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February 2011

See You at Seven

Just popping in with a quick update... I think I've mentioned a few times that I've been spending time on the side working on a start-up business with some friends at school.  I helped with stuff for branding and also did most of the design and copy work on the website (not saying it's good... more of a result of the lack of resources in a start-up!)  And it's live!

If you're in the greater Salt Lake area and interested in a way to plan dates or events, check it out!  There are a few events there already with lots more to come.  See You at Seven


A little bit of yummy.

Just popping in for a quick update... now that I'm back at school, things are super busy again!  Lots of reading, case studies and projects.  Work has been super busy too so all in all, I'm exhausted.  lol.  But I did manage to get out with some friends last night.  The BYU EMBA singles had a monthly dinner at a nearby restaurant; Pizzaria 712.  I'd never been but had heard fantastic things and they were definitely well deserved!  There were just a few of us from our program, plus about 6 people from the daytime MBA program and a few of Brandon's friends and roommates.  It was fun to meet new people and the food was wonderful!

I took a few crappy phone pictures... Brandon (from my program), his friend Christine and Mallory (from the daytime MBA).


Mary (from my program) and her friend Eric (from daytime)


And Melinda and I (Melinda is in my class):


And yes, the food was fantastic.  I didn't order the braised short ribs w/ polenta, but I got to taste a bite and it was heaven on a plate!  I also had a little nibble of Margharita pizza and it was yummy.  I ordered farro with roasted root veggies, escarole and maple vinaigrette and it was really delicious.  I also had some chili spiced brussel sprouts that were fantastic.


That's it... back to your regularly scheduled Thursday!

Weird week.

I know, it's only Wednesday.  But this has been a really weird week so far and I'm kind of thinking it's only going to get weirder.  I'm totally exhausted from all the ups and downs and I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend.  Of course, the weekend is going to be just as crazy.  lol.  There've been some tough and stressful things and some unexpected and really great things happening.  I know.  Vague.  I'm so rude.  But I'm both excited and a little scared to see how things turn out... it will all be good.

In the meantime, I finally edited the photos for the Halloween mini album I did of Eraleigh to give to Erin for Christmas.  This was another fun project :)

The cover:


And the inside pages - I took pictures of spreads and individual pages for details (crappy lighting as usual.  Sorry about that.)


















Whew.  That's it!  I'm caught up!  Now I'm sitting here staring at all my supplies thinking how nice it would be to sit down for a while and do a layout just for me :)  But... I've got homework to do, some website design updates to make for a start-up I'm working with and sleep would also be a very good thing at some point. Sigh. Maybe later. 

Oh... and believe it or not, I did manage to photos from my trip home over Halloween.  Lots of fun ones of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh as well as plenty of photos of Aubrey in the hospital and on her first day home.  You can see them here.

Adorable-Niece-Aubrey's Album

As promised, here's the first of the two scrapbooks I made as Christmas presents.  This is the one I made for Nicole and I'm really pleased with it... especially since I did the entire thing in two nights!

It's a 9x9 album - I used a Heidi Swapp spiral album and since it was a canvas cover, I pulled out some HS iron on letters to put Aubrey's name on the front and I love how it turned out.


And a view of the inside - I just added a picture of the little document with her footprints that they got from the hospital.


And then here are all the pages.  It was a fun album to make!  Hopefully I can get back to doing more scrapbooking here in the near future.  (Some of the coloring is off... the pictures were all taken in bad lighting at like 2am, but it was the best I could do!  You get the idea, at least.)

















Just a few more...



And the last one:


There are still some empty pages in the album so hopefully I'll have a chance to add to it with some of the pictures I took over Christmas.

Next up:  The Halloween mini album of Eraleigh that I made Erin.  First however, we have case study stuff due in class tomorrow night that we haven't even looked at yet (we're in an Advertising and Promotion Management elective right now - fun stuff!)  I guess I should get to that, huh?

Christmas Recap

Yup, I'm finally getting to the post about my trip back to Virginia over Christmas.  I'm slow.  I own it.  lol.  Just a warning, this is going to be a super picture-heavy post with lots and lots of pictures of the adorable nieces.

So... first day home, shopping for food and finishing Christmas shopping.  My mom was able to take the day off work and we just played. That night I made stuffed tomatoes which went over really well.  I also got so see how much Aubrey has grown in 2 months and do a little cuddling.

Blog - Aubrey and I 2

Blog - Aubrey and I 1

Isn't she just too precious for words?  I had to cuddle as much as possible while I was home because the next time I see her it just won't be the same.

Then it was Christmas Eve!  Of course, the fact that I was home with my camera meant that everyone wanted photos (despite the fact that I am NOT a photographer!)  We put Aubrey in several different outfits and I attempted to get pictures of Eraleigh.  She has that 2-year old stubborness about not wanting to sit still, but I still got a couple.  Just a little photo roll...

Blog - Eraleigh by the Tree

Blog - Aubrey's Christmas Wish

Blog - Me, Eraleigh and Aubrey

Blog - Me and Aubrey 1

This was kind of a special one... when we went to pick up Nicole when she first came to our family, they brought her out in a stocking (and I still remember it, believe it or not!) So we put Aubrey in a stocking.  We had to use my dad's, though... she's already too big for the other, smaller ones!

Blog - Aubrey in a Stocking

And in her blessing dress (they didn't get too many photos on her blessing day.)

Blog - Aubrey in Blessing Dress

Blog - Garside Family Photo

And another of Eraleigh... Mom got her this cute little hat and coat so she'd look like the little girl in Miracle on 34th Street (which we watch together every Christmas Eve).  She was totally adorable, but again wouldn't stand still so I just got what I could :-P

Blog - Eraleigh's Miracle on 34th Coat

And then after the photos were over, it was time for our Christmas Eve baking!  We actually toned it down this year.  I made my soup but we didn't do too many desserts.  Scotcharoos, of course, and then I made some chocolate chip and sugar cookies from pre-made dough.  Here are Rick, Erin and I working on the cookies.

Blog - Cooking Christmas Goodies

And I always love the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.  I think that's when it's the most beautiful.  Must be the Christmas magic :)

Blog - Christmas Eve Tree

Are we done yet?  Almost!  A few photos from Christmas Day... I got pictures of both Nicole and Erin opening the scrapbooks I made them.  I had told everyone not to expect anything handmade this year so they were thrilled.  Nicole even cried over having the first baby book for Adorable-Niece-Aubrey which made it totally worth the crazy late nights to finish it up for her.

Blog - Erin Opening Scrapbook

Blog - Nicole Opening Scrapbook

And then here's one of me opening my Cuisinart Griddler (and yes, I got this sucker home in my suitcase.  I'm a master packer.)

Blog - Me Opening Cuisinart

And these are geode bookends from my mom, but it's actually a gift that's the result of an inside joke - they're my "magic rocks."  I can't actually explain the joke, but I absolutely loved them.  I got these home too... in my carry on.  I had a bit of a scare at security when they were trying to decide if they were bludeoning objects.  Apparently I don't really look threatening so they told me they weren't worried about it and to just not take them out of my bag until I got home (because I was going to bookend something in the airport.  lol).

Blog - Me Opening Magic Rocks

I gave Eraleigh this Melissa and Doug Cutting Food set.  She LOVED it.  She wanted to cut and cut and cut.  And she did.  It was a trip.

Blog - Eraleigh Cutting Food

And last photo... Christmas dinner.  We continued our theme from last year of picking an international cuisine for Christmas dinner and I actually cooked all afternoon (which upset my mom no matter how often I told her I totally enjoyed it.  New knives were a bonus.)  I made everything from scratch - a big pot of pasta sauce (I make a pretty good red sauce), a platter of fresh caprese salad, riccota gnudi and polenta lasagna (with ground turkey instead of sausage).  It was all delicious, naturally. 

Blog - Christmas Dinner

And believe it or not, I didn't take any pictures for the rest of the break.  We did our after Christmas shopping, of course, and just spent the last few days enjoying the chance to spend time together. 

So that's the Christmas recap.  And believe it or not, I even managed to upload photos (although I still need to do the ones from my birthday and Halloween).  The photos are all here.


I think it's been at least 3 weeks since my last post.  I meant to keep up, but things got so crazy that I had to let some stuff go and blogging was one of the things that I didn't get to.  Oh well!  I finished classes but we still had our final paper due the following weekend for our Building the Service-Profit Connection class and we hadn't even picked a topic!  I'm glad I was able to team up with a partner for that... it was a lot of work and we spent forever on it (including staying until 11pm at the Tanner Building on a Friday night!) but it was a lot of fun and we absolutely ROCKED that class. (We're actually planning to go present our recommendations to the company we used.) Then once that was done, I had two entire scrapbooks to finish as Christmas gifts and only 4 days until I went home.  No pressure (rolling my eyes).  I got them done - I even managed to take pictures so I'll post them soon.

Anyway, I guess I'll start with the most recent and work backward.  It's probably pretty obvious that I have a deep and abiding love for all things food. Food television, food books, cooking food and especially eating food.  So naturally, I need to support my food passion with lots and lots of toys.  This ranges from kitchen accessories, more dishes than any one person really needs and lots of fun little appliances (like my Cuisinart 5-way Griddler that I got for Christmas.  Yay!!!)  This also includes knives.  I've spent years pulling together my little collection of professional kitchen knives. When I first started, I didn't really know what I was doing, but I still knew enough to get some J.A. Henckel knives to start out.  I've since expanded and now my 20-slot block is about full.  Part of this was over Christmas when Mom and I were getting Christmas food at Costco and Gunter Wilhelm was there doing a roadshow.  Does it really need to be said that I bought knives?  I'd actually been shopping for a good chef's knife for quite a while and I was so glad I hadn't bought the one I was eyeing.  They had amazing prices on what are actually really excellent knives.  I might have bought one or two.  Or three.  And a diamond sharpening blade.  Maybe.

So on Christmas Eve I made my favorite TexMex Chicken & Bean Soup as part of our traditional soup & sandwich buffet (I'll have to share the recipe sometime... I've made it 3 times in the last month and I LOVE it.  So does everyone who's tried it.)  I had to use my knives.  It was so much fun. 

Blog - New Knives 1

I will point out that these photos are for posing purposes only and I do not actually hold the knife this way when cutting.  I swear.

Blog - New Knives 2

That bad boy is my new 10" chef's knife (I also got an 8") and I adore both of them.  They slice through everything just like butter.  We were testing them out before we bought them and the guy at the booth told my mom she's not allowed to use the ones she bought my dad without knife skills classes... she needs to learn "the claw."  lol.  Fortunately, I passed muster during the trial phase.

This brings me to today's adventure.  I finally did something I've been meaning to do forever, but I had been saving it as a reward for hitting another major health & fitness goal.  I went up to Sur la Table at the Gateway and took a class in knife skills.  It was super fun!  (We learned "the claw."  It's actually what they call it!)  We spent two hours learning the proper way to hold knives, lots of different basic cuts - cutting herbs, vegetables... learning the grid method and the rock 'n roll (that's what he called it).  The chef teaching the class actually commented on my technique several times... he said I'm really good!  The time flew and then we were out learning about caring for knives and how to hone, etc... and I noticed that they had a very excellent price on a new Henckel 6" prep knife.  So yeah.  Filled the last slot in my block.  lol.  (And I'll say, usually Amazon has the best prices on Henckels, but this price was even better and I got another 10% on top of that.  Sweet, right?)  I'd also been looking for a good cutting board and they had some nice-sized ones at decent prices so I picked up a 24"x17" anti-bacterial maple.  I came home and used both of them to make dinner - fabulous mini pizzas and spiced, roasted parsnip spears for a little light snacking.  Yummy.  But I digress.  The knife cuts like a dream and I love it!

So, going backward to last weekend, Melody and her family were here visiting... yay!  We hadn't seen each other for 2 years so it was great to have time to catch up.  Unfortunately, Mel got sick so we didn't get to play as much as we wanted, but we hit Paradise Cafe and Noodles a few times (I finally had to put the cookies in the freezer... too much temptation!) and we got a chance to hang out and watch movies and do a little shopping.  We all gathered at Jason and Candice's for New Year's Eve and it was a blast. There was definitely some yummy snacking involved as Angelina and Logan happily demonstrate here:

Blog - Angelina and Logan

I got coerced into joining the guys to round out the instruments in Rock Band (not that they had to try too hard.  I love it!)

Blog - Jason, Dustin and Vic Rock Band

I have no idea what Dustin and I were doing here.  But it was fun!

Blog - Me and Dustin Rock Band

Angelina wanted to try.  It wasn't too bad for a first stab by a 10-year old!

Blog - Angelina's First Rock Band

And then midnight arrived.  Celebration ensued.

Blog - Vic toasts new year

And, one of Melody's traditions that I always enjoy doing when we're together on New Year's is that once the new year starts, you write down twelve goals and eat one grape for each goal.  We all made our lists and ate our grapes. 

Blog - Me writing goals

Blog - Mel and Vic Goals

Whew.  I think this post is long enough.  I'm still working on getting together all the Christmas and scrapbook photos, but I'll try and get those up asap (because I know the family has been checking frequently to see if I've stopped slacking.  lol.)

Happy New Year!  Here's to a fabulous 2011.