Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! I had some fun decorating for Christmas this year. I revamped my tree decor (all on a food theme). I still have a handful of dried citrus ornaments from years past and added cookie cutters, dried gingerbread tree cookies, cinnamon sticks, cranberry garland, and pinecones.


I also made several new crafts, like the ornament ball tree (which is still trying to recover from trying to transport it back from my sisters house (probably a craft I would recommend only doing at home) and fabric flower wreath.

Several lucky friends and family members got one of my new culinary creations from this year, flavored pecans! I did my famous cayenne-crusted ones, as well as cocoa-chili, cinnamon-nutmeg, pumpkin spice, and chocolate-covered flavors.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I once got a black eye from my Bishop


Funny story from the past. I was going through iphoto to pick a random picture and share a story that it reminded me of...and found this.

The Harbor 2nd singles ward decided to play Broom Hockey in the church gym. I was in charge of all activities in the ward at that point and was hesitant about promoting this idea-since someone was bound to get hurt. Yup. Maybe I have an biased memory but it seems that whenever I say that, it's typically me that is the lucky one. My bishopric was really getting into the broom hockey game and even taped their broom straws down so they could hit the ball harder. In a flurry of activity on the court, Bishop's broom met my face...and hard. I blacked out a second, then dazed and throbbing, I left the game so they couldn't see me cry. He didn't even know what had happened. When he found it, he felt sooo bad. He came to my house and brought me a potted plant and an apology-he looked so darn uncomfortable that I felt bad for him-and that he had to see me with a big purple bruise on the right side of my face. He really was a good bishop-poor guy sat out on any competetive play from then on. I didn't learn to do that until later. I am finally getting the fact that I might also be fragile, despite how competitive and adventurous I can be. This is why I now avoid playing broom hockey, dodgeball, softball, basketball, and pick-up soccer games in fields with holes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Texas Star


I took a whirlwind trip down to visit my birthplace state-Texas. I have a brother and his family that now live there, as well as a dear former mission companion, Sestra Portwood (aka Ivy). They both live in Austin so I went to visit. They were awesome to take me all around to experience the wonders of Austin... funky food trailers, zealous football fans, BBQ, Town Lake (which seems to really be a river...), peacock nature preserve, massive Whole Foods store, state capitol and all. Paul, Vi, the kids and I also drove down to visit San Antonio to see the house where I lived the first 3 yrs of my life and then took a boat around the "Riverwalk".
It was a wonderful time, especially since we were playing around in 70 degree weather while it was snowing like crazy back home in Utah.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What a Deal

I learned something fantastic last night. Thought I would share this little tidbit with those faithful few that read my blog. Shop online for flights after midnight. I was contemplating taking a last minute trip with a 3 day weekend I have coming up and was disappointed that the flight prices were quite high. I was debating all evening on whether to go or not. I decided to check the prices online again right before I crawled into bed (just after midnight). Voila! $125 cheaper than it had been a few hrs earlier. Same flights, same times. I was thrilled! Was it just a fluke? Someone told me that it might have to do with the volume of people booking at a certain time or that the airlines change their prices at midnight...but I can't verify that. Has anyone else tried it?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween!

I had a fantastic Halloween season! Since there were several parties and gatherings to attend, I thought I would make good use of my costume bins.The main costume of the year was "Maria the Vampire" (from the movie Eclipse). Ben was Jasper. I sewed most of the pieces myself. Everyone especially loved the eyes.

I also revamped my Christmas Elf (aka. Santa's little Ho) costume from for my ward's roller-skating party.



I went as Bella Swan to help my niece and nephew go trick-or-treating.

Lastly, pulled out my fantastic Witch hat and socks for Ben's family get-together on Halloween day.
Here are a couple of my favorite costumes that others wore:

Sewing Lesson on Linings

I confess. I use sewing patterns like I use recipes... as general guidelines that I rarely follow to the letter. I enjoy "improving upon" them to get what I am after, or skipping steps I deem unnecessary. I usually get away with it, but sometimes it teaches me hard lessons that involve a lot of action by my trusty seam ripper. And thus it was as I made my first piece of lined clothing. Linings are tricky! I called upon google and several people that sew to help me when I sewed myself into a corner but they were a confused as I. I was finally saved by a youtube video showing me the right way to sew lining on armholes of a vest.

For anyone (or me) that plans to attempt this again in the future, here are a few helpful hints:
Sew collar together first
Turn it right sides out before you attempt to sew armholes to armhole lining
Wrap lining around through the color to attach right sides together at armhole and sew so it looks like a long tube.
Then, you will be able to sew the side seams (lining to lining, fabric to fabric) down
(Kind of like doing pant-leg holes)
Lastly do the bottom hem.
If you do it in any other order, you will be stuck with a garment that will not turn right sides out and end up spending more time watching sewing you-tube videos and unpicking your work than you would like to admit.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It warms my heart...

To cook with all the autumn flavors... pumpkin, butternut squash, nuts, and apples...YUM
When I see this handsome face looking at me

When I get a phone message from this cute nephew of mine: "Hi Emmy, I goin' to bed. I love you. Bye!". I melted...and then listened to it about 4 more times.To see the vibrant array of colors every time I go outside.
To see so many reminders of how much God loves me.
I am grateful for the little things in life that make it worthwhile.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hilly Billy Threat

My cousin is serving a mission in Georgia. He sent this picture in his email this week of a sign he found while tracting. Hilarious.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Logan Canyon



Logan Canyon typically has some of the beautiful autumn leaves in the world. This year hasn't been especially fantastic but we were still able to find some amazing views. Ben and I took his dad (one of the most amazing 80-yr old hikers I know) up to Blind Hollow yesterday. Seems it was also the first day of Elk Hunting...so he thought the orange was a good idea.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

More on Maine

I finally got some more pictures, friends. Yes, these ones have people in them. No, the last few weren't postcards, they were taken by yours truly. It's harder to pick good ones with me in them...my photogenicity skills are lacking some days...especially when wind complicates things.

We hiked on the Appalachian Trail! We also spent a day at the outlet malls and spent some good money :)
We went on a hike to a "waterfall" (that was really a series of places where water fell over rocks). It was pouring rain, but we were stalwart in our plans to get out in nature, despite the weather. Here is the flooded trail. I have a lovely bruise the size of a grapefruit on my leg where I slipped on a root and fell. It was pretty and worth it anyway.We took a ferry out to Peak's Island, rented some old beach cruiser bikes and rode around the whole island. A very fun day.
One of our goals was to eat seafood every day. (we both love seafood too much to live in land-locked Utah). One night, I ate a whole lobster! Well, I wasn't brave enough to try the head or the mushy green stuff inside the belly, but the rest was fantastic. It was live only 15 min. before I ate it-so fresh and soo sweet that you didn't even need the drawn butter for it. YUM! Will definitely do that again.



Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spring Rolls

I made some amazing Spring Rolls the other day. Actually, they were chicken-green mango spring rolls with a Thai pineapple-lime dipping sauce. It was my first experience using rice paper in my kitchen. My sister Rachel actually helped me with that...I would definitely suggest doing it with a partner your first time. Rice paper is pretty cool stuff! You can only get it as Asian markets, though...it took me a couple days to get my hands on it. It is super fast, so once you have all your filling ingredients ready, you soak the paper in hot water for a couple seconds and then it is ready to be stuffed, rolled, presented, and of course, eaten. Delicious!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Remodel project

For Mother's Day, my family decided to do some service for my mother. We were going to reorganize her sewing room. Since it had ancient orange/green/black striped carpet from the 70's, we thought it would be great to replace that as well...and if we were going to do that, my dad decided to spring for new carpet in all the downstairs...and if we were going to re-carpet, it would be ideal to do new paint on the walls first...and if we were going to paint, why not take out the wood-burning stove and brick wall that didn't match anything...and if that, then the old built-in cupboards too...and if that then we need to hire a contractor...who can also fix the leak in the other bedroom...which we should turn into a hobby room...which means we could make the sewing room into a playroom...but that would need a new wall...and new furniture for the family room so things all look matching in the newly remodeled space...

As you can tell, it turned into an entire basement remodel project. I got to choose the color schemes (making sure my mother approved, of course...it is her house afterall). Several months later, I think it turned out fantastic.

Here is the "Before":

After:
Kimi painted this mural for the kid's playroom, which is adorable, I must say.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I had to laugh

I got two emails at work with great lines:
"I think my sugar went high because I didn't know how to count all the crabs in the cake and ice cream"

Me: while seafood is great, and actually carbohydrate free, I don't think it would make very good ice cream.

"My diet is still the same...lots of yogurt, cottage cheese, and small snakes. What am I doing wrong?"

Me: Maybe you should lay off the reptiles for a while...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Croydon


Croydon is famous for only 3 things:
Being close to Devil's Slide
Home of the "Widow-Maker" hill climb
DeLaMare family reunion.

A quaint little town that has only 1 park (which my extended family takes over every Labor Day weekend, thus doubling the population there). I spent many a birthday here growing up (since it always seemed to also fall on that weekend). I was actually kind of bitter to that fact for a while. Who wants to spend their sweet 16th birthday in the middle of nowhere, camping in a park?

I have since come to appreciate the joys of our family get-together there and loved being with everyone this year. I even took a few pictures!
(Ben didn't get to come since his dog got very ill that weekend)
My nephew TJ was trying to be cool and lay like his Grandpa.My cute sisters and our cousin Taylor

Monday, August 30, 2010

In my next 30 yrs

I recently had a monumental birthday. I am now in my 30's! I guess I can no longer be called a "young" single adult. Just a plain adult, I guess. I was a little apprehensive about it, who knows why... maybe because I'm a silly girl. Yup. That's why. I had long decided to plan a trip to celebrate so it was more something I looked forward to. It's not Italy, but it is something else on my bucket list: Seeing the autumn leaves in Maine. I'm all set to go the first of October. Too bad they couldn't come a month early for my real birthday.
Looking back on my last 30 yrs, I can't believe how much I've experienced and learned. It is definitely something to be proud of.

The rest of this post is inspired by the Tim McGraw song "In my next 30 yrs".

I think I'll take a moment, celebrate my age,
The ending of an era, the turning of a page
Now it's time to focus in on where I go from here
I'll be much better in my next thirty years.

In my next thirty years I'm gonna not keep track of scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Focus on the happiness and not the hurt and fear
Remember what I'm doing here, In my next thirty years.

In my next thirty years I'm gonna balance more my time
cross off more bucket lists while I'm still in my prime
Change a few more lives at home and in my great career
Make up for lost time here in my next thirty years.

My next thirty years, I'll make the best ones that I can
Raise a little family and hang out with my man.
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Trust God to lead me through my next thirty years.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How we met

I think it's kind of a fun story.

I went to my 10 yr high school reunion
Ran into Jade there (we were good friends back in elementary school days) and mentioned I had just bought a house and was looking for roommates.
She happened to think immediately of Michele (whom she works with at the University hospital, that was looking for a new place) so I gave her my number.
Michele moved in and we became fast friends.
Michele also met Ben about that time while working at the hospital
She couldn't get over the feeling that she should set us up. She did a lot of covert questioning while working with him to make sure he was a good enough fellow. She would tell me about him every time I would end a relationship or start dating someone she didn't particularly like over the next 6 months.
She showed him a picture or two on facebook... she said he thought I was "out of his league".
She finally got around to actually setting us up.
He called me and we set a date to meet.
We met up for dinner. He didn't think I was interested and so he walked me to the car after our dinner and was about to leave until I stopped him and told him very plainly that I wanted to go out with him again. He said "Really?"
We've been dating ever since.
He's a wonderful man.
I still love him to pieces... even when he's driving me crazy.

Michele doesn't set people up that often, but hen she does, it always works. She does her homework, pays attention, gets the feel, and it pays off. She has a flawless record so far. Now that's the kind of roommate I needed.
So, thanks Jade and Michele and high school reunions...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hives give you answers

I had a very interesting visit to an allergist yesterday. The consensus? I am officially allergic to almost every plant. Well, not pine trees...too bad my favorite trees are the ones that turn colors in the fall. I am allergic to all those. And every grass and weed. I actually think I already knew that but now I have the proof! I am also allergic to cats, dogs, feathers, and mold. I guess this is a better excuse for me to not like animals or pets, right? So please don't be offended if I avoid your pets from now on. Unfortunately, there goes my down comforter as well... I am not, however, allergic to foods (thank goodness!), dust, dust mites, or rabbits. Random, I know. Perhaps I should live in a pine forest and make friends with the rabbits?
For those that have never experienced an allergist appointment, let me describe what it was like. You have to go several days without taking any allergy medicine so the doctor can examine your raw symptoms (so you are very uncomfortable already going into the test...wanting to itch everything), you fill out a long questionnaire that includes everything about what symptoms you have and when, your living conditions, bedding, pets, other triggers, your allergy history, family's allergies, pills used, etc. and discuss them with the doctor. Then they draw lots of little dots on your back and prick each one with a specific allergen. They tell you to sit there for 20 min. and resist the temptation to itch while hives grow all over your back. They came to check on me after 10 min. and said "Woah, maybe we'll stop now". They measured the size of the hives and marked down which ones I reacted to. They were so impressed with my reactions that they brought in another nurse to come and see. They wipe off the allergens with alcohol and put cream on them to help stop the itch. (Lucky me, I still have a few hives that decided to set up camp and continue to pester me). The doctor then discussed the results and treatment options. Avoidance is actually the preferred treatment... imagine that... but since I have no intention of avoiding the outside or living in a plastic bubble, I think I'll opt for the pills and shots. Looking back, I've gotten so used to allergy symptoms, I'm not sure I would recognize life without them. I am very interested in trying it, though. How amazing that modern medicine that can give me that option!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer Herbs and Chicken


It's been quite a while since I did a food post. I admit, I am not as motivated to cook in the summer. I do quick and cold food more than anything (sandwiches and salads mostly). Never fear, Michele's garden is starting to produce some magnificent looking veggies this year-which I am committed to cook/eat. That's our deal: she grows them, I cook them, we both eat. She even gave me a little herb garden of my own this year. This is how successful I was at keeping it alive. Pathetic, I know. Kinda reminds me of the Botanical Gardens in Denver last year...remember that?

Anyway, yesterday I made some delightful, summery chicken and thought I would share it.
Lemon Garlic Chicken
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1/3 olive oil
1/4 C fresh oregano (or dried if your garden just died)
2 TBSP minced garlic (fresh is really better for this recipe)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
chicken (breasts, thighs, legs, etc.)
2 lemons (sliced)

Oil grill or grill-pan well (or use non-fat cooking spray like me). Grill chicken on both sides until cooked all the way through. While cooking, combine first 6 ingredients together. Brush or pour sauce over chicken mid-cooking and again after it is cooked through. Lay sliced lemons on grill and cook briefly on each side until grill-marked and deliciously warmed. Serve lemons atop chicken on platter. The sauce goes a long way-this recipe should give you enough for about 8-10 thighs or breast halves. Extra sauce, however, is no problem. It was great on top of the veggies, potatoes, and salad, too.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Emily, what if someday you get old and go to look for your memories and can't find them because you've thrown them all away?" --Kimi


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vampire Eyes


Freaky, huh? I scared the bejeebers (is that a word?) out of my family at our Murder Mystery Night at the BBC. My character was Ivana Bytiznek a Romanian princess or "vamp in a red dress". Pretty good, eh? Really, any excuse to dress up and I'm there.
The eyes were definitely a worthy new addition to my costume closet. I will most assuredly use those again...maybe this Halloween.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More BBC


BBC was a blast. The week was full of entertaining, silly, fun activities...as all good family vacations should be.



We got in a hike on the Limber Pine trail.



"Girls Day Out" and pedicure night
Beach Days an ultimate frisbee in the water.
Bunco Night on the porch

















Talent Show and Fijian Dance
Lots of playing with all the cute grandkids!
Full use of the indoor gym/playground/trampoline/putting green area.
and of course a ride on a 4-person pedaling bike
















and murder mystery night... (next post)

I do not take credit for any of the above pictures. I only have documentation because of Rachel and Stacey. Thanks girls!