Monday, September 29, 2008
1 package Cream Cheese
1 Vanilla Pudding mix (or another flavor)
1 Graham Cracker Crust
I actually made the crust myself too: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Graham-Cracker-Crust-II/Detail.aspx (It's so much better without all the added sugar.)
In a bowl blend the Cream Cheese until soft. Check the pudding box for how much milk it requires for the pie version. Slowly add in 1/2 cup of the milk with the cream cheese and mix. This is important to get right so that the cheese gets blended properly. Otherwise it's lumpy. Add the rest of the milk and the pudding mix, blend for the required time on the pudding package. Pour the pudding mix into the crust and chill. When I served it I topped it with Strawberries.
If you're brave try different pudding flavors. Lemon, Chocolate, etc. I'm actually going to try to make a Key Lime version. I'll let you know how that goes when I get around to it.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
There has been one slight problem with this blender since we started using it though. The bottom is really hard to get out. REALLY HARD. As in, we've even tried pliers, and other things to try to pull it apart - to no avail. Just so you understand - this has been going on for almost three years. It wouldn't be such a problem but I prefer to have the blades and entire thing clean.
Tonight was the last straw. I pulled out the blender after a few weeks of down time. It had little dots of mold growing around the bottom ring. That was it! Absolute last straw. I tried again then handed it to my husband and made him try again. Not a budge. I was so frustrated. I considered my options: 1. Replace the blender. 2. Search for a solution. The second option seemed the obvious first step. So I googled the problem "Bosch blender how to get bottom off". To my utter surprise there were a lot of results. Seems many others have had the same problem.
So here's the solution: Pop the center out of the blender lid. Put the lid on the bottom, as you would on the top, and press down. The twisty part (not so good on technical terms here) should come up through the center of the lid a ways. Now twist the lid. It works fabulously. Trust me. It was apparently designed to work that way!
After nearly three years of wondering why anyone would make a blender so hard to take apart I finally figured it out. Yeah me! So to all you Bosch owners - when the bottom gets stuck use the lid!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Then one day I was at Target, and I found (I think) the exact same nature shots but much larger. It was $60! Now only the scripture was missing. I searched online for some time to get a matching frame, but to no avail. Eventually I caved and bought a second piece of the same artwork. With a little work (pulling out the pictures, getting glass from Lowes, gluing it in, taping the back, and designing, ordering, and applying the lettering) I finally have exactly what I wanted. It was about the same price as the original in the end, but the results are worth it!
I ordered the vinyl lettering from VinylWallFlowers.com. Rachelle did a fantastic job and got it exactly the way I wanted it! Thanks Rachelle.
I have a passion for Interior Design and crafts. It's not hidden at all, almost anyone who knows me at all is well aware of it. It seems I always have a project on the side burner. No kidding. During my years in University I think the hardest thing on me was suppressing my artsy side in order to focus more on the textbooks. I spent several years doing very little craft-wise. Since graduating (and adjusting to Motherhood) I have gotten back to my old love.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Recently, someone I know has dealt with the underhanded blows of gossip. It has not just been about herself, but many other women whom she loves and respects. The experience has been absolutely distressing for this person. I'll confess, sometimes it is not easy to keep confidences shared with us, but I am not speaking of a small slip of the tongue. I am speaking of people who have truly made an art of gossip. "Hearts that are delicate and kind, and tongues that are neither..." ~ Logan Pearshall Smith
It astonishes me that some people do not have enough love in their hearts to keep their mouths closed. Whether or not the knowledge is true or false, there is no reason to share. It bothers me that some people need to verify the veracity of their juiciest tidbits before sharing them. Isn't it just easier to forget it and move on?
What is even more mind blowing to me is that these people usually lead very busy lives. They have children to care for, large homes to keep immaculate, and a group of "friends" to impress. (Can't give your friends anything to gossip about, right?) These people have charisma, and it is their best trait.
Serving in a leadership position in my church, I gained a lot of insight on the dangers of gossip. (I was Relief Society President.) I learned how much knowledge one could potentially glean all in the name of their calling. (I was all about knowing as little as possible.) Truly, it disgusts me that anyone in a leadership position would hold one of their charges in such disdain as to speak evil of them. A leader is a steward. They are called to be over a specific group of people, entrusted to them by Heavenly Father. Sometimes as one's leader you learn things about them in order to better help and serve them. That knowledge ought to be held in the strictest of confidence. And yet, there are leaders that feel it's their right to know everything and their blessing to share it.
So what of those that gossip? Hopefully they will learn to bind their wagging tongues, especially before it costs them their membership in the church. I love the counsel from the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants: "...Let your words tend to edify one another." (D&C 136:24) Oh, if only we could all do that. How much easier this world would be to live in.
*Side Note: This is not about someone living near me, just incase you were worried. I have the greatest friends and I hope they know that!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Anyhow I arrive at Fed-Ex Office and load my son in the stroller, the items over-flowing from the bin below and head on in. I am quickly greeted by the delivery truck driver - hands full of packages - and he asks if I need help. I say "Yes" loud enough for the two ladies behind the counter to hear and continue "but I'm sure one of them can help me." as I look down at his full hands. He understands that I don't want to slow him down from his responsibility when there are employees there to help me. He says "Oh yeah, Sarah in the back there can help you." Maybe I should have stopped him then, or perhaps followed him out and gone someplace else.
I walk over to the boxes, expecting one of the girls in the back to come help. Yeah right. My mistake. A few minutes there and I've found a box about the right size (for 2 of the packages, I'm still not sure what I need for the bigger one though). Then my son starts fussing. I check on him, and another customer walks in and walks up to the counter. One of the girls in the back drops everything she's doing and comes to help the other customer. Umm... Hello? So - I grab the boxes and a few labels and go stand behind the other customer in hopes I'll get some service. The other girl in the back continues her activities back there oblivious to the third customer now standing behind me hoping to get some assistance as well. He finally goes and works on a computer. I pull out the address I am shipping to. Finally the employee assisting the customer notices me, looks at my boxes and says: "If you're shipping express you need the air bill, not ground." I reply I didn't plan to ship express. She says "Oh, well to ship ground you have to use a brown box or one from home." OK that was about it. There's not a brown box in the store that is the size I want. At least not that I could see AND for goodness sakes - do you think I'd load up my child and all those items into his stroller and haul it all to the store without having checked at home for a freaking box?! Whatever. I stand there for a minute and look at the boxes. There's not one the size I want. I look back, she's still taking her sweet time with the customer (who came in with packaged boxes - shouldn't be too hard) and now she's eyeing me like I'm a nut. I give up. I look back at her and ask where the nearest UPS is. She answers and I leave.
At UPS the employee got up from the computer she was working at as I walked in the door, got behind the counter, let me quickly explain everything, pull out all the items I had and divide them into piles for each package. She hands me a shipping bill, tells me I only need one because I have three packages, and starts measuring and weighing as I fill it out. Once I'm finished she says "So the cheapest shipping is $$. I am assuming you want the cheapest method, is that right?" Yup, she was right. So I pay. As I finish the filling out the addresses and a quick note for one of the packages she's in the back wrapping up one of the packages. As I leave, number two is about to be wrapped up. Oh, and did I mention she squeezed in some help to another customer who had his box ready, and another one with a question her co-worker couldn't answer? I know it's not rocket science, not even advanced math. But for me, it makes a world of difference when an employee does their job!
I've seen what Brown can do for me! Thanks UPS!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I guess I don't experience the remorse often because I am a thrifty shopper, especially when it comes to home decor, clothing, and anything craft related. Maybe that is what caused my recent dilemma. Let's call it Non-Buyers Remorse (for lack of a more creative name).
Two weeks ago I was in a very awesome home decor store. One that is a little more expensive. I could buy their stuff, but I'd rather go there, be inspired and make something similar for under half the price. While there I found this glass tile artwork that was just perfect for a gift for someone. I mean, I saw it and automatically the person came to mind. It was perfect. But I didn't want to spend the money right then - I wanted to think about it. There-in was my mistake. Upon my return, it was already sold. Hence, Non-Buyers Remorse. I lament not having made the purchase immediately. Now I am scouring the Internet to find the same item, but alas to no avail. Has that happened to you? It's bothering me so much today. I really want that item now.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
But alas, as those of you with slip covers know - they are terrible to deal with. I was constantly stuffing the fabric back into place, pulling on it. It was like sitting on your bed right after you finished making it. After a few months I was determined to find a better solution.
It wasn't too hard to find - but I'll admit it was a lot of work. A trip to a local Home Fabric shop and I found some really nice green upholstery fabric for $3/yard! I bought the rough estimate amount. I think it was 17 yards.
Another trip to the BYU's library had me about 7 books on upholstery projects. During one of our road trips to Canada I read the books, narrowing down the pile of useful aides to about 2 books. I learned as much as I could from those books.
Then one day when classes were cancelled and I didn't feel like studying I grabbed the tools and started demolition. I pulled those couches apart (1 at a time) as fast as I could. The worst part was pulling out the old staples. My hands were so sore. My wonderful husband helped when he came home, and he helped with the next couch. Bless his heart for putting up with all my craziness.
I used the old fabric pieces as patterns for the new fabric and began re-forming the couches. I can't even begin to describe the difference the new fabric made so I will show you instead.
There's the love seat in all her glory! All together the re-upholstery cost $150. I bought new legs later (the nice bun feet style) and painted them black. Another $80. So all told the lovely couches (yup both of them) cost us $330. A few months after we finished my hubby and I saw couches like these at Pier 1 for $800/couch. Oh yeah - talk about saving $$$!
Later, after all was said and done I found more napkins and made the red pillow covers. I also found the lace to put on them at Jo-Anns. I still can't believe how well they turned out for a first timer.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Recently I have eaten out at tons of restaurants. Girls Night out, Anniversary Dinner, Simply Doing Something, Anniversary weekend away, and dinner out with my parents are just a few of the reasons I've been out. So here it is: BJ's, The Rainforest Cafe, Old Spaghetti Factory, The Blackforest Restaurant, The Copper Room, Wild Cat Grill. Have you lost your minds? You are restaurants known for top quality foods. I mean, everyone recommends you these days. So WHY did you not serve me well recently? I KNOW what some of you are thinking. You can't expect to enjoy an evening out with a 16 month old in tow. You can only try to blame my son for bad service at Wild Cat Grill, every other evening out he was in someone else's care.
SO I've come up with a theory. I don't drink alcohol. Could it really be that simple? I'm not sure. I've waited over 25 minutes at more than one of the above mentioned restaurants to even have my order taken. That's not because I didn't close my menu. It was closed most of the time. Have you noticed the trend too? Is it really that these servers are more concerned about how big of a tip they're going to get? Is it really that much different if I don't drink? I THINK SO.
Here's why: Servers automatically assume that because I don't order alcohol I won't tip as well (I mean, based on the whole percentage of your order rule, it's true right?) BUT then they don't serve you very well and end up getting even less of a tip because they didn't even try. It's a crazy theory I know, but I'm sticking to it.
As I've been thinking about the lack of customer service everywhere I've stumbled upon a few examples of excellent service.
Tina at The Rock - Wood Fired Pizza. Thank you for your prompt service, your understanding, your smiles, and for actually checking on us as you walked by. Both my husband and I enjoyed the difference good service made. Seriously, you made our evening more enjoyable. I know you said it's because you love people - but I think some of it has a lot to do with common sense too. Everyone wants good service.
Christina at I-HOP. Thanks to you for making our breakfast enjoyable. It was so refreshing midst your busy holiday morning to still receive good service. I know you'll be shocked to hear that just by asking me if I wanted water because I was out of milk I was impressed. I was - I sat in one of the above restaurants without a refill for my drink for 30 minutes. (At another place my husband and I were actually notified by our server after drinking our lemonades that they do not have free refills so would we like a water?!) OK enough venting - I'm talking about good service here.
And you know the craziest thing? My son was with us at both of the "Good Service" places! So I'm holding out hope that my most recent experiences eating out are not rare, never to be repeated experiences.