Monday, July 29, 2013

The One in Utah

It's official.

Ben and I are jobless AND homeless.

And let me tell is quite the adventure.

Ben finally finished his summer semester at BYU-I, which, frankly, was a relief to me. It meant SUMMER was finally here.

So we loaded all our stuff into a storage unit and we told Rexburg to peace out until further notice. We headed to Utah and finally let our summer of adventures start.

The reason for the Utah trip was mainly for my brother Kyle's wedding. Buuuuuut weddings bring all the other siblings in so we had a week jam packed with activities and good times with the fam.

I have to admit that I failed with the picture taking this time around. I totally forgot my camera for some of the best trips. So, many apologies.

We started the trip out with a 5 mile trail race that my brother-in-law Matt put on. It was on the Bonneville Shoreline which is pretty hardcore and way awesome. This year the race was small and unofficial...but Matt's going to make it start training for next year!

This is me finishing the race. I went slow because I was scared I would slip.

This was Ben's very FIRST race. And it was no walk in the park. He did SO good. He made me a proud little wifey.
Matt got hooked up with some awesome raffle prizes. Handheld water bottles? Yes, please!
Grandma (aka: Mom) took us bowling. The kids loved it!
See how excited we were about our crazy shoes?
Holy my oldest brother and his wife have 4 super cute kids (with one on the way). But their youngest one is hilarious. Whenever I walked in the room, he always had some weird get up going on. He can accessorize with anything. Here's a small sample (trust me, we saw much more).
Yes, those certainly are socks on his hands.
Very stylish.
He loved that one of the lenses was missing.
And since I included so many pictures of Oak, let me share the cuteness of the other kiddos.
Ezra at the splash pad.
Georgia made a heart out of play-doh just for me...that little girl melts my heart.
Scarlett's so darn cute. We'd tell her to stop smiling...and she for real could NOT stop. It was hilarious.
Yep, my failure is confirmed. We did waaaaay more than the pictures suggest. Our activities included but were not limited to:
  • Kayaking/canoeing the Provo River
  • Hiking and rock climbing in Maple Canyon
  • Having a dutch oven cook off/volleyball tourney
  • Mini golfing
  • Bach parties
  • Swimming at the Spanish Fork Pool
And last but not least
  • Planning and taking part in many a wedding festivities
It was a very busy and super fun week.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The One with the Stolen Birthday

Welp, ladies and gentlemen, Ben and I got our travel itinerary for China (it makes it seem so real, right?).


We are flying out of SLC on August 27th.
After a couple of switcharoos and layovers we'll be landing in China on the 29th.

What happens to the 28th? you ask.

It's gone. We're completely skipping it. Flying through several time zones and pretending like that day never happened.

The significance of this?

The 28th just so happens to be my birthday.

Looks like I'm going to be staying 22 an extra year.

Which is probably just as well seeing as how most people think I'm 16.

Plus, Kyle's pretty excited about being the older one.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The One With the Attempt at a Tutorial

A month or 2 ago, I had an addiction to Project Runway. Fortunately, I watched all the available free episodes on Hulu so my life has returned to normal since then. However, I absolutely fell in love with the show. I mean, I even had a dream where Tim Gunn was telling me to hurry with buying my fabric but I just could not decide which fabric choice Heidi Klum would approve of.

It was very stressful.

Anyhow, as I watched the show I started forming these lofty goals of someday being proficient in sewing new clothes and refashioning old ones.

I found this blog and was immediately envious of this chick's skills. She makes the cutest clothes and all for really cheap.

Anyway, I made one attempt at refashioning some old t-shirts into a maxi dress...and while I completed it easily, I wasn't sure whether I liked the finished product (which is why you guys didn't see it).

My dreams were put temporarily on the back burner (for lack of ideas and funds) until I found this lady. She mentioned that she made a skirt from 2 pillowcases. And I though, "I could do that." Plus it would be perfect for China--comfy and cool.

So I went to D.I. in search of the perfect fabric. I wasn't set on getting pillowcases...just for the fact that pillowcases are rectangles and as long as I had enough fabric, I could definitely cut and sew some rectangles.

D.I. had some good options. I would recommend checking out the sheets/ tablecloths they have there. I know some people think it's gross...but you can get like 4 or 5 yards of fabric for a couple bucks. Just make sure you inspect it well. But most everything that I've found is clean and in good condition.

I actually ended up getting some discount fabric at our local craft store. They didn't have a full yard of it, so my skirt ended up being a little less full than I wanted. But I loved the fabric so it was worth it.
My camera really sucks at picking up color, but the fabric is kind of sage green and it has a little bit of unexpected shine to it. I got 3/4 yard of that for 3 dollars. The elastic (I went with gray) was about $4.50 so I made the skirt for less than 8 dollars total. Woot! woot!

P.S. Does anyone know where to buy cheap elastic?? Seven ninety-nine a yard is not my idea of a bargain...

Here's what went down:
First I trimmed everything to make it even. Then I sewed a hem by folding the fabric twice, about 1/3 inch. I ironed it well and then sewed it with 1/4 inch seams. After the hem is when I sewed the 2 sides of my fabric together to make a tube (but if you are working with more than 1 piece of fabric, I would suggest doing this first and then hemming so that everything matches up).
Then I fit my elastic around my waist. You want it to be snug, but not uncomfortable (that's my favorite part about making my own clothes: they're made to fit ME!). Make sure to sew it with a zig zag stitch or else the elastic won't give.
Next, you'll want to do a basting stitch around the top of your skirt. When you grab the top string, you'll be able to make ruffles like this (gosh, isn't my hand so modelesque?? I must be made for giving blog tutorials;).

Ruffle all the way around and make sure it matches the length of your elastic.
Then pin it to make sure you don't end up with either:
a) a whole lot of ruffles at the end
b) a whole lot of nothing at the end

Then sew...
Again, use the zig zag stitch...
And wa-la! You're done!

Now, the first time I finished (yes, I had to finish twice) I realized it was too long and the elastic was too loose. Soooo I ended up picking out the thread, cutting it a little shorter, and tightening the elastic. But even with all the extra sewing time (due to my lack of planning) it took me less than an hour and a half. So quick and I love love love the results.
There's a better picture of the color...sheesh! the other ones look awful in comparison. I promise I chose an attractive color to work with.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The One Starring the Born Again Hippie

Remember that one summer when I lived in the wilderness with wild adolescents and only showered every 8 days when I got a couple days off?

I was rocking the hippie vibes back then.

It only lasted as long as the job lasted (which was the summer) and then I was back to my shower-taking, oven-using ways.

But now I'm feeling a spark of that hippie-ness return. And I like it.

Let me rewind.

Awhile ago (can't remember exactly when and can't remember what we were talking about), Ben mentioned that his family, with the exception of his dad, wasn't covered with health insurance. I have to admit that I honestly figured that the guy just didn't know what he was talking about. I mean, who doesn't have health insurance??? Isn't that something that everyone has?

It wasn't until later, when I was talking to my mother-in-law, that I realized Ben wasn't lying.

My mom-in-law said that she was getting tired of paying for it. In her eyes, it was expensive when they didn't use it and it was expensive when they did. She was sick of it. So she started doing research and that's when she discovered herbs.

She researched and learned as much as she could and started healing virtually all her kids' problems. With herbs. They got rid of the health insurance and Mom said she never regretted it.

Which is saying something because they had to pay for Ben's broken back when he was 17.


A couple weeks ago, I got a stiff neck. Now, this wasn't your run of the mill oh-I-slept-kinda-funky-and-now-my-neck-is-hurting kind of stiff neck. No. It was the holy-cow-I-really-shouldn't-be-driving-because-I-literally-can't-move-my-neck-to-see-if-a-car-is-coming-from-anywhere-other-than-right-in-front-of-my-face kind of stiff neck.

It was that bad.

But I'm cheap and this was not immediately life I didn't want to hit up the doctor. So we called Mom.

She sent us to the store with a list of herbs and gave me a strict regimen to follow. Less than 2 days later, I felt good as new and I kept telling Ben to, "look at me!" while I turned my head back and forth with full rotation.

It was an herbal miracle! The stories Mom had told me had intrigued me...but this...this convinced me! (Don't didn't convince me to drop my health insurance).

So Mom suggested this book for me (not to make all my posts book reviews):
The Herb Lady's Notebook
By Venus C. Andrecht
You know you have to believe her herbal know how because of her hippie reminiscent name.

I loved reading this book. It was hilarious, entertaining and very informative. The Herb Lady has an herbal remedy for every problem you could think up. Reading the book kinda made me want Ben to get sick so that I could try my hand at using herbs...but, gosh, that makes me sound like a crazy...

I didn't REALLY want him to get sick. Sheesh.

Anyhow, Mom suggested buying herbs from so I made a small order because Ben's knee has been hurting him. The email vitacost sent me to confirm my order said, "You ordered something healthy! Nice!" Positive verbal reinforcement. Nothing works better to convince me (except ice cream).

Now, I'm not trying to convince any of you to cancel your health insurance (cause heaven knows I'm not doing that)...but I just wanted to inform and maybe pique some interest. Herbal healing is natural and its hecka cheaper than spending a chunk of change at the doctor's.

Next on my hippie studying list:
Muscle testing (which is too legit to quit)
And Iridology (who knew, right?)