Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Am I really moving again???

To answer that question....Yes.  I moved from the COB (church office building) to the NOB (north office building) today.  To be honest I am not overly excited about it.  There are a great many things I will miss about working in the COB. In no particular order...
  • The "Elevate Your Thoughts" messages in the elevators
  • The windows
  • Looking out the south windows to the plaza gardens - breathtaking
  • Riding in the elevators with general authority's
  • Seeing my friends and acquaintances that I have worked with for years that don't necessarily work in my department.
  • A quick trip to the cafeteria
  • The fast elevators
I know that we are trying to put into action a plan the Bishopric has put together.  They want to centralize a lot of the processes that have, at one time, been farmed out to the area offices or various managers.  There will be a lot of new rules and quotas to meet.  Most of the managers/directors are really bucking.  They don't want to be "assimilated"  I can understand completely.  New things are scary.  I am trying to stay on the positive side, so here are good things about all this "stuff"
  • If I get to work early enough I can park within, anywhere from ,10 to 50 yards of the building entrance
  • I still have access to the underground parking at the COB
  • I still have access to the cafeteria
  • I really like my current boss
  • I get to work with people I like
  • There will be (at least I have been told) opportunities to "move up"
  • Change is good?
  • I still have a job!
Well... I will leave you with a teaser for upcoming posts - dinner party at our house on Friday, Easter decorations, Chuch spring gardens, general conference and a book group over nighter.

Ta Ta for now
Smiley from

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fallen off the Wagon - Feels great!

In case anybody really cares - my NCAA bracket picks stink this year.  Last year I won the whole office contest.  This far... I am next to last.   All the upsets I chose didn't happen and then the upsets that have happened - WOW!  March Madness it is!
Smiley from

Yesterday, Ralph and I were able to attend the temple with a good family friend who went through for his first time as he prepares to go on a mission.  It felt to so good to be at the temple.  We don't make enough time to go more often.  Another thing we need to repent of...Just add it to the list!  Anyway, on our way home we stopped and picked up a caffeinated beverage mmm tastes good!  We then went to their home afterwards and had pizza.  Not just any pizza mind you.  We had THE PIE!  Specifically the Strombolli which has pepperoni, onions, green pepper and Italian Sausage.  I don't usually care for sausage on my pizza.  You know those little balls of meat matter that sort of taste like sausage.  This was the reall mccoy, nice chuncky crumble with incredible flavor.  They have a Thai pizza that I want to try as well.  Maybe text time I fall off the wagon.  Smiley from

This morning I woke up with the sun - felt great.  I stayed in bed until just after 8:00.  I then proceeded to set up the tables for my stamping group.  We had fun.  This is what we made...  This card was to demonstrate how to use the corner and border punches to make a complete square or rectangle.  Sounds easy, but it takes practice.  
  Stamps: Well Scripted.  Paper:  Bermuda Bay, Whisper White, Vellum Cardstock.  Ink:  Bermuda Bay.  Accessories:  Scalloped trim corner punch and border punch, Beautiful Wings sizzlit die, white organza ribbon.

This one was my most favorite from the group and the last one I planned and made at - 2:00 a.m.  Crazy I know.  I actually copied the idea from someone who had done this in their Stampin UP My Digital Studio software.  Can't claim the idea on my own, but I did do mine out of real paper and punches.  Stamps:  Thoughts and Prayers, Whimsical Words, Fast flowers wheel  Ink:  Staz On black, Pretty in pink.  Paper:  Almost Amythest, whisper white, pretty in pink, barely banana, certainly celery.  Accessories:  White tafeta ribbon, scalloped border punch, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 circle punches.
And last but not least - and the most time consuming... these cute little milk cartons and their holder.  I had everything cut - all they had to do was assemble.  I know still a little too ambitious, but cute all the same.  Stamps:  None  Ink:  orchid opulence. Paper:  Cottage Wall DSP, Whisper White, Orchid Opulence.  Accessories:  Daisy BIGZ die, pinking hearts border punch, mini library clips, linen thread, 1/2 circle punch, Certainly Celery grosgrain ribbon.

I was going to add a tag and some embellishments to them, but figured that the more I added, the more time it was going to take them to finish.

Well I must be on my way. "The kids" are coming over for an evening of fun and frolic while their parents go get a bite to eat and take in a Jazz game.  We are making the kids home made sliders (even the buns will be home made if I get my hiny downstairs and get them formed into rolls) Oven fries and a veggie plate or salad.  They are bringing the treats and what ever entertainment they want.  Or they can be the entertainment which frequently happens. 
Ta Ta for now.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Madness and a funny

Do you have your brackets filled out? I do! I love this time of year. A time when I get so easily distracted by good spring weather and some good basketball. To be honest, I really haven’t followed any of the teams this year. There is just something exciting about filling out those brackets and watching the games. ‘Cos anything could happen.  Based on the way today went that goes without question.  BYU won their game - in two overtimes.  Villanova barely won theirs - in overtime.  I think they can thank the refs for that win.

I have been prepping for my stamp class coming up this weekend and in the midst of that I made a birthday card for my co-workers wife. He requested an all pink flowery card. Knowing that she is a girly girl I put this together. I was worried that it might be too elegant and not whimsical enough which seems to be her style. Oh well – he has the option of using it or ditching it. I liked it.
Stamps – Vintage Vogue, Well Scripted
Paper – Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo, Whisper White, Certainly Celery
Ink – Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo
Accessories – Basket Weave border punch (MS), Pearl accents, opal stickles, swiss dot embossing folder, flower border embossing folder, sizzix leaf die.

In our neighborhood we don't get a lot of little kids selling stuff for their schools or organizations.  It just so happened, that just outside of a local grocery store, there was a girl scout with her mother selling her wares.  I could not resist.  I bought thin mints and do-si-dos.  The bad thing is that it is so easy to devour a sleeve of cookies without realizing you've done it.  You reach for your next cookie and realize their gone.  OOPS!  Good thing I walked today.  It reminded me of a sketch Brian Regan does regarding the serving size of a fig newton.  2 Cookies????

Too funny - I know!

Well - best be getting a move on or I will be up all night.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Come with me...

I wanted to take you on my lunch hour walk. I have a friend who has a Garmin - Forerunner 305 personalized GPS trainer.  Which is a ocol toy.  I convinced him to come with me so that I could figure out how far I was walking, and how long it was taking me.  He went above and beyond.  I will show you the graphs at the end of the walk that you can download.  They are so cool!  Are You Ready...  (I know you like my tights with my shoes and socks)

First I go up the hill.  I know it looks like a very gradual climb - but not so much.  At this point I can still talk to you, but the breathing is labored.
Then I go down the stairs - what a relief from the hill!  My calves tell my that there are different muscles being used.

Once I have made it down the stairs and through a small historic residential area I come to the park.  I have finally caught my breath, and feeling pretty good.  Usually there a lots of dogs and people enjoying the out of doors.  It was a slow day for pedestrians.
See the great scenery as I head into the slightly wooded area beyond the groomed park. A creek runs by the trail/road the whole way. I love to listen to the water and all the little creatures that run around.  Especially during the summer I stay to the middle of the trail as to avoid any possibility there would be a snake curled up or stretched out without my noticing.  (this is the walk I saw that big old gopher snake last year)  I always check to see if he is back.  I know that you can imagine how much more pretty the area is once the scrub oaks and aspens are full of green leaves.
As you can see the road starts to climb in elevation again - I know it looks gradual, but it has kicked my butt more than once. At this point, the muscles are loosened up and I am raring to go.  Ok most of the time they are - sometimes not.  But I never quit!
We have now reached the half way point. I stop and stretch those leg muscles. Oh that feels good! Ready to make my trek back down the hill.
As you can see the road heads down, yes I walked up that!  The pace picks up.  If we were going any faster, it would be a slow jog.
Whew - down the hill and getting ready to re-enter the groomed park. Feels great. But...I know what lurks just outside of the park.
I have to climb back up those stairs - all 67 of them. Yes I have counted. The first 3 sets have 8.  The next one has 11, the next one has 12.  The last two have 10.  Whew!  I finally get to the top and my legs feel slightly wobbly and I am out of breath. What a great accomplishment. WaHoo!
Back down the hill to the finish line.  Thank goodness these are not San Francisco hills.  I think you would have to scrape me off the side of the road if they were.  Almost at the bottom we see the little guy on the walk sign that says it is ok to cross the street.  We run - ok jog across the street so we don't have to wait through another light cycle.  And...we are finished!  Here are the stats.You  can click on the image and it will show a bigger version.

This graph shows our actual pace through the whole walk. You can see the half way point where we stopped and stretched and then the point where he stopped at the top of the stairs to wait for me.

The next chart tells me that we averaged 3.7 mph.  My friend burned 592 calories and it took us 49 minutes to walk 3.01 miles.  Pretty good huh?  this next graph shows our speed.  How fast were we really going?  On the way down the hill we were above 4mph most of the way.  you can tell when we hit the stairs on the way back and then ran down the hill to catch the light.The final graph shows the elevation we acheived.  A total of 792 feet.  That is a great walk. 
Now.  I really want one of those toys.  It comes with a device that you can attach to moniter your heart rate as you exercise.  It then will tell you how many fat calories you burned and your heart rate.  I was so glad to know that I was keeping between a 3.5 to 4 mile an hour walk.  I know that as I get into better shape the walk will become easier.  Maybe one day I can even run it.

Happy Birthday to Carolyn

So this week has been kind of crazy - and we didn't really have anything scheduled. I guess I just found things to do with my time. I have started the arduous task of sorting out my crafting area.
Not so much fun. I need a desk, a couple more shelves and storage solutions for it to be ideal. So I am working to making it usable until I can afford to make it perfect.

Today is Ralph's sister's birthday. I remember calling her from Hawaii while we were on our honeymoon to wish her a happy birthday. Now that is a devoted brother. Anyway I made her a card and got it in the mail yesterday. Whew! I have to keep my goal up - to make sure we get b-day cards sent to all the siblings and parents on time.

Here is the creation... I can't take full credit as I had seen the slot machine idea done on another website.  So CAAUUTE!

Stamps by Stampin UP:  Tart N Tangy, Smarty Pants
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, and Summer Picnic DSP
Accessories: 1 1/4 Square punch, 1 3/8 square punch, Photo corners punch, 1/16 circle punch, black brads

The inside of the card says "We bet you win a big jackpot on your birthday!  I didn't take a picture because Ralph had already written in it and I figured you didn't need to see his heartfelt sentiments. 

Tune in tomorrow -I am working on a photo journaling project for my next post. 
Ta Ta For now
Free Smiley Courtesy of

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I am not spoiled...

...I have just become accustomed to the manner
 in which I have been living

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The weekend is upon us

One thing I love about the weekends is being able to sleep in. I am not talking 10:00, 11:00 or even 12:00. I mean like 8:00 a.m. and then snoozing another 30 to 45 minutes. Waking up with natural light coming into the bedroom and snuggling under the covers with my two favorite people. (ok, Riley is not a people but I am counting him as one) This morning did not turn out that way.

I got up bright and early to head to a Stampin UP demonstator meeting - starting at 8:30 a.m. I was bringing the treats and picking up a couple of projects done by demos not able to attend. I always have such a great time with these ladies. Very dear friends. We swapped a couple of projects at the meeting. Here are mine...
This first project was a challenge given to us to use purple and yellow. I think I did ok considering all my stamps and ink are still in boxes and bins.  I love this card and will probably use the idea for several color combinations and sentiments.  It makes me happy.  The colors don't look the greatest in the picture - but you work with what you've got.
Stamps:  Whimsical words - Sale a bration 2010
Ink: Versamark
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Elegant Eggplant, Lovely Lilac, Very Vanilla, Summer Sun, So Saffron DSP
Accessories:  Vanilla grosgrain, Birds & Blooms Sizzlits die, vanilla embossing powder, heat gun, glue dots.
The next project comes with one of the demos in our group asking for a new ideas for dinner.  Well, as you know this is one of my favorites (recipe found here)  We were supposed to bring our favorite recipe to our next meeing.  I suggested doing it in a 6x6 format so that I could put it into a book and not only appreciate the food, but the handiwork that accompanies it.  With Stamps still inboxes, I thought the apron would be cute and was easy to come up with and put together.    
Paper:  Real Red, Textured Basic Black, Whisper White 
Accessories:  Eyelet border punch, Large Oval punch, Red striped grosgrain ribbon
I did not get to bed last night until 2:00 a.m.  Because I was working on these projects and fixing home made apple fritters to take to meeting in the morning. When the alarm went off at 7:00 I was not ready to get up.  But duty called and off I went - all wheels running.  I feel like I have hit the wall - I have no energy to do anything.  What a SLUG!Smiley from  Only the vacuuming and dusting will get done today.  Unfortunately, when I find myself back at my desk on Monday, I will wonder what happened to my Saturday.
Smiley from millan.netC'est la vie!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Short and Sweet

I would have to say today has been a very average day.
**Went to work - got quite a bit done. My desk is still covered with paper, but there has been progress. Still trying to catch up from being gone last month due to my cold and moving.
**Went for a walk during lunch hour - my regular route was closed due to construction, so we ran a set of stairs to make up for the closed road. Whew!
**Came home and decided I should go to the RS B-day dinner in my new ward. A little scary, but I made it. Everyone seems very friendly and I think this ward will be good.
**Came home - watched the rest of biggest loser. What a silly show to get hooked on.
**I read some of my book for bookgroup on Thursday. Definitely not going to make it to the end, but I can give it a try.
**Walked Riley for his evening potty break.
**Now I am just updating my blog and then we will say prayers and sign off for another day.

I hope your day was good!
Ta Ta for now
Smiley from

Monday, March 1, 2010

It is all about the food

I don't know if I will ever be skinny - I like to eat too much to cut back from the sweets, fats and good bread.  Although, I am trying and I have been exercising at least 5 days a week, an hour every day.  I just hope it balances all my intake of calories.

We got our merit increases at work today.  My acutal review went well.  I am at the top of my salary bracket, so my pay increases don't reflect so well.  I am excited about new prospects at work, and yet sad because of the all the changes taking place.  Some people come into our lives for a very short time but make a huge impact.  One of my supervisors will be changing jobs here shortly and I will miss him greatly.  I hope that I have learned as much as I can from him by the time he leaves our team.  He has an amazing attitude and trusts us.  It is amazing to me how much I want to succeed, so that I can keep his trust and respect.

Speaking of food, I made an Indian dish on Sunday and got to finish the leftovers today.  So tasty I am going to share the recipe with you.  It isn't as authentic as you can get, but it is close.  Ralph made home made Naan to go with it tonight.  YUMMO!  Some of the recipes I read marinated the chicken in plain yogurt as well as the spices.  You can do your own search and create your own recipe.  But we really like this one.

Murgh Makhani (Butter chicken) *not authentic, but inspired by)

•4 pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (we used 4 thighs and one large breast cut in half)
•5 cloves Garlic, Minced
•1 teaspoon Salt
•½ teaspoons Black Pepper
•½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (we were out of this ingredient, so I used New Mexico chili powder which isn't as strong as the cayenne)
•¼ teaspoons Ground Coriander
•¼ teaspoons Cumin
•¼ teaspoons Cardamom
•½ teaspoons Garam Masala
•¼ teaspoons ground Ginger (fresh ginger would be great)
•1 whole Lime, Juiced (make sure it is a good juicy lime, if not you might do two)
•1 whole Onion, Diced
•¼ cups Butter
•1 can (14.5 Oz. Can) Tomato Sauce
•1 can (14.5 Oz. Can) Petite Diced Tomatoes
•1 pint Whipping Cream
•1 bunch Chopped Cilantro, to taste

Combine first 11 ingredients and marinate overnight.

Saute the onion in the butter until soft. Add marinated chicken adn remaining marinade and cook about 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on. Add the whipping cream (I am sure you could use light cream or half-and-half) and cilantro just before serving over Basmati rice. (we used regular rice - don't care for the jasmine flavor)

Note: this is a little spicy, but you can cut back on the cayenne if you want.

Ta Ta for now
Smiley from