Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Puj Tub Review

Did you know that having a baby will totally consume your entire life? It's true. Don't get me wrong, it's not in a bad way. There's nothing else I'd rather have consume my days. And nights. Well, maybe it'd be nice if my nights were still consumed by sleep, but other than that, nothing. I even have an extremely helpful, hands-on husband, but somehow the baby seems to dominate our attentions. But, I mean, look at her. She's so dang cute, how could she not captivate your attention?
Also, did you know that a baby can totally make you feel like an idiot? It's true. Even though I have had previous experience with other people's babies, mine is sure keeping me humble and reminding me that I have a lot to learn when it comes to taking care of her. Fortunately, she won't remember anything from this part of her life. The seemingly simplest of tasks, it turns out, are not always so simple.
For instance, let's say I was changing the baby's diaper, because a good mom knows that you're supposed to change your babies diaper. I've even got these fancy diapers that change color when the diaper is wet, so you know the diaper needs to be changed. See, that sounds pretty easy. I can do that. But maybe I didn't know that sometimes babies will go ahead and relieve themselves right in the middle of you changing their diaper. And there's no way to stop it from getting all over my once sweet little baby, who is now not-so-sweet.
Okay, deep breath to gather yourself. You can handle this. Remind yourself of all your many accomplishments, you college grad, you. You'll just give your baby a bath, and she'll be sweet again. No problem.
So I get out the baby bath tub. It looks something like this:

It got the job done, but not so easily. I had to entirely devote one hand to holding her upright so she didn't go under water. It turns out there's no good way to hold a slippery-wet baby with one hand. Especially not one who's wiggling and kicking, because she's naked and wet, and can tell her mom has no idea how to hold her upright with one hand. But if I used both hands, I couldn't actually bathe her. We'd just be sitting there, awkwardly starring at each other, wishing one of us had telekinesis to move the wash cloth over her. So we muddled through and eventually got her clean.
And then one day, the UPS man brings this to my doorstep:

No, not another cute baby, a Puj tub! Let's all give three cheers for Internet giveaways. Now when I give the baby a bath, the tub holds the baby upright for me, and she doesn't feel insecure, so she's not wiggling and kicking. She's actually quite content to sit there while I bathe her without the aid of super-human powers. Awesome, because I don't have those.
Thanks Puj!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

  1. A beautiful, healthy baby girl. This shot is from when she was two days old, but I think she gets a little cuter every day.

  2. All the amazing doctors and nurses who helped get her here safely, and took such great care of us once she was here.

  3. The worlds best husband and new dad, who has been staying up at night with the baby so I can rest and recover.

  4. An incredibly loving and supportive extended family. Seriously, my fridge has never had so much food in it! We are so blessed to have so many people who love us.

Thank you everyone!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's All About the Giveaways!

It seems like all I've been doing lately is tell you about giveaways, but, really, who doesn't want to know about cool, free stuff?
So here's another one for you, and it's a really good one. Puj Baby is giving away 100 baby tubs! Yeah, that's a lot of tubs, so your odds of winning are actually quite phenomenal. They're looking for product testers, so you need to be a mom with a baby, and you need to have a blog or website where you can post a review. And the tub is yours to keep!

Are you in? If so, click here for more details and to enter. The deadline is November 11th, so hurry over!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Even More Little Joys!

Remember my talented friend, Karla? She just opened an etsy shop of her very own! It's called Gracious Bloom, and it is graciously blooming with beautiful, imaculately-made purses, wallets, and gift tags.

I'm lucky enough to own a wallet and gift tags Karla made. Well, the gift tags are all gone, actually. They're so handy, they got used pretty quick!

My favorite thing in her shop right now is this adorable Petals Pink Errand Bag.

PLUS: In celebration of the shop opening Karla is doing another GIVEAWAY. Check out her blog for more details.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dachshund Lamp

Back in August, I made my first purchase for the nursery. It is a lamp shaped like a dachshund. I think it's adorable, and it gives off the perfect amount of light to be an ideal night light. I love it. When I tried to explain it to people, they gave me lots of interesting looks. I would try to reassure them, "I know it sounds weird, but I promise it's really cute!" I don't know if anyone believes me until they see it. I thought I'd post pictures for those of you that my have heard about it, but hadn't seen it in person yet. Apparently I'm not the only one that thinks it is the perfect accessory for a child's room. Look at all the pictures below of other peoples nurseries and children's rooms with this lamp. And these are just ones that I've happened upon while doing my blog surfing, not specifically looking for this lamp.


So there, I'm not crazy weird, I'm crazy like a fox (or dachshund).
Our nursery is still a work-in-progress, but I promise to post pictures once it's all done!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Little Joys for You!

My uber talented friend, Karla, is doing a lovely give-away on her blog, Little Joys. This girl has serious skills in all things crafty. Just look at the baby present she made me!

Remember what my stuffed elephant looked like?

Yeah, she's good. So be sure to check out her blog and enter her giveaway!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Babies and Beads

My SIL Emily just gave birth to her fifth, beautiful child last week, and blogged about it the same day. Amazing, that woman is! I made a couple of appliqued onsies as a welcome-to-earth present for the little man. Even though they are kind of outer space themed onsies...

Also last week, my sister Nancy and her daughter came over for dinner and hang out time while the boys went to the football game. She and I, along with our mother, went to a bead show in salt lake city about a week ago, and Nancy purchased some festive beads. She brought them down to girls night and had me turn them into a necklace charm with matching earrings. After I made them she said, "Oh, I guess I probably could have done that myself. But it's just a lot easier to have you do it!" Lucky for you, she decided to pay-it-forward and is now giving away the necklace and earrings as a set on her blog, so go sign up here!

I also made a necklace this weekend during general conference out of the beads I bought, but that post is forth-coming, as I have yet to take any pictures. You'll just have to wait patiently.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm pretty sure my heart skipped a beat when I saw this picture on tastespotting.

Chocolate, peanut butter, cream cheese, peanut butter cups. It's like a combination of all the best things you could ever eat! If it tastes half as good as it looks/sounds, I would be one happy camper. I will be trying this recipe. Peabody, you are crazy like a fox!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Check out this slide show with interesting public gardens around the world. These are some of my favorites. (from top to bottom, Costa Rica, France, England).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Haven't You Always Wanted A Stuffed Elephant Shrew?

I've always admired the work of people who make soft sculptures, like Abby Glassenberg. Probably because I wish I was better at sewing. I can get by, but don't look too close, or you'll see a lot of tucks, and crooked seams, etc. I'm just a little too lazy to fix things when they go wrong. So over a year ago I found a pattern on Martha Stewart for making soft toys. It seemed relatively simple. I thought I'd try it out.
The thing was, I didn't want to make a lamb, or a chicken, or a pig. I wanted to make an elephant. I'm kind of an elephant fan. So I thought I'd just use the pig pattern, but alter it slightly to make it an elephant. No big, right?
I just used some scraps I had in my sewing room and got started. Everything seemed to be going well at first, but kind of went down hill. I got to the part where I needed to stuff it, but I didn't have any stuffing on hand, and I was feeling like it wasn't turning out well, so I just put it in one of my drawers, and there it sat. Sad and unfinished. Silently mocking me for my lack of sewing skills.
Fast forward to now, and I decided to finish it. Because I'm having a baby. Have I mentioned that? Yes, I'm having a baby. We're thrilled. And I wanted to make a toy for the baby. I bought some stuffing and some jingle bells to make it rattle, stuffed away, and hand stitched the opening closed. Now I could get a good look at the completed piece:

It kind of doesn't look like an elephant. This is what I was going for:

It kind of looks like a cross between a mouse and an elephant. Like this:

So if anyone asks, I totally made an elephant shrew on purpose, and the big ears are just use of my artistic license.

This Necklace Has Yet To Be Named

Oh, I have been a lazy blogger! I apologize for that. I actually made this necklace like two weeks ago, but just never got around to taking some good pictures of it. I got the idea for this one laying awake in bed one night, and made it the next day. I usually just start making a necklace without laying it out first, but this one required a little more planning. And even after that I did a little editing on the fly to get it the way I wanted. The stones I used (in order, starting from the light yellow going to the deep red) were citrine, carnelian, pink peruvian opal, tourmaline, and garnet.

p.s. I made those peanut butter cookies from the previous post. Phenomenal, and quite easy. Two thumbs up!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Bevy of Beauties

I signed up to bring dessert to a work party at the end of this month, and I have about a googillian recipes I've been wanting do try. Maybe I'll bring a dessert platter with some of each of these. You know, so I have an excuse to try them all.

Lime Melt-Aways

Is it obvious that I've been spending entirely too much time on tastespotting?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Janice Necklace

My good friend Janice is getting married in August, and I am so happy for her! Janice and I met while "working together at H-E-double-hockey-sticks". Her words, not mine. Mine probably wouldn't have been so forgiving. I'm pretty sure I only lasted as long as I did because of her and one other friend I made there.
She requested a custom necklace for her special day, and I was thrilled/honored to make it for her. She sent me pictures of her dress and pretty much gave me free reign to make whatever I thought would look best. Here are some pictures of what I came up with:

Jan, I hope you love it, and I can't wait to see you at your open house in Utah!

Edit: My mom pointed out that I didn't tell you what kinds of beads I used! Can't believe I forgot that one. This piece is on sterling silver wire and has pearl, rock crystal, moonstone, Czech glass beads in silver, clear and clear AB finish.

Now That Billy Mays is Gone...

Who will fill his shoes?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pure Genius

You better believe I'll be trying this recipe:

New Coche

Well, my old car had a good run, but it was starting to have problems regularly, so we decided to trade it in for this:
A 2006 Jeep Liberty. We bought it through my husbands work, so we were able to get a pretty good deal. It's got a lot of bonus features like a built in DVD player, heated seats, and, my favorite, a remote start, so you get get the heat going in those cold winter months. Lovely!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back in April I had a sister's weekend in Vancouver. Lots of talking, shopping, and eating delicious food. We had lunch one day at a place called Pizzacato, and Nancy and I split a pizza called the "Al Grecco" with red onions, lamb sausage, feta, garlic, marinated tomatoes, and Tzatziki sauce on the side. It was divine. I very much wished I had gotten a whole one all to myself. It gave Nancy the idea that we should make Gyro style burgers sometime. Well, that hasn't actually been tried yet, but I just came across this recipe on tastespotting. Now we really need to try it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream

So Nancy tried to pretend that she made the red, white, and blue ice cream for our family 4th of July festivities, but, actually, it was me. She made the cute cookies, I made the cute ice cream. So I'm stealing her picture of it to post here, and recipe's are below. It was delicious, if I do say so myself. Think of it like Neapolitan ice cream, but red, white, and blue instead of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. And I found the templates for the flags here. Enjoy!

To keep it separated in the pan, I made the red and the blue first, with a bread pan where the white went to hold the sides up, then put that all in the freezer so it could set up. Once it was hardened, I took the bread pan out, and put the white ice cream in it's place.

Fruit Ice Cream Base (make 2 batches, one for the strawberry rhubarb, and one for the blueberry)

6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 pinch salt
2-3 cups fruit puree

In a medium bowl lightly whisk the yolks together with a 1/4 cup of the sugar. Set aside.
In a non-reactive saucepan combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 cups of the cream, and the salt. Heat the cream mixture over medium-high heat until just boiling. Remove from the heat; whisk the eggs constantly while gradually pouring the hot liquid into the yolks. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan.
Cook the mixture while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure 8 motion, over medium-low heat, until thickened, about 5 minutes. When the ice cream mixture is properly cooked it coats the back of the spoon, is satiny thick, and free of any bubbles on the surface. (The ice cream base will taste slightly egg-y.) When the mixture is thickened pull it from the heat; add the reserved 1/2 cup cream, and strain it through a fine strainer into a medium bowl.
Set the bowl of ice cream base in a bowl of ice and whisk until cool. Add the fruit puree.
Freeze the mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. (Take care not to over churn the ice cream or it can have a grainy texture.) Place the ice cream in the freezer to set up for at least 1 hour. Serve.

Strawberry Rhubarb Puree Ingredients:
1/2 pint strawberries, washed and quartered
1 stalk of rhubarb, chopped
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Combine water and sugar in pot over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add strawberries and rhubarb to syrup and let simmer until softened (about 30 minutes). Process mixture through a food mill (if you don't have a food mill, use a blender and a fine sieve).

Blueberry Puree Ingredients:
2 cups blueberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Combine water and sugar in pot over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add blueberries to syrup and let simmer until softened (about 30 minutes). Process mixture through a food mill (if you don't have a food mill, use a blender and a fine sieve). I added blue food coloring at this point so the end result would be more blue than purple, but that's optional.

Cheesecake Ice Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a food processor, or with a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add sour cream and beat until smooth. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
Freeze the mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. (Take care not to over churn the ice cream or it can have a grainy texture.) Place the ice cream in the freezer to set up for at least 1 hour. Serve.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Online Fabric Sale

Lot's of cute fabric and notions on sale here.

Found out about the sale here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Crazy Eights!

Aarean tagged me, um, a while ago. And I'm lazy, so just now getting to it. But at least I'm actually doing it, right?

8 things I am looking forward to:
1. Work off on Friday
2. Patio of Fire!
3. Celebrating the 4th with family
4. Monday, July 6th
5. My Family Reunion in July
6. Dinner (I just need to figure out what it is first)
7. Fresh peaches and blackberries from Grandma Bellow's tree
8. November 13th

8 things I did yesterday:
1. Woke up
2. Ate waffles that the rock star made me
3. Got ready
4. Went to church
5. Made shrimp po boys for dinner. Yum.
6. Made delicious cake mix cookies
7. Ate said cookies, and took some to friends
8. Went to bed

8 things I wish I could do:
1. Turn off the TV when there's nothing on (which is most of the time!)
2. Get myself to go to bed on time
3. Grow productive vegetable plants
4. Have a raspberry bush in my yard
5. Travel more often
6. Make gellato as yummy as the stuff in Florence
7. Paint, draw, sculpt, etc like a pro
8. Grow a money tree (stole that one, Aarean)

8 Shows I watch:
1. Hannah Montana (totally true, I love the Disney channel)
2. So You Think You Can Dance
3. Good Eats
4. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
6. House
7. Ace of Cakes
8. The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brian

8 favorite fruits:
1. Raspberries
2. Pineapple
3. Strawberries
4. Mango
5. Peaches
6. Crisp Apples
7. Blackberries
8. Kiwi

8 Places I'd Like to Travel
1. Anywhere
2. I
3. Have
4. Never
5. Been
6. Before
7. Sounds
8. Good

I tag...Anyone interested in being tagged. You're it!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Treat

I LOVE rhubarb. It reminds me of summer time in Canada. I see lots of recipes for rhubarb cake, rhubarb pie, rhubarb crumble, rhubarb cobbler. All delicious, for sure. But here's one I haven't seen before. Rhubarb Sorbet. I just might have to try this one when my mom starts harvesting her crop this year.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

To: Austin

Love: Angela

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm In Love

With a really expensive chair (the one on the left).

First I saw it on DesignSponge, but there wasn't any reference, so I googled "plywood elephant stool". Turns out it's famous. Nuts! I could always get the cheap(er) plastic version.
The pink one is pretty cute. But that's still a lot, especially for the cheaper plastic version. Or the miniature version. Yeah, it's so famous, you can buy it in miniature. But that's even more than I would likely spend on a normal sized chair. Probably, I'll just admire it for free in picture form.

Friday, June 5, 2009

So Pretty

I came across Ruthi Auda's blog today via Jordan's blog. She makes amazing in store displays at Anthropologie. My favorite one she did is this wisteria tree. Lovely.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Free Downloads

Just found this blog, Heirloom Paperie, via How About Orange. They have a free template download every Tuesday. Cute stuff! I might just have to plan a party so I can use the invitation template from yesterday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sold to Bidder Number 42!

Tonight is our annual service auction. I'm not in charge this year, so I just get to go and enjoy. Lovely. I'll be donating these earrings:

(Pink Quartz accented with Garnet)

I'm also donating the same two cheesecakes I made last year. I might bid on the chocolate one myself, because now I really want to eat it! I'll have to let you know how it goes.

*Update: The auction went well, and I am the lucky winner of two loaves of homemade cinnamon swirl bread. Yum!

Friday, May 29, 2009


Two weekends ago I went to lush, gorgeous Vancouver, WA to spend time with some of my favorite women, my sisters. Unfortunately, on every trip I forget something, and for this one, it was my camera, so you'll have to check out their blogs to see what I mean by lush and gorgeous. But I must have felt inspired by the amazing scenery, because we decided to plant in our back yard this weekend. It's not quite as idyllic as my sister's in-law's yard, but I couldn't be happier with it. I just smile every time I look out my kitchen window.
The plant I'm most excited about is this lilac tree. Apparently they graft a dwarf lilac onto the trunk of something else to create the tree. I'm in love. It smells divine. Lilac's always make me think of my mom and my grandpa's house. Plus it's the perfect small scale for our small backyard. It's practically perfect in every way. To balance things out, we got a swirly topiary for the other side of the yard.

We also have two hummingbird feeders, at which we get frequent visitors. They keep things entertaining.

The only flowers we planted went in this big pot with several different vines. The vines are dichondra (silver) and two varieties of sweet potato vine called "margarita" (chartreuse) and "blackie" (dark purple). The flowers are zinnia (yellow), dahlia (purple), and poppy (orange).

The poppy hadn't bloomed when we bought it, but it turned out to be this neon orange. And the inside looks like this.

We put in this fountain last year. It's a nice way to drown out the noise from our very-close neighbors. The only perennials we had back there were the hosta's. We also planted a few varieties of coleus to add some pops color.

*Sweetness is both a reference to the lovely smelling lilac, and the song I was listening to when I started writing the post.