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July 2011

Just Smashing

This is how you know I was bored last week. lol. I have cooking and scrapbooking in this post!

First, the food. Crazy as it may sound, I watch cooking shows on my DVR in the mornings while I'm lifting weights (it's iPod for the cardio, of course.) Lately I've been into Chuck's Day Off from the Cooking Channel. This week I watched an episode featuring a tasty looking risotto and I already had most of the stuff on hand to make it, so I picked up the other two ingredients and whipped up a batch. Yum! Of course, I don't do shrimp so I skipped that part and threw in a few sliced Aidell's chicken apple sausages instead. Also, the store by me didn't have kefalotyri cheese (there's a shock) so I picked up machengo instead and it worked great. This was really good - I'll probably make it again some time.

Chuck's Lemon Spinach Risotto

Next up... a scrapbook layout! The first one I've done since before my trip (I've been home 6 weeks. holy cow!) and funny enough, it's not a trip layout. I haven't been in the mood to even begin to try and tackle that one so I did some cute pictures of Adorable-Niece-Aubrey. They're from March since Nicole hasn't posted anything more recent (ahem. lol.)


Isn't she just precious? And a close-up:

Pretty in Purple Close-up

And finally, if you follow the scrapbooking industry at all, it's almost impossible to have NOT heard of Smash books from EK Success / K&Co. I loved the concept when it was released and then after really getting into this kind of scrapbooking with my scrapbook on the road, I've enjoyed having something where I can easily get memories and inspiration down without the stress of trying to put it together in a formal layout. I'm getting lots of little memories and tidbits recorded that normally wouldn't have made it onto a layout, as well as pulling together things that I just like or that inspire me. So here's a peek into the smashing I've been doing.

Smash 1

Smash 2

Smash 3

Smash 4

Smash 5

And a few spreads that are still incomplete...

Smash 6

Smash 7

K. That's it for tonight... I have to go hit the sack so I can get up early tomorrow. I can't be late for my first day on the new job!


It is finished.

Exactly a week ago right now, I was driving home from my last class... my last presentation... the last everything. My Capstone team gave a killer final client presentation - the professor who was serving as our advisor for the project pulled our team out twice to tell us how awesome the presentation had been. We went all out - our first client presentation wasn't as good as we wanted and we got killed in the Q&A by the client panel. But boy did we come back strong! We were so excited to go out on such a high note. And after we finished, we were listening to the last team and you could just feel all the tension draining out. I looked over at Chad at one point and he was totally giddy and practically bouncing in his chair next to me. lol. I just couldn't help but laugh and start feeling a bit giddy myself! We walked out after class excxitedly talking about all the things we were going to do with ourselves. Like sleep. lol.

We weren't quite done with all things school yet - Tuesday night was our closing banquet instead of class so I got to head over to the Tanner Building one last time (I told some of the professors not to worry if they saw me haunting the halls there. Prof. Swain offered to give me a quiz if I needed it, and mentioned that he thought they might need to institute a step-down program. lol. I might need one!)

The banquet started with dinner, and then they showed the video that was made from all the filming they had done during Capstone - in our presentations, in our study rooms and some other stuff outside of that. They had our team do some funny things - the guys all did this flamenco thing with their coats and then walked away from the camera looking back over their shoulders and they had me reach up and take the clip out of my hair and shake it out - they were going to slow-mo it for the video. They did. Of all the footage that didn't get cut... lol. It was pretty hysterical, though. The entire video was awesome - they did this really humorous take on everything that morphed into showing how much we were doing and how hard we worked (and oh did we work. My team estimated that we put in 60 hours each during the two weeks or so. It felt like more. lol.) After the video, they gave awards. A few serious ones for best analysis, best presentation, etc... and then some funny ones. We called them the EMBYs (EMBA And who got the last, crowning award?

The Herbal Essence Award

That would be me receiving "The Herbal Essence Award" from Prof. Swain for my hair tossing cameo in the video (seriously. How did they know I actually use Herbal Essence?). The presentation was accompanied by still shots from the video. It was pretty funny... so I tossed my hair a few more times on the way back to my seat. Might as well just ham it up, right? If I had a mantle, my little gold, plastic EMBY would go on it.

After the awards, Melinda and Matt got up to say a few things. At the end of Matt's remarks, I came up as a surprise to give some special gifts to our program director, Tad (he came on our FBE too) and Debbie, who basically coordinated everything we did for two years. We couldn't have gotten it all done without their help.

  Gift Presentation
A few months ago I started collecting small donations from everyone in class, then I got people on each trip to help me - I gave them each a budget and had them buy little gifts in all of the countries we went to. When we got back, I collected everything and put together gift baskets of all the goodies and then added gift cards to a favorite local restaurant, La Jolla Groves (the owner / chef is another Marriott School guy. Gotta give props!) They were surprised and really loved them. It was so fun to be able to do that for them as a class.

Gifts for Tad and Debbie

After that, we watched slideshows from each of the trips. I have to admit, the Middle East slideshow (which was really a full-on video) was the best. Todd totally rocked out a professional video that he shared with all of us to download and keep. It's just for personal use so I can't post it, but it's such a treasure. I love watching it and seeing all the photos and video clips from the trip. I can't believe I've been home almost six weeks! And I'm still amazed that I got that opportunity.

Finally, it was all over so we wandered around getting a few more shots of friends as we started to break up.

Some of the guys from the Asia trip, showing off their custom-made suits (Brent, Greg, Kenny, Brandon, Dr. Jackson, Mark and Josh).

Custom Suit Crew

Friends from the Middle East FBE - Nicole and Joe, Prof. Radebaugh, and Steve and his daughter Natalie:

Nicole, Joe, Rad, Steve and Natalie

And then a bunch of the Middle East FBEers got together with some of our professors for another photo opp:

  Middle East FBEers
We were missing a few people from the executive committee, but Matt, Dave and I got together for one last shot before we headed out:

Matt, Dave and I

School might be finished, but it's really just a beginning. We'll all see each other at graduation in August - definitely looking forward to it. And Matt and I get to work together to plan reunions and class activities for the next five years so we can all keep in touch. In the meantime, I'm working on a class yearbook - we're going to get them uploaded so we can all order copies and bring them to graduation where we can go full on high school and sign them (lots of K.I.T. in my future! lol.)

So I'm sad to be done - I really miss my peeps! I've been so bored this week... I need to get back into my hobbies to start getting busy again! I don't know what to do with myself with so much time in the evenings. But part of it has been that this is a slow week for me, especially at work. Why, you might ask? Well... remember that little mystery I alluded to in my last post? (like 3 weeks ago? I guess I just lost my excuse for slacking. lol.) Well, it's time for the big reveal. The fact is, this week has been slow because tomorrow is my last day at Ancestry. That's right, a little over two weeks ago I gave my notice and I'll be starting a new job on Monday. My new office is about a whopping 300 feet away from the old one. lol. I had been interviewing with Adobe earlier this year after they found me via LinkedIn and mutual acquaintances. I didn't feel like it was the right position for me and they ended up going with someone who had a bit more experience in a certain area, so it all worked out, but last month they recommended me to my new company who contacted me while I was still on the trip and brought me in a few days after I got back from Dubai. Less than three weeks later I had an offer and the next day I accepted it and gave notice. I'm going in as the Optimization Manager for their website and I'm really excited. I think this is going to be a great opportunity and the company and culture should be a really good match for my personality. I'm sad to be leaving the friends I've made, but I won't be far away :) It's great to be putting the MBA to work in a new position so soon! Gotta make all that hard work (and money!) pay off, right? I'll be busy getting to know new people, settling in, learning a new company and systems and getting their optimization program off the ground. So this weekend I'm going to enjoy sleeping in before I dive in to my next adventure. Stay tuned :)

Quick Catch-up

Just popping in with a quick catch-up post. Lots going on! It's been busy and fun. Where to start... how about food!

Turkish Pizza

I was trying to come up with something for dinner the other night and scrounged in my fridge. I had whole wheat pizza dough, tzatziki sauce, lots of tomatoes, fresh spinach, feta cheese, a few kalamata olives and some leftover kofte that I had made the week before (yummy spiced Turkish beef kebab). So I made pizza! Just little ones, but it was delicious.

What else... I had the final project for my Business Judgment class to finish and turn in last week. We had to incorporate frameworks and learnings from the course to use on an important upcoming decision. However this time, instead of writing a paper, 25% of the grade was on creativity and presentation and we were encouraged to go out of the box and do things that fit with our learning style. So I did an art journal-y collage thing as a frame for a scenario analysis and then did some more analysis and next steps that I typed up and stuck to the back. I'm not sure if I'm getting it back, so I took lots of pictures. I had fun with this. Things are still up in the air on this particular decision, so I'm keeping the cat in the bag for now. lol. Besides... keeping a few secrets makes me more mysterious, right? (I'm rolling my eyes as I type that.)

BizJudgment Full Before

The base is a big piece of cardboard and I covered it with old maps, washi tape and bakers twine. Then I collaged stuff on top of it. Part is heavily inspired by Teesha Moore, part is just me. Close-ups...

BizJudgment Bottom Right

BizJudgment Top Right

BizJudgment Left Side

BizJudgment Tree Close-up

And here's a shot after I added the parts for the scenario analysis (which I've blurred out, of course. Can't go spilling the beans by accident!)

BizJudgment Final Complete

We'll see how I did. I hope the professor liked it...

Next up... this last weekend was Rae's birthday, so we had a girl's night. Steph picked me up but we didn't make it to meet them at Bombay house for dinner - the traffic was a disaster. So we stopped for a quick bite at Cafe Rio and then met up with them at the mall for pedicures. My feet were in desperate need! Too much time cooped up in running shoes doesn't make for pretty feet. After that, we went to see the new X-Men movie which I really liked. Fun night out! Just a few pics from the nail salon:

Rae's Bday 2011 Pedis 1

Rae's Bday 2011 Pedis 2

Rae's Bday 2011 Pedis 3

And back to school again, our Capstone team has been working hard to try and make progress on our project for our client. This has been kind of rough - we don't have a lot of time for a pretty big deliverable, and we're working with some assumptions that make it hard. But you do what you can, right? So we have the first of two big presentations coming up this week and we needed to work on it so the team came over to my house tonight. Naturally, I made dinner. I did some bruschetta - a baguette toasted with a little parmigiano reggiano and then topped with edamame hummus, watercress and chopped walnuts. It was fabulous. I made a salad of arugula and baby spinach, fresh strawberries and blueberries, candied pecans (I whipped up a quick caramel from butter and brown sugar in a skillet, threw in the pecans and stirred until they were coated. Then just spread them on wax paper to cool. Yum.) and poppy seed dressing. Super yummy. For the main course I had pulled pork with mango BBQ sauce served on ciabatta rolls with bread and butter pickles and coleslaw (to put on top of the pork, of course). Dessert was a strawberry / peach crostata with vanilla ice cream and a strawberry / peach coulis. Of course, I have no pictures because I forgot before they came and then the guys chowed on it. lol. Maybe I'll get some when I eat leftovers later this week. But when all five guys go back for seconds, it's probably a good bet that it turned out pretty well.

So, I had brought my camera down to try and get pictures of the food and although I forgot that part, it was handy later on when Matt started using my sword as a thinking tool. And then decided that he wanted Darren to use it to deputize him (not sure how knighting and deputizing both use a sword, but whatever.) It was fairly funny.

Capstone - Matt gets knighted

And then since I had the camera, I grabbed a few shots of everyone. Nate and Matt:

Capstone - Nate and Matt and Sword

Chris and Chad...

Capstone - Chad and Chris

And me. We keep joking that the product we're working on is like snake oil because it does everything, so Matt made himself a cover for his Capstone notebook. We're thinking of making t-shirts.

Capstone - Me and Snake Oil
(I'm totally digging this headband lately. You probably can't tell by the fact that I'm wearing it in two sets of pictures in this blog post, but whatever.)

So that's it. I'm supposed to be pulling out pictures from the trip to send to Todd for our documentary, but I just can't get to it tonight. I'm exhausted... I think for the first little while after school is over, my spare time is going to be spent sleeping. After I get caught up, then I'll worry about what to do with myself. lol.