Tuesday, December 15, 2009

While the Cat's Away...

I've literally lost a week of my life. Sicker than sick last week and I have nothing to show for it - except for two visits to the doctor (and maybe a few less pounds on the old bod...the one good thing of a stomach virus I've decided).

While most people are relishing this festive time of year, I'm trying to play catch up because I've lost a critical week. A week where the holiday decor should have gone up and the Christmas shopping should have been started, if not finished.

But just when I started feeling sorry for myself, I was given this little unexpected gift, a treasure really. I was looking through my files, trying to find some picture that would spark a memory and hence a blog post (because let's face it, anything can be a blog post these days), and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a video shot by my 11-year-old cousin dear!

Carter and I in simpler, happier times...

Huh, I think to myself. When did Carter have access to my laptop? Oh, right...when I stayed with him and his brothers a few weeks back while his parents were at a trade show. But then, how did he figure out my password to login? I'll have to figure out that mystery later.

So, since the boy wonder was obviously having fun and using MY property to do so, what's a little look-see, right? I mean, if he was smart enough to figure out HOW to record, he's obviously smart enough to figure out HOW to delete. Too bad he forgot that crucial step...

Merry Christmas, Carter! Oh, and I'm only showing the video that DOESN'T have repeated foul language in it. Just wait until Mommy sees the other three!


P.S. Cart-man, you're probably wishing you hadn't turned down my Facebook request, huh? Payback is a &*%$#! (But you're already familiar with that word, aren't you?) :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nobody Puts "5-Star" in a Corner

My little sister just posted some more pictures from her Splendor in the Grass photo shoot with my middle sister Holly, who we affectionately call "Hollywood" or "5-Star". The 5-Star nickname actually refers to her preference for "5-Star" restaurants and hotels. Hey, when you're 30, flirty and fabulous, you got to have some standards!

It seems"5-Star" is channeling her inner princess/goddess in these pictures. After all this attention, she just might start referring to herself as "10-Star"!

I love that Laurie was able to not only capture Holly's flare for the dramatic, but she also captured the essence of her - a happy, confident girl who lives life to the fullest. To see larger pictures (and many, many more of them!), click on over to Laurie's photography blog, Life Through a Lens.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

I *Heart* In-N-Out Burger!

"Welcome to In-N-Out! Can we take your order?"

Thursday, Nov. 19 marked a very happy occasion for me. My little city of Draper, UT is finally on the map. Yes, I'm happy to report that Draper is the home to In-N-Out store #282 (c'mon, only a true fan would know valuable information like that!).

As someone who used to live in California and be a frequent visitor, let's just say I've been waiting for this for a very long time. The anticipation has had me dreaming of the day when I could get in my car, drive 2.4 miles and order my very own #3, plus a chocolate milkshake (made from real ice cream, thank you very much!).

So I was so happy when my Pisces Sister suggested we do a "drive-by" around lunch time - just to see the odds of actually getting a #3 on opening day. Rumor has it one guy spent the night in the drive-thru just so he could be the first customer. That's some crazy devotion!

As you can see, the line was pretty l-o-n-g, but once we got in line, we were on a mission!

Our total wait time was about 1 hour, 30 min. But the time literally flew by...thanks to all the smiling In-N-Out employees who walked up and down the line of cars and kept us entertained. This was our favorite. Meet James. He's an All-Star.

James travels around the country and opens stores with Berto, who's another All-Star. We got James' autograph. He's a super star!

Here's our partners in crime - Joannie and Brenda. We nicknamed them: "Hot 'n fresh, just like the burgers!"

So very close! And so worth the wait!

I should probably mention that once we got back to the office, poor Megan dropped her bag of food and lost some of her precious french fries. But, being the fans that we are, this didn't phase us at all. The three of us were more than willing to share our fries with Megan...that's what James would've done. After all, we may not be official "All-Stars", but we're definitely official fans!

Long live In-N-Out!

P.S. I was needing a reason to go back to the gym. I think I just found it!

P.P.S. Have you heard whisperings of In-N-Out's "secret menu"? Guess what? It's not a secret! Click HERE to see it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feeling Great at 88!

Disclaimer: The following post contains disturbing images. Parental discretion is advised.

My grandma Norma is quite the character. As this picture so clearly illustrates. Her assisted living home recently held a masquerade ball in honor of Halloween. She was so excited to dress up (this vintage gown has been hanging in her closet for over 50 years), that she had my sister go out an buy her a new black bra. I think someone broke curfew that night!

While at the ball, she met, dined and waltzed with Mr. Pierce, a.k.a. The King of England. They're special friends.

We didn't realize just how "special" until my sister snapped this incriminating photo. I'd like to blame the alcohol on this one, but apparently only prune juice was served that night.

Although I wouldn't be surprised if the 1920's flapper smuggled some in. It is Prohibition after all. And I'd be willing to bet the King of England there's no prune juice in Mr. P.I.M.P's plastic goblet.

Long live dress up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Princess Lexia

In a galaxy far, far away, there lived a beautiful princess named Lexia. She knew she was meant for greater things, but her evil master, the dreadful Darth PK, insisted on dressing her up in ridiculous costumes. The dark lord even made her put her long locks up in these donut-shaped buns. Is there no humanity in the world?

Where is the handsome Han Solo Charlie? Princess Lexia could really use a strong, fearless warrior to protect her right now. On second thought, considering Han Solo Charlie is known to pee on himself when scared, perhaps Princess Lexia should find comfort in the arms of Guapo Skywalker? Who cares if he's her long lost brother!

Stay tuned to see if Darth PK reigns triumphant on All Hallow's Eve. Will Princess Lexia remain a prisoner in her restrictive tunic or will Guapo Skywalker swoop in and save the day?

Who should Princess Lexia be with?

Han Solo Charlie

Guapo Skywalker

One clearly looks more masculine than the other.

That's all I'm saying.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails...

This is Beau Travis. He's the son of my sister's good friend Natalie Pulliam. Laurie, the budding photographer, recently headed out to Weatherford, TX to capture a few candid shots of this happy little guy. Slurping watermelon in overalls...this is what little boys are made of.

Giggling with Boomer the dog...this is what little boys are made of.

Making mud pies in nothing but a diaper...this is what little boys are made of.

Keep smilin', Beau Travis!

Monday, October 12, 2009

So Many Reasons...

There's so many reasons why I adore this man...

1). He doesn't wear any deodorant. It's a little gross, but he's THAT confident that his natural smell is a-okay. Gotta love that!

2). His "I-am-from-Texas-and-proud-of-it" accent is so sexy!

3). He has a ice maker in his house that just dispenses crushed ice - just like Sonic. If you know anything about Texans, we take our ice very seriously!

4. He made no apologies for the whole "neked bongo" incident. And it's "neked", not "naked".

5. He sures knows how to pick some good reading material!

Thanks to Miss Stace Hasegawa for uncovering Matthew's hidden obsession!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sweet Looli

My mom recently e-mailed me this cute story from one of her friends...

"An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head;he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for weeks. Curious I pinned a note to his collar:

'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar:

'He lives in a home with six children, two under the age of three...he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?'"

Got to love those sweet pups!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Splendor in the Grass

My little sister Laurie is getting to be quite the photographer (if I do say so myself!). She recently brought my middle sister along to a location she was scouting for an upcoming photo shoot. Since Hollywood is always ready for her close-up, Laurie took a few hundred pics of our starlet - just to make sure the area was the ideal choice for her next shoot. When Laurie posted this picture of Holly on her blog, I knew she was on her way to the big leagues.

If you look closely, you can see the outline of a mirror. What's being reflected in the mirror is actually the grass BEHIND Holly. And it just happens to match up with the grass in the foreground. Isn't that amazing? To see a larger image of this incredible picture, hop on over to Laurie's photography blog.

Needless to say, the ever-humble Holly has already posted this picture on Facebook and is relishing the fact she is the subject matter for such a talked about piece of art. She's also now acting as Laurie's booking agent, so if you would like to make an appointment, you must first go through the appropriate channels. Ah, isn't fame grand?

Keep clicking, lil' sis!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pops!

With all of the WCMD festivities this weekend, I had to postpone my birthday post for my dear ol' Dad. His birthday was on Friday and although he did receive a phone call (with presents on their way via my sister), I thought I would dedicate an entire post to the man who used to butcher my bangs as a child...

Lucky for me, hair magically grows back and I now go to a trained stylist for all my trims (no offense, Dad). But at least when I come across a picture like this one (or all of my school yearbook photos), I have fond memories of sitting on the bathroom sink while Dad trimmed my bangs and put "pretties" in my hair. The only question I have after all these years is "Where was Mom?"

Happy birthday, Dad!

It's World Card Making Day Somewhere!

Happy WCMD! I've technically got 24 minutes left on 10/03/09 (yes, I'm the eternal night owl), so I thought I would do a quick post to commemorate this special day.

I intended to get to my friendship cards that I owe for card group, but I found myself working on different project. My sister Holly recently returned from an amazing trip to Greece. As I was looking through all of her pictures, it occurred to me that I had never done anything with the pictures from our trip to Cabo San Lucas a year ago. (Holly is a pharmaceutical sales rep and won a free trip to Cabo. Since she and her boyfriend were broken up at the time, I was the lucky one who got an all expensed trip to paradise!)

Since the weather had turned remarkably cold here all of the sudden (is it too much to ask for six weeks of perfect fall weather?), I've been longing for those balmy summer days when the only decision I had to make was: Do I feel like a Coke or a pina coloda right now? Tough life, I know.

The view from the balcony of our hotel room.

Here's Holly and I soaking up the sun on a party boat.

Here's one of the landmarks of Cabo - El Arco (The Arch).

Needless to say, after a week of party boats, snorkeling, spa massages and yes, those sinful pina colodas, I owed my sister big time. I'm pretty sure I sent her a little care package of all her favorite things - Walgreen's gift card, Mojito-flavored gum, Santana CD, etc. After today's inspiration from World Card Making Day, I can add this gift as a final token of my appreciation...

So even though it's a cover to a mini album, you could totally make this into a card. And if you ask me, that's really the heart of World Card Making Day - finding inspiration to create something tangible, heartfelt and then sharing it with someone you love.

Speaking of sharing, there's a HUGE giveaway over on the Paper Crafts Connection blog! You've got until midnight on Monday, Oct. 5 to leave a comment and be entered to win one giant jackpot of a prize! Disclaimer: It's not a trip to Cabo, but definitely right up there!

Happy WCMD!

Monday, September 28, 2009

May I See Your Dessert Menu?

Photo courtesy of Land O'Lakes.com

If you know me, you know I have quite the sweet tooth. I always ask to see the dessert menu at restaurants - even if I'm completely stuffed and couldn't possibly eat another bite. I guess I just want to see what I'm missing. And if I deem it just too good to pass up, I usually talk someone into sharing it with me. After all, life's too short to go without dessert... don't you agree?

Since I'm always on the lookout for new desserts to try, when my mom forwarded THIS recipe to me, I knew I had to share it. Bread Pudding=Yum. Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce=Sinful. (I thought I would include the nutritional information below, but maybe you should read it after you eat/inhale the bread pudding... there's no sense in ruining a perfectly delightful recipe!)

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Bread Pudding:
4 cups (8 slices) cubed white bread
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups milk
1/4 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Heavy Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine bread and raisins in large bowl. Combine milk and 1/4 cup butter in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted (4 to 7 minutes). Pour milk mixture over bread; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in all remaining pudding ingredients. Pour into greased 1-1/2-quart casserole. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set. Combine all sauce ingredients except vanilla in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil (5 to 8 minutes). Stir in vanilla. To serve, spoon warm pudding into individual dessert dishes; serve with sauce. Store refrigerated.

Nutritional Facts:
(1 serving, 3 tablespoons sauce); Calories 490; Fat 26g; Cholesterol 125mg; Sodium 300mg; Carbohydrate 58g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Protein 6g

Thursday, September 17, 2009

To Ski or Not to Ski? That is the Question.

I've never been an adrenaline junkie. You know, the type that likes to bungee jump, sky dive or rappel down 40-foot walls dressed in Army fatigues.

Well, I actually did do the rappel thing when I was in college...but that was for a reporting assignment and back then I would do practically anything to get published. Yes, even join BYU's Army ROTC for an exhausting day of field training exercises. (Hey, I made my grandpa proud!)

This is the infamous wall I rappelled down.

Did I also mention I threw a grenade (no pin) and climbed under a barbed wire fence (on my back)? Okay, maybe I am a little more adventurous than I give myself credit for. (If you'd like to read the full story and have a chuckle at my expense, here's the link.)

So while I was on vacation last month, I was given the opportunity to water ski. I’ve never really embraced skiing - either the water or snow version - but I'm always up for a challenge, even if it means I will mostly likely end up on my butt - which usually happens in both instances.

But like I said, I like pushing my body to do things my mind puts the brakes on. So what if I'm older and out of shape? Age is only a number and your body is a miraculous sum of many parts. I just wish my toes liked freezing cold temperatures!

Here I am all suited up and ready to water ski. I just dipped my toes into the 65-degree lake water and my sister snapped this reaction. What was I thinking? Instead of easing my way in, limb by limb, I ended up diving in. Much like a band-aid, it's sometimes best to just go for it!

Once submerged, the cold water isn't so bad. You just hope the skis are set to match your foot size. My dad likes to joke that with size nine feet, I already have built-in skis!

Once the skis are on, it's time to untwist the rope and align yourself straight behind the boat.

Point your ski tips up and then there's only one thing left to do: PRAY!

After two failed attempts, I finally got up! Five minutes later, I finally surrendered to my wobbly legs and aching back, and dropped the rope. And yes, I ended up on my butt!

Here's to all you adrenaline junkies out there! Thanks for letting me step into your exciting world every now and then. I may not stay long, but I sure have a good time while I'm doing it!


P.S. What's the most adventurous thing you've done lately?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Big Sis!

Mom and me in Sundance, Utah, 2007

"Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world." ~Kate Douglas Wiggin

Happy birthday to my big "sis"!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Farewell to Summer!

"What do I want to take home from my summer vacation? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace." ~Ellen Goodman

Until we meet again,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Return of The Little

About a month ago, my cousin Ryan called me on a Saturday night. He was flying through Salt Lake City on his way home to Phoenix. He had a very tight connection and wasn't sure if he was going to make it. If he didn't, he wanted to see if I could pick up him and his three-year-old daughter McCall (The Little) from the airport.

I was selfishly praying to the airplane gods that Ryan would miss his flight. I don't get to see McCall very often, so it's always a treat when this "little" ray of sunshine comes for a visit. She's still convinced I'm "babysitting" HER dog Lexus, so whenever she is in town, I try to reunite the two of them (whether Lexus wants it or not).

Luckily, the airplane gods were on my side that night. To celebrate we went to Baskin Robbins for late night treat. (You can always count on Auntie PK to feed your children sugar right before bedtime!) Here McCall is showing me what color her cotton candy-flavored ice cream turned her tongue! Yum!

Even though McCall claimed she was finished with her ice cream cone, when Daddy went to throw it away, out came the water works. (I'm sure being tired had nothing to do with it!)

But the tears quickly dried up when we pulled up to GG's (Great-Grandma's) and McCall got to walk HER puppy down the steps and into the building.

As always, McCall has lots of hugs for her GG!

Ever the jealous sister, Lexus climbed up on GG's lap to stake her claim. Notice the left paw.

But the highlight of the night came when Daddy let Lexus lick the rest of his ice cream bowl. (I guess his shake at Baskin Robbins didn't quite satisfy his cravings.)

But the highlight of my night was when both of my girls climbed up on my lap for a snuggle!

Then it was time to go bed because this "little" traveler had a early flight the next morning. After a quick pat on Lexus' head, McCall skipped down the hall to dream some sweet dreams of cotton candy-flavored ice cream and puppy kisses.

See ya soon, McCall!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Snakes. Why'd it Have to be Snakes?

You've heard of the movie Snakes on a Plane, right? Well, here's a sneak peek at its sequel, Snakes in a Laundry Room. We just finished filming this past Saturday, so look for it in a theater near you before the year is out. It's going to be huge blockbuster! Especially the scene where the unassuming girl comes home to her little puppy and discovers this thing wrapped around the control knob of her water heater. The look on her face is so life-like! It's absolutely priceless!

So the plot thickens when the girl picks up the phone and dials the after-hours maintenance hotline for her apartment complex. After listening to a two-minute recording telling her to stay on the line if it is in fact an emergency, a very annoyed operator picks up the call:

Operator: "After-Hours Maintenance. What is your emergency?"
Girl: "Yeah, hi there, um... there's a snake in my house."
Operator: "What did you say?"
Operator: "Well, then that is a emergency, isn't it?"

The operator then assures the frantic girl that maintenance is on their way and that she should in no way attempt to pick up or remove the snake from its coiled position. You think?!

Frantic girl then calls all her friends and family (who are mostly asleep) to share her most disturbing news. Most of them tell her to get the hell out of there, but frantic girl doesn't want to leave Slither alone - especially when he could slither away to some new hidden place.

But luckily after only an hour's wait, the maintenance man and his very enthusiastic teenage son arrived at frantic girl's doorstep with a bucket and long, snake-wielding tools in hand. Frantic girl even overhears the kid say, "This is so freakin' cool, Dad!"

The climax of the movie occurs when teenage boy reaches for Slither with his pincher tool and Slither sneaks behind the water heater! After shouting out a profanity (which I can't reveal since this is a PG-13 movie!), the kid flexes his muscle a bit and moves the nearby washing machine to get a better look. Once he does, he discovers a drainage hole coming from the apartment above. But since Slither entered the laundry room from this hole, he slithers back in before the boy can utter more profanity. Seeing the predicament, frantic girl suggests a coat hanger and quickly goes to retrieve one from her closet. After that, things happen very quickly! Coat hanger is inserted, Slither darts out with a vengeance and kid snatches up his prize with his bare hands!

Then the dad (the actual maintenance supervisor) contributes to the evening by taking out his phone to snap a few pictures. Slither doesn't like the flash, so he once again escapes the clutches of his captor. Luckily the kid has quick reflexes and traps Slither with his menacing tools.

Once inside the white bucket, Slither thrashes about and his eyes begin to glow an eerie red. As the boy carries Slither away, the movie ends with this caption: "Where is Samuel A. Jackson when you need him?"


Director's Note: No reptiles were harmed in the making of this movie.

See you at the movies!