I actually have a few things to share! First up, I had a Shutterfly Groupon that was all set to expire on the 28th. What day is it? Yup. I'm a procrastinator. In all fairness, I did try to get my act together enough to use this as a gift, but it just didn't happen - everything was taking longer than I thought it would. So, rather than kill myself trying to finish it when I had time before I needed to give the gift, I decided to do a graduation book instead. I had been planning on it anyway, so it worked out great. It's an 8x8 hard-cover photobook and you can see it here:

Click here to view this photo book larger

Create your own personalized photo books at

I put the entire thing together in just a few hours... start to finish, including editing most of the photos. Probably my fastest project ever! I did have help... I used a template album by Paislee Press. If anyone is interested, you can buy it at OScraps. I had the 8.5x11 template set but the book I did was 8x8, so I obviously did a little tweaking to make it work, but it was really awesome. I love the minimalist feel - it made it nice to not be worrying about papers and embellishments and stuff.

And now, just a few other things I've been working on here and there... a few more smashbook pages. One from conference weekend when Mel and I went for Ladies night out, and another from the weekend before last when I met up with Mindy and her girls, and Chad and his brother and sister, Courtney and Sean to grab dinner and see Footloose.

The pages:

Smash Pages Oct11
Here are some of the pictures from Footloose. We killed a little time in the arcade at the theaters - we were amused by the guys riding the motorcycle game/ride thing. They got into it!

Courtney, Sean, Mindy and Maddy:

Footloose 1

Chad taking his turn, with Kenzie and Griffin watching on the left:

Footloose 2

Me, just hanging:

Footloose 4

We went to the Mad Greek before dinner for gyros and souvlaki, and then hit up Sweet Tooth Fairy (Mindy needed to pick up Sunday night dessert for her family, so we all went.) And then after the movie, I think we all stood around in the parking lot for almost an hour and a half, just talking and joking. Too bad the weather has gotten cold... no more of that for a while! But it was a great time.

One other project I've been working on... I saw some ideas on Pinterest that made me want to try this - I stamped on a vintage dictionary page and then colored with Pan Pastels. I love how it looks - I'm trying to decide what to do with it. I had a scrap of letterpress that I think looks good with it. Maybe a collage? We'll see... too much else to work on right now, but it's kind of bumping around in the back of my mind.

Stamp and Pan Pastels on Dictionary
and a little close-up:

Stamp and Pan Pastels on Dictionary Closeup
And with that, it's way past my bedtime. But I'm thrilled that I got a photobook done... one more thing off my pre-trip checklist!

Off to bed. Happy Friday!

I finished!

I'm quite a bit later than I had planned to be (a few months, but who's counting?), but I finally finished our class yearbook. Yay! I got all of the pages done last night and then tonight I went back through to make tweaks and corrections and pulled it all into the tool. I went through it a few times, did some more editing, and then finally got it uploaded to Blurb. I'll be sending out a link to the class to view / purchase, and I'm beyond thrilled that it's done. Besides. It turned out pretty well, I think! Here are a few more pages that I finished in the last week:

Graduation 2

Graduation 3

Grad Reception 1

Grad Reception 2

After doing the rest of the book, I decided I hated the first page so I redid it tonight:

Page 1

Stuck this one in right before the graduation section. This was our classroom... I used lyrics from a song by the Bravery and then added a little sentiment of my own.

The Beginning

I've been playing around with customizing shadows in Photoshop using layers and the warp tool. Fun! It's safe to say that I'm now a part-time digi girl, I think. It's just too practical for me to keep stubbornly clinging to my paper and glue. Not that I won't still do that, but I'll do it mostly for mini albums, gifts and special photos and occasions that I want in my regular scrapbooks.

This is one I did a while ago, but I don't think I shared. It's the title page to the section of the book for our FBEs. I "stuck" a push-pin into each of the cities that we went to on the three trips. It was kind of fun and kind of a pain, but I'm pretty pleased with the final results:

And finally, here's the cover... I love the template that creates the cut-out effect on the yellow patterned paper:


Whew! Now it's time for me to go to bed. I stayed up WAY too late finishing this up (blogging about it certainly didn't help. lol.) and I know I'm going to pay in the morning, but I was so excited to be finished that I just couldn't put it off until tomorrow. So yeah. Yay!

Onto the next photo book project. Now I can use all my Groupons!

Weekend catch-up and yearbook pages

The last week or so has been busy! Lots of stuff going on...

We had a few fun things at work last week, and one of them was our End of Summer celebration. We went up Provo Canyon just a bit to South Fork Park where we had a fun dinner outdoors. We had a caterer that does all dutch oven cooking, and great music. One of the professors at BYU (Gesslison, maybe?) came with his family (his daughter and her partner who are 2 time national fiddling champs), and his son (state guitar champion) and his younger daughter. They were really good. The food was delicious, the scenery was wonderful and it was great to hang out and chat. I got a few pictures on my iPad - not great quality, but fun nonetheless.

South fork 9222011d

South fork 9222011c

My co-workers, Brittany and Sara

South fork 9222011b

and moi:

South fork 9222011a

Friday night Laura and Mindy and I got together for a girls' night. We saw "I Don't Know How She Does It" with Sarah Jessica Parker and we all really liked it. Very fun. That was followed by a leisurely dinner where we just sat and chatted... catching up since it's been a few weeks since we hung out.

I met up with Melody on Saturday for the Relief Society broadcast - my stake was having a dinner beforehand so we went and ate and then watched it. I love Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. He's always wonderful, but this seemed especially good.

I've also been hard at work on trying to finish up the class yearbook. I've got to get it done - I've taken way too long already, and I can't justify moving on to other projects until I finish it. I've been sitting on it because one of the last parts to do was HUGE and I just didn't want to tackle it. So I finally did it. I pulled screenshots out of a video and took photos that I had taken, stuff people sent me and a disc of photos from the department to pull it together. This section is going to be like 12 pages in the yearbook, and it was a lot of work to get it done. Now I just need to do graduation and then make last minute edits and get it all uploaded. Here are a few pages from what I've been working on since the last time I shared (there are too many to post, so this is just a sample):

Capstone 3

Capstone 4

  Grad Dinner Title Page

Grad Dinner 1

Grad Dinner 4

Grad Dinner 8

I also recently did pages for all three of the FBEs - I did 5 pages for each trip, including a cover page.

Middle East FBE Title Page

Middle East FBE 2

I used the same format for all of the FBEs. It's not a standard yearbook, but I didn't want it to be too scrapbooky (I didn't always succeed, though), so I kept it pretty simple and tried to be consistent within each section.

And to finish, two more that I did a while ago - these are from our picnic during our 2nd residency week:

Family picnic 1

Family Picnic 2
I've tried to get everyone represented as much as possible, but I've had to work with the material on hand so I wasn't always successful. Hopefully the class likes it. At least I know I'll enjoy my copy, right?

Dirty Dash Recap

Today I got a few things to share from Saturday's Dirty Dash up at Soldier Hollow. People keep asking me how it was and I'm like, well, uh, it was dirty. (duh.) It was also fun. There's not much else to say, except my buddy Matt messed up his knee on the 3rd water hole. That kind of sucked, but the team managed to pull him out of the mud pit and get him on a cart to go to the first aid tent. He sent the rest of us on to finish. I admit, I didn't do a whole lot to get dirty. I mean, it was inevitable that you would come out muddy, but I didn't make any special effort to get that way. I did most of the obstacles (I went around a few because of my crappy knees), but I think I did them too carefully. lol. My teammates, on the other hand, dove in (literally!) at every opportunity (video evidence below). I was chided for the relatively clean state of my shirt, but what can I say? What it really came down to was the fact that I almost lost a contact 3 times and was just trying to make sure I could still see when it was time to drive home. Next year, bring goggles!

I would give more details, but Todd brought along a waterproof video camera and filmed on and off through the whole thing. I'm not actually in here all that much, but I think that's a result of my lack of diving into the mud (and sometimes I was holding the camera). I wasn't interesting to watch. lol. The video is awesome... Todd did a fantastic job with the editing.


I think there might be a few more photos coming, but I did get this one from the official photographers at the end of the race. This is our "smolder and flex" pose.


Left to right, Todd, Mike, Ben, Jen, Greg, Melinda (Mary in front) and me. (We started with 10, but Matt was still at first aid and Laura had split off to make it to the Piglet Plunge with her kids).

Note that I am, in fact, much cleaner than the others, lol. From here we went to some EXTREMELY cold showers. I cleaned up as best I could and then in the car I had a plastic bag to put my socks and shoes, a paper towel to clean off my feet, flip flops and a poncho to keep my car seat clean and dry. It worked pretty well! I had to wash the shoes twice and the clothes 3 times to get them clean, but I managed. It looks like we're going to make this an annual event. Maybe next year I'll manage to get dirtier. lol.

Our little pink princess

I scrapbooked! This is like twice in a month. I'm not sure what to do with myself. lol.

This picture of Aubrey is one that Nicole sent with my mom when they came out at graduation. Even though it's a little old - she doesn't look quite like this anymore  - I couldn't resist scrapping it. It's just so cute! Aubrey was 5 months old in this picture, so it was taken back in April. I just love her little dress - too adorable.

Aubrey 5 month princess

And a close-up of the roses without the glare from the head-on angle:

Aubrey 5 month princess close-up 1

I stamped the roses on kraft cardstock (they're from the Papertrey Ink year of roses collection) and then colored them with Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water soluble crayons and a water brush. I love those because they're nice and opaque on darker cardstock - it gives it a really cool look without soaking into the paper like markers would have. Then I just used some stickles to finish it off. The painting curled the cardstock a bit, but I liked the look and the dimension so I left a lot of it and used some pop dots to hold it up in places. The patterned paper was all cut from paper in my scrap box and I added a few My Mind's Eye stickers and tags and some punched circles to carry over the pattern in her dress. That's it! Aside from the time it took to paint the stamped images, it came together pretty quickly and I love how it turned out.

And speaking of my sister, Nicole sent an email this evening with a pretty funny image.

Arby's Free Turnover

And really, you have to laugh, right? Because otherwise I might cry. That game on Saturday was brutal. Yikes.

I also ran the Dirty Dash up in Midway on Saturday with several friends from school. It was quite an experience... I'll post more details when I get the pictures that were taken. I didn't bother with any kind of camera because of the mud, but Todd's wife Lori got some, Todd video'd with a waterproof camera through a lot of it, and there were a few shots by photographers there - we'll see how much it costs and if there are any good ones. So that will come eventually.

Tonight I was at Melody's for a while - it was Samuel's 2nd birthday and he opened presents and we had cake. He was so cute opening all of his cars (he LOVES cars). They tried to give him a piece of birthday cake and he threw a total fit because he wanted to play with his new toys instead. It was pretty funny, actually. And I think Logan was as excited as Samuel was! It was fun to hang out and play and eat a little cake.

That's it for now... time to hit the sack!

A little scrappy fun

First, I have to give a big shout-out / thank you to Crate Paper. I was extremely fortunate to be a winner of their brand new Christmas collection, Peppermint. It's such a fun and versatile collection and now that I'm not in school, I'm really excited to try doing another December Daily / Journal Your Christmas. This will definitely be making a showing in that project! I got home from work the other night to find this box of goodies on my doorstep:


They were really generous and I'm really excited to get in and use it. The embellishments are all super fun and I love the patterns of the paper, stickers and chipboard. So, thanks again Crate Paper!

And, I finally managed to finish a layout I've been working on here and there for the past few weeks. It feels a bit off to me, but I'm just happy I actually did something! This is my first layout of William.


Mostly I just wanted to get myself back scrapbooking again, so I tried to keep from spending too much time worrying about what supplies I was using and all that. I pulled from my scrap bin, jars of stuff just sitting there, a package of chipboard letters that was handy and a few sheets of paper that I bought recently that were still sitting out. You'd think it would come together faster, huh? lol.

A few close-ups:


I've had that copper thingy forever. It's an old K&Co piece. I got some inspiration from Keisha Campbell on the tags - they're manilla tags that I stamped and then cut out. I added part of a Tim Holtz journaling tag and some Jenni Bowlin chipboard stars with Stickles.


Here, another old embellishment - this was a Foofala swirly thing... kind of like an iron-on. More stars, the other half of the journaling ticket and then a date stamp and ticket die from Papertrey.

It was fun to do something again - I need to do more. I've been super tired lately, though... not sure what the deal is. It's been a bit long for me to still claim I'm recovering from school, after all.

Neil-l-andersen-large Speaking of school, last night we had the chance to go to a special EMBA fireside at the Marriott School where Elder Neil L. Andersen from the Quorum of the Twelve came to speak to us and Elder Steven J. Lund came with him. He was totally casual - just chatted and joked and instead of giving a prepared talk, he took questions from the audience and he and Elder Lund answered them. They talked about everything from finding balance in your life and how to determine if our program was a success to how to become more Christ-like. I got to sit in the front row (because I'm a nerd, remember) and when it was over and they shook hands with the others on the stand, Elder Andersen walked right up to me to shake hands. It was such a treat and a pleasure to hear and learn from him in such a small group - there were maybe 200 people there, and it's very rare to hear from an apostle in a group that small, so I feel quite blessed. It's a great additional perk of doing the EMBA program at BYU to do these types of things. Plus, I got to see quite a few of my friends from class - always fun.

Anyway, that's it for now! Hopefully I'll get some more scrapping done soon.

Graduation Smash Pages

Just posting a few pages I did in my smash book from when my parents were here for graduation last week. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to document all of graduation... Layouts or maybe a small photo book? We'll see what I'm in the mood for :-)

Vive le weekend!

Graduation Smash Pages

Graduation Smash Pages

FBE Reunion Time

So last night was our FBE reunion. We met at the Radebaugh's house for a potluck dinner to chat, catch up, play a few games and have a few laughs. I took our family's favorite chocolate cake (which we refer to as "Nicole's Cake".) I'll post a picture and the recipe another time, but it's delicious... moist and dense at the same time with a frosting that's just like fudge. We all sat and talked during dinner and then mingled during dessert. Then we had trip awards - everyone got an award (with a certificate) for something they were particularly known for on the trip, and they were all pretty appropriate and usually funny. I got the "International Food Guru" award; hardly a surprise. lol. Then we watched a longer version of the trip video and that never gets old - it was fun to go back and see it again... it's already been 3 months since we got back! I can hardly believe it. And after that, we played games, reminiscent of some of the games we played on the bus trips.

Like this one: who could balance the biggest stack of DingDongs on his forehead? 

Reunion 2

Dave did a pretty awesome job. His reward? A pile-up.

Reunion 1

And of course, Prof. Radebaugh was in top form last night. First, using a balloon to look pregnant and posing with Matt's wife, Charlene - lamenting that Lori had left so the three of them couldn't post together. lol.

Reunion 3

And then it was my turn to participate in the games. We had to hold tongue depressors in our mouth and stack these plastic blocks on top and hold them without dropping them for 5 seconds and then pass them. It was a relay, but we could use our hands to pass the blocks. 'Cause otherwise, awkward. lol.

Reunion 4

And then Prof. R's turn. He didn't realize it was a race against the other team. lol.

Reunion 5

Then a classic - the moustache app with a tongue depressor cigar. With a trip director like this, is it any wonder we had so much fun on the FBE?

Reunion 6

Finally, some group photos of all of us. A normal one:

Reunion 7

Of course, we wouldn't be us if we didn't also smolder. Because we made it our mission to smolder as much as possible on the trip. We have photographic evidence in abundance.

Reunion 8

After that we talked more, did a little jumping on the trampoline (oh wait - that was just me. lol.) and then it was time to clean up and head out. It was fun to see everyone again - we'll have to make it a habit to get together :)

It's official...

... I'm an MBA! Friday was graduation and Mom and Dad flew in on Wednesday morning and then stayed through the weekend. I took off work and we just ran and played the whole time. We saw lots of movies, ate out, shopped, and just chatted and enjoyed seeing each other and celebrating.

Friday we arrived bright and early at the Marriott Center (7am) for my college convocation. They went to their seats and I went down to check in, get my seating assignment and see everyone. We were all down in the tunnel for about 45 minutes before the ceremony just talking and generally being excited. I didn't have a camera with me, but a few people did so there are a few shots on Facebook. Then it was time and we went in. This was really fun because before, I wasn't with people I knew. Our class sat together so it was awesome to be there with people who have become great friends over the last two years. I sat between Karthi and Tom L. in the ceremony which was surprisingly short! Benefit of a small convocation in August. My mom had my camera and got a few shots during the ceremony. Here are a few shots after I walked across the podium as I was shaking hands and picking up my diploma case.



And this is after we all sat down again and Dean Cornia was talking about our college and had us stand up and thank the friends and family in the audience who had helped make it possible for us to be there.


Then one of me after graduation outside of the Marriott Center:


After graduation, we went over to the Tanner Building for a reception that was held for our class. After stopping briefly in the college reception in the lobby, we went up to the 4th floor. For the first part, mom and I waited in line for food and everyone was just walking around talking and taking pictures. Then we got plates and met dad where he had snagged a table and Chad and his family ended up coming and sitting with us.


And then, of course, we couldn't leave the reception without taking pictures with the Peanut Gallery. The Peanuts:


Back, left-to-right: Mike, Brent, Chad, Clayton

Front, left-to-right: Me, Rick, Laura, Mindy and Darren. We were missing Roper who's deployed in Virginia right now. It wasn't the same without him :(

And then, Peanuts being a little crazy (because we're never crazy. lol.)


And of course, the original Peanuts - my first year group:

Leaving a space for Roper (we need to Photoshop him in here):


And just us:


Then more group shots - we just grabbed everyone nearby for this one: IMG_7101

Brent, Me, Laura, Mike (aka Freddie), Chad, Jen, Mary, Melinda, Mike, Todd and child, Mindy, Darren and Scott.

And then Brent decided that he had to have a "Say Anything" pose.


We might have to watch that during an upcoming Peanut movie night. Just sayin'.

And I had to have a picture of my parents, who by this point were more than ready to leave and change clothes. lol.


So after that, we dropped off my cap and gown at the alumni building. That was kind of sad - I only had them for a day, but it really marked that it was all over. I guess that's a good thing, but at the same time it's like saying goodbye to one of the best times in my life. But then I remember that now that we're done, I get to keep my friends and skip out on all the homework! So bonus.

After that we went to La Jolla Groves for a little graduation lunch (the reception had fruit and veggie trays and some cookies - good, but not a meal. lol.) Then we just played all day again.

So that's it! My official graduation portraits have already been ordered and the diploma is in the mail. So now I get to focus on using all the things I've learned. And paying for it. lol.


I have been reprimanded.

My family has gone way past hinting that my blog is neglected... lol. Of course, they've been telling me to write something... ANYTHING... for weeks now. And I'm just getting around to it. I'm so responsive. So - quick update while I'm on my lunch break.

First, I know I always say this, but I can't believe it's been a MONTH!!! William is a month old. I've been in my new job for over a month. It's been more than 6 weeks since school ended and graduation is NEXT week! And in the last month, what have I done? Well... I'm settling into my new job which has been great. My stress level is way down, the people are fabulous, and the food is done by the same company that owns Communal and Pizzaria 712, so you know it's awesome (did I mention I get 6 free meals a week?). They have great, healthy options so I can stay on track which is really nice. Here's one of just a few pictures I've taken in the last month - munching a burger at my desk.

Work and burger

I normally eat in the cafeteria with everyone else, but this was a special BBQ day where I came back to my desk rather than eat outside.

I've been doing dinners and movies with friends - met up with Rob, saw Pirates... met up with the gang from school, had Thai food and saw Transformers... then there was the Harry Potter 7.2 weekend where some of the people at work made an awesome batch of butter beer.


I loved HP7.2. I saw the 3D Imax version and I want to see it again, but it will have to wait until I see Captain America and Cowboys and Aliens. I think one or both of those are in the plan for this next weekend. We'll see.

What else... I can't forget that Melody came out to stay with me for a few days while she interviewed for jobs and found a place to live - I'm sooooo excited that they're moving back here - less than 5 minutes from my house too! It's going to be play time :)

I've been reading a lot of books... most of them require no brain power whatsoever, which has been a lovely respite from 2 years of textbooks and case studies. I've been working on the yearbook for our class too - I actually have a few things I can share from that. It's pretty basic stuff, but I guess if you want to get technical it's sort of a digital scrapbook, right? Considering I've done NOTHING else for the last month... not even in my Smashbook, at least this is something (can you believe I haven't even touched the 1500 pictures from my trip? Sigh. I did buy a Groupon for a photobook so I can make sure to get it into some kind of book soon.)

Here are a few layouts for the yearbook:

Class dinner

There's a 2nd page to this that refuses to upload. Moving on! This is from our Creativity and Innovation class.

Vasa 1

A few unforgettable classes from 1st year...

1st Year Classes 3

1st Year Classes 4

And a few pictures (mostly from my phone) from our 2nd residency week last August (I just realized the date is wrong on here... gotta fix that! Thank goodness for digital...).

2nd year residency week 1

Argh... page 2 doesn't want to upload. Some of these must just be too big. Oh Well!

There are also standard yearbook pages with everyone's photos, but I've been subbing out the "official" ones where I can with better pictures. I also included contact info and birthdays (hence the reason I'm not posting any of them) as well as who's on Facebook and/or LinkedIn so we can all keep in touch. I'm also doing pages for all of our classes with pictures of professors and some other fun stuff. I'm still finishing up the last of what I've got and I'll include graduation next week and it will be done! So that's been taking a lot of time as well...

Let's see. What else... cooking - I came up with a new fig recipe after I got giddy over finding brown turkey figs at Costco. I have pictures and a recipe and I might even post them at some point! lol. I made a fig / apple crostata that could be sweet or savory and it was yummy. I made Aarti's eggplant rolls last night with rotisserie chicken and steamed green beans and some cherries straight from a roadside produce stand. I'm going to make a veggie pizza from Cooking Light at some point this week - trying to take advantage of the fabulous produce right now.

So that's all I've got for now. I've got to run to finish lunch and get back to work. Hopefully it won't be a month before I post again ;)

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.

Long catch-up post

Okay, I promised I would post, so here it is :) Just a not so quick catch-up of what I've been working on.

So last week was crazy. We had the final project from our last 12-week class due last Tuesday (Strategic Implementation and the GM's Role). We had to do a 7S analysis for a company and it included a lot of research, compiling stuff, analysis and writing and the six of us spent many an hour on conference calls or working in tiny study rooms to finish this off. It was hard and a total pain but we finished it, that class ended last week, and it was the last assignment with our assigned core teams - kind of bittersweet, really. But we were so ready to be done! Anyway, we got our projects back in class last night and had a very pleasant surprise.

7S Project Grade

Mindy is showing off the grade sheet we got back. What's hard to see is that the circle at the top is around "A" and the arrow just goes all the way down. We ROCKED that sucker. I think there might have been only one other team that did as well so we were psyched.

So after that class ended last Tuesday, my group for Brand Management stayed late to *start* working on our final project / presentation. The presentation was due in class on Thursday. We got a decent start and then quit for the night. The next night, I cooked for the team and they came to my house for dinner and then we were there until 1am working on the project and deciding how to get it all finished before class the next day.

First up, food. I got to braise something! I was dying to do this... I made braised short ribs in my dutch oven. The recipe is way too complicated to post (sorry Melissa!) but it was from Dorie Greenspan's "Around My French Table" and it was delicious.

Brand Night - Short Ribs

Because you can't have beef without a good starch, I whipped up a batch of potato gnocchi. I've been hit and miss with these - it's hard to get them perfect. But this time I tried the instructions from Cooks Illustrated and then made a brown butter gorgonzola sauce to go with them and they were pretty fabulous.

Brand Night - Gnocchi

Basically, you bake 2 pounds of potatoes for about an hour and then peel them while they're still hot (a silicon holder helps a lot). Put them through a ricer into a bowl and let them sit about 15 minutes to cool down. Throw in a teaspoon of kosher salt and about 1 1/4C of flour and knead it together. You want to keep adding flour a little at a time until the dough isn't sticky. Then you just roll it out in about 3/4" ropes and chop them into pieces about 1" long (I just use a pastry scraper to chop mine.) Cook them in *near* boiling water until they float (a rolling boil can make them float before they're ready - good tip!) and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and finish them in the sauce. The sauce... melt about 2 tbsp of butter in your pan and let it brown - make sure you don't burn it. Then crumble in about 5 oz of a good gorgonzola. I used an Oregonzola that had nice flavor. Stir until the cheese is melted and mixed with the butter. Then I just added enough milk to give it the right consistency. Yum.

I also did one of my favorite things - I usually do some variation of this a few times a week. Just slice up some veggies (parsnips, carrots and asparagus here) and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray it w/ 0 calorie olive oil spray and spread the veggies in a single layer (try to get them about the same thickness). Then spray again with the oil and add a very light sprinkling of kosher salt. Cook on 425 about 25 minutes or so.

Brand Night - Roasted Veggies

And for dessert, I was in the mood for eclairs so I whipped up a batch. This time I used the recipe from the "Flour" bakery cookbook and they were yummy. Again - the recipe is too long to post, but it's a great book if you like baking.

Brand Night - Flour Eclairs

Whew! So that was the food. Then later that night, Brent grabbed my camera off of the counter and caught this very lovely photo of me. I was talking and glanced up and he took the picture. Nice. I think it was around midnight and we were all about to crash. Chad is on the couch and you can see the back of Laura's head. lol.

Brand Night Study Group

We managed to get everything pulled together just before class on Thursday and gave a great presentation. The final paper was due yesterday and we finished it up in the morning and then turned it in after class last night. Whew! Two more classes down! We started Global Management last night (which is a tie-in class with our trip) and some of us are starting a Business Judgment elective tomorrow. Laura, Chad and I are all in that one together - should be fun! I'm looking forward to Global Management - last night we formed up teams with people going on our trips and signed up for a country to do a report both before and then after the trip. I'm on a great team with fun people - Chad and three other friends I haven't had a chance to work with yet - Jen, Scott, & Dave. We're doing Greece :)

And that leads me to...

I realized that I never mentioned what had happened with the scheduling on our trip. We were going to Morocco and Egypt before heading to the UAE, but obviously that's out. So instead, we're going to Spain and Greece. I know. Such poor substitutes. lol. I'm super excited! We'll be visiting Madrid and Athens. (And Mel - I promise to have as little fun in possible in Spain without you. I wish you could come!)

So as I mentioned the other day, I signed up for Ali Edwards' Scrapbook on the Road online class. I just finished up assembling the album I'll take with me along with a small tool kit. I'm also going to be taking my Fuji Instax camera and film to get some little instant photos to stick in the book (but my big camera is coming too, of course! I already ordered extra memory cards and another battery. I plan to take a LOT of photos.) So here's an overview of the album. I made mine a lot more colorful and it has a lot of pages in it. Because I'm going for more than 2 weeks and we're visiting 5 countries (and because I know myself... lol), I put in a lot of space for me to write and for photos and memorabilia. I figure I can always take out anything I don't use.

Some pictures of the outside of the book. I made the covers from book board and then painted them. I added the decorations and then sealed the outsides with gel medium for a little protection.

SBOR Cover

SBOR Cover 2

And the inside - part one. I made all of the country dividers from cut down tabbed manilla folders. There are some extra pages and elements between the sections. I can use those for travel details between countries or just move them where I need them. I also did quite a bit of stamping considering how much of this is going to be covered up. But hey. It was fun and I was excited to be doing it!

SBOR Inside Before 1

And part 2... lots and lots of journaling space. I cut down a bunch of plain notebook paper to fit in the book - I did this for my travel journal in China and filled every page and then some and I loved having it. I figure I can also grab hotel stationary on the road and mix it in if I need it. Or even if I don't!

SBOR Inside Before 2

You can see where I just added a bunch of blank pages at the back that I can intersperse or just remove depending on what I need. I also tried all of the different techniques from the class videos and had a blast with this - I'm really glad I decided to take it because I think it helped me make a better album and do it pretty quickly too.

For most of the elements that I stuck in, I adhered them lightly so I can pull them off or move them. I anticipate that this will look nothing like what I'm starting with by the time I come back. But that's the point, I guess! Plus, the trip is 6 credits and we have to do an individual report plus a trip journal for the entire group (we'll take turns writing it) so I figure I'll have a leg up by doing this :)

It was super fun to put this together... now I'm all ready to go! Too bad it's still a month away. Maybe I got working on this too soon? lol. I'm glad to have it done and ready, though. When I get ready I'll pull my little tool kit together and just stick it in my carry-on.  Plus, it just feels good to do some scrapbooking again. :)

Another crazy week!

This week just flew by!  It was a pretty good week, and much fun was had :)  Lots of photos ahead!

We started out on Monday night with my Creativity & Innovation team coming over for dinner and a work session on our final project / presentation.  We had to come up with a new product that solved some kind of pain that would be marketable and then we had to put together a presentation that talked about the process and displayed the product and gave other information.  I had the idea to do the entire thing QVC style as if we were pitching the product on a QVC segment and to give all the information that way along with callers who asked questions about it.  The team actually loved the idea and we totally ran with it.

Darren, working on a script after a yummy dinner (if I do say so myself...)

The Making of No-Spurt - Darren

When we started talking about how to do the call-ins, we wanted to do something better than just pretending to call in from the back row.  Mostly because we knew we'd crack ourselves up if we tried to do it live.  So we ended up coming up with the idea of pre-recording them (there's an app for that!) and then importing them into our presentation and working around them.  We loved that because it would actually sound like we were on the phone.  We came up with four callers and what questions they would ask.  Of course, we couldn't stop there.  Each caller also had a very specific accent and persona (the reason we'd crack ourselves up in class).  Here's a shot of Brent recording Bob from Winnepeg (as in Bob McKenzie from Strange Brew) on my upstairs landing (our recording studio ended up being upstairs).

The Making of No-Spurt - Brent

We also had Mike as Cowboy Jim from El Paso, Chad was our southerner - Nick from Atlanta.  And I got to be Bambi, a valley girl from the O.C.  (I swear I lost 10 IQ points during the recording of that segment.)  I had lots of help writing the script and it was a trip.

Finally, a shot of Chad building our "set" in Power Point.  One of the things we learned in class was about being creative by taking things that were made for one thing and using them for something totally different.  We loved the idea of doing a kind of a play with a set rather than a regular presentation.

The Making of No-Spurt - Chad

Chad and I also staged a photo shoot of our product on my kitchen floor, shooting it from every angle so that we could animate it and make it look like it was rotating in a circle.  It turned out awesome.

Tuesday, we met before class to finish up and practice a few times before going to class.  We ended up going last and I think we were a BIG shock to everyone since no one else did anything like it.  Brent was the host and came running in to the Magnum PI theme song and then brought on Darren as the inventor.  Mindy ran Darren's "teleprompter" and Chad ran the main presentation.  It was a riot.  A lot of the class didn't know what to make of the callers, but the professors seemed to love it and we got tons of laughs.

Brent, kicking off the No-Spurt segment of QVC:

No-Spurt Presentation 1

Darren, explaining the concept of the No-Spurt and how it came about (we invented a little tool that would open the top of your yogurt so that it didn't splatter when you peel back the lid.  It also acts as a freshness cap and a granola holder for mix-ins.  We even had a working prototype!)  You can see our rotating photos in the background.

No-Spurt Presentation 2

And, taking a few calls from the "at-home audience."

No-Spurt Presentation 3

Also Tuesday night was the class holiday dinner that my committee and I put together.  We had tried to do it two weeks earlier, but "The Great Blizzard of 2010" put a kabash on those plans.  Fortunately it worked out and even more people were able to attend with the new date.  We had BYU Dining Services come set up a buffet for us in the Tanner Building atrium and then were able to eat together with our professors during our break.  I officially apologize to anyone who turned out blurry or who was captured on film for posterity while putting food in their mouths. 

Steve and Joann heading up the line...

Class Holiday Dinner 1

(Mmmm... BYU brownies... yummy.)

Laura, Todd, Mindy, Darren, Brent and Jeff J. and I think that might be Rick sticking his face into the photo.  lol.

Class Holiday Dinner 2

I apologize to Alan and Mark (and Jim and Jed in the back) for making them blurry. 

Class Holiday Dinner 3

And I also apologize to Edgar and Mike (who was cowboy Jim on my Creativity team).  They also are not blurry in real life.  But I wanted to put them on here anyway :)

Class Holiday Dinner 4

And some of the ladies of the EMBA program, Jen, Alison and Melinda (Jen and Melinda are going Middle East with us :)

Class Holiday Dinner 5

Finally, the line had wound down enough that I could stop chatting and taking pictures and get some food!  Then I got a few more shots of everyone as we ate together.  This was a lot of fun since some of us have had no classes at all together for the last 6 weeks and hadn't really gotten to interact.

Class Holiday Dinner 6

Class Holiday Dinner 7

And finally, my table... you can see my food getting lonely between Laura and Prof. Jackson.  So I snapped one more shot and went to join them.

Class Holiday Dinner 8

It turned out to be a great success so I think we're going to try and do it again at least once before the year is over.

So now Creativity & Innovation is over, and my class on Building the Service-Profit Connection is the only one left.  We had that on Thursday and my team in that class (Todd, Chad & I) stayed late on Tuesday for our assignment due Thursday and then stayed even later on Thursday night to try and get ready for our final presentation due in class this next Tuesday (confusing, much?).  Then there's just one final paper due to finish off the semester.  That isn't due until the end of next week and thankfully we can work in pairs if we want, so I'm taking advantage of that!  So that's just one more week of all the crazy study sessions and we're done until January 4th.  Although I'll definitely miss seeing my friends all the time, I'm looking forward to the break.  I'm tired.  lol.

Now I'm off to see if I can get anything done before I settle in to prepare my Sunday School lesson.  Fun!

Creativity and Innovation

Last night I hauled myself down to Provo after an early flight back from Virginia and I'm so glad I made it back; class was awfully fun.  We (a subset of the class) started a new elective called Creativity and Innovation.  First, we had a guest speaker, Mike Lee, who was quite interesting.  He's done some really cool stuff and had some great insights into working creatively.  After our break, we had a discussion of a case study about the Vasa - a Swedish ship in the 1600s that sank on its maiden voyage.  They actually had us do a reinactment of the inquiry with people playing the rolls of key participants.  Darren was the prosecutor (complete with wig) and Mindy and I agreed that he might have missed his calling;  he was a superb lawyer.  Laura was the master shipwright... she was awesome too.  We all swear she must have memorized the case and she got off some pretty sweet one liners.

I got a few pictures with my phone and stole a bunch more from Laura's blog.  (she has even more pictures...)


One of Laura's (taken by Todd while she was on the stand) - looking down the row at the rest of the crew... Chad, Me, Brent, Mindy and the empty chair where Darren was sitting (I didn't notice Todd taking pictures of us.  Sneaky.)


Brent, doing last minute case review (probably in case he got called on... lol).


Dr. Hatch making Tom the admiral.


Did I mention that it was funny?  Highly amusing.


Darren really got into his role.  It was a trip.


Tomorrow night is another new elective... much smaller class, and sadly, probably no re-enactments either.  It's on the Service - Profit connection.  It should still be good; the readings have been pretty interesting so far.  School isn't over for another 8 months or so and I'm already sad about it.  I have to say that I really love class - it might make me a nerd, but I always look forward to going :)

Wow! Surprised and humbled.

So I hadn't said anything until now since I didn't actually think anything would come of it, but several members of my class and the administration at school have been working hard over the last year to form the BYU EMBA Association; our class just held elections for the inaugural executive board of the EMBAA.  (And since all blog posts should ideally have pictures, here's the one of my class again :)

BYU EMBA Class of 2011

I didn't plan to run, but during the nomination period (you could nominate yourself or others), someone actually nominated me to run for Executive VP of Student Life.  It's kind of a big responsibility and when Melinda told me about it, my first instinct was to say no.  But at the same time, I felt that it was an honor to be nominated and I wanted to be respectful of the person who nominated me (and I still don't know who that was!)  So I spent a bit of time thinking about whether I was up for the challenge and the time and work commitment that went with it (this person holds the office for the class for 5 years, including planning the reunion).  But in the end, I accepted the nomination, wrote a brief campaign statement and entered the running.

I will admit that as the voting period drew to a close this afternoon, I actually got pretty anxious... to the point of being sick.  lol.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to win, wanted to lose, or if I could even do it if I won!  My competitive side wanted to kick butt and my lazy side hoped that someone else would win (there were four other amazing people running).  I just wanted it to be over.  lol.  So at the beginning of class they announced the winners.  The VP of Student Life was the last position before the president to be read and when they got to it and Chad looked up at me and called out my name, I about fell through the floor.  I'm sure the look of shock on my face was priceless.

So, now that I've been elected, I still don't know if I can do it.  I'm incredibly honored and humbled (and surprised!) that the members of the class selected me to do this... it's going to be a challenge and I hope I can exceed expectations.  Fortunately, I get to have a committee to help.  And also fortunately, there are a lot of fun people in the class (ahem... Peanuts... friends of peanuts... you know who you are!) that I'm going to lean on to get me through. This last year is going to be awesome! 

So to the BYU EMBA Class of 2011, thanks for your confidence in me!  I'm excited to get to work :)

And now, I really need sleep... I think some Excedrin PM is going to be involved after this crazy day!

New recipes and a layout

I can't believe how fast this week flew by!  I'm sure it was dragging for some, but for me it was like light speed.  Of course, that brings me that much closer to my big presentation due in class on Tuesday night.  Have I started it?  Of course not!  So I spent my Friday night procrastinating a bit more :)

First, a few new delicious and nutritious recipes were attempted.  Both were quite successful and will be made again.  First, I decided to make my own pizza... I based it on some different articles and recipes I read about making your own healthy versions.

Ham and Mushroom Whole Wheat Pizza

This is two servings... I took a big piece of whole wheat naan and topped it with low-cal pizza sauce, 1 ounce of fresh mozzarella, 3 slices of sliced canadian bacon, some sliced and lightly sauteed white mushrooms and a sprinkling of fresh, chopped parsley.  It was delicious and it smelled amazing!  I picked up some campari tomatoes at Costco yesterday (apparently these are the ONLY tomatoes to eat at my mom's office and the package does say that they're the "foodies' choice.")  I think I'll slice one up and do a quick oven roast and then add it to my leftovers for lunch today.  Yum!

For dessert, I found this recipe in a 2006 issue of Weight Watchers magazine that was stored with my recipe books.  It's a nectarine and cherry shortcake.  Since it involves two of my favorite fruits AND shortcake, how could I resist? 

Peach and Cherry Shortcakes
You slice up one nectarine and then pit and halve 1 1/4 cups of cherries (I used rainier) and put them in a bowl with 2 tbsp of sugar.  Then you make the shortcake out of 1 cup of self-rising flower and 1 cup of fat free sour cream.  Mix them until they form a dough and then flour your hands and your counter and roll them out.  You get a disk about 1/2" thick... the recipe said to cut them with a fluted circle cutter which I didn't have.  I had a plain circle and a heart, so I went with the heart because I LOVE dessert!  You bake the shortcake and then split it, fill it with fruit and a dollop of FF sour cream and put the top on.  I sprinkled just a smidge of powdered sugar to make it look pretty and add a bit of sweetness to the shortcake.  Again, YUM!  This made 5 servings for me.

And then, to continue the procrastination, I did a layout.  I realized that I'd never scrapbooked my class photo and it was fun to look back at it after a year and realize how differently I saw the picture.  So that's what I journaled about. 

Class of 2011 Layout
Close up, naturally...

Class of 2011 - Close-up

And since anyone who has seen this picture has inevitably asked where I am in it, I made a little guide... I'm in the top-right portion.  I even labeled the non-blurry people in this shot!

Class of 2011 - Here I am
It's really funny how when this picture was taken, other than my three fellow Ancestry peeps (who I didn't know well), I didn't know a single soul in this picture.  Now, I look at it and see several close friends and people that I've really come to care about.  It's awesome.  Can't wait to see what the next year brings!

Residency Week: The blog.

Wow, time sure flies when you're having fun!  I spent my last week before school started plowing through an enormous stack of trash novels.  It was a fabulous use of my time, I'm sure.  lol.  And last week was Residency Week... the first week of each year of school we take off work and go full time (and then some!)  The entire week is 3 credits and it's jam packed.  We did case studies, lectures, field trips and a 3-day StratSim competition.  Oh, and we ate.  A lot.  I'm going to have to go on half rations for weeks to make up for it!  But it was a lot of fun.  Picture heavy post ahead!

Monday, we did a case study and lecture about a hospital and then went up to IHC in Murray for a lecture and also a tour about how they've turned into one of the premier medical centers in the country.  It was fun - we carpooled up in vans and I always enjoy spending the time hanging out with my classmates and getting to know them better.

Tuesday, we did a case study and lecture about Harley Davidson and then, of course, followed that with a tour of the local Harley Davidson.  It's a pretty amazing building, constructed of mostly found and re-purposed materials.  And the bikes are pretty sweet too :)  I took a bunch of pictures on my phone while we were there.

The famous and iconic water tower:

Harley 1 Blog
An original, 1918 Harley:

Harley 4 Blog
Checking out the bikes... here's Rick:

Harley 5 Blog
And Chad and Mark (who smiled and turned away before the picture finished taking.  Argh.):

Harley 3 Blog
And Erik, expounding on the delights of owning a Harley to Greg and Rasmus:

Harley 6 Blog
Motorcycles aren't my brand of adventure, but I have to admit the bikes are gorgeous!  We finished our visit with famous sliders from Marley's and then went back for a career coaching session.

Wednesday we worked in our teams on StratSim - we were broken into "worlds" simulating car industries and each team was a car manufacturer.  We started with a small line of cars and a set of financial statements and spent three days simulating 8 years of business.  We had to make decisions about marketing, manufacturing and product development and make sure we maintained a profit.  The winner was the team with the highest cumulative net income.  We were a competitive bunch!  At the end of the day, we had a picnic for all of the class and families.  It was too bad we had massive thunder and lightning, but it was a huge pavilion so we stayed dry and the kids still got a little use out of the moon bounces.  I took some pictures of my group from last year.


Picnic - Laura
Mike and Janell:

Picnic - The Freddies
Rick, Carolyn and their kids:

Picnic - The Hyatts
Brent and Sheralyn:

Picnic - The Rawlings
And Brent (AKA Captain) and Maggie... they aren't this blurry in real life (Go me with the awesome pictures!  lol):

Picnic - The Ropers

It was a fun night, even with the rain.

The rest of the week we worked on StratSim.  This was serious business.  Here's my group - my team was 4/5ths of this year's learning team... Tom, Mark and Mindy.

StratSim 1

StratSim 2

StratSim 3

Our strategy was to sell stock to get lots of capital, invest a ton of money at the very beginning in technology and capacity capabilities and then increase capacity, production centers and products every year.  We also wanted to spend a lot on marketing and make sure we watched our existing products and maintained our brand equity.  We knew this would hurt our income in the first few years and it did... this had the effect of getting the other teams to count us out.  Hehe... we did a major sneak attack in the 4th year and ended up winning the whole thing.  We had the highest income of all 15 teams.  Go us!  Then we did a presentation on the whole thing which I ended up presenting and it went really well.  Here we are with our trophy (and I love that it's actually an FBLA trophy for 8th place in Desktop Publishing.  lol.)

StratSim Champions
Whew!  It was quite a week!  Right after we finished, I headed home to change clothes, gas up the car and head off to Twin Falls for Kim's wedding.  It was just non-stop busy!  (I'll post wedding pictures in the next post :))  Now I go back to my regular class schedule starting tomorrow and I'm excited to get going again.  This should be a great year!

Just catching up...

Well, another busy week has just blown by!  I think I've only had one night all week when I was home before 10pm, but even with that it's still been good.  Mostly I've been doing school stuff to get ready for our final project / presentation for Entrepreneurial Management.  It's coming up fast!  We did our focus group on Wednesday night and it went really well.  We had a pretty good crowd, lots of yummy treats, the surveys and Q/A session went great and I think everyone really enjoyed playing with the trimmers and making their projects.  There were some pretty great little mini albums that came out of that!  We gave our prizes for the projects along with goodie bags, and I think that was a hit. 

We decided we want to include pictures of the event in our project, and since we're analyzing a business making a new scrapbooking tool, what better way to include the photos than to scrapbook them?  So tonight after I got home from my study group, I went through the photos we took and printed out a few to make this layout (using the CutterPillar, of course!):

Lovin' the CutterPillar

I made it 8.5x11 so it will fit in the binder... as you can see, it was a good time.  After everyone left and we got it all cleaned up, we went downstairs to unwind a bit by playing Rock Band.  I've only played Guitar Hero once, but after playing guitar for about 2 songs, I bumped it up to medium difficulty and was still getting upwards of 90%.  I even did bass for a few songs (I like guitar better).  I think next time I want to try drums.  We had a blast :)

Here we have Rick on drums and Brent rocking some Billy Idol on vocals... I just wish I'd caught the head banging on film (or digital... or whatever.)


Same song, different view... our other Brent (AKA Captian) on Bass and Laura on guitar.


Then we switched it up again and I took over guitar for a bit (I look terrible here... it was a looong day.)  I think my favorite one was One Step Closer from Linkin Park.  That was my first song on medium and it threw me for a minute, but I got the hang of it before too long!


We'll definitely have to play again!

Hopefully I'll have time to do something else fun this weekend, but there's lots to do between now and Thursday's presentation, so I have a feeling it's going to be solid homework for the next four days.  I'll just roll with it, I guess!

I made it!

I finished my first semester of business school.  Yay!  My Marketing Management final was last night and we also turned in the paper for our big project which was HUGE!  The final turned out to be optional if you were willing to settle for a B in the class, but my team decided we had all worked too hard and done too well to this point to settle, so we all stayed and took it.  I think I did well, but we'll see.  After the final we all went out together for ice cream to celebrate the end of the semester.  Everyone else thought we were crazy... we were the only team that did something.  Despite the MANY hours we've spent together over the last few weeks, including 12-hour days, we still like each other enough to want to hang out!  Pretty good, I'd say. 

So tonight, I celebrated my freedom by doing a few more pages in my Christmas journal. 

Days 8-9

First is a page about my vision of Christmas and the things that I picture in my mind when I think about this time of year.

Day 8

Day 8 close-up

With this page I was just having fun trying a few things... I like how the holly turned out :)

And day nine is about my family's Christmas traditions (I added a medium sized foam stamped "9" after I took the pictures).

Day 9 

The Santa is actually something I made several years ago as a class sample when I was teaching Puttin' on the Glitz classes at Scrapbooks Plus in Virginia.  I'm glad I held onto it!  It made this a fast and fun page.

Day 9 close-up

I also have a few study group pictures to share.  We were all at my place Monday night putting the finishing touches on the paper portion of our project and my camera had been sitting on the kitchen counter, so Brent tried it out and took a few pictures of the group (I was sitting on the couch taking notes for the group).

Study group 1
And our "action shot" of the intense concentration:

Study group 2

We have Laura, Brent R in the blue shirt, Mike (aka Freddy) and Rick in the striped shirt.  And below... a close-up of Mike using my Martha Stewart magazine as a mouse pad.  lol.

Study group 3- Mike
We also had plenty of homemade hot chocolate and cookies to keep us going.  I'm just crossing my fingers that we did well... we put in a LOT of work on this project.

Can you believe Christmas is a week from today?  That's insane!  I can't wait :D

Peanut Envy

Today after work I headed over to Brent's house for another group session working on our Marketing project.  I probably haven't mentioned, but each of the teams came up with a name for themselves at the beginning of the year.  We have groups named "The Four-Eyed Five" and "Summit Rising" but we're "The Peanut Gallery."  It fits.  We also sit in the back row and occasionally make snarky comments to each other during class.  Given our name, it's probably not a stretch to imagine that we have a small reputation among our classmates so tonight when we were talking about other people in the class trying to milk us for what we've worked on for other projects, someone (I think it was Rick, and I wouldn't be surprised) said "they have peanut envy."  And then all six of us giggled like 10 year-olds.  So yeah.  Have I mentioned that I like my group?

Anyway, we decided that it set a bad precedent for the week if we pulled an all-nighter on Monday, so we set a hard stop of 10pm.  I'm sure the nights will get progressively longer... lol.  But after I navigated the iced over roads to get to the freeway and drive home (snow is the devil's rain!!!), I realized I had a little play time so I did another page for my Christmas Journal (I'm getting SOOOO behind!)  This is for journaling from 12/4 about my perfect Christmas 2009 (the bow is poofed up with it isn't on a scanner bed).

Day 4

I'm excited about day 5 and I wanted to do it tonight, but even with the extra time, I still managed to lose an hour somewhere.  Oh well!  I'll get to it eventually. For now, though, I need to get some sleep... busy day at work tomorrow and a final tomorrow night.

Two days in a row!

I know, I got kind of crazy this weekend... posting two days in a row!  I'll try to keep from making that a habit ;) 

Here's a quick layout I did - another one from Epcot Center in May.  I made this layout as a companion to this one so I skipped the journaling.  It's kind of self-explanatory anyway... lol.

Just Say Cheese 

Also, we got our class pictures from school... I've had a few questions about my class so I thought I'd post this.  We look like quite the motley crew, don't we?

BYU EMBA Class of 2011

I'm the non-conformist with the bright blue ruffled blouse under my suit jacket ;)

And now, I'm going to try and plow through the rest of my accounting homework and then see if I can't get a little more scrapping done this weekend.

It's a miracle!

Yes, I actually did a layout this weekend.  I think it's been a few weeks but I finally managed to make some time to come up to my attic and scrapbook for a while.  And, as promised, I did a back to school layout with some pictures I took on my first day of school.  In the pocket on the right I included my admission letters, the schedule for Residency Week and a copy of my first homework assignment.

Back to School
It's probably going to be a while before I get back to posting more frequently, but once I get into a groove with school, work and studying, I'm hoping to get back into it more.  Besides... about that time the weather should cool off some and my attic won't be a sauna anymore!

So with that, I'm off to bake some cookies... I'm hosting my study group tomorrow night to work on our accounting homework and we're going to need some brainfood!

My new home.

Allow me to show you where I'll be living for the next 2 years:
I had my first "real" class last night... Corporate Financial Reporting (AKA accounting) and it was... wait for it... FUN!  The teachers are awesome.  Case in point: the first thing we did in class was a play.  They got volunteers and gave them scripts and props and they acted out a bunch of scenes that illustrated all kinds of basics about accounting.  There were lots of great principles learned, etc... and from there we went on to learn all about Enron.  The workload for this class is humongous, so at least it's fun!

I wanted to do a layout when I got home after class last night, but then I got home and the urge was gone.  Lately it seems like I'm always super motivated to scrapbook when I'm at work or somewhere else where it's impossible.  I went to Archivers last weekend (I HAD to use my coupon for a free box of 10 spools of American Crafts ribbon, right?) and got some back-to-school goodies so I'll be making a layout soon... promise!  In the meantime, picture me buried under reading, notes and homework about financial statements :)


I got the new single when it came out the other day and I love it (duh, it's Muse.  they rock).  Counting down until the new album!

For those who have asked, I'm just finishing up a break on the last day of residency week.  The next two years are going to be hard and I'm going to have no life, but it's also going to be awesome.  My class is great and my learning team is tons of fun.  I love all the professors so far and I'm excited to get going with regular classes next week.  I'll have to give more details later... I need to try and do a back to school layout this week; after I read the 60 pages and do all the assignments for my Corporate Financial Accounting class on Tuesday, of course!  I'm kind of excited to dive in, actually... the reading looks much more interesting than I'd expect from Accounting - especially compared with the class I took as a freshman (many years ago!)  I'm sure the excitement and novelty of homework will wear off quickly, though. ;)

P.S. - Emily - I'm SUPER excited that you signed up for Peru.  That's going to be so much fun!

It's official!

Today is historic in more ways than one.  I've been watching the inauguration on CNN while I work (and being totally homesick at the same time - I wish I could be back home for this!) and, literally just as Obama was coming out into the stands before he took his oath of office, I got an email that I've been waiting for since last week.

Blog - Acceptance

Yay!  I'm doing a little happy dance.  And just so no one thinks that provisional acceptance means I have some remedial work to do... lol... it's provisional for all the people they accept until certain classes have been completed.  So part of the post-acceptance acceptance requirements (confusing as that might be) are that I (and everyone else) take at least 2 and as many as 4 online classes from Harvard business school - it kind of evens the playing field for those of us entering the program from different backgrounds.  So now that I've paid the deposit to hold my spot in the program, I should get instructions for enrolling and I'll be back in school!  I think I'm going to take 3 classes - Stats and Accounting are required, but I think I'll take the Microeconomics course as well (and I'm quite dorkily looking forward to all of them!).  Anyway, I'm super excited that I'm actually official so I thought I'd take a quick break from my working / CNN watching and post the news.

Happy Day in more ways than one! 

P.S.  I'm a total geek so I took pictures of the inauguration on TV as I watched.  I totally plan to do a layout using those pictures.  This is one of those days where I definitely want to have a record of what happened and how I felt about it.  Completely historic and awesome in so many ways.

Weekend Recap

Saturday was a busy day.  Stephanie and Sarina wanted to head down early to meet Ben and Dave to help set up for the tailgate.  After finding out that "early" was actually "way earlier than any human should ever have to get up and be somewhere on a Saturday morning," I elected to just meet them there a little (or a lot) later.  I showed up a bit late, but in time for the face painting.  Oh wait.  I brought all the face painting stuff with me.  Heh.


And the obligatory self-portrait...


After some tasty bbq pork and kettle chips (mmm... kettle chips), it was game time!  Ben and Dave finally made it to their seats a few minutes before half-time, so they missed most of the Cougar scoring.  But there was still enough left to come for some Rise and Shout action.


This one is purely for entertainment.  This guy was sitting in front of us and we were amused throughout the entire game by the rhinestone detailing on this guy's sunglasses.  Did he perchance pick up his wife's pair on the way out the door?  The world may never know.  But the entertainment lives on.  More pictures here.


After the game, Stephanie and I ran to the mall in search of a cocktail dress for Steph's office Christmas party.  We were unsuccessful, but we did manage to kill enough time that the north-bound traffic had pretty much cleared out by the time we left.  Stephanie and Sarina headed back to Ogden after a brief visit at my place, and I headed over to Mel's for a little birthday celebration... I didn't want to try and get everyone together on a weeknight, but apparently Saturday is an even rougher night!  But Mel and her family were there, and Al came by and we had snacks, cake and watched Transformers.  Good times.  Oh, and thanks again Mel for the GC... I love a good excuse to go to the scrapbook store!


And now, the count-down is on for Dallas!  Just a few more days and we're off :D

BYU Homecoming Weekend

Well, the weekend has come and gone.  It was so nice to have my family here for a few days.  It was kind of a whirlwind, but I enjoyed getting to spend time with them.  So here's the rundown...

Friday my parents and sister picked me up at work and we grabbed dinner.  Then we went over to the BYU campus and went to the new football training building.  They have this big museum area in the atrium where you can see Ty Detmer's Heisman trophy, all the National Championship memoriabilia and tons of other displays for different athletes in school history.  Very cool. 

After that, we went to the Homecoming Spectacular at the Marriott Center where Rick, Erin and Ben joined us just in time after driving down from Idaho.  There are some very talented performing groups at the Y.  The Living Legends, Young Ambassadors and Ballroom Dance Company all performed.  They also had the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square.  The music was beautiful.  My favorite was when the choir and orchestra performed "If You Could Hie to Kolob" with the ballroom dancers.  Fabulous.


Saturday, game day!!!  Rick, Erin, Ben and I went out for pancakes and then met the rest of the family at their hotel and we all headed to Provo for the game.  We managed to make it through the traffic, find a parking spot and get to our seats in time for kick-off.  Ben was so cute... he was playing peek-a-boo with my BYU hat in the car.Blog_ben_in_byu_hat

What a great game!  Despite the pouring rain that started towards the end of the 3rd, it was awesome.  I was the only one that stuck it out to the very end in the stands, however.  Even my parents took off with a few seconds left on the clock.  I pride myself on being a hardcore fan ;)  Here's a shot I got of the first touchdown of the game.Blog_touchdown

And Ben, enjoying his first game.  He loved the colors, the action and the noise.  Especially when everyone in the stands would start stomping and shouting on kick-offs and 3rd downs.  He was so cute!


After the game (which we won 31-6.  Yay!), and fighting through the post-game traffic, we had a family dinner and then Nicole and I met some of her friends from when she was in Choralaries (am I spelling that right?  Probably not) at Weber and we saw Transformers on IMAX.  I loved it the first time I saw it,  but it's awesome at such a huge size! 

Sunday was just a visiting day, and then Rick, Erin and Ben headed home.  And yesterday my parents and Nicole took off.  Sigh.  Visiting time is over :(  But they'll be back out again in December for Rick's graduation and my cousin's wedding.  More pictures from the weekend are here.

Oh, and my Avs?  Still rocking the pre-season.  Can't wait until the regular season opens on Sunday afternoon.  Yay for Autumn and the commencement of good TV and awesome sports.  Yay for hockey!

Who are you and what have you done with the Cougars?

We're in mourning at work today.  Most everyone is refusing to discuss anything that remotely touches on college football.  In fact, we're avoiding discussion of sports in general.  The only good thing?  ALL of us got the 40 point penalty for picking the wrong team to win this week. 

What's up with the penalties BYU?  14 penalties and 4 turnovers?  I'm all for scoring 47 points in a game, but come on!!!

Okay, rant over.  Related topic... am I the only one seeing the similarity here?  Every time the camera would zoom in on Max Hall during the game, I kept thinking... dang, he looks so much like Matt Bellamy! Is it just me?


Now I'm just counting the days until hockey starts, hoping that my Avs, at least, won't disappoint.  Training camp started last week... the pre-season is nearly upon us!