In Honor of Baxter & Kenai

Since we have adopted two dogs one year ago, today- we have decided to do some renovations. Here are the easy to follow directions for all the work we have done to the house.

Faux feels-like-broken-glass-when-you-step-on-it-barefoot finish:
This beautiful and unique finish is accomplished by leaving two unsupervised dogs at home for the first time. The tools required are very simple. Just leave an unopened FedEx box by the front door. The key to a great sharp result is to have a water activated glue inside the FedEx box. Make sure one of the two dogs you have left alone can chew through cardboard, wood and high performance plastic. The rest is easy- be certain that the dogs will chew on the heavy duty bottle of glue over the carpet and use their saliva to activate the foaming glue. To give the faux finish extra oomph, leave to let dry at least two hours. For the polka dot effect, repeat as necessary.

New, top of the line, doggy door-

  1. Make sure dogs are extremely excited (to the point of jumping and barking uncontrollably) to go outdoors.
  2. Train them to wait until you say a code word to go outside ('Okay!' works just fine)
  3. Open the sliding glass door and prepare for a stampede. The important part of this step is to MAKE SURE you leave the screen door closed unknowingly.
  4. Use your code word to release the hounds.
  5. Watch as they easily tear through the flimsy screen door.
  6. Each time you forget to open the screen door, your new, top of the line, doggy door will do the trick. (Be careful when letting the larger of the two dogs outside, it may result in the posterior end getting stuck)
    Appliqued Hard Wood Floors
Just as with the faux finish for the carpets, this project requires unattended canines. Leave two dogs in an environment with beautiful hard wood floors and a trash can filled to the brim with discarded raw chicken containers. This method only works if you have neglected to return trash can to it's proper place- UNDER THE SINK.
Happy Renovating!


Holy Crusty Cheeseballs, Batman!!!

It has been an infinity since I have blogged- dang inconsistent internet! We haven't had access to the internet lately, so I have actually had to go through life like a normal person would- with their priorities firmly in check. I do have to say that it was nice to click on all my buddies' blogs and read a hefty few back logs... it's funny how much seems to happen when I don't check my favorites on a multiple daily basis. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about every one's fabulous holidays. We had a great holiday as well. I had a brilliant moment in Settlers... I crushed all the newbies to the complicated board game and did not feel bad about it in the slightest... I finished the last season of Friends and bawled... I GOT A CRICUT!!!! Yay!!! Thanks you to all the contributed to my happy holiday: Mom, Dad, the losers in Settlers, Rachel, Chandler, Ross... you get the picture. PLUS- my new niece decided to add to the Christmas cheer at 2:33 p.m. on Christmas Day!!! Welcome baby Rebekah Marie! Gosh, this post had a ridiculous amount of exclamation marks... Well, I believe all have reached their exclamation mark quota for the day, so happy New Year and enjoy the exorbitant amount of pictures (sans exclamation marks)
Those filthy elves tend to leave their dirty clothes at our house... I just hang it up, don't expect me to do their laundry- how will I know if I shrunk it?
I made this garland all by myself... with the help of the CIAEvery year, we attend Main Street Bethlehem. I was a little leery after last year... a leper followed me around freaking me out all night. I think he thought it was funny to see me squirm. I do have to say, it's nice to go without needing a stroller- that hay really rides up. I still cry every time I see the live Nativity with Mary, Joseph and the Christ Child. Do you ever think we will be able to get away one Christmas without going to the Jelly Belly Factory? No, not when they still hand out free candy and have larger than life creepy nutcrackers. This is the first of many pictures from Christmas Eve. I have to give you a little background... Jimmy's attention span can only handle so much... when the night slow down, he tends to find interesting things to do while the rest of us are making sweet priceless memories. This year, my sweet husband decided our digital camera on the sly was the ticket to bore-free success. This first picture is a fun and innocent picture I took... the rest will be unveiled below. Enjoy. This is when the real fun starts. Jimmy's first victim. It seems that his headache is just a precursor as to what will come.And it just goes down hill from here folks...It's good thing Nora's got a good personality... just kidding- she's adorable- I can't understand how Jimmy could have gotten such an unpleasant shot of her.Yeah, I don't want to ever be on Melissa's bad side- yes, she's smiling, but, please, don't hurt me...Not so candid, but I bet no one was expecting this on a blog.R.I.P. Natalie, it seems the ghost of Christmas past has taken over.
Well, you all survived the strange Jimmy+camera+boredom=unflattering pictures of Christmas 2008. Here's Kaitlin opening up a Christmas gift from Santa. She has asked for a Fiona book for two years and Santa finally found one on Amazon. Needless to say, Santa can relax until Kaitlin chooses something even more random next year. My parents got an adorable little chef outfit. She always helps in the kitchen, but now she matches Mommy. She wore it most of the morning. Mommy is one happy camper, er, scrapper.
With that previous picture being so terrible, I thought I'd put in one that makes me look less like a total slob. I did, however, wear pajamas all day and eat junk food. But, that was part of the requirement. Everyone in attendance had to come in pj's and eat all the fabulous things laid out. Plus, we each got a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream to ourselves... yeah, I haven't weighed myself yet... please, don't remind me...


I'm trying...

I hit the 25 lb. weight loss mark!!!! YAY! The trick to getting excited is to not have a scale at home. I only weigh myself at friend's houses....it feels like more weight loss with more time between the results...then I went home to celebrate with some m&m's... it was rough day...I did a second workout to make up for the chocolate...then I ate something with mayonnaise...Jimmy is at the movies with Kaitlin... Stephanie and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day...I should move to Australia...speaking of Australia...Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in a movie together?... too much pretty in one movie...my head might explode... plus I'm saving my maiden viewing of that movie for when Beth gets home from her mission...Hughie, Nic, Beth, popcorn, m&m's... downward spiral, people


We need to talk...

Bad-fresh wreath tied to the grill of your car

Worse- fake wreath with flashing lights and a red plastic bow tied to the grill of your car with a rusty coat hanger

Please think of others this holiday season, take down your lights before Valentine's Day...


Get the tissues ready...

On my favorite humor blog, there was this touching video. It reminds me of the Relief Society, all the wonderful friends I have and my family. I have been buoyed up in so many of my journeys and I am grateful for all that has been done, shared, endured or worried about on my behalf. Thank you all for contributing to my success. I choose to leave people anonymous when mentioning these things I have such gratitude for, but if it's you, you'll know! Thank you all for:

  • Helping me stay motivated while exercising, even if we look ridiculous
  • Teaching me the value of a clean and tidy home
  • Helping express my love of cooking by encouraging me through especially hard parties/events
  • Listening to me 'vent' and never utter the word 'gossip'
  • Being a fabulous example by serving the Lord selflessly
  • Sharing your talents and style, all while pulling me along behind you
  • Sifting through all my woes without judgment

You are all amazing people, why else would I associate myself with y'all?! Thank you again and I love you.


Self deafeating

We do not have cable TV so that I won't sit on my round rump (soon to be toned- I hit the 2o lb. weight loss mark!!!) all day and watch TV. There are boring and unrealistic shows on in the daytime... so what's a girl to do? Get the Blockbuster all access pass, of course! Now, I can sit on my posterior all day AND all night! I am currently in the eighth season of 'Friends'. Luckily, I can't watch that show when Kaitlin is home because it's a tad bit inappropriate for a five year old... but hey!-that's what preschool is for!


How do you measure up?

I catered at an event in San Francisco this weekend. There were 1600 guests in attendance- a very large, very crazy event. My responsibility was to man a knife at the carving station. Although the cutting of lamb, pork and turkey was a blast- there was a definite highlight of my night. I was stationed next to Julio, who is a complete riot. We were goofing off and enjoying the jovial mood in the enormous room... when Julio mumbles, "That's a 9." Huh? What? I sliced nine pieces of lamb? I started to look down at my carving station and he started to giggle, "Not that meat... THAT meat," pointing at an obviously very fit young lady. Just in jest, I responded with, "No, she's a 6... she's not wearing heels high enough to be a a 9." Julio's eyes seemed to jump out of his head at the comment from the 'goody-goody' standing next to him. I suppose he never thought I would be up for a game like this. With a look of resolve, Julio quickly rated another passerby. I bounced back with a rating two points above his. "An 8? You gave her an 8?" Julio jabbed. My response?- "Of course she's an eight, check out that amazing support with no straps in sight! That deserves at least one bonus point." He just scoffed. As the night wore on, our ratings continued to differ. It seems that I like to add points for a cute bag, high shoes, looking smart, great hair color, fabulous understated-yet, holiday worthy makeup, handsome date etc. Julio rated from the neck down, unless she was blond, then all bets were off. Once we realized how silly it was to be compartmentalizing people, we stopped (either that, or we kept getting interrupted by people wanting meat- rude, I know...) It was fun trying to be one of the guys for a night, but I'd prefer to cut meat in nonjudgmental peace from now on. My favorite part of the night, however, will definitely be when Julio left the parking lot yelling out his window, "Stephanie, you're a 10!"


"Will you accept a call from the North Pole?"

Kaitlin and I were sitting on the couch reading yesterday, when I received a phone call from my brother Kyle. He and Lynda were calling from the store with an inquiry as to whether or not the gift they had chosen for Kaitlin was a good one. Kaitlin heard her name on the phone and started jumping up and down..

Kaitlin: "Who is it?!?!"
Me: No one.
Kaitlin: "Who is it?!?!"
Me: Nobody.
Kaitlin: "Who is it?!?!"
Kyle: It's 'Santa Claus' shopping for a present for Kaitlin.
Me: Haahaha... Hi, 'Santa Claus' Heehee...
Kaitlin: (jaw dropping) What?!??!
Me: Uh oh.
Kaitlin: It's Santa Claus? Really? Lemmeetalk...Lemmeetalk...Lemmeetalk...!
Me: Oh, gosh.

I proceeded to put the phone to her ear and Kyle started Ho ho hoing away. Kaitlin clammed up and looked like she was about to shed tears of joy. She looked up at me in utter awe and disbelief at her luck and just couldn't stop smiling. After her phone call, she walked around like she had just won the lottery... Looks like we just started a new family tradition.

P.S. Kaitlin found out she was on the 'good list' and was absolutely perfect for the rest of the day because mommy kept reminding her that she wanted to stay on that list. I'm awesome...or evil


Back log

I have been insanely busy! I have posted back logs for those who want to see what I've been doing! In the past two weeks, I have prepared 3 Thanksgiving feasts (one with 17 guests, one with 64 and one with 75!) catered 1 wedding, gone to see Twilight 2 times, attended an awesome Twilight party, played nurse for 3 days, ran one craft day for 8-11 year old girls, attended a craft day for me, cleaned up after a very sick dog for 7 days, brought dinner to 2 families, ran 1 meeting, taught 1 day at Cherubs, attended a ward party, sent in food for a Harvest Party at school, had the missionaries over for dinner, and worked out every day!

It has been INSANE!!!

Turkey (and lots of pie) Day

Overheard in our kitchen on Thursday:
Stephanie: This year, we're just having a normal tradditional Thanksgiving, nothing fancy...
Jimmy: (looking around at the table with homemade centerpiece, hand crafted napkin rings and stunning white serving dishes...) Yeah, if you're Martha Stewart!

I made this apron too! Jimmy took this picture from outside! Notice the screen texturing effect?

Ashley made 6 pies!!! 2 pumpkin, 2 chocolate cream with oreo cookie crust and 2 fresh blueberry. She makes the BEST pie crust I have ever eaten!

I hade a fabulous time with my family! Ashley stayed tonight and I tortured her with my workout videos. It made me feel good that I was able to get through each video when a freshman in high school was having a hard time! Woo Hoo!


Nurse Stephanie

My mom just underwent gastric bypass and I went to pick her up from the hospital . She looks good, albeit sore. I have spent the last few days down in Santa Cruz taking care of her. We've had lots of fun. We did a total overhaul on the kitchen (what can I say, I was a professional organizer... it's in the blood!), seeded about 40 lbs. of pomegranates (messy little buggers) and watched a foreign film. My mom is doing great! She is healing nicely and being a real trooper. I bet she will have nightmares about Crystal Light for the rest of her days here on this earth! (she has to drink 2 Liter a day!!!) Below are pictures of when I did her hair like 'Samantha Who?' I wanted to do corn rows, but we didn't have any baby hair elastics.


Another Wedding...

Here's the menu for the open house I just did:

  • lemon bars

  • chocolate mint brownies

  • cheesecake bites

  • cream puffs

  • strawberry custard blossoms

  • truffles

  • mini cupcakes with butter cream frosting

  • fresh fruit platters

I wish I got a picture, everything was so cute- all tiny little bite-sized pieces of deliciousness! Anyone who knows me, knows that this is a HUGE deal! I baked it all from scratch- ALL BY MYSELF (excluding the lemon bars... Jimmy did those) everything was sinfully good. I wouldn't know, though :), I have been practicing a life style change- no sugar! (I actually tasted everything once, just to make sure it was good, but only 1 bite!)

P.S.- update on the life style change- I have lost 16 lbs., Jimmy has lost 21 lbs. YAY US!


I have been diagnosed with OCD...

Obsessive CULLEN Disorder, that is! I went to the midnight showing of TWILIGHT!!!!!! YAY!!!!! You may read on, there are no spoilers in this post. It's always fun to go to a midnight showing... for the first Harry Potter movie, Jimmy and I went at Midnight in Berkeley- crazy college town where all the students were dressed up - it was a blast! Well, the Twilight midnight showing was just as fun! There were people with all their homemade t-shirts... I had to take pictures!

Front: Do I Dazzle you? Back: frequently.

Front: Twilight Back: It's about a vampire who loves a girl... pause... just read it!

Front: Twilight Back: Jacob Black, I want to LA PUSH you off a cliff

Front: Save a Volvo, ride a vampire Back: Twilight

Front: When God made Robert Pattinson, he was just showing off

Front: OCD Obsessive Cullen Disorder ( I stole my post heading from this shirt... saved the best for last!)

Natalie, Janeen & me- waiting and all very tired.... Janeen wanted a picture to prove to her grown children that she actually stayed up to go to the Midnight showing!Megan and I always get a little too into it...I even wore the red lipstick in honor of the beautiful vampires.


The Dilemma

in the world of shoes style+comfort= HOPELESS DREAM. With our new 'lifestyle change' has come the age of the workout video. I have done some really fun videos (read:easy) and some really hard videos (read:kicked my butt and is taking numbers). With this new age of workout videos has also come the age of wearing actual shoes. Every morning, I have a fight with my feet- they always win. That's why you'll see flip flops on my tootsies in the winter. My toes are free spirits not willing to be strapped down or closed in. I cannot wear flip flops working out, so I have been winning every morning! (Stay tuned for a story about the revolt of the feet...) Well, I have two pairs of sneakers suitable for working out. The super cute Nikes are the ones to wear doing errands (bonus- I have matching yoga pants). I only wear those ones when I want to look like I've just worked out. My beautiful Nikes make my feet look dainty and fit. Then there are the ugly step-sister Reeboks that are ultra comfy and ultra hideous. The Reeboks are a pair of shoes that I actually bought because they are comfortable. These shoes make my feet look like a fat lady trying her best to lose some weight... and thus the dilemma- look like I'm working out or actually work out?

p.s. you know I'm serious when I've chosen comfort over style.


It's not fair...

... that my bangs cover up my good eyebrow.


6 weeks!

I'm sick of shopping at Pretty & Plump, so our family has undergone a 'lifestyle change'. The primary reason for doing this is vain... I want to be able to continue shopping in stores- no catalog shopping for me! I'm only a few sizes away from having to shop by mail, so I decided to nip that in the bud! For 6 weeks, we have eaten pescatarian (vegetarian+fish) and I have committed to doing "Yoga Ballet Booty" at least once a week. I have had a great support system in all of this: my husband (who has already lost 15 lbs.- argh!), my friends, and my family. Thank you all for helping me so much! I feel really good about myself & I hope we will continue have a healthy and active lifestyle.

P.S.- That commercial is totally legit. Too legit, to quit- in fact. Jimmy found it on an old home movie from the '80's. Is it not HYSTERICAL?!?!?!


Poor Jimmy :(

I know my Husband loves me. Would you like to know why? I'll tell you- He sat through High School Musical 3 and dutifully remained quiet until the final credits. After which, he made a statement regarding the preview involving another Zac Efron movie. "Great. Another movie with Zac Efron in it. Middle-aged women around the world are swooning." At least I only made him see it the one time... I could've made him go to the midnight showing too...


A tad bit supicious

We received a phone call from Kaitlin's teacher this week. Miss Teacher had informed us that Kaitlin was traumatized at school because of a recent incident. Apparently, some of the kids found mushrooms on the grass and the teacher warned them that mushrooms found in the grass are poisonous and should never, ever be eaten. What the teacher didn't know is that Kaitlin is unlike any five year old, in that mushrooms are one of her favorite foods. So, our sweet girl came home from school thinking her parents were trying to poison her every time we made pizza... 'here, little girl, put these on the pizza....' needless to say, we had a long talk after that.


One bonus of living in California is...

...most definitely the produce. My friend Rachel told me all about a produce stand that is about a half hour drive from where we live. I took the plunge and got:

for $49.56!!!!! I did have to shop with a wheel barrow, mighty unyielding those things are, and pay with cash... but food for two weeks for under fifty bucks?!?!?! Are you jealous?

p.s- I thought I could fit all the produce on one bench, but I kept having to move other pieces of furniture to hold it all! (Notice all the little mismatched footstools?) All together I got 133 pieces of food- not including the grapes, I didn't want to count all of those.


Trick or treat

smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don't have anything good to eat- come sit by me!!! Here are the pictures from Halloween night. Look who made the little cupcake- a 50's housewife and chef
I cannot get over how well my husband can grow facial hair, lucky chap!

Isn't is insanely obvious what this caption should be... 'Kiss the Chef'

This house was freakin' awesome! Captain Jack Sparrow greeted us at the door with gold coins and candy. He had the accent, the clothing, the dirt under the fingernails... the whole nine yards. How could we pass up a photo op? Forget that our children were whimpering behind us because of all the scary things on the porch... "Be quiet kids, mommy's gotta get her picture on!"

We came home to an unexpected trick or treater on our porch.

I decided not to post the other picture of Kaitlin with the newt... you know the one with the newt catapulting itself off of Kaitlin's hand. You know it's gotta be bad if he's attempting suicide...