Monday, July 30, 2007

meet the Simpsons

I couldn't resist to Simpsonize myself.

Calling in all prayers!

I just applied for a new position within my department at work. The increase in income is desperately needed as my medication and doctor's bills have completely exhausted our savings. DJ's new job starts in one more week. We could use prayers that his transition will be smooth. He is so excited to start work with the guys he has met and I can see the stress of his old job already leaving him. We have ripped out the carpet from our bedroom and master bath. By the end of the week we hope to have all the carpet out of the house and then we plan to just live on the concrete and as we get the money we will re-floor. I know that for right now it will help my asthma to have that dust trap out of the house, but for someone who likes to have things neat and clean this will prove to be a challenge for me :-) Oh and speaking of challenges; our bleeping A/C went out last night! I have been calling the home warranty company all day and ugggggggg I'm getting no calls back from the technicians! I tell you, when it rains it pours huh? The thing that sucks is that I want to go work out to relieve the stress, but I've had two really good sized asthma attacks today and I'm sure that working out will only make things worse. So I'm working on counting those blessings to not go insane right now! Thanks for the prayers. I'll keep y'all posted.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


My favorite part of Arizona in the summer! Check out the sights from my front door on Monday at 2pm!
Love it! There was a ton of lighting and thunder too. I still expect it to be cold when I open the door though.
The storm moves on about 30 minutes after it rolled in.
And left it's mark all over. This is a greenbelt between some of the houses that at it's lowest point is around 4 feet down, this only after 30 minutes of rain! Crazy!

Harry Potter Book Premire

So since we were all off on Friday at 10pm my mom, DJ and I went down to our local Barnes and Noble to be a part of the final Harry Potter book release. We had a blast! We got to wander around a book store for 2.5 hours (heaven, for those of you who don't know I'm a lit major and pray that every book I have ever wanted to read and don't get the chance to will be in the Heaven's with me for eternity), we had the best time watching all the different types of people were there. We saw elderly couples, young couples, kids of every shape and size and friends. We ran into the Gardner's from our ward, whose daughter dressed as Hermione and won the costume contest! She got to go to the front of the line and be the first to buy the book, so cool, and she really looked like her, accent and all. We also ran into a good friend, Clint Bradford, and some of his kids wandering around. We stopped and chatted up a storm! So much fun. Then right before midnight we all gathered (all 200 of us) to the front of the store and counted down to midnight and they ripped open the boxes then held up the book. It was great to hear all the cheers and clapping! My mom finished Sunday night, DJ finished Tuesday and I am on page 200. I'm having a hard time tearing through it, maybe I'm just not ready to say goodbye? But I did take my friend Jesika's advice and picked up this to start after HP7. We'll see if I have a new addiction :-)

Monday, July 23, 2007


Things are crazy busy so sorry for the short post. I promise more to come soon.

DJ has a new job, YAY
I am applying for a new job within my company, YAY
Super crazy busy week, BOO
Had another asthma attack, BOO
Was able to self treat and not go to the ER (even though that meant not sleeping Sunday night), YAY
Got to scrap with my girls, YAY
Get to start reading Harry Potter 7, YAY

Hope everyone is doing well. I will post a big ol update very soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Buyer's Beware

Hey there. If you live here in the great state of AZ please check out my friend Amie's blog reguarding her experience with a local car dealership. Big warning, do not buy from Big Bell Kia!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Well looks like DJ will be accepting a new job tomorrow. We are so excited about this new opportunity and can hardly wait for the next step. He would have a salaried position that would afford him the ability to go back to school and finish his degree. And he would get to work with our friend Vjay, which he is really excited about. Also I have the opportunity at work to apply for the job directly above my current position. I have already been doing this job plus my own for over a year so it will be great to finally get paid for it. I will get my credentials and would get to conduct interviews, serve subpoenas and summons, participate in surveillance and other fun stuff. Plus I would get a little bit of a raise in pay!
So hopefully in the next two weeks we will have some major changes in our household that will really open some doors both financially and stress-wise. So wonderful! Wish us luck.

More food

This is for my friend Kelly who has requested more salad recipes; my favorite Cesar salad recipe. It has an olive oil based dressing with no anchovies. I love it and make this year round. Enjoy.

My World Famous Cesar Salad

10 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 cups croutons
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons worscheire sauce
5-10 cloves of garlic minced
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 coddled egg yolk (or you can substitute for 2 tablespoon egg substitute)

In a large bowl combine lettuce, crotons and cheese. In a smaller bowl add oil, worscercire sauce, garlic (amount depends on your taste), mustard and lemon juice. Whisk to combine; dressing will not come together completely until egg is added. Next coddle the egg by placing egg in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from water, separate the yolk and discard the white. Add the yolk and whisk until the dressing thickens. Pour over salad, toss and serve. Note dressing cannot be made in advance.
Make it a meal: add grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp.

And for my friend Amie, who reveled she loves granola and cranberries, my favorite homemade mix.

Easy Cranberry Granola

4 cups rolled oats
1 ½ cups wheat germ
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups honey, or to taste
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, wheat germ, walnuts, almonds, and dried cranberries. In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Drizzle over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat evenly. Spread the mixture out in a thin layer on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes to toast evenly. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Granola will become crunchier as it cools.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New tag

Amie tagged us all so here I go............

What were you doing ten years ago?

Ten years ago I was 17 and going into my senior year of high school. That was a rough summer for me. Lots of friends had just graduated and moved away to college. Several of my friends who were still in high school had been making bad decisions so I had to make some tough choices about loyalty verses personal safety. I was editor of the yearbook, working as a photo lab tech and photographer. I had met DJ and we were great friends but would not be officially dating until Nov of 1997. My relationship with my parents was very strained, but by the end of the year things would be much better.

What were you doing one year ago?
One year ago DJ and I were staying with my parents after moving to AZ. I was preparing for my baptism. We were starting to look for houses. And we were preparing for our vacation to Disneyland for Halloween.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Chips and salsa
2. almonds
3. popcorn
4. sugar snap peas
5. strawberries

Five songs you know all the lyrics to.
1. "The way I am" Ingrid Micheaelson
2. "Big Yellow Taxi" Counting Crows
3. "Turn it Upside Down" Jack Johnson
4. "Just to See You Smile" Tim McGraw
5. "My Immortal" Evanescence

Things you would do if you were a millionaire:
I would pay off the house
landscape the yards
put in a pool
hire a chef and personal trainer
get a great fertility doctor
put DJ through school
travel to England

Five bad habits:
1. Going to the negative side of an issue too fast
2. Comparing myself to others
3. Impulse buying stuff we don't really need
4. Eating late at night
5. Procrastinating jobs I don't enjoy, like filing the bills or scrubbing the bathrooms

Five things you like to do:
1. Go to the movies
2. Scrapbook and make cards
3. Go on dates with my hunny
4. Take pictures
5. Road trips to anywhere

Things you will never wear again?
High heals. I am an inch taller then my hubby barefoot, so my beautiful 3 inch heal boots stay in the closet. Well part of the reason is also my current weight no one wants to see an orange walking on toothpicks.

Shorts. I have no desire to wear anything that goes above the knee. Again it's all a weight issue.

Pantyhose. Amie said it all; AZ heat and lycra, nuff said.

Five favorite toys:
1. My computers
2. All my scrappy toys
3. Camera
4. Hair Straightener
5. Cuisinart

Where will you be in ten years?
In ten years I will be 37. I hope to be a mother. DJ will have his degree. I hope to have my health completely under control and feel much better. If those things happen I will be truly happy.

If you feel so inclined please tag yourself and tell me when you do so I can read your answers!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Chicken Salad with Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette

Got this one from a friend and love it. You can use chicken from left over grilling or go get the chicken strips from your local grocery store if you don't have the time to cook it that day. Supper easy.

1 pound cooked chicken cubed
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup Thai Peanut Sauce, recipe follows
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups shredded lettuce or napa cabbage (yum)
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, tomatoes, celery, and onion. Add the peanut sauce, mayonnaise, and lime juice and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. (At this point, you can refrigerate the salad for up to 3 days.)

Place the lettuce on 4 individual plates and top with the chicken mixture. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top just before serving.

Thai Peanut Sauce:
3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sauce ingredients until well blended and set the pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes.

The leftover peanut sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days or in the freezer up to 3 months; thaw completely in the refrigerator or microwave for about 3 minutes on LOW before using.

Yield: approximately 3 1/2 cups

The Order of the Phoenix

Well I went and stood for 2 hours outside with 300 other crazy people to see the newest Harry Potter movie. Let me first say I do not enjoy todays teenagers and their constant attitudes, ugggghhh. They were out in strong forces on Tuesday night and it made me so glad to be past that stage of life! However, they did provide entertainment all dressed up as Hogwarts students wearing the red and gold proudly and waving wands with utterances of wingardium leveousa and reducto fluttering through the warm summer air.
Finally the doors opened and we began to usher into the cool theater. We took our seat and settled in for the evening. The curtains opened an hour later and we were whisked into the wonderful world of modern day England.
Though young Potter is not quite so young anymore and I must say he has beef caked up a little bit, I'm sure for the lovely Miss. Cho, he can still command the screen. So for those of you who read the books this one does in fact start during the summer with the ordered dementor attack on our star. The movie stays pretty much right on with the story lines major plots. Obviously there were many side plots that didn't make it to the big screen, such as Hermonie's struggle to free the house elves. I was truly impressed with the House of Black and the Department of Mysteries and how they were portrayed, they both looked just like I had imagined. I did notice some minor liberties this director used that may annoy the hardcore analysts out there; such as the dog Sirrus transfigures into is different then the one in Prisinor of Azkaban.
They did do some brilliant casting though. I felt that the young girl playing Luna Lovegood was perfectly executed and Dorthy Umbridge was exactly the way she appeared to me in the book; a calloused, calculated pink covered dictator.
Hogwarts opens it's doors this year to a darker world filled with doubt regarding Harry's claims and his friends struggle to clear his name. They all fight to bring the awareness out that He-who-shall-not-be-named is back and rising up his army. This movie is dark and deals with Harry's anger, just as the book did. We see the set up for the next books huge battles and ultimate sacrifice at the end. I must say (in an ever so careful way so as to not ruin it for anyone who hasn't read the 6th book yet) that I had a very hard time with Snape in this movie. I keep wanting to hate him, then he would turn around and help the struggling hero.
All in all I was thoroughly impressed and will buy it the day that it comes out without question.
Hopefully you all will get to experience the movie so we can talk all about it soon....................only 2 weeks left for book 7!
oh ya..................................Harry gets to kiss Cho too........................hehehehe

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Going tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
12:01am I will get to hear the music that makes my eyes get big and turns me into a anxious 12 year old. I know the story and I still can't wait to see the movie. So sad that I only have a couple more weeks until I know the ending. There is something about the anticipation of discovery that I love. So to the world out there we need a new series to enrapture our senses and captivate our minds. Quickly so I only have to mourn for a little while.

Look what I Did!!!

I went scrapping with the girls on Friday night and had such a good time. I got all motivated and moved my big dinning room table out into the living room and just went to town on my vacation days, monday and tuesday. I totally scrap-jacked some of theses layouts to help get the creative juices flowing. I have always been a very rigid scrapper so this new freestyle with all the embellishments has been a challenge for me. I'm starting to get the hang of it now. Sorry for the picture quality, my computer saved it in web mode and the quality just went ka-phooey.

4th of July

We had a fun family dinner out at a local Mexican restaurant we love. Then my parents came back to our place and enjoyed a little Jello cake, yummmmm, and the fireworks. We were able to just stand in the driveway and enjoy the show. Woo Hoo no crowds.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Weather lesson

For all my friends from out of state who have asked what a haboob is I thought I would post a picture and a brief description here for you. Enjoy! (I love these things hehehe dead give away I'm not a native) Yes, that is a mountain that has been engulfed by the dust. Looks like a dust avalanche in real life.

The name Haboob is the rooted from the Arabic word "phenomena". This form of monsoon occurs from May until September. It's a dust storm moving at a maximum speed of 80kph (50mph), the average speed is 50kph (30mph). The storm can reach up to heights of 3000 feet. They last about three hours, in which they change the desert landscape. The Haboob wind is caused by thunderclouds in a final phase. Downdrafts in a thunderstorm causes gust fronts, descending air hitting the ground and picking up large amounts of dust. The force moves the dust from above.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


[A is for age:]
[B is for booze of choice:]
[C is for career:]
Federal Law Enforcement-watch out bad guys
[D is for your dog's name:]
[E is for essential item you use everyday:]
[F is for favorite song at the moment:]
The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
[G is for favorite games:]
computer – world of warcraft, board - risk
[H is for hometown:]
Vallejo - birthplace
[I is for instruments you play:]
[K is for kids?:]
[L is for last hug?:]
My husband
[M is for most missed memory job:]
Snuggling with my best friend's little baby when I day cared him.
[N is for name of your crush:]
[O is for overnight hospital stays:]
1 - when I found out I was a diabetic
[P is for phobias:]
Bees and wasps
[Q is for quotes you like:]
Courage is fear that has said its prayers. - Karl Barth
Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts. - Ben Franklin
I shall call you squishy, and you shall be mine, you shall be my squishy - Dory

[R is for biggest regret:]
letting other people attempt to place value on me and my choices
[S is for status:]
Happily married
[T is for time you wake up:]
Weekdays - 4:30am
Weekends 8 am

[U is for underwear:]
Hanes- Wal-Mart special baby
[V is for vegetable you love:]
all of them, but if I have to choose ummmmm sugar snap peas, no asparagras, no bell peppers - ah dang-it all of them - final answer
[W is for worst habit:]
leaving my shoes wherever I take them off
[Y is for yummy food you make:]
so many, ummmmm I make a killer lagnasa, homemade mac n' cheese, and jambalaya. oh and I make a to die for cheesecake.
[X is for x-rays you've had:]
L hand, L wrist, L elbow, Both feet, Chest 5+, Neck 3x, Both Knees 3x, Spinal series 3x, 2 CT scans and 2 MRI's. - Dang Car accidents
[Z is for zodiac sign:]

Monday, July 2, 2007


..........................I'm it

The amazing Natalie has tagged me. Seriously this chick can pull together a Ward dinner lickity split, arrange a talent show and create all the flowers needed for a beautiful wedding all the while raising two little ones, being a wifee and still finds time to scrap beautiful pages. Basically she rocks! The tag is to name my top 10 favorite scrap booking supplies.

So here we go:

10. Chick flick. My current faves are: Steel Magnolias, Failure to Launch, Because I said So, Monster-In-Law and Ella Enchanted

9. A HUGE glass of something cold and bubbly. Right now I'm on a lemonade and sprite kick.

8. Deckle - Paper Tear Edger

7. Zots for dimension

6. Corner Rounder

5. Brads

4. Black/brown ink pad - for the "aged" look... love it!

3. Embossing gun and my glitter embossing powder, a new addiction

2. Paper, Paper, Paper, Paper and ummmmmmmmm PAPER

1. A scrappy friend that loves to camp out until out butt's cramp from sitting and we have twitching eyes due to over-scrapping. Woo Hoo!

Since I'm not sure who else besides Amie and Natalie read my blog I'm just gonna say that I tag anyone who wants to be tagged. If you post this on your blog please leave me a comment so I can check out your favorite scrappy items. Or if you don't have a blog you can email me the tag too;

Return of the salads

I'm back to the yummy summer salads. Here are two of my favorites in honor of the Holiday week. Let's all eat salad and be merry!

Cranberry Spinach Salad

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1-2 cup(s) dried cranberries
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup Gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds, cheese and cranberries.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, tarragon vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.

Fruited Cole Slaw

3 cups chopped cabbage
1 unpeeled red apple, cored and chopped
1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 small can crushed pineapple drained well
1 cup raisins
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, red apple, green apple, carrot, pineapple, raisins and almonds. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, brown sugar, vinegar and lemon juice. Pour enough dressing to coat salad and toss.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Madeline Shea Pond

Some dear friends of ours, Callie and Rob, welcomed their first child into the world this June. They are totally in love with this precious little girl in every way. Motherhood just suites Callie, she is going to be an awesome mother. Here are few of my favorites from our time together last week.