Monday, January 31, 2011

Reduce Reuse or Recycle

I once had a beautiful silk purple skirt. It was a rare treasure found on the clearance rack at Banana Republic many years ago and was definitely a favorite of mine. It didn't wrinkle, always hung right and was the most beautiful dark purple color. As is the way of any delicate material, the day came when it received an un-fixable stain. So, I had an EDP party. What is an EDP you ask? Well, it is an "expensive decorative pillow", a phrase coined by my mother when she had a house full of unruly teenagers that liked to throw pillows. She got these nice white lacy pillows to decorate her living room couches with and couldn't call them "throw pillows" as you can only imagine what behavior that would encourage. We were told that we had to be nice to the "expensive decorative pillows". We shortened it to EDP. For a craft day with my sisters, we all brought stuff to make EDPs for our houses/beds/couches/whatever. Here's how I did it, in case any of you are in the mood to make a ruffled EDP in the near future:

Find a similar color for the actual pillow part (mine was a cheap satin at Walmart for $2/yd) Cut the skirt (or other desired material) into long strips.

Hand baste down the middle of each strip and then gather it together into a ruffle.

Tack on each fold of the ruffle (from the backside) as you arrange them into swirls


Friday, January 21, 2011

Dinner is Served

At least to those who won the bid for my annual donation of a 4-course gourmet meal at the ward's Service Auction...

Here was the menu of culinary creations this year:

Artisan Bread with Fig Vinegar (which I had shipped from Maine-where I first tasted it's amazingness) and Walnut Oil.

African Peanut Stew (found this recipe on, one of my favorite cooking blogs) It was voted the favorite recipe of the night.
Rosemary-Cranberry Pork Tenderloin (featuring Michele's homemade cranberry sauce)

Saffron Couscous

Roasted Cauliflower/Brocciflower with Dijon-Lemon sauce

Poached Pears with Tangy-Ginger Sauce

Sunday, January 16, 2011

story time

So, you all know that I am allergic to everything (except food---thank goodness!). Despite the annoyance of runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and itchy skin all the time, they have never posed actual danger to me until now. This week I had my first experience with an epi-pen. Didn't think I'd ever have to use one but there's a first for everything. I've been doing allergy shots for the last 4 months and progressing fine. That day, was just the same, but two hours later, right in the middle of work, I start getting hives all over my body, start feeling horrible and my throat was getting swollen. (the patient I was teaching was oblivious to the fact I was turning bright red in front of her eyes and I didn't get up to look until after our session was done-holy moly! THAT would have been quite the picture) Benedryl wasn't helping at all at this point and it was getting worse. I had to stab my leg with the pen and feel that rush of epinephrine take over. It helped considerably but the after-effects are not pretty. I was shaking so bad I could hardly walk or control my hands for an hour. The ER just watched me to make sure the reaction didn't come back after it wore off. This happened right before my voice recital, too. Bummer, I was looking forward to singing. Thanks to my lovely sister, who had to come babysit me overnight just in case. I was just drained for the next day or two and had all the nurses in my life frequently tell me I looked very pale. Thanks for that. I know I am fragile... but hey, I was proud that I didn't pass out through this! I'm fine now, no worries. Life keeps you guessing!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year!

Here's to a 2011, a brand new year! I welcome it with open arms.
Although an adventure, this year has definitely changed me, as many of you have told me or noticed. It has been both wonderful and difficult as I have faced several challenges, experienced new joys, learned important lessons and turned thirty. I am really looking forward to the next important step in my life. I guess I am more grown up, and in more ways than one. At least I feel I am a better person than I was before, thanks to God and his endless patience with me, and that is what counts.

Some highlights of this last year were:
-Seeing the Olympics in Vancouver
-Cruise to Mexico with my parents and Kimi
-Autumn leaves and lobster in Maine
-Visiting my birthplace (Texas)
-Visiting family in Wyoming for the only non-windy days in history
-Falling more in love with Ben
-Family vacation in a mansion at Bear Lake
-Speaking at the annual Diabetes Educator Conference
-participating in the production "Joseph Smith the Prophet"
-winning a large check from a work drawing
-taking voice lessons
-keeping my amaryllis alive and even winning the race to get the first blooms!