I am employed!

Because I do not wish my blog to come up in a coworkers search for the company, I will not be naming the company I am working for but if you know me, then you know where I work, and that's all that matters.

I am a full-time employee at an organization in Salt Lake City.

I get paid salary and commission on margins I can increase on the sales I close.

It is not a sales position but it does involve sales and negotiation.

Part of my interview was role-play as if I was on a call and I didn't give all of the allotted money away (that's a good thing!)

Because of this job, the distance, and the pay, I am able to go car shopping buying this weekend.

I start Tuesday.


Goodnight Hugs

I got a job today, but more on that later.

Right now we are going to talk about goodnight hugs.

I'm a hug kind of girl. It's probably because I'm quite a cuddler too.

TMI? Lo siento.

So tonight's hug... well, one of the many... went something like this:

Yo: Time for you to go home (he was fallin' asleep!)

El: Hm... no....

*after "falling asleep", and getting to look at my new dishes (serious.), he finally gives in

stand at the door, hug commences - somewhere during the hug someone starts shimmying. i wont admit to it being me... but it could have been... and if it was, i don't know why.

El: Ooh! (after he continues shimmying - hahaha this sounds better as I type it)

Yo: Knock it off, you're going to have to buy me dinner (a slight hint at what the besties have been trying to get me to bring up for the last week)

El: Why buy dinner, when we can just cook it

...a man after my own heart... 


Music Monday - It's Time

I get to see these guys so so soon.
Sept 2nd.
Provo Town Square.

imagine dragons... it's such a good name, and it needs italics... doesn't it sound like a name that should just be italicized all the time... oooh, imagine dragons.



Iron Chef: Provo

I know that I was going to do a food blog, and someday maybe I will but I realized as I started to put it together that I don't really use recipes for much of my cooking. I use base recipes sometimes but always try something different with them or I just make them up. They aren't ready for a cooking blog, to be shared with the those in the blogosphere. Not yet at least.

What you are ready for is Iron Chef.

Iron Chef was a concept that began in the DC2 ward long before I arrived. It started as a creative way to hold a dinner party each month and grew to have a great following in the ward.

Competitive Cooking? Sign me up.

I competed twice last summer, Iron Chef: Soda and Iron Chef: Saffron. Both were so fun and really had me exploring, looking for interesting recipes I thought others might not think of. I came in 2nd and 3rd, respectively. I'm so proud, if I can be, of that 3rd place because I received 5 votes for Saffron Cantuccini. 2nd place had 6 votes and 1st place had 7. That's some close competition.

I loved the idea and experience so much that I wanted to try and bring it to SVU. Too bad I could barely get friends together for a decent movie night once in awhile. It was not going to work.

When I moved to Provo the idea crossed my mind but it was a fleeting thought until one night when a guy friend asked if I had ever made gnocchi myself. Gnocci is not difficult, but the idea that someone who barely had scratched the surface in learning what kind of foodie I was asked if I had ever made homemade gnocchi, blew my mind. I knew that Provo had a real chance at being able to handle this thing.

So, I started a blog. I picked a date. I created a Facebook group. I invited friends. I talked it up. I picked an ingredient. and I lost. To someone who got their recipe from me a few hours before the dinner, but took the challenge in true Iron Chef fashion. A pineapple banana granita with red chili pepper flakes. What?!


And it tasted good, if you were wondering.

So next month he will be hosting Iron Chef: {Chocolate} and I couldn't be more excited.

For now, I will not have a cooking blog. I will be trying to win my first Iron Chef though and you can follow our adventures here at our Iron Chef: Provo blog.


Music Monday - Dirt

Sayde Price.
Take a little of Regina Spektor's mood and lyrics, mix with with some Brandi Carlisle folky sounds, and it still doesn't get you to Sayde Price.

But when my friend Dan (yes, he's technically Spencer's cousin but I think I will call him my friend, because hopefully we're at that point by now) asked who she sounded like that is about the answer I gave him.

Sayde is a local artist - have I mentioned yet how much I adore the Provo/Salt Lake music scene? It's fantastic. Sayde did not let us down.

A few Fridays back a few of us went to this little shindig:

We arrived as the opening act, The Mollie's were finishing up and just in time to see CJane. storm the stage. I geeked out thinking oh my, I follow this woman's blog and there she is. It's probably how I would feel if I ever met Taza (though, her sisters go to SVU so that wouldn't be completely out of the blue) or if I saw Sam from Young People in Love (also wouldn't be so far from possible considering we live in the same general area now and I see her blogging about things I've been to) but STILL. It was pretty cool. No one I was with knew who she was, but I did.

We met up with Dan and listened to Sayde and Joshua James - for free.

Good music. Good company. Free.

I love Provo.

For your enjoyment, I give you Sayde Price, Dirt


Music Monday - Something Good Can Work

Four Words -


I discovered them on amazon when their song "What You Know" was on the 69cent list. I bought it,
I listened to it, and then I listened to it again, and again.

The band was formed in 2007, and is composed of Sam, Alex, and Kevin from Northern Ireland. "What You Know" is their most recent single (one you should obtain) but today's Music Monday is featuring a song they first released in 2009 called "Something Good Can Work". I hadn't heard this song until one of the girls in my apartment complex played it during some pizza night we had and now, it's quickly becoming a favorite.

Confession: (most) Everytime I tell people about Two Door Cinema Club I wind up saying "Two Door Cinnamon Club". Truth.


What kind of girl am I?

Growing up people were always classified. You had the jocks, the nerds, the band geeks, the popular crew (which usually consisted of our Field Hockey team and our Boys Soccer team), and the rest of us that didn't fit in.

Thankfully, once you get to college most of that clique stuff is thrown out and you are just you.

Something that happened today though made me really think, What kind of girl am I? Where do I fit in?

Why do I question this?

Because today I got Letters to Juliet in the mail (thanks, Netflix. I'm dumping you in like twenty days) and instead of watching it, I decided to wait until the closing bell (NYSE) to see how our markets panned out today after yesterday's huge drop in points.

And then, after the closing bell, I'm still watching and haven't even felt the need to change it..

What kind of girl am I?


Weekend in Denver


7/17 - Felicia is looking for cheap tickets, anywhere. Since anywhere is a large pool of options I began helping her look for tickets. I found round trip tickets from Provo to Denver and back for a little over $100 each way. We table the idea.
7/18 - We look up tickets again. I check my budget. I decide I am bored, and hop on the idea for a weekend getaway. We check the tickets again and they are still the same price, and we get to upgrade to what Frontier calls "Classic Plus", or their version of 1st Class. We buy our tickets.
7/22 - We leave Provo
7/25 - We leave Denver

If that's not eventful enough our trip also included: having to carry a backpack full of my things through downtown Denver because the lockers at the hostel were smaller than my backpack, having a guard at the Denver Public Library not only tell us how to get to Cherry Creek but what part houses in Denver are haunted and where he lives (truth), spending our first day trying to figure out where we were going to sleep because our hostel was Creepy (yes, capital C, Creepy), getting lunch at Good Time Burger (which is not worth it) because we were so tired and hungry that we eventually just picked something, getting lost on our way back to the hostel in a part of Denver we probably did not want to be in, Felicia needing to go to the bathroom so badly we ran in to the Art Museum and asked (puppy dog eyes included) if we could please use their bathroom, returning to our hostel to criss cross apple sauce and decide where we were sleeping, texting Kenny "Dear Knight in Shining Armor, we have two Damsels in Distress here who are ready to be rescued", leaving the hostel to wait for Kenny at the Arby's across the street only to come across barely dressed prostitutes and their pimps, waiting in Arby's and being asked if we were homeless, leaving Arby's because we were afraid of the pimps/prostitutes/drug deals and walking to a more lit area, walking past girls that were also poorly dressed who looked at us thinking we were homeless, seeing an unmarked cop car lurking near us, Kenny coming to save the day, spending the night at Kenny's place, going to the Temple & Qdoba, taking Kenny's car to the outlet mall and Felicia's aunt and uncles place, deciding we would stay the night at their place, going to church twice - once to see Felicia's cousin Trenton sing in church and then to the singles ward with Kenny, spending Sunday afternoon at her family's place, Felicia overflowing the toilet and then breaking the sink all before she could shower, waking up early the next morning to pack, eating omeletes made with five eggs a piece, walking to the light rail and then luckily getting on the right bus in to Cherry Creek, buying 5 Godiva chocolates for the price of 3, shopping in a mall that is way out of our price range, meeting up with Kenny for lunch at Duffy's Cherry Cricket (SO GOOD) and then Kenny driving us out to the airport, and Spencer and Lindsey picking us up in Provo.

That, was our weekend in Denver.
But I know all you really want to see is photos so here you go :)

"Are we really doing this?!"
Boarding our Frontier Flight
Not a fan of takeoff...
Classic Plus! 5 extra inches of legroom, 2 free checked bags, An entire beverage and free snacks.
Outside the Denver Museum of Art

Rednek Wine Glass - Mason Jar with a stem

Keys to the City
Taking the Recess pledge for a free t-shirt

Our lockers in our hostel. We had one per person.... yeah...
Stanley and Felicia had a less than friendly relationship

Denver Temple!

Frozen Yogurt @ Swirls in Castle Rock, CO
Longest game of apples to apples, ever.
We left Provo to miss Pioneer Days and left church with Pioneer Day Cupcakes

Fixing the sink, post-toilet overflow-edge
After fixing the toilet, and the sink, and finally getting to shower

Breakfast @ The Original Pancake House
Where do we go now?

Man V. Food

Little Cricket w/ Cream Cheese, Grilled Onions, Bacon and Jalepenos

Kenny decided to slide down the railing with a gimp leg. This is after he swung backwards and hung upside down for a minute... we were pretty sure he was going to hit his head
...because we only have one photo together...
And that, my friends, was our weekend in Denver.


Music Monday - Orange Sky

It has almost been a year since I was introduced to Alexi Murdoch.

I'll give my ex-boyfriends one thing, they've got such good taste in music.

Orange Sky from his 2006 LP Time Without Consequence

Well I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
Yes I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
With my brother and my sister standing by

Update on Life - July Recap


The month I moved to Utah.

And what conversation was I having with my Dad last night? Just explaining reasons why even though I do not have a job yet and it makes things difficult and boring, I can't leave. I am here, and there is no changing that.

Yup. I may or may not (or may) have fallen in love with Utah.


Okay, so here is the haps:

Life: is good. I've gotten to go to a temple every week (3 times in Provo, 2 times in Timpanogos, and 1 time in Denver). Sam has been a little MIA with family in town so she spends most of her time up in Jordan/Draper area. Felicia and I miss her presence but have been getting along fine. We went to Denver last weekend to try and avoid Pioneer Day craziness and still managed to walk out of church on Sunday in Castle Rock, CO with a Pioneer Day cupcake. Serious. I've been filling my days with cleaning, organizing, trying new recipes, going on walks, and hanging out with some really great people that made the decision of whether or not to stay in this ward, pretty easy. Let's hope they decide to not move our boundaries, oh that would stink.

Unemployed Life: is boring. I'm a busy person by nature, I just like to keep busy so a job is one great way to do that and bring in some money. Problem? If I can't walk to the job and it doesn't pay enough to finance a car then... I can't take it. See the dilemma? I'm trying here.

Funny story about my hometeachers: I don't know if either of them will ever find this blog but if they do, I think they would find this funny anyway. J might just find it typical of something he would say. So, our hometeachers are J and S. Yes, that is all you get. They came over yesterday (last day of the month) with cookies as a peace treaty (good job) and we had a good visit. I don't know who enjoyed the recap of our Denver trip more - Felicia and I could not stop laughing and J and S probably thought we were the most ridiculous travelers ever. They would be right. Well, we were talking about this duck pond on BYU's campus. The thing stinks. J says it is because everyone uses it for a date and there are full loaves of bread just chillin in the pond stinking it up.

Without any segway J says "I don't want to come off presumptuous at all but..."

*Insert panic button here.... thought: presumptuous about what?*

J continues - "and I haven't talked to S about this yet...."

*Insert double panic button here.... Felicia and I are thinking, what are they conspiring about?!

and J for the finish "Gina, we could fast for you this next weekend that you'll be able to find a job."

Won't lie, but that is not where Felicia and I saw that going originally. It took me at least a minute to catch back up to him, say thank you and go on. Is that weird or did anyone else see that ending differently?

Other than that.... well, not much is going on. Life is good though. Oh, and eventually I'll post about Denver and pick Music Monday back up. Promise.


My hairs are getting long again, Jiggity Jig

December/January '10/'11 - Before the big cut. 4 inches (and then some), Zooey Deschanel bangs and color to get rid of the red and bring it back, after all these years to natural color)
July 2011 in Denver, CO. FINALLY getting my length back. Love.


Music Monday - Old Alabama

For my first big Provo event I went to something called Stadium of Fire - heard of it?

It's a big deal in Provo... scratch that, Utah County... might be a big deal in the whole state but hey, I'm new here so I'm not sure.

David Archuleta and Brad Paisley performed this year, it was a fun show! We were lucky enough to have seats in the very top of the stadium (lucky? yes, I said it) so that as the sun was setting it was not shining on us and we could dance during the show and not block anyones view.

I had one request - "Oh, Mr. Brad Paisley, the hunk that you truly are. Please play Old Alabama?"

Yes. That was it. I've always had a thing for Brad but when Old Alabama was released, it rekindled that love. Guess what? He played it.

And that wasn't even the best part. When he sang American Saturday Night instead of saying "Live from New York..." he said "Live from Provo". That might have been my favorite part.

ANYWAY - In honor of my first Stadium of Fire, I have finally gotten around to blogging about Brad so here you go, Old Alabama!

She’d rather wear a pair of cut-off jeans than a fancy evening dress...


Goodbye Utah

I got your attention, didn't I?

Not to worry my dears, I am only leaving Utah for the weekend, and going here...

Know where this is? 


Music Monday - Dispatch

What could be better than Dispatch releasing new music?

having a job,
but that's for another post.

Dispatch - Broken American


On the Soap Box - Free Slurpee Day, 7/11 and The Town Crazies

Today Sam and I went on a quest to obtain one free slurpee from 7/11 on 7/11, a.k.a. Free Slurpee Day. We tried store #1 and they had a sign that said "Sorry, we are out of Free Slurpee sized cups". No big. We decided we would just purchase a 99cent one each and call it a day. As we stood in line a woman came in behind us, not knowing that they had run out of cups.

Never mind the sign on each of the two doors leading in to the store, written on white paper with a thick black marker.

She heard someone in line say they were out of the free sized cups and said to us "So, no free cups?"

Us: "Nope. Guess not."

Crazy Lady #1: "So... are you just going to buy one?"

Us, Thought: No, we'll just grab it and hope they think it's a free one, see if we can get away with it.

Us, Real Response: "..Yup"

Crazy Lady #1: "Do you think they'd just let me use my water bottle?"

Us, Thought: Hm. No. Probably not. Don't you think we'd all be doing that if it would fly with the 7/11 crew?

Us, Real Response: "Probably not"

Us, Thought: How desperate is this woman for a free slurpee?!

Two more women walk in behind us, who apparently knew the store owner. They chatted for a few minutes and said "Really? No free cups?" and he handed them two small styrofoam cups. They got in line behind Crazy Lady #1, Sam and I.

Crazy Lady #1: "He has free cups?!"

Normal Chicks dealing with Crazy Lady #1: "Well, not really. We just come in here all the time, we work across the street so we know him."

Crazy Lady #1: Walks over to the counter, strikes up small talk with the guy back there and comes back to the line, styrofoam cup in hand.

Really? Was 99cents plus tax too much?

Sam and I got closer to the slurpee machines to see that they were out of most flavors. I think they had Mountain Dew and ...something else left, but it was slim pickins'. We decided to head over to the other 7/11 in Provo thinking A- maybe they still had free cups? and B - if not, maybe they have more flavors so we could actually get something we wanted.

Little did we know that this store would have its own crazy.

We park and walk in and of course, they are out of free cups too. In fact, before we walk in some guy was on the sidewalk yelling "Well then, you should probably just close the store for the day!". Really? Just for the slurpee cups that they were out of. Hm. The workers looked tired, probably from dealing with crazed slurpee lovers all day wanting to know why they ran out of cups, like sidewalk dude. We get in line, and a few people come in after us.

The manager says "Sorry folks, just want you to know that we are out of the free slurpee cups."

I say "It's okay. The other 7/11 in Provo is too, we just hoped you guys would have more flavors, we're okay with paying for one".

I'm wondering if that was the most sane or kind response she had heard because she smiled. Poor thing. I don't want to know what her store looked like that morning.

Enter, Crazy Lady #2

Now, Crazy Lady #2 did not talk to us, but it was her actions that make it okay for us to deem her Crazy Lady #2.

We get closer to the slurpee machines and notice Crazy Lady #2 holding a 32oz slurpee cup (reusable) and an even larger, clear, reusable thermos type container.

Is she...? Was she thinking of...? No.... Wait, Yes.

She was planning on filling up these containers full of slurpee and then paying only for a refill. Really!? How desperate are we for reduced priced, carbonated, flavored, iced sugar beverage?

Crazy Lady #2 begins to fill up her first container with slurpee and because of its carbonation, and probably her enthusiasm about sticking it to the man by using a reusable container, it over flows the top all over her hand that is holding it. Blue slurpee all over. She shook it off on the floor. Cool. Then she proceeds to hand off the first container and take the larger thermos to fill it with slurpee. By this time Sam and I are at the machines and have our little 99cent cups ready to go. Mind you, she's already sticking it to the man and now she starts sticking it to us but shoving her large thermos in front of our teeny cups so she can fill it with SLURPEE!

BTDubs - Wish I had a better word for slurpee, but I'm pretty sure that's what they are called by 7/11 standards so I have to keep it up. I'm just tired of typing it.

We've got to "fight" a little to get in there so we can get our slurpees and go and then Crazy Lady #2 talks -

Crazy Lady #2: "This one is more liquid than the others, you might not want it" pointing to a certain variation of slurpee

Us, Thought: Hey Crazy Lady #2 - We've already dealt with one of you today, and now you're scamming on 7/11 on it's birthday. Real classy. Now let me pick my own dang slurpee. Thanks.

A part of me really hoped that when she got up to the counter they would call her on it, that maybe there would be a clause of some sort in the free slurpee day laws and they would say "sorry, full price" or something like that. I mean how desperate are we for carbonated, flavored, iced sugar beverage - right? If you really can't pay full price for a slurpee of that size, which for both of her might of cost her like $5, then shouldnt you be spending your money on real food for the fam? Hm.

They didn't stop her and we paid and got out of there with our triple flavored, 99cent slurpees. Thankful to have made it out of there alive and sane.

So here are my thoughts - If 7/11 runs out of cups on 7/11, calm down. They didn't do it on purpose, and if they did, they're genius because the majority of people who walked in still bought a slurpee in both stores. Even if it was in a reduced priced manner by filling up a reusable thermos and cup. So either way, thumbs up 7/11 and Happy Birthday.

And people of the world, knock off the crazy.

Really?! You want to fill your water bottle with slurpee?!

Stepping off the Soap Box

Life in Provo

*Warning - This post contains a good bit of jumbled thoughts, rambling and may be confusing to someone reading it at a normal hour. It's 1am and I can't sleep yet... this is what you get.

I am coming up on the two-week mark since my arrival in Utah. What have I been doing with my time? (You might ask.)

Well - I have been applying to jobs, like crazy. Most of my days are spent searching ksl, LDSjobs.org, and google-ing "jobs in Provo" and then weeding out all the sales jobs (no thanks, security companies) and call center positions. I love working with people and thrive on the energy of others so if it's possible I would love a job that has me working with the public, hopefully students. I'd love to get really involved in the education field because one of my goals is to teach business to high school students. I'll elaborate on that in another post... maybe. For now though, I just need a job. I like structure, and I like to keep busy.

I think I've been doing a lot of that since I have been here though. When I am not looking up jobs, I'm talking about jobs, or working on cover letters for jobs. If I am not doing that I am most likely talking about a car, or watching youtube reviews on that car, or looking up the kbb review on the car or US News reviews on the car, or pricing of the car or (here is a sweet one) dealership specials for recent college grads.

Once again that degree is coming in handy! First, and foremost, I'm the first college grad in the family so that's a pretty cool thing and second, being a student got me a nice tax refund this year that is going towards the car (after I get a job), and third, I get better interest rates on my financing. Cool stuff, kids, cool stuff.

Moral of the story: Go to college.

I'm pretty certain (read: totally sure) Sam is over me talking about a car, worrying about a car, and a job, and summer housing all at the same time. In fact, just the other day she said "Gina, I think you stressed yourself into being sick. Would you please just enjoy one week of your vacation. You've only been here for a week and you think you need to have this all figured out. Housing will still be available in a month, and you can't get a car until you get a job. Pick one thing to worry about, and don't think about the rest until that is finished"

Yup. Sometimes I need people in my life to tell me to slow down, and relax. So, that's what I've been doing. I'm still working on unpacking since I just received the last two boxes of "summer things" that Dad sent after I left. The room is slowly coming together, and it feels like home to be in Provo.

I really do love it here. I can't put my finger on why just yet, but it's been a great two weeks.

I mean, we've done some pretty fun stuff like....

*Eating - Cafe Zupas, In N Out, Burgers Supreme, Jamba Juice, "Free" 7/11 Slurpees, A LOT of Frozen Yogurt, JDawgs (2x now), Chick Fil A, SLAB, and more...
*Free Fun Stuff - Nik Day outdoor concert, Watched The Sandlot on the Capital Building grounds, Attempted to get free slurpees for 7/11,
*Weekly Temple Trips - This may be my favorite part of Utah. You can go to the Temple, and in most Utah Temples, you can just walk in and do baptisms. What the what? You heard me. East Coast Mormons - We can't just do that. Oh, I love Utah and it's many Mormons.
*Watched Monte Carlo
*Prepping for Harry Potter 7 - Pt 2
*Stadium of Fire and Freedom Festival
*Many afternoons spent at the pool
and more.

**Also, I know Sam told me I could only worry about one thing at a time and I picked work but I happened to find that the apartment across the hall from us has an open private room for the next year so I snagged it. Now, I just need a job...


If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere

I'm in Provo.


Oh, well, I live here now. I'm in my room, and this morning I at my food, and the other night I walked my city of Provo with Sam so we could get my favorite - coconut and mango frozen yogurt with fruit and cheesecake bites (dude, so good).

I haven't fully unpacked or uploaded all of the photos I took on my cross country trip with the Dransfields but I'll get there. I did however discover the beauty of GAP sales and bought a pair of jeans for $30 that fit me well and I don't need a belt with them - so that's pretty cool

Being in Provo as a resident is weird. I think my mind expects me to be leaving in a week but I live here now. Crazy. It's also weird not having a car. I don't mind walking places but I will tell you my first order of business is getting a car.

Sam and I went to a free concert the other day. We ate free popsicles, did a lot of people watching and listened to Nik Day.

I think I'll update more on my fun... after I unpack and make some progress with other things.


Have you entered the Giveaway yet?

Today is the last day! Can you tell I've scheduled posts? :)

I should be somewhere between Cheyenne, WY and Provo, UT right about... now.

Tonight at midnight I close the giveaway so if you haven't gotten the chance to post your brilliant ideas for my food blog name go here and do it... now? :)


Utah Fun

I have just begun my trip out to Utah and I already have fun summer plans out there.

"Well, what are your fun plans in Utah?" - you might ask.

We are going to Stadium of Fire, for one. Sam says I need to go to the Freedom Festival events too - so that's a weekend of events.

I am hoping to have a car by then and maybe I'll get to travel down to Vegas for the 4th of July.

Tickets were purchased this morning for the midnight showing of Harry Potter - Part 2 on July 14th, and plans are being made to buy our season passes for BYU Football and Basketball.

It sounds like I'll have quite the social life - lets cross our fingers for a job too!


Music Monday - COVER The Edge of Glory

I'm getting geared up for a summer of fun (wait until tomorrow's post to find out more) and in preparation for the epic music scene that is the Utah Valley I youtube'd some Provo acts.

Now here is where I say that I don't particularly love Lady Gaga. I like Glee's cover of Poker Face and I love this cover of Edge of Glory by The Whits. This girl has some lungs. Whoa.

So, enjoy, look up more of their stuff on youtube, or take a cross country trip to Utah.

Oh, wait, that's what I'm doing. Scratch that.


Dear Blogger Friends, re: Giveaway

This post has gotten the most views of any post I have ever written.

Ever. In the history of this blog.

More than my On the Soap Box - Single LDS Women post, which had a lot, and has a lot of great comments.

What I am asking is pretty, pretty please will you leave a comment here with some random idea of what I could name my food blog and if I pick your idea I will give you ...something.

Maybe the word something is not enticing enough of a giveaway? Sorry. I'm working on packing and moving my life across country :( I love you all, really, and promise it will be something good. I make headbands and fabric flower hair clips so in all honesty, it will probably be one of those (or maybe two).

I am extending the giveaway until 12:00pm on June 29th, 2011 - So when I get in to good ol' Provo I will have something to do other than unpack. :)

And now for your entertainment, and because it is his birthday, and he doesn't read the blog... maybe... Happy Birthday Scott.


Music Monday - Party Rock Anthem

Does this song make everyone else feel like dancing too? Or is it just me. This is probably the most appropriate song for this Music Monday because I am home, still unpacked, and I need to do that so for inspiration on this hum-drum Monday I give you Party Rock Anthem :)


Giveaway & New Blog

Okay ladies & gents - After much thought I have decided to start a cooking blog.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a passion for cooking. It's something that started for me long ago - before I could really cook on my own. I knew when mom was using that mixer thing that we would get to lick the yummy stuff off of the metal things (catchin' my drift? I loved when mom made cakes!) and I loved to help my grandma open cans and watch her cook because I knew afterward I was going to get a de-lish dinner.

When I was 12 my Mom went to Nursing School and got her RN. It was something that required long hours outside of the home keeping her in class, and at work. It was then that I, being the only daughter and the only one who picked up on cooking of any kind, began to make dinners. I only knew how to make a few meals and understood that most things I could just use a box to make. Velveeta Mac N Cheese and Shake N Bake saved my bum a few times when I just didn't know what to do.

I learned quickly how to use Bisquick to make pancakes, and make spaghetti. Next was making hamburgers, learning how to properly cook chicken (which took a really long time), making moms special pork tenderloin and roasted veggies.

Then I got into it. These last four years I have been cooking up a storm. I don't really like following recipes exactly, but more as a reference and then tailor them to how I or whoever is eating it will like it. I now make pancakes from scratch, homemade salsa, cacciatore from my own recipe, lemon curd and scones, and more.

I love to cook. I think of it as I think of life, It's an adventure.

So here is where you come in. You know me (at least some of you), you know my history with cooking, and you know of my intent to start a cooking blog sharing recipes I've come up with or recipes I have tried and loved so this is your part - I am looking for ideas for a blog name. Check out the previous post for photos of things I have made - I kind of love food photos, if you can't tell.

I have one that I kind of love but I don't want to limit myself. So I am asking for your help - What could I name my blog?

Enter: Giveaway
To the person whose cooking blog name I choose I will give you a handmade ...something. I do promise it will be a sweet gift, and very worth the time you spend thinking up blog names.

You may enter up to 3 different blog name ideas but please check them on blogger first to make sure they are not already taken (it'd be crazy lame if I found a really good one and it was taken already, aka no I will not name my blog Pioneer Woman haha)
**If I get to 40 comments on this blog then I will use a random number generator and do a 2nd giveaway 

Contest will close Wednesday June 29th, 2011

In the wise words of my advisor, and professor, Todd Brotherson -
"Good Luck, Good Skill"

((Hey you, feel like you don't know me well enough? Check out the About Me section and if you have questions, ask them!))

Food Photos

This is to give you an idea of things I have cooked and would share recipes for over on my food blog. 
All photos are my own.
Curry Chicken & Broccoli

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake

Easy Empanadas

Love Pie

White Chicken Chili

Pulled Pork

Creme Brulee


Monkey Bread

Turkey & Spinach Manicotti

Italian Chicken & Veggies - Quick Fix Meal!

My favorite whipped cream

Would turn it if I knew how! But these are the only two chefs I let cook with me :)

Grandma's Meatball Recipe, Spaghetti & Garlic Rolls

Chicken Cacciatore

How to make 68cent blueberry muffin mix taste... way better

Easy Stir Fry




Spinach Carbonara & Being home

for those of you who are my facebook friend and just saw me post a status about this, skip down to the recipe...

I forgot how many good things I have at home. Family, of course. Friends like Mike (except he's in Caz working and I probably won't get to see him before I move to Utah) and Laura (who I do get to see, ha ha Mike). And friends like Sam, Tommy, Brandon and Mal(hulio) are home too - that's fun because I just left VA where Mal and I have been for four years and I am about to move to Provo where I'll get to have my Sam, Tommy and Brandon time... well, my Sam time at least. (Tommy y Brandon tienen novias.. eh)

Besides friends and family, you may be wondering what else is good about being home. I'll make a list for you:
- Driving back roads to get everywhere

- Why? Because I remember them, and I think that's pretty cool

- My brother is graduating (it's been a long, hard road so I'm pretty proud)

- Holy Cow. It's a staple in Red Hook living, and the best ice cream place ever. I like ice cream, and I've eaten ice cream in a lot of places and I still crave a good Strawberry Shake every time I come home. I've already had one. I think I'll get another, maybe a chocolate shake too, or a twist with rainbow sprinkles. yum.

- My bed. It is hands down the most comfortable thing, ever. I knew it too, every time I laid my head down at night in my bed down there I remembered my beautifully firm yet comfortable Sealy mattress awaiting my arrival back in NY. 

- Cable, because I can now watch CNBC. Yes, this morning I woke up and watched them talk about stock analysis on different companies and how the NASDAQ was doing. **Business Nerd, much?**

- Food Network

Oh, how I have missed the Food Network. Other than watching CNBC and some crappy TV show called Teen Wolf that MTV has come out with (promise, I watched one episode and then called it quits), I have been watching Food Network. Sometimes I'm not even watching it, it's more like background noise which I occasionally pay attention to and sometimes I'll jot down the recipe name so I can try it later.

While watching 5 Ingredient Fix yesterday the host, Claire, made Spinach Carbonara. It seemed so easy and with it being a 5 ingredient recipe (Spinach, Bacon, Pasta, Eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese) it was something I could remember while shopping with Sam.

(Oh, we went to Wal-Mart. Her dad thought it was funny because when I get out there we get to have Wal-Mart trips whenever we want but it was so fun to have one in NY)

So I bought the goods to make it, came home all excited because I wanted to make it for Father's Day and I heard, from Dad, - "Why don't you make Cacciatore for Sunday?"

this is common because almost two years ago i made up
my own recipe for cacciatore basing it off of others i had seen
online and now everytime i come home, dad requests that i make
that famous cacciatore.  

"Well, sure, I can but I have stuff for Carbonara"

"I don't like bacon" said Dad

"I don't like spinach" said Joey

"I don't like anything other than butter on my pasta" George would have said if he were around

Oi! But it sounds so good!! 

Never fear, I will make Spinach Carbonara while I am home if I 
have to do it at a friends house, I will make it.
Well, for your enjoyment here is the Carbonara recipe. If you make it first, tell me how it works out. Or, do you have another recipe for Carbonara or other yummy Italian dishes?


  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 pound fresh or dried spinach fettuccine
  • 1 whole large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat and salt generously. 

Put the bacon in a large high-sided skillet and cook over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and reserve bacon in the pan.

When the bacon is about halfway cooked, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook about 4 minutes for fresh or according to the package instructions if using dried.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg and yolks, 1 cup cheese and pepper together in a small bowl.

When the pasta is ready, return the skillet with the bacon to medium heat. Using a ladle, slowly whisk about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water into the egg and cheese mixture until loosened. Reserve some additional cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet.

While tossing continually, slowly drizzle the egg mixture over the pasta until it is completely coated. Add more cooking water if pasta seems dry. Add the spinach leaves to the pan and toss until combined. Transfer the carbonara to a serving bowl and serve immediately with more cheese sprinkled over the top.

Cook's Note: The key to perfect carbonara


Back to normal...

Things are at least a little back to normal...

In the "we-had-civil-dinner-conversation-including-old-jokes-talking-about-good-new-music-and-I-hate-black-olives-so-he-ate-them" kind of way

and it was a good note to end on.

We were supposed to be friends. Neither one of us knew that "friends" was all that meant. I'm glad to have my friend back, even if it was just for a dinner.

A Lesson in Patience...

Either I am not ready to leave yet, or my friends aren't ready but I am here for another day. We packed my car early this morning, to the brim, cleaned the apartment and then... there were things that still wouldn't fit in my car.

At this point I have had a yard sale, I have filled three very large garbage containers with papers and junk, I have donated a large box of items to Goodwill, I have shipped 7 boxes to UT (and when I said $100 I was close, $93! Is it just us business majors that like to play that game? Guess the final amount? :) ) and now I am down to things that I need to take home to leave there and clothing and shoes I need to go through and ship out.


I am really excited for one final night with my friends here though. I have grown closer a few people just in the last year and I am grateful to have one more night with them. I just wish it didn't look like I was flaky, I promise I've been trying to leave.


Dear U.S.P.S.,

I'll probably pay at least $100 in shipping costs tomorrow as I send off 6 boxes en route to Provo BUT I feel so much better when I put stuff in those silly (read: amazing, wonderful, what did we do before them!?) flat rate boxes. I have things all over my apartment. Everywhere. Occasionally I stop and look around making mental checklists (yes, I can make more than one in my head... Type A much?) about what is going home and staying there, what is going to go with Mother and I out to Utah, and what is left and where I want it to go. I get frustrated because I have more things I want to have in Utah but I don't know how it will fit in her car.

Walk to the front door. Pick up another large flat rate box (which isn't very large). Tape it. Fill it. Tape the top. Address it. Add it to the pile. Take another bite of a cinnamon roll.

Yeah, I made cinnamon rolls at 10:30pm for motivation. It's working.

I promise I am leaving Buena Vista tomorrow. Promise.

P.S. Did I mention that when I get home Sam will be in NY? With Brandon, and Tommy soon to follow. Mallory too at one point, maybe. I get to be with my best friends in NY and then we all go back to UT around the same time. Perfect.

Music Monday - Young Blood

I'm going to kill two birds with one stone this Music Monday. I thought about doing this for Music Monday earlier today and then I got a comment from Sam of Sam and Chas aka Young People in Love on my Progress post and here we are.

Let's just get this out in the open -
I've kind of got a thing for following the blogs of young, trendy, life-loving, thrifty, LDS housewives.

Taza? Yup.

Nienie? You bet. 

Her sister, C. Jane? Right here.

Hue (of Hue and Hum aka Caitlin and Robbie aka her husband is in Fictionist!!! Geek out)? Uh, yes.

Chelsea of Knit Cookies Knits? Oh? You havent heard of her? Chelsea was in my stake back in NY and my counselor at girls camp at least once and now she knits and sells her cute crafts and decorates her home all cute. It's all just cute. So here you go, here's my plug for a lesser known Mormon, Blogging, Crafty Housewife.

Well today I was reading Young People in Love and Sam posted the video below. I love the song, Young Blood by The Naked and Famous. Their music video is okay, it's more the song I like and I had planned on using it for an upcoming Music Monday but seeing the video of the Young People in Oregon I decided I'd use this instead.

Hope that's kosher...? :)



Update -

I have two boxes packed and taped up to be shipped to Utah.

I have a large garbage can full of... garbage.

There is a large U-Haul box full of things to be taken to Goodwill.

My cupboards are empty. Never mind that their contents are on the counters, stove and kitchen table.

Sheets, blankets, pillow cases and most of my clothing is freshly washed.

I'm happy that my roommate is gone for all of this because I'm pretty sure we would never talk again if she saw what our apartment looks like right now.

I really love my friends for coming to hang out and keep my company as I go through all of my stuff I've accumulated.

Dad called me today wondering if I was really even coming home before moving to Utah. Hardy, har, har. I'll be there.... soon... ish.

The things that are getting me through all of this packing? Friends. Cathy's speakers that make the music sound oh so good and the walls shake. Flat Rate Shipping Boxes. Edy's Fruit Bars ('cept they were out of the Acai ones tonight :-[ ) and Netflix.

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post but I felt like throwing a picture in  here. This is my oldest brother, Jimmy, on his always coveted 9/11 memorial Harley- Davidson. I'm kind of in love with his bike. Not sure why he is dressed like Santa but it makes this picture all the better.