Monday, January 30, 2012


I've been spending a lot of time designing stuff lately (just today I whipped up some wedding announcements).  I have so much more I'd love to learn... someday... but for now I've had fun with the little projects like this.

Our Young Women room at church was in need of new bulletin boards.  Two years ago our ward did them.  Last year it was somehow our turn to do them again.  Somehow 2012 made it here before the new bulletin boards did... so we volunteered to actually do them this year.  Haha.  I didn't want to spend the time helping with something we would hand craft and then staple all over the board so I suggested maybe we just have something done on the computer and printed at our local copy store.  I'm so glad I did.  It was easy peasy.  I left a lot of room at the top of the Arise & Shine Forth poster to allow for a little pendant banner we made using all of the value colors.  The theme poster was made almost exactly like the previous board had been done... only this time it wasn't using vinyl letters that would mysteriously disappear from time to time.

If you are interested in using these same posters, I'm happy to share them.  Don't copy them from here though because the resolution is horrible.  Email me at and let me know if you are interested in one or both of the poster files.  They will fit the standard LDS church bulletin boards that are beside the chalk board (23x46, roughly).  It cost us right around $50 to have them both printed in full color.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fun, Vintage Wedding

Camie, my sister in law, got married last weekend and put together a darling reception that just portrayed her so well.  I'm am the biggest fan of all things wedding, but I didn't have much of a hand in this... my sisters in law rocked it!  The ceiling was my favorite part!  See...

They had the lights dimmed for the actual party, but I snapped a couple of pics before we had it all ready for guests.  Their backdrop was super cute... there's a much better picture of it if you scroll way down...  This way you can kind of see a little bit of everything.  Yes... our brother Chase (who is on a mission in Malaysia) was even able to be there.  You'll notice him on the right :)

Camie put together these centerpieces and they ended up perfectly "Camie."  
I loved the way there was a touch of Camie in everything.  It was all so cute.

Cass put together this tribute to the parents and grandparents.  Loved it!

Pretty, pretty.

I loved all of the lanterns, but loved these doily ones the most!

Here's a glimpse at the food!  This is just the candy table.  
I probably shouldn't have put away the camera until after the "real food" came out on the other table.
Camie was recently diagnosed with Celiac's and so there was a gluten free table of food for her and the guests that would appreciate it.

Yes... those are temples you can see on these chocolates.

The rest are pictures I took once the lights were dimmed.  It just made it all a little more special.

The cake and some details.  Most all of the antiques that were around that night were from our Great and Great-Great Grandparents.  How cool!

There's Chase again!  Twice his life size posters have given me the heebie jeebies.  Love that kid...  They had a slideshow of pictures going in the reception and out by those waiting in the receiving line.

I love how it was all a little casual and a little fancy all at once.

This was at the sign in table.  Gotta love Grandma's antiques!

See how special it all looked once the lights were out?  I loved the lanterns and backdrop the most!

It was a beautiful day and we couldn't be happier for our sweet sis.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Awkward moment on the phone today:

But first, a little back story.  My sisters were over and we were just hanging out.  Lauren's boyfriend calls her, finds out that we are having a "pow wow" and asks why he wasn't invited.  I decide to be funny and text him while he is talking to her and ask my sisters for his # (I didn't have it for some reason...) and this is how it went.

     Me:  There is a way that you could get invited to my pow wows.  Meg and I have a serious question for       you, btw.

     Him: OK, who is this?

     Me:  Haha.  Me.
     Me:  Andrea

     Him:  Andrea who?

I'm beginning to think he is pulling my leg, so I throw in a little insult.

     Me:  Now you're a queer.

     Him:  I think you have the wrong #.
     "Him":  This is Precious.  (I changed her name to protect her identity -haha- and referenced a little Friends."

     Me:  Sorry :)

     "Him":  It's ok haha.  :)

I commence to ask a question or two in order to be sure I don't actually know this poor girl.  Thankfully I didn't.  Turns out my sister knows who she is... an acquaintance at work.  Oh boy!

     Me:  Soooooo sorry.  Haha.  Have a nice night.  You're not a queer.

     "Him":  Hahahahahaha  thanks  You have a good one too ;)

Oh jeeze!!!  I was sooooo sooooo sooooo embarrassed!  It's a good thing she has no idea who I was and that I now know where she works so I can know to NEVER show my face in there... ever.

It was just too funny not to share.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Playing With Glow Sticks

The other night Colby pulled out some glow sticks for the boys to play with.  Soon after that Aunt Lauren came over and showed them how to turn into stick figures.  They thought that was the funniest thing ever and had to take their own turns at it.  I'm embarrassed of these first pictures... all the ones of Marshall... I had been shooting video earlier the same night and had my lens set to manual focus.  It just took me a while to realize and by that time Marshall's turn was all over.  And I just had to keep these photos, even if they were out of focus.

Marshall was turning flips and then he took off his head and rolled it down his arms.  Ahhh!

Here's Tyler.  He had fun playing basketball with his own head.

Nummy Chocolate Cake

A couple weeks ago I had a wicked craving for some chocolate cake.  I remembered reading that adding sour cream to a cake mix makes it much better than just a plain box mix so I tried it.  I used this recipe and thought the cake was good enough to eat without anything extra like frosting or whatever.  But of course if I was going to make a chocolate cake I NEEDED the frosting.  So I found this recipe on Pinterest and quickly whipped it up.  I guess the butter was still a little firm or something because it was way stiff and totally unspreadable.  And it was a small batch.  So I decided it would be my filling for the layers and I'd make my trusty old whipped cream frosting for the rest.  It was super delish!  And super rich.  I immediately offered three quarters of the cake to anyone that dared speak for it and delivered a few good sized pieces to some pals.

Here's Tyler being my little helper.  He loves to lick the beaters!

Here is the finished product.  The frosting is just a box of vanilla instant pudding with about a cup of milk mixed in.  You let that sit in the fridge for a little bit, then fold in some Cool Whip.  I decided I wanted chocolate whipped cream frosting so I melted down some extra dark chocolate chips and stirred it into the pudding before folding in the whipped cream.  It had little specks of chocolate and I liked it like that :)

We honestly could only get about a quarter of the cake down before all five of us (Me, the boys, Meg, & Colby) were on a chocolate overload.  Notice the ooey-gooey chocolate middle layer... once between the  layers of cake and sitting at room temp for a little while it softened right up and became a nice moistening element.  It was probably also the part that made the cake so rich... and yummy.

The boys loved their little afternoon snack.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I love my kids.

I am so lucky.  I had a bunch of leftover fruit that had been cut up for Bunco on Wednesday.  It was starting to get a little old so I decided to whip together my first green smoothie.  I've been a lover of green lemonade since summer, but that's just juice.  And it has lemon in in which makes most things yummy.   So today I got the guts to throw a banana in the blender with some pears, strawberries, a little mango, and a ton of spinach.   I added a little water to get the consistency right and guess what?  It was good!  So good that my kids drank it down so fast and Tyler (who doesn't eat ANYTHING unless he "loves it") was begging for more.  Marshall was cute.  Right before his second gulp he said, "I will take another drink so it can go to my brain and make it like this even more!  This is so good."  I consider myself ultra lucky that my kids will devour a green smoothie and never complain that it might look a little weird.  Even beyond that... they love their fruits and vegetables.  Sometimes they will even order broccoli instead of french fries at restaurants.  Crazy weird, isn't it?  Like I said.  I'm so lucky.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Some Highlights & A Few Things I Learned

Some of the highlights from our trip to San Francisco include:

  • Andrea's first time on the Subway and in a taxi
  • The clam chowder at Neptune's on Pier 39 is the yummiest we found.  Seriously amazing.  Most everything else about the restaurant was over rated, but I would go back for the chowder in a heartbeat.
  • Hot chocolate from Ghiradelli Square honestly is the best ever!
  • Watching Mission Impossible 4 in the state of the art IMAX theater
  • The shopping at Union Square!  I still can't get over the two huge Forever 21 stores on the same street.
  • Boudin.  That was such a great restaurant.  You could be satisfied at any meal with anything on their menu.
  • Joanie's Diner!  It is a tiny little place in the Wharf just a block up from The Cannery.  Hands down the best belgian waffle I've ever eaten.  I ordered the banana nut waffle and was so satisfied.  But even just a plain waffle would have been fantastic.  And the other food was seriously delish!  I've never enjoyed an omelet before and I wanted to eat all of Colby's.
  • If you eat at Alioto's at Pier 45 enter to the left for the waterfront cafe.  The fine dining restaurant upstairs was sort of lame and overpriced.
  • Walking from Fisherman's Wharf to Union Square.  I know that sounds insane, but it was pretty dang fun.  The orange line in the map below roughly shows our route and I scoured the internet for an elevation map, but couldn't find any good ones... just know that walking this meant a whole lot of incline.  Which meant a 2 mile walk that took the same amount of time as a flat 4-5 mile walk.  Also know that I tried to suggest going over a block or two and catching a bus, but the men kept saying, "let's just walk" even after I showed them the map a few times.  So regardless of what they say, they wanted to walk.  I merely wanted to catch a cable car because they went directly to where we wanted to go, but they were super full and would never stop for us.
  • Had we not walked that insane walk that night, we would not have another of our fondest memories.  We were in the Nob Hill neighborhood (which kind of borders Chinatown) and Colby was walking on the east side of the street and we other three were on the west side of the street.  It just so happened that the three of us all turned at the same time to totally see Colby get hit by a car.  Now don't worry, the guy wasn't blazing through the intersection or anything, so Colby wasn't hurt, and it was hilarious!!!  A car was stopped at the stop sign then turned left.  After that car drove away, Colby began to cross the street followed by some other pedestrians.  The next car never saw the pedestrians and never thought to actually stop at the stop sign.  So the little Asian man rolled through the stop sign and once he saw the road was clear of cars he stepped on the gas and failed to notice Colby in the crosswalk, directly in front of the passenger seat.  The car pushed Colby's legs out from under him so he reached down to brace his fall on the hood of the car then sort of rolled up and off the side of the hood.  The poor old man kept saying sorry and asking Colby if he was OK.  Colby was fine, the rest of us were laughing our heads off, and the car drove away with a good sized dent in the hood from Colby's incredible strength.  Hahahahahahaha!  I realize that I sound awfully insensitive to laugh at Colby getting hit by a car, but if you were there, you would have realized he was really in no danger and it was just plain funny.  We still get a good chuckle out of it.

A few things I learned:
  • The F line (street car) was probably my favorite means of transportation.  They are old, but seemed cleaner than the buses and they went most everywhere we wanted/needed to go.
  • The top three money makers for the city of San Francisco are 1) Hotels, 2) Banking, and 3) Parking Tickets.
  • It is completely legal in the city of San Francisco to walk around butt naked as long as you have one article of "clothing" on.  So zero clothes plus a hat, or glove, or sock, etc is completely OK.  Oh boy...
  • Boudin is pronounced boo-deen.  Yeah, I asked.  We were originally way off :)
  • There is an architectural walking tour that I am totally going on when we go back.  It spans four blocks of the Financial District and highlights all kinds of historical and architectural details of the city.
  • I love that charming city.  I truly am a city girl at heart.

Our Last Day :(

On our last day in San Francisco we were able to extend our bus tour passes an extra day on account of the fog that kept us from really seeing the sights.  City Sightseeing Tours seriously rock!  We rode across the Golden Gate Bridge again so we could actually see it.

This picture was taken maybe a block or two away from our hotel.

Having fun on our bus tour.  Betsy (our driver) had us laughing our heads off!

Ghiradelli Square

Some of the fantastic architecture.

A temple of some sort.  I can't remember a lot of the details.  I do remember the story about it being bombed after their religious leader talked about regardless who we all pray to, the prayers all go in the same direction.  Some people didn't like that very much so they bombed the building and killed the man who said that.

I love this city!

Palace of Fine Arts

A good glance at the Golden Gate Bridge.

The bridge is so majestic.  We heard a lot of cool facts and stories about the bridge while on our tour.  Like how Mr. Strauss that built the bridge was the first to require his workers to wear hard hats and how there are undercover police officers patrolling the bridge at all times in an effort to stop people from jumping off.

Views of the Marin Headlands


Colby & I at Vista Point on the northern end of the bridge.

The San Francisco skyline

The four of us.

The view from Sausalito.  
We didn't get off the bus here on Saturday although grabbing a burger from Hamburgers was oh, so tempting.

Our awesome driver Betsy was kind enough to drop us off near Lombard Street so we could just walk a few blocks to the "crookedest street in the world."  It was only about three or four blocks to the peak, but it was a long walk.  Like I mentioned before, I need to practice photographing hills.  There was a one block portion that was SO SO steep.

This whole area was full of well manicured homes that I just loved.

A look back towards the west.  The funniest thing happened right here.  There was a couple walking down the hill as we reached the top.   (You can kind of see them here on the sidewalk.)  The woman was wearing some pretty high heeled boots and she was struggling to walk down the steep hill, so she started walking switchbacks down the sidewalk.  It was so funny to watch her slowly make her way down the hill and her man had to patiently walk extra slowly so he didn't leave her in the dust.

Colby at Lombard St. on Russian Hill.  Something neat about this area is the residents of the neighborhood were the ones to landscape the area.  The city built the road and then left it kind of barren. It's a shame we weren't there when all of the hydrangeas were blooming.

Looking east towards Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach (Little Italy), and Telegraph Hill.  Chinatown and the Financial District are just out of the picture on the right.

More of San Francisco's fantastic color and character.

Aww.  We're so cute.

Looking up Lombard Street.  I thought it was funny why this road became so crooked.  It runs all the way across the city and used to be a main thoroughfare and was quite dangerous as cars would scream down this hill.  It was decided they were going to eliminate all the crazy traffic through this neighborhood by putting in all of those switchbacks to discourage travelers.  Well now it is a major tourist attraction and cars will wait in a ridiculous line just to drive down it.  It was fun to see, but I would never wait in line to drive down it.