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June 2010

A week in review

I've always wanted to do one of those "Week in the Life" albums that Ali Edwards started but since it's just me and all I do is work, go to school, study and occasionally read and/or scrapbook, it didn't seem like it would be a super interesting album... lol. But this week was a little more eventful so I took to carrying my camera around a lot more than usual.  So here's my week in the life post (aka LONG!)

Monday morning:  the view from my bedroom window when I woke up.  I was not a happy camper.

May 24 Snow

I worked from home... refusing to drive in the snow and the crazy traffic.  By that afternoon it was 60 degrees with no snow in site.  lol.  Just in time to head to meet my study group to finish our big finance project.  I got home from that around 1am which was pretty good, actually.

Wednesday was a super crazy day... we had a big team off-site at my boss' house in Berkley so a bunch of us met up for an early flight to Oakland:

Flight to Oakland

There were about 12 of us total between the locals and the five of us who flew out.  We did team building (partly for my OB/HR project) and then after lunch we had a little baby shower for Melissa.  This was especially fun for the guys on the team, several of whom had never experienced a shower before.

Melissa's Shower 1

So you know how you pass gifts around the room, right?  The guys were a little flummoxed by this tradition.

Melissa's Shower 2

I went back to the airport by my lonesome... everyone else was staying the night but I had to get back for class.  Of course I got through security only to find out my flight had been delayed from 7:40pm until 9:55.  So I picked up a book and went back to check the status - delayed until 11:45pm at this point!  I guess the plane had been grounded in Denver due to tornado conditions or something.  Bleh.  So I landed in SLC at about 2am and made it home just before 3.  Needless to say, I didn't head into work at my usual hour.  But, I just kept clinging to the thought that as soon as class was over I was free!  I took Friday off to give myself a long weekend which leads to...

Friday!  I had gotten crack in my windshield a month after I got my car - the rock hit in the bottom corner on my way to work and when I came out at the end of the day I had a 15 inch crack.  So much for having a chance to fill the chip!  I was trying to out-wait the construction since I was getting hit by rocks regularly, but it was more than 2/3 across the windshield and since I'm taking a big road trip at the end of June, I thought I'd get it done.

Windshield Replacement
I love that they just come to your house!  He also came two hours early so I was able to head over and catch a movie.  I saw Prince of Persia with D-Box seats - I figured I'd give it a try and it was pretty cool!  The seats move and vibrate along with the movie to make it a more intense experience.  It was a bit like those rides at Disneyworld where your seats move with the movie (only not exactly... just the seat, not a ride!)  plus I got a free movie pass for taking a survey afterward.  Sweet!  I'd do it again, that was fun.  The movie was awesome too :)

I also got fun goodies in the mail... a big thanks to Scrapbook Update for this fun blog giveaway!  I can't wait to dig into the Eco-Friendly paints and see how they work.  Great colors, too!

Eco Friendly Paints

Whew!  That brings me to today... I came up to my scrap attic to work on a mini album I started last weekend and ended up getting distracted and making a necklace I've had an idea for for a while.  I'm totally in love with this necklace.  Seriously.

Pink Quartz Flower Necklace

I've wanted to make gemstone flowers for a while and I had these awesome pink quartz teardrops that were perfect.  The clear flowers are glass briolettes with antique brass and pink aluminum findings.  On the bigger flowers, I put vintage pearls and Czech glass seed beads in the center with a big, antique brass filigree flower.  The flowers are wired together and then connected to the strands.  This was the hardest one I've made so far, but it was fun and I absolutely love it... it looks great on too :)

Pink Quartz Flower Necklace - Close-up 1

Pink Quartz Flower Necklace - Close-up 2

Whew!  So with that, this is what my desk looks like, ready for my next project (which is really one I started last week and haven't gotten back to...)

Safari Mini Album - In Progress

Believe it or not, it's been 3 years since Nicole and I went to South Africa, and I still haven't finished the album (okay, that part isn't so hard to believe).  I have tons of pictures from when we went up near Hoedspruit for our safari and I thought I'd do a mini album just for those few days instead of layouts for the main album.  I've got lots of pictures printed out... hopefully I can finish it this weekend, but we'll see.  Lots of other stuff to do.

So that's it for now... off to grab some dinner and a slice of the caramel pie I made today :) (I watched The Waitress last weekend and have been craving pie non-stop ever since.)  It was easy to make so if it's any good I'll post the recipe.


Pretty in Purple

Every month Prima picks a selection of products and posts it on their blog and it just makes me drool.  It always inspires me to want to pull out anything I have from the post and scrap with it.  So... when Erin posted these pictures of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh (which begged to go on a layout from the moment I saw them), I immediately thought of this month's product picks and whipped out the purple!

The picks:

Prima May Product Pick

The layout:

The first close-up:

Playdough Close-up 1

The other close-up (like one is enough?  heh.)

Playdough Close-up 2

These pictures were fun because that little apron with all the kid kitchen tools is something that I found while Mom, Rick and I were browsing in Deseret Book while they were out here two weeks ago and I knew Eraleigh had to have it.  Mom bought it for her as a "Grandma's house" toy that she gets to play with when they visit my parents.  Apparently she loves it.

I also feel a little wild and crazy with this layout... I piled on the layers and skipped the title.  Yup, I'm a rebel.

P.S.  I'm totally digging the new Muse single from the Eclipse soundtrack... Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever).  I'm not sure why they didn't just call it Love is Forever, but the song's pretty awesome!  Can't wait to hear the rest of the soundtrack.  I've already got tickets for the movie premier... a bunch of us from school are going together - one of my friends in class has a neighbor that reserved the entire theater so it should be a blast!  A nice kick-off to my very short Summer vacation :)

A short homework pity party.

So... I try not to talk about school too much on the blog, because let's face it.  It's boring.  But I just need to quickly share the frustration of my corporate finance class.  I don't like math.  I don't do math.  That's why they make calculators and Excel and stuff.  But sometimes, even with those modern bits of wonder, math is unavoidable.  Especially if you want to pass Finance.  So I'm sharing a screenshot of a piece of ONE problem from my solution to tomorrow's homework.

Finance Fun
I would like to point out that the answers here are correct... but we won't talk about how long it took to arrive at said answers.  And yes, now that it's done I am kind of showing off a bit ;)  But after all that work I had to share it somewhere! Especially since it doesn't get graded... we just never know what shows up on the daily quizzes.  Anyway...

/pity party.

Queen of Hearts

This is been kind of a nice, recharging kind of weekend.  Sleeping, reading, going to the movies... I saw "Letters to Juliet" which I really enjoyed.  Very fun and cute.  As a result I didn't spend any time in the craft attic yesterday, but today I decided to do a few projects.

First, I've seen some fabulous Alice in Wonderland inspired jewelry on Etsy and when I found this strand of glass playing card beads, I knew I had to get them and make my own.  So I did a Queen of Hearts theme - there are some glass hearts on one side and a kind of mask/crown pendant that represents the queen.  I love the colors and the lampwork beads on this one.

Queen of Hearts 2

And a different view (as I now realize I should have taken one of the hearts on the other side.)

Queen of Hearts 3

This one is weirding me out a bit because the main charm is off center, but I like it.  I have no idea what I'll wear it with... thank goodness for the black shirt!

Also, while I was working, I did some browsing on Etsy for inspiration since I was a bit stumped on this one.  I didn't find anything that I used to inspire this necklace, but I found a seller that makes the most AMAZING jewelry!  She's in Bangkok and there was one necklace that I just kept coming back to (okay, there were several... but the others were more than I wanted to spend right now).  Her prices are so good (for this type of thing, anyway) that I ended up buying it.  Since Mom wanted to see it, here's a picture:

Colored Stone Necklace

It's so different from anything I've seen and so totally *me.*  Definitely not a piece you want to wear if you don't want to draw attention!  Here's her Etsy storefront... it's totally drool-worthy.

Finally, I also did a layout... this one about me!  This is from Steph's wedding.  I already scrapped these pictures for her album, but I made extra copies for myself.  I saw Prima's May Build-a-Page sketch on their blog and thought it would work great with the photos.

The stamps, red patterned paper, Say it in Pearls, chipboard accent and flowers are all Prima.  The background paper is the new Basic Grey "Basics" line which I love... some Thickers, Stickles and some ribbon from my stash.

Here's a side view - I did a fun loopy thing with the black ribbon and you can see it a tad better in this picture:

RAGS Side View

Okay, so you can't really see it.  Next time I'll try a different angle to see if I can capture it.  It looks pretty cool, though (if I do say so myself!)

So that's it!  Time to hit the sack and get ready for another week.  I'm about 2 weeks past burnout with school and counting every day of the last 6 weeks before the end of my first year.  I can't wait for a little break!


Well THAT wasn't in the plan!

So yeah... Mom and Rick were supposed to stay with me until Saturday morning and then were planning on being back in Virginia by Monday.  So much for that!  It was a very eventful weekend... long story short, they didn't leave until yesterday!  But let's get up to speed... (Warning:  LONG POST!)

Thursday - as I mentioned, we came back to my house after the airport with In-n-Out burgers and had lunch and opened presents.  Mom loved her necklace and earring set.

Mom and Rick

And she also opened my Mother's Day present since at the time, we thought they'd be on the road Sunday.  Here are some pictures of what I made - it's a photo stand that has clips so she can switch out the pictures of her grandbabies.

Blog - MD Photo Stand 1

I tried to make something in colors that wouldn't clash with the photos - hence creams and metallics.  The bronze was crackle paint but it didn't crackle too well.  The white crackle on the base looks pretty good and I went over it with some gel medium to seal it.  Here's another view:

Blog - MD Photo Stand 2

Love the Prima flowers and leaves on the base!  Mom loved it and is still trying to decide whether she gets to take it to work or if Dad is going to make her keep it at the home office so they can both enjoy it... lol.

Friday, we were on the road to Rexburg at 5am.  It was a long drive, but I was pretty awake for not being a morning person.  We picked up the U-Haul and got to the storage unit where we had to use an enormous pair of cutters to get through the lock since Rick lost the key (lol!)  It took both of us to cut through the sucker!  We got everything loaded onto the truck and headed off to Idaho Falls to load it in the pod. 

The pod (I think it was 8ft tall by 6ft deep by 7ft wide):

Rick's Move 2
The 17-foot truck full of all the stuff I had to fit into the pod to save Rick the $700 fee for a second one.

Rick's Move 1

We got everything unloaded into piles based on what it was - furniture, boxes, tubs, loose stuff... Everyone looked at it and sighed, positive that we'd need two cubes.  I took that as a challenge.  Packing is my superpower.  Behold:

Rick's Move 3

I deliberately put the love sac on top to hold the stuff higher up in place... but I'd like it noted on the record that there's leftover space in that pod.  I'm not kidding when I say packing is my superpower.  Everyone stood in awe of my skills.  Good thing too because it turns out that Rick's going to need that extra money!  (I just hope it all arrives in the same condition as when I packed it.  Crossing fingers!!!)

So the rest of the tale... we returned the truck in Rexburg and picked up his car at the auto shop where he'd had it taken to be fixed up and made road ready for the big road trip.  We headed back out to Utah and right around Malad, ID Rick realized that something was definitely wrong with his car (so much for the work at that shop!).  When we stopped in Layton for dinner, they called my mechanic who happened to still be at the shop at 7:30pm on a Friday.  We got back to Draper fine (albeit carefully) and at 8am on Saturday we were at Mitch's place in Orem.  We played all morning only to return to the shop around noon expecting to be ready to go to find out that the car needed new front tires (one had an enormous bulge!) and a new CPM (computer) plus who knows what else after they saw what the computer corrected.  And, no parts to be had until Monday.  Sigh.  After we talked Rick down from the ledge, we left the car with Mitch and put the bags back in my car and headed off to make the most of the day.

So... we saw Iron Man 2 (AWESOME!!!) and shopped for beads at Hobby Lobby where I found, to my joy and dismay, that they're opening one in Orem (near my office) this summer.  Uh oh.  My checkbook just groaned.  We had yummy Chinese for dinner and got groceries for the next day.  On Mother's Day, Mom got to lounge on the couch watching fun movies and eating bonbons (okay, not that last part).  I made pot roast and potatoes which was super yummy and we just enjoyed being able to spend the day together.

Monday... back at Mitch's about 12:30 on Monday to find that he needed more time because of problems with getting the parts (like the car with the computer getting crushed before they could get to it).  I ended up leaving Mom and Rick with their bags at the shop around 3pm and going in to work.  About 6:30 I was right back there again... more problems had shown up - obvious ones. (This is where I mention that Mitch is totally trustworthy so if he said the car wasn't safe, he wasn't making it up.)  So we put the suitcases back in my car and went back home again. 

Finally, yesterday morning he found the last of the issues (including a testament to importance of changing your fuel filter) and they were off and on their way to Kansas by noon.  Hallelujah!  I got a call this morning saying they were doing great and the car was fine.  What a relief!  I feel bad that it was such an ordeal for them to get on their way, but I'm glad we got to spend the weekend together, unexpected as it was.  Here's hoping those repairs hold for a LONG time!

Our little fashionista

It's been a busy day here!  Lots of running and playing with my mom and Rick.  We went to In-n-Out Burger for lunch and then came back to my house to eat.  Mom opened my birthday / Mother's Day presents after lunch and loved them :)  Apparently I managed to get the necklace just right... unique and fun but not too over the top.  Yay!

Of course, their plane was over an hour late so while I waited before going to the airport I decided to start a layout with some new pictures of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh.  Apparently she's quite the little fashionista (already!) and not only loves to shop, but is opinionated about her clothes and has favorite outfits.  One of those favorites is this fun little sundress that she just adores.

Little Fashionista

I had some fun with this layout (not hard with such an adorable subject, right?)  Almost everything is American Crafts including one of the fun new Dear Lizzy Silhouette designs. The flower die is Sizzix and the embossing folder is Cuttlebug.

Okay... time to hit the sack.  We're off to Rexburg at 5am so it's going to be a super early morning and I'm the only one that's not jet-lagged!

Happy Birthday Mom!

It's been quite an eventful day!  I have to admit however, that I'm deliberately posting this late at night so that my mom won't see it... she and Rick are on their way to SLC first thing in the morning so I'm betting that at this point, mom won't be checking my blog until after I give her her birthday present in person tomorrow :)  Although it definitely won't be the biggest surprise of the day, I still don't want to spoil it...

So, here's the card - I made a combined birthday / Mother's day card since I'm giving her both presents together.  She and Rick will be on the road driving his car back from Idaho on Sunday so we'll be celebrating a bit early.

Mom's B-Day and Mother's Day Card 

I just love this Sweet Pea image from Papertrey :)

And, for her birthday present I made a necklace and earring set (which probably won't be a surprise at all... lol.)  My mom has always liked jade, so when I found this carved jade flower I knew I needed to build the necklace around it.  I found a little set of light green jade beads to go with it and added some vintage pearl beads from some old broken strands of pearls that I unstrung.

Mom's Jade Necklace

And a bit of a close-up:

Mom's Jade Necklace - Close-up

Of course the biggest birthday surprise of the day was the present from Nicole and Brian... a card that had this in it:

 Blog - Nicole's Ultrasound
I'm going to be an Auntie again!!!  And Nicole, the little stink, is already in her second trimester and just dropped the news today!  Another wee one to spoil :D  The baby is due in the fall and I'm super excited to go home for Christmas now... I'll have TWO little ones to enjoy while I'm home this year!  So exciting...

Congratulations Nicole and Brian and Happy Birthday Mom!

I'm still here!

Things got a little crazy this last week (don't they always?)  I was leading tours at headquarters for 3 days during the NGS conference in SLC - we brought down bus loads of people who wanted to come see the inner workings of Ancestry... it was fun!  Always enjoyable to meet our customers and show them more about what we do, answer questions, etc...  My feet were tired afterward, though!  Also took my Operations final exam, started a new HR class and tried to keep up with everything else.  I'm tired all the time, but that's nothing new :)  Now I'm frantically trying to get my house cleaned up and ready for Mom and Rick to come on Thursday morning, still get my Finance and HR homework done, keep caught up at work and get birthday and Mother's Day presents and cards ready.  I'm having a rough time on the Mother's Day present I decided on... I'm about half way through but kind of stumped.  I need inspiration!!!  I'm worried it's going to look like crap... argh.

In the meantime, I tackled a few smaller things this weekend.  First:

Stacks of Layouts

This monster stack of finished layouts has been steadily growing for months.  I pulled out all of the layouts of Disney / Eraleigh and created albums for them... started a Turkey album and then put any other layouts I had started an album for into them.  The stack is now about half this size... I need to start a few more albums to finish this off!  Oy.


I saw a blog post (which I now can't find... grr...) where they used cheap frames, foam core, cork and lace to make wall mounted jewelry storage (and according to Laura, there's also a store in SLC that displays their jewelry this way).  Anyway, when I saw it I thought to myself, self... that's something you need to do to tame the overflowing jewelry box that's resulted from your insane compulsion to make tons of jewelry.  So, rather than go out and buy anything new, I used some embroidery hoops that I bought a few years ago for another project that didn't materialize, leftover fabric from yet more previous projects, some thick fun foam / styrofoam sheets that have been sitting in a drawer forever along with big Prima flowers and centers, trims and my handy mini glue gun.  Here's what I came up with:

Wall Jewelry Storage - all 3

And some other views of the individual frames (the ones on the sides are 9", the middle is 12"):

Wall Mounted Jewelry Storage

I'm digging it... looks cool on the wall, holds everything just fine and there's room for more!

Finally, a little recipe I came up with.  I'm trying to work on eating better and I wanted to come up with something I could do for breakfast that would be healthy and hold me over until lunch (my mom has always said that oatmeal will do that.  Oatmeal makes me ravenous within about 30 minutes.  lol.)  So I did a variation on a South Beach Diet recipe (which I never actually tried).  These are under 300 calories per serving and have more than 22 grams of protein.  Can't beat it!  Move over egg McMuffin...

Egg and Ham Muffins 

Spray your muffin tin with spray oil stuff (Pam, olive oil spray, whatever)

Take a slice of Canadian bacon and cut it in half and layer the halves in a muffin tin so they overlap and make a little cup (if you put it in whole, it just pops up and makes a mess.  Trust me.  Exhibit A - top right corner above.)

Take a small slice of goat cheese and put it on top of the ham.

Pour Egg Beaters over top until it comes just under the rim of the muffin tin.

A dash of salt and some fresh ground pepper on top.

Bake at 400 farenheit for 15 minutes.

They puffed up beautifully!  (The white spots are little pieces of goat cheese that puffed up with the eggs).  I packaged them up in saran wrap, 2 per serving.  They're stacked in my fridge, just waiting for me to grab some on the way out the door.  We'll see how this works out, but it has to be better than a granola bar!

Alrighty... still got a pile of Finance homework to tackle, so I'm out.