We Work, We Cook (Well, some of us…)

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Charlee and Janette, two co-workers of mine currently, always bring in the most amazing baked goods.  It has been a living nightmare since I started working here two years ago.  It has kind of escalated recently, and expanded into more than just baked goods.  Homemade soups, pastas, breads…

This place is a death trap.

So, I have been collecting the recipes they bring in for months, and I finally decided to do something with them all.  They were literally forming a mini mountain on my desk.  Remember a million years ago when I posted about BLURB? We are going to upload all the recipes and make ourselves a legit cookbook.  It’s actually pretty time consuming, and turns out when you work with 3 designers…they all have their own picky opinion.

Here are our first two pages!  (The snickerdoodle muffins are literally to die for, thanks Janette!)

City of Angels

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Few things are as depressing as coming home from vacation. I wish we could have spent more time together in LA, but we loved every second!

As soon as we arrived at LAX, we had to rush to get our rental car so we could get over to the Staples Center for the Clippers game. They were playing the Wizards (with my man John Wall) and we were both excited to see the Slam Dunk Champion, Blake Griffin.

We scoped out our Clippers gear: naturally I got a Griffin T-Shirt, while Zach got some random player he didn’t recognize. Turns out his players jersey he picked was the lurpiest human being I have ever seen. We laughed so hard realizing that Zach picked possibly the nerdiest player in the whole NBA.

We had awesome lower bowl seats on the 6th row, and the game ended in a Clippers’ victory after double overtime!
It was a blast!

After the game we decided to find a grocery store near our hotel so we could get some snacks and breakfast food. WARNING: Never go to the Food 4 Less on Century. We got what we needed, but not without a few hood rat encounters.

The next morning we slept in (big surprise) and made it out in time for lunch. Yeah, we’re that bad. When Zach and I go on vacation we never wake up before 9:00 am…unless we are on a hard core visit like a Euro trip or in a foreign country. We put on our sun attire and even lifted a few towels from the hotel pool with every intention to visit Zuma Beach.

Unfortunately the weather was deceiving and we got hungry. We went to this place called Tart. It was really great food, and the atmosphere and building were just as fabulous. The rest of the day we spent shopping at a local mall. Don’t feel bad for Zach, he loved it! We had dinner at Sushi Roku in Santa Monica and ended the night at Pinkberry at Zach’s request.

The next day we hit up the Santa Monica Pier for some strange street performances and delish Mexican food.

Then we strolled over to the Third Street Promenade: like The Gateway but worse…for your credit card. Zach’s favorite part of California is Malibu (he served his mission in Ventura, California) so we made the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to see the glamorous shore houses.

After Malibu we drove to Beverly Hills for dinner at The Ivy. Sadly, there were no celebrity sightings for us. Zach was especially disappointed he didn’t see Justin Bieber. The food was really good! Some even argue it’s the best in LA.

We had a great time and then stopped at Pinkberry…for the second time. We’re creatures of habit….what can I say?

Our last full day we woke up a little earlier and ate breakfast at the Farmer’s Market. We both loved it. Zach had a monstrosity of a waffle and I ate some of the best fruit I’ve had in ages. You should have seen the mangos and avocados! The cupcakes, the Greek food…I would go again just for all the delicious smells. Nothing like our Farmer’s Market in SLC.

Our next stop was the Griffith Observatory. Even though the weather got foggy, the views of the city, the hills, and even the Hollywood Sign was gorgeous. The observatory was amazing too. I loved how Art Deco and glamorous it was.

On our way back to our hotel, we stopped to see Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. He is one of my favorite architects and Zach was so patient to stop with me to check it out.

When we left the concert hall we realized we hadn’t had a bite to eat for lunch. We were so worn out from walking and hiking all day that we decided to stop at Pizza Hut and dine in….in our hotel room that is. Yes, I carried a Pizza Hut box through the Westin lobby because my husband was too embarrassed.

Later that night we went to The Grove for dinner and a movie. The Grove is my favorite shopping plaza in the whole city. It has this gorgeous fountain and a Trolley Car that takes people for rides through the area. They have lights strung through the courtyard and amazing window displays.

Sunday morning we had a few hours before our flight departed, so we rented bikes and cruised down Venice Beach. One of the highlights for us of the entire trip!

I love people watching on Venice. We rode down to muscle beach, checked out the skaters at the skate park, and browsed through the stands of art and hand made jewelry. Then it was off to the airport.

Overall, a great trip! We’ve both been to LA a few times (never together) and have done the tourist route – the Walk of Fame, Capital Records and such – but this time was more our kind of trip (with the required sporting event and architectural landmark). It was hard to come home to the freezing cold rain, but we’re grateful to be back safe!  We heart LA.

Bear Lake Weekend

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Friday we left to meet up with my family up at our cabin in Bear Lake. We drove up there through Logan, and left really late. My heart skipped a beat as we passed the design studio and I saw every single light on in the Senior side. 10:00 PM on a Friday night. No doubt, getting ready for Senior Exhibit. Oh, how I love to see the glowing A atop Old Main. I will love Logan forever! (I always ask Zach if we can drive through Logan, even though it is significantly shorter to go through Evanston). He’s such a good sport.

Saturday morning we slept in, and when the sun came out of the clouds I went for a run. I know, not something I usually say…or do. But as I was jogging on my way back, a Whitetail doe jumped right out in front of me in the road. I have never been that close to a deer before. It looked me right in the face. I must have scared her with my heavy breathing, haha! Then she turned her head and bounced away. I loved it!

After our awesome crepe breakfast, a modern miracle occurred! We have two channels at the cabin…and one of them happened to be CBS which had full coverage of the NCAA tournament. It made Zach’s whole weekend. I hate to jinx him…but he is CURRENTLY in First Place in his group with his bracket. So naturally, he has been glued to the television. He did, however, take a break with us and venture out to onto the ice covered beach for some fun.

Dad and Cam even made a snowboarding jump with the snowblower. There were more activities such a movie watching, shooting guns, dominoes, Idaho lottery tickets, and the BYU vs. Gonzaga game…but nothing compared to the two solid naps I got in. Heaven.

Our cabin is not as popular in the colder months (because it’s too cold for boating and waterskiing) but I love it just as much! It’s so fun to watch the water bundled up out on the deck and to relax in the warmth inside. We love going there anytime! Always good company!

Family Night

Just when we thought we couldn’t get any more family time in, we made more room!

My Mom, Dad, and brother Blake came over to our house last night and helped us finish painting our office.  It wasn’t like we were putting it off, I was just having color anxiety and couldn’t decide which color to choose.  I am NOT a blue person, even though this one is a very GREYISH blue, but I fell in love with this color “Skipping Stone” and decided to go for it.

Funny Story:  a few months ago, I had all of my cousins over at my house for a New Years Lunch/Game Day.  (There were 8 of us born within a year of each other:  Trina, Ashley, Kylee, Katie (Me), Tadd, Brady, Tori, and Caitlin. It’s like my Dad and his brothers all planned it or something…I don’t even want to think about that.)  We’ve all stayed fairly close, and it was so much fun growing up with that many cousins my age!  Anyway, my cousin Trina came to my house and wanted to see our office.  I showed her upstairs, and when she walked into the room she had a really puzzled look.  I had about 6 colors painted in tiny squares all over the walls.  PAINT TIP:  WHEN PICKING A COLOR FOR YOUR ROOM, ALWAYS TRY A LITTLE SWATCH ON DIFFERENT WALLS IN YOUR ROOM.  YOU CAN’T JUST PAINT IT ON ONE WALL AND MAKE A DECISION.  LIGHT DOES DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT WALLS AND CAN COMPLETELY CHANGE THE COLOR VISUALLY. My dad taught me that years ago, but he didn’t think I would try SO MANY colors.  So naturally, I had painted each color on each wall: it did look a little strange.  She said to me, “Wow, your paint job is Edgy!  So different, I LIKE IT!”  I burst out laughing because she had no idea they were samples.  She seriously thought I painted tiny little grey, blue, and tan squares all over my room.  Oh Trina, just another reason why I LOVE YOU.

So for months, our office has been a checker board of sorts.  It’s finally finished!  I can’t wait to move all the furniture back in and hang all frames.

After we painted, we enjoyed some Mexican Lasagna.  Click here for the recipe. So easy to make, and SO good.  This recipe is with wheat tortillas – light cheese – and ground turkey, but if you want the REAL DEAL, you can replace with WHITE TORTILLAS, EXTRA CHEESE, and GROUND BEEF!  Good either way if you ask me (of course I made the UNHEALTHY version for my family).

Last, but not least, my Mom and Zach filled out their bracket for March Madness.  Talk about BORING.  I pick my winning teams strictly on their uniform, while Mom and Zach were analyzing every statistic – but not without my Dad’s two cents.

Ah, the joys of family.  I wouldn’t trade mine for anything in this world.

Weekend Warriors

Our weekends lately have been jammed, and we love it!

Friday, Zach and I went to the Bountiful Temple for Date Night.  It was much needed.  I always look forward to vacations because it feels so amazing to get away.  Unfortunately, I forget about a mini “escape” that is closer than we both realize.  I need to utilize the temple more for an escape, because that is exactly what it is.  After we were done, we ended the night with Zach’s favorite:  chips and salsa at Applebees.

Saturday, I worked at the Spring Home & Garden show all day.  It is pretty exhausting being on your feet all day, answering the same questions over and over, but I enjoy watching the people and I even got a visit from my ENTIRE family.  Yes, my dad was telling potential costumers all about the grade of the stainless steel sink in our display.  Don’t ask.  I swear my boss wanted to hire him.  Later, we met up with Zach’s family at Market Street Grill to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 60th Birthday!  Happy Birthday Jeanene, we love you SO VERY MUCH!  We got to meet our new nephew Aiden, and visit with Zach’s brother Sean and his wife Siri who are here from Philadelphia.  We ended the night with a movie, where we were possibly the loudest laughing couple in the whole theater.

Lastly, today Aiden was blessed and we got to have a delish lunch at good ‘ole Classic.  Thanks Siri and Sean for hosting the whole fam!  THEN (I know) we headed to my grandparents’ house for some roast and potatoes!  As always, WAY too many stories and a lot of laughs.  Grandma always busts out an awesome Sunday dinner.

We love our families, our weekends, and our time together.  It’s what gets us through the week!