Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We had fun with my family in California, and we're excited to spend time with (most of) Bryan's family when we get back to Utah.

We hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas time is here again

I thought I should do a Christmas post sometime before Christmas, so here is a little recap of our Christmas season:

-It snowed, but luckily not very much.  This was when it snowed on a really sunny day
-We saw the Carl Bloch exhibit at the MOA.  It was pretty cool, and this painting was amazing up close.
-We went to Disneyland over Thanksgiving break for free and it was freezing cold


-We got a little tree, and our house smelled great (and we're hopeful that the tree will still be alive when we get back to Utah on Sunday)
-We made snowflakes (notice the window)

 all decorated
decorated, lit up, and lights dimmed 

-We found Christmasland again

 We even saw the gate open up and a car go in.  We were this close to running inside.

-We had a second Thanksgiving dinner with Justin and Marissa, and I made a pretty pecan cheesecake
-I got to visit Sandi, Matt, and baby Ruby Rose since they moved to Utah
-We went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert... but we were too late to get seats even though we had tickets.  Salt Lake traffic/parking is the worst.  We watched it in the Conference Center theater, so it was still fun to see.  David Archuleta was pretty good. After we got to see the lights on temple square, so it was still a fun night.

We're in California for Christmas, and the rain has finally stopped, so it looks like it's going to be a pretty weekend.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Home Improvement

I've been saving a lot of pictures of gallery walls to my desktop, and when we moved into our current house I thought this might be a nice remedy to the white walls staring me in the face at every turn.
It was kind of tricky putting it up, and it was hard to tell if it looked how I wanted it to until it was all pretty much in place.  I think I would have spaced them a little further apart if I'd had the motivation to fix it after the fact, but it will do for now.  Maybe I'll add to it to make it fill the space a little better.
 The other area of our house that needed some work was the kitchen.  Ours is teeny tiny.  I had a feeling I'd end up scratching our pots and pans if we kept them in a cupboard (and to be perfectly honest, I hate having to dig through a million pots and pans to get to the one that I actually want), so we took a leaf out Julia Child's book and put up some pegboard (this should have been pretty easy, but we ended up having to go back to Lowe's to get different screws three separate times.  Apparently our walls are abnormal).  We painted it blue, and hung everything up.  I have really loved it because everything is so easy to find and we didn't have to sacrifice any storage space.
 Disclaimer: the stains on the kitchen floor are permanent.  We really have tried to clean them. 
Upon moving in, we quickly realized that we didn't have a microwave, so we got one on sale at Target (thanks Dad).  The problem was that we didn't have anywhere to put it.  Our kitchen has minimal counter space to begin with, so we weren't going to take it all up with a microwave.  We realized that we could just barely squeeze the microwave in between the oven and refrigerator if we squished the dryer, oven, and fridge a little more.  Then we picked up some 2x2s, 2x4s, and a piece of plywood to make a very basic table for the microwave to stand on.  It was a tight squeeze, but it fit perfectly, and the table even gave us a place to put our trash can.

We had fun making the house feel more like our own (when I wasn't pulling my hair out about the pegboard situation) and it was nice to have a chance to break in some of our tools (including our power drill!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How we became Jesse and Woody

In case you wanted to know how we made our costumes, here is a little breakdown:

Woody's pants (not pictured because they're pretty self-explanatory): any pair of jeans
Jesse's pants and chaps: I got a pair of white flannel pajamas from DI, and then cut them up.  I used a black paint sharpie to make them look like cow hide (the spots ended up getting kind of smeared from when I crossed my legs, so maybe there is a better tool to use for this).  I sewed them to a pair of jeans I owned (though not too securely, since I planned on wearing the jeans again post-Halloween.  I sewed a seam across the tops, and then just did a few ties down each side of the leg.)
Woody's shirt and vest:  I got a plain yellow shirt from DI and then drew stripes on it with a red sharpie (I used a broom handle as a ruler to keep the lines straight, and I put a trash bag inside the shirt to make sure the lines didn't bleed through).  The vest started out as a fleece sweater from DI.  I cut off the sleeves, shortened the length, and then cut it to look more like a vest.  After folding under all the raw edges, I held them in place with a blanket stitch using black yarn.  I used a regular black sharpie to make the spots (my paint sharpie had run out after doing Jesse's chaps.  Note that this type of sharpie also smeared a little after wearing them for a while).  I got the sheriff's badge at Savers and painted it gold (it had been silver, originally)
The pull string was literally made ten minutes before we left for our ward Halloween party.  We used some leftover cord from Jesse's hat for the string, and tape (yes, we are ghetto) to make the ring.  Then we sewed it on with some white thread.
Jesse's shirt: I started with a white shirt I bought at DI a few years ago (I had planned on hemming it a little and then wearing it in real life, but that obviously never happened).  For the yoke, I bought a sleeveless, yellow button-up shirt from DI.  I cut off the collar and then matched it up with where I wanted it to sit on the white shirt, trimmed it so it was the right length, folded under the raw edges, and sewed it on.  Since I only used the top few inches of the front and back of the shirt, I had enough fabric left over to make cuffs for the sleeves.  Keep in mind that I don't have a sewing machine.  They looked somewhat Frankenstein-esque, but they worked well enough.  To finish it off, I sewed on two large buttons, and got red cord from Joann's to add a little detail.  I pinned it how I wanted and then sewed it on with red thread.

The hats: Both hats were DI purchases.  Woody's hat was pretty easy.  I just added a brown cord trim.  For Jesse's hat I spray painted it red, added a white cord trim, and the put a little white ribbon around it (sewed in place with a few stitches).

Belt Buckles:  I cut out two cardboard belt buckle shapes, and two bull head shapes.  I glued them together, filling in the open edges of the card board bull with gluestick glue so it looked a little more smooth, and then I painted them gold once they dried.  Bryan had a belt that worked, and I borrowed mine from Marissa.

Woody's Bandana: I found this one at DI for 50¢

Boots:  I already owned my boots.  They were DI purchase for my Robin Hood costume a few years ago (I actually wear them a lot for a costume purchase).  Luck was with me when I went costume shopping because there was only one pair of cowboy-type boots at DI when I went, and they just happened to be Bryan's size.  Seriously, sheer Luck.  The spurs are just four strips of card board (one to go around each ankle, and one to go under each foot), and two spur shaped pieces of card board.  I painted them gold and then stapled them together.

And that is how we made our costumes.


We had a lot of fun this Halloween. We carved some pretty nice jack-o-lanterns with Justin and Marissa. Bryan and I both carved something from the Nightmare Before Christmas.
Justin and Marissa carved R2D2 and Darth Vader.
Marissa's sister Amanda and her boyfriend Michael carved the pumpkin on the far left.
Bryan came up with the idea for our costume this year. Our costumes only took a trip to DI, some sewing, a a little paint (well, and a lot of time).

We had fun adding details to Bryan's costume (like the spurs, pull string, and "Andy" written on the bottom of his shoe)
It can be kind of depressing to make a costume and then not have anywhere to wear it, especially since we're too old to go trick-o-treating on our own. We ended up trick-or-treating with Justin and Marissa's nephews in Kaysville, which was really fun, even if it was rainy and cold.
I loved seeing how little kids reacted to our costumes. We had tons of kids point at us and tell their parents, "It's Woody and Jesse!". Our favorite was when we were handing out candy, and a little boy dressed as Buzz Lightyear came to the door. He saw us, did a double take, and then said, "Wow!" He got really excited and introduced us to his little sister. It was adorable.
We had fun dressing up.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Speaking of Winter...

This is our new house.  It's pretty small, but so far we really like it.  And it's only a few houses away from where we lived this summer (making the move very easy)
Our view of the mountains is pretty nice too.

 This was our house earlier this week.  Yeah, it snowed.  It all melted in the afternoon sun, but still.
This is not supposed to happen before Halloween.  Really, it's not allowed.

End of Summer/Beginning of Fall Picnic

I don't remember where the idea came from, but Bryan and I decided to have a picnic in the canyon this September.  We had been given a picnic basket set (complete with plates, glasses, and utensils) by my mom as a wedding present, so we wanted to try it out.
We found a pretty spot that had a nice view of the fall colors, and the weather was pretty much perfect.
Here you can see the whole spread.  We had bread, cheese, salami, grapes and grape juice.  It made me miss eating really cheap (but delicious) cheese all the time, like I did in France.
(using our camera timer)
 I made mini pear tarts for dessert, which added a perfect fall taste to the picnic.  Pretty much, every "smitten kitchen" recipe I try turns out amazing.  She knows what she's doing.

 After our picnic we drove up past Sundance to see the pretty fall colors.

I'm excited for fall to finally be here (winter, not so much)