pair of tennis shoes FOR FREE from a great blog giveaway and Your Heart Out. I love this kind of marketing that stores are doing and think there should be more of it!

Lucky for us all, Design Mom is having a RAD giveaway on Friday. Make sure to pop over there and throw your name in the hat!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Here's the deal

You all know how much I want/need snow boots. Well, turns out there's a blog giveaway for the chance to win some FOR FREE! And I get to put my name in the hat TWICE if I add a link, so I'm gonna do it.

I need all the help I get. These boots would do right by me:

I admit it

I've got one of those horrible little colds that kind of lingers with you and doesn't really make you feel bad enough to warrant calling in sick to work. The kind where you wake up in the morning and wonder who replaced your brain with a 20 lb bowling ball. The kind where you drag your sorry body to the shower in the hopes that the steam will loosen up the nasty ball of mucus that's lodged itself behind your nose, pressing with ruthless accuracy on both the head-ache inducing button and the ear clogging trigger. (eustation tubes...thanks ear doctor!)

So here I am at work and this little cold has taught me something about myself. Something my mother would be horrified to learn.

Turns out that I only cover my mouth when I cough if someone else is looking. If not, I just let those little germies fly. Gross, right?

Totally gross.

Lesson to co-workers: Bring Purell to work.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Roscoe to the rescue

When my little sister Maggie and I were little we would lay on our backs to watch TV. Our entertainment center had two cabinet doors on it's front and as we'd watch our feet would mindlessly, repeatedly open and close the doors. I'm pretty sure this drove my mother insane. Insane to the the point where she made a decree that there would be no TV in our home Monday through Thursday.

I remember being so PISSED at her for taking away TV watching privileges, but also thanking my lucky stars that at least I still had TGIF. I mean, really, what 10 year old girl could have missed step by step in 1991 and still hold her head up at elementary school the next Monday?

Along a similar vein, the ear doctor have recently decided to take up a new challenge. Lately we've felt that we need to dedicate some specific time for family. As a result, we've decided that we aren't going to watch any TV at all 2 days a week. On Sunday and Monday our usually burning hot TV will get a little rest. We won't be watching Amazing Race or Heros at their regularly scheduled times (thanks DVR), so don't come up to us and spoil the endings, alright?

Last night was our trial run. After making dinner with some friends we came back home at 8:30 and sat around looking at each other. For a minute we weren't real sure how to fill our time for the next 2 hours.

But, don't you worry, we thought of a few things to do:

Thank goodness we got a dog...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Hostess

Know someone who loves to throw parties? I do...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Blogger

We bloggers have to stick together, right? Here are some great finds that fellow bloggers are selling.

1. Nantaka Joy "I Love" Journal $12 2. Awesome gift labels from Stuck labels $6.25/sheet 3. Paper suitcase and stationary $38 4. Armelle Jewelry $50 5. Rad motivational prints $12

Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Tree hugger

1. rethink t-shirt $22 2. Hemp bag $65 3. Harvest membership to a local CSA Price ranges, but a half share at the one close to me costs $400/20 weeks 4. Sigg waterbottle $25 5. Ting Ting Bracelet $20 6. EcoDesign: The sourcebook $35

Christmas gift guide: Grandma


Three cheers for NICOLA! You will be getting a whole year's subscription for free! Watch your email this morning!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Stocking stuffers

1. AMC gift card (I LOOOOOVE getting these!) 2. She and Him CD $12 (Paste magazine voted this the best CD of 2008) 3. Oranges (these are always in the toe of our stockings) 4. Warm new socks $12 5. Cute magnets $5


Last week I got a card in the mail saying that if I renew my subscription to Domino I can send a year long subscription FOR FREE to a friend.

Well, I can't think of anyone I know who would want it who doesn't already get it. So, following in Nicole from a Little Sussy's footsteps, I'm giving it away.

Yup, leave a comment (and your email address) and a year of Domino could be yours for free!

The offer is only good until tomorrow so I need to pick and winner tomorrow morning and get their mailing info ASAP, so make sure you check back early tomorrow and watch your email.

Christmas gift guide: Brother-in-law

One of my most difficult people to shop for. Not that he's picky in the slightest....he just doesn't really like having a ton of "stuff"

1. Leatherman $80 2. Cabela's Gift Card 3. How Doctors Think (not that he has time to read anything for fun...) $ 11 4. Biking gloves $26 5. Pink Abercrombie T-shirt (wink) $25

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Eskimo

1. Glittens $25 2. Ugg Summit boots $250 3. Dakine beanie $25 4. Helly Hansen base layer essentials $40 (bottoms) 5. Handknit cable twist scarf $45

Christmas gift guide: New Mommy

1. Pee pee teepees $12 2. Puj baby tub $99 3. Nursing Cover $35 4. Pantemm round changing mat $30 5. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (she'll need something to read and laugh at when she's up at night) $12

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Creative Sibling

You know those people who just love making projects? If they don't already have this stuff, they'd LOVE to find it under the Christmas tree.

1. Holga starter kit $70 2. Gocco Printing Kit (hard to find this year) $185 (more on ebay) 3. Gingher shears $40 4. Prismacolor markers $20 /12

Christmas Gift Guide: Coworker or Neighbor

Wouldn't these be fun to give and to get? I think so.

1. I am not a paper cup (this is actually porcelain) $20 2. Bubble calendar $30 3. Ultimate pocket protector $5 4. A dundie (only if they really deserve it) $20

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Gift Guide: Husband

Well, this is really a gift guide if your husband is MY husband. If so, then he'll love these things:

Christmas Gift Guide: Baker

Do you have someone on your shopping list who loves to bake? Well, if so, here's some great little gift ideas that they'll probably love. I know I would.

1. Mauviel Copper Sugar Pot $120 2. Fleur de Sel $10.50 3. Whole nutmeg $4.25/4 oz

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful for...

...families that love me, even if I'm not genetically linked to them.

...a home, which I don't technically own, but feels like mine.

...friends who let me hold their newborn son and remind me of the miracle of birth.

...a job that challenges my mind and helps support my family.

...fellow bloggers who forgive me for changing to a Christmas layout 4 days before Thanksgiving.

...a husband who loves me and thinks its funny to do this to our dog:

Enjoy your turkey, family and friends!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If only

If I had more money or these were cheaper I'd get them for my cousin Megan.

I think she'd dig em....

But maybe not. Hillz, what do you think? Am I heading in the right direction?

(seen on Oh Joy! )

In awe

My husband isn't an MD. He's a doctor, but he's not the same kind of doctor that my brother-in-law is going to be. He's actually an audiologist, a specialist in hearing.

Before I met him I never really realized how important hearing is. When asked, "would you rather loose your sight or your hearing?" I'd always immediately say I'd chuck the hearing for a chance to see. It used to be an easy choice. Now...not so much. He has taught me critical role that hearing plays in brain development and interpersonal relationships. And I am so proud that he has chosen to be a member of such a compassionate and serving community.

As a result, I was deeply moved this morning by the story shared today over at Rocks in my Dryer. Every Thursday she has a post written by someone who has experienced something unique in life. They describe what it's like to walk their path and share things that they've learned. I love it.

And I could not be prouder of my husband and his ability and desire to help people improve their hearing.

I need a new scraper

This morning I had to scrape the windshield of my car. And it wasn't that "oh, look, a light dusting of dry Colorado snow that I can just shake off and be on my merry way" kind of job. It was the "dead of winter, quarter inch of frozen, drizzly rain" kind. The kind where I seriously consider getting the ear doctor's wood chisels out of the garage and going to town.

As a result, my mind is set on chilly Colorado mornings that I'll have to walk my dog through for the next 5 months. Which, logically, leads me to boots.

I need some.


But I'm not really sure what kind of boots to get. Here is the dream list for boots:

1) waterproof
2) warm
3) good grip on the bottom so I don't end up on my rear
4) durable...I'm not going to be buying this type of boots very frequently so I'd like them to last
5) easy to pull on and off for emergency puppy potty runs
6) kind of cute...I know this is asking a lot from a snow/mud/rain boot, but if at all possible that'd be nice.

So far these are what I've got my eye on:

The Sarek Outlast by Trentorn

Now if someone will only loan me the dinero to purchase them...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wow, I'm getting lame

Sorry for the absolute dearth of good stuff here. I'm sure that my fans my mom is getting dissapointed when she clicks over here and just finds random pictures taken from my desk chair. Although, to be honest, over 11 hours of my every day this week has been passed from this chair so really, that's a pretty accurate depiction of my life.

What's that, mom? You want to see more pictures of my cubical? Really? You don't think that'd be so boring that you'd want to blow your brains out after seeing them?

Ok, since you asked:

Please disregard the creepy diet coke graveyard. I really tried not to drink soda, but it didn't last long...

Moving to the left:

Anyone who can tell me what the book on top of the bookshelf with the red title is gets 10 bonus points.

Rotating again to the left:

(This corner is behind me all day).

The only corner you didn't get to see just has a crappy old filing cabinet, which isn't really mine anyway. (That's Herb's domain)

So there you have it. My home away from home.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh the weather...

Today it is 75 degrees outside. It's really very beautiful, but something else is on my mind. Any idea what it could be?

Pretty decent use for post-its, right?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Guess what

We adopted a baby!!!!!!!!!!

Just kidding. This little cutie is the brand spankin new little son of some of our best friends here in Colorado. We went to go meet him on Saturday night after freezin our little bums off at the BYU/airforce football game down in Colorado springs (hence the monochromatic outfits). Oh, and don't you just love the sunburns we're both sporting? Gotta love that intense Colorado sun...

But I almost tricked you, didn't I?

Friday, November 14, 2008

We are going to be THOSE parents

I'm a little worried about the future children born to the ear doctor and myself. We're both just so totally dorky that it's hard to imagine that a kid might be normal after spending their formative years with us.

For example, before we decided how bundled up to get for our morning walk the ear doctor peered through the blinds that prevent the creepy neighbor from being able to watch us slumber. He turned to me and said, "you gotta look at this"

Immediately the story from the Nielson kid's first morning of snow popped into my mind and I excitedly asked, "Did it snow?"

Before he had a chance to answer I was next to his side, peering trough the cheap, embarrassingly dirty blinds. (give me a I'm really going to take the time to clean the blinds....)


The first thought in my mind did not consist of sugar plum fairies or snowball fights as in days of yore. Instead, they focused on one, adorable, stubborn, little thing.


It would be his first snow. I flew around the house in a tornado of excitement. Much to my chagrin, I noticed that battery on our camera was dead! HOW COULD I HAVE LET THE BATTERY RUN OUT!!!!!!! THIS IS A MOMENTOUS DAY THAT WILL NEVER COME AGAIN!!! I MUST DOCUMENT IT!!! (the ear doctor is rolling his eyes and cringing in pain as he reads this)

Oh well, my crappy phone camera would have to do. There was no way I wasn't going to capture on of our little guy's firsts. I threw whatever warm clothes were on top of the pile at the back of my closet and practically pushed the ear doctor outside with the dog. I instructed him to let me go ahead so that when we got to the snow I'd be able to capture the dog's very first moment with snow. Crouched on the ground, my pants getting soaked I waited to click.

If this is how freakishly excited I get over my DOG's firsts in life can you imagine what it'll be like for a kid....


Turns out that without flash, in the dark of a pre-dawn morning a cell phone does not do a great job of capturing a moment. The only halfway decent record of this mornings activity is of my dog peeing. I'm sure that's really at the top of your I-MUST-SEE list for the day.

No need to thank me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In which I never learn

My grandpa grew up in Eureka, UT.

Ever since I was little I've been enthralled by the countless stories of Eureka as told by my grandpa. First and foremost, it was a mining town. My mental picture of that town in the 1930s is eerily similar to the town where Adam Pontipee meets Milly in 7 brides for 7 brothers....small, rough, and filled with men. This is probably not accurate, but that's what I've had ingrained in my mind. Thanks a lot, unnatural love for musical theater.

My great grandma was the cook for the mining camp. Talk about a tough job. Cooking up food for all the miners who probably weren't the most genteel of diners. I don't remember ever meeting my great grandma, but the one thing I know about her is this: She could take hot pans out of the oven without any mitts! And not get burned!

A genetic trait I wish I had.

Last night as I watched the opening episode of my beloved Top Chef I gently cradled my burned hands in my lap. As I excitedly noticed that not one but TWO of the contestants are from my hood I cried out in joy and pain. As I thought that since I'd probably eaten something that a contestant on my favorite show had made that pretty much means that I am PERSONALLY experiencing TOP CHEF I glanced down and saw the all too familiar shiny marks that indicate seared flesh.

And then I realized that I really shouldn't have grabbed the red hot handles of my big shiny stock pot earlier that night. It seems that every time I put a pan that is traditionally used on a stove top into the oven to broil or braise I almost always end up trying to pull it out with my tender, fleshy bare hand. I never learn that a handle that's been in a 300 degree oven for an hour will probably be approximately to temperature of the sun. And it will surely not bless, but burn my beautiful hide.

And that is not what a top chef would do. Or my great grandma.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Out sick

Don't mind me, I'm just shivering under a mountain of down comforter, watching Rogers and Hammerstien and realizing one of the biggest perks of marriage...not having to go to the store for my own Sprite and crackers. 

How did I do it without him for so long?

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm sure some people are really good at visualizing design. They can just think of all the different elements of what they want to create and then go after it.

I'm just not that way.

I have to start with an idea and build a bunch of prototypes until it evloves into something that I really like. This takes a lot of time and is probably the reason I only really do it for big projects. Like, for instance, my wedding. I decided that I would create the place settings and centerpieces myself.

I knew the look I was going for (simple, match our venue), but had to actaully set up a practice table to get a really good feel for the scale and look of everything. The end result ended up looking a lot like the practice version:

This weekend the ear doctor and put together a beta version for the upcoming church Christmas party. What do you think:

Any suggestions/improvements?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Any ideas?

I know a bunch of you are just oozing creativity and have great contacts out there. Does anyone have a great source for bulk, cheap card stock? I'm in charge of the decor for the Christmas party at my church and I really want to make these for each place setting:

But my budget is SOOOOO small. Any thoughts?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Cute new (to me) blog

I found a little link over at my cousin's site and I think it's such a nice little spot. Along the same lines as Jordan at Oh Happy Day and Nicole at A little Sussy.


One question

Why do people comment anonymously? I'm not talking about the comments that my grandma leaves me, because she signs her name at the end.

I'm talking about the rude anonymous comments that people feel free to make on blogs. Take today, this post from a woman who is painfully experiencing infertility. Someone felt the need to go to the effort to write a comment telling her to (basically) stop complaining and move on. Not only that, but the commenter came back a few hours later and wrote ANOTHER mean comment. Give me a break.

This kind of stuff just blows my mind.

Why bother? Why waste time writing about something if you're just going to be hurtful? You'd never say that stuff in person.

I just don't get it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I'm listening to Christmas music today. I just can't help myself. And this year there are only 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I feel fully justified in starting my little secret celebration early.

It's not like I'm trying to short change Thanksgiving in any way. How could a food person such as myself try to rush past the one American holiday squarely centered on the celebration of the harvest and the creative mouthwatering things we can do with it? I can't.

I just love Christmas music too much to only give it 3 weeks attention.

So, when you do feel it's OK to start celebrating the season?

Probably not until after're all probably more sane than I am.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obligatory Nov 4th post

Guess what? We voted.

If you don't, I'll make you swab the deck and then walk the plank you scurvy dog...