4.29.2008

Family Reunion Time

My mother's side of the family is hosting a family reunion this year up at the Church's fancy new girl's camp in the Heber area. We will be "camping" (with roofs, and beds, and running water, and kitchens--my kind of camp) for two days but there has been a little discussion about getting everyone together for a third day possibly at Lagoon or at a local park. The thing is, though, that my Aunt Vicki who is putting this all together isn't getting much of a response on what to do. Since some of my family reads my blog and the rest of you belong to families who have possibly done family reunions before I thought I would pose to you the question "What should we do on that third day (which will numerically actually be the first day--a Thursday)?"

I was thinking that with the Olympics coming up this year it might be fun to do an Olympic themed day where were broken up into teams (not by family) and competed in "Fun" activities. Here are a few activities I have thought of so far:

1. 3-legged race (for the kids)
2. Pie eating contest--fastest not most (we could use Hostess fruit pies to allow lots of participation and save on cost)
3. Sudoku contest
5. Sketch Grandma and Grandpa contest (for the kids)
6. Danish speaking contest
7. Water-balloon Volleyball competition
8. A Decathlon Relay (Something that would require everyone on each team to participate)
9. Bocce Ball competition
10. Name that Tune or Singing Bee

What are your ideas? Remember for those of you who will be there, if you don't speak up then it will be your own fault if something you like isn't planned.

4.28.2008

New Challenge: Becoming like Josh Groban

I don't really know where I am going with this challenge so it will probably be a bit of a work in progress (I welcome all suggestions).

A week or so ago I was reading this fabulous blog and came across a post where the blogger talks about meeting Josh Groban and describes him as "being a charming conversationalist, an engaging energy, and an overall fantastic person." When I read this my first though was, of course, how cool that she met Josh Groban. My second thought, though, was how cool would it be to be described as a charming conversationalist and an engaging energy. I'm pretty sure I can safely say that I am neither one of these things, but I would like to be so this week I want to work on being a charming conversationalist. Not knowing where to start, though, I did a google search on becoming a good conversationalist and found these basic tips:

1. Go to the library once a week and read from a variety of general interest magazines.

2. If you are going to delve into such topics as religion, politics, and money you must be open minded to what others say--this is not to say that you can't argue but that arguing must be done in good humor and that you must actually consider the opinions of others as valid and not end the conversation by slapping them or throwing your drink on them.

3. Practise--by yourself (as in practise a few opening lines you could use to get into a conversation and practise a few lines to get out of an uncomfortable conversation--the getting in lines should be open ended questions that can't be answered with a yes or a no. This is an example (that I won't be using for obvious reasons): rather than asking if a person likes the weather we are having you should ask how they feel about the weather we are having.) and with others.

The hard thing with this challenge is that there really are no real steps that I can create other than 1. go to the library and 2. practise. That said, I suppose that I will spend 1 night at the library this week perusing some general interest magazines and spend some concerted time each day practising. Now, I realize this is unlikely to make me a charming conversationalist by the end of the week, but hopefully it will be a start. So here's to becoming more like Josh Groban.

4.26.2008

The Peacegiver

I've been reading a really excellent book lately titled "The Peacegiver" by James L. Ferrell and came across this passage about the Fall and the Atonement which I thought was rather interesting:

"After the Fall, the Lord said to Adam, 'As thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed,' signifying the parallel relationship of the Fall and the Atonement. And so it is no accident that the Atonement will begin, as did the Fall, in a Garden. And it is no accident as well that the individuals in those gardens were each sinless, or that the events in those gardens centered on their exercise of agency--for Adam, whether he would partake of the bitter fruit, and for the Savior, whether he would partake of the bitter cup. The Savior and Adam faced a similar choice: If they did not partake, they would become lone men in paradise. Both partook that man might be. And by partaking of that bitterness, Adam came to know good and evil, and the Savior came to know all of the good and evil that had and would transpire in the hearts of men through all generations of time." (page 170)

Pretty interesting, right? I've really enjoyed reading this book. It has given me a lot to think about concerning how the Atonement works both in regards to what is expected of me and what I can receive. Too much to go into here, but I would highly recommend the book if you haven't read it.

4.25.2008

It's Friday...

...and I think we would all rather be doing this at work right now:

video

I'm not a huge fan of The Office (sorry people I just haven't managed to get into it yet) but I think something like this might work for that show--or am I completely missing the point of the show?

It's a Wrap

So we have come to the end of our challenge (basically--I have 2 more days of no tv) so I thought I would do step 4 (Permanently incorporate more unplugged time into your everyday life) by taking a look at a few steps I am going to take. First, I don't really think that I have a problem with phone usage since I HATE (yes I know hate is a strong world) talking on the phone. I am also pretty good at limiting my time on the Internet as I tend to get bored by it easily (you see, I like things to displayed well for me whether it is clothes at a store or stuff on the Internet. I want to be able to see it quickly and decide if I like it it or not. I don't want to have to search for something so when I do I lose interest pretty quick). Email isn't too bad either since I tend to be pretty brief.

So my main problems would be the television and my iPod. Therefore, for the television I am going to limit myself to 2 hours a week (not counting Yankee baseball games which aren't on often enough to be a problem). Actually 2 hours is quite a bit of time for me. This means I can watch CSI-NY to get my Eddie fix and still have an entire hour left to spend wastefully wherever I want. I think this will help me to make much better programming choices (and hopefully help me to get some projects done in my new-found spare time).

Now that that is settled we must move on to my iPod which I think will be the hardest thing to manage. For now I think I will start off by giving myself the restriction of no iPod for 1 hour before bedtime. Hopefully this will help me make that time a nice restful, peaceful time. If that works I may start to branch out a bit more (like no music in the car--sometimes--like I voluntarily did this morning).
Oooh, I'm already nervous about this one because sometimes I like to listen to nice peaceful or soulful music late at night and that can still be a restive time for me. What should I do? Maybe if I created some meditation time where I was able to just sit and relax in peace for a specified time each day that would work. I think I'm going to have to think on this one a bit longer. Any suggestions?

4.24.2008

Talent

I am constantly amazed at the amazing things people create and sell on Etsy. Here is one that I am loving right now:

Isn't that the most adorable little headband? If you really like it you can buy it here.

Twilight: The Movie

Here are a couple of sneak peeks of the upcoming Twilight movie. I've got to say that I think the casting looks pretty good (Edward isn't quite what I had in mind but he is growing on me). Thanks to Joy for alerting us on these fun looks. So I've noticed that the first clip doesn't play below so go here to see the first clip which is the best as far as getting a sneak peek.

No Gadgets--Nada

It was so much harder than I thought it would be to turn all my gadgets off and in some respects I did fail. For example, I did see the score for the Yankees' game while I was standing in line at Costa Vita and I did accidentally turn the car radio on when I was out running an errand (although all 9 of the stations that I flip through were running commercials at the time so I didn't get to listen to anything good--my radio must have realized that I wasn't supposed to be listening). But on the whole I think I did well enough to call it a success. While I did miss reading all my favorite blogs quite a bit, I would say the hardest thing was not watching TV. It wasn't hard because I thought I was missing out on some life-changing program but because I had told myself that I couldn't. I wanted what I couldn't have. I think this is a good exercise for me, though, and a good reminder that I can actually live without watching Eddie Cahill or Derek Jeter for a week without the world grinding to a halt. Sadly I wasn't feeling totally well yesterday so I spent most of the day moping around and reading rather than doing all those things I thought I would accomplish without all the little distractions. Having the silence was really nice, though--especially in the car. I found that I was a bit calmer and more clearheaded yesterday which was a nice reward. Now the next step is to incorporate all this into a new way of living my life. More on that later.

4.22.2008

Just a Reminder

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is our day with no gadgets. That means no tv, radio, ipods, phones, email, blogging, etc. See you Thursday.

Happy Earth Day!

50 ways

I was just reading through the 50 Ways suggested above (click on the image above to see them for yourself) and was really surprised at how simple the 50 suggestions are--although they (Wire and Twine) say right there on the image that they are simple so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. So what is the one thing you are going to do today to help the planet? I'm going to get my bank statement online--really I don't know why I haven't already done this since I handle all my other bills, etc. online.

Cheese!

Have you ever seen a Wallace and Gromit short or full-feature film? Well I relate well to their love of cheese and like them often grin full-toothed at the thought of it. I rarely meet a cheese I don't like and that pattern is going to hold true to today's review of cheese: Havarti. It is a Danish cheese that I settled on for two reasons. First, I have had Havarti cheese before and liked it so it was a safe bet (I did get a dill flavored one to mix it up a bit but as my favorite spice is dill that wasn't to much of a stretch). And second, because I am learning to speak Danish so I figured I could have a cultural moment eating Danish cheese and speaking the Danish language. As my language skills are rather limited and as there is no one around who speaks Danish, my Danish cheese would have been my only audience to a conversation that would have gone something like this:

Hello. (wait for response)

How are you? (wait for response hoping that said response includes an inquiry into my own health)

I am fine, thank you (or I could also respond fine, thanks; Not too well; or I am not fine)

Are you Danish? (wait for response)

I am American. (at this point it would be hoped that my Danish skills would be praised)

Thanks. I understand and speak a little Danish but not to well. (now we are getting to the end of my Danish skills so I would need to feign some sort of an excuse for leaving. The only way I can do that now is to ask for directions somewhere and let the other speaker assume I need to get going)

Where is Hans Christian Anderson Boulevard? (wait for response--but the only responses I would understand are 'it is here' or 'it is over there' so hopefully the Boulevard is close)

Thanks, farewell.

After eating a bit of my cheese, though, I noticed it said it was a Danish-style cheese and so it probably wasn't even Danish and couldn't have understood my conversation anyway (hrmm, if I had had it). Still, the end result was some very nice cheese that I had with crackers and then later as a special grilled cheese sandwich.

4.21.2008

Springville Art Museum

I went down to the Springville Art Museum on Friday (as part of my day-off activities) and had an absolutely fabulous time. I really don't know why I don't get out to my local museums more often because I really do love Museums and the local ones are free! Going on right now at the Springville Art Museum is the Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of Painting exhibition and it is a real treat. I love his use of colors and textures and the everyday things he paints into art. It really is a must see if you are in the area (plus the museum itself it gorgeous). The exhibition will be on until 27 July so make your plans now--you might even consider inviting me because I'd go again!

(image via http://smofa.org/)

Really, you need to go see it because the above image just doesn't do the work justice.

1 Challenge Down 1 Challenge Up

I suppose I should finish up reporting on last week's challenge before I move on to the next one--especially since the next one is a bit of a doozy. I LOVE my new inspiration books. I just finished them up last night and I feel so happily organized. My niece even took a few minutes to flip through my book with wardrobe and room design pictures twice pausing to look at each page.That is what I feel like doing all the time now. Here's a picture of my inspiration books:


And now here's the new challenge:

Go Unplugged

1. Limit your daily TV time to 2 hours for one week. (Even better: It is National Turn Off the TV Week so just turn it off for the week!)

2. For one day, let your personal phone calls go to voicemail.

3. Now that you've had a few practice runs, try going for a whole day with ALL the gadgets that keep you connected switched to "off." No email, no blackberry, no phone, no TV, no iPod, no blogging - nada!

4. You did it! Your next step is to try incorporating more "unplugged" time into your daily life. Schedule a set time for emailing and returning voicemails every night. When the time's up, it's time to turn off the technology and focus back on you.

I told you it was a doozy. Actually, maybe it wouldn't be too hard for you but I can see it being a bit difficult for me. Fortunately, I have been cutting back on my tv watching time over the last 3-4 weeks and (except when there is a Yankee's baseball game on) I probably only watch about 2 hours a week anyway (Hence my added note about just turning the tv off for the whole week). The tough part for me will be no. 3: turning it all off for 1 day but the quiet and the silence will be good for me. Anyone up for joining me? on even a part of this challenge?

4.18.2008

Day Off

I have today off (oh, blessed day). I know what you are thinking, 3 hour lunch on Wednesday and now a full day off on Friday! But it is fair because next week I am going to have to go in to work really earlier in the morning like 6 am and I'm not looking forward to it. So YES I deserve this. Already I have run all my little errands and feel very accomplished. The rest of my day includes a stop by the Springville Art Museum to check out their latest exhibit that I keep hearing about, lunch out, maybe a little niecesitting at a local park that I have been meaning to stop by and a movie (I have a free code for redbox and a free ticket to the dollar movie and haven't decided which cheap way to spend my evening--but a movie out could include some really good but bad for you movie popcorn). Oh, and cleaning the bathroom. Anyway I didn't want to completely skip out on posting today so I thought I would cheat a little and introduce you to a little gem that MBC introduced me to on her blog: Hello Saferide and their song "Get Sick Soon." I'm with her, I don't know how I feel about the video but I love the song.

But I think I like this one better (also noted by MBC): The Quiz

4.17.2008

Yet Another Funny Improv

I hope you don't get bored of these...but really it is just too bad if you do. Here is one that made me laugh so hard that I nearly cried. (It's a sporty one)

video

Kasseri Cheese


I've sadly been forgetting to do a write up on my cheese buys. I'll start with the Kasseri Cheese (cause I haven't even opened my Danish cheese yet) which is actually a sheep and goat's milk cheese rather than just the sheep milk cheese I reported it to be earlier and it is from Greece. I find it so cool that I bought cheese from Greece (although I probably killed just a little bit of the planet getting it to me). Anyway, I found it to be a little sharp and salty when eaten by itself but perfect on a water cracker. I tried it in an omelet and found that to also be very good. My final bit of exploring the cheese was to make the Greek dish saganaki. To make this you slice your cheese into 1/4 inch pieces drop them into some flour to coat and then fry them in butter or olive oil until slightly brown. Then you douse them with lemon juice. It was YUMMY. This is something I will make again as a special little treat (too expensive for mass distribution). So there it is. I highly recommend frying this cheese and would say it was quite nice on crackers as well. Next up is my Danish cheese.

4.16.2008

My Own Man Candy Wednesday

Well, we haven't had a Man Candy day for quite sometime and I feel bad about this. I've just realized, though, that I am having a bit of my own Man Candy Wednesday on accident. You see, I've had an unusual day in that I had a 3-hour lunch break. It was soooo wonderful. For my long lunch break I decided to go out and see a movie all by myself. I know that some people don't really like going to see movies by themselves but I really enjoy this because A. I get to pick the movie and B. No one talks to me while I'm watching the movie. It is a double win and I love it! Anyway, I went to see Penelope so I could watch one of my pretend boyfriends (actually he is still on the fringe on getting to be one of my pretend boyfriends) James McAvoy:


I really liked the movie. It was cute and sweet and James was in it. Christina Ricci was really good as well. The fun doesn't stop there though. You see when I get home tonight I get to watch the Yankees and one of my other pretend boyfriends (who happily is back from an injury) beat up the Red Sox.

And then (as if that ALMOST wasn't enough) I get to watch another pretend boyfriend do his acting duties on CSI:NY tonight.

I feel a bit spoiled today. All I need to make it complete is a little Iaon and a little Viggo.

Sorting

I started on my challenge and here is the result of my sorting:

That is all the stuff that I no longer like that I have been "saving." I am just about done with my style book (I want to do a recipe book as well so this will only put me about half done with the challenge) and already I love flipping through the pages.

4.15.2008

Happy Librarian's Day Part II

My sister and I decorated my mom's office for Librarian's Day. Go here to read my sis' post about it.

New Hair?

I'm thinking of getting my hair cut. I know I was going to try to grow it out but I just don't think I can do it. I'm not good with the whole transitional phase thing and my hair is in desperate need of something. I am thinking maybe that something will be this:

(image via http://bauergriffinonline.com/)

It is not a great picture but I think you get the idea. I'm pretty convinced but feel free to talk me out of it if you think the look is horrible. What do you think?

Happy Librarian's Day

I doubt this it the best way to properly honor librarians today...that said here is a bit of fun. Once you've had a good laugh, though, please go out and hug a librarian today.



Just as a note, I would like to say that none of the librarians I know are frumpy or unattractive. They are intelligent, funny, witty, incredible good at their jobs, and very attractive.

4.14.2008

Get Thee To A Library

It is National Library Week so go in and take advantage of your local library today!

Weekend Countdown

10--the number of new clothes I bought over the weekend
9--number of scones I ate (they were smallish)
8--hours spent working on my blog (at least it felt like it--thanks Stacy)
7--things I didn't get to (ie the size of my to-do list right now)
6--kids in my nursery class on Sunday--pure heaven
5--the number of non-black, white, cream, or brown clothes bought
4--Sporting events watched (3 attended in person)
3--Sisters lunched with
2--New cheeses bought (A Greek sheep cheese & a Danish cow cheese)
1--Arm sunburned
0--New cheeses tried.

Weekly Challenge

It is time for a new weekly challenge but before we move on I'd like to take a minute to say how much I enjoyed lasts week's challenge to write some letters. I wrote a bunch of letters and loved it! I even organized a space dedicated to letter writing which is perfect to use on a Saturday morning because it faces a window that lets in the warm morning sun. I am a little bored by some of my stationary but I have told myself that I can't buy any new stationary until I use up at least half of the stationary I currently have so don't be surprised if you get a letter in the mail from me.

Anyway, it is a new week and that means a new challenge. This week's challenge is related back to our get organized challenge and one I knew that I would be doing. The inspiration for it comes from Stephmodo and is all about organizing all those paint samples, pictures of well designed rooms, or pictures of great dresses that we have collected or torn out of magazines into one easy-to-use binder. Go here to read about what Stephmodo says about the project or follow the easy steps below:

1. Purchase 1 (or more) binder, a box of clear page protectors, and some divider pages with tabs.

2. Get everything together and sorted. If you are doing a home design inspiration book then divide everything into rooms. If you are trying to organize your wardrobe inspiration divide it up by dresses, tops, or accessories, etc. Or if it is recipes divide it up by meal types. You get the idea.

3. Now put it all together in you binder and label all the tabs so it is easily accessed and available. Remember to leave some room for the inspiration you are going to find tomorrow. And don't forget to take some time to clean it out about once a year so that it is always up-to-date.

Good luck and let me know if you are playing along with this challenge.

4.11.2008

One More Smile:

Things that have made me smile today...

I would love to have these plates:


I just purchased MariƩ Digby's album for only $7 and it is gorgeous. Here's a sample:


And I can't help but smile when I watch this video. The guy must have incredible legs.


4.10.2008

I've Been Tagged

My cousin Jen tagged me. I couldn't decide if I should be serious or silly so I thought I would be a bit of both. I'll let you decide which one I am being for each one below:

Things I've come to realize.....

1. I've come to realize that my family....isn't as crazy or weird as I sometimes think they are.
2. I've come to realize that when I talk....I talk too much to myself--out loud.
3. I've come to realize that I need....chocolate (European chocolate--I can't even stomach US chocolate anymore it tastes so bitter and waxy).
4. I've come to realize that I have lost....touch with too many people.
5. I've come to realize that I hate it when...people don't signal when they are turning while driving.
6. I've come to realize that when I'm hungry....that what I want most are buttermilk pancakes with chocolate chips.
7. I've come to realize that money....is nice; not as important as most of us think, but still nice.
8. I've come to realize that people....are scared to seek truth because it will require them to act (both spiritual and secular truth) and that people don't really know what it means to be conservative, liberal, socialist, Republican, or Democrat--we have more in common than we think.
9. I've come to realize I'll always be...wishful.
10. I've come to realize that I'm in love with...learning, education, and really good cheese.
11. I've come to realize that my cell phone ...is unnecessary.
12. I've come to realize that when I woke up this morning...it took way too long to figure out what that noise was (my alarm).
13. I've come to realize that right before I go to sleep at night...I am happy to have such a nice bed with warm blankets to cuddle in.
14. I've come to realize that right now I'm thinking about...how I need to go to the library this weekend, Sears has pillows on sale right now and would be nice to have new pillows, and maybe I can make it to Harmons to try a new type of cheese.
15. I've come to realize that babies...are lovely and perfect in every way...especially when you can give them back.
16. I've come to realize that when I blog...I am a bit long winded (a skill that comes in handy when writing scholarly works but not so much here--there I go carrying on again).
17. I've come to realize that today I will...fail at something but that is okay.
18. I've come to realize that tonight I will...go to the gym.
19. I've come to realize tomorrow I will...not go to the gym.
20. I've come to realize that I really want to...go to Denmark, or London, or Rome, or Paris, or Prague, or....
21. I've come to realize everyone I tag to do this will....do the happy Snoopy dance because they are so overcome with joy.
I tag: You--Yes that's right I am referring to you.

Blog Changes

Sorry for all the blog changes I've made recently. I seem to have some combination of Spring cleaning and ADD. Hopefully it will all end soon. (Have you noticed that my sisters are going through a similar problem right now?)

4.09.2008

So, So Busy

Okay, so the 1 hour nap I took this afternoon probably isn't going to win any points of sympathy but I swear it was totally justified. Last night I went to see Annie at Kingsbury Hall--so good I highly recommend it (although it probably didn't justify the standing ovation that it was given--Americans are a bit liberal on giving standing ovations and that only serves to make the ovation worthless. I didn't stand.). My favorite song was "Your Not Fully Dressed Without a Smile" which totally surprised me as I thought Tomorrow would be the hit of the night. (Didn't get home until about midnight had to get up at 6 am: justification for nap this afternoon)

Tonight was my monthly crochet group were I began a bookmark. It doesn't completely look like a bookmark but it is a start. I am really getting into this crochet thing. The nice thing was that I almost finished the entire thing in 1 1/2 hours--guess what everyone is getting for Christmas!

And now I must run to watch one of my pretend boyfriends on CSI-NY. Just in case this doesn't fill your blog fix visit Stephmodo whose husband did a great post about cheeses that are available at your local Harmons (or at least in Salt Lake). I heart cheese.

4.08.2008

Challenge no. 3

It is Peanut Butter Finger day at the cafeteria today so how could I not be happy? Somehow I even managed to save my PBF until after I ate my lunch so I am not only happy but rather pleased with myself.

So it is time to introduce a new challenge. I decided to take it a little easy on myself this time and so the challenge (once again from upumpitup.com) is to write 3 letters. I love getting letters and of course the best way to get letters is to send them out (well unless you are sending them to me cause I have the hardest time being good about responding--but that changes today!) So here is the challenge:


1. Write a letter to an older relative
2. Write a thank you note
3. Write a letter to a long-distance friend

See. How easy is that? Now the trick is to do it. If this one is just too easy you are welcome to join me in another challenge that I have just started: Learn a new language. My mother and I have been working on our Family History and for the most part it is going really well (it gets a bit difficult once we trace our roots to Ireland--where all my dad's family is from). There is this one branch, though, that has very little work done on it and my Grandmother has been hoping that we would be able to progress that work a little. The thing is, this line extends into Denmark. The Church has Danish records but guess what they are in Danish. So my mother convinced me that I should learn a little bit of Danish. I started yesterday and already I know how to say "Do you understand English," "Do you understand Danish," "Yes," "No, I don't understand" "a little," and "Are you an American." I am currently using the Pimsleur method (the same method my 2 year-old niece is learning French from--a 2 year old saying au revoir is the cutest thing ever) and so far it is going really well so here is hoping that this language will stick.

Of course all this learning of another language has put me in the mood to travel--a mood that was not helped when I noticed Border's Books has some of their travel books on sale--and then I was told about this little gem of a website. I think I will just have to follow suit and offer the service of mailing postcards from Denmark to anyone who will donate $100 or more to send me.

(photo via www.iho-ohi.org/)
Any takers? No?

4.07.2008

Weekend Round Up

I had a lovely weekend (but then I always find conference weekends lovely as well as far too long and far too short all at the same time). It was so wonderful to sustain President Monson as the new President of the church and get to meet Elder D. Todd Christofferson our latest apostle. I found President Monson to be rather amusing (particularly when he was ad libbing) and I think President Uchtdorf is becoming one of my favorite speakers (is it OK to have a favorite). My more academic side truly appreciated Elder Ballard's talk but really they were all so good and I can't wait to get them in print and go over them again (I feel some challenges coming on).

Apart from the great opportunity of watching conference, I did do a little bit of celebrating (and after all that celebrating I am still completely organized). It started off with a quick trip down to a local boutique where I couldn't afford anything but where they were handing out treats to everyone from Dippidee (I picked the sugar cookie because I am a bit of a creature of habit who fears change when I know I already have a good thing) then I hit Smart Cookie. Yep, that's right folks I had cookies from two of my favorite bakeries that night--and I don't even regret it. I then swung by California Pizza Kitchen for their hummus appetizer and headed home to enjoy my organized home and my treats. After I finished my treats I settled in for one last indulgence: Le Parapluies de Cherbourg.

It is a fabulous little French film from the 60s and a musical no less. I love musicals; I can't get enough of musicals. The twist on this one is that all dialog (every single word) is sung (does that make it an opera?). The slight downside is that it is another one of those movies about stupid teenagers, but it is not too bad as no one actually dies in this one (okay strictly speaking that isn't true but our teenagers don't die)--I think that perhaps this is the outcome that Romeo and Juliet would have had if they had managed to live. Now I will admit to it being a bit cheesy (and sometimes the songs do go on) but it is really quite a good watch. And by a good watch may I just point out that especially for this movie I mean that it is very pretty. I loved all the colors. In fact it made me realize a few things: First (and this one doesn't have anything to do with colors but really must be said) if anyone ever proposes marriage to me by asking me to share my life with him if that wouldn't be too much of a burden I will probably say no. Second, I need a new, bright umbrella. I'm thinking one that is a nice robin-egg blue. And third, I need more color in my wardrobe (not that the wardrobe for the film were spectacularly colorful because it was really the walls that stole the show, but since I don't have loads of walls to color I will have to settle on my wardrobe--lots of digression going on here sorry). After the film I went to my room and took this picture of my closet:

Do you notice anything (besides it being very, very organized)? There is an awful lot of white, brown, and black going on here and not nearly enough color. So here is the plan: buy color. The first problem I have, though, is I don't actually know what colors look good on me. How do I find that out? Any suggestions?

4.06.2008

A Bit of Monday Fun...

...until I get a moment to do a real post. (Just in case you haven't seen the Grand Central Station clip go here to check it out.)

4.04.2008

Celebration Time


Well, I'm nearly off to celebrate my new-found freedom from clutter--it feels oh so good. To celebrate I'm hitting Smart Cookie and then California Pizza Kitchen for their hummus appetizer before coming home to enjoy the treats and this little gem (I hope) of a movie. If you didn't complete the challenge that is okay. I give you permission to celebrate anyway. Have a really nice weekend.

Meet Henry

Have you ever seen the Sandra Bullock movie 28 Days? Well if not the premise of the movie is a drunken Sandra (and a bunch of other drunks or addicts) goes to rehab and after many ups and downs is eventually "cured." It is perhaps not one of the greatest movies ever made but it was a Sandra Bullock movie and so I dutifully saw it. As the group is leaving rehab they are given a set of instructions to follow before they are allowed to enter into a relationship with another person. Step 1. Get a plant. When you can properly take care of a plant you can move on to Step 2. Get a pet. Once you can properly take care of a pet you are prepared to enter into a relationship with another person without falling down drunk again. So I present to you Henry or the reason why I am still single:

Henry is a plant that I have had for something like 8 years and when he is healthy he blooms with lovely white flowers. The problem is he is not healthy often--I tend to forget to water him. While I was studying in Ireland my merciful Grandmother took Henry in, nourished and loved him, and he thrived under her care. Unfortunately, I came home and Henry came back to me. When he was returned to me he had lovely flowers and beautiful green leaves. Now look at him. The picture actually doesn't do full justice to the state he was in because I took the shot shortly after I had trimmed away all his dead leaves. He had been delegated to a room that isn't used much and that is where most of the forgetting-to-water-him trouble truly stems (I thought the morning sun in the room would be good for him). Now, though, I have moved him to my bedroom where I will hopefully be more mindful of watering him. Another possible problem would be my continually calling him Harry. I don't know why I do this (obviously he doesn't even look like a Harry) but it is an on-going problem--maybe in a way similar to some music helping plants to grow calling them by the wrong name works to stunt their growth (I promise I'm working on it Henry). Anyway, I wonder if this could be why I am still single: I haven't yet learned to care for a plant so why on earth would I be trusted with the care of another human being (although I would hardly be responsible for watering another human being). With this argument in mind I have decided to take a new interest in helping my Henry to thrive. Once I get that under control I will branch on to a pet (probably a fish or something--that counts right?--probably doesn't because it doesn't actually require more care than a plant) and then who knows what will follow.

4.03.2008

A Little Something

I didn't do a whole lot yesterday (aside from watching the Yankees, cleaning the bathroom floor, and organizing my financial papers--not too bad) so I thought today I would post a few things that I have spotted lately that I think are great. Such as these cards at CarolLeeDesigns.
Wouldn't that be a great card to have handy when you are out and about. Flip through her other cards here as well. They are hilarious!

Plus This

And who wouldn't love getting these Art-Nouveau lip tins as a gift:

I may not even wait for some kind-hearted individual to buy these for me--It would help me solve my habit of carrying a tube of chapstick in my pocket until my pocket shows permanent wear from the tube.

One Last One (Okay Two)

And you know how Crocs are the ugliest shoe ever created but are supposed to be really comfortable? Well it seems there is such a thing as a stylish Croc. Check these Alice Crocs out:

I can absolutely see myself walking around (the entire town of) Boston in these. They also come in red, brown, and black but I like the purple ones best. Here is the thing, though, I don't know what size to get. They only come in whole sizes and I wear an 8 1/2 (sometimes and 8 but not often). Having never tried on a pair of Crocs before I don't know if I should go with an 8 or a 9. Does anyone know where I might be able to try these on in person or any Crocs in general?

And for those of you (us) that love shoes but don't have enough space to store all your (our) pairs here is the answer to all your problems (at least all your shoe problems).

It holds up to 30 pairs of shoes and adjusts to hold different types of shoes. Very cool.

4.02.2008

Organizing Tip

It seems that with Spring on its way (we hope!) that everyone has organizing and cleaning on the mind. Click here to head over to Tip no. 9 from Stephmodo on organizing--this one deals with keeping control of your mail but she also does a recap of all of her tips at the end of her post.

(Photo via Grooveshark)

Resolution Report: March


Well, it is that time again. Time to report on how I am doing on my New Year's resolutions. I actually really like this reporting thing as it is rather motivating. So here goes:
Will not be lazy: I tend to measure this by how much time I spend in front of the television so in that regard I am doing quite well. For a couple of weeks now I haven't watched more than 1 hour a day and some days I haven't even watched any. (It should be noted that today I will be watcing several hours of television as the Yankees are playing on ESPN2 this afternoon--but watching baseball can hardly be considered a waste of time)
Will stay in control of mail in-box: For a couple of days this week I left 2 letters in it (gasp) but I took care of that and it is back to good.
Will not get annoyed with family: Really I think this is an ongoing thing that will never end.
Will not get upset over men: Yeah! My easy one. Done.
Will be positive about everyone: One of these months I am going to really focus on this one (but probably not this coming month).
Will develop inner poise: Again need to work on this.
Will lose 10 pounds: I've lost 6 pounds (hurrah). I seem to be at a little plataeu but I really can't complain too much. Only 4 more pounds to go sometime this year.
Will purge flat of extraneous matter: Done (or will be done by Thursday). I can't believe how happy and calm this one has made me. To look around and know that everything has a place (and is in its place) and there isn't a lot of "stuff" just hanging around is just so nice.
Will give away horrible clothes: Gave another batch away. This time I went through my wardrobe and got rid of anything that didn't make me happy or excited to wear.
Will improve career and find new job: Still taking classes.
Will read books and listen to classical music: I'm doing a very good job reading, but I'm not doing a great job listening to classical music. My classical music collection is a little sparse though so I really need to take a trip to the library to check some out. Does anyone have a favorite piece or composure that they would recommend?
Will go to the gym: 2-3 times a week!
Will make music mood mixes: Did this already and I'm still loving the mixes so I haven't needed to make new ones yet.
Will read Book of Mormon: Finished!
Will read Joseph Smith lessons: Started the book on Sunday so I'm hoping to have good things to report for April.
Will read from Preach My Gospel: Started this on Monday (I really had to get myself into gear after I challenged my ward in my Sacrament meeting talk to be doing this one).
Will write in journal: So so bad at this one in March.
Will do Family History work: I think we went twice. Once to BYU and once to Salt Lake. Good work continues.

So not too bad. I have very high hopes for April.

4.01.2008

Get Organized

Sorry about so many posts so close together--I'll try to spread them out a bit more for the rest of the week--but I spotted this great website and it applies so well to the challenge that I posted below. It is called Organized Home and has great articles, tips, printable to-do lists on everything from spring cleaning to de-cluttering (plus great ideas on doing these with kids). Check it out here and good luck on your challenge.

Weekend Round Up

So I had a really nice weekend and I thought I would share a bit of it with you. It started out with a "lovely" trip to Jamba Juice for a shot of wheat juice. Fortunately they provide a slice of orange with the shot because it was absolutely disgusting--really bad disgusting. But hey, anything in the name of health right?

(Photo from http://www.aromathyme.biz/)

Then Saturday was spent running around doing chores and errands and feeling very productive about the whole day. The highlight was definitly taking my niece out for pizza at
Pizzaria 712. I have been wanting to try this place for such a long time and I finally got around to it. First may I just say that really I am bound to love any place that gives me free hummus and pit after ordering is going to have a special place in my heart. Really, I think that if I were forced to choose just one food to eat forever I could actually do it with hummus. Now back to what I ordered. I don't typically order salads because I find so many salads in restaurants to be less than interesting but on a whim I decided to order the mixed lettuces, roasted squash, gorgonzola, pecans, and vinaigrette salad and can I just say WOW. It was nearly to die for good. I followed that up with tomato sauce, hand-pulled mozzarella, and basil pizza. It was just as good as the salad--I especially like the thin crust. So yummy. I can't wait to go back--I might even branch out and try something different because really everything looked so good.

Saturday was also when I began my nightly impersonations of Laura Ingalls. You see, my hair is starting to get a bit long (it is at my shoulders which is long for me) and it really bothers me at night when I am trying to sleep to have it wrap around my neck. So I've begun braiding it into a single braid each night and that is working wonders. I think, actually, that I might be impersonating Mary Ingalls--didn't she have one braid? and Laura had two?

Anyway, then came Sunday. Dreaded Sunday. It started out rather poorly when I awoke and found this:

Really. Are you kidding me? It is nearly April. We really should be past this kind of weather.

Then the hours ticked by and my nerves really began to kick in. Since I have not yet learned to stop time, the time finally came. I gave my talk at Church. I am told that it went really well and that I didn't even sound nervous (I can hardly believe that since I could clearly hear my voice quivering but I attend church with some really nice people). After it was over I was tracked down and invited to join the women's writing group and the women's book club. I guess my talk must have passed some sort of test and I was proved worthy. Really I felt a little bit like Anne of Avonlea after giving a dramatic reading--without the puffed sleeves. I did however have on a great skirt that made me happy the entire day not only for how cute it is but also because when I bought it I couldn't actually zip it up and now I can (You needn't lecture me on how one shouldn't purchase items one can't actually fit into. I know. But I just couldn't resist.)

As a side note: the skirt is an excellent skirt for twirling in. And that brings us to Nursery. I think The Lord must have realized what a traumatic experience speaking was and had mercy on me in Nursery. We only had 4 kids. 4 kids! It was great. We laughed, we played, we twirled, we had a lesson about how we are grateful that Heavenly Father and Jesus made the fish for us and they got it. It was brilliant. I don't know how I am going to go back to having 12 kids (which I know is still not a lot, but the difference between what we could do with 4 and 12 is amazing).
So there it is. My weekend at a glance. There are a few things I didn't get done (for example, I found mold growing in my wheatgrass. Mold. Yuck. I was going to throw it out on Sunday but couldn't face having to wade through the snow.) but all in all it was really great.